As my children entered their teen years, I struggled to communicate with them. I am always looking for ways to build healthier relationships with my children and strive to be a better parent. Today, as I ordered a package of residence hall linens for my son heading off to college, I started reflecting on my parenting style. At times, I wish I had more patience, listened more, and other times, I wish I was more consistent with my parenting. Nonetheless, I appreciate the time I have with my children and feel blessed to watch them move into young adulthood.
Here are some helpful tips on building healthy relationships with teenagers:
As a parent, I often wonder how I can be more supportive of my child’s learning over the summer. My son is a senior, and we prepare for the summer orientation programs at Washington State University, Pullman. When he was younger I would find activities to inspire his literacy development and keep him engaged in learning over the summer. The following are activities, resources, ideas, and book lists for supporting child literacy. I thought I’d share them now because summer is on its way. Enjoy!
The sun is out and encouraging us to be active. My family and I are doing yardwork, walking the dog and hiking. Our kiddos seem to be attached to their devices so sometimes it’s easier to engage them in physical activity by integrating technology. Below are some great free apps for healthy living and ideas to keep kids active this summer.
As I look for a place to live in the area, I want to learn more about the community and family services in Clackamas County. I thought I would share some of the resources I found.
Below are a list of family and community services in Clackamas County:
As we approach the last few months until graduation, my son’s stress level seems to be on the rise. When he was a baby I participated in baby massage classes to help him sleep, and then as he entered kindergarten, we practiced yoga for kids to ease his stress. As life got busy, I forgot to continue our practice in supporting him to manage stressors in life. The approaching major life accomplishment for him and my new job triggered both of us to begin thinking about ways to decompress. Here are some helpful tips for teens and kids when it comes to coping with stress:
Happy Spring Break! Are you like me and looking for some free and/or inexpensive fun family activities to do over the break? Below are some links to activities in the area occurring during Spring Break:
As a passionate mother, I often have difficulty sharing my concerns with my son’s school because I never want to create tension within the relationship. For support, I always reflect and check in with a friend before I bring my concern forward. My friend shared this article with me from the Davidson Institute, Tips for Parents: Advocacy – Working with Your Child’s School. I like the Tips for talking to Teachers.
Tips for Talking to Teachers.
Sally Yahnke Walker (2002) provides excellent suggestions for talking with teachers:
As a parent and superintendent, I often think about and address the impacts of cyber bullying on our kids. My daughter has had several encounters with cyber bullying as she has moved through adolescence, into her teenage years, and now as a young adult. It has never been easy supporting her through this turmoil. The emotional, physical, and mental toll bullying takes on our young people is incredible. I am moved to share some statistics on cyber bullying and how we can interrupt it as parents and educators. Know I am here as a resource and support, if you ever need someone to talk to about bullying or if you need to report an incident regarding cyber bullying that is impacting your child’s education.
Click on Cyber Bullying to learn more.
As a parent and superintendent, I am always concerned about the state of our public schools. I have been advocating for Oregon State School Funding and Rural School Districts over the past couple of months. At the Community Listening & Learning Session, I shared information on Oregon Rising Project and how to advocate for state school funding. I have attached a letter I wrote to Senator Girod, and the links for the Oregon Rising Project. Please join me in advocating for rural school districts to receive adequate funding and ensure all students are college and career ready.
Watch a video on State-of-Schools:
Write an email and/or letter to local legislator in advocacy for Colton School District:
Here is a letter to Senator Girod:
As a mother of a child not easily engaged in traditional school, I had to find activities outside the school day to challenge her in different ways. She loved science and math, but did not enjoy the curriculum or teaching practices in school. I was constantly on the lookout for new and exciting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities that would advance thinking skills through the cycle of research, design, build, test, and improve.
Lloyd (2015) suggests the following ways parents can promote STEM learning in children:
1) Think about adding STEM-themed after-school activities and weekend outings. Look for camps and programs that will teach your child something new — Robotics, Mathletes — that she wouldn’t get in school.
2) Explore what works for your kids and find where their STEM sweet spot lies. Even simple things (a terrarium for growing beans) can make a huge difference. Does your child love to build things? Go with it. Block play is associated with later math competence. Got a nature lover? Get outside. Many scientists cite their early exposure to nature as the reason they found careers in science.
3) Finally, keep STEM in mind whenever you spend time with your child. Choose movies to watch with science themes. (Science documentaries like Winged Migration or LIFE can deliver exceptional learning in the framework of family fun.) Or pick board games that build STEM brain cells. Did you know that chess is linked to math aptitude? When you’re shopping, look for STEM toys. (Our Golden Apple STEM winners will give you a good place to start.)