How To Successfully Integrate Work And Family, with Joel Louis – RFL042

How to Successfully Integrate Work And Family – Episode Overview

Our world is so distracting. It can be so pushy and bossy. “Go here, buy this, drive this, vote this way, believe this” – we get a constant stream of distractions and directions. Everyone is telling us how to show up to the things in our lives – at work and in our family lives. Trying to balance all of this – to hear our own voice and show up big to our family as a parent and big to your work, takes great attention and awareness. We have to establish what is important in our lives and stay focused on these. As our guest shares during the podcast, “things that matter most can never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” Knowing the difference allows you to look at work and life and integrate the two – trusting your own voice and defining for you and your family, what gets your attention and when.

Attention and Intention

On each show I talk about attention and intention. This week, my attention is on great parenting. My intention is to help us become great parents by learning to focus on what really matters – to tune out the noise and focus on the important things so we can successfully integrate family and work.

Meet Our Guest Joel Louis

Joel Louis On Work And FamilyJoel Louis is an award winning and popular podcaster, the founder of Startup Dad Headquarters, a mastermind host, personal coach and passionate dad of three daughters.  His mission is to help dads be fully engaged in every aspect of their lives and pursue their dreams of building a business – not just any business – one that leaves a mark on this world and a legacy for the next generation.


Start Up Dad Podcast

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. This episode is all about focusing on the things that really matter. We have to balance work and life – how clear are you about which of these environments get your attention.
  2. Being able to integrate work and life requires great awareness – to know how to focus on what needs your greatest attention – and when, and how to give the areas that are important regular attention.
  3. Many parents look to start their own businesses or participate in a franchise as a way of better connecting their personal and professional lives. Many times a family issue, illness or challenge can inspire us to make a change in what we consider work – where, when, how much work, the hours, etc. By focusing on what matters most to the family, we get information to determine how to integrate our careers.
  4. Each of the moments with our kids are special – sometimes we just gloss over them because we are busy. Becoming more intentional to tune in to the moments with our kids helps us see them as moments that matter. Telling our kids a story, sharing some wisdom, participating in something they are doing are all ways of helping them see that they are part of what really matters.
  5. What are the opportunities that allow you to better integrate work and family? A home-based business? Working from home? Starting your own business? What conventional and non-conventional approaches to work and family can you consider?
  6. Consider work/roles/opportunities that are family-friendly; talk to your family to help them be work-friendly.
  7. Many times, life’s challenges create opportunities to rethink and reconsider how you are integrating family and work. How are you open to seeing challenges as a way to consider new things rather than just be disappointed when things are challenging or don’t go your way?
  8. Develop your daily habit of meditation, mindfulness or quiet to allow yourself the clarity to choose how you want to go through your day – to remind yourself of the important things that may get pushed around by some of the not-so-important things. These things can easily take over if we are unclear of the important things in each day.
  9. When we work intentionally to be more present and aware – we get to see what is. In that moment, we have the ability of identify the things that matter and the things that don’t matter. This gives us the ability to then choose better, wiser and more clearly for the things that are important to us in life.
  10. We are best when we include what matters to us personally as well as what matters to our families. Once our kids grow up and move out, how are we also still aware of and active in a great life that really matters. Having and raising kids is part of life; discovering, developing and living our greatest abilities is also part of life. Both are important. Make time for both.

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice what matters and what is important to you. Do your family and work choices reflect this?
  2. Stop and Notice the role family has in your life. How are you making time for what you consider your role is and how you want to be involved in your family?
  3. Stop and Notice the role work has in your life. How are you allowing yourself the ability to feel engaged, valuable and important in the workplace AND be there for your family in a way that matters to them?
  4. Stop and Notice new opportunities that allow you to better integrate family and work. What opportunities would allow you to have a better balance or meaningful focus on what you want at this moment from both work and life?

It really isn’t about work life balance – it is about work life integration – both have to happen. How do you give each the value that it needs based on your values and expectations? To be a great parent doesn’t mean you only focus on your family. Rather, it means that you find a way to blend your professional and personal lives. You need to feel important and effective everywhere – in work and in the family. Defining this helps you build a plan to succeed in both places.

Suggested Resource:

The Book Of Secrets- Unlocking The Hidden Dimensions of Your LifeA resource for work and family  – by Deepak Chopra

We all want to know how to find a soul mate, what career would be most fulfilling, how to live a life with meaning, and how to teach our children well. We are looking for a personal breakthrough, a turning point, a revelation that brings with it new meaning. The Book of Secrets–a crystalline distillation of insights and wisdom accumulated over the lifetime of one of the great spiritual thinkers of our time–provides an exquisite new tool for achieving just that.

Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets of healing, compassion, faith, and the most elusive one of all: who we really are. We are still mysteries to ourselves, despite the proximity of these answers, and what we most long to know remains lodged deep inside.

Because answers to the questions at the center of life are counterintuitive, they are often hidden from view, sequestered from our everyday gaze. In his ongoing quest to elevate our experience, bestselling author Deepak Chopra has isolated fifteen secrets that drive the narrative of this inspiring book–and of our lives. From “The World Is in You” and “What You Seek, You Already Are” to “Evil Is Not Your Enemy” and “You Are Truly Free When You Are Not a Person,” The Book of Secrets is rich with insights, a priceless treasure that can transport us beyond change to transformation, and from there to a sacred place where we can savor the nectar of enlightenment.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, with Dr Glenn Miya – RFL041

How to Talk To Your Kids About Sex – Episode Overview

The Internet and technology has brought many of the more adult issues right to our kids – even though they aren’t adults. They don’t have the ability, in many cases, how to understand, process or deal with some of the information they connect with – sex, drugs, relationships, social media. As I regularly state, a critical role of our job as parents is to walk with and translate for our kids, the information they get from our world. We can’t protect them constantly, but we can guide them to be prepared and wise when they do encounter things that are challenging or have the potential to disrupt their life and health or adversely influence their choices.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on getting our kids ready for life. My intention is to encourage meaningful conversations with our kids about sex and other things they will encounter in life – before they encounter them – the things that can be confusing, dangerous and difficult for them to understand without our guidance, support and coaching.

Meet our guest Dr. Glenn Miya

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex With Glenn MiyaDr. Glenn Miya, is a parent and board certified physician as well as a radio host, producer, writer, and speaker on current topics in the world of medicine and wellness. His philosophy to staying well is simple.

“Start with the three fundamentals of health:  proper diet, proper exercise, and proper rest. Years of gymnastics and martial arts taught me that.”

