An exercise in gratitude

I’m doing a year-end series on how to overcome feeling like a failure; click here for last week’s installment, in which I share 4 ways to overcome those feelings of failure.

A few newsletters ago, I shared my own feelings of failure, professionally, personally, and in my family life.

I shared one thing that was making me feel so much better: bringing my feelings to a very positive and wonderful group of friends.

And I shared about how they made me feel SO much better.

One of those friends is Audrey Monke. Not only did she share words that made me feel so loved and supported, she shared a blog post she had recently written containing some positive and fun year-and family things to do.

Audrey discusses an exercise that has to do with gratitude, which dovetails nicely with one of the four ways I shared last week in this space, on overcoming feeling like a failure:

Name five things you are grateful for.
Whenever I’m feeling down, this is my go-to.
I do have so much to be grateful for!

“What better time than December to reflect on things that make us feel happy and end the year feeling positive and grateful?” – Audrey Monke Continue reading “An exercise in gratitude”

The turn around the bend

Happy Wednesday!

This is part two of a two-part series I’m doing on feeling better when all we can see are our faults; click here for last week’s, called Feeling like a Failure.
Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter, where I put one of the ideas I talk about today into practice. 


“Be proud of yourself and keep the faith – I believe in you and you do too – there is
a turn around the bend when the sun will come out again.”

When a friend wrote those words to me, last week, when I was feeling so down, they really hit home.

I felt the impact of these words in my heart and in my soul, from all across the world (my friend lives in England.)

They gave me hope. Paradoxically, it was only while reading them that I realized how far away from hope I had been feeling.

I felt like she gave me a place to start, and a destination: the “turn around the bend when the sun will come out again.”

Now, I feel like I’m on a quest. (I absolutely love quests : )

And, I want to bring you along with me!

So let’s explore: how do we get to that turn around the bend? Continue reading “The turn around the bend”

Gifts to be thankful for

Happy Wednesday!

It’s almost here!… NPC Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 amazing parenting resources) by clicking here.


“You can tell that you are very passionate about what you do and genuinely care about helping parents be the best versions of themselves. I was able to see that in all the emails you sent, as well as your welcome videos, and in your podcasts that I listened to over the past year.
“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for putting yourself out there to help others. This is truly YOUR gift, and it’s awesome to see you use it to better the world!”

I teared up reading this email, from NPC member Kathleen.

Her letter dropped into my inbox on a particularly frustrating day, one in which it seemed like there were fewer gifts in my life, and more struggles.

But reading this letter, I felt my challenges recede, and my feelings of thankfulness and gratitude come forward.

Longtime readers/listeners to the podcast might know that I have a tendon disorder.
My tendons develop scar tissue extremely fast, relative to (likely) yours. This is because of an ingredient in a lifesaving course of antibiotics I needed 8 years ago.

My life is completely different now, from before I developed the tendon disorder. Continue reading “Gifts to be thankful for”

10 Ways to alleviate anxiety | Podcast Episode 295

If the anxiety is hyped up in your home right now, for kids and/or for you, hopefully you’ll find this episode helpful!

It even includes a discussion, during the break, about how to deal with our own parental anxieties. I read listener Cathy’s letter, sharing about her own anxiety, which starts off the thinking about what we can do to feel less anxious ourselves.

Plus in Parenting News:
I completely screw up a quote from Dr. Elven Semrad in the second half of this episode… Which led me on a search to find out more about this beloved psychotherapist. In Parenting News I bring you this short article, sharing some of his other quotes and thoughts on life.

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Click for show notes which include a cheat sheet of the 10 ways to alleviate anxiety, and tons of links!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, and an incredible resource she has created to help your child handle even the biggest feelings!
Click to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading “10 Ways to alleviate anxiety | Podcast Episode 295”

“I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going.” A conversation with Jen, Mom of 2 and Ninja Parenting Community member | Podcast Episode 288

Do you ever feel like your family life is sliding in a direction you don’t want? In today’s episode you will hear how one mom, a coaching client of mine, worked with me to take control.

NPC member Jen, with her two daughters.

Getting control over the direction her family is going has brought has meant many good things, including fun, fulfillment, and real joy.

Listen in as Jen, mother of 2 young girls, talks about what she’s learned in our private coaching community, and how it has changed her life, and her family life.


Plus in Parenting News:  the You Are Not So Smart Podcast did a recent episode on the super-famous Marshmallow Experiment, which has been used to predict how successful a child will be, based on their ability to delay gratification. I LOVE this podcast, which I actually started listening to because of another episode, and it is the subject of today’s Parenting News because I think you would find it really helpful too.

Join us!

