Monday, September 12, 2011

What if Everyone Wore a Sign?

"What if everyone wore a sign that displayed their true feelings? Would you be kinder to a misbehaving child if their sign said "I'm scared"? What if someone who was rude to you at the DMV had a sign that said "My husband left me three days ago"? It seems as if two things in life are certain: 1. Everyone struggles, and 2. Everyone forgets that everyone else struggles. This must-read blog post offers a touching perspective from a woman who knows what it's like to be judged during hardship." (Courtesy of

We must see past what it seems by Brave Girls Club

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Compassion and Empathy

I saw this recently, after loosing yet another dear friend to cancer, and walking with her through her last days. It spoke to me and I hope to carry it into the school year. I believe we all need compassion from each other: not only in the "big" things like terminal illnesses, but also in the smaller daily matters.

My colleague is stressed and wanting to exert control, she deserves compassion. This small child is crying and unable to follow simple directions, he deserves compassion. This parent is allowing his anger to become personal because he feels for his son's experiences, he too, deserves compassion.

4:51 Joan Halifax defines compassion:

"compassion is comprised of the capacity to see clearly into the nature of suffering, the ability to stand strong, and recognize that I am not separate from this suffering . . .; aspire to transform suffering, engage in activities that transforms suffering; cannot be attached to outcome . . ."

6:20 It is a quality inherent within all of us
7:00 The enemies of compassion: pity, moral-outrage, fear
8:00 "Benefits" of compassion: enhanced resilience, neuro-integration, boast in immune system
9:50 takes a strong back and a soft front

Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy | Video on

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Civil Discourse

Conflicts are so hard. They make my stomach churn. At a recent Caring School Community training, we learned some great prompts for difficult conversations:

"I agree with [name] because . . ."
"I disagree with [name] because . . ."
"In addition to what [name] said, . . .

Being able to talk through disagreements without anger preserves our sense of safety in relationships. Perhaps we can all give these a try.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Leader in Me

A few resources for parents:

Article on The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey

Parenting Lessons from The Leader in Me program

Parent's Guide from the Leader in Me program

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chores and Our Children

This is an interesting article about why so many children do not have the responsibilities of household chores. I've been thinking about the importance of training my children to speak the love language of "acts of service." They've been doing more around the house this summer. It has been good for us; very, very good!

How about a little help here By James H. Burnett III, Globe Staff

Monday, July 11, 2011

The 90/10 Principle

It is recorded in Proverbs that King Soloman taught "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult." To think that we might truly have control over 90% of our lives because we can determine our reactions is a powerful thought indeed~

Monday, June 13, 2011

Self-control in childhood predicts future success -

We are a generation of parents who have the luxury of contemplating our children's self-esteem rather than worrying about their basic needs. However our discomfort with their discomfort has at times resulted in a diminished focus in their character training. This is a great article reminding us of the importance of self-control.

Self-control in childhood predicts future success -

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time is Irreversible

With children in their preteen and teen years, I am shocked at how time is truly speeding by. A few questions for us to reflect upon:

-Do I really need to take on this new project/assignment that will cause me to work over the weekend?
-Can I put down this chore and play this game right now because he is asking me to?
-Can I shut my laptop because she is trying to talk to me about her week?
-Is there anyway we can work out our schedules, cut back our expenses, so the children don't have to be at school from 7:15 AM to 6:00 PM?

This is a sobering song; I believe especially poignant to us who live in greater Boston. On that note, I am powering down this laptop and going to check on my girl. She wants to learn how to tie a tie for her outfit~

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Susan Callender Teaches Etiquette

(Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
Susan Callender teaches etiquette, beyond the salad fork - The Boston Globe
Love the Etiquette Tips for Children which were on the same page as the article:

1. Children should understand at an early age the importance of eye contact, a firm handshake, and gracious greetings.

2. Children should practice deference and respect for all grown-ups.

3. Children who practice kindness and gratitude at home will find social situations at school and elsewhere instinctively easier.

4. Giving and receiving compliments sincerely builds self-esteem.

5. “Please’’ and “thank you’’ are more than magic words. The former acknowledges not everything in the world belongs to you; the latter affirms that what you have is a consequence of a connection to others.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Salman Khan Talk at TED 2011 (from

Of interest:

8:00 Great analogy about mastery and Swiss cheese proficiency

11:15 How to use the valuable teacher-to-student instructional time

This is an amazing example of using real time data

14:00 It's about giving children the right kind of learning or re-learning opportunities in specific skill areas rather than tracking and labeling students as struggling or gifted.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011