Archive for June, 2013

The Tooth Fairy & The Dilemma

My daughter has always believed in the tooth fairy. I have always let her. The magic, excitement and fantasy of having a personal-fairy who leaves gifts has always been an irresistible draw, far surpassing the need to insert a sense of reality into her mind. And then, one day, the tables turned on me when I had my own personal fairy visit.

I still remember when, one morning, my daughter woke me from sleep with great excitement. “The fairy has left you an amazing present,” she whispered. “See what the tooth fairy left you!” I reached under the pillow and found a one dollar note, torn down the middle in exactly half. “Look! The fairy left half a dollar for you, and the other half is under daddy’s pillow.”

I was speechless. I found myself in a dilemma! On the one had she was inviting me to share in the same world of fantasy and magic that I had encouraged her to believe in. Yet, on the other hand, the voice within me wanted to shout, “money doesn’t grow on trees!”

I realized that this was a moment in which how I responded could make or break my child’s spirit. Thankfully, better sense prevailed and I chose to shelve the lesson and tell her how proud I was of that wonderful tooth fairy was so generous to share her dollar with us. My daughter’s eyes responded with a sparkle bright enough the illumine the room.

I tell this story to demonstrate how children, especially our young ones, live entirely from the heart. They are all about feelings. Unlike parents, children do not live in the mental world of intellectualization, organization, planning, or judgment. They just are. Pure being.

As parents who live in the practical world of endless doing – schedules, chores, lists and calendars – we are often at odds with our children. Teaching them to live in the world of adult rules, protocol and time tables is a challenge all of us face. A parent once shared exasperatedly, “a walk in the park takes over an hour because my daughter likes to stop and smell every flower! We are always late for school!” This exasperation is true for many parents caught in the maelstrom of getting their kids to accomplish certain goals while yet, attempting to hold onto a certain childlike sense of exploration and wonder.

Our children live in a world of endless imagination and fantasy. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t allow for their enviable capacity to dream, play and wander.

So how do we bridge this gap? How do we allow our children to hold onto their heart and magical worlds but still move to a practical beat? How do we balance the being versus the doing? Dancing this fine line between the mundane and the magical is at the heart of conscious parenting.

Young children who have not yet developed the capacity for internal regulation need our help. They need encouragement and positive reinforcement. During these years, it is the parent’s job to introduce as much fun, spontaneity, creativity and magic into the practical tasks of brushing teeth, washing faces, making beds, and doing their ABC’s. The more attuned the parent is with their child’s inner fantasies, the more successful will they be in helping their young children create a bridge between their worlds and ours.

As children grow older, they can learn to schedule their own time, mastering the valuable skills of time management and efficiency. Parents can find unique ways to reward them for these growing capacities, always remembering that the best rewards are those that are created and worked towards by the child themselves.

Children learn best when they see the fruits of their labor on their own accord. Experience is the best teacher. It is our job as their parents to provide them as many opportunities to experience self-sufficiency and self-worth. When we allow them chances to contribute toward the household in a positive manner, this immediately helps raise their sense of self, and belonging in the home. Children long to succeed; it is the onus of us parents to allow them safe avenues to witness their accomplishments. Children who feel purposeful and self-directed mature into resilient, competent and empowered adults.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary is a clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from Columbia University. As she was exposed to Eastern teachings at an early age, her specialty is in the integration of this Eastern philosophy and Western psychology. It is this blend of East and West that allows her to reach a global audience, and establishes her as one of a kind in the eld of mindfulness psychology. Dr. Shefali is the author of the award-winning Book, The Conscious Parent.

Prefaced by the Dalai Lama, this book revolutionizes the parenting paradigm.

KMJ NOW 105.9 Radio Interview with Gregg Murset



Do you ever wonder how to teach your kids about the value of a dollar? Wonder no longer. Listen to this Radio interview with Gregg Murset, our Founder, and KMJ NOW 105.9 to find out the answers.
Click to hear this Radio Interview

Milestone: 16 Million Chores Completed

As the fastest growing website teaching kids about work and money we are excited to announce that we have achieved another very meaningful milestone.

