Parenting with a Story Podcast: Real-life lessons in character for parents and children to shareAdobe Photoshop PDF

Tell a young person what to do – play fair, be yourself, stick to the task at hand – and most will tune you out. But show them how choices and consequences play out in the real world, with real people, and the impact will be far more effective and long lasting. Based on interviews with over 100 people from around the world and from all walks of life as they reflect on their most profound and unexpected moments of clarity about who they are and how they should treat others.

The lessons help teach 23 powerful character traits that will help your child grow into the adult you’ll be proud to call your own: 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.

The Phone Call My Parents Never Return

The Phone Message I call my parents on my birthday.  I have done this for the past 30 years.  I am their only child. Not surprisingly, they do not answer.  I leave a lengthy message sharing all that has happened with me and my family.  I ask them to return my call.   They never have. [read more]

Two Takes on One Event: What a Difference Attitude Makes

It’s amazing how two people can sit through the exact same experience and have completely different impressions about it. When that happens, there’s usually something interesting to be learned in the reason why, if you bothered to look. Dorinda Phillips looked. Dorinda is an organizational learning expert in Geneva, Switzerland. Early in her career in [read more]

“Because the sky is blue”: An 11-year-old boy’s secret to happiness

Happiness is not something that happens to you. It’s something you choose to be. That fact isn’t really a secret anyone’s been keeping from you. But it takes a surprisingly long time for most people to realize it, if they ever do. Jeremy McInnis learned that powerful lesson at the young age of twenty. And [read more]

Winning the Cosmic Lottery

Dale McGowan is a writer, editor, critical thinking educator, and the author of several books, including Raising Freethinkers, Atheism for Dummies, and In Faith and in Doubt: How Religious Believers and NonBelievers Can Create Strong Marriages. I asked him to join me on my podcast this week to talk about the newest edition of one [read more]

Theft, Lies, and Ninja Turtles

Today, Andrew Tarvin describes himself as a humor engineer. What that means is that he’s a speaker, trainer, author, and coach who helps people be more successful at work by using humor. That also helps explain the partly funny, partly self-depreciating subtitles he chose for the pictures of him you see here. But the story [read more]

Why people do stupid things and who’s to blame

Since we’re all so enamored of our own opinion, it’s sometimes hard to imagine why anyone would do something we see no sense in. So it’s easy to dismiss a decision we don’t understand as being foolish, which means we think the person who made that decision is foolish. And it’s certainly possible she is. [read more]

What Matrix Algebra Can Teach You About Open-mindedness

Sometimes being open-minded doesn’t mean having to admit being wrong. It just means admitting that someone else might be right. Those aren’t the same thing. And to do that, you have to start by seeing things from that other person’s perspective, which doesn’t come easily or naturally to most people. Looking at things from a [read more]

The 4 Types of People at Every Dinner Party (Which One Are You?)

Most of us want to be liked and admired by other people. So in social settings we find ourselves constantly returning to our favorite topic: us. We try to impress anyone who will listen with our job, accomplishments, how much we know, or the neighborhood we live in. And while that may work some of [read more]

The Magic (or Curse) of Compound Interest and the 80-10-10 Principle

Making smart decisions about what to spend and how to save doesn’t sound like much fun to most people. They’re often lumped together with balancing the checkbook and choosing between complicated investment options on the list of things we don’t really understand and would rather not spend our time doing. So they’re often neglected. But [read more]

“Dad, I want some f**king candy!”

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE — Kid’s say the darnedest things, and three things you can learn from it. When running for president in the year 2000, George W. Bush was asked by the press to explain his immature behavior in his twenties and thirties. He responded simply, “When I was young and irresponsible, I was young [read more]