Sunday, December 16, 2012

Talking to Children about Violence

The National Association of School Psychologist offers a two page handout for parents and educators on how to talk to children about violence.  (Click on "handout" to access the document)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Responding to Today's Tragedy

When tragedies occur, we are all deeply impacted.  Children are so intuitive, they can sense our fears and sadness.  That is why as parents and significant adults in children's lives, we have to be thoughtful about our reactions.  If possible, they do not need to be exposed to the news or our conversations about the event.  If they are aware of what has happened, let them know that together, we always do every thing we can to keep them safe.  Keep it simple and factual, don't over-explain, only answer the question being asked.  They will ask more questions if they need more information.  It is okay to say "I don't know" especially if they ask why.  Let them know that this is rare, not something that happens every day, like hurricane Sandy.

We have to contain our own fears and anxieties and focus on their sense of safety.  Please remember that the school is one of the many places which can help with tough questions.  Also, below please find a link to a good resource about how to talk to our children.

How To Talk with Kids about a School Shooting

These are the moments to remember how important it is to stop what we are doing and listen to them when they want to talk to us.  Love them for who they are.  Hug them as often as we can~

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Improving Today

89 Simple Swaps That Could Change Your Life | Greatist

This made me feel hopeful today. Picked two to try; just two because we are going for moderation today~

  • 66. Meditation for comfort food.
  • 3. Incline for flat treadmill.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nut Free Lunch Recipes

Nut Free Recipes – Peanut Free Snacks -

Not sure whether my children would eat some of the lunches, but I might try a few myself.  In our community, we have many children who have serious allergies.  Hence really appreciate this tip!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Happiness Advantage

It is empowering to know that we can take the right perspective so that we are positive in the present rather than waiting until we achieve a goal or "success" before we allow ourselves to be happy.  This is especially important if the happy hormone help light up our learning centers in the brain.  Perhaps if we teach our children this secret, they will become better learners too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Spoiled Rotten"

Elizabeth Kolbert's article "Spoiled Rotten:  Why do kids rule the roost?" is a must read!  I was nodding all through the article, especially the part about how we seek our children's approval in our parenting.  It sounds so odd to say it out loud but it is so true for so many of us. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

When I went home from boarding school one year, my parents had tucked this poem into the corner of a photo frame.  While I read and admired the beauty of its words, I did not appreciate the wise message as much as I do today.  Perhaps it's because we have two teenagers in the house now and I am constantly reminded that every opportunity is a chance to support them in their learning how to think for themselves.

Our generation of parents err in both ways.  Some of us ask too much of our little children.  We cannot ask a four year old "what do you want for lunch?"  We have to create safety by offering choices that are realistic to help them be successfully and grow in their confidence. 

In the same way, we can no longer only demand blind obedience from our pre-teens and teens.  We have to dialog about the why and listen to their thinking and to their hearts.  They need us to believe in them and gently guide them.  They do not need us to control their circumstances by taking over and solving every problem for them; or worse still, trying to set every thing up perfectly so they do not experience discomfort.  By doing so, we are saying "we do not believe you are able to deal with this."

Let's be those stable bows for our children~

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sharing Our Lives

For someone who is relatively content going about my own business, I am, of late, often amazed at how I came to be a part of this cool little family. I know it is NOT all about me. Yet one has to acknowledge that these individuals have made me a better person. For that I am grateful. There is something to this act of moving oneself aside to make room for another. For someone else's preferences, someone else's way of doing things, someone else's things. Those deliberate acts of adjustment calibrates who we are.

Yes, we were definitely made to be part of a village.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Delighting in Small Things

Highlighters dry out rather quickly, so I try to cap mine in-between highlighting. Then I met my first clicking highlighter! (Angelic choir)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thoughtful Gestures

With eighteen days left of school, many of us are tapping into our deepest reserve of perseverance, kindness, and patience. Many routines are altered to accommodate special activities. Teachers have a triple load of teaching, assessing and writing up reports. All of us have to complete our planning for next year and wrap up all the loose ends from this year before school closes. It is all wonderful and meaningful work, and I love every minute of it. However, there are moments when it feels a bit overwhelming.

