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Posts from the ‘Parenting’ Category

Preserving Your Child’s Artwork Forever

This fall, I recently made a book of all of Alex’s preschool Artwork. I had saved so much of her artwork, from preschool, and I wanted to find a way to save it without holding onto every piece of her artwork, if you know what I mean. So, I bought some white foam board and used my iPhone and photographed and edited the pieces that I wanted to save, to include in this book. I made a 70 page book of all of her preschool work, approximately 138 pieces of her artwork, via OnceUpon, and I selected that matte paper option. The book turned out well, it is simple in design, and it was not too expensive as compared to other places where you can make books.

The best part is — I printed one of these books for Alex, and she loves looking at her art via this book, and it is also a way to encourage her to keep making her beautiful art, which she loves to make, regularly! The arts are really important, and we hope to keep fostering this love within Alex. I hope to make yearly books of her artwork as a way of preserving her artworks!

Is There a Word for This?

This winter and spring I have been busy making archival family photo yearbooks from 2018 through 2021, and I am just about done proofing them and getting them printed, a feat! And, as a result, I have been revisiting these past years and memories via viewing many photographs. There has been so much change in a relatively short amount of time. This exercise has made it very clear that as you watch your child grow, those past versions of him/her fade away, and that brings a certain heartbreak, I feel. It does not quite feel like nostalgia, but something else, but I am not quite sure of the word to describe this feeling. While we are so fortunate that our little girl is growing up and developing well, each year passing is both a gift and a theft. So we must truly enjoy each day, take nothing for granted, and truly be present in our lives, as the moments are all so fleeting. A few images of our girls together, over the years, are shown below.

Inspiring Kids to Play on Their Own

I have read many articles that say that boredom is good for kids. And I agree — being constantly entertained is not realistic or even fun. When Alex has time on her own, she often falls into a zone that is happy and engaged. But sometimes she still cannot quite get there and seem restless and ends up saying, “Mommy, can I have your phone to watch a song?” or “I’m super hungry.” So, I was grateful to learn this tip…

I always figured that the experts who recommended boredom just let their children loose in their homes and said, “Goodbye and good luck,” and trusted they would find something to play with. Maybe so? But Alex sometimes needs a little help getting started.

Then, recently, I read this article about how to help little ones “enjoy pottering.” I was most interested in how the author suggested putting basic materials around the home to help inspire imaginative play.

Parents do have a role… children need the adults around them to understand that creating their own pastimes requires space, time and the possibility of making a mess (within limits – and to be cleared up afterwards by the children themselves).

They will need some materials too, but these need not be sophisticated – simple things are often more versatile. We’ve all heard of the toddler ignoring the expensive present and playing with the box it came in instead. For older children, a magnifying glass, some planks of wood, a basket of wool, and so on, might be the start of many happily occupied hours…

If a child has run out of ideas, giving them some kind of challenge can prompt them to continue to amuse themselves imaginatively. This could range from asking them to find out what kind of food their toy dinosaurs enjoy in the garden to going off and creating a picture story with some friends and a digital camera.

Nowadays, at home, we try to help Alex by having just a few simple imaginative toys out and visible along with some (washable) art supplies. Alex loves playing vet and dress up! Most all of her patients either have a fever or a broken bone, and she does a good job treating her patients. And, Alex loves making her art, and she usually sings a song while she makes her art, which we proudly display in our home! And she has recently been decorating envelopes and cards to send out, which are decorated with her stamps, stickers, and coloring, and people love getting them in the mail!

What imaginative toys/materials do you like? Legos and Magna-Tiles are a hot ticket in our house these days.

Viral Comic About Parenting Double Standards

Graphic designer and mother-of-two Mary Catherine Starr recently posted a comic on Instagram about how differently society views moms versus dads. It went viral and it has been translated into more than 15 languages. The full comic is below…and I am sure many can relate to the this comic, which is so telling!

Image credit: Mary Catherine Starr.