My word!

People engaging in casual conversation on a si...

People engaging in casual conversation on a sidewalk in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Consider this conversation: “Did you see the movie?”   “Yeah.”    “And?”    “Awesome!”    “Blew your mind?”   “Totally!”

this exchange is typical of what we hear on the street.   But does it provide any information?  Does it induce you to see the movie?  The movie-goer could have made any number of comments:

“It was enlightening.  I felt inspired to take action.”
“It was a revelation about something I’ve been thinking about.”  “I experienced a catharsis, and felt relieved of some fears.”

Rigi miracle 1

Rigi miracle 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vocabulary and phrases are tools of expression, our means for conveying information, convincing others, and sharing feelings.  While we need not use big words when small ones fit the bill, I suggest that we can and should strive for exactness of expression.   Continue reading

40 developmental assets

We have no guarantees when raising children, but we have some excellent guidelines.

Everyone should know about the 40 developmental assets.  People who study early childhood development have identified forty practices or circumstances that must be present in order for a child to grow up confident and happy.  Many are predictable:  a supportive, caring environment, healthy adult models.  But they also include items such as:  “young person spends 3 or more hours/week in lessons or practice in music, theatre, or other arts.”  And, “the young child spends time in activities that nurture spiritual development.”  In other words, it’s not just a Sunday school class or a piano lesson.  Arts and the spirit are basic to healthy development.

Where to learn more

To know more about the research on these assets, visit  Those who have already raised children will satisfy yourselves that you have done well by them.  Those currently raising children can evaluate your practices.  And if you’re in the pre-family stage, you can plan accordingly.