Couples Counseling In Edmonton

Fictions And Facts About Marriage Counseling 

When it comes to getting advice on relationships, how well do you understand the fictions and facts about Marriage or love?

Most people take it for granted that love is the one thing which counts in choosing a life partner. “Do I love him?” or, “Do I love her enough?” Many young people believe that the answer to these questions should settle the matter of marriage. Bill might make a far better husband, but if Jill loves Jack more than she loves Bill, she will marry Jack.

In many other cultures and at other times and places, the idea of what is most important in marriage has been entirely different. Of course, the movies, stories, and ads present this point of view because it is in line with what we already believe, and want to keep on believing.  Back of it all is the very powerful force of public opinion. The fiction is accepted because that is the way marriage choices seem to work out in real life.

love, family and happiness concept - unhappy couple having argument at home

Before we assume that our thoughts are correct, or even better, we should ask ourselves how we have come by them.

So far as we as individuals are concerned, the answer is not difficult.  When giving advice on relationships we believe that love is the crucial matter in marriage because this idea has been drilled into us from childhood.  The media is partly responsible; most plots are so organized in movies and television. For example, parents who object to the love choices of their children are made to appear selfish and wrong.

For example, there was Cousin Gussie. All the family thought that her marriage was a mistake. But when she explained that he was the man she loved, that seemed to settle the question for everyone. Our friends have made what have seemed to others very peculiar choices. But we all seemed to feel that if they were really in love, there was nothing else for them to do.

These love matches did not always work out very well. Even in the stories, the glamorous Romeo, whom the girl left all to marry, was sometimes presented as little more than an attractive and exciting tramp. After the marriage, he may desert her and their children and leave them without financial or emotional support for months or even years at a time.

According to the fiction, despite all these hardships, the girl had done the only thing she could do; marry the man she loved.

These strange and often tragic choices are often explained on the basis that love just doesn’t make sense anyway.  Love is supposed to be some strange, mysterious Something which nobody can understand. The only way you can tell it is by the way you feel when your heart goes bumpity-bump, and all that. Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it. It just IS, or IS NOT. You cannot make yourself love another, no matter how eager he may be to marry you, or how good a husband he would make.

I am Colin Auschrat, R.Psych.Counselling Psychologist. My goal as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in couples therapy and a couple coaching is straightforward: to help you become an excellent partner.

I offer short-term, results-focused, and high-impact professional marriage therapy Edmonton for couples. I provide actionable strategies that address a full range of couple’s issues. I design interventions focused on finding the fastest solution for facilitating change, using an integrative style that blends the best scientific (evidence-based) approaches.

Does it feel like your marriage or relationship is headed in the wrong direction? As a couples expert, I know emotional interventions can stop the gridlock, and have the power to establish and recreate a supportive, loving bond between partners.


When couples get qualified coaching and supportive emotional intervention, the relationship will get back on track, and the couples will feel safe together, feel valued and important to one another, be flexible, and communicate.

As a strategist, I work with clients who are seeking the best solution quickly. I invite you to schedule a session.


  • Colin Auschrat, R.Psych.Counselling Psychologist
  • Auschrat Counseling Services
  • Affiliated with Rejuvenation Health Services
  • 16028 100A Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5P 4A2, Canada

– Client Testimonial

 “My wife and I chose Colin to help us with our relationship, and we’re glad we found him. We had a great first meeting (only fifty dollars!) and immediately felt comfortable working together. It was reassuring to know we had a pro in our corner who was just as involved as a friend would be.

– Client Testimonial

“What I learned is that to continue turning towards the relationship when there is a challenge is the best option. With Colin coaching us in session we learned to use soft beginnings when we sit down and communicate. Issues will always come up, for sure, but with Colin’s compassionate guidance, I know I’ll have the tools to deal with them.”

– Client Testimonial

 “Working with Colin was a pleasure. He is a resource for creativity and innovative thinking about the appealing possibilities for relationships, communication, and a quality life. Also, and as crucial, is his kindness and ability to be trusted. He points out areas of concern in a skillful way so that you feel inspired become a better communicator yourself.”

B2B Marketplace Lead Generation Campaign

The main objective of any lead generation campaign is to acquire lifetime customers.  It can seem intimidating, but it’s not! It’s very simple. Treat your leads like real human beings, communicate, appreciate them and provide exceptional customer service. Nurturing email leads starts with a welcome email. Here are some tips on how you can get off to a right start in B2B Marketplace.

B2B Marketplace Lead Generation Tips

Have a welcome email

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and been completely ignored by the staff? Some of us have, and this is what it feels like if a lead signs up on your website and not receive a welcome email. Offer helpful, quick start advice- to encourage leads to engaging with your product you have to educate them on how they benefit from your service or product. A welcome email is the best opportunity for this.

B2B Marketplace Lead Generation

The speed of delivery

For B2B Marketplace lead generation, you need to send a welcome email immediately after they sign up. Some companies wait 10 minutes, but I personally think this is too long. Send it NOW and you will have a higher chance of keeping them interested. Speed of delivery is even more important if they signed up to receive a free report. This confirms that your system works effectively.. and that is a big deal.

