Schooling Boys About Girls

By Gregory Keer

respectThroughout my schooling, it wasn’t English or History that stumped me. It was girls. There was my second-grade test in flirting that ended with a classmate bashing me over the head with her very fashionable purse. This was followed by years of cluelessness that led to a high-school dating career marred by an uncanny ability to misread social cues, resulting in one common response: “I just like you as a friend.”

As evidenced by my improbably long-running success with the woman who agreed to marry me, I guess I figured a few things out. But the road to my wife was full of misunderstanding and miscommunication that could have been helped by better education than that provided by my Beavis- and Butthead-like friends, the macho stereotypes on TV, or the ultra-suave characters on the big screen. I was indeed blessed with parents who taught me the value of respect toward the opposite sex, but they gave me precious few insights into the intricacies of socializing with the ladies. And even in the heightened hormone hell of high school, teachers and administrators had precious little to say about gender issues save for the basic anatomical information in Health class.

Being a parent in today’s world presents some very stark reasons why raising a boy requires a lot more focus and intentionality than the methods of previous generations. The subject of male interaction with females is one of particular concern as evidenced by ugly and aggressive actions by young men towards women on college campuses, among other places, but the fact that it happens in college means that something is missing in the education – both formal and informal — of our boys. Somewhere along the line, a percentage of our young males has opted for instinctive displays of physical dominance instead of rationalized communication in order to get what they want from women. And there is support for this physical behavior by a number of parents and other people who should know better.

While disturbing behavior by boys in college requires a worthy and in-depth discussion, one path of contemplation is about what we parents might do to instill the deepest thinking and reinforce the healthiest behavior in our guys early on. As a father of three dudes who are quite distinct from one another, I have learned as much from them as I have taught them about sex, growing into manhood, and how to treat girls in social and more intimate situations. I’ve discussed these topics with them in a variety of situations, with varying degrees of success.

Recently, my wife and I talked to our youngest son, age 11, who was part of an elementary-school guy clique that saw girls as alien creatures who had no business on the fellas’ planet. On occasion, we’d ask Ari if he ever chatted with girls, and he’d say that one was bossy or another was nice. Our goal was to make sure that he was being polite, even if females were not part of his inner circle.

Beyond his boy band, Ari has benefited from a different perspective, as he is close with a girl he’s grown up with. They were at overnight camp together this past summer and the counselors told us that other kids had been making fun of them for being boyfriend and girlfriend. So, we asked our boy about it.

“I don’t remember anyone making fun of us,” he said, with a hint of a white lie.

“How would it make you feel if someone did give you a hard time about it?” my wife asked.

“I wouldn’t care. She’s my best friend.”

For Ari, his view of girls changes with the situation, but he has made it clear that friendship is friendship, no matter the gender. Friendship, and the equality that comes with it, is the root of what we encourage Ari to continue, especially with the coming storm of adolescence. While there is nothing wrong with the instincts that many boys have about girls being different from them in various ways, problems emerge when boys see girls as something less than them — when they view girls as inferior athletes, lesser students, or more fragile than guys are. Our boys need us, as parents, to educate them about all the goals girls can kick, the math problems they can solve, and the emotional ups and downs they can endure. More than that, our boys require us to help them see that their own weaknesses can be strengthened by healthy interactions with girls rather than activities in which boys try to dominate their counterparts.

Some may think these points of education are obvious or out-of-date, given the progress our society has made in gender equality. But this is where it’s important to bring back the issue of what has been happening on college campuses and beyond. There remains a lingering, sometimes intense current of male disrespect toward females that shows up in even the most seemingly progressive places. We have seen it in the case of the Stanford swimmer who attacked an unconscious girl after a party, and the mindless coddling of that attacker in terms of his light sentence. We have seen it in the professional athletes who have injured (or worse) their spouses, then received little consequence. In one case, a baseball player who had abused his wife received an ovation after returning to the field. Absolutely, we should allow that aggressors can make amends, but what does it say to our children, particularly to our boys, when we applaud athletes while not talking with our kids about the mistakes these men made as human beings?

As parents, we must discuss the tough stuff, sparing details for our youngest children, but at least broaching the big issues of fair treatment of girls and women. We should also ask our children to help girls who are being poorly treated, as the young man did who interrupted the sexual assault by the dumpster, resulting in the swimmer’s arrest. We must tell our boys to be watchful and active if male friends act improperly, and to never be afraid to break the bro code if they know something to be wrong.

