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Features... An Independent local publication.

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Livingston Parent Journal is to share worthwhile information with area parents by listing family-oriented events, educational opportunities for parents, and by providing feature articles and tips on topics relevant

Curious Critters

to raising children of all ages.

JANUARY 2014

Toddlers and Tech

— EDITOR/ PUBLISHER — Rick & Terri McGarry

18

—WRITERS— Nancy Rose Meg Koenemann Susan Coursey Heather Ibrahim-Leathers Emily Wilson 1000hoursoutside.com

Father Frankenstein

—PHOTOS— Cover Photo: Jacob McGarry — GRAPHIC DESIGN/LAYOUT —

Mindy Simon

A Love of Reading

The Livingston Parent Journal does not necessarily endorse the views of the authors or the products of the advertisers. Medical and health advice is not intended to replace the care of a physician. Member of

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In every issue... Off The Wall ..................................................................... 9

866.806.1680 Š December 2012 All rights reserved.

Events......................................................................... 11-14 Giveaways ....................................................................... 22

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To say that I was slightly irritated by my undercafinated and over-jostled condition that wet winter morning in the overcrowded coffee shop would have been an understatement. Working types elbowed aggressively past me, perhaps assuming from my disheveled appearance and whining three year-old toddler in tow, that I somehow had slighter responsibilities than they did. I couldn’t help whispering that age-old curse: “Wait until they have children!” The glacial pace of the coffee line, coupled with the screeching of the barista’s espresso machine and agitated buzz of the packed café’s patrons, was beginning to take its toll on my toddler. As if infected by the frenzy, he was beginning to whine more deliberately. Because it was too early and I was too tired, I offered up a half-hearted song. My toddler got louder. Forcing greater effort, I tried a favorite descriptive game, “This animal has a long neck! Which animal is it?” Decibel level increasing, cue the stroller-writhing. Not good. Dreading the imminent meltdown, I resorted to old trusty “I Spy” for the distraction. Screaming ensued, punctuated with stroller-kicking. Inevitable glances of disdain from my fellow café patrons follow. I reached for a book but it was received with a definitive twist in the opposite direction. Desperate to alleviate a rapidly deteriorating situation, I handed over the iPad. I leaned over to a suddenly pacified child and delivered some instructions. But he didn’t need them. He managed a half-nod as he expertly swiped and tapped his way to the desired app. Mommy - and patrons - began to feel tensions diminish. A huge, annoying scene had been avoided. I indulge myself in my own contemplations for a moment, or maybe two, before audible grumbling from an older woman behind me interrupted my thoughts.

She blinked and turned silent. It was her turn to speak. She mumbled an apology as her gaze dropped away. As I left the café with my latte and adrenaline high, I realized that the admonishment I had just received might not be unique to moms who resort to the iPad as a temporary pacifier. It seems all too easy to pass judgment, to assume that the parent often, or even always, depends on electronics or screen time to pacify their child or to act as a surrogate sitter. Additionally, the conventional assumption is that the screen couldn’t possibly offer any educational value. Maybe this is because the user’s audience does not usually have the benefit of viewing the screen themselves. Maybe it is because the depth and breadth of well-created educational apps is not fully appreciated by an older generation not familiar with the nascent technology. As we headed to the playground, my toddler began to sound out the word “PLAY,” one of the words he had just seen on the iPad, taking time to annunciate each letter perfectly. I congratulated him on his fantastic effort, surprised a bit by his accomplishment. I think of the woman who had just offered her unsolicited criticism and I smile. If resorting to well designed, fun, and stimulating technology to educate and intellectually stimulate my child was an indiscretion, then by all means go ahead and judge me. Make my day.

There are many excellent educational apps that have been professionally developed to cater to the learning styles of toddlers. Additionally, the nature of the technology itself allows for virtually unlimited repetition and reward, both critical components of successful learning. The onus is on the parent to balance screen learning with real-life experiences in order to further the toddler’s physical, emotional, and social development. This is what I, along with many parents, know from experience. Heather Ibrahim-Leathers is extensively published and her award-winning research has been translated into several different languages. She earned her bachelor’s in economics from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She holds an impressive resume of analyzing financial, technology, gaming, and retail companies for $10 billion worth of fixed income investments and is the president and founder of the Global Fund for Widows. Leathers is co-author of Toddlers ON Technology. Look for more from Heather about toddlers and technology at LivingstonParentJournal.com

“What kind of parenting is that?” she criticized loudly. I blink. “Don’t you think you should be reading to him?” the denunciation continued. “I’m sorry?” Incredulous, I could find only those words. “Don’t you think you should be teaching him how to read, or count, or something?” she condemned, with much contempt. Angered by her interjection, but empowered by her folly, I smiled. “I am teaching him how to read, actually,” I said, grinning confidently to her. “He’s playing a spelling app. He is learning how to read by viewing the picture associated with a word, listening to the word, and then selecting the letter that completes the word. He’s practicing his letters and phonics. The repetition of the game encourages his familiarity with simple sight words. Plus, he is working at his own pace, without the pressure of trying to please a hovering mommy. Best of all, he thinks he is playing a game and is having a blast doing it!”

