Friendship/Bullying Research

October 29, 2013


Friends, I am still researching teen/tween girl friendships and bullying for both a talk and an article. Please email me your stories.  I want to hear from young girls.  I am interested in what were the biggest challenges to you and your friendships in 6-9th grade?  Tell me a story of a difficult time you went through.  What did you learn?   How could your parents have helped you better?  How did you face the girls that were being unkind?  What worked?  What didn't?  How does social media impact friendships and bullying?   What do you wish you knew then that you know know? You can message me or e-mail me at khswales@comcast.net  Let me know if I can anonymously use your examples and stories in my talks/writing. THANKS!

where have all the manners gone?

August 1, 2013



RUseaside_4112 
Ok. I am really fed up.  I think those of you who know me in life or have been reading for the 6 and 1/2 years that I have been writing know that I really try to look for the best in everyone.  I do.  I know that no one is perfect. We all have bad days.  But lately, I just cannot get over how rude and mean little girls have become.

When did we stop teaching our daughters manners people?  (and yes, I know boys can be rude too but I honestly do not see this as much with boys as I do with girls right now...probably because I am  around more little girls).

It starts with please and thank you.  I drive a lot of carpools (for camps, dance, art, sports, gymnastics, school).  Parents,please teach your children to say "Thank you for the ride, Mrs. Peanut." Is that too hard?  I know my daughter forgets sometimes but she remembers a lot of times too. And my boys never forget. I have drilled it into them. There are kids I drive day after day, year after year, that have never said thank you.  It is rude.

Once, I was picking up some children from somewhere because their Mom had an emergency. I don't mind doing this at all.  We all need to help each other out, right?  I brought all the kids snacks too.  The first thing one child did was complain.  She expressed anger that I was picking her up rather than her Mom.  Another stranger Mom overheard and said, "you should be grateful this woman is doing your Mom a favor."  Amen sister!

Next, I handed them all a snack.  The same little girl turned up her nose and said, "I don't like this. What else do you have?" Seriously?!  How about..."thank you for the snack, Mrs. Peanut." It seems that almost every time I have a friend over for Kate, some of the girls don't like the snacks we offer (apples, cheese sticks, pretzels, popcorn, blueberries, chips and salsa) and they go right in my pantry looking for something better (we don't have oreos or goldfish).  My kids would not do that.  I have taught them better.  I have taught them to say  "no, thank you" if they don't want something. We have role played what to do if they go to someone's house for lunch or dinner and they don't like what is being served.  I have taught them that you don't complain and you NEVER go in someone's refrigerator or pantry looking for something better.  You take a few polite bites and then eat more when you get home.  And you always say "thank you for the delicious dinner." Since my kids could utter the word "mama,"  I taught them the words,"thank you for the delicious dinner."  In fact, at the Peanut dinner table, that is all you are allowed to say about the meal.  You are not allowed to say you don't like something.  You are not allowed to say, "yuck."  Someone worked hard to buy the ingredients and prepare a meal.  You do not get to complain.

If I make something my kids don't really like, they have strategically figured out a polite way to express it.   Will is the best at this.  He will say, "Thank you for the delicious dinner Mom but I am not sure we should add this to our regular rotation."  That way he does not insult the food I have lovingly prepared but he lets me know he doesn't like it as much as our regular dinners.   And the ultimate compliment is "We should add this to our regular rotation, Mom!" The other peanuts have learned from his example.  Although Kate is still a work in progress with her table manners sometimes.  But we work on them daily.

I think people have gotten so busy trying to teach their kids to be stellar select team athletes and top of the class GT students and little fashionsitas that they have overlooked some of the simple but most important things...grace and courtesy.  

A little girl on Kate's gymnastics team is being really mean to her.  She questions Kate's heritage commanding Kate to "prove" she was born in China.  When Kate shared her Chinese name with said girl, the girl started teasing her that Dan Ru was her "boyfriend" not her Chinese name.  She tells Kate she does not like her and tries to get the other girls to say it to Kate too.  She pushes Kate out of line and cuts in front of her.  Kate tells me all the "sassy" things this girl says day after day. And I think to myself, where does this come from?  In fact, I woke up at 3 am this morning wondering why this girl is being so darned mean to Kate (who would not hurt a fly).

