Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Kids are always teaching us how to spell love

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away a man named George Lucas wrote a story about a western set in the future. No one believed in his story except one Hollywood studio that gave him a movie deal. George opted to take less money in exchange for something quite futuristic called licensing rights.

The rest is retail history.

Also, a long time ago in another galaxy (the East Coast), a different George named Carlin had a futuristic view of people having too much stuff.   This concept is one of the reasons the retail industry is in its current death spiral – not to be confused with the death star.

In their never ending quest for product sales, retailers lost sight of what matters more than things, and that is experiences.

About ten years ago I realized my nephews, much like my own kids, had too much stuff. I wasn’t the biggest fan of gift cards because I felt they were a lazy form of gift giving.   With their birthdays and Christmas relatively close, I stopped giving gifts in favor of an experience we call ‘cousins’ weekend’.

Our nephews would gather at our house and play games all weekend, ranging from basketball in the park, to teaching them Brooklyn classics like ‘moonies up’ to card games, board games, bowling and BBQs always ending on the Saturday night with letting them (finally) play video games. As they got older, the games changed to include an escape room, and a trampoline park.

The short-term gift was the fun they had with each other. The longer-term gift was the relationships they formed. Even after ten years, they still love this time together.

Retailers can’t package and sell these experiences, but caring families can.

After all, children spell love T-I-M-E.

Have fun!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

Why Moms Don’t Actually Need Gifts

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

I was listening to a podcast by Simon Sinek, whose TED Talk is the third most popular presentation of all time; he often talks about givers vs. takers.

It dawned on me that’s why mothers are universally loved – because they are unconditional givers.

As givers, they don’t want anything in return except to see the manifestation of their selfless acts reflected in their children, which can often reveal years down the line.

But they patiently wait, continue to give and model the behavior they want their children to emulate.

The ultimate gift is when the giving is passed on. It’s the 5th grader whose teacher compliments his kindness to the new kids, or the college student who puts family over partying, or the new dad who simply adores his baby.

So what does mom want for Mother’s Day?

More of these gifts, though some time alone, a bottle of wine and a spa gift card wouldn’t hurt!

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

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

How kids backyard theme parties matter years later

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Well before videos went viral, our family was famous for birthday theme parties.

You may wonder how we got everyone to make and wear costumes, memorize scripts and perform. It was easy – – no one ate until after the show! The oddest thing is that they all had a part, which meant we actually had no audience.

In celebration of the opening of Beauty and The Beast, here are photos of our production for Noelle’s 4th birthday on Saturday, August 21st 1993 .

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find pictures of the entire cast.  One of my favorites, was Priscilla, an amazing person always impeccably dressed, smoking a long Virginia Slim cigarette, and wearing her very high heels. She was our very own Auntie Mame.

For our production, she wore a large refrigerator box because after all, she was the wardrobe, Madame Garderobe.  Although she complained that her heels were digging into the grass, she still flawlessly delivered her line, “The master’s not so bad, once you get to know him.”

What our kids learned is family and friends play a role in our lives, just as they played a role in our backyard productions.  We needed to fill all kinds of parts, which is why our differences help enrich our lives.

Our parties mattered not only for the memories they created, but appreciation of the people that mattered.

Enjoy the show!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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These little wolves are all in their late 20’s now. Andrew, Ryan, Michael and Vincent.

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My brother Michael as Cogsworth, Gerard as the horse, Bobby Clinton as the cart and of course my husband Mike, wearing a rented beast costume on a 95 degree August day. I’m the only one without a role. After all, I directed!

After an amazing birthday celebration, a little girl goes to sleep in her matching sheets.

After an amazing birthday celebration, a little girl goes to sleep in her matching sheets.

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Rosie as grown up Belle and the spin around costume she made for herself and Noelle as little Belle. Quite clever!

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Kenny and Anthony play Gaston and LeFou. Kenny gets credit for the dishwashing gloves to look like his character, but loses credit for not memorizing the script.

Leaders with no followers are just taking a walk

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

On the eve of the presidential debate, we are reminded of the crisis in leadership that presently exists in this country.

In the case of Wells Fargo, words serving as their mission statement and values were carefully constructed yet meaningless catch phrases, “Everything we do is built on trust. It doesn’t happen with one transaction, in one day on the job or in one quarter. It’s earned relationship by relationship.”

Statements no doubt prepared by expensive consultants and approved by Wells Fargo’s leadership team.

America’s Most Valuable Bank is a title Wells Fargo will no longer hold as the revelation that thousands of their employees were creating bogus checking and credit card accounts in order to meet their strict and unrealistic quotas the only way possible – by cheating.

