Parenting

The Power of Encouragement to Change Relationships

The week’s edition of Self-Care Sunday focuses on spirituality (don’t confuse it with religion). Part of my spiritual walk involves growing in areas where I demonstrate weakness. I confess to not having a natural talent for encouraging others. I’ll share a lesson I learned about troubled relationships and encouragement. Trouble “Can I borrow your cell phone?” she asked me the first week of school when I stood outside on playground duty. “What grade are you in?” I asked. “Fourth. I…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: What to Do if You Have a Reluctant Reader

Raving Readers Chase Delivery Trucks If you want to read the whole story, check out a post I wrote last year about turning reluctant readers into voracious readers. You might wonder, “Why is my child a reluctant reader?” Good question! I confess that I started life as a reluctant reader. My dad read to us every night, and I loved listening, but I didn’t want to read. When I started school, I disdained the reading textbooks. Dick and Jane lived…

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The Importance of Speaking Well of Your Children

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual—the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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When it’s OK to Call Your Kids a Friend

Why DID We Have Kids? “Mom, why did you and Dad have kids?” Sarah asked a few years ago. “Because we knew that when you guys became adults we’d have two awesome friends.” I quipped. “But didn’t you tell us that we couldn’t be friends?” Sarah reminded me. “No. We said we couldn’t be friends until you’re 18 and out of high school.” “Oh, yeah,” she said. “Kids need boundaries and mentoring. They don’t need the burden of having an…

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Abortion: A Call to Thinkers on the Eve of the Election

Politicians and Promises Another election day looms and the populace polarizes on an issue that gets trotted out each election cycle since 1973: abortion. Claims of ‘Baby killer,’ ‘anti-women,’ ‘pro-choice,’ and ‘anti-abortion’ get flung across the Internet with rising hysteria on either side. Both Democrats and Republicans feel that their candidate will have the moral fortitude to lead our country to either overturn Roe v. Wade or to keep it firmly in place. We fool ourselves. We forget that politicians…

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What Happens to the Cygnets of an Injured Swan?

Cygnets in Unexpected Places Throughout our entire trip to Alaska, I had wanted to get good photos of Trumpeter Swan cygnets. We saw some from a distance on our Nabesna Road adventure, and I took better photos of Tundra Swan cygnets on a canoeing adventure. But I really wanted closer-up photos (I know better than to approach wildlife with young). In the early 1900s, swan populations dwindled due to hunting, and many people believed that the species had become extinct.…

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