The reason we don’t hang dirty laundry outside

May 8th, 2016

“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that.”

Judith Viorst

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Being a mom is a 24/7, 365 days a year for the rest of your life kind of wonderful!

And you know this is true because of all the Facebook posts with smiles, flowers and hearts.

But let’s be honest.  Yes, it is wonderful and rewarding and all the positive talk, but not perfect.  Being a mom requires work and lessons and disappointment, but well worth the effort.

To the new moms out there…you are doing well.  Don’t let others’ happy pictures (including mine) lead you to believe that other moms have all good days.  We sometimes yell, and say bad things, and don’t always make homemade cupcakes or attend every baseball game.

But we do the best with what we have.  So the next time you see all smiles on Facebook, think about this:

We don’t hang our dirty laundry outside on the clothesline. 

Washing dirty clothes is simply part of the job, and we learn to put our kids in nice clean clothes for the outside world.  We all do the best we can!

Have a great week and a fabulous Mother’s Day!

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

 

The true meaning of ping

March 20th, 2016

ravioli

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. 

Harriet van Horne

They purchased all the ingredients and planned the day so they could make well over a hundred ravioli before Easter. The women would gather in the basement of the row house on 44th Street in Brooklyn in an assembly line fashion.  Aprons on and work area set, they would focus on making dough and the filling, which was called “ping.”

On Easter Sunday, the family would eagerly gather at the table for a traditional first course. I never understood the origin of the word ping, and never gave it much thought until many years later as the colloquial use of the word would mean reaching out to connect with someone. You might hear someone say, “Ping me when you’re available.”

It’s funny, but that is what the ping filling did all those years ago; it connected everyone in the family.  We found the recipe and yesterday we followed it. Since taste is such a powerful memory trigger, we believe we got it right because the stories of those family gatherings so long ago seemed as if they happened only yesterday.

I suppose the true meaning on the word “ping” is connections after all.  And today is National Ravioli Day!

Mangia!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Being a Team Player – A Parent’s Guide: On and off the field

February 29th, 2016

A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.

Mary Lou Retton

Home Field Advantage: Sports Talk

Why do your children play sports?  Do they want to? Do you want them to? Are they enjoying themselves?

When children sign up for sports, most parents want them to have fun, exercise, learn skills and team play…all while remaining safe and healthy.

How do you know your child is having a positive experience? What is your role as a parent?

Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Show them your love and support, win or lose.
  • Develop healthy attitudes toward competition; discuss the value of effort, persistence and courage.
  • Encourage them to do their best.
  • Explaining while winning is an admirable goal, winning at all costs is not.
  • Discuss the value of rules and discipline.

Before the Game: Setting Goals

Support your children’s interests by getting to know their coaches, and making sure the coaches (and yes, you too parents) demonstrate behaviors that reflect desired attitudes and ethics.

Game Day: Fan or Foe?

Now that you know the value of being a team player both on and off the field, it’s important to understand your fan “type:”

The Cheerleader: You cheer for your child and her team, or even for a good play on the opposing team.

The Critic: Your comments involve shouting corrections or comments at your child, his teammates, and coaches or referees.

The Observer: You quietly watch your child’s sporting event, smiling, nodding, and giving a “thumb’s up” when you see something positive.

The Ghost: You are not at most of the games, and if you are there, you are not present, but spending time on your phone and with your back to the game.

Ask your child to complete this sentence.  I enjoy when you come to my games because…

If you are one of those amazing sports families, you may want to consider planning a trip to various sports hall of fames, such as:

Hockey Hall of Fame – Toronto, Ontario

Basketball Hall of Fame – Springfield, Massachusetts

Baseball Hall of Fame – Cooperstown, NY

Football Hall of Fame – Canton, OH

Tennis Hall of Fame – Newport, RI

Soccer Hall of Fame – Oneonta, NY

Volleyball Hall of Fame – Holyoke, MA

Golf Hall of Fame – St. Augustine, FL

Softball Hall of Fame – Oklahoma City, OK

Ice Skating – Denver, CO

Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame – Ishpeming, MI

Lacrosse Hall of Fame – Baltimore, MD

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What are we trying to accomplish?

January 31st, 2016

einstein

It happened again. 

The other evening we are at a restaurant.  A family of four enters; the two little boys don’t even glance up from their cell phones as they are being seated. Shortly after orders are placed, the parents join the independent activity on their cell phones.

Yes, times are different but what hasn’t changed is the invaluable connection to the most important people in our lives.  As Einstein fears, are we at the stage where technology is surpassing human interaction?