Now, over 16,000,000 (yeah, you read that right… million) chores have been completed by kids using our system. Holy cow, that’s a lot of work getting done by young people!

Jennifer a Mom from Semi Valley, CA had this to say, “This program has been wonderful! My husband heard Radio Host Bill Handel talking about it and we signed up right away. Since then, I havent had to nag my two girls about doing their daily jobs. I love it!”

Teaching kids work ethic is one of our prime tenants and we are glad that so many people are using our free online tool to help teach this valuable life skill to their kids.

Here are a couple of tips when assigning chores to your kids:

1. Make them age appropriate. Consider the age of your child and then assign a job around the house that makes sense for them to accomplish. Of course, as they get older change it up so that they are constantly learning new skills and further developing their work ethic.

2. Be consistent. Just because it’s summertime now make sure you keep things structured. If your kids get out of the routine of helping and doing their chores it will make it much harder to get back in the swing of things when school starts again.

Keep up the good work!

Seven Tips to a More Productive Summer

Have the lazy summer months drained you of your productivity?  Do you long for the routine of school days just so you can get something done?

We all hate to waste time.  But between you and me, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a better way.  The clock keeps ticking and nothing seems to get accomplished.

Here are 7 tips to help you squeeze the most out of every minute.


1.  Get Up Early.  Those who get up early tend to be more productive.  They have a more productive mind-set and they have a couple of “quiet” hours to get more done.


2.  Think Productive – Be Productive.  Keep your goals at the forefront of your thoughts throughout the day.  Repeatedly ask yourself if what you are doing is productive or wasting your time.  If what you are doing isn’t in line with your goals, then change your course of action.


3.  Analyze Your Day.  Take a look at your day and figure out what is wasting your time or distracting you from getting things done.  Maybe it’s procrastination, a bad habit, or a backward strategy.  Figuring it out can be the hard part, but once you do, try to fix it.  For example, if you can’t get anything done because the phone keeps ringing all day, let it go to voice mail so you can finish what you are doing and then set aside a time to return all of those calls.


4.  Get Organized.  “Un-organization” can drain the productivity out of your day.  Time spent searching for lost items could be better spent.  Being organized will not only free you of searching time, but it can also free your mind of clutter and calm your soul.


5.  Avoid Multi-Tasking.  Do one thing at a time and get it done, rather than shifting from one thing to another and not getting anything accomplished.  In most cases multi-tasking will amount to getting less done.  If the job you are doing will take more time than you have, set a time limit for the day and return to it the next day.


6.  Schedule Personal Time.  We all need to charge our batteries every now and then.  If you find that once your day gets started there’s no time to sit back and remind yourself of the big picture, then schedule that time in (and stick with it).


7.  Get help.  Learn to delegate and if you have helpers that can do the little things for you, by all means, ask for their help.


Just because we lose routines during the summer doesn’t mean that we can’t get things done.  Follow these 7 tips and you’ll be seeing more checks on your to-do-list.



Studio 5 Reviews MyJobChart

School is almost out and that means it’s time to revamp the summer chore chart!  But if those reward charts, stickers and posters aren’t quite doing the trick, there might be a better way to teach kids to be responsible and learn the value of a dollar.   Studio 5 Trends Producer, Mindy Dunyon, reviews My Job Chart.

Are You Their Friend or Their Parent?

Do you find yourself giving in too often and expecting less of your kids to alleviate conflict in your home?  Maybe your permissiveness is getting in the way of their natural growth.

“Many parents today misunderstand their role,” says parenting expert Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, a family doctor in Chester County, PA.  “They often see their role as protecting their son or daughter from disappointment.  They are providing a safety net in situations where it might be wiser to let the kids experience the consequences.”

For many parents, life can be hectic and the last thing you want to do when you get home is start World War III in your kitchen.  But not following through with discipline or routines can create lazy, spoiled, children without schedules or responsibilities.

Here are a few tips to help you in your parent/friend relationship with your child.

It’s important to co-parent.  Be sure your partner is on board and work together to set appropriate routines and limits and then stick to them.  Stand as united parents so your kids aren’t confused or end up pitting you against each other.

