Shock and Awe. Safe and Sound.

Summer is winding down.Well, technically summer doesn't end until September, but summer vacation from elementary school is winding down.  Can you feel my shoulders start to relax, see the wine glass in my hand, hear the maniacal exhaustion laughter?  Don't misunderstand....more

A Letter to My Children on Their First Day of School

Dear Olivia and Evan,As I opened my eyes this morning, the realization that you will be starting a new school year at a new school today held me hostage for a moment. Our homeschooling days have come to an end. Today, you embark on yet another new chapter in your young lives, and as we rode the elevator down from the 17th floor I thought of so many things I wanted to say to you. Things I've already covered in the many conversations we've had leading up to this day, but as a mom can't help but feel the urge to repeat in case you didn't hear me the first time....more
@patltoler Thank you so much for taking the time to not only read my thoughts, but also share ...more

My Damn Happy Place

Dinner time in my house is like a descent into the depths of hell. The room is hot, thanks to the tiny windows and lack of oven vent, and there are all the noises I imagine would populate the underworld--Punkgirl (12) grunts, Happyboy (10) makes repetitive noises over and over, and Coffeeguy (my husband) yells at the offending party. Oh yes--and Rose makes a screechy noise I'm fairly certain is designed to ward off predators. Someone always leaves the table crying, pissed off, or defeated. Now, I know we could just eat in the living room....more
Dinner time can be very challenging with a tired baby, tired kids and tired parents. You have a ...more

Model Character

I grew up in a family where personal character was valued very highly. My parents modeled for us appropriate social skills, conflict resolution, decision making, and communication skills. They let us know what was expected of us in pubic and in social settings, but they rarely had to remind us or get onto us for not behaving correctly....more

Building the Outcomes You Want!?

We all have circles of influence and they come in all shapes and forms. What influences you will influence your teenager whether you are conscious of it or not.  How you respond or comment on a situation can decide the way they reactive and share their views on it too. How you have experienced something will alter the way they behave towards it because they're able to sense it from you. These can of course be both beautiful and detrimental!...more

Be Prepared...

Can you blame teenagers wanting to be free over the summer?Just think, they've had a long academic year, they’re learning to socialise in different friendship groups. Wanting and needed to fit with friends in and outside of school is a HUGE part of learning how to grow up. Oh we must include all those bodily changes too! It’s no wonder they yearn for this time of year…. ...more

Building Confidence & Self-esteem

Love, care and affection can naturally build your teenagers self-esteem and confidence and let’s face it; it builds all our self-esteem and confidence....more

Wait 'Til You Have Kids

As a parenting specialist I often give unsolicited advice and voice my opinion on hot button isssues. I try hard not to, but my biggest pet peeve is when someone doesn't agree with what I'm saying or perhaps they get defensive because they themselves are that parent I'm decribing as ineffective and I hear this really well versed, overused remark- "Wait 'til you have kids"....more

15 Things I Want to Teach My Children

It had me thinking about what it is that I'm doing. What am I trying to accomplish with these three little beings? The most obvious answer is that I'm trying to raise them to become full grown, functioning, well-adjusted members of society. Beyond that, though, I started thinking about what it is I want them to learn. What do I want them walking away with after they've spent their most formative years with me? ...more
Happiness is about balance. Young people, particularly teenagers but also those in their early ...more

Whole Heart Austin

I am a parenting specialist, maternity concierge, and entrepreneur living in Austin, Texas. My company, Whole Heart, teaches parenting workshops and offers education and support to expectant parents. We will soon be selling environmentally and socially responsible products online that are nontoxic for mom and baby. Ironically, baby products are some of the most toxic items consumers purchase and babies are the most susceptible to damage from the toxins because of their high metablosms and growing brains....more