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North Shore

&Families FREE !


The online and print forum promoting the development of children, families and the parents who care for them.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Learning through Earning: An Alternative to Punishment

Why Can’t You Just Pay Attention? The Family Meal Try a Little (Self-) Tenderness Community Calendar Education Feature: Tower School Enter to Win Tickets! See page 21! Starting in March–Our 4th Annual

Summer Camps & Programs Showcase Series 2011! (Camps – see pg. 2!) FEBRUARY 2011


North Shore Children & Families

Family & Friends

Mary Poppins Contest Winners ♥ Summer Camps & More! by Suzanne Provencher, Publisher Hello again, dear readers! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays – and that 2011 is filled with blessings and all things good for you and your family. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Congratulations to the Winners of Our Winter Issue Contest! The following lucky readers have each won a pair of tickets to see Mary Poppins at the Boston Opera House: David Cartledge, Malden; Martha Delaney, Salem; Linh Nguyen, Andover; Elizabeth Salah, Gloucester. Mary Poppins, a Broadway Across America/Boston production, is appearing February 17 through March 20 and tickets are on sale now (see page 11 to buy tickets). And don’t miss our latest contest on page 21

to win tickets to Boston Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! All tickets are given as prizes courtesy of this publication, and in partnership with select advertisers. Congratulations to our latest contest winners – and we hope you all enjoy the show! It’s Time to Start Thinking About Summer Camps & Programs!

To advertise your summer camp or program beginning in our March issue, please contact me by February 18 at or 781.584.4569.

Coming up in our March issue – we kick off our 4th Annual Summer Camps & Programs Showcase series for 2011 – the largest camp showcase and family-friendly resource distributed throughout the North Shore! Whether you are a parent looking for information, ideas and options for your children this summer – or you have a summer camp or

Parents who can’t wait until March to start investigating their children’s summer options can stop by Glen Urquhart School’s annual SummerScape camp fair, to be held at GUS on Sat., Feb. 5, from 11am – 3pm (snow date is Feb. 6). Over 80 camps and summer programs will be exhibiting – and you can pick up lots of good information and additional



Ad Space Closes 2/18!

program that needs summer enrollments (and an effective and efficient way to reach local, North Shore parents!) – you won’t want to miss our upcoming issues!

copies of this issue at the fair, too. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

February is… February offers us the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, school vacations for some, winter fun – and cabin fever. If you and your children are over being housebound and itching for fun things to do – check out our Community Calendar and enjoy some of these events and opportunities – many of which are free – and local! Your local library offers many other options, most of them free, from story hours to teen book clubs to activities for all ages and interests – and many lend movies, music and more – in addition to good old-fashioned books. Take turns with other parents and host playdates based around fun activities Continued on page 14

North Shore Children & Families presents the 4th Annual

Summer Camps & Programs Showcase Series – 2011! CALLING ALL CAMPS & SUMMER PROGRAMS!

Secure your summer! ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Boost your summer enrollments & reach parents throughout the North Shore! Over 50,000 local readers - moms & dads with children of all ages & interests! Showcases run on bannered pages! Participation includes complimentary online text listing & link!

The more times your ad runs - the more you save! Ask about our special Showcase frequency discounts and discounted advertorial space availability, a great way to enhance your ad presence and impact with your own story and photos! Ads and editorial features can change each month, so you can focus on different programs and offerings in each issue.

ring Appea ur in o ril, DEADLINE FOR MARCH SHOWCASE ADS: All Showcase ad space must be reserved by Fri., Feb. 18; , Ap er h c r if we are creating your ad/advertorial – your materials are also due by this date (copy, photos, logos). Ads requiring no production a M Summ & assistance are due by Tues., Feb. 22 – provided your ad space is reserved by Feb. 18. y a M ! issues Special Showcase ad sizes and pricing are offered for this series. To learn more or to secure your space, please contact Suzanne: or 781.584.4569.

North Shore Children & Families


Letter from the Editor

An Opportunity for Community Transformation at Swampscott High School by Michael F. Mascolo, PhD Swampscott High School made national headlines recently when it scheduled a mandatory meeting for all parents of Swampscott High students. Layne Millington, the incoming principal of Swampscott High School, cited the results of a recent survey indicating that the incidence of drug and alcohol abuse problems in Swampscott is higher than in neighboring communities. Having witnessed devastating consequences of alcohol and drug abuse in his years as principal in the Arlington school district, Millington felt compelled to address the issue.

North Shore Children & Families P.O. Box 150 Nahant, MA 01908-0150 781.584.4569 A publication of North Shore Ink, LLC © 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction in full or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited.

Suzanne M. Provencher Publisher/Co-Founder/Managing Partner Michael F. Mascolo, PhD Editor/Co-Founder/Partner Designed by Group One Graphics Printed by Seacoast Media Group Please see our Calendar in this issue for our upcoming deadlines.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a new alcohol and drug policy put forth by the Swampscott school system. The new policy is a tough one: Students are prohibited from consuming, possessing, buying, selling or giving away alcohol and other controlled substances, regardless of whether or not the infraction occurs on school property. The policy is in effect 365 days per year from the time the student completes eighth grade through to graduation. If students violate the policy, they will be barred from participating in any extracurricular activities or sports for the period of one-year, or until they have completed a school drug and alcohol-

but that evidence that becomes available would be used to adjudicate the policy.

counseling program. This policy, with its prescriptions against rule-violating behavior both in and out of school, emulates policies that often apply to student athletes. School officials have indicated that they do not intend to seek out evidence of drug and alcohol consumption beyond school grounds,

Where to Find Us North Shore Children & Families is available at over 400 locations throughout the North Shore! Our free, monthly parenting publication is available at North Shore libraries, schools, pediatric doctor & dentist offices, hospitals, pre-schools, children & family support services, retailers that cater to parents, children & thriving families, YMCAs, children’s activity & instruction centers (dance, gymnastics, karate, children’s gyms) and more! You can find us from Andover and Methuen – south to Malden and Medford – east to Everett, Revere, Marblehead and down to Cape Ann – north to Amesbury and Newburyport – west to North Andover and everywhere in between

– we’ve got the North Shore covered!

The call for a mandatory meeting has caused considerable controversy. In announcing the meeting, the school system also indicated that children of parents who failed to attend could be penalized. In specific, they could be barred from participation in extracurricular activities and sports. Some Swampscott parents objected to the mandatory meeting, maintaining that (a) the district has no legal right to compel parents to attend a meeting, and (b) that students should not be penalized for the actions of Continued on page 4

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If you would like to be considered to host & distribute our free publication each month from your family-friendly, North Shore business location – or if you’re a reader who needs to find a location near you – please contact Suzanne: or 781.584.4569.

Published and distributed monthly throughout the North Shore, 10x per year, and always online. All articles are written by Michael F. Mascolo, PhD unless otherwise credited. Information contained in NSC&F is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. Individual readers are responsible for their use of any information provided. NSC&F is not liable or responsible for the effects of use of information contained in NSC&F. Established 2007.

