Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

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 […]


Effective Skill Building

effective skill building

Research shows that learning new skills in the most efficient manner requires self-discipline and practice. That seems like common sense to most of us. Science is confirming that, yes, to get better you’ve got to make yourself sit at the piano and play those tunes and do those finger exercises. Every day. Effective learning or […]


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?

helping children learn to listen

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 […]


Thoughts on Freedom

thoughts on freedom

As we approach Independence Day, my mind turns to the idea of freedom. Freedom is a difficult word to define. Ask ten people what freedom is, and you will get at least ten different answers. There are at least that many definitions in the dictionary. The first five usages given in The American Heritage Dictionary […]


Make a Date

make a date

My husband and I share the distinction of being the oldest of five children. Growing up, there was always one of the children a little out of sorts. Luckily, with four other siblings there always was someone to distract the grumpy family member until the clouds parted. After our second and youngest daughter, Hannah, was […]


Lead or Manage?

Lead Or Manage?

As parents we lead and manage our children. If we lead without adequate management skills, logistical problems arise. If we manage without providing clear leadership, we may travel a long road to nowhere. Leadership focuses on developing people, empowerment, doing the right things, direction and principles. Management, on the other hand, concerns itself with taking […]