Communication for Cooperation

A well-intentioned mother speaks words of wise instruction expecting to be heard, acknowledged, and met with cooperation. When the only response from those she cares most about is a meaningless glance or flippant nod, it’s easy to understand why Mom might resort to modes of communication which are later regretted or that poorly display the dignity she desires to reflect.

A mile-long list of responsibilities, chores, and concerns weigh heavily on her mind, and so it’s no wonder…

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Our Gift In Time

Sparkling champagne, songs of celebration and the crystal-laden globe of New Year’s Eve festivities usher in a fresh year filled with hope and dreams. A clean, white slate invites each of us to author a new chapter in our parenting story where wrongs are made right, chaos is conquered, and life’s challenges feel a bit more surmountable.

The past serves as a brilliant teacher, enlightening us with new insights regarding old attitudes, mindsets, and perspectives. The desire to avoid repeating the mistakes of yesterday is a legitimate reason to pause and reflect, motivated by the resolve to do better in the days to come.

As you take a deep, cleansing breath and courageously script the next chapter of motherhood, determine to make this one a high point in the parenting journey. With the heartfelt longing of any mother to improve relationships and build stronger bonds, let’s consider ways in which you might step out of yesteryear and seize the opportunities which exist in the year ahead:

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Sleep: The Undervalued Commodity

The marching orders dutifully delivered to every mother as she steps out of the hospital and into the exciting world of motherhood is “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” What she’s not told is how to get the laundry done, the beds made, the kitchen swept or even how to take a shower while her little one is wide awake and crying for any number of reasons.

When the choices have to be made between getting the laundry done or taking a nap, for those of us who’ve put our family’s needs ahead of our own, it’s usually our sleep that’s going to be sacrificed. It’s expendable, and we can live without it, we tell ourselves. It comes so naturally to convince ourselves we’ll catch up eventually, or maybe just learn to live without it. Delirium can make you believe anything.

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Practice At Home

I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I’ve heard someone say, “The teachers at school say my child is perfectly well behaved and gets along fine with her peers, and yet home life is a series of battles on a daily basis!”  

Why do children behave well for others and yet show remarkable resistance to being cooperative at home?

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Be Transparent

Kids need to know you are human. You can tell them you’re not sure what the best decision is and that you’re doing your best, if that's the case. You're not going to lose their respect just because you're being honest and authentic.  

You can say you’re sorry when you realize you’ve made a mistake. Don't feel the need to be perfect. Take that pressure off yourself and let your kids see that you are human, just like them! 


It's a journey and you are all in this thing together. Your position in the home is not based on performance. You acquired the position as parent the day you brought your child into the world.  
Growing into your role takes time. When the family takes the journey together, everyone gets an equal dose of mercy and grace.

Establishing Your Authority

It all starts the day we bring our little bundle of life home from the hospital. At the start of the journey, we hold that fragile little person in our arms and wonder if we have what it takes to be a parent. Every little decision we make sets the stage for that day or week, or even that year. It’s scary and exhilarating to have so much power and control. It’s an overwhelming privilege and responsibility that goes unprotested for about 18 months. Of course, there are the battles over eating, sleeping and changing diapers that must be dealt with early on, but a new piece of the puzzle comes to the table around 18 months or so and adds a challenge we may not have been prepared for. Independence!

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While the Clay is Wet...

How much time do you have to influence your child? This isn't a question any new parent takes the time to think about, generally speaking. I'm not sure many seasoned parents take the time to consider this question either, but it's an extremely important one though.  As the old adage goes: "The days are  long, but the years are short."  Time is definitely a commodity, a precious resource, and what you do with it will determine your quality of life at home.

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