Wednesday, December 16, 2015


During this time of college early decision notifications I share with you this insightful article!
"I'm going to say something a bit unheard of in modern times. My thoughts are anathema for most parents. But I'm done pretending.
Here goes ...
I don't care where my children go to college. I'm not saying I don't care in the but-deep-down-I'm-hoping-they-get-a-full-ride-to-Harvard way. And I'm not saying that I don't care because my kids are complete failures destined for a life of living in my basement watching Family Guy re-runs. Nope, it isn't any of that."  Catherine Pearlman       

Read on   Click Here

Thursday, December 3, 2015


As we enter the holiday season, stress can get the best of all of us - I am sharing a link (below) to an article on mindfulness and a great website,  for 2, 5, and 10 minute meditations. It is powerful. I challenge you to try it for yourself and suggest your kids try it at the end of the night as a way to de-stress and unwind for bed! 

For the link, click here

Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why It's Good For Your Mental And Physical Health

Here are 10    
 (to read the full article click here )

·       It lowers stress -- literally.
·       It can make your grades better
·       It changes the brain in a protective way.
·       It works as the brain's "volume knob."
·       It makes music sound better
·       It has four elements that help us in different ways.
·       It could help the elderly feel less lonely.
·       It comes in handy during cold season.
·       It also lowers depression risk among teens.
·       It supports your weight-loss goals.
·       It helps you sleep better.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015



My podcast Master Your Feelings Master Your Life is nearing 50,000 downloads! One of the most recent popular episodes is
"Taming Anxiety" (#23). 

 I discuss defining anxiety and the path to work through it. It's only 4 minutes long...give it a listen. I'd love to hear your feed back.

Click Here to Listen

Thursday, November 12, 2015


"What where you thinking!?"
Continuing the dialog on the teen brain

"When adolescence hit Frances Jensen's sons, she often found herself wondering, like all parents of teenagers, "What were you thinking?"

"It's a resounding mantra of parents and teachers," says Jensen, who's a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital in Boston.

Like when son number one, Andrew, turned 16, dyed his hair black with red stripes and went off to school wearing studded leather and platform shoes. And his grades went south.
"I watched my child morph into another being, and yet I knew deep down inside it was the same Andrew," Jensen says. Suddenly her own children seemed like an alien species."

 For the full article    Click here

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Understanding the teen aged brain is crucial - it' s not an excuse for behavior, but if we can begin to understand the process we will be much more effective life teachers!

"As teens grow and develop, it can be tempting to assume that they can think and behave just like adults. A little bit of time with a teen, however, can starkly demonstrate just how differently they think and act, and it is all due to brain development.

The Teenaged Brain
A brain is like a complicated entertainment system that includes the cable box, television, blu-ray player, and surround sound that are all connected through wires. For adults, the parts of the brain work together using a similar system of wires called synapses.
The teenaged brain, however, has all of the parts, just not all of the wires are hooked up. There may be too many input and output jacks in some places and not enough in others. Plus, teens have the distinct disadvantage of experiencing brain development from the back of the brain to the front.
The very back of the brain that is connected to the spine controls our involuntary functions. Moving up from there, we encounter the hormonal and emotional centers of the brain. Last to develop is the frontal lobe, which controls rational thought, judgment, and self-control.
Teen develop mirrors the development of a baby during his or her first year, soaking up everything the world has to offer. Like young children, teens need guidance, understanding, and patience from adults so that they can learn how to safely navigate the world.

Read the full article - click here

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


This is a departure from my regular style of posts. Last year I shared an article on "Accidental Teaching" that discussed how powerful it is to teach by example.

This week I saw a post about Kate Winslett rejecting photo-shopping and a video about standing up for what is right. We all need to be the change we want to see and every choice we make matters. All three links are below

Kate Winslet    Click Here

                Joy Angela DeGruy video  Click Here

Accidental Teaching
 Click Here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Parenting Teens: 10 Tips That Will Save Your Sanity via

 Rating eye rolls!  I love this!!
 Read all 10 here

Click here

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


It's that time of year (Parent teacher conferences), from NPR "How to make the most of 10 minutes with the teacher.

"So you finally get the chance to meet one-on-one with your child's teacher — now what?
Like a good Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference."
For the full article
Click Here

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


 Cell phones are becoming 'a given', but 'when' and 'how' are still a parent's decision.

"The question is not if, BUT WHEN your child is going to be ready for her very own phone? It’s inevitable. As we’ve talked about before, smart parents can no longer afford to keep their heads in the sand when it comes to technology and their children.
I have a 13 year old and she has not had a phone…until now." 

