Letter from the Editor November 2010

Jenna Hammond

Even for optimists like me, it's easy to consider hardships as obstacles rather than stepping stones to something extraordinary or eye opening. Traffic jam or halted subway on your way to work? Maybe the extra minutes in transit can be used to prepare for a presentation or offer self-reflection. Dropped your cell phone and the reception is spotty at best? Before rushing to resolve the situation in a huff, perhaps pause to enjoy an evening without technology. Maybe you can finally watch your child rehearse for the school play. Maybe you can play together.

In a similar vein, "A Fresh Perspective" aims to get readers to interpret good fortune in a new way this Thanksgiving. Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, a trusted team of parenting experts, present different scenarios traditionally seen as burdensome for parents and retranslate them as awesome.

The first scenario in the article deals with children's literacy skills, posing the question: "Why not be thankful that your child is behind his grade level in his reading ability?" The opportunity here, say Haller and Moorman, is to make reading with your youngster a priority and model your love of the written word. We at PARENTGUIDE News often suggest parents read with their children and model redeemable traits. However, the authors take things a step further by showing the silver lining in lesser praised actions, from a toddler refusing his vegetables to older tykes trekking mud through the house. Discover how Haller and Moorman turn these vexing situations into favorable outcomes as your realize your worth as a parent. Now that's something to be thankful for.

Back to the struggling reader. With school in full swing, many parents have been talking about the amount of homework inundating their kids. A frustrated co-worker recently revealed that she has been up until 11pm with her daughter on a nightly basis because of homework troubles— and her daughter is in the 1st grade! Using wisdom from "A Fresh Perspective" by finding the merit in homework hassles, the article "School Ties" by Richard Selznick, Ph.D., can assist you with hoisting your child through all types of academic hurdles. Check out what the child psychologist recommends. You'll soon be resolving children's classroom angst and encouraging positive thinking along the way. Now that's great modeling.

Keeping things light, this issue has great articles that even traditionalists will appreciate. "The Holidays are Almost Here" provides a snapshot of hot-ticket items to purchase before holiday madness ensues. Next month you can expect a more expansive gift guide, including a page reserved for parents' presents. The article "Birthday Bliss" by mom of triplets Debra Honig-Gold offers insight for customizing parties to suit children's personalities. As a bonus, the Birthday Party Directory gives you a goody bag of options for booking the best party places and entertainers for celebrations.

As you gear up for the holidays and your family's celebrations, enjoy life's blessings— big small, traditional and original. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond