Archive for the ‘Resilience’ Category

How to go on after Toys “R” Us ceases to exist

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

At the heart of every family tradition is a meaningful experience.

We had a wonderful family tradition in the early 90’s.

On Friday evenings after work, I would pick the kids up from day care, take them to the Chinese restaurant and put in our order.  We would then walk next door to Blockbuster to choose a movie and head back to pick up the food.  While heading back we did this sort of conga/salsa dance move singing a little homemade song to the words ‘Chinese food and movies’.

Friday’s were sacred and totally dedicated to family time after a busy work week.  All the week night rules were out the window.  We popped the movie in the VCR, sat in front of the TV and ate our Chinese food.

The tradition lasted until Blockbuster went out of business.

But their failure to evolve as a business was not going to impact our family tradition; we simply moved to Netflix.

Now, with the liquidation of Toys “R” Us many family traditions will change. Where they would have headed to the store to celebrate a good report card, birthday, or holiday, that special trip just won’t happen again.

But you don’t have to lose the joy because you lost the toy.  Instead build memories with experiential gifts.

Why reward the report card, when you can reward the effort?  If your child just completed a dinosaur diorama, take them to a museum that features dinosaurs such as The Museum of Natural History.

Why just give a book as a gift, when you can give a whole experience? One of the best gifts my daughter received from family was the book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, celebrated with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and lunch in Brooklyn.

If you are one of those amazing sports families, you may want to consider planning a trip to the hall of fame of your favorite sport.

There are many opportunities where families can stay close to home, and for little money attend local festivals, or support the local high school by attending concerts, plays and sporting events.  This also teaches kids they are part of a community.

Rather than worrying about your kids’ use of technology, host family game nights.

Why wait for the big holidays?  You can celebrate everyday holidays so there is always something to look forward to.

Here are a few examples:

January

  • Science Fiction Day – Jan 2nd
  • Sunday Supper Day – Jan 14th
  • Kazoo Day – Jan 28th

February

  • Random Acts of Kindness – Feb 17th
  • Margarita Day – Feb 22nd (ok, that’s clearly NOT for the kids!)
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day – Feb 26th

March

  • Dr. Seuss Day (Read across America) Mar 2nd
  • Pi Day – Mar 14th
  • Take a Walk in the Park Day – Mar 30th

April

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Day – Apr 2nd
  • Teach Children to Save Day – Apr 20th
  • Take our Kids to Work Day – Apr 26th

May

  • Star Wars Day – May 4th
  • Teacher Appreciation Day – May 8th
  • Take your Parents to the Playground Day – May 20th

June

  • Drive-In Movie Day – Jun 6th
  • Flag Day – June 14th
  • Meteor Watch Day – Jun 30th

July

  • Mac and Cheese Day – Jul 14th
  • Toss away ‘Could Have Should Have’ Day – Jul 21st
  • Cousins Day – Jul 24th

August

  • Friendship Day – Aug 5th
  • Bowling Day – Aug 11th
  • Tooth Fairy Day – Aug 22nd

September

  • Day of Encouragement  – Sep 12th
  • Talk Like a Pirate Day – Sep 19th
  • Family Health and Fitness Day – Sep 29th

October

  • Do Something Nice Day – Oct 5th
  • Mad Hatter Day – Oct 6th
  • Magic Day – Oct 31st

November

  • STEM/STEAM Day – Nov 8th
  • Philanthropy Day – Nov 15th
  • Day of Giving – Nov 27th

December

  • Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day – Dec 8th
  • Nobel Prize Day – Dec 10th
  • Thank –You Note Day – Dec 26th

Here are 62 ideas I posted last year, that are especially helpful as you plan for summer.

Personally, I am deeply saddened by the store closings.   I so enjoyed taking my children there, and I was looking forward to taking my grandchildren there too. I worked at Toys “R” Us for many years with amazing and talented people who will not only lose the traditions, but their jobs.

Change is the only constant, but we need to teach our children resilience.   I hope these ideas help all of us move on.

Wishing you the very best,

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

 

Our reality should not be their reality

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The anniversary of 9/11 is again upon us.  We will replay the horror we witnessed and feel the sadness and loss the victims’ families experience every day.

The scenes of the original attack were aired so many times that the news outlets were asked to stop because children thought the attacks were repetitive.

The news is never meant for young children. 

Recent stories include the beheading of American journalists, war and natural disasters.  Today information is always available, but we have to protect our young children from harsh reality and let them be children as long as we can.

You may want to just play Raffi while you’re in the car!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Constraints help us be more creative

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Next week, parents and teachers join forces to celebrate Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr Seuss, who is known for writing children’s books.

Teachers dress up and plan activities demonstrating the fun of reading.  Though geared to students, there is a lesson we can all learn from Dr. Seuss.

In 1960 his publisher at Random House, Bennett Cerf, made a wager with Theodor S. Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) that he could write an intelligent, entertaining children’s book only using 50 words.

