JUNE 2014

Not to sound like a Hallmark ad, but it is indeed Dads & Grads season, yes? And while a few of you have grads to celebrate, almost ALL of you dear parents-in-progress have dads to recognize on their special day.

I’m not gonna lie — back in the days of teaming up with my kids to serve their dad breakfast in bed… delivered with the Sunday paper… followed by the invitation to spend the day in whatever way he chose, I sometimes found myself thinking that Father’s Day wasn’t very different from any other Sunday! Sure, breakfast in bed was novel, but the rest of the day… including an especially yummy dinner… was way more like any other normal day than, say, the world-shifting-on-its-axis thing that happened a month earlier on Mother’s Day!

Does this ring a bell for you — feel familiar?

Either which way, much of this edition is devoted to fathers, and their oh-so-important place in our lives… and in our children’s!

Happy Father-to-Be’s Day…

We hear so much in the media about deadbeat dads and absent fathers, but look at how we treat expectant fathers in our culture! Do we nurture their involvement from the beginning, when supporting men in pregnancy may help strengthen later attachment? Not so much. Here are some thoughts & ideas:

…and Fathers Already Day!

Could THIS Be The Best Gift To Give Him?

Elly Taylor visited the P4P Coaching & Care Circle, and we had the best, juiciest conversation about some of the top ways that new parenthood takes a toll on marriage. And more importantly, some really practical ways we can prevent that toll, and instead, nurture our relationship as much as we nurture our kids! One of my favorite wise things Elly said:

“We disconnect in tiny little ways…
we reconnect in tiny little ways…”

We covered four key signs of stress on the relationship, and some concrete steps to ease that stress. Elly shared a particularly instructive story from her own life with her own husband — illustrating what might be (counterintuitively) a wise move to keep your parenting partnership strong and balanced. (And this doesn’t just apply to new dads wondering about diapering — it can apply to ANY area where us moms can tend to be The Experts!) Click on the orange arrow to hear Elly’s 2-min. anecdote:

Please note Elly’s important clarifying points:  

“How we ourselves were parented comes back to us when we become parents. When a husband asks a wife if he is ‘doing it right’ with a diaper, he may unknowingly be inviting his partner into a space that used to be occupied by his mother. Expecting to be instructed was something my husband had learned and had I stepped in and taken over, it may have too easily set the tone for other aspects of our parenting. I didn’t want take that leadership role: I wanted us to learn together. Had I used a different tone of voice, my husband may have taken it badly, but the words were said with both an internal and an external smile and they felt like liberation to him.

“If a partner has grown up with a dismissive or abandoning parent however, there is always a risk that they are likely to interpret comments in that light–so my same comment that was a gift to my husband could have been felt as dismissal or abandonment by another man with a different upbringing.

“Part of the gift of parenthood is insight into how we and our partner were parented, to see below the surface into our partner’s unique history and to give them opportunities to heal it in the day to day parenting present.”


The P4P Coaching & Care Circle

As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. And as I say, it takes a village to raise a parent!If you’re looking for a village haven where you can bring your messiest parenting “failures” and your stressiest family issues… and be held with compassion and guided with expertise… then the C&C Circle might be right up your alley.

We are a group of about 30 who meet twice a week by phone (not everyone each time, of course), where I field all kinds of questions and offer practical guidance, tips and strategies for bringing more harmony into daily parenting life.

In between, we  connect 24/7 via private Facebook group, where alongside my input there is an extraordinary amount of lived wisdom & savvy support shared amongst like-minded parents-in-progress. We also have special events, like intimate, interactive chats coming up with Elly Taylor (see above), and later this year with the legendary Peggy O’Mara.
If hand-holding care & game-changing help would be a soothing balm to your parenting soul, why not drop by the circle as my guest? We meet on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 11am Pacific, and would welcome your visit! Click on the coupon:

Recent blog posts

Jeannine Parvati Baker at 65: An Appreciation | Pioneering activist for homebirth, unassisted childbirth and newborn rights, Jeannine Parvati was a leading voice for eco-feminism and reproductive health.
Her Strained Smile: Covert Postpartum Depression | Like many moms who suffer behind a façade of frantic perfectionism that obscures the possibility that there might be anything wrong, I looked good on paper.
Period Power: Rethinking Menstruation | A woman’s attitude toward her period impacts how she lives, labors and births. Let’s outgrow the tired cultural taboo about our creative power as women!

I always love hearing back from you, so feel free to hit “Reply” and send me any thoughts, questions, responses (like to my question up top about Father’s Day)… anything that is on your mind or heart!

And I have a favor to ask: do you know someone who might find this newsletter a helpful resource? Someone who would appreciate ways to bring more calm & confidence into his or her parenting life? If so, please forward this on!

Thank you — having you as part of our Parenting for Peace tribe is a gift & and a joy.


Author of Parenting for Peace:
Raising the Next Generation
of Peacemakers

33 Genious Hacks…

…”guaranteed to make a parent’s life easier”! From playtime to snack time to child safety innovations. Some of these really are kinda brilliant. Even though some seem almost useless (to me, at least), I’m sharing this with you because I always appreciate discovering innovations I’ve never imagined. I suggest using #28 rather than an iPad if you want to build your child’s brain and imagination. And #13 is straight-up amazing — who knew??!  Check ’em out!

For the Funny of It!

Sometimes it’s refreshing to read something that isn’t designed to educate you, enlighten you, or evolve you — but quite simply to make you laugh. I’ve gotta admit, I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. Maybe it’s my weird sense of humor, but it could work for you, too. (I discovered this while reading a different article about notable logo revamps of 2013, interesting if you follow trends in graphic design.) But the funny “logo fails” of 2012 are here.

7 Habits for Happy

Most of us are familiar with (at least the concept of) “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” made famous by Stephen Covey. Here’s a recent list of 7 daily choices made by highly happy people. (And happy people ARE effective!) Science tells us we have control over about 12% of the factors that can increase our happiness, and this list is shown by research to get the most bang for that little bit. (I’m solid on 6 of them — how about you?) Read the list here.

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  Frazier Park, CA 93222

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