Becky Bites

“Becky bites”, the three-year-old said, holding out his arm as evidence. Sure enough, there were the teeth marks, substantiation that he had indeed been bitten.

“Did you tell the teacher?” I asked, hoping he, in response, had remembered to use his words, an important if not easy, milestone for every child. (more…)

Punishment vs. Discipline

We have recently been looking over some pamphlets that were published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the major professional organization that supports quality programs for children under eight years of age and provides information and resources for the educators who work with these children.  I found the following definitions, which delineate some of the differences between discipline or guidance and punishment, informative as well as thought provoking. (more…)

My School-Age Child’s A Picky Eater

The older the child, the more resistance s/he is able to muster because the unwise food has been around for a longer period of time. From the child’s point of view, the fact that you allowed “white bread and ice cream” in the past means you considered them acceptable choices. Therefore, as the child reasons, these foods must still be acceptable and besides, “I like them!” (more…)

Grandparent Storytelling

Almost from the time my grandchildren could speak, requests for storytelling were frequent. A special time were those quiet moments traveling in the car or as we prepared for nap time.  The children were certainly asking to be entertained, however on a deeper level they were also asking to hear about their attachment to this family and to the people who loved and cared for them.  Stories have always been a way that we have helped children understand who they are and their place in their community and the wider world. (more…)

Fun Learning Activities–Young Infants

Fun Learning Activities for Infants

Your infant has arrived and now a good deal of your time is spent feeding, cuddling and perhaps walking the floor. This time is filled with learning for you and learning for your baby as well. Most of this  can be fun, especially with some of these activities.

Infants are eager sensory learners. Watch how your baby responds as you try some of these activities.  S/he will let you know if they are pleasing and fun or if you should try something else.  All of these activities are good to use with newborns and young infants (birth to 3 or 4 months) and more sophisticated versions can be added as your baby matures. (more…)


You’ve been doing all the right things, and you still have a picky eater. What else can you try?

* Plant vegetables together. Some children will try something they’ve grown, although this is not quick enough for others. One mom I know, whose children were frustrated with the slowness, bought carrots with their green tops still attached and planted them while her children were in school. The children were excited to dig up a carrot or two for dinner, and actually tasted them. (more…)

Creativity and Emotional Safety

We know it’s important to foster creativity in our child’s life and we know that “stepping back” and getting out of her way is an important part of the process. But there are also things we need to actively do to facilitate that process. Creating an environment that is safe is one of the legs of this four-legged stool called individual creativity. (more…)

Birth Order: Your Second Child

Your second child arrives into the family to discover that, along with adults, there is a small person who is only a bit ahead in size and abilities. While the Oldest is comparing herself to the adults and striving to be like them, this  Second in  birth order is intent on catching up and surpassing his bother or sister (more…)

Birth Order and Parenting Skills

So many factors influence how our children develop and we know birth order is only one. How parents interact with each child is another and parenting skills are a huge focus for most of us. The other day I came across an article about some research that had been done in 2003 that took both the birth order and the parent’s skill level into account. (Journal of Marriage and Family 65.3) The question raised for this research was this. Will a parent’s experience with a first born improve their interactions with and parenting of the second born child? (more…)

Divorce: When A Marriage Falls Apart

We marry with such high expectations. But no matter how sophisticated we become, there still lives inside each young bride or groom the vision of “happily ever after.” A child or children join over time, and we become a family. But in some families, happy seems to disappear, replaced by conflict. And sometimes, even with our best efforts, divorce becomes the only option. (more…)