Parenting Blog

Latest Posts

“The key is unconditional kindness to all life, including one’s own, which we refer to as compassion.” – David R. Hawkins

All parents know that children need unconditional love to thrive. But how can we give our children something many of us haven't really experienced?

The answer is that each of us CAN experience unconditional love -- by giving it to ourselves.  We do this by actively, thoughtfully, accepting our selves -- imperfections and all.  When we miss the mark of our own standards -- as we all do, all the time -- we give ourselves a compassionate hug, and resolve to give ourselves better support so we can keep moving in the right direction.  READ POST

Thursday, May 08, 2014 | Permalink

"It’s like a big stick that I hit myself with from the inside. Really, would I want anyone I love to do that to themselves? Certainly not! And, I’ve made a commitment to support my kids and myself in putting that stick down. For good.  The other day...the part of me that is Unconditional Love stood up, turned towards the Critic, and embraced it. In that moment of love and connection, the critic dissolved. Now I make it a practice to embrace the Critic, over and over again. I am learning that whatever has a hold on me, that which we most want to turn away from, is exactly what needs undivided, loving attention." -- Jennifer Mayfield

The inner critic's goal is to protect us. It thinks its job is to constantly scan for threats: future dangers, past problems we keep reliving to prevent their recurrence (or prove we were right!), defects in our children that we need to correct, and deep flaws in ourselves that we fear make us unlovable and thus threaten our very survival. No wonder we feel worn out!  READ POST

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 | Permalink

"More often than not, fear doesn’t emerge as nail-biting, cold-feet terror, but surfaces instead as anger, perfectionism, pessimism, low-level anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.  In these many disguises, fear can permeate life, leaving room for little else.  It morphs from one pseudoemotion to another, rarely declaring itself, poisoning each moment it touches." -- Dan Baker, Ph.D.

You may think your moods just come out of nowhere.  But scientists now believe that moods are mostly a response to what we think, usually without even noticing.   READ POST

Thursday, May 01, 2014 | Permalink

"Dr. Laura....When I stop and take a breath, I am amazed at the amount of negative thoughts in my head—typically criticizing my ability as a mom, or a wife, or an employee, or a daughter or a friend. It’s so hard to feel like I’m doing anything well at all.  How do we get out of the negative thought patterns?" -- Amy

We all feel at times like we aren't good enough.  Sometimes it's because we're in an impossible situation where there simply isn't enough of us to go around.  (Anybody out there the parent of multiples, or very closely spaced children, or really, any two children?) But often -- regardless of the objective situation -- we get stuck in negative thought habits. We beat ourselves down, which makes a bad situation worse.  If we could only support ourselves to feel like we were more than enough, we might be able to make peace with our situation -- or take some step toward making it better.  READ POST

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Permalink

"A journalist visited a town famous for its rampant unhappiness to see if he could understand its origin. Walking down the street, he noticed a man ahead of him. Suddenly, a little man, no more than a few inches high, appeared and ran up the man's leg. He started sticking pins into the man and sewing things to him. Instantly, the man was covered by these tiny tailors, all sticking him with pins.  He looked completely miserable as he shuffled off. The journalist saw this happen to one person after another, until he was ready to give up and go home. The town was completely infested with tiny tailors; no wonder everyone was unhappy. Then the journalist noticed one woman covered with tiny tailors who apparently said something, and the tiny tailors just melted away. The journalist ran over to her. 'What did you say to get free of them?!" he exclaimed. 'Oh,' she answered, 'It was nothing. I just told them I've decided to stop measuring myself.'”  -- Guy Finley

Most of the time when we find ourselves anxious or unhappy, it's because we've been measuring ourselves and come up short. We're constantly comparing ourselves to an ideal in our minds of what we should be.  Unfortunately, no live human can ever live up to an ideal.   READ POST

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | Permalink

"I try to use positive parenting, but there always comes a point where I'm stuck and threaten a timeout. Without punishment, how do I enforce my limits?  I can remind him until I'm blue in the face about the things he's supposed to do, but I can't actually MAKE him. What do I do to make my child behave, if I can't use force?" – Lisabet  READ POST

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Permalink

"I had just read Dr. Laura’s blog about staying calm and acknowledging his desires. When the screaming and stomping began, I stopped what I was doing and sat down next to my three year old. I made eye contact, listened to his complaint and did not let the screaming anger me; I then calmly explained that I hear him. I know cheesy poofs are so tasty and I love them too but he will have to wait half an hour until dinnertime. He blubbered briefly, collapsed into my arms for a minute and then went to play with his toys. My husband congratulated me on keeping my cool.  The best part? He was perfectly pleasant the rest of the evening. Wow!" – Aimee

When parents begin using gentle guidance,  they're often amazed by how well empathy "works" to calm their child.  For most people, just having our views and feelings acknowledged makes us feel better, so we're more cooperative.  So once parents get past their fear of "agreeing" with their child's "negative emotions" they quickly learn to empathize when their child is having a hard time:   READ POST

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Permalink