Love feels magical and biological--something that just
happens to us, something beyond our control. Research shows, however, that love
is better thought of as behavioral--or even transactional. Yes, hormones play a
role, but much more important is how we act with with the object of our
affection. We do certain things, and those actions foster the emotions we
associate with being in love. According to researcher Barbara Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0, we create our feelings of
love, day after day. Or we don't create them, and love
So what actions lead to love? Here are three in honor of
Valentine's Day, all based on fostering vulnerability. Before you run for the
woods, hear me out. Yes, vulnerability can be uncomfortable because it involves,
by definition, emotional exposure, uncertainty, and risk. But vulnerability
allows trust and intimacy to develop and deepen, creating strong feelings of
connection and love.
Action #1: Take a risk together.
Researchers think we tend to unconsciously conflate the high-arousal induced
by doing something risky with the high-arousal of intense attraction--the two
states feel similar. This creates a similar biochemistry and physiology as when
we are first falling in love. This Valentine's Day, go straight for that
adrenaline rush by doing something risky. Venture to an unknown place that feels
a little daunting. Visit a karaoke bar, and actually sing. Try a new sport, one
where you risk feeling silly or uncoordinated.
Action #2: Get naked...emotionally.
What can you reveal to your partner that he or she doesn't
already know about you? Ask your date intimate questions to which you aren't
sure you know the answer. We come to like people more when we engage in
escalating, gradual back-and-forth "personal
Researchers have long been able to create profound feelings
of being in love through self-disclosure (even between strangers!). Check out the 36 questions that Arthur Aron and his colleagues used to do this in the
lab. And don't forget: How you respond when your partner is making him or herself vulnerable is
also important. (Hint: turn off your phone and pay attention.)
Action #3: Gaze into each other's eyes.
Directly, for four full minutes. Set a timer. Don't talk.
This technique has been widely cited as a part of the experiment by Arthur Aron and pals--though
I haven't been able to find reference to it in a published study. Still, this
seems like a very solid tactic for creating feelings of intimacy and
Stanford researcher Fred Luskin has people do this in his
workshops, and it definitely creates big feelings of vulnerability. (Which is
good, remember. The exposure is terrifying, but that is what we are after
Take Action: Choose one or more of the three actions
above to do with your Valentine and then make a plan for making it
Ron Lieber is on a financial
mission. He wants parents to understand that teaching their children about
money management is a way of giving their children the tools that will help
them achieve happy, productive and successful lives.
Personal Finance columnist for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal
and author of the new book The Opposite
of Spoiled, Lieber gave a thought-provoking presentation to parents on the
evening of February 4th at Glenbard South as part of the Glenbard
what happens to kids. They are not born that way” says Lieber. Teaching kids
about “financial literacy” makes use of essential character traits namely:
prudence, curiosity, grit, generosity, modesty and perseverance.
kids in financial literacy Lieber suggests that parents start by using
allowance as a tool. Three categories kids should become familiar with are
saving, spending and giving. Within the spending category parents need to teach
their children the difference between “need” and “want.”
suggests that parents determine a “threshold line” when determining need versus
want, that amount they are willing to pay for an item. If kids want to spend
above that threshold then they should be responsible for paying the difference.
chores should not be a contingent of a child’s allowance. Lieber believes that
kids need to understand that every family member has a duty to help maintain
their home. He also thinks it is a good
idea to show your kids your household’s monthly expenses. This gives them a
real sense as to how much it takes to care for a family.
comes to children naturally at a very early age. Having kids help determine the charities that
parents give to can be very instructive and is a concrete demonstration of
gratitude that kids can more easily grasp.
shows that decisions about money are mostly driven by emotions not hard
information. In a sense, discussions about money with your kids are discussions
about their emotions. One of the most valuable lessons imparted is that of
delayed gratification and teaching your children financial literacy will foster
more self-reliant kids.
Suzanne Burdett is a
Glenbard parent and a freelance writer
Glenbard Parent Naazish YarKhan shares an excellent NPR podcast on the things that shape us
In "How to Become Batman," Alix and Lulu examine the
surprising effect that our expectations can have on the people around us. If we can get parents, teachers
and kids to listen to this,and have a discussion, this could be the most inspiring lesson they will ever
get. "How to Become Batman," impacts the way we parent, teach, the way we deal
with the sick & disadvantaged, the shape our own lives can