Spontaneous Self-Discipline

Written by Maren Schmidt

An indicator of healthy and normal development in children (and adults, too!) is the presence of self-discipline that seems to appear almost out of nowhere.  In reality, there are factors that contribute significantly to the development of...

Teaching Values

Written by Maren Schmidt

”Do you teach values?” a telephone caller asked.

Back in the early 90’s parents were upset that values were being taught in school. Controversy brewed and bubbled.

Do you teach values? The question caught me off guard. How can you not teach...

Please Don't Eat The Marshmallow

Written by Maren Schmidt

In the 1960’s, Walter Mischel conducted the now-famous “marshmallow study” at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford University. A researcher would let a four-year-old choose a treat from a tray and tell the child that he or she could eat the treat...

Beginning A Conversation

Written by Maren Schmidt

We were looking forward to spending the weekend with old friends and their eight- and ten-year-old sons, whom we had never met.

As soon as quick introductions were made, the boys picked up their electronic game machines and headed toward the den.

Do The Hokey Pokey

Written by Maren Schmidt

In the gardening shop I looked up to discover a sign over my head.

”What If The Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About?”

For whatever reasons, I started to laugh. Uncontrollably. My husband came from across the store to see what could be so funny.


Time Out Or Time To Think?

Written by Maren Schmidt

Isolating children when they don’t meet our expectations of behavior is one method of implementing time-out. Using time-out may be one of the most popular discipline methods used by parents today. Carl Larsson, the Swedish artist, did a painting...

Who Owns The Problem?

Written by Maren Schmidt

Five-year-old Samantha leaves her lunchbox at home at least once a week. Her mother, Lori, makes a special trip to school to bring Samantha’s lunch–a thirty-minute disruption to Lori’s day.

Who owns the problem of getting Samantha’s lunch to...


Written by Maren Schmidt

We are raising adults, not children.

Our job as parents (and parent support systems) is to guide our children to complete independence.

Little by little, day by day, we help our children develop skills and take on more responsibility until they...

Listening and Following The Adult

Written by Maren Schmidt

Children naturally want to connect to the adults in their lives.  Obedience to these adults is a sign of natural and normal development in a child.

Obedience, though, does not refer to an automatic and unthinking response to an order.


The Power To Act From Real Choice

Written by Maren Schmidt

My husband likes to stop and indulge in an Italian dessert at our local gelato shop. On any given day there may be thirty different varieties of gelato on display. New and untried flavors, such as mango/lime, are frequent.

My husband usually asks...