Camping is the best way to get back to nature, and it is one of the best ways for children to get a good grasp on how the environment affects us, and how we harm the environment. Although it would be nice to head off into the middle of the wilderness, it’s unfortunate that most kids don’t see it this way.
These come hand in hand and can make or break a family camping experience. The campsite that you choose has to be based on your abilities and also take into account the interests of your family. If you and your family are novices to the whole camping ideal, choosing a site that is in an established campground or a national park would be a good idea to start.
If you are a family who likes to explore the local towns or hike/cycle during the day, it is advisable to choose a site that is close to your activity destinations. As a final word, if your family is not too keen on roughing it 100%, select a site that has toilets and running water.
As for your tent, it may be suitable to have one that fits two adults, yet when a family is concerned, you will need a little more space. Families are advised to choose one that can easily cater for double the size of your family. This gives your kids plenty of room to move around.
Child-friendly sleeping arrangements are a necessity. They will be the first ones who complain. If you have more than one child and you want to make them as comfortable as possible and save floor space. You can opt for a double camping cot which kids will enjoy.
One of the best and simplest camping hacks you can find is your pillows. Rather than lugging pillows around with you, just take pillow cases and stuff them with your jackets while sleeping.
Camping is getting away from it all, and leaving everything behind. Children will at some point want a little extra to play with, especially if the weather is not the best. You can take along some toys and entertainment for them that will either make them more involved with nature or keep them quiet if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Here are a few camping toys that will keep your kids happy:
- Balls – Most ball sports can be played while camping as can a frisbee.
- Magnifying Glasses – these can keep younger children occupied for ages, as can a pair of binoculars. They will love exploring what’s far away or what is right under their feet.
- Squirt Guns – what better way to keep kids occupied in warm weather and if you are close to a water supply.
- If the weather does take a turn for the worst or you need something to keep your children occupied on an evening, there are also a few options that can improve family bonding rather than rely on electrical gadgets:
- Coloring books – these can keep your children occupied for a couple of hours, and they don’t take up much space in your camping gear.
- Playing cards – there is nothing better than a game of cards between the family. Just make sure the game is not too complicated for your children.
If your children need a little more space to play and do their own thing, you can take a smaller tent for this purpose. You will know where they are and you don’t have to worry about standing on any of the toys or games you have taken along.
Children can be the hungriest and fussiest eaters on the planet, so stocking up on what will keep them satisfied is essential. Snack times will be the hardest as they will want something to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Packing dried fruits can give your children an energy boost while meeting their sugary needs without filling them full of man-made ingredients. Trail mix and health bars that are made from all-natural ingredients can do much the same thing. All you have to be wary of is if any of your children or family members have a nut allergy.
Fresh fruits can also be good to keep on hand; they are not only healthy and nutritious, but they also come in their own packaging so there will be no wrappers flying around the campsite.
One thing you do have to take, and this will please your kids and give them the idea how much fun sitting around a campfire can be. Bring on the S’Mores! This will satisfy not just any kid, but also the big kid in all of us. What childhood would be complete without memories of S’Mores around a fire?
Chris Cole is the head writer at naturesportcentral.com. He is passionate about the great outdoors and writing.
I love taking my grandchildren to Disney, to the playground or to the beach. These activities are fun, but do they create memories that keep on keeping on even after this lifetime has passed.
A lifetime runs out,
but eternity is a very, very long time!
Buildings that have no foundation will never stand the winds of time. Wow, how profound. Life’s trials will come and go, but the foundations you help build in your grandchildren’s lives will last for a life time
The key words I think of when building anything is “structure” and “Intentional.” What kinds of structures are you intentionally building into your grandchildren’s lives that are done with a purpose and done on purpose?
Build with purpose.
Build on purpose.
It’s hard for your grandchildren to see God’s purpose working out in their lives just as it is for us. God does not do anything by accident. All we have gone through is all part of what God wants to build in us. Year by year, challenge by challenge, decision by decision, God uses them all to build his image in us.
Think about how you can intentionally build in each of your grandchildren. Here are some things I want to build in my grandchildren and in myself.
