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Author Archives: Dr. Peter

The Importance of Empathy AND Accountability

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Your child is acting out.  They’re yelling and crying. They’re stomping and stammering.  They’re arguing and negotiating for the one-millionth time. Maybe they’re avoiding, ignoring, or just plain shutting down. They’re resisting your directions to STOP what they’re doing and either (a) refocus on the current task at hand, (b) transition to a new activity, […]


Seek First to Understand

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When we find ourselves in conflicts with others – our kids, our students, our parents, our partners – we often find ourselves experiencing strong emotions. We may feel shocked at their behavior.  We may feel extremely frustrated with how wrong / inappropriate / unjust they seem.  We may feel uncomfortably anxious – unsure of ourselves […]


Mindfulness-Based Stress Relief for Parents and Teachers

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Stressful Problems You may find yourself struggling with emotional exhaustion, like many of the parents, teachers, and kids I work with these days. We are all trying to pace ourselves through the ultra-marathon of 2020.  This endurance race is filled with obstacles including the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustices, street violence, extreme weather, and political polarization. […]


What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?

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Nothing. [Mic drop.] I was seriously tempted to end this post with just that one-word reply.  Nothing. Something to simply reflect on.  To really take in.  It’s worth doing, I think.  So I encourage you to do just that, for the next minute or so. Pause.  Breathe.  Proceed. See what you come up with, in […]


Living with Uncertainty

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The ironic paradox of our lives right now is that we live in the Information Age – with more knowledge and wisdom available to us than ever.  And yet, simultaneously, we are facing more uncertainty than ever.  We are confused and overwhelmed by competing viewpoints and even competing facts.  We know so much more about […]


Cultivating Calm

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The school-year roller-coaster is in full swing – with all sorts of extra loop-de-loop twists and turns this year. Ongoing coronavirus concerns and confusion.  Schools opening and closing – swinging from in-person to remote.  Maybe more like a see-saw than a roller coaster.  Add in a buzzing background of social unrest, polarization, vitriol, and violence. […]


What You Focus On Grows

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You may know this tale.  It’s well worth repeating. An old Cherokee warrior is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, […]


Why Is Trauma-Informed Care So Important?

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Have you noticed your children or students having more trouble concentrating lately?  Do they have difficulty following through with directions?  Are they more scattered and disorganized? Are the children you live or work with often irritable?  Do they have a shorter fuse or lower frustration tolerance?  Are they inclined to argue or snap at others? […]


“Campers Adapt!” – The Importance of Cognitive Flexibility

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“We make plans and God laughs.”  This is a saying I’m very familiar with.  Perhaps you are too. Last week we talked about the importance of setting SMART goals and planning with clear intentions.  When faced with adversity – such as managing home, work, and school during the COVID pandemic – a mindful planning approach […]


A Backpacker’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic

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“I really don’t know if I can do this.”  “I’m too tired.”  “I don’t know how I’m going to make it.”  “This is too big, too much for me.” These are just a few of the self-doubts and troubling worries that accompanied me on a recent walk in the woods. It wasn’t just any walk. […]