The Thanksgiving Table

November 25th, 2015

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

Henry David Thoreau

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live did a great skit about a family Thanksgiving ‘discussion’ and how the Adele song Hello made people stop and think.

The scene is likely repeated in homes all over the country; it’s a great, simple message.  No need for controversy; we will have differences of opinion, but let’s be thankful for the people around the table, and in our lives.

Peace is harmony, and something we can create for ourselves.

Enjoy spending time with the people that you love, and give thanks you are able to celebrate with them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

A discussion on integrity

September 27th, 2015

Look for 3 things in a person – intelligence, energy and integrity.  If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two. – Warren Buffet

Two leaders were in the news this week.  One for giving us hope, and the other despair.

Pope Francis captivated America by his gestures of kindness.

Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn led the effort to rig 11 million cars worldwide so that pollution controls would work only when regulators were testing them.  The rest of the time, on the road in regular use, a “defeat device” was engaged, and those same cars emitted up to 40 times as many smog-forming nitrogen oxides.

Talk to your children about:

  • Choices people make as it relates to integrity
  • The cost associated to people believing in you again
  • The value of a reputation
  • Experiences they can relate to, such as test taking, and students demonstrating acts of kindness

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #integrity #valueoftheweek


Making a difference – Raising a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

August 9th, 2015

making a difference

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.

Malala Yousafzai to the UN Youth Assembly 2012.

According to the 2015 Child Stats government data, there are presently 49.7 million children ages 6 to 17 living in the U.S.

What would happen if all those children began to recognize problems and offer solutions? They would be successful because children don’t stop to think of all the reasons why something might not work!

Instead of making excuses, they would take action, which usually starts in their own community.  By experiencing success, they gain courage, confidence and know how needed to build a network. These children aren’t special; in fact they are regular kids with one thing that gives them (dare I say it) a superpower. It’s conviction.

As you read stories about these children, you will be inspired. When your own child comes to you with the desire to tackle a problem, don’t dismiss them; encourage them.  After all, where do you think the next generation of leaders will come from?

Here is one simple idea to get started…most families are getting ready for back to school which means a shiny new book bag filled with new school supplies. There are nearly half a million children in Foster Care that don’t experience that annual family tradition and very likely aren’t prepared on the first day of school

With your child search online for local organizations that welcome donations and give a foster child a reason to smile on the first day of school.

Here are more inspiring stories:

8 Amazing Kids Who Make a Difference

10 Kids Who Changed the World

What can you do today?

Begin a discussion with your child about concerns:

In the community

  • Land use
  • Vacant lots, abandoned buildings
  • Beautification projects
  • Animals and wildlife
  • Libraries
  • Literacy
  • A community garden
  • Parks and recreation
  • Sports and athletics

Social Concerns

  • Families
  • Child care
  • The Elderly
  • Homelessness
  • Nutrition and health
  • Poverty
  • Diversity

The Environment

  • Pollution
  • Garbage and recycling

Public Safety

  • Disaster preparedness
  • Crime
  • Safety and accidents

All this week, please look for resources and ideas on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page, Twitter Feed and Instagram for resource links and inspiration.

It is more important that your children are kind rather than happy.

See you next week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #makingAdifference #valueoftheweek

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Self-Reliance – Raising a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

August 2nd, 2015


Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

In order to survive and thrive, babies have complete reliance on their parents. As they grow and learn, we need to help them build self-reliance.

What is self-reliance?

A person who is self-reliant is self-sufficient, able to think and function independently, is not risk-averse and solves problems rather than worries about them. Such a person would trust his own judgment, rarely needing to consult others for advice or guidance. A self-reliant person has better control of his life and can handle any curveball that life may throw his way.  This is exactly what we want to build in our adult children.

Here are strategies that can be used as a starting point, and consider age appropriateness.

