9 Questions about Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a big deal, and it is a bigger topic than one might consider. Dr. Jim Wilder fielded questions at a conference where he spoke about learning to forgive. His answers to those questions are provided here. Question #1 — Can joy be “faked”? Or, can someone trick themselves into believing they are experiencing authentic […]

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. […]

Raising Resilient Children

I want to have a heart to heart with you about raising resilient children. These are children who bounce back and recover when things go wrong. Children who respond to the curve balls of life and relationships with flexibility and fortitude. Children who can quiet and calm themselves on the good and bad days. I […]

Remaining Relational with Flattened Flapjacks

Last night my family enjoyed our weekly tradition of breakfast for dinner. As my boys were devouring their pancakes, I remembered the item I found under the living room rug last week. Pancakes. Yes, that’s correct. Pancakes! A few weeks ago my sons thought it would be funny to sneak a few pancakes and hide them […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

The Fun of Joy and Rest

My oldest son Matthew is now in school full days, so I try to find meaningful ways to connect with Andrew when he is home. Andrew is the youngest child behind his big brother, Matthew, who happens to have a very big, out-going personality, Andrew tends to take a backseat to Matthew’s antics during interactions. […]

Children's Stuffies & Bonds & How Loved We Are

  Are there any little children in your life? Do they have something they cannot go to sleep (or live) without? Maybe it’s a blanket that’s tattered and full of holes. Maybe it’s a stuffed animal that doesn’t smell very good. Some people call these loveys, blankies, or stuffies.  Stuffies is a kind of new […]

The World Needs What the Life Model Provides

We were first introduced to the Life Model in 2006, by Karl Lehman, and attended our first Thrive Training in 2007. Thrive Training and many of the other Life Model resources we have used have been very beneficial to our individual growth and healing, as well as to our marriage. We have also witnessed over […]