Speaking of Toddlers...

I've been promoting the Talking to Toddlers audio course on this blog, and I must say that since starting to use it...well, let's just say that bedtimes are much less stressful, just because we are now thinking about what we will say to our kids before we actually say it.

But after all this talk of Toddler misbehavior and Toddler tantrums, I thought it would be fun to show you a little girl, Jessica, who is high energy, in all the right ways:


Shopping Spree!

Sometimes, when things are feeling not-overwhelming, and like on a rainy night like tonight, I'm sitting at the computer and an email comes up. Or a suggestion by a facebook friend. Or a Twitter Tweet.

So I click on the link and sometimes what I see is really good.

If the mood is right, and (in theory) when I haven't spent much in a while, or if the stock market had a good day (see, searching for justifications) I'll click on the "Pay Now" button, and get another digital product on my harddisk.

This week, I finally bought Emiko her own copy of "Talking to Toddlers" (yes, that's my very own affiliate link)

Then I got word of Everett Bogue's "Minimalist Business." You can read about it on his own blog, at (no affiliates here!)

And then, I went downright crazy and bought an NLP certification course.

Don't know what it is about NLP that keeps calling me back.

...reviews forthcoming!


My Canadian friend Chris is offering a special deal out of respect for overworked moms on this Mother's Day:

His program, "Talking to Toddlers," uses NLP communication techniques to make the "discipline" of a 3-4-5 year old more like a child's play (literally)!

Chris is taking 50% off the usual price if you order thru Mother's Day, and if you use this link:

Mother's Day Special!

You'll get about 3 hours of instruction on MP3s, as well as a bonus childrens activity book.

Yes, the MP3s are about 3 hours. That's about how much sleep you can save in a night using this program....a small price to pay for peace in the house!

By the way, I'm an affiliate and a user. Emiko has heard me talk about this before...Guess what she's getting for M Day this Sunday??

Thanks and feel free to leave comments...


GOP Senators Refusing To Work Past 2PM, Invoking Obscure Rule

I used the same tactic when I was 4.

"I'm not gonna play wif you anymore!"

Would be nice if our leaders could graduate to, say, 6th grade debate team tactics.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


What Tony Robbins and Sudoku Taught Me About Success

Are you familiar with the numbers puzzle called "Sudoku"? Literally, the name, from Japanese, means "numbers poison," though it could also be translated as "Number Addiction." The games are computer generated, usually, and the basic idea is pretty simple. You need to fill in the missing numbers, between one and nine, so that each 3x3 grid has all 9 digits, and each vertical and horizontal row has all 9 digits, without repeating. And the thing is, all correctly made Sudoku puzzles are solvable!

There is only one solution, but there is a solution. As I was doing my brain calisthenics with Sudoku last week, I realized that I didn't give up. I kept trying to find the answer. The reason? Because I knew there was a solution. This reminded me of the speech I heard from Anthony Robbins, when he was talking about giving up, or not. I paraphrase, but the point was that it is most difficult to keep going, to keep trying for what we want because we are not sure of the outcome!

Think about the last time you started a project or even embarked on a new hobby. If you were SURE you could play the guitar expertly after 2 years, how much longer would you keep at it? If you were certain that your new business proposal would bring in an extra $20,000 to the bottom line, how much harder would you work on it? It's only when the result is in doubt that we start to question our own motivation. Once we start doubting the result, it's not a far journey before we start doubting why we are doing what we are doing, and even, eventually, doubting ourselves.

Puzzles like Sudoku are great for keeping your mind nimble and in shape, but also for teaching stick-to-it-ivenes and perseverance. So the next time you find yourself flagging, doubting whether to continue on something that you were enthusiastic about previously, imagine that it's like a Sudoku puzzle: the answer, the result you want is guaranteed. It's just waiting for you to uncover it.


Just For Fun: Halloween

For your halloween merriment!

For your halloween merriment!


Toddler Tantrums

I had to share this "instructional video" on how to properly throw a tantrum.

For help with your toddler, visit

Talking to Toddlers


New Age Toddler Discipline

Discipline was for me always one of those "hard" words, in my mind linked with other un-fun words like "military" and "punishment."

Of course we know that discipline and punishment are two different things entirely.

But what about "communicative discipline"?

I've come across a young father who has used Ericsonian hypnosis techniques and NLP technology to actually increase rapport with his young children.

No, he doesn't recommend hypnotizing toddlers into obedient zombies. Actually, I think part of what makes being a toddler a toddler is the mischief they can get into. They are naturally curious, and not afraid to make mistakes.

Perhaps we all should have a little more toddler in us...?

Anyway, if you are interested in NLP, as I am, and are also in the midst of raising little kids, give this page a look.

