Archive for June, 2011

You can create joy

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Joy is not in things; it is in us. – Richard Wagner

For the past few years I’ve written about hits and misses where we get to create our own joy.  It is all around us if we are smart enough to recognize opportunities to treasure.


  • Parents, grandparents and kids out to dinner but instead of sharing conversation, laughter and stories from their grandparents, the kids play handheld games while the adults talk.
  • The dad at the farmer’s market not taking advantage of the opportunity to engage his nine-year old in discussions around the colors, textures, cultures, menus, and health benefits of fruits and vegetables.  The boy is too busy texting.
  • The mom in the stands at the little league game who misses her daughter’s line drive because she really wasn’t present.


  • The overworked dad who opens the door at the end of the day greeted by squealing toddlers who tackle him to the ground attacking him with kisses and hugs.
  • The young woman celebrating her sweet 16 who talks about the ‘girl’ times she spent with her mom, and the moments of laughter and dancing around the kitchen she shares with her dad, as she calls them up to light her very first candle.
  • The grandparents who carefully plan ‘grancamp’ every year in a cabin with no cable TV or internet access, but rather a lake stocked with fish and a family room full of board games.

Here is homework I assign to parents at the conclusion of seminars: ask your children to share their very best memory.  I doubt it will ever be something you bought them, or an expensive vacation, but rather the silly little things you did with them.

Creating joy is that simple and inexpensive.  The summer is a great time to relax the rules, toss the schedule and really have fun.  You can expect to hear a lot more on this topic. Sign up for Twitter updates on how to have fun with the kids all summer long. 

Today’s assignment: go find joy!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

We are still here

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

 A few weeks ago, the world didn’t end on May 21st as Harold Camping predicted.   His forecast caused some folks to stop paying the mortgage and bills.  I imagine they are now trying to recover from that decision.

Most things we spend time worrying about just don’t happen.  Parents create anxiety about things that can happen to their kids, and that anxiety keeps them from just being kids. 

I’m not saying there aren’t dangers in the world and it is your job to protect your child from real danger.  But let’s distinguish danger from anxiety.  Practice safety in all aspects of life, from the use of car seats, to child-proofing your home, to cyber protecting your kids to prohibiting alcohol to minors.  These measures all make sense and do protect our children from real danger.

And then lighten up.

Allow your kids to play the way you used to play – outside and unstructured.  Look for ways to celebrate life’s small milestones which help to shape what is in your control in this seemingly out of control world.  What would you like your children to remember about their childhood?

One of life’s milestones is the last day of school.  Each year I would leave work early to pick up the kids, and they knew I would be armed with water blasters.  Of course, one was for me. 

Why should they have all the fun?

 “We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable.  It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.”  – Maya Angelou

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®