This fraudulent practice has been going on for years. Over two million fake accounts were created and, as a result, over 5000 people were fired. Clearly this scandal reveals cultural and management problems at Wells Fargo. There are lessons to be learned from this crazy story, and one is: The Misuse of Metrics.

With over two million accounts opened, and no further activity on those accounts, the only metric that mattered was opening accounts.  Where was the compliance monitoring?

Best said by Senator Elizabeth Warren who challenged Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf at Banking Committee Hearing.

Let’s also consider Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch who testified in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The price of the device, used in emergencies to treat severe allergic reactions, has increased more than 500% since Mylan acquired it in 2007.

Let’s model real leadership for our children.  Hopefully their generation won’t play a game of words.  We can do better; we must do better.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

The reason we don’t hang dirty laundry outside

Sunday, 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®

 

 

 

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

Monday, 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?

Sunday, 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?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

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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®

 

 

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

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

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Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. Nelson Mandela

Please watch this week’s video on Resilience.

It’s easy to parent little children with so much in our control. We oversee what they eat, when they sleep, what they wear, who they play with, what they watch and hear. A fall on the playground means a Band-Aid, a kiss, and it’s better.

But as our children grow, outside influences come into play. Life isn’t perfect, so it is important that we teach our children how to bounce back from adversity; how to be resilient.

When our children are faced with disappointments, how do you handle them?

  • Your 15-year old daughter doesn’t make the cheerleading squad?
  • Your 11-year old loses the spelling bee
  • Your 9-year old didn’t make Little League All Stars?

Here are some conversation thought starters:

  • Actively listen, and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Even if your child did something wrong, let them know everybody makes mistakes.
  • Use the mistake as an opportunity to learn. Word of caution – they don’t like hearing ‘life lessons’ but they will someday appreciate the lesson.
  • Let your child know you believe in them. This is different from acknowledging that they deserved to be selected in (fill in the blanks).
  • Engage them in conversation about how they should handle this particular disappointment, and recommend ways they can handle it. Example, could you practice more?
  • Explain the concept of the right skills and right fit. Example, you may have done your very best when trying out for choir, but if they need a soprano and you are an alto, you won’t get selected.
  • Time heals all wounds, and as hard as it is for them to hear, it will be better tomorrow.
  • When your child is better, remind them how good it feels to have handled the situation with grace, tact, dignity and the euphoric feeling of accomplishment.

For more information on this topic, please visit Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page and Twitter feed and you will find:

  1. Monday, July 13th Famous Failures video and a great journal from Parental Wisdom!
  2. Tuesday, July 14th Sesame Street & Bruno Mars video “Don’t give up”
  3. Wednesday, July 15th from Creative with Kids, 25 Ways to teach your children resilience
  4. Thursday, July 16th from PBS Kids, Encouraging Nature Play and a very interesting idea called ‘hummingbird’ parenting as compared to helicopter parenting.
  5. Friday, July 17th Making Bouncing Bubbles to teach kids how to bounce back!
  6. Saturday, July 18th 18 movies that build resilience in children
  7. And more…

And the best advice of all

Two simple words when things don’t go well… 

Do Over

As always, please add your own great ideas, because after all, we are all in this together.

Enjoy and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#valueoftheweek

#resilience

 

Ever wonder why we want to spread democracy?

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.  -Maya Angelou

In August 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was able to conduct a demonstration of his telephone by using two telegraph offices that were five miles apart. Using only the existing telegraph lines, Bell was able to conduct the world’s first phone call in front of an audience of amazed onlookers. Later that year, Bell and his financial backers offered to sell the patent for the telephone to Western Union, but Western Union dismissed the telephone as a useless toy that would never amount to anything.[1]

Ideas and inventions are often developed before their use is fully realized or understood.

Social Media is yet another example. 

This modern day soapbox allows us to have meaningful conversations.  With social media we can really listen, gain empathy and understanding, which could eventually lead to us meet in the middle.

But instead, we use social forums to air public and private disagreements, instantaneously taking a stand and a side.  We use social media to speak, not listen so we don’t fully realize the benefit of Mr. Bell’s invention, a device that allows for long distance conversations.

A recent example of such a disagreement is the movie American Sniper. The irony is the very freedom our military provides gives us the right to disagree.  If we stopped to think about why we want to spread democracy; it’s because a truly democratic society would never vote to send their children to war.

When the phone was first invented, there were literal connections of wire to conversations.  Today we are virtually connected to almost everyone on earth.  Why not take the good intention of social media and really listen to each to create much needed social change?

Ask your children how they might use social media to help society.

Have a great week!

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®