Archives for September, 2010

General

Low Stress School Routines – Peaceful Bedtime

Bedtime marks the transition between one day and the next.  It's an important chance for you to connect with your child and get them off to a good night of sleep.

Common Pitfall - Bedtime gets too stretched out

Ever feel like bedtime isn't really a time in your house?  Someone's up, someone forgot to brush, someone lost track of what you told them to do, and still - nobody's in bed.

Solutions - I'll confess, this is an area we still struggle with at times.  However, I have found a few strategies that help me and my kids hit pretty close to the bedtime most of the time.
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General

Low Stress School Routines – Get Going In The Morning

The morning brings a new day with new opportunities.   You can't predict what the day will hold, but you can get your family off to a great start.

Common Pitfall - Too much rushing around

The morning hour is the launchpad for your kids' school day.  Often, this critical time of the day is stressful and full of crankiness.  Lost school papers, iffy breakfast, no clean clothes, and pressure to make it on time.  How can you get out of the rushed-morning rut?
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General

Low Stress School Routines – Getting Homework Done

Homework is a necessary part of school for most kids.  You may be able to escape this if you have a Kindergartner, but even my first grader has a spelling test and one short spelling worksheet every week.  It's time to get your homework routines in shape!

Common Pitfalls - no good location, lack of planning. The statement, "I forgot to do my homework last night," has elicited tears in our household more than a few times.  An equally frightening declaration - "I can't find my homework!"  Scrambling through a worksheet, wiping tears while trying to come up with spelling word sentences, tossing things aside all over the house looking for a stray book report - it's scene I try to avoid like the plague.
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General

Low Stress School Routines – Family Meal Time

Parents, how are you doing with your school routines so far this year?  Are you gliding along smoothly or has the cart fallen off the road a few too many times? Some families have been at school for more than a month, and some have just been at it a couple of weeks.  By now, you may have some idea of what works and what doesn't.

The posts for this entire week will be dedicated to keeping your school year routines on track.  These ideas will help you relax and really enjoy your precious family moments together.  Be ready for full family participation!
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General

Growing Up With Chaos – Keep It Your History Not Your Fate

For those of you who grew up with a lot of family chaos and pain, you may wonder how the rest of your life will pan out.  Do you have concerns that you'll lash out uncontrollably like your mom did at you?  Do you fear developing an addiction like your brother?  Do you wonder if you will lose touch with reality like your dad?

It's true that family history of mental illness can make someone more likely to develop similar problems.  But by no means is someone's history an absolute part of their destiny.  If you are determined to break (or continue to break) your family history of chaos and self-destruction, you have strong hope for the future.
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General

Piaget – Play Is The Work Of Childhood

I just read an article on how early kids are starting school in Canada - got there by a link on one of the comments from my post on red-shirting kids for kindergarten.  In this article was a favorite quote from Jean Piaget, one of the great modern psychologists.  He said simply, "Play is the work of childhood."
Free Play Is Personal And Unique For Each Child
That statement prompted me to think more about what my kids choose to do with their free play time.  It's fascinating to see how differently each one uses it.  They stay very true to themselves every time they make a choice about play.
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General

Getting To Know Your Kids’ Friends

How well do you know the kids your children hang out with?  How easily would you recognize some of your children's classmates if you saw them in your neighborhood?  It's an important question to ask yourself each and every year your kids are in school.

But you and your family are so busy, you might wonder if you really need to get that involved.  You have good kids and they can pick good friends, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  There's plenty of teenage sex, underage drinking, negative influence, bullying, and peer pressure to go around.  You'll do more good than you might expect by getting to know your kids' social circles.
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General

Red-Shirting Kids For Kindergarten – To Hold Back Or Not To Hold Back

Since I've enrolled my own kids in school, I've noticed parents being concerned about their kids' ages as they got ready for kindergarten.  Would they be ready when school started?  Would they be one of the smallest kids in their class?  Perhaps another question is this - how much does their kindergarten age really matter?

Parents Want Kids To Have Social And Competitive Edge

I was one of the very youngest kids in my grade level.  I was seventeen for the first couple weeks of college.  This was also the case for my husband. Back in the 70's and 80's this was pretty common.  Now, parents want to be sure their kids have a competitive edge and are old enough to handle the social aspects of school.
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Arts and Culture

Family Traditions And Rituals – More Than Just Family Fun

The fall is my favorite time of the year.  It's not just the beautiful colors or the change of weather - it's the family traditions that get me charged up.  It's more than just fun, it's part of the fabric of my family.  Let's take a closer look at how your family traditions make your family stronger and healthier.

Family Rituals Keep People Going During Tough Times

College football, family birthdays, and marching bands are some of the core activities that define me and my family members.  Some of the band and football traditions go back a couple of generations.  I relish teaching my girls about the joys of halftime shows and the glory of the gridiron (in all kinds of weather).

Is this everyone's cup of tea?  No, certainly not.  But  I wouldn't feel like me without it.
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General

Girls Who Bully – Not Sugar And Spice

Girls have known this for a long time - boys aren't the only ones who know how to bully.  But how many of you ever thought of reporting the girl who was cruel and demeaning to you at school?  Did you ever label it bullying in your mind?  You probably knew it was wrong, but just never knew what you were supposed to do with it  Thankfully, some schools around the nation are finally recognizing this truth.  Girl bullies are finally being pushed out of the shadows.
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