It comes from two places.  First, children who misbehave usually are feeling bad in some aspect of their lives.  Secondly, they have not learned a better way to behave.  Either their parents have not taught them grace and courtesy or they have not modeled it or BOTH.

Let me share another example of how we teach it.....

One day Kate and I were walking home from school and a little girl stopped us and asked "Whose tummy did Kate grow in?"  Oh my.  My heart stopped with that question.  Kate was standing right there.  I took a deep breath and said, "We don't know honey."  She continued..."How could you not know? Why didn't her Mommy want her?"  I was STUNNED!  She kept going and going with rude and insensitive questions. "Why did her Mommy give her away?" Okay, she was a kindergartener so maybe she did not know better.  BUT her 40-something year old Mom was standing right there and never jumped in.  She never said, "Sweetie, that is not our business."  or "All that matters is Kate has a loving family."  I was livid.  I politely shut her questions down once I saw her Mom was not going to do so. She never even looked embarrassed that her daughter was asking rude, personal and insensitive questions.  This is my point.  We have opportunities every single day to teach our kids boundaries and kindness and empathy and manners.  But so many parents today fail to do so.

I am not perfect and my kids are not perfect.  We all have off days. Once I yelled at a sales clerk at the AT&T store in front of Will.  I was having a very bad day.  I ran out of patience. Afterwards, I apologized and told Will how wrong it was and I have never done it again. More importantly,  I have worked diligently and consistently for 16 years to teach my kids graciousness.  And you know what?  They are polite, sweet compassionate kids. ANYONE who has ever met them would tell you that.  It is an investment in a person's soul to teach them kindness.  It is more important than teaching them to read before kindergarten y'all!

This makes it really hard to find good friends for my daughter.  Again, Kate is not perfect.  But she is inclusive and loving and sweet.  She would not say mean things to someone because she knows it is wrong. And she knows that because we have taught her that!  I want her to be surrounded by loving friends with compassionate and understanding hearts.  Friends who don't mind that sometimes it takes her a long time to get her sentences out and will not tell her to "hurry up" or "spit it out."  I want her to have friends who don't question how she came to our family but are just glad she is here.  I want her to have friends who lift her up not tear her down.  And let me tell you, it is hard to find friends like that these days.


This is re-posted from my personal blog. I felt like it was appropriate for this one too.

praying for your children {part 2}

June 19, 2013

I apologize for the extended gap between part one and part two.  Summer happened.  I am slowly realizing that I cannot actually work part-time, mother full time, feed children, keep a somewhat clean house (and I use that term "clean" loosely), chauffeur 3 kids, and maintain two blogs.  What made me think I could accomplish all that?!  I just have not figured out yet what is going to have to go!  Probably the somewhat not so much clean house!

Onto to the post though...

I wanted to offer a few more tips for praying more effectively for your children:

Keep a prayer journal. I have found it so useful to keep a journal of the things I pray for my children. When I feel discouraged, I can look back and see God's work in our lives.  It is hard to remember what we were praying for a year ago.  The journal always reminds me how God does answer our prayers in HIS own ways and times.

Some people keep one journal for each child.  The advantage of that is that you can look at the prayer needs and changes over time for each individual child in one place.  Also, someday you could give that child his/her prayer journal (on their wedding day or at college graduation) so they can see how you covered them in prayer throughout their childhood. Wouldn't that be such a great gift?

I found having that keeping separate journals for each child is overwhelming so I keep one for now. I do think that someday when my children find my prayer journal long after I am gone, it will be a treasure for them.

A prayer journal also keeps me accountable.  I fall into and out of the habit of daily prayer for my children.  But if I write things down in a journal, it is more likely to get done (kind of like a spiritual to do list!)

