We All Just Do Our Best….

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Don’t we want our kids to do the best job they can do? We want them to approach each new activity with enthusiasm and some tenacity to stick with it when the job gets tough. Whether it’s crawling after a ball, or digging a hole in the sand, or going to school and cooperating. But to just do the best job they can do.

Then why do we have such a hard time living by that motto with ourselves when it comes to our job as parents? Why is it that we are so quick to blame ourselves for our mistakes and/or kid’s imperfections?

I think this article may be a bit premature for some of you readers…and it’s really from the perspective of a mom whose kids are grown. But read it - it will give you an interesting insight into your parents, and yourself as both a child and a parent.

Is Losing Good for Kids?

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Let’s face it: we live in a competitive society. By our age, we’ve learned that it’s better to be the best at something; it’s better to win than lose.

But…there is lots of thought that always winning is NOT what’s best for kids! (click here to read a great article). How do they learn that part of life is enjoying the process? And most importantly, it’s important for kids to know they are still “okay” even if they aren’t the best or don’t get what they want.

As adults, we know that life is full of wins and losses and disappointments. It is absoluty certain that our kids will experience them all. I tell parents that it is part of our “honor” of parenting these beautiful human beings, that we get to be there for them while they experience joy and wins, and also sadness and losses in life.

Soon enough, they will be out in the big world without us as their safety net!

Should a HAPPY CHILD be our Goal?

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Of course we want our kids to be happy, but I’m not sure it’s our “job”…or that we really even have the power to do so. Certainly we can contribute to their happiness, but what that actually looks like has always been my question. 

And then I saw this article…it just rang true. Read those 7 points carefully….to me, they feel right.

What do you think???

Toddlers and Power Tools????

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Yes, that is what you see. Our little beauty has been very busy helping her Papa build her a wonderful slide. She actually didn’t use any of the power tools you see, but this photo makes a point.

Of course our first concern is always about our children’s health and safety. We make sure they sleep on their backs, we put them in car seats, we carefully introduce them to new foods and on and on. 

So when, and how, do we understand that part of how we keep them safe is by allowing them to take risks? Our children need to build self confidence and trust in themselves in order to know what they can…and also what they can’t …or maybe shouldn’t… do.

So how does it start? How do we let them fall down and skin their knees..and get themselves back up….because we know it’s good for them!

My daughter is 2 1/2 and she’s a TYRANT when we go to the park! Please help!

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Why do we expect our kids to be born with social skills? We don’t expect them to be able to tie their shoes before they are taught. Actually - that’s on our list of parenting duties. Kids need us to show and guide them how to treat other people. For most kids, sharing and cooperating takes a while to learn.

Your daughter still operates from her own point of view…and doesn’t quite “get” that other people have feelings. Mostly we can stand back and let kids work things out on their own…but sometimes they need our help. Our job is to observe and narrate what we see…help them to come up with an alternative that works for both kids.

Not only do kids need lots of experience with others to learn these skills, they need to be developmentally ready…and that’s not really until about four or so. Also make sure that’s top on the list of what her preschool does. She needs "social learning" well before "academic learning". A good school does that really well!

Parenting….or Putting One Foot in Front of Another….

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We all know there is no “recipe” or “instruction book” for parenting. Sometimes we wish there were. But it’s just not a onesizefitsall deal…kids are born with their own nature, birth order has an influence, how parents were raised matters….and on and on.

But what we DO know… is when we see a good book…we grab it and use it! Two such books come to mind immediately - Touchpoints and Becoming the Parent You Want To Be are both fantastic! 

I love these books! They help us to understand that kids do things because they are supposed to…that their timeline is theirs and their intent is not to torture us with challenging behavior. Of course we still need to discipline - that’s what makes them feel safe enough to explore and challenge. But it’s so reassuring to be able to take a step back and get clear about each other’s roles!

Both books are available in the FRC Lending Library.  Swing by and check out a copy today!