Perhaps most important is the role modeling we adults do. In our relationships with women, be they in partnerships, friendships or casual acquaintances, we have to show our boys we respect women physically, verbally, psychologically and professionally. We have to illustrate how we talk things out and resolve conflicts with adult women and encourage our daughters and friends’ daughters in pursuits that are equal those of boys.

We should also actively involve ourselves in what our schools address with our children regarding all kinds of boy-girl topics. We need to ask about the programs schools are delivering, offer any concerns we might have about the programs, and discuss the topics with our children before and after they learn about them.

Among the other resources we can use are older children, be they our own kids or those of close friends. Ari is fortunate to have two older brothers, one who is starting high school and one who is beginning college. Both boys have been on the receiving end of parental talks about what they could do better and what they did right in their interactions with girls. They have also experienced a range of peers, from the most exemplary to some who have behaved questionably around the opposite sex. As a result, they have shown their little brother how to be friends with girls and how to act around girlfriends. They are the role models Ari has most closely watched, which emphasizes why we had to address issues early in our parenting career.

I am still teaching my boys about the keys to respecting the opposite sex. Frankly, I will keep talking to them about it because there are powerful forces out there that push guys to react to their basest instincts. Good guys can make mistakes, but with emotional honesty, lots of talking and ample role modeling, we can help our sons be the honorable counterparts to all the great daughters out there. That’s education with more value than any diploma can provide.

© 2016 Gregory Keer. All rights reserved.

Posted in Adolescence, Blog, Boys to Men, Columns by Family Man, Education, Family Communication, Friendship, Gender, Morals, Protecting Children, School, Teens, Tweens, Values | Leave a comment

Spinning the Presidential Election for Kids

GoodElectionImageBy Gregory Keer

Name calling, whining, blaming. If our children do anything of these things, we call them out and explain why these practices are bad. If we see our kids repeat the practices, we give them consequences to increase the likelihood they will choose a positive path.

Yet, our politicians do this negative stuff all the time. And we let them do it. Sure, we might wag our finger at them, but we do not give our politicians consequences for acting like ill-behaved toddlers. In fact, many people support it via trash-talking (sometimes racist and sexist) posts in newspaper comment sections and on call-radio programs.

Some psychological analysis would explain this as being our need to simplify our voting choices in the face of the intense complexity of domestic and international issues. We do not have time or the desire to wade through all the particulars of whether our candidates have solid ideas or track records, so we react to the most basic, gut-level feelings. We think, “He seems like he’s sure of himself or she seems tough enough,” so we go with that. This is why candidates speak to each other, and us, like we are less intelligent than we are.

However, we are smarter and more caring than that. We need to be for ourselves and for our kids. America’s young people look to us, first, not to politicians. As the primary election circus rolls through our country with the behavior of a rock band that trashes hotel rooms, we parents have the opportunity to filter what our politicians are doing and saying, and teach our children well in the harsh light.

One of the first lessons we can explain is about being nice. We ask our children to play nice, talk politely, and act with gratitude. Then they see politicians knock each other down for all kinds of reasons, some of them worth discussing, but not worth ripping each other apart by calling each other liars, cheats, and weaklings. Rather than completely shield children from the melee, manage the media your child consumes by reading news articles and sitting with them through TV reports, maybe even review recent debate footage on the Internet. Pause in your reading or viewing to explain not just what is being said by the candidates, but the way they are saying it. When your child reacts to something negative done by a candidate, explain that this what people do when they are just trying to win a game and are willing to be mean to weaken their opponent and make themselves look better by comparison. Adults do this mostly when they have little better to say. That is where the real weakness is.

Point out when you think a candidate is taking the high road to be kind or at least considerate. Help your child notice that this is when the politician is feeling more certain that his or her point is strong. The fact is that no one – child or adult – acts poorly when they are feeling confident. Guide your son or daughter to the positive statements. You can even keep track of the number of negative and positive comments in a news piece or debate and see which candidate ends up with the most high-level points.

