Coach’s Response to the Question: “How do I stop criticizing and snapping at my kids?”

I don’t know anyone who never snaps or criticizes their kids, but I know everyone wishes they did it less. I asked 11 coaches to tell us their point of view on this topic. The challenge for you is to pick the one that resonates MOST with you and practice it for a few...

Some Not Too Lame Family Rules for Smartphone Usage

At some point, most teens will have a smartphone and will prefer that it’s attached to them at all times. My 12-year-old son literally went from his phone never being charged to him wanting it attached to his body at all times. The good news is that I now know that...

Why I’m Glad I Shattered my iPhone Screen

  “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ―Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism I finally made the decision to get the iPhone 6 plus. The truth is, I vacillated on it because I feared it would be too big and awkward. Once I got it, I was pretty excited and fell...

Follow Your Joy, Teens Wreaking Havoc & What Great Parents Do

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~Joseph Campbell “People who follow their joy experience the fullness of their being,” says Robert Holden. How do we follow our joy? There is...

Raising Kids Who Are Good, Kind People Still Matters

Responsibility and kindness are important to many parents In a survey done by Pew Research in the Fall of 2014, it came out that the quality that most parents want to teach their children is responsibility. In groups that identify as consistently liberal, coming in...

Smartphones: the Good, the Bad, & the Sexty

Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.” ~ Brene Brown My oldest son is 12 and I am noticing him keeping his phone right by his side, trying to look at it...

What Great Parents Do Well

Donald Miller, author of the new book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, reports that healthy and high-functioning people often have parents who do not hide their flaws, especially from their own children. “Healthy people tend to come from...

15 Parents Share their Thoughts about Technology and Our Kids

This week, at our local public middle school, we hosted a Principal’s Coffee chat where technology was the topic. In small groups, we brainstormed about the upsides to technology and the things we wonder (and worry) about…the questions that are swirling in our brains....

It’s Too Late, You Snapped at Your Kid. Now What?

So you snapped. Maybe you overreacted or said something you wished you didn’t say. Yes, it’s true, it’s the human condition – we are imperfect. (I like to say that we are perfectly imperfect) It doesn’t mean we just resign ourselves to reactive behaviors. We should do...

Use Common Sense with Digital Media

Last night I went to an event where the founder of Common Sense Media, Jim Steyer, spoke. It was interesting on many levels so I wanted to share what I learned 🙂 About Common Sense Media Do you use their website for your family? Quite honestly it’s been our go-to...

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Future of Humanity


New Perspectives on Leadership

All around us, people are yearning for leadership that can bring people together – someone who leads with strength, integrity, and empathy. But what I think is that we are each being invited to become such a leader in our own lives, families, communities, and workplaces. We have the opportunity to show up and BE the way we wish our leaders would be. We can choose to be leaders of our lives, of our selves. Together we can create communities and workplaces that are supportive, restorative, connected, inclusive and open to our different lifestyles, opinions, and ways of being.

The seemingly small changes we make in ourselves and in our smaller circles have the power to impact the communities around us and change the world. It’s called the ripple effect. Your leadership has the power to impact people’s lives. What if each person you connect with in your community or workplace is changed because of you? And what if they change the next person they come together with? What if they are better parents because of your leadership or the support of their community? The way we relate to one another matters, and how leaders show up and lead, sets the stage for how others will relate to one another and live their lives.

The way forward

Impact the future of humanity through your leadership

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The Future of Humanity Requires Us To:



Understand that our relationships are there FOR us

Each relationship is there to reflect something for us about ourselves. They are a mirror and we need one another to see that which needs to be resolved, healed or integrated within us. Without one another we would not be able to see. So, our frustrations, irritations and triggers are fodder for our growth. Life is fodder for our growth.


Be sensitive

Understand trauma

Rather than simply labeling people’s behaviors as bad or good, we can develop a sensitivity to why people are behaving the way they are. We can realize that all people have their own baggage and traumas and rather than judge and shame them, we can support one another to come back to wholeness and healing. As we begin to understand trauma better, we can develop more compassion for ourselves and greater empathy for others. Often it’s hard to listen to others when we have our own pain, so the more we heal our pain, the better we can listen to others. This deeper understanding of ourselves, others and humanity in general is a critical component to improving our interactions with one another.



Teach listening

All people can learn how to be a better listener and how to be a supportive friend. We can also teach how to set and hold boundaries, self-love, and more.



Integrate restorative justice

There are far too many instances of younger people and other minor offenders who are punished when they should be educated and brought back to wholeness through restorative programs. An example is situations that are relational – bullying, harassment, sexual consent (not rape), etc. We increase the chances of people learning how to better relate by helping them to better understand the impact they had on the other, better understand what happened and learn how to be more sensitive and skillful in relating. Ideally there would be some informal restorative circles to support the community as well.



Look at our biases

Because of our own personal and familial experiences and the biases built into our culture, none of us can be sure we are seeing clearly. From racial and gender biases to more universal human biases that are built into the way we work, such as confirmation bias. Bias is a worthwhile area to explore in order to come together with more compassion. Bias is ever present. It’s our job to watch for it and not allow that
natural brain function to look for that which is “like me” to take over and “other” others.

See where you can courageously ask the question “I wonder what it’s like to be you?”



