Moms & Dads: Stories, tips, and advice on raising your kids from South Florida parents | Sun Sentinel blogs

Moms & Dads

South Florida parents share their stories and advice


previous April 2008 | Main | June 2008 previous

May 30, 2008

Best free events for kids (and one for adults)

You're more likely to squeeze water from a rock than stumble across a money tree. That's why I'm designating Fridays as Freebie Fridays.

free-stuff.jpg

Each Friday, in this space, I'll present a list of free stuff to do with the kids -- and without the ankle-bitters/teen-demons.

If you have any good ideas about free events to be enjoyed over a weekend, please share.

Drum roll please . . . Freebie Friday for the weekend of May 30 - June 1:

7 tonight. Brazilian Film Festival. Opening night features free showing of winners of the Best Picture Public Choice from 2007: Urban Snap-shots (a feature film) and Chicken Blood Stew (a short film). North Beach Bandshell, 7250 Collins Ave, Miami Beach.

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Big Toy/Truck Extravaganza. George English Park, 1101 Bayview Dr., across from Galleria mall in Fort Lauderdale.

Any day. Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail in Boca Raton. The park has a cool tri-level playground, splash area and a small air-conditioned science museum, the Children's Science Explorium. Note: The carousel costs $1.


POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

May 28, 2008

I don't know that language, my kid will

Here’s an interesting Sun-Sentinel story for parents who would like their kids to speak another language. I fall into the category of a “parent who doesn’t speak another language but would like my kids to be bilingual.” Of course, I’ve studied lots of French and Spanish over the years, but I’m a long way from bilingual.

Spanish.jpg
But it’s hard work to teach kids a language you don’t really speak. Georgia East's story offered some good suggestions. Two stuck out: join or start a playgroup to focus on the language; and use books and videos to help the process along. Along those lines, I’m looking for recommendations. Anyone know a good children’s book in Spanish? And how about children’s music in Spanish?

There’s also a bigger question to ponder: What are the drawbacks of dual-language schools? I’m not talking about traditional bilingual education for kids who don’t speak English at home. That’s a different debate, full of politics. I’m thinking about schools we would seek out that would immerse our kids another language. Oftentimes, these schools follow the educational model of another country. Everyone seems to love them. That kind of consensus usually makes me nervous. So what are the concerns?

POSTED IN: Matthew Strozier (59), School Issues (135)

Discuss this entry

Imagine an FCAT boycott...

Can you picture our kids refusing to take the FCAT? Some eighth graders in the Bronx refused to take a practice exam for their end-of-the-year state social studies test and now their teacher may get fired.
.fcatmustgo.jpg
According to this story in the New York Daily News, the entire eighth grade at Intermediate School 318 handed in blank exams and petitions that listed their grievances, which included "constant, excessive and stressful testing."

There seems to be a question about whether their social studies teacher coaxed them into doing this. But I was intrigued by the teenagers' courage. It's hard to imagine our Florida kids taking a similar risk, and I'm not sure I'd want them to. Still, I give the Bronx kids credit for taking a stand.

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211), School Issues (135)

Discuss this entry

May 27, 2008

Do we really have to remind kids not to wear pajamas to a dance?

Attention, students.

pajams.jpg
This is not
a good outfit
for the prom.


I know you thought it would be a good idea, but please do NOT WEAR PAJAMAS to the FORMAL DANCE!!!

Apparently there is enough real danger of eighth-graders doing just that, yes, wearing their p.j.s to the high school f-o-r-m-a-l, that Seminole Middle School felt the need to send an alert in the school newsletter.

And it says, after noting a formal dress code, that "the following is NOT ALLOWED!'': Jeans, sneakers, slippers, PJs, underwear that's showing, low necklines, bare midriffs, strapless dresses.

Am I the only one surprised by this? Don't 13- and 14-year-olds know that an evening gown is not the same as a night gown? Don't they know that Cinderella's "slippers'' were made of glass, not fuzz?

I know fashions do change over time, but come on!


POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), School Issues (135)

Discuss this entry

May 22, 2008

When is Ana going to go on the potty?

We now have a newborn and my 33-month-old daughter in diapers.

potty.jpg

The only good thing about that is that we have races to see who can get their diaper changed faster, Ana or Lucas. He's three weeks old. That way Ana won't fuss about a diaper change as she often does.

But we think it's time that she starts learning to go on the potty. We have two: A plain one and a Dora one. But so far, no interest.