Often, politicians knock each other down without substantiated cause. The expectation is that the voting public will not check the facts. You can select a few points from each of the candidates and fact-check them through unbiased sources on the Internet. One source is, a joint venture by the Tampa Bay Times and Congressional Quarterly. Doing this with your child will help them see who the real truth-tellers are.

For looking at debates and the like, it’s also important to notice which candidates listen to their opponents and those who talk over them or ignore their questions. This is the kind of rude behavior we want our kids to avoid and to expect their leaders to refrain from. Arguing is not bad as it can lead to understanding more than one’s own perspective. The problem is not being able to argue civilly and respectfully.

To give our kids a better idea of the playing field being considered, aid them with reading and seeing the perspectives of as many of the players as possible. Most candidates want to shrink the amount of information, so it is incumbent on us parents to fill in the blanks so that our children can learn how to fairly assess the situation rather than relying on others to do it for them.

All of this is lot of work, but there are few better occasions to teach our children that the reason we want them to be nicer, more fair, and accountable human beings is to feel better about themselves when all the other idiots are knocking each other down. We must educate our kids about the childish and unfair behavior in the world, too, so they can know there is plenty of weakness in the world, yet it’s possible to rise above it and be rewarded for it.

While it’s easy to call all politicians scumbags, it is important to note something I learned from a political speech writer my high school students and I recently interviewed for a debate class. When asked if all elected officials were like those seen on a TV series like House of Cards, the speech writer replied that the vast majority of politicians, of all backgrounds and beliefs, were in office to do some good.

As such, we do not want our children to distrust politics, but instead be active participants in the process of discerning who the best person for the job is. In so doing, not only do we prepare them to take care of the future, but perhaps they help us make our own in-depth voting decisions

© 2016 Gregory Keer. All rights reserved.

Posted in Blog, Columns by Family Man, Family Communication, Politics | Leave a comment

The Devilish Advocates

By Gregory Keer

I spent much of my life in the kind of self-debate that puts Hamlet to shame. While my penchant for over- analyzing decisions sometimes yielded good results, I also wasted a lot of time failing to trust my instincts and experience.

There are all those open jump shots I didn’t take because I pondered too long.

There are all those job interviews during which I came off as wishy-washy.

There are all those girls I didn’t date because my hesitation let the other guy swoop in.

Fortunately, I didn’t waffle about pursuing the woman who became my wife, a swift decision that worked out pretty well. Yet, even after marrying Wendy, I suffered from paralysis by analysis regarding stories I wrote and career problems I had.

It took becoming a father to put me firmly on the path of confident thinking. As a dad, there’s little room for hand-wringing when faced with having to take a pee-pee dancing child into a public restroom or enforcing the rule of wearing a bike helmet.

As a dad, one of my goals is to teach my children the lessons I’ve fought to learn so they can lead more productive lives than I did at their age.

So, two years ago, when I asked my eldest son what he thought about the decisions of a 20th century president he researched for a class, he held a long pause and said, “I don’t know.”

It was a moment I had rehearsed for years, so I delivered it in my best Hal Holbrook impersonation.

“Son, never say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t care.’”

“But I really don’t know what I think,” Benjamin (then 12) replied.

“Yes, you do,” I said, hearing the music rise on the soundtrack in my head. “You have to be willing to take the risk. People respect you more if you have something to say.”

Well, my son definitely has opinions now that he’s a teenager.

The following comes from one eight-minute conversation:

“I don’t like vacations. I don’t see the point.”

“I hate Shakespeare.”

“Chinese food is disgusting.”

“I never enjoyed playing sports.”

“Dressing in nice clothes is stupid.”

My son is allowed to have opinions, but I felt compelled to say, “You’re entitled to be wrong, especially about Chinese food.”

Of course we argued for a while longer, making me wonder why I ever encouraged my son to have viewpoints. However, he’s only part of my problem.

Jacob (11) causes plenty of high blood pressure for battling with me over leaving the house on time and wearing t-shirts that fit him, but when it comes to being a contrarian, my eight-year-old takes the cake, if not the entire bakery.

Upon serving him dinner, any dinner, Ari tells us, usually with tears in his eyes, “I told you I hate chicken/turkey/fish/vegetables/potatoes.” You name it, he makes a federal case out of us trying to feed him anything but what he deems suitable for that very moment.

