Category Archive:
Effective communication

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 […]


The Breakfast Pledge

The Breakfast Pledge

Last year in my For School Leaders blog and newsletter I focused on teaching civility. With this series on teaching civility, I drew heavily from Christine Porath’s book, Mastering Civility: A manifesto for the workplace, as well as other sources. Teaching civility, the grace and courtesy lessons we offer in our Montessori classrooms find renewed importance. Who do I […]


Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

There is magnetism with a 2 1/2- to 3-year-old and their ability to blurt out observations in public. These comments can make us understand, that, yes, we are paying for our raising. One teaching principle that I’ve found helpful to alleviate mortifying moments is the idea of indirect preparation. If you know it’s coming, prepare. […]


Learning the Gift of Gab

Learning the gift of gab

Language occurs in two basic ways. Receptive language is what we understand. Expressive language is what we can say. For most of us our receptive language is larger than our expressive language. A twelve-month-old can follow simple directions but can’t talk. At the doctor’s office, we can understand the doctor’s explanation of our diagnosis and […]


John 15:13

john 15:13

The idea of selfless service was the theme of a story from my kindergarten days. The Sunday School lesson told of a firefighter who died saving families from a burning building. The Bible verse to memorize for the week was John 15:13, which reads, “God hath no greater love than this, that a man should […]


Teaching Forgiveness

teaching forgiveness

“Forgive and forget” is a phrase that is given as advice. As a child, I remember being upset over a transgression and yelling, “I don’t want to forgive her, and I won’t forget it!” Forgive and forget seemed to mean that I should pardon the misdeed and pretend it never happened. That, in my mind, […]


Misbehavior Meets Needs

misbehavior meets needs

Misbehavior. That’s when you don’t act the way I want you to when I want you to. But what about when I do what I want when I want to do it? Some might call it personal prerogative. Others might say it’s a double standard. One of the interesting aspects of human behavior is that […]


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 […]