Ana says she's scared of the flush.

A friend of my wife let us borrow a couple of potty books. My mother-in-law got her big-girl underwear. And we talk about the using the potty often.

I know there's a school of thought that says she'll go on the potty when she's ready and to push her only invites a lot of cleaning up little accidents.

But I got think there's more we can do to encourage her using the potty. Any suggestions?


POSTED IN: Luis Perez (32), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

May 21, 2008

What I learned in Catholic school about sex abuse

I thought I knew it all regarding teaching my kids about who is allowed to touch them and how they should report it. But I have to admit I learned a lot while covering a presentation last week to kids by the Diocese of Palm Beach.

Kit Johansen, who directs the diocese's Office of Serving Children, offered several tips beyond the standard "tell an adult if someone touches you," including:

Don't make kids hug or kiss adults, even if they're relatives.

Have your child make lists of adults they feel comfortable with and adults who give them the creeps, and then have a conversation about these people.

Be familiar with the adults who hang out in community gathering places, such as parks, playgrounds, ball fields, swimming pools. These grown-ups could be casing out us parents to see how much attention we're paying to our kids.

Tell the kids to blame us if they want to get out of an uncomfortable situation. "My mother doesn't want me to" is a fine excuse.

The diocese, and all the dioceses across the country, are doing these presentations to make people more aware of sex abuse. It's in response to the priest molestation scandals that made big news in 2002. Although the seminars may not get to the core of the problem, at least they're getting parents to think about the many opportunities there are for kids to encounter creepy adults.

For more information and tips, go to this Web site: http://virtusonline.org/virtus/preview_pgc.cfm

POSTED IN: Elementary School (54), Family Issues (231), Lois Solomon (211), School Issues (135)

Discuss this entry

May 20, 2008

Toys as far as the eye can see

What to do with these toys? They are overtaking our modest condo. Trucks at every turn. Stuffed animals, puzzles, balls –- baskets full of the stuff. It’s beginning to feel like a wave that continues to crash around the house. You clean one area, and then another corner is swamped with gadgets of one sort or another. So some clearing out is in order. But where to start?

Toys.jpg


I’ve heard about families in which kids had to give away a toy once they got a new one. I like that idea, but haven’t had the stomach to start it. Anybody out there do that?

And are people giving away plastic toys these days? I don’t know of anything under recall in my house, but I wonder if I've seen all the notices. And then there is the other problem: What if you give away something that is later recalled? But sending plastic toys to the dump seems like such a waste, on many levels.

Then there’s the question of hand-me-downs. Alexander, who is 2, has clearly outgrown some toys. Rowan, who’s 6 months, may want some. But should we keep them all until we know which?

Anyway, how do you handle this?

POSTED IN: Matthew Strozier (59), Toys (15)

Discuss this entry

Can I pick my child's occupation?

No sooner had we paid off one kids' pre-paid college tuition plan, and gotten within a few months of paying off the other, when the two announced their career ambitions: trash man andtrash.jpg
drive-through restaurant cashier.

Creed, who is 12, launched the conversation with his comments about how much fun it would be to work on the trash truck. It was the day after bulk trash pickup.

"I'll come visit you in your cardboard box,'' I said.

I don't know how to write the sound that he makes when he thinks what I'm saying is wrong. It's what I call the Exaggerated Gasp, and it is akin to an asthma attack wheeze into a microphone.

"Garbage men make a lot of money!'' he said. "They make more than teachers.''

I suspect he picked up that fact from one of his teachers, probably someone up high in the union.

"Teachers get the summer off,'' I countered, "but while they're on the beach, you would still be sifting through people's castoff garbage.''

Lily piped in. "I'm going to be a register.''

"What is a register?'' I asked, picturing an accounting ledger, and Lily sitting over it with a sharp pencil and designer eyeglasses. I was starting to feel better.

"You know those people you give money to with the register? They get paid!'' she said.

"You mean like a McDonald's drive-through lady who works on the cash register?''

"Yes!''

I had a flashback to a running discussion I had with Creed when he was about 5. The theme was "Is BLANK a good job?'' And he had asked me after we went through a toll booth on the Turnpike, "Is that a good job?''

I'm not criticizing all the good people who hold these jobs. But we've spent a fortune on college tuitions for these two, already. And if you don't use these pre-paid plans, you don't even earn interest on all the money you shelled out!

