Setting Boundries

  Setting Boundaries  Children thrive on consistency and structure.  They find safety in knowing what to expect but they will also test the limits as they learn to navigate the world.  It is the adult's job to create environments that balance the need to explore and test the limits, with structure and calm.  If you were to remember two things no matter what age your child is, it would be; remain calm and be consistent!   Children react to our verbal and body cues and will behave accordingly.  If your reaction to their behavior in any way gives them attention (positive or negative) they are gaining knowledge from that interaction.  “If I throw my toys Mommy stops what she is doing and pays attention to me.” Of course this is not your intention but it is the message that is sent.   Children learn how to behave from how we react to their behavior! Toddlers: Instead of yelling or explaining why not to throw etc., in the moment, try not to react in any way.  Address the behavior by simp

Successful Transitions

You are a couple weeks into the new school year and your child was excited at first, but now is upset, crying, apprehensive, etc.  What happened? I like to think of the first couple days/weeks as the honeymoon period.  Everything is new and exciting. For older students the expectations are less in the beginning of the year.  Fast forward a few days/weeks and now "reality has set in", the honeymoon is over.  This phase will too pass and your child will become normalized to the routines and expectations of their school program. Consistency at home and at school is a key component to their success. If you have concerns don't hesitate to speak to their teacher/child care provider.  Tips on making a positive school transition *Keep a consistent morning routine.  There is safety in knowing what comes next. *Tell your child what to expect at drop off and follow thru.  Teachers and child care providers expect to handle some tears and anxieties.  Ask how they will let you kn

School Lunch Tips For Your Child's Success

My least favorite thing to do is make school lunches.  I have seen parents stress over what to pack, how to keep the food hot/cold or worry that their child won't eat or not like what they sent.  Making school lunches can be stress free and should involve your child.  I've listed some tips on packing school lunches that will hopefully keep your mornings running smoothly and your child's tummy full. 1. Get your child involved.  What do they like?  What can they help prepare?  Set up a lunch station and get your child involved. lunch station 2. Don't stress if they want the same thing everyday.  If their diet is well balanced there is no need to worry (side note, this is my personal opinion, I am not a dietian or a doctor).  Chidlren like stability and there is comfort if they know what to expect in their lunch boxes. 3.  Show them how to open and close their lunch containers and let them practice.  Lunch time independence is important.  You want to avoid your chil

Don't "Create" Summertime Memories!

Lets face it many of this have this notion that summertime must be filled with trips, BBQ's, daily organized events, camps etc in order to create wonderful memories for our children.  Take a minute and think back to your childhood at 3, 4 or 5 years old or even 6, 7 or 8.  What do you remember most? My husband remembers, playing outside and eating corn on the cob at the picnic table in the back yard.  I remember running around the yard in the rain and wading in the creek at my Nana's house.  Simple, sponatneous, and unscripted memories.  Memories that make us smile and remember simpler times.  i think we turned out OK! I hear parents stress about planning elaborate vacations or experiences for their families, finding the best summer camps or scouring pinterest for craft projects (ones that take hours to prepare and capture our children's interest for 5 minuts).  I give you permission to let your children to be bored!  From boredom comes creativity and sponatneous ac

Best Gifts Are Not Electronic

Tis the season!  I came across this article this morning  Blocks and crayons, balls and tricycles beat video games for kids' gift  and wanted to share.  When shopping for gifts this year, whether for your child, niece or nephew, or grandkids keep it "old school".  Our children live in a world of over stimulation.  Everywhere you go there is a TV (try and find a family restaurant that does not have one!), any kind of music is at our fingertips, you can watch a movie or play a game at the touch of a button.  No set up, no wait time needed.  Even games I played as a kid can be found with a electronic element. Life was my favorite.  I liked spinning the wheel.  I do not like the new version with the "credit card machine".  I have an unwritten rule in the classroom and when my kids were under 3, if it required batteries or needs to be charged it I will not or did not buy it!  Children need experiences to be successful. Advertising and social media are wonderful a

Surviving Cabin Fever

We all know it's coming especially if you live in the Northeast like I do.  Winter!  Its just around the corner and with it comes long cold days and being stuck inside!  I am a huge believer in being outside whenever possible but some years the winter weather does not always cooperate. As parents we are faced with the task of balancing our children's independent play, use of their imagination and exploration of the world vs. organizing their activities and constantly "playing" with them.  I personally aimed for an environment that allowed exploration, independence, imagination and quality 1:1, however I did have to think out of the box and organize some play options for them during our times stuck inside, or I would have gone a bit crazy! I loved to go a bit "old school" and get all the blankets and chairs and pillows and make forts.  We had tea parties, played board games, decorated large boxes as cars and went to the"drive in" while watching

Curbing The Morning Craziness

As we know getting ourselves out of the house in the morning can be crazy enough, but add to that a child or two, a pet, making lunches, prepping dinner so you don't eat at 10 PM and maybe throwing in a load of laundry from the wet bed sheets the night before, brings it to an entirely new level! Creating routines for your family, especially your children can help make your morning go smoother, at least 90% of the time.  A few things to remember when creating a routine for the family: Keep it simple .  Simplicity is our school motto this year.  Don't get too detailed.  Use picture cards if your child does not read.   Get your kids involved .  Let them have some say in the routine if applicable.  Use a chart if helpful.  If they want to get dressed before breakfast be flexible. Communication is KEY .  Make sure your child knows what is expected of them and try your best to stick to it.  Once established you can be a bit more flexible if needed. Sample morning routine