Inspiration: “Are You In The Way?”

Are You In The Way?


Wise parents let things unfold

with as little interference as possible.

They remain out of the way,

not calling attention to themselves.

Their children discover

the natural harmony of things,

and work out their conflicts

in ways that establish true peace.

When parents interfere,

and constantly meddle in their children’s lives,

the natural order is forgotten.

Conflicts are escalated,

learning is curtailed,

and confusion reigns.


“Are You In The Way?” from The Parents Tao Te Ching by William Martin


There Is HOPE For Severe Allergies

If you or your child (ren) suffer from any life threatening allergies, you know all too well that there are indisputably more questions than answers when it comes to  food allergies.  The number of questions continue to rise as the number of children with food allergies (5.9 million in the U.S, or 1 out of 13 kids) continues to rise. Many of these children are in danger everyday, just by going to school, to a restaurant, or to a party. As parents, some of us have been lucky enough to identify our children’s allergies prior to a reaction. Many of us, however, have experienced that terrifying moment when we realize that our child has eaten something that is causing his or her body to shut down. How could their little bodies turn on themselves like that?  How are they ever to experience a normal childhood living in fear that something as harmless as a cupcake could kill them? Will there be an Epi Pen , will there be someone who knows how to use an Epi Pen? Please, let them grow out of whatever has started this allergy.

Within the ever-present cloud of questions and concerns about allergies, there seems to be progress. Melanie Thernstrom wrote and article for The NY Times Magazine that profiles the research and progressive trials of Dr. Kari Nadeau of the Stanford Alliance For Food Allergy Research. Dr. Nadeau’s radical trial of desensitizing children who suffer from multiple allergies has produced successful results and gives all children and families who suffer from life threatening allergies hope for a cure.

Read the article “The Allergy Buster.  Can a Radical New Treatment Save Children With Severe Allergies?” by clicking  here.

The Documentary Everyone Needs To Watch: BULLY


BULLY  is a documentary that follows students and families from several public schools in the US who are experiencing bullying. In addition to following the stories of students being bullied, it follows the families to two victims of bullying who took their own lives. It is a heartbreaking and startling account of the immense pain bullied children and families feel everyday.

Many people dismiss bullying as a rite of passage. Many people dismiss bullying as an over reaction. Many people dismiss bullying as non-existent. Many people dismiss bullying as an unsolvable problem.

This movie humanizes bullying and shows the raw effect it has on children and families. Everyone needs to watch this movie, and if you have a heart, you will no longer dismiss bullying as a rite of passage or an over reaction. Everyone needs to watch this movie and acknowledge that bullying does exist. Bullying is a disease that needs to and can be eradicated.  Everyone needs to watch this movie and start the intervention to eradicate the bullying disease. Talk to your kids, teachers and administrators and demand a zero tolerance bullying policy.



Inspiration: Raising Successful Children

“There is no parent more vulnerable to the excesses of overparenting than an unhappy parent. One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.”

-Madeline Levine, Ph.D.

This quote is from The New York Times Op-Ed from August 5, 2012 titled “Raising Successful Children.” This article is worth saving for reference when you feel the need to recalibrate your parenting compass, which you’re allowed to do as often as needed!

Madeline Levine is a psychologist and educator with decades of experience working with children and families. She has authored several books, including New York Times Bestsellers The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well. Sometimes, as parents and caregivers, we need guidance and fresh inspiration, especially in this ever competitive and changing environment. Our kids are growing up very differently than we did!Dr. Levine’s insights are refreshing, eye-opening and helpful. If you have a moment, please visit her website

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

dr seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel

March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, today is National Read Across America Day. It would be nearly impossible to put into words Dr. Seuss’ literary and social contributions to this world. He published an astounding 46 books during his lifetime. It is not just the number of books  but rather the  words that have left a lasting impression. Here are some of our favorite quotes from Mr. Theodor Seuss Geisel:

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good!”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“Being crazy isn’t enough.”

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“How did it get so late so soon?”


