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Father-son momentA Mother’s Day Letter to Fathers & Partners

Hopefully you are someone who not only appreciates your own mother but is also open to the idea that assisting your children in honoring their mother is a worthy cause as well.

If so, on behalf of mothers everywhere 'thank you' for caring about this role. Respect for your mother is one of those aspects of family life that is often easier to learn when the message is heard and reinforced by others.

I was reminded of this lesson recently when chatting with a friend who is the mother of five. I asked her what she wanted for Mother’s Day and she said that she had already gotten her present and that it was the best Mother’s Day gift ever. Interestingly it came not from her children but from her husband, on a day when the kids were being rather disrespectful. When her husband heard their sassiness he went on a tirade:

"Don’t talk to your mother like that! She loves you and cares for you and does so much for you! Your mother is the most important person in the world and you should treat her with respect!'"

Of course, her kids weren't crazy about the dress down but it did make them more mindful and it was clearly a message they needed to hear. (As well as see modeled!)

As she told me this story I had to agree that it really was the best Mother’s Day present ever. So this Mother's Day, while helping them write a card or reminding them to get her a gift or call her is wonderful, if you really want to get her a present, here is my suggestion. Go on a mini-rant (or just sit your kids down) and tell them how important it is to appreciate their mother.

Here's to appreciating awesome mothers on Mother's Day and Everyday! ~ Annie

p.s. Dear Everyone Else: Kids need to hear this message many times. Especially if there isn't a second parent in the picture! Relatives? Friends? Teachers? Neighbors? Lady in line behind them at the supermarket? Speak up! The more sources the better!

p.p.s. Dear Moms: Don’t forget that you too have work to do. Starting with self-respect in whether you allow your children to talk to you in certain ways (think consequences) AND whether you try to teach them the skills of communicating what you want them to learn. It helps when you can model that respect toward them and toward their other parent! Here's hoping you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

FindingFifty1stDraftDear readers,

I love writing so much that this year I have taking on the biggest writing project yet. A memoir about my adventures of when I turned 50. Turns out though, that I only have so much time to fit in writing so some of the articles that I would like to put together will have to wait.

If you want to connect, please feel free to email me at annie@practicehow.com. Hopefully you are out there finding your own adventures and living the life you were meant to live.

Take care ~ Annie

p.s. If you want to be one of the first to hear about the release date for Finding Fifty: What I learned from 50 women, walking 50 miles, in 50 pairs of shoes - please sign up on the right side of this page ------>

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review mirrorHow often do you ask some variation of the question: What's my blind spot?

If 'never' is your answer—Congratulations. You've just discovered your first one.

Of course, most of us get that we have blind spots. Things we don't know about ourselves that get in our way. But because of the nature of this 'out of sight, out of mind' phenomenon, we can forget. Which is where the trouble begins... ...continue reading

rat-grooming-babyI never thought I would want to emulate a mother rat but now I am sold. Hopefully, after you read this, you will be too.

First a little science:
Researchers discovered the significance of rat pup licking by accident. One day, upon returning rat pups to their cages after being taken out to run a maze or some other scientific purpose, a curious researcher noticed that some rat mothers would actively lick their pups. Other mother rats were low-lickers: offering a minimal of licks. ...continue reading

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Happy? ShoppersRetailers have their own self-serving excuses for opening their stores on our national holiday. But those who want to shop, just like to argue, or seem to miss the point have come up with some interesting thinking to justify this terrible trend as well. Here are some of the most common reasons I've heard for shopping on Thanksgiving, along with why they are completely wrong or wrong-headed: ...continue reading

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Just say NO shopping on ThanksgivingThanksgiving is supposed to be about appreciating what you already have. Yet major retailers—caring not for Thanksgiving's purpose or their own employees' desires to celebrate it—are opening their stores and counting on customers to not notice and not care.

I'm hoping you do. Because even if you can't make retailers come to their senses—you can take a stand for yourself, your loved ones, workers everywhere, and our national holiday.

All you have to do is make a simple pledge to not shop on this ONE day. ...continue reading

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Save Thanksgiving PledgeLast year when Target and other retailers began opening on Thanksgiving Day, I invited facebook friends to take a Save Thanksgiving Pledge to fight back. It was a mild form of activism that felt right.

This year, I wanted to do more so I decided to write a letter to the people responsible for this decision to open more and more retail stores on the one day of the year in America, set aside not for the pursuit of stuff but for the appreciation of the stuff we already have! Here it is... ...continue reading

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There's something about being responsible for another human being that makes most parents prone to fear. Add a child struggling to master a skill - from toilet-training to reading to dealing with stress or being self-motivated to get a job –  and fear can ramp up to over-blown worry and pressure for them to 'get it'.

Sadly, the fear itself can have a negative impact on a child's success so parents take note. If your child is struggling to learn what you think they should (or even if they aren't) here are 3 essentials to remember: ...continue reading