On weekends, when we offer to take him out to play or visit people instead of having him lie on the couch in front of the TV, Ari will protest, “I should be able to relax once in a while. I work really hard during the week.”

When Ari is asked to clean his room, he reasons, “I shouldn’t have to. You guys are the ones who put stuff in my room.”

“You mean, the clothes, furniture, books, and toys?” I reply.

“Yeah, you should really clean this up.”

It would be easy to blame family sitcoms for the smart-alecky words my son fires like a fully loaded Nerf gun, but I have mostly myself to blame.

In my effort to encourage each one of my sons to start earlier than I did on the path to definitive thinking, I’ve been drilling them since they were infants.

With baby food, I experimented until I could elicit an excited response as to which mishmash they preferred. Over the years, I also reinforced their decision to cuddle with a favorite blanket, supported them when they picked their friends for birthday parties, and high-fived them for focusing on a book series rather than hem and haw over their choices or, God forbid, not read at all.

While I may have had difficulties in making decisions, my sons boldly choose with little hesitation. As such, they have strong opinions, albeit many that run against my preferences. Still, as long as I help them work out the nuances of respecting others’ opinions and rules, I’m confident their decisiveness will serve them well in life.

I’ve made at least one decision, recently. I resolve to not get so caught up in arguing with my sons over being contrary to me. I’ll still think they’re wrong, some of the time, but I’ll take the high road of pride that they are flexing their convictions.

Posted in Child Development, Columns by Family Man, Ethics, Family Communication, Values | Leave a comment

What Dads Need to Know: How Is the Strong-Willed Child Wired?

Adapted from You Can’t Make Me by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

I’ve been writing and teaching about the strong-willed child (SWC) for more than twenty-five years. During that time I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of strong-willed people of all ages on six continents, in all walks of life. What you are about to read is a consensus among this diverse population of strong-willed individuals (including me) who agree on some basic fundamental truths about how strong-willed minds are wired.

Three crucial truths about how we think

1. It’s not authority we have trouble with; it’s how the authority is communicated.

Even some of the most openly rebellious strong-willed kids insist they don’t have trouble with authority. We SWCs wouldn’t respect our parents if they drew the line and moved it. We wouldn’t respect the government if there were laws, but no one enforced them. It’s not the issue of authority; it’s how the authority is communicated. What sets us off is your finger in our face as you tell us to “do it or else.” SWCs know you’re not really the “big boss”; we always have a choice whether to obey or take the consequences. If you use your authority in a way that suggests we don’t have a choice, there’s almost always going to be trouble.

We usually don’t respond well when you simply issue orders to be obeyed. We want to be treated with respect, and we respond best to a voice that’s calm and firm. If your authority is transmitted to us by shouting or with angry words and gestures, we tend to simply tune you out—and prepare for battle.

When I was growing up, my dad was the ultimate authority in our house. My SWC nature did not question him when he laid down the law. But you see, Dad intuitively knew a parenting technique that is critical for dealing with the SWC. If he said, “Stop now!” I just stopped. I didn’t question or argue. I knew my dad wouldn’t talk to me like that unless it was essential that I obeyed. And that could save my life if it stopped me from stepping in front of a speeding car. If he had talked to me with the same urgency and firmness all the time, I would have tuned him out and probably not done much of anything he asked.

Here’s the point: If you use the same angry tone of voice for everything—“You get upstairs to bed!” “You eat the rest of that dinner!” “You get dressed right now!”—you’ll find your SWC arguing with you about everything.

Some parents think it will signal weakness if they speak politely to a child instead of bluntly “laying down the law.” The fact is, you may be amazed at how much easier it is to get strong willed children to cooperate when, instead of angrily shouting,

“Get downstairs right now and get in that car!” you calmly say,

“The car leaves in two minutes—let’s go!”

2. Strong-willed children don’t need to control you; they just can’t let you take all control away from them.

Remember, we know we always have a choice. That means we have ultimate control over what we will and will not do. When SWCs are told, “You will…” or “You’re going to…” or “This is how it’s going to be…,” we may interpret that kind of speech as an attempt to take all control away from us, and we can’t let you do that. SWCs need to keep at least some control over our own lives. So when we feel cornered, we may end up exercising the only option we have left—even if it’s unpleasant or harmful.

