It’s time for the adults to be quiet

February 27th, 2018

A child can teach an adult three things… To be happy for no reason. To always be busy with something. And to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. Paulo Coelho

You remember the saying, ‘the adults are talking’ well perhaps it’s time to listen to the children.

The eloquence and empathy demonstrated by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students is truly encouraging.

Perhaps these children can succeed where adults’ efforts have not been realized.

We say, after (fill in a tragedy) if there has not been change, now, then when?

The adults mobilize, march and move on without impacting change. The victims’ families don’t get the luxury of moving on. Instead they get our short-term thoughts and prayers.

The children will not stop until there is change; they are relentless.

Let’s playback a scenario we can all relate to:

Scene – child and adult in a toy store

Child:       Can I have this?

Adult:      No, I don’t have any money.

Child:       You don’t need money, you have credit cards.

Adult:      I don’t have any money on my credit card for toys.

Child:       Sure you do.  You just bought shoes.

Adult:      I needed shoes.

Child:       I need this toy.

Adult:      You have toys.

Child:       You have shoes.

Adult:      Yes, but.

Conversation continues for 10 minutes more…..End scene with parent and child at checkout with a toy.

Like I said, they are relentless.  I have hope – the kids got this, and they won’t give up until they get what they want.


Have a great week, and have hope.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®


Please look at me; listen to me

January 31st, 2018

While technology puts the world at our fingertips, we need to connect with people. This is accomplished by simply paying attention.

The difference between hearing and listening is paying attention.

  • A pregnant woman steps on the E Train and is left standing. She isn’t offered a seat, but it’s not due to a lapse in manners.  No one was paying attention.
  • 156 women and girls that had participated in USA Gymnastics said in court that Larry Nassar sexually abused them over the past two decades as they were in his care. Despite their repeated concerns and complaints, the institutions that employed Nassar, including the US Olympic Committee, and Michigan State University turned a blind eye to the abuse.  Let the finger pointing begin.

Just pay attention.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®








Holiday Tips for Grievers

December 21st, 2017

Guest Blog Post from OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center

‘Tis the season to be merry but for grievers the holidays are fraught with emotions and decision making may be complicated. There are memories of holidays past and concerns about how to spend the holidays this year. Here are some suggestions for grievers, keeping in mind that different choices can be made again next year:

o   Maintain traditions that feel comforting and let go of those that no longer feel right

For example: if the thought of preparing your typical holiday meal is too overwhelming, take the year off and order in or go to a favorite restaurant instead

o   Create new traditions or meaningful rituals

For example: design or purchase a new holiday decoration that you will hang in memory of your loved one

o   Make a toast in memory of your loved one

Chances are everyone at the table will be aware that the person who died is not there…so why not share sentiments together

o   Remember that it is okay to laugh, cry, sing or dance whenever you feel like it

o   Prepare special foods or bring their favorite dish to a holiday party

o   Allow yourself time alone as well as planning time to be with others

o   Do some volunteer work that would be meaningful to your loved one

Families with Children are reminded that the children are grieving too! Far too often children are excluded when decisions are made about which holiday rituals and traditions from the past to uphold and when creating new ones. Offer opportunities which will help them maintain their precious memories and engage in joyful, child centered activities that allow them to enjoy still their childhood.

For example:

o   Decorate plain paper with holiday themed stamps or stencils and wrap a toy to 
donate to an emergency shelter or hospital

o   Bake holiday cookies to serve to guests or deliver to a retirement community

o   Design and laminate a decoration featuring a photo of your loved one

If you are supporting someone who is grieving, here are some suggestions:

o   Understand that people react in different ways. They may want the closeness of 
friends at times and need space at other times. Invite the person to social events and 
allow them to change their mind at the last minute.

o   Start the conversation. Use the name of the person who has died and share your 
memories with them.

o   Make a donation in memory of the person who died.

o   Offer to sit with or just “be” with the person who is grieving while they write letters, 
wrap presents, or address holiday cards.

o   Know that it helps just to offer a listening ear. You aren’t expected to say any magic 
words that will make them feel “all better.”

May this holiday season bring you comfort, strength, peace, and hope.

About OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center is one of the nation’s most respected organizations for grief support and education. For over 24 years, OUR HOUSE has helped thousands of grieving children, teens, and adults as they embark on their journeys to hope and healing after the death of someone close. Support groups specific to age and relationship take place in the safe, warm, and nurturing environment of their centers. OUR HOUSE is a leading provider of grief education, offering workshops, seminars, and in-service training to mental health and medical professionals, clergy, educators, and other members of the community who interact with bereaved families. The OUR HOUSE grief education program is part of the curricula for students at USC’s Keck and UCLA’s David Geffen Schools of Medicine.  To learn more, please visit or call 1.888.417.1444.

The imperfect perfect family

November 28th, 2017



“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” Friedrich Nietzsche

The problem with Facebook is that you believe what you see.

The photo of the perfect table setting, golden brown turkey, and what appears to be well behaved children.

It’s not real.  

Families, on the other hand, are very real – imperfections and all.

