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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The Only Way to Listen Better by Talking More

Listening is one of the most important communication tools we have. In fact, it’s one of the only two requirements for actually having a conversation — the other being it’s far more popular teammate: talking. But even when we do listen, most of us listen with the intent of responding, not with the intent of [read more]

Dealing with Loss: The Great Berkeley Fire of 1991

People lose things every day—a set of keys, a matching sock, or the homework they can’t find on their computer—all minor daily frustrations. Not the kind of loss most people need help dealing with. The kind we need help with is the kind of loss that stops your heart, forever alters the course of your [read more]

Professional Comedian Drew Tarvin Shares an Antidote for Prejudice and Hatred

If you follow my Lead with a Story blog or podcast, you’ll know that last week I had professional comedian and self-described “humor engineer” Drew Tarvin on to talk about one of the most attractive parts of human nature — courage. This week I’m having him join me on my Parenting with a Story channel to [read more]

Facing Down the Demon of Perfectionism

Giving up isn’t always a bad thing. There are many legitimate reasons to give up on any task. Maybe you’ve accomplished enough of it already. Maybe the cost of continuing outweighs the benefits of succeeding. Or maybe you’ve just lost interest in the goal. But there are some bad reasons to give up as well. [read more]

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]