  • Give kids responsibility – and hold them accountable for completing tasks.
    • Don’t do things for your children they can do for themselves. Three-year-olds can make their beds. An easy way to do that is to take three pictures as an example and hang the pictures by the bed.
  • Let them problem solve – be your child’s coach rather than sage.
    • For a middle school aged child with a problem with friends…Ask them, “What’s bothering you?” Let them explain and then assure them… “I know you can figure this out.” Give them time and ask, “How do you think you can fix this problem?”
  • Make room for mistakes – nothing is perfect, especially not at first.
    • They are learning self-reliance so they aren’t going to get it right all the time, whether it is how to make the bed, take the garbage out, set the table for dinner, or put windshield washer fluid in the car. Don’t jump in to ‘rescue’ them or hover over them. We learn by our mistakes.
  • Other ideas:
    • Begin with small tasks. Don’t say, “Clean up this room.” But instead, “Put the Legos in the bin.”
    • Encourage ‘free-play” throughout the day. Children need time to make their own rules, pretend and establish boundaries.
    • Schedule daily chores – children should learn early they are part of a family and that means helping with chores. Create a chore chart, with pictures for younger children.
    • Provide options when possible. Choice should be limited for younger children, and can increase as children mature. This helps them become independent thinking. This often begins with choices in what they are going to wear.
    • Give them stretch goals – ask them to do a little more than might be expected. That can be great for their self-esteem. You may even want to plan what new things they can try for the week. As an example, think of household skills, cooking skills, financial skills, or life skills.
    • Recognize them for things they’ve done well, but don’t recognize them for things they haven’t; the praise will be meaningless. Say, “Great job on putting all the Legos away!” or “Thank you for bringing the dinner dishes over.”

Since I opened with a classic movie line that helps reinforce the concept of self-reliance, I would like to close with one as well.

From Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Professor Henry Jones to Indiana Jones:

Did I ever tell you to eat up, go to bed, wash your ears, do your homework? No, I respected your privacy and I taught you self reliance.

Follow us all week for additional tips follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  As always, please share your thoughts because we are all in this together!

See you next week.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #self-reliance #valueoftheweek

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Friendship – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

July 26th, 2015

street games 5


There is only one way to have a friend, and that is to be a friend. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If necessity is the mother of invention, then our children had to find ways to make friends online because we make it difficult to make friends the old fashioned way; on the playground.

We were told we were bad mothers if our children played outside.   The alternative was to keep them inside where they found entertainment watching TV and playing electronic games.

From the time they are babies, we organize play dates, and as young as toddlers, we put them in organized sports. The problem is they have no idea how to organize a pick up game of baseball. They may not even know what a pick up game is.

When their friends do come over, they sit side by side playing electronic games with no face time (I mean that literally).

Left on their own, children invent games on the fly, natural leaders rise to the occasion, and friendships are formed; all with no adult intervention.

Let’s give our children the opportunity to learn how to be a good friend, which includes:

  • Giving them free time – don’t over schedule
  • Making friends a priority
  • Be there for good times and bad times
  • Be honest and kind
  • Be loyal
  • Knowing what to say and when to say it
  • That in time of crisis – drop everything
  • Be happy for them when good things happen to them
  • A smile and positive outlook go a long way!

All week, please look out for ideas to help you and your child discuss friendship on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page, Twitter Feed and Instagram.

Friends are people you can count on, but don’t need to count on Facebook. This blog post is dedicated to people I am privileged to call my friends.

See you next week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #friendship #friends #valueoftheweek

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Happiness – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

July 19th, 2015


Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln

Please watch this week’s video on Happiness. I encourage you to ask your children what makes them happy and post their video in response.

Happiness is such a basic and important quality; but how do we get there?  Our children are always watching the behavior we model and do what we do.  But in the case of happiness, look to your children to teach you about happiness.

Children are naturally:

  • Fearless
  • Carefree
  • Find joy and ease in expressing themselves
  • Love unconditionally
  • Give with an open heart
  • Forgive easily
  • Tell the truth
  • Dream Big
  • See everyone as special, and treasure the differences in people
  • They don’t worry, they are just happy…

What could we possibly teach them about happiness? All this week on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page, and Twitter Feed, enjoy!

