Listen to Celebrate Calm podcasts for help dealing with defiance.

4, 9, 15

Pay attention to what people do and what they say. Try to look past their appearance. This is especially true for women, who are almost always judged primarily on the way they look.

12, 15, 19

Talk about how to act respectfully and be inclusive of children with disabilities and facial deformities, etc.


Start a yearly “review” right before school year. Raise allowance as appropriate. If they want more money, they’ll have to take on more responsibilities.


You can’t selectively numb feelings. The inclination to drink, use, shop, gamble, etc. is real but it’s a lie that it will make you feel better. Numbing makes this much, much worse. So feel! The good, the bad, the scary. Talk about your feelings, write about them or create something from your feelings. This is how to process in a healthy way.

16, 20

Let it go. They’re going to make really stupid choices. I drank AND smoked in high school. We all go through it. They need to be able to trust you and rely on you. They’re navigating the world and they need a safe harbor. Be that safe harbor. It’s more important than fighting over stupid behavior. Let them know you don’t approve - sure, but fighting over stupid stuff is just going to make you both bitter.

14, 15, 16, 17

If you’ve never dressed a newborn before, an easy way to get the hang of it is to lay the outfit flat on the bed and then place the baby on top of it. Tuck her little arms and legs inside one at a time, then zip or snap them in. Done!


You can get into big trouble (with school and the law) even by fake / joke threats of violence (bomb threat, etc.) No jokes or pranks that have anything to do with violence.


Some books you loved when you were a toddler: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Horton Hatches an Egg, Room on the Broom, Gruffalo.


Appalachian Mountain Club


Anger is the bodyguard of sadness.

12-15, 21

Take out your aggression on inanimate things, never on people or animals.


If it costs you your peace it’s too expensive.


Teach tuck to drive


At dinner time, go around the table and share your “highs and lows” for the day. (Re-ticket up to 21)


Japanese multiplication (counting lines.)


Practice “going without.” Talk about how nobody gets what they want all the time. We should learn how to just choose to go without something we want. Get them in on the discussion and pick something every day to do without.


There is all kinds of darkness in the world- disease, accidents, natural disasters, etc. But the worst darknesses are man made: War, violence, poverty, injustice, indifference. Push back against all of it as much as you can. Light will beat the darkness in the end. Fight on the side of the light. Love, truth, beauty, creativity, connection and compassion.


For a bad cut / gash, use a rolled up washcloth or hand towel to apply pressure until you can get to an ER. If you have to drive yourself or need your hands free, secure the towel in place with duct tape.


Be supportive of someone who is trying to better themselves.


I’m parenting as in most things, staying calm is more than half the battle. Practice keeping your cool in all situations. No yelling blaming freaking out or meanness. Calm rules the day.

1, 21

My mom used to say that one thing her mom taught her was no matter how poor they were they always had a clean house. She made sure of it.


When trying to make a u-turn with a tight turning radius, go VERY slow. .You’ll be more likely to make it and if you don’t make it you won’t cause damage.)


Let's all go on a "complaining diet." See how long we can go without a complaint for a weekend. Repeat often.


Read (or listen to) The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw together as a family. It's broken up into small vignettes so it's easy to get through bit by bit.


My biggest mistake was thinking that my life had to follow a singular path: college, marriage, kids, stay at home mom. I never imagined any other path: career, travel. I never questioned my assumptions. Never doubted that my way was the only path to happiness. It wouldn’t have occurred to my parents to teach me anything else, to encourage me to imagine a hundred different choices. But I’d like to encourage you. Take your talents, interests, passion, and potential out for a spin. See what sits right with you, where you feel most alive and most safe and most yourself. Feed your body, mind, heart and soul. I love you so much.

18, 21

Unkind people are unhappy people.

8, 18

Get book “Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids'Go-To Person about Sex.” by Deborah Roffman.


“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Pain comes when we try to put them in the wrong category.” - random therapist I never met.