Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fitness Friday

My kids have their annual Walkathon fundraiser next week at school. Last Friday, we had a kick off assembly complete with a magician and the local high school cheerleading squad. I ended the assembly talking to them about fitness and how to put into their daily lives. I was a bit shocked to hear how many of them liked push ups! I lead them in a five-minute hip hop routine and yoga stretch.

I did some hip hop since, like most dance, is based on walking. It is also pretty easy for kids (and adults). It was really fun. But now I am 'the hip hop mom'. Here's a secret...I am a white girl from the suburbs of Chicago that can apparently fake enough dance to make people think I am a real dancer (there were rumors around my husband's work that we were professional ballroom dancers!). I have been booked for future engagements.

But what was even better was when I went to school to help our first grader celebrate his birthday. I was greeted with "Hey, I exercised today! I did some push ups!" "I did some dancing last night with my mom." "I have been doing lots of walking!" What? They listened to me? They did what I told them was right? My five minutes of fun fitness translated into a week of wellness? It felt nice to push fitness into their lives and have them so excited about it, that they want to share it with me.

I go back next week, so we'll see what they have done and what stories they have to share.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trust in them

I think a key component to my parenting (and teaching) is trust. I trust children.

I trust children to find what they need to grow and learn.
(I can provide them materials and experiences they ask for--and some healthy food).

I trust children to explore and experiment to make sense of the world around them.
(I can provide them a safe and rich environment).

I trust children to take calculated risks and learn from the outcomes.
(I can provide support and encouragement without judgement--and band aids).

I trust children to seek comfort when they are sad or angry.
(I can provide a lap to cuddle in).

I trust children to express their feelings loud and clear.
(I can provide them with space and language to let it out).

I trust children need to be children.
(I can provide them love and understanding for who they are without prejudice).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

School is in full swing!

"Mom, what day is it?" Its Thursday. "Oh....I don't go to school on Thursdays."--the kindergartener says the second week of school.

By now, everyone in our house is in school (even psych class!). My kids always need some adjustment time. After doing this for several years, I think I have figured out most of the tricks of the trade on getting them adjusted.

Although they have all asked, I don't grant sick or personal days the first month of school (this year is the exception as my daughter was actually sick one day). They go, everyday, all day as much as possible.

Expect tantrums, naps, and ravenous hunger after school. They are exhausted when they get home, rightfully so. Our basic strategy is snack immediately and chill out time of their choosing (usually some TV). Maybe even some cuddling. I don't even ask too much about their day (we wait until diner)...just veg time.

Bedtime! Early bedtime! After dinner we might do outside, walk, game, or a quick TV show (if nothing was watched earlier). But then it is bedtime. If they haven't dropped before dinner, by 730pm, the younger ones are drifting off. Don't want to sleep that early, read as much as you want in your bed (this usually amounts to 5-10mins).

As I am very busy as well the first few weeks of school, I try hard to plan dinners ahead so we can eat together and eat well. And have some good breakfast choices on hand for the mornings.

Its take some time but it will fall into rhythm.