  • How will our children learn they are part of a family that matters more than anything else?
  • How will they come to know the wonder and craziness of extended family if they don’t listen to the rich family stories?
  • How do parents teach values if children are listening to what is deemed newsworthy by popular culture?

When It Comes to Infant Language Development, Not All Toys Are Created Equal.

Parents – you are the perfect toy!

Of all the changes we would love to make in society but can’t – this one is completely in your control.

Please forgive me if I’m not impressed that your one-year-old knows how to swipe an iPad.  It would be so much better if they know how to turn the page of a book.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What do you want for Christmas?

December 17th, 2015

everett

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.

Yoda to Obi-Wan about the purity of innocence and the insights that can be gleamed from listening to fresh ideas. – Episode II: Attack of the Clones

While wrapping my gifts I noticed empty paper cardboard rolls and ribbon spools.  Rather than toss them out, I looked at them differently; almost as if they would be treated as treasures for children with wonderful imaginations.

My thinking was heightened as I had recently spent time with such a little boy.  He seemed to be able to make a game out of any object, and included adults as part of the game.  That gave him time to get to know and appreciate us. When we left his house, he turned and said, “I want to give you one more hug.” I thought how priceless it is for family to hear that from a child.

I suspect that was largely due to the creative freedom he had to make up his own games.  Since he was a four-year-old boy, naturally the games involved a lot of physical movement.  But that might be why he was so happy.  I remember an interview a number of years ago with Dr. Vicki who talked about little boys and anger.  Please listen to her complete broadcast on dealing with anger, but the message is that little children, especially boys, need to move and play.  If they don’t have such opportunities, their pent up energy is displaced as irritability and anger.

When buying your children presents for Christmas, remember that playing with them makes the game so much better and far more memorable.

See how these toys from the past 100 years jar your memory.

During this holiday season, remember it’s more than the gift or the toy.  Be part of the fun and include extended family as well. The time you play with them is what the kids will remember.

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Kwanzaa

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

The Thanksgiving Table

November 25th, 2015

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

Henry David Thoreau

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live did a great skit about a family Thanksgiving ‘discussion’ and how the Adele song Hello made people stop and think.

The scene is likely repeated in homes all over the country; it’s a great, simple message.  No need for controversy; we will have differences of opinion, but let’s be thankful for the people around the table, and in our lives.

Peace is harmony, and something we can create for ourselves.

Enjoy spending time with the people that you love, and give thanks you are able to celebrate with them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

A discussion on integrity

September 27th, 2015

Look for 3 things in a person – intelligence, energy and integrity.  If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two. – Warren Buffet

Two leaders were in the news this week.  One for giving us hope, and the other despair.

Pope Francis captivated America by his gestures of kindness.

Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn led the effort to rig 11 million cars worldwide so that pollution controls would work only when regulators were testing them.  The rest of the time, on the road in regular use, a “defeat device” was engaged, and those same cars emitted up to 40 times as many smog-forming nitrogen oxides.

Talk to your children about:

  • Choices people make as it relates to integrity
  • The cost associated to people believing in you again
  • The value of a reputation
  • Experiences they can relate to, such as test taking, and students demonstrating acts of kindness

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #integrity #valueoftheweek

 

Making a difference – Raising a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

August 9th, 2015

making a difference

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.

Malala Yousafzai to the UN Youth Assembly 2012.

According to the 2015 Child Stats government data, there are presently 49.7 million children ages 6 to 17 living in the U.S.

What would happen if all those children began to recognize problems and offer solutions? They would be successful because children don’t stop to think of all the reasons why something might not work!

Instead of making excuses, they would take action, which usually starts in their own community.  By experiencing success, they gain courage, confidence and know how needed to build a network. These children aren’t special; in fact they are regular kids with one thing that gives them (dare I say it) a superpower. It’s conviction.

As you read stories about these children, you will be inspired. When your own child comes to you with the desire to tackle a problem, don’t dismiss them; encourage them.  After all, where do you think the next generation of leaders will come from?

Here is one simple idea to get started…most families are getting ready for back to school which means a shiny new book bag filled with new school supplies. There are nearly half a million children in Foster Care that don’t experience that annual family tradition and very likely aren’t prepared on the first day of school

With your child search online for local organizations that welcome donations and give a foster child a reason to smile on the first day of school.

Here are more inspiring stories:

8 Amazing Kids Who Make a Difference

10 Kids Who Changed the World

What can you do today?