Reward Them

In addition to welcoming your new leads, you should also reward them with a special offer. This is a great time  to encourage new leads to take action with a discount offer. Don’t assume they are not ready to buy, ask for the sale gently! Give them relevant links- one of the most important things you can do in your welcome email is to give them a link back to your website, even if they forget most of what they had just learned about you..they can still find their way back to you through their inbox! If they have just created an account, send them to your log in panel with their logging in details.

Getting the opt

In the beginning, nurturing those leads is what will make you a successful marketer in the long run. Get it right the first time, and you automatically increase your chances of them staying with you and hopefully marrying you


Regrow Receding Gums Again With These Reliable Home Remedies

Regrow receding gums

Green tea, Aloe Vera and many other ingredients you can find in any home to regrow receding gums.

  • Do you often bleed gums with each tooth wash?
  • Do you eat any food that is too hot or too cold and your teeth and gums hurt?
  • Would you like your gums to grow back healthier?
  • How to regrow receding gums naturally?

As these home remedies can help you! The gums retract when the tissue surrounding the tooth shrinks or becomes worn making the teeth more visible.

This can create holes between the teeth and make the bacteria develop more easily in the mouth. In addition, the teeth become more sensitive the more visible they are. In very extreme cases you may end up with a damaged tooth or the loss of a dental piece. And although it is a common evil, it is often ignored.

The signs are increased sensitivity in teeth, increase in size and toothache.

The causes are many, but the most common are gum diseases such as gingivitis, poor oral hygiene, aggressive brushing, periodontal diseases, hormonal imbalances (especially in women), smoking and a bad genetic. Other less common causes are perforations on the tongue or lips, squeezing or grinding teeth, and chewing aggressively while eating.

Regrow Receding Gums With Home Remedies

A dentist could do you a cleaning or some intervention, but there are also some natural remedies that can be very effective against this problem. These are some:

  1. Green tea

Green tea has important benefits. It is a great source of antioxidants and can help you eliminate the free radicals that can cause periodontal disease. This tea contains catechism which is a potent antioxidant that treats any periodontal disease. Helps strengthen the connection between gums and teeth. Reduces swelling because it has anti-inflammatory properties the ideal is to drink a cup of tea in the morning regularly.

  1. Aloe Vera

Usually, aloe Vera is related to skin care but also has restorative, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can be used as mouthwash.

Mix with water and gargle after brushing your teeth. You can also apply aloe Vera after brushing your teeth a little more with the product and then rinse.

  1. Oil pulling (mouthwash with oils)

It can be effective in preventing oral diseases and has anti-inflammatory effects. It can eliminate toxins and deposits of bacteria. Sesame oil, in particular, creates a protective coating on your teeth. This can prevent plaque buildup.

Heat it but not much. Rinse with this after brushing your teeth for 30 seconds or a minute. The idea is that you can get to the point where you can swish for 15 to 20 minutes.

The coconut oil also works well. It relieves bacterial infection, prevents cavities and cures the oral cavity, helping you to grow retracted gums again.

  1. Eucalyptus

Another natural remedy that brings many benefits is eucalyptus. Reduce swelling of the gums as it has potent anti-inflammatory properties Eucalyptus essential oils have stronger effects than herbs, as it fights bacteria, germs and mouth infections.

Dilute it with water when you use it as it is very strong. 1 or 2 tablespoons of water with 1 or 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil Soak a brush in the oil and then apply it to the gums. Finally massage gently.

  1. Myrrh

The resin of the Myrrh tree is the key. It is very effective for curing mouth diseases as well as gum problems.

It crushes the resin until it becomes a powder although there are also some that are already ground. Mix the powder with water and make a paste to apply on the gums, then massage for several minutes.

  1. Clove Oil

Toothaches have been treated with clove oil for a long time, as it fights germs, bacteria and various diseases that are lodged in the mouth. Relieves swelling and has anti-inflammatory properties. That is why it is used after meals. It is even used to get rid of bad breath.

Take 1-2 drops of clove oil and massage the gums with it. Do these 3 times a day.

Extra Prevention Methods To Regrow Receding Gums:

  • Maintain regular hygiene in the mouth.
  • Do not brush aggressively.
  • Do not press gums so hard.
  • Use soft brushes in a circular way.
  • Use soft bristles with a small head
  • Floss after each meal.
  • If you cannot floss, use dental floss.
  • A healthy diet can also help you.

A diet rich in nutrients is vital for the health of the mouth and gums. Reduce carbonated beverages or high sugar as they accelerate the development of bacteria. Avoid caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, and white flour foods. Eat vegetables and fruits that have vitamin C. This is vital for the gums and can prevent swelling, for example, broccoli, pineapples, asparagus, oranges, and strawberries.

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Guitar Lessons For Beginners Edmonton- Why Practice Is Important?