It is more caught than taught.
The world around us is in direct conflict with what we want to see in our grandchildren’s lives. The world creates expectations that may have nothing to do with God’s purposes. We must live and actively proclaim the truth over the lies. As a grandfather, I want to be one of the louder voices saying to our grandchildren that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. Words, thoughts and actions can build up or tear down, which do they hear and see from us?
What you want your grandchildren to remember
must be said and lived now.
The best legacies you will ever leave
are the memories you create.
If I were to ask each of my grandchildren what was their most memorable moment I hope there are seven, one for each of my grandchildren. Why? Let me say it again, because they are all individuals. We must see them as individuals and seek to build memories that last for their life-times.
Memories are made over time.
I am sure all of my grandchildren will remember the great time we had at the lake, at an amusement park or on a Disney cruise. But what memories would each of my grandchildren recall as being special; working together on a project, a mission trip to the Navajo Nation, maybe playing Scrabble or Dominoes and beating Papa over and over again? Those memories have very specific meaning, because of the time and conversation we have while doing them.
I want to change history and memories on purpose.
Memories by accident can be scary.
Build, structure, and create the times you want to live and the memories you want to leave. Recently we spent a week in Breckenridge, Colorado, and the best things I did with our grandchildren was make snow angels. It did not cost us one dime. It was not the reason for the trip; it was simply spontaneous and great fun. We have the pictures!
Your grandchildren will not judge you by the car you drive,
the house you live in or by the stuff you own
but by the memories you live and leave.
For a Lifetime
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, for a lifetime!” “There is plenty of time for that.” Really? Only God knows for sure, and you ain’t God! So what are you waiting for?
How much lifetime do we really have left?
Oh, you don’t know!
You might want to get on with it now.
May I make a suggestion? Well, I’m going to do it anyway. Ask each of your grandchildren this simple but leading question, “If I could do anything for you or with you that I can afford, what would you like most?” What would they say? If you don’t know, at least ask. I promise I will, too!
Money and stuff will be spent and rust away but memories last for a lifetime.
When you ask them what you could do for them remember they are different ages. You may need to ask the parents for some insights.
Reminder: YOUR greatest investments or achievements are not found
in your “what’s” – possessions, power, privilege or prestige –
but in your “Who’s” – God, your wife, family and
the legacy you live and leave.
Written by our dear friend, the late Dr. Dan Erickson. May the memories we have of him live on as we create new memories with our loved ones.
Whether your family is hosting the meal or traveling to grandmother’s house, there’s a lot to do in preparation for Thanksgiving. Slow down for a few moments before the cooking, chaos, chatter and clutter begins. Prepare your heart to focus on the Creator, the God of heaven and earth, the ultimate reason to give thanks.
Read Psalm 105:1-7 aloud from your favorite translation. Pause after each phrase and truly absorb what you’re reading. Center in on the prayer-directives the Psalmist gives and reflect on the abundance of blessings you enjoy (v. 1). Pray aloud for those who are serving “among the nations”, those who “tell of all His wonderful acts” (vv. 1-2). Seek His guidance and rest in His power (v. 4). Ponder His acts of mercy (v. 5). Rejoice that you are one of “His chosen ones” (v.6). Breathe in the mercies of God (v. 7).
My former pastor, Dr. Jay McCluskey, reminded us that “God’s faithfulness does not come with a limited warranty.” God is with us—in good, bad, sadness, sorrow, success, commonplace, and extraordinary. Dr. McCluskey also proposed a novel idea: What if we cancelled Thanksgiving Day and designated one day a year for grumbling and complaining? Maybe we would get it out of our system and then have 364 days left for praising and rejoicing. Wouldn’t that be refreshing?
So, this week, don’t grumble! Reflect on the blessings of God, ask Him to heal our nation, to restore peace and harmony in families, communities, churches and countries around the world. Entreat Him to provide places of tranquility and healing for those who are abused and hurting, blessings on those who proclaim His name both here and abroad. Will you be a channel of blessing and thankfulness or a woe-is-me grumbler? Just look around you and then thank Him for the abundance He generously gives. Prepare your heart to step into a glorious life of thanksgiving.
