Real Talk

10 Secrets of Happy Families

There is no one way, one path, to a happy family. The rules of happiness change from family to family, and from culture to culture, but there are certain collective tenets that invite depth and meaning to our relationships. 1. Deposit the qualities into your relationships that you wish to withdraw. Think of the person […]

Help Your Child to Grow Wings

“No one else has to do chores,” my son complained. “And if the do, they get PAID.” “Hmmm…well, that is not the way we do it in our family,” I said, repeating the very words I swore I would never say to my own kids when I was a furious girl with the very same […]

Ask a Mama: The Headaches and Joys of Toddler Independence

Dear Mamas, If I hear one more “Do it, self!” one more time I’m going to scream. From getting in the car (while baby sister is crying for her binky), to getting a diaper from the drawer (which is out of reach), to scooping up rolly polly peas using a fork. I want my 2 […]

The Summer of By the Shore and Getting Dirty

I have decided this will be the summer of getting dirty, going barefoot and eating plums and maybe making jam out of some of them or maybe not, I might take a nap instead. The house will be a wreck, the laundry will pile up and I may stay in my pajamas all day and […]

How to Get Rid of Monsters: Never Fail Monster Spray

There was a ghost living under the bed of our four-year-old son. It was so ugly he had no words to describe it. It slipped into corners watching, waiting and when it saw him the ghost laughed. No one could see it but him, this made the ghost laugh more. It was a monster. Our […]

5 Magic Words: “This Doesn’t Work for Me”

Eight-year-old Finn disappeared. Yes, I told him to play outside, yes it was a beautiful day after a week of rain and the tide was out and there were baby crabs under rocks to check out, but he had a friend visiting from school. How could I explain to the mother that the boys had […]

“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 […]

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