Some parenting advice

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Edgy yet chic, Timeless and powerful. Can drop an f bomb and mediates daily. Committed to growth and evolution.

Bonjour...I'm Tara

I received some questions about parenting and how Tara and I handle it.

I love this topic. The thing I’m most proud of in my life is how I show up for my family.

My best skill might be being a father.

Is there room to grow? Yes. Tons. We can always improve.

But if I fast forward to my deathbed thoughts, I’d be very proud of the job Tara, and I did raising our kids.

It’s also hard for me to say how much of a kid lottery we hit. I’m clear we’re very fortunate.

They arrived on this planet with some amazing attributes baked into the cake.

Was this nature or nurture? I don’t know for sure.

It’s probably a little of both.

Either way our kids are well adjusted, kind, loving, personable and overall good people.

Here’s some of what I think we did right.

We talked to our boys like they were adults early on in their life.

No, silly, we didn’t talk to them about sex or politics.

I mean, we used adult-sized words and humor with them early on.

Doing this helped them feel comfortable around kids and adults at a young age.

I recall my father-in-law, who was an 8th-grade teacher, telling us Dom and Nico were more advanced from a communication perspective than most kids in his class when they were just eight years old.

The communication aspect helped us with our kids later in life.

It set the stage for us to communicate openly about EVERYTHING with them in high school.

This has helped us gain trust and be able to share what we’ve been through and give them someone to talk to about anything.

My kids know I was a degenerate in high school. They know I drank and did drugs.

I’ve told my boys to hold off on smoking weed until they are 25 so they can let their pre-frontal cortex develop.

And at that age, if they feel like it, let her rip. I joke and tell them maybe I’ll come out of retirement and do bong hits with them:)

I’ve shared how I’m clear that smoking pot at a young age messed with my memory.

So yeah, we talk about everything.

When they were young we also taught them to look people in the eyes when speaking and being spoke to.

And when meeting someone to give a firm handshake.

This stuck with them and I see them doing it all the time.

It’s a good way to show up in the world. People see you are listening and care when you are looking at them in the eyes.

Sidenote: I noticed when living in France the parents did this a lot with their children as well.

Another thing we learned early on is they are always watchingYou can’t shake your kid’s eyes.

This is how they picked up some good habits from both of us.

Tara is so dedicated to her spiritual practice. She is consistent.

I remember Nico being 2-3 years old and meditating with Tara.

She would have him sit in the sun with her and close his eyes with his hands in a prayer pose. It was the cutest thing ever.

Now fast forward to 16-year-old Nico, and the kid writes out his intention often. He has a list of goals for school and soccer.

They picked up some of my social behavior as a product of being around me.

As I shared in a previous email, I always get into small talk with checkout clerks at stores.

They saw me doing this from day 1.

And now they are both very comfortable striking up a conversation with random people throughout their day.

Dom recently called me while he was at a gas station, and I heard him making jokes and small talk with the woman behind the counter.

I never coached him on this. He just picked it up from watching me do it.

Again I’m not sure how much is Nature vs Nurture. As I’ve mentioned in other posts I know our environment has a big affect on us.

I have more thoughts on parenting and may come back with another installment in the future.

Thanks for being here. I appreciate you.

Be good.

Dave “still in retirement” Marino

PS. There is no PS today. You’ll have to come back tomorrow for some PS magic.

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready… here are more ways Elegant Femme can support you.

  1. Tara’s next live program – Moi A Love Story
    A brand new program starting on April 4th. If you struggle prioritizing you, then Moi can help you shift out of that pattern. You can learn about it here
  2. The Beautiful Soul Led Podcast
    Listen in as Tara shares her insights with you weekly. Available on all podcast platforms. New episodes will commence in April. You can catch up on episodes here
  3. Women Living Fully Facebook group
    Elegant Femme’s free group filled with like minded women who are committed to their growth and evolution. Plenty of free programs and resources in the “guides section. You can join here
  4. Tara Paris
    Beautifully crafted clothing made in Italy and designed by Tara. You can check out the collection here

Dave Marino


Dave Marino fell in love with a girl when he was 24. After a shotgun wedding, he grew and evolved... He was stretched along the way by the original Elegant Femme, Tara Marino. Through a stroke of unforeseeable circumstances, he began writing newsletters and now a blog for Elegant Femme which covers his thoughts, struggles, & life lessons learned. Follow him on Instagram @thedavemarino. One day he may decide to post on there. 

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