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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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turn pouting into possibility with one magic word

Do you wrestle with these conversation killers?

“I can’t do it.”

“I’m no good at this.” 
“No one wants to play with me.”
or from yourself:
“I’m not one of those big-time bloggers.”
or
“I haven’t written a real book.”

So often we parents argue, countering, “Yes, you can!”, generating a back-and-forth argument, and causing our partner (adversary?) to dig in her heels.  The “I [...]

how to encourage a mom

 
I’m so moved by all of you out there.  Many of you reponded privately to my last post with touching words of gratitude and relief.   I knew there was a need for recognition and validation of the hard work parents do.  I knew we needed to build up our community, not tear it down;  I just [...]

let’s skip the mommy wars

She has that look — a shell of the formerly vibrant, social woman clinging to her last rope, reaching for a shred of hope as the overwhelming waves of chaos crash toward her again.  I know it well.  She’s usually in the back row of my parenting presentations, or quietly listening at the moms’ social [...]

a story of mud-slinging siblings

“Mom, I just can’t stand to be in the same room with them anymore,”  she said, with tears welling up in her eyes.  “No one understands how bad they make me feel.” 
I felt the puddles well up in mine too.  The constant banter of put-downs slung between siblings over the long holiday was taking its toll.  My [...]

practicing parenting: allowing mistakes

Not long ago, I had a good lesson on practicing what I preach.  And it was really hard.
My middle son (age 11) is a dramatic one.  He loves goofing around, speaking in funny voices, and even dressing up upon occasion.  He’s always dreamed of being an actor.  I have no idea whether he’d be good at [...]

getting teens to think ahead

How do you get young teens to pack for an international trip without waiting until the last minute?
Schedule a one mile “luggage walk” with their fully packed travel gear a week before departure:

Might seem silly, but it’s a very effective way to ensure they can carry all of their stuff.  
Sometimes the most brilliant strategies are the simplest.  
How [...]

the thrill of the ride

“It was crazy, mom,” my sixth grade son breathed when he burst through the door after his first middle school fun night.
“Is that good?” I wondered, my imagination filling with crazy things that could happen in middle school.
“I think it was the best night of my life!” he gushed. 
Whew.  I breathed a sigh of relief [...]

the joy of good enough

Cover via Amazon

 I’m not sure what this says about me, but sometimes I am thunderstruck by a twist on the same old typical advice.  Listening to a book on CD today, I almost had to pull over the car, overwhelmed by recognition, relief and mixed-up conviction by this: 
“I meet many parents who are trying so hard [...]

it’s that time again: stop the nagging

This isn’t a new one, but as school gets into full swing I hear myself nagging and barking orders through the chaos.  It’s time to get back to basics, as in this oldie but goodie that I shared on AnnArbor.com today:
How’s your morning routine going? Do you hear some variation of this tape running every day:
“Get [...]

is fear turning us topsy turvy?

I received this email announcement yesterday: 
BECAUSE OF GROWING THREAT OF THE H1N1 VIRUS IN OUR COMMUNITY
WE WILL BE CANCELING THE POTLUCK PORTION OF THE MEETING. 
Color me confused.  The potluck itself is no big deal to me –I’m happy to skip preparing a dish– but I cannot find any logical explanation besides irrational fear.  There is [...]