Category Archives: Books


This week I am concluding my parenting book club blog with the 9th and final part to “Parenting Well in a Media Age” by Gloria DeGaetano – Chapter 8: “Toward a Personally-Generated Culture”. We are parenting at a time in history like no other. It goes without saying that the media / industry generated culture has had, and will continue to have, a HUGE influence on us as human beings. As much as we cannot imagine life without it, at the same time, in many ways, it can place an enormous amount of pressure on us. I am sure that when many parents hear or read that “a strong parent-child bond” is an essential need for their children they might feel that it’s almost stating the obvious – of course the bond should be strong. However, in this media age, hard as it is to believe, many children today are not getting this basic need met. The same goes for children having time to be themselves and having time to think, just BE and reflect or even having the time to be bored, #2 of the Vital 5; children having to use their imaginations and having time to play pretend …Read more →


Welcome back to the ‘Your Parenting Partner’ blog and a very happy New Year to you all! I hope that 2015 brings you all much happiness and joy. I can’t believe that it has been almost 3 weeks since I posted the sixth blog in the “Parenting Well in a Media Age” book club series based on the wonderful book by Gloria DeGaetano. This week I will be covering Chapter 7, the fifth essential need of the Vital 5: CONTRIBUTION AS RELATIONSHIP. To recap, creating a “Strong Parenting Identity” forms the scaffolding for the Vital 5 essential needs and the first 4 provide the foundation for the fifth. The Vital 5 – Gloria DeGaetano 1. A loving Parent Child Bond 2. An Interior Life 3. Image Making 4. Creative Expression 5. Contribution as Relationship Most of us will have experienced the pleasure and joy that can be derived from contributing towards a greater good, whatever that might be. As parents, we can hugely influence the extent to which our children contribute and this starts first within the family home before progressing to their immediate communities (namely their schools) and then into the community at large. A pre-requisite to contribution is …Read more →


As you are all aware, over the past couple of months I have been writing a blog on Gloria DeGaetano’s excellent book called “Parenting Well in a Media Age”. So far, I have posted 7 blogs covering the introduction and first 6 chapters. There are only two chapters remaining which I am going to cover in the New Year, so please stay tuned! So far, I hope that I (through DeGaetano) have given you some insight into the effects that living in this media / industry generated culture can have on families today. In this inspiring book, the author provides us with a guide and many practical and simple ideas to help us safely navigate these deep, highly influencial, enticing and persuasive waters in order to maintain our identity, parent well and not get swept up, engulfed and left reeling by the tide. Creating a “Strong Parenting Identity” forms the platform for the Vital 5 essential needs as listed below (Gloria DeGaetano): 1. A loving Parent Child Bond 2. An Interior Life 3. Image Making 4. Creative Expression 5. Contribution as Relationship (Coming in January 2015) Time spent with your children during the holiday period will be a wonderful way …Read more →


Welcome to Chapter 6 of Gloria DeGaetano’s book “Parenting Well in a Media Age”. This chapter covers the fourth essential need of the vital five, that being CREATIVE EXPRESSION. In this intriguing chapter, the author highlights the need “to see creative expression as a basic human need” and examines how our creativity can become dampened in this media / industry-generated culture where we can be made to feel that our small creations are seemingly insignificant as compared to the mass displays of creative output everywhere. The author does make it clear that as much as we are surrounded by creativity and productivity she makes the distinction between mass-generated creativity and what she calls “commonplace creativity”. It is this commonplace creativity that she believes children today seem to be short changed of. How often do we hear of children today having hobbies such as bird watching, stamp collecting, sewing, knitting, drawing, woodwork, pressing wildflowers or painting? Children today spend much of their free time in front of screens, many of them playing non-creative games which is often their sole hobby. When our children spend time on screens we need to see that time as being time not spent doing other things, …Read more →


Being able to imagine, create pictures in our minds and visualize are what research is showing to be crucial elements to healthy brain development in children. Today I will be discussing chapter 5, “The Third Essential Need: Image Making” in the book Parenting Well in a Media Age by Gloria deGaetano. In this chapter she highlights just how important this is and how living in this media / industry generated age can rob children of the capacity to develop these key skills. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein For the following reasons DeGaetano believes that image making is paramount to all of our thinking process: Images weave a tapestry of thought and feeling that enable us to integrate knowledge with experience They provide an impetus to action They influence behaviors and decisions The ground floor of knowledge lies in our image-making capabilities According to the author we can facilitate this image making process: 1. Listening to Language: It can be achieved by reading to your children and by developing and enhancing their listening skills. Asking thought provoking questions that encourage them to think about what they see in their minds when they listen to a story is …Read more →