He has been featured by PBS, NPR, CBS radio, and many other new shows and publications.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Sex is everywhere – on television, movies, phones, the Internet. Most parents don’t talk about it in a way that relates to their values – so that when their kids encounter it, they know how to place it in a meaningful and healthy way in life.We can help our kids by walking with them and helping them understand and interpret the information they get from their world – to place it wisely – particularly about sex.
  2. Our kids need to understand the mechanics of sex (how bodies work) before they can begin to understand it emotionally. Talk to your kids early (toddlers) about bodies. It helps them see them as natural and normal – before they start to see them sensationalized.
  3. Our discomfort with talking to our kids about sex will direct them to learn about it from the internet, friends and the outside world. This doesn’t ensure that our kids develop a healthy understanding of it for their lives.
  4. We are connection beings. We are modeling and teaching our values about sex and sexuality with our kids from their first moments. Everything about having and raising kids is about connection.
  5. Look for the teachable moments to bring up or deal with issues about sex, health and other meaningful topics. Many times an event, site, word, television show, etc will get your child asking or wondering. This is a teachable moment – tune in to it – don’t miss it.
  6. Most kids overestimate what they know about sex; most parents underestimate what their kids know about sex.
  7. Talking about the mechanics of sex (early education for our kids) is part 1. The more important part is talking about the flood of emotions (feelings) that go along with sex. A solid foundation helps parents talk and deal with the emotions and feelings that come with our maturing kids around dating, sex and relationships.
  8. When we tune in and really pay attention to our kids (and ask them a lot of questions), we discover what they know and think about big issues like sex. We can then assess where they are with things and determine how we can best support and respond – particularly as they get older.
  9. Kids today are more connected with each other because of their constant social media connections. This encourages greater emotional relationships, sooner. Parents need to be aware that many relationships that we see our kids in as virtual (and not emotional), they see as real (and very emotional). This affects how they react.
  10. Sex is part of life. It is important for us to help our kids appreciate, value and trust their feelings and to understand and respect their bodies – and the bodies of others.
  11. Examine your own values and attitudes about sex. This is where most of the embarrassment about sex comes from. Rethink it and assess what needs to change to help you help your kids be wiser about themselves and the way they connect to sex in their lives.

Questions for parents

  1. How are you regularly talking about sex and tough issues with your kids?
  2. What concern or fear do you have in talking to your kids about sex?
  3. How could you involve your pediatrician or physician in preparing to have these meaningful conversations?
  4. What changes do you need to make in your own understanding of sex and being a sexual/connection being that will improve your life?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice how you talk to your kids about sex. What are your fears and how will you overcome them?
  2.    Stop and Notice what your kids currently know and think about sex? How can you have a discussion to find this out to determine how to help them develop a healthy and wise understanding of it in their lives?
  3.    Stop and Notice whether you take advantage of the teachable moments to help your kids understand sexuality, sexual behavior and their sexuality. How will you be more tuned in and watching for the times to help them learn from teachable moments?
  4.    Stop and Notice how you are helping your kids stay sane and grounded in a world that has a lot of distractions around sex. How can you help your kids understand this in their world and not be a victim to it?

Sex – it’s everywhere. Our kids see it all the time. Many times we have no idea what they know about it – and whether what they know is healthy, accurate and will help them be ready for life. As parents, we need to own these big conversations even if they make us uncomfortable. Our kids need us to help them develop their understanding of all of what their life shares with them. This way they will be wise and informed in the decisions they make at any point in their lives.

Suggested Resource:

A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex  – by Dr Kevin Leman and Kathy Flores Bell

A resource to talk to your kids about sexParents Often Imagine Their Kids to be Nonsexual Until Their Wedding Night The truth of the matter is that we’re sexual from day one. What are you going to communicate to your kids about this, knowing that they are sexual creatures today? Your kids need you to talk with them about sex. No one else will do. They’ve been discovering their sexuality since the day they were born, but they need you to help them deal with the changes and challenges of puberty. Those conversations that are so vital for your children’s health and happiness don’t have to be difficult if you’re prepared. A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids about Sex helps you build a strong, trust-filled relationship with your son or daughter to prepare you for the intimate talks you need to have when “the changes” hit. And because every child grows in a unique way, this book tells you what to teach but lets you determine when. Inside this book are the tools you need to help your kids not only understand their growing bodies, but also cope with the temptations and social pressures that go with them. Practical, expert, and down-to-earth, A Chicken’s Guide is a powerful resource not only for moms and dads, but also for pastors, counselors, and anyone with a heart for kids.


How To Set Meaningful Boundaries and Limits For Your Kids, with Erin Royer-Asrilant – RFL040

How to Set Meaningful Boundaries and Limits For Your Kids – Episode Overview

We want our kids to find their way in today’s wild world. And to do that, they need to learn, explore and discover. So how much is too much freedom and how much is too little? THEY want to be free, YOU want them to be safe – how do you blend the two?

Our job as modern parents is to get our kids ready for life. That means we need to walk WITH them – to guide and interpret our noisy and pushy world, to help them make sense of it – to be able to see their options then be able to make wise choices in school, work and life that need what they do best. To do this, we need to set up boundaries and guidelines. If these are too tight, our kids rebel. If they are too loose, they can get caught up in the world’s distractions. Finding the balance is critical.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on guiding our kids to be successful, happy and responsible in life. My intention is to have a discussion about boundaries and guidelines as tools to help our kids stay focused on what matters – to both fully experience the world and to know how to choose wisely in all of its noise and distractions.

Meet our guest Erin Royer-Asrilant

Erin Royer O Meaningful Boundaries For KidsErin Royer-Asrilant is a parent of 3 young children and has a masters in clinical psychology. She specializes in helping families resolve stressful parenting concerns such as negative child behavior, unproductive communication, and family organization issues. She is the founder of Your Village Online, a robust parenting site with 40 online education programs to help all parents learn to be more confident and successful with their parenting – by improving how they deal with discipline, boundaries and roles. You can find out more about this amazing mom who still makes time to train for triathlons and marathons at the links below.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. It is critical for us to help our kids be aware in today’s world without being afraid of it. We set boundaries and limits to help our kids learn how to be successful and safe in our world.
  2. We help our kids process and interpret life successfully when we help them discover and develop their talents and strengths. Make this an intentional component of how you raise them so they aren’t discovering this information later in life. The sooner our kids know their inventory of abilities, the sooner they can better understand how to find their way in life – to be confident to be present in it and wise to live it safely.
  3. Tune in to your kids to notice their abilities – to help them start to connect them with the opportunities in life that align.
  4. We constantly struggle as parents with the fear and danger we see and experience in our world. This can make us want to create stronger limits and guidelines for our kids which can sometimes have the opposite effect we desire. All great guidelines, limits and boundaries as our kids grow and mature are best done through discussion. You, as a parent, can always override what a child may want, but including him or her in the conversation opens you up to his or her reality, and creates the ability for both sides to share their real thoughts. This can’t happen if all limits and rules are handed down to kids.
  5. Safety, values and beliefs are usually delivered to our kids in a telling mode. All other events can be negotiated through conversation.
  6. Our kids are getting in over their heads because of the Internet. The internet is a doorway to the entire world – which includes many areas that our kids are not wise enough to know how to process, handle or ignore. Setting limits on access is important.
  7. Boundaries and limits – kids want freedom and choice and safety and security – make them reasonable and age-appropriate. This is one of the main ways we communicate that our kids are safe with us.
  8. Include your kids in your conversations about limits and boundaries so they know what you are thinking, what you are concerned about and what you know that they may not know. Explaining things helps create context so kids are more aware of the reasons in the limits – they may not always agree but they at least understand our thinking.
  9. Staying calm is so critical to effective parenting.  Peaceful parenting is about parenting, not the kids. You can’t be your best self (calm, peaceful) if you are not taking care of yourself.

