Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

…Talk to your children about S-E-X

Giving our children honest, up-to-date, age-appropriate, and accurate information about sexuality is one thing we can do to help them stay healthy as they grow up. If you start by talking with very young children whenever they ask questions or have concerns, and then continue the dialogue through adolescence, there’s a good chance they will hear what you are saying and continue to bring you their questions and concerns.

If you don’t know an answer or how to answer, tell your child you need to think about it and will answer very soon. If you’re uncomfortable discussing sex with your kids, ask someone you trust—a health professional, a relative, a friend or a clergy member—to talk for you.

—Robie Heilbrun Harris ’62

Harris (www.robieharris.com) has researched, written, and updated three award-winning children’s books on healthy sexuality, including It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health. She lives in Cambridge, Mass.

…Stage your home to sell

Be clean and uncluttered: Clean like the dickens and remove all the bric-a-brac (sentimental, or not), and clear away clutter in your home. A buyer needs to visualize their mess, not see yours.

Do a weekend makeover: Spiff things up! A fresh coat of paint here, a vase of fresh flowers there; it can make a world of difference.

Add the “home sweet home” factor: Not long ago my mother-in-law placed her home on the market. Just before the first open house, we lit fires in the fireplaces, roasted a turkey (the house smelled amazing), and set the dining room table for dinner. The crystal sparkled. The pillows were fluffed. Potential buyers ate it up (no pun intended).

—Jeffrey Ferreira ’95

Ferreira, of Wayland, Mass., is a principal at J. Ferreira Designs (www.jferreiradesigns.com), and has extensive experience in both interior design and real estate.

…Mentally recover after a disaster

To recover from any type of disaster, therapy is essential. If the disaster occurred in the workplace, you can be served by the company’s employee assistance program. If you are recovering from a natural disaster, get immediate relief by contacting a local chapter of the American Red Cross and using the resources of the organization’s disaster mental health team. Receiving counseling from a therapist who is certified in the treatment of trauma, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, can make all the difference in recovery. And the support of loved ones is critical, as you negotiate coping with a tragedy.

—Eugenie (“Jane”) Connall ’76

Author and radio personality, Connall (www.DrJaneConnall.com) is a psychologist in private practice in Columbia, Maryland, and a nationally certified fellow in the treatment of trauma.

…Stay centered when life is out of balance

To stay centered, stay connected to who you are by remembering:

• Who you are is not the same as the roles you play. Roles (ego identities) are like coats. When you need them, put them on. Otherwise, hang them up to reveal who you are.

• Listen to the voice of your heart for truth and wisdom. Voices in your head (the ones that tell you what you “should” do) support ego and role identities.

• You cannot control what happens. You can control how you respond.

• Invest your energy wisely in relationships and activities that fill you up, and beware of those that drain you.

—Lou Ann Daly ’76

Daly, a resident of Marblehead, Mass., is the author of Humans Being: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out. As the CEO of O!LAD (www.olad.com) and an executive coach, she works with clients across a spectrum of professions.