3. The quality of the relationship we have determines the effectiveness of your parenting strategies.

In the heat of the battle, parents often forget the most critical component of effective parenting: if you have the kind of relationship with your child that she wants to preserve, you have some valuable leverage. If SWCs really enjoy spending time with you when we’re not in trouble, we’ll do our best to stay on your good side. On the other hand, what do we have to gain by obeying if you’re always yelling at us anyway? What’s the up side? One bonus here is that you don’t have to be the best parent in the neighborhood; you don’t have to be the most creative, energetic, or intelligent adult in your child’s life. The other bonus? If you work at keeping a healthy relationship, your child will have the best reason in the world to obey you and follow your guidance.

When it comes to building and maintaining a quality relationship, here are three key elements to remember:

Relationships will always matter more than rules. If we have a good relationship with you, we’ll follow your rules even if we don’t agree with them. We do it because we love and respect you.

Home should be a place we always look forward to coming back to—a safe harbor where we are understood and valued for who we are. We know you want to prepare us for dealing with a hostile world, but if you don’t provide a safe, warm place for us, who will?

We need to know that you’ll always be there for us, no matter what. That doesn’t mean you should let the SWC take advantage of you. It means your love for us is unshakable and unconditional. That same love must sometimes be tough, and it doesn’t just bail us out when we get in trouble. Above all, no matter what we say or do, no matter what consequences must be faced, we have to know your love will never disappear.

Excerpted from You Can’t Make Me by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is the founder, manager, and CEO of Apple St. L.L.C. (Applied Learning Styles) and president of Learning Styles Unlimited, Inc. Cynthia is a popular speaker and the best-selling author of The Way They Learn, They Way We Work, Every Child Can Succeed, Bringing Out the Best in Your Child, and Do You Know What I Like About You? Cynthia, her husband, and their twin boys live in the Seattle, Washington area.

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What Dads Need to Know: Say No Without Saying No

By Dr. Jenn Berman

DoctorJennimages (1)Kids need boundaries and limits. Saying no to your child helps build her char­acter and provides discipline. It teaches her to tolerate not getting what she wants and to handle delayed gratification—and ultimately it will teach her how to say “no” to herself (“Do I really want that second piece of chocolate cake even though I am full? No, I think I’ll pass on that.” Or “I’m tired—maybe I’ll skip calculus today. No, actually that’s not in my best interest. I should go to class”). That said, you should never say “no” to your child just for the sake of saying “no” because that would be disrespectful.

I say “no” twenty times a day but I almost never say the actual word “no.” Why? If you say “no” all day long, the word loses its significance and power, and kids start to tune it out. I save “no” for a child who is reaching to touch a hot stove or about to run out into traffic. Used selectively, “no” is taken very seri­ously.

A study done by Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley found that three-year olds who were exposed to constant reprimands such as “No,” “Don’t,” and “Stop it” had poorer language skills than kids who received less negative feedback. They also had lower IQs — perhaps because they were exposed to less language. If you just say “no,” your child hears one word, whereas if you say, “Please don’t do that” or “How about if we play with this toy instead?” you’re exposing her to multiple words, increasing both language development and IQ.

Here are ten ways to say “no” without actu­ally saying “no”:

– Tell your child what she can do instead.

– Try “I won’t let you because…”

– Distract and redirect.

– Substitute an acceptable object for an unacceptable one.

– Offer two viable choices.

– Clarify the rules.

– Explain your reasoning using age-appropriate language and examples.

– Postpone the request.

– Use humor.

– Validate the desire behind the request without granting the request.

One other tip: Baby-proof the rooms in the house that your child has access to and you won’t have to say “no” quite as much.

Dr. Jenn Berman is a Marriage, Family and Child Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles. She has appeared as a psychological expert on hundreds of television shows including The Today Show, The Early Show, and CNN. She hosts a live daily call-in advice show called “The Love and Sex Show with Dr. Jenn” on Sirius/XM’s Cosmo Radio 5-7 pm PST (heard five hours a day seven days a week). She is the author of the LA Times best selling books SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years and The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids, and the children’s book Rockin’ Babies. Dr. Jenn is also on the Board of Advisors for Parents Magazine. In addition, Dr. Jenn has an eco-friendly clothing line for adults and children called Retail Therapy. All the tees have positive “feel good” messages and are made of organic and recycled materials. Dr. Jenn lives in Los Angeles with her husband and twin daughters. For more information on go to or follow her on Twitter at and

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What Dads Need to Know – Improving Family Communication

By Jody Johnston Pawel

Imagine this scene: A neighbor is at your house, visiting over a cup of tea. You start feeling irritated and pressured when you realize you are running late for an appointment. What would you say to your neighbor? Imagine the same situation, except it’s your child at the breakfast table. How would it change your response? Is it possible that you might respond in a more disrespectful way?

