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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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tackling fear: shifting perspective

A city bus rides around my town with a larger-than-life ad sporting a gigantic picture like this: 

SAW A BUG???  Call (not-to-be-named Exterminator)!
Think of the message this sends.  If I see a tiny bug, I should immediately freak out and call in the troops?  Even if it’s just a fly?  What if it’s a ladybug?  Have [...]

how to start kid conversations

Here’s one more goodie from the archives to help with those fall routines:

Now that fall is approaching full swing, are you having conversations like this?
How was your day? fine.
What happened at school (or work)? not much.
Wanna talk about it? not really.
It seems like no matter how hard I try, those questions never seem to elicit [...]

struggling for answers? try asking new questions.

Do you ever get stuck in that rut where all of your parenting tricks feel stale, and you feel like you’re talking in the same circles?  I feel that way more often than I care to admit.  No one has all the answers, but sometimes asking the right questions gets us back where we need to [...]

in praise of do-overs

SteadyMom inspired me with her post on do-overs: 
Let’s try that again.
How much do I love this powerful phrase?  Let me count the ways:

“Let’s try that again” models grace with accountability.  It corrects with a focus on what can be done better, not what was done wrong. 
It’s friendly and positive.  It requires no raised voices, consequences [...]

the magic word of possibility

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 argue, countering, “Yes, you can!”, generating a back-and-forth argument, and causing our opponent to dig in heels.  To strenghten our case, [...]

mother/daughter journaling

We finally dug through that huge bag of end-of-school papers, trying to separate important memories from scrap. 

Quick detour:  No, we don’t keep every paper my kids bring home!  I ask my kids to make three piles:  1)  really important stuff that must be kept  2)  nice stuff to examine but pitch afterwards 3)  junk that can be [...]

stop the nagging, summer edition

As summer kicks in and routines change, I thought it might be helpful to re-post of one of my favorite parenting tips:
Check Yourself!

How’s your morning routine going? Do you hear some variation of this tape running every day:
“Get dressed. . . you’ve got to eat breakfast. . .brush your hair. . . do you have your [...]

more graceful apologies

Have you ever insisted your child say how sorry he is?  Does he glare at you with a pouty lip, look at the floor, and spit out “SORRry” in that resentful tone?  Or better yet, does she flip her hair, roll her eyes, and play her best imitation of the latest pre-teen star?  Surely you know [...]

speak for yourself

Ever since I quit my full time job (when child #3 was born), I’ve had trouble answering that common question:
What do you do?
For an embarassingly long time I would answer some variation of “I’m a stay home mom, but I used to do something important. . . ” (well, not exactly that, but it crossed [...]

ten ways to re-frame parenting issues

No one knows all the answers, but sometimes asking the right questions gets us where we need to be.
These ten questions to re-frame parenting issues always stop me in my tracks and change my approach.  Thomas and I closed Saturday’s parent workshop with this list by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller.   Feel free to alter for [...]