Replace call out culture with call in culture

We can come back to a positive bias, the assumption of positive intent. We can also acknowledge the impact and provide support for people. But life is messy and humans are imperfect. What I know about humans is that we get hurt pretty easily, even when we don’t act like it. If we truly care about making the world a better place, we wouldn’t intentionally hurt another even if we disagree with them. It’s not that different than a ___- ist at the core – it’s treating another inhumanely and insensitively because of the color of their skin color, age, religion, gender, etc. If we want to bring more equity, kindness and care for ALL humans, we need to stop perpetuating the cycle – and it starts with each of us. We must go back to caring for one another and not policing each other’s behaviors. Let’s call people back in – with compassion and curiosity, assuming positive intent.



Shift from identity politics to unity thinking

Rather than focus on our racial, gender, religious, cultural, financial and ability differences as categorizations that are the source of bias and inequity; how can we explore how we can expand that conversation. While continuing to push forward with policy and legal changes that address systemic structures that interfere with equality of opportunity, I also see that we can kick the ball down the field a bit and consider moving towards unity politics whereby we acknowledge that all humans have suffered and struggled and that no one experience is necessarily more significant than another. Some may have suffered more than others and some may continue to be impacted by systemic structures that we have in place. But seeing that all of us carry our own burdens and not “ranking pain” is important too. When we decide that one group of people (older white males for example) do not deserve to have their experience understood because they have been in power is doing exactly what marginalized groups had done to them. It’s “othering”, it’s stereotyping, it’s gaslighting. The way the Universe works is that if we perpetrate onto others that which we were victims of, we will perpetuate the energy. We must rise above this pattern. Two wrongs do not make a right. This does not mean that we don’t still need to work toward equality in areas where we have not yet achieved it. This does not mean that people don’t still need to be educated about where some groups are still discriminated against, harmed or otherwise oppressed (for example, Muslim women in other countries and people living in poverty). Coming together is the answer.


Be Curious

Prioritize and elevate open conversation

Support free speech and encourage “cross-side” compassion. While some speech can hurt, we must develop resilience and turn to our support systems to help us navigate our feelings and reactions. Free speech is a cornerstone to our democracy and the ability to discuss openly the current cultural and social issues in a way where all voices are heard is critically important if we want to make progress to solve our collective problems. As we heal our traumas, people will naturally be less inclined to hurt others with their words. Free speech will feel safer as people feel less defensive and protective and more curious and compassionate. For all of history, those who want to make the world a better place have to endure a lot more pushback, anger, reactions, negativity and other difficult interactions. That’s the price of being a trailblazer. Personally, I would love to see us set some ground rules for HOW we interact with one another. I don’t mean laws, but I think there is some value in discussing what types of behaviors are most conducive to a respectful and open conversation. One really important cornerstone is to discuss and disagree about ideas and to not make it personal – no personal attacks, put downs or other childish banter. With that said, we do need to also hold each other accountable for telling the truth.



Seek viewpoint diversity

We all suffer from confirmation bias so in order to really better understand a particular idea, issue or subject, we must consciously seek out perspectives, viewpoints and opinions that challenge our beliefs. While we all need to learn how to do this together, one strategy for this is that when we read or otherwise consume content that we feel that we wholeheartedly agree with, Google an article that is in some way opposed. We also have a natural inclination to settle on over-simplifications and solutions that are not large enough to hold the complexity of the problem. This requires us to go out of our way to keep expanding our thinking. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but pushing our edges results in better solutions, greater connection with others and a more flexible mind. I’ve found that listening to podcasts has helped me expand my mind.



Move away from zero-sum game thinking to generative thinking

As a community, we thrive when we are in it together, supporting one another. This way of being in our homes and communities will spill over to the broader world. Assume positive intent and collaborate to find a way that is best for most. There is a way we can honor ourselves and honor the other. It’s a shift away from the idea that there are winners and losers, one is right and one is wrong TO the idea that we can come to shared understanding. In groups, when we honor that each of us has a contribution, create an environment for everyone to share and be heard and yet we all know we won’t always do what everyone wants to be done the way they want it to be done – we can create a space to listen and capture new ideas, perhaps create something better than what we can create on our own. This means that instead of deciding to do this or that and one loses and one wins, we instead consider many perspectives, examine possible impacts and consequences, look at the bigger picture, include many voices, explore constraints and ultimately find solutions that will be less likely to cause harm and more likely to get the desired result.



Embrace a more integral view of cultural progress

There is a way we can see the value in many ideas. We can transcend (grow/progress) and include (not leave good/valuable/important things behind). An example may be around the values that come out of a more conservative way of thinking. Integrating values and a moral compass as we move forward could be useful. Or when we look at the ideas of equality of opportunity (freedom) or equality of outcomes (equality) – it may not be either/or. There may be some benefit to seeing the value in both and seeing where equality of opportunity might be optimal, but then to also see where specific circumstances call for more support and a greater focus around how to create equality of outcome. Rather than deciding one is superior and the other must be rejected.



Build community

We must look into the past and see how communities can be supportive and consciously integrate more supportive elements into our communities. We need communities that are in support of each individual prioritizing integrity, authenticity and consciousness. We must bond together on our shared desire to be our most authentic selves and honor our differences and look for our similarities. Being the same/shared belief systems must no longer be the criteria for belonging. We must look more deeply at our essence and who we are.



Prioritize families

We must make our families a priority. We must support parents and families as a community.

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13 Tips to Keep Relationships Simpler and Better

13 Tips to Keep Relationships Simpler and Better

Relationships are complex – we take two or more people with different personalities, belief systems, communication styles, ways of thinking, senses of humor and more and we stick them together and expect them to form connections and relate to one another....

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