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Letter from the Editor Continued from page 3

their parents. While many parents were pleased that the district felt the matter of sufficient importance to take action, others were displeased with what they took to be the heavyhanded and perhaps infantilizing approach of compelling parental participation. Further, (c) when the actual meeting occurred, it did not include time for discussion between parents and the presenters. Still further, (d) the media was not permitted to attend the meeting, and plainclothes detectives were on hand to enforce this prescription. Courage & Controversy The principal and superintendent have shown courage in deciding to take serious steps toward addressing the important issue of alcohol and drug use among teens. They are facing a very difficult issue: • We live in a culture that has, arguably, witnessed a decline in community standards related to the behavior of children and teens; • In our culture, schools are often viewed as institutions that should be largely morally neutral; the job of moral instruction is something many people see as the exclusive province of the home. • As a result, schools generally have a limited capacity to affect student behavior outside of the context of school; • We are dealing with an important issue – one that has life or death implications. Given these assumptions, what is a school system to do? How can a school system address what they take to be a serious problem without violating the moral autonomy of parents and families? In an ambitious attempt to achieve a far-reaching solution to the problem, the district settled upon an innovative solution – one of the very few far-reaching solutions that it had at its disposal. This policy is far-reaching in that it targets drug and alcohol use for all public high school students in the

Swampscott community, regardless of where and when the violations take place. It thus has the potential to galvanize the community in a common cause against drug and alcohol abuse. In this way, the school system took a bold and courageous step. Despite their courageous actions, circumstances related to the mandatory meeting raise sensitive questions. The decision to call a mandatory meeting holds out the potential for insult to parents. The threat to penalize students for the actions of their parents is highly questionable. The failure to include an interactive exchange between parents and administration at the mandatory meeting was at best clumsy. The decision to bar the media from covering the event solidifies the impression that decision-making is unilateral rather than participatory. In order for Swampscott schools to maximize the gain of their potentially promising policy, they must find ways to engage parents and the rest of the Swampscott community with dignity and respect. This is no small task. Schools have often attempted to entice, encourage and urge parents to important meetings, only to find that a handful of concerned citizens attend. Further, while many of us may resent the intrusion of schools on matters related to parenting, many teens nonetheless engage in drug and alcohol abuse. All of those teens have parents and/or guardians. While many will be able to respond effectively to the challenges of their children’s chemical abuse, others will be less able to do so. How can we engage all parents? There are no simple and easy answers to these questions. Swampscott High School has shown deep courage in their attempt to address a serious problem with a serious and far-reaching solution. However, to maximize the effectiveness of their proposed solution, it is important to find ways to inspire, motivate and engage parents and families as partners in the process of addressing community problems.

North Shore Children & Families


Child Development

Learning Through Earning: An Alternative to Punishment Carole is at her wit’s end with her 12 year old son Louis. Even though she has taken away his video games, grounded him for several days and withheld his allowance, Louis continues to torment his younger brother, Calvin. In fact, it seems that the more she takes away from Louis, the more he lashes out at his brother. Punishment is not an effective means for producing long-term change in behavior. Actually, there is an exception to that statement: Punishment can cause long term change in behavior if it is of extremely severe intensity. A child who burns his finger by touching a hot flame won’t be touching flames again anytime soon. People who have suffered severe trauma after automobile accidents will change their driving habits. If Carole tried grounding Louis for a year as a result of tormenting his brother, Louis might change. However, a grounding that lasts a year is not likely feasible in a busy family. While extreme measures can deter behavior, they have obvious debilitating effects on the persons who receive them, and may also prove to be unrealistic to parents who try to enforce them. If punishment doesn’t produce long-term change, then why do we use it? There are several reasons: First and foremost, perhaps, while punishment does not change behavior in the long run, it is effective in modifying behavior in the short term. However, even then the effect of punishment is limited to

occasions when the punishing agent is nearby. You can convince yourself of this: How often do you speed on the highway? What will make you slow down? The sight of the police officer. But what happens when the police officer is no longer in sight? Punishment only works in the short-term – and then only when the threat of punishment is looming. Long-term change in behavior requires that we internalize values and make them our own. Long-term changes in behavior require that we build new ways of behaving as alternatives to our old ways of behaving. An Alternative to Punishment: Learning by Earning Punishment occurs when we give someone a painful or unpleasant consequence for some misdeed or unwanted behavior. Doreen snatched Todd’s blocks away from him, so she is told to stand in the corner. Louis teased his brother, so his phone was taken away for two days. Jim won’t eat his peas, so his dessert is taken away from him. Let’s take a look at a typical punishment scenario: Seven year old Jim doesn’t want to finish his peas. Jim’s father says, “Jim, if you don’t eat your peas right now, you aren’t going to get any dessert.” Jim replies (of course), “But I don’t like peas.” Jim’s father responds with some explanation of how peas are good for you (why should Jim care about this?), or how important it is to learn to Continued on page 6


misdeed, provide the opportunity for the child to get what is wanted by completing the undesirable task.

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Learning Through Earning Continued from page 5

like foods you don’t like (again, this is lost on Jim). Finally, in frustration, dad says, “Okay Jim, no dessert. Go to your room.” Jim throws his fork down and runs to his room. Jim’s father is thinking, “Well maybe next time he’ll think twice before he pushes his peas away.” (Hmmm… Imagine that earlier in the day, Jim’s father got a ticket for speeding. Unless that ticket was for thousands of dollars, just how long will it take for Jim’s dad to start pushing that speedometer beyond 65 miles per hour again? How solid is Dad’s logic here?) Now, let’s make a very subtle change in the scenario described above. Instead of threatening to take away Jim’s dessert if he doesn’t eat his peas, what happens if we hold out the possibility of Jim’s getting dessert when he does eat his peas. Rather than losing something wanted for engaging in the

Stuart G. Merle, D.M.D. Co-founder of Practice in 1975

Education: Brooklyn College of the City of New York; Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Pediatric Specialty: Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, NYU Past President: Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Appointment: Governor’s Commission to Study the Oral Health Status and Accessibility for Residents of the Commonwealth Board Certified: Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Alan R. Zicherman, D.D.S. Co-founder of Practice in 1975

Education: City College of the City University of New York; NYU School of Dentistry Pediatric Specialty: Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, NYU Past President: Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Member: American Orthodontic Society, Cleft Palate Team, North Shore Children’s Hospital Board Certified: Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Federico Lago, D.M.D. Education: Brown University; University of Connecticut Dental School Pediatric Specialty: Schneider’s Children’s Hospital Member: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry


So, instead of saying, “Jimmy, if you don’t eat your peas, you aren’t going to get any dessert”, you can say, “Jimmy, right now, you are not getting any dessert. If you want dessert, you are going to have to earn it by eating your peas. If you eat your peas, you get your ice cream. If you don’t, you get no ice cream. The choice is yours.” Why This is Big This very subtle change transforms the whole situation. It does so by changing the focus of the child’s goals from trying to avoid something unpleasant to trying to gain something wanted. In the punishment scenario, the child’s focus is on avoiding the unwanted– avoiding eating the bad tasting peas; avoiding the loss of dessert. In the learning by earning scenario, the child’s attention is on gaining something wanted (the dessert). In this situation, eating the peas is no longer just an unpleasant thing to be avoided; instead, eating the peas is an opportunity to get something wanted. In the earning scenario, eating the peas becomes a means toward a wanted end. I can earn my dessert by eating my peas. And when I do that, I feel good about my actions and my earnings. In the punishment scenario, eating the peas brings me nothing that I wasn’t already expecting! I was already going to get the dessert. So, when threatened with punishment, eating the peas simply becomes something unpleasant that I have to do to avoid having something bad done to me. There is no opportunity for gain here – only loss. Under conditions of punishment, we threaten a negative consequence for an unwanted behavior. A punishment comes after the misdeed. We often think of the child as deserving of something good unless they engage in misdeeds. Under the learning by earning model, the situation is somewhat reversed. The child must earn a wanted outcome by engaging in wanted behavior.

PEDIATRIC DENTISTS Children are not miniature adults when it comes to dentistry. They are remarkable in every way – physically, emotionally, socially and dentally! When it comes to dental care, children have specialized needs. They require the services of dental professionals specifically trained in the growth and development of teeth and facial structures. Dr. Alan Zicherman, Dr. Stuart Merle and Dr. Federico Lago are pediatric dentists specially trained in treating infants, children, adolescents and handicapped children. The doctors and staff work with you and your child to assure healthy teeth, gums and bite. They also try to develop a positive attitude about dentistry and cooperative attitudes about home care at an early age. These components together help parents and their children learn skills for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Their office philosophy is based around prevention of problems, and they recommend that children be seen by a pediatric dentist by the first tooth or first birthday. Early prevention visits are key to laying the foundation for good oral health. Dr. Zicherman and Dr. Merle are board certified and diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry which ensures that they meet the highest standards of excellence in pediatric dental care.

Timothy Finelli, D.D.S. Education: Tufts University; Stonybrook School of Dental Medicine Orthodontic Specialty: Boston University Member: American Association of Orthodontists


Their offices are located in Peabody at 1 Roosevelt Avenue, phone 978-535-2500 and in Lynn at 225 Boston Street, phone 781-581-7798 Contact their offices for an appointment or for more information.

