I receive questions from parents and educators on a regular basis, and often think – Well, I know what I would do, but how would someone else respond? Our tools and strategies are embedded in our own cultural background and adapt to fit the needs of our individual children. One person could never have the answers for every situation!
When I read this question about childhood fears, I invited four wise early childhood professionals to offer a range of perspectives on how to they might respond. I hope you find some strategies and tools from the following mix of responses that might help you in your journey. If you have a difficult situation with your children and need some ideas, please contact me.
Rhea* has a fear of flying. The last time she flew was on a five hour flight when she was three. She was nervous, but when the flight came, it was largely uneventful. A few months ago we were supposed to fly to visit my parents. Rhea had made some comments about not wanting to fly. We bought her some toy airplanes and we talked about what it would be like and I really thought she would be fine. Well…she wasn’t. Continue reading
The view from our new apartment – a storm rolling in across Lac Léman.
My family just moved from California to Lausanne, Switzerland. We are excited about all of the opportunities that await us in our new home, but we are realistic about the time it will take us to adjust to the big things (new language and school system), as well as the small things (the metric system and living without a car).
Not surprisingly, I have visited the grocery store nearly every day in the last eight since we arrived. I have also baked chocolate chip cookies, Continue reading
When I have a long and difficult day with my children and I tell a friend, I want:
I hear you.
When I get a speeding ticket and I tell a friend, I want:
I hear you.
When I misplace something valuable, I want:
I hear you.
Ultimately, when I feel lousy, it doesn’t matter why. I just want to know that I am heard, Continue reading
As parents and educators, we can seem to have it all together.
We are embarrassed that we’ve lost it with our kids over something as insignificant as spilled milk, and so we hide our messy stories from each other. We are fearful to let anyone in on the emotional chaos we feel. We have bought into the lie that vulnerability equals weakness, and weakness equals disaster.
We believe we are raising our children alone.
But we are not alone. Continue reading
We were traveling in South Africa a few weeks ago. Our ship docked for a six-day port stay, and we were lucky enough to see the highlights: a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, a hop-on/hop-off tour bus that drove us around the city, a drive to Boulder Beach to see the penguins swimming in the ocean, and a climb up to the lighthouse at Cape Point to watch the swirling waters where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Plus, we visited the aquarium, played at some parks, ate plenty of delicious food, and found a western-style grocery store to restock our snack cupboard.
A few days into our adventures, my oldest turned to me and said, Continue reading
In our travels, we have seen our fair share of unexpected and we have smelled more than our fair share of surprising. Recently, we were walking through a food market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, when my oldest daughter (age six) conveyed a most profound understanding:
I know you are curious – many of you have left me sweet notes and comments to let me know how just how curious you are. This post is for you.
We are quite the spectacle here in Asia: a family of five fair-skinned, blue-eyed members, three of whom are too young to pay for public transportation. The kids are getting used to posing for pictures, having their cheeks pinched by strangers, and using gestures to communicate a few simple ideas: Continue reading
Kelly Bartlett is one of my e-friends; though have never met in person, the interactions we have had over email and digital media makes me feel like I could sit down for coffee with her tomorrow and we would chat like old friends. Kelly’s blog, Parenting From Scratch [http://parentingfromscratch.wordpress.com], and her book, Encouraging Words for Kids [http://www.kellybartlett.net/book.htm], have both been enormously helpful to me in my journey as a parent and educator.
Many of us have heard of the notion that praising kids might not nurture the traits we hope for in our children, but the practice of shifting our vocabulary can be overwhelming! Encouraging Words for Kids is like the how-to manual for those of us trying to raise kids without saying “Good job!” Continue reading