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how you create boundaries, guidelines and limits with your kids. Is it one directional or do you involve them in discussions? How effectively are your limits or boundaries working?
  2. Stop and Notice what you talk to your kids about in a day. Is it negative and pessimistic like much of the news, or do you help your kids appreciate the dangers in our world but still be optimistic and willing to be fully involved in life?
  3. Stop and Notice how balanced you are in protecting your kids from the dangers and distractions in today’s world but open and encouraging to let them discover who they are and go live life like it matters. How can you improve this today?
  4. Stop and Notice how calm and stable you are as a parent. What do you need to do on a daily basis for yourself, to be a peaceful parent? How can being a peaceful parent help improve your parenting, particularly around setting limits and boundaries for your kids?

Our world has both great and dangerous things. In order to be safe and loving life, we need to help our kids learn how to know the difference. With the Internet, they have access to things we never dreamed of seeing at their age – some productive, and many that are unproductive. It is up to us to help them understand their world to known how to navigate successfully in it. This means setting meaningful and age-appropriate boundaries and limits – limiting access until they can wise and ready in their responses – and including them when they are ready in the discussions about those limits. This is just what it takes to be a modern parent.

Suggested Resource:

Scream Free Parenting ResourceScreamFree Parenting – The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids By Keeping Your Cool  – by Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT

You Can Start a Revolution in Your Family . . . Tonight

ScreamFree Parenting is not just about lowering your voice. It’s about learning to calm your emotional reactions and learning to focus on your own behavior more than your kids’ behavior . . . for their benefit. Our biggest enemy as parents is not the TV, the Internet, or even drugs. Our biggest enemy is our own emotional reactivity. When we say we “lost it” with our kids, the “it” in that sentence is our own adulthood. And then we wonder why our kids have so little respect for us, why our kids seem to have all the power in the family.

It’s time to do it differently. And you can. You can start to create and enjoy the types of calm, mutually respectful, and loving relationships with your kids that you’ve always craved. You can begin to revolutionize your family, starting tonight.

Parenting is not about kids, it’s about parents. If you’re not in control, then you cannot be in charge. What every kid really needs are parents who are able to keep their cool no matter what.

Easier said than done? Not anymore, thanks to ScreamFree Parenting, the principle-based approach that’s inspiring parents everywhere to truly revolutionize their family dynamics. Moving beyond the child-centered, technique-based approaches that ultimately fail, the ScreamFree way compels you to:

  • focus on yourself
  • calm yourself down, and
  • grow yourself up

By staying calm and connected with your kids, you begin to operate less out of your deepest fears and more out of your highest principles, revolutionizing your relationships in the process.

ScreamFree Parenting is not just another parenting book. It’s the first parenting book that maintains—from beginning to end—that parenting is NOT about kids . . . it’s about parents. As parents pay more attention to controlling their own behavior instead of their kids’ behavior, the result is stronger, more rewarding, and more fulfilling family relationships.

For those of you reading who are parents, know parents, or have had parents, the notion that the greatest thing you can do for your children is to learn to focus on yourself may sound strange, even heretical. It’s not. Here’s why: we are the only ones we can control. We cannot control our kids—we cannot control the behavior of any other human being. And yet, so many “experts” keep giving us more tools (“techniques”) to help us try to do just that. And, of course, the more we try to control, the more out of control our children become.

“Don’t make me come up there.” “Don’t make me pull this car over.” “How many times do I have to tell you?” Even our language suggests that our kids have control over us.

It’s no wonder that we end up screaming. Or shutting down. Or simply giving up. And the charts, refrigerator magnets, family meetings, and other techniques in most typical parenting books just don’t work. They end up making us feel more frustrated and more powerless in this whole parenting thing.

This practical, effective guide for parents of all ages with kids of all ages introduces proven principles for overcoming the anxieties and stresses of parenting and setting new patterns of connection and cooperation. Well-written in an engaging, conversational tone, the book is sensible, straightforward, and based on the experiences of hundreds of actual families. It will help all parents become calming authorities in their homes, bring peace to their families today, and give kids what they need to grow into caring, self-directed adults tomorrow.

How To Help Your Kids (and You) Embrace Your Uniqueness, with Jay Forte – RFL039

Jay goes solo in this episode and shares two of his classic long poems – stories to help us learn how to teach our kids to embrace their uniqueness and live who they really are.

How To Help Your Kids (and You) Embrace Your Uniqueness  – Episode Overview

Discovering and living who we really are is difficult. Partly we didn’t get an owners manual to help us define our talents, passions and values – and we certainly didn’t get one for our kids. So welcome to the greatest challenge and opportunity in parenting – guiding and coaching our kids to discover, develop and live who they really are – to discover and live their uniqueness. By doing this we help our kids tap into their inner greatness – their inner talents, strengths, passions and interests. Aware of and confident in these, our kids (and ourselves) have the information we need to look through today’s world to identify the places that need what we do and love best. This is how to help our kids find their way in our wild world.

I thought I would do something completely different in this show. Instead of sharing parenting experts and their perspectives, I thought I would share with you two things I have written that help us see that to help our kids we need to be (and to teach them to be) aware, creative and resilient – to see what makes them unique and to value and treasure it instead of wanting to downplay it.

In this episode, I read two of my long form poems. These aren’t normal poems – they are poems in the style of Dr Seuss – a longer, rhyming poem with a message and moral. The moral in each is to discover, value and live who you really are, without regard to what others say. I find these are a great way to help you have this important conversation with you kids because they live in a loud, push and “blend-in” world – a world that values them more when they look and act like others than when they be true to who they are and be authentic.

So here is what I hope happens.

I hope you listen to both poems and their stories and messages move you. And then I hope you listen to them with your kids.

The goal is to expand our awareness that our kids are just perfect as they are – that each is unique and will be happiest and most successful in life when we help each discover and become who they really are. Fight the urge to plan out your kids’ lives. Instead, walk with them to help them translate what they see and experience in their days to know how to find what fits them in life. This is a process – it isn’t done once and its over. But the starting point is discover what is different, amazing and awesome about ourselves, then tuning in to our world to find ways to bring our unique and personal best to all we do.

Poem #1 Be Who You Are and Live What You Believe

It is the story of Michael, someone who sees the world different from his family. They at first try to make him act more like his siblings, until he realizes and helps them understand that his way of seeing the world has great value for him and for them. [ Listen @ 00:06:55]

Poem #2 You’re Great and You’re Awesome, Just As You Are

TGZ_Box_4This is the story of Trent, someone who was born into a town that dictates how people are to look. During the poem he discovers that his value and worth are not in how he looks, but in who he is down deep. He then shares what he learns to change others. [ Listen @ 00:15:45]  Download this poem

I hope you resonate with message in both of the poems – and poems are just one way I like to share some of my thoughts.

