Main Teacher

Karen Brennan
  • Karen Brennan

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Pressing the pause button—on our lives!

Monday, October 7, 2013

In the first chapter of Simplicity Parenting, Kim Payne writes about the undeclared war on childhood, about the cumulative stress response that he and others have seen in children who have experienced many small stresses.  He describes the symptoms as “ hypervigilance, nervousness, anxiousness, a lack of resiliency, a lack of impulse control, a lack of empathy and a lack of perspective taking.  Of course some of these attributes are still developing in our very young children.  Kim Payne and others  (e.g. Waldorf schools, The Alliance for Childhood) advocate protecting and slowing down childhood. Kim Payne begins, as I mentioned last week, by asking the parent(s)  to recall their vision of their family, “how they imagined it before they had children.  It is important for them to dream their way back before going forward, to reclaim the images and hopes most central and dear to them.”  Even if your dreams were not totally realistic—and what dreams are, really? –there is still truth in them.  Can you remember how you imagined life would be with your child or children?  Is it the way you dreamed it could be?  Have you gotten off track?  “Like any work of art, families need inspiration, fresh infusions of hope, and imagination.” Says Kim.  I really like that he describes the family as a work of art.  For me it is my most precious creation.  This book is really about realigning your everyday life with your hopes and dreams!  After remembering and recreating your hopes and dreams, you can start looking at any points in the day that are regularly difficult, remembering that the stresses around the rest of the day may be showing up at these points, as well. 

Also, if there are any of these parts of the day, or any other questions that you would like to speak with me about one on one, I will have a parent teacher conference sign up sheet available next week.  The school has these conferences on Thursday, October 31 and Friday, November 1.  There will be no classes on those days, as well.

If you feel like collecting nature’s bounty:

Over the next few weeks we will be doing various fall craft projects.  We will be using leaves—either fresh or pressed, pine cones and other treasures from the plants.  If you would like to bring some for yourself or to share, that would be great.

Upcoming events:

Parent teacher conferences—no school—Thursday and Friday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1
Friday November 8—All new, all EC lantern walk will be held at Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie, 5-6:30, details to come
Saturday, November 16, 1-2:30 Early Childhood Open House for Parent Child parents, details coming—this is for adults only!