I am not a big fan of new year’s resolutions. We come up with a list of things to do better, to be better, to spend less, and lose more. We think about all of the things we don’t like about ourselves and decide January first is the day to make all of these changes at once. Both my professional background and my life experience have taught me this is an ideal recipe for failure.
This week on King 5 News, I shared how to help children develop a sense of gratitude during the holiday season and all year. For more on this topic, check out Gifts & Gratitude: Helping Kids Appreciate The Holiday Season.
Many of us can’t wait for the holidays. We imagine lazing around with family, drinking hot cocoa and kids content to play all day, needing nothing but their new toys. In reality, we often find ourselves frantically finishing holiday shopping while wrapping up work projects before the kids are out of school for two weeks. Not to mention packing for travel or rearranging the house to accommodate in-laws. Alas, it seems that sometimes our fantasy does not align with reality.
Oh the holidays. The family, the food, the fun, the presents -soon followed by a fear that we are raising entitled children with no appreciation for what they have. Tis the season for showering children with special activities and a mountain of presents, then wondering why they have a meltdown when we say no more. Which makes about as much sense as taking them trick or treating and then wondering why they want to eat the candy.
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.
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!
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.
With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, love is in the air! Like many little words with big meanings, love is one of those concepts we rarely take the time to discuss with our children. With all the "I love you's" children hear, they may wonder what makes someone love someone else, and if they love you have for them is the same as they love you have for a partner or friend. Considering the mixed messages many of us receive about the connection between love and sex, Sexual Health Educator Amy Lang, MA, seemed like just the person to talk to.
In case parenting during Halloween is new to you and your family, let me fill you in on the latest trend in candy management. Gone are the days when kids roam free, feeling safe in their neighborhoods and enjoying the pure bliss of securing a mountain of candy. If you thought your kid’s friends would be over for an hour of post trick or treating candy trading, you might be in for a surprise. Instead, a “nice” witch sneaks in, steals your child’s candy, and replaces it with a toy or game.
Is the end of summer really here? It seems like we were just in June looking out at a few months of sunny days and a break from the school year routine. Whether you can’t wait to get your kids back in to the routine of school or you are wishing for an endless summer, it’s time to dust off the backpacks and lunch boxes and gear up for the rapidly approaching start of school.
As the leaves fall from the trees and my kids dream of trick or treating, I am once again baffled by the Halloween catalogs that land in our mailbox. My options are vast; sexy doctor, sexy police officer, sexy bunny and the list goes on. It seems that no matter who I choose to be, the really important part is that it’s a sexed-up version of the real thing.
As a social worker, I thought I was pretty aware of the various “isms” that run deep in our society, from outward acts of discrimination to institutionalized oppression. As a Jewish woman, I am also part of a minority group, but not one that is visible from the outside. As I moved toward marriage and parenthood, I specifically chose where I lived because I wanted to be part of a diverse community.