I remember hearing from my parents when we were kids that we each came packaged with all the right stuff to have a most amazing life. It is our responsibility to discover what we came packaged with and to use it to build lives that matter and lives that let us use our greatest abilities and gifts in order to make our difference in our world.

There is a great reason why we are all so different – so that we each can find our unique place and do what it is we do best. If we were all the same or if we all just blend into doing what everyone else does, our world would be pretty boring.

So there is room for those who want to repair engines, write poetry, design buildings, understand earthquakes, teach children, run businesses, study the stars or the oceans, coach people through their challenges or the other thousands of ways to do what you do best in our world.

How will you be your kid’s guide – to help him or her see who they are, what they rock at, what they love and what opportunities in their world fit them? This, from my view is the greatest things we can do for our kids and is the purpose of our parenting.

Help your kids be confident in who they are – be authentic and true. Remember, you are great and awesome just as you are and so are they.

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About Jay Forte

Jay Forte on UniquenessJay is a business and motivational speaker, certified CEO, family and leadership coach, author, adjunct college professor and nationally ranked Thought Leader. He provides talent, strength-based and mindfulness tools to help people discover, develop and live what is best in them to achieve exceptional personal and professional results.

He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World. His new books, Improvisational Parenting and The Rhodium Rule are due out in 2016/17.

He is the host of the weekly podcast for parents, Get Your Kids Ready for Life; he blogs and writes for many national sites and is routinely on telesummits, radio and television shows talking about personal and professional potential, purpose and performance.

When not teaching, coaching CEOs, helping today’s parents help get their kids ready for life, or helping people seek out or create great life opportunities, he writes, gardens and cooks (as any good Italian) in Ft Lauderdale, FL.

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how authentic you are. Do you know what makes you unique and amazing and use it to guide your decisions? Or, do you see that you blend with others instead of standing out?
  2. Stop and Notice how you are helping your kids discover who they really are. What makes each of your kids different and amazing? How are you helping them develop this instead of downplay it?
  3. Stop and Notice if you are directing your kids’ life choices. How can you give your kids more of a voice in their directions and paths? How can you encourage them to learn more about themselves and support them to be who they really are?
  4. Stop and Notice how you talk to your kids about who they are. Consider using the poems in this podcast as a way to start a conversation about being authentic, true and honest – for both of you.

We are born just right – but many times we see that things our kids are born with don’t fit our definition of what we want for them. Giving our kids the guidance and support to discover and develop what is best in them creates greater and more meaningful options for our kids in life. They can then show up happier and more successful when they are connected to areas that they are good at and passionate about. As the expression goes – be an amazing original, not an average copy. Help your kids live who they really are – after all they are great and awesome, just as they are.

To Live With Purpose, Create A Family Vision, with Scott Beebe – RFL038

To Live With Purpose, Create A Family Vision  – Episode Overview

Today’s technology has made it more difficult to get our kids’ attention – particularly around what matters. I grew up in a larger Italian family where we had regular family meetings to be sure we all know what was expected of us and what mattered to our family. There was great wisdom in creating a clear vision or mission for the family – one that we all could use as a guide at any point in our lives. I like to think of it as a performance standard – of a life “done right” – or a life with purpose. So many times we get caught up in the busyness of life that we forget to focus on living lives that have purpose and that matter. Having a family vision helps our kids stay aligned to what is most important.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on providing consistent life guidance for our kids. My intention is to share how creating a family vision can provide THAT kind of guidance for our kids, in how to live meaningful and purposeful lives in spite of the noise and distractions they’ll meet in their world.

Meet our guest Scott Beebe

Scott Beebe On Family VisionScott Beebe is founder and leader of Business On Purpose, a business coaching, training and strategy group that works to help small business owners, and organizational leaders uncover things that they cannot see, and create game-changing strategies so they can take immediate action and live out their life and business with purpose and intentionality. Scott is also the host of the Business On Purpose podcast.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. To find our way in life – and to help our kids do the same – we need to provide guidance and structure – this is the value of a family vision.
  2. Our world sends so many mixed messages that our kids need to interpret and process. Coming from a clear place – like a family vision – allows them to stay focused on what matters most among all of life’s distractions.
  3. We create our beliefs by sorting through the messaging we receive. As parents, we are able to help our kids create beliefs of excellence, integrity, resilience, empathy and service as we increase our communication, questions and connection with them.
  4. Technology, though it can help us, can interrupt the important communication process between parents and kids. The more each party spends on their devices and not communicating, the greater the challenge in helping our kids start to form their beliefs.  A great problem in helping our kids get ready for life isn’t because we aren’t physically present in their lives – it comes from not being verbally present in their lives.
  5. Empathy is developed out of the nuanced conversations we have with our kids when they are 2 and 4 and 8 and whatever age; they happen gradually as we constantly communicate with them.
  6. The more we ASK as parents – the more we help our kids “test drive” their abilities, thoughts and values. The more we TELL our kids, the less they assess and build their own perspectives.
  7. Be aware for the Braindead Megaphone – the loudest voice in your kids’ ears – what is it saying and what do they think and believe about it. Stay in touch with your kids – ask questions daily about what they hear, think, believe and notice. You can help quiet the meaningless or unproductive messages they hear and replace them with confidence in themselves and their own voice.
  8. A family vision is an anchor. An anchor doesn’t mean it is doesn’t move – it actually moves within a range. This gives our kids guidance in how to meet and deal with the world – of having the ability to know how to choose wisely particularly when parents are not around. An anchor or family vision is a standard against which you hold you and your family accountable that gives consistent guidance in a changing world.
  9. All kids need value-centered boundaries that are expressed through conversation and connection. These are actually freeing as they allow our kids to go through the world clear of who they are, choosing wisely and being part of the world. These boundaries or this vision helps them know how to successfully navigate life.
  10. In parenting, there are essentials and non-essentials – not everything is essential. Assessing situations from this place can help parents determine how best to handle situations they encounter with their kids. Non-essentials allow for greater flexibility than essentials.
  11. A powerful question to help our kids learn about values and accountability is “Were you proud of what you did, said, etc?”

Some question for parents:

  1. How often are you on your technology or devices? How much time do you spend talking to your kids and asking them questions?
  2. What is your talk like with your kids? Is it critical and judgmental or are you compassionate because you see your kids as a work-in-process?
  3. Where do you drop anchor – where do you set the expectations and standards to help guide your kids?

See Scott’s course – How To Create A Family Vision

Create a family vision imageA powerful, practical course that includes how to create your

Contact Scott for more information:

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice how much time you actually communicate with your kids. How can you improve this today?
  2.    Stop and Notice how your kids navigate life. Do you have a family vision you share with them to help them know how be ready for life in a constantly changing world?
  3.    Stop and Notice how much time you tell instead of ask your kids. How would asking them more increase your communication, connection and encourage their better understanding of themselves?
  4.    Stop and Notice what pushback you get from your kids as you look to establish family rules or a family vision. How can you win your kids into seeing the value of guiding principles or standards to help them feel confident in their choices in school, work and life?

A family vision is an anchor – it holds us firm in changing tides. It isn’t rigid – it allows for some movement but the movement will always be around where it is grounded. This helps us help our kids navigate life. Consider a family vision, family meetings or places to establish the family’s values and focus, to be able to live wisely, successfully and responsibly at any age.