The real key to success “practice does not make perfect, and perfect practice makes perfect”. But one big question that may come into your mind as a learner is, what I have to practice to start playing guitar? Actually, how well you play the guitar and how fast you learn is directly related to how much you practice. There is no secret to practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll play! Here are some guitar lessons for beginners Edmonton guidelines to help you get started on the right track.

Guitar Edmonton

  • As it is imperative to practice, but you need to practice it correctly. At present, the Internet allows you to learn on your own, learn how to practice.
  • Practice every day. It is better to practice fifteen minutes every day 2 hours one day a week. Even if you have one hour a day, try to divide it into two times of 1/2 hour.
  • Always, try to play guitar with the guitar tuned. There are several ways to tune the guitar, but it is good to buy your tuner. In guitar lessons for beginners Edmonton you learn to tune by ear, but give yourself time to understand.
  • Good posture will allow more leverage your moments of study. You always need to be aware of your posture, but especially now that you’re starting. You should review all the important steps slowly and methodically, to form good habits.
  • Look closely at the position every time you practice playing guitar. Try playing in front of a mirror in which you see your full posture and can correct any bad posture.
  • When you play chords or notes, place your fingers just behind the fret, as close as possible without touching it.
  • Try to keep your thumb behind the mast with little peek above.
  • Make sure you always have short fingernails of your left hand.
  • Avoid any stress, stay relaxed. Use the right pressure of your fingers, do not sink your fingers on the fingerboard.

If your posture and hand positions are inappropriate or neglected are going to work against you, and you will take longer to learn. It is important to be comfortable when you are playing. Guitar lessons for beginners Edmonton help you to learn how to sit, how to finger a chord or a note correctly, how to tap accurately, which will help a lot in developing some skills in playing guitar.

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Mechanical Strength Of Cutting Tool & Shredder Cutter Parts

The materials for cutting tools include carbon steels, alloy steels, mid, high speed steels, cast alloys, cemented carbides, ceramics or oxides and diamonds.

  • The carbon forms carbide with iron, which makes responsive quenching and thus increases the hardness, mechanical strength and wear resistance. The carbon content of tool steels is between 0.6% and 1.4%.
  • The chrome if added increases the wear resistance and toughness; the content is between 0.25% and 4.5%.
  • The cobalt is generally used in high speed steels for hot hardness. In order to use the tools with cutting speeds and higher temperatures and still maintain the hardness and the cutting edge, the content is between 5% and 12%.
  • The molybdenum is a strong base to form carbides and increasing the strength factor, wear resistance and hot hardness. It is always used in conjunction with other alloying elements. The content is up to 10%.
  • The tungsten improves hot hardness and mechanical strength, the content is between 1.25% and 20%.
  • The vanadium increases the hot hardness and abrasion resistance, the content of the carbon tool steel is 0.20% to 0.50%, in high speed steels is between 1% and 5%.

The efficiency of the tool and shredder cutter parts depends on the material of which they are made, and the edge shape. Tools alloy steel is not good at temperatures above 250 ° C, and as we know the edge of the tool is very important for the surface quality of the work piece. If you want to work with high speeds and temperatures, then it is recommended to use tools or alloy steel (SS) that maintain its toughness and edge.


Ceramic tools are useful for finishing work, to break very easily by its hardness, and are not very efficient at turning work at high speeds, its primary disadvantage is that you cannot hit upon the turning and will lose its edge.

It is recommended to use cutting tools having best tool steel properties. 

How To Renovate Your house with Staircases Sheffield?

The stage is now more than just a tool to continue. From one floor to another a well-designed Staircases Sheffield is a real atmosphere creator. It does not matter if the staircase is part of the living room, or hallway. A beautiful staircase is an eye catcher that enhances the character of a home. Are you going to build a new house, or you want to replace your current stage? We will give you some tips to keep in mind when designing new contemporary staircases.


Often people only see the installation of a new staircase as an option for an old staircase. By the stairs to renovate with transfer steps, the stage is now new again and goes back many years. Do you have a wooden staircase, you can also sandblast it, if hard wood are stained or varnished stairs and railings.

A staircase should also be safe. A handle is not enough. A handrail is necessary but obviously increases the design problem. A half-solved problem remains a problem, in this case “less dangerous”. Often people only see the installation of a new staircase as an option for an old staircase.

Staircases are composed of slender strip steel stringers in between wooden steps are confirmed. The steps are made of beech wood and are at the back of a shovel edge. The handrail is made of beech and is attached to strip steel balusters. Between the balusters is chosen at this stage for a refill of perforated panels. The filling between the panels can be performed in different ways, so, you could think of: – Glass / polycarbonate white or in color – between lines about 3 to 5 lines above each other.

An easy access to your building is important for the safety of your employees and a welcoming reception of your clients and contacts. We advise, design, build and assemble the ladder as you have in mind. All your desired shape, size and color of a steel staircase are possible.

Staircase Manufacturers UK offers stairs and ramps to deliver your building to building regulations. In the showroom you get a good idea of the possibilities with the standard stairs and custom designed stairs.