Brenda Harris is a student of God’s Word…and a wife, mother, and grandmother! She loves uncovering truths and promises in Scripture. Brenda serves as prayer coordinator for Kendrick Brothers Productions.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. —Colossians 3:21
It can be frustrating as a single parent to use your limited resources to provide for your child’s needs—only to have certain items go over to the other parent’s house and possibly not be returned. Where do you draw the line without causing your child to feel the pressures of living in two homes? How do you guard their heart and establish boundaries in protecting what you buy them? Let’s take a little deeper look together.
What the child sees
Don’t forget—I have a divided heart now. I live between two completely different houses, rules, traditions and attitudes. Be patient with me when I forget things or need some time to adjust from house to house. Please buy me enough stuff that I don’t have to live out of a suitcase my whole life. If you want me to feel “at home” in both places, please set up a full home for me, even if I am only there a few days a month. Things like tooth brushes, shoes, clothes, my favorite cereal, and having cool décor in my room—these all help me feel welcomed and at home in both homes. Don’t compete or argue about these things, just help me not have to feel like a visitor when I am with either parent. Make it as easy on ME as possible! –Top 10 Things Kids Wished They Could Say to Their Divorced Parents, Tammy Daughtry, Co-Parenting International
I think the above paragraph sums it up quite well. Unfortunately, our children do feel torn at times—a one-home lifestyle isn’t their norm any more. With all the division already, is it fair for us to restrict anything that may make them feel a bit more stable? Maybe that stuffed animal or favorite shirt is one thing that helps keep their emotions in check—offering a bit of normalcy in their life. Let’s be sure to keep this in mind before the next time they ask to take something to the other home and before we say no.
What we see
Jesus tells a parable in Luke 18:10-14 about a Pharisee and tax collector. He describes the tax collector’s repentant heart and the Pharisee’s self-centeredness…the Pharisee using the word “I” 5 times! If we are not careful, we can fall into the same trap—putting all the focus on our own needs rather than our children’s.
Bitterness can cause blindness—at least it did for me. I was always caught up with what my daughter already had at her mother’s house, why did she need to take my stuff over there too? I mean, I was using my limited funds to buy stuff that I wanted to keep at my house and I wasn’t happy that my daughter wanted to take what I bought her out of the home that I pay for… (Get it?).
To be honest, I was worried about not having enough nice clothes or decent toys/activities at my home—which is a legitimate concern, but also needs to be handled delicately. One wrong word or action from a parent can really sink a child’s spirit for many years to come.
What you can do
Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, here are a few quick suggestions to help avoid conflict and keep your child’s heart guarded:
1. Ask the other parent to provide clothes for your child to go home in. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that already belongs in the other home that your son or daughter can wear back, thus keeping your clothes at your house.
2. Give the other parent the benefit of the doubt. If something of yours goes home with your child, simply ask for it to be returned next time around. Use language such as, “I’m letting ____________ bring her pillow over, she wanted to hold on to it this week. Can you please ask her to bring it back next time I see her?” The point is to use wording that emphasizes it is for the child’s sake, not yours.
3. Set boundaries in your home and use age-appropriate language. In love, explain to your child that certain items need to stay at your home and tell them why. Take ownership of the situation and reassure them that though they live in two homes, they are equally loved.
4. Be prepared to lose a few things. It happens and it’s not the end of the world. We all lose possessions at times. Though it stinks when this happens, just remember: the most important things in life aren’t things. A parent’s top priority is investing in their child’s heart. Choose how you will react ahead of time if something does get lost and will you be more concerned about a lost item—or your child’s well-being?
5. Trust God will provide. The Bible says that the sun shines and the rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Even if you try to do what is right and end up getting burnt in doing so, have faith that God sees your heart and obedience and that He will sustain all you need to be the best parent you can be.
As my friend Tammy Daughtry also says, “Think T.E.A.M.M.: The End Adult Matters Most!” In other words, our actions and words today will shape our children for tomorrow. What sort of adult do you want to influence your son or daughter to be? Twenty years from now, will they remember constant bickering over petty things—or a loving home where selfishness was replaced by selflessness, and they are that much better off because of it?
