Category Archive:
Social/emotional needs

Understanding Core Emotions

understanding core emotions

In her book, Animals Make Us Human, Temple Grandin asks the question: What does an animal need to be happy? Grandin lists five freedoms animals should have when in an intensive animal production situation: Freedom from hunger and thirst Freedom from discomfort Freedom from pain, injury or disease Freedom to express normal behavior Freedom from fear […]


Do What You Say And Say What You Do

do what you say

“Throw rocks into the pool one more time and we’re leaving the party,” Jonathan’s parents told him. It was a surprise party for his grandparents’ anniversary. When Jonathan threw in the next handful of pebbles, nothing happened. Empty threats. It is an easy trap to fall into. We think if we mention the possible consequences […]


Bottling The Whine

bottling the whine

Nothing can wear you down as quickly as a whining child. You may think you are patient, kind-hearted, understanding and virtuous beyond vocabulary. Five minutes with a whining child can make all those golden qualities evaporate. And let us not forget whiny adults. Whining isn’t just a youngster’s activity. Whining works. Which is why it […]


Create A Place To Thrive

create a place to thrive

Funny how certain conversations stick with you. When I was 16-years-old I was visiting with a college professor whose children I babysat. He asked me about my college plans and the classes I was currently taking. I told him I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. “Ah,” he said, “you […]


Something Worth Growing

something worth growing

A few years ago I read in a book a description of a young man who finally saw himself as “a gift worth wrapping.” This young man’s life had been full of heartbreak and loss, with not much positive feedback about his strengths. His weaknesses, and there were many, were harped on by his guardians, […]


Baby Steps

baby steps

One of my go-to comedies, a movie that never fails to make me laugh and always helps me have an attitude adjustment, is What About Bob? with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. The book, Baby Steps, figures prominently in the plot. Baby Steps outlines Dr. Leo Marvin’s (Dreyfuss) therapy to help his clients overcome their […]


Your Presence Is Your Present

your presence is your present

Do you ever worry about getting the “right” gift for the special people in your life? Let’s take a few minutes and make sure we are giving the gifts that can only come from the heart. The Present of Listening. How do we really listen? We turn off our cell phones, the television and the […]


Sometimes A Cigar Is Just A Cigar

sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

Childhood seems to have become a pathology. If children don’t do what the adults around them deem to be “good behavior”, a diagnosis, or label of some type is given to the child: Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Conduct Disorder. There is a long list of learning […]


Laugh And The World Laughs With You

laugh and the world laughs with you

Some of the good news about parenting is that you can use your sense of humor. And it may be best if you can learn to look with humor at some of the predicaments you will find yourself. The young child under the age of six years is a literal learner and doesn’t get jokes […]


Just Say No!

just say no

Probably the hardest word for us to learn as parents is ‘no’. Children wouldn’t be children if they didn’t test the boundaries, and when we say no, our children are determined to find a way to get to yes. There are many strategies they use to try to get to yes: complaining that we aren’t […]