I think you'll be surprised at what a little knowledge can do for your family:

Talking to Toddlers


The Day after Mother's Day: A word for Dads:

In most families, and especially here in Japan, child-rearing duties fall to the mother in the household. Watching my wife deal with managing a household—cooking, washing clothes daily, packing school lunches and communicating with teachers,--I’d say she has one of the busiest, hardest jobs in the world (though arguably one of the most rewarding). Add to this that some women, on top of all that, work during the day, and I feel almost in awe of working moms.

We men have our jobs, too, and they can be tiring. I imagine thousands of Japanese salarymen dragging themselves home after ten or so hours at the office, exhausted, hungry, and perhaps with a little work-related stress brought home for good measure.

Meishi! Furou! Neru! (Dinner! Bath! Sleep!) is not a real good basis for conjugal communication, but to say that I didn’t have nights when that’s all I wanted would be less than honest.

So what’s a father to do with his kids? Even moreso, what can the father be doing if one of his children is not going to school?

The easiest thing to do ( and what I see most often) is the blame game. I’m out all day earning money for this family! Couldn’t you at least get the kids to school?”

Blaming your wife is certainly no way to address the issue of futoko-ism. Neither is blaming the school, teachers, or your child him or herself.
The first thing you can do is to support your wife. She and you are in this together, and she needs your support (and you will need hers) as you tackle some of the challenges you will face being a “futoko parent.”

Now, being the parent of a futoko kid may not be as glamourous as being the parent of a golf pro or a t.v. personality, but it can be just as rewarding. And here is a promise: during your child’s futoko period, whether is last for days, weeks, months or years, if you stay in the game, don’t give up, and get support, you have the opportunity to learn more about your children, your spouse, your family and yourself than you ever thought possible.

The easiest and least effective route for the father to take is just to opt out. Deny there is a problem or leave it to mom and the teachers to sort out.

In my 15 years of meeting school refusal kids and their parents in japan, I can say that one of the common factors I often see is the absense (physical or emotional) of a father figure. Often times the mother is single, the father is no longer present…..



Nov 28 Best 10

1. Kazuyuki called this morning to say that the freezing rain would keep him home today, but that he had indeed been hired for the job he interviewed for last week! It is "only" a 4 month gig at an educational publishers printing press, putting things in boxes, keeping things in order. He was so funny when I asked him about the interview, nonchalant, "yeah, I'm 'sposed to get started next year." Yes, January, in one month. This is a big step, and, beyond the idea, did it all by himself. Bravo to him!

2. Got an I CAN poster out to the NPO support center, who will display it at their 10 year anniversary event tomorrow. Though they didn't greet me as a king, like yesterday, I was happy to see this group, energized for thier event, and happy that there was a poster to contribute that would help I CAN as well.

3. Today's Rotary meeting didn't go as I had planned. I had hoped to tap on a few shoulders and mention I CAN, but suddenly the lights were dimmed for a historical video presentation. Lunch, "Katsu-don," was pretty good, though :)

4. Hit the fundraising trail again. I think I mentioned the past due notices arriving at I CAN, so there is a sense of urgency. I went to our kids' pediatrition, but she was very busy with flu shots. Then I went to "JMIX," a computer solutions company, again part of the Oshima empire. Though the decision-makers were not in, it was really nice to have someone there who would listen to our pitch, take notes, and make us feel listened to. No sponsorships at the golf driving range, but I saw some old familiar faces who said they could set up some free time for our kids, anyway.

What I am getting from these fundraising outings more than anything is the feeling of community and connectedness. Everytime I get out and meet people I realize how much more important, interesting, productive that is that staying inside and doodling with the computer.

5. I tried to immerse myself with gratefulness feelings yesterday, to help balance the bills that showed up. I really imagined what it would be like to put the required cash into the hands of the collector. I was grateful, and imagined what I would really feel if some magic influx of income "just showed up."

Then, in the mailbox, 3 unexpected checks, putting a dent in what's due. My heart beat a little faster as I opened up the deposit envelopes. Then I laughed.

6. During all this, Emiko called and said she was inspired to have a Thanksgiving party tonight. OK, one day late, but with the time difference and all, not too far off. This woman surprises me again. 2 days ago she was feeling unappreciated. Today she is calling the neighbors, roasting chicken and making her first quiche. I missed the first half of the festivities, but arrived home after work to a feast, then endless games of hide and seek with the 3~4 year old guests that had also been here at Halloween. A great end to the week. Oh yeah. Exhausting!

7. I stopped by I CAN this evening to check on Akiko and her student Hiro, and to give her a paycheck. By the time Hiro arrived, I was just remembering that she had asked me to cover this class. Whew. Saved by being there, on accident. Lucky?

8. Paycheck deposit!

9. Yuto and Eli being way too hyped up after "their" party. One of the things I love about these guys is that they honestly crack me up. Oh yeah. I mentioned exhaustion, too, right?

10. Emiko's new mood. She was making an effort to be sweet today. "I rented that DVD you wanted." Tiny gesture. Giant gratitude.