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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how to organize 150 middle schoolers

Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?   I witnessed a miracle yesterday. 

My 7th grader’s band program toured three local elementary schools yesterday:  an all day affair of orchestrated walking, music making, bus riding, and–sandwiched in the middle–a little pizza and bowling.   I was assigned “lunch coordinator” of the one hour pizza AND bowling break between concerts. 
That’s right:  one [...]

remembering the good, bad and ugly

Like so many people today, I’ve discovered the joy of connecting with old friends via Facebook.   As I bump into childhood buddies, I’ve been flooded with memories of good old times in my hometown. 
I must say, (if I do say so myself), I was a pretty “good” kid.  I got good grades, I had nice [...]

powerful ways to praise

If you wanted to praise your child for something he or she did, what would you say? 
Most parents in my workshops respond, “Good job!  Nice catch.  Beautiful picture.  Wonderful story.”
That’s okay, but it could be better.  I tend to hunger for more.  There’s a reason.
I’ve learned to think about two parts to every comment:

1)  Our words (good [...]

how do they work that magic?

He was beaming.
Seriously– tickled pink. My 13-year old son doesn’t “beam” very often. Can’t remember seeing this particular look on his face, actually.
“Mom! I learned the mambo and the samba tonight!” he blurted and proceeded to show me how it’s done. 
This is highly unusual.
“Who are you and what have you done with my quiet, self-conscious [...]

yes, teens are crazy (and parents too)

My thirteen-year-old looked concerned when he caught me reading Dr. Michael Bradley’s book:
Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!  Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind
I’ll bet you can guess what he said:
“. . . . whhaaaaat’s this??”
While I assured my son that he need not worry, that I was preparing a parenting workshop for other families, [...]

siblings below the surface

Our vacation time has been sprinkled with the usual sibling quips and quarrels.  I hoped to stem this with the magic letter tactic, but of course, the kids have done what siblings do when in close quarters for a couple of weeks.  They’ve had great fun together, and they’ve had several good spats.
Great opportunities to [...]

seven signs your son is turning teenward

I knew it was coming.  I’ve read the books.  I’ve studied the impact of brain changes in adolescence.  I heard the teachers say, “You think you know your child now, but in six months he’ll be a different person.”  I thought I was fully prepared.
Now, we’ve arrived.  And really, it’s not bad.  It’s even good [...]