Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Everything Can Be Play!

April 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Most children, and some talented adults, can take practical life (getting dressed, for example) and turn it into a magical adventure.   Everything is play, and everything becomes play. Have you ever tried to hurry a little boy into his clothing and out the door?  It is usually to no avail — the shirt becomes a […]

How do we reach a point where we can comfortably allow our children to endure their own pain?

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

My son Kian has always been good at conjuring up plans… but bringing them to life is another matter entirely. The pieces wouldn’t fit, the parts would fall off, or the wheels would not turn. His grand visions just needed his building expertise to catch up a little more…. and his ensuing frustration would start to leak out sideways, screaming like steam from a kettle. It was impossible for me to ignore: his loud keening was a veritable curse to the gods. It penetrated me. I could feel his chafing frustration in my heart, seeping in like hot oil. It would sit and simmer then, until something would finally snap. There was no turning back! I would lose all control, and spring into “Fix It Mode!”

Empathy vs Sympathy: Do you care more about your child’s feelings or your own?

November 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

There is a fine line between sympathy and empathy. Learning the difference can make huge changes in your relationship with your child. My mother was a professional worrier. Whenever I expressed having a problem with anything, she sympathized, “Oh my poor dear. That’s so awful. Do you really have to do that?” Her sympathy was not helpful. As a matter of fact, I stopped sharing my problems with her because then I had her feelings and worry to deal with as well as my own problem.

Compassionate Listening = Listening to Ourselves with Compassion

November 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

The reason why I created a non violent preschool for my son, and the reason why I am on the hunt for a humanitarian school (or at the very least a compassionate teacher) for his elementary school experience, is completely selfish: I was a troubled child. I was the hard one. I had BIG emotions, and they were usually not understood. (OK, I admit it…I am STILL the troubled child, and I STILL have BIG emotions!)

If We Don’t Let Our Children Play, Who Will Be the Next Steve Jobs?

November 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

The forecast doesn’t look good. In an era of parental paranoia, lawsuit mania and testing frenzy, we are failing to inspire our children’s curiosity, creativity, and imagination. We are denying them opportunities to tinker, discover, and explore — in short, to play.

FREEDOM TO LEARN: The roles of play and curiosity as foundations for learning

October 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

If anything makes Americans stand tall internationally it is creativity. “American ingenuity” is admired everywhere. We are not the richest country (at least not as measured by smallest percentage in poverty), nor the healthiest (far from it), nor the country whose kids score highest on standardized tests (despite our politicians’ misguided intentions to get us there), but we are the most inventive country. We are the great innovators, specialists in figuring out new ways of doing things and new things to do. Perhaps this derives from our frontier beginnings, or from our unique form of democracy with its emphasis on individual freedom and respect for nonconformity. In the business world as well as in academia and the arts and elsewhere, creativity is our number one asset. In a recent IBM poll, 1,500 CEOs acknowledged this when they identified creativity as the best predictor of future success.[1]

It is sobering, therefore, to read Kyung Hee Kim’s recent research report documenting a continuous decline in creativity among American schoolchildren over the last two or three decades.[2]

A Typical Day at Riviera PlaySchool

October 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Riviera PlaySchool is mainly child-directed. In other words, the teachers at PlaySchool meet the children where they are. Not just physically, by getting down on the same level when we speak, but also energetically, by being in the moment, and celebrating in their successes, and joining them in the joy of creation. When any conflict occurs, it is a true learning moment, and teachers are on hand to hold space for the children to resolve their own conflicts. We try to not rush to a resolution of our adult creation. Sometimes children can take a while to sort a conflict out to a place they deem to be “fair.”. And we give them space to take the time to do that, while offering support, and helping them keep bodies and hears safe. We pay particular attention to where we are during the conflict. We stay on the sidelines. We don’t jump into the fray energetically. If we notice our speech becoming more rapid, or our voice becoming louder, then that’s a signal to us to take a step back and let them have their own emotions about the conflict at hand. It’s pretty tricky, and it keeps us more awake as people. It is an incredibly magical thing to witness a couple of small children figure out a workable solution to their volatile dilemma…and then walk away laughing together, more emotionally and socially intelligent than before

Hey, Guess What?!! You Already ARE the Perfect Parent!!

April 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

If you’re like me, you are your own worst critic. And there is no badge of honor in that, even though we have been brought up to believe it is so. You deserve the same “break” you are wanting your child to be given. And it has to start with you doing it for yourself, since you are their primary teacher. Ease up a little, and give yourself some validation. You deserve it!

Unconditionally Loving …. Me?

January 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Just as I was ready to shatter like the corelle-ware bowl I had shockingly smashed earlier in the day (I think of the restaurant in Japan where, at the conclusion of the meal, people summarily and passionately smash their dinnerware down a deep courtyard…

Just Say “No.”

November 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Allowing doesn’t have anything to do with having no limits, or not stepping into a guiding role for our children.

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