Sugar Blues

sugar blues

When we first were married, my husband’s habit was to drink a 16-ounce glass of orange juice for breakfast. To that we added pancakes with maple syrup. During my honeymoon year I found that by ten o’clock in the morning I was nauseous and sweating. After weeks of these episodes, off I went to the […]


Time Out Or Time To Think?

Isolating children when they don’t meet our expectations of behavior is one method of implementing time-out. Using time-out may be one of the most popular discipline methods used by parents today. Carl Larsson, the Swedish artist, did a painting in 1897 of an older boy sitting in time-out. The time-out technique has been around for […]


Welcome Mistakes

welcome mistakes

“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment,” read the sign in the gift shop. Since mistakes are at the forefront of learning, it is best if we can be friendly with error and welcome mistakes for the learning opportunities that they are. What have most of us been taught about mistakes? […]


Do You Know Who Your Children Are?

know who your children are

Summer nights, years ago, right before the news there was a public service announcement: It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are? What I’d like to hear today is this: Do you know who your children are? When parents or grandparents contact me asking for advice about how to handle a child who […]


Setting Limits

setting limits

At a neighborhood coffee, my friend, Cheryl, announced that she had stopped eating sugar for several months. Several women gasped at the thought. “But that’s so limiting,” said one. Cheryl smiled and said, “Actually I find the limitation is quite freeing. I don’t worry any more whether I should eat something or not. Drawing the […]


Offer Freedom Within Limits

offer freedom within limits

Many of the difficult situations we have with our children involves getting them to do something they don’t want to do in a reasonable amount of time. Eating, getting dressed, going to bed, or taking a bath may be familiar conflict areas. When we give our children choices we can avoid conflict. These choices, or […]


Family Meetings

family meetings

As parent leaders, we have many tools we can learn to help us create an atmosphere of trust in our families. One tool is using family meetings. Family meetings can help our families learn how to problem solve together, as well as learn important communication tools, cooperation, creativity, respect, appropriate expression of emotions, and how […]


Don’t Live in La-La Land

towards the new education

Most of our fears as parents about protecting our children involve situations that rarely occur. But many of us tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about circumstances that will never happen, or planning for perfectionism, either in ourselves or in our children. Our fears and our guilt hold us hostage in a […]


Stop! Look! Listen!

stop look listen

An effective, yet, counter-intuitive teaching and parenting suggestion took me a while to understand and put into use. The idea? “Don’t just do something; stand there.” Our first inclination when we see things that we think we need to stop is to jump right in and fix it. One of the interesting discoveries of not […]


Talk Less, Listen More

talk less listen more

When I asked one of my elementary students what he didn’t like about his life he told me that it was when people started to sound like blah-blah-blah. Too often our good intentions of telling our children what to do, how to do it, where to do it, when to do, and why to do […]