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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 [...]

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 [...]

The Twilight saga: New Moon–important questions for teens and tweens

Many of us have devoured the Twilight book series and waited with great anticipation for movie #2, New Moon, which opened this week.  What’s not to like?  Vampire fantasy, hot actors, forbidden love, and imminent danger combine for a fantasical spectacle sending screaming girls to theatres across the country.   It doesn’t even include real sex [...]

My favorite Thanksgiving advice

Could you use a gratitude adjustment?   I know I could, just about every day. 
This article from Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller always re-frames my thinking gives me a lift.  I’m printing my favorite snippets; please read the complete article here.
____________________________________________
Special Thanks This Thanksgiving
By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Millions of parents will pause this Thanksgiving to do [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]