Tag Archives: Must-Have Marvin

Parenting More Simply: A Fresh Start for Spring (Christy Ziglar)

BTAboutThemLike many people, I love spring! I look forward to longer days, warmer weather, colorful, blooming flowers and trees, and the chance to spend more time outdoors. I am more motivated this time of year and always seem to begin new projects and start personal challenges that I have put off through the winter months.

All that said, this year, my family is committed to doing things a little differently. Instead of adding new tasks and taking on more, we are going to reduce, cut back and refocus our priorities. We are doing some serious spring cleaning – both figuratively and literally, and making a real commitment to live more simply.

ChristyPhotoWe recently had the opportunity to spend several weeks away from our “normal” lives. In addition to gaining a fresh perspective, we were reminded of the importance of down time and the blessings that come from unscheduled family togetherness. Away from the hectic schedule, rushed activities, work, school and social obligations, and constant pull of technology, we were able to connect on a much deeper level and experience a peace I haven’t felt in years. Not to mention, we had more fun just “hanging out” than any of us can remember!

Here are a few guiding principles that we will embrace as we “clean house” this spring:

1. Focus on what matters most – Find a way to quiet the noise and daily distractions and make time (even a few minutes) for the things that are most important (a hug, an encouraging word, playing together, a focused conversation, a shared meal, preparation for a special event or task).

2. Remember, less is more – In contrast to what American consumer culture preaches, I believe having and doing less leads to a greater sense of accomplishment and peace. This goes for material items (clothes, toys, accessories) as well as work, social and volunteer obligations. None of us can do everything well and when we are spread too thin, everyone suffers. We have to pick and choose. We need to say ‘no’ to lots of good things in order to fully commit, enjoy and reap the rewards of a few great things!

3. Be present and engaged – All human beings crave relationship and a sense of belonging and yet, in this digital age, people are more disconnected and lonely than ever. My children feel loved when we spend quality time together. To protect our family time, we have technology-free zones at home, a “no technology during meal-time” policy and frequently scheduled “family members only” nights.

4. Carve out down time – Most of us had a lot of unscheduled time as children to explore, discover, imagine and play. Downtime is a rarity these days, so we try to resist the urge to have built-in entertainment wherever we go and plan days, afternoons and evenings with no set agenda.

5. Make memories that will last a lifetime – It’s our goal to raise successful, independent, ethical, optimistic, compassionate adults, and we only have a limited number of years to instill the wisdom and values in our kids that will guide them the rest of their lives. We must be deliberate and intentional about the people and experiences we expose our children to. We make it a priority to plan outdoor adventures and family trips since it’s quality time we all enjoy, and we believe nature is a great teacher. ###

Christy Ziglar, CFP® is the founder of Shine Bright Kid Co., an experienced personal finance advisor, speaker, entrepreneur, mother of twins, and the niece of legendary motivator, Zig Ziglar. She is the author of Can’t-Wait Willow!, Must-Have Marvin!, and Whatever Wanda!, the first three books in the Shine Bright Kids series from Ideals Children’s Books, that helps teach kids (ages 4 – 8) basic life and character skills and the importance of making good choices. For more info, visit http://www.ShineBrightKids.com



In The Spotlight (Christy Ziglar and Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTSpotlightChristy Ziglar

Christy Ziglar, CFP(r) is an experienced personal financial advisor by training. While developing a financial literacy program for young students in the Atlanta Public Schools, she discovered that many of those youngsters lacked the basic skills of goal-setting, delayed gratification and the self discipline required to make good choices in general. She was inspired to launch the Shine Bright Kid Company and to write the Shine Bright Kids stories to help children ages 4 to 8 learn to focus on things that matter most.

ChristyPhotoIn addition to being an experienced financial planner, Christy is the mother of twins and niece of the late Zig Ziglar, legendary speaker and motivator. Her books incorporate a favorite Zig Ziglar word of encouragement to highlight the wisdom and message of the story. Ideals Children’s Books loved the concept and agreed to be the publisher.

