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“Before the plane takes off, the pilots have a flight plan…but during the course of the flight, wind, rain, turbulence, air traffic, human error, and other factors act on the plane…90% of the time the plane is not even on the prescribed flight path...During the flight, the pilots make constant adjustments to get back on track. The flight of that airplane is the perfect metaphor for family life…it doesn’t make any difference if we are off target or even if our family is a mess. The hope lies in the vision and in the plan and in the courage to keep coming back time and time again.” – Stephen Covey

You may have noticed that you aren’t perfect. That sometimes you aren’t the parent or the person you want to be. Sometimes you blow it.  We all do. Welcome to humanity. 

The bad news is that even if we’re committed to showing up with love for ourselves and others, life happens. We get disconnected -- from our child, our partner, our own deepest guidance. There’s no magic that keeps us on the right path. In fact, all relationships are a constant series of connections and disconnections, missteps and course corrections.  READ POST

Wednesday, October 09, 2013 | Permalink

"The only way to help your child is to do the work yourself. Your child needs a guide through the tsunami." – Leslie Potter, Purejoy Parenting

Life has a way of doling out lessons that we didn't ask for, but that help us develop more wholeness. When we resist those lessons, they land in our lap over and over, until we finally tackle them.   READ POST

Thursday, May 23, 2013 | Permalink

Dr.  Laura....I don't understand how to even begin to validate our very strong willed 2.5 son when he is screaming at me from inside the van and won't get in his seat so we can get his big sister from school and the 6 month old is there as well..." - Anita

What happens to your car if you don't fill it with gas, change the oil, and give it a regular tune up?  It ends up in the breakdown lane.  Life with children isn't so different. Unfortunately, parents aren't given a preventive maintenance plan for their children.  But if you don't refill your child's love tank, roughhouse with him daily so he gets some good giggling in, and give him regular one-on-one time, you can count on more breakdown time. Especially if there's a relatively new baby in the family, or if you're transitioning from conventional parenting to gentle parenting and your child has some old emotions to process.  READ POST

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 | Permalink

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." - William Shakespeare

The problem with parenting is that we don't get any prep time. We're always on stage, performing for an audience that responds to our every thoughtless word or action. We learn our lines as we go, improvising.  As soon as we master a cue, it's replaced by a new one.  We spend the entire play just trying to get ahead of the action enough to think about what to do next.   READ POST

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | Permalink

"Before we're 8 years old, we have almost no capacity to filter out information that comes to us. So if parents or teachers, people we count on to nurture us, say something hurtful to us before the age of goes in quite deep and we carry those misbeliefs with us. They profoundly affect our relationship to ourselves, to others...our sense of value in the world."  -- Dr. David Simon

What did you learn before you were eight?  That you're a capable person, worthy of adoration and an abundant life, lovable exactly as you are, even with all of your messy imperfections, bodily functions, anger, fear, and neediness?  Or maybe that you somehow aren't lovable enough to have your needs completely met, that some of your feelings and body parts are shameful, that harsh words or even blows might rain down on you at any time?  READ POST

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Permalink

“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.” --
Dr. Haim Ginott

Kids have antenna.  Whenever you lower your voice to speak to someone else, their ears perk up.  And if they hear their name, their attention is riveted.

Kids know we say things to them for effect, whether positive or negative.  Their defenses go up and they may not trust our intentions.  Are they being manipulated?

But when they hear us saying nice things about them to someone else, there's no filter.  They assume it's true.  And they live up (or down) to what they hear.

Any specific traits you want to encourage?  Say nice things about how your child is developing those traits, not to him but within his hearing.  Recognize any progress at all in the right direction.

"He's so determined when he works on a project. He takes a break and then keeps coming back to it."
"She's getting to be so good with her little brother.  You should have seen how patient she was when...."
"You won't believe what a great reader he's becoming. He spends more and more time reading these days."
"She's a whiz with numbers."
"He's growing up and becoming so responsible. He barely needs to be reminded to..."
"She's so helpful and considerate.  Why just today, she...."

Thursday, August 05, 2010 | Permalink

"Dr. Laura -- I came across your website a month ago and have been trying to follow the advice in your emails.  I am amazed at the difference in my son in just this short time.  Mostly, I try to just stop when I get upset and see things from his point of view. Thank you for helping us stay on track!" -- Madeline

Thursday, June 17, 2010 | Permalink