How to Master the Art of Listening

As parents, we often feel the pressure to have all the answers. While imparting wisdom can be important, it is worthless if we’re not heard. If we are to parent well, we must improve our ability to listen. Empathic listening is the one practice upon which all parenting successes and failures rest. Stephen R. CoveyContinue reading “How to Master the Art of Listening”

Encourage the Heart

“You are my sunshine, My only sunshine. You make me happy When skies are gray. You’ll never know dear How much I love you. Please don’t take My sunshine away.” This song was a staple in our home. I must have sung it a million (okay, maybe a thousand) times when my kids were growingContinue reading “Encourage the Heart”

Keep the End in Mind

If I were to summarize the best parenting strategy my husband and I committed to it would be this: keep the end in mind. One day — way sooner than you think, your children will grow up. They will move away, build their own careers and families. When you break everything down to the mostContinue reading “Keep the End in Mind”

Love Unconditionally

Children are like mirrors. They reflect their parents’ every strength and flaw in ways that test everything a parent believes to be true about themselves. As parents, sometimes we like what we see, admiring our skills and beautifully executed strategies. Other times, however, we bump into a version of ourselves that we don’t like andContinue reading “Love Unconditionally”

Consider the Message

“Thank you, God, for the damparents.” ~ Jacob Harris, age 3-4 When our kids were little we had a nightly prayer ritual. Each night we would thank God for various blessings including friends and family members. For a couple of years, Jacob replaced the word “grandparents” with “damparents.” We’ve laughed throughout the years over theContinue reading “Consider the Message”

The Secret to Raising Independent Children

All that friendly advice starts the minute folks discover you’re expecting a baby. I’m more than two decades into this journey, and people still share opinions about how I should parent. “When you’re pregnant, people feel like they can come up and give you unsolicited advice. When I was nine months pregnant, this one womanContinue reading “The Secret to Raising Independent Children”

Honor Failure

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill When we see success we admire its perfection. We applaud the magic of actors, athletes, writers, musicians, and others who make it all look so easy. But, here’s the deal. Very rarely does anyone succeed without boatloads of failure alongContinue reading “Honor Failure”

How to Talk to Teachers

5 Strategies to Improve Communication With Teachers Communication is the foundation of successful relationships. Yet, I would guess that many parents have a story of miscommunication between them and their child’s teacher. As the pressure increases on teachers to do more with less, communication is more critical than ever.