Matt Haviland is the founder and director of A Father’s Walk single dad ministry. For more information on starting a single dad group in your area, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.
Pass on a Blessing
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: He believed in me.” –Jim Valvano
“To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God…as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline…He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus …our Savior…” –2 Tim 1:2-9 NIV
Think about the blessing you wished you’d gotten from your father or mother. Remember how God the Father said of Jesus, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Who is God asking you to bless? A child or grandchild? Spouse? Someone without a parent in his or her life?
Pray about the persons you want to affirm and bless by asking for God’s very best in their heart and life.
“Think about the blessing you wished you’d gotten from your father or mother. Pray about a person you want to affirm and bless by asking for God’s very best in their heart and life.” –Jeff Kemp
Talk to God about this. Do the following for the person you want to bless:
- Write down one sentence about how you love and are pleased with him or her.
- One sentence about their identity.
- One sentence about their mission.
- One sentence about God’s control and benevolence in their life.
- Pray that blessing for them privately for a period.
Let God tell you when you should create a special time to bless them by putting your hand on them and praying the blessing out loud. Or, write it in a letter and send it to them.
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Before we can intelligently talk about developing joint marital dreams, we must first understand what we’re talking about. We all have dreams about matters important to us – our lives, our jobs, our accomplishments, our dream vacation spots, and of course, our marriages.
The fascinating part of this concept is that few of us ever vocalize most of our specific dreams. In fact, many of us have never consciously determined what many of these dreams are beyond a vague idea of success, competence, fame, fortune, happiness, fulfillment, and/or influence. Just because we haven’t consciously determined what most of these dreams look like, however, doesn’t mean that we don’t exert considerable influence on our mates to reach the ultimate achievement of our dreams.
For example, suppose a man’s fondest boyhood memories of time spent with his father involved time bonding together while working on and riding his dad’s motorcycle. As a result, one of his unspoken and unfocused dreams for his marriage might be to take biking trips with his wife across several states, camping out on the way, just enjoying nature and the love of his life. The woman he fell in love with and married thinks “roughing it” involves a week’s stay in a 5-star hotel in the Caribbean, and never on a motorcycle. On a level he may not even be aware of, he views his marriage as a disappointment and failure because they can never bond in a way that speaks volumes to him of happiness, intimacy, and mutual interest.
Because our marital dreams color our view of happiness and success – at least, in marriage – understanding what our marital dreams are and what they mean to us is essential to our feelings of a successful and fulfilling marriage. Understanding our own dreams for our marriages, however, is only the first of three vital steps.
The second step is to understand what the spouse’s dreams for the marriage are, and what those dreams mean to him or her. Finally, once you both understand each other’s dreams and the significance behind each one, each spouse must find a way to fulfill as many of the other’s marital dreams as possible. Obviously, the likelihood of some dreams being mutually exclusive with some dreams of the other is a real possibility. Consequently, not all dreams can be fulfilled.
When both spouses allow a give-and-take attitude to prevail so that some of both mate’s marital dreams are fulfilled, and what is not achievable stems from fulfilling an opposing marital dream of the other or some other reasonable factor (like insufficient time or resources), love, respect, and appreciation permeate a marriage.
When two mature people who love one another deeply follow this plan, they see many marital dreams for both fulfilled. Isn’t this what every married couple dreams of achieving?
– Family Dynamics Institute
Family Dynamics Institute collaborates with Churches, Companies, and Community Organizations to help them provide a Comprehensive Marriage Ministry to help married and engaged couples grow stronger at all ages and stages of marriage.
To Learn More, Contact Us At:
Email Us: info@FamilyDynamics.net
How well are you representing your heavenly Father? To your son? To your daughter? That is your priceless purpose.
Both the Scriptures and statistics clearly communicate that there is no more influential person in the life of a child than his or her father. Whereas moms are priceless, irreplaceable, and needed beyond measure, they were never designed to be men or to fill the role of a dad. When the Bible states that “the glory of children is their father” (Proverbs 17:6 NKJV), it is revealing an important dynamic of how God has wired the hearts and minds of children.
