Did you know that when your baby is born they literally think that they are the same person as you? It isn’t until about 7 months that your baby will realize that she is a separate person.
This is why separation anxiety tends to peak between 7-12 months. I mean… just imagine what your baby is experiencing. She’s just figured out that you’re a different person and now you’re going to just up and leave??
No, thank you.
Your toddler or preschooler will spend years forging their sense of identity: figuring out who they are (separate from you!), testing limits, making decisions, and exerting their independence. Read More
Raising a toddler and a preschooler, both very active, curious, and fearless, I sometimes feel like my entire day is filled with moment after moment of trying to prevent my kids from causing great harm to themselves. Or one another. Or our home.
But it’s SO exhausting and deflating when you feel like your whole day is spent setting limits for your kids, stopping them from having fun, preventing them from exploring. Not only does it feel bad to have days where you’re that parent full of "NOs", it’s not effective.
Our kids’ behavior does not get better as we point out all of the things they can’t do. It gets worse. Read More
Last week I had quite the day. A day that was just one of THOSE days. You know what I’m talking about because I know you’ve had them. All parents have.
Every one of our toys (including the ones that have hundreds of teeny-tiny parts that you’re bound to step on and experience extreme toy-stabbing-foot pain) was out, spread across every room of the house. Dirty dishes were overflowing the sink and there were piles of laundry in our room… and a load that had sat in the washer for two days, never being transferred to the dryer. Oops. My one year old refused to let me put him down at all, so it was noon and I hadn’t eaten. My four year old was having a series of tantrums, successively getting more intense as our patience dwindled. And my husband and I both had a ton of “stuff” to get done. Stuff that HAD to get done by the end of the day. I had really hoped for a shower (gasp!) that morning, but it clearly wasn’t happening. Read More
Okay, so maybe I haven’t learned EVERYTHING I know about parenting by watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. I’ve worked in education for years, have read lots of books and research about children and parenting, have degrees in Psychology, Child Development, and Education, and have been surrounded by a lot of fantastic mommies (my team of “mommy mentors” – including my own wonderful mama), my whole life.
However, with all of this education and background in working with children, I can say with confidence that Daniel Tiger is a really fantastic show. Nobody is paying me to say this, I promise. Although you know where to find me, PBS. ;) I love the show because it makes my job as a mom easier.
And I don't mean because it gives me 25 free minutes, although that helps.
I'm talking about the lessons taught in the show: the songs, the social strategies, the communication techniques. Although my son hasn’t watched the show in over a year, he continues to use the strategies that he learned from Daniel Tiger on a daily basis. And so do I. Read More
Teaching, I would see it a lot: the student who missed out on art projects during the year because they didn’t feel comfortable touching clay, chalk, or getting dirty making papier mache. He’d choose not to touch the sea cucumber at the aquarium. She would miss seeing the frogs on a nature hike because she didn’t want her feet in the mud.
Certain children are more sensitive to this tactile sensory input than others; feeling different textures or being dirty makes them feel uncomfortable. That is who they are and that is absolutely okay!
However, I believe that it’s our job as the grown-ups in our kids’ lives to help them feel comfortable in as wide a range of settings and experiences as we can because this will only broaden our children's exposure to the world and knowledge of it. Read More
When I read with kids, even very young children, I’m constantly encouraging them to think deeply about their reading: ask questions, draw conclusions, and make connections. This is so important for raising a child who is going to be a proficient reader but is also important when we think about raising a child who is a critical thinker. Read More
You know those parenting tricks you use all the time? Strategies you have up your sleeve that help you get through challenging moments in your day? Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorites.
During my first few years as a classroom teacher, there was something that I learned very quickly. When you get loud, kids get more loud. When you raise your voice, they raise theirs to be twice as loud as yours. And somehow, when you raise your voice, and kids raise theirs, their ability to listen and focus on your words cuts in half. (*made-up fact, but I swear it’s got to be true.) Your loud words are somehow not heard, despite their volume.
Learning this changed the way I speak to kids: when I’m feeling frustrated, disappointed, when I want to draw their attention to something exciting… Basically, this one revelation transformed the way that I interacted with my students and the way that I now interact with my children.
I’ve learned the power of a whisper. Read More
Life can get so busy and hectic, right? I love scheduling fun activities for our family because in between all of the errands and tasks and commitments, I want to make sure that we never forget to just have some down time with each other. And why not throw a little learning in to this fun down time?
One of our favorite things to do together as a family is to have Family Reading Nights regularly. So I got to thinking the other day… why can’t we do the same thing with math? Read More