Monthly Archives: May 2019

just an observation

“Have you noticed that we haven’t been complaining lately about our mattress?” I asked my husband recently.

He agreed – and it’s true – that same mattress that bothered us for months after purchasing it – that just didn’t reach our expectations –  now was seeming very comfortable.

People had told us it takes time for the mattress to settle in and adjust- to conform to our sleeping styles.  They were right.

And that observation led me to consider a parenting parallel.

For isn’t that the way it happens with the stages our children go through – especially the challenging developmental ones.

Think of the early days of infancy, night-time feedings, diaper changes, crying, teething.  Consider the toilet learning stage, learning to share, screaming fits, messy mealtime behavior, teasing, bedtime struggles, whining , tantrums, favorite word NO.

As new parents,  this isn’t always what we expected.

Yet somehow, these sorts of behaviors somehow seemingly disappear  – and we are left thinking – wow – remember when?

So, just as that new mattress of ours conformed to us and our sleeping comfort, it is kind of the same for us as parents.

Our children are watching us – modeling after us — as we eat, sleep, take care of ourselves, work, play, share, talk, love, believe .

And that’s how they grow, adjust, conform –  how they become who they are, comfortable in their own way.

And that’s when you may get to sleep soundly too.





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the power

Sometimes the best way to convey a message and connect with others is through sharing a story.

I spent today in Madison at a workshop encouraging us to do just that. During our time together, this group was moved to laughter, caring, and reflection. And I love learning more about a message I already support and believe in so strongly.

Often parents and caregivers tell me their children “don’t listen to me”.

I wonder then, if we are talking with or talking at our children when that happens. Because sharing a story feels different.

It’s not preaching – it’s not lecturing.

It’s relating.

It’s remembering a struggle, a prank, a punishment, a game, a best friend, a funny incident, a regretful moment, a vulnerable time that happened when you were their age.

It’s giving them something to consider –   then allowing the story time to rest – to resonate with your child –  letting the story make its point – in its own way – trusting the moment.

Try it.  I think you’ll feel the power of sharing.



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Some things in life just almost take you by surprise – but none so much as how quickly years pass and children grow and all of a sudden, we wonder – how did that happen?

I admit I’ve spent some time reflecting on this during the past week as my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.

And asked how we did it – what was the secret  – I’d have to say – the years passed with a rhythm of its own, days to weeks to months to seasons, rituals were shared, familiar and anticipated – that bonded and refreshed us all – and daily routines helped us embrace the ordinary.

And, for young families, that’s what I would encourage – develop and trust those seemingly repetitive habits that happen everyday.  Share and enjoy with your children the sense of belonging that comes from being able to say “In our family, we always …”

It’s about sharing, acceptance, humor, forgiveness, caring, patience, laughter, faith.

It’s about family.

It’s about love.


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Take a deep breath – hold it – now, slowly … let it out.  Repeat this three times.

Did you feel the tension slip away?

And the good news is – according to a recent report from the American Lung Association’s 2019 State of the Air report, here in La Crosse County, we can breathe easy – because … La Crosse County has some of the cleanest air in the United States!

So, it seems, breathe deeply and we should all be pretty stress- free.

But wait – that doesn’t always seem to be the case.  Between work and home and raising children, parents often feel out of breath. As much as we love being parents, let’s face it.  It’s sometimes a juggling act, and that’s when the stress sets in.

Parenting is all about balance – and setting limits as well as making choices that benefit all.

If you feel this  imbalance cropping up in your life – why not join us at the stress-free Balancing Work and Family discussion group at The Parenting Place, Thursday, May 16th, from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM – and hopefully, you’ll all leave –  breathing a little bit easier.

Registration is required and childcare is available upon request.  Call us at 608-764-8125 or email



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