Expressing Love, Gratitude and Forgiveness

What four things matter the most in parenting? Might they be the same as the four things that matter most in life? It’s likely since your relationships with your children are among the most significant ones in your life.

The Four Things That Matter Most

Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, has witnessed many people’s final days. He’s captured the valuable things he’s learned from the dying in his book, The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living.

Byock noticed many who are dying have a strong desire to repair relationship rifts with their loved ones. Repairing their relationships allows them to die in a more peaceful state. He learned that these four statements were the crucial ones to communicate:

(finish reading at

Evaluating Risks and Heeding Warnings

Taking risks is part of living. Your kids need to be able to take reasonable risks to learn and grow. For example, your children would never learn to walk if they weren’t able to risk falling.

Since you can’t keep your kids in some sort of safety bubble, what can you do to help prevent them from being hurt? You can help them think through likely consequences of their choices.

By forewarning your kids, you prepare them. When they are young, you warn them about everything from not touching a hot stove to never getting in a car with a stranger. When they are older you warn them about not drinking and driving. You love them and are trying to protect them from danger. However, it’s up to them to decide if they will heed your warnings.

Giving Warnings

Your kids will sometimes ignore your warnings and learn from the results. They might not hold on tightly to their helium balloon and it sails away. Perhaps they decide to play video games instead of study for a test and get a poor grade. These are natural consequences of their choices. They learn from experiencing these consequences … although some kids will need lots of examples!

How about when the consequences are bigger? Regular conversations involving true stories can help. Your local newspaper is an excellent source of stories about kids facing serious consequences.

(finish reading at

Warnings About the Troubled Teen Industry

Is your teen presenting extremely challenging behavior? If you feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to help your teen, getting professional h...