Plus, as parents aren't we supposed to push our kids to get as educated as they can? Because I want to live in a nice assisted living facility when I get old. A place with a nice hot tub.

"Lily, you are going to be a doctor who delivers babies,'' I said. "And Creed, you're going to be a veterinarian.''

End of story. Unless, of course, Creed's high school graduation coincides with bulk trash day, and he succumbs to the dream.


POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), General (185)

Discuss this entry

May 19, 2008

Now I'm in a time-out

Elias will be 3 next month. I'm hoping the Terrible Twos will end, miraculously, when he's no longer two.

When he doesn't get his way, he has recently started to put me into a time-out. He does this with as much authority as he thinks he has, ordering his brother, his father, and even his grandma into a time-out as well.

I also hear echoes of my own admonishments when he responds, "Didn't I tell you to go to your room?" Something tells me I've been doing a little too much yelling.

So I have to try to dial it back. But I still don't know what the appropriate response is when he tells me I've been put in time-out. Any suggestions?

POSTED IN: Nancy Othon (21), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

May 16, 2008

Chilling out with the kids: How to beat the summer heat

Summer has arrived in South Florida.

Last weekend we spent the steamy evening at the beach with dozens of other families with young kids looking to cool off.

sprinkler.jpg
This weekend promises to be another scorcher.

So we'll probably head to Croissant Park for a dip in its kiddie pool to cool off. (Note: infants must wear swim pants)

Or just turn on the sprinkler and set up a bootleg slip 'n' slide.

Where is your favorite place to take the kids to cool off?

POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

May 15, 2008

Bluegrass for kids?


I got lots of suggestions after a recent post looking for new music for Alexander, 2, who loves Raffi. Thanks for those. Raffi still remains the first pick, but I had success with something yesterday, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Brother.jpg

Not everything worked, I must say. On a few tracks he said, “I don’t like this song, daddy” (including “I am a Man of Constant Sorrow”). But he seemed to enjoy “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “You Are My Sunshine” and “I’ll Fly Away.” It was fun since I’m a fan of the soundtrack, which is a lively mix of humor, politics, religion and Southern culture. By the way, I read in Wikipedia that there are kid-friendly versions “Big Rock Candy Mountain” in case you don’t want your kid singing about “the cigarette trees” and streams of alcohol.

Anyway, it wasn’t perfect, of course. He still asked for Raffi when we got in the car today.

POSTED IN: Matthew Strozier (59), Music (22)

Discuss this entry

Lucas Emilio arrived. So does that mean shelling out big bucks for a birth announcement?

Lucas Emilio was barely two days old and already someone was pulling at momma’s and papi's heartstrings to spend money. The photographer in the hospital wanted to take pictures, which, of course, she would sell to us.

birth.jpg

My wife didn't have the heart or the energy to say no. She was recovering from giving birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. (7 pounds 6 ounces and 19.5 inches long). So about the 15th time the photographer came in and just as we were getting ready to leave the hospital, I said no thank you. The woman seemed shocked. She actually made a pouty face.

Not that we didn't want to record the moment. We have a standard digital camera. I have taken hundreds and hundreds of pictures already. Some of them actually turned out pretty good. We're using three of them for the birth announcement and we're using one of the online photo sights to print it up and send it out. That's saving us the hundreds of dollars we paid for our daughter's birth announcement when she was born almost three years ago.

I guess we are just a little bit smarter the second time around on baby spending.

Do you have any other money saving ideas for that second child?

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231), Luis Perez (32), Newborn (39)

Discuss this entry

May 14, 2008

Do I have to buy three gifts for triplets?

My 11-year-old is invited to a birthday party. Times three.
triplet.jpg
She is a close friend of one of the triplets, an acquaintance of one of the others, and not friendly with the third.

Although my impulse is to be generous and get them all a present, I am watching my pennies in this depressing economy. So anything I buy times three is money that could have been spent elsewhere.

I'm sure this comes up pretty frequently now that multiple births are so common. Do we need to buy three gifts for their birthday party? And if the answer is yes, does it have to be the same gift for all three?


POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211), Shopping (28)

Discuss this entry

May 13, 2008

Visiting great grandma

We are just back from a long weekend visiting family and friends in Washington, D.C, New York and Philadelphia. It ended with a visit to my grandmother, Margaret, who turned 97 on Mother’s Day. She opted recently not to have major surgery for an apparently cancerous growth on her neck. This has spared her the pain of surgery, but it also means her time remaining with us is limited. She told me Sunday during a family dinner that she just “hopes it’s not complicated.” Then she changed the subject to ask about Florida; she’s not one to dwell.

