My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy: 3 Parenting Tips for Sanity

September 17, 2019

A common phrase I often hear while teaching parenting classes or in parent coaching sessions is, “My kids are driving me crazy!” It doesn’t matter if the child is a toddler or a teen; this level of exasperation is more common than you may think. No matter the age of children, this is a plea for help. Unfortunately, as parents, we can often feel alone, like we’re the only ones who feel this way. And then guilt rises. After all, what’s wrong with us that we don’t like spending time with our children. Or worse, we jump to the conclusion that we’re failing as parents. We might even wonder [...]

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How to Teach Empathy to Children and Create Understanding

September 03, 2019

Recently I went into The Flooring Place to get my Douglas Honeycomb shades repaired. As I waited to speak to a clerk, I saw an ad about flooring that read: Water resistant. Worry relief. This ad illustrates a simple principle: prevention.

Empathy is prevention. Empathy creates relief from emotional duress and upset. When a person truly listens and understands us, we feel heard, and emotions dissipate. Upset is no match for empathy. Feeling heard is a human need, and an empathetic response goes to the core of this need. So how do we teach this critical skill to our children?

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Parenting Challenges and Tales During Intergenerational Living

August 01, 2019

Every summer, my little family of four heads travels to the family cottages in Northern Michigan. Once there, we meet up with three generations of cousins, two sets of grandparents, and a multitude of friends. The friends’ cottages are also full of multiple generations across their family trees. Intergenerational living in cottages is a lot of fun, but it can also have its share of challenges.

What does this have to do with you? Intergenerational living is subject to a long list of struggles—and joys—that others don’t have. But at the heart of this complex dynamic, the challenges are the [...]

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Dealing with Teenage Defiance—Your Teen Says, "I Hate You!"

July 23, 2019

Have you ever tried looking for your reflection in a lake with white-capped waves? Nope. We don’t do that, do we, because we know we wouldn’t be able to see our reflection.

Teenage rebellion and angst can create a lot of waves in our relationship with our teen. So much so that parents can react fiercely in knee-jerk ways that backfire and fixate rebellion. Like it or not, it's a teen's job to push the limits and to individuate.

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What You Need to Know in Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

June 18, 2019

The internet buzz says everyone needs emotional intelligence (also known as an emotional quotient (EQ) or emotional fitness). There are numerous articles and volumes of research showing that having a high EQ is one of the most important ingredients in succeeding in life.

For a child or teen, having emotional fitness is equally important as physical health. It makes the difference in a child's academic success, and it determines whether they survive—or thrive—in their developmental years. With so many societal challenges and such easy access to unhealthy influences, our children must be [...]

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9 Tips to Achieve Stunning Maternity Photos

May 29, 2019

Body changes, mood swings, weird cravings, little kicks from the little bundle of joy in your womb—pregnancy is undoubtedly a major chapter in a woman's story that’s full of surprises and challenges. That’s why mothers-to-be around the world see to it that they document this important part of their life.

Whether you're looking to display a striking maternity photo in your living room, or you want to create a photo book full of your pregnancy mementos, here are nine essential tips for capturing the best maternity portraits!

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Parenting Tips for Saying No and Setting Boundaries

May 28, 2019

Saying no can be one of the most relentless challenges for any parent. Whether it's a stomping toddler, an obstinate preschooler, or a convincing teenager pressuring you, it's important to understand what your job is and why it is so vital. Your job as a parent is to set limits. And your child's job is to test those limits. So when you're faced with power struggles, remember: It's your job! Now here's the prize: saying no appropriately is extremely critical to a child's development. When you set appropriate limits for your child or teen, you are giving them the chance to practice and learn [...]

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Parenting Your Teenager with Emotional Intelligence

April 11, 2019

As teens plug through the high school years and prepare to leave home, parents often begin to squirm. Not only is it a gigantic letting-go process for a parent (and a teen), but the big question that plagues many parents is: “Have I prepared my child adequately?” And emotional intelligence is critical for your teenager to be successful.

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Teens and Screens: Why Won’t My Teen Get Off the Screen?

February 07, 2019

Dopamine-Seeking Reward Loops. That’s why! Of course, it isn’t that simple—we can’t give the entire rap to Dopamine Seeking Reward Loops. There are plenty of other factors why teens get hooked: fulfilling emotional needs, boredom, lack of self-restraint, connection with friends, to name a few. Here we’re going to explore how dopamine affects teens and their developing brains. For the sake of ease, we’re going to shorten to the culprit to Dopamine Loops.

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Why It's Critical to Understand Your Child's Temperament

December 29, 2018

Temperament is one of the most underestimated influences in a child’s life. Many times, a difficult temperament trait in a child can be the primary driving force of misbehavior in children. Much of the challenges in child raising often lead back to temperament qualities, such as low adaption or high emotional intensity.

Temperament is a lot like looking into a kaleidoscope. Children's temperament traits come in a multitude of colors and designs along with countless hues and intensities. Turn the dial of a kaleidoscope slightly and everything dramatically changes. So it is with temperament. [...]

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