Suggested Resource:

The Family Vision And Virtues GuideThe Family Virtues Guide – Simple Ways To Bring Out The Best In Our Children and Ourselves  – by Linda Kavelin Popov and Dan Popov

Bring Compassion, Generosity, and Kindness into Your Home with This Essential Guide

The most important job parents have is to pass basic virtues on to their children, and this invaluable book is designed to help make that job a little easier. Compiled by The Virtues Project, an international organization dedicated to inspiring spiritual growth in young and old alike, this multicultural, interfaith handbook shows parents and teachers how to turn words into actions and ideals into realities. Drawn from the world’s religions, the 52 virtues included here—one for each week of the year—nurture togetherness in family life. The simple strategies, which explain what a virtue is, how to practice it, and signs of success, will engage children of all ages in an exciting process of growth and discovery. This important book shows you how to:

  •         Learn the language of integrity and self-esteem
  •         Understand the five roles parents play
  •         Discover ways to introduce sacred time into family life
  •         Help children make moral choices

The Family Virtues Guide gives adults and children the tools for spiritual and moral growth. Join the thousands of families discovering simple practices for bringing out the best in each other by sharing The Family Virtues Guide.


To Find Your Way In Life, Think Like An Entrepreneur, with Matt Miller – RFL037

To Find Your Way In Life, Think Like An Entrepreneur – Episode Overview

There is a great quote by Buckminster Fuller. He asks, “What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?” So as we guide, support and spend time with our kids, how are we helping them discover what they know about and love doing? Then, how can we help them learn to tune in to their world to see the needs and opportunities to do what they do best? For some it will be starting a family business. Some will find their career of a lifetime and others will focus on improving some aspect of the world. What matters most is that they connect their greatest joy and abilities with a need they identify in their world.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on work and careers. My intention is to help parents help their kids learn to think like entrepreneurs – always watching for opportunities to do and use what they do best to be successful and happy in life.

Meet our guest Matt Miller

Matt Miller on Think Like An EntrepreneurMatt Miller, a previous Air Force pilot, is the President and Founder of School Spirit Vending, a family run business started in 2007 that combines vending and school fundraising. A committed entrepreneur and passionate dad determined to help his kids discover and find their unique way in the world, he integrates his kids in the business to show up successful, professional and making a difference in life.

IMPORTANT! Download Matt’s ebook, Live Your Dreams: The Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Own A Vending Business.

Find out more about Matt and School Spirit Vending’s franchising program, a way for busy professionals and their families to develop secondary income while raising millions of dollars for education at

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Learning to tune in to our world – to really see what is in front of us is the key to finding our unique way in life. We can’t see opportunities to do what we do best and to be our best selves if we aren’t good at gathering and assessing information.
  2. Teach your kids to pay attention to the details – to use all of their senses to get good at gathering information about their world. Our world constantly sends us information – just what we need to invent opportunities.
  3. Life gives us information about ourselves – we didn’t get an owners manual. We try things out to find out how they fit – what we rock at and what we stink at. Tuning in to our world is how we try things out and get to know who we really are.
  4. What does the world tell you about you? What environments get you excited and activate your passions – these are signals to you. It is the world saying – do this, land here, try this out. It is the same for your kids.
  5. Each of us has the ability to think like an entrepreneur – to use what we know our ourselves and our world to find opportunities – for work, school and life. It is a skill we all can learn and one we will have to help our kids learn (there are not learning it in school).
  6. Know yourself to know your own voice. This gives you clarity about what is right in today’s world for you – it will help you to not wander in life – but to be intentional in choosing what fits you best.
  7. Help your kids discover their inner voice – what abilities do they shine with? How can you help them see how to apply these abilities in today’s world?
  8. Homeschooling can provide kids the ability to pursue their gifts, passions and interests – instead of following an existing established school curriculum. Many schools just push students through the system instead of helping them discover and connect to what is unique and amazing in them. Having a voice in how you help your kids discover and experience their world can expand their awareness and opportunities. (See podcast 14 – Living and Loving Life Your Way – with a family that chose to home school their kids on the road as they sold their house and travel the country seeing everything together).
  9. Right in front of you is a brilliant idea – one that could help you find your way in life (good-fit career or life direction) or to start a business that addresses a need, challenge or opportunity. Remember the Buckminster Fuller quote, “What is it on the planet that needs doing that you know something about that probably won’t happen unless you take responsibility for it?” Learn to think this way and teach your kids to think this way.

Some question for parents:

  1. What would be different if you had known more about yourself years ago –and how can you make knowing themselves a priority for your kids?
  2. What opportunities do you regularly see that need you to take some action on?
  3. How can you help your kids tune in more intentionally to their world – to help them be more connected to the information their world shares with them to help them make better and wiser work and life choices?
  4. What can you do together with your kids to create opportunities – and is there a potential business idea that could involve the entire family?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  •    Stop and Notice what you are good at and passionate about. How can you connect these to applications in your world?
  •    Stop and Notice what your kids are good at and passionate about. How can you help them learn how to connect these to applications in their world?
  •    Stop and Notice the places for business opportunities – the places for you and your family to work on something together.
  •    Stop and Notice how your kids’ school is helping them or not helping them discover, develop and live their unique abilities. How can you step in and have a more active role in this?

Right in front of each of us, all the time, are opportunities. Not all opportunities are for us – so we must know ourselves and our unique abilities (and help our kids know themselves and their unique abilities) to be able to use them to find or create the opportunities that fit them. Tune in. Stop and Notice. Pay attention – then assess what the world is sharing with you. These are life skills – be sure your kids have them.

Suggested Resource:

The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking – What Successful People Didn’t Learn In School by Cliff Michaels

Think Like An Entrepreneur - 4 EssentialsIn The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking, Cliff Michaels takes us on an inspirational journey while capturing the passion and wisdom of extraordinary people. On the cutting edge of life and business strategies for over 20 years, Cliff not only shares his triumphs and tribulations as an entrepreneur, he unleashes a fun system of timeless lessons anyone can follow. Drawing on classic mentors from da Vinci, Edison, and Mozart, to modern moguls like Jobs, Oprah, and Branson, Cliff suggests we all benefit from a real-world MBA – your Master’s in Basic Abilities. This fast-paced book raises the bar for learning success principles.

Self-Compassion Is The Key To Better Parenting, with Bartja Wachtel – RFL036

Self-Compassion Is The Key To Better Parenting – Episode Overview

Some parents think you have to be tough with kids – to let them know what the real world is like. Other parents over-parent – doing their kids’ work and thinking for them. Both are extremes. So, where is the middle ground? Well, the middle ground is compassionate parenting. When we are too hard or to soft as a parent, we hurt ourselves and our kids. But self-compassion and compassion for your kids – because you see yourself and them as works-in-process – can help you limit the inner critic and relax into being your best self and therefore becoming the best version of a parent that you can be.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on becoming more present and happier in our lives as parents. My intention is to show that learning how to be more self-compassionate is the antidote to our critical voice and defensive world, and is the key to better parenting.

