Monthly Archives: April 2020

an adventure

I could tell talking with five -and -a -half- year- old Theo  on Face Time recently that he needed something new – an adventure perhaps – and since I’m in Wisconsin and he’s in Massachusetts , and we’re both following Safer at Home – what else was there to do – but imagine one – together!

And so we did .  The set-up revolved around a large red Octopus kite that Theo and his brother had gotten for Easter.  It was very large, with big black eyes and very long tentacles hanging down.

When lifted easily into the air, it floated and dipped and entertained – but in this scenario, it appeared menacing and alive. And so we went from there.

The red thing spied hovering over yards in the neighborhood created fear and suspicion and help was needed. It ended up all of Theo’s Kindergarten class arrived, one by one and two by two  – the fastest runners out in front, the “brains” sharing the best way to cope with this hovering menace.

But the big red “monster” as it was now called, evaded their every attempt.  At last it was decided the Kindergarten teacher needed to be called.  She arrived on the scene in a hurry  – sized things up, joined in the planning on what to do and how to do it – to no avail.  It was starting to feel desperate when finally the teacher called out in her loudest teacher’s voice “Rest Time!” and to everyone’s surprise, this fierce red octopus with very long tentacles floated down to the ground.

This was only the first part of the series and we’ve had a second one since – calling on the Principal and yes, even the Governor to help.

At one point – in his excitement – Theo commented “I wish this was real“.

And sometimes – definitely in times like now – when adventures seem few and far between, it’s fun to imagine – the sillier, the more fantastical – the better.

Try it.  Your children will definitely help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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a poem in your pocket

There’s something about a poem – the simplicity, yet the complexity – that somehow just the right words, just the right pattern, just the right emotion – can convey so much.

When we begin a Parent Educator’s meeting at The Parenting Place, we always start with a poem.

As we all rush in to the meeting at noon, still “downing” lunch, our minds  full of the morning’s busyness, it is the poem shared aloud, three times – to hear it, to digest it, to respond if one wants – that prepares us ready to begin our meeting with a settled, refreshed, renewed mindset.

And so I introduce to you a poetic suggestion.

April is National Poetry Month – and April 30th is designated Poem in your Pocket Day. On this day, we can choose a favorite poem, write it down, carry it with us in our pocket, and share it with others.

What a perfect opportunity to introduce the charm and the gift of poetry to your children.  If you have no poetry books at home, there are poems galore on line for all ages – and  so many for children.  Check them out  – read some with your children – read them again.

That’s the beauty of poetry – the more familiar it becomes, the more it speaks to you.

When your children discover a favorite, put it “in their pocket” – and on April 30th, have them find a grandparent, teacher, friend, neighbor –  to  read it to –  six feet away in person,-or maybe even on line -a simply beautiful poetic gift.

A “poem in your pocket”.

I love it!

 

 

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gratitude

I’m not sure there’s been a time like this before – certainly not in my lifetime – where gratitude reigns.

Yes – gratitude – even as we are being ordered to stay in our homes, unable to gather together, go to work, eat out, party, do what we love to do – assemble and connect with friends.

And yet – we witness a beautiful display of recognition and universal expression of thanks being displayed toward those in our community and nation, our cities and small towns  who are heroically meeting the challenges they face every day to keep us all safe.

We know who they are – the medical personnel treating the sick, the firemen, the policemen, the first responders, the grocery store workers, the truck drivers, our teachers, daycare providers, delivery people, our volunteers, our neighbors, and so many others who show up to do their jobs -to meet the needs, no matter what.

Gratitude is felt everywhere.

We see it in big cities – apartment buildings full of residents sharing in unison, banging pots, playing music, yelling greetings to thank those in their cities who are protecting them and staring  Corona virus in the face.

But -as for me,  right now, here –  I personally want to recognize, salute, send hugs, pats on the back, high fives to a huge segment of the population that may be our unsung heroes – and that’s the parents -who are keeping the home front going, asking more of themselves, more patience, resilience, love than ever before.

These moms and dads are making the home a safe place to be, working with their children on school work, entertaining, protecting, loving, worrying, comforting, responding  – every day.

And  your hard work and love does not go unnoticed.

And so – I send a huge and respectful thank you and salute to all the parents out there who are empowering their families – and all of us –  by holding them close and doing the best you can.

The Parenting Place remains open to your questions, concerns, successes. Let us thank you personally. Calls answered daily Monday – Friday , 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  784-8125.

 

 

 

 

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a new lens

What brings me a bit of peace these days is looking at my book shelf – and choosing one to pull out, hold in my hands, open and peruse, recall – read a section – sometimes seemingly like for the first time.

And you can actually make this happen also for  your children as they discover toys and books – old, but new.

But perhaps right now all the toys are contained neatly  together in clear plastic bins – or piled all on top of each other in the toy box, or scattered pell-mell in the corners of the playroom.

So,  I suggest that you purposely select something from this bunch and isolate one or two items while your child is napping or before you go to bed at night.

Choose something from this pile of toys and find a completely different spot to place it –  isolate it – near the fireplace on the living room floor, or cars lined up along the rim of the couch top, the farm and all its pieces in the sunny spot near the front door,  or under the dining room table.

Find a surprise spot – an unusual spot – to place it. – to set it up –  as a welcome invitation to your child – to be drawn in to the magic of discovery.

Trust me on this.  Your child will notice and begin to play – focused and engaged.

Because sometimes there’s just too much – and when there’s just too much, none of it seems special, none of it stands out, none of it calls you in.

I’ve done this when my children were growing up – and I often do it in the Playroom at The Parenting Place.

And so I know its value.

Let your child have the opportunity to encounter this “attraction” on their own – to come across it by themselves,  to be drawn into the novelty – yet familiarity – of it –  the satisfying comfort of the old enjoyed through a new lens.

Try it!

 

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