A Story of Thanksgiving

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. –    John Fitzgerald Kennedy When I started to think about Thanksgiving and gratefulness this year, a memory flashed through my mind that I couldn’t and didn’t want to shake. It was the early …

Helping Your Child’s School Create a Caring Community: Lessons from a Parent Volunteer

The garden is a great metaphor for my work on creating caring learning communities with my kid’s schools. You need to enrich the soil, pull the weeds, be patient and allow it time to grow. It takes years and lots of patience. –          Jeanne Osgood This week I interviewed a regular reader and responder to …

Simple Stories of Kindness

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. –          Amelia Earhart …

Weapon Play and Villains

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. – Francis Bacon Truly wonderful the mind of a child is. –          YODA, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones “I want to be Darth Vader when I grow up,” said E with grandeur as he strutted through the house with …

Tone Tuning

Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little Cheep, cheep, cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more. –          From the musical, Music Man (1957) It is easy to forget that the music of our speech, our tone of voice, communicates just as much as the actual content of what is …

Helping Children Understand Death

Mostly it is loss which teaches us the worth of things. –       Arthur Schopenhauer Vrrrwow… the sound of a light saber comes close and pokes me in the back. I have been play-killed by my son, sometimes seen as Darth Vader, on a typical morning in our house. “You’re dead,” he says. Yet he expects …

The Fear of Failure

It may be that the most important mastery we achieve early on is not the mastery of a particular skill or particular piece of knowledge, but rather the mastery of the patience and persistence that learning requires, along with the ability to expect and accept mistakes and the feelings of disappointment they may bring. –          …

Back to School Butterflies

Everyone has butterflies when they are starting something new. Just make sure you visualize them flying in formation and you’ll be fine. –          My Dad, David Smith from a Dale Carnegie Public Speaking Course If you are a parent, you are likely in the middle of clothing and supply shopping preparing for the first day …

Summer Reading

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. ― F. Scott Fitzgerald When I was growing up, my neighborhood library held the “Super Summer Reading Program.” I so fondly recall weekly trips to the library with …

The Perfection of Being Imperfect

We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. –          Sam Keen As my gift to you, myself and all Mothers for the celebration of Mother’s Day, I am sharing an excerpt from the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Anna Quindlen’s little book with a big …