Then on Friday afternoon, on my way back from drying up little tears, this was on my desk. The depth of encouragement I felt . . . that is, a lovely refill of courage in my heart came to be. I am reminded of the importance of putting good intent into actions, and am going to do a little something for someone every day for the next seventeen days of school.

Thank you for the inspiration~

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Power of Encouragement

When children are stuck, we don't have to engage in a power struggle with them. A little encouragement, a surprise but genuine response from us sometimes open up the little hearts and mind.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Introverts as Leaders

Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership - Joel Stein - Harvard Business Review

This goes hand-in-hand with the style of leadership Susan Cain speaks of in her book Quiet. Our culture values charisma too much. Quiet, thoughtful, reflective are all good leadership qualities. I am going to work on listening, really listening this week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank You Mr. Joe!

Every community needs persons of warmth and wisdom. We, at the Lowell School, have been lucky to have Mr. Joe Consolazio all these years! Many a little heart has that smile warmed and encouraged~

Snippets on Bullying

[From Developmental Resources Inc.]

A few highlights from recent research compiled by Dr. Meline Kevorkian and Robin D'Antona in 101 Facts about Bullying: What Everyone Should Know.

Fact #3: Bullying often happens in front of adults. (Teachers and parents sometimes overlook bullying because they view it as a “fair fight.”)

Fact #5: Bullying is a worldwide problem! (International researchers have demonstrated that bullying in schools is universal.)

Fact #8: Even friends can be bullies. (Children should be taught to differentiate between constructive criticism, friendly advice and outright bullying.)

Fact #15: Sibling violence is as serious as peer-to-peer violence. (Sibling bullying usually involves children between the ages of 2 and 9.)

Fact #26: Bully-victims are students who can be both a bully and a victim. (Because they have been victimized, bully-victims feel a sense of entitlement to perpetuate the behavior.)

Fact #27: Bully-victims and bullies tend to have more negative attitudes toward school. (They also tend to be more involved in negative behaviors – including delinquency, weapons possession and substance abuse.)

Fact #29: Students who fight back are more likely to be victimized. (Contrary to popular belief, violence often aggravates the situation.)

Fact #30: Victims tend to lack social skills and blame themselves when they are bullied. (They often feel they deserve to be treated poorly by their peers.)

Fact #33: Adolescents who bully often are popular and psychologically strong. (Bullies often use their status within a group to humiliate others. Because they tend to be psychologically stronger, they use that ability to control others.)

Fact #35: Overly aggressive and overly permissive parents are equally likely to have children who bully. (Harsh parents send a message to their children that this is an appropriate way to respond to others. Permissive parents fail to apply consequences for aggressive behavior.)

Dr. Meline Kevorkian is also author of Preventing Bullying, Six Secrets for Parents to Help Their Kids Achieve in School and The Comfort Zone. She is the Executive Director of Academic Review at Nova Southeastern University and a board member of the International Bullying Prevention Association.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Building Each Other Up

The thing with marriage is that it is made up of two imperfect people. We can focus on the things that bother us; or we can focus on the things that bond us. I distinctly remember the moment after many years of marriage, when I realized that although my husband is no Tarzan, I am certainly no Jane. Correcting him, or worse, criticizing him in private or in public never led to any positive changes in our relationship. Being encouraging and building him up, on the other hand, always added goodness to our shared lives.

Sometimes, I have to bite my tongue until it bleeds . . .


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Difference Is Just A Part of Normal

This wonderful blog entry by Betsy Brown Braun articulates so well how we can talk about "differences" with our children and impart kindness at the same time. Please take a moment to read it~

Difference Is Just A Part of Normal

Sunday, February 12, 2012