To read the rest of Michelle Myers article, click here

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Teaching financial literacy is the beginning of financial responsibility. Finding age appropriate ways to talk about money with our kids is important.  This is a helpful place to begin!

"Families can use Money as You Grow to start a dialogue about money and teach kids important lessons about saving, making choices, and avoiding debt. Put up a Money as You Grow poster on your refrigerator, try the activities in your everyday life, and check to see if your children know the milestones for their age groups."
Click Here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


 As we move back into the school environment, here is a good definition of the distinctions as well as an explanation of
  • Physical aggression
  • Verbal aggression
  • Relational aggression
  • Cyber-bullying

Read the article here  Click

Thursday, September 3, 2015


When we 'clean up' our language with our kids, the communication grows exponentially!

1. No (running, hitting, yelling, fill in the verb)!

2. Good job!
3. Don’t argue with me.
4. Wait until your Dad/Mom/other person finds out about this.
5. If you do that one more time…
6. You are doing that the wrong way.
7.That is what happens when you…
8. You can’t/Don’t do that.. 

9. We are (whatever the child doesn’t want to do at that moment)

10. OKAY?You are making me really mad right now. 

Find out why    Click Here


Couldn't resist a touch of humor as we travel through the college launch!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


New social apps.... Do you know them all?










                                                                                                              Here is the scoop   Click Here

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


We started out the summer with an idea for a contract - here is a version for the school year. It is so important to discuss and agree on expectations ahead of time!

Click Here

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Special Offer! “What I wish I knew before my kid turned 13! - A compass for navigating the teen years” is my next webinar.  The first 5 people to sign up will get the special price of $125. 

“What I wish I knew before my kid turned 13!”
A compass for navigating the teen years

This program is for anyone who is engaged in the process of raising, nurturing and educating teens by offering hands on, easy to understand; practical strategies to help parents and mentors navigate their relationships with teenagers. We will discuss Communication, Conflict, Trust, Discipline, Emotional Literacy, Self Esteem and more.

Focus will be on creating usable tools for building successful, strong and positive relationships. Together we will clarify goals, hone skills, and create a road map for success, in such a way that the adults survive and the kids thrive!

4 week program, each week includes live Q&A sessions, PDF’s, Reference materials and access to Facebook membership group

Module One:                Got Conflict?
Understanding the Teen aged brain
How to handle backtalk & defiance

Module Two:                Say What?
How to speak "teenager"
Speaking so your teen can listen

Module Three:              Why is it so hard?
Drugs, sex (and other difficult topics)
Trust &Discipline

Module Four:                           Making it work!
Building Self-esteem
Creating a Tool Belt for your teen

For more information or to register, click here

Thursday, August 6, 2015



I wrote this for ooph a little over a year ago.  Now having two girls and with Ellie getting older this list is becoming more important in our house.  I have added one more to this list. I never really put much thought into number six until someone said it to my son.  

Read the full article here       Click Here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Not Listening

Criticizing Excessively

Grilling Them With Questions 

Michelle Lehnardt gives us 13 suggestions for keeping relationships on track with our teens.  She shares
"The best reason to cultivate happy relationships? Teenagers are so much fun. They fill the house with music and laughter, interesting conversations, pranks, and spontaneous activities. And if you're lucky, they'll invite over more teenagers to share stories and food and dreams and more laughter. I have no fear for the future. The teenagers I know are bright and spunky, full of ideas and unexpected kindnesses. I'm just glad they'll talk to me; I'm always happy to listen"

To read her article in full

Click Here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


While it is certainly a time for mixed emotions for our kids and ourselves, it is important to encourage kids to make the most of this experience.

"It’s that time of year – college students are making their way back to campus. Soon picturesque quads across the nation will be filled with backpack-toting collegians walking under perfectly azure skies crunching fallen leaves underfoot"  By Jeff Beals

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Fun interview with Doug Foresta on how to create change.  We discuss the connection between feelings and emotions and how to get past feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Learn practical tips to help you overcome stress, and gain focus and clarity in any situation.

To listen to the interview: Click Here

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


 I am going to offer “What I Wish I Knew Before My Kid Turned 13!”a 4 week teleconference/webinar for parents of teens and tweens~ Would it be better to offer it in August or September?

I appreciate the help!

click here to email me

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I want share a wonderful resource website

While the primary focus is learning and attention issues, there are great strategies for social skills as well.

Their mission is to " help the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues. We want to empower them to understand their children’s issues and relate to their experiences. With this knowledge, parents can make effective choices that propel their children from simply coping to truly thriving". 

Head to the website and browse around.  You can create a profile for your child(ren) and check out the huge span of resources.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


The words we use to communicate an idea or share a suggestion are crucial.  Rachel Stafford offers some great examples.