They learn their identity from you. When your kids are young, they don’t know who they are, what is right or wrong, or who God is. They don’t know how to live life. But kids naturally go to their dads for answers to their biggest questions: Who is God? Who am I? Am I loved? Am I a success? Do I have what it takes? What is my purpose in life? And if dads don’t teach their kids the truth about these things, then the world will teach them lies.
They learn their values from you. Kids watch their dads to find what’s important. It’s a dad’s job to keep his children from having to learn the lessons of life the hard way. A father’s wise words and actions constantly reinforce the higher priorities and deeper truths of life. So if he is not there–or if he’s there but not intentional in his training and leadership–his kids will be walking through their most important decisions without the one person who should be loving and leading them the most.
They learn their worth from you. When a child has a dad who says, “I love you, I’m proud of you, and I’m going to stand with you and always be there for you,” it changes the life of that child forever. Sons who have their dads in their lives do significantly better in school, have better social skills and self-esteem, and are more likely to say no to criminal behavior. Similarly, when a daughter looks into the mirror, she needs to hear her father’s voice in her heart reminding her that she is beautiful and loved. As a result, girls with strong dads are much more likely to feel secure–and are much less likely to have eating disorders and identity issues or to become sexually active in their teen years. But in too many families, this is not what’s happening.
We need to rediscover God’s original intention of what our homes are supposed to be like. Families should be havens of love and enjoyment. Homes should be places of peace and purpose. But great homes don’t just happen. They are gardens that need to be intentionally cultivated and guarded. A man must let truth, love, and wise discipline become constant ingredients to his fathering. He should carefully nurture his wife, his children, and his own attitude so that his home is a place where his marriage and the next generation can grow and thrive.
That’s why we need a game-changing Resolution.
Excerpt from The Resolution for Men by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
It’s pretty standard knowledge amongst Christians: sow into the deeds of the flesh and reap of the flesh; sow into the Spirit and reap the fruits of the Spirit. Unfortunately, the words if I had known then what I know now don’t help much once certain actions have come full circle. Such was the case of my journey into fatherhood. I was not a Christian when I met my daughter’s mom and through a relationship based strictly on the flesh, my daughter was born out of wedlock. Her mom and I never gained a stable relationship and things only grew worse between us as time went on.
Today I still live with some of the consequences from the decisions I made back then. Please don’t get me wrong: my daughter’s birth is one of the greatest moments of my life and she and I have a wonderful relationship–though I often have to endure some of the pain from not having her within the protection of marriage. This includes:
- Not being able to see or call my daughter whenever I want
- Difficulties because I am not able to co-parent effectively with her mom
- All of the dynamics that come with my daughter having a stepfather
- Trying to parent from a distance, often having to jump through hoops to stay involved with school and doctor’s appointments
- Having to say goodbye to her after a concert or game as she goes one way with her mom and I go the other way
And so on…
However, I can also make a very strong case that things may not be what they are today if God had not walked me through these trials like He has. After giving my life to Christ when my daughter was very young, I now sow into His Kingdom instead of my own. A few of those fruits being reaped are:
- Not taking my time with my daughter for granted
- Learning to forgive myself
- Blessing and praying for those who make life difficult at times–especially when I don’t want to or when I feel they don’t deserve it
- Being more intentional about her schooling and interests
- And most importantly: bringing her up in Christ. Generational curses have now become generational blessings. God has poured abundant grace over my family, as my daughter gave her life to Jesus a several years ago!
Yes, it still hurts sometimes to go through the things I do; but it also keeps me from becoming complacent in my walk and to continue to rely on God above everything else for the sake of my family.
Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance to kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. —Hosea 10:12 (NASB)
Are you allowing past mistakes to dictate your family’s current path, or are you sowing new seeds of righteousness instead?
Since the launch of the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, I’ve been using John Gray’s terminology to describe my awareness that I live on Venus and you, dad, live on Mars. Truth be told, I’ve been planet hopping these past eight years since the launch of The Abba Project.