Meet our guest Bartja Wachtel

Bartja Wachtel On The Key To Better ParentingBartja Wachtel is a clinical social worker and mindfulness educator who is actively working for his vision of a world of inclusion, mindfulness and wellbeing for all diversities of spirit and body. In addition to his private practice, he currently works at the Virginia Mason Medical Center Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, WA, proving caregiver support, as well as facilitating seminars and workshops on Mindfulness and Well-Being Theory.

Take A Brief Self-Compassion Test (by Kristin Neff)

Test how self-compassionate you are

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Our world constantly sends us information. Based on our internal programming and our brain’s commitment to help us stay safe, we are generally activating our internal threat defense system. We are watching our world for the physical or emotional threats that result in our fight, flight or freeze responses.
  2. The threat defense system activates adrenalin – our system’s ability to defend or protect ourselves. The challenge in today’s world is that we are stuck in this threat defense mindset; the result of living this way is we breakdown physically (we get sick) and emotionally.
  3. Self-criticism is one of the ways we activate our threat defense system. Our internal critic creates internal threats for us – we are both the predator and the victim – and we respond by fight, flight or freeze. The more we do this, the more wiped out we feel and become. This is who we are as people and parents.
  4. We model this inner critic and threat defense system behavior for our kids – how we treat ourselves influences how our kids start to treat themselves.
  5. Self-compassion is the antidote to the threat defense system. This is innate to us but we don’t nurture it. Society encourages us to nurture and support our threat defense system more than to nurture our self-compassion and compassion for others. Noticing its benefits and taht we can do it is the first step.
  6. Compassion or self-compassion starts first with a focus on the good and the positive in each situation and then encourages showing up with tenderness and love to whatever shows up. We have to tune in to our kids (or to ourselves) to see what they(we) are feeling. We have mirror neurons that help us feel what others are feeling. This creates empathy. To move from empathy to compassion requires a loving response – loving connected presence. The movement to compassion is good for both our kids and for us.
  7. Self-compassion sometimes makes us think we look weak as we focus on ourselves and tenderly and lovingly attend to others. In fact, this approach is a point of strength – of intentionally overriding the threat defense system and using a more developed response – one more capable of enhancing connection, relationships and a greater sense of self.
  8. Self-compassion practices are designed to help you understand that you don’t need to change the situation, you change your relationship or response to the situation. We now become more open, loving and kind in all of our responses, eliminating some of the default fight, flight or freeze responses.
  9. Three self-compassion practices to help you shift to being more self-compassionate, resulting in better parenting and greater compassion for those around you.
    1. Warmth – physical or emotional – wrap in a blanket, say kind things, read a poem, look lovingly at a picture
    2. Soothing touch – put your hand on your arm, heart, cross your arms as in a self-hug
    3. Gentle vocalizations – kind words, soft volume

Combine these and use them when you need to be more self-compassionate – and use them with your kids when they need you to tune in differently to a particular situation. Remember, it’s not about the situation, compassion is about your response to it.

Some question for parents:

  1. What is your self-talk like? Is it critical and judgmental or are your compassionate with yourself?
  2. What is your talk like with your kids? Is it critical and judgmental or are you compassionate because you see your kids as a work-in-process?
  3. What ways to do you notice when you are harsh or unkind with yourself?
  4. What do you regularly do to be self-compassionate – and how do you notice how life changes when you are more self-compassionate?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice your inner critic. What does it say and how often does it talk to you?
  2.    Stop and Notice how you feel after hearing from or dealing with your inner critic. How can you see this a perfect moment for self-compassion to help you see your worth and to get you out of your threat defense system?
  3.    Stop and Notice when you are in fight, flight or freeze mode. What got you there? How often each day are you in this space?
  4.    Stop and Notice how your inner critic and threat defense system is influencing your relationship with your kids. How will you intentionally create greater self-compassion practices to be more available and connected to your kids?

Our brains want to keep us safe. This makes us nervous and concerned – which is supported by our 24-hour news cycle. Couple this with our inner critical voice and we are always in our fight, flight or freeze response. Becoming more compassionate is the antidote to this behavior. Using self-compassion practices can help us relax into life and be more present and supportive as parents.

Suggested Resource:

Mindfulness For Beginners – by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness For Beginners Resource From The Key To Better Parenting EpisodeWe may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play—and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.

Here, the teacher, scientist, and clinician who first demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness within mainstream Western medicine offers a book that you can use in three unique ways: as a collection of reflections and practices to be opened and explored at random; as an illuminating and engaging start-to-finish read; or as an unfolding “lesson- a-day” primer on mindfulness practice.

Beginning and advanced meditators alike will discover in these pages a valuable distillation of the key attitudes and essential practices that Jon Kabat-Zinn has found most useful with his students, including:

  • Why heartfulness is synonymous with true mindfulness
  • The value of coming back to our bodies and to our senses over and over again
  • How our thoughts “self-liberate” when touched by awareness
  • Moving beyond our “story” into direct experience
  • Stabilizing our attention and presence amidst daily activities
  • The three poisons that cause suffering—and their antidotes
  • How mindfulness heals, even after the fact
  • Reclaiming our wholeness, and more

The prescription for living a more mindful life seems simple enough: return your awareness again and again to whatever is going on. But if you’ve tried it, you know that here is where all the questions and challenges really begin. Mindfulness for Beginners provides welcome answers, insights, and instruction to help us make that shift, moment by moment, into a more spacious, clear, reliable, and loving connection with ourselves and the world.

Includes a complete CD with five guided mindfulness meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn, selected from the audio program that inspired this book.


Dad’s In Charge – Meeting and Learning From A Stay-at-Home Dad, with Chris Bernholdt – RFL035

Dad’s In Charge – Meeting and Learning From A Stay-At-Home Dad– Episode Overview

Our world gets stuck on definitions. This is what a mom does, this is what a dad does. Sometimes our labels and definitions hold us back instead of giving us the freedom to be improvisational parents – parents who are free to show up to what our kids really need in the moment. Parent roles are changing – maybe it is time to lose the label of Mom or Dad and just be fine being a parent. And in this freedom we could be more aware of which parent wants to be home with the kids – and which wants to be out in the workplace? After all, our goal is to connect what is best in us in order to help get our kids ready for life.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on getting rid of parenting labels. My intention is to show that loving and responding to our kids is the purpose and ability of BOTH parents. More dads are staying home, more moms are choosing to work. Can we lose our labels of who does what and be more open to just being parents in a way that makes sense and works for our family?