How To Save On Big Porsche Repair Bills?

How to Check if your Porsche car has some electric circuit problem? Considering the fact that an average car has miles of wiring within its body, you would think that it would be difficult to test all of this to ensure it is working correctly. With a multimeter, it is not hard to go through each of the major circuits if you feel something is wrong. This is the first place that you should start if you are noticing strange things happening with the electronic devices in the car. Do not assume that the devices are broken until you find out if the problem is with the wiring.

To check the circuits, you just need to locate the fuse box. This is generally near the steering wheel though all cars are different. Once you have found it, take the cover off and look at the diagram on the back. This will show you what each fuse is for. You can then connect the black wire from the multimeter to the metal casing. With this in place, you can connect the red end to the fuses in order. If the multimeter does not show that a fuse is getting 12 volts, you know that something is wrong.

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Tie Rod?

If your tie rods go bad, you could be in trouble. This is a somewhat serious problem for your vehicle. Tie rods that are not replaced when they begin to go bad may cause your car to go out of control. If they just break in your driveway, this might not be a big problem. If they break while you are going seventy miles an hour, you could be in a major accident. You should hire a mechanic if you see any signs that point to bad tie rods.

Most of the symptoms that you should look out can be rather clear. For instance, the tie rods could be going bad if the steering wheel is shaking while you are driving. If the car seems to be vibrating more than normal, even on smooth roads. You should also have them checked if the car seems to be wandering all over the road, even when you did not adjust the steering wheel. These things could also signify other issues, such as a car with an alignment problem, but you would be wise to have a mechanic check the tie rods to be sure.

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How Can Gingival Recession Affect Healthy Mouths?

The gingival recession is a slow and gradual process that can happen at any age, although it is most common in adults. This condition has several causes, such as incorrect brushing, applying excessive force to the act of brushing, or use of inappropriate tools such as stiff bristle toothbrush. Some other conditions such as poor tooth position or bruxism, are also causes of gingival retraction.

How to reverse receding gums? But did you know that even those who have a healthy mouth can suffer from this evil? Yes, though few cases are, there are reports of occurrences gingival retraction without any apparent cause, and in healthy mouths. Prevention involves the adoption of good oral hygiene practices: proper tooth brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.

Gingival recession

What is gum recession?

It happens when there is a displacement of the gum and, with that, an exposure of the roots of teeth. This condition can affect only one tooth or several of them. Due to this exposure of the root disappears a coating layer and that exposes another portion of the tooth, the dentin, which is extremely sensitive. Further, it can cause tooth decay, dental hypersensitivity, and aesthetic problems.

What are the symptoms?

There are many series of symptoms such as:

  • Exposure root of the teeth;
  • Bleeding gums in the act of brushing;
  • Bad breath;
  • Feeling that the teeth are “loose”
  • Pain in the teeth;
  • Excessive sensitivity, even using cutlery.

It is important to find a dentist quickly when they appear the symptoms of gingival recession. The sooner this condition is treated, the less likely to undergo surgery to correct the problem.

Watch this video


What are the options for treating?

There are a number of treatments available for gingival retraction, and generally, they are set to conform concerned. Typically, the first step is to address hypersensitive teeth and to this end, practitioners generally prescribe mouthwash or even fluoride application.

Causes of gingival recession

Poor brushing – In these cases, treatment takes the form of re-education of the act of brushing. The dentist can teach you new techniques for cleaning; prescribe new toothpaste or even a new toothbrush with softer bristles.

Gums Health– Any inflammation or infection of the gums can cause shrinkage if left untreated. In such cases, usually resorts to a treatment noninvasive, such as descaling by a professional cleaning and plaque. If the gum is greatly affected, it can do a regenerative therapy.

Dental procedures – Certain cases of gum recession are associated with dental implants, placement machine or bleaching sessions. In such cases, if there is enough inflammation of the gums, it can make regenerative sessions to correct the problem.

“Am I Doing This Right?”

In my high school’s impoverished library sat a lonely book entitled, (Those Awkward Years) Twixt Twelve and Twenty. What high schooler is ever going to read that book? We were living it!

Turns out Pat Boone recorded the most gosh awful song ever based on that title. But the lyrics… if you can avoid the music… tell an all too true tale.

They say the years
Twixt twelve and twenty
Are the years of
Confusion and doubt

Now, I’m no developmental psychologist although I play one on the internet. In layman’s terms, my wife and I call the “confusion and doubt” phase that kids go through “stinking”. Something happens when kids approach their early teens that turns them inside out, upside down, and makes them uneasy with life in general.

A real developmental psychologist, Jean Piaget, described the teen years as the beginning of the Formal Operational Stage. (Big words for “stinking” if you ask me.) Here’s the definition:

Abstract thought emerges during the formal operational stage. Children tend to think very concretely and specifically in earlier stages. Children begin to consider possible outcomes and consequences of actions.

