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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in family

Posted by on in General

I had an extraordinary day yesterday. Did you? And I can hardly wait to tell you what happened. You be the judge. 

Here in America, the Labor Day holiday weekend is an end of summer opportunity to reflect and make observations about past and future. Lessons always surround us when we watch, listen and learn. That proved to be so true for me yesterday. Here's how it happened.

We go through phases and stages in life where it seems like stuff is just rolling downhill faster than we can keep up. So I needed a break. A pause to savor life's beauties, feel the joys of each moment and relish my 'happy'. I spent most of the summer getting healthy, and figuring out the next phase in my life post cancer. I also had some heartache and disappointments, don't we all?

A time of mindfulness, dance, watching sunsets and listening to rapids. A summer of promises made- some met, some not, some hurt, some joy. Best ever, notably the day I learned I am finally cancer free, with unmet life yet to be fulfilled. Still here, giving new promise to my legacy. Let's start with a lesson in love.

My kids created an end of summer family weekend activity. It was tough to plan for camping with unexpected road closures, questionable day to day air quality from the wildfires and restricted burning, which meant no marshmallow campfires. (Overcome by a last minute switch to propane).

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Posted by on in General

pass-it-tothe-left_20171123-141208_1.jpg

The last day of school is an easy one to stray from routines. Students are excited and teachers are tired. So when I went to visit classrooms this morning I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

As I entered the first classroom I noticed that everyone was sitting around in a circle. Just like they had done everyday before that one. I had walked in right in the middle of their Family Meeting. So I decided to join the circle. And it was one of the best split second decisions I have ever made.

By the time I entered, about half of the class family had already shared. Everyone was required to share something and everyone was required to listen respectfully. At one point when someone was sharing, one of the cafeteria staff came in the room to collect the leftover breakfast. This distracted some students. But for all of the right reasons. They were no longer focused because they were trying to help point out to her that she had overlooked a few items. It wasn’t that they were deliberately ignoring their classmate sharing, they simply were more concerned about helping someone in need. Because that’s what families do.

Not long after, I had the opportunity to share and when I did I rambled on about this and that. To be quite honest, I can’t really remember what I shared. Other students followed me and they each shared something of significance to them. And then it was their teacher’s turn to share. I had no idea what he was going to say. He has a great sense of humor and likes to joke around. So I was prepared for anything. But I was not prepared for what came next.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

bad table manners

I had a couple encounters recently that really got me thinking about how we are teaching social skills to young children- or not. I was visiting a couple of my students at their child care programs, which I sometimes do, prior to their formal CDA observations.

The first visit was in a 2’s room, with eight children and two teachers. I arrived just before lunch and watched as hands and tables were washed and children were placed into those built-in bucket seats. The kitchen had delivered portion compartment trays with some kind of meat casserole, fruit, and vegetables. What happened next literally took my breath away.

Both teachers began bringing the trays over to the two tables. No eating utensils were evident. As each tray was set in front of a child, the teacher flipped it over, banged the contents onto the table, and placed the empty tray back on the cart. Huh? Gasp!

Messy Eating Fatherly

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

bedtime

So, adults generally agree on the importance of children’s intellectual development. Throughout the day, we are creating a multitude of opportunities for learning, both intentional and unintentional. Helping a child expand his mind and grow cognitively is essential, but so is something else- developing his character and supporting his social/emotional development. Oh, my. There’s a tall order.

In our day-to-day, multitasking, so-much-on our-plate society, adults often have trouble taking a moment to reflect on how they themselves are handling their own emotions and social interactions, let alone someone else’s. But, you better believe that children are watching it all and learning from us… the good, the bad, and often, the ugly.

We must be more intentional about cultivating the things that will ultimately help children to be better human beings- the way they treat other people, the tone and attitude they will someday use in their own homes, the way they will handle their relations with family, and the way they will engage with their communities.

Well, now. That’s easier said than done. And, when during a family’s busy day, can this best be accomplished? Experts say there are three specific times that have the best potential for a meaningful connection between parent and child… in the first 15 minutes after a child gets home from school, at the family dinner table, and just before bed.

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Posted by on in General

It seems these days, families live so far apart. I’m sure that’s the way it is for most of us. Keeping connected takes a lot more effort than it used to.  I don’t think it is just me and my loved ones.

Screen sharing is not the same as being together in real time, although it somewhat fills the gaps.

I feel like a slacker. Lately I’ve been losing things, including house keys and my wallet, twice. Moving much too fast. Not exactly self-care. I finished helping at the preschool until September and the preschool was the first graduation. We had seven of the littles graduating and what a fun, imaginative production for all the children.

It seems like I’ve been on a treadmill lately, such a busy time of year. I looked forward to going up to Beaverton to take a much needed family-filled break.

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