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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

How to Keep a Family Secret

 When the family gathers for the holidays, there is bound to be some story-telling occurring and when that happens there may also be the temptation to share information you shouldn't. The end result is someone being unhappy resulting in ruined relationships. 

It's not always easy to keep a secret about a family member, especially if you are close. People in your life may ask for details and it can be hard to stay quiet. Here are some tips to help you keep the secret: 

1. Know your audience. Don’t tell people who don’t need to know or those who aren't trustworthy. If someone is known for spreading gossip, they probably won't be able to keep your secret either!  

2. Have an excuse ready. Before even talking about the secret topic, think of a plausible explanation that doesn't involve disclosing the secret should anyone ever bring it up again in conversation or confront you with questions directly.  

3. Be honest, but vague. Don’t lie about the secret, but also don’t provide too many details either. People will often ask more questions if they feel like you have left something out or didn't give them all of the information.  


4. Practice self-control and discretion. It can be tempting to tell someone a secret that you have been keeping, but try not to slip up and make sure your body language isn't giving away anything either! 


5. Trust yourself to keep it secret. Protecting the secret may require some effort on your part, but remember - it is possible for you to do it! Just stay positive and trust in your ability to keep quiet when necessary.  

At the end of the day, you should be able to trust yourself to keep a secret about a family member. With these tips in mind, you can make sure that your secret is safe and secure! Good luck!

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and the author of Tell Me Mother You're Sorry. 


Sunday, November 20, 2022

How to Create and Publish a Family History Book

When compiling a family history book, it is important to make sure that it is easy to read and understand. One way to do this is by dividing the book into chapters based on different time periods or events in the family's history. You can also include images and other visuals to help illustrate the story.
If you should give the family history book as a gift, it is important to consider the recipient's interests and level of interest in genealogy. Some family members may be more interested in learning about their ancestors, while others may prefer stories about life growing up in the family. Be sure to tailor the book accordingly. 

One way to make the book more personal is to include stories and anecdotes from family members. This can help make the book more interesting and engaging for readers. You can also include copies of old photos, documents, and other memorabilia to help bring the story to life. 

Memoirs can be a challenge because they require honesty and objectivity. In order to write an accurate memoir, family historians must be able to step back and objectively view their own lives. This can be difficult, especially when memories are wrapped up in strong emotions. Additionally, memoirs often require research in effort to verify facts. 

Consider how long you might want the book to be and is the details provided by relatives about personal experiences really relevant. To determine what to keep and what to omit, revisit what the purpose of the book is. For instance, do you only want to talk about the family's tough upbringing and how they overcame it or you might want to discuss only rags to riches stories. Whatever your focus, be sure that it connects with the main topic of the book

Common Mistakes Family History Historians and Writers Make

One of the most common mistakes that writers make when compiling and writing family history books is not doing enough research. This can include not interviewing family members, not researching online and offline archives, and not fact-checking information. As a result, family history books are often filled with inaccuracies and mistakes. 

Another common mistake is failing to organize information well. This can lead to a messy and unreadable book. Writers also often make the mistake of including too much personal information, which can make the book less interesting to read. 

Finally, many writers lack the writing skills necessary to produce an enjoyable book. This often results in a book that is dry and boring to read. 

So, if you are thinking about compiling and writing a family history book, be sure to do your research, organize your information well, and polish your writing skills. Otherwise, your book may end up being a disappointment for you and your family. 

On Publishing Your Family History Book

When publishing a family history book, there are a few key things to consider in order to choose the best online book publishing platform for your needs. Some factors to take into account include cost, quality of finished product, and how much help the platform provides in terms of design and marketing.

One option is to use a self-publishing platform like Bookemon or similar ones. These platforms allow you to create a custom book, but you are responsible for all of the design and marketing work yourself. This can be a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding to see your finished product.

Another option is to use a publishing company that specializes in family history books. These companies usually offer more design and marketing help, but they can also be more expensive. Some popular options include Cedar Fort Publishing and Genealogical Publishing Company.

Finally, if you don't have the time or resources to publish your own book, you can always hire a professional publisher. This option can be expensive, but it can also be worth it if you want a high-quality finished product. 

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and contributor.  She has self-published 17 books to date. Check out book publishing platform Bookemon.  It is an excellent tool to get you book published today!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Common Family Problems that Cause Distance Between Relatives

Family problems are often the root cause of distance among relatives. In many cases, these problems can be resolved through effective communication and compromise. However, there are also some family problems that are too difficult to overcome and can lead to permanent estrangement among family members. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common family problems that create distance among relatives.

One of the most common family problems that lead to separation among relatives is financial difficulty. In many families, one or more members may experience financial difficulties that cause them to feel resentful towards other family members who are not struggling. This can lead to arguments and even estrangement, as family members may feel like they are being judged or that they are not contributing enough to the family.

A major issue that has caused arguments and worse physical violence in families is addiction. Addiction can take many forms, from substance abuse to gambling, and can have a devastating effect on families. Addicts often lie and steal from their loved ones in order to support their habits, which can lead to a breakdown in trust and communication. Additionally, addicts may also become violent or abusive leaving victims no choice but to separate from them.