To make this happen, it is sometimes necessary to reverse the rules a bit. So, the child isn’t eating his peas. The child may already expect a dessert. But wait – the dessert is not a given! The dessert is a benefit, a privilege, a reward. To motivate learning by earning, when the child is refusing his peas, a parent may choose to take away the dessert at the start – and then allow the child to earn it back. Does that sound strange and arbitrary to you? Does it feel like changing the rules midstream? That the parent is being inconsistent by promising dessert and then taking it away? It’s only strange if we assume that the child is entitled to the dessert anyway. And the parent who punishes the child by taking away the dessert is still taking away the dessert. In the learning by earning model, the parent is actually giving the child the gift of being able to learn new skills by earning his dessert back. It’s a win-win situation; there’s nothing inconsistent here. It’s Not Just About Dessert Parents can use the learning by earning technique in a wide variety of contexts. For example, in one family, the rule was that children were allowed one hour of computer “playtime” each day (e.g., videogames, surfing, etc.). When ten year old Evan began to abuse this rule, his parents (a) took away his computer “playtime”, and (b) devised a clever way in which he could earn his playtime back. Evan was permitted to use the computer for as long as he wanted, but only to learn a new skill that would culminate in some type of constructive project. Evan could choose his own project, subject to approval by his parents. It took a full two weeks, but after those two weeks, Evan had learned (with the assistance of his parents) how to operate video-editing software. Evan made a series of short, humorous films that he then posted on YouTube. He not only earned his computer playtime, but he learned a new set of skills in the process. Although there are exceptions, the boy is honoring the one hour computer playtime rule.

North Shore Children & Families



North Shore Children & Families

Child Development

Why Can’t You Just Pay Attention? Has this happened to you? You ask your child to go to his room, pack his backpack and come out so that you can take him to school. Five minutes pass and there’s no sight of a ready boy. You go into his room to check on him. There he is, on the floor, reading his new graphic novel. Argh! Why can’t you pay attention to what you are doing? Well, there are two reasons really. Second, a child may not be sufficiently motivated to pay attention. But first, a child may not yet have developed the skills for sustaining his attention to the task at hand. When a child fails to pay attention, we usually think it’s because of a lack of motivation: Just pay attention! Is that so difficult? And sometimes, it is because of a lack of motivation. But other times – perhaps most of the time – it’s because paying attention and sustaining one’s attention over time is not an easy thing for children to do. It is a skill that develops over time. And like any such skill, it takes patient instruction and time in order to develop. Here is a simple example of how children’s capacity to pay attention develops: Imagine that I listed a series of numbers – simple digits – and I asked you to remember them. Most adults would be able to remember about seven (plus or minus two) digits. So, I if I listed “7-3-5-2-3-2-1”, most adults could keep them all in mind at once, and list them back. Adults can remember many more digits if they organize them in clever ways. For example, how long will it take you to memorize the following 20 digits and hold them in your mind? 17761492201119421918 This seems like an almost impossible thing to do – unless you saw that the digits could be organized as dates. When that happens, the task becomes simple. Twenty digits become reduced to five meaningful dates! 1776





Young children have a much harder time with keeping even single digits in their heads! As a rule of thumb, up to about age 6, children are able to retain about one digit for each year of age. So, a one year old can recall about one digit; a two year old, two digits; a three year old, three digits, and so forth. This simple “digit span” task illustrates that as children get older, their capacity to attend – to focus on and hold meaningful information in mind – increases. What may seem effortless to an adult – “Go to your room and put your pajamas on” – is not always effortless to a child. It requires that children (a) hold all parts of the parent’s request in mind over time (“Go to my room and put on my pajamas”) (b) ignore the various distractions that can get in the way of holding all parts of a parent’s request in mind (e.g., “There’s my graphic novel! I want to read it!” or “Where are my pajamas? Now I have to look for them”, and (c) use the parental request to direct their actual behavior (e.g., “Here I am in my room. Now, first the pants…then the shirt.”) That’s a lot for a young child to keep in mind! And we haven’t even begun to talk about where she is going to put the clothes that she has just taken off! Learning to Attend through Self-Talk How can we help our children build more powerful attentional skills? One powerful method is by teaching children how to use self-talk. Continued on page 11

North Shore Children & Families


Education Feature

Tower School: Helping Students Soar Just before winter break, a parent whose child enrolled at Tower School this fall sent a note to his teachers. “Until this year, school never satisfied [our son],” she wrote. “We tried everything in our power, but we had a child who never wanted to go to school and never wanted to complete homework. Finally he came to us and said, ‘Can I please go to school somewhere else?’ We looked into Tower. After one visit my husband and I saw what our child was missing in his life. He visited. He loved it. He wanted to join Tower right away.” Since coming to Tower in September, this student has flourished. “I have never seen him so happy. I have never seen him care about his work so much. He struggled to catch up in math and ‘show the steps, not just the answers.’ In English, he now knows that he can’t get away with just his poetic style. Essays are built on a foundation that starts with grammar. Science and history have become a passion. He once again loves to learn. His smile tells us so every day. This year he has teachers that see his potential, that challenge his thoughts, that push him to be the most he can be.” This infectious joy in learning and trust between students and faculty are hallmarks of a Tower education. An elementary school of just under 300 students, located in Marblehead just over the Salem line, Tower provides a rich and varied curriculum for its students while empowering its faculty to teach with equal parts passion and ingenuity. Because classes are small, teachers are able to understand how each student learns. The Tower Journey Students are introduced to a dynamic, fast-paced environment in Lower School, grades pre-k through 5. Their day is structured around a homeroom, but they venture out to classes in art and woodworking, technology, library, physical education, and music. Once reading, students consistently read above grade level. Spanish classes begin

in second grade. Science is integrated into the homeroom in pre-k and kindergarten; in first grade students take their experiments to Tower’s state-of-the-art laboratories. By the end of Lower School, students have gained important skills in organization and time management, and they are ready to assert themselves as independent learners.

playtime to be integral to the development of both social and intellectual skills. Because of this, all students have recess twice a day, every day.

Small School, Great Things Founded in 1912 with a class of just four kindergartners, Tower is the oldest independent elementary school on Boston’s North Shore. The school has, of course, grown considerably In Upper School, grades 6 through 8, since then both in size and scope, but students become adept with tools and small classes remain a defining strategies—note-taking, research, test characteristic. In pre-k through grade 3 preparation, and managing an increased the ideal class size is 16 students; in workload—that will enable them to grades 4 and 5, it is 18. In the Upper thrive in secondary school. Teachers School, class size can range from 10 to have the freedom to creatively present 18 depending on the section and their lessons. In math, students might subject being taught. learn about decimals by way of a As part of a small school, Tower fantasy football league. They might study mitosis using their own skin cells students are able to immerse themselves in a variety of endeavors or explore the laws of physics by with close direction from faculty. building model solar cars. These are projects that encourage out-of-the-box Students learn to recognize themselves as artists and gradually amass their thinking and a passion for learning. own gallery of masterpieces, from Additionally, each student has an papier-mâché animals to handmade advisor, a member of the faculty who guitars (that they have the opportunity keeps a careful eye on the student’s to play in guitar class!). Students learn academic and social progress. By the to read music beginning in second end of Upper School, students are grade and are given plenty of armed with the confidence and skills opportunities to perform, whether it’s to conquer these challenges in a third grade hand-bell concert at independently. assembly or the full-length theatrical While Tower emphasizes the production each spring. In P.E., students importance of learning, it also learn to “play hard and play fair.” The recognizes the need to let kids be kids, school strives to instill leadership and whether they’re 4 or 14. Studies show teamwork skills that give students the

confidence to excel at Tower and beyond. The Tower Culture From an early age, Tower students learn the importance of service. Tower’s youngest students help collect and count food donations for a local soup kitchen. At lunchtime each Friday, the Upper School students head to a variety of locations for service activities. One group walks to a nearby nursing home to spend time with their “adopted grandparents.” Others head to the beach to clean up litter. Tower’s small-school culture enables each student to take on a leadership role, whether it’s heading up a sneaker drive or spearheading a recycling project. It’s evident that students appreciate their Tower School journey—its victories and its challenges, and everything in between—and by the end of eighth grade they are exceptionally prepared to tackle what’s next: high school and then college. (Members of Tower’s Class of 2007 have received news of early admission to Harvard, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Bowdoin College, and University of Chicago, among others.) Several times a year, Tower School parents gather with Head of School Peter Philip for an informal coffee. This fall, they discussed a recent article in the New York Times that pointed to the significance of the teacher-student relationship. Afterwards, one parent noted: “The distinctive attribute of this institution is that the Tower community nurtures each child. The teachers, the faculty, the parents, and the other students create an environment where a child feels safe and respected, comfortable to take risks, and the freedom to develop individuality.” To learn more about Tower, please call 781.631.5800 or visit The information contained in this education feature was submitted by Tower School, and published in partnership with North Shore Children & Families;


