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Parenting Thoughts

Children and Shelf Ice

Children and Shelf Ice

By Pam Henderson

If you’ve wandered up to the lakefront at Washington Park recently, you might have felt like you were transported to Greenland. The shelf ice along Lake Michigan’s lakeshore has again blessed us with a magnificent glacial-looking seascape. Almost as far as the eye can see is a blanket of white; and, if you listen closely, you can hear the waves lapping against the icy shoreline.

Yet, the majestic shelf ice is as dangerous as it is beautiful. The shelf ice creates the illusion that it is deep like a glacier. One can’t tell where the sand ends and the water begins. The shelf ice, though, is actually part of the shoreline, not the bed of the Lake. As a result, it is not supported by a stationary piece of land. The constant motion of the waves, along with the extreme temperatures and winds that whip around from every direction, help the shelf ice to be an ever-changing phenomenon. 

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100th Day of School

100th Day of School

By Pam Henderson

When school children return to the classroom after the December holidays, they’ll be gearing up to celebrate the 100th Day of School. On what date the 100th Day falls is dependent upon the start date for each school – and perhaps the number of snow days that occur over the next few weeks – but, generally it falls toward the end of January/early February.

The 100th day is simply a fun twist on practicing all the new skills that students have learned since the school year began. The “100 Days” was a new concept to me when my daughters entered elementary school, and my husband and I quickly learned what a big deal it was to them. It was hard to contain their excitement for the Big Day. Whether you are a teacher planning 100th Day activities or a parent looking to incorporate 100th Day activities at home, you might enjoy these ideas I’ve gathered from Scholastic, Inc. and the National Education Association. I’ve also thrown in a few of my tried-and-true ideas from my daughters’ 100th Day of School activities:

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New Year’s 2017

New Year’s 2017

By Pam Henderson

I don’t quite have words for it, but there is something uniquely special about New Year’s Eve. It’s as if some kind of magical spell is cast upon us when the clock chimes at midnight. It’s a chance to start anew; the line in the sand separating what once was from what may be.

In reality, I know that nothing of substance will likely happen to me between the two minutes of 11:59 pm on Sunday and 12:01 am on Monday that moves us from 2017 into 2018. That is, nothing will happen yet. But, the premise of New Year’s resolutions is that we have the chance to start all over again.

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Children and Grief During the Holidays

Children and Grief During the Holidays

By Pam Henderson

For many of us, the time of year between Halloween and New Year’s Day brings unparalleled anticipation and excitement. Holiday baking, decorating, religious observances, shopping and gathering with family and friends consume every waking moment outside of work and school.

Sadly, for many others, the holidays can stir up painful memories of loss. Whether it’s a recent death or a loss from long ago, the holidays may trigger feelings of grief. When everyone else seems to be smiling and full of joy, it can feel lonesome for a person of any age who is drowning in sadness. Not that any of us ever becomes adept at handling grief or stops asking “why”; but for a child whose life experiences are just developing, it can be especially difficult.   

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Children and water bottle safety

Children and Water Bottle Safety

By Pam Henderson

Generations of children have grown up healthy and thriving despite drinking water from garden hoses, riding bicycles without hands on the handlebars and daring each other to eat dirt (or in my family’s case, cat food). I survived all of those things with only one incident of stitches and zero broken bones.

Like many children from my generation who were told otherwise, I grew into adulthood without my “eyes staying that way” or without carrying swallowed gum in my stomach for seven years. But, I did recently learn that one of the habits I gained as an adult can be rather, well, dirty. In fact, some contend it’s even dirtier than licking a toilet.

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