You can download some free printables to make a prayer journal here.  Or you can buy some good ones at this Etsy shop or this Etsy shop.  They both have great personalized prayer books and journals for Mom and kids.  Click on the photo to link to the shops.

il_570xN.425205903_kxsq



il_570xN.451629381_tj15

Team up with others to pray.  I recently faced a very serious situation with a child and I was praying my heart out daily about it.  Then I read somewhere that if prayer wasn't seeming to make it better, invite two other Moms to join you in praying for that issue.  I asked two Moms who love my child and who I KNOW would pray everyday for the situation.  I even told them exactly what I wanted them to pray.  I asked them to commit to 3 weeks of prayer over said child.  Things have definitely improved.  I am not sure if they prayed every single day but I know they helped me reach God regarding this problem.  And those Moms asked me to pray for their intentions too.  We have helped one another in our prayer needs.

Another way to team up to pray is to host a gathering to pray for your children.  I have done this at our church (many years ago).  You can do this at your home or at a church.  And there are many ways to proceed. There is even a small chapter on how to do this in The Power of a Praying® Parent Book of Prayers (Power of a Praying Book of Prayers) by Stormie O Martian. When I helped organize it it at our church, we gathered in a room and went around the circle with a prayer intention for one child each.  People brought a photo of one child and very briefly explained the prayer request.  We usually relied on Stormie O'Maritan's book for the prayer or the parent or a leader led us in specific prayer for each child's needs.  It was a beautiful experience to pray with other Moms for our children. For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.  Matthew 18:20

Speaking of gathering others to pray, I host a healing rosary each week in my home.  It started out to pray for a very dear friend and her cancer battle but it has grown into much more. Yesterday, Kate (my 7 year old daughter) joined our group for the first time.  She had never prayed an entire rosary before and she was very excited.  I briefly explained to her, that I would open with a prayer and ask for everyone's prayer intentions.  She stopped me there saying she had a list in a book.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  I had never given her a prayer journal.  She ran upstairs and came down and sure enough, she had one (from VBS last week).  She read the opening page to me. "When prayers go up, blessings come down."  Then she turned to her prayer list and it said, "Harry (her brother), Libby (one of her best friends) and some of my Mom's friends."

So, Kate prayed a beautiful rosary with my friends yesterday and she proudly offered those three intentions just as gracefully as my 40 something year old friends do from week to week.  And it was then that I realized how praying for our children does way more than I thought it did.  It also provides an incredible model for our children to be other oriented and to pray for those in need.


DSC_3477

Up next on the Nurtured Home...Summer FUN and strategies for staying sane.

Praying for your children {part one}

May 31, 2013

prayclbr_2782

I know most of us have probably logged a lot of hours praying for our children when they have been sick or needed surgery or have been hurting.  In those times, it seems so natural to turn to God.   I wonder though how many of us turn to Him in prayer when our children are doing well?

I have always been a prayer.  Since I became a Mom (sixteen years ago), The Power of a Praying Parent book has been on my bedside table.  However, some weeks, months and years I have been very consistent about praying for my children and some weeks, months and years I have not. As with most things I know I "should " do (exercise, eating healthy, reading the Bible) I simply fall out of the habit sometimes.  I get lazy.

Recently, I have seen firsthand the amazing power of prayer.  A few months ago, a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer.  I wanted to help her but did not know what to do. I immediately got together a group of friends and we started saying a healing rosary every Monday for our friend.

Our group grew a little and lots of prayer requests came our way.  And we have seen absolute miracles.  One member of our group was waiting for a heart transplant.  She had been waiting years and suddenly a heart was found! She had her surgery and is recovering beautifully.  In fact, next week will be her last week coming to our rosary because she is ready to go back to her her home state of Louisiana.  It has been truly miraculous. And this is just one story. I could share many.

This has been a challenging year in our family. We have had a few tough transitions and I have been turning to God in prayer for my children daily.  And guess what...I see His work in our lives.  Dramatically.  The Bible tells us You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.  Matthew 21:22.