To understand this, let me back up a couple stages. When a child begins to discover that letters represents sounds and begins to write those letters, something interesting happens. The child sees letters p,q,b,d (for example) and notices that all of them are the same shape – a circle with a line on it – and he wonders “What’s the difference?”. Questioning and experimentation are essential for the child to finally anchor the right shape that goes with the right sound. Some kids wrestle with this more than others.

In my mind, the same thing happens in adolescence. Only twixt twelve and twenty, the child is wrestling with abstract ideas of right and wrong, actions and consequences, risk and reward. “Because I said so!” works great with six year olds, not so much with sixteen year olds. THIS IS NOT BECAUSE TEEN YEARS REQUIRE REBELLION. Dad, back off! Your kids are, for the first time in their lives, wrestling with ideas… and they’re not going to get everything right the first time.

I have four boys. Everyone of them have hit the high vertical wall of adolescence and started “stinking”. They gave me attitude for absolutely no reason. They were moody for no reason. They became irresponsible where, in the past, they were very reliable. Hey, they stink!

At these moments, it is very easy for a parent to think, “Ok, this is where the wheels come off the wagon. I’m losing my child.” Take it from me (and my youngest turns 18 in two weeks, I know what I’m talking about), this is not how or when you lose your child! Believe it.

It may help you to put your child’s behavior in context of a question, as if they’re asking the world – “I’ve never been here before. Am I doing this right?”

How do you act when you have “confusion or doubt”. You’re not the loveliest person at that moment, are you? Ever gone through four, five, six, seven years of confusion or doubt? Well, yes you have. You were a stinking teen once, too. Remember? Or do you see your teen years as totally different from what your teen children are putting you through? Maybe you need to have a talk with your mom and dad!

Let me give two strong points of advice and one encouraging word.

Advice #1 – You have to change, too. “Do as I say” is done. Don’t try that again. It will only distance you from your child. In one of my first posts here at It’s Good To Be The Dad, I said something you need to hear again now:

I have never had a bad conversation with a child that begins with “I want to explain why I think this is important.”

If your “house rules” are proper, you – the adult – should be able to explain why. Don’t treat your kid like a kid… he or she is racing toward adulthood and they’re wrestling with ideas, not rules. Meet them where they are!

Advice #2 – Equip your maturing child with effective language and behavior. I have told every one of my sons, “I know you need to pull away, but your job is to be lovely about.” And I went on to give them permission to say, “I disagree with you.” or “I don’t like that decision.” Talk to your children about how people in your workplace disagree, but still manage to be kind to one another. Teach them about the world they are entering.

Encouraging Word – Dad, lean close to the computer screen, I need to tell you something very important. “They. Come. Back.”

I still remember standing in the Olathe (KS) Walmart talking to my friend Craig Jaggard whose son, Jason, was just a couple years older than my oldest son. Craig and I talked about everything I’ve written here. Craig looked at me with mature, wise eyes and said, “Clark, they come back.”

Tears welled up heavily in my eyes at the thought that these little guys, whom I have loved since the moment of their conception, have not forsaken and abandoned me. They’re just finding their own, adult path into a confusing world… just as I had.

In essence… no, in pure reality, I asked Craig, “Am I doing this right?” To this moment, I am blessed by his encouraging wisdom.

Fathers, be good to your children. You can’t tell them where to go, but you can help them find their way, out into the world… and back again.

Carhartt vs Yoga Pants

Q: Why does a worker wear a Carhartt coat to the winter construction site?

Q: Why does a 15 year old girl wear yoga pants to high school?

Clue: The answer to both questions is exactly the same.

Before I reveal the astounding answer, let’s see how the purveyors of Carhartts and yoga pants promote their product.

Two wildly different commercials, wouldn’t you say? I wouldn’t.
I think they are advertising the exact same thing in the exact same way.

A: The answer to both questions above is simply, “to get what they want”.
In economics, the term is utility – a measure a satisfaction that a product or service delivers.

A bush pilot, a hunter, an outdoor winter construction worker all want something specific – warmth. Carharrt, so I’m told, is a leading manufacturer of outerwear that satisfactorily keeps people warm.

A female girl on her way into high school, college classroom, the mall, etc, wants something – acceptance. Yoga pants satisfactorily deliver acceptance because they are allegedly stylish, currently in fashion, and maybe most importantly for young girls, yoga pants visually attract the attention of young men.

Whether Carhartts or yoga pants, saggy jeans or flannel shirts, most people (who have the means to afford a choice) choose clothes that deliver utility – clothes that get them what they want.

Bear all that in mind as I refer to a blog posted last Friday by Entitled “What’s Your Daughter Wearing?”, the article wisely encouraged dads to talk to their daughters about what they wore. The article posed a difficult discussion topic: “Where do you draw the line with modesty?” I wrote a friend, the editor at, and asked, “Why does it matter?”

Now I’m asking my readership the same question, Does it matter, to you, what your teen daughter wears in public? If it does matter, can you express why it matters? As a dad, I’ve tried very, very hard to not be “a legislative parent” crowing “those are my rules and you have to follow them”. My parents were like that and I don’t want to repeat that folly.

