Solving Problems


I think most adults would consider the ability to solve problems as a critical life skill. After all, problems present themselves in all aspects of our day-to-day life. While there are some situations which are unique to adult life, there are a surprisingly large number of areas where adults and children share the same issues. Continue reading

Paths To Success


The issue of a child’s not doing as well as they are able, is one that faces many parents. Within most families, the child’s perception of what constitutes “good enough “is influenced by a number of forces. Parental attitudes and expectations of behavior and performance appear to be the largest contributors to the child’s understanding of what it means to “do well”. Our own adult behavior, work ethic, level of attainment, and motivation become models which children perceive as standards. For some students, these observed expectations are positive influences, leading to success as well as happiness. For others, unfortunately, they are seen as unreachable goals or represent the need to be perfect, leading to a level of stress which can sometimes result in fragile emotionality or unhealthy behavior. The adage, “know thyself” and its corresponding “know thy children” is a critical piece of the child-rearing puzzle. Continue reading

Giving and Receiving


As we approach a time of gift giving and receiving its important to understand the different ways in which children react to “receiving presents”. For some, there is genuine excitement, comfort, and gratitude. For others, there is disappointment over unmet expectations and “not getting what I really wanted”. Continue reading

When Nothing Works


There are a number of parents and teachers who, without realizing it, repeatedly use the same strategies over and over again expecting that one day they will work. In truth, they do work occasionally, but not often enough to justify their continued use. Unfortunately the ‘once in a while’ effectiveness of a parenting approach actually serves to increase the unwanted behavior of the child. (Look up the definition and impact of intermittent reinforcement). Continue reading

When I Was Young


The ways in which children speak to or act toward adults, parents, and teachers is often a source of significant upset and confusion for many parents. I often hear “I would never have spoken to my parents and teachers that way”, or “My parents and school would never have tolerated this behavior”. Continue reading


Aretha Franklin begins one of her many hit songs with the words, “R E S P E C T, Find Out What it Means to Me” (60’s music is still meaningful). Interestingly, this same concept or question presents itself to teachers and parents on an almost daily basis in our relationships with our children. Continue reading

Ask Yourself


Did you ever find yourself looking at your children or students and wondering what kind of adults they will become? Will they find the types of happiness and fulfillment that we wish for them? Answers to these questions will often lead to a more fundamental concern; what can we do as parents and teachers to help them reach a successful future? The first step in figuring out the mechanisms of parenting and teaching is an honest and ongoing process of self-evaluation. Defining what we believe in and knowing what is important to us is a good beginning point. Try to ask yourself and answer some basic questions. Continue reading



I can’t even count the number of times students have questioned me as to why they need to learn the “stuff they teach in school.” When are they ever going to use math or social studies; the things they really need to know will be taught in college, and once they know what they want to become they’ll know what to learn. Continue reading

Kids Who Share Bedrooms Benefit


From – By Deirdre Beilly (June, 2016)

Having children share a bedroom may create lasting values of cooperation and compromise, provided they don’t drive each other — and their parents — crazy in the process.

In nearly two-thirds of homes with two children under age 18, kids share a room, according to the Chicago Tribune. This is creating an interesting new parenting trend: Even when they have the space to give them separate sleeping arrangements, moms and dads are instead having their kids bunk together. Continue reading

And So It Begins …


Very often the way we start the school year plays a significant role in how the rest of the year works out. Classroom teachers have long known that the early establishment of rules, expectations, and procedures will go a long way toward producing a more successful school year in terms of learning and student maturity. Continue reading