How my dog Buddy saved a young girl

Okay, so Buddy didn't REALLY save anyone. But he has proven to be a girl's best friend; here's how. A seven year old girl I’ll call Rachel came begrudgingly into my office for a visit, and she was so miffed at being there she wouldn’t shake my hand or tell me her name. She stomped into my room, sat on the loveseat, crossed her arms, and stuck out her chin as if to say, “Just try to make me … [Read more...]

The lesson of the butterfly: Let kids struggle and develop resilience!

There is great value in allowing children to struggle, but it requires mom and dad parenting with the long term in mind. It’s often quicker and easier in the moment to do things for kids, rescue them, and solve their problems. In the long run, you’ve made them dependent and lacking crucial coping skills like self-reliance and resilience, both necessary for a successful life. A grandfather … [Read more...]

Simon Sinek’s millennial paradox: He’s making matters worse!

Simon Sinek’s solution to the problem’s facing millennials in the workplace (Sinek video)is a repeat of what got them there in the first place. While I concur with Sinek about the challenges employers face in dealing with this young workforce, his placing the onus of responsibility on companies is misplaced and apt to make matters worse. Top 500 business owners and CEO’s I have spoken with all … [Read more...]

Stressed girls? Down time and play bring girls back down to earth

I spent last weekend with a group of high school girls and 10 of our staff, and was reminded again of the power of down time. Girls and their families are busy and stressed these days with mounds of homework, supervised activities, and of course screens, leaving little time to relax and just be. Getting away for a weekend retreat and unplugging from technology provided us the opportunity to do it … [Read more...]

Put your smartphone away! Lonely kids crave real conversation

Despite our continual digital connections to everyone and everything, people today feel more lonely and less supported than 30 years ago. I was reminded of this fact recently as I observed a family at a restaurant. Mom, dad, and three brothers ages approximately 10, 7, and 4 were all bent over their devices, tapping away. The parents were on their smartphones, while the boys played video games on … [Read more...]

Cannabis conundrum: Are we ruining a generation of teenagers?

The ‘60’s and 70’s were the hay day for drug and alcohol usage by teenagers. Today, cigarette and alcohol use by teenagers are at their lowest levels since 1975. Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States by teens as well as adults. A survey of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use among teens found that past-month marijuana use for 10th and 12th graders has stayed relatively … [Read more...]

Flabby girls: boost these 5 critical social-emotional muscles

Yes, a lot of you girls are too flabby, but I’m not talking about your bodies. I’m referring to vital social, emotional, and psychological muscles that girls need to build up in order to live happy, fulfilled lives. You will have to throw off the shackles of good girl conditioning and push through cultural constrains. Just like in preparing for a marathon, it will require discipline and courage. … [Read more...]

Best parenting tips for 2017: Just don’t suck at it!

Kids are under a lot of pressure to be perfect these days, and the same unrealistic standard applies for parents. Advice comes in many forms and from all sides: grandparents, teachers, friends, coaches, blogs, articles, podcasts, and the Internet. Moms and dads often feel overwhelmed, and at the end of most days, like failures. My best parenting tip for 2017: “Just don’t suck at it!” The … [Read more...]

Girls who march to a different drum change the world

Mariah, 16, should have grown up in the ‘60’s. Have you ever met a kid who just reeked of that by-gone era: free spirits who want to try everything no matter how restrictive their parents become and who march to a different drum? I often describe these rebels as wild horses cooped up in a corral, kicking at the slats of the fence as they try to escape their enclosure. When allowed to exert their … [Read more...]

Best antidote for the holiday blues? An attitude of gratitude

There is no better antidote for the holiday blues than gratitude. Thankfulness raises your spirits because you cannot be in a state of anxiety, worry, or anger at the same time you are experiencing gratitude; it’s just not possible. A study of couples found that people who expressed gratitude for their partner felt more positive about them and felt safer expressing concerns about their … [Read more...]