Category: Responsibility

The Magic of Family Meetings

We have work meetings, book club meetings, non-profit organization meetings, and yet very few families have family meetings.  However, in my parenting coaching, and especially with families of children ages 3-17, family meetings are one of the best ways I’ve found to help families get on the same page, air their dirty laundry, establish rules […]

Financial consciousness

It’s spring-cleaning time!  Hooray!  Out with the old and in with the new.  Flowers are blooming, trees are budding and leafing out, and my husband and I are taking a good hard look at our finances.  Ouch. I don’t know about you, but becoming aware of exactly what is happening in my financial life is […]

Moving toward sustainability

Considering our environmental impact and moving toward sustainability is something that every modern day aware parent is faced with, but sometimes the task can seem daunting and it can be difficult to tell whether we’re really making a difference. Finding out what your carbon footprint is can be a great jumping off point.  There is […]

Guest Blog: Conscious parenting: A stepparent’s perspective

This week’s guest blog is from my stepdad Jim: As a person “of a certain age,” I have to admit to an occasional bit of amusement at Shelly’s parenting tips. Some seem a little odd (as I suppose my ideas about parenting seemed to my parents) and some just seem like old ideas dressed up […]

Pets help kids learn empathy

Have you ever noticed that the way kids are around animals is like a microcosm of the way they are around everyone? When young people are happy, comfortable, and compassionate, they treat animals with kindness and care. And when they’re upset about something or feeling picked on and powerless, they often take out their aggressions […]

The art of surrender

Parents are the ultimate experts on the art of surrender.  You have to be.  If we didn’t surrender to the reality of our lives as parents, we’d be miserable and struggling constantly!  Instead, we learn to go with the flow, relax and let go, and accept what is.  Before I was pregnant I never realized […]

“Have to?” Are you sure about that?

I’m gearing up for a five-day retreat in which I’ll study Nonviolent Communication Mediation intensively. As many of you know, I work as a mediator and Shelly and I use the insights of Nonviolent Communication, based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, in our work here at Awake Parent. One of my favorite insights, or, […]

Serve-yourself snack gives you more freedom

In the Montessori classroom we have a LOT going on. Twenty-four kids are doing individual and group activities, the head teacher is demonstrating activities, and the assistant teacher is available to help kids when they need a hand. So, when it comes to serving snack, the more the kids can help themselves, the better. This […]

I had kids eating lima beans like they were candy.

I guess I just like watching things grow.  There’s something about planting a seed, watching it grow, bloom and produce fruit that gives me a sense of comfort.  I enjoy watching the progression from cotyledon to true sets of leaves, then pollination, and fruit.  I like tending my plants daily, making sure they’re well watered.  […]

Got a wild child? Give ‘em more responsibility!

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but working in preschools has taught me that when kids act out, it’s often because they’re bored and want attention from us. I’ve noticed that when I give these kids MORE responsibility, jobs to do, and tasks to complete (without being too ATTACHED to them actually accomplishing the task) they […]