What I want for my kids this school year…

A special back-to-school message from Guest Blogger Kris Carnevale

Every year, papers come home with little boxes or just a few lines to fill in, stating what my goals are for my children in the upcoming school year. And each year, I toss the papers aside and wait until the very last minute to respond. No matter what the ages of my children, the answer isCarnevale Kiddos pretty much the same…

SHOW UP, BE PRESENT, AND SHOW RESPECT: Yeah, seems pretty simple, and yet it is also quite challenging…

My Dears,

There will be classes you don’t like and teachers you don’t see eye-to-eye with. Heck – you may even dislike them, BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t show up or worse, be disrespectful. Take the time in these classes to learn how to “get by” in those challenging situations where you find yourself uninterested in the topic at hand (Do you think that I really like to clean the bathrooms? Um. No!)

I am here to tell you that there will be countless times in your life where you will have to show up and do things you don’t want to do, BUT, you still have to do them. And, it’s best if you can do them with respect for the person who’s in charge. (Hey, maybe one day you will be talking to someone who finds your topic or task incredibly boring. Wouldn’t you rather them be kind and listen than to be rude and gruff?!)

TRY YOUR BEST: Does this take explaining? Really, just do the best you can. It may not be perfect, and you may not get it right the first time around, but do it and do it YOURSELF! Which brings up the next oh so important, yet, crucial skill to learn…

FAIL: Wait. What?!! Did I just list FAIL as something I want you to learn how to do?! Yep. Sure did. We all fail, so own it, learn from it and you know what….MOVE ON. If necessary, say sorry, but mean it. Nothing is worse than a forced, insincere apology. If you must, wait and say it with heart and meaning when you are ready. Mistakes are a part of life. You won’t be the best at everything you do. Get used to it and learn how to rise to the occasion of failure, because I am telling you from 41 years of experience, you grow and learn the very most from failing. Which leads us to the next lesson…

GET BACK UP: “That thing we call failure is not in the falling; it’s in the staying down” Mary Pickford.

My children, as you know, life comes at you hard. Things you don’t expect to happen, will happen. No matter how much you wish, how hard you work, or even how often you may pray, bad things will happen and it’s up to you to learn how to get back up and start again. The sun, regardless of the day, will always rise. Although there will be days when you will see it clearer, it is always there – rising up in the sky after the darkest of nights. So, you will too. Trust me. You will. And to learn this important lesson, you need to fail.

My dear children, this life, this journey, your path isn’t always going to be easy. You will encounter a lot of bumps, road blocks and seemingly gigantic mountains. You may have even have to deal with lots of people whose ideas may not match yours. But, be open, be kind, do things and make choices out of the love that is nestled in your heart, not the fear that looms overhead. Because, that fear – it’s not real. Danger…well, that’s a whole other story. Start to be aware of the difference. I promise it will get your far.

And, you know what kids? No matter what happens “out there” in the world – of school, of sports, of activities, of your life, KNOW THIS… you are loved, completely, wholly, and true for being the wonderful person that you already have grown to be thus far in your life. Keep growing, keep loving, keep learning, stay curious and know that you always can come home and be wrapped in loving arms – ones that will hold you tight, dry your tears, support you, guide you, and, most importantly, send you back out to try again.




Step Back & Look At The Great Kids In Front of You

A special Mother’s Day message from Guest Blogger, Kristen Welch


Holly Wach Photo

Photo courtesy of Holly Wach: https://www.instagram.com/hollywach/

I didn’t mean to cry. I was stirring dinner and a salty tear or two might have splashed into the soup. I had just sent all three of my kids to their rooms because honestly, they were safer there.

One of my kids was so whiny from a sleepover my eye twitched every third word she said, my middle one was following me around making noises and my teen had just hurt my feelings.

I stirred soup and thought about all the things that had gone wrong in the last hour and how I had handled them and I cried.

I looked up and saw my 13-year old son standing in the doorway. He didn’t say a word. He walked over and wrapped his arms around me and he hugged me for a long time. He’s nearly 6 foot tall, this gangly boy-child of mine and all I could think was, “He is acting like a man.” And I swallowed the enormous lump in my throat. He spoke for his siblings and said, “We’re sorry, Mom,” and then he was gone.

I stood in the kitchen and thought about how quickly my perception of my kids gets distorted. I live so up-close to them. I’m their manager, their evaluator, cheerleader, and chief overseer. I scrutinize and organize and sometimes forget to realize who they are right now and not just who they are becoming.

I mean, yeah, I know I am blessed with wonderful kids. I know this. But in the moments when I feel like their behavior is a reflection of the job I’m doing as mom, I don’t always remember it. Our home is their practice field. It is their learning ground. This is where I want them to get it wrong. The failures aren’t forever and they don’t define them–or me.

