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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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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. Read more

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. Read more

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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Practice Mudita

A buddhist mind-state that is the spiritual medicine for the poisons of jealousy, envy and resentment.

shutterstock_10090336 Namaste Vector

If we could hear your thoughts when your friend tells you she just got a promotion at her new job when you’ve been working a dead end job for years, what would we hear?

What if you’ve been trying to have a baby and you see a pregnant woman at the store? If your roommate gets an A on her exam that she didn’t study for, and you get a C and studied your butt off?

How do you react to the success and joy of others? How does that joy impact your own life? Ponder these questions and you’ll begin to understand the meaning of mudita. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

The 6 Needs That Drive All Human Behavior

Understanding your personal hierarchy of needs is key to sustaining happiness or creating change.

I’ve spent most of my life interested in what drives human behavior. Always believing there has to be a formula to motivate people. The belief that if you have the will, you can find the way.

Walk into any bookstore and the secrets to happiness are in abundance. So why isn’t everybody happy? There is someone in the world who has been successful at whatever you’re failing at right now. Find that book, read it, and follow the instructions. Why isn’t it that simple?

Because happiness, personal drive, desire, perseverance, and success are personal. Very personal. We attach pain and pleasure to different things leading us to happiness or despair. These attachments are based on a hierarchy of 6 universal needs. How you meet these needs determines your level of satisfaction and fulfillment. I first studied these driving forces decades ago in the book, Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins.

While these 6 needs are universal, the key is to determine the hierarchy for you. As you rank them, keep in mind what brings you immediate joy may not be behaviors that ultimately make you feel good, are actually good for you, are good for those around you, and serve the greater good.

True life mastery is achieved when your experiences align with these six priority needs. Read more

Anchors Away: A Key To Ending Conflict & Triggering Peak Performance

Mastering the skill of anchoring and change virtually any area of your life.

Remember your first love? The phone ringing was enough to send chills down your spine. A positive anchor so strong that your beloved could display a dozen bad habits and you wouldn’t even bat an eye.

Why do some relationships that start out so good turn south and never come up to see the bright sky again? Why do our kids roll their eyes and do just the opposite of what we ask when we’re only trying to protect them? Read more

Words We Should(n’t) Live By

Proceed with caution when using common clichés.

Protect yourself from potentially harmful clichés.

Clichés are so popular in America that there’s hardly a day you don’t say or hear one. I read hundreds of clichés in preparing this post and their value is apparent.

Used to validate, encourage, dismiss, or explain behavior, clichés are catchy language crutches that justify intention.

We need them. Their overuse is useful. Everyone knows what we mean without explanation. Listeners accept our word jingle as a condensed proclamation of our current state of affairs.

But watch out. Some clichés can be dicey.  Read more