Meet our guest Chris Bernholdt

Chris Bernholdt Stay At Home DadChris Bernholdt is a stay-at-home dad. A previous teacher and self-proclaimed man with abundant patience, Chris runs the household, allowing his wife to be the career woman she chooses and is talented to be. He writes the blog, DadNCharge – a practical and entertaining blog committed to empowering parents with the knowledge and creativity to raise their children.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. In a survey, there were 1.1 million stay at home dads in 1989; by 2012, that number had grown to 2.2 million; this number continues to grow.
  2. Being a modern parent, in my mind, means challenging the stereotypes of parenting to decide what is right for your kids to get them ready for life. This could be home schooling, stay-at-home dads, raising them in other countries, etc. It should be that WE choose how to raise our kids to help them show up as their greatest selves and to better understand the world, rather than just follow what everyone else does.
  3. We each are working on being the greatest version of ourselves – we are helping our kids do this as we get them ready for life. What part of parenting helps you be the greatest version of yourself – allows you to use your greatest abilities? Some moms want to be in the workplace, as some dads want to be at home. How can you have an open conversation about what is best for both parents as well as for the kids?
  4. Stay-at-home dad benefits: improved connection, expanded awareness of who each child is, ability to let moms whose passions are in the workplace be in the workplace, share a non-conventional and expanded view of parenting with kids, helping them get past restrictive labels.
  5. Stay-at-home dad challenges: being included in other “mom” related activities (play groups, school support, chaperoning), put down by other dads as not a true dad figure or less strong than conventional dads, discounted by schools as the primary child rearing parent. Eliminating the bias in favor of understanding that the parent who is best suited and most interested in raising the kids should be the one home with the kids regardless of gender or conventional parenting role, will help both raising kids and helping parents step more bolding into their best role.
  6. There is a growing number of stay-at-home dad groups starting locally because it has been difficult for them to be or feel included in “mom” group. The National At-home Dad network provides resources, guidance and an annual conference for at-home dads to meet other at-home dads, get support and build a community of modern dads more involved in the daily activities of their kids lives.
  7. A great resource, in addition to the book suggested below, is How to Raise An Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. I’ll feature this again in a future podcast but because we mentioned it during this podcast, I wanted to share it and its link.

Some question for parents:

  1. How are you looking at the role of mom and dad in your family – is there a better way to align responsibilities based on abilities and interests than just following conventional role descriptions of mom and dad?
  2. Who of the parenting has greater patience and greater interest in the daily connection with the kids, and who prefers the workplace?
  3. What bias do you notice you have to a dad showing up in a child’s play group or to an at-home dad?
  4. What ways can you expand your understanding that a great parent shows up to what his or her kids need, and throws away the labels of what moms or dads “do?”

Tweet this:

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice what you feel about raising kids – is it your job but you don’t connect with it, or is it not your job and you would love it?
  2.    Stop and Notice how you create labels about what moms and dads do – how will you stop using labels but choose instead to show up to what your kids and their situations require, regardless of your mom or dad title?
  3.    Stop and Notice when moms and dads are judgmental of each other – what can you do to support moms’ and dads’ choices to be the kind of parent they want and need to be for their kids?

Labels rarely serve us. They help us make judgments that are many times very hard to get past. There are some dads who are amazing at raising kids just as there are some moms who are amazing in the workplace. Labels and expectations of what dads do and what moms do  just hold us back. Instead, look at who does what best, then align the roles according to your talents and passions. Each of you will show up more significantly which will improve how you get your kids ready for life.

Suggested Resource:

Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal – Confessions of A Stay At Home Dad – by Scott Benner

Life Is Short For Stay At Home DadsMEN: Ever wonder about stay-at-home dads? What in the name of testosterone do they DO all day with those kids? I mean, are they really men at all, or are they some strange, invasive alien species, sent to Earth to defy and destroy all gender stereotypes?

WOMEN: Ever dream about stay-at-home dads? Do they really wash clothes, pick up after themselves, take great care of your kids, and have dinner waiting for you when you get home? There must be horrible, secret downside that they don’t warn you about, right?

Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal provides a rare glimpse into the natural habitat of this most mysterious and splendid of creatures, the North American Stay-at-Home Father (Paternus domesticus). Learn what motivates a man to pursue this noble occupation. Discover the countless joys and periodic sorrows that come with raising a family.

Witness the life and family of Scott Benner, author, activist, humorist, and 12-year stay-at-home dad. When Scott’s daughter, Arden, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two, his world took a sharp turn, but his positive outlook on life did not waver.

Scott’s colloquial wisdom will warm your heart while it challenges your ideas about parenting and gender roles in today’s household. Written from a truly unique point of view in a style both poignant and playful, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is an honest portrait of the modern family.

United We Parent – How to Create A Strong Parenting Team, With Hogan Hilling – RFL034

United We Parent – How to Create A Strong Parenting Team – Episode Overview

You know, even parents who live in the same household don’t always support each other in their parenting. Add to this the fact that about half of all marriages end in divorce and creating a united supportive parenting team, where half of parents don’t live together, has less of a chance of happening. I remember as my ex-wife and I were going through our divorce, we received training in how to unite more in our love and care of our kids and focus less on our differences. And to remember that our kids would be so much better served and be more ready for life if we were able to unite, support each other in our parenting and work together for their benefit. We certainly did that and became both better parents and better people in the process.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on uniting in our parenting. My intention is to show that the more parents work together and support each other in their parenting, them better the results for our kids – the more we can get them ready for life.

Meet our guest Hogan Hilling

Hogan Hilling on what makes a great parenting teamHogan Hilling is a parent, nationally recognized author of eight published parenting books and the Dads Behaving DADLY book series. Hilling has appeared on Oprah and ABC’s The Story of Fathers and Sons documentary. Passionate about parenting and focused on uniting moms and dads in their parenting, Hogan is the Founder of the DADLY Rally – a high-energy rally celebrating dads and their important role in parenting. Hogan lives in Southern California.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. There is more criticism and judgment than support of parents – both in and out of the house. The best way to create an environment that can get your kids ready for life is to create a parenting team – a partnership – committed to the same goals, allowing for different ways to achieve the goals.
  2. The greatest reason for the lack of unity in parenting is a lack of clear and authentic personal connection between parents. For the team to be created, parents need to increase their communication, connection and interest in each other – to allow what is best in each parent to surface, and for parents to discuss how they want to parent, guide and support their kids. Without a clear, shared vision, parents are unable to create a united parenting approach.
  3. Parents parent best when they connect to what is best in them. Many judgments come from one parent expecting the other parent to act in the conventional dad or conventional mom way. Modern parents tap into and use their best abilities as either the mom or the dad – and the other parent sees and supports each parent being their best.
  4. Make an agreement to support each other in your parenting – NO MATTER WHAT. Disagreements about parenting approaches and methods should not be discussed in front of the kids.
  5. Be supportive and watch for what each parent does right. We are more tuned in to being critics instead of raving fans.
  6. Creating a team approach is critical in all parenting, but it takes more effort and focus when the parents are not in the same house. Parallel parenting is when the rules in effect at one household are in effect at the other. This creates a saner and more balanced environment for the kids. Though parents may no longer get along – resulting in a relationship breakup/divorce – work to make your kids the focus of your parenting – and keep your personal issues about the other parent to yourself. Kids internalize what they hear and see in the interactions between parents.
  7. Divorce is a flashpoint for keeping a sane and consistent environment for kids. Commit to keeping the kids out of the conflict, commit to working together when it comes to raising the kids, commit to creating consistent living arrangements or life rules between households (parallel parenting). Put the child’s interests first. Saying negative things about the other partner or spouse is hurtful and challenging for kids, and creates future emotional challenges.

