By Caroline Jones
This past Sunday, I was driving back from Maine and passing the time in traffic with the wonderful podcast “This American Life”. One of the episodes, “The Birds & The Bees”, explored the complexities of explaining all kinds of difficult issues to young children.
My seven-year-old daughter recently attended a two-hour day camp with a River Wildlife theme for a week. Wildlife on The River – the St. Lawrence River – includes fish, osprey, frogs, otters, and herons (the five themes for five camp days).
We recently held a book review event for our children’s librarians. We had a panel of four reviewers and talked about new fiction for middle grades through high school.
As I was creating the list of books I wanted to review I realized with no small amount of shock that I had a long list consisting of…historical fiction?!
I came home from my term abroad with rolls and rolls of undeveloped film. The excitement of seeing the real photos months later inspired me to document my adventures in scrapbooks. I very rarely looked at the books again…until my daughter’s increasing reading habit prompted the albums’ resurgence (for better or worse).
Well, maybe not a “slugger.” More like a clunker.
His pitching is anything but fast, his tiny hands can barely close his glove, let alone catch with it, and he usually forgets to run the bases when his bat finally makes contact with the ball.
I’ll be honest – I burst into tears.
At first I didn’t believe it. Emmett’s friend (who is nine) had been sitting with him looking at a book when she alerted me: Emmett can read. I said, “What?! Really? Are you sure?”
“Watch,” was her response.
My daughter chose Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm from the school’s free book bin. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle takes to her farm children whose behavior overwhelms their parents and cures them of their bad habits with magic and hard work.
When I first read the book, I thought not too highly of the parents, but in light of a having six year old pushing the boundaries of decent behavior, I admit, I would welcome Mrs.
My six-year-old daughter loves Sesame Street. I dread the day she feels too mature for the silly muppets with their quirky personalities, multicultural community, easy jokes, and advanced vocabularies. Watching it with her brings back many innocent childhood memories, and I love sharing that with her.
At the last Scholastic Book Fair, my daughter coveted a hot pink cat diary. She bought it with her own money.
She amazes me by diligently filling in her schedule on the calendar and filling in her “contacts” in the address book.
As parents we often exhaust ourselves prodding our kids to use their manners:
“Remember to say please.”
“How do you ask nicely?”
“What’s the magic word?”
“What do you say now?”
We want them to be polite, appreciative, socially appropriate beings, and sometimes forcing them to use manners doesn’t feel like the most effective or authentic way to do it.