Go to for a rundown of the HEART method of handling every temper tantrum, which comes up in this episode!

And thank you so much for listening!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter


Continue reading ““I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going.” A conversation with Jen, Mom of 2 and Ninja Parenting Community member | Podcast Episode 288″

And You Were So Scared

Happy Wednesday!

Training update:
I am two thirds of the way through revising Educating Happy Kids, the book I plan to have out to you by mid August! I hope to hit my first milestone, getting the book to my editor on June 1, and I am on target to do it!

I have been posting daily instagram stories about my training… Click here to see the latest!

Or just hit reply to this email if you want to cheer me on.

And thank you SO much, if you have already cheered me on… Seriously, it helps me keep going when you do that.

Parenting Community Open House:

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 30, I am throwing open the doors to the Ninja Parenting Community! Find out more, and sign up, at the end of this letter : )


For me, spring is always a time of anxiety.

– It seems like, as the days lengthen, drivers are more inclined to be impatient, and unsafe.

– Skiing is done for the winter, it feels so long before I can get back out and take part in my favorite sport.

– I look out at the yard, and there’s so much to do.

– Summer is coming, how will we keep the kids amused while they are not school?

Each spring, when I am at my most anxious, I remember a wonderful book.

It’s called The Monster at the End of This Book, Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover​​​​​​, and you can find it in Amazon here. (And also probably in your local library, which is where we always use to get it.)​ Continue reading “And You Were So Scared”

Words Matter

Greetings! Today’s post references Chapter 3 of my latest book, 10 Secrets Happy Parents Know… And also the recent visit a wonderful museum in New York City I got to go to last week!

If you’re having trouble figuring out how those two intersect, read on : )

Here in this space today I’m hoping help you see how the ordinary is truly profound.

This occurred to me on Thursday as I was viewing the mementos from JRR Tolkien’s life which are currently on view at the Morgan Library in New York City.

Continue reading “Words Matter”

Creativity: crucial for all ages. My conversation with Dan Blank (rebroadcast) | Podcast Episode 270

Today’s guest, Dan Blank; image from his website,

 You may have heard that creativity is important to our children’s developing minds.
But have you ever thought about how important creativity is for yourself?

Today’s guest, Dan Blank, not only helps us understand how important it is… He helps us figure out ways to incorporate creativity into our busy parenting lives.

I hope you enjoy today’s conversation, whether you heard it when it was originally broadcast about 18 months ago, or if this is your first listen. Cheers!

Go to for:

  • Favorite ideas from our conversation
  • Dan’s answer to a question that didn’t make it into the interview
  • The video of the week: Off this week, returning Thursday, March 28

And thank you so much for listening!

How to Get Quality Childcare: Free Online Class!

– The keys to finding the best child care for your young child
– To avoid one crucial factor that can derail your efforts to find good childcare
– Which questions to ask – and which not too – to assure your child thrives in others’ care

We cover this and more in the FREE online class I’m teaching on Thursday, March 28!
Sign up today – even if you can’t be there live, the replay will be available for several days after.

Get the best child care for your kiddos by taking this class, for free! Sign up here and I will see you on March 28: )

Continue reading “Creativity: crucial for all ages. My conversation with Dan Blank (rebroadcast) | Podcast Episode 270”

4 ways to guard yourself and your kids from toxic people: Podcast Episode 260

So, I never actually use the word toxic in the whole episode… instead of that, I talk about balloon-poppers. A much more fun name, I’m sure you’ll agree!
In this episode I share four ways that you can protect yourself against toxic people, a.k.a. balloon-poppers.

Which is really important, not just for your health, but for your child’s as well.

In this early part of the year, where we have more of a chance to think on introspective things, I hope this episode helps you feel happier inside! Bonus that in the long run it will help your kids find success, fulfillment, and happiness too!

Go to for:

  • A cheat sheet on 4 ways to protect against toxic people
  • The scoop on my latest book! One reviewer says “10 Secrets Happy Parents Know is a practical and easy-to-digest guide that sets the groundwork for the kind of family life you want.”
  • The video of the week: “How to avoid toxic people”

And thank you so much for listening!

Temper Tantrums and Potty Training:

During today’s break I share about two helpful free guides I offer.
While the podcast is long-form – your opportunity to look into the mind of a child development expert – the free guides are super quick.

You can watch the video, read the checklist, and immediately handle the temper tantrums or get started with potty training (depending on which guide you choose : )

  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to handle every temper tantrum
  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to successfully potty train your child
  • Want to receive valuable ideas and tips on parenting, without either free guide above? Click here for my weekly parenting newsletter!

Continue reading “4 ways to guard yourself and your kids from toxic people: Podcast Episode 260”