I live in this place –this close space of motherhood–where it’s easier to pick out what we get wrong and forget to acknowledge the countless things we get right. I like to think and write, challenge and inspire us to be better because I want to be better and I want to raise grateful kids. But I think it’s also good to stop and acknowledge where we are because that helps us see how far we’ve come.

I’m always talking about gratitude and perspective (and heck, I wrote a 50,000 word book on it), but I’m learning when it’s hard to see the truth close up (especially on hard days), sometimes we have to step back for it to come into focus. It’s all in how we look at it, but we do have to stop and look.

I called my kids down for dinner. The rocky afternoon was long forgotten as we fought over the biggest squares from the brownie pan.

When I step back and change my perspective, when I turn my magnified view into a bird’s eye one, I don’t see their mistakes. No, I see really great kids standing in front of me. And that helps me see that their mom is pretty great, too.


Join the Parenting Movement!

At Beech Acres Parenting Center, our vision is to create a world where every child is nurtured to discover, cultivate and apply his or her own natural gifts. Through our ISMP (Intentional, Strength-based Mindful Parenting) approach, we inspire and support parents, families, and communities in raising children who thrive.

Join us in growing great families together! Click here to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.


About our Guest Blogger, Kristen Welch

Kristen Welch blogs about her life on WeAreTHATFamily.com. Over the years, Kristen has grown a vast following of moms who identify with her real, often funny, and always inspiring writing. In 2010, she traveled to Kenya on a blogging trip to write about poverty and that experience turned her world upside down, and as a result, she and her family founded a nonprofit called Mercy House, which endeavors to empower and disciple impoverished women around the world. She is the author of multiple books, her latest, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, released in 2016.



#SelfCareChallenge: Five simple ways to take better care of YOU!


One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a healthy you!

When we take careMother And Daughter Relaxing In Garden Hammock Together of ourselves, we are better equipped to care for our children. Healthy relationships begin with positive self-care.

Not quite sure where to begin? Below are five simple ways to get started. Pick just one or two actions that speak to you, and then visit the related video/ article link below. These resources were selected to provide you with a kick-start of motivation, because let’s face it…if motivation wasn’t an issue, most of us would already be doing these things routinely!

Once you have established your personal goal, define how many weeks you want to commit to making this healthy habit a priority and then simply make it happen! Maybe it’s walking three times a week, or going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night, or perhaps it’s giving yourself permission to relax and do something playful. You know what you need better than anyone else. All it takes is an investment of 10-15 minutes to identify your individual needs and establish a basic goal.

 Everything’s better with a buddy! Pay it forward to your friends by sharing these tips and resources with them. Together you can encourage one another and serve as accountability partners for adopting a healthier self-care routine. Let’s get started…


Five Self-care Challenges:

  1. Stress Less – Cut yourself some slack by adjusting your expectations.

Mommy blogger, Lisa McCrohan encourages fellow parents to slow down and to resist allowing our frazzled fears to set the pace in her post, “Go gently into your day”…



  1. Get more sleep

How many hours of shut-eye do you get each night? If you are like many Americans you may get less than 6 hours. This Ted-Ed video shares the scientific research behind why getting ample sleep is so important…



   3. Step out into nature

How often do you explore the great outdoors? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, adults and children today spend 90 percent of their life indoors. Here are a few of the scientific-based benefits of powering down and grabbing some fresh air…



4. Start moving

Struggling to fit workouts into your daily routine? The time of day you exercise may be more important than you think. Check out this quick 2-minute video, entitled “Morning Exercise = Mental Health.”



5. Rediscover your inner child through play!

In our recent blog series, we shared why play is so important for our children. Did you know that play is also important for your health as well!

Think about which types of activities bring out the playful spirit within you…then go out and do them! If it’s been a while since you have given yourself permission to play, you may struggle with ideas at first. Try not to get discouraged. Spend some time testing the waters with different activities and think about which activities you enjoyed most when you were younger.

Still stuck? Give adult coloring books a try. If you haven’t yet heard, they are all the rage! Even CNN is tracking the trend. Check out their article on the many health benefits associated with revisiting our Crayola days…



A special note for families in crisis:

At Beech Acres Parenting Center, we believe that each parent has an innate desire to see his or her child thrive. Sadly though, there are times when stress, life circumstances, mental health challenges, or a lack of parenting tools and education can lead to damage within the parent-child relationship and can keep us from being the parents we want to be. As we recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month, we want to encourage all parents to make self-care a priority. It truly is the foundation for building a healthy family.

If you are struggling with a parenting issue or if your child is in need of support, we invite you to call Beech Acres’ Hotline at 513.231.6630 to learn more about our 35+ service offerings. If we don’t offer the right program match for your particular issue, we will connect you with another local organization that does.

Because every family deserves the chance to thrive!