Category Archives: parenting

the other cheek

I had always made friends easily so when I was nine and started at a new school, I approached a group of girls on the playground with a friendly smile. I was shocked and crushed when one of them turned around and said, “I don’t like you. You can’t play here.” I didn’t understand and went off to stand by the wall alone. Maybe she was having a bad day. So the next day I tried again. “I don’t like you.” she said. This time I was ready. “Why not? You don’t even know me.” She scoffed and said, “I don’t like people who wear red.” Dismayed again, I turned away.

The next day, I wore blue because it was what the girl had been wearing when she commented about not liking red. “I don’t like you. I don’t like people with white shoes.” Again I turned away. The next day I wore my sparkly red shoes. “I don’t like you. I don’t like people with brown hair.” Now I was getting angry. Nothing I did could please this girl. So the next day I didn’t approach their group. I just played on the swings. The following day, I played with a different group of kids. As I made friends with others I forgot about the girl who would never like me.

Until the day I heard a voice behind me saying, “Can I play?” I was shocked to find her standing behind me with a hopeful look on her face. All I could do was smile and say, “Of course.”

Turn off the TV

When I was a kid, we had cartoons on for an hour after school and then on Saturday mornings. Saturday mornings were magical. You got up without mom and dad and had the TV all to yourself for a couple of hours. When the cartoons were over, the TV went off and you played.

Today, there are cartoons available 24/7. They aren’t special anymore. There isn’t just a certain set aside for them. My kids complain when I turn it off because there’s always one more show coming on. One more that they NEED to watch.

So I came up with a list of things my kids can do instead.

  • Read. By yourself, to each other. I’m even willing to read to you. Pick up a book!
  • Go outside. Get some fresh air, run around, play catch, jump rope. MOVE!
  • Sing. You can even sing the theme songs to the blinking cartoons.
  • Playdoh. One of the greatest toys on earth. You can make anything. And then you can squish it and do it again.
  • Draw. Stickers, markers and paper will keep you occupied for hours.
  • Legos. Another amazing toy. So many possibilities for creative thinking and small motor skills.
  • Act. Recreate a scene from that amazing show you just watched. Or make up something that includes your favorite characters.

And then we can have TV time.