kids · parenting · wisdom

You are good.

Last school year, when my youngest daughter was in kindergarten, she had homework to write three “I am” sentences. Three sentences that began with “I am” that were true about herself. As I was going through some of her old papers this week, I came across this homework paper again.

Her first sentence brought tears to my eyes:


I echoed back to her, “You sure are a good person.”

Don’t we all need to hear that? And to know that is powerful.

But the truth is we all have times in our life when we question our goodness. We feel less than. We allow the words or perspectives of others taint our self-image, or we let our disappointment in our own thoughts, words or actions affect how we view ourselves. The Eleanor Roosevelt quote comes to mind, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

But why did her words cause me to tear up? I think it was for two reasons:

1. I questioned if I ever made her feel she is not good somehow? As a parent, am I affirming her enough? Does she really know she is good? What can I do to make sure this precious child never questions that statement and maintains her self-worth?

2. Am I good? I want to be good – a good person, a good mom, a good friend, a good teacher. I want to be seen as good, perhaps more than anything.

A few of years ago, I picked “good” as my word for that year and thought I would share some words that brought me comfort then and even still as I reflect on them now.

In a world where we see evil at every turn, I want a constant reminder to combat it with GOOD.

When I hear complaining and gossip around me and feel tempted to join in, instead I need to remember to look for the GOOD.

When I have a conversation, interaction, Facebook post, or decision to make, I want to make sure I’m adding GOOD to the world with my words and choices.

When I feel envious, angry, hurt or resentful, I can choose to act on my emotions or I can choose to see it as an opportunity to do rise above and model what is right and good.

When those around me feel less than or unworthy, I will make sure they know that they are good, that there is much more right about them than wrong.

You are good.



Stop saying back to school means summer is over.


I have seen so many posts, articles, and commercials in the past week mourning “the end of summer” or dreading the start of school.

But school starting doesn’t mean summer is over. It really isn’t.

And I don’t just mean that according to the calendar, summer isn’t over until September 22.

I would liken the “school starting/summer is over mindset”  to the “TGIF mentality” where folks seem to live for the weekends. But does it really have to be summer, or the weekend for us to enjoy life?

I propose a different way of thinking, a different perspective:

Why can’t every day be great? And why can’t a school day be a day full of fun?

As a parent, my girls and I pack in fun as much as we can after school hours. We plan to swim, hike, explore and play outdoors through at least mid-October. The last two years we’ve done what I call “Monday Funday.’ It’s where I intentionally take the kids somewhere fun and it gives us something to look forward to, while others may choose to wear their “I hate Mondays” faces.

Or, challenging myself here, as teachers, what if we these weeks left of summer as days we can take our students outdoors for activities and hands-on learning?

I hope you’ll join me this school year and soak up every bit of summer. And make every day a joyful one, even Mondays.