How is Your Garden/Family Growing: Time for New Ideas?


I like to garden. I would say that I am “middling” good at it. This year I have had a little more time to put into it, so I worked hard to weed and water one perennial bed. I divided plants that had gotten too big, and I moved some poor performers to places where I thought they would do better. Yet many plants look crummy, and there are still places where only weeds will grow.

Now it’s the end of the summer and time to take stock. I asked a landscaper friend of mine to take a look and give me some advice. She definitely gave me a fresh look at my garden. Many of my plants have “mildew.” They have this grey powdery junk on the leaves, and they stop flowering. Chris asked, “Did you buy mildew resistant plants?” Oh, you can do that? What a concept!

She looked at another stand of plants that are always covered in little red bugs she identified as aphids. I am not interested in spraying pesticides on my garden, so the aphids have the upper hand, and these plants that started the summer with bright yellow blossoms are no longer blossoming. They look yucky. “Get rid of them,” she said (the plants, not the aphids).

Chris even gave me great suggestions to for what to plant in bare spaces. The hard part will be choosing which to plant.

This morning as I hooked up my soaker hoses, I felt some relief as I looked around the garden. My expert friend gave me new ideas to try in my garden. Next weekend I’ll pull up several non-performers and put them in the compost where they will do more good than they have until now. (The mildew plants will not go into compost.) I’ll shop around to see whether I can find any late season deals on the plants I want now. And I’ll make sure they’re “mildew-resistant.”

You are asking what this has to do with raising children, right? I am not suggesting tossing any children on the compost heap or to turning them in for better models. I’m talking about the strategies that we parents use when we try to solve problems with children.

Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Very often we parents do that very thing with children. We expect them to be the first to change. We approach problems in the same way, with the same lectures and expect the children to change. If they do change, that’s great.

But what about those times that you feel like a broken record? Time to ask an outside expert, as I did in my garden, and as I did when raising my son. (Yes, even child psychologists need help!)

Fall is a great time for new beginnings. Consider where you feel stuck with your kids. Is there another way to look at the problem? Could a parent coach offer some help?   Don’t be afraid to get some expert advice.


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One Response to “How is Your Garden/Family Growing: Time for New Ideas?”
  1. dr.cstone says:

    So glad to be helpful!