It’s that time of the year again! Families are soaking in every last morsel of summer fun before kiddos put on their new school shoes, load up their backpacks, and head out the door for the first day of school. Ready or not, back to school is here… and while it’s been a great summer, parents and children alike are craving the structure a new school year brings.
As I sat down to write this month’s blog, I had multiple different topics and ideas to include on getting ready for back to school. I mean, let’s face it, the possibilities are endless when it comes to transitioning from summer break to a new school year. I created an outline with content that included making new friends, talking to your child about their school day, parent-teacher connections etc, etc, etc. I was ready to get writing and then… I abruptly stopped. My mind and heart kept coming back to a topic near and dear to me – and so this month’s blog begins! Get ready because this topic is personal to me as I share ideas, insight, and a bit of my vulnerability as an open book. Here it is! The Life of a Parent Advocate. (more…)Read More
This month we have been celebrating INDEPENDENCE! Our nation has a special adoration for independence which is honored and celebrated each July with all things red, white and blue, backyard BBQs, special patriotic traditions, and firework extravaganzas.
Our culture also places great value on the process of becoming, remaining, or restoring independence. The profession of Occupational Therapy is rooted in the work of helping to improve an individual’s level of function and independence. Occupational Therapists work with those of all ages to enhance or restore function and independence through the use of meaningful activities. The word “Occupation” is not used to refer specifically to a job, but rather the daily activities that bring purpose, meaning, connection, and quality to our daily lives. There is a special sense of pride and accomplishment that is experienced when a new level of mastery and independence is achieved (ie, visualize the child that rides their bicycle independently for the first time, the adolescent that begins driving a vehicle independently, or an adult that works diligently to regain use of their left arm after a stroke so that they can wrap their grandchild in a bear hug).Read More
We’ve been waiting for you! After an unseasonably cold Spring, your warmth is a welcomed gift. The end of another school year allows us to take a deep breath, kick back, and enjoy some downtime from the hustle and bustle that school days can bring.
As I sat down to write this blog, I began to reminisce about some of my favorite summertime childhood memories. The smell of honeysuckle, picking wild blackberries on the side of the dirt road near my childhood home, and catching fireflies are just a few of those memories that come rushing back to me. I can still remember the exhilaration I felt the first time I jumped off the high dive at our community pool. The combination of being thrilled and terrified all mixed into one incredible childhood memory! Summer vacations took my family on adventures to new places, as well as familiar destinations to visit family and friends. My little trip down memory lane reminded me that having a few strategies to ease the transition from school to summertime can help kids create fun, safe, and lasting memories whether they are enjoying simple pleasures or exciting adventures. (more…)Read More
We are humans. We all struggle. Sometimes we struggle to find a balance before we even have children, let alone when we add another beautiful human being (or 2, 3, 4 or more) to our already challenging world. Sometimes we even KNOW what we “need to do”, in order to grow as human-beings and parents (because you still ARE your own person!). Maybe making a schedule, following routines, being consistent, daily to-do lists, miracle mornings (when you wake up before the kids to focus on you), instilling good habits, peaceful parenting, self- education, self- care, etc. But that is SO much easier said than done. Life throws us curveballs, all of the time. It is so easy to start these habits with high hopes to blossom and grow as a family; but it’s also very easy to feel defeated when challenges arise, your routine gets thrown off, or your plan isn’t successful. This same concept can be applied to any part of your life. How do we solve this? Is there a solution? How do we start to feel like we “have it together” or are headed in the right direction? Where do we begin to lose the self-doubt, build our confidence, and start to SEE RESULTS (physically, emotionally, and mentally)? “Keep it Simple”– my grandmother’s best advice that has been a philosophy of mine my entire life. Let’s make our plan, that will allow our trials to lead to triumphs, more relatable- more simple: let’s talk gardening! We will learn how to seek nourishment, learn to grow and blossom, but also build a sustainable environment that supports our growth.Read More
Over the past couple of years, many of us have stayed home more than usual. As it becomes more comfortable to “get back out there,” we find ourselves going more places, seeing more faces, and reconnecting with those in our communities.
But what does community mean to you? And what do we want children to learn about community?
For many people, different points along the timeline of the pandemic may have strengthened or strained our sense of connectedness in our communities. The definition and meaning of community resonates in different ways to different people. Many may define community by the physical boundaries of a town or zip code, but whether you live in an urban, rural, or suburban area, community means so much more than proximity to others or lines on a map. Its meaning often includes a collective sense of belonging in an area that shares common cultural characteristics, social values, an identity, fellowship with others, and resources that support the needs of its inhabitants.
So let’s facilitate a warm, child-friendly, RE-acquaintance with our communities as we emerge from hibernation and move All Around Town.
We are all sensory creatures! We all have our unique sensory preferences and avoidances. We may frame our thinking about many of our likes and dislikes in different ways, but we all have certain sensory input that helps to calm or alert our neurological systems. Consider how the aroma and taste of a tall cup o’ joe in the morning might help to jumpstart your day, while a few minutes with the sounds & imagery on a mindfulness app after a long day with your toddler or an anxiety-provoking medical appointment might help to soothe your frayed emotions. Learning healthy sensory strategies that support our daily function and emotional regulation can be a process that we are often still working to discover and tweak well into our adulthoods. So it would be understandable that our little ones need extra help and support as they encounter new days, new seasons, and new experiences.
We all go through phases and life seasons where we need extra help and support. But asking for help…especially for many of us stubborn adults (myself included)… can be difficult. Often times the biggest hurdles are the initial ones. Acknowledging the need for help, and taking the first few steps to seek out and initiate asking for help can be the hardest.Read More