Before I lay down the law with my kids, I challenge myself to defend my law first, in light of impartial truth and secondly, in light of what is really essential for me to impart to me children. I survived the 60s and 70s battle over boys with long hair. It was a stupid and worthless battle – on both sides – I’m not going to knowingly repeat that mistake as a parent.

The article encouraged dads to talk with older [teen] daughters and “tell her exactly what a young man is thinking when he sees a woman in a revealing or suggestive outfit.” I totally agree.

Boys have one track minds. Whether you believe in special creation or evolution, the results are in. Males are hard-wired to think (virtually non-stop) about sex. (If you don’t believe that, I’m sorry for  your blindness. This discussion is not for you.) Men are especially visually stimulated. King David didn’t fall for Bathsheba until he saw her bathing outdoors. An insightful interview with Henry Kissinger never made the centerfold of Playboy Magazine.

Clothing styles have changed a lot over the years. Poodle skirts of the 50s and preppy khakis of the 80s were the watermelon and corn-on-the-cob of the Fourth of July picnic. Yoga pants are the fireworks grand finale. Whether a girl consciously intends to arouse boys visually by wearing yoga pants… well, we can play that game for a long time, can’t we? But let’s say that she is simply wearing tight-fitting, form-following leggings because she doesn’t want to appear dowdy and unfashionable. I’ll allow that as a true and innocent motivation. But a girl’s motivation does not define how boys will perceive her!

The question lingers, does yoga pants girl (YPG) intend to arouse the boys? I have no way of knowing. Many will say that there is a difference between dressing sexy and dressing sexually. Many will say that YPG just wants to be trendy and in style. We cannot, must not judge YPG’s motives.

But we must also embrace facts. Somewhere between 40% and 70% of teen girls aged 15 to 19 have had sex. I would be hard pressed to be convinced that, given this high incidence of sexual behavior, that YPG does NOT know what she’s doing. (In other words, I am drawing a line of observation between the manner of dress and the incidence of sexual activity.)

Morals and values are the private province of each heart, each person, each family. This blog is not about legislating my values on others. What I’d like to do, along with my friends at, is encourage you to talk you children, sons and daughters about the idea utility and how we go about getting what we want.

Yes, I suppose that YPG is dressing that way to get what she wants, so let’s be clear about what we think she really wants. There is an old and well proven adage that males give acceptance to get sex and females give sex to get acceptance.

As a father of boys, I have tried to raise sons who did not take advantage of the girl’s desire for acceptance to get sex for himself. If I were the father of girls, I would legislate against yoga pants and encourage my daughters not to take advantage of a boy’s desire for sex to get acceptance for herself.

And I’d probably encourage her to wear a Carhartt coat to prom, just to be safe!

10s Get 10s

We have a saying around our house, “10s get 10s”. It’s not a law of the universe, more like a proverb (which simply means something proves to be true often enough that you can generally rely on it). Think of the clichéd high school romance – the football quarterback and the cheerleader. It’s a cliché because it happens often enough in reality that we understand what it’s telling us… “10s get 10s”.

This all started when I showed my boys this three minute snippet from a Discovery Channel show, The Science of Sex Appeal.

I encourage you to watch it and then to share it with your children (probably teens will understand it best).

My point in all this is to stimulate my sons to be 10s. Oh, you’ve see the family photos… “good luck with that”, right?

Fortunately, we’ve evolved a little bit beyond appreciating pure physical attraction. Our mate-seeking preferences extend to consider a person’s work ethic, disposition, and compatibility of interests. The good news is we all can be(come) 10s in many ways other than what the “mirror, mirror on the wall” tells us. And this applies to far more than just pair-bonding.

I recently shared this graph with my youngest son. I call it the “10s get 10s” graph. (You should be

able to click and enlarge it.) The black, bell curve line represents the “application of abilities”. Not many of us are the absolute best on earth at any one thing (raw ability). But we can all make an effort to apply the abilities that we do have.

Whether playing the piano or soccer, bussing tables, or managing a Fortune 500 company, most of us are likely to get better based on the diligence with which we apply our ability. We approach “10ness” by our efforts to get better. The bell curve indicates that most people are satisfied with being a 4, 5, 6, or 7. Moving to the far right side of the curve simply takes more effort than most humans want to give… but I believe that high-value ground is available to more people than will ever go there.

The ascending red line represents the “…get 10s” side of the equation – opportunities and rewards. To go back to our cliché, the quarterback (the one with a 10 on his forehead) tends to attract the attention of the cheerleader (with a 10 on her forehead). Again and fortunately, we’re not all stuck in the mediocre rut our looks and natural abilities afford us. The more we apply our abilities, the more likely (it’s a proverb, remember) we are to experience rewards for our efforts, whether that be relatively higher income, relatively more satisfying relationships, perceived greater esteem, etc.

Dads, this is where YOU come in. I urge you to think about this topic and consider translating it to your children. (I love running errands with my children or taking them to lunch and talking about things just like this.) Examples of “10s get 10s” are all around us and worth using as teaching opportunities with our children.

