Rituals of Connection & Celebration

October 22, 2014

Dr. Michelle Gannon and Dr. Sam JinichMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Dr. Michelle Gannon and Dr. Sam Jinich, clinical psychologists and couples workshop leaders.

If you are in a relationship, we hope that you will find these rituals of connection and celebration helpful with your partner. Also, you can use many of these rituals of connection and celebration with your children to build positive feelings of safe, close and secure attachment.

The more accessible, responsive and emotionally engaged (A.R.E.) you are with each other, the more you can keep your positive feelings of love alive, strong and fullfilling. Rituals of connection and celebration show each other that we matter, we are there for each other, we can count on each other and we are important to each other.  When partners and family members engage in rituals of connection and celebration with each other, they report feeling a greater sense of closeness, positivity and happiness.  The couples feel more securely attached and bonded with each other.

Rituals of Connection are actions that are created, practiced and designed to build connection and closeness. Please consider the following rituals of connection.

  • How do you say good morning to each other?
  • Do you make it a priority to hug or kiss each other when you say hello and good-bye?

What Can We Learn from the San Francisco Giants to Help Make Our Children More Resilient?

October 20, 2014

What Parents Can Learn from Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco GiantsMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Tom Limbert, Bay Area parenting author, parent educator, and author of Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time. Find out more about Tom at

How to Build Resiliency

What Parents Can Learn from Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants

In 2010, the San Francisco Giants were 6½ games back in their division in August. In 2012, they were neck and neck with the Dodgers mid-season, when the Dodgers made multiple blockbuster trades. Next thing you know, one of the Giants’ best players gets suspended for the remainder of the season. Somehow, some way, both seasons ended in champagne celebrations and ticker-tape parades. How were the Giants able to overcome such adversity, stay united, and ultimately attain success?

The Giants did what any group of people does when they encounter a crisis, they looked to their leader. Bruce Bochy manages with a calm, honest confidence. At a lifetime achievement acceptance speech in 2011, he discussed the keys to a leader building resiliency. We all want our children to be resilient and learn to handle life’s inevitable challenges with grace and determination. To that end, there’s much we can learn from Bruce Bochy and the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

Seven Ways to Encourage Your Child Today

March 17, 2014

encourage your kidsMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Tom Limbert, Bay Area parenting author, parent educator, and author of Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time. Find out more about Tom at

Children give us countless reasons every day to discourage their behavior. That makes it all the more important to make a conscious effort to encourage whenever we can. You want them to listen to you. Trust me, they’ll be more apt to listen when they know you’re on their side. Wouldn’t you be? Here are seven ways to encourage your child today:

  • Believe: It all starts here. You can motivate and energize your child simply by believing in her. It will color all of your interactions and buoy your child’s determination and self-confidence.
  • Articulate: Don’t be shy—we’re all family here! You want to encourage your child? Tell him clearly you believe in him and formally acknowledge his efforts. Help him get in touch with his intrinsic pride by asking him how he feels when he achieves.

Classes for Parents this Fall from Fairfax FOCAS

September 25, 2012

George Taylor, MFTFairfax Open Circle Arts and Sports (FOCAS) is presenting two classes for parents this fall, with a new series of presentations called “Building a Happy Home.” The first class is led by marriage and family therapist and Fairfax resident George Taylor, who has worked with many couples on issues of clear communication, power struggles, and co-creativity in his 25 years as a therapist.

“Couples want to create a happy home for their families. Often though they get bogged down in predictable, repetitive power struggles. With a few tools and practices, they can learn to practice new levels of creativity and cooperation. If you feel loved and loving, it doesn’t matter who takes out the garbage,” observes Taylor.

Taylor has studied creativity and cooperation in his own 30-year marriage, and with hundreds of couples in his practice. His class will be practical, interactive and supportive. “Most parents want to give their family more creativity, and generosity. I can help you with these goals at this class.”

The first presentation, "From Power Struggle to Collaboration: Creating Family Goals," takes place at Fairfax Community Center (next to Peri Park) from 7–9 pm on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Each session is $20 per couple (or $10 per person). Sessions are geared for parents with children 0–10 years old, and it's highly recommended that both parents attend.

Marin Parents Place’s Programs and Services Address Your Family’s Needs

August 1, 2012

Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Rebecca Wood Breen, LCSW, Parents Place Coordinator, Marin County. She highlights some of the programs and services offered to Marin parents by the Parents Place in San Rafael.

Your 2-year-old constantly throws himself on the floor when he doesn’t get what he wants. Your 5-year-old torments her 3-year-old sister. Your 13-year-old won’t speak to her step-father. And you’re so worn out from managing one domestic crisis after another that going to work in the morning seems like a vacation.What can you do?

Parents Place in Marin County can’t take you away from your challenges and problems, but we can help you resolve them and make life better for yourself and your family. We gear all of our programs toward practical, effective, easy-to-implement solutions that are custom-tailored to meet your family’s specific needs. Our range of services includes:

  • Support for expectant and new parents, including a free New Moms’ Support Group, Preparing for Childbirth with Yoga couples workshops, Infant Sleep and Infant Massage workshops, and breastfeeding support. We recognize the importance of support and community during this exciting and challenging transition.

How to Handle Tantrums

January 10, 2011

Marin Mommies is happy to present the first in a series of guest articles by Marin marriage and family therapist Kate Brennan.

Staying connected to children when they express strong emotions can be a challenge. Our very first impulse may be to get a tantrum to stop. This is a natural impulse. Tantrums are often loud, inconvenient and stressful for parents. What if we were to turn our usual response on its head? Rather than distractions, time outs, threats or bribes, we did something radical. We moved in a little closer.

Children are most vulnerable to tantrums when they are tired, hungry, over stimulated, frightened etc. These are the triggers that may set off a tantrum. But if we dig a little deeper we see that these triggers are not the real issue. The child is feeling disconnected and off track. The child is releasing accumulated tensions that have built up. This release is a natural and healthy part of development.

Lets use an adult as an example. (We’re not much different.) It’s been a long week. You didn’t get the promotion you had hoped for. You get a flat tire. You are late for a meeting, and now you’ve just spilled coffee on yourself. At that moment you begin to cry. All the pent up emotion wells up in you and you release the tension by crying. (It should be noted that some people yell or pick a fight at this time. This is not unlike what some children do. What underlies this however, are feelings of disappointment, frustration, isolation, disconnection and hopelessness.)

Busy Moms: The Importance of Caring for Your Marriage

November 22, 2010

This guest article is by Marin County therapist, writer, and mom Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT.

If you’re married with children—and your life is a whirling dervish of chaos as you struggle to keep all of the balls in the air—this is for you. In all that you do for your kids, career and hopefully self, are you forgetting anyone? Is there a special person who no longer gets the amount and quality of attention they used to “pre-kids?” Hmmm???

I’ve heard it over and over. Couples come into my office disconnected in their marriages and upon closer inspection, it’s revealed that after children landed on their radar, their relationship changed. As reasonable and expected as this is when children arrive on the scene, many forget to return to caring for their marriages. The reality is your relationship needs care in order for your family to thrive.

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