  • Sunday, July 19th – Ice Cream makes everyone happy! Today is National Ice Cream Day.
  • Monday, July 20th – Monday and each day this week, look for songs that make you happy. Dance with your kids.
  • Tuesday, July 21st – 18things kids can teach us about happiness
  • Wednesday, July 22nd – A very happy baby sees her parents for the first time
  • Thursday, July 23rd – How to be happier at work (then you come home happier!)
  • Friday, July 24th – Scientifically proven ways to be happy (they really work!)

As always, we can learn from each other.  Please respond to the video and share your great ideas to encourage happiness.

Smile and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#valueoftheweek #happiness #parentalwisdom #kids

Resilience – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

July 12th, 2015



Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. Nelson Mandela

Please watch this week’s video on Resilience.

It’s easy to parent little children with so much in our control. We oversee what they eat, when they sleep, what they wear, who they play with, what they watch and hear. A fall on the playground means a Band-Aid, a kiss, and it’s better.

But as our children grow, outside influences come into play. Life isn’t perfect, so it is important that we teach our children how to bounce back from adversity; how to be resilient.

When our children are faced with disappointments, how do you handle them?

  • Your 15-year old daughter doesn’t make the cheerleading squad?
  • Your 11-year old loses the spelling bee
  • Your 9-year old didn’t make Little League All Stars?

Here are some conversation thought starters:

  • Actively listen, and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Even if your child did something wrong, let them know everybody makes mistakes.
  • Use the mistake as an opportunity to learn. Word of caution – they don’t like hearing ‘life lessons’ but they will someday appreciate the lesson.
  • Let your child know you believe in them. This is different from acknowledging that they deserved to be selected in (fill in the blanks).
  • Engage them in conversation about how they should handle this particular disappointment, and recommend ways they can handle it. Example, could you practice more?
  • Explain the concept of the right skills and right fit. Example, you may have done your very best when trying out for choir, but if they need a soprano and you are an alto, you won’t get selected.
  • Time heals all wounds, and as hard as it is for them to hear, it will be better tomorrow.
  • When your child is better, remind them how good it feels to have handled the situation with grace, tact, dignity and the euphoric feeling of accomplishment.

For more information on this topic, please visit Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page and Twitter feed and you will find:

  1. Monday, July 13th Famous Failures video and a great journal from Parental Wisdom!
  2. Tuesday, July 14th Sesame Street & Bruno Mars video “Don’t give up”
  3. Wednesday, July 15th from Creative with Kids, 25 Ways to teach your children resilience
  4. Thursday, July 16th from PBS Kids, Encouraging Nature Play and a very interesting idea called ‘hummingbird’ parenting as compared to helicopter parenting.
  5. Friday, July 17th Making Bouncing Bubbles to teach kids how to bounce back!
  6. Saturday, July 18th 18 movies that build resilience in children
  7. And more…

And the best advice of all

Two simple words when things don’t go well… 

Do Over

As always, please add your own great ideas, because after all, we are all in this together.

Enjoy and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®




Family – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet in 25 Years

July 5th, 2015

Family is the most important thing in the world.

Princess Diana

As made famous in the Monty Python catchphrase…’now for something completely different’ I’m sharing a video rather than simply a blog post on this week’s topic – Family.

Presenting in a video format feels a little more personal, though I’ll continue to provide helpful information to support the topic throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter.

When asked, “What is the most important thing in your life,” people will respond without a moment’s hesitation – my family, though our actions may not be as obvious as our intentions.

Here are some thought starters on demonstrating the importance of family:

  • When you were growing up, you had a sense of different kinds of families you visited
  • Now that you are the head of your household, what do you want your children to remember about growing up in their home?
    • Ask them what kind of a family they want to be
    • They can even create a family crest
    • By defining your family, you stand together

This week, please look for Parental Wisdom’s Facebook post and Twitter feed on the kinds of things families can do together.

  1. Monday, July 6th – Coolest Roadside attractions in every state
  2. Tuesday, July 7th – Top 10 Sports Halls of Fame in U.S
  3. Wednesday, July 8th – Fun Activities that create memories
  4. Thursday, July 9th – Cooking with kids
  5. Friday, July 10th – Fun ways to read with your child

As always, feel free to add your own great ideas, because after all, we are all in this together.

