Category Archives: Mutual Respect

Bullying and Our Culture

Adults sometimes use power to change someone’s behavior by humiliating them or scaring them. There is an implicit assumption that the person is not already doing the best they can at the moment, that somehow they don’t care and that fear and shame will be helpful motivators. This is craziness. We know from brain science that when we are threatened our ability to learn new things shuts down. Athletes and talented technology workers are there because they want to be there. They dream of being on the “A” team, and are working hard to improve performance. Is the bullying really helping?

And, as a culture we buy into this. There is little public outrage at the very public bullying we (and our children) see on television. What are our children learning? Continue reading

Posted in Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Self regulation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Connecting with Tweens and Teens

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

Posted in Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect | 1 Comment

What is your Request?

When I first started teaching parenting classes, I had a couple who came up with the idea of asking their daughters, “What is your request?” They were parents of preschoolers and I’m sure their days were filled with hearing what their children didn’t want to do, or didn’t want to eat. It was such a simple solution and once again, I, as the parent educator, got to learn something from the parents in my class. I brought this new parenting tool home with me and found that it was a wonderful way to communicate with my two children. Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect | 1 Comment

Non-stop Negotiation Getting You Down?

As the parent it doesn’t always feel so great when all of your positions get shaved away by your budding courtroom lawyer. It is exhausting. Setting limits firmly and still honoring the dignity of your child isn’t really hard, but it takes practice. Continue reading

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The Power of Asking (instead of telling)

why don’t kids do what we tell them to do? Radical thought: maybe because we are telling them. When you tell someone what to do they don’t have to think. They can listen or not listen – but then it goes away. Your daughter doesn’t have to think about or notice the mess, or her unfinished homework, or the chore she didn’t do or remember to write a thank you note. You are doing the noticing (and reminding) for her. In fact, when we parents do all the noticing and telling their brains don’t have to engage much at all! What a life! Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Mutual Respect | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments


Contributed by Julietta Skoog I am a talker by nature. I always have been. In high school I was on the debate team, in college I was the one hogging the hallway phone, and later in life I married a … Continue reading

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Dinner, it can still connect a family

Life wasn’t always perfect in my family, but it was those early dinners that anchored me to what is important in life and what is not. It’s why I work so hard to build connection times into my current family’s day, and dinner has become one of those times. It’s not easy to drift from a group when you’re meeting on a regular basis and you have a sense of connection to those present. Continue reading

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