Shops overflow with holiday gifts. Carols ring out from every street corner. Bell ringers collect monetary contributions for needy families. Families spend time together. If you’re like many families at Christmas, you continue the same traditions handed down by parents and grandparents. Could your clan honor their history while starting a few new customs? Perhaps these suggestions will work for you.
In this piece for the Chester County Independent, I give some fun ideas for autumn activities with your family:
It is that magical time between summer and winter when the sky is the color of a robin’s egg and leaves range in shades of orange, brown, red and crimson. Darkness comes early and nights have a nip in the air—but days remain sunny and somewhat warm. During this brief season, plan time for family activities. Use these suggestions for building family relationships and making memories for your clan.
The following is an excerpt from my Mississippi Christian Living article “What Children Need from a Father” :
Near a window of our home, I watched as a pair of gray Mockingbirds built a nest in a willow tree. For several days they gathered bits of straw, tiny twigs, and even a length of red yarn found in the yard. When time came for the female to lay eggs and stay on the nest, the male brought her tasty insects. But other than food, he sung to her. Long into the night, he serenaded her with a wide repertoire of melodies. Later when the three fledglings hatched, the parents provided small tidbits of worms. And during a heavy rain they covered the babies with their wings.
Watching, I was reminded of how both mothers and fathers care for their young. As the child grows and develops, “needs” will change. However, some basic requirements remain the same until the child grows into an adult.
An excerpt from my Mississippi Christian Living article on grandparents who overspend on their grandchildren:
Five-year-old “Stephen” couldn’t wait until his next birthday. And who could blame him? On his fifth special day, his grandparents gave him a pony. On the fourth birthday, it was an above the ground swimming pool.
Rolling her eyes, Stephen’s mother responded, “This has to stop. Every year the presents become more extravagant. I can’t begin to imagine what they’ll give for his 16th birthday!” If you’re like this family, you certainly don’t want hurt feeling. And, they’re glad the grandparents want to provide gifts and spend time with their son, as they love him so much. Continue reading
Here’s a piece I wrote for Earlychildhood News on child development through play:
During the early stages of our country, child’s play was considered a waste of time. Little thought was given to the importance that play contributed to the developing child. For the last few decades educators and researchers have been fascinated with how children play. Parten’s Play Theory of 1932, Piaget of 1962 and Piaget and Inhelder of 1969 share different opinions, yet hold to common truths. Those who study the developmentally appropriate activities of children realize that play should begin early in life. And parents must provide opportunities for children to play and to learn from observations and actions as well as from being told.