Anecdotes

“You Be the Monster!” The Importance of Playing with Fear

It begins with a simple 5-beat clap; a percussive call to what the kids call the RUNNING GAME. You cannot say those two words quietly. It is always shouted or crowed or yelped when they hear the opening clap. Two-year-old Poppie and four-year-old Finn race upstairs to the long hallway where I sit with my […]

I Give My Daughter Words: Modeling the Language of Calm

by Rebecca Lemar Just after lunch my daughter asks for dried cherries. She can’t be hungry, she just ate. “No thank you,” I say. This little three year old doesn’t want a “no,” she wants cherries and my answer sends her into a fist pounding, feet stomping bout. I put my hand up and say […]

Marriage 101: Your Own Personal State of the Union

“I want to have a State of the Union,” I said to my husband of 36 years. “A what?” he asked uncertainly. “You know, a State of the Union to look at where we have been as a couple and what we imagine the future to look like.” Greg cleared his throat and considered. I […]

Dessert First!

What is so sacred about dessert after dinner and not before? What’s wrong with shaking it up and breaking the rules? It turns out nothing; in fact dessert first will shake up the lockstep of routine and make a dark day brighter. It started one night many years ago when the kids were young and […]

3 Easy and 1 Hard Way to a Peaceful Holiday Season

I heard the crash at 6:00 in the morning and bolted out of bed. The Christmas tree had slammed to the ground in a spectacular mess of broken ornaments and pine needles. The 4 and 6-year-old culprits were crying and wringing their little hands. “I was just DECORATING,” wailed our son. I sighed and put […]

“The Best Parenting Advice I Can Give You…”

Many summers ago when my daughter was expecting her third baby she asked me to gather a group of wise and beloved women together for a Blessingway, an alternative to a shower that focuses less on gifts and more on the mother-to-be. Blessingways help the mother prepare emotionally and spiritually for birth with the female […]

Hello Jello! Edible ABC’s

By Nancy Blakey Our son was a kinesthetic learner. If he could touch it, manipulate it, hold it in his hands, the information would stick. When it came time to learn to read I used wet spaghetti for him to make letters. We cut ABC’s from sandpaper and glued them to a page so he […]

The Right (and the Wrong) Way to Praise Kids

Want to increase your child’s self-esteem? Make her more resilient and willing to face challenges? Stop praising her. That’s right, stop the atta-girl, you are so smart and strong. An intriguing longitudinal study on parent praise by Carol Dweck, a Harvard researcher, shows that too much positive feedback can backfire and hijack the very attributes […]

A Measure of Work

I’ve worked hard in my life. I’ve been what you could call poor. I never went hungry or without shoes, but I’ve been poor enough as a child to consider a Barbie doll an uncommonly generous gift, and new shoes a real splurge. I’m not poor anymore, but those lean years have added something to […]

Finding Love and Magic at a Rummage Sale

It was my idea of a great rummage sale. I skipped the tables with crowds around them and headed for the empty corners where creative possibilities were disguised as junk. I found old transistor radios and alarm clocks to take apart, horn rim glasses and a long blonde wig for the dress up box, a […]

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