Enjoy and have a great week!


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®











Love – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet in 25 Years

June 28th, 2015

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. Leo Buscaglia

I have a complied a list of over 400 values/qualities with a plan to focus on one each week for this series, but how to choose?

This week’s post was easy – it was love based on The Supreme Court Ruling best said by the closing paragraph:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.  The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.”

It is so ordered.

  • We fail to understand when we deny people love, what they have to lose, which are the things we take for granted:

“This Fall we [my partner and I] will go to Disney World. It will be the first time that we travel out of state without having to bring Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy forms with us, in case anything happened to either of us. We had to do 2nd parent adoptions for our children, in case anything happened to either of us. We have had to do many things that everyone else takes for granted, all because of legislative action (or inaction as the case may be).“ Kris Conley

  • We have to think what those who are opposed to gay marriage have to lose…Sorry, I can’t think of a single thing.

 Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.  Buddha

 Love is Love. Finally!

Thanks and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Mom & Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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Creativity – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet in 25 Years

June 21st, 2015

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. 

Mary Lou Cook

Parenting now includes ‘cruise director’ to the ever-growing list of required skill sets. Buying highly rated educational toys, enrolling babies and toddlers in music, art and dance programs are must do activities to ensure our children are creative.

Children don’t need things to be creative; they are all born naturally creative. This was proven in 1968. Dr. George Land took 1,600 five–year-olds and gave them a creativity test used by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists. He retested the same children at age ten and again at age fifteen. What he found was that 98% of the children at five years old tested in the genius level category of creativity. The percentage at age ten dropped to 30%, and at fifteen, the test results dropped to 12%. The same test was given to 280,000 adults; 2% were in the genius level category. Dr. Land concluded that non–creative behavior is learned. We’re all given the gift of creativity; we have to work to keep it.

Creativity is one of the most desired qualities for a CEO because in its highest form, creativity is about problem solving. This is best illustrated by Einstein’s own response to his discovery:

“When I ask myself how it happened that I in particular discovered the Relativity Theory, it seems to lie in the following circumstance. The normal adult never bothers his head of space-time problems. Everything there is to be thought about, in his opinion, has been done in early childhood. I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I only began to wonder about space and time when I was already grown up. In consequence, I poked deeper into the problem than any ordinary child would.”

What parents can do:

Recognize that boredom is good.  In our ‘cruise director’ role, we need to fill every moment with an activity, play date or some form of distraction.  But boredom is a good thing.  You don’t have to figure out what they need to do, just tell them screen time of any kind of off limits.  You may consider giving them a household problem to solve.  Since we don’t often do this, you may have to ease it in.  Consider ‘book end’ blocks of time with structured play, starting with shorter times at first. Let kids know what to expect, play for 20 minutes, and then I will call you to help fold the laundry.

Designate a play space and remember, one man’s trash is another’s treasure:  Don’t toss old hats or jewelry. Instead create a costume box and buy an inexpensive door mirror.  We did this and family parties always lead to dress up with kids and adults.  The same is true for oatmeal containers, tissue boxes and the most treasured gift of all – a large cardboard box!  Keep it simple and don’t worry about creating a ‘pinterest’ worthy space.  While that impresses other parents, it does nothing for kids.

Appreciate, but don’t reward creativity.   You want to build their confidence and encourage creativity,  but rewarding them isn’t the way to do it; in fact it has the opposite effect.

Don’t manage the activity.  You may build the fort differently, but not necessarily better.  Ask them to explain what they’ve done and how it works.  Very often, they will invent something new.

Change up the routine. If you always drive to complete errands, consider taking public transportation instead.  Kids LOVE simple changes in routine, especially when they are active participants like putting in the bus fare.

Help kids pursue their passions. Pay attention to your child’s interests and make these materials and activities available to them.  If they love taking pictures, consider a trip to the library to find books on the topic or take a trip to a gallery.

Take the time for your own creativity. Kids learn best from watching you.

Now that school is out, summer is a perfect time to start a new habit!  Be on the lookout each day this week for more creativity tips on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page.

Thanks and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Mom & Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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