Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

Five Whys Can Help

five whys can help

”For whatever reasons my eight-year-old, Eric, is critical of everything his younger siblings do. Eric tells his sister that her coloring stinks. He tells his brother that his handwriting is messy. Last night Eric burst into tears because the peas touched his mashed potatoes. Nothing seems to make him happy right now,” Michael told me. […]


Three Ways To Change Behavior

three ways to change behavior

“Lisa is so different from Grace. Grace never broke anything when she was this age. Lisa breaks something every day,” Meg told me at our playgroup with our one-year olds. Meg, a long-time friend, was over 30 when she had her first child. Five-year-old Grace lived up to her name. Grace was gentle and content […]


Use Your Thinking Hats

using your thinking hats

Some women get rocks set into precious metals for anniversaries, birthdays or Christmas. I get books. Over thirty years ago, my husband presented me with a jewel of a book for Christmas. I’ve used this gift to teach thinking skills to children and adults. The title? Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono. De Bono, […]


Sincere Praise Can Make A Difference

sincere praise can make a difference

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 […]


The Prepared Environment

prepared environment

“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. […]


Three Levels Of Obedience

three levels of obedience

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

understanding happiness

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 […]


An Ounce of Prevention: Handwashing

handwashing an ounce of prevention

“My mommy said I don’t have to wash my hands after I go to the bathroom,” one of my preschool students said. How was I going to side step this power struggle? “At school,” I said, “we wash our hands. Do you want to use the pump soap or the bar soap?” Fortunately, for children […]


Helping Your Child Learn To Listen

helping your child learn to listen

“You can’t help your child learn anything if you don’t teach them to listen and pay attention. That’s what you have to do first.” I overheard Tricia, a mother of three, as she visited with a father at a parent get-together. Afraid of breaking a child’s spirit, we are sometimes reluctant to “make” a child […]


10,000 Steps

10,000 steps

10,000 steps. A step is approximately one-third to one-half an adult or child’s height. For example, a person six feet tall would cover 20,000 to 30,000 feet or approximately 4 to 5 miles with 10,000 steps. In contrast, a child three-feet tall would cover two to three miles with 10,000 steps. The idea of 10,000 […]