Monthly Archives: March 2016

around the block

I had a conversation with a mom recently whose daughter wants to be allowed to go around the block independently on her bike.

But how does any parent know for sure when it’s time to say “go ahead” – whether it’s a solo bike “journey” or any other new developmental change in our children’s lives.

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the phrase “going around the block” can mean in other parenting and personal decisions.  And let me make myself perfectly clear,  I am not referring to any definition of the above phrase one might get from the Urban Dictionary.

I’m thinking it’s when we take that next step, when we make that decision to expand horizons, when we start new goals, when we consider what’s possible, we are journeying “around the block“.

And when we venture “around the block“, things do change.  There might be some unease at first until the new becomes the norm again.

The Parenting Place is “going around the block” these days, facing its own developmental leap. Change is in the air with the reconstruction going on in our building.  The Parenting Place needs more growing room, (just like our young friend wants) and so we are expanding within the building we are in on Green Bay Street.

And when expansion happens, when walls get knocked down and new ones put up, when people’s personal work spots are altered, I’d say The Parenting Place is going “around the block”.

And  to go “around the block” , to recognize and accept growth, it takes readiness, patience, trust and being informed.

As for this mom’s hard decision to let her young daughter venture literally around the block, it takes careful consideration, agreements, perhaps smaller increments before “the whole block” happens, and the hardest part of being a parent when we might have to say, “not yet”.

I believe we “go around the block” in all parts of our lives.  And in both small ways and big ways, it can be as promising and exhilarating as it will be when this young girl pedals solo around her block.

To all our friends and participants, check us out on our Facebook page to check on our construction and for any cancellations that might have to occur during this time.  Thanks!



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whuppity scoori

Spring has sprung!

Even with a chilly wind, you sense the feel of Spring in the air – the scent of Spring in the air.

It just feels different.  And when you see your first robin or robins (in my case) , you believe it for sure.

Spring just makes me want to celebrate.

Recently I read about an annual Spring tradition in the small town of Lanark, Scotland to welcome the arrival of Spring, called Whuppity Scoorie.

The children in this small town gather together at 6:00 p.m., awaiting the ringing of the church bell.  When they hear it’s peal, they all take off running, anti-clockwise around the church building, shouting and making lots of noise, swinging paper balls on a string  (made from newspaper) over their heads.  After three times running around the church, the children join in a coin toss scramble.

At this point in time, nobody in Lanark really knows what Whuppity Scoorie means or when it started, but it’s been going on for ages – and it’s far too much fun to stop.

Just even saying Whuppity Scoorie is fun!

Spring deserves it, don’t you think?   – something to definitely make some noise about upon its arrival?

Maybe at least we can all open our windows and welcome the Spring in.  G0 outside and chase the wind. Do our own version of shouting and hooting to celebrate Spring’s arrival – this new birth of nature, this new beginning.

I wish all of you a fun and Happy Spring.






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children will listen

Children will listen -a beautiful song from the past, sung by Barbra Streisand, sneaked into my mind this past week.

You might be able to guess why.

Children will mimic, children will remember, children will look to you for which way to turn.

Without showing support for any person on either side, I feel I can more than safely say that the tone and the rhetoric of the present day political campaigns are far from what we  want modeled for our children.

I’ve had several friends tell me that their children are questioning why everyone on TV is “always yelling and shouting“.


Bullying in our schools, communities and on line is one of the biggest problems we face for our school-age children.  Across the country, parents and educators are working earnestly to raise the level of dialogue between children and their relationships and to promote acceptance of those different from us.

I believe all of us recognize the significance of these efforts for our children.

So, as parents, its got to be up to us to limit the exposure to this other type of negative modeling and, instead, tell children, in our own words, about the candidates we might be supporting and why.

And if our children are asking about the negative exchanges they might have heard … well…to be honest … sometimes even adults make poor choices.






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a kiss

Most of us can probably remember a first time we were kissed – by someone very special to us.  There’s something significant about the anticipation of this particular kiss, that takes your breath away.

This type of kiss does not happen very often.  It’s usually at the beginning of a very meaningful relationship.  It’s not the quick peck of a good friend you haven’t seen in a long while, or even the rushed breeze of a kiss to our loved ones as we zoom out the door.

This past week I received one of these beautiful kisses – as my 18-month-old grandson, all shiny clean from his bath, dressed in his cozy pajamas, came to say goodnight.

As he leaned toward me, I felt his soft, tender lips on my cheek – and, Bingo – it took my breath away.

This was a generous kiss – not one that was begged or bargained for.  This was a genuine kiss I will remember, as Theo and I continue on our long relationship together.

Some things we take for granted.

But, here’s wishing all of you the recognition of the things in your life – perhaps the kisses in your life, that you don’t take for granted – that take your breath away.


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