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Are You & Your Kids Ready . . . Just in case??

As parents, we wonder (sometimes constantly) if our kids are ready.  Ready for kindergarten.  Ready to ride the bus.  Ready to be “dropped off” without mom.  With each new stage, comes new questions of “readiness.”  Sometimes we prepare them; and sometimes, they can suddenly prepare us.  Whether we’re ready or not. Be ready.  Be ready to be their leader, their source of information, their “at that moment” teacher of values.  Some things come quickly with these kids, especially in this rapidly developing world in which we live.  Be ready.  I can help.  I can help your kids too (and have them laugh along the way). Check out my books and their reviews.  They’ve helped a lot of parents, caregivers, kids . . . to be ready . . . for so much.  For girls, I suggest a Just In Case pouch.  Yep.  A Pouch.  Just in case.  Read on, check out my books.  There’s that . . . and more . . . awaiting to help you and your middle graders be ready . . .

SleepAway Camp: A Stepping Stone Into Responsibility

Summer. I find myself wanting to re-create my idyllic childhood summers for my children. Isn’t that human nature, parenting nature, perhaps pure Mother Nature that drives us to re-create for our children what was good in our childhoods, while also adding in what we didn’t have? I always wanted to go to summer camp, sleepaway camp to be exact. My husband too. Whether it was financial restraints, or just not on our parents’ radar, sleepaway camp wasn’t part of the summer recipe. It’s not that I’m complaining. I was blessed with the perfect childhood summers. I spent weeks at the Jersey shore, time in Pennsylvania with grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins, all while spending my everyday summer time in my then hometown in Connecticut. Mornings were spent at swim lessons, followed by the library, and then long, hot, lazy afternoons at the pool. Capped by neighborhood nighttime fun of Kick-the-Can, Witch’s Hour, Spud . . . catching a few of the hundreds of fireflies . . . which later transformed themselves into a temporary lantern …

Spring Into Spring Break!

Spring.  Spring Break.  It’s in the air. Can you feel it? Check out these 101 Fun Things For Teens To Do This Spring. Whether you’re traveling or having a spring break staycation, it’s a perfect time to pause, re-group and get a little spring in your step. Consider an IMAX theater showing. In various science centers, museums and other locations, IMAX movies can offer a delight into nature and adventure, and can generally appeal to all ages. What venues exist right around you that you never have time to visit? You’ll be pleasantly reminded about what’s out there if you take a moment to think . . . and peruse your local offerings. Try a park. Take a Frisbee. What about local lakes, hiking areas, or coastal destinations that may be within a day’s trip? Try some chocolately fun recipes. Once it gets started, you’ll never know who will flock into the kitchen to “help” and take a peek. Make a movie on your computer or your phone.  Chances are, your kids can lead the way, …

When in Rome . . . And Other Life Lessons for Kids

I want to take my kids to Europe. See the sights. Experience the art. Take in the food . . . the history . . . the culture. I’ve realized that when I take my kids to Europe it will be more than exposing them to the beauty, the allure, the attraction of Europe – and beyond. They will also learn . . . to suck it up . . . “tiens le coup,” as they say in France. In English terms, it means: to withstand the weather; to endure; to tough it out, and to stick it out. I’m not talking about the “sucking it up” that they learn on a mission trip or otherwise. That’s another story. For another time (but certainly on the radar screen). Taking kids to another country requires them to learn tolerance and the appreciation of differences, while learning to relinquish their advantaged American conveniences. When in Rome, they learn to do as the Romans do, and so on with the French in France, the Swiss in Switzerland, and …

SleepAway Camp: A Stepping Stone for Independence & Responsibility?

Summer. I find myself wanting to re-create my idyllic childhood summers for my children. Isn’t that human nature, parenting nature, perhaps pure Mother Nature that drives us to re-create for our children what was good in our childhoods, while also adding in what we didn’t have? I always wanted to go to summer camp, sleepaway camp to be exact. My husband too. Whether it was financial restraints, or just not on our parents’ radar, sleepaway camp wasn’t part of the summer recipe. It’s not that I’m complaining. I was blessed with the perfect childhood summers. I spent weeks at the Jersey shore, time in Pennsylvania with grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins, all while spending my everyday summer time in my then hometown in Connecticut. Mornings were spent at swim lessons, followed by the library, and then long, hot, lazy afternoons at the pool. Capped by neighborhood nighttime fun of Kick-the-Can, Witch’s Hour, Spud . . . catching a few of the hundreds of fireflies . . . which later transformed themselves into a temporary lantern …

The Middle School Bus Stop – One Door Closes & Another Opens

So what’s up with that? Our pre-teens don’t want us waiting at the bus stop, but they’re the first ones to yell, “Shotgun!” as they enthusiastically plead to hop in the front seat of our car. I know I shouldn’t take it personally, like that day I ultimately acquiesced and didn’t go to the bus stop (okay, confession, I peeked from around the driveway….I mean, have you seen the news?), but can’t we maintain a mere bit of that parent-kid connection, that quality time thing……that How Are You, Tell Me About Your Day thing?   I hate to tell you, but those quality time days from the bus stop are gone. Gone like a ham sandwich with a hobo. Trade them in. Give that pre-teen of yours the rite of passage for . . . are you ready? . . . a new level of quality time. Once you view your tweener as big enough, safe enough, strong enough to handle that (gasp!) potential airbag thing, trade the bus stop in for the front seat. It’s …