You survived the newborn days, and life with baby is rolling along smoothly. They are full of belly laughs, find delight in just about everything, and their biggest complaints are easily whisked away with a clean diaper, a snuggle, and some milk. As you push your easy-going babe in the swing at the park, you notice the toddler hitting her mom and think, “Wow, what’s wrong with that devil child? Glad it’s not mine.”
Spring has certainly been slow to arrive in the Pacific Northwest this year! We have struggled through days of epic rain and uncharacteristically cold April days. And yet, there have been lovely glimpses of the weather to come, of the possibilities and energy that come with spring and then with summer. I have noticed over the past few years as a mom to school-aged children as well as a parent educator in cooperative preschools, that even as each school year brings unique triumphs and challenges, there are dependable rhythms to the school year.
Behold The Power of Treats! "Can I have some ice cream?" "I want another piece of cake!" Sound familiar? Kids seem to want them. All of the time. And, of course they do! We often have made it the source of all happiness and the forbidden fruit at the same time. All of life’s big events seem to have them.
I remember my first Mother’s Day. My oldest was weeks from coming out and joining the world. Oh, I recall those feeling of joy, hope and wonder for what my husband and I had created! I’d finally gained admittance to a coveted society of elders, joining the long line of ancestors, no longer the last link in the chain. Yes, I was very pregnant, but my baby was inside with no little wants and needs except for stripping me of my own comfort. I envisioned a lifetime of days like these when I would be celebrated and expected to do nothing but relax and bask in the glow of my new role. I could get used to this Mother’s Day thing!
What better way is there to begin 2017 than with fresh energy and a strong vision for the present that leads to an even brighter future? One way to accomplish this with your family is to spend some time together making up a family mission statement or manifesto. This living, breathing document is most effective when it is created collaboratively as a family and adjusted as time goes on to make it relevant as your family grows and develops together. Here are some tips for getting started!
Help! Our four year old is turning mornings into a three-ring circus. She thinks getting ready is a game and as soon as we start, she runs away. It’s one thing when she does it with me, but now she is starting to turn on the antics with our nanny. Our family has put many of your bedtime tips in to practice and I would like to figure out how the nanny and I can use them in the morning as well. Can you help us stop the circus?
As election results came in and a winner emerged, I received a number of requests from parents to comment on how to talk to children about the outcome. In particular, children who may have been disappointed with the results. Unable to sleep myself, I sat down around midnight to write some tips for parents.
For generations, babies were thought of as adorable, moldable lumps of clay that were there to be cared for and loved until they were old enough to be useful or interesting. Without language to tell us what they think or feel about the world around them, it can still be easy to disregard the amazing development that infants are undertaking in the first year of life.
This is one of those topics I never would have predicted the need for, but here we are. In cities across the country, adults seem to be dressing up as clowns and scaring children. There are reports of clowns roaming the streets holding fake weapons, dripping in fake blood, and threatening people. While this may sound straight out of an April Fools prank, it's no joke. There are schools and public officials around the country who have had to make official statements advising what to do if you see a scary clown and how to cope with the fallout from our current clown crisis.
It’s school shopping season and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to feel supported in your school search. Our last post featured an interview with college admissions counselor Heather Parry, helping us put college worries aside until high school. Today, Education Consultant Christy Haven, shares what parents need to be thinking about when searching for preschool through middle school options.
I can think of no better time of year to revisit the concept of “good enough” parenting! With summer upon us, I am struck again by the disconnect between the kind of parent I wish I were and the kind that I actually am. My mythical ideal parent has her kids with her all day the whole summer enjoying inventive and educational opportunities as we bask in each other’s company without the distractions of technology or sweet treats (in this version, my kids don’t even ask for these things because they are outside playing in the woods and reading fortifying literature). In reality, I am the kind of mom who adores her children and needs a break from them. I love having summer time adventures together and I love for them to have their own independent adventures and for me to have mine as well.
Back in 2005, author Ayelet Waldman proclaimed boldly that she loved her husband more than she loved her children in a New York Times article. This announcement seemed to strike a nerve, with quick reactions in the media that she must be an unfit mother and shouldn’t have had children to begin with. Waldman remained undeterred, however, and stated that the best foundation she could give her children was a strong partnership with their father. Whether you share Ms. Waldman’s feelings or not, she can be applauded for beginning a conversation and for shaking up our expectations of what kind of partnerships best serve both parents and children.
We approached the edge of the Grand Canyon slowly, eyes looking down at our feet and the ground immediately in front of us. When we got to the solid metal fence, we looked up and at once the grandeur and immensity of the canyon affected us. “Oh, my,” my six-year-old daughter called out. I glanced over at my nine-year-old son to see his mouth opened wide in wonder. My eyes filled with tears, not only at the beauty I was witnessing but at the real gift of sharing this moment with my children. This, I thought, is the reason we travel as a family. We are taken out of our everyday routine and get to have new experiences with those we love most in the world.