North Shore Children & Families

In Good Health

Andrea Cohen is a local food psychology coach:

The Family Meal by Andrea Cohen, M.Ed. Your family arrives to the table joyously awaiting a slow-paced meal filled with stories, insights, hearty laughter and authentic smiles. Once the food is gathered and prepared, this end of day feast will bring health and harmony to all. It is a celebratory banquet, a moment of unity in an otherwise frenzied day. If this sounds like a fairy tale or some extinct custom last seen in Mayfield, USA, maybe you are missing out. The meaningful tradition of family mealtime is an outstanding opportunity for communication building, family bonding and fun. Why is it important to eat as a family at least some of the time? On the surface, there is the clear and inarguable motivation of spending quality time in each other’s company. When digging deeper, however, there are mounds of evidence suggesting and even insisting that the family meal will benefit your children by teaching healthy eating patterns, improving academic standings and even reducing high-risk behaviors into their teen years. Although we are no longer striving for the self-conscious cheerfulness of the Cleaver family home, these simple practices can add an essence of grace to your evening meal while maintaining your customary routines. Shape them in any manner to suit your family’s unique identity. Encourage your child to create the menu or choose a main ingredient. This can be a real vote of confidence and respect. If you feel the need to set up parameters around the options, do so before you present the choices. Alternatively, enjoy the experiment and go with whatever your child chooses. The benefit of a wonderful meal together

might outweigh the occasional menu of French toast with gummy bears and whipped cream! Are the kids (or grownups) feeling grumpy? Avoid heated topics at the table. There is a time and a place for those conversations but it is not during dinner. Eating in a relaxed state is crucial for healthy digestion and assimilation. If dinner is to be a time for sharing, the atmosphere should remain open and welcoming. Is there a choosy eater at the table? Try using a favorite ingredient (such as peanut/nut butter or yogurt [dairy or non]) to create a sauce that will make carrots or peas tastier to discriminating taste buds. TV or no TV? That is the question. It turns out that TV might not get in the way of family bonding as much as previously assumed. This is not to suggest that it is a benign ingredient. Many studies have shown a positive correlation between hours in front of the television and childhood obesity. Nevertheless, if your family bonds around the TV, choose programming together that creates amusement or heart-felt conversation. Is there a budding chef in the house? Allow the kids who are interested to help shop, prepare, cook, set the table, serve or clean up afterwards. How about an artist? Encourage him to design a custom menu for the meal. A musician? Let her set the mood with a CD or digital playlist. The family meal is not just about food. Your role is to discover what appeals to your child and to encourage them to participate through that component. Cooking and eating together can be an act of love – and when the whole family participates, the family meal can create a platform of consistency and cohesion that will give children of all ages a safe place to explore ideas, express personalities and learn healthy lifelong behaviors. Even June Cleaver would give her stamp of approval.

Why Can’t You Just Pay Attention

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Continued from page 8

Do you think that only crazy people talk to themselves? Well, not so. We all talk to ourselves. We use self-talk when we are trying to work our way through a difficult problem. For example, imagine that you are on the highway and you need directions. You call a friend who tells you how to get to his house. After you get off the phone, what do you do? You talk your way through the directions! “Okay, now, the next exit should be Exit 18…yup, that’s it. Now he said to take a left after I get off the exit…” For relatively easy tasks, we engage in this type of self-talk silently “in our heads”. For more difficult tasks, we often find ourselves talking out loud. Why? Because it helps us organize our attention and behavior. Self-talk can help children learn to attend better in virtually all situations. How can you teach your child the art of self-talk? 1. Identify the task that you want your child to perform. This is an important first step. Ask yourself: What do I want my child to do? What are the various parts of this task? When you do this, you’ll often find that even simple tasks have many different steps. Will your child be able to keep all those steps in mind? How can you state your request in ways that your child will understand? So, let’s say that you want your nine year old to go into his room and put on his pajamas. Ask yourself: What does my child have to do in order to complete this task? Where are the pajamas? Does your child know where they are? Are you expecting your child to put his clothes in the hamper afterwards? Just what are you asking? So, perhaps your request is something like this: It’s bedtime. Please go into your room and put your pajamas on. Your pajamas are on top of your dresser. After you put them on, don’t forget to put your clothes in the hamper. Don’t just leave them on the floor. Note, this request has at least four steps: (1) Stop what you are doing and go to your room; (2) find your pajamas; (3) put them on; (4) put your clothes in the hamper. In making this request, you are assuming that your child: • knows how to do each of these steps • can keep each step in mind over the course of the whole activity • will be able to ignore any distractions that may interfere with completing your request • is motivated to complete the request To the extent that any of these assumptions are mistaken, your child will be unable to complete your request. 2. Assess your child’s understanding of your request. State your request in clear and simple terms that you think your child will be able to understand. State your request, and then assess your child’s understanding of your request. So, after you make your request, you might ask your child to restate the request or to describe what she is about to do. By listening to your child’s response, you can gauge the extent to which your child is able to keep all of the steps of the task in mind at once. If she can repeat the request back with ease, chances are she’ll be able to sustain her attention long enough to complete the task. Parent: Okay, Sarah, can you repeat back what I’m asking you to do? Sarah: You want me to put my pajamas on. (Sarah understands the main request, but it is unclear whether the child understands all of the steps involved.) Parent: Yes, that’s right. But what else did I ask you to do? Sarah: You asked me to put my pajamas on and put my clothes in the hamper, right? Oh yeah, and you said my pajamas are on the dresser. Continued on page 12



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Why Can’t You Just Pay Attention Continued from page 11

Often, however, you’d be surprised at just how much isn’t getting through to your child! For example: Parent: Okay, Sarah, can you repeat back what I’m asking you to do? Sarah: You want me to put my pajamas on. (Sarah understands the main request, but it is unclear whether the child understands all of the steps involved.) Parent: Yes, that’s right. But what else did I ask you to do? Sarah: I don’t know. (Sarah may not understand or be able to retain the rest of the request.) 3. Help your child link together a self-talk strategy. Even if your child knows how to perform each individual step of the task that you are asking, she may not be able to perform all of the steps together. If your child cannot repeat back your request with confidence and ease, it is unlikely that he or she will be able to follow through with your request. At this point, you may consider (a) modifying your request to make it more accessible to the child, (b) helping your child use self-talk to plan and direct her behavior, or (c) a combination of the two. Here is an example: Parent: Yes, that’s right, I want you to put your pajamas on. But do you remember where I said your pajamas are? Sarah: In my room? Parent: Yes, but where in your room? Sarah: I don’t know.