The thought of my child growing up with a parent whose love was based on what she did rather than who she was caused an immediate change in me. I stopped being her rigid taskmaster, and, instead, became her loving encourager... Rachel Stafford

For the full article
Click Here

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Summer vacation is upon us!  Having a 'contract' with your Teens and Tweens is a great idea so that expectations are clear. 

"Summer will be here before you know it and the one thing we have learned over the years is that a summer contract is a game changer. Kids need to know what is expected of them. Rules need to be signed off on so that you don’t have to argue all summer. Put this summer contract in place and if arguments arise refer to it. Make sure you offer tons of positive reinforcement when they are getting it right!!"

For an example
Click Here

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Announcing the launch of my new website! While my posts here have been focused on teens and tweens, truly the skills are applicable to all ages.

Navigating relationships:  the skills of emotional fluency, conflict negotiation and the art of compromise make the process easier.  These concepts help us understand what we feel so that we can set goals and find strategies to get where we want to be. The Tool Box encourages movement from thought to action and makes our purpose attainable.

 Check out the site

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Chores are an important part of creating self resiliency which leads to self confidence and that builds self esteem! Even though they may complain, kids like being helpful, productive and connected.

Today’s demands for measurable childhood success—from the Common Core to college placement—have chased household chores from the to-do lists of many young people. In a survey of 1,001 U.S. adults released last fall by Braun Research, 82% reported having regular chores growing up, but only 28% said that they require their own children to do them. With students under pressure to learn Mandarin, run the chess club or get a varsity letter, chores have fallen victim to the imperatives of resume-building—though it is hardly clear that such activities are a better use of their time.
For the full article
Click Here

Thursday, May 14, 2015


This is an important day to day concept for our kids as well.  Reliance builds self confidence and this creates self esteem.

“Resilience depends on supportive, responsive relationships and mastering a set of capabilities that can help us respond and adapt to adversity in healthy ways,” says Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard. “It’s those capacities and relationships that can turn toxic stress into tolerable stress.”

 For full read  Click Here

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Chris Hudson continues the discussion with this insightful article

 How should you respond if your teenager’s behvaiour means you are unable to trust them anymore? This is a problem faced by most parents of teenagers at some point during their child’s  adolescence....
Ironically a common cause of parents acting in ways that could undermine their teenager’s trust is parents feeling they cannot trust their teen. When a parent suspects their teen is lying, or sneaking around, their response is to start sneaking and spying on their teenager. Mistrust breeds mistrust.

For the full article    Click Here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The issue of trust comes up often in my work with kids and parents.
Trust is a two way street -

Chris Hudson explains

"There are a variety of ways parents can lose their teenager’s trust. Some are obvious, others less so.  Many times parent’s act with best of intentions and good motives, yet risk doing significant harm to the relationship with their teen. Other times trust is lost when parent’s just fail to think or make mistakes (as we all do from time to time). The point of the list is to bring actions that damage trust to the front of mind so next time you are tempted you will have cause to weigh up what you might be risking."

For the complete article Click Here

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Often I have parents who are frustrated that they can't seem to get their kids to talk with them. Kids often feel like the dinner table is The Grand Inquisition... Here is a great article and super suggestions for breaking the ice.

How do I get my kids to talk to me?

Listening and talking are learned behaviors. How your children will communicate with others and you is something they are learning from you.
Are you talking with and listening to them every day? About things that don’t matter, not just peppering them with questions? Is your homework done? Is your room clean? Did you do what I asked you to do?

Read the article by MomSmack
Click Here

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Fern Weis offers great direction-

It takes so much time to explain and guide and teach. You may feel it’s faster and more efficient to take care of it yourself. In the short-term, being pressed for time and patience, you want to step in and do it yourself; however, if you do, you'll be raising a child who:

* doesn’t know how to problem-solve.
* runs to you to fix everything.
* cannot function independently.
* cannot be depended upon to accomplish tasks.
* has low self-esteem.

 Read on:  
Click Here

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Reining in the insanity -
Great Sunday NYT book review

"This is actually Bruni’s point: that the best education is less a matter of getting into the best school than of making the best of wherever you go. His most vivid examples and insights emerge from sensitive conversations with parents, applicants, guidance counselors, admissions officers — and especially recent graduates, thriving 20-somethings who now feel lucky to have been rejected by their preferred schools. Some who ended up far afield, geographically or demographically, discovered the educational and personal value of exceeding their comfort zones. Such was the case for Bruni himself, who, after growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut and New York, turned down his dream school, Yale, to accept a scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."

