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What Are My Strengths?

Oct., 2015

Quote of the month  

" Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we 
live by and 
teach our 
children - are preserved or diminished by 
how freely we exchange ideas and feelings." 

by Walt Disney
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Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree-Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Private Practice 

since 2008


Married 26 years


Mother of 2 young adult daughters 


Passionate about 

what I do



No matter what age we currently celebrate, we have strengths of some kind.  Do we use them? Do we help others use their strengths as well? Staying active and continuing to learn about ourselves is crucial to maintaining our mental health. Read below some suggestions for using our strengths......at any age.

I have broken this newsletter up into two parts, so be sure to stay tuned for part two next month.

On another note, I am seeing that over 50% of my readers are opening this newsletter on a mobile device and it may not be easily readable.  I may change the format of the newsletter to better accommodate those users in the near future.  Any feedback you would like to provide on this issue would be most appreciated.  
As always, please pass along this newsletter to anyone you feel may benefit from it's content.
Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFT
305 Miron Drive 
Southlake, TX 76092
Missed previous newsletters??
Go to www.dabalmft.com.  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....
From The Positive Perspective......

Infants through Elementary School Age:
Those of us who have just become parents or who have little ones at home, or even those whose jobs bring us around babies and young children, know how special these young people are.  They are "sponges" to learning. That is a major strength of this age. They are curious about everything.  Spend time, as one of the adults in their life, helping them to nurture this trait by exposing them to many different types of positive experiences.  Talk to them, interact with them, and help them to find answers to questions that you do not even know the answer to.  Teach them how to interact with others, how to respect others and how to grow that strength of desire to learn.  Put down the cell phone.  Limit television and video game time.  Kids need to know how to talk and play with others "in person". This generation is seriously lacking human interactive practice with the ones they love.  We can either promote or hinder that by our actions as the adults in their life.

Preteen through Teenage Years:
One strength of this age is a striving to understand who they are and what they want to become. The challenge of this age is making sure our kids are having the right influences by the right people.  We won't know what influences our kids are being exposed to if we are not around.  Working parents is a commonplace experience today.  That is not a problem if we, once again, put down our electronics and actually "talk" to our kids about their life when we are with them. Engage with them every chance you get.  Teenagers have great insight.  Ask them what they want to do with their life.  Ask them what they are passionate about.  Help them to explore those interests so they are better prepared to decide what they want out of their own life.  The better prepared kids can become at this age, the more confidence they build at becoming an adult.  Also, the less they will need to rely on parents moving forward, because they have used their strength, with the help of trusting adults around them, to define their path and know how to follow it.

College Years through Twenties:
Great strengths of this age are independence, learning how to fail and picking yourself up. How can failing be a strength?  If we fail at something and are tested to revise our plan on our own, we learn that failing at something is not necessarily the end of the world.  We learn how to evaluate situations and fix things on our own so we don't continue to make the same mistakes.  If there has been a good base of helping a person define who they are and what they want, failure is just another experience that they have to get through.  As they go through multiple (hopefully small) failures, that sense of independence grows.  "I can do this." That fully-developed skill will be priceless in years to come.

Parents of young adults can help by not always "fixing" everything for their kids.  Instead ask, "So how would you fix this? What are your ideas to change the situation?" Don't just give them the $$ or the answers to fix the problem.  Help them to own the problem and use their strength of independence to solve their own problems.

I just want to comment on my mention of electronics and what you may perceive as a negative opinion.  I am thankful for being able to see pictures of my daughters' friends in college and the places they visit due to the technology available today but, from my experience, young children learn many valuable lessons from tactile interactions and experiences, and kids don't seem to be getting enough of that these days.  In my practice, I am hearing all too often how busy parents are and there is not enough time in our day to get it all done.  My suggestion:  "Stop posting your life on Facebook.  Just live it and experience it with the ones you love."

Stay tuned for next month's newsletter to understand the strengths of those in the next phases of life.

Thank you for taking the time to look at the topic of strengths that we have ...From The Positive Perspective.

Stay well.
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I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at maryellen@dabalmft.com .  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website: www.dabalmft.com

I wish you well...