We survived Thanksgiving and are heading into Christmas, which has considerably more stress.  Before you go down that rabbit hole, think more about how to have less stress.

If the person matters to you, and you can’t think of something they need (honestly, do any of us need anything?) then spend time with them.

My grandson is teaching me that a game of hide and seek is just about all a person needs to be happy.

Back to the imperfect families – despite miscommunications and mistakes you are still better off having them in your life than not.

Now back to decorating….

Tina Nocera

Founder, Parental Wisdom®

Time to start new traditions

October 29th, 2017

Michael & Matthew

Planning the perfect costume, only to have your child change his/her mind two days before.   Pulling the kids off the ceiling from the incredible sugar rush as they ate their way through their trick or treat bag. Rushing out of work in your Kohl’s holiday sweater with the pumpkin pockets so you would never miss a single Halloween parade.

As I think back on these moments, I smile and realize it was my time with my kids, and look forward to the realization that my adult children will get to build their own memories and traditions.

Where we pulled ideas from magazines, they have Pinterest. We took dozens of pictures of the kids and their friends in the hopes we had a single keeper; they post directly to Instagram, Facebook, and share Snapchat stories.

In the end, parents both past and present gets to have their moment. And despite how we get there or how it is shared, it is a tradition that each family gets to build, and the way each family creates their own culture.

Why does that matter you might ask? So that many years from now, you sit around a holiday table, and laugh about how perfectly imperfect it all works out.

And you smile happy tears that you had those moments. They are after all, your new traditions!

Happy Halloween!


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®




How to show you genuinely care

September 28th, 2017

“If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business not kindness.” Unknown

Recently I held the door for an elderly woman leaving a Wells Fargo bank as I was entering.  She seemed preoccupied and didn’t return my smile. While I was being helped, this same woman came back to the counter and asked about her recent transaction.  The employee was visibly annoyed that she had to remind the woman she withdrew $100 from her savings.

I read about Wells Fargo’s post scandal scrutiny and $185 million fine for opening more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ permission.  John Stumpf, the CEO, apologized and accepted full responsibility for unethical sales practices.  The source for deceptive practices stemmed from incentives and goals meant to motivate their workforce.

But their values claim they have a Culture of Caring SM.  They cared enough about that catchphrase to have it registered as a service mark.  Here is this vision from their site.

Culture of CaringSM

Our success has as much to do with attitude as aptitude — what’s in our hearts, not just our heads. Our success depends on how much we care for each other, our customers, our communities, and our stockholders. Our culture is reflected in the essence of our brand: “Together we’ll go farSM.” We want our team members to feel proud of working for a company that truly cares about people, goes the extra mile to do what’s right — in good times and bad — and believes that “better” is possible for everyone. Central to our culture are the following mindsets: • Caring. Caring is core to who we are. We always want to be warm, welcoming, and humble; to take the time to listen and genuinely understand; to have empathy during the tough times; and to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Perhaps Wells Fargo needs to do more training.

For the rest of us, this should serve as a wake up call.  Are we using our words to teach and not demonstrating behavior that supports our talk?  That is not a mixed message, but a very clear one.  When raising children, they will do as you do, not as you say.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What legacy will you leave behind?

August 29th, 2017

Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. – Princess Diana

Parents wonder if our children hear our words, learn the lessons we try to share or see the actions we model. Yet sometimes we see a glimmer of hope as they perform a random act of kindness for a classmate or ask you to help a stranger.

At those times you secretly smile and think, ‘ah yes! It is working.’

Well if you ever have doubt, I suggest you look at Prince William and Prince Harry 20 years after their mother, Princess Diana’s death. Even though they were still relatively young when she died, they witnessed how she genuinely cared for those less fortunate and take up their own causes today.

Our children shouldn’t believe they are the center of the universe. It’s likely they are fortunate and should be encouraged to help others. There’s a commercial that really bothers me where a little girl asks viewers if she is cute and responds herself saying, “I think I am.” But then goes on to say that mom and dad can’t play with her because they are busy cleaning. Is it just me or does anyone else think that the cute little girl can help mom and dad? She gets to learn what is like to do a little housework and help mom and dad so everybody can play!

If we are concerned about the polarization of views in this country, a unifying view could be that kindness always makes things better. Anyone disagree with that?

Start kids thinking early about helping others. One way is to sponsor a child through Children Incorporated. Their mission is to provide resources to children in need in the United States and abroad. They passionately believe that children everywhere deserve education, hope and opportunity. Our kids may need to know every child doesn’t start out with the same advantages.

Like Princess Diana, our legacy is that we should leave the world a better place for our children. It may be a small start, but much like Saturday chores, why not make them active participants?

Have a great week!


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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When you realize you are friends with your children

August 20th, 2017
Tina and Noelle

Tina and Noelle

Well before the Gilmore Girls made it popular to be friends with your daughter, Noelle and I had a relationship based on mutual love, respect, trust and laughter.

