I recently heard the quote (and his book with the same title) by Dr. Wayne Dyer, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Didn’t he mean, “I’ll believe it when I see it??” Absolutely not! Dr. Dyer is a new name to me, though I don’t know why, looking at his work, the length of time he has been in the field and his remarkable contributions. I hope you will check him out yourself at his blog, http://www.drwaynedyer.com/blog/.
On this eve of the New Year, many of us are evaluating the past year and setting goals for the New Year.
Yet, how do we transform our good intentions into goals attained? Moreover, how do we impart this skill to our children? Believing is the Key. Once we believe it, we will see the path to it and the good intention will be turned into a reality.
Are you living based on your perceived limits?
“Sure, I want to have family movie nights, but the family just won’t cooperate.”
“I can never afford to shop for organic food.”
“I am just not strong enough to face that issue.”
“Alcoholism is in my genes.”
“My husband will never change.”
“Johnny has ADHD.”
“My daughter’s classmates are just bullies.”
Dr. Blaslotto, at the University of Chicago, conducted a study with basketball players. Look it over yourself
here, http://curtrosengren.typepad.com/occupationaladventure/2004/10/another_visuali.html but the short of it was, the players who simply laid down and visualized free throws preformed better than those who put in extra practice time and those who were told to essentially forget about basketball.
The “winners” were the ones who could SEE themself achieving the free throw!
If you want to be a winner, and you want your child to be a winner, you have to do what a winner does! You have to believe that you WILL do it! Johnny WILL pay attention and you WILL feed your family well and
you WILL face your fears.
Others WILL support you. If you are surrounded by limits and people who think by limits, find new people to surround yourself with. Seek the help of a coach, or a therapist, or a pastor, or a personal trainer.
YOU WILL DO IT THIS YEAR, and I want the success stories to flow in this very blog!
Cape Cod Mommies RULES!
Wishing you all a safe and happy new year!
Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about family safety in the New Year.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
By: Gabrielle HathawayM.S., IBCLC
I recently went to NYC with two of my daughters. I grew up in Manhattan, but have raised my children on Cape Cod. I had forgotten the frenetic pace in the city, especially at Christmastime. We visited Times Square and throngs of people were shopping, sightseeing, and getting ready for New Year’s Eve. I saw a few babies, but they always seemed to be sleeping, perhaps trying to tune out the chaos; we weren’t so lucky.
I am reminded of the way that nursing forces you to slow down sit down (most of the time!) and focus on your baby. As tired as I was in those newborn days, I remember the gift of nursing my baby in the middle of the night when everything was quiet and still. I never got over the amazement in knowing that I created this little being.
So, in this last post of 2012, I urge you to hold your children close and enjoy this time. Your kids will eventually sleep through the night, eventually wean, and someday be able to entertain themselves. For now, savor the early years – you won’t believe how fast the time goes!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Oh friends, this was not the blog I imagined writing the week before Christmas. I was working on something festive and light, happy and magical. Then December 14th occurred and we witnessed an unimaginable tragedy unfold. Since then I am having trouble holding it together, spontaneously crying when I look at my babies and needing to hold them close. I try to hide these “big emotions” from my little ones who aren’t aware of what’s occurred in the world, but I’m sure they can sense the underlying sadness I’m feeling.
(Pic by my lovely friend, Lee Sutton)
Cape Cod Mommies contributor, Tracy Lamperti, had a wonderful post a few days ago about the response our children may be feeling and how we can help them. She used the words “vicarious trauma” and it was so helpful for me to read this term, because this is exactly what I’m feeling and what I hear so many of my friends are feeling as well. We keep telling ourselves, “this is not our pain” and yet we feel it tremendously. We are traumatized – by the unimaginable hurt these families are experiencing and a new sense of danger in our daily lives. Any parent understands that once you have a child, the most vulnerable, precious piece of yourself is running around in the world and, in the end, your ability to protect that treasure is limited. This tragedy was a very, clear reminder of our loved ones’ vulnerability and our powerlessness in certain situations.
But here’s the thing, my children don’t know about their fragility, they only know their strength. They feel the power in their bodies
as they jump and run and twirl. They feel the unending love streaming from their family and they have no idea of the fears their parents harbor as they watch their babies leap over boundary after boundary. This is what I’m focusing on right now, as I work to push past the vicarious trauma we’ve all experienced from this horrific act. Provide my babies with that safe harbor I spoke about in my last post, a place that’s calm, loving, and supports their exploration. I am working to let go of my increasing anxiety about the world so I’m not passing that fear onto these growing girls.
