Inside this issue:
Memories and Traditions
By Kristy Carlile, teacher, Broadview 3-5’s
Traditions are the oral handing-down of stories, beliefs and customs from generation to generation. They provide stability, help us focus on what is important and create memories that stay in our hearts for a lifetime.
Traditions are built into most celebrations. Christmas always began in our family with the picking of the tree. I’ll never forget the yearly tradition of looking for the perfect tree with my dad. It was always the biggest and fattest on the lot and it never fit on the car. Mom would always say “It’s too big!” It always was too big and he always made it fit. I don’t have a lot of memories of my dad, but when I think of the holidays wonderful memories come rushing back to me. I want my children to grow up and remember the holidays as I have, but most of all I want them to remember their childhood and how much we love and enjoy them.
If we look through the eyes of a child, we will discover so many reasons to celebrate -- and memories to create! A child’s joy in discovery, learning, and finding something out for the first time, is in fact the ultimate celebration. Celebrate your child’s first tooth, her first step, the first time she dresses herself. Celebrate the birth of a sibling, a new pet or the girl who moved next door. Celebrate his soccer game, the color blue, apples, his favorite song. Celebrate the first snowflake, mud puddles, a leaf dropping, a flower blooming.
Here are some examples from Bev Boss’ book Good Stuff For Kids:
Traditions and celebrations can be new or old, they can
occur daily, monthly or yearly. No matter what you do or how often you
do it, it will become a part of your family you and your children will
look forward to -- and back on with love.
Fresh starts — recommitting ourselves to those things we hold most important — that's the opportunity of a New Year. As parents, what can you do to have the most positive impact on your children?
Self-esteem has been referred to as the key to life: to success in school, work, and personal happiness. There is, however, a lot of confusion about what self-esteem is and how to get it. Recently, self-esteem has been given a bad rap, popularly seen as achieved by empty phrases and quick fixes resulting in ego-inflated, incompetent persons. This is not what self-esteem is really about.
Self-esteem is at the core of personality development and affects how a person lives all parts of his life. Several self-esteem experts define it as having two particular aspects. The first is the feeling of being loved and valued: having a sense of belonging and unconditional self-worth. The second aspect is the sense of effectance, having an impact on the world, being capable, not necessarily in any one particular area, but in general, as one is involved in day-to-day activities. As these two blend, so do the ways in which self-esteem is achieved.
Jonathan Brown, Ph.D., a social psychologist at the University of Washington traces the roots of self-esteem to birth, to attachment and temperament. A child who is securely attached will feel a greater sense of belonging and effectance. A child who has an easy-going exploratory temperament will obtain a more positive response from others and have a greater sense of effectance or impact on the world. Therefore, parents need to respond consistently to an infant's needs, relate affectionately, and provide opportunities for anxious, timid children to explore and be with others.
Dorothy Briggs, author of Your Child's Self-Esteem, views the relationship between parent and child as the context for developing self-esteem, specifically through the processes of mirroring and genuine encounter. By the way in which you interact with your child you become your child's psychological mirror reflecting to her who she is and her value. A child will doubt herself before she questions the reflections she sees. In order to keep her identity separate from behaviors of which you do not approve, refer to her actions rather than her person: "It is not OK to hit Eric", rather than,"You're naughty" or "You make me angry." Avoid blame and negative judgement since they are at the core of emotional disorder and low self-esteem.
Genuine encounter is attention born of direct, personal involvement, being physically, mentally, and emotionally present. It’s not possible or even helpful to always provide this kind of attention, but every child needs periodic genuine encounters. It is helpful to acknowledge your availability to your child: "I am talking with Julie. When I'm done I will give you my full attention." When words and actions do not jibe, children become mistrustful.
Jean Illsley Clarke, author of Self-esteem: A Family Affair, uses communication as a primary tool to build self-esteem, recommending certain messages based on the developmental stage of the child. For example, one message for the 3-6 year old is You can express your feelings straight, which could be stated as "You can tell me how you feel; it's OK to be angry, but it's not OK to hit me." Clarke also emphasizes that parents and children have distinct jobs. It's the two-year-old's job, for instance, to test limits, it's the parent's job to set limits. Parents can get confused and think it's the child’s job to behave; or think it’s their job to keep their child happy rather than follow through on setting limits.
Other commonly held ideas about building self-esteem are:
Since self-esteem is not necessarily taught, but caught, what are some ways in which parents can increase their own sense of self-esteem?
There are many perspectives on self-esteem and truly all
aspects of child rearing play a part. As a parent you have the position
of uniquely seeing your child and their “wonderfulness”. You have the insight
and motivation to envision them as the best they can be, balanced with
the understanding and love to be reasonable and compassionate. Your child
must know that you believe in them and will always be there for them. You
are the center of your child's self-esteem.
Capistrano has its swallows, the Skagit River has its bald
eagles. The eagles feed on spawning salmon from about the middle of December
through the end of February, with the peak of the season usually at the
end of January.
Several companies offer guided raft tours for eagle viewing. However, eagles
may be seen from dry (and sometimes, not so dry) land as well.
There are four designated viewing areas along Route 20 near Rockport. Warm clothes and rain gear will make your viewing more enjoyable. Binoculars are also a good idea, though not strictly necessary.
Information is available from several locations, including: