Problem Solving Circle Time

problem-solving-circle-time

The idea of guiding a large group of children can send some adults into a cold-sweat panic.  What they may have envisioned as an idyllic reading of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” or a thoughtful conversation about the life cycle of the butterfly begins to look more like a full-scale mutiny as serene children on the rug bounce around like popcorn kernels and contribute thoughts to the group discussion that range from what they did on Wednesday (“or maybe that one other day that wasn’t yesterday but wasn’t a long, long time ago…..”), to the dead frog discovered in their driveway, and on to an impromptu performance of a funny commercial they saw this morning.

Continue reading

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Learning through Play and Experience, Uncategorized

Hit this Reset Button on Grumpy Days

reset with play

I don’t remember what it was that set him off in the first place.  But he had passed annoyed and had clearly moved on to angry.

Likely, it was the day-long accumulation of typical seven year-old stressors, all piled together as he finally found the release valve at home.  A long school day followed by the constant drip of “put away your backpack”, “no computer time today”, “stop teasing your brother”, “please help with dinner”, “be sure to clear your plate”, “I’m sure you don’t want a bath, but you need one anyway” had finally worn him thin.

Continue reading

Share

3 Comments

Filed under Child Development & DAP, Learning through Play and Experience, Positive Guidance and Social Skills

Give Your Child the World: How You Can Read Your Way Around the Globe this Summer

globe

I remember the day I headed out on my own.  No classmates.  No chaperones.  No host family.  I got on a bus and went into the city center.

Alone.

Looking back on it now with my anxious mother-eyes, I think it might have been a little crazy.  I’m quite certain my parents wouldn’t have been thrilled.  But it gave me a new perspective, even though it had all been right in front of me for weeks.

Continue reading

Share

3 Comments

Filed under Building Readers

There is Good in the World. And it’s Worth Fighting For.

hobbit house

I’m not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan.  I’ll be honest right there.  It’s dark and stressful, and that’s just not my idea of a great time.

But since the trilogy’s release dates coincided with my birthday weekend for three years, I had the pleasure of consistently going to one of my husband’s favorite movies for my birthday.  (It’s OK, he happily sits through Pride and Prejudice and the like with me.)

Continue reading

Share

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

How a Baby with a Mustache Taught Me to Be a Better Parent

“I left a baby gift for you on your doorstep. It’s the perfect thing for a mom with four boys.”

My friend mentioned this to me casually as we both worked in our neighbor’s kitchen, preparing refreshments for a wedding.

The “impulsive three-year old” section of my brain wanted to drop what I was doing and immediately run next door to tear open this gift.  What could possibly be the perfect baby gift for a mom who had just had her fourth boy?  It was even more intriguing to me because this friend is an amazing mom herself.  She has seven children, and while I’m sure she has stories that would contradict my accounting, every one of them always seems so well-behaved, so kind, so creative, so smart, and so sweet.  She certainly knows a thing or two about motherhood, and so I hoped that this gift was some secret of the trade.  A talisman from my Jedi master.

The “responsible adult” section of my brain won out, and I helped out with food for a few more hours before making my way home to find a small wrapped box on my doorstep.  I slid my fingers through the tape and pulled out the box.

And started laughing immediately.

Here’s a look at what I found inside:

binky

That binky.  I laughed because it was hilarious, but I also laughed at myself for thinking the gift would be so serious. Continue reading

Share

2 Comments

Filed under Child Development & DAP, Learning through Play and Experience, Positive Guidance and Social Skills, Uncategorized

Now What? Simple Steps for Advocacy from Rae Pica

first step

As I wrapped up the Read Along of Rae Pica’s book,  What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s Lives (affiliate link), I intended to do a typical Q&A follow up with Rae. 

Continue reading

Share

1 Comment

Filed under Child Development & DAP, Uncategorized

Time to Go! Smoothing Over Tricky Transitions

transitions

You know the feeling.  You’ve finally settled into your groove.  You’re getting creative or tackling a project or just paying the bills.  You’ve found that sense of flow where things really start coming together.

Continue reading

Share

3 Comments

Filed under Positive Guidance and Social Skills

How Positive Parenting Shapes the Brain

Positive Guidance and the Brain

Q&A sessions can feel a little like an out of body experience.

You know, that sweaty palm feeling as your mind races around for just the right thing to say, while at the exact same moment you can still hear yourself talking about something else? That’s right about where I was when I was struck by a question that took me by surprise. Not because the question had been asked, but because no one had asked me that before.

Continue reading

Share

1 Comment

Filed under Child Development & DAP, Positive Guidance and Social Skills, Uncategorized