The Life Skill of Keeping Your Cool

Did you know that your body knows what you’re feeling even before you do? In neuroscience today we’ve discovered that the right hemisphere of our brain is where our “control center” operates and it’s also responsible for the storage of “experiences”. In simple English this means that everything that you experience, and all the information […]

The Tendency Towards Intensity

There are times even the best parenting advice and guidance does not work. As parents, we need to learn how to stay ourselves with our children even when things go wrong and it seems our best strategies are not working. Thankfully, love covers a multitude of sins. My seven-year-old Matthew has a tendency towards intensity. […]

Becoming a Gentle Responder

Have you ever wondered why it can be hard to respond well to what others say or do? You have intentions of being loving, kind, encouraging, and then you are in a discussion and you find yourself responding with something like sarcasm, anger, or judgment instead of being a gentle responder. Let’s explore this common […]

When Brotherly Love Heads South

I just walked out of the shower this morning when I heard my son sobbing in his room. I was surprised by this sound so I quickly ran into his room and scooped him in my arms. I asked, “Andrew, tell me what happened!” Between sobs and slobber, Andrew managed to utter, “Matthew says he […]

Subtle Narcissism – Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

In one of my Joy Groups, we are doing an in-depth study about narcissism and how to deal with it both in ourselves and with others.  We are learning that there are different ‘’types’’ and different “degrees” of narcissism. Most of us have no problem recognizing the blatant, harsh, self-justifying, defensive kind.  There’s no question […]

How to Return to Joy

This year my family had a lot going on for Mother’s Day. It was busy. In fact, it was so busy that it did not work for us to celebrate Mother’s Day like we usually would – on the day, together as a family. We decided to reschedule my Mother’s Day celebration to another time […]

I Missed My Son's Stop Sign

I Missed My Sons Stop Sign

Recognizing overwhelm signals (Skill 9) and staying connected during intense emotions without going over the top, known as interactive quieting (Skill 15), are two key skills we need to sustain healthy relationships. In an ideal world, we develop these skills early in life as parents, family members, teachers, coaches, etc. use these crucial skills to […]

My Mad Mommy Moment

The other day Andrew was not doing what I asked him to do. He was repeatedly getting distracted from his task. I felt my frustration intensify with each reminder. By the fourth reminder I yelled, “Andrew – DO IT NOW!” As soon as the words flew out of my mouth I observed his little face […]

The Appreciation Tree

This morning Andrew woke up in a sour mood. I noticed his brain’s relational circuits (RCs) were off and after several attempts to help him turn them on again, none of the normal solutions worked. His whining continued, even after I took some time to attune with his feelings and comfort him in his upset. […]

What's Missing? The Immanuel Lifestyle!

Last weekend I attended the Annual Gathering of folks who love Life Model Works. The focus was Living an Immanuel Lifestyle. I heard two speakers, both heads of ministries, say, “I was missing something in my relationship with Christ–and what I was missing was the relationship.” We spent the next two days looking at this […]