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 […]


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?

why don't we listen better

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 […]


The What If Game

the what if game

When we observe that a child is having difficulties exhibiting appropriate behavior, the What If Game gives us a way to begin teaching thinking skills and different possibilities. For example: If we see a child who is pushing children out of the swings at outdoor time, we can gather a small group, or you can […]


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 […]


A Walk in the Leaves

walk in the leaves

I can’t help it. I love to go out in the fall and gather leaves. I enjoy looking at the reds, yellows, oranges and browns of deciduous leaves against the turquoise skies of a crisp autumn day. I savor peeling the paper off a broken crayon to make leaf rubbings that accentuate the veins, shape […]


Drawing With Children

teaching children drawing

Betty Edwards in her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, explains that around age ten our logical “left-brain” style of thinking begins to dominate and overrides our creative “right-brain” type of thinking. Our left-brain thinking criticizes our work, and out of our mouth comes words like: That doesn’t look like a bird. You can’t draw […]


Helping Your Child Learn To Listen

steps to reading success

“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 […]