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How much is your honor worth?

Whether you are parenting teens or thinking about your own habits, here is great test for your value system. Before doing something that has a feeling of dishonesty, or when trying to decide if something is right or wrong, ask yourself, “How much is my honor worth?” Here are examples of situations you might question: You keep the change when you give someone a $10 and get change back for a $20. Whoops, you get to the car with your bags of merchandise and notice a bag of M&M’s they forgot to charge you for. You figure what the heck and don’t go back in. You back into a pole in your own driveway and no one sees. You tell the insurance company it was a hit and run and collect the damages. You take a … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice

An Open Letter to Fathers and Men about Daughters and Emerging Young Women

Dear Dads (and other Male Role Models), Our impact on our daughters, nieces, stepdaughters, and granddaughters is immense.  They love us, look up to us, and even revere us.  Sometimes they dislike us, resent us, are disappointed in us and wish we didn’t care so much. When we listen to them, understand them, advise them, and forgive them they appreciate and feel it deeply. When we manifest our “papa bear” desire to protect them from all mistakes and perils with anger, manipulation, and fear we alienate them and even sometimes push them to risky activity.   When we manifest it in a loving, compassionate and mindful way, they will hear us.  They need to make mistakes to grow, and their mistakes touch our heart in the deepest way.  We work to separate sensible … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting teens, parenting tips

Your Child’s Music Life

How can music live in a child’s life? How do children develop their musical taste? How do you choose the right instrument is for your child? What is an appropriate time to start lessons and how do we ensure it is a positive experience? These are all common questions we as parents have about how best to support and include music in our children’s lives. Music is a universal language, and it is rare to find anyone who just plain does not like music. Musical taste is subjective, and can vary with temperament, personality, mood and many other mysterious factors. Music has played an essential part in the developmental life of human beings since Primal times. As a violinist, music teacher, parenting educator, parent and grandparent, much of my … Read entire article »

Filed under: children's music studies, parenting advice, parenting tips

Some of the best advice I ever got “Feel your Feelings”

So much of what I bring here has come from and through others in my life.  Mentors, advisors, teachers, family members, friends and yes, even “teachers” I wish I hadn’t had at all. It was fall, three years ago, the beginning of my self-given sabbatical year.   I had everything: love, health, income, friends and a new professional path.  Yet, I was sad, down, full of melancholy, and a bit lost, as if something was missing.  “I shouldn’t be feeling this way…” I shared with a dear friend.  “I should be happy”, I added.  My friend explained to me the challenge with the statements I had just made.  At the moment I make the statement, “I should” or “I shouldn’t”, I create a wall which stops the feeling abruptly, and buries it.  … Read entire article »

Filed under: Relationships