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Getting Schooled By My Preschooler

24 Apr

The intention of this post is not to incite a princess debate. That being said, I certainly have my opinions, and I’ll admit that I can swing back and forth on the pendulum. Like many of you, the messages and lessons one can gather from fairy tales leave me uncomfortable. Likewise, the sheer overabundance of princess products in every aisle of every store makes me feel very put upon. I’m fairly certain I’d feel the same way about any commercial product that was showing up everywhere and stalling my progress in the grocery store by causing unnecessary “discussions” with a 3-year-old (translation: a 10 minute tantrum regarding a giant Cinderella gift bag we have no use for). Now on the other hand, I know my kids would love to go to Disneyland this summer, and I can’t imagine denying them the thrill of meeting the “real” princesses. We also have a number of princess products that have made their way into our home, and I will say that I rather enjoyed taking my kids to see ‘Tangled.’ So there you have it…I’m all over the board. But as I stated above, this isn’t about the great princess debate. It’s actually about me getting schooled by my 5-year-old. Continue reading

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‘Bully’ Part II

10 Apr

Last month I wrote a post about the documentary ‘Bully.’ At the time, the movie had been given an R-rating and was the topic of many conversations. On April 5th, it was announced that the MPAA granted ‘Bully’ a PG-13 rating without requiring filmmakers to sacrifice significant content. This wise decision will allow this movie to be viewed by its intended audience – adolescents and teenagers in schools. Continue reading

Bully

13 Mar

The award-winning documentary Bully is scheduled to be released in theaters on March 30th.  This powerful look at the devastating consequences of bullying has the potential to affect change in the way we all think about and deal with this type of abuse – especially in schools. I’ve watched this trailer nearly 10 times, and I’ve yet to view it without tearing-up. But this emotional, valuable and relevant documentary has been given an R rating for language, restricting the accessibility of this film for the audience who would benefit most – children under the age of 17. Continue reading

Messes and Messages

28 Feb

I will fully admit that I moved to Arizona kicking and screaming. I was not a trooper. I did not handle this relocation with ease nor with grace. But two kids and 7 ½ years later I have to say that living in the Valley of the Sun (especially in February) is pretty sweet. Continue reading

When you really wish they hadn’t heard that….

14 Feb

We do our fair share of TV watching in my house. I mean come on….a mom’s got to shower now and again, right? Now don’t get me wrong, my kids don’t veg-out in front of the television for hours on end. But, I’m not going to pretend I don’t let them watch TV because I do….. That being said I realize we are entering some troubled waters. My five year-old has begun requesting “big kid” TV shows, so I see that our days of mild, relatively commercial-free programming on Nick Jr. and PBS are inevitably numbered. Continue reading

February Book Salute: Chrysanthemum

7 Feb

I love how authentic literature allows us to explore challenging topics and inspires conversations. There are so many amazing books out there that touch on elements critical to enhancing relational skills among boys and girls – issues at the heart of the Sanford Harmony Program. Beginning today, the first Tuesday of every month will be dedicated to these wonderful and useful pieces of literature ranging from children’s fiction to adult non-fiction. These monthly book posts are not intended to be book reviews, but rather “shout –outs” to fine works that provide opportunities to think and talk about matters that contribute to bringing boys and girls together and promoting healthy relationships. Continue reading

“Be Impeccable With Your Words”

26 Jan

No Name-Calling Week: January 23-27, 2012

It’s No Name-Calling Week, a week dedicated to bringing national attention to the problem of name-calling in our schools. Inspired by James Howe’s young adult novel, The Misfits, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing created the No Name-Calling Week Coalition in hopes of starting an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying.

Since hearing about this initiative at the beginning of the month, name-calling has been on my mind. That was just code for; No Name-Calling Week has triggered my obsessive thoughts. Continue reading

10 Reasons Girls & Boys Should Play Together

18 Jan

The following statement is neither profound nor surprising, but here it is anyway: Boys and girls don’t spend a whole lot of time with each other.

There’s no doubt that same-gender peer groups are great, but here are ten reasons why boys and girls would also benefit from playing TOGETHER. Continue reading

Lego Friends Misses the Mark on Friendships

12 Jan

I hold my memories of working at Gray Elementary School very close to my heart. It was (and still is) a fabulous Chicago Public School, with passionate and innovative teachers and supportive and forward-thinking administrators. While the learning happening inside the school was quite progressive, the school structure itself dated back to 1911. Remodeling and updating took place over the years, but certain elements of the original facade were preserved – namely, the separate boys’ and girls’ entrances.

Set on opposite ends of the building with words etched in stone above, these doors had long since brought boys and girls into school separately. And the sight of this historical signage never elicited any type of negative feelings from me. In fact, I appreciated the history it represented. If anything, it was a reminder of how far we’ve come (in education and as a culture), and an incentive for continuing to push for change and improvement. Separate entrances for boys and girls – a thing of the past, ancient history, olden times, distant memories….  It’s 2012 now for goodness sakes. It’s a time of inclusion, progressive thinking, and ingenuity.

So could someone please explain to me why an industry that has the resources to be all of this and more has created the likes of Legos Friends? Continue reading

Why I Started My New Year’s Resolution on December 19th

2 Jan

While we’re only a few days into 2012, I already have a couple of weeks worth of resolution under my belt. This year, my New Year’s Resolution is to not yell at my kids.

I realized that something had to give when I barely made it through day #1 of Winter Vacation. What started out as a great plan quickly turned into a morning full of screaming: Continue reading

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