BOOK REVIEW | Why Don’t We Listen Better?

Book review Why don't we listen better

Do you have a book that you tend to go back to time and time again? Jim Petersen’s book, Why Don’t We Listen Better?, is one where I find so much inspiration. In college I majored in Organizational and Interpersonal Communication. After I graduated most people would ask, what kind of major is that? Today […]


FREE WEBINAR: Helping Children Learn To Listen

helping children learn to listen

In my many years of working with young children, there is one question I hear frequently from parents and teachers: How do I get children to listen to me? When we are confronted with tantrums, defiant behavior, or worse, it’s difficult to know what to do. But these situations are usually avoidable, or at least […]


Warm up to the Aloha Leadership Retreat

Aloha Leadership Retreat

The Aloha Leadership Retreat is a dream come true, and you’re invited. Registration is now closed.  Please email Maren@MarenSchmidt.com for possible availability. Email Maren For Availability The Aloha Leadership Retreat will be a small intimate gathering to help you transform your leadership. May 3, 4 and 5, 2019 Aloha means “the presence of breath” or […]


Happy 15th!

Happy 15th Anniversary

Happy Birthday, Kids Talk! Fifteen  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. What an extraordinary way to meet remarkable people. Thank you for being a Kids Talk reader! All the best, […]


Centuries of Fun

Centuries of Fun

The group of ten-year-olds sat absorbed, thumbs moving. Each played an individual game on his cell phone. Over the past few years I keep noticing this phenomena of groups of children who elect to be connected to their electronic games when there are “live knowledge objects” previously know as “people” sitting right next to them. […]


Know Your Child By Likes and Dislikes

know your children by their likes

What’s your child’s favorite food? Color? Outfit? What does your child dislike? Preferences give important insights into our personalities. For the child who is agreeable in most situations, we have smooth sailing. The child who expresses strong preferences, though, can push us to the limits of our patience. How long can we listen to…I don’t […]


FREE WEBINAR: Creating Your DREAM Community

Creating Your DREAM Community

Are you a school leader concerned about building your ideal school community? Please join me for this 50-minute “instant” webinar on Creating Your DREAM Community.  Watch Now! In this free webinar you’ll learn: Why creating and communicating a clear vision of your dream school community is the first step to transforming “customer” families into partner families, […]


BOOK | Building Cathedrals Not Walls

building cathedrals not walls

Building Cathedrals Not Walls is a collection of ninety Kids Talk essays to inspire you in your work with children, whether you are a parent, a teacher, or other adult in the life of a child. Cathedrals endure as symbols of vision and dedication from the Middle Ages. During this time in Europe scores of […]


FREE TRAINING | The Five Most Important Questions

There are five questions that you should consider if you are going to create a joyful and confident school community of children, families and staff members. Unfortunately, many school leaders spend decades without understanding what is missing in their leadership and in their community. If you are a school leader, you won’t want to miss […]


FREE TRAINING | Teaching Civility

Teaching Civility

Over the past few years it seems like incivility in our culture has reached a new high. Which is not a good thing! Most of my life I have been teaching others how to problem solve and urging others to treat all people with kindness and respect. Time to double down on those efforts. There […]