Inspiration on parenting



We’re trying to train a dog at our house. Holy cow, what a humble learning curve we’re on!

Some years ago I read a book for a class (I believe it was a behavioral psychology class) called Don’t Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor.

Then somewhere in our last move, I strangely lost it…or you can bet I’d be quoting it to you tonight!

It was a great book and gave such insights into parenting! I throw that out to you if you’d like a little inspiration. I remember her saying that before you become a parent you ought to learn how to train a chicken! Train a chicken? Pretty sure I didn’t know that was possible. {And now that we own chickens, I’m even more astounded at the thought!}

So here we are with family dog #5, and we’re finally getting semi-serious about learning how to do some training. Well besides the potty training we have done several times now…

One video we watched this week pointed out the when you call a dog to come to you, you only call once. And you only call when you know they can hear you and are able to obey. {Think of that toddler at your house!}

It said that you want them to learn to come to you for some positive feedback, not to be scolded or disciplined. Note, while they are learning to come, it’s important that they feel that there will be something safe and positive when they do as you ask.

So, what happens when you call a child over and over? {I am guilty of this myself.} Probably a few things:

One, your frustration level goes up. Two, they learn to tune you out.

Food for thought?

I remember when my kids were little having someone point out this scripture to me:

Abraham 4:18 And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.”

After that bit of enlightenment, I hope my parental behavior changed to include more watchfulness! Just our patient presence often times is enough for kids to quickly do what they have been asked to do. They may watch you to make sure that you meant what you said!

My hat is off to you young parents who are working so hard and giving so much, all on little sleep! May heaven bless you and give you the strength and compassion you need {for yourself and your children and your spouse} to keep learning and teaching as you go.

Be well.



P.S. If you notice that you are generally asking for compliance many more times than once, that may be a clue that you are trying to do too much and there isn’t enough of you to go around! I’d challenge you to slow down, lower your expectations and lighten up on yourself and others.

P.P.S. “I am a good mother.”
“I am learning every day.”
“I love my children and have a clear focus on their well-being.”
“I am caring for myself so that I can be a pleasant and positive mother.”

Around The Corner


For those of you who are experiencing winter right now, and if you are challenged by the cold as

I am, hang on, spring is right around the corner!

But before it gets here, and the out-of-doors is calling your name, what indoor projects could use your attention?

Are there scrapbooks or pictures to work on or a closet or two that could use cleaning? Is there a quiet basket of yarn that you’d like to turn into a fun afghan for your grandchild or some other creative sit-down project you’d like to make?

Of course there is your over-all vision for the year that may need tweaking or goals that you may still need to break down and record on the months and weeks in your planner.

Maybe now is the time to sort through a filing cabinet or dust the book shelves or finish the books you’re reading or get a bag or two of clothes ready to be donated to a thrift shop.

Whatever needs doing inside will surely be much easier to tackle now while nature is still sleepy. Because as soon as she really wakes up, and starts shooting green little bits of life from the soil in the flower beds, the closets may have to wait until fall to get my full attention again!

Best wishes to you in embracing what is now.

Be well.



What Is


I keep hearing, do more, be more, produce  more, take on more, schedule in more, etc….

And I’m thinking, hmmm, I think that equation is backward.

Little IS big. The little note in the lunchbox or the ten minutes to snuggle or the seemingly small promises kept, the hug and listening after school…those little things are huge!

Less IS more. The less stuff you have the easier it is to keep the house clean, the less distracted you are and the more time you have for people.

Of course it’s practicing balance right? Less junk food and more real food. Less TV and more reading. More of any of the good stuff and less of the non-growth stuff.

If you’re feeling stretched too thin, I hope you’ll take a moment and see what excess activity or expectations you may have that could be pared down or weeded out so that you can have greater peace in your day-to-day life.

Sometimes we’re trading the important moments of peace and calm that we need at intervals for nothing of value.

Keep on a goin’ you’re doing so well! Just don’t you quit!



“I recognize counter-productive excesses in my life and quickly make healthy changes.”

“I dedicate most of my time to the people and things that matter most.”

“I am learning to have greater patience with myself.”

“I love my life.”

You’re Beautiful!


At the close of this day, may I offer these few words:

Life is wonderful.
Love is amazing.
Nature is stunning.
Music is inspiring.
Poetry is transcending.
Growth is encouraging.
And our pain is instructive.
And you, you are beautiful and making the world and all it’s possibilities come alive for your loved ones.
Now, take care of that beauty! Maintain your sense of awe at all creation! Cultivate your sense of humor, relax into the love in your life and continue to turn your face upward in gratitude and outward to those around you!

All is well.
Tomorrow will have it’s own cares.
For now, your efforts for today are enough. You are enough.

Rest my friend.



Behavior IS Communication


One thing that is sometimes difficult for me to wrap my head around, is the observation that our children’s behavior is a form of communication.

Particularly true of small children who are doing their best to communicate their needs to us, while not always having the words they need and or a regular dose of our full attention.

So, just a word to the wise, as I have learned the hard way many times, if a child is acting outoften it is a plea for your attention and your help.

You might ask yourself, “Am I preoccupied most of the time, or even a good portion of the day? Or am I pretty present in the time that I spend with my children throughout the day?”

You might look for signs of your own preoccupation with projects you’re excited about or work or even something as simple as your phone. Those signs might be that you don’t consistently look into your child’s face when they are speaking to you. You may have to ask them to repeat themselves multiple times before you really hear what they are trying to tell you. You may not realize that your child hasn’t been dressed for the day until after lunchtime or that they haven’t had their hair combed in a week. Or you may find that your frustration level is skyrocketing as you are trying to do several things at once and your kids seem to be blocking your progress.

My friend, as C.S. Lewis beautifully said, “Children are not distractions from more important work. They are the most important work.”

As we grow-up more ourselves, we realize that:

1 Babies and children are not trying to sabotage our efforts, they are simply trying to get their needs met.
2 When kids receive our freely given, undivided attention on a regular basis, the more they trust that their needs will be met, and oftentimes, as a result, their behavior magically calms down. They may be striving with all they’ve got to get you to notice them! And giving them regular attention is much more rewarding for both of you than cleaning up crazy messes made from radical behavior! The deal is, one way or another they will turn your head, now or in the future.
3 Children feel loved by being cared for, such as being clean, brushed, groomed and clothed. It doesn’t take much time, but it makes a big difference!
4 As a caregiver, having your needs met is equally important! But you are the one in charge of that care too. It’s part of growing up to learn to care for yourself.

I hope that these thoughts offer a little insight to those of you who are in the trench right now! Keep moving forward and take life a day at a time…and slow it down to an hour at a time when you are sleep deprived!

Much love,


P.S. If you are an intense person like I am, know that your intensity can totally overwhelm a small person who doesn’t go at your speed! They are going to be listening for your vibe maybe more than your words (as a friend kindly pointed out to me!) so practice calming yourself down instead of getting more intense when you seem to be at odds with your child. That little piece of advice is golden if you’ll give it a try.