The Mommy Wars: Stay at home or Go to work

When my brother and I were little, my Mom was a stay at home mom (thanks, Mom!). When we got older, she got a job to provide for us (thanks, Mom!). And even though she wasn't home after school or couldn't be around to make dinner every night, we turned out fine. We knew we were loved. ...more

You aren't that good at this; and that's OK

You're at a party. Not a children's birthday party (for a change) but a party with only grownups. Some of the guests are talking about politics, others are talking about their new hobbies or careers and still others are discussing literature. You find yourself chatting with a person who has lived an extraordinary life. As they continue talking you learn how they have had success at sports, in the business world and in their family life. They tell you about the places they've traveled to....more

Too much praise... Is there such a thing?

We’ve all heard the warnings about how too much praise can go to a child’s head. And we live in a day and age when children are given ribbons for participation and awards for “best effort.” Many people claim too much praise breeds narcissism, haughtiness, and an unrealistic sense of self. If a child is constantly showered with compliments and never provided with constructive criticism, that child’s ego IS likely to suffer....more

Glory! Something About the Name of Jesus Sets My Soul Free

In moments of despair and times of trouble, when I call on the name of Jesus, my soul cries yes. I forget about my troubles....more

Why Sometimes We Need To Stop Looking For A Greater Purpose

The faint sounds of clapping swirled in and out with the wind. When the wind stilled, the air seemed to carry the slightest noise for miles. Still and calm for but a moment. In rhythmic fashion the wind came and went. Gliding in and out. Each time the sound of clapping returned, then stilled....more

People forget: We're supposed to be nice

I've been part of an interviewing panel at my company. We've searched through a score of resumes and talked to a lot of people. My favorite part of the interviews come when the candidates ask us about our team and we can talk about how we are like a family. (It gives me the warm fuzzies every time.) At some point, the candidates will usually mention how nice we all seem....more

A Grammatical Approach to Praise

This week I had two different experiences of the use of praise. I heard a psychologist on the radio talking about how it was important to use adjectives rather than verbs when praising children. He said when we use adjectives as in “You are helpful”, rather than “you are helping” this enables children to see themselves as helpful; being helpful becomes part of their identity....more

See it … Say it! The right kind of praise does build self-esteem.

Recently it seems that every major publication has had an article about praising children: too much praise, not enough praise, or the wrong kind of praise.  The Atlantic recently published a piece by Eleanor Barkhorn called Lavishing Kids with Praise Can Make Them Feel Bad about Themselves.  Ms Barkhorn, we think, correctly asserts that there is too much of the wrong kind of praise – what she would call inflated praise....more

Personal Development: How to Treat Compliments and Criticisms

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” ~ Winston Churchill Everyone has had it happen. You ask for feedback, you say you want feedback, but when you actually get some constructive feedback you become defensive. Taking constructive criticism well is a difficult but vital skill to learn.  But equally important is the ability to not let compliments consume you, either. Because, compliments and criticism are just reflections of each other.  In order to properly handle criticism, you also need to properly handle compliments. If someone excessively flatters you for a minor success, you need to internalize it the same way you would internalize a scathing insult.The person that is easily flattered is also easily criticized. ~ Scott H. Young...more

I'm a Praise Junkie, and I Hate It

I'm going to vent a little bit of my crazy here.  And not just because I need to write to process the crazy, but also because it seems like when I vent my crazy, others come up alongside me in that crazy, and I think knowing we're not alone in our crazy makes all of us feel better....more
Good to know we're not alone!  I'm thankful I wrote this, if for no other reason than to pull ...more