Marianne Riess Tag

  Written by - Marianne Riess Some recent Moms of the Week have described their favorite part of the day as the time spent cuddling and reading bedtime stories with their children. Besides the obvious closeness of the experience, reading to children offers so many benefits. Children gain a rich vocabulary, learn that print tells the story, and most important find out that books open up exciting new worlds to them. You cannot overestimate the value of...

  Written by Marianne Riess Many of us find ourselves with more time to read, as we are isolated from other pleasures such as movies, restaurants, or shopping. I was excited to order Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents. I had enjoyed her first book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award (non-fiction) and several other prizes. That...

  PIFS recently completed a new, multi-platform outdoor playscape. Outdoor play has always been central to the school’s mission and now, perhaps more than ever, it will serve as the backdrop for its students’ learning. The CDC has mandated that when schools re-open, they must keep children in small groups, distanced from one another. With the new playscape, PIFS can easily uphold these new safety measures with a fun, enhanced outdoor play experience. The new Smokey’s Playscape will...

  Written by - Marianne Riess T. S. Eliot started his famous poem “The Wasteland” with the line “April is the cruelest month.” We can only hope those words hold true, and that the worst of Covid-19 will be behind us as we enter May and look forward to summer. The virus has turned lives upside down, even for those lucky enough to avoid catching it. Who could have imagined children missing 3 months of school before...

  Written by - Marianne Riess How much can anyone cook? It is nice to take a break by ordering curbside takeout or delivery from a local restaurant. You treat yourself and family, and help the restaurant owner and staff. Last night’s dinner special from Bistro V (Versailles) was a pan-seared salmon, with accompanying lemon caper sauce over tender asparagus, brussel sprouts and pickled cabbage. Party with Moms can affirm that it was really, really good. Photo via Instagram @bistroversailles Other...

  Written by - Marianne Riess  We are in unknown waters. “Unprecedented” is a word we hear on the news every two minutes. We don’t know when children will go back to school or when life will return to some kind of normalcy. We are stuck at home and all the places we like to go are closed. What good can we take from this time of social distancing and home time? Oddly enough, as I FaceTime with...

  Written by - Marianne Riess If you knew Fred Wierdsma, founder of the Putnam Indian Field School, February 29th took on a special meaning. It was his birthday, and it explained him. Having one birthday every four years kept him young at heart and in attitude throughout his life. Today is the first leap year since he died. We miss the fun he always provided everyone whose life he touched. Happy 84/21 in Heaven. Once There Was A...

  In Case You Missed Part 1, Help Lorraine and Jane sat opposite each other at the coffee shop. “So tell me about Jared,” Jane said. “What worries you about him?” Lorraine thought for a moment. “Well, he seems to be out of control a lot of the time. I never know what he’ll do next. No matter how I try to guide him in advance, he just does whatever he feels like. And usually the result is not...

By Marianne Riess Your high school junior daughter is invited to a party, but she has a big test the next day. Will she forego the party to study for the test? Your college freshman son has a paper due, but would prefer to watch a football game in the lounge with his friends. How confident are you that he will make the right choice? The ability to stick with an unattractive, but necessary task rather than...

By Marianne Riess Most parents understand that children learn primarily through play. Yet, when their child attends a play-based nursery school, they may wonder whether he or she is being challenged, being thoroughly prepared for elementary school, being exposed to “academics.” Studies show that rote learning at a young age does not stick. Children may develop a temporary edge over their playing peers, but it is just that, temporary. And while they are being taught and drilled,...

By Marianne Riess Most parents are aware of the importance of building confidence and self-esteem in their children. How to do it effectively? One way is to listen when they talk and then respond, letting them know you take their ideas seriously. Ask their opinions at times. Whenever possible, give them choices about what they will eat or wear. Spend uninterrupted time with them to show you enjoy their company. Building self-confidence too often involves a lot...

  What was originally predicted to be a wet Saturday turned warm and sunny just in time for the Putnam Indian Field School’s 40th Anniversary celebration. Head of School, Susan Donaghy and Former Head Marianne Riess welcomed the over 300 people who showed up to connect with old friends and share memories. Parents and former children (now adults) were there from the first classes in 1978 and on. Past and present teachers were happy to reminisce...

  Last week the N.Y. Times published an article entitled “Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?” Nursery school teachers have been dismissed as glorified babysitters, paid low hourly wages with few other benefits, and expected to put up with chaotic working conditions. After all, they were only teaching preschoolers. They had no need for academic expertise in any field. Perceptions have changed. First, brain research done at Harvard with Project Zero showed the importance...

  The holidays are around the corner. As I leaf through the toy catalogs this year, in search of the perfect presents for my grandchildren, I am amazed by the number and variety of STEM toys. They are everywhere! Build your own robot or lunar lander or drone. Make electricity and learn about circuitry, magnets and gears. Learn coding to remote control your (fill in the blank). Take on an engineering project, simple or complex. I...

  Nolda and Alba have done it again! Each year, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the school’s chefs plan a wonderful and healthy lunch for the children and teachers that is above and beyond any concept of school food. Each year, the recipes change as new vegetables, different stuffings, and side dishes are tried out. [caption id="attachment_8941" align="aligncenter" width="288"] Chris carves more turkey as the first lunch group enjoys their meal.[/caption] Today’s lunch was no exception, as the...