Begin a discussion with your child about concerns:

In the community

  • Land use
  • Vacant lots, abandoned buildings
  • Beautification projects
  • Animals and wildlife
  • Libraries
  • Literacy
  • A community garden
  • Parks and recreation
  • Sports and athletics

Social Concerns

  • Families
  • Child care
  • The Elderly
  • Homelessness
  • Nutrition and health
  • Poverty
  • Diversity

The Environment

  • Pollution
  • Garbage and recycling

Public Safety

  • Disaster preparedness
  • Crime
  • Safety and accidents

All this week, please look for resources and ideas on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page, Twitter Feed and Instagram for resource links and inspiration.

It is more important that your children are kind rather than happy.

See you next week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #makingAdifference #valueoftheweek

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Self-Reliance – Raising a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

August 2nd, 2015

Oz-end

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

In order to survive and thrive, babies have complete reliance on their parents. As they grow and learn, we need to help them build self-reliance.

What is self-reliance?

A person who is self-reliant is self-sufficient, able to think and function independently, is not risk-averse and solves problems rather than worries about them. Such a person would trust his own judgment, rarely needing to consult others for advice or guidance. A self-reliant person has better control of his life and can handle any curveball that life may throw his way.  This is exactly what we want to build in our adult children.

Here are strategies that can be used as a starting point, and consider age appropriateness.

  • Give kids responsibility – and hold them accountable for completing tasks.
    • Don’t do things for your children they can do for themselves. Three-year-olds can make their beds. An easy way to do that is to take three pictures as an example and hang the pictures by the bed.
  • Let them problem solve – be your child’s coach rather than sage.
    • For a middle school aged child with a problem with friends…Ask them, “What’s bothering you?” Let them explain and then assure them… “I know you can figure this out.” Give them time and ask, “How do you think you can fix this problem?”
  • Make room for mistakes – nothing is perfect, especially not at first.
    • They are learning self-reliance so they aren’t going to get it right all the time, whether it is how to make the bed, take the garbage out, set the table for dinner, or put windshield washer fluid in the car. Don’t jump in to ‘rescue’ them or hover over them. We learn by our mistakes.
  • Other ideas:
    • Begin with small tasks. Don’t say, “Clean up this room.” But instead, “Put the Legos in the bin.”
    • Encourage ‘free-play” throughout the day. Children need time to make their own rules, pretend and establish boundaries.
    • Schedule daily chores – children should learn early they are part of a family and that means helping with chores. Create a chore chart, with pictures for younger children.
    • Provide options when possible. Choice should be limited for younger children, and can increase as children mature. This helps them become independent thinking. This often begins with choices in what they are going to wear.
    • Give them stretch goals – ask them to do a little more than might be expected. That can be great for their self-esteem. You may even want to plan what new things they can try for the week. As an example, think of household skills, cooking skills, financial skills, or life skills.
    • Recognize them for things they’ve done well, but don’t recognize them for things they haven’t; the praise will be meaningless. Say, “Great job on putting all the Legos away!” or “Thank you for bringing the dinner dishes over.”

Since I opened with a classic movie line that helps reinforce the concept of self-reliance, I would like to close with one as well.

From Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Professor Henry Jones to Indiana Jones:

Did I ever tell you to eat up, go to bed, wash your ears, do your homework? No, I respected your privacy and I taught you self reliance.

Follow us all week for additional tips follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  As always, please share your thoughts because we are all in this together!

See you next week.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #self-reliance #valueoftheweek

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Friendship – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

July 26th, 2015

street games 5

 

There is only one way to have a friend, and that is to be a friend. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If necessity is the mother of invention, then our children had to find ways to make friends online because we make it difficult to make friends the old fashioned way; on the playground.

We were told we were bad mothers if our children played outside.   The alternative was to keep them inside where they found entertainment watching TV and playing electronic games.

From the time they are babies, we organize play dates, and as young as toddlers, we put them in organized sports. The problem is they have no idea how to organize a pick up game of baseball. They may not even know what a pick up game is.

When their friends do come over, they sit side by side playing electronic games with no face time (I mean that literally).

Left on their own, children invent games on the fly, natural leaders rise to the occasion, and friendships are formed; all with no adult intervention.

Let’s give our children the opportunity to learn how to be a good friend, which includes:

  • Giving them free time – don’t over schedule
  • Making friends a priority
  • Be there for good times and bad times
  • Be honest and kind
  • Be loyal
  • Knowing what to say and when to say it
  • That in time of crisis – drop everything
  • Be happy for them when good things happen to them
  • A smile and positive outlook go a long way!

All week, please look out for ideas to help you and your child discuss friendship on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page, Twitter Feed and Instagram.

Friends are people you can count on, but don’t need to count on Facebook. This blog post is dedicated to people I am privileged to call my friends.

See you next week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #friendship #friends #valueoftheweek

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Parents Ask, Experts Answer:Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children

Because Kids Don’t Come with Manuals®