Sincere Praise Can Make A Difference

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One of the formative experiences of my early twenties was taking the Dale Carnegie Course in Public Speaking and Human Relations. Each class we focused on a tenet of Carnegie’s philosophy, one of which is to give sincere, honest appreciation. But giving honest and sincere appreciation can be a difficult skill to master. Some compliments […]


Be The Storyteller For Your Child’s Special Moments

Hand writing What's Your Story with blue marker on transparent wipe board.

Erle Stanley Gardner. Agatha Christie. Dick Francis. I’ve always loved reading mysteries and I’ve read so many that I can usually guess ”who dunnit.” In my late teens I took a writing seminar with a mystery writer. My first question to her was “Do you know the ending when you start writing?” She laughed and […]


Happy Birthday, Kids Talk

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Twelve years ago today, the first Kids Talk column ran in the Benton County Daily Record. It’s been an amazing journey, from newspaper columns, to blog posts, to online workshops and more. It’s been an extraordinary way to meet remarkable people. Thank you for being a Kids Talk reader! All the best, Maren


Helping Children Learn To Apologize

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Injury occurs one of two ways: accidentally or intentionally. We need to help our children be prepared to deal with the inevitable in their lives. Accidents do happen and we need to show them the way to make amends when things have gone wrong. We need to teach these skills, though, beforehand, versus after the […]


Helping Your Child Change Self-Perception

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Labels. We all are labeled by the roles we play or how others perceive us. On the day we are born, the labeling begins. “He looks just like his daddy. She’s an angel. He’s a handful. She’s fussy. He’s scatterbrained. She has no patience. He’s greedy.” Names and adjectives are used to describe children and […]


The Prepared Environment

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“Pretend that you just found out that you’ll have to be in a wheelchair for a year, possibly longer. What adjustment would you have to make to your home to accommodate this change? This week crawl around your house, through every room, and make a list of changes that you would make. That’s your homework. […]


Help! My Child Is The Bully!

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Amanda, a preschool teacher in California, contacted me about a column about bullying. “I do agree”, she wrote, “that bullying is a very serious issue but the people that usually need more support are the mortified parents of the bully.” Let’s define bullying behavior. Bullying can be physical, verbal or excluding behaviors that include but […]


Three Levels Of Obedience

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Sometimes when I am working on the computer I feel like a three-year-old. At least, I think I feel like a three-year-old. I try to do some function that I haven’t done in a while, and I look at the computer screen wondering how I did it. When I am utterly confused, I’ll phone one […]


Understanding Happiness

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Happy. We use this word as though happy is a goal unto itself. An elusive objective, indeed. The meanings of happiness and pleasure are used interchangeably in our world. Happiness and pleasure are not the same concept and to think so is dangerous. Pleasure seeking will not bring us happiness. Conversely, happiness is rarely found […]


For Unto Us A Child Is Born

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Today we celebrate the birth of a man from Galilee. This man was born, as all of us are, as a small helpless being, dependent on the care and protection of a mother and father. This child was born in a stable on a journey decreed by a Roman emperor in order for an accurate […]