And here’s the other thing, it’s still Christmas. A magical, beautiful, loving time of year. I don’t want to lose that magic. Nobody wants to lose the magic. So we are seeing people bring light and love to one of the darkest holiday seasons many of us have ever witnessed. So many are making efforts to help, to comfort, to provide, to love the people in Connecticut. Right now people all over the country are making paper snowflakes and decorations to send to the Sandy Hook School’s new location, so that those traumatized children will have magic return to their lives. On Friday, the Yarmouth Police Department is going to Newtown to bring decorations, home baked goods, and items of comfort to the children, families, and first responders to assist in their healing. We are seeing the best in people during the worst of times. This, mamas, is bringing magic back for me.
I know there will be a time when Christmas music doesn’t make me cry, and when the magic of this season will occur naturally, and I will be able to write blog posts about the wonder I feel watching my children decorate cookies and make Christmas crafts. Right now, I’m going to hug my babies. I’m going to let their imaginations run wild with the idea of Santa, the North Pole, and Rudolph. I’m going to have dance parties after dinner to the tunes of Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. And I’m going to make snowflakes, lots and lots of snowflakes. My Christmas wish is for all of us to have a peaceful, calm, loving holiday season.
A couple of ways to help Newtown:
The Polar Express has always been my absolute favorite Christmas book. When I was younger, my siblings and I would snuggle up to our father as he would read us the story year after year. Now everyone has a different take on the book (even the movie version). But for me personally, the meaning of the story is about FAITH. It's about having faith in something even if others do not believe, no matter what it is.
We recently had the amazing opportunity to ride on the Polar Express with a group of friends all the way from Cape Cod to the North Pole! Our experience was filled with music, laughter and many new memories.
On the Cape Cod Central Railway there are two different points to leave from: Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.
We opted for the latter and for the 6pm train on a weeknight. I was not as familiar with the Hyannis station so I did have a small difficulty in finding the parking lot. Once there I picked up the tickets at will call where there was a very small hiccup, which Christina fixed for us right away! Thank you Christina and staff!
We were given our tickets and sent on our way to board. We ran into gasp… a Hobo outside the station looking for tickets. I grew up on the story without the Hobo, but I have seen the movie so we were ready for
him! We boarded the train and found our seats. The table car is setup with tables and 4 chairs per table. We were seated in the front of the train car with other kids. The middle of the car was empty and then at the other end was approximately another 4 tables of adults and kids.
The chefs came around and passed out coloring books with crayons for the kids which I believe were only a few dollars. Then the conductor came around checking everyone’s tickets. All the children are given golden Polar Express tickets as a souvenir. It's a nice touch that the conductor tries to write the names of the children on the tickets.
The Hobo, who must have snuck on the train, came into our train car. He was great for entertainment, especially the parents. He teased the kids about taking their tickets and showed us the silverware he had pilfered from the train. Some kids were a little afraid but tightly gripped their tickets. He wandered the train the whole ride and Santa allowed him to stay on at the end despite the conductor's misgivings..
The chefs then got the Polar Express books and the story was read aloud over the loud speakers. It was difficult to hear the story and the kids in our section were mostly 3 and under so they weren’t really paying attention. They were more focused with being on a train and their snacks! Perhaps children this age would have gotten more out of the experience if we had seen the movie instead of just reading the book. Or perhaps even a video version of Santa reading the story?
As we approached the North Pole, the chefs had us on the lookout for the North Pole and we pulled into a lit up village. The North Pole, although well-lit with Christmas lights, might have used a tad more fanfare for such an epic destination. Santa was flanked outside the train by two excited elves. We stopped for a bit and Santa boarded the train. The chefs said goodbye and magically elves reappeared on our train!
The Santa experience was great. It was nice to spend so much time with St. Nick himself, especially the one-on-one opportunity, and not feel rushed. He spent a lot of time talking to the kids, taking pictures and passing out a gift for them. Every child received a silver bell with a red ribbon. The children adored the well-made bell. It is a great addition to hang on the Christmas tree or bring out year after year. Santa was definitely the highlight of the trip. The kids will probably never spend so much time with such an official-looking Santa again in their young lives. At the mall, etc. it's a 30-second deal. Here, you could relax and converse at length with Santa and little ones could get a few minutes to warm up to him, if needed.
