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How to Deal with Mean Girls and Other Rude People by Nicole Carpenter


With a smile, I opened the front door to greet my two oldest children home from elementary school. Right away I noticed my fourth-grader’s slumped shoulders. I noticed how she dragged her feet as she climbed the front steps. I knew it had not been a good day for her at school.

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Three Tricks For Getting Your Children To Clean Up After Themselves by Nicholeen Peck


“If you get it out, put it away. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you take it off, hang it up.” These are the mantras that echoed through my childhood home as my father reminded us children over and over again to pick up after ourselves. 

I remember trying to keep these things in mind when I was young, but still having the messiest room in the house; I was always the one that got reprimanded because I would walk in from school and immediately drop all my stuff on the kitchen floor. 

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4 Strategies to Avoid Summertime Overwhelm by Nicole Carpenter


We stopped nagging our children about their homework weeks before school actually ended; and keeping a decent bedtime is increasingly more difficult as the sun stays in the sky just a bit longer each night.

Thankfully, summer is here, and most of us have really good intentions and a second-wind of purpose. We hope for family activities, organized fun, fight-free afternoons, stacks of finished books and swim towels that hang up themselves.

During summer break, we are trying to balance all the kids’ activities with our own — all the while knowing kids without a school schedule often means chaos in our homes. As parents, we can easily our lose sanity in the summer, and it won’t be long before we find ourselves burned out — again.

Keeping a system of organization with your kids and in your home this summer can help ward off that burned-out feeling a bit longer, but even those systems can seem daunting. What are some easy ways to create order?

Success starts with setting realistic expectations — both expectations of what we require from our kids as well as what our kids can expect from us, in terms of activities and support.

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What’s in Your House? by Merrilee Boyack


I shall never forget that day.  It was early in the morning and I was walking down the stairs and out of the corner of my eye I saw a menacing shadow. I paused midstep with my foot hanging in the air and looked down. There was a scorpion. If I had taken one more step, I would have likely been stung. Needless to say, the scorpion was dispatched outside rather quickly. Scorpions creep me out.

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Response to “13 Reasons Why” by Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall


As the Executive Director for Hope4Utah I have the opportunity to travel the state working with schools, agencies and communities in suicide prevention. Over the past month my phone, emails and trips to the grocery store have been inundated with questions about the Netflix series, “13 reasons Why.” The questions and concerns are valid. I have not watched the series, nor do I plan to. However, I have heard enough from my colleagues and others that I believe I have a pretty good understanding of the content.

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Are Your Children Slaves to the Media? by Nicholeen Peck


Parenting Lessons From A Ten Year Old

"Oh Mom, that is so sad!" said ten-year-old Porter when he got in the car after our fun family night activity.

"What is so sad Porter?" I inquired.

"That little boy, only about three years old, in the car next to us didn't want to get in his car seat, so he started fighting his dad and yelling. Then the dad said, 'Here, have the phone.' As soon as the dad said that, the little boy got quiet. Dads shouldn't reward their children for bad behaviors and shouldn't give their children adult tools, like phones, to play with as toys Mom."

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Building Confidence Through Mercy and Advocacy, Not Abandonment by Nicholeen Peck


“So what exactly is self-government?” a woman asked me one day.

“It is a principle of freedom that is taught by parents to their children. The parents create an environment that is filled with a loving, calm tone and a firm structure based on skills and cause and effect. This environment helps children take control of their own behaviors and have a change of heart while helping parents correct and teach children in a safe, calm and deliberate way.” I explained.

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Down is Default by Dr. Paul Jenkins


Why can it be so hard to stay positive? Why is it so easy to get sucked into the negativity trap? Unless there is some force to the contrary, Mother Nature’s default is downhill. Mountains erode, buildings crumble, roads deteriorate, bridges eventually collapse. Rain falls, hits the ground, and flows downhill.

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Blending Families – How We’ve Made It Work by Katie Wahlstrom


When my husband and I got married, he had four kids between the ages of four and twelve.  My husband’s first wife had died in an accident a few years earlier. I had been a teacher and went from living on my own, to married with four kids overnight.  

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Controlling the Morning Chaos: 8 ideas that work by Nicole Carpenter


It’s the 30 minutes right before you send your kids out the door and off to elementary school that just might do you in — and the day has only just begun.

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