Welcome to part 5 of my blog on the wonderful book “Parenting Well in a Media Age” by Gloria deGaetano. This week we are looking at Chapter 4 – The Second Essential Need: An Interior Life. What is an “Interior Life”? “An interior life is to our minds what an enclosed porch is to our house. It’s a place separate from, yet a part of the structure in which we live. It’s a place to meet ourselves and have a good chat. It’s a seclusion to muse and ponder. It’s a timeout where we can regroup and understand ourselves better. We enter when we wish and leave when it’s time. Hopefully it’s a room of light; a place where we achieve clarity and purpose”. – Gloria DeGaetano The importance of having the time to be in our “porches” cannot be underestimated especially now in the busy lives we all lead. It is during this time that we have time to think, reflect, self-talk and simply “be” which is an essential component for all human beings, particularly children, to function well and develop “inner” quality skills such as integrity and resilience. DeGaetano believes that: “Nurturing An Interior Life Leads to a …Read more →


However you wish to look at it, most of us would probably agree that the foundation to parenting well comes down to relationship – relationship is primary. Whether you phrase it “connection” or “attachment” or “bond” it is a crucial element in forming the foundation to parenting well. In today’s blog, I will be covering Chapter 3 “The First Essential Need: A Loving Parent-Child Bond” in the book Parenting Well in a Media Age by Gloria DeGaetano. “The bond between a parent and child is the primary bond, the foundation for the rest of the child’s life. The presence or absence of this bond determines much about the child’s resiliency and what kind of adult they will grow up to be.” – Jane Fonda Maintaining healthy, strong relationships takes time and effort and it is human nature to sometimes take our “nearest and dearest” for granted. As parents in todays busy, media influenced, highly scheduled world it is especially hard to “find” the time to spend quality time with our children. Just being in their company is not “enough” for what is required to really bond with them. If we want to build a strong connection with them, we need …Read more →


Welcome to part 3 of this “Parenting Book Club” blog on the book “Parenting Well in a Media Age” by Gloria DeGaetano. This week we are looking at Chapter 3 – Reclaiming our Parenting Identity. To parent well, we need a sound “inner gauge” to choice-making to keep us on track and help us and our children thrive in this exciting but challenging world. This inner gauge needs to be reflective of many things as it helps contribute to our parenting identity: who we are, what we stand for, our intentions, what we believe in and trust in influencing the choices we make. Regarding the Parenting Identity of today’s parents, the author goes as far as saying that: “The *unsanity of parenting in an industry-generated culture has ushered in a parental identity crisis of major proportions” *“Unsane”: Somewhere between sane and insane ie. we know it is not sane but it is not yet to the extent of being insane. It is quite clear that DeGaetano believes that a strong parenting identity is paramount to parenting with success and making sure that your children follow your messages over the media/industry-generated ones. They need to know WHO you are and WHAT …Read more →


Welcome to Chapter 1 – “Todays’ Parenting Challenges” in the book Parenting Well in a Media Age by Gloria DeGaetano. When I write about Parenting Challenges, I usually find myself writing about the more “typical” challenges that most parents face. However, as much as these challenges exist and are not to be taken lightly, I feel that if we, as a parenting community, continue to over-look the bigger picture, we are going to struggle to find SUSTAINABLE solutions to our “everyday” challenges. Why? Because I feel that many of our ‘smaller’ challenges stem from the big picture, that being, TODAY’S CULTURE. The unfortunate truth is that the Band-Aid “quick fix” approach often fails to meet our real needs as it deals with the symptoms but not the real underlying cause. In this opening chapter we are going to take a dive into the “bigger picture”, the challenges that life TODAY presents all parents and by “life” I mean more the governing culture that we are all a part of. The question that comes to mind here, as listed by the author is: “How can parents meet their children’s real human needs and their own human needs in a larger culture that …Read more →


First and foremost, I would like to WELCOME all the new subscribers to the YPP blog – thank you. It is exciting to have you on board and I hope that you will find the blogs valuable and informative. For those of you who are new to it, I have been writing a 7 part blog over the course of the summer on the 7 steps recommended for “Taking Time for your Life”. I encourage you to read the previous blogs pertaining to this so that this final blog in the series makes more sense to you. Last week I discussed the sixth step in Cheryl Richardson’s book “Take Time for Your Life”. This week I will be looking at the final step, step 7 and applying it to how we can help ourselves become better parents or the parents we want to be. Step 7: “Don’t let life get in the way of your spiritual well-being – connect to your inner wisdom and create a personal practice”. The most common element of every spiritual story Richardson hears is – a deep sense of love and connection with a powerful Divine force. That force is different for all of us …Read more →