Parent: Your pajamas are on top of your dresser. Sarah: Oh. Parent: So where are your pajamas? Sarah: On top of my dresser. Parent: So, I’m asking you to get your pajamas off your dresser and put them on. Can you remember that? What am I asking you to do? Tell me both things. Sarah: Get my pajamas off the dresser and put them on. Parent: Good. Now say that again. Sarah: My pajamas are on the dresser. Go and put them on. In this example, after he learned that Sarah was having trouble keeping his entire request in mind, Sarah’s father both simplified the request (he dropped the part where he asked her to put her clothes in the hamper) and helped Sarah use self-talk to guide her way through the request. At the beginning of the discussion, Sarah was only able to remember that her father wanted her to put on her pajamas; by the end, through self-talk, she was able to keep in mind this request as well as additional information about where her pajamas were. If Sarah is able to keep this self-talk strategy in mind – perhaps by repeating it over and over as she goes to her room – she will be able to keep her attention on task. Learning to Attend is a Skill that Can be Taught Learning how to attend is not a magical process. Children acquire the capacity to attend in the same way that they acquire skills like learning to tie their shoes, learning to add and subtract or learning to play cooperatively with others. If we think of learning to attend as a kind of developing skill, we may be more likely to treat failures to attend as teachable moments rather than as disciplinary encounters.

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Try a Little (Self-) Tenderness So, you feel guilty over those lapsed New Year’s resolutions. You stopped exercising as regularly as you had hoped. Last night, you had a piece of cheesecake. And you’re still yelling at your kids. Okay, I lied. Actually, last night you had two pieces of cheesecake. After you ate the first one, you felt as if you had failed: “There’s no way I’m going to make up for these calories. I’ll never be thin. I feel bad. What the hell, I’m already deep in the hole. I’ll have another piece of cheesecake...” Some scholars refer to this line of reasoning as the “What the Hell Effect”. The What the Hell Effect is a product of shame and guilt. Now, while a bit of shame and guilt might actually motivate us at times (despite

popular belief, guilt and shame are actually important emotions—would you want your child to be shameless?), it’s important to get some perspective on our emotional life. That perspective comes from a balance of goal setting and selfcompassion.

to motivate me to do better and to reach my goals? Isn’t this attitude of compassion towards the self just a bunch of self-coddling?

We know how important it is to feel compassion for others, but we don’t hear very much about selfcompassion. To be compassionate towards the self is to take attitude of care towards the self. It consists of adopting an attitude of forgiveness and forgiveness towards one’s self, even in the context of hardship and failure.

Well, when you are compassionate towards others, are you coddling them? Compassion towards others involves understanding their plight and feeling their distress. It involves a type of commiseration and consolation – not simply to make the other person feel better; we offer compassion to console so that a person can move on and move forward. When we say, “It must feel terrible that you didn’t get the promotion. I know you really wanted that job”, the other person feels understood and supported.

What is this? I’m supposed to forgive myself when I fail? How is that going

And it is this understanding and emotional support that helps the

other person to gain the strength to move forward! Far from being an act of self-coddling, self-compassion is a form of self-awareness and self-care. It provides us with the emotional perspective that we need to let the present pain go and embrace the next step forward. Kristin Neff, associate professor of Human Development at the University of Texas at Dallas, has championed the concept of selfcompassion. She has shown that people who embrace a sense of selfcompassion tend to be happier, more optimistic and more open to new experiences. They tend to experience less self-related distress as indicated by lower levels of anxiety, depression and fear of failure. Self-Compassion Fuels SelfImprovement In contrast to what one might think, Continued on page 14


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Try a Little (Self-) Tenderness Continued from page 13

people who show high levels of selfcompassion tend also to pursue their goals with more initiative and vigor. Why might this be the case? It depends a lot on how we think about ourselves. Do we think of ourselves as a fixed set of abilities? Or do we think of ourselves as a process that is always moving towards our goals? What happens if we think of ourselves as a more-or-less fixed set of abilities? We want to lose weight. We ask ourselves: Do I have the ability to lose weight? I go to the gym; I try to manage my diet. If I fail, then this gives me the answer: I don’t have the ability to lose weight. I’m a failure. Not “I failed” or “I fell short of my goals this time”, but instead I am a failure. I cannot accept myself as a failure! So I feel shame and guilt. What the hell – give me that second piece of cheesecake. But what if we don’t think of

ourselves that way? What if we think of ourselves as a process – a being who is always moving and working towards self-improvement? If I am a process – if I’m always moving and changing – then I am not a fixed set of abilities. I am not fixed for all time, I am a work-in-progress. And like any work-in-progress, sometimes I will succeed and sometimes I will fail; sometimes I’ll move forward and sometimes I’ll suffer setbacks. I am not fixed for all time, but instead I can appreciate who I am right now. When I think of myself in this way, it is much easier for me to be compassionate towards myself: “Okay, yesterday I succumbed to the temptation to eat that big slice of cheesecake. It is so hard to deny myself of something I love so much. So, I will forgive myself for my indulgence.” When I forgive myself and act with

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compassion towards myself, I am able to accept myself as I am right now. But I am also aware that who I am right now is not who I have to be! I’m okay with who I am now, even though I know I have not achieved my ideals. (In fact, I know that I will never

fully achieve my ideals – and that no one and nothing can ever be perfect.) However, having compassion for who I am right now, I’m ready for the next step. My compassion for myself allows me to move forward with hope and initiative.

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it shouldn’t be, in my opinion. It’s the time of year to remember those who love you and those you love – and the time to take advantage of this opportunity to reach out and touch them where it matters most. In our busy lives, we sometimes forget to say, “I love you” – and February 14 gives us that chance and reminds us to express love to the people who are most important to us.

Continued from page 2

for kids – from indoor activities like arts and crafts or board games – to winter hikes and skating. And by taking turns playing host – you’ll get an afternoon all to yourself when another parent is hosting – a bonus for grown-ups! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

In closing, I urge you to share the love this Valentine’s Day – by calling or emailing or texting or Facebooking or even by sending an old-fashioned note or card to all of your family and friends – near and far. This is a perfect opportunity to tell them how much they mean to you. It’s not all about flowers and candy and cards and dinner at a fancy restaurant – or

Thanks so much for sharing some time with us again this month – and as always, we truly hope you enjoy this issue! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Happy Valentine’s Day from Our North Shore Family to Yours! Until next time — Suzanne

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Reader Contribution

Parenting: What I Learned at the Science Museum by Justin Travers I’ve always been a little bit ambivalent about museums. Not just science museums, but museums of all sorts. Take a museum of fine arts. You go to the museum and you look at the art hanging on the wall. Now, if it’s a painting of the bucolic outdoor scene, I’m alright – I get it. But what about the really old pieces? Or the modern pieces? What do they mean? You see, you need a lot of knowledge to understand what is supposed to be going on in the painting – knowledge that I don’t necessarily have. I look to the captions to explain the painting, but more often than not, they simply don’t provide what I need. What’s an average museum lurker to do? Yes, I hear my old college art professor’s voice reverberating in my head: “Just look at the painting. Don’t put words on it.” Sorry, it doesn’t work. Unless I know a bit about what the contemporary painter is trying to express in that single big patch of red, I just can’t appreciate what I’m looking at. Now I think something similar is going on at science museums. Science museums are great places. They are filled with all types of possibilities. But when our kids go there, do they actually really learn anything? I mean, I do – but I’m not sure my kids do. In general, what I see at science museums are kids playing with the exhibits (active learning!). But then, after a few minutes, when the actual learning part might be expected to begin, attention wanes and

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the kid kind of moves on to the next exhibit. And so, I decided to do a little experiment. I took Zack and his friend, Liam, to the local science museum. I watched closely what they were doing, what they were attending to and what I was doing with them that may hasten or hurt their learning. And this is what I found. Continued on page 16


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Parenting: What I Learned at the Science Museum Continued from page 15

