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Welcome to WE BELONG

Health, Love & Money-- in that order.

If I was to summarize my philosophy of life, that would be it.  As I will say many times, if we don’t have our health, nothing else really matters.  Look at the life of Apple executive and business icon, Steve Jobs.  He seemed to have everything one could hope for, including love and money, but unfortunately he did not have good health.  Sometimes we can’t control the genetic time bombs that may hide within, so all we can do is fuel our bodies with the best internal army to fight off what we can.  Lance Armstrong is a good example of a body that was so fit that it could handle more powerful cancer fighting drugs when the drugs themselves would have destroyed most people.

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Tangled- Parents as First Responders

Sticks and stones have been replaced with clicks and phones.

shutterstock_113919517 Parent InvolvementWelcome back to my 5 part series on Parent Involvement called Tangled! (Previous posts in series here). In this final post of the series, I’ll address our parental role as crisis counselor.

Concerned about child abductions, cyber bullying, gangs, and mind altering substances– today parents are concerned. Rightly so.

The playground has gotten bigger….and it’s all inclusive. The internet is a web that entices and captures. The lure of social media satisfies two human needs: curiosity and belonging. Kids still want the very same thing we wanted on the jungle gym. A bar to grab and a place to hang.

The goals haven’t changed only the methods to achieve them.

Awareness can be the ticket to despair.  Social media can be the glue that binds or a pie in the face.  A relentless slideshow of images, tweets and videos viewed by many as evidence of the green grass elsewhere.

Parents are first responders. Like soldiers in foreign lands, we don’t always know who the enemy is or when the next drama bomb will go off.

All parents need to learn CPR:  Care. Protect. Respond.  Here’s some tips to help comfort and guide your children during crisis.

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The Eye of the Runner: The Boston Marathon 2013

PERPETRATORS BEWARE! You messed with a tribe of determined individuals who don't stop until their work is finished!

Boston Marathon Medal-0016

Today was business as usual. Up at 4:30am, made my daughter’s lunch, went to the gym, showered, answered work emails, headed to the grocery store and ran a couple errands.

Actually nothing about today felt usual. As if I left my heart in Boston yesterday like lost baggage. I didn’t bring all of me home.

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Tangled- Parents as Coaches

You may be on the sidelines watching them but they are always on the sidelines watching you.

shutterstock_113919517 Parent InvolvementWelcome back to my 5 part series on Parent Involvement called Tangled! (Previous posts in series here). A tricky and often messy subject worthy of controversy. In this series, I’ll try and untangle the common parenting dilemmas related to our roles as disciplinarians, mediators, teachers, coaches and therapists.

And we think the biggest battle in America is between political parties? Well then you haven’t been to a kids soccer game recently!

Open up your collapsable chair at your own risk. And pack a concealed weapon. Duct tape.

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Tangled- Parents as Disciplinarians

Discipline should be synonymous with teaching not punishment.

shutterstock_113919517 Parent InvolvementWelcome back to my 5 part series on Parent Involvement called Tangled! (Previous posts in series here). A tricky and often messy subject worthy of controversy. In this series, I’ll try and untangle the common parenting dilemmas related to our roles as disciplinarians, mediators, teachers, coaches and therapists.

I’d like to start this discussion on common ground. It’s far too easy to jump right into the ring and debate parenting techniques, punishments, or how young is too young to leave a child home alone. The list of parenting dilemmas keeps growing as our technological universe expands.

I believe we can, we must, create a home base on stable ground from which we can tweak, turn and twist our methods to adapt to children who spend more time on Facebook and YouTube than they do building forts in the basement. Or playing outside with friends they can actually see.

Regardless of your beliefs about discipline, there are 5 fundamental needs of children that must be met to have a stable home.

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Tangled- Parents as Mediators

Mediation is the invaluable skill of positive manipulation.

shutterstock_113919517 Parent InvolvementWelcome back to my 5 part series on Parent Involvement called Tangled! (Part I here). A tricky and often messy subject worthy of controversy. In this series, I’ll try and untangle the common parenting dilemmas related to our roles as disciplinarians, mediators, teachers, coaches and therapists.

Kids in conflict. It starts on the playground and doesn’t end until senior prom. Or does it end? In the grips of social media today, sometimes I wake up in a time warp back in middle school. Middle age drama isn’t so different. (Didn’t we mature?!)

Now more than ever, parents need to be great mediators! Sure, there are times to be dictator (stay tuned for Parents as Disciplinarians) but mediating can be the most effective way to prepare your children for the real world. Let’s take a close-up look.

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Tangled- Parents as Teachers

Teach your kids how to fly before you set them free.

shutterstock_113919517 Parent InvolvementWelcome to my 5 part series on Parent Involvement called Tangled! A tricky and often messy subject worthy of controversy. In this series, I’ll try and untangle the common parenting dilemmas related to our roles as disciplinarians, mediators, teachers, coaches and therapists.

How much you should help your 1st grader on their homework? How should you intervene if you daughter is picked on by other girls? Or should you?

What if your child constantly complains about their teacher? What if your child athlete isn’t maximizing his potential on the playing field?

Should your home be a dictatorship or a democracy?  Do you want your child’s friends to hang out at your house?

You may want to shake or hug me, and that may shift depending on which post in the series you’re reading. With no parenting manual exiting the womb with a crying newborn, we might as well learn from parents whose children are blowing their own bubbles out in the real world.

These parents, like me, now sit back with excitement and trepidation. We watch their bubbles soar up into the blue, praying and hoping not too many pop in their face. We privately yearn for repeated validation that we did our number one job well.

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The Gun Debate- Who is the Boogeyman?

Sometimes the best solution is choosing the lesser of two evils.

shutterstock_104227202 Boy Walking on Cracks

If every teacher had a concealed gun in his/her classroom on December 14, 2012, would fewer children and teachers have died in Sandy Hook Elementary School?

Probably.

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Interpersonal Warfare- 5 Cease Fire Tactics You May Not Have Tried

Next time you're batting heads with someone, give these strategies a try.

My friend called me upset and angry. She had a blow out fight with her boyfriend and couldn’t get past the frustration that he wouldn’t comply with a simple request she made of him. The request wasn’t significant but his refusal was monumental.

My friend attached deep meaning to his turndown causing her heart to feel weighted. Not expecting his reaction turned her hurt into fury. Nothing will launch anger faster than being thrown for a loop.

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The 5 Things Those in the Driver’s Seat Want You To Know

Being in control ALL the time can be exhausting.

Who are the strong leaders in your life? Those you can count on to be decisive. That uncanny ability to cut through a mess to bring the light shining in. We all know someone we love to hate because they always seem to have their s@#t together. But deep down we don’t hate them. We appreciate having them in our lives. They are our solid wall, firmly grounded, and we know we can throw any ball at the wall and it will bounce back to us in a way we can catch it.

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Trick and Treat

Halloween can be a treat for parents who know how to use candy to their advantage.

If you’ve witnessed Halloween with princesses and goblins of your own, you know how much candy a pillow case can hold. Always reminded me of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. That image of the Grinch hauling off a humongous bag of toys on a tiny sled. Don’t underestimate the strength of a fairy princess!

Who wants to admit they’ve raided their kid’s Halloween stash late at night searching for the “good stuff?”  I preferred to plot my thievery. I participated in the best part of Halloween night with my kids. The sorting of the candy all over the living room floor. They never suspected their sorting partner was going to steal from them when their head hit the pillow. Oh well, they didn’t need to eat that anyway, right?!

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