"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Every kid knows that insipid song. It scrolls through a palette of feelings, "If you're sad...If you're angry..." always pointing to the refrain "but if you're happy and you know it, shout hooray!" as if that's the right way to be. I'm not so sure. What about all the other feelings, the big feelings--sadness, anger, fear, frustration, loneliness, to name a few-- which fall under the umbrella of "unhappy?" What is the child supposed to do … [Read more...] about The Right to be Unhappy
As the ten year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the media is heating up with programs and references to that tragedy. Ten years ago already. Wow! As was the case when Kennedy was shot, many can easily answer the question, “What were you doing when you heard the news of 9/11?” That’s how big it was in our lives. To children fifteen years and younger, 9/11 is another event in American history to be learned. But learning about it from history books is quite a different story from seeing graphic … [Read more...] about “Mommy, What is 9/11?”
“Coach Accused of Punching Son” The headline in the LA Times caught my eye. A youth baseball coach is facing a simple assault charge for punching his 9 year old son in the face after the boy was ejected from a game. Are they kidding? I read it again. [Coach’s name] of suburban Harrisburg was charged after he allegedly struck his son twice with a closed fist… I read it one more time to make sure I was reading it correctly. Yep, that’s what it said alright. What could a 9 year old possibly … [Read more...] about Your Children Are Watching You!
“You’re the meanest mommy in the whole world!” the seven year old screams at her mother, as she stomps down the hall to her room, punctuating the scene with a crashing door slam. There’s not much that’s good about that scene, except that it is well within the range of normal behavior. You may not like it, but it is what most kids do at some times. Kids get angry at their parents for all kinds of reasons. Mainly they get angry when they are in some way thwarted—when they don’t get what they … [Read more...] about Don’t Take it Personally
A mom called me from New York today. In a panic she explained that her mother was in the last stages of her life and what on earth would she tell her child. She said she needed a crash course in death. So sad for her, but good for her. There are parents of young children who will read the title of this blog, shake their heads, and walk--no run-- away from the computer. Don't do it! Children need to learn about death, and they should learn about it from you. Death is the one great … [Read more...] about Teaching Children About Death