We arrive at the museum via the train. (Hooray for the train!) We purchase our tickets. The kids want to go to the theater to see the featured movie. Dad thinks: “Oh, great. We’re at the science museum and we’re already sitting down passively to watch a film.” He concedes. We go to the theater and climb up into our seats. We are first treated to the voice of Leonard Nimoy talking about how this huge dome-like screen works. He demonstrates the six clusters of speakers and the workings of the sound. Fun, informative and unexpected. We learned something about the medium and we didn’t even know we were learning. Score? Museum 1. Dad’s Skepticism 0. We watch the film. Dad is skeptical. You see, so many films about science so often fail to engage while they teach. And if they teach, they fail to engage! So many science films seem to lack a coherent theme – something that a child can take home with him when he leaves the film. Not so with this film. I was blown away by this film. It was not just the extraordinarily beautiful filming of absolutely impossible to film scenes. This was no mere juxtaposition of dry, disconnected facts. No – this is a film in which all of the parts come together to make up a whole. We start with the landscape – the enormous uninhabitable desert in the middle of the continent that is, well, filled with habitation! And how is that possible? Through the ways that the animals have evolved to adapt to the land. And how did that happen? Through the shifting climate from floods to dry to floods to dry. We actually see the process by which the animals adapt to shifts in climate right before our

very eyes! Score? Museum 2. Dad’s Skepticism 0. Next we eat lunch, and then we’re off to the featured exhibit. What a brilliant piece of marketing this is! Someone has earned his or her keep here! There are a series of stations at which children can build all kinds of structures out of the “Lego”-like elements. Will kids be having fun? Yes indeed. Will they be learning? I think so, but I’m not sure just what they’ll be learning. Will they be learning principles of building – or just playing? But that’s not where the marketing brilliance comes in. When the child is done making their structure, they have the option to purchase it! You get charged so much per ounce. And so, while I learned a bit of brilliant marketing, I’m not so happy about such brilliance making its way into the heart of the science center. I’ll give it a .5 for learning and a 1.0 for skepticism. Score? Museum 2.5. Dad’s Skepticism 1.0. Now we set off to a series of exhibits. We stop next to an exhibit depicting a series of casts of deformed children’s hands. Now, kids are drawn to this exhibit. But what, if anything, do they learn? Dad decides to do a little experiment. I ask eleven year old Zack and ten year old Liam to read the text and to tell me what the exhibit is about. Zack is not pleased. He gives off a big sigh that suggests that Dad is there to dilute their fun. They read. After they read, I ask, “What did you learn from your reading and looking?” Here’s the gist of what happened: Zack: Dad: Liam:

These are all hands. What about these hands is interesting? They are hands with deformities.

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Dad: Liam: Dad:

Right. Now, what do the paragraphs say? I don’t know. Let’s read again. (Zack sighs again. We read it out loud together.) So, what is the main point of this exhibit? Zack: How they can fix children’s hands? Dad: Yes, that’s good. Now, what else does this exhibit teach us? Look here – it says that the hand has twenty-seven bones and a series of muscles. It says that the hand is very complex and it is the complexity of the hand that allows us to do so much with our hands. What can we do with our hands because they are so complex? Zack: We have opposable thumbs! Now, what’s going on here? Dad’s skepticism is being validated. The kids are attracted to the exhibit (that’s good) apparently because of its macabre nature. But they have to be prompted to read about it. And when they do, they don’t get very much from their reading! It’s only when Dad comes in and helps them to try to understand that they begin to really learn something substantial. But that comes at a cost: Dad is a spoilsport. I’ll give the museum a generous half a point. Score? Museum 3.0. Dad’s Skepticism 2.0. We then head off to the robots and electricity exhibit. At least that’s what the boys called it. They move through the exhibits playing with this and tinkering with that. (As they do this, I look at the bitmap exhibit. Wow! Now I know what those bitmap codes mean!) There is a very engaging man at a counter explaining some electrical principles. The kids ignore him. But there are one or two kids at the counter, and mom is asking a lot of questions. And then, it happens! The kids arrive at what seems to be a videogame. It kind of is a videogame, but it’s not. On the screen you have the Earth, Mars and a

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satellite. The object of the task is to blow up the satellite. To do this, the experimenter has to modify two dials: One adjusts the degree of thrust of the rocket from Earth; the other adjusts the angle of the trajectory. The kids play. As they play, they adjust the dials and see what happens (good!). But they’re not really getting it. So they stop trying to blow up the satellite and start playing with the trajectories. Dad steps in. Gently this time. He participates in the play. He nudges them toward the task again. He asks questions: “Does the angle have to go up or down?” “What happens if we keep the angle constant and then change the thrust?” And then: “Ah – you almost have it! What do we change now? You’ve got it!” Something very important has happened here! The kids are enjoying themselves. With my gentle assistance, as they actively experiment with this clever video-device, the kids are learning something very significant: They are learning about the relationship between thrust and angle in the launching of projectiles. And they didn’t even know that they were learning! So that’s what they learned. What did Dad learn? Dad learned that if he leaves his kids alone to explore the museum on their own, their learning will be rather limited. Dad learned that if he tries to cram some learning into their brains, they may learn something, but they won’t be happy about it. And so Dad learns that it was stupid of him to think that the kids would learn simply by teaching themselves. Museums are tools. Like any tool, it’s only as good as how you use it. To use this tool right, Dad has to engage the children who are engaging with the museum. Dad learned a bit about being a Dad on his visit to the museum. Final Score? Museum 4. Dad’s Skepticism 2.


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February is Children’s Dental Month! For parents of pre-school age children, most of the responsibility for dental care lies with you. With your help and encouragement, good oral health care habits will be established for a lifetime. Teaching your child early on about proper nutrition, brushing and flossing will help to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Discuss visiting the dentist regularly with your children – in a positive, comfortable manner. Your child’s first visit should be by age 1 or when the first primary teeth appear. Recommended Oral Hygiene Instructions (Birth to Age 6) Infants: • Wipe gum pads with a soft, cotton wash cloth after feedings. • Continue wiping gums and teeth when the front teeth erupt. • When molars erupt, begin using a soft child’s toothbrush – first using warm water. After an adjustment period, use a very small amount of toothpaste (less than a pea size). • Brush teeth thoroughly 2X per day. • Do NOT allow your child to use a bottle (with beverage other than water) or nurse for prolonged periods after age 1. This will result in tooth decalcification (softening of the enamel) and promote extensive dental decay. Children: • Brush your child’s teeth a minimum of twice a day. • Allow your child to brush his/her teeth either before or after you do it. Keep a separate toothbrush that they can use, because those bristles will not maintain their correct shape. This will enable your child to begin to learn and experience brushing. • We are relying on parents to be effective in removing the dental plaque, so floss

1X per day between the back molars. There are 4 areas to floss. Position your child with his/her head in your lap while sitting on the bed or floor. Have their legs parallel with yours. If you need to further limit your child’s movement, you can wrap your legs over theirs. First Aid for Dental Emergencies Toothaches: Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or aching tooth. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible. Cut or Broken Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or if it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room. Broken Tooth: Rinse debris from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Immediate dental attention is necessary. Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water. See a dentist immediately! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth. This information is provided courtesy of Drs. Merle, Zicherman & Associates, with offices in Peabody and Lynn. Patricia Hanlon, Dental Health Educator, is available to perform a fun and interactive presentation for pre-school classes to promote good oral hygiene habits. This educational program includes dental health kits for each student and educational pamphlets to take home. Call to schedule a free demonstration at your pre-school: 978.535.2500.

