Category Archives: Inspire

How I learned to accept my son’s sensory needs

From his earliest days of playground exploration, my son would be in constant contact with other children. Whether it was an angry push, an enthusiastic hug, or just a curious touch, he never kept his hands to himself.

He’s only one, I told myself. He’ll grow out of it.

My son grew older and more agile. He could climb and jump and keep up with kids three times his age. He still pushed. He still hit. He still tackled kids he loved.

How I learned to accept my Son's Senrory Needs

Organized activities, like story time or music class were a nightmare.

He’s only two, I told myself. He’ll grow out of it. Continue reading

Beyond the toy aisle: 5 nontraditional playthings kids will love

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We have all seen the videos of the toddler, ripping open the brand new, expensive toy, only to cast it aside and play with the box for hours. Whether it’s a cardboard box or some old newspaper, kids can turn almost anything into a plaything. For parents on a budget, parents looking for ways to engage their children’s creative thinking or parents just tired of the same old toys cluttering their living rooms, there are a ton of options that can be found beyond the “toy aisle.” In fact, most of these items can be purchased at your local hardware or dollar store or supermarket or even lying around your house.

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Big boys and bunk beds

“I want to get a bunk bed,” my four-year-old exclaimed, out of nowhere, one morning during breakfast.

“Huh?” I thought. I must have misheard him.

Let me back up for a moment here to explain that while my oldest technically has his own room and own place to sleep (a hand-me-down toddler bed), he spends the majority of his nights sleeping with me. I don’t have a strong stance for or against co-sleeping, but I am pro-let-everyone-get-some-rest-so-mommy-doesn’t-go-insane.

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Band-Aids, branding and blogging

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No trademarks were harmed in the posting of this picture

“You have three days to make ‘band-aid’ a thing in a post, article, meme, or live video.,” so were the words of the great Ms. Mary Katherine Backstrom, award-winning creator of Mom Babble, in the writers group she hosts.

I actually heard about this challenge after seeing an odd number of posts referencing band-aids. My initial reaction, before I knew what was going on, was to respond with: “No! Band-aid is a trademarked name by Johnson and Johnson.” I wanted to help my fellow bloggers avoid potential legal pitfalls for unwittingly publishing copyrighted material. Continue reading

Stop bitching about how much better being a kid used to be

Being a kid in the 1970s, 80s or 90s was so much better than today, or so says countless essays, listicles and Facebook rants. We played in the street, stayed put until dark and used our imagination instead of iPads. Our parents were stern, but still gave us freedom to explore. We tell our own children of the good old days and wax poetic about how wonderful their lives would have been back then.

Raising children today can never be like it was. Society changes, values evolve, technology grows, new challenges emerge, etc., etc. Our grandparents grew up very differently from our parents, as did our parents from us. Our great grandparents may not have had much of a childhood because, back then, kids were expected to work at a young age.

Our ancestors are looking down on us and wondering what is wrong with us. Our kids are fortunate in so many ways. They are not suffering the burden of a Great Depression or the terror of a World War. And while, as a New Yorker, I do not discount the real fear of terrorism, the truth is, kids in the United States are safer than ever. Instead of bemoaning the fate of our children, let’s give them the childhood they deserve. Continue reading

Break the rules, not their spirits

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My mother often calls me, “Miss Law and Order,” not because I work in the legal field, but because, from a young age, I tended to always follow the rules. If my family played a game together, you can bet I observed everyone’s moves closely, lest they attempt to cheat. My mom, who is never one to just go with convention, would chide me for being no fun.

My innate desire for things to abide by a predetermined set of regulations regularly clashes with my desire to let my children engage in free play. I fight my urge to grab the instruction manual and shout, “No, this is how you do it!” Continue reading

The meanies lost, or how I taught my four-year-old about the Holocaust 

I watched my son gaze curiously at the wall of the synagogue; his eyes falling on a worn and tattered scroll behind a glass display.

We were visiting my parents’ synagogue during the first two two days of Passover, and my son wanted to learn more about the Torah, the hand-scribed scroll of the Old Testament, which hung on the wall. This particular Torah was desecrated by the Nazis during World War Two and was recovered by the Jewish people. This sacred object was very much a symbol of the resilience of my community and a source of pride for the synagogue.

My inquisitive four-year-old examined the tears and burnt markings and wanted to know what happened. He understood the Torah was usually kept in the Aron Kodesh, or holy cabinet, and is used during Jewish prayer service. He wanted to know why this particular Torah was behind glass.

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