I want to encourage you all to take a little bit of time each day to pray for your children.  I know we are all running around in 100 different directions but I think as parents this is one of the most important things we can do for our children.  I have learned  (the hard way) that God does not answer each prayer exactly how we want it answered exactly when we want it answered.  We have been praying that healing rosary every week for my son's migraines and they are not gone yet.  That doesn't mean God isn't hearing my prayer.  It just means His plan is different from mine right now. And that is okay.  I have faith. I am not giving up.  I know our prayers will be answered.

I am not an expert in prayer.  I am just a faithful Mom trying to put my trust in God and raise good kids. I was raised Catholic and we've got the rote prayer covered but I was not really adept at just spilling my heart to God. I was not really confident praying off the cuff. So, the following tools have helped me immensely in my prayer journey.  I highly recommend them.

1. The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.  This book is amazing.  She has a chapter on every situation you could possibly want to pray about from friends to school to talents to freedom from fear and finding the perfect mate. Within each chapter is a prayer that you can say (which makes us Catholics so much more comfortable;) and scripture verses to pray on specific issues as well.  So, I can flip to the chapter on fear and pray that for one child.  Then I can turn to the chapter on Godly friends and pray that chapter for another child.  Then, I might read the chapter on avoiding alcohol or drugs and pray that one for yet another child.  I cannot even overstate how this book has been the best investment I have ever made as a parent.  There are things in there I had never even thought to pray about for my children but I am so glad I do now.

2.  Praying Circles around your Children by Mark Batterson.  This book is very short and quick but it really explains the importance of prayer and how to pray for your children as well.  It helped me pray much more effectively for my children.

3. Revive our Hearts 31 Biblical Virtues to pray for your children.  This is a list of 31 short prayers that are biblical virtues we desire for our children.  I pray one each day.  So if it the 30th of May, I pray #30.  That way each month, I cover all the virtues.  If it is a short month, I might pray two a day on some of them. Click on the title above to download the free printable.

* As a side note, I recommend buying the actual book.  I bought the e-reader of Praying Circles around your Children and I wish I had the physical book.  If the books are sitting out, they serve as a visual reminder to pray for your children daily.  Also, I flip back between the books and the virtues and I like them all in one place.






Have a blessed weekend!

A few early summer faves

May 28, 2013

I live in Houston where summer lasts about 6 months of the year so I usually don't look forward to it.  However, this year, we have had a very mild spring and I am really excited for summer.  Since Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, I thought I'd share a few early summer favorites of mine.



summer1collage


one/two/three/four/five/six

One--this is a fabulous highlighter for cheeks, brow bone or lips.  And it costs $1 y'all! You read that right...ONE Dollar.  You can find it at Target sometimes.
Two--love this lightweight shrunken boyfriend shirt.  It is a flattering fit and looks so cute with shorts or a skirt.
Three--This is a beautiful champagne colored highlighter that looks awesome on your brow or cheekbone when you have a little tan.  Makes you look perfectly sun kissed!
Four--again the shrunken boyfriend shirt.  I got it in this gorgeous blue and had it monogrammed in white on the pocket.  It screams summer with white jeans or shorts. This blue one is one sale right now too.
Five--I love this product.  For about $5 a bottle, I get really beachy waves and no circa 1980's crunchy hair.  It smells really summery too.
Six--these are SO cute!  They come in red too.  I have them in the blue stripe and neon pink!


mono_2135

Here is a shot of the monogram on that turquoise shirt.
It was kind of dark so the coloring is off a little in this photo but it turned out really cute.


Busy, busy, busy.

May 21, 2013



hearttnh

I think this is the era of being "busy."  Everyone is over-scheduled and overwrought.  No one has time for anything.  Just this morning, my 6 year old asked for a planner to organize her appointments (dentist?) and activities.

"Busy" has become a new status symbol and I think people even compete amongst their grown friends for who is the busiest.  I have seen and heard it.  I might have even done it myself.