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Dentistry & the Autism Spectrum Disorder: Creating Healthy Smiles for All Children! How many times have you heard “I hate going to the dentist” or “I feel faint and sick to the stomach just thinking about the sound of the drill”? Then imagine what it is like for a child with autism to go to the dentist. For most, it is a frightening experience because of sensory overload. Loud sounds, lights, smells and touching can overwhelm a patient with autism. This presents a special challenge for dental treatment because pretty much anything about dentistry involves these things. Visits to the dental office often involve tears and tantrums for the child with autism. The number of children with a diagnosis of Autism or an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased across the United States. In Massachusetts, 1 out of 140 children (71 to 81 per 10,000) had ASD according to a report published in 2005 by the Environmental Epidemiology Program from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. When should your child first see a dentist, and why? The ideal time as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics is at approximately one year of age. Early dental visits for children are extremely important to encourage successful integration into the dental environment from an early age. A positive first experience will lessen the chances of stressful future visits. For any child, but especially for children with autism, preparation and predictability will make the dental visits a success. Many dentists treat children, however, when deciding on the right dentist for your child, keep in mind that providing oral care to people with autism requires special skills and can bring a sense of difficulty for parents and dental

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professionals alike. Call the office and ask the staff if they are familiar with the treatment of patients with autism. Pediatric dentists are trained in the treatment of patients with all kinds of special needs, developmental conditions and disabilities like Autism. For example, at my pediatric dental practice and at the Children’s Hospital Department of Dentistry, I treat autistic patients frequently and they do quite well for most things. Most of the kids are sweet and do well with their parents’ help. Getting a child with autism to be able to cope with routine dental visits is my ultimate goal. The parents and I work on taking away unpredictability of the dental visit by helping the patient to become familiar with the office, staff and equipment through a step-by-step process. Parents take pictures of the office, staff, the dentist and even the instruments we use to help them become acquainted with dentistry. In addition, we try to reduce unnecessary stimuli that might be disruptive by using noise cancelling headphones and even movies to watch while I am treating them. Treatment modalities vary from one child to the other. When extensive dental treatment is needed, sedation or even general anesthesia in the hospital can often help patients with ASD easily cope with the stress of the dental environment during treatment. For autism, the increasing acceptance of the diagnosis has led to a need for dentistry, medicine and education to find good treatment options. Every child with Autism Spectrum Disorder must be given the opportunity to receive outstanding dental care in the most gentle, efficient and enthusiastic manner possible. This information is provided by Maritza Morell, DMD, MS, MPH, Pediatric Dentist, Clinical Attending, Children’s Hospital, Boston and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Her practice, Andover Pediatric Dentistry, has offices in Andover and Lawrence.

North Shore Children & Families is available for free each month at over 400 familyfrequented locations throughout the North Shore! See page 3 for details.

Attention Advertisers: Ask us about our … … “Try Us!” program for new advertisers … Annual advertising frequency programs … The Annual Planner for Schools program … The North Shore Party Planner program … Annual Summer Camps & Programs Showcase series … Service Directory Target your message to North Shore parents. We’ve got the North Shore covered!


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March April May

Fri., Feb. 18 Fri., Mar. 18 Fri., Apr. 15

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To explore your advertising options or to secure your space, please contact Suzanne at 781.584.4569 or To learn more, please visit



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Community Calendar To Submit to our Community Calendar: Please visit us at and submit your listings directly through our website. From our Home Page – click on Calendar – then click on Submit in the upper right corner and our form will open for you to complete and submit your listings. While we will make every attempt to post all appropriate listings in our Community Calendar, space is limited – and priority will be given to those events that are free and family-friendly – and those submitted by our advertising partners & sponsors.

Book your next special event at The Bayside of Nahant! Oceanfront splendor, magnificent views, elegant and affordable. For info.: 781.592.3080 or Book your age 5 and under child’s birthday party at Mall Tots, Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers!

Calendar listings are generally due by the 15th of each month prior and must be submitted through our website. If you need to guarantee that your listing will be posted – please contact Suzanne to advertise. See our current Calendar for our upcoming issue deadlines.


To advertise, please contact Suzanne at or 781.584.4569.

NEW! February vacation week program (Feb. 22-25), Taking Healthy Steps, (for girls 11-14, no prior dance experience necessary!) at Boston Ballet School/North Shore Studio (see the back cover to learn more).

For complete listing accuracy, we recommend that you call ahead or check the websites listed. Featured listings do not constitute an endorsement from this publisher and we encourage our readers to always do their own research. FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH FOR: American Heart Month, An Affair to Remember, Black History, Canned Foods, Creative Romance, Great American Pies, Cherries, National Children’s Dental Month, Grapefruits, Weddings.

APARTMENT for RENT! See page 17.

Summer 2011 Scholarship Program for girls to visit the Sugar & Spice Ranch in Texas with their moms! For contest rules (daughter writes 500 word essay) and more info.: 1st prize $1,000 scholarship; 2nd prize - $750 scholarship; 3rd prize - $500 scholarship. 3 age categories: 8 + under, 9-12, over 12. DEADLINE for entries is MARCH 1! FREE CLASSES: Call today to schedule a FREE introductory class at The Little Gym! Danvers (978.777.7977); Woburn (781.933.3388).


March Calendar Listings Due By Tuesday, Feb. 22 Please submit your listings directly through our website.

To secure your ad space:



Get Your Monthly Membership (ages 5 & under) at Mall Tots, Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers!

NEW! Ipswich Montessori School opens this September! Currently enrolling for Sept. 2011. For info. & to register, please call 351.201.9694. EVERY DAY IN FEBRUARY: Animal Discovery Center (open daily 11am-3pm) at the Stone Zoo, Stoneham. Special animal encounters weekdays 11:30am-1:30pm; create animal arts & crafts on weekends 12:30-3pm. Incl. w/price of adm. ($11/adults, $7/children); EVERY WEEKEND IN FEBRUARY: A Trip to the Tropics without leaving Boston! Visit The Tropical Forest each Sat. & Sun. in Feb. for story time (11:30am), biofacts (1:30pm), see the

The North Shore Party Planner

Ad Space Closes Friday, Feb. 18 All Ads Due/Done By Tuesday, Feb. 22

Mention the ad on the back cover to save $45 upon enrollment (for ages 2-7) at Boston Ballet School/North Shore Studio at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead! Beginners welcome: 617.456.6380 or

Adult American Sign Language (ASL) Classes; Toddler Sign Playgroup (for 2-3 year olds); Baby Sign Playgroup (for infants & 1 year olds – all presented by The Children’s Center for Communication, Beverly School for the Deaf, 6 Echo Ave., Beverly. Contact Jessica Fox at 978.927.7070 x317 or

To advertise, please contact


Bayside o f Nahant

Oceanfront Splendor... Magnificent Views... Elegant & Affordable North Shore's best kept secret & the perfect location for: • Weddings,

Personalized Poems & Prose by Suzanne For Gifts

A Personalized Poem Makes a Perfect Gift for Any Special Occasion

Speeches, Toasts & Roasts



One Range Road, Nahant

· Private party – clean, safe, beautiful facility all to yourselves. · Instructor led – great age-appropriate games and activities. · Stress-free for The Little Gym of Danvers parents…we take 978.777.7977 care of EVERYTHING! Call for details.

The Little Gym of Woburn 781.933.3388 •

For Invitations

Showers Sweet 16s • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Anniversaries • All Special Occasions • Wedding & Function Packages • Many Menus to Choose From • Birthdays,

Have an Awesome Birthday Bash at The Little Gym!

Clever, Custom Verses for Your Invitations & Thank You Notes

For Events


To advertise your party business here, contact Suzanne!

PAUL’S REPTILE CIRCUS We Connect Reptiles With Kids! Featuring your choice of 9 reptiles, including a water dragon, cornsnake, box turtle, scorpion and more!


• Fully insured • Credit cards accepted 617.407.7533

Ages 5 & Under Birthday Parties at See our ad on pg. 15!

animals. Incl. with price of adm. ($14/adults, $8/children) at the Franklin Park Zoo, Boston. MONDAYS: Open House Mondays at Eastern Point Day School, Gloucester, 1-3pm. Mommy & Me w/A Jewish Twist, 10:30-11:30am; 0-3 years w/caregiver. $10/class, $72/semester. At Chabad of Peabody, 83 Pine St., Unit E. Fun w/song, art, music, playtime, snacks & schmoozing w/other moms. 978.977.9111

GET TICKETS NOW FOR: Boston Ballet Performances: Elo Experience – March 24-April 3; A Midsummer Night’s Dream – April 7-17; Bella Figura – April 28-May 8; Balanchine/Robbins – May 12-22. At the Boston Opera House. Mary Poppins, February 17-March 20 at the Boston Opera House. Burn the Floor, at Boston’s Colonial Theatre; March 8-13. For tix: box office, Ticketmaster,

WEDNESDAYS: Open School Wednesdays, 9-11am, at Harborlight Montessori School, Beverly. Open House Wednesdays at Eastern Point Day School, Gloucester, 9-11am.

