Monthly Archives: March 2020

memories

We all have memories from when we were young – some stronger and more poignant than other ones.

And it’s not that we remember every little thing – just the significant parts, the meaningful  parts – the funny, hilarious parts, the sad parts, the frightening parts.

And then there’s always the memory that just pops up out of nowhere – and we wonder aloud – why would I ever remember that?

So  our children, unaware, are busy collecting memories everyday – and in times like these, we wonder  – what will they remember about now?

For in spite of our limited mobility, our need to stay close to home, our social distancing, families are closer than ever – and memories are being made.

I’ve been reading a chapter or two from a book every day during the week on Face Time to my 5-year-old grandson, Theo. It’s such a meaningful time personally for me.  Sharing the adventures in a book with someone else creates a certain bond.

I’m hoping this might be one of Theo’s good memories.

When routines and connections are disrupted – and we are all figuring out our best selves to get us through – to flow from one settled peaceful mood to another mood of worries, stress, and uncertainty – all in one morning – is learning to live differently.

And we need to appreciate and be gentle with ourselves and our children in that this is new for all of us – and trust that the simplicity imposed on us will show us the way – to connect, to laugh, to feel, to imagine – even to be bored.

Yet making memories – like no other.

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harmony

A parent who I’ve met with several times emailed me recently how things were going with her six-year- old daughter.

“It feels good to say there is a specific time for that.”

And “that” for her has made all the difference. And “that” for her happened to be screen time.

Previous to this mom holding her ground – there was continual whining, yelling, tantrums and begging at any moment of the day. Both of them were worn-out and their relationship not very positive.

I believed this young girl was asking her mom to draw the line – begging her mom to draw the line for her – a line she could not manage on her own.

When mom decided that everyday at the same time, this young girl could have screen time, her daughter felt settled – the constant requests and bickering stopped.

And for the mom – she felt empowered by the realization – the thunderbolt she said – that sometimes kids need to know – want to know – that this adult in their life is in charge – in a firm, kind wise way.

This is so valuable to consider at this time of long days home with our children.  Sticking to a daily rhythm offers children a sense of well-being which helps regulate their emotions and peace of mind – as well as our own.

A child’s routine then becomes the palette that other choices and expectations are blended in – and – at times like this,  a home routine is particularly significant, particularly comforting.

Rhythm of the day – rhythm of your family.

Harmony.

If you have any concerns or questions about finding that rhythm in your family or any parenting questions, email me at franswift@theparentingplace.net and I will get back to you by email or by phone if you share your number.

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a new day

Corona kindness.

I just heard that expression at the end of our local newscast – and I like it.

Just as we are being told not to gather socially even with friends – just  as our schools have closed, our weekly activities canceled, large group gatherings not allowed – the words, Corona Kindness stuck with me.

Perhaps because that may be what gets us all through.

I guess when we think of kindness, we think of simple acts of thoughtfulness, of sharing, availability, patience, and love.

As parents, we are being called on to do overtime during this very uncertain and stressful time in our city and our country.

Before us lies a challenge for all of us-  facing many unknowns- caring for ourselves and each other, checking on our friends and neighbors, and drawing our children close.

And by these very acts, Corona kindness will thrive .

But I know already what many of you are thinking – help!

And so I offer also Corona Simplicity and the trust that this imposed simplicity will offer us all the clarity, the freedom, the opportunity to face these uncertain weeks ahead with a brave recharged commitment to “be” – simply, kindly, boldly, and safely.

 

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free choice

I’ve been keeping track.

Whenever I talk with a kindergartner about their favorite part of  their school day, it’s always the same.

Number one answer?

Free choice.

Why am I not surprised?

For don’t all of us enjoy those moments most  when, as adults, we are able to take a personal break – work in the garden, read a book, knit, strum the guitar, do a cross-word, listen to music, bake, chat with a friend.

It’s what engages us, what enriches our spirits, our relationships – what calms our souls.

And specific to our children, we know that free choice is the way children extend their learning by interacting  with materials and each other, working together, sharing ideas, building on skills, relaxing, having fun –  relating.

As parents, we need to be aware of the busy- sometimes hectic schedules our children have,  both at school and often after- school activities,  and make it a priority that there is time at home to offer free choice time.

When parents tell me free choice at home doesn’t seem to have the same appeal for their children, I always wonder why.

And something that I’ve noticed is that perhaps it’s not long enough, not regular enough, not relaxed enough.

Children slip into routines with ease and with acceptance – and when free choice becomes a priority in your home, it will take hold – and it will flourish.

Free choice – the number one answer every time!

 

 

 

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from there to here

“From there to here, from here to there

funny things are everywhere.”

Yes!  of course! It’s from Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seus!  And Happy Birthday on this yearly recognition of his birth.

And as schools and libraries across the nation have fun celebrating the delightfully rhythmic rhyming gems in his many many books – silly as well as often meaningful –    there is another message here.

Experts across the nation, strongly encourage reading to and with our children – from infancy on.

If there is one thing that wins in so many ways, that encourages literacy in our growing children, that creates a bond with one another, that shares intrigue, laughter, comfort, information, connection, a love for reading –  it is reading together.

And it’s free!

Libraries are open to all, and families that are frequent visitors, checking out books by the armfuls, are opening words and worlds for their children.

“from here to there”  –  the beauty and love of reading together!

Check it out!

 

 

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