Category Archives: Connection and love
There is a Native American parable about an elder talking to his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is full of hatred, envy, jealousy, greed, criticism and arrogance. The other is full of peace, love, hope, gratitude, humility, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about this for a while and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” To which Grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”
In this, the season when our North American communities tend to rev themselves up into a flurry of holiday preparations how can we keep our compass and grow our ability to be compassionate, loving? How can we create what we long for: a family that is connected, generous and loving?
Misbehavior isn’t random. You already know that. Kids often misbehave at very inconvenient times! It happens particularly when we, the parent figures, are in a hurry. It is a consistent (and predictable) pattern. Are they out to “get” you? Well, yes and no. They are not out to “get” you in the sense that you will be bothered, annoyed, trapped or otherwise challenged. They are out to “get” you in the sense that they are seeking a connection with you. Continue reading
“What is at the center?” has been a question that has popped up a lot in my life recently. For me it is another way of asking, “For the sake of what am I doing this?” As I think forward to Thanksgiving and the many December holidays I’m asking myself what I really want. For me there are many layers of answers. I enjoy the company of my family and friends. I enjoy the rituals and traditions that in someway have made me who I am, that have given a structure to times that can be stressful, and when shared, connect our family with shared practices and a shared language. Continue reading
We are about to enter what might be considered “the season of stuff (and stuffing)” and I’m not referring to the food you put inside your Thanksgiving turkey. How does this happen? Well, it does feel good to give to others and it is wonderful to connect with friends and family around a full table of food. But there are other forces at work here. My sense is that in this part of the year when the days are shorter (in the northern hemisphere) we tend to lose our collective compass about what is really important in our lives. We take our cue from others and wonder if we are doing or buying or having enough. The media makes a push for spending money on things and fancy food.
What would happen if we paused and asked ourselves what really matters in the long run? Continue reading
It turns out that how you interpret the mistakes you make is a very big deal. When we make a mistake and see it as that, just a mistake, we may feel guilt – but mostly we can talk about it and fix that mistake. On the other hand, if we have an inner voice that implies that we are the mistake, that somehow we are defective or bad (I’m so stupid, I’m a bad kid/parent, I can never get it right, etc.) we feel a sense of shame: that almost unspeakable icky sticky feeling. Continue reading
Back a long time ago when you decided to have kids you probably imagined talking to them, playing with them, taking care of them when they were sick. You probably imagined that when you talked to them that they would respond. You’d be interested in them – and they’d be interested in you.
Funny how it doesn’t always work that way. Your teen might want you now (especially when you are busy) and then, when you do want to spend time with her, she is busy texting or is just plain non-communicative. Continue reading
Transitions are hard for kids. They are hard for adults.
Maybe you have enjoyed the summer playing and having a more flexible schedule. Maybe you have struggled with a huge number of different schedules as you’ve managed different childcare situations over the summer. Either way when school starts, both you and your children will be making a shift to the rhythm dictated by school schedules. Continue reading
The events of the last week in Seattle have been tragic and heart-breaking. There are too many innocent victims of violence that carries no easy explanation. As parents it reminds us of something we prefer not to notice most of the time: we cannot guarantee the safety of the people we love most. We can do our best. We can worry, we can be anxious, we can teach our children life skills that will be helpful – and things happen. People get sick, crazy things happen and we are reminded of how love holds us together even in the face of great loss. Continue reading
As a mother you may still do a big share of the household organization, shopping, cooking and generally making sure that the “operation works.” It is behind the scenes work that can be exhausting. It is often invisible, under appreciated and yet critically important. Of course you stay up at night with a child who has a fever or can’t breathe. Of course you worry when your teen stops talking, comes in later than she promised, or brings homes friends that don’t seem to treat her respectfully. And it makes a difference. Continue reading
Parents often ask, “How to I get my kids to share?” I think underneath they are asking even bigger and more important questions: “How do I teach my children to see the world beyond their skin?” “How do I teach empathy?” “How do I teach them to see the world through another person’s eyes so that they can be curious, compassionate and contribute to making the world a better place?” These are questions all of us ask – sometimes about our children, about our colleagues and yes – even about ourselves. Continue reading