• Hazelden Renewal Center

Living a Better Financial Story

In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller tells a powerful story he calls, “How Jason Saved His Family.” After returning from Los Angeles, where he took part in a storytelling workshop, Don got together with his friend, Jason, and learned of some trouble Jason and his wife were having with their 13-year-old daughter. She was dating a guy who was bad news; she was even experimenting with drugs.With the workshop fresh on his mind, Don made an offhand comment that Jason’s daughter “wasn’t living a very good story.” Jason was intrigued and asked Don to … Continue reading

Overdoing It With Kids: Is It Really All That Harmful?

Our children will not go to hell in a hand basket if we occasionally spoil them. All of us could use a little pampering and a day off work from time to time. Children who are given excess attention and protection are at least getting the message that they’re loved. Unfortunately that’s only half the message children need to learn from parents. The other half is at least as important…our children also need to be taught to love themselves. If we regularly make our children’s lives too easy for them they will feel loved by us but they will likely … Continue reading

Sesame Street Uses Muppet to Support Children Affected by Parental Addiction

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is announcing an initiative to support children and families affected by parental addiction. The initiative features Karli, a 6 ½-year-old Sesame Street Muppet whose mom is dealing with addiction. In new videos and other content, favorite Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Abby Cadabby learn what Karli is going through and help their friend to cope. The resources, which are part of the Sesame Street in Communities program and freely available on www.SesameStreetinCommunities.org, deliver the words children need to hear most: You are not alone. You will be taken care of. … Continue reading

Identity and Parenting: Role With It

man with child

I recently attended a workshop where the speaker asked participants to list ten items that define them. My silent reaction: Ah, I hate this kind of stuff. But I began to write. It was actually fairly easy. I had six items before I ran out of time.  Number six was a little cheesy: “citizen of the world.” Two through five read “teacher, counselor, musician, friend.” In my number one spot, I had proudly penciled “parent.” Many parents today—including me—are having children later in life. Often these parents are set in their careers, have saved a little money and invested in … Continue reading

A Father’s Love

man with son

June is the month we celebrate fatherhood and fathers everywhere. It seems to me that Father Love is very strong—both love from fathers and love for fathers. Two brothers, ages 24 and 27, recently had a reunion with their dad. For the first time in a long time, the father flew into town and visited them in their environments. He “hung out” with them, stayed at their homes, and visited them at work. Most importantly, he acknowledged and validated their successes as young men. It meant a lot to these brothers. There was laughter, tears and acceptance. Two other brothers, … Continue reading

Parenting Younger Children: Making a Difficult Job More Rewarding

parenting young children

Raising little kids is hard. After a grueling day it’s mommy this and daddy that. And I don’t like macaroni and cheese any more. And why can’t I jump on the couch?! Then it’s scream, scream and tears because my tummy hurts. Besides I don’t want to go to bed tonight. And by the way, I need a costume for the class play tomorrow. Can’t we go to Target to get one (at midnight)? Grandma, let’s us jump on the couch! Oh, the endless joys of raising little ones! If they weren’t so cute we’d kill them! Yet having kids … Continue reading

Do You Play a Role?

what role do i play

Take a look below at some examples of life scripts that angry people play out in their lives. You may recognize yourself in these or you might see others you know in them. Even if they don’t seem to fit, think about the script and the roles that you may be playing out and try to identify, very specifically, how they have affected your life. The GOOD LITTLE GIRLS/BOYS who reacted to the shaming by seeking to please and placate others. They get resentful when no one seems to appreciate and value everything they are trying so hard to do. The … Continue reading

Helping You and Your Children Have Good Moral Character – Part 2

raising moral children

Editor’s note: In the last issue of The Phoenix Spirit, John Driggs lent his more than 40 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families, to the topic of how to help foster moral character in children. Driggs aptly acknowledged that parents and other caregivers are not wholly responsible on how kids turn out, nor should they take complete credit for their successes. Caregivers do, however, play a major role, and Driggs believes that it’s never too late to improve our relationships and work on building good character. Following is part two of Driggs’ insightful article. What can we … Continue reading

Helping You and Your Children to Have Good Moral Character – Part 1

raising moral children

Most of us parents know how we would like our kids to turn out. They would care about others, generally have a warm heart, be socially accepted by peers, contribute to the greater good of others, treat siblings and family with compassion, be able to forgive, have a backbone and generally be a pleasure to hang out with. Probably all of us want these qualities in our children and ourselves. Many kids — so called “good kids” — are really like this. They really are as good as they seem to be and they continue to be solid family members, … Continue reading

When You Are Parented With Shame

parented with shame

“I’m sorry but I have to cancel our dinner date. I have the flu. I know this is the second time I’ve done this and I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you gave up on me. Or, maybe if you let me pay for dinner next time, we can still be friends. I can’t thank you enough for wanting to get together with me. I’m lucky to have you as a friend. Love ya.” Shame definitely has a place in our lives when we’ve done something wrong or hurt someone else. But it has no place in our lives … Continue reading