Podcast_Parenting Parenting with a Story Podcast Series: Real-life lessons in character for parents and children to share Based on interviews with over 100 people from 25 countries around the world and from all walks of life as they reflect on their most profound and unexpected moments of clarity about: ambition, open-mindedness, creativity, curiosity & learning, courage, integrity, self-reliance, grit, hard work, self-confidence, money & delayed gratification, health, positive mental attitude, dealing with loss, kindness, patience, fairness & justice, humility, respect for others, friendship, social intelligence, forgiveness & gratitude, appreciation of beauty. 

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A Dying Mother’s Gift to Her Children

When I was fourteen years old, my mother was diagnosed with an advanced case of pneumonia. For four months, her doctors tried every treatment known to cure it, none of which had any effect. Then they realized why. She didn’t have pneumonia. She had lung cancer. They’d been misled by the strangely uniform and checkered [read more]

4 Steps to Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle

Neil Brown is a psychotherapist and author of the book Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle. He joined me this week to share 4 steps to break out of the too-typical battle of wills parents have with their teenagers. He shared an all too familiar example of parents of teenagers who fall short of their school and [read more]

How NOT to Break a Date with a Boy

When Renée was a high school freshman, she did what many fifteen-year-old girls do. She developed a crush on a senior. We’ll call him Dave, and he was gorgeous. He was also smart, and funny, and mature, and he could drive a car. What was not to like? But he was a senior and not [read more]

What Self-Reliant People Do When “I’m sorry, we tried everything” Just Won’t Cut It

What can kids and grown-ups learn from a 5-year-old boy with Down syndrome, an unsympathetic insurance company, and a leadership team willing to take matters into their own hands? A lot, it turns out, about self-empowered, and self-reliant behavior — something most parents want to see in their kids (and most executives want to see more [read more]

Forest Fires, Missing the Boat, and Sleeping in Our Clothes: 11 Life Skills Learned Through Our Mediterranean Vacation Disaster

I’m writing these words from a tiny, hot, and unglamorous airport hotel room at the Charles De Gaulle airport outside Paris with no luggage, no change of clothes, and no air conditioning. I should be home in Ohio right now. But instead, I’m hunkered down with my family at the end of a 10-day vacation [read more]

Justice, Conscience, and Backyard Fireworks: An Independence Day Ethical Dilemma

Every culture has a code of conduct by which behavior is measured. Some is written in our laws, and we often learn of those expectations in formal schooling. But much is left for subtler forms of influence. We generally learn those from our own gut reaction and from the reaction our behavior elicits from other [read more]

Showing Up — The First Strategy of Successful People

Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.” Here’s what that looks like in real life. In this case, the life of a 16-year-old high school student in New York. In most cases when you try to be self-reliant, people around you will encourage you. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes being [read more]

“Do I Really Need to Hear This?”

In 2013, I was having lunch with a colleague of mine who used to work for me in the department I ran. A few months earlier she’d moved to a new department and so now had a new boss. She reminded me of something she’d told me earlier — that in talking to her new [read more]

One Sure Sign You Need New Friends

For most people, especially young people, hearing one person demean another is a particularly juicy piece of gossip. It’s therefore one of the hardest to keep from sharing, especially from the person the insulting comments are about. They sometimes justify it by telling themselves, “I’m just being a good friend by telling her. After all, [read more]

Ambition, Regret, and College Applications: The Conversation I Wish I’d Had 30 Years Ago

What colleges did you apply to in high school? Did you apply to colleges at all? Do you regret those decisions now? And what would you do differently if you could do it over again? Those are the questions I would have liked to have asked my future middle-aged self when I was a teenager. [read more]