Are we raising a generation of jerks?


Dr. Deborah Gilboa, pediatrician and child development expert, says household chores have more to do with the character of your kids than you might think.


She says parents today tend to focus more on what their kids are achieving than who they're becoming. In her talks with successful Silicon Valley parents, she found that most of them had chores growing up, but very few gave their own kids chores.




Because their kids had such enormous work loads with school, sports, and other activities, they didn't want to add any more "to dos" to their lists. 


But this can hurt our kids, Deborah says, because it send the message that achievement takes priority over character. 


And chores like taking out the garbage teach kids responsibility and the importance of contribution. Which, in turn, makes them happy. You can watch her TED here.


Parents, do you agree? How do you teach your kids that who they are is more important than what they achieve?


Please share below!





 Kathryn Bragg, Age 12, Charcoal 

Kathryn Bragg, Age 12, Charcoal 


Kathryn's mom, Laurence, wanted to commission a portrait of her daughter because she's at a special time in her life. I met Laurence last year at a Christmas party thrown by her mom in Houston. 


Kathryn is twelve, a young lady on the brink of womanhood.


My first impression of her was that she looked like a Botticelli painting with her classical features. We took the pictures at her grandmother's house in Houston, and there were so many good ones it was hard to choose! 


Kathryn is soft-spoken and intelligent. Laurence says she's not your typical twelve year old – she's creative and inquisitive, and loves to read. 


 Me, Kathryn, and her portrait

Me, Kathryn, and her portrait

Laurence has watched her grow and change over the years, and says one thing she's learned is to take motherhood one day at a time and enjoy it because the time flies.


That's something I hear from moms all the time. Kids grow up quickly! You have to savor each moment


I asked her what her best piece of advice is for a new mom, and she said, "Start praying now for them to be who the Lord has called them and designed them to be. He has already designed them! You just pray into it and He will lead you about what to pray for them."


Love that!


Moms, how do you see your kids growing and changing? Please leave a comment below!





 Charlie Harris, Age 8, Memphis, TN

Charlie Harris, Age 8, Memphis, TN

I met Claire and Cheyne Harris through one of my collectors. They commissioned me to paint their 8-year-old son, Charlie.


This was a really meaningful commission for Claire, because she'd recently lost her father. Having Charlie painted now was a special way of honoring her dad's legacy.


I thought Charlie was so cute when I met him. I took his pictures on a weirdly warm day over Christmas, and he told me about what he was asking for. It was mostly sports-related:)


He struck me as just a really sweet, good-natured boy. 


What was really cool about this commission was that I was on the news here in Waco, and I brought this portrait along. You can watch the segment here.


Charlie thought it was pretty cool he was on T.V.


Claire and Cheyne were fun and easy to work with, and I could tell how much they loved their son. It was as honor to


I asked Claire the greatest lesson that she's learned from motherhood, and she said, "Children are VERY smart and are always listening to you and watching you.  You will know this when your 8 year old tells you that he "has had a lot on his mind lately" 😂


"Therefore, you should live your life like you want your child to live his or hers. If you give them lots of love, time, and teach them humility they will internalize that and pass that down to their own families."


Amen to that!




She almost lost her daughter, but never gave up hope

 5-year-old Maggie

5-year-old Maggie

PPROM (Preterm premature rupture of membranes) is a rare condition that happens when the amniotic sack breaks too early in pregnancy.


It sounds horrible, and it is. My friend Lee Cordon, writer of etiquette blog Do Say Give, experienced it with her daughter Maggie.


Because a baby can’t develop lungs without amniotic fluid, Maggie had little to no chance of surviving outside the womb. So the doctors encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.


But Lee refused to give up. She’d gotten to know this baby, felt her kicking, and knew ending the pregnancy just wasn’t the right thing to do.


So she did the only thing she could – went home and prayed for a miracle, along with her family and church. She stared a blog to keep people updated. 


Lee says it was during this time her faith was the strongest. “When you don’t have any other hope, you have to rely on the promises of the Lord.”


During the seven weeks she was in the hospital, she remembers a distinct moment when she felt God providing for her. A kind hospital cleaning lady who she saw regularly told her the baby was going to be OK. She said a prayer for her in Spanish and told her to believe. Lee says she was a guardian angel.


Maggie was born 29 weeks through an emergency C-section. Lee wanted to be awake for the first few moments of her daughter’s life, knowing they might be the last.


She was rushed to the NICU and amazingly, lived. The doctors couldn’t believe it. Maggie was a miracle.


Still, the doctors said she would have major disabilities.


Maggie came home and they spent the first three years going to appointments. Lee says it was a big blur of all-nighters and feeding tubes.


But Maggie made it, and she’s doing great now – running, playing, and doing things normal kids do. She’s bright and happy, with a fighter’s spirit. She still has therapy, but Lee and her husband can't complain. She’s alive, and that’s something they thought might not happen.


For moms going through a similar experience, Lee says never give up hope.


“During periods of hardship and suffering a tiny glimmer of hope can get you through the most difficult days. Cling to that hope and don't ever give it up.”


Have you gone through something similar? Leave a comment below.