Read the full article Click Here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Continuing the series on the college process - Frank Bruni hits the nail on the head.

 "HERE we go again. At Harvard, Emory, Bucknell and other schools around the country, there have been record numbers of applicants yearning for an elite degree. They’ll get word in the next few weeks. Most will be turned down."

 For the full article
Click Here

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Helping your college bound kids ask the best questions. This article is written by a college freshmen and provides some great ideas.

"And here's the thing, college tours are fantastic opportunities, but they tend to be just as shiny as the pamphlets they send in the mail. You'll see the newly renovated student center, the best buildings the school has to offer, freshly cut sprawling lawns and an impressive, yet slightly over-done with school pride, dorm room. It's up to the students (and maybe their parents) to see past all of it. Because, yes, it's great to fall in love with those things, but there's a lot more to a school than its tour experience. Here's what I wish I had asked when I was a high schooler." Alexis Zimmer

Read about all of Alexis' suggestions, click here

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Many families with high school juniors are launching into the college process this spring.  While it is an exciting time it can also be a very stressful process. Here is a great article to help pave the way.

"In the "good old days" of college admissions, parents would show up at my door during the summer before their child's senior year and ask for help with choosing colleges and getting in. Except in rare cases, it was assumed that it didn't really matter what a student majored in; somehow, someday everything would just work out. There were plenty of jobs for college graduates, regardless of their majors in college."
Even Middle School Parents Want Advice about College Admissions
What Employers Say They Want from College Grads
For the full article  click here

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I had a suggestion from a pod cast fan to post some of the episode transcriptions - so here is the very first one Emotions...Are They Nouns or Adjectives?

To listen to the audio -click here

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your emotions? Do you feel stuck or tripped up? Do you just wish there was better way? On each episode of this podcast I will offer specific tips and tools to help you get off the emotional roller coaster and gain more stability over your self and your relationships.
I want to start by telling you that your feelings do not define you. Often we over identify with our feelings and feel as if we ARE what we feel. Emotions are adjectives, not nouns. They describe an emotional state and they WILL pass, they are not who we are.

You know how with little kids we have been told to not call Johnny a bad boy for hitting his brother? - we have been coached to say “Johnny, that was a bad thing to do, we don’t’ hit people when we are angry”. The thought is that if Johnny hears he is bad, he will begin to believe that he is a bad person and will start to define himself as bad which often leads to more unwanted behavior and a nose diving self esteem –and now a negative behavior pattern is born.

I recently had a conversation with a young woman, I’ll call her Emily, who kept referring to herself as an idiot and stupid because she left her iphone on the check out counter at the grocery store. As she continued to focus on this mistake she was getting more and more frustrated with herself and began to recall other situations where she had been forgetful or not careful enough with her things. She concluded that she really is an idiot and so stupid that she didn’t deserve to have nice things.
Emily is letting these feelings of disappointment; embarrassment and frustration define who she is. She did a forgetful thing – that does not make her a bad person and certainly not an idiot. As we talked some more I helped her to remember that she never lost her phone before, that she actually keeps her belongings in good shape, that generally people like her and she is a nice, helpful, funny person who people like to be around.

Its time to give yourself a break – This week, see if you can catch yourself defining yourself with an emotion (positive or negative). If you hear yourself saying ‘I am angry’ or I am lonely or I am cranky…insert the word feeling into the statement
I am feeling angry, I am feeling lonely, I am feeling cranky. This will remind you that this ‘state’ is temporary and it will pass.
This is the beginning of emotional literacy
And the first steps to stabilizing our emotional roller coaster.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Celebrating over 20,000 downloads!

Here are a few samples:

You Are Not Your Emotions
Discover why feelings aren't nouns and what that means for you. You'll learn tips to prevent you from over identifying with your emotions and how to move from thought to action.  

Clarity of Thought, Power of Action
How to use your feelings as clues.  I will also give you a great formula to help move you away from an emotional rut.

Stress and the Circle of Control
Learn why it is important to recognize the type of stress that is making you feel overwhelmed. The key to over coming 'overwhelm' is to defuse stress.

Give a listen and (a rating!).  I love hearing from my listeners - I personally answer every one.      Click Here

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


There is so much written about how to talk with your kids about sex and drugs - but so little about money. Like sex, each family has their own guidelines and expectations, what ever they are, create the time to teach them to your children.

Read the full article   Click Here

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Excellent article - a must read

"Adults play a critical role in keeping an open dialogue with young people and making them aware of the typical behaviors that mark this cruel form of social aggression. Knowledge is power; when girls know what relational bullying looks and feels like, they are better able to make a conscious choice to move away from friends who use these behaviors." Signe Whitson

Read the full article    Click Here