No More "Magic Words"

ThanksgivingAs a culture, we are obsessed with manners. In our product-oriented society where parents and care providers feel judged by the actions of children, we feel that we are doing a good job when our children are polite.

Why do we care so much? Why is it necessary for our children to use manners in the first place? Why do we care if our children say “please” and “thank you?” (more…)

Let's Expect Different

IMG_5299Yesterday, I was taking my son to preschool when a store employee gifted him a small stuffed-dog keychain.  He was beyond thrilled.  He spent the rest of the walk to preschool rolling it over and over in his hand, examining the twist tie holding it to an index card, and noting the tag sewn into the dog’s foot. He talked to me non-stop about his plans for the dog, how his (more…)

Interview with Kelly Bartlett, Author of “Encouraging Words for Kids” (Plus, WIN A COPY!)


Kelly Bartlett is one of my e-friends; though have never met in person, the interactions we have had over email and digital media makes me feel like I could sit down for coffee with her tomorrow and we would chat like old friends.  Kelly’s blog, Parenting From Scratch [], and her book, Encouraging Words for Kids [], have both been enormously helpful to me in my journey as a parent and educator. 

 Many of us have heard of the notion that praising kids might not nurture the traits we hope for in our children, but the practice of shifting our vocabulary can be overwhelming!  Encouraging Words for Kids is like the how-to manual for those of us trying to raise kids without saying “Good job!”  (more…)

What To Do When Children Bite (Part 2)

IMG_3037Wait? There was a part 1?  Yes – on September 5, 2012.  I occasionally forget to finish my blog-thoughts.  Thanks to a reader for pushing me onward to part 2!

As our children grow, we hope to nurture them into assertive adults.  Children who act aggressively need support to temper that aggression.  Children who are victims need support to verbalize their needs and stand up for their rights for physical and emotional safety.

Here are some lessons I have learned from my mentors and wise educators about how to help: (more…)