I was watching a clip from Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah Winfrey Network the other day. She had on Dr. Shefali Tsabary, the author of The Conscious Parent. While my children are now adults, 20 and 22, respectively, I still feel I have much to learn when it comes to parenting. Dr. Tsabary was explaining that when we have a child, our job is not simply to guide them on their journey through life but that they guide us through our own journey as well. That becoming a parent provides a mirror into our own selves, our short comings, our own issues and we learn and grow alongside our children. This made me stop and think about my own journey as a parent. There were many times I told my oldest child, Nicholas, "I am doing my best. This is the first time I have had a 15 year old child", or whatever age he was at the time. I was very conscious of the fact that I may not know exactly what I was doing. That all my decisions were made out of extreme love for this child but with no experience, may not turn out as I had planned. I was in the process of learning how to be a parent. Throughout the short clip, Dr. Tsabary talked about how we as parents need to remember that our child is a whole person with aspirations, goals, wants and needs that may not be the same as the aspirations, goals, wants and needs that we may have for them. Our job is to help our children grow into their authentic self not into what we or society believes they should be. I was intrigued by what she was saying enough that I purchased the book to read more about conscious parenting. Maybe you will do the same. All I know for sure is that when it comes to parenting, I will always have more to learn.
Well it is back to school time and it can be nerve-racking for both children and parents! Especially here at the preschool where for some children this is their first school experience and possibly their first time away from mom and dad. After 15 years of experience with preschoolers and also from my experience as a mom, I would like to offer you some advice for the next coming weeks. Below are my top 10 things to remember for your preschooler's the first days of school:
1. Dress your child for fun and play.
2. Always have your child wear sneakers or comfortable shoes.
3. Send in a family photo to help your child to feel more comfortable at school.
4. Read all notices sent home and information posted throughout the school.
5. Pack an extra set of clothes in your child's school bag. A favorite toy or comfort
item can be sent in as well to help with separation.
6. Read books at home about school and school activities.
7. Talk to your child about what they did at school. Information on the classroom
boards will tell you exactly what they did all day and give you some great ideas
for what to talk about.
8. Always be positive and encouraging about school and all the fun your child will
have. Children can sense your anxiety even if you don't talk about it.
9. Give your child a big kiss and a hug and say goodbye.
10. Leave. Call the school in 20 minutes to get a report about how your child is
doing. Children need to fully separate in order to adjust. Lingering around in the
classroom or outside the school building just makes the separation process more
Remember school is a positive experience for your child. While it may take some time for your child to adjust, in the end they will come to learn that school is a fun place to learn and play with friends.
Oh the joys of summer. Summer is my favorite season for reading. My favorite places to read during the summer are, sitting under a shady tree, curled up on the couch on a rainy summer's day or relaxing under an umbrella on a sunny beach day. Take you child outdoors for some outdoor reading. Grab a basketful of your child's favorite books and spend a lazy afternoon reading. Help your child learn to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of watching a cloud drift across the sky, a ladybug make the long journey up a leaf or listening to the different songs of the summer birds. Below are some of my favorite summer books. Summer goes by too fast. Make sure you take the time to enjoy it.
Spring has finally arrived and it seems as if Summer will arrive tomorrow! Here's a great activity for your preschooler on this wonderful spring day.
Spring Color Treasure Hunt:
Get a few sheets of 8 x 10 construction paper of various colors - red, blue, green, yellow, orange,etc. Go outside with your preschooler and a small bag. Collect some interesting things and place them in the bag. These items may be rocks, flowers, sticks, etc. Once your preschooler is finished collecting. Spread out the sheets of construction paper on a table. Have your preschooler sort the objects he/she collected by color. You can then count the objects for each color. You can see if your preschooler can think of other ways in which to sort the objects - size, shape, etc.
This activity teaches various skills - seasons, sorting, color recognition, counting, critical thinking, hand/eye coordination, physical properties of natural objects, fine and gross motor skills.
It's amazing how much a child can learn while playing and having fun!