Tag Archives: child

What a Day!

It’s not even ten am yet and already I have been hard at work on the computer, but am not yet dressed!

First thing–saw that Silver Birch has posted my poem What we took with us when we moved, as a part of their moving day series–warning, this one is sad.

Then, I opened my gmail account and there were the page proofs for Summer in a Bowl!!!!
Amazing work by the artist Rebecca Zeissler.
Countdown to publication day of September 30!!!!!!
You can order the book now , pre-order on THEAQLLC, Amazon and BN
Those who pre-order before the launch date of September 30 can email me a copy of the receipt and be in a drawing to win a copy (signed) of the first book in the series, WHOOSH!
There is a recipe in the back of this one and gardening tips
Excitement!!!!!!!

A Gift for Your Child

We give our children many gift. Today I’d like to thank my mother for a gift she gave me.

Contentment.

I was bemoaning my lack of prowess in sports when she reminded me that I had other talents. She added the cautionary note, “There will always be those who are better than you and some who are not as  competent–in whatever you do. Be happy with where you are. Be glad for your friends when they succeed at something. It’s a gift to them. Everyone needs cheers. So, instead of comparing myself to others I can be happy for others. Give your child this gift. Contentment does not squash the desire to succeed or the desire for excellence. It does not give licenses to be satisfied with mediocrity. I strive to improve, set higher and higher goals for myself always. But at the same time I am free to be happy for my friends whey they get awards, publication credits, just good things in normal life–their joy adds to mine. A life with more joy. Isn’t that what we want? Thank you, Mom, for your gift. I hope it is one I passed on.

Art–Add it to your menu

Of course you put your children’s artwork up. But what about introducing them to the great masters? Even if you don’t live in a city where great art is on display, you can add art to the menu by taking high quality art books out of the library and oouring over them withyoru chld. Buiy postcards of art and put them up in the child’s room. Right alongside the posters and other “kiddie” items.

Art lets us breathe new air. It takes us into new visual worlds and stimulates the mind. The leaps of imaginatio  great scientists make are often compared to the leaps of imagination made by an artist. So, give your child a math and science boost–take him or her to an art exhibit today–online, in a book or in real life (best if you can).

How to Explain Death to a Child

This weekend I attended the funeral of my last uncle. He was 85 and died in an accident in his home, so even though he was elderly, his death was a surprise. His neighbors loved him–especially their young son. They do not know how to explain to the child that his beloved neighbor will not longer visit. Each family deals with these things with these large issues in the framework of their faith and culture.

The American culture tends to hide death from children in a way that poorer countries where death among all ages is frequent, cannot. I offer this –the way we handled the death of my dear Dad, the first grandparent our two children lost.

We told them, as we do believe, that he has simply gone to heaven and that the body that remained was only the shell of their beloved grandfather. We stressed the continuing nature of love and its ability to transcend death, the passing into the afterlife.

Whatever your beliefs, I think it is good to allow the child to grieve and set up a small ritual to commemorate the passing, to allow the child to say good by in a special way. For us it was having the children sign their last valentine cards to my Father and to know that I put them in the coffin with him.(He died in the first week of Feb). If the funeral has passed, you can take a bouquet of flowers and lay them not necessarily at the grave, but at a place shared by the child and the person who has passed on–in the case of this little boy, my Uncle’s porch. Don’t try to tell the child everything you believe or cover the bases of all future possible questions. Answer what is asked, when it is asked, as truthfully as you can, according to your beliefs–with sincerity–and with love and consideration.

First Day of School

If your child goes to a public or private school then he or she is about to face the first day in a new classroom.

New teacher. New friends. Does he or she view it with joyous anticipation or dread? Some of that depends on the personality of the child. We had one of each. We had to find the balance of encouraging the child who dreded the new experience without placing false expectations or diluting the joy of the other child, and what was even harder, never saying “Why can’t you see it as your brother does?”

Your child will have good and bad experiences in school and in life. Be there for him or her with love and support. I remember being upset because I was always chosen last for sports teams–even by my friends.

My mother explained, simply, honestly with no sugar coating for my ego, that I was terrible at sports. Even at age 8 or so I knew she was right. “You have other talents, ” she added. “And besides, all those athletes need someone to cheer them.”

I do have other talents. I’m not sure she knew what they were at the time besides the general idea of being “Smart” which meant good at academics. But she and my Dad supported the idea that I was a worthy, loveable and successful person no matter how many balls I dropped or how often the other team scored against me.

Theater, writing, school newspaper, student government–all of these things were outlets for me as time went on. I learned to do the best I could always, (again my mom) aware that there would always be others more talented, and some less talented–but that my job was to do the best I could with the talent I possessed. My husband and I tried very hard to pass these lessons on to our children. Honesty. No sugar coating.

Work on projects they like at home to build confidence but don’t fabricate better results than they deserve.

Each child , each person truly is special. On the first day of school not all will be sure of it, but remind each one that he or she is loved, pray and be there to listen when the day is done.