Yes, I am guilty too.  I try not to use the b-word too often because our words DO shape our reality.  But I cannot help it.  Sometimes, I just feel so.... busy.

Often I have clients or friends who come to me because their lives are too chaotic or they are too busy.  They feel scattered and unfulfilled. They feel like they are racing from one activity to the next. I think a lot of us feel this way a lot of the time.  And here is the problem... I think for many of us, our time is not aligned with our values.

We commit to things because we think we should be doing them.  A good Mom goes on the school field trips, right?  A good baseball player plays on the traveling team, right?  All kids need to learn a musical instrument, right?  WRONG!

Let me confess...I don't go on many school field trips. I used to go on them because I thought that was the "right thing to do" as a stay at home Mom.  I did it because I thought it was expected of me.  I felt like it would look bad if I chose not to go.  After all, I had no excuse. I was not working full time.

But the truth is, I despised the field trips. I am not saying there is anything wrong with them.  When you go on a field trip, you can get to know your kids friends and be a part of the school community. They need chaperones on school trips. Some parents even enjoy the field trips (I do not).  I get a little claustrophobic with 300+ kids at the science museum and I am always afraid I will lose a child.  I get carsick too.  Field trips and I do not really agree.

However, knowing my kids' friends and being involved in the school community IS important to me so I find other ways to do it.  And my way does not involve a whole day either.  I volunteer for class parties where I cannot lose anyone.  I bring my daughter lunch and sit with her friends in the cafeteria.  Both of those things take about an hour every once in a while.  I get to know her friends.  I spend time helping in the school but I am less busy because it takes less time too.  It is much more manageable for me.

For my middle school son, I work one shift a week in the school bookstore with him.  That fulfills my value system.  I have time doing something with my son.  We are serving his school community.  I get to know his friends and teachers.  He will remember that time with me every Wednesday morning more than if I served on a committee.

When clients come to me confiding that they are too busy, I have them keep a loose diary or journal recording of how they spend their time for a few days in a row.  Then I give them some worksheets that have them contemplate their values (home, family, relationships, school, spirit, service, community, work, physical exercise, sports, social, financial, entertainment, etc).  Finally, I have them look at their days and examine whether the way they are spending their time is aligned with the values they have in life.  And most of the time, it is not.  Most people are doing things that fulfill other people's values or expectations of them.

I hear people saying that they value their marriage above all else but they cannot recall the last time they spent time alone with their spouse.  Similarly, I have heard women tell me how important their friendships are to them yet they never call or go out with their friends.  And one that makes me really sad...people who tell me their kids are everything to them but they spend less that 30 minutes a day engaging them.  Seriously, think about how much time you spend relating to the people you love and value the most.  Many people spend more time on facebook or instagram or watching TV than with their loved ones.  And I have done that too.

So, the point here is not whether you are PTO president or CEO of the company. The point is not what you are doing that is keeping you so busy.  Everyone has their own way of making a difference in the world. I am not placing judgement on what you spend your time doing. I just want you to think about if what you are so busy doing is consistent with what you value the most.  If not, it might be time for a change.




Honey, I'm home!

May 17, 2013

final

From time to time, I plan to post a quick and easy thing you can do right away to make your marriage better.  This one still comes as a surprise to me and I am a little hesitant to share it at the risk of sounding like a scene out of "Leave it to Beaver." Nonetheless, here it is:

When working with couples in my practice, I often ask my clients at the end of a session to look their spouse in the eyes and tell them one thing that would make them feel more loved this week. Week after week, I hear men give the same response.

They want their wives to stop what they are doing when they come home and briefly pay attention to them. Some men want a hug and kiss, others simply desire eye contact and a "how was your day?" or "I am so glad you are home."  But time after time, this is the request I hear most often in my office.  More often than not, their wives are very surprised that this means so much to their spouses. And really, how easy would that be to do?

