Real Talk

An Easy and A Hard Way to Travel with Kids

One day many years ago I was listening to NPR when a fascinating piece came on about zebras. Even though their distinctive stripes make them stand out on the African plain individually, collectively their patterns merge, making it difficult for a predator to visually isolate just one and pick it from the herd. Alone they […]

The Best Father’s Day Gift: Romance

It was Father’s Day in Bristol Bay Alaska. The boys were fighting over who got to use the four-wheeler first, there was a parade of fishermen through the house, and my husband was buried in tasks. He looked tired as the salmon season began to unfold for our processing company. What Father’s Day? “Could I […]

Fall Down 7 Times Stand Up 8: Raising Resilient Kids

 Albert Einstein once said I am not necessarily smarter, I just stick with the problem longer than anyone else.  It can be difficult to watch your child muddle through a problem on her own, particularly when we, as the adult, have the know-how and resources to solve it quickly.  We believe our help will ease […]

The Best Worst Mother’s Day

Once many years ago, I was hit with an immediate and sudden need to be recognized, appreciated even, on a very specific day, for a very specific amount of time: Mother’s Day. Our children were 9, 11, 13, and 15 years old. That little factoid right there should tell you something. Add an absent husband, […]

“Can I Play at the Dirt Pile House?”

  My friend Kate gazed out at the homes in her new neighborhood as her husband drove. Each yard was neat and perfectly landscaped, complete with swept walkways and expensive playground equipment, a kid’s heaven, she mused. Clean cars were parked in the driveways. Behind those big front doors Kate imagined tidy rooms and families […]

How to Form Fabulous Family Relationships

By Nancy Blakey There are a thousand ways to raise a happy and healthy child. I have seen strict parents and lenient parents do it. I have watched intact families, single parents, rich and poor, manage to instill a sense of purpose and meaning in their children. There is no grand formula, no one set […]

Tender Mercies: The Joys of Being Sick

Many years ago the impossible happened: I was struck down with influenza. Nick, our then thirteen year old, dragged himself home from school. He had it too. I can’t be ill! I’m the one who keeps the family rolling. Greg is in Alaska, I have a sick child! In the morning I attempted to dress. […]

10 Ways to Teach a Child to Clean Up

Most parents understand the importance of encouraging creativity in their children. It opens their eyes to opportunity and problem solving. Creativity increases a sense of wellbeing and allows one to envision a rich future. But the challenge of hands-on creativity is in the aftermath. There are messes and clutter. We are tired, and it’s not […]

The Rich Territory of Mistakes: 10 Ways to Raise Fearless Kids

Being a perfectionist is no fun. In fact it can be downright paralyzing. Fear of failure limits life to safe choices where there are no mistakes, and with it no new ideas or answers. The good news is, it is a learned behavior. The bad news is, it is a learned behavior. There can be […]

Mama Says on Terrible Twos: “My Child Won’t Share!”

Dear Mama:  I’ve got a delightful, energetic, bright, and fun little girl who isn’t a bit shy. Usually I take great pride in this personality trait, as I’m no shrinking violet myself. The challenge comes when my daughter has any sort of confrontation over toys. Regardless of whether she’s wanting another child’s toys, or whether […]

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