Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

He was carefully taught

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes understanding the problem, and the last five minutes solving it.  

Albert Einstein

BC (before children)

The most important job in the world is also the one we are least prepared for.  It’s thrilling the first time we hear we are about to become parents, and prepare by learning as much as we can before the baby’s arrival.

AC (after children)

Because Kids Don’t Come with Manuals® we quickly understand training is on the job; very much like a reading the recipe as the pot boils over on the stove.

There is little preparation for the on the spot decisions you have to make.  The most comfortable path is to do what you know, what your parents did, because after all you turned out ok.

The national news surrounding the Adrian Peterson event moved him from anointed celebrity to condemned criminal.  Companies such as Nike and Castrol pulled major endorsement deals. The NFL was paralyzed in forming a response.

How parents should parent was a topic on news programs, along with culture, geography, and religion. It’s easy to (pardon the pun) be a Monday morning quarterback and judge the way others parent.

At the same time, there was an interesting article this week in the WSJ about a non-profit program called Parent-Child-Home which got a boost from the Robin Hood Foundation.  Funds sent literacy specialists to visit families of young children in low income areas encouraging them to read to their children and not talk ‘babyese’.

Both situations, although dramatically different, are similar in the sense that parents simply do what they learned from their own parents.

It is important to begin a national conversation on parenting.

  1. Take the time to really understand the problem rather than talking in sound bites
  2. Share research on long term impact, whether it is reading to children or corporal punishment.
    Basically educate, don’t legislate.
  3. Help parents understand they don’t have to do what has always been done, but can make choices how to parent based on their own values.

Perhaps Nike and Castrol can move the money kept back for endorsements, and in its place fund this important dialog.

In parenting, there is more than one right answer.  The advisors at Parental Wisdom® would be happy to start the conversation.

We believe in this so strongly, we patented it.



Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Where do babies come from?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

If you think you know, there are actually several right answers including adoption, surrogate, IVF and others.

There are usually several right answers to questions which is why I am so thrilled about the success of a collaborative work that launched on September 1st and hit #15 on Amazon in the parenting category on September 2nd.

Parents Ask, Experts Answer: Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children provides multiple answers to questions for parents of children age’s two to six.  A panel of thirty-five experts offers advice on some of the most challenging issues faced by parents:

discipline bullying behavior
sleep caregivers play
family relationships siblings separation
special needs education friendship
technology peer pressure money

The best part about this work is that you get to see all expert answers in one place (all questions have at least three expert responses) so that you, the real expert in knowing your child best, gets to choose which response fits best for your unique child and situation.

This concept is so unique it is protected by US Patents 6193518 and 6482012.

Thank you for supporting this work!

  • Please write a review if you’ve purchased and read the book
  • Share the book information with your family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

After all, it’s much easier on your relationship to suggest they read the book rather than giving advice!

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Being a good enough mom

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. – Jackie Kennedy

Just a short sweet note to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

A few thoughts to share:

  •  It does take a village, but you need to build it.
  • The concepts of balance and multitasking are improbable, but keep trying anyway.
  • You are imperfect and so are your children.  But what you do every day is to love them unconditionally, and that is why they love you the next morning after a bad day; you taught them that.

For moms celebrating their first Mother’s Day and sadly for those who have celebrated their last Mother’s Day, just know that you are (were) amazing and have had a profound impact.  The world loves you for that.

What your children will remember are the hard times, the fun times and more than anything the wisdom you shared.  Don’t believe me?  Watch Kevin Durant’s tribute – spoiler alert, you will need tissues!

At the end of the day, your children love to talk about your missteps because they love it when the superhero messes up!

So rather than (more) tear jerking mom tributes, let’s laugh at some of our less than stellar moments.  I’ll go first:

When Noelle was around five, I would buy her tights that cost $7 a pair.  The good mom part of me encouraged her to go out and play outside, where she would promptly rip each and every pair.  My response was “Well, you’re going to start buying your own tights!”

In what universe can little kids buy their own clothes?  Please don’t leave me out here alone.  Share a story that your children would love to tell about you.

