Category Archives: Parenting

Helping you navigate through life


Parenting with Heart

This is an excerpt from Parenting with Heart: How Imperfect Parents Can Raise Resilient, Loving, and Wise-Hearted Kids, by Stephen James and Chip Dodd  One of my sons (Chip's) and I went on a fly-fishing trip a few years ago. He was out of college, gone from our home, and moving out into the bigger world. Near the lodge where we were staying was a great place to sit and watch the stars come out in the big sky of the West. We sat talking and watching the moon rise and the stars come out. I have always loved him, and he cannot stop loving me,

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Learning to Fail

There is no doubt that our culture is bent on the pursuit of success; we see it everywhere. In turn, the idea of failure is one that we expend a lot of focus and energy avoiding and helping others avoid, especially our children.     In my First-Year Seminar course for new college freshman, we spend an entire class exploring “Failure” in order to expand our understanding about what it really is, and why we’re really afraid of it — why have we been taught to avoid something that’s likely inevitable, even helpful? A number of the sources we examine

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Sometimes It Hurts

The Gift of Living in Tension with Heartache There is great pain in trying to be authentic, living in the tension of family, work, faith, hobbies, and other responsibilities in a way that reflects who we want to be. The pain of not being with the people we most love is inevitable. From time to time, we all need some suggestions for how to live out our passions in this world, but too often we try to circumvent the pain of living in a broken world with strategies for success. But unless we have our hearts, all our strategies will

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What Your Adolescent Really Needs

Written by Melanie Rogers, MMFT, LPC-MHSP When I tell people I work with teenagers, I usually get some version of this response: "Wow, that’s a tough age. You must be really patient, brave, or crazy." I may be a little bit of all three. The changes that occur in the teenage years make working with (and parenting) teenagers both scary and (potentially) really fun. Whether the “issue” that brings an adolescent into therapy is anxiety, self- harm, sexual acting out, depression, or relational struggles, a parent’s biggest question is some version of: "How do I make my child's pain and suffering

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8 Principles and Practices for Parenting from the Heart

(From Chip Dodd's & Stephen James' upcoming book on parenting—Giraffes on Ice, est. pub. 2017) Sometimes parenting feels like we are trying to thread a needle while wearing mittens. By design, parenting is paradoxical and is wrought with challenges. Our children simultaneously... •  need our assurance and test us, •  learn from us and teach us, •  confuse us and remind us of what it was like for us in our youth, •  demand increasing amounts of freedom and desire security, and •  give us hope and scare us about the future at the same time. For even the most committed and

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Better Off Dad: The Biological Changes of Fatherhood

A man walks down the street with his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. With no kids, he has existed until now in his own orbit and paid little attention to the offspring of others. He notices a woman with a baby and the moment causes him some consternation — he feels very little for the child and worries that perhaps he lacks the empathy to be a dad. Are certain men, he wonders, hardwired to respond better to infants than others? Pregnancy and parenting research has disproportionally favoured mothers, for obvious reasons, but there is a

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6 Things the Happiest Families All Have in Common

Family life is hectic. Most of us play it by ear and hope it works out well. Or maybe you haven't started a family yet but when you do you want to do it right. Aren't there some legit answers out there about what creates the happiest families? Yes, there are. Read the full article on

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Motherhood Has Changed Me

People ask me all the time how motherhood has changed me. Well let’s put it this way. Before I met you two, the word responsibility meant getting to work on time. And eating vegetables. Now it means guiding, feeding, teaching, protecting two little babies, completely dependent on us for everything. And while it takes every morsel of my effort and energy to do it all day everyday, there’s nothing else in the world that makes me happier. The truth is, I want to do it for the rest of your lives. Read the full letter written by Jenna Wolfe on

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Another Sign That Fatherhood In The U.S. Is Radically Changing

Fathers in the U.S. are carving out a new path on work-family balance. Call it the daddy track. With the “mommy track,” working women unwillingly get placed on a lower-status career path after having a kid. On the daddy track, fathers choose to scale back careers in order to better manage work and family. Or, at least they say they would. Working fathers in the U.S. were more likely than women to make career sacrifices to better manage work-life responsibilities, according to a survey of 9,699 workers across eight countries conducted by Harris Interactive and consulting firm EY, released Tuesday.

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