Can’t-Wait Willow was the first Shine Bright Kids picture book. It’s about making good decisions and learning how to put off the good in order to have something better in the end (delayed gratification).

RaiseBrighterKids_270 squareWillow exceeded all expectations, going into reprint much earlier than expected and was names a “Most Beloved Bedtime Story of 2013” by Red Tricycle, as well as the “Children & Teens Book of the Year” by Book Gateway.com. The second book, Must-Have Marvin, is headed for reprint and was named one of the “Best Books of 2014” by Atlanta Parent Magazine. It stresses relationships and valuing people over possessions. The third book in the series, Whatever Wanda, is scheduled for release in April of 2015; it will emphasize the importance of a positive attitude.

It certainly looks like Christy, the Shine Bright Kids and Ideals Children’s Books are moving in a direction that would make Uncle Zig very proud, indeed.

For more information about Christy and the Shine Bright Kids, visit the website [link], where you’ll also find free materials and activities for children and families. (Check the free materials page here on the Network, also.)

To access Christy’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right by typing in “Christy Ziglar.”


Dr. Daniel Trussell

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Daniel Trussell is a Licensed Professional Counselor, positive psychology coach and author who has spent his career helping individuals and families reduce and prevent mental health concerns and problems. Currently CEO of WebStar Behavioral Health, he comes from a background in clinical and senior executive positions in managed care, non-profit and governmental agencies. Dan has a clear picture of the concerns and the costs.

But he also has a vision for solutions, especially when it comes to the health and vitality of families. Dan’s most recent work, How Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization, is a compilation of 50 years of research findings in the fields of psychodynamics, family structure therapy, behavioral analysis, attachment theory and positive psychology (the science and study of happiness).

DTrussellHow Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization, written to be both informative and interactive, is divided into three sections. The first section identifies 18 characteristics of families that flourish and experience highest levels of life satisfaction. This section also explores common mistakes made by families that are floundering and languishing.

The second section of the book introduces a taxonomy of universal character strengths that broadens and builds positive emotional experience, increases resiliency to life’s challenges and deepens healthy family attachment, respect and communication.

The third and final section, “The Family Charter,” is a step-by-step guide for constructing an action plan for creating and sustaining optimal family functioning.

How Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization will help any family and its members improve as they strive to flourish. The book is a must-have for any professionals working with families.

Dr. Trussell also provides workshops, webinars and individual consultation with parents seeking to overcome oppositional behavior problems in the home and create more family harmony.

To learn more about Dr. Trussell and his work, go to his website [link]. He has also provided an excellent and generous resource to our page of free professional materials here on the Network.

To access Dr. Trussell’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right, typing in “Dr. Daniel Trussell.”

Must-Have Marvin (Guest: Christy Ziglar)

BTRadioIntThe concept that people and relationships are far more important that wealth and things is accepted by most folks; it holds a prominent place in our most important values. A review of accumulated end-of-life regrets would find hardly an individual that wished they had worked for more “stuff.” Many folks in that situation, however, have lamented broken relationships. That should tell us something.

ChristyPhotoIt’s easy, isn’t it, to be drawn down paths that entice us with status and possessions? Unfortunately, Madison Avenue keeps those paths well-lit. How many of us can identify a time when we wanted something so badly that we were resolved to have it, no matter what, regardless of its cost in resources or relationships? Then later, we discovered we paid too much.

That realization, as difficult and uncomfortable as it might be, can help us learn a necessary lesson: People are ALWAYS more important that possessions.

Marvin_CoverOur guest on this program, author Christy Ziglar, has written a book for children that skillfully addresses the conflict of values regarding possessions versus relationships. The book, Must-Have Marvin, follows a young boy who has to stumble a bit before he truly understands that friends are more important than things.

Must-Have Marvin is the second book in Christy’s very successful Shine Bright Kids series; plenty more are on the way. These books promote principles for living shared world-wide by the late Zig Ziglar, master motivator, encourager AND Christy’s uncle. Zig’s timeless influence continues on in every page of these great books for kids.

Christy is the founder of the Shine Bright Kids Company in Atlanta Georgia, where she and her family currently live. (29:17)


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