Swimming Upstream

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We don’t want to sound old and mean spirited. But we saw something at the museum that was so disturbing. There was a young adorable dad with his beautiful older baby boy, maybe14 months old -  in his baby carrier on dad’s chest, facing out. The baby had the perfect view of the paintings and he was at ear level for dad to be talking with him about what they were looking at. Instead.… (drumroll please….) dad was holding his iPhone in front of the baby’s face with cartoons. 

Why were we disturbed? Just a couple of days before that I had a conversation with a friend who was telling me how excited she is that her daughter chose to get married in a museum. My friend was saying how gratifying it is for her, as she has been taking her daughter to museums since she was a baby.

And that conversation inspired me to look at this post, which i find endlessly beautiful. 

There was a great article yesterday in the NY Times about technology. Yes it’s happening…and it’s not a bad thing…but we must go with it thoughtfully and smartly. Make sure you read the comments after the article - they are very interesting.

What do you think?

Winter Playgroups Begin Tomorrow!

Join us every Tuesday and Thursday in January for free Infant & Toddler Playgroups.  Sessions are scheduled from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.  No registration required!  Call (818) 778-5612 for additional information.

Follow Us On Facebook

Click here to visit the LAVC Family Resource Center’s Facebook page.  ”Like Us” to stay informed about new programs, services, and upcoming special events for families with children age 0-3 and the early care and education community.

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Click the picture above to view the article, "Why French Parents Are Superior."

This article has gotten people talking!!!  Be sure to click on the comments tab to view other’s perspectives. What do you think?

Click the picture above to view the article, "Why French Parents Are Superior."

Fall 2011 Play Sessions Are Full

Community Families,

Our Fall 2011 free Parent and Baby play sessions are now Full. If you are still interested in registering for Parenting 20CE (Section #8803), please contact us so you can be added to our waiting list!

If your child is 2 years or older, you may be interested in our Creative Activities sessions on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 13.

Registration for our Spring 2011 play sessions will begin in November, so make sure to register on time to reserve your spot!

If you have any questions or would like to be added to our waiting list, contact the Family Resource Center at (818) 778-5612.

Announcing Open Enrollment for Fall Parenting Class

Enroll now for our free Parenting Class with Infant & Toddler Play Group!

Join us for enriching experiences with your child! 

Our parenting class with infant & toddler playgroup will meet in the NEW Family Resource Center in the Child Development & Family Complex (CDFC), located at the corner of Oxnard Street and Campus Drive.

Parenting 20CE - Tues. & Thurs. from 10:30-12:00, Aug. 30 to Dec. 18

  • Parenting 20CE (Section #8803) is a FREE parenting course with a built-in infant and toddler playgroup component.  Playgroups focus on building positive social interactions between children through play.  To register for this course with your student I.D., click here.  Not a student?  Click here to apply to the college and get your FREE student I.D. 

Weekly discussion topics include:

  • Sleeping routines
  • Food and nutrition
  • Reading with infants and toddlers
  • Positive Discipline
  • Day-to-day parenting challenges
  • How to talk to young children about diversity
  • Finding a preschool
  • And much more…

For more information about our parenting class and play group or any of our programs, contact the Family Resource Center at (818)778-5612.

Enrolling Now…Free Playgroups For Infants & Toddlers

Join us for enriching experiences with your child! 

All Playgroups will meet in the NEW Family Resource Center in the Child Development & Family Complex (CDFC), located at the corner of Oxnard Street and Campus Drive.

Parenting 20CE - Tues. & Thurs. from 10:30-12:00, Feb. 8 to May 20

  • Parenting 20CE (Section #8803) is a FREE parenting course with a built-in infant and toddler playgroup component.  Playgroups focus on building positive social interactions between children through play.  To register for this course with your student I.D., click here.  Not a student?  Click here to apply to the college and get your FREE student I.D. 

Creative Activities Program- Tues. from 3:30-4:30, Feb. 8 to May 10

  • Creative Activities Program (Section #8803) is a FREE toddler playgroup for children ages 2-4.  The program helps build preschool readiness skills through art, music, sensory, and dramatic play.  See the links above for registration information.  Spaces are limited.  

For more information about any of our playgroups or programs, contact the Family Resource Center at (818)778-5528.