The experience was definitely memorable and the kids still talk about the Polar Express, Santa and Hobo stealing their tickets to anyone who will listen. I am so grateful we were given an opportunity to attend this event and see the magic and innocence in the kid’s eyes. I hope that magic never goes away and I hope they always believe.
Thank you to our friends and family who joined us for this unforgettable journey! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our readers and bloggers! I hope you enjoy each and every moment with your loved ones and keep the "magic" and faith alive!
By Robin Friedlaender
As a teacher we have always had “classroom rules.” However, last year I tried something new...I presented “classroom expectations”the first day of school and what a difference I’ve noticed.
The majority of my students have been in our center for a
few years, so they know our “rules” which are your basic: use gentle hands and feet, indoor voices, being a good friend, raising your hand, using your manners, etc. Well, the first day of kindergarten during our morning meeting I sit my new friends down and we talk about rules...I then tell them that there aren’t any rules in kindergarten. The looks I get are priceless! I see some very excited faces...until...I tell them I have “classroom expectations” instead of rules. Now I have a lot of blank faces. I go on to tell them that I “expect” they already know how to behave while at school and I have some new expectations” I want them to follow:
• We Are A Team
• We Try Our Best
• We Create
• We Respect Each Other
• We Celebrate Other’s Successes
• We Learn From Our Mistakes
These expectations are an extension of The Workshop Ways, which were developed by The Children’s Workshop. The Workshop Ways are a set of Positive Behavior Institutions and Support that we call PBIS.
The new expectations were met with enthusiasm, and the class goes over them every morning. I also add “how” we are going to meet these expectations. As they meet an expectation I remind them what expectation they met and how it was met. After a few weeks, I hear the kids telling one another when they realize an expectation has been met. As a parent I want my own children to realize that we all have “rules” in life, but we should also set “expectations” for ourselves in life. I started to look at what I was doing in my classroom and how it can be applied in my own home with my children. Basically, I started rethinking how I set home “rules” and turned them into“expectations.”
I want my students and my children to be independent thinkers and feel confident in themselves. I want them to be the best they can be. My children like this way of thinking because they are able to take ownership in our household and how it is run. I find myself looking for the positive rather than the negative in both my students and my children. I find myself more relaxed and not constantly harping on what they aren’t doing right.
I celebrate more in their accomplishments, because I see more effort going into tasks. I will continue to encourage them and remind them that respecting others is something they should always do. I will celebrate their successes and help them learn from their mistakes...it’s a part of life.
Robin Friedlaender is a KindergartenTeacher and Lead Administrator at TheChildren’s Workshop in Bourne, MA. She joined The Children’s Workshop family in 2008. She holds a BS in Early childhood Education from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Before joining The Children’s Workshop, she taught 5th grade inclusion, 2nd grade, and Pre Kindergarten at Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana. Robin is a working mom of three amazing children ages 8, 11, and 14. She enjoys reading, scrapbooking, traveling, journaling, shopping, going to the beach, and spending time with family and friends.
The Children's Workshop is a family owned, quality child care provider that was founded in Lincoln, RI in 1990 by working father of three, Dave MacDonald. 22 years later, the company is still owned by the MacDonald family and has grown to include 19 different locations in RI and MA. The Children’s Workshop uses the Children’s Workshop Curriculum, a research based framework developed by the company’s top teachers that is aligned with the RI Early Learning Standards and focuses on learning through play. The Children's Workshop provides early education programs for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. To learn more about The Children's Workshop family, go to www.childrensworkshop.com.
By: Coach Pam Wills
Here is something to think about as you slide into the New Year. (Guten Rutsch is a German expression I learned when I lived there…it means literally, Have a good slide! Always thought that was catchy. But I digress…)
Check the picture I found this week. I posted it on my Facebook page but you might have missed it. Maybe it’s tough to swallow but I think it is spot on. How about you? Leave me your comments, I want to hear all about it!
As your Confidence Coach, it is my mission to guide you from darkness into the light of feeling strong, confident and sexy so you can Get Your Sizzle On!™ The boring stuff: I earned my Certified Professional Coach (CPC) credential from Fowler-Wainwright International and my BA in English Lit from Georgetown University. I’ve been writing and teaching professionally for over 20 years and currently publish my own weekly blog and eZine. The FUN stuff: I am currently an Expert on the following awesome websites: LawofAttractionKey.com; LifeBusinessGrowth.com; Soulwoman eMagazine I’m also a Speaker for B.I.G. Women’s Network in Massachusetts. (Fun fact: I’m also a choreographer for community theater in my spare time! ;)
My newest workshops, “Master Your Stage Fright” and “Brains + Beauty = YOU!” are scheduled for early 2013 at various locations on Cape Cod, MA. Contact me at email@example.com for deets.
