Author Archive

Young children notice everything – absolutely everything

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He didn’t even notice!

We often dismiss our young children’s observational skills this way. Did our young daughter notice that she was the only white (or black) child on the playground? Of course not! Did our son happen to observe that all the women in the shower room were naked? Didn’t seem to. How about the man without legs in the wheelchair? Well, she started to stare, but we distracted her and she forgot all about it.

Well, he didn’t say anything

Perhaps ...

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Moving to a new home: Why your kids aren’t excited

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A mother of young children asked:

We’re going to be moving to another house in a few weeks, and whenever I try to talk to our kids about it, they tell me they don’t want to move. Or they give me blank stares like they don’t know what I’m talking about. We showed them the new place a couple of times, but they didn’t seem impressed. What’s their problem?

Moving from one home to another, whether halfway around the ...

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Starting preschool and understanding the separation process

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Starting preschool and the separation process can be hard on everyone. When parents give over the care of their children to a pre-school, day-care center or kindergarten teacher, no matter how attractive the facility, it is an emotionally difficult time for child and parents alike.

Parents tend to stifle these feelings with bravado, telling their child, “There will be a lot of other children for you to play with;” “Look at all the toys and things to do;” “Your teacher will ...

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Helping children learn about death

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Dear Grandmothers:

My 3-year-old son Billy’s hamster is looking sickly and I don’t know what to do if it dies. Should I run out and get another one so Billy won’t know what happened? I don’t want him to be sad and upset, so I want to be prepared for this situation.

Worried Mother

 

Dear Worried Mother:

This may sound odd, but you should be grateful Billy has this opportunity to experience death in a relatively simple way, rather than with the ...

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Benefits of play

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Finally research has vindicated the mothers of half a century ago who routinely opened the back screen door and told their kids to go play, and not to bother coming back until the street lights came on or they heard the dinner bell, whichever came first.

Turns out these mothers were not being abusive and neglectful. The moms of the previous century didn’t know it, of course, but they were ensuring that their children developed a critical cognitive skill called “executive ...

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The Santa Question

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This is a controversial subject, so we’re going to work up to our main point gradually.

The Tooth Fairy

No parent that we’re aware of takes great pains to protect the true identity of the Tooth Fairy. Maybe that’s because by the time a child starts losing teeth – at about 6 – he’s already well aware that there’s no good reason for someone in a tutu with wings and a wand to go flitting from bedroom to bedroom gathering up the ...

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When the little one is acting sneaky

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A while ago I visited a friend and her family. One afternoon I found myself in the kitchen with Janine, her lively little 4-year- old. She was playing with a puzzle and I was helping prepare dinner and her mother had gone into the garden. She suddenly looked around and pushed a small stool against the cupboards. She glanced behind, climbed up and reached to the back of the shelf from which she pulled a chocolate.

Holding it tightly, she jumped ...

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Sharing Meals

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Hanna Perkins Garden Cabbage ImageAt Hanna Perkins School, we have a long history of gathering at tables each day to share fresh and nutritious snacks and lunches. During these “family style” meals, children learn to pour their own beverages, serve themselves from a variety of choices, and practice passing and enjoying meals with other children and their teachers.

Currently, in an effort to introduce children to new foods and experiences, ...

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Handling holiday disappointments

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” sings Andy Williams over the PA system in Walmart – and as we pile gifts in our shopping cart we halfway believe it.

The kid riding in the cart, eyeing the decorated artificial trees and the life-sized cardboard Santas and the aisles and aisles of toys sincerely believes it.

His favorite TV shows, his nursery school teachers, the Santa on whose lap he sat last week at the shopping mall, his older siblings and ...

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The spirit of giving: How children’s gifts are recieved

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It was Christmas morning. As the family sat around the little tree, under which was a modest pile of wrapped gifts, Nina could not contain herself.

She ran to the tree, pulled her gifts away from the others and distributed them; one for Poppa, a couple for Mommy and Daddy, and one for Grandma.

She then stood by and watched, wriggling and grinning as they were opened. She was almost 4 and her babysitter had helped her make a card for each ...

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