Three amazing teenagers. How did that happen?!? Parenting tips from the pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Having regular chores is great for developing responsibility. Sometimes getting kids to actually do their chores can be more of a chore than the chores themselves. So, what can we do to inspire chore success?

Competition. Create some playful competitions that result in a variety of rewards. Base the games around accomplishing the tasks needing to be done.

Scavenger Hunt. For the littles, give them a prize for collecting a certain number of toys. For the bigs, hide a few toys in hard to find places and reward them when the specially hidden toys are added to the rest of collection.

Crank up the music. While everyone does their list of chores, turn up the family’s favourite playlist and enjoy some bop-bop-bopping along with your cleaning.

Shopping list. Let one of the kids control the shopping list. They can give the others (you included) items to gather. Tell the list manager to tick off the items when they are delivered to the trolley.

Make it fun! We’ve all heard it – I’m bored! Keeping the boredom to a minimum is the key to accomplishing tasks, chores and routines.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Love Them Hard

As I scrolled through Facebook, I saw a picture of a past workmate who went through a messy divorce which, necessarily, sent the father of their children away. All revealed, he’d left years before. As she stared into the distance, a slogan shouted from her shirt: “Find your tribe. Love them hard.”

I could feel her pain.

Finding our tribe isn’t always easy. But one thing is sure: our children are fellow tribe members. They are ours and we are theirs. Love them hard.

As we age, we mature. Maturity shapes how we build relationships. Good ones. Bad ones. They work because we work on them. Each relationship formed and nurtured grows our tribe. But love isn’t always enough. There are people who do horribly selfish things and fracture their family, leaving a great rift through the landscape of our tribe as they storm out. Unfortunately, maturity doesn’t always come with age. Sometimes age comes alone.

As these damaged destructive people torpedo their way out of our tribe, our children need us. Time is the great healer. Give them time and give them your time. Love them hard.

Some of us – knock on wood – have happy marriages. We have found our tribe and are building strength upon strength. Mistakes will be made. Forgiveness between spouses shows our children that healing is possible. Spouses are people too. Love them hard.

Our children learn how to face life by watching us. Life is all about relationships.

Find your tribe.
Love them hard.