Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Surrender: A Potent Power for Parenting

As I essentially take off this next couple weeks to hunker down and get tax prepped (ayyeeee!), I’m using it as an opportunity to share some cool folks with you in my absence.

Meet Tamara Donn, founder of Woman to Mother in the U.K., and creator of the Birth Art Café,  which invites pregnant women and new mothers to gather and explore their journeys through drawing, painting and sculpture:

Trust & Surrender: A Powerful Pair

Trust is one of the 7 principles upon which my book Parenting for Peace is based. I define trust as  “calm reliance upon processes outside of your immediate perception and control.” (more…)

Parent Coaching is Not A Luxury

It makes me sad that so many parents not only struggle with parenting, but struggle with the very fact that they are struggling and might need some expert help! In every other endeavor in which art meets skill, coaching is a central and valued element. With the Olympics upon us, we are vividly reminded that from ice skating to acting, baseball to ballet, soccer to singing, the really gifted world-class contenders wouldn’t make a move or a toe-loop without their coaches.

It’s funny to me that parent coaching appears to many as a luxury or extravagance — or even unnecessary. Or worse, evidence that you are failing somehow, or less-than. Parent coaching, like all other coaching, helps by holding a vision of success when you, for whatever reason, cannot. A coach sees the powers inside you and guides their unfolding. In singing, soccer, life in general — and in parenting. {Read more at}

Holiday Stress and Kids’ Brains

I bet I’m not alone in harboring mixed feelings as the holidays approach. On the one hand it’s such a special time, steeped in family nostalgia and brimming with expressive potential. On the other hand (and that other hand always seems to be the buzz-kill, am I right?), let’s be honest: the holidays are often a holly-trimmed hotbed of stress.

In trying to make sure our holidays actually fulfill all that expressive potential, we can whip ourselves into a frenzy of sky-high expectations, “must do”s, and short fuses. And that makes for a brain-drain gift we do NOT want to be giving children! {Please enjoy the rest of this post at Dr. Frank Lipman’s excellent blog: click on image below}

Dr. Marcy on Lipman's Blog

Marcy’s “Parenting Secret” Teleseminar: THIS SATURDAY!

How in the World Do We Lose the Stress and Loosen Up??!

The more calm and confident we can be as parents, the more our children “catch our calm” and things go much better all the way around. And, as one of my favorite parent educator / psychologists, Lawrence Cohen, points out, our kids really need us to loosen up and be more playful and easy-going!

Problem is, there is a massive epidemic of UNcalm and UNconfidence out there amongst parents. This puts a HUGE damper on “playful” and “easy-going”! I’ve decided it’s time to offer some healing balm & helpful tools, at my FREE TELESEMINAR:


             The Secret to Being the Parent You Long to Be ~

                            Here’s the Missing PEACE!


               Free training in your own home, with Dr. Marcy Axness

   Yes, I Want More Peace NOW! Click for details



10 Ways to Be the Mom Your Teen Hates

Mom and teen daughterIf you aren’t plagued by at least the passing contemplation that you’re not up to the task of parenting a teen, then you’re not paying attention. Life turns high-octane indeed. The contact highs and lows of staying connected to your adolescent child can be intense, and it’s the lows that get the most press.

Carol Burnett has said about her late daughter Carrie during her teen addiction struggles, “I had to love her enough to let her hate me.” The concept of “love” can be a bit abstract, so today I’m featuring an “offboard guest post” about 10 tangible ways to love a teen that much. And though it is written as if directed just to mothers of daughters, all apply to sons as well — with the possible exception of #3. You may need a slightly more creative way to meet your son’s dates. How about insisting he invite them to #4?!

And one thing to keep in mind — it comes right out of Parenting for Peace: even though your teen seems utterly disinterested in you, he or she will subject you to the most unsparing scrutiny! Your child who no longer looks up to you, literally — but rather, eye to eye with you — so recently saw you as perfection personified but is now trained on you like a heat-seeking scope, watching for you to contradict your ideals, your word, your integrity, and hoping more than anything that you don’t. One of the supreme tests in parenting adolescents lies in their need for the adults around them to be steady, strong and sure in who they are, what they stand for, and whether their actions line up with their words. A tall order indeed. (If yours are still little, start preparing now!)

