What Social Style Is Your Child?

what social style is your child

In ancient Greece Hippocrates defined four personality types: sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic. These were based on body fluids, or humors. Today we simply use questionnaires such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, MBTI, to define sixteen basic personality types. In Nurture by Nature, Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger explain the sixteen basic Myers-Briggs types and how […]


Empowering Children To Collaborate

Brotherly and sisterly struggles

“Stop!” I heard six-year-old Alan tell a couple of three-year-old girls.  “I think you’ve got a problem.” Lila and Susan, the three-year-olds, were tugging and grunting to see who would get possession of a puzzle.  Alan continued, “I think you both want to do this puzzle by yourself.  Do you want to work this out? […]


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 […]


The High Cost of Low Trust

high cost of low trust

”My parents don’t trust me anymore,” said thirteen-year-old Steve. ”Oh,” I said, but thought to myself, RED ALERT. This wasn’t going to be a regular sit-at-the-table-and-eat-pizza party conversation. My memory neurons buzzed, trying to find the listening/questioning tool I had recently learned called evidence and impact questioning. The gist of this two-step listening technique is […]


In The Pits?

in the pits?

”If life is a bowl of cherries, why am I in the pits?” Erma Bombeck knew how to see the humor in day-to-day reality. Maintaining a positive and forward-moving life is a challenge to say the least. Life has a way of helping us misplace our senses of humor in a hurry. Some days the […]


How To Use Open-Ended Questions

open ended question

As adults we are the most significant part of a child’s environment. Whether we are aware of it or not, our words, concerns and emotions are reflected into our children’s world and absorbed at an unconscious level by the child. We need to choose our words carefully and frame our questions even more so. Inadvertently […]


Stuck With a Problem? SOAR

stuck with a problem soar

At times we seem to be ensconced in recalcitrant situations. We try to move forward, and our strategy doesn’t work. We resolve to get our two-year-old to stop biting. Our ten-year old forgets to clean his room–every Saturday. Our fourteen-year-old refuses to go to church. Whatever we do to encourage or cajole our children into […]


Who Owns the Problem?

who owns the problem

Five-year-old Samantha leaves her lunchbox at home at least once a week. Her mother, Lori, makes a special trip to school to bring Samantha’s lunch–a thirty-minute disruption to Lori’s day. Who owns the problem of getting Samantha’s lunch to school? Samantha or her mother? Some parents feel that they own all their children’s problems. When […]


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 […]