How to Go From a Buzzkill to a Top Motivator With One Simple Vocabulary Tweak

This article was originally entitled, The Power of ‘And.” accepted the article and changed the title to the catchier “How to Go From a Buzzkill to a Top Motivator With One Simple Vocabulary Tweak.”


We’ve all had it said to us.

You’re boss has said it.

“You did really awesome on the project, but your teamwork could use some improvement.”

Your mom has said it.

“I am proud at how successful you are, but when are you getting married?”

Your best friend has said it.

“You look really pretty in that dress, but you would look so good with your hair down!”

Do you even remember the first part of that sentence?  The part that came before the ‘but’?  You know, the compliment?

It turns out no one does. Especially not our kids.

But we’re supposed to give feedback, right? Isn’t that how we help our kids develop grit and resilience?  Isn’t this how we help them build up and develop their talents?

How can we help them grow and achieve wonderful things if they think we don’t value them? If they believe they’ll never be good enough?

Don’t worry. There IS a way.   ——->>>


100 Ways to Connect with your Children

As I wrote before, I have a few New Year’s goals. One I was saving to write about was building a deeper connection with my children. I’ve found that since we’ve moved back to America I am going about a thousand miles an hour and often the boys are left behind. Here are some ways I’m intending to help deepen my connection with them.  And this was published at! 

100 Easy Ways to Connect with Your Children

Doesn’t it sometimes catch you by surprise how hectic our world has become?

We’re running all over the place, scheduled to the absolute limit of space and time. There are some days when I have been so busy it has taken me until 4 pm to notice that my kiddos still have a smear of breakfast Nutella on their faces!

It makes me worry.  Life, for all of us, is only going to get busier and busier. And If I can’t even find time to really look at them for breakfast smears how on earth am I going to stay connected to them as they grow up??

Thankfully, with just a little bit of intentional action, there are lots of easy ways for us to stay connected with our kids.

I’ve made a list of 100 of these. Many of them only take about 10 minutes of real, quality time, and some not even that. Doing just a few of these everyday will create a deep and meaningful connection that will keep us bonded together despite our hectic lives.

Bookmark this page and come back to it often to spark up some new ideas in your mind to stay connected throughout the year. OK, here we go –

  1. Read together
  2. Cuddle on the couch while watching TV
  3. Say “yes” to something you’d normally say “no” to
  4. Give them a hug
  5. Draw together
  6. Feed some ducks at a pond with them
  7. Visit your local library and see what books inspire them
  8. Build something with them – Legos, toy models, dog houses
  9. Spend a Saturday together at a museum
  10. Pick a day to leave work early and spend that time with them

Read more here —> CLICK!

How to Deal with the I WANT Monster, Positively

How to Deal With the “I WANT” Monster Positively

by Malinda Carlson. Published at

I hate shopping with my children.

There. I said it. And I’ll say it again.

I hate shopping with my children.

There is nothing I dread more than taking my kids into a store. Any store. Grocery. Clothing. Toys. Especially toys.

It’s not that they are bad children. They are well-behaved for the most part. But at some point as we are wandering around the store the “I WANT” Monster appears.

The “I WANT” Monster is a wild little Tasmanian devil. He comes whirling and spinning out of his cave at the first scent of anything bright and shiny and new.

“I want this.”

“Can I have that?”

“I need these.”

“Please, please buy me those.”

Everything around them is a candy-colored rainbow. It’s sooooo tempting.

“I just can’t stand it!” panted my 7-year-old son, standing in the Star Wars aisle of Target, tortured by the clones and Jedi surrounding him.

Me either, son.

What’s with all this greed? Where does the “I WANT” Monster come from anyway?

Every child wants things. Heck, we all want things. Just today I was tempted by a really pretty china bowl with metal hummingbird on the rim and a hot pair of heels that would look perfect with a dress I have.

In a world of television and social media overload our society has pushed “keeping up with the Jones’s” to a whole new level. It’s hard to curb materialistic desires, but here are 5 techniques that can help.  (Keep reading at A Fine Parent!)

4 Ways to Teach Kids How to be Organized

This is my latest parenting article published over at It’s all about how to help parent your kids to be organized. Being organized not only saves you time and aggravation, it also set your child up for success later in life.

4 Ways to Teach Kids An Important Success Skill: How to be Organized

It’s Monday morning and we have a case of the “Where’s my.”

Where’s my homework?

Where’s my soccer ball?

Where’s my library book?

Where’s my other sock?

And the answer, “Where you left it,” though satisfying to say, is not helpful.

Or so I’ve been told.

I am a firm believer that I, as the mom, should not be the one responsible for locating all my children’s things. However, that hasn’t been the case.

Somehow, without me ever signing up for it, I became The Finder.

It wasn’t a big deal when the boys were younger. I was happy to be The Finder when they didn’t have as much to find and remember, but as the boys get older that is changing. Rapidly.

Therefore, I have been inspired to take certain steps towards relinquishing my title as The Finder.

Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Book Cover – 301 X 420I am not alone in my quest to get my family organized and running smoothly. There is a reason The Container Store makes over $750 million each year and Marie Kondo’s 2014 book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than 3 million copies.

All of us fight to stay organized on a daily basis for many reasons.

Educators cite being organized as the key to academic success, especially in college. Being organized not only leads to higher test scores, it also results in more on time assignments and lower stress.

Being organized doesn’t only help stress levels in school. A disorganized home or office has also been found to contribute to increased stress levels. Chronically high levels of stress can lead to depression, fatigue, fights, and lower productivity.

Living in disorganized chaos can also lead to fractured home lives as well. People have admitted to researchers they will choose to work late to avoid going home and into an environment of chaos. And I, for one, have occasionally felt more than a little resentful towards my family when I think I am alone in the struggle to keep the household and its members organized.

I am not doing my family or myself any favors by being The Finder and sorting through the jumbles of assignments, due dates, and appointments and making everything ready for the morning. My children need to learn how to be organized themselves.

Not just so they make it out the door to school in time, but so they can succeed throughout their lives.

So, how do I get my children to be organized?

Here are 4 things you can do to raise an organized child. —->