It’s often easier to give in to your child’s demands rather than create more conflict.  Stick to your guns and follow through when a consequence is set.  Minor things can slide, but it’s crucial to your credibility as a parent to follow through on the things that matter.

You may think you are helping your child by doing their chores or letting them out of something.  They may even use schoolwork as an excuse and you may feel that you have to honor that excuse.  But throughout life there will always be excuses, and there will always be good, better, and best choices your child will have to make.  Just because their teacher assigns it doesn’t mean that it trumps what you as a parent have asked.  It just means that your child needs to prioritize their time so that they can accomplish both tasks.

We all want to be liked.  And being a parent is no different.  We want our kids to like us.  However, especially around when puberty hits, you need to be aware that there will be times when being a friend isn’t the best role to take as a parent.

That isn’t to say that you can’t be their friend.  Just the opposite.  At this age it is imperative that your kids know that you love them and are on their side no matter what.  But, they also need to know that you have certain expectations for them when it comes to family rules and responsibilities.

Effective co-parenting, following through with consequence, sticking to your routines and limits, and not letting them get away with excuses, are all beneficial skills when it comes to parenting.

Show your kids that you love them by being their parent when they need one.


Read a similar article here:  The Benefits of Being Consistent






Kids & Money- a 5 Part Series with Bill Handel- KYI 640AM Radio

The Number One Health Concern for Kids



Among parents in the United States, what’s the number one health concern for their children?  Hint, it’s not drug abuse or smoking.  It’s obesity.

Obesity among children is causing a broad range of health problems, that in the past, weren’t seen until adulthood.  These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol levels, negative body image, depression, and low self-esteem.

The former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, stated the severity when he said, “Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

Here are the facts:

  • Obesity rates among preschoolers ages 2 to 5 have doubled in the past four decades.
  • One in five children are overweight or obese by the time they reach their 6th birthday.
  • Over half of obese children first become overweight at or before age two.
  • Only 25% of children ages 2 to 11 years old consume three servings of vegetables a day, and less than 50% consume two daily servings of fruit.  (the recommended daily intake)


I don’t know about you, but personally, I am shocked at those numbers.

How, as a society, did we become so leisure about our health?

I suggest we make a goal this summer to become more active, eat healthier, and live longer.

So, what can we do about it?

1.  More Physical Activity – Encourage 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.  And exercise with your children if possible.

2.  Less Screen Time – For children age two and older, the amount of screen time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is 1-2 hours per day and for children under 2 they suggest no screen time at all.

3.  Eat Healthy – Serve fruits and vegetables at every meal.  Eat more green foods and limit fried foods.

4.  Limit Sugary Drinks – Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day.


Other free tools and resources can be found at

Let’s all get up off the couch, get healthy, and be happy!

Swimming Safety Tips

Along with warm weather reports come reports of accidental deaths by drowning.

The hard facts – drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between the ages of 1 and 4.  And it’s the third leading cause of death among children.

With facts like that, we have to wake up and do our part so it doesn’t happen again.  Here are some water tips to help us beat the odds.


Be aware – Back yard pools aren’t the only culprits when it comes to drowning.  It only takes 2 inches of water and a couple of minutes for a child to drown.  So, be sure to supervise other sources of water like bathtubs, toilets, decorative ponds, and even mop buckets.


Be prepared – Parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list.  Being prepared can give you peace of mind.


Learn to swim – Teach your children to swim and if you don’t know how to, take lessons yourself.


Buddy up –  Always swim with a partner.  A buddy can help out in case there’s an emergency.


Know your limits – Don’t swim for longer or in deeper water than you are comfortable with.  If you are a good swimmer, keep an eye out for your friends that may be struggling.


Swim in a safe area – Look for lifeguards and watch out for dangerous water conditions.  If you do get caught becoming too tired, float until you can get help.


Be careful when diving – Always check for rocks or other hazards beneath the waters surface.  And pay attention to “No Diving” signs.  They are there for a reason.


Even though we stress to be safe around water we hope you still have a great summer in and out of the water and especially HAVE FUN!!!