Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Poignant, Powerful Gift with No Power Chord: What We Can Learn About Gift Giving & Bringing Comfort From a College Bound Teen

At the risk of stereotyping: one of the great things about teenage boys, (well my teenage boys) is that as long as they have some form of technology in their hands, they do not want very much else.

Last August when it came time to kit Aron out for his college room, he didn't seem to want or need anything.

Hangers? -I can take them from my wardrobe.

New blanket? - I'll take the one from my bed.

Garbage can? -I'll take the one from my room...and so it went on.

Aron, unlike many of his (female) friends did not want to buy up the brochure display of college rooms or have everything matching. 

I, on the other hand, wanted to buy him ONE new thing for his college room or at the very least, encourage him to use some of the generous gift cards he had received as graduation gifts. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Number ONE thing You Can Do to Set Your Child Up For Success in School.

Your children are about to go back to school and (apart from secretly or not so secretly, jumping up and down with excitement), you have been rushing around gathering everything they need for a smooth start.

You have assembled their
Superhero backpacks
School supplies
School clothes or uniform
School and medical forms
Lego themed Lunch boxes and healthy school snacks
PE kit
Locker decals, fancy highlighters and Frozen themed everything
And so on….

You are trying to get your kids back into some semblance of a normal bedtime routine and making sure they've done their summer reading and completed their math packets, even if it means 8 hours of reading, every day, from now until school begins.

You have checked all these things off and now you are left perhaps with your child's angst about the new school year and probably your own.

I have sat on both sides of the teacher's desk, as a classroom teacher, special needs practioner and Principal and as a parent for 21 years!

I have partnered with parents to ensure a good outcome for their kids and been that anxious parent with a litany of worries about my own three kids.

When school begins will they be with their friends, or make new ones?
Will they be bullied?
Will they stay organized?
 Will they manage to find their way from one classroom to the next?
Will they struggle with their writing?
Will they cope with the new math program?
Will they find the homework load manageable?
Is a second or third language too much for them to learn?

 And probably most importantly of all, will they have a great teacher or teachers who can help make a difference in all these areas?

The number one thing you can do to enhance the chances of a great school year is relatively simple, costs nothing but can have the biggest impact on your child's happiness and success…...

Monday, August 11, 2014

6 Ways to Bring Light Into a Dark World

Our world is in a period of great turmoil.

Negative clouds have thrown shadows over the goodness in the world.   

 The 24/7 news is bombarding us with images of hatred, death and destruction.

In addition to a daily diet of shootings, rape and racism, the news is now replete with the horrific actions of terrorist groups: ISIS, Boko Haram and Hamas. Children have been kidnapped and murdered. Planes have disappeared or been shot down. Overt anti-semitism has returned to Europe. And Ebola has reared its ugly head. 

Facebook, twitter and emails are filled to the brim with negativity and vitriolic, hateful comments.

We are feeling angry, afraid, anxious and depressed.

We feel like helpless witnesses to a world that is out of balance.

How can we temper this darkness  so that we don't sink into an abyss?

How can we possibly make a difference?