The Dadly Rallyparenting team dadly rally logo

Hogan Hilling is the founder of the Dadly Rally – a high-energy and educational rally celebrating and appreciating the role of dads in parenting. The first of many Dadly Rallies will be hosted on July 16, 2016 in Los Angeles. Once the Dadly Rallies are underway, watch for the Amazing Mom Rallies. Find out more information including registering to attend the one-day event at

Some question for parents:

  1. Do you feel united in the way you currently parent your kids?
  2. Do you act as a united team in your parenting your kids?
  3. What greatness and strong parenting attributes do you see in yourself and in the other parent?
  4. How often do you and the other parent discuss or talk about what is working and not working in your current parenting?

Tweet this:

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice how united you are as parents. Do you support and encourage each other in your parenting or are you judgmental and critical?
  2.    Stop and Notice how your parenting is affecting your kids. Are you unified and consistent in your parenting or do your kids know how to play each of you?
  3.    Stop and Notice how united you are as parents in a divorce situation. Do you work unselfishly for the benefit of the kids, or do you let your relationship issues impact your ability to create a stable and consistent parenting approach?

Parenting is a team sport. Learning to see the greatness and abilities in each of the parents can help you become more supportive of each other. From this place, an improved conversation can happen about how to parent – so that kids receive the best parenting possible. You are their guides, support and coaches to get them ready for life. A united team approach to parenting improves the quality of this process

Suggested Resource:

The Dadly Way – 10 Steps to More Active Fathering and More Active Parenting – by Josh Misner and Hogan Hilling

The dadly way parenting teamIt is time for fathers to become more mindful in our approach to families, so that we might carve out the best possible future for our children, as well as their children. To do so, we must parent with presence, on purpose, today. From dealing with the ego, to calling for an end to the parenting wars, from learning how fatherhood has evolved, to knowing where it is heading, and from learning to listen deeply, to becoming more mindful parents, The Dadly Way provides a meaningful look at modern fatherhood.

Creating Stability In Periods of Family Change, with Nancy Fagan – RFL033

Creating Stability in Periods of Family Change – Episode Overview

The statistics share that about half of marriages end in divorce. Many other families are affected by business travel, military deployment or even parent incarceration – all can upset the stability and pulse of the household. How do you create an environment to get your kids ready for life when things around you are changing? And, how do you work together to provide consistent, loving support for your kids when your emotions are challenged by life’s situations? Big questions that need answers to help us help our kids progress successfully to adulthood.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on families interrupted by change or distance. My intention is to share some great information to help those in this situation create a constant, stable environment that has all parties unified in their parenting to stay focused on helping their kids get ready for life.

Meet our guest Nancy Fagan

Nancy Fagan is the CEO of Fairy Good Heart LLC.™ She provides parenting tools and resources to help parents and children thrive in times of separation due to divorce, military deployment, business travel, mental health issues, addictions, prison or foster care. She is a nationally recognized divorce and family relationship expert, a contributing writer for the Huffington Post, and the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Romance, Desirable Men: How to Find Them and Fables of Fairy Good Heart: Divorce—A Parent’s Love Lasts Forever.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  • There are two types of situations that separate families
    1. Physical separation:
      1. Kids starting school, camp, daycare, school event – events that take the kids away from the parents that can be anxiety-causing.
      2. Business travel – parents who leave for work like truck drivers, merchant marines, military deployment – where work keeps parents away from family.
      3. Life changes – divorce, illness, incarceration, financial pressures, immigration – intentional or unintentional events that separate kids and parents.
    2. Emotional separation:
      1. Where parents are emotionally unavailable due to illness, addiction, depression, attending to another child (special needs).
      2. Where parents are emotionally unavailable due to technology (phone, Facebook, television), always work focused, preoccupation with status or money, personally disinterested in kids (step kids, etc).

Both types of separations create instability at home. Some are more extreme. The first way to address this to be able to create a stable and consistent environment for your kids is to NOTICE – to see which of these situations is affecting which of your kids (all kids are different and respond differently to separations). Being observant is critical to noticing when things are unstable and affecting the development of the kids.

  • Dealing with family change as parents
    • Remember you are affected by some of the situations affecting the family: divorce, separation, illness, depression, addiction, etc). Focusing on what you need to stay sane and calm is critical to being able to provide a stable environment for your kids.
    • Know and watch your triggers in stressful situations – like a parent dealing with running the household while another parent travels, is deployed, is incarcerated, etc. What help can you get with the daily tasks and what ways do you make time for your own mental health?
    • Sometimes a tough current situation can be solved by seeing the longer view – that what is a struggle today is getting you or the family ready for better, saner, calmer times ahead can help parents deal with the stress of separation or change – this could include job relocation, going to school while working and parenting, jobs with significant travel, military deployment, etc.
  • Dealing with family change affecting the kids
    • Tune in and pay attention to when the kids are feeling any kind of physical or emotional separation – be aware and responsive.
    • Identify what is causing the separation response and create a plan right away with the child. This could be a parent that is always on the computer or phone and needs to create times in the day to be available. It could be a parent that works away from the area and is around only on weekends, and makes a more significant effort to make more time with the kids on the weekend.
  • Divorce is a flashpoint for keeping a sane and consistent environment for kids. Commit to keeping the kids out of the conflict, commit to working together when it comes to raising the kids, commit to creating consistent living arrangements or life rules between households (parallel parenting). Put the child’s interests first. Saying negative things about the other partner or spouse is hurtful and challenging for kids, and creates future emotional challenges.
  • Tune in, be observant, really listen and pay attention to what is happening, change what you can change, be intentional in your response to keep or provide some sort of balance, develop your support system to stay resilient as you handle or deal with the change.

Some question for parents:

  1. Are you a distracted parent (for any reason) – unavailable to your kids?
  2. What do you do to close the distance gap if you are separated from your kids for any intentional or unintentional reason?
  3. How are you keeping your kids first if you are in a divorce or adversarial situation with a spouse?
  4. Do you take into account the impact on the family and kids as you make life decisions and choices?

Tweet this:

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how you are a distracted parent – what ways do you get locked into your world and miss critical signals from, or time and connection with your kids?
  2. Stop and Notice if your family is dealing with a physical separation. What can you do to make it easier and more stable for the kids?
  3. Stop and Notice if any of your kids are dealing with any emotional separations. What can you or any member in the family do to help in this situation?
  4. Stop and Notice how you treat your ex-spouse or partner – knowing that your kids can be affected by any mean or hurtful behavior. How can you focus on the kids and unite with your ex to make their lives as stable as they can be?

Life does come at us fast. As parents, we need to be tuned in and watching how this fast world is affecting our kids. The more observant we become, the more information we have to decide what to do to help smooth out some of life’s rough spots – to give our kids a stable, consistent and loving environment to grow up in. How we start them out influences how they move through life.

Suggested Resource:

The Five Love Languages – The Secret to Love That Lasts
– by Gary Chapman

family change resourceFalling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life

In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.

The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.

Includes a His and Hers Personal Profile assessment so you can discover your love language and that of your loved one.