Monthly Archives: September 2020


“…In the Forest, wonders await … as countless as the trees.”

Sometimes you just know that you’re choosing the right thing – making the right decision – at the right time – eager to begin.

That’s the way I feel about The Parenting Place’s new Forest Play Shoppes.

The strong response to registration alone tells me parents are searching for ways to connect with one another – safe ways for their children to play in this uncertain COVID time.

And we all remember, right?

The joys of playing outside are usually some of our most cherished memories we hold from childhood – exploring, discovering, climbing, jumping -adventures that make our spirits soar and our bodies strong.

Pretending with sticks, leaves, dirt, pinecones, bark – nature’s “tiny things” – become our most precious playthings – our coveted treasures.

Physicians have been advising us right along about the significance of spending time out-of-doors – the value of Vitamin N – the Nature Vitamin – strengthening our immune system – controlling our stress levels – building our resiliency.

And to appreciate Wisconsin in all its seasons means turning a chilly Wisconsin morning into an exciting adventure. For we believe as the saying goes – “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

And so – here’s to the experiences that beckon – the spirits that will shine – and “the wonders that await …as countless as the trees.”


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Pick of the day

I only wish I were there – but I just heard about it instead – and devoured bright lovely pictures – of Apple Picking Day out in Western Massachusetts where my two grandsons live.

But I love that every picture truly does say a thousand words. – and even though COVID is going on – and there are restrictions to be followed and care to be taken, apple picking is a perfect fun activity for families to share and enjoy together.

This orchard that they were at had big old apple trees loaded with apples – and some trees perfect for climbing on – exploring – gathering. It was a family affair – Mom and Dad and favorite Auntie Aimee along.

It was a beautiful sunny day – a “no fuss” kind of day – where getting out and being together beyond the neighborhood was a big event.

And 6-year-old Theo summed it up perfectly “ This was the best day ever”.

Wow! Sometimes simplicity wins – being in nature wins – being with family wins – letting us all believe and appreciate that joy and the “best day ever” arrives sometimes when you least expect it.

Happy Fall to all!!

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“He two sticks”

I hear from parents often – how, after dinner- before bedtime – all “He- two sticks” breaks out in their house. (wow – haven’t used this expression since I was about ten!)

The kids are wild, loud, pushy, unreasonable, unreachable, screaming!

So why is this so common?

Experts say this is because they are carrying the stress of the day with them – and this is their way to unload it.

“The stress of their day? ” I know, I get it. I can hear you now – “the stress of their day? Let me tell you about the stress of my day!

But that’s the problem, you see. We all need a chance to unwind – let it all out in a fun, physical way that brings laughter and unloads fears and anxiety built up – where we can get close physically, where we can laugh, howl, shriek, giggle, and feel connected – together.

Rough housing, I’m- a- going-to-get-you- games, physical outlets shared together are valuable tools as #1 stress relievers for children – and – not surprisingly – for their parents.

Chasing each other; batting a balloon back and forth and keeping it up in the air; hide and seek (always so fun for little ones to be found); wrestling on the floor with a parent: everyone dancing to at least two jivey songs; a raucous pillow fight; a game of “capture and get-away tag” , “howling to the moon” – any and all will do the trick.

So rather than dread this time at the end of the day, expect it – look forward to it as a stress reliever to all – connections growing deeper, laughter feeling oh– so -good, eyes shining.

And when it’s over – (maybe put a timer on) – enjoy the release, the satisfaction, the appreciation of the peace and understanding that this satisfying kind of bonding brings.

It’s a plain olHE Two Sticks of a good time!!

Make it a habit!

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gift of resolution

These are the days – it seems – of uncertainty – of “should I”, “should we”, “are you”, “not sure”.

Whether it’s about attending a perhaps too large celebration – sending your child to school – to dance class – to play team sports – to travel – to visit grandparents – there are no absolute answers.

And so, we’re left with “making up our own minds” – figuring out what works for us.

And that’s not always easy.

But … what would you choose if no one else cared or disagreed? Often we make decisions based on what others will think – what our friends are doing – what is most popular.

But we need to try and consider all the alternatives. We need to put into perspective how real our concerns are – recognizing our fears but not allowing them to drive our decision alone.

Pay attention to what matters most to you and your family – the information you have found – what is wise. Trust your decision.

That’s the strength – the gift – behind “making up our own minds” – the gift of resolution.

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