A youngster picked to be the soccer team captain is probably a child that shows up consistently and works hard at practice – it’s not always the team’s leading scorer. The child selected to assist the teacher on a demonstration is usually one who has paid attention and shown an interest in class. Summer mowing jobs usually go to the neighbor kid who did a good job the first time. And healthy, life-long relationships go, not to star-crossed lovers, but to those who work at love day in and day out.

You can find innumerable examples of “10s get 10s” in your immediate world and explain them to your children. I hope you do. I hope you emphasize that people who work at applying their abilities are the people who tend to experience greater opportunities and rewards for their efforts. Because that’s how life tends to work.

A personal example comes to mind right now that will uniquely illustrate this. I consider myself something of a barbeque aficionado – both producing and consuming it. Years ago, when KC Masterpiece bbq sauce was just hitting the national tongue, I did a taste test with some friends comparing my sauce to Rich Davis’ nasty, molassesey Texas-style sauce (in my humble opinion). ALL of my taste-testers liked mine better. When I made the big reveal, that they had all selected my sauce over the million dollar competitor, one friend looked at me flatly, saying “everybody makes better sauce than KC Masterpiece. Davis just got his out there.”

It’s all true. Rich Davis brewed small batches of his sauce in his home kitchen, bottled it, and went door-to-door, store-to-store, pestering his way onto grocery shelves. He applied his abilities (and mediocre sauce) and became a 10, making millions of dollars along the way.

Me, I still make better sauce, but you’d never know it. I’m working at being a 10 dad, not saucier. What about you?

Clark H Smith

First Day of School

Yesterday I posted some thoughts about College Drop Off Day.  Today, I’m looking at the other end of the spectrum – First Day of School (especially first graders).

The first day of First Grade is an exciting time for students and overwhelming moment for parents.  Two decades later, I still have part of a lump in my throat from my oldest son’s first day.  Here’s a short video documenting the day.  (Please forgive the hairstyles and fashion disasters!)

If you are one of those parents about to introduce a first grader to school life, there’s hope.  You will get them back at the end of the day!  I asked a good friend of mine, Marsha Butler, to share some thoughts about getting your child ready for that big first day at school.  Marsha has been teaching elementary school in Kansas for 35 years.  (She started at age 9, I guess.)  I asked Marsha about teaching awards she’s received.  Her response: “Hugs are the best rewards.”butler

Thanks Marsha!  Great advice that I know will help parents and students alike.  I want to add a thought… I got kind of choked up when Marsha asked us to be an encourager to the teacher.  My mom was an elementary teacher and our family has also homeschooled with my wife doing the heavy lifting of teaching.  I whole-heartedly agree that teachers need – and deserve – encouragement.  I hope that all my readers will make a point of being a most encouraging parent this school year.  Who knows, maybe the teacher will give you an apple!There are lots of great things to do to prepare both parents and beginning kindergartners or first graders the summer before the year begins.

As you approach the first day of school, talk about school in a positive light. Talk about how they will be away from home without a parent.  Discuss how much fun it will be learning new things.  During the summer, plan play dates with children that are the same age and may be in the same class.  Invite children to your house, but also be sure they have time away from you, too.  Discuss sharing, manners, being helpful, and be a good friend. Two to three weeks before the beginning of school, walk to the school and play on the playground.   Get the school supply list and let your child help pick out the supplies they need.  Maybe talk about the clothes that they will be wearing and pick out a new shirt or outfit.  If the child is riding a bus to or from school, talk about what that will be like and find an older child to help them at first.

Before school begins, establish a schedule at home and especially a bedtime.  Children need about ten hours of sleep.  Be sure they are eating a healthy breakfast.  Talk about the lunch that they will have at school or if they take their lunch, what choices they will have.  This is a good time to talk about good nutrition. The week before schools starts, do a dress rehearsal of the first day of school.  Be sure they have plenty of time so that you are not rushing out the door.  Most schools have an evening before school starts that families can tour the building, meet the teacher, and see the room.  Be sure you go and meet the teacher.  This may be a time for parents to sign-up to volunteer or be a part of PTA or PTO.  Children that see their parents involved in school will understand the importance of school.   Always be an encourager to the teacher… they need your support!  That week before, have your child write a little note or picture for the teacher. The night before, everybody as an early bedtime.  After a good breakfast, parents take your child to school and say good bye at the door.  (If you are going to cry, hold it until after they are in the room).  Do not make the good-bye long.  Reassure the child you will see them after school is out.  If this is an emotional time, plan to meet other parents at a local coffee shop to talk about it.   After school is out, be excited to hear about your child’s day and what they did.  Plan a celebration – a favorite dinner or dessert.   Be consistent with the schedule, reading, and homework.

College Drop Off Day Success

For millions of children, August means back-to-school.  For some, August will present an entirely new life experience – college.  Having dropped off a couple kids at college already, I’m keenly aware of the cocktail of personal and family emotions that “Drop Off Day” (DOD) brings.  This short video captures DOD our first time around.  Note: If you put a 10 year old in charge of videography, you may find out the truth of exactly what will be missed around the house!