Book a FREE Spark Session with me at www.PamelaWills.com/schedule-session/ so I can help you build your courage, grow your confidence and Get Your Sizzle On!™ My intention is to see you push through your fears, move into that shimmering light of confidence and really SIZZLE with reawakened charisma! Find out how to feel strong and confident about being your true Self, a unique and powerful woman at www.PamelaWills.com.
Happy Holidays! Am I the only one who thinks all holidays are going overboard each year? I feel like every time I go into the grocery store the next major holiday is on display and beating me over the head. In August I swear the Halloween candy was out, and the day after it becomes Thanksgiving Central and a kind of shared Christmas palooza. Once the Turkey is in the pan and done it is all Christmas all the time. Friends are posting the day after Thanksgiving that they have their Christmas trees up and elves are on the shelf. Ok, it’s the first week of December and I’ll admit that we did get our tree, its up but not yet decorated. As a Mom of an almost three year-old and new three month old I feel the holiday pressure a little more than I did in my single child free days. What holiday traditions do I need to begin with my boys, how young is too young for an elf on the shelf, when do I find time to make Christmas cookies, wrap presents, ride the polar express, how do I keep them (and myself) away from excessive sweets and being spoiled by everything that comes along in the month of December.
As a child I have fond memories of Christmas, waking early and running down stairs to see what Santa had left behind. We had strict traditions though, each Christmas eve we would have a dance party with extended
family playing the YMCA and Mickey Mouse’s’I Love a Parade, parading all around the house. Most of this was played on vinyl until the latter years. Christmas morning we had to get the stockings and pull everything out of them before we even got a look at the living room where the tree and regular presents were. One year there was a bicycle for my brother, a hamster, a kitten for me, a camera for Mom, the year Nintendo came out found my brother complaining about sore thumbs at bedtime. Each year my Grandmother would take me to Boston to see the Nutcracker, and we would drive along 6A on the Cape and see all of the beautiful houses decorated with lights.
My three-year old son is at such an amazing age, noticing everything around him, and reacting in a way, which just makes me get a tear in my eye or a huge smile at how happy he is with the little things. After Thanksgiving we were driving through Brewster at night, he noticed the Brewster General Store had put up
their Christmas lights and all I heard was“WOWWW.” His excitement and awe just made me smile and look at his Dad, what a nostalgic moment. We went to see Santa arrive at the Cove in Orleans; he was more excited about the boat than the big guy. When I asked him what he wants from Santa he says presents and lights, no specific toy just what Christmas is about in his 3 year-old mind. We don’t feel the need to take him to sit on Santa’s lap when he isn’t sure what he’s all about, which additionally saves us time in line. Seeing the lights though, that will be something to do, something I look forward to. On a dark evening before Christmas, maybe with Grandpa and Grandma in the car we will drive up and down 6A and relive our youth through his beautiful big blue eyes. Small doses, less pressure to do everything, and honestly we all exist more peacefully by doing less while we can.
I am grateful for such a strong community, amazing family and friends. I feel blessed this holiday season. Bring on the overplayed Christmas carols and sugar cookies. Tis the Season.
The tragic crime at the Sandy Hook Elementary School that took so many precious lives on Friday raises very deep issues for parents.
“What is going on in our world?”
“How do I talk to my child about this?”
“How do I reassure my child that they are safe in school?”
“Are they safe in school?....”
This is typically thought of as experienced by professionals that witness a lot of traumatic experiences in those they work with. I would contend that it is vicarious trauma that many of OUR children will be experiencing as they experience tragedies such as these horrific school shootings and the like. Our children are hearing about the incidents and often times seeing images of the incidents. Their mind goes to, “This could happen to me. I’m a child. I go to a school. Some people have guns. Some kids in my school are really angry and talk about violent things.” The same goes for natural disasters.
Children experiencing vicarious trauma might show signs of anxiety. They might be worried about things that were not previously an issue. Children might experience bad dreams. They may become more quiet than usual or they may act out more readily. Sometimes, the energy and “excitement” of the trauma might cause children to respond emotionally in an unexpected way, such as acting hyper or silly or even telling about the tragedy with a smile on their face as if they are happy or think it is funny. Assuredly, this has to do with how children respond to additional emotional energy in their environment. They are surely not happy about people getting hurt, rather, they are having difficulty processing the extra energy in the environment.
