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  • Lead Them to Manage Themselves

    “Educate your children to self-control…and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” (Benjamin Franklin)   There are few things I find more self-sabotaging than parents trying to manage their kids’ behavior. Recently I was in a conversation with other parents of teenage boys, and they were complaining about […]

  • The Mountain of Marriage

    “Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties that do not exist.” (Ed Howe, U.S. journalist) Marriage is difficult. No newsflash there. But very rare is the spouse who accurately points out the exact nature of the difficulty. In public we all usually cite the general challenges of […]

  • TBT: It Takes an Intentional Village

    “There is…nothing to suggest that mothering cannot be shared by several people.” (H. R. Schaffer, O Magazine, May 2003) Jenny here. I saw this quote and I knew that I had to chime in. Back when our kids were young, the only thing that kept me somewhat sane was the network of friends that I […]

  • Teaching w/o Teaching

    “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” (Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum) What are you teaching your kids in those moments when you’re not trying to teach them anything at all? What […]

  • Separately Together

    “Togetherness is a good thing. Separateness is a good thing. We need each in order to have a really great relationship, and they need to be balanced. Even more important is the ability to combine the two at the same time.” (John & Linda Friel, The 7 Best Things Happy Couples Do) As a kid, […]

  • Fear Not Disappointment

    “It’s impossible to protect your kids against disappointment in life.” (Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle) Mr. Sparks is obviously right on this one, but it’s actually worse than that. It’s impossible to stop ourselves from actually introducing disappointment into our kids’ lives. We are fallible creatures, we often let our kids down with our […]

  • Punish and Perish

    “Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other – on the contrary they breed and reinforce each other.” (Haim G. Ginott) One of the biggest mistakes parents (and all leaders) make is our stubborn belief in punishment. “You deserve to be punished” is such a common statement that few of us really recognize […]

  • TBT: Air Parent

    “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” (Michael Jordan) Want to be a great parent? Want to be up to the challenge of raising your kids while keeping your cool? Then expect that you can. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do this. Stop beating yourself up for the times […]

  • Are You a Fountain or a Drain?

    “Be a fountain, not a drain.” (Rex Hudler) If I had to guess, I’d say you know a few people who weigh you down with their neediness and pettiness. These people are overly sensitive and they are very draining to be around. On the other hand, you probably know a few folks who, for some […]

  • Right & Wrong

    “To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong admit it; Whenever you’re right shut up.” (Ogden Nash)   At one point, during a heated argument, Jenny paused mid-sentence, and proclaimed that I had won the argument. “Ok, you’re right. You win.” And then she turned around and left the […]