Now, without further ado…

10 Ways to Be the Mom Your Teen Hates

Author Meghan Welker specializes in articles related to kids, parenting, etc., and is currently the content editor for

10 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids (And What to Say Instead)

I include many guidelines about what to say and what not to say to your children in my book Parenting for Peace, but have never gathered them into one user-friendly post. And yet many parents find this level of specificity (“Say this, do not say this”) to be the most helpful of all. It is often the “way in” to a deeper understanding of the nuances and philosophy underlying the seven Parenting for Peace principles. (Yikes — I just realized that in a year of blogging since my book came out, I’ve yet to write a post just about the seven principles. Hard to believe! That will be coming soon…)

Immediate honesty: I didn’t write this post! I’m still in recuperation mode from my NY family trip so figured this was a way to hook you up with excellent content while still getting my suitcases unpacked, my daughter’s UPS boxes stored away, and my INbox whittled down. This is a post on Lifehacker by Shelly Phillips that I heartily endorse. I would like to have written it! And not only is the post itself excellent, but the discussion following is a little mind-blowing. Some of the comments…! Perhaps I should stop wishing for more comments to my posts, or else I’ll get some like these. (I know it’s great to have lively dialogue, but puh-leeze…!) So here you go:

10 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids (And What to Say Instead)
by Shelly Phillips


Will You Praise Your Child This Mother’s Day?

Will You Praise Your Child's Mother's Day Gift? | Marcy Axness, PhDAlong with breakfast in bed and maybe some flowers or candy…if you have a young child, you’ll invariably be presented with a handmade present — of course, the best kind. And you won’t care if the colors clash, if the popsicle sticks aren’t straight, if the pasta is coming unglued; your heart will expand, almost painfully, with a gush of love and tenderness unique to the moment. These truly are the most precious gifts! And this is one instance where it is impossible (and unnatural!) not to praise your child. But what about every other day…? When you praise your child, do you really build self-esteem, as many people assume? Or do you unwittingly erode intrinsic motivation, pleasure and self-satisfaction?

Somewhere along the way it became generally assumed that praise builds self-esteem, leading to the daily parental litany of “Nice job!” and “Great throw!” and “Gorgeous painting!” and on and on ad nauseum. Pundits call it “affirmation” and “positive feedback.” B.F. Skinner called it “positive reinforcement.” (more…)

Does Praising Children Build Self-Esteem?

Somewhere along the way it became generally assumed that praise builds self-esteem, leading to the daily parental litany of “Nice job!” and “Great throw!” and “Gorgeous painting!” and on and on ad nauseum. Pundits call it “affirmation” and “positive feedback.” B.F. Skinner called it “positive reinforcement.” Does praising children really build their self-esteem, as many people assume it does? Or does it erode their intrinsic motivation, pleasure and self-satisfaction? (more…)

How Early Life Influences Us: My Roots as an Adoptee

One of the most unique things about Parenting for Peace is it’s the only parenting book that collates, contextualizes, and includes guidelines around the latest research on how powerfully early life influences us.

Author's birthparents

My birth parents Bob & Liz, 3 months before my birth

In other words, how soon parenting begins.

For me, all of this is eminently personal: it grows from the ground of my own lifelong experience, beginning in the womb of a mother who knew she would not keep me. Who met a couple who had suffered some steep losses — the death of a baby, a near-fatal miscarriage — and decided she was carrying me for them. Who held me just once that first day in the hospital, and didn’t see me again for twenty-one years.

It grows from the ground of my first six days spent in a hospital nursery, followed by the months and years in a home that was not, shall we say, steeped in “relational intelligence.” Things were pretty chilly. A bit lonely. And it wasn’t that my parents didn’t mean well, or have good intentions. They were short on information and understanding. That’s what I try to do with my book, my private coaching, my speaking appearances — make sure there is lots of information and understanding available about early life influences, so that your best intentions can be realized in practical, effective ways! (more…)

Wonder-Bred: Nourishing Intelligent Minds in At Least 12 Ways

As I watched the solar transit of Venus this week, it was a vivid reminder of one of the most important Parenting for Peace qualities: wonder.

A fundamental need of the young child until around seven is an atmosphere in harmony with his natural impulse to celebrate beauty and feel reverence and awe about almost everything. But what does our culture do in this techno-materialist age? We foist upon even the youngest child a flat world of facts and commentary. At a time when the child most needs wonder and reverence, we explain away all sense of the miraculous (more…)