Parenting Tag

  Beauty A little girl was slowly following a butterfly in her garden. When it rested on a blossom, the little girl said, “You are beautiful. Thank you.” So wise and so exactly perfect. Beauty is something we are all so grateful for. Beauty changes our lives in every good way. Sometimes we even take it for granted. For someone so little to notice the butterfly and love it will reinforce her appreciation of natural beauty. With some...

  By Admissions Expert, Dr. Lowe As college admissions becomes increasingly more competitive, admissions officers and committees look beyond high GPAs, high standardized test scores, ESEs (expensive summer experiences) and seemingly amazing, but generic essays. Dr. Lowe and his team have developed the Wow Factor Admissions Concept. What’s your personal “wow factor” that will make you stand out and get accepted to the college of your choice? It’s a factor that your admissions officer will look for as...

  [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...

  Billy couldn’t wait for his best friend’s birthday party. He had a little collection of presents and he knew Teddy would love them: a piece of green string, a small white shell, a pinecone, a shiny dime and a small picture of the two boys at a fair, taken by Billy’s mother, Holly. Holly gave him bright tissue and a yellow paper bag that was the perfect size for the presents. Holly had a book about...

  Many 3 and 4-year olds enter nursery school with no concept of cleaning up. At home, they have dolls, art materials, costumes, trains, trucks, balls, puzzles, games, books. They play everyday. Why are they so unfamiliar with clean up? One answer? Someone else is doing it for them. For other children, cleaning up means throwing things into a toy box with every item jumbled up with everything else. So when they start nursery school, and the...

  Most parents are well aware of the value of reading aloud to young children. When they are read lots of good stories, children fall in love with books and become lifelong readers. Yet parents can go further and turn passive listening into involved participation, just by using a few reading tricks.  Use the illustrations – as you read, you can ask your child questions about them. For instance, “Look at his face. How is he feeling?”...

By Admissions Expert, Dr. Lowe Plan, plan and plan. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Or as Yogi Berra put it:     Common App. Prepare for The Common App 2016-2017 as soon as your summer vacation begins. Visit colleges. Be sure you have narrowed your choices down to a realistic list. Start your college essays....

  “Rebecca, they aren’t organic!! Don’t go near those carrots!” Paige barked to her daughter at the grocery store. “I can’t look at carrots anymore?” “Looking becomes touching and that’s a big no no!” Rebecca looked carefully from the organic to non-organic carrots, trying to figure out the difference between them. Then she slowly turned away. “Would you like kiwis or Mt. Ranier cherries, Rebecca?” Rebecca didn’t answer. She was examining at least a dozen different types of olives. They were...

The family vacation, an American tradition. Whether it involves renting a house on Cape Cod, taking a trip to Disney World, or all piling into the family car or RV, it usually implies more togetherness than families experience any other time of the year. Spending time together – that’s our goal, right? That’s what family means, right? We want to believe this, but our anxiety has made popular a plethora of hilarious movies that poke...

  Ages ago, when I was an English teacher at what was then Central Jr. High, the rule of thumb for our department was that you never chose a book for the class which featured a girl protagonist. The theory: boys would not read about a girl, but girls would always read about a boy. So the classes got to know Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Travis of Old Yeller, Jim of Treasure Island, Gene and...

  The late day sun felt great in the play yard of Little Farm Nursery School. The day had that perfect Thursday afternoon feeling. Children and parents were getting into cars. “Could you and Timmy come over for an early supper tonight? Mike won’t be home until late,” Meredith Ford asked Jane Mathews. “We’d love that!” Jane answered. “Dave is late tonight too. What time is good?” “Luke and I are off to the grocery store to pick up...

  Ozzie was waking up. His four-year old eyes looked at his Grandfather’s blue bottle sitting on a white shelf by his window. He loved looking at this bottle every morning. As the morning light passed through it, he realized there was another bit of blue on the white wall opposite the bottle. “Ozzie,” his little brother Davey called, “Come here.” Ozzie left his blue images and ran to Davey’s room just down the hall. Davey sat in his...

  Katherine Kinzler’s article, The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals (NYT 3/11/16), cites recent research by herself and others that indicates that young children growing up in a household in which they are exposed to more than one language develop a greater capacity for a skill that is crucial to interpersonal understanding. Because they must keep in mind who speaks what language to whom, they have constant practice in putting themselves in the place of others. It...

  In case you missed, Children Teaching Parents, Part 1 Sam was excited, knowing Nick and his parents were coming over. He had been gathering little sticks since early morning so that he and Nick could add onto their houses the second he arrived. Julie was working on a small pastel of trees while Philip swept the sunny terrace. “It will be so nice to have Nick over,” Sam said to his mother. “I hope his parents are...

  Sam and Nick were four-year-old best friends. Life with each other was all they knew and that was just fine. Sam’s mother and father were Julie and Philip, slightly older parents who felt so lucky to have Sam. Julie was a landscape artist and Philip was a veterinarian. They loved time together and marveled at their little boy’s openheartedness. Nick’s father, Ron was a rather serious insurance salesman. His wife Lois had recently found a part...

