Real Talk

“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 […]

What’s Normal? Milestones from Birth to 1 Year

One of my favorite books when I began having babies was Berry Brazelton’s Infants and Mothers  He profiled three babies—an average (Louis), an active (Daniel), and a quiet baby (Laura)–and went through the milestones of ‘normal’ developmental behavior. He was also on the forefront in research on how parents’ perceptions of their babies impact their […]

Mama Says: “How Can I Stop the Fighting?”

Dear Mama, I have two sons 5 and 3 years old. I saw you speak on creativity and was inspired to put together an art and inventor’s box, and it works—they love it! but the 3-year-old messes with his brother’s projects and things often escalate to a fight. How can I stop the fighting and […]

“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 […]

Kids in the Kitchen: The Power of Pancakes

By Nancy Blakey This is a small story about skills learned, confidence earned, and one simple way to make an extraordinary memory for a child. It began as such a simple thing. One rainy afternoon our 4-year-old asked if he could cook something. The refrigerator was bare that day, and the cupboards mostly empty except […]

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 […]

Music Matters! And Singing and Dancing

By Paula Solis Krock So often when I heard the words as a young mom Sing to your children Dance with them! ! I rolled my eyes and thought, “I have a terrible voice! I can’t dance!” but here is the beautiful thing—your child DOES NOT KNOW THIS! In fact, until your child is about […]

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