Rowan, at 6 months, is too young to register much from the visit. Alexander, who is 2, was aware of much more. As we drove to my grandmother’s assisted-living center Monday morning, Alexander said again and again, “say goodbye to grandma Margaret.” This kind of repetition isn’t unusual for him, but I wondered if he sensed something more. He later told her he loved her. Did he know this visit was different? That it could be, as my father said, the last such weekend with her?

I don’t know. Nor do I know how long my grandmother will be with us. Months, the doctors say. We hope longer. She understands her choice, and is at peace with it. It will be my job to explain that choice to Alexander, and later Rowan. Here’s the truth: I have no idea what to say.

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231), Matthew Strozier (59)

Discuss this entry

If your child curses in his sleep, does that count?

Our 7th-grader has never used profanity in front of us, nor have we ever overheard him cursing with his friends. He has three favorite exclamations these days. One is, "Wow,'' which I wrotecursing.jpg
about previously. It's his way of expressing just how amazed he is at how dumb his parents are.

Another new favorite is simply what I would call the Exaggerated Gasp. I hope he never uses this rapid (and very loud) inhalation when small parts or flying insects are near his mouth, because he might end up choking on something.

The third is, "What the heck?!'' He says this all the time. I don't mind it at all. How sweet, I thought.

Until this weekend. Creed has a tendency to talk in his sleep, and occasionally to sleepwalk. I read a story this weekend about someone being cleared of a crime he committed while supposedly sleepwalking. I guess that's what inspires this blog post.

In the middle of the night, Creed shouted at the top of his lungs, "What the HELL????!!!!!!!!''

The first thing I thought as I was startled from sleep was, "He cursed. So that means all this time when he substituted the word 'heck,' it was only for the benefit of his parents. Sigh.' "
The second thing I thought was, "Oh my gosh, is Creed alright?!''

I went in his room and he was sitting up in bed, apparently recovering from a nightmare.

The next day he had no recollection. He sure did think it was funny, though. I think he laughed for 10 minutes straight when Bob told him what he had screamed.

If I were really an insane and unfair parent -- and some of us were raised by such people -- I would use this as a confession from his subconscious. And punish him accordingly. I told him I was considering it -- I was joking but wanted to broach the issue -- and he said that "Hell'' is not a curse word. He claims he has used this word in the classroom when necessary.

True a preacher can say it without raising eyebrows. But not a 12-year-old who is not giving a sermon.


POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), General (185)

Discuss this entry

May 9, 2008

How much is mom's work worth?

Stay-at-moms should be pulling in $117,000 a year, according to a study by Salary.com.

Is this a pittance or a boon? Tell us what you think about stay-at-home moms being worth $117,000 on the free market.

POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

Best Mother's Day Gifts: A garish corsage, jewelry and more


South Florida mothers talk about their most memorable Mother's Day gifts.

Some of the recollections will make you laugh; one will bring tears to your eyes.

POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

May 8, 2008

Huh. Some Mother's Day.

This Mother's Day is, for me, proof that teen life does not stop for anything – especially not me.

Daughter No. 1 is spending the night with her best friend because they have a big night of watching Supernatural on the TiVo. This is because they have spent the past week in technical rehearsals as crew for the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater production of Seussical and studying for AP exams, and thus were unable to watch their favorite CW show.

Daughter No. 2, the thespian in the family, has roped me into working at the Seussical character brunch on Sunday, so that she can be there to perform as a character. If you go -- and I highly recommend it as a great, inexpensive Mother's Day outing -- you'll see her as Alice in Wonderland. (Horton and the Cat in the Hat will be there, too.) Let it be noted that I signed up to help at the brunch before I knew it was Mother's Day.
horton.jpg
In the afternoon, both girls will be in the play. Then they'll help strike the set and head off to the cast party. I figure I'll see them sometime around 9 p.m.

So, instead of lounging around the house reading the New York Times all Sunday morning and eating breakfast cooked for me by my daughters (who actually can cook), I will be serving food to other moms and not seeing my own kids.

The day gets better after the brunch, though. My husband has promised me lunch at my favorite sushi restaurant. The kids have rides to the cast party and home again, so I am saved from the interminable carpool.

After all those years of hovering like Horton over his egg, this might be the best Mother's Day yet. Once the morning is over, I get to rest, relax and pretend I have no kids.

