Monthly Archives: November 2019

an assignment

Okay Parents – here’s your assignment – for this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. (actually my most favorite holiday). Maybe that’s why I’m acting so bossy.

But I’m here to remind you that this is a perfect time for inter -generational play.

And that is your assignment!

It’s actually easier than you might think – and totally doable.

Inter-generational play – I witnessed it once again on Sunday when some parents and children decorated The Parenting Place’s Rotary Lights holiday tree in Riverside Park.

After trimming the tree,  parents and children played sticker tag together.

There was much screeching and laughing and running and some huffing, but cheeks were aglow and  joy evident as adults and children laughed and teased and compared their jackets (and faces) covered with stickers.

Physical play outside is always a winner, but there’s lots to do inside too that is fun for all.

How about trying to keep a bunch of balloons aloft by batting them to and fro, or  a raucous game of Charades, or “Telephone” as everyone whispers one thing they’re grateful for to all around the table and then hears what it sounds like full circle.

Singing together, a “talent show”, dancing, Mad Libs ,hilarious family stories,  other things that you might think of –  and I  guarantee the whole darn family clan will be laughing so hard- in spite of who anyone votes for.

Try it.

Remember how fun it was to be included when you were a child – to experience the hilarity and sense of belonging.

And so –  I wish all of you a bountiful day – filled with gratefulness, delicious food, shared fun,  and the very special meaning of Thanksgiving – togetherness.






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smooth sailing

Driving through a construction zone recently,  I found myself paying extra attention to some of the road signs along the way.

“Yield – slow down – caution – wrong way – do not enter – stop”.

And I thought, as we enter this busy holiday season, those signs might very well offer us some food for thought.

Every year I hear from parents concerned with the social and family expectations  often put on them to travel long distances, to see everyone, to disrupt young children’s routines and schedules, stages and needs in order to keep the holidays just as they have always been.

But sometimes we’re going through a “construction zone” and we need to “proceed more slowly”, “yield” to the needs of our young family, watch for “bumps in the road” and have a safe journey.

So if we watch our speed limit and listen to our inner traffic report, pay attention to frequent rest stops, we can make these busy weeks less stressful, more meaningful, and hopefully smooth sailing and warm memories ahead.


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a rainbow

The Children’s Playroom at The Parenting Place has been given a face lift – some play areas moved – some new items added – some spots spiced up.

One of the new items is a very large colorful set of movable wooden arches – a rainbow really.  I had them scattered when the children first walked in.  I have to admit I was unsure what the children would do with them, how or if they would play with them or perhaps just ignore them.

Well – what was I thinking? 

It’s a rainbow, after all – beautiful, colorful and one that you get to move around, straddle, climb through, climb on, sit on, hide under.  And so my adult concerns about what they will do with it were vanished by the freshness, creativity and curiosity of these young children and their innate playfulness.

And so went the rest of the room.

New items were noticed and enjoyed, older ones recognized in different locations and  it was altogether a very lovely morning.

And I couldn’t help but think that sometimes our own lives and homes and interactions need to trust a bit of “rainbow magic” in them – in our day-to-day routines, our responses to each other.

Perhaps we could try adding a touch of whimsy here, a surprise response there, a new way of welcoming each other or sharing at the dinner table, removing a plaything for a while that’s been around too  long in the same place, showcasing some other particular item in an unexpected spot.

Brighten the day – cause, I think, that’s what rainbows bring out in each other – right?

“What was I thinking anyway?”

Thanks to all the children who always respond in their own playful and unique ways … and keep me noticing… and learning every day.



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a simple trick

Sometimes we’re just out of touch.

All of us have probably felt this way at one time or another – with family, friends, work, self.

On Friday it was  my Ipad  that refused to respond.

I know, I know what you might be thinking  – “really – you’re talking about your ipad?

.  Well … yes…it is something that I count on to check on significant things in my life – you know – (like new photos of my grandsons) – unavailable to me – frozen – no matter what I tried.

And I thought I tried everything.  But no response.

So after talking to my “tech expert” at work to no avail, I went to the MAC place – and there a very knowledgeable woman took my ipad into her own hands – and told me – “sometimes this simple trick works”.

She held the on-off  button on top and the center round button below at the same time – and presto – got the response I was waiting for.

All was well.

And I couldn’t help but compare this situation to our own everyday significant relationships with our children, our spouses, our partners, our friends.

Because sometimes we dig in our heels and don’t respond well and try and try to get the result we want- and perhaps our child is pushing all the buttons and not getting the response he/she wants or needs.

But – then, we realize that maybe we’re just doing it all wrong.

Maybe it’s as simple as touching the button on top and the button on the bottom  – at the same time.

Maybe it’s finding the right words – maybe it’s getting down to eye level, holding them with your whole being, maybe it’s a hug, a joke to break the ice, a high five, a compliment.

Maybe it’s pressing the right button.

Because it’s definitely all about connection.

And as the helpful non-judgmental tech woman told me “Sometimes this simple trick works.”

Thanks! I think you’re right.





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