Opening to the Magic of Our Children

What gifts to our kids offer us? They give us the path and the practice to growing up into the adults, the parents, the human beings we know we can be. Our children not only show us the way, they make it nearly impossible to turn away from it.

It’s an amazing gift. But it’s often wrapped in behavior that looks like disrespect, disruption, acting out, tantrums, and tears.

How do we receive that gift? With anger and resistance or with grace and acceptance? We often need support to unwrap and receive the gifts especially if friends, doctors, or teachers are telling us we need to get our kids to behave like potted plants (decorative but not disruptive).

What if our children are the teachers we’ve been looking for? What if we are the parents our children need more than they need anything else? What if you were a brilliant, capable, and trustworthy parent? You are! If you don’t believe me, set up a time to talk to one of our talented parent coaches.

Parenting coaching isn’t about telling you what to do to change your kids. It’s about changing your attitude towards parenting, towards your children, and towards your own happiness in ways that make your life work. Simple? Yes. Easy? It can be. Most of what’s challenging is our own resistance to change.

My coaches and I love helping you through your resistance. So reach out and and let’s get started!

Chores and Kids – How to Get the Help You Want Without Bribes or Arguments

Every parent I know would like their kids to be helpful, respectful, and responsible. And most parents are frustrated that their kids aren’t more of those things more of the time. In fact, I often hear lamentation that kids are self-centered and lazy.

Want to turn it around?
Want your kids to do more of the picking up around the house than you do?
Want your kids to value shared spaces and learn to care for not only their things but yours as well?

Then tune in to the free webinar Sunday 3/29 at 3pm Eastern, noon Pacific. We’ll talk about all this and more. Join us!

Who Thinks About Bullies?

When we think of bullying, we most often think of victims. We think of the kids that are getting picked on and pushed around. We may feel helpless, sad, or rageful that it happens at all and that we don’t know how to stop it.

Next we might think of the bullies. We might shame or judge the people who are hurting others, thinking they need to be punished. Or we might pity them thinking that they’ve been mistreated and they are just passing on what they have learned.

Rarely do we think of the parents. When we do, we think that they should stop bullying. If we are the parents, we usually think we should stop it. We have all the responsibility and yet can feel such frustration that we don’t have the power to control our children or what happens to them. We can’t keep them safe. We can’t make them behave. bullying

Reactions to bullying are often intense. We’re usually sure who’s doing wrong (bully) and who’s being wronged (victim) and what we’re supposed to do (judge, punish, and stop it).

I’m going to suggest a different way. I’m going to suggest you fire yourself from the tiring and thankless jobs of being the judge, jury, and police (knowing what’s right and wrong, deciding on punishment, and enforcing your will).  I’m going to suggest that you take your desire for peace and fairness and do something that actually works.

Learn more at the free webinar on Tuesday, March 31 at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific. Register for this awesomely informative action packed (or at least insightful) opportunity below.

Kassandra Brown is a coach based in Boulder, CO.

Recipes for fall – Sunflower Seed Pate

Today I’m inspired to share a little recipe that’s a good source of vegan protein. I’m not vegan, but I’m feeding some friends who are tomorrow night. I eat very little soy and another friend who’s joining us doesn’t eat beans. Coming up with a main dish that works for all of us (and tastes good) is a bit tricky. Luckily yet another friend has this recipe for…

Sunflower Seed Pate

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (available in health food stores)
  • 3 t parsley
  • 1 1/2 t basil
  • 1 t thyme
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 cup potato, grated
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 T tamari, Bragg’s or soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all dry ingredients. Grate potato and rinse thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients stirring in the potato last. Oil a 9″ pie pan and spread pate evenly. Turn oven down to 350F, put the pate in, and bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown. May be served hot, warm, cool, or cold. Let cool to set completely.

That’s the recipe. I’ve made it before only preheating to 350F and not rinsing the potato. As far as I can tell, it still worked great. This recipe can be doubled or halved any number of times to make the right amount. Freezes and reheats pretty well.

The spices are all dried. If using fresh, double the amounts and then decrease the amount of water slightly so that the pate is a thick paste consistency before you bake it.

As a bonus, here are some salad dressings. One of them will feature on a chopped and massaged kale and collards salad tomorrow.

Miso Ginger Salad Dressing

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3T  light miso
  • 1 1/2″ fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T honey
  • 3 T warm water

Shake in a ball jar with a tight fitting lid then add

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup oil

Sunflower Soy Dressing

  • 1 1/2 soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds

That’s the recipe. Again I’ll probably mess with it. I like to add tahini or sesame seeds and garlic then decrease the oil by about half and add some water.

Let me know if you try any of them and if you like them.

Thanks to Anthony Barrett and Alyssa Martin for the recipes.

Remaking Holiday Traditions = More Meaning

Do you wish the holiday season was more meaningful? Fulfilling rather than just filling you up with sweets, extra pounds, and extra things to do?

Me too.

So I’m beginning to shift my holiday celebrations to highlight the values that are important to me and letting go of traditions that don’t support my values. Here are some ways that’s unfolding. I encourage you to try some of these ideas and to make up your own. Change is often hard. If you want help, let me know (the form on the left is a good way to reach out). And if you want emergency support on Christmas Day, I have a few spots left where I’m willing to be on-call to support you making the best parenting choices for you and your family on what is, often, a challenging day.

  • Celebrate Solstice the shortest daylight hours of the year and the return of the lengthening days. Keep an all night vigil from dark til dawn (about 4:30pm – 7:30am). Make vision boards with big pieces of paper and cutouts from magazines and calendars.
  • Build something really cool. Decide to pool your family’s resources to do something that will benefit all of you much longer into the year(s).
  • Simplify Gift Giving. Draw names from a hat so that each person in the family has one other person to buy or make a present for. That way everyone doesn’t get something small for everyone but can focus their attention on making or buying something more meaningful for one person.
  • Giving Gifts Gifts are what’s expected by many of our family and friends. Yet it can be great to pause and ask “What am I hoping this gift will do?” What need will it meet within you and for the person you’re giving it to? Are there other ways to get those need met? Is there a lower cost strategy both for your wallet and the environment? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. For instance, if you hope to show someone they are important to you, consider spending time with them in a meaningful way and telling them how you feel about them.
  • How much does it really cost? Once you’ve decided to buy a gift, educate yourself about where and how the items you or your children want are made. Where is the factory? Where are the raw materials sourced? What are the conditions like for the workers? What happens to it after you’re done? How long will it last?

Some other fun ideas are to:

  • Eat local foods.
  • Exchange words of gratitude.
  • Wrestle with Affection
  • Play games of connection and cooperation
  • Offer food to someone in need.

Happy Holidays!

Kassandra Brown, parent coach