  In Marianne’s last two columns on Bev Bos, she shared and reinforced Bev’s belief of the importance of parents creating memories and traditions for children and of passing on memories and traditions from their own childhoods. I would like to expand this theme a bit further. There are really two related but separate themes here. One is the theme of children creating new memories of experiences such as family vacations, decorating for the holidays, and other...

Thanks to all who responded so positively to my column on Bev Bos last week. As a follow-up, here are some of the beliefs that she stressed in her writings and presentations. They can guide us all as we teach or parent young children. (My thoughts in italics) On the Importance of Socialization "Kids have to be social by six. If they’re not social by six, if they don’t know how to give and take, if they...

On February 4th, Bev Bos died in her sleep at her home in California. She was a giant in the field of Early Childhood Education, a mentor and inspiration to 40 years of nursery school teachers, and a gift to children everywhere. Bev gained national notice when she was featured in a segment of ABC’s 20/20 in 1991. It was an eye-opening twenty minutes in an era when the “push down curriculum” was subjecting young children...

  Savannah Burke was cleaning up the oatmeal that her four-year-old son Jackson had spilled on the floor. Just then a feeling of something wet and cold made her touch the back of her white sweater. It was milk. She looked up and saw her son grinning as he put the glass on the table. As she reached for some more paper towels. Jackson said with a little laugh, “Too bad. More work for Mommy.” Just then...

  One of the hats I wear is that of a spiritual counselor and religious educator. Combining my background in developmental psychology with my faith, I have developed a series of talks I call “Parenting in Partnership with God.” I was therefore delighted to make the acquaintance of a developmental psychologist who has brought the importance of spirituality in a child’s life into the mainstream. In her book, The Spiritual Child, Lisa Miller documents a boatload...

I always believe the best presents for children begin with ‘B:’ Books, Blocks and Balls. All can be enjoyed independently or with others, in many different ways. I’ve named some favorite children’s books in previous articles. A few new ones found their way into my pile of gifts this past holiday season. Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman is a cute book about friendship between two unlikely characters, and appeals to the 3-4 year old set....

  “Things just shouldn’t be so hard, Paul. You’re the kid and I’m your father. You get in the car when you are asked to and that’s that.” Russ’ voice was exasperated. Paul climbed into the jeep and tried to buckle his car seat. “That’s more like it. Try harder. You’re four now, or did you forget?” Paul’s hands were suddenly putty and he couldn’t get the metal things in their slots. Russ yanked open the back door of the...

  As holiday time approaches and children begin to get excited and form expectations about the meaning of Christmas, Chanukah, and other celebrations, I want to ask you parents to pause and reflect on what message you are sending to your children. Because young children are just gaining the cognitive capacity to see the world from points of view other than their own, they are naturally self-centered (“egocentric” in psychological lingo) and easily fall into an attitude...

  In the Reggio Emilia schools, they say children have 100 languages. They don’t mean languages in our usual sense of the word, but symbolic languages through which children express their questions and ideas about the world. The Reggio educational philosophy goes beyond speaking, writing and numbers to encourage pre-school children to illustrate their thinking through drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, dramatic play, construction with all sorts of materials, gestures, music, physical activity, map-making, etc. All are...

  Patty Lawson looked through the wide doorway between her kitchen and family room at her little boy playing on the floor. She felt like the only mother alive. The enormous love she had for her ten month old and her life as his mother made her feel incredibly fortunate. Listening to his bits of Donald Duck language made cleaning the messy kitchen almost pleasurable. Patty was older than many first time mothers. She had been surprised...

  Most likely, few of you readers of this column are grandparents. Most of you who have young children, however, probably have one or more parents of your own who play a role in your children’s lives. As a grandparent myself, I offer this column to encourage you to give some thought to the nature of the grandparenting relationship. Perhaps it will even encourage you to open up a conversation with your parents that will make...

  The annual Book Fair is one of my favorite events of school life. And a most enjoyable job for me was advising parents on which books their children would love. The classics and the favorites were easy. But every once in a while, we would encounter a book that flew under parent radar, but that children responded to in fresh and authentic ways. Mem Fox is an Australian author of many wonderful children’s books. Two of...

  I was sitting at my desk when I heard my mother say, “There’s my Sealy.” “Hi, Mommy. I’m going to color a little,” I called to her. “Oh my beautiful Seal. Look at you!” Kate Barnes cooed, wrapping her baby girl in a big white towel. I realized my mother wasn’t talking to me, but to Julia, my eight-month old sister. She had always called me her Sealy when she dried me off after my bath. “Maybe she...

  Now that school has started, children will frequently be bringing home papers, drawings, craft projects and things they have collected that they want to share with their parents. Behind each of these offerings is a message. Often, however, our parental response fails to take into account the subtleties of the messages children are trying to convey. Too often we respond with a stock phrase such as “Good job!” or “It’s beautiful!” without really considering why...

  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, they are...