Letter from the Editor February 2012

Jenna Hammond

First breath, first smile, first steps. With my baby due this month, I look forward to celebrating all of my child’s firsts. But before these milestones, I am undertaking a last: completing my final editor’s letter. It has been an incredible eight years working for PARENTGUIDE News. After writing and editing articles regarding every child-rearing topic under the sun, I have decided to raise my son predominantly as a stay-at-home mom. I’ll be relinquishing many of my responsibilities at this amazing publication, really a family, in order to work part time as the editor at large. Rest assured that you’re in wonderful hands as I pass on the torch to Kayla Mossien, trusted colleague and friend.

Before I say adieu as editor, however, I want to share the magic of the February issue. Offering the ultimate balance, the issue packs equal parts insight on love, work and play. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s start with the topic of love.

As I’ve learned in pregnancy, love is all consuming when you’re expecting your first child. But rather than spoil my soon-to-be son, or at least attempt not to smother him with my unconditional love, I’ll be adhering to the reasoning in “Three’s Company” by psychologist Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D. The article discloses the benefits and drawbacks of raising only children and then elaborates on three essential pointers for nurturing positive qualities in kids without siblings. The guidance is useful for parents in all size families. While explaining each pointer, Pickhardt presents how to focus love and energy on a particular child without alienating that child from other kids, putting excess pressure on the child or overwhelming the child with attention. Especially until my husband and I expand our clan, I’ll keep Pickhardt’s knowledge in mind.

While the only child article touches on the importance of childhood play, the topic reigns supreme in “Your Child’s Playroom” by child development specialist Teresa Signorelli, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. Discover how to create the ultimate play space to foster physical and intellectual development in this lighthearted read that clarifies key terms, such as sensory and motor skills as well as nonverbal and verbal cognition, in an easy to understand and even fun manner. Upping the fun factor, the piece shares the toys, activities and kiddie accoutrements, including pint-size furniture, crawl tunnels, play kitchens and essentials for craft projects, that encourage kids’ bodies and minds to flourish. As a bonus, the article reveals how certain elements in a playroom not only spark development but permit kids to decompress. I am eager to incorporate Signorelli’s suggestions in my son’s nursery.

Regarding work, schoolwork that is, the February issue keeps things light with “The Afterschool Learner” by tutor Marina Koestler Rubin. You’ll no longer dread getting your kids to complete their homework and you’ll better understand the correlation between school and home life by reading the engaging article and its helpful sidebars. I’ll let you flip to the piece to see what I mean. Just be sure to follow up the article with the latest installment of our coveted Education Directory, which spotlights some of the best family resources and schools in your area. Geez, I can’t believe the guy wriggling in my womb will one day have his first day at one of those schools! For now though, I’ll stick to thinking about my son’s first breath and smile.

I know Kayla will bring you tons of smiles as she takes her first steps as the new editor of PARENTGUIDE News. I wish her all of the happiness and wisdom that the position has given me.

Enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond