Parenting is messy. It’s challenging, it’s difficult, and just when you think you have it figured out, your kids move to a new stage and what worked last week doesn’t work this week. It can make you crazy!

My guest today understands the challenge of parenting, and has SO much wisdom to help us navigate it. Lori Wildenberg’s passion is helping families build connections that last. She is a mom to four adult children, a licensed family and parent educator, parent coach, and the author of five (soon to be six) books. After we reminisce about a Colorado hike gone wrong, Lori shares her “Spillage Parenting Philosophy,” how to reinforce positive behaviors in your kids, how we can empower our kids without enabling them, along with some cultural wisdom many of us accept that’s simply not true.

I learned a lot from this one, and I know it will encourage you today!

(Fun Fact: Lori took me up on my offer to have her back next week to talk about parenting when your children make choices you disagree with. I look forward to sharing that conversation with you as well!)

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) We live in the mess. We often want to believe that if we do things just right, it will produce an organized result. But that isn’t how life (or parenting) works!  We need to recognize that the mess is normal and most of our lives will have messy pieces to it. I love how Lori shares that this truth is actually by design, as it helps us to anchor our dependence on our God instead of our circumstances.

2) “That’s okay. Everybody spills. I’ll help you clean it up.” This is what Lori refers to as her “Spillage Parenting Philosophy.” The phrase communicates to our kids that we are a safe person for them to make mistakes in front of. While we don’t take the responsibility away of cleaning up their mess, we communicate that we aren’t going to leave them in it alone.

3) You can empower your kids without enabling them. This is a something I know all of us have struggled with at some point in our parenting journey. Where is the line between enablement and empowering? Lori gives us a few principles to help discern the two: When you empower your kids, you are helping lift them up to do the task, not taking it over completely. And ultimately, when your child can walk away from the situation with a sense of accomplishment in what they have done, that’s a sign they were empowered.

About Lori:

Helping families build connections that last a lifetime is Lori Wildenberg’s passion. As a licensed family and parent educator and parent coach, Lori is the author of five (soon to be 6) books. Lori leads the popular MOMS Together Facebook page and group and co-hosts the companion MOMS Better Together Podcast with Life Audio. Lori and her husband, Tom, have 4 adult children. Their family is experiencing a growth spurt, adding a daughter- and sons-in-love, plus a few grandbabies to the gang. Learn more at





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