Worst parents ever! The 7 habits of highly unsuccessful parents

One thing I find that all parents have in common is the fear that they are THE worst parents on the block. They worry they are becoming the worst version of their own parents. Perhaps worst of all is their anxiety that everyone is watching and judging them, and everyone agrees that you are doing a crappy job. So I thought I’d lay out 7 of the worst habits of highly unsuccessful parents I have met … [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...]

A Sure-Fire Marriage Killer

My wife and I spent a relaxing week on the beaches of Kauai recently celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary, and as always it was renewing and absolutely vital to keeping our marriage passionate and fresh. We had bought a time-share there on our 10th wedding anniversary at a time in our lives when it was a big stretch monetarily and because we had 3 young children. We did it as a way to make … [Read more...]

Toys and Gender

I recently read with interest a few articles about parents and toy companies pushing gender-neutral toys on us again. There is a Barbie construction set and pastel colored Lego sets to name a few. And it makes me wonder why we are still spending so much energy about this issue. Little boys and girls  are wired differently right from the get-go; even in-utero. Action, rough play, and aggression … [Read more...]

Why Kids Love Boxes More Than Presents

It's an old adage that little kids often end up playing more with the present boxes and wrapping paper than the presents themselves. And I think that is true for some very important reasons. First of all, never forget that all children are wired to learn, wired to be curious, and that learning anything in and of itself is a rewarding experience. Kids love to learn! And if they are engaged in play … [Read more...]

Kids Process Newtown Tragedy

I sat this week in a classroom of 5th grade students, a class I have worked with  with my wife many times since they started the 4th grade last school year. We have been helping them learn how to create a caring classroom community, and they are awesome! Monday, they had the Sandy Hook School shooting on their minds, so we opened up the floor for anyone to share how they were feeling about the … [Read more...]

Lessons from Sandy Hook Elementary School

My first thoughts about what happened yesterday are really not thoughts at all; they are just feelings. Sad; angry; powerless stand out. I work in so many schools and I can't imagine if it had happened to some of the kids I know, many of whom are my campers. A few thoughts that may be a bit different from what you are hearing on the news: First, please don't let the message to kids be that the … [Read more...]

Stop Babying Your Children!!!

As I walked through the streets of Cusco, Peru last week, I noticed so many young children standing on the curbs of some really busy streets. There were some tiny little, probably 2 year olds out there at night while their moms swept out their shops. I kept wanting to grab them out of harms way, but after a while I realized they weren't in harms way at all because they had already learned enough … [Read more...]

Where Did You Go To High School? HUMBUG!!!

It is an annual St. Louis tradition to ask people where they went to high school, because we all have HUGE judgments about each school and what it means about the people who went there. As if that is not bad enough, we are still putting our kids through the wringer this time every fall with the whole application process of trying to get our beloveds into the exact right school. I think it is, … [Read more...]