Now I’m realizing how much I’m learning from her. I don’t worry about keeping up with the digital age because she recommends websites, blogs and podcasts I should subscribe to, and provides valuable insight such as the groundbreaking decision that Allure magazine is no longer using the term anti-aging.

We do things that girlfriends do like sharing clothes and going to our favorite mall we affectionately refer to as our ‘mother ship’, even at a time where malls are becoming passé. We do it for the experience we’ve always enjoyed, which begins with shopping and ends with lunch because well, doesn’t that order makes sense?

She explains why the Khardasians are marketing geniuses because everything they touch turns to sold, and why she is moving from Snapchat to Instagram stories because she is always just ahead of the curve (remember kitten heels Noelle?)

She tells me what is cool, but at the same time suggests I not use that word.   We discuss politics on a daily basis, because there is always something to talk about, and there is a concern about the future, and the children she will have one day, and what we can do to make a difference.

We have our many traditions, including our favorite movies, Hokus Pokus for Halloween, Love Actually for Christmas and The Ten Commandments, reciting each line as we prepare our Easter raviolis. And the tradition of wishing you happy birthday at the exact moment you were born, August 21st 5:09am even if you took a day off!

Together, we may not be changing the world, or are we?  If everyone spent time building quality relationships with family and friends, that may be just the spark needed to start peace with others.

Even though parenting experts suggest not being friends with your children – I disagree. My daughter Noelle has made my life better, and who wouldn’t want a friend like that?

Happy birthday my sweetie – I love you with all my heart, and remember, I will always love you more.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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How can we stop the clock?

July 30th, 2017

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

The circle of life is profound. There is a great similarity to parents caring for young children, and adult children as caretakers for aging parents.

The difference is where little children promise growth and potential, aging parents are about loss of capacity and decline.

Still, there is an incredible connection when young and old are together, representing an almost unspoken bond.

Both need to feel they are in control, whether it is the clothes they wear, food they eat, or when they go to bed.

Naps are a necessity!

Little children love to hear the same stories over and over again, while aging parents love to tell the same stories over and over again. The storytellers and listeners must maintain a consistent level of enthusiasm.

Perhaps the elders tell their stories over and over because they are afraid the lull in the conversation means the call or visit is over.

Perhaps children ask you to tell the same story over and over again, because they just love being with you, and don’t want it to end.

Both groups need your help with you everyday tasks; one is learning for the first time, while the other has forgotten.

There will come a time you will wish you were more patient, and you could turn back the clock and pay attention to little people or the elders that mean everything to you.

We haven’t found a way to stop the clock, so find moments to celebrate and laugh, and enjoy how wonderful it is to be needed.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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Create a summer to remember

June 30th, 2017

Summer is a state of mind.

Before you blink and it’s over, create a summer to remember!

There are 31 days in July and August – here are 62 ideas.  Spoiler alert – none require tech gadgets!

  1. Make smores
  2. Have a bike decorating contest for July 4th.
  3. Fina a drive-in movie theatre near you.
  4. Plant a vegetable garden
  5. Make paper airplanes
  6. Make your own sidewalk chalk and then create outside art
  7. Build a new Lego challenge
  8. Learn a new card game
  9. Ask your parents or grandparents to teach you a game they played as kids
  10. Make and fly your own kite
  11. Go on a scavenger hunt
  12. Go to a minor league baseball game
  13. Go on a nature walk and take photos
  14. Print the photos and make them into postcards and mail to your grandparents!
  15. With your parents help, plan and make dinner one evening
  16. How long can you jump rope?
  17. Go to the library and borrow language tapes, and learn a few phrases.
  18. Catch lightning bugs
  19. Pay for ice cream of the person behind you in line
  20. Go to a water park, or run through a sprinkler
  21. Play minute to win it games
  22. Fill water balloons and play water balloon piñata
  23. Have a dance party
  24. Play board games
  25. Help take care of an elderly neighbor’s yard
  26. Hike in a state park
  27. Visit a museum you’ve never been to
  28. Reorganize your room
  29. Have a garage sale
  30. Make and mail cards to soldiers
  31. Bake cookies and take them to your local fire and/or police station
  32. Make popsicles
  33. Create a music video
  34. Try an outdoor science experiment
  35. Have a car wash
  36. Make finger paints
  37. Play ultimate Frisbee
  38. Create your own family madlibs game
  39. Attend a free concert
  40. Host an outdoor sleepover
  41. Play manhunt
  42. Visit a farmers market
  43. Go to a planetarium
  44. Try miniature golf
  45. Create a building from marshmallows and toothpicks
  46. Tie dye
  47. Make your own glitter slime
  48. Design your own pillow case with fabric markers
  49. Make your own outdoor twister game
  50. Make a puppet theatre and have a show
  51. Homemade play dough
  52. Host a joke telling contest
  53. Play Simon Says
  54. Visit a local factory
  55. Make a slip and slide
  56. Have a picnic
  57. Go fishing
  58. Go berry picking, and then make a pie
  59. Tell ghost stories
  60. Make a stand and sell lemonade
  61. Put on a magic show
  62. Play charades

Feel free to add more.

Have an amazing summer!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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