Teaching Social/Emotional Skills

People Are the Priority

October 14, 2016

It was clear early on that my friend Christina’s daughter Ava was a bright girl.  She was one of those toddlers who spoke in eloquent sentences when my same-age son was struggling to put two words together.  Her parents were understandably impressed with her abilities.  Unlike other children who develop in fits and starts during […]

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How to Beat Cabin Fever: The Art of Roughhousing

March 7, 2013

When our middle child, Daniel, was 3 one of the phrases we’d regularly hear was, “Will you roughhouse me please?”  He was so desperate for this kind of play that it was the only time he consistently used the word “please.”  It worked.  Saying please usually does.  I regularly got down on the carpet with […]

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During Life’s Tough Times – 6 Ways to Help Your Child Handle Uncertainty

September 27, 2012

Our middle son, Daniel, just began middle school.  A middle child in middle school.  It’s gone about as you would expect from that combination – not too well.  Daniel now attends our neighborhood middle school, but comes to it from an elementary school across town with few friends in tow. The challenge is that most […]

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Tears at the Airport: How Kids Can Learn Emotional Intelligence

January 12, 2012

I was in a Barnes and Noble bookstore not long ago and wandered into the children’s section.  In one corner was a toy train table with wooden tracks and colorful train cars attached to one another magnetically.  Engrossed in play were a mom and her 4 or 5 year-old son.  I stopped to watch, remembering […]

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“You’re smart.” Versus “You worked hard.”

November 16, 2011

Eliza lives down the street.  She’s seventeen now but we’ve known her since we moved to the neighborhood eight years ago.  She’s a tall girl with a tangle of blonde curls.  She’s often wearing splashes of colorful apparel, chosen more because the fabrics appealed than the items matched.  When Eliza was fourteen she babysat for […]

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Teaching Kids Optimism

November 3, 2011

My daughter Annie started first grade raring to go.  After all those years of watching her big brothers attend full-day school, her time had finally come.  She was a real school kid.  There was just one problem.  In Annie’s mind, real school kids could read and Annie couldn’t do this yet. All three of my […]

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What Role Does Quitting Play in Our Children’s Lives?

October 21, 2011

My husband Todd grew early.  By 7th grade he was 5’ 7”.  For boys this can be an advantage, a luck-of-the-draw event that goes your way.  Todd had always enjoyed basketball and his early growth spurt, along with hours and hours of shooting on his driveway hoop, yielded a position on his middle school basketball […]

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What is Enough? Teaching Your Children the Concept of Enough

September 22, 2011

I’ve been thinking about the idea of “enough.”  Whether it’s a material item (shoes) or a non-material one (free time), how do you know when you have enough of something? Enough seems to reside at the sweet spot between needing more and wanting more.  It’s a calm, settled, balanced place.  Enough is a place where […]

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Don’t Eat That Marshmallow Or You’ll Hurt Your S.A.T. Scores!

May 5, 2011

Setting:  Our family computer Stephen (12):  “I want to show you something awesome Ben taught me to do on Google Earth!” Daniel (10):  “I got here first!  I want to watch that YouTube video Colin sent me!” Annie (7):  “Well, I need to check the weather!”  (This is the only thing we allow Annie to […]

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Teaching Kids Persistence

March 25, 2011

All three of our kids play soccer on local teams.  Early on Todd and I chose soccer as a sport to start with in our family mostly because it requires you to run hard.  With three active kids living in a small home, energy expended in an activity is a vital consideration. Now that the […]

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