Martini anyone?

More ideas on how to spend Mom's Day.


POSTED IN: Mother's Day (6), Teen (158), Vicki McCash Brennan (13)

Discuss this entry

May 7, 2008

Your baby is crying! Call his mom!

crying2.jpg So there I was in Macy’s with the kids, 2 and 6 months. We were buying a Mother’s Day present in the wristwatch section. (Don’t worry, my wife is getting her present early this year, so I’m not spoiling anything.) The process took some time, and the boys were in their double stroller – fidgety but content.

Then Rowan decided he had had enough. He was tired, and couldn’t get himself to sleep. So he let out a spirited cry, and didn’t let up. I was determined to get this present, so I picked him up and tried to soothe him. It didn’t work.

Here’s the punchline: This woman next to me got very nervous, and starting asking “if I had any milk for him.” I smiled and said he had just eaten. When I said he was just worn out, she looked at me and said, “Where’s mom?” Then she darted her head around as though she would recognize my wife. I was fine, and Rowan would be soon, but apparently this woman needed my wife to be there.

For the dads out there: This sound familiar? People assume that you’re with the kids because “mom’s away” or “you’re doing something special.” It’s often said in a kindly fashion, particularly when it's older women, but the underlying suggestion annoys me. Besides, it sets the bar ridiculously low for dads: Just spend a couple of hours with your kid and you’re a rock star!

Epilogue: Rowan went to sleep, and we got our present. When we returned after a walk, the same woman looked at me and said, “How’d you do it?”

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231), Matthew Strozier (59)

Discuss this entry

My kids won't eat their locally grown vegetables

I started out with good intentions, but my plan to teach my kids about local vegetable farming failed.vegetables.jpg

Last summer, I decided to subscribe to Green Cay Produce, a Boynton Beach farm that sells and delivers its vegetables to local homes. It was expensive ($400 to receive a box every other week from October through May, or about $22 per box, plus $5 per box for them to deliver it to the house), but we would get a chance to support a local farmer, see our vegetables grow and see if they taste better straight from the vine.

As the deliveries began, I immediately detected a problem: There were lots of vegetables my kids and my husband were not going to eat. The farm sent over about half a dozen yellow squash and zucchini each time, and there was always lots of arugula, scallions, radishes and eggplant that my family wouldn't go near.

Some of the vegetables ended up going to waste, which I felt terrible about (How much yellow squash can one person, me, eat?) And my kids never got to see the farm up close because we had other plans on their Visiting Day.

So because of the expense and the refusal of my family to try new veggies, I am not going to renew my subscription. Hopefully local growers will start selling their wares at centrally located markets; that way, I can still support them but have more choices as to what I want to buy each week.

POSTED IN: Food (56), Lois Solomon (211)

Discuss this entry

May 5, 2008

Weston school's reality show panned

The Contra-Costa Times wrote about the new reality TV show that features students at Cypress Bay High School in Weston.newspaper.jpg


Here's a sample of what they wrote: " God bless Amanda Lorber, a senior at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla., who says "Journalists are the most important part of the world."

It doesn't stay all rosey, though. The writer eventually comes to this conclusion: "Just one problem: "The Paper," while certainly worthwhile, has yet to live up to my lofty hopes. For one thing, Amanda's a bit of a dork — a power-hungry, show-tunes-loving Pollyanna who fails to see that she doesn't have the respect of her staff. Seizing upon this dynamic, the producers seem obsessed with turning her into one of those caricaturized love-to-hate-her females that TV thrives upon.''

Read the full story here.

POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), School Issues (135)

Discuss this entry

Getting on a plane, with kids who have colds

Tomorrow, we're heading to North Carolina. And we all have colds. This is not going to be fun. I am hoping my 4-year-old and a 2-year-old have no ear problems due to the cabin pressure and their severe colds, but I'm definitely going to take some preventive measures.


Evan went to the pediatrician on Tuesday and got antibiotics because he had been suffering from a cough for several weeks. But Elias went on Friday and the same pediatrician thought he just had a virus, as opposed to an infection. She gave me a prescription for an antibiotic only because we were going to be flying on Tuesday but told me not to start it until today, only if he was really feeling awful.

She also recommended a decongestant and/or Benadryl before the flight. I'm wondering if I should do both, or just one or the other? Anyone have any similar experiences? I've also read about getting plus like EarPlanes for kids, but I'm thinking both boys would just pull them out.

