because parenting is about breaking AND building

the usual level of chaos in my boys’ room …The banner image above came from this lovely shot of my boys’ room the other day, as they were documenting the destruction of a large block tower.  Destroying it by shooting it down with a bow and arrow, or course.  They build, they destroy.  They build, they destroy.  It’s a pretty endless cycle, and one that drives my let’s-do-something-and- finish-it mentality right up the wall.  I don’t like mess and clutter, I never have.  Well, not since I had my own place anyway, don’t ask my mom about the state of my room when I was in my teens as you might get a different story!  It never looked like this though, I can guarantee that. 
Read More

Q of the Week : Any Interesting Encounters with Strangers Lately?

In the comments to my Friday Roundup (in which I refer to the subject of failing to feel lovely, among other tidbits and links) my friend Karin commented that she finds it a good antidote, when feeling unlovely, to do something nice for someone else “… even if it’s just flashing a brilliant smile and a sincere thank you to the coffee guy who looks more miserable than you - their startled and pleased smile could be just the thing you need!”  It stuck with me, and when casting about for a Question today (the 186th one so yes it gets hard some days!) I remembered a not-so-nice encounter on the subway last week, and here we are. 

So what interesting or meaningful or simply memorable encounters have you had with strangers lately?  Glances, conversation, helpfulness, kindness, nastiness … what’s your story?  I’ve had a few that stick out, and I’ll get the nasty one out of the way first. 

Read More

The Web of Empathy

These 4 lovelies are all ok, so thankful. Hearing about the tsunami and quake in Japan was a shocking surprise yesterday morning.  I learned of it from a Japanese friend’s FB status, moments before bolting out the door to an appointment. I immediately felt relief that she was ok, clicked through to a hard-to-take-in news story about it, and felt a deeper twinge of sorrow as I discovered that one of the hardest hit cities, Sendai, was one that I’d been to years ago.
Read More

The Ups and Downs of Facebook for One Mom (by Jenny H.)

Ah, Facebook. Everyone uses it. And everyone uses it differently.

Here’s how I use it: to promote my gift blog, Find A Toad. I have a modest (but growing) number of fans, and I get decent feedback, way more than I received just by my mere existence on the blogosphere. I often use it as what I term “shameless self promotion” for my other writing projects. I also use it to keep in touch with all sorts of friends and acquaintances from past and present.

Read More

Q of the Week : What kind of planner do you use?

I know it’s Thursday, and the newsletter won’t go out till Monday now, but it’s a good excuse to talk about planners, no?  I might need a little help …

I just switched from a DayTimer to a Moleskine planner this year, and I couldn’t be happier.  Once I was out of the office and not doing as many appointments/coaching sessions, my days became less structured and the DayTimer just wasn’t cutting it.

Read More

Socializing and Homeschooling

It’s pretty funny to me that one of the most common arguments against homeschooling is the lack of socialization.  My kids get together with other groups of kids pretty regularly, make new friends at the park often, and talk to more adults than average because I make them ask their own questions when we’re out and about on our daily walks.  I had the same fears before considering homeschooling, and I get where the questioning comes from, but I really don’t think it’s an issue unless your kids never ever leave the house. 
Read More

Would You Like Some ... Ways to get your kids to listen? (by Darah)

Tired listeners …In today’s world where reality and cyber-reality intersect and co-exist, parents need to be creative and stay one step ahead when it comes to maintaining communication with their children.  For example, many kids nowadays prefer electronic forms of communication—texting, instant messaging and tweeting—as a means of “developing and sustaining” relationships in lieu of old fashioned face-to-face conversations and eye contact. We parents cannot change the ways in which our children prefer to receive, process and deliver information. If we want to keep the lines open, we’ve got to speak their language.

Depending on the child’ age and maturity level, here are a few creative techniques parents can use to “be heard.” 

Read More