Substituting a Why or a What or a How: Paths to a Two-Way Relationship

My son's school has a uniform. The last week of school and he wanted to wear gym shoes instead of the more formal black standards. My first reaction was no, it's not a gym day. Can't. Then I recall how I always reacted to no or can't. Yup, I was one of those don't tell … Continue reading Substituting a Why or a What or a How: Paths to a Two-Way Relationship

Involving Your Kids in the Mundane and Necessary

For those of us in the grown up role, fathering and mothering young children, the mundane and necessary can be something to fear or even procrastinate. Shopping for groceries for example, is often scheduled sans kids. Dinner prep can be a time to fear. Laundry is a never ending chore. Never mind basic cleaning to … Continue reading Involving Your Kids in the Mundane and Necessary

Mother’s Day is Over, Can You Go Back to Making the Kids’ Breakfast?

Trees have leaves again, new growth is happening in the forest and the fiddle-ferns are sprouting. Joking with my wife about Mother's Day being "her day" to do whatever she wants, she wanted to get outside and enjoy a perfect spring day in Minnesota. We ventured out of town, brought a picnic lunch and even … Continue reading Mother’s Day is Over, Can You Go Back to Making the Kids’ Breakfast?

Who Decides What’s Scary and What’s Not?

People are fearful. Our antiquated lizard brain has helped keep us alive through fear for thousands of years. Here are some of the most common phobias: Social phobias or self-consciousness in social situations. Agoraphobia:  fear of open spaces. Acrophobia:  fear of heights. Pteromerhanophobia:  fear of flying. Claustrophobia:  fear of enclosed spaces. Entomophobia:  fear of insects. … Continue reading Who Decides What’s Scary and What’s Not?

Angry Dad, You’re Feeling Inadequate Again

Wrong side of the bed. Late. A solid work schedule with over-committed appointments. A solitary banana for breakfast.  Mix in a six and two year old trying to have a leisurely breakfast and you've got irritability. Time to get out the door kids! One thing to remember--and I write this for myself most of all--is … Continue reading Angry Dad, You’re Feeling Inadequate Again

Applying IKEA Techniques to Empower Your Kids and Maybe Even Make them Happier

The "IKEA effect" is a term used by Harvard researchers in a working paper to describe the idea that when someone builds something themselves they often overvalue whatever that may be. If you've ever bought something from the Swedish furniture maker, you know there is always some assembly required. Forget the fact that their instructions … Continue reading Applying IKEA Techniques to Empower Your Kids and Maybe Even Make them Happier