Asking the Right Question in Relationships

Image courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am working on a member survey for one of my favorite nonprofits and it has occurred to me that many times, whether in our jobs or our lives, we are asking the wrong question.

Why do we do that?

Is it fear of the answer, or is it a failure to think it through and determine what information we are truly seeking? Continue reading

COO of Your Family Corporation?

Wedding DayOn my wedding day, I asked my father-in-law, a highly respected salesman, motivational speaker and the most charming person I have ever known, how he and his wife had stayed so happily and romantically married for so many years. He considered and said he only had one piece of advice after all that time together, “Never call each other names. You can never take them back.”  Continue reading

Advice Tyranny

Pregnant Woman SilhouetteFunny, isn’t it, that I should write an observational advice blog on parenting and then give advice on avoiding advice?

Seriously though, advice is a very powerful thing and should be taken carefully and with great forethought. Does it really fit your style and your child’s personality? Is it appropriate for where you are in your child’s development or time of life? Do you trust the advice giver’s credibility or do you just think it’s an interesting idea?

That is totally okay, you know. You can take wisdom or usable techniques where you find them without particularly thinking that the person you have heard it from has done a great job of applying it themselves.

After all, think about all of the mediocre managers you have had in your professional career who somehow managed to impart just one nugget of usable information that helped you do your job more efficiently or to understand a difficult concept more clearly

As I have gone through both professional and parenting careers, I have learned to pan for gold in the most unexpected places.

It starts with pregnancy. Have you ever noticed that once you start to show, everyone you meet who has ever had a child wants to share their birth experience or experiences with you? And maybe it was just me, but it seemed like the more frightening the tale, the greater relish they took in sharing them. I got to the point with Daughter 2 where I would cut the reminiscences off at the pass with an, “Oh that sounds just fascinating and I would love to hear about it sometime soon, but right now that just makes me so queasy…”  🙂 Amazingly effective. Continue reading

When Your Child Starts to Swear

Boy with face in hands

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Will all children experiment with profanity? Probably. Some are better at applying a parental censor chip than others, but trust me, that is just a juicy bowl of noodles waiting to be gobbled up and evaluated by your budding adolescent.

Our wake up call came when Daughter 1 came home from school one day, cocked her curly blonde head to the side, and asked, “Mommy, what are all of the bad words?” 

My first thought (after the shock that she was even asking about them) was, “Yeah, right…like I am going to give you punch list of profanity. I don’t think so!” I asked her why she needed to know. She said, “Well, the boys on the bus are saying a lot of words I think are bad but I don’t know for sure, and I don’t know what makes a bad word.”

She had an excellent point. We had not actually explained profanity or inappropriate words to our children yet.

I swore from time to time when I was younger and was cured of most of that by two things. First, when I was dating my husband, he casually mentioned that people who swear generally lack the imagination or intelligence to think of something better to say. Ouch! Second, when I had children I became even more aware of what was coming out of my mouth, and that little ears were recording it for life, whether consciously or subconsciously.

I carefully explained that, “No, I would not give her a list of bad words.” Continue reading