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AdcZan  Bdb h Keys jingle at the front door, barely audible over the sound of our dog’s padded feet, the thump-thump of a toddler and the pitter-patter of a preschooler down the hallway. I am not far behind. The dog and the children are eager for a hug and a kiss from daddy. I am eager for conversation that doesn’t revolve around diaper changes and Sesame Street. My years as a young, stay-at-home mom were ďŹ lled with play dates, mother’s groups, bible studies, and neighborhood friends. There wasn’t a shortage of female companionship. We shared parenting tips, marital support and even helped each other ďŹ nd time for ourselves by being a part of a kid swap. When my ďŹ rst child started school, I welcomed the opportunity to enjoy undivided moments with my youngest. It also gave me the added beneďŹ t of meeting preschool moms and eventually making connections with kindergarten moms. My children’s friends were the children of my friends. Fast forward 8 years, to when I have a daughter in middle school and a daughter in elementary. There are no more play-dates or mother’s groups. Most of my friends have either gone back to work, gone back to school or moved. My children make their own friends. I realize that the last twelve years had been spent taking care of children that now spend more hours of the day with teachers then with me, and I am overwhelmed. I feel left behind, isolated and emotionally needy. Everyone else in the house seemed to have a purpose - school and work - while I, on the other hand, have toilets to clean. I am lonely. Many times I had seen friends get themselves into ďŹ nancial straits or jeopardize their marriages by letting loneliness push them into the malls or other relationships. Now I was allowing my own loneliness to escalate into depression. It became harder and harder to get out of my pajamas or take a shower, housework piled up, and dinners were prepared haphazardly because my mantra became “it’ll still be there tomorrowâ€?. Days went by when the only creature I had a conversation with was the dog.

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Emily Wilson is passionate about helping women to see themselves as strong, independent, smart and beautiful people no matter what their religion, cultural background, lifestyle or social standing. She blogs at mypajamadays.com

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My prescription to combat my loneliness is unique to me. It includes playing oboe in community groups, joining Jazzercise and a writing group, volunteering for an afterschool program and working from home. Every woman’s needs are different; their passions ow from their own individual talents and desires. But the most important antidote to loneliness is to do something. Find a part-time day job or volunteer program, join a book club through the public library, take an exercise class, learn a new skill through continuing education or create your own group through meetup.com.

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One day I was stunned to see a disheveled, stinky and unorganized woman looking at me from the mirror. The bubbly young mom I had been once was gone. The mom that volunteered on leadership committees and hosted play dates or meal swaps had been replaced by a whiny, unmotivated imposter. Was this the kind of role model I wanted for my children? I knew I needed to put my big girl panties on and snap out of this funk. At ďŹ rst it was a struggle to take a shower and wear something other than sweatpants, but each day got easier. Volunteering in my child’s classroom was great, but it didn’t introduce me to other available women, so I started volunteering in programs outside of school. I also thought long and hard about what things I was passionate about, and had a heart-to-heart talk with my husband about what my needs were to be a better wife and mother, and a better me.

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Call for more information about our quality Montessori educational program & arrange for a tour.

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Curious Critters Monarch Butterflies can attain an altitude of 10000 feet when they are migrating. Armadillos can jump 4 feet in the air, and the bony plates on their back are called scutes. These are the kinds of things David Fitzsimmons thinks your kid should know. David FitzSimmons is a freelance photographer and writer, and a university professor. He was inspired to photograph and write about nature by his parents, who were active environmentalists and life-long teachers. His first children’s book, Curious Critters, won 5 national book awards, including the Independent Book Publishers Association’s coveted Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book. His new book is called Curious Critters volume II. When David writes, he begins by researching the national science education standards. Then he studies the natural history of each of the animals. After this tedious, scientific research, he is always glad to shift gears and start trying to communicate a sense of wonder and enjoyment while exploring the unique personalities of each animal. Some of the