I’ve recently had the pleasure to meet Dr. Pat Bosco, Kansas State University’s Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.  I asked Dr. Bosco to take on the unofficial title of “Dean of Parents” and give some words of encouragement to the parents of incoming freshmen.  (Sorry that video was of #1 son dropping off at KU, Pat. #4 son is all yours!)

Dr. Bosco shares his wisdom…

The best you can do to prepare your child for college is what you have been doing… love, support, encourage. Show them you care and that you are excited for them. Let them know you believe they will be successful goes a long way. Do not feel like you have to be the first to arrive on moving day. Getting there early or later will still result in the same room, set-up, etc. Take time in the morning to plan the day, don’t rush to be first in line. Being relaxed, organized and having a good breakfast helps everyone have a good frame of mind. Let your student set the tone for the day. It’s important for them to know that they can handle things on their own and planning move in day can be a first step to independence as a college student. You will be able to see your student in action, handling conflict, transition, etc. That can help reassure you as well. Be mindful of your child’s inner tensions. Students are wondering if they are the only one feeling conflicting feelings… if they will be able to be successful… will they make friends. Let them know you believe in them, they can and will be successful. Encourage your student to make new friends. All students are making new friends and learning a new place. Remind them they are not alone. Parents should make connections with each other as well. Helping your student move in is good, but once they are dropped off it is time for parents to go. Students often comment that they do not feel like they are a college student until their family has left. Move them in, take them to lunch, and head for home. Have your student walk you to the car for a final goodbye. It is easier for them to embrace their new life as a college student, make friends, and get settled when they are on their own. They know they can call if they need you. Moving forward… set plans for the first visit home, but not the first weekend they are away. Send signs of care throughout the semester. Care packages during finals and midterms, text them before a test, little signs to show them you are there and care. Show you are invested in their success, but let them choose how much they want you to help. Parents can support each other through this process… plan something fun for just mom and dad to do that first weekend. Parents shift from guardians to mentors during this time. Guide your student in firm, but gentle ways. Let them know it is ok to ask for help. Open-ended questions help them share their thoughts and feelings. Offering help can be good, but ultimately they need to make final decisions on their own.

Good words, Dr. Bosco.  Thank you very much.  I would add that parents should remember that every child is unique.  Ask them in advance what they would like their day to look like and then double-check a couple times during DOD to see if they suggest any changes to the plan.  Mom & Dad, as hard as it may be to accept, this is a huge ASCD (apron string cutting day).  As much as you’d like to hold on, your child needs to cut loose.  Meditate on that as the day approaches.  And have a fresh box of tissues ready for the drive home.

School Daze

My journey toward Empty Nesting is now just days… heartbeats… away. Youngest son will wave goodbye to Mommy and Daddy in less than three weeks and be off on his “grown up” journey. Many of my readers are in my shoes. Many others of my readers are preparing for the first day of Elementary School.

I’ve got something for each situation. Enjoy these re-runs posted last summer, but still urgently fresh.

College Drop Off Day Success

File Under: Time Flies

I want to share something pretty interesting with my IGTBTD readers today. Friends of mine, Duane and his son, Curran, recently participated in some wacky steeplechase-ironman-grungefest. There was all kinds of running through mud and fire and everything wonderful. Here’s a picture of the two of them going through one of the water hazards. Conklin3

What a great scene, father and young adult son bonding through the shared experience of testing their strength and endurance. I really encourage this kind of father-son activity. Especially as the kids get older, we dads need to find new ways of staying connected with our kids as they grapple with all the challenges of the grown-up world.

Only one problem… the photo above is an amazing optical illusion. Curran is actually 14 and a freshman in high school. Scroll down to see the picture in the last paragraph. That’s Curran’s actual size.

When these photos first popped up on my friend’s Facebook account, I was stunned. I was stunned that the camera accidentally captured what was happening inside Curran! He’s already beginning to feel like a man. Girls are more “interesting”. Work, and income, is beginning to add a new level of independence. He thinks about life in more complex and subtle ways than ever before. In short, he’s growing up, fast, even though he may be a couple years away from the growth spurt that will signal to the rest of us that he is quickly becoming the young man he looks like in the first picture.

A couple posts back, I wrote about the developmental issues that maturing children face and how dads can “mature” in our fathering techniques to keep pace. If you haven’t yet, please read that post.Conklin2

But let’s let Duane and Curran give us some tremendous advice as well… Dads, keep growing in how you connect with your kids. This wackadoodle run through fire and water would have been frustrating and nearly impossible for Curran just a couple years ago. It would have separated father and son. Now, from either picture you want to look at, it seems that father and son found an experience that drew them closer together.

With my boys, I’ve gone from working on Legos to working on cars. Although I think I was much more skilled on the Legos, I now cherish that time together under an oily Jeep engine. I think my kids might, too!

Dad’s keep growing along with your children! It’s good to be the dad!!!

Clark H Smith