Wish me luck tomorrow.

POSTED IN: General (185), Nancy Othon (21)

Discuss this entry

May 2, 2008

The best Mother's Day

The hinting and planning has begun for many mothers hoping to get time away from the kids on May 11, or a night out to a restaurant with linen tablecloths and napkins. fruit%20bouuet.jpg


What was your most memorable Mother's Day?

POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

May 1, 2008

Albuterol? What's that?

nebulizer.jpg

We have a new member of the household: a nebulizer. It arrived a couple of weeks ago after our baby, Rowan, got bronchiolitis.

He takes his medicine, albuterol, two or three times a day through the nebulizer, which allows him to breathe it through a mist.

Our 2-year-old, Alexander, was at first scared by the apparatus, but now finds the chicken design on the mask funny and announces that it’s time for “Rowan’s medicine” when he hears the machine’s loud humming kick on.

Bronchioloitis appears among babies at day care, which Rowan started at 3 months. But I’m curious about other people’s experience with albuterol. Rowan seems to be OK with taking it, but I doubt that will last. I gather that bronchioloitis can last up to age 2. Our good friends talked about getting to the point of having to hold their daughter down in order to use the nebulizer.

Have people found it worked? What’s been your experience? Any side effects from the medicine?

POSTED IN: Health (111), Matthew Strozier (59), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

New book: What Kindergarten Teachers Know

By Freida Frisaro

510OLiFAzpL._SS500_.jpg
When her oldest daughter started kindergarten, my friend Lisa Holewa couldn’t believe how the teacher quickly took charge and settled the children into a routine of learning and following directions. After just six weeks in school, the 5-and 6-year-olds followed the teacher’s instructions, gliding from activity to activity and having fun in a learning environment.

Lisa, a mother of three who lives in Wisconsin, wanted to know how teacher Joan Rice was so easily able to guide the students through the day. A journalist for 15 years – including time spent as the Tampa correspondent for the Associated Press where I met her – Lisa started asking questions.

She ended up with a book, What Kindergarten Teachers Know: Practical and Playful Ways for Parents to Help Children Listen, Learn and Cooperate at Home, by Lisa Holewa and Joan Rice. The book, with a forward by author Jacquelyn Mitchard, is a Perigee Book and goes on sale May 6.

As she developed the idea for the book, Lisa spent afternoons with the teacher on a mission to finding out how parents could use the same techniques at home.

One of the best secrets she learned in Ms. Rice’s classroom was the “Not Done” pouch, where children could put work that wasn’t finished when it was time to move on to another task. Instead of whining that they weren’t done, the students knew they would have time to come back and finish the work. Most of the ideas were simple and involved a willingness to try different things and make sure the children were having fun.

She liked the way the teacher kept the children on task. In the afternoon, Ms. Rice would tell the children: “Go to your lockers. Put on your coats. Get your backpacks.” Then, holding up three fingers, the teacher would reinforce: “Locker,” touching the first finger, “Coat,” touching the second, and “Backpack,” holding the third.

In addition to Ms. Rice, Lisa interviewed a range of elementary and early childhood teachers. The book is filled with tips and ideas from teachers across the nation, explaining in simple terms the tricks they use with children and why they work.

The chapters range from helping your child listen and learn to organizing your home and your daily schedules.

The 197-page book is a quick read, filled with great tips. I only wish Lisa had written the book before my son Jacob hit middle school!

The book costs $13.95 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble.

Freida Frisaro is an editor for the Sun-Sentinel's Community News sections.

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231)

Discuss this entry

Advertisement
About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.


Search this blog
Get text alerts on your phone


Send me the following alerts:

STORM - Weather Alerts
NEWS - Breaking News Alerts
LOTTO - Lottery Numbers
SPORTS - Breaking Sports News
BIZ - Business news headlines
ENT - Entertainment news headlines
DEALS - Free offers and money saving deals


You can also sign up for by texting any of the above keywords to 23539. Message and data rates may apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel. You will receive up to 10 msgs/week for all keywords but Storm; you will receive up to 5 msgs/day for Storm, only during severe storms. You may receive subsequent messages clarifying/confirming your Stop request. T&Cs and Privacy Policy: mobile.tribune.com
E-mail newsletters
Get the news that matters to you delivered to your inbox. Breaking news, hurricane alerts, news from your neighborhood, and more. Click here to sign up for our newsletters. It is fast, easy and free!