Yes, if you are a stay at home Mom, you might be rushing around getting dinner ready or helping with homework.  If you work outside the home, you might be getting changed or just walking in the door yourself. This is a busy time of the day. But what I hear from men is that they want to be first for just a moment.  They want to come before kids and the house and dinner.  They want to feel valued and appreciated at the end of the day. And really isn't that what we ALL want?

So try this little tip this week and let me know what happens. In our house, I need to be better about this too.  Our dog is SO excited when my husband comes home and he has commented how nice it would be if everyone in the family were as happy to see him as the dog!

Please share these posts on facebook or pin the images to pinterest (just hover over the image for the pin it icon and click) to help get the word out about The Nurtured Home.  Also, don't forget to follow along on my sidebar.  Have a great weekend y'all and thank you for all the kind support as I launch this site!

Getting your teen (and pre-teen) to talk to you

May 16, 2013



My kids actually tell me a lot. Maybe even too much.  Our whole family tends to be talkative.  However, I have seen in my practice and in life that most teens and pre-teens stop confiding in their parents. And that is somewhat normal. They shouldn't tell us everything. It is part of becoming an independent adult.

However, most parents I know want their kids to talk to them a bit more and I am going to tell you just how to accomplish that!

1. Be Quiet.

Yes, that is right.  Shhh...  Don't bombard your teen with questions when they get in the car or walk in the door.  It will make them close up.  When my oldest son started high school last year, I picked him up everyday after school.  As soon as he got in the car, it went like this:

Me: How was school?
Him: Good.

Me: Who did you sit with at lunch?
Him: Guys (it's an all boy school, duh!)

Me: Do you have a lot of homework?
Him: Yes.

Me: Did you go over to the girls' school at lunch?
Him: Maybe.

Maybe I was not asking the right questions. I don't know.  But I do know that he was not talking to me much and I missed that. When my boys were little, I usually asked more open ended questions. But with this being a new school, I did not really know what to ask.  He is my oldest and we were treading new waters.


So, I stopped asking questions altogether. He would get in the car and I would just say hi.  Then I would simply drive. And guess what?  He started telling me stuff.  A lot of stuff. Details. All the stuff I really wanted to know. I found the less I ask, the more they tell. When you ask a lot of questions, teens get defensive and feel invaded.  If you hold back quietly, they will decide to tell you stuff.  When it is their idea, they will tell you more.

2. Just be there.

So #1 and #2 go hand in hand.  You cannot stop asking questions and be absent as well.  That would be a mistake. I try to just "be there" with my kids as much as I can.  I will just go hang out in their room.  I don't schedule clients and I am rarely on the phone/computer during the after school hours.  I just try to be around.  If my middle schooler is in the garage making a slingshot, I go out there and watch. And guess what? He talks to me. If my high schooler is up late studying in his room, I just wander in and sit on his window bench.  He is usually so grateful for a study break, he confides in me.  Just being there cannot be underestimated.

And if you have teens, food is a gateway to conversation.  Take a teen out to eat and they will talk.  Trust me.

A friend recently told me that a Mom she knew used to sit at the kitchen table after school with a cup of tea and some mail or trivial paperwork. She did not get in her children's face but she was always "just there" and available if they wanted her. It works.

3. Listen to the stuff they want to talk about.  

This one can really be tough. You might not be interested in hearing about paint ball or a video game or the latest cafeteria antics at school.  Listen anyway! Act interested. One time when I was feeling a bit disconnected from one of my sons, I started acting interested in a passion of his (it was not interesting to me at all--in fact, I still don't quite get it). However, he talked about it forever and I nodded and said, " wow" and "interesting" and "go on." It communicated to him that I am interested in HIM--in his life and his passions. I actually saw what my son was so passionate about (even if it is not my passion). It built a connection that led to more conversations in other areas. So listen to the boring stuff even if it is about video games. This is an area where asking questions is good. Ask about the stuff they want to talk about (their passions) not the stuff YOU want to know about.

Example: Tell me all about that Iron Man movie, son.