The more traveling I do between our respective planets, the more I’ve sought to transport observations from life on your sphere back to mine, and vice versa.
One of the observations I’ve collected is something that I discovered about many men. Essentially, it’s that you are often motivated by crisis or need. Stated otherwise: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I think we’re all wired a bit that way, in all honesty.
Case in point. My mom is almost 80 years old and was still working as an RN at the VA (Veterans Affairs) just a year ago. A usually vibrant and active woman, she started noticing a slight shortness of breath a little over a year ago. This started the fastball rolling when my dad rushed her to the ER one night. Four days later she was in emergency open heart surgery.
Her surgeon said he’d performed 14,000 heart surgeries during his career and had never seen an aortic valve so calcified—86%. The question then became: How could my mom have been so active and in seemingly fine health with that much blockage to her heart?
Answer: Things had gradually been taking place in her body such that she had acclimated to the changes over time. Because there hadn’t been a crisis, there was no motivation to explore the apparent minor signs and symptoms.
Reality suddenly became clear when the crisis arose. It was the crisis that changed everything. It would have been so much better had she tuned into the warning signs before it got to the desperation-emergency-almost-lost-her point.
Dad, I share that story to highlight that sometimes it’s the same way with your daughter (and son). It may seem like things are fine-like there’s not a crisis or a need because she seems okay and hasn’t gotten into trouble or given you cause for concern. Or maybe she’s been a great kid who follows the rules, gets fantastic grades, and hasn’t rebelled. So, you assume she’s all good and that she’ll stay that way.
I want to suggest:
- Being proactive rather than reactive.
- Attending to her overall heart health now rather than waiting until there’s a crisis.
- Getting close enough to hear her words and listen to what she’s really saying, to look in her eyes and see how she’s really doing.
Why not take the time now to tune in by taking steps to connect with her insides (a.k.a. her heart and her mind, thoughts, ideas, fears, doubts, wonderings, questions, opinions, needs, longings, feelings, dreams, etc.) rather than risking the potential of emergency treatment down the road? At that desperation point it’s ten times harder to get a handle on things.
I have three questions that you can ask your daughter which will allow her to weigh in on how you’re doing as her dad. This may be scary to ask but I challenge you to do it anyway.
Your daughter may or may not be honest with you, but you can still invite her to respond. She may not feel safe to answer if she fears your reaction. Promise her that you won’t blow up in anger or get defensive. Tell her that you truly want to hear her heart. If she doesn’t have the courage to tell you her thoughts face to face, suggest that she write her response or text it to you later.
The key is that you use her as a reference point for evaluation on how you’re doing as a dad. Let her be your guide since it’s her heart you’re wanting to connect with and it’s her heart you want to win.
I don’t know if you’ll have the courage to ask these questions. I say that not because I don’t think you can do it but because oftentimes it’s easy to avoid the things we don’t want to hear or know. You have no control over her answers, coupled with risking vulnerability to have an open-ended conversation like this with your daughter, I realize that it could easily be dismissed. Expect to have every reason in the book NOT to initiate this conversation.
Yet I guarantee that you will have a better, stronger, healthier, and more vibrant relationship with your daughter if you ask these three questions a minimum of once a year (option: meet every six months to re-evaluate).
Are you in? Here’s your script should you dare to accept this challenge!
Why not take your daughter on a date and ask:
- How am I doing as your dad?
- On a 0 to 10 scale, what rating would you give me (with 10 being the best)?
- In your eyes, what could I work on to be a better dad to you?
I’d love to hear from you after you ask your daughter these questions. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Was it as hard as you thought it would be?
Did she say what you thought she would say?
Did you learn anything about yourself after hearing what she told you?
Did she give you feedback that you can use to change course with her and better connect with her needs and heart space?
Dr. Michelle Watson is the founder of The Abba Project, a 9-month group forum that is designed to equip dads with daughters ages 13 to 30 to dial in with more intention and consistency, and the book, Dad, Here’s What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart. She invites you to visit www.drmichellewatson.com. You can also follow or send feedback on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drmichellewatson and Twitter @mwatsonphd.