  Written by Marianne Riess It seemed like a no-brainer. At a charity auction, on the spur of the moment, we purchased a photo shoot at Venture Photography in Riverside. “We’ll get some good pictures of the grandkids,” my husband said. The logistics were not as easy as you’d think, with three children in Greenwich and two in Manhattan. It took six months to get them all together in one place on a non-holiday. Venture was nice...

  Congratulations to the Coolest and Smartest Godmother Ever, Marianne Riess! Marianne won our Inaugural PWM Fantasy Golf in dramatic fashion. An improbable comeback fueled by her incredible final pick and Tour Championship Winner, Xander Schauffele! Not to mention, Marianne was the only non-golfer and woman in the group. Cheers to you Marianne! Email Remy if you’d like to participate in next year’s pool - remy@partywithmoms.com...

  It’s that time of year again, when children go back to school, or start at a new one. Many of our youngest will attend school for the first time, and at a very young age. Two and three-year-olds who have never been to school before are in for what can initially be a traumatic experience. There is a happy ending, however. Starting nursery school means watching your mom or beloved caregiver walk away and leave you...

  My brothers and I grew up in a Long Island suburb. After graduate school, I came to Greenwich to teach, and stayed. My children grew up here, and now I have grandchildren in town as well. But I also have two grandchildren who live in New York City, and I have concluded that city kids lead very different lives. Suburban kids go everywhere in cars. They are driven to their destinations by parents and nannies, do...

  Having worked in a nursery school for 36 years, I was part of many attempts to encourage young children to be charitable. Whenever the efforts involved giving toys, they inevitably failed. Parents and staff would initiate a “Toys for Tots” kind of effort. After explaining that some families could not afford to buy toys, parents would take their child to a store and encourage him or her to pick out a toy for an underprivileged...

  Nothing is more aggravating, discouraging, and guaranteed to set your nerves on total edge than listening to your children fight with each other. Nothing can make you question your parenting skills (and your sanity) more than the constant bickering or worse. Because we love the children so much and recognize their individual strengths and talents, we can’t believe they treat each other with such disrespect and outright cruelty. “Why?” we ask them, “Why can’t you...

  Written by Marianne Riess Some destinations never grow old. For me, that destination is France. I am always happy to go back. In October of 2014, my husband and I took a trip to Paris and Normandy. We arrived and spent four days in Paris, visiting the familiar and the new. My desire was a small boutique hotel on the Left Bank - Hotel Montelambert was perfect. The Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, the Tuileries Gardens, and...

  Written by Marianne Riess Joyce was a social giant. Her easy smile projected warmth and good humor. She loved friends, fun, a good party and was obviously a veteran of many of them. She played many roles in her life: secretary, adventurer, wife, friend, mother, teacher, grandmother. We knew her best as a nursery school teacher. Joyce understood that young children learn through fun, play and games, and when she hooked up with Anne Martine Cook...

  Written by - Marianne Riess  … so much that he became a wonderful teacher, an unusual teacher, because he didn’t love books, and he didn’t love homework. He certainly didn’t love computers or video games. What he loved was to show children how to enjoy the outdoors, as he had, growing up. So he founded a nursery school and created outdoor experiences for very young children. In a program called Smokey’s Bounders, children made campfires and enjoyed...

  Just before Christmas, Party with Moms republished one of Anne’s classic columns, “What Do Children Really Want?” Her point is that children relish the time and attention of a loving relative. I was reminded of the truth of her concept last week when our two grandsons came to our house for a late Christmas, and ended up spending 24 hours with us. The first evening was taken up with exchanging presents and having dinner with friends...

  Before leaving on a recent trip to Spain, we were warned: Spaniards don’t eat lunch until 2, and no one eats dinner before 9:00 PM! Since my husband and I are early risers, and not big breakfast eaters, I knew some adjusting was going to be in store. But I couldn’t help thinking how convenient such a schedule was for parents. Basically they could feed their children dinner, and get them into bed before going...

  I read that Albert Camus, French author, philosopher and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, afterwards wrote a thank you letter to a teacher from his elementary school years in Algeria. Camus told Louis Germain that when he won the prize, he thought first of his mother, and then of him. As a child, Camus’ prospects for a successful life had been dim. His father died in World War I; his mother...

  [caption id="attachment_7437" align="aligncenter" width="288"] Marianne Riess is the former head of the Putnam Indian Field School in Greenwich, CT. She has 40 years of experience in working with young children.[/caption] Our annual vacation to Block Island this year had a new twist: my NYC grandsons (Axel, just shy of 10 and Owen, 8) were traveling with us. I wondered how to keep them amused during the 2½ hour car trip to the ferry. Knowing that they...

  On a beautiful evening last week, we decided last minute to have dinner at Terra. Since it is August and half of Greenwich seems to be away, we were able to get a table outside. The breeze was delightful and terrace quiet compared to the restaurant itself. After a round of great drinks we had a hard time choosing between Terra’s usual wonderful dinner entrees. Everything looks and sounds so good, but we can only eat...