Do you know who your children are?

Summer nights right before the news there was a public service announcement: It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are? What I’d like to hear today is this:  Do you know who your children are? When parents or grandparents contact me asking for advice about how to handle a child who is being […]

Why it’s important to establish routines with children

August 14, 2012 – Establishing routines with our children is an effective and powerful way to set boundaries.  Setting limits helps our children feel safe, and allows them the freedom to focus on skill building and learning.   Our routines, though, may have unintended consequences.  If we spend the morning reminding, organizing and coercing our children […]

Walk your talk

Our children are inundated with demands from the adults in their lives. At times all those words may sound like a never-ending torrent. I’m reminded of a YouTube video that made the rounds a couple years ago of The Mom Song, three minutes of commands sung to the William Tell Overture. What an exhausting way […]

Think before you talk

“You throw that ball and you’re grounded for a month.” “You talk back one more time and I’ll give your bicycle away.” “You don’t eat your peas, you won’t be able to have dessert.” The traps we can fall into as we work with children.  In our efforts to have our children change their behavior, […]

An iron hand in a velvet glove

Oh, what challenges we have as parents trying to find the right fit for our parenting style.  If we come down too strong on an issue, we think perhaps our need for control is bubbling over.  If we ignore a problem or allow bad behavior to get its way, maybe we’ve given our power away. […]

As parents, do we lead or manage our children?

Final installment in a 10-part series on Parents as leaders. As parents we lead and manage our children.  If we lead without adequate management skills, logistical problems arise. If we manage without providing clear leadership, we may travel a long road to nowhere. Leadership focuses on developing people, empowerment, doing the right things, direction and […]

Leaders lead

Part 9 of Maren Schmidt’s 10 part series on Parents as Leaders Effective leaders empower the whole person to do the whole job of self-leadership and management.  Epictetus said it well over two thousand years ago, “No man is free who is not master of himself.” In order to help others help themselves, we have […]

Leaders are committed

Part 8 in a 10 part series on Parents as Leaders Peter Drucker, one of the greatest management minds of our time, wrote that with a few hundred years perspective, historians may view our time as one of “unprecedented change in the human condition.  For the first time–literally–substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have […]

Leaders have imagination

Part 7 in the 10-part series on Parents as Leaders Being an effective leader requires immense imagination.  As leaders we must envision the person who is not yet there; the situation that has not arrived; the community that is to be formed. As leaders we must imagine the human potential, and this is no small […]

Leaders have spirit

Part 6 in a 10-part series on Parents as Leaders One definition of spirit is “a particular mood or emotional state characterized by vigor and animation.” As leaders we need to have enthusiasm for the work we are doing, the people we are working with, and the place where we work and play.  As parent […]