• Special Topics

    Family Music Month

     By Esther Jantzen, guest poster Singing songs with kids is magical! Making music in any way stimulates the brain, brings happiness, and creates a sense of belonging. How about making your house a singing house regardless of how well any of you stay on pitch. Babies, toddlers, preschool children, elementary students, middle-school kids, high-schoolers all love to sing together. When you have time with your kids and want to do something fun, make music in your home. Whenever you get a chance, sing! Here ís what…

  • Parenting,  Special Topics

    FAMILY READING HOUR

    by Esther Jantzen, guest poster It’s great when children read about subjects that really interest them. Their knowledge and vocabulary expand. Kids start to read eagerly when they see their parents reading eagerly. So sit down and enjoy doing that together! Here’s an activity to try: 1) Plan a family time when you make independent reading important (when each person reads something they choose on their own). A weekend evening may work well, or try it on a slow summer day, after a holiday meal, on…

  • Four Foundations

    Coffee with the Stars

    Someone once told me that reading What Kids Need was like having a chance to have a cup of coffee with some very successful people and ask them how they learned their life lessons. Besides being a neat compliment, that comment got me thinking about successful people I’d like to meet.  Since I’m not always able to snap my fingers and get ‘up close and personal’ with people I’d like to meet, I read about them.  I watch movies based on true stories.  I subscribe  to…

  • Special Topics

    SPECIAL POWER

    by Esther Jantzen, guest poster Often fairytale, book, or film characters have special powers A fairy godmother can turn pumpkins into coaches and mice into horses, and Superman can fly. Kids enjoy imagining they too might have a special power that could help them solve problems and help others. It gives them a chance to think about how they’d like the world to be. This activity can lead to talking about what kids really can do through their strengths and abilities, which are their real ‘special…