Getting Down and Dirty: Connecting With the Season

The following was written by contributor Robin Zipporah.

These are narcissus bulbs, just waiting for a dry day to be buried in our flower bed.

They were a gift from another family, dug out of their garden in early summer, when the dad was thinning his flower beds and the world was vibrant with blossoms and thrumming with bees and humming birds and sparkling with radiant sun.

As I type this, it’s been raining for days here in Maryland. Right now, the air is damp and dusk is racing us home each night. Our friends’ summer garden, where we thanked them for excess bulbs and snacked on blueberries straight from the bushes, feels terribly distant.

When my second child was two last year, she was made absolutely distraught by autumn’s arrival and Mother Nature’s decision to close up shop like just another community pool or boardwalk ice cream stand. She didn’t like the disappearance of the fireflies, then of the long evenings, then of sun warm enough to play without a jacket, and with the onset of winter, that final disappearing act: all the world’s color left us.

She was too young to remember that spring always follows winter and color and blossoms and grass and sunshine and sprinklers and ice pops all would emerge again, like a bejeweled butterfly after a long cocoon’s sleep. She didn’t understand, and all of our reassurances could be based only on faith, not evidence.

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Reader Question: Gentle Ways to End Toddler Pacifier Use

The following was written by editor Kara Fleck.

Recently I received a question from a reader looking for some help.

Maria asks, “My 3yo uses a pacifier at nap and nighttime, and occasionally when she’s feeling extra-vulnerable. It never comes downstairs from the bedroom, though.  For dental reasons, she needs to stop. I want to respect her ability to come to this in her own time and way, but I fear she will not do so on her own.

I am looking for readers to share personal experiences of how they helped older toddlers stop pacifier use.  Thanks.”

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Simple As That: Journaling Big Feelings

childwriting

As parents, we know that the source of much frustration for children is an inability to communicate what they are feeling – particularly when those feelings are big and scary or upsetting.  A few months ago, we discussed some peaceful and positive solutions for anger and hitting.

Several weeks later, a friend of mine emailed me to share with me an unexpected and powerful outlet for these big feelings: journaling.

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