Friday, August 31, 2012


FWR:  One Child’s Wellness - The Costs and Benefits

Jimmy is eight – obese and doing poorly at school. There are two ways for him: our usual problem-solving way and the new family wellness way.

Jimmy is in a good school. For his school problems there are interviews with parents, Special Ed teacher and the school psychologist. Then there is a school team meeting which refers to a doctor for medication. Jimmy settles better in class.

There are several costs here. The family spends two months going to meetings and worrying about Jimmy’s learning problem. Jimmy ends up with two problems - he is fat and he now has a learning problem. The process costs the school over $1,000.

The other way is the new family wellness way. It is a series of normal family things. Jimmy gets up, makes his bed and goes down for breakfast.  He gets praise for doing his homework. He is coached on how to deal with the bully. He gets a hug and then he’s off to get the bus.

After school, he can play with kids and work on his computer (no videos).  Before dinner he has chores including setting the table. After dinner it’s homework, playing with friends and getting ready for bed before 9:00 pm.   Using teacher advice, parents read with Jimmy for a half hour before bed.   They join him in his prayers.

After two months of the wellness way, Jimmy has lost weight and is doing better at school (research backs this up). The medicine eases the problem, the wellness way gets at the sources.

The one big wellness cost to the family is extra time and attention with Jimmy. That’s a win/win.

FWR: Why are we attending to problems instead of attending to kids?

Thursday, August 23, 2012


FWR says: Here’s how to pass fitness on to our children.

We all know how to get and stay fit. We need regular patterns of exercise, diet, study, work and rest. It is difficult and takes time to build these into our routines. When we do, there are big payoffs.

Fitness is one of the six Family Wellness ingredients of the Rainbow.  The others are: Bonds, Wisdom, Family, Values and Faith.

As with all the six Rainbow wellness features, it is quite simple but requires effort. Wellness requires hard work. Personal well-being is worth all the effort. Illness is much more costly in time, money and energy.

A middle-aged couple read a book about running. They decided to do it. After a couple of weeks of misery, they found new attitudes, energy and much less anxiety. Now their kids exercise regularly because it is a family thing.

With fitness we stave off disease. Our energy and attitudes are up. These benefits spill over into the wellness of our children’s lives. When we are fit, they are fit because it is part of our family life.

There are plenty of fitness problems. Obesity is a big one now. The Rainbow is a good reminder of the areas we need to check out in order to stay fit.

FWR says: In the Family Wellness Rainbow, each of the six ingredients is essential. Fitness is a big one for our children.

Monday, August 20, 2012


FWR says:  How we can deal with new worries and old anxieties.

We all know it is dumb to worry. We all do it. In some cases it is so severe that professional help is needed. But mostly we can manage with help from family and friends. But, it takes regular work.

Our old bad experiences come back to haunt us - often daily. We have done unfortunate things. Someone has done us dirt. Then there is our favourite pastime of blaming our parents. Whatever the sources, we carry around baggage that gets in the way of having a good day.

The Family Wellness Rainbow has help with all this. Here are examples using the six colours:
  • When we exercise, we fret less. It also gives time to think about forgiving and forgetting.
  • We guard against making things worse by sharing our worries and anxieties which helps others and ourselves.
  • We start our days with a regular pattern: prayer, meditation and a goal to set us on a positive track for the day.
  • The family can help us deal with our worries, but it requires us to risk being open with our loved ones.
  • Then there are our values. We use the Family Wellness Rainbow to remind ourselves of what we stand for.
  • Finally, our faith can lift us to a higher plane in our thinking, talking and acting.
Family Wellness works from the combination and balance of its six big questions.

FWR says: To deal with new worries and old anxieties, we do the daily work of scanning the Rainbow and setting one goal for the day.

Friday, August 10, 2012


FWR Says:  Parents and kids need a new Family Wellness Vision

Why do we use our common sense about everyday things and lose it when it is personal? We each think we know what is best for our family and our children. The odds are against us on this. The reason is we don’t use our common sense for family wellness.

Using our common sense, we know that our lives on earth require light, heat, air, water, relationships and communication. We know that life requires each one. We also know that these essentials must be in the exact right balance.

If that is the way life is, how can we use some local rule of thumb for the wellness of our family and our kids? Why don’t we see that family wellness also requires the right mix of the essentials? One reason we fly blind on this most important matter, is that we think we can rely on some expert to help us with our problems. No expert can bring us family wellness.

It is not difficult to decide the essentials for family wellness. We know that the list includes fitness, relationships, knowledge, family belonging, values and faith. We don’t think of these essentials working together as we know life’s essentials must.

To help with this family wellness challenge, a new approach has been developed for families called Family Wellness Rainbow (please see: It shows family wellness as a rainbow with the essentials and the need for the right balance for each family.

FWR Says: Without a vision, the family and its wellness die.

Friday, August 03, 2012


FWR says: For their wellness, families are on their own

Today’s families are being fragmented by the big forces of business, government and the media.  Their marketing systems are dividing families; by separating kids vs. adults, men vs. women, looks vs. character, traditional vs. new cultures, ease vs. work, needs vs. wants.

These big forces do not recognize families or family values.  In these big systems, families don’t have a say or vote.  Individuals and families become just numbers.  It is hard for any of us to see what all the rapid changes are doing to the family.  In all the confusion, families are being fragmented.  In the rapid pace, families don’t see help coming from the community.

The biggest single issue is that families don’t realize they are alone in this money-focused, less personal world.  Only the family is the source of wellness.  The key family character traits - good or bad - flow down from the older to the younger members.  Families are on the job 24/7.

No outside agency can strengthen family wellness.  Take sickness for instance, surgery and drugs don’t bring wellness.  They are designed to ease a problem.  Solving problems rarely leads to wellness.

The miracle is that family wellness often prevents sickness and alleviates suffering.  A family’s shift in focus from problems to wellness puts them on track for building on their strengths.  Just like the gardener whose focus is his flowers first, then the weeds.  Weeding alone doesn’t make a garden.

On it’s own, the family is still the heart and soul of the community and its members.  It’s job is to build its own wellness.  Now, there is a new guide for families and their wellness.  It is called, “The Family Wellness Rainbow”.  In it, the six colours of the rainbow represent key ingredients of family wellness.

Please see:

FWR Says: Each family needs their own guide to wellness ways