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I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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talking politics with kids

Whatever your political persuasion, I’m guessing most of you are as weary as I am about the mudslinging rhetoric flying through the airwaves these days.   With less than a week before election day, it keeps getting uglier, and I’m thirsting for real news.  Sometimes it makes me want to hide away until election day is [...]

Praise that sticks: “I noticed. . . “

If your child showed you a project you wanted to praise, what would you say? 
Most parents in my workshops respond, “Good job!  Nice catch.  Wonderful story.”
There are two parts to every verbal interaction with our kids:

1)  Our words (good job!)
2)  The child’s internal words (“cool!” or maybe “whatever, mom” or “not really“)

Which one carries more weight?  [...]

Confessions of a multitasker

Morning Edition is running a series about new research on multitasking. 
NPR’s Jon Hamilton sums it up like this:
“Multitasking causes a kind of brownout in the brain. Meyer says all the lights go dim because there just isn’t enough power to go around.”
Yikes!
I don’t like hearing this.  Even if I kind of knew it was true. 
I like multitasking.  I [...]

Works for me: the wonderous “I wonder. . .”

Is this a familiar theme in your household? 

How was your day?   fine.
What happened at school?  not much.
Wanna talk about it?  not really.
It seems like no matter how hard I try, those questions never seem to get much information.  A wise school counselor once suggested I use different words to ask the same question.  
Just begin with [...]

Explaining the credit crisis

Are your eyes glazing over with all the news about bailouts, sub-prime mortgages, credit swaps, etc?
I found a couple of resources extremely helpful in boiling all the confusion down to (more) understandable language:
This show is the most engaging and entertaining show I’ve heard that makes some sense of the new market for “normal” people:
This American Life [...]

On family: top ten parenting principles

I lead workshops for parents to build communication and relationship skills.  I do this NOT because I’m a perfect parent (far from it), but because it helps me keep working toward getting better each day.  I also believe discussing ideas in community helps everyone concerned.  So, you might think I have my parenting principles boiled down to [...]

On flux

What do I mean by “flux of life”? 
From the Free Online Dictionary:
flux (flks) n.  1. a. A flow or flowing.  b. A continued flow; a flood.  2. The flowing in of the tide
A few years ago I read a book called Flux:  Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids and Life in a Half-Changed World [...]

A hope we can believe in

I admit, I’ve been obsessing a bit about the big election.  I might be getting too involved.  And today, my hope surged with the speeches I heard.
What, you ask?  This election?  For president?
Yes. 
For president of student council at my son’s elementary school. 
Eleven fourth and fifth grade girls and boys—like a little United Nations of european, [...]

On faith

Today, a few verses frame my thoughts on faith:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  Luke 6:37
Speaking of faith [...]