Category Archive:
Effective communication

Giving Positive Directions: The Verb Game

giving positive directions

A funny thing about the mind; it takes a while for our minds to figure out how to ”don’t.” ”Don’t hit your baby brother.” The young child doesn’t have the thinking skills or experience to consider what to do instead of hitting his baby brother, much less redirect the energy and anger to a positive […]


Ask Children For What You Want

ask children for what you want

The bestselling book The Secret talks about the problem of not having a clear vision of what we want. We spend the majority of our time avoiding or getting rid of stuff in our lives that we don’t want. Wherever we place our focus, that is what grows. The more we direct our attention on […]


A Thank-You Walk

thank you walk

”I’m worried that my four- and six-year-old will be spoiled. They have such a great life–plenty of love, food, toys and money. I want them to be thankful for what they have,” Melinda said. Melinda understood that helping her children cultivate an attitude of gratitude was important to her children’s present and future happiness. Too […]


Why Don’t We Listen Better?

why don't we listen better

The hostess at the dinner party asked me question after question, keeping me actively engaged in conversation. The next day I realized I had done most of the talking. But I thought my new friend was the most fascinating person in the world. Why? Because she listened to me. Learning to listen with interest to […]


Children Love Quiet

children love quiet

Somehow between Madison Avenue and Hollywood, and all the places where kiddie culture is fed, we’re given the view that children are rowdy and eternally needing to be entertained. Picture a scene of children getting out from school. What do you imagine? More than likely it’s children shouting and running from the school building. Though […]


Don’t Be a Pop Quiz Parent

pop quiz parent

At the neighborhood barbecue, I squirmed in my lawn chair. I was embarrassed, not so much for myself, but for Erica, the six-year-old at our table who was being grilled by her father, Tom. ”How much is 6 times 9?” Searching for the answer, Erica looked up at the pavilion ceiling, then down at her […]


The High Cost of Low Trust

high cost of low trust

”My parents don’t trust me anymore,” said thirteen-year-old Steve. ”Oh,” I said, but thought to myself, RED ALERT. This wasn’t going to be a regular sit-at-the-table-and-eat-pizza party conversation. My memory neurons buzzed, trying to find the listening/questioning tool I had recently learned called evidence and impact questioning. The gist of this two-step listening technique is […]


Geek or Greek?

Geek or Greek

The ancient Greeks taught that there are three basic types of appeals one uses to influence an audience: ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos is the call for a sense of ethics, a request for a person to engage a sense of right and wrong. Ethos involves the speaker’s basic credibility, integrity and competency, along with […]


Build Relationships With Frequent Deposits

build relationships with frequent deposits

Relationship building is work, and our relationships and the trust in those relationships are in constant change. We maintain and deepen our relationships with regular acts of kindness, consideration, appreciation and service. Every act of building a relationship is as if we are making a deposit into a savings account. We increase our balance by […]


I and Thou

Iand Thou

In the creation of successful relationships, there are two essential elements: giving and taking. In quality relationships, each party gives more than he or she takes, providing each person in the relationship a stockpile of positive experiences and memories. This abundance allows us mistakes without dire consequences during times of change and growth in a […]