All Praise Is Not Created Equal: Personal Praise vs. Effort-Based Praise

We all want our children to grow up as confident human beings with  a solid foundation of positive self-esteem.  Sometimes, when we see a child struggle with self-esteem or confidence, we look for opportunities to praise them, in an effort to build them up. Of course, these intentions are nothing but honorable and well guided. However, new research indicates that the type of praise you shower on children may affect already delicate self-esteem and could undermine your good intentions. For example, highlighting a child’s personal qualities (you are a great swimmer!) may not be as fortifying as highlighting their efforts (I can really tell that you have been working so hard on your backstroke!).  In addition, research shows that children with low self-esteem receive more personal praise than those with higher self-esteem. And as such, their expectations for themselves become higher, as they always achieve to be the best or the superstar, which is an unrealistic expectation, leading to disappointment. Praising children for their efforts,  rather than focusing on the outcome, will help them boost their self-confidence and encourage them to continue pressing forward with their efforts.

Read more about this topic and research at   “Children & Praise: Why Certain Types of Praise May Backfire”, by Debbie Glasser, Ph.D

Why Can Some Kids Handle More Pressure Than Others?

Have you ever wondered why some kids “test” better than others? How some kids seem to juggle school, activities, jobs, and a social life while others can barely hold on to schoolwork? Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, authors of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, wrote an article published in the NY Times Magazine that explains some of these mysteries. Read their in-depth and enlightening article here.



Thought of the Week: Perfection


If you expect to have perfect children

you will be constantly disappointed

and your children

constantly frustrated.

If you realize that your children

are perfectly themselves

in every moment,

you and your children

will be at peace.

Step back and watch.

You will see the Life

naturally perfects itself.

Your child’s behavior may displace you.

It may even be destructive.

But it is what it is.

It is up to you to understand it

and to use it for good

for your child

and for you.

“Perfection”, from The Parent’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin

Inspiration of the Day 2/22/13

Happiness Is Contagious

“If you always compare your children’s abilities to those of great athletes, entertainers and celebrities, they will lose their own power. If you urge them to acquire and achieve, they will learn to cheat and steal to meet your expectations. Encourage your children’s deepest joys, not their superficial desires. Praise their patience, not their ambitions. Do not value the distractions and diversions that masquerade as success. They will learn to hear their own voice instead of the noise of the crowd. If you teach them to achieve they will never be content. If you teach them contentment, they will naturally achieve everything.”

From The Parents Tao Te Ching by William Martin

Book Review: Mossy by Jan Brett



by Jan Brett

Reading Level: 3 and Up

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Son (Penguin Young Readers Group)

Publication Date: September 18, 2012

Pages: Hardcover, 32 pages


Meet Mossy. She is a young eastern box turtle who lives at the edge of Lilypad Pond. And so this is how the enchanting story of Mossy begins, with an introduction. Simple enough. However, as you turn the page, you are taken aback by an amazing transformation on Mossy’s shell. She grows a garden. The story continues with  Mossy’s capture by a well meaning biologist, Dr. Carolina. Mossy’s life has changed completely and is sad. Ultimately, Mossy is able to return to her happy life, thanks to Carolina’s niece, Tory. All at Lilypad Pond are able to continue enjoying Mossy’s shell garden without Mossy, thanks to some creativity by Dr. Carolina.

There are all sorts of ways to enjoy a book these days, including audio books and e-readers. Mossy is a book that you need to read in hardcover format. The illustrations are phenomenally beautiful. The story is set in the Edwardian era, which took place in the early 1900’s. Among other traits, this era was know for innovation in style, fashion, literature, arts, science and technology. The Edwardian era has long been characterized as a romantic golden age, ripe with references to garden parties and social evolution. There were also significant shifts in politics during this era, which allowed more women to take their place in the forefront of society.

Jan Brett brilliantly captures the essence of the Edwardian era in her writing and illustrations, which is one of the aspects that makes this book so interesting. The costumes and the characters (Dr. Carolina, a woman biologist) transport the reader back in time. The story is heartwarming and charming. How many kids love to explore nature and bring home whatever they can capture? This book allows you to discuss the benefits of capture and release. Mossy will captivate you and invite you to read the story over and over again. And every time you read Mossy, you will discover a piece of Jan Brett magic that you missed the last time.