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Calm Sea

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Going from "only"  to "oldest"

Adding a second child to our family is an exciting time. As parents we’re sleep deprived and crazy, but welcoming another sweet being into the world and watching the heart of our family expand makes it all worth it. 

 For our first child, welcoming their sibling is a little less exciting. Sure, they’re excited…and very curious….and caught up in the love-fest…

Playground Politics

There are few things more painful in this world than watching your beloved child be purposefully excluded, teased, ignored, or rejected by their peers. 

 Many loving, compassionate, and mild-mannered parents have been reduced to red-faced, jaw-clenching maniacs who imagine unmentionable fates befalling small children….if that small child hurt their kid’s feelings. On purpose….

Interview with a Picky Eater

Parenting a “picky eater” earns a special badge of honor. It requires patience, faith, and an enormous amount of creativity. 

 Parents near and far feel terribly stressed each morning as they pack their picky child’s lunch for school, because they know that while other children are munching happily away at their casserole or stir-fry leftovers from last night’s dinner, our child has the same four items they always have…every day. And two of those are questionably healthy.

Happy Holidays!

It was my intention to write a new article this week for December’s newsletter. I had the topic all picked out and have been thinking and preparing for my writing. But as I sit here watching my kids play in the backyard, running around with the dogs with general pre-Christmas glee, I’ve changed my mind.

 Now that the time for writing has arrived, I’ve decided to follow my own advice I’ve given to so many parents this month. Put away the computer, and spend time with your kids this holiday break. So rather than spend half a day writing, I’m re-sending my holiday message from last year and going outside to play.

 Much love to you and your sweet families this holiday season. I wish you lots of fun, snuggles, laughter, and days full of pj’s and fuzzy socks.

Teaching Gratitude

It is a common tradition in families to share gratitude during a Thanksgiving meal. We go around in a circle, one-by-one offering thanks for our many blessings. For our children it is often a small momentary blip of gratitude in an otherwise mindless pursuit of “really want this” and “must have that.”
We live in the presence of such…

Listening Without Looking

“Look at me when I’m talking to you!”​

 When we are spending time with a friend and sharing the funny story about what happened at work that morning, we are taking in loads of information about their interest in our story without even realizing it. Non-verbal cues such as body-language, facial expression, and eye contact tell us how engaged they are and what they’re feeling…

Accepting Influence

Dr. John Gottman, a well-known couples counseling guru, has been researching the differences between marriages that are successful and those that fail for 35 years now. You might have heard that his research demonstrates that he can predict with around 90% accuracy a couple’s future success or failure after only minutes of hearing a couple discuss a recurring conflict they’re experiencing. A bold statement, truly. He jokes about not being invited to dinner parties often….no kidding….

Little Perfectionists

Perfectionist (noun): a person who demands perfection of himself, herself, or others

Perfect (adj.): excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement

Many parents who worry about their child’s focus and work ethic fall in one of two camps: 

(1) I’m worried my child is a perfectionist; he gets so upset when he doesn’t get something just right!

(2) I’m worried my child has no drive or ambition. She doesn’t even want to try! She’d rather take the easy route….every time!

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