Parental Concern: “I don’t have enough time to play with my child.”

child with toy

                                           “Play is the work of the Child”

Did you realize that “playing with your child” is an important parenting skill?  Yes, it can be hard to find time in this busy world for play, but ask yourself these revealing questions to help you realize the importance of finding some time every day to play with your children.

  • Why did I want to have children in the first place?
  • Why do I love them?
  • What do I wish I had done more of over the past few years?
  • What did I wish my parents made more time with for me?


For parents of infants through four-year-olds, “time to cuddle, hold, play, and attend to the child is invaluable for the child to thrive.  Play is the child’s opportunity to experience freedom, joy, and self-expression.”  It is a time when children can feel full of themselves.  children work out their feelings in play, and if there have been traumatic experiences, play is healing.  When you play with your child it creates a loving and close bond.  So enter into their world.  Join their world of pretend.  When your child structures a game and is enjoying it, do not make it harder, so he or she is not successful.  SImply be accepting, reflecting, and enjoying.” (Diane Tillman, Living Values, Parent Groups, a Facilitator’s Guide,p 59)

For parents of five to nine-year olds ask yourself: what do I enjoy doing myself that I can do with my child?  What would be fun for both myself and my child?  Playing every day, even for only fifteen minutes guarantees your child gets the “us time” of full attention and close eye contact which builds cooperation and love.  Within this bond, minor negatives will simply disappear.  Play pretend games, play outside, play with balls and dolls.  Don’t get competitive, instead model graceful winning and losing.  Winning a game about one-third of the time is fine.  Us Time can also be a time of just listening with your full attention.  Use daily routine time to interact with your children, such as driving or walking to the store, while washing the dishes, or setting the table. (Tillman, p 60)

For parents of children ten to eighteen-years old,  finding quality time every day to be with your children is basic to having a successful relationship with them.  It is said that a thirteen-year old needs as much attention as a five-year-old.  Stopping what you are doing to really be there will make such a difference, even for fifteen minutes a day.  Consistent  love and regard each day builds a safety net for helping them to feel better about themselves and help both of you to navigate the teen years more smoothly. (Tillman, p 61)

Have fun building this number one parenting skill into your life with your children each and every day!  It is a priority, isn’t it?







Raising Your Child with “Living Values”


Whose values do you live by? What are your children learning about values consciously and subconsciously   Checked lately?

Living in a world that often values convenience more than kindness, quantity more than quality, and speed more than accuracy, can undermine our true nature.  Of course, many in our world, and on Kauai also practice paying it forward, ho’opono’pono, cooperation, humility, and even non-violent communication.

Even so, it’s hard not to notice how many folks are being affected by scenes of violence every day.   Where does violent behavior stem from? Why is so much violence tolerated in our world?  What lies at the foundation of a violent world?

How can we address this trend and create instead, homes and schools full of trust, peace, self- respect, respect for others, and acceptance?Kindness is the Highest Form of Wisdom

As a parent, grandparent, and educator, I see other parents, educators, and children reaching out for help to turn this alarming trend of violence and lack of respect, around.

It used to be easy and natural to pass on our good values to our children,  grandchildren, and our students.  Nowadays, media and technology have taken such precedence in our lives and those of the youth, that many of us give more time to our screens each day than to each other. Society is at an all time high of becoming over- exposed to much that is contrary to the values of yesteryear.

It has been proven that people everywhere value the same things deep in their hearts.  Who doesn’t want peace, love, cooperation, trust, and respect ~ the big question is why aren’t we living them?



Living Values is an Educational Program that was created to meet this call to instill values from the heart.

It is a program that was created by teachers for other teachers and parents in 1995. It has an amazing track record for transforming the climate of  families and schools.

It is not enough for children to hear about values.  To really learn, they must experience them at many different levels, making them their own.  Our children need to be able to see the effects of their behavior and choices and learn ways to turn negatives into positives.  The teaching that happens through Living Values is in all the ways adults and children learn best- through storytelling, songs, artistic expression, reflective writing, mindfulness, and inner focusing activities.

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The Living Values method focuses on the 12 VALUES,  universally chosen as the most valuable to people in all walks of life, across the globe which are: Peace, Respect, Love, Tolerance, Happiness, Responsibility, Cooperation, Humility, Honesty, Simplicity, Freedom, and Unity.

Living Values has a wonderful track record and is working for families and schools around the world.  Teach your children how to embrace the values needed to live a safe and fulfilling life

Deborah and I are offering another free Living Values Parenting Course; this time in Kapahi, to share about the wonders of “meaningful praise”, the importance of”Us Time”,  and how “active listening” creates safe, enduring relationships.  Parents learn great conflict resolution techniques to teach their children.  Learning how to “self manage” in stressful quarrels or conflicts is a priceless resource and its never too late to learn what works and never too early to teach children this skill.

The basis of the 4 week course we teach comes from a  book called: Nurturing with Love and Wisdom, Disciplining with Peace and Respect by Diane Tillman, one of the co-creators of Living Values.  She has distilled valuable lessons from her experience of working with children as a counselor, for over 23 years.

Contact: Shivalaya/Donna @ 639-9436  or Deborah @ 651-4534~to register for this class which begins next week Wednesday at 5p.m. October 3rd.

To learn more about this far-reaching program and to download free posters, visit the website:



spread your good energy