Anecdotes

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 […]

Life as Plan B

I was at the kitchen table writing when our 4-year-old son appeared from his nap smiling sheepishly. “Ben! You cut your hair!” I tried not to scream. He had taken the scissors from an earlier project to bed with him and gave himself a magnificent reverse Mohawk—all the hair on top of his beautiful blonde […]

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