And if you need a last minute gift, here is an idea.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom® 


When is a minute not equal to a minute

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Some of the best ideas I get seem to happen when I’m doing mindless manual labor or exercise. I’m not sure how that happens, but it leaves me free for remarkable ideas to occur.  – Chuck Palahniuk

The January 25th WSJ featured an essay entitled, Why Mom’s Time Is Different from Dad’s Time.

The premise is that even though moms are working more and dads are contributing more, even if the time is equal the tasks are not.

So when does a minute not equal a minute? The answer is when the intensity of the task takes more focus, thought, single mindedness, etc.

When divvying up tasks, most moms will take the dishes because, “The dishes don’t talk back to you.” 

Reading through this, my thoughts trailed back to my childhood.  As the second eldest in a family of six kids, I remember my mother doing the dishes and singing Everybody’s talking at me.

In our multi-tasking, attention grabbing, never quiet present day society, we would willingly gravitate to the tasks that are, for lack of a better word, mindless.

I know I do…call me crazy, but I LOVE ironing!  My mind wanders, but yet at the same time there is attention to detail on the task at hand.

Most would agree that Moms are the CEO’s of the household and in that role, need time for quiet reflection.  So dads, volunteer for bath time after dinner, so moms can get lost in the dishes.

For fun, here are two links:

1.   From the past the classic Honeymooners show “A woman’s work is never done

2.   Present day link from Buzzfeed “Why dads can’t be Trusted to do Anything Right.”

Now, if you will excuse me…the ironing pile is calling.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

I love to watch you play

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there. ~Barbara Bush

As we begin school, we begin sports.

I was inspired by this article posted on the Huffinton Post by Rachel Macy.

I loved her message!

The essence is this….our children want us to attend their sporting events, but don’t want to hear our good or bad comments.  They simply want us to be there.   That takes the pressure off them AND off us!

We don’t have to think up motivational comments.  What they love to hear is about how we FEEL about the event, simply and truthfully stated as “I love to watch you play.”

And isn’t that exactly what you are feeling?

What I love is how this message can translate to so many every day and extraordinary events in our children’s lives.  We are so happy to be part of these events and we really do LOVE to watch them play, and read, and cook, and laugh.  The list goes on and on.

Have a great ‘pressure free’ week.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Sometimes you need to have an awkward conversation

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

It’s easier when things remain unsaid, whether it is where to celebrate the next family holiday, or (not) dealing with a difficult neighbor.  Ignoring a situation doesn’t make it go away and certainly doesn’t solve it. 

The easy choice is not having the awkward conversation; unless it matters.  An example is when your teenager is invited to a party. 

Trust, but verify is a good rule when dealing with teens.  Instruct your teen that they are to call you from the house phone when they get to a party.  This way you can verify they are there.   But you need to do one better; ask to speak to the parents. 

Here comes the awkward part which goes something like this:

Hi this is Johnny’s mom.  I just wanted to make sure that

A)        He was invited

B)        A parent was home

C)         There would be no alcohol

Don’t be surprised if there is awkward silence or harsh reply.  But that awkward conversation is much easier to take then the knock on your door at 2am letting you know your child is hurt or worse.

In this case, I would always opt for the awkward conversation.   For those readers with younger children, spoiler alert – parenting teens is really hard, like nailing jello to a tree!

Best wishes,

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

The Art of Appreciation

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

It’s been said that every cloud has a silver lining. That is true even with a storm as devastating as Hurricane Sandy

Sometimes it takes a loss for us to appreciate what we already have and what is really important; the safety of those we love and the simple comforts of home. 

This past week, families with no electricity found light in the darkness. Calm from the storm came in the form of uninterrupted time and doing things together like playing board games, cards, reading or telling stories by candlelight.  The game of life took on a very real form.

Many spent their time giving what little they could to those worse off.  I suppose for many Thanksgiving came a little early. 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.   -John F. Kennedy

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®


Creatively connecting the dots

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

There were a number of stories in the news recently that although different, connect in the ways they address children and creativity. 