Lynn Auditorium Shows: 2nd Annual Legends of Rock & Blues, Feb. 4, 7:30pm; doors open 6:30pm. Feat. Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer & Brad Whitford of Aerosmith; James Montgomery opens. Coming 3/19 Kansas. Hansel & Gretel…The Musical on 2/20 at 2pm; Beauty & The Beast on 3/20 at 2pm. Tix $9 advance/$12 day of

North Shore People Are Talking About Us!

We’ve been advertising for several years now – and our ads are getting a great response. We know, because we track our marketing effectiveness with the different advertising/marketing mediums we use! We measure the amount of inquiries from each advertising source, and use that data to identify our cost per inquiry as well as our cost per new member. (When it comes to inquiries, both the quantity and quality matter!)

We are very pleased with our partnership with this local parenting publication. North Shore Children & Families is a professional and classy publication, and Suzanne is passionate about making sure advertisements are accurate, attractive and effective. We believe this publication is a great marketing source to present our message to our target customers, and we’re optimistic that with its excellent content it will continue to be an excellent resource for area parents and local businesses.

We periodically fine tune our marketing plan, reducing investment in those publications that yield less value per dollar invested in them. Regarding North Shore Children & Families, we have increased our marketing there, because of its impact with our target demographic…that is…it gets results for our businesses! Alan Ruthazer, Owner The Little Gym, Danvers & Woburn

North Shore Children & Families show/free for military families. Kaleidoscope Children’s Theatre performs monthly in Saugus at 466 Central St. 781.230.EXPO. Community Concert: Harlem String Quartet, Feb. 16 at 7pm; free, open to the public at Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. Seating is gen. adm. – 1st come, 1st seated.


11/1-13. Season subscribers save 20%, buy tix at box office or Smucker's Stars On Ice, 25th Anniversary Tour! March 4, 7:30pm, at Agganis Arena, Boston. Featuring Evan Lysacek, Sale' & Pelletier, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Todd Eldredge, Joannie Rochette, Sasha Cohen, Kurt Browing, Belbin & Agosto, Michael Weiss; produced by Scott Hamilton. FEBRUARY 1:

Salem Theatre Co. in February: Wit thru 2/12; Don White 2/18; The Laszlo Gardony Trio 2/19. Tickets & info.: Harry Connick, Jr. & Orchestra, April 26-30, at Boston’s Colonial Theatre. Tix start at $60; 5 shows only. For tix: box office, Ticketmaster, North Shore Music Theatre’s 2011 Season: My Fair Lady 6/7-19, Disney’s Tarzan 7/12-24, Footloose 8/16-28, The King & I 9/27-10/9, Legally Blonde

National Freedom Day FEBRUARY 2: Groundhog Day FEBRUARY 5: Admissions Open House at Covenant Christian Academy, West Peabody, 9-11am. Children welcome, tour school, meet faculty, students, parents; Pre-K – grade 12. Continued on page 22

North Shore Children & Families invites you to

Enter to Win Tickets!

You could win a pair of tickets to see Boston Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream appearing April 7 through 17 at The Boston Opera House! DEADLINE TO ENTER IS FEBRUARY 28th!

Please enter online at From our Home Page – simply click on Enter to Win Tickets! Only one entry per person, please. Several pairs of tickets will be awarded.


North Shore Children & Families

Community Calendar Continued from page 21

FEBRUARY 5: SummerScape 2011, the North Shore’s Summer Camp Fair, at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly Farms; 11am-3pm (snow date 2/6). Free; FEBRUARY 6: Open House at Clark School, Danvers, 1-3:30pm.

begins in our March issue! To advertise, contact!

FEBRUARY 12: Infant & Toddler Parent/Child Playgroups at Harborlight Montessori School, Beverly; 10:45am-12:45pm.

Happy Birthday, Ann! FEBRUARY 19:

FREE Saturday Enrichment Program, 10-11:30am, at The Phoenix School, Salem. For 3-7 and 7-10 year olds. FEBRUARY 14:

Infant & Toddler Parent/Child Playgroups at Harborlight Montessori School, Beverly; 10:45am12:45pm. FEBRUARY 20: Love Your Pet Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!



President’s Day

Random Acts of Kindness Day Admissions Open House (for Pre-K – grade 5) & Coffee at Covenant Christian Academy, West Peabody, 8:30-10:30am. Children welcome, tour school, meet faculty, students, parents; FEBRUARY 10: Cohen Hillel Academy Open House, Marblehead; 9:30-11:30am.

Open House at Brookwood School, Manchester, 8:45-10:45am. Open Classroom at Clark School, Danvers, 9-10:30am. FEBRUARY 18: Advertising Space Reservation DEADLINE for ALL ADS for our MARCH issue! Our 4th Annual Summer Camps & Programs Showcase series for 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom! FEBRUARY 22: Community Calendar Listings Deadline for MARCH issue! Please submit your listings for MARCH and early April events directly through our website. (See beginning of this Calendar for details.) FEBRUARY 21 – 25: School vacation week for many North Shore schools.

FEBRUARY 22 – 25: Winter Explorers February Break Program (ages 8-11), winter farm adventure at Appleton Farms, Hamilton & Ipswich; 4 days, 9am-noon. $130 per child or $100 for Trustees of Reservations members. For info./to register: 978.356.5728 or FEBRUARY 26: World Premiere Exhibition of the Complete Van Otterloo Collection – open 2/26 at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. See 17th century Dutch & Flemish paintings from one of the world’s best, private collections. FEBRUARY 28: Deadline to enter to win tickets to see Boston Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! See page 21! MARCH 1, 3 & 8: Open Houses at North Shore Christian School (3/1 Beverly, 3/3 Lynn, 3/8 Marblehead). MARCH 2: Open Class Day at Eastern Point Day School, Gloucester, 9am-12n.

Happy Valentine’s Day

North Shore Children & Families

Service Directory






TheArtRoom Topsfield 978.887.8809

The Little Gym Danvers and Woburn

Cohen Hillel Academy Marblehead 781.639.2880

Shore Country Day School Beverly 978.927.1700

Mall Tots at Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers 978.777.6411

Covenant Christian Academy West Peabody 978.535.7100

Sparhawk School Amesbury & Salisbury 978.388.5354

Manchester Athletic Club Manchester 978.526.8900

Eastern Point Day School Gloucester 978.283.1700

Stoneridge Children’s Montessori School Beverly 978.927.0700

DANCE INSTRUCTION Boston Ballet School/ North Shore Studio Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, Marblehead 617.456.6380 DENTAL CARE Andover Pediatric Dentistry Andover & Lawrence Locations Drs. Merle, Zicherman & Associates Peabody & Lynn

DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING Brain Balance Achievement Centers Danvers 978.705.9570 EARLY EDUCATION Little Sprouts Several North Shore Locations 877.977.7688 FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT Mary Poppins at The Boston Opera House Feb. 17 - March 20, 2011 See page 11 to buy tickets!

SCHOOLS Andover School of Montessori Andover 978.475.2299 Austin Preparatory School Reading 781.944.4900 Brookwood School Manchester 978.526.4500 The Cape Ann Waldorf School Beverly Farms 978.927.1936 The Children’s Ctr. for Comm. Beverly School for the Deaf Adult sign language classes & toddler/baby sign playgroups. See our ad on page 16! Clark School Danvers 978.777.4699

Harborlight Montessori Beverly 978.922.1008 Ipswich Montesori School Ipswich Enrolling now for Sept. 2011! 351.201.9694 North Shore Christian School Beverly, Lynn & Marblehead 781.599.2040

Tower School Marblehead 781.631.5800 SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW Education Consulting, Advocacy & Legal Services 781.231.4332 Serving MA, including the North Shore SUMMER CAMPS

North Shore Montessori School Rowley • 978.948.2237 The Phoenix School Salem 978.741.0870

SummerScape Camp Fair at Glen Urquhart School Beverly Farms: February 5, 2011 (Snow date: Feb. 6)

To advertise: 781.584.4569 Please Support Our Advertisers, Who Sponsor this Publication for You & Your Family!

North Shore Children & Families, February 2001  

North Shore Children & Families, February 2001

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