Following Your Parenting Intuition

Do you ever feel confused and torn when trying to figure out what is best for your kids? It might be around choosing a school, a sports team, a summer camp or someone to watch them. Do you find yourself thinking and re-thinking the pros and cons of each choice only to feel even more uncertain?

Struggling with conflicting feelings is a sign to pause and reflect before acting. Most often this struggle happens when you are trying to convince yourself of an answer or solution that is somehow not right.

Rationalizing Your Decisions

You are probably an expert at logically explaining your decisions. This is what you learned in school - don't just write down an answer, you need to be able to explain your answer. Intuition is about knowing the right answer in your gut even though you can't easily explain it.
Parents come to me when they are struggling because something doesn't feel right and they're not sure which direction to go. I listen carefully, ask questions and then recap what I heard. They are often surprised with my conclusions even though I've simply pulled together what they have told me.

For example, Steve called to talk about his concerns about his son's relationship with his stepfather. He described the awkwardness when picking his son up from his mother's house, a previous incident involving Child Protective Services, his son's inappropriate touching behavior and many other details.

(read the rest of the article on

Reducing Rules By Providing Reasons

Have you ever told your kids not to touch something only to have them immediately try touching it? Being told not to do something naturally makes kids curious about what will happen if they do it.

If you were walking in a park on a warm summer day near a sparkling stream, would you or your kids be tempted to cool off in the stream? Splashing around in some cool water on a hot day feels great!

What if there was a sign nearby saying “Stay Out Of The Creek”? Would that make you stay on the path or would you feel even more drawn to the water? Simply being told not to do something can make the forbidden even more tempting. You can probably come up with many justifications for ignoring the sign and going into the creek. Perhaps you will go a little ways downstream from the sign so as not to break the rules right in front of the sign!

Providing Two Good Reasons

A neighborhood Seattle park has a beautiful creek flowing through it. There is a bridge over the creek and a dirt area near one side of the bridge which provides easy access to the creek.

Instead of telling people to stay out of the creek, the park service put up a sign providing valuable information about the creek. The sign’s title is “Two Reasons to Stay Out of this Creek”.

(read the rest of the article at

Fostering Growth using the Mentoring Parenting Style

What is your normal parenting style?  Do you give your kids orders?  Do you do a lot of things for them that they are capable of doing thems...