Creativity on whose terms

For an assignment on persuasive speech, 15-year-old Jessica Barba created an anti-bullying YouTube video and Facebook page about a fictitious 12-year-old girl who commits suicide after being bullied at school.  Her assignment was done so well, the Longwood High School Principal suspended her for five days.   Her father, Michael Barba was very proud of her creativity.  The assignment was, after all a persuasive speech.

No texting while parenting

Two words might be the secret to building a relationship with your children – pay attention.  As simple as that sounds, you might notice parents paying less attention to their children on the playground, in the grocery store and in restaurants.    

I was at a farm stand when a dad and his son came in.  A farm stand is an incredible opportunity to talk to children about cultures, food, colors, weights and measuring, smells and senses and the great things you can make together.  Instead, the little boy took out a hand-held game and the father was on his cell phone.  The loss here was a creative moment and great connection with each other.

Tablets on tables?  

Have you noticed that kids are growing up with poor social skills?  Here comes yet another way to hinder their development.  Restaurants are putting tablets on dining tables to help guests choose their selections, get their check faster and calculate tips.  They noticed that people are reading on their phones anyway.  But the tablets will also give parents a way to entertain the kids so the adults can talk. 

Nothing to do

The answer to the question ‘there’s nothing to do’ was answered; monthly deliveries of packages with things to do for kids, for a meager price upwards of $150 per year.  

As far as I know, creativity doesn’t come in a kit and boredom is a good thing, but no one gets that anymore.

We are having a creativity crisis in this country.  If you look at the situations above, only Michael Barba (dad in the first story) believed in his daughter and supported her creativity.   Too many parents are missing the moments in relationship building and encouraging creativity in us and our children.

That means less stuff, paying attention more and having time to daydream and play; best done outdoors.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

An apology to my son

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I would like to open this blog with an apology to my son. 

Now an adult, Michael is intelligent, curious, loves to learn new things, and very closely follows the things he is passionate about.

So why the apology?

From the 4th grade on, at the end of each school marking period, our house was not a happy place because report cards were distributed.  I knew the less than stellar grades didn’t reflect his real ability.  My frustration would heighten especially as he promised the marks would get better because, “This is the new Michael.” 

That never happened.

What did happen was a consistent yet subtle change.  His room was filled with books on the topics he loved; philosophy, religion, mathematics, military tactics, leadership and most of all, music.

When we played Trivial Pursuit, all the adults wanted Michael on their team.  When we watched Jeopardy on TV as a family, I would count all the money he would have won if he had been on the show rather than sitting comfortably in our living room. 

While I was worried about grades and the status of good grades; he knew better than me that education was more about the love of learning.  What was at stake was my relationship with my son.

For this reason I want to share a manifesto written by Seth Godin, my favorite author.  I encourage you to download, print, read and share – Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?).

Godin writes that the education system was designed when education became compulsory and children were moved out of factories.  The objective was to create very obedient factory workers when these same children grew up and would return to the factory.   That approach will not help create new ideas or help find someone’s passion.

The world has changed dramatically, but education has not.  That is a much bigger problem, but like any problem, we can solve it if we understand what is really wrong.

Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.

Your problem is much easier to solve.  Don’t let an out of date education system, ruin your relationship with your child, or destroy your child’s dreams.

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Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

To do two things at once is to do neither

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

To do two things at once is to do neither. – Publilius Syrus (c. 46 BC)

Though we brag about our ability to multi-task, I don’t believe multi-tasking is possible unless the second activity is mindless.  For me, ironing is one of those mindless activities.

When we are always connected, that umbilical link to electronics could cause us to miss our most important connection; relationship building with our children.  That is done most effectively by being attentive and present as parents.  The most valuable times aren’t scheduled, but rather the casual moments woven into everyday life. 

Talk about your day, ask about their day.  Look for changes in behavior; engage in a dialog regarding the observations your child makes. 

If you are divorced and don’t have the opportunity to have daily meaningful conversations, then use the same technology the divides us to connect to your kids.  Use the phone, email, texting, or Skype to let them know that you love them. 

Whatever your situation, don’t miss moments by falling prey to the many distractions calling for our attention.

Remember, you are building a child and even though it is hard work, it is much easier to spend the time and energy on building a child than it is to repair an adult.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®