One way to tell if a relative has a financial problem such as gambling is if they start lying about their finances. If they're constantly borrowing money from others or refusing to answer questions about their income, it's likely that they're in debt and are struggling to make ends meet. Another sign of financial trouble is if your relative starts stealing. This could be anything from petty theft to embezzlement, but it's a definite red flag that something is wrong. Finally, gambling can be another sign that someone is having financial difficulties. Whether it's spending too much on lottery tickets or going to casinos on a regular basis, gambling can quickly become an expensive habit that leads to serious debt. If you see any of these signs in a relative, it's important to confront the relative and explain how what they are doing is impacting you and other family members and encourage them to seek help. 

Another family challenge is long-distance relationships. When this occurs due to work, caring for a relative in another state, or for other reasons, emotional cheating and adultery can arise. If you think your spouse or partner is cheating on you, it's important to talk to them about it. Adultery can often lead to divorce, and it can also cause family problems. If you're in a long-distance relationship, be sure to communicate with your partner frequently. This will help keep the relationship strong and may prevent any additional relationship challenges. 

Lastly, one common family problem is when work and other activities consume most of our time. It can be difficult to find quality time to spend with our families. This is especially true for parents who are juggling work and taking care of their children. As a result, many families end up spending more time apart than together. This can really put a strain on family relationships and make it difficult to connect with each other. Carve out some free time to address issues. For instance, maybe a parent isn't spending much time with children due to other activities; family members might have to have a family intervention that addresses concerns. Hopefully, all parties will be able to come up with a reasonable schedule.

If you are struggling with a family problem that is creating distance among your relatives, it is important to seek help. There are many resources available to families in crisis and speaking with a professional can help you develop a plan to address the issue and hopefully work towards repairing your relationships and rebuilding trust. Additionally, there are support groups available for family members of addicts which can provide much-needed guidance and understanding. No family is perfect, but by addressing these challenges head-on, you can start to heal the rift and build a stronger bond with your loved ones.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Patience and Understanding Go a Long Way in Many Families - 6 Things that Close Family Members Have that Others Don't

Growing up, I noticed that some of my intermediate and extended relatives had very strong family bonds.  They were the kind of bonds that showed just how much they cared for one another.  Sure, they argued at times and wasn't always there for one another, but there was an appreciation, love and respect that family members displayed that couldn't be broken no matter what the situation!

Drugs showed up in the family, cheating, lying, stealing, and more, and even still, some family members were diehard about loved ones.  They didn't stop saying, "I love can do better!  We are a family!  Let me get you some help.  I hate what is happening to your family, let's do something about it!"  The passion to assist, the determination to get someone free of their demons, and the kind of love that only a God could download into the spirit of man and woman was real!

So, I thought of what they did to accomplish that family closeness that some observers were simply jealous of and wished for that kind of bond among their own.

1) They listened.

When family crisis showed up, time was taken to listen.  Steamrolling over conversations, quick to name-call, running one's mouth about "you should...and you better..." nope not with these Good Samaritans.  They wanted to hear all sides and then they planned the work and worked the plan.  Judgments, bias, name-calling, and personal opinions need not be a part of their family discussions.

2) They encouraged.

These loved ones did the total opposite of what discouraging family members did to their relatives, they ensured the one they were speaking to that "everything would be will get through this!  I love you and you made a mistake--no one is perfect!  Do better next time."

3) They provided.

Unlike stingy relatives who held on to money like they could never earn it again, the generous kin did what they could to help.  They gave up not just money, but time to ensure that someone got to their appointment, someone was visited in jail, someone's house was cleaned, and another had no worries about yardwork.  They were present, in the moment, and all-too ready to open their wallets and/or doors.

4) They loved.

As much as it hurt some of them to let very troubled family members go, they still loved them anyway.  They refrained to talk ugly about them.  They loved them until their hearts couldn't take any more stress.  Before long, unfortunately some of those loving relatives were buried.  They left us with one piece of advice in their actions, "Know when to let go."  A few used to say that their kindness had been taken for weakness and they wished that at times they hadn't been so kind, but more firm with some kinfolk.

5) They grew.

As family reunions came to a slow end due to so many people passing away with dates so close together, it was apparent that the family was still pressing on, still growing, still helping, and still doing.  The elders supported family growth and didn’t frown or look down on those who became pregnant.  They realized that they wouldn't be around forever, so it was important that the family grow; therefore, they encouraged population growth, family closeness, and family get-togethers even in their absence.  There wasn't just one family member leading, but many kin were instructed to lead and to continue to keep the family ties strong. 

6) They believed.

Now after years of observation and participation in family events, there is still the belief that those who had been distant will one day come together and those that have been close will remain that way.  It doesn't hurt to believe even when others have given up.  Stay faithful, stay loving, and stay kind, you never know who is watching.

May God bless you and your family!

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and the author of When Mothers Cry, Too Much Too Soon Internet Dating Blues, Say Goodbye to Dad and other nonfiction books.


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