Category Archives: Connection and love

It’s Not Fair!

I’m guessing that I’m probably not the only parent that has heard the complaint “It’s not fair!” from one of my children and recognized that there was some truth in your child’s words. What do you say to a child who has an internal justice meter tightly woven just beneath the skin? Continue reading

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Beginning Family Meetings – Part 2

You’ve been courageous to start something new. You’ve done a couple weeks of compliments at the dinner table or another time and now you’ll add some structure.

There are two projects for this week:
1) Have a short family meeting (15 minutes) in which everyone gives compliments and together you plan a short family activity.
2) Do the family activity. Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Mutual Respect, Problem Solving, Routines | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Beginning Family Meetings

One of the most treasured books in my library is the collection of notes we took at family meetings. It is an archive of family history. To some it might look like a list of problems: the kids grieving about something that we did as parents, the problem of how chores would get done (over and over again), one kid complaining his or her sibling. But what I see when I look at the book is handwriting that grows up, art that the scribe put on the page while they were patiently waiting for the meeting to proceed and a story of how our family learned to live together using meetings as a regular routine: a small sanctuary in our life to share genuine appreciations, to celebrate, plan, and solve problems respectfully. Continue reading

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Weaving Threads of Resilience

Stories. What do stories have to do with resilience? The stories we know about ourselves and the stories we know about our family make a big difference. Our sense of connection to our inter-generational family helps us moderate the impact of stress.
Weaving your own family narrative, it turns out, may not only increase the resilience and happiness in your own family but may mean that your family may thrive for generations to come.

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Resiliency Lessons from the Minivan

I started to write about helping our kids to develop resiliency last night, thinking that I would have the perfect words to describe to other parents how to go about doing this. Now I am starting over. Because something came clear to me today… It’s not about them. It’s about us. Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Growing Resilience: Mastering Adversity

As weird as it may sound, our children need to experience adversity to grow resilience. The sense of mastery that grows within a child having overcome challenges is one of their biggest sources of resilience.

As parents we interrupt many of the opportunities our children have to develop mastery because we lose the distinction between danger (where it is our job to secure safety) and pain (where there is an opportunity for learning.) The drawers in my family medical office were fun to play with because they felt so good when they moved in and out. My young patients loved that feel so much I made sure that there was one drawer that held things that would not harm a child. Even though I okayed drawer play, parents often reacted quickly when their toddlers started pulling and pushing on the drawers for fear that their child might pinch some fingers. Continue reading

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Preparing Ground for Resiliency

One thing people with resilience have in common is a supportive network. You are your child’s first and most important “network of support.” You establish the ground from which they can learn, take risks, make mistakes and come back to safety. With solid ground beneath them children have more ability to overcome challenges. Continue reading

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