Geisel won the bet and $50; one dollar for each word. Despite the limitation of words, over 200 million copies of Green Eggs and Ham have been sold.

Kids of all ages can learn how constraints help us be more creative.

Constraints are often used as an excuse for not moving forward.  Instead, let’s embrace them and come up with creative solutions.  Don’t buy your child a creativity kit, which is an oxymoron, but rather give them things you have around the house and ask them to create something.  You might be surprised at the result. Talk about how limitations helped the ground crew bring home the astronauts from Apollo 13.

In business, we look for reasons that stand in the way of us being innovative.  We don’t have the time or money, or we haven’t vetted out ideas properly, or don’t have the right talent. I’ve written this before, but if we wait till all the lights are green before we leave for work, we will never begin.

As our children’s greatest role model, what is it that you would love to do?  Get started despite the constraints, and your children will follow your lead.

You may even want to fry up Green Eggs and Ham!

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

Choosing to recover from Sandy Hook

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

  

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

I drove on Rt. 95 North in Connecticut today and spotted a billboard that said, ‘Sandy Hook chooses love’.  Perhaps that is how we begin to recover, we choose love.  

The young students of Sandy Hook returned to school this week to familiar surroundings thanks to thoughtful community support. They lit up when they saw their desks, book bags, teachers and friends.   Children are wonderfully resilient and always looking for the good in people.  They look to love.

This holiday season, there was a deep sadness we felt for the victims’ families because we knew that it wasn’t just this Christmas they would be missing, but every Christmas, every birthday, every first day of school.  There is an emptiness that won’t end for the families.

We’re also filled with fear that this could happen anywhere to anyone.  When our children ask if they are safe, how do we honestly respond?  How do we confidently send them off to school?

I’ve thought about this a lot since the Sandy Hook Elementary school incident happened, and wondered how we could answer these questions for our children and our own peace of mind.

There are actually a few answers:

As Mr. Rogers suggests, look to the helpers.  Fortunately, the good people in the world are in the majority. Though this speaks to our outlook; having a good frame of mind isn’t enough.

We can make things better by influencing and insisting on the change that must happen such as: 

  • Fewer guns, better screening and a ban on semi-automatic weapons. 
  • The 113th Congress just started their session. Why didn’t the previous Congress do something, and why didn’t we?
  • See my blog post from July 2012 following the shooting in Aurora CO ‘Hugging your family is neither a strategy nor a solution.’ The concern is that 4 million member National Rifle Association will present strong opposition because they are a power lobby.  But if we believe in the power of numbers, it should comfort you to know there are 35 million parents in America.  Congress should be more afraid of parents then a gun lobby.  Make sure voice and vote are heard.
  • When writing Congress, insist on better care for mental health.  You will note that it isn’t even a subject choice on the drop down menu, so you will have to write that in the body of your message.

Finally, do your best to raise good people so that we always have a growing supply of helpers.

If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

You’re Not the Boss of Me

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Schools are gearing up for anti-bullying programs this summer.  Coincidentally a new movie, Horrible Bosses opened this weekend.  

Here’s where it ties together – if you find yourself at the family dinner table complaining about your own boss, who might be a bully, know that your children will get the connection. 

  • The boss who continually makes jokes about your height, weight, baldness, etc. is a bully.
  • The boss who calls you in to discuss a project, but reads email instead of giving you full attention is a bully.
  • The boss who says no one talks up during meetings, but never gives anyone else a chance to talk is a bully.
  • The boss who says, “How are you doing?” but never waits for an answer is a bully.
  • The boss who complains about the status quo, but doesn’t listen to solutions offered by employees because they might mean more work, is a bully.
  • The boss who takes the credit but never the blame is a bully.

Your children are always watching.  Life isn’t perfect, but you have to demonstrate what you will do to make it better, and not simply do the job because you belong to the IHAM (I have a mortgage) club.

At least when a kid is stuffed in a locker, he/she can get out.  Show your kids that you will do whatever you can, including leave, to make things better.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Any experiences you care to share?  Leave a comment.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

How disasters help us to achieve the impossible

Sunday, October 17th, 2010


Hope is a waking dream.

– Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

The world watched as the Chilean miners were pulled up one by one.  For the first time, in a long time, we were united in hope.

But we also learned to:

  1. Understand the real problem
  2. Create a sense of urgency to resolve it
  3. Gather experts if needed to help
  4. Spare no expense; take no shortcuts
  5. Keep everyone informed
  6. Test the solution
  7. Pay it forward – President Pinera has offered to help China with their mining disaster

The miners’ survival of the ordeal provided a worldwide lesson on the strength of human resilience as 33 men were trapped 2,000 feet underground for more than two months. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera demonstrated remarkable leadership skills in a crisis.

Hopefully, an additional lesson is to improve the dangerous conditions existing in mines.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®