Sep 032014



Torn front wheel of a bicycle after a crash wi...

Torn front wheel of a bicycle after a crash with a car (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



I was packing for a trip with the TV on in the background.  Instead of heading to bed early so I could be fresh for my trip, I stayed up to jot some thoughts about a  bike accident.

Were there flames, fatalities or drama?  On the surface there was nothing unusual about the incident.  Or so it seemed at first.  A young boy was riding his bike, hit a pothole, fell off and broke his wrist. He had a bike accident and his Mom is suing the city.

[Tweet “Were there flames, fatalities or drama?”]

When asked why the city should be held responsible she replied “Hellooooo.”  That was the entire comment.

Of course I feel for any child with a broken bone — it hurts. It’s unfortunate. And I understand parents feeling angry when children suffer: those feelings are normal and natural. And of course cities and towns should to their best to make necessary road repairs.

Kids fall off of bicycles and get hurt. It happens: neither riding a bike nor conquering gravity are particularly easy skills to master. But a broken wrist in not a fatality. Painful? Inconvenient? Scary? Sure — so are lots of opportunities for growth.

Intended or not, actions have consequences — even driving our bikes in unexpected directions.

Have you ever been frustrated by making repeated requests about basic chores or responsibilities?  Laundry that doesn’t make it to the hamper?  Book bags that don’t get cleaned out?  Toys that aren’t put away?

At that point some parents are able to let certain laundry go undone, permission slips unsigned and toys “‘go missing.”  It’s generally an effective way to stop nagging and help kids connect the dots between the request and the consequence of not following through.

However there parents who offer to serve detention for their kids and even one who drove the get-away car for her “baby’s” robbery…  sometimes parental love gets in the way of more rational thinking!

[Tweet “Sometimes parental love gets in the way of more rational thinking!”]



P.S.  I think extreme examples can be useful in checking our own decisions so  I’ve got a collection of old news articles here. They’ve sparked some lively conversations in parenting groups.  (And, please, if you’ve got one to add, send me the link!  I love this crazy collection.)






May 142014
Hatched Egg

Hatched Egg (Photo credit: Mathew Knott)


Our children are now protected from papers marked with red pens,  other people’s food,  germs on the counter,  dirt at the playground and a whole lot of other things I just can’t think of at the moment.  While I appreciate the evolution of laws about seat belts and smoking I have to wonder whether we have distorted parental love and concern into something that is just not helpful to our children.  The desire to protect our children is normal and natural.  I just wonder if it has gone too far…. if perhaps we are creating more problems than we avoid.

If you don’t believe in the value of the struggle, then just ask your mother…. Mother Nature, that is!

Think about it:  little birds and chickens working hard to break out of their shells, salmon struggling upstream to spawn and helpless baby turtles inching toward the surf…Nature clearly favors those who struggle and adapt. Is that true of the rest of us?



Apr 302014



“enthusiasm” (Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³)


“There is a real magic in enthusiasm.  It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale  


Have you ever noticed that enthusiastic people seem to enjoy life more than those who h0ld back?  It’s as if this trait makes colors brighter and experiences richer.  Maybe it really is the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

I suppose that makes sense; an early definition includes the phrase “having a god within.” Other definitions include words and phrases such as “a lively interest” or describes something that “absorbs or possesses the mind.”

Enthusiasm and passion seem to be natural in young children: running, jumping, yelling, laughing. In time that can change.  As we learn about “grown up behavior” we may skip a little less and sing a bit more quietly.  And when was the last time you didn’t want to fall asleep because you just didn’t want the day to end?

So if we learn to do a bit less running and jumping… and a good time doesn’t always result in grass-stains in the laundry, what does enthusiasm look like in grown-ups?  It may be quieter, but it may resemble habitual gratitude and chronic appreciation. Applause at the end of a performance?  Social media “likes” and “+”s?

How do you share enthusiasm with those around you?



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