4. Under-react.

This might be the most important tip of all.  In my practice as a parenting coach, I have a lot of clients come to me because their kids lie or hide things from them.  They are sneaky.  Sometimes, I meet with these kids to figure out what is going on.  And you know what I have learned?  Most of the kids don't tell their parents things because parents tend to freak out!  It is not even that the kids are afraid of getting in trouble.  What they really don't want is their parents to make a big fuss over things.  This is true whether it is good news OR bad news. And let's face it, most parents over-react.

A very good friend of mine has always been extremely close to her Mom, even in the teen years.  I asked her a long time ago what it was that kept them so close during those teen years when a lot of kids are not close to their parents and she told me two things. One was that she and her Mom shared a  hobby during the teen years.  They had horses and they walked to the stables everyday to care for them.  They did not always talk but her Mom was just there (point #2) and they had something in common (point #3).  She also told me that when she did tell her Mom things, her Mom never over-reacted.  She never gasped and said "Really, oh my Gosh!"  She listened calmly and carefully.  It made telling her things much easier.

I have tried this with my own kids and it works.  They have told me things that have made me want to jump out of my skin and hit someone.  Seriously. They have told me things that have made me want to pick up the phone and call a parent or a teacher and scream and yell. But I very carefully acted nonchalantly and said, "hmmm really? Then what happened?"

Let me tell you, all kids will tell you A LOT more if you don't freak out when they do tell you stuff.  I am not saying that we should not ever show emotion or intervene. There are certainly times for that. I am just saying that we should carefully calculate our reactions.  Not everything is that big of a deal.  Listen.  Stay calm. Then go in your room and call a girlfriend and "over-react" to her.  That is what I do. Usually after I vent to a trusted friend, I realize my kids will figure out their own problems and successes. They don't need me getting all worked up. My job is to be a soft place to land.  When we over-react we actually make the situation more stressful for our kids. And they will not come back for more of that.

I know most of this advice seems counter-intuitive.  It feels funny for me, as a communication expert, to tell you not to ask your kids questions and to act non-chalant.  But the truth is teenagers are a strange beast.  And what works in other situations, doesn't always work with them.  Give these tips a try and let me know what happens.  And please don't tell my kids my secrets!

Welcome to The Nurtured Home

The Nurtured Home was an idea I had many years ago. I felt inspired to create a place where people could find information and tips about building a more nurturing home for their families. I shared the idea with a few of my close girlfriends and they all encouraged me to do it. But life got really busy and it got put on the back burner.

Over the years, God would nudge me to get this going but I always found other things to do with my time. I was nervous about starting something new and adding more to my plate. Until one day, I realized that I needed to do this.  It is what I feel called to do right now. And hopefully, I can deliver. I want to help people enrich their relationships with their families and in their homes.

I am not a perfect mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend or anything else but my passion is family relationships. I love gabbing with other Moms about being better mothers and better wives and friends.  I read everything I can get my hands on about parenting and marriage. I have a Ph.D. in marriage and family communication and I have spent my life working with others to make their families stronger.  I currently work in private practice doing marriage, parenting and life coaching in Houston, Texas. My husband and I have been married for 18 years and we have three kids: a teen, a tween and a kindergartener!  My family will always come first which is one of the reasons I hesitated to take on this endeavor.  But I realized that it would hypocritical for me to write about a nurtured home if I did not nurture mine first.  I am hoping that I can do both.

I plan to write about topics that range from cradle to college. I will write about bullying and birthday parties, test anxiety and learning disabilities, time outs and discipline.  I will write about making your marriage more meaningful and I will post recipes and ideas for family fun. I will take questions and post tips.  I don't claim to be an expert on every topic here but I will do my research and seek out the experts.  So, welcome to The Nurtured Home.  I hope you feel comfortable here.  Please let me know what topics you'd like to see on The Nurtured Home.


6912035362_109ce2ffd2_z
Me and my kiddos
Pin It button on image hover