To Err is Human: 5 Ways Your Mistakes Can Make You a Better Parent

February 20, 2013

Please tell me something like this has happened at your house too.  Two weeks ago my husband Todd was sick with a flu that snuck by the flu shot mix this year.  He felt terrible for over a week, poor thing.  One weekend day I’d taken our oldest to an activity while Todd stayed home […]

Read the full article →

Promoting Your Child’s Passions

November 8, 2012

On our vacation to the East Coast last summer, I spent time with my childhood friend, Virginia, and her 4 kids.  Her oldest child, Micah, had just turned 15 when I saw him.  I don’t usually expect 15 year-old boys to be great conversationalists.  And for the most part Micah was succinct, though polite when […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Trading Intangibles: The Parenting Strategy We’ve Been Waiting For

September 6, 2012

When my daughter Annie was 8½, she began noticing people’s earrings.  “Mama, did you know so many people had earrings?  I like the dangling kind best,” Annie informed me.  Not long after she made the tentative comment, “Maybe some day I could get my ears pierced.” Instead of responding with dread, which admittedly I felt […]

Read the full article →

“Kids, What Are Your Teachers’ Pet Peeves?” A Creative Way to Raise Children’s Social Awareness

August 23, 2012

At my kids’ elementary school we aren’t told who their teacher will be until the day before school begins.  One year, right after teacher assignments were posted, my son Daniel came to me with a look of concern. “Mama, I got the strict teacher.  Everyone says she’s really hard and no fun at all.  What […]

Read the full article →

Subways, Buses, and Backpacks: Teaching Kids Frugal Travel Skills

July 9, 2012

This is a guest post I just wrote for the Center for a New American Dream website. I bumped into my friend Sarah the other day.  As we stood in the hot, dry Colorado air I asked about her summer.  Turns out her family had just returned from their annual trip to Norway where her […]

Read the full article →

Why Is the Transition to Summer Always Harder Than I Expect?!

June 21, 2012

One summer when my sons were 2 and 4, my sister, Heather, came to visit.  At that time we lived in a small apartment near the university.  Due to the size of our home and the wattage of our children’s energy, we spent much of our time outside, frequently at local parks and playgrounds.  Even […]

Read the full article →

Kids Sharing a Bedroom: Pros and Cons

May 10, 2012

When our oldest child, Stephen, was 7 he was invited to spend a night in the hotel room of his visiting grandparents.  I expected our middle child Daniel, then 5, would be excited to be the sole occupant of their shared bedroom. However, as bedtime approached Daniel looked increasingly anxious.  Eventually he took me aside […]

Read the full article →

The Power of the Written Word: New Info from Neuroscience

April 18, 2012

Recently Jhumpa Lahiri wrote a striking phrase: “[S]urely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time.  To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.” I took particular notice […]

Read the full article →

How Hard Could Coaching Ten Year-Olds Be?

March 2, 2012

Sam, the youngest and smallest player on our basketball team had been desperate to “bring the ball up” in a game all season.  My husband Todd, Sam’s coach, was hesitant because he could see what Sam couldn’t.  If Sam dribbled the ball up, he wasn’t likely to make it past half court before it was […]

Read the full article →