Even when irritated or impatient, we often make the effort to listen and communicate with friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers with more respect than we give our own children. Most parents would say they value the relationships with their children yet, because of their emotional involvement, find it difficult to communicate respectfully with them at times.

Quality family relationships are becoming increasingly important in our society. With pressures and issues like drugs and sex, which children are facing today, the need for open communication and positive family relationships is vital. Today’s children also face dangers not known of in the past. Children are being taught not to blindly obey an adult’s requests if it could be a safety risk. As a result, adults are no longer perceived as infallible and children are encouraged to think/decide for themselves and be more assertive than children in previous generations.

Most parents want their children to feel free to talk to them, yet don’t always know how they can foster this type of relationship. It helps if parents can remember that communication involves proper timing and both talking and listening. When children have a problem, their parents’ efforts at “listening” often result, instead, in lecturing and offering advice. Unsolicited advice provides little opportunity for children to share their feelings and can result in children becoming reliant on others’ influence. In turn, these children may develop inadequate decision-making skills as they mature.

Contemporary child-rearing authorities agree that there is a direct connection between how children feel and how they behave. Parents can help children feel encouraged by accepting their feelings. This is not to say parents have to agree with these feelings. Acceptance means a willingness to allow children to be individuals with preferences and opinions of their own.

Most parents can be very accepting about most of the feelings their children have, unless they say something that makes the parent angry, anxious, or uncomfortable. It is common for parents to then revert to old habits and become defensive. Effective listening involves a respectful attitude, concentration, eye contact, and an effort to stop and think about when to be silent and when/how to respond. A simple nod or word of acknowledgment will let a child know you are listening. When listening, avoid probing questions like “why?” These questions shift the focus from feelings to analyzing and children may interpret it as a denial of their feelings. Instead, tune into the feelings, then put the feeling word into a sentence. This will show that you understand and accept how the child feels. Children of all ages learn how to identify their feelings and solve their own problems when parents help give their feelings a name.

Sometimes children will express their negative emotions in inappropriate ways, such as tantrums or yelling. Parents can allow children to feel angry but share specifics about how they can express their anger in acceptable ways. Help them generate ideas for constructive, physical ways to express their anger (i.e., drawing or a punching bag).

When parents have negative feelings or want more cooperation from their child, they also need to respectfully express themselves. Instead of ordering and nagging, focus on the problem without blaming and give children a chance to decide for themselves what actions they need to take. An effective and simple way to get a child’s attention is to say one word (i.e., “Milk!”). Just make sure your tone of voice is non-blameful and don’t use children’s names alone or they will associate their names with being in trouble. Another tool is to simply describe what you see (i.e., “I see dirty dishes on the kitchen table”) or give information they can use for later reference (i.e., “When milk is left out it will spoil”). Writing notes and using humor or fantasy are creative and fun ways to express both positive and negative feelings.

Finally, here are some tips to encourage your efforts at improving your family’s communication skills. Be authentic with your emotions and wording without blaming the other person. Have the courage to be imperfect — there are no perfect parents. New habits take at least twenty-one days of practice to establish and it is common for children to test parents during this time.

Positive, open communication is only one area that parents can address to improve their effectiveness as parents. Through reading and attending parenting classes, parents can learn how to foster loving, respectful family relationships.

Jody Johnston Pawel is a Licensed Social Worker, Certified Family Life Educator, second-generation parent educator, and President of Parents Toolshop Consulting. She is the author of 100+ parent education resources, including her award-winning book, The Parent’s Toolshop. For 25+ years, Jody has trained parents and family professionals through her dynamic workshops and interviews with the media worldwide, including Parents and Working Mother magazines, and the Ident-a-Kid television series.

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