How can parents help?
1. If your children are not around when you get word of a traumatic event that your children might be exposed to, call a grounded friend. Talk it over and try your best to get into a calm frame of mind. If your
children are present, if possible, go behind closed doors and call a friend. Remember, a part of your
child’s brain is always “tuned in” to their parent.
2. Turn the TV off. Get as much of the information as you need when your child is not present. They need to hear the news from you, and you need to disperse the news to your child in a developmentally appropriate manner that only you know your child can comprehend. They need to receive the information in pieces that they can take in and they need to receive the information once, not the 25 times in an hour that the news flashes come across the screen.
3. Monitor your conversations with others in person and by phone when your child is present.
4. It can be helpful to focus on the First Responders, rather than the victims. I.e. “I am so grateful that the police men were there to help direct the teachers and children in what to do.” Or, “The teachers were trained and look how they were leading the children to a safe place.” Or, in a natural disaster, “There are lots of workers out to repair the power lines and clear the streets.” Or, for those who are injured, “The Red Cross will be helping all of the hurt people and the paramedics are there also.”
5. Parents are guides for children. Manage your emotions well and don’t be afraid to show sadness to your child and even tears. It is ok for parents to cry and for parents and children to cry together. It is better to turn off the news coverage and shed a tear than to glue yourself to the TV and take in every detail.
6. Leave your “adult obligations” for later. Drop it in these times and go for a beach walk with your children. Have a game night. If you want to focus on the tragedy, make cards for the people impacted by the tragedy.
Think of ways that you can support them in a concrete way, such as sending something that they might need or donating their extra pennies to the Red Cross with a note.
7. Many will agree that there are some spiritual issues here. “Why would God allow this?” Surely, these tragedies provide an opportunity for each of us to look at our faith and why or how we believe what we do. Continue to seek and impart this seeking to your children.
8. If you see signs of anxiety or trauma, do not ignore them. We know that anxiety symptoms left to their own, typically do not get better, but more imbedded. Seek professional assistance if you are unsure.
9. Even in tragedy, we tend to return to the baseline of our “normal” life and routine before long. When you find yourself back into your normal routine, revisit the incident. Your child may or may not bring up, “Mom, I’m worried. Remember when that school shooting happened?...” Whether it is a natural disaster or the evil of our society, it is ok for parents to be the first one to revisit it with their child, “Hey John, I’ve been wondering if you have been thinking about the tornado that caused some much destruction last month?” Keep the dialog going with your children. Always.
Blessings of peace and joy in this holiday season. Especially, God bless those directly impacted by the school shooting.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Follow the links to learn more about the impact of trauma.
Acute Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
From A to Z
Advantages of Breastfeeding
Gabrielle Hathaway, M.S., IBCLC
By: Sung Bin
With the winter solstice approaching next Friday, I thought I would come up with some activities with poems and songs to inspire our family and to usher in the start of winter. Everyone who celebrates does so differently and I wanted to create a ritual and tradition around the solar return and the shortest day of the year. It is also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the power of the natural world that surrounds us. For me, it is a peaceful respite during the holiday season to be able to think more in the dark as I reflect on how much time has passed. I think back with such awe over the last year and how much has changed but also remained the same.
We plan to watch the first sunset of the solstice and pause to remember how human we really are. For my toddler, I found an easy recipe to make at home salt dough ornaments for holiday gifting and decorating as Christmas is a few days after.
Salt Dough for Ornaments
1 Cup Salt
2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cups Water
Combine salt and flour in large bowl. Make a well in the mix and add water. Knead the mix until smooth and use cookie cutters or any shape makers to make your ornaments with the dough. Don’t forget to poke a hole
on the top of your dough ornaments to add the string or yarn. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees in the oven. Paint and decorate when the dough ornaments are cool. (I am going to use rubber stamps on mine such as alphabet stampers to form words like “peace” and “love” before baking). I’m excited to get started
on these with my toddler.
Another tradition we started last year is planting new paper white bulbs in recycled glass jars so we plan to give those out to family and friends to grow in the winter.
Finally, we normally have our dinner by candlelight but for the solstice will add a few additional candles to symbolize the light entering the world and to revel in the stillness of the dark night.
What are your traditions? We'd love to hear from you, comment below!
Cape Cod Moms