Archive for the ‘Traditions’ Category

What are the things we really need?

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Your children need your presence more than your presents. Jesse Jackson

When answering questions on the TV show Jeopardy, you must phrase your answers in the form of a question.

Assume the category was, “Things that matter,” the answer properly phrased would be “What are the things we really need.”

Our needs are simple. Our wants are much greater. I love to subscribe to this philosophy for buying gifts for children:

  1. Something to wear
  2. Something to read
  3. Something they want
  4. Something they need

Plus one more gift; something to give. As we celebrating our grandson’s first Christmas, we bought him:

  1. A Santa outfit which you will see in the video
  2. The classic Polar Express book
  3. A toy selected by his parents
  4. Money for his college fund

We made a donation to Doctors Without Borders in his name. As he gets older and understands more, we will let him select the charity of his choosing. I personally don’t know any needy children, but if we buy them too much, we will raise greedy children.

Now that my children are adults, I realize we could have bought them less. The children won’t remember all the gifts they opened on Christmas morning, but they will remember the things they need; the time you spend with them and traditions and memories you shared on this and every holiday.

Enjoy the fun we had and memories we are building.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

How sweet potatoes can keep our traditions yet change our view of the world

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

We had such an amazing Thanksgiving, and loved sharing our traditions and stories with our new grandson.  The videos are below.

But here is an interesting connection related to something we love as a tradition, yet take for granted – sweet potatoes!

Four scientists have been awarded the 2016 World Food Prize for enriching sweet potatoes, which resulted in health benefits for millions of people. Please read this incredible article to see science and parent education can have transformational effects on millions of pre-school children in 118 nations.

And to us, it was simply a traditional side dish!

Enjoy the holiday season!

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

The true meaning of ping

Sunday, 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®

What do you want for Christmas?

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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®

We are moved by our emotions

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

 -Helen Keller

One of life’s biggest frustrations is knowing the right thing to do and not doing it.

Sometimes it is because we wait for things to be perfect which is like saying I don’t want to leave for work until all the lights are green.

But a friend (thanks Suzanne!) posted a link to an article The Important Thing About Yelling by Rachel Macy Stafford which causes you to stop and think.

That article coupled with an amazing ad directed to moms demonstrates how critical moms are of the job they do, while their kids have a totally different and far more positive reaction.

The clichés express we are to enjoy each moment. Since we are driven by our emotions, I thought the article and video will help.

But simply stated moms, lighten up!

You see – the greatest impact you will have in the world is on your own family.  And you can do that every day in little ways by finding reasons to celebrate without waiting for the big traditional holidays.

First up – Trivia Day – January 4th

What I love about this ‘holiday’ is that you could tailor it to your own family.   Think about creating:

For future ‘holiday’ days/dates – please follow me on Twitter

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Random Acts of Kindness 2013

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

The countdown begins!

December 1 is day one as little children open Advent Calendars eager to find a surprise each day until December 24th.

The holiday season is our time to build family memories.  

Some families cut down their own tree; others watch classic holiday movies, some bake cookies, while others write an annual holiday letter.  The common thread is just that – a thread, and threads are like habits.

Habits are like a cable. We weave a strand of it everyday and soon it cannot be broken.

-Horace Mann

It’s never too late to start new traditions. I’m going to start a new tradition this year which is to perform a random act of kindness each day until December 24th.

Please follow me on twitter #randomactsofkindness2013.

Traditions matter more than the gifts and more than you realize. Ask your children about their favorite holiday traditions. Guarantee this will make you smile.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder
Parental Wisdom®

It’s really great to be Santa

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exists, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.  Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.  -Francis Pharcellus Church, in an Editorial in the New York Sun, Sept. 21, 1897, responding to a letter from 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon

How amazing it is to be Santa! 

  • To only see the good in people have
  • To know what brings delight to someone because you listened carefully
  • To have a constant smile on your face
  • To take incredible pride in your work
  • To eat exactly what you want and still fit in your clothes

Here is hoping that you have a wonderful, memorable and safe Christmas!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Remembering meatballs on Sunday morning

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

It could have been yesterday. 

Vivid memories of stopping for meatballs on the way home from church.   I still can smell the  wonderful aroma and remember that as a kid thinking the pot must have been bottomless.

Reminiscing is bittersweet because it represents a time we will never see again.   For those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up during this time, it’s difficult to explain to our children.  Your entire family lived within walking distance, and Sunday was the day you got to see them all.   

Today, we share pictures and moments on Facebook, have conversations on Skype and provide frequent updates in less than 140 characters.  We’ve moved away from family; so much further than just a few city blocks.

It’s different, but we  are still able to connect; something the families of 9/11 can’t do.

Make the most of each day and let the people you love know how you feel.  And let’s hope the next version of the web gives us the ability to smell the meatballs via Skype and Facebook.

For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that you use it so little.  – Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964)

Never Forget

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

Wishing You a Very Happy Back to School

Monday, August 30th, 2010

It dawned on me as we stood in the aisle…it would be our last trip for back to school supplies.  My youngest child was starting her senior year in college.  For so many years, this was one of my favorite traditions.

We always shopped early to avoid the back to school rush.  Truth be told, I went early because I couldn’t wait and loved the  brand new notebooks that snapped as they opened, the highlighters, post-its, a new dictionary (not sure if that was necessary), were there that many new words?  The sneakers kept safe in their box for that very first day to be worn with a specially selected outfit, and those amazing pictures taken the first day each year by the tree outside to measure their growth.

Years flew and there I was making this special trip for the very last time.  I realized by my daughter’s eye roll, she didn’t appreciate me sharing that with the clerk asking if we needed assistance.  I didn’t need assistance, but I desperately needed a tissue.

One thing I want to share with anyone with a child:

  • Entering kindergarten or first grade
  • Stepping into middle school for the first time (they are going to stress over the combination locker)
  • Stepping into the halls of a scary high school where she can’t imagine getting from one side to the next in time for classes
  • Just drove away on ‘move-in’ day and hope that your college freshman will wake up himself and go to class

The new school year is always a new start.  The teacher has a blank grade book, and all students begin with an A+ in each class.  Where they go is up to them.

Now, a note from Dr. Vicki Panaccione before the stress sets in….

Having a hard time juggling everyone’s hectic schedule?

  • Here are a few helpful tips:
  • Keep a big family calendar where everyone can see it
    • Use a different color marker for each person in the family for a quick and easy way to see who needs to do what, when and where

If you have more than one child, allow one or two after-school activities per child

  • That way your kids are not being overloaded
  • And neither are you

Take short cuts:

  • Make and freeze meals ahead of time
  • On busy nights, use paper plates
  • To avoid the last minute scramble in the morning,
  • Have your kids lay out their clothes,
  • Pack up the back packs and
  • Get out the lunch money before they go to bed.

And please don’t lose sight of your #1 priority—

  • Family comes first—even if it means doing away with an activity or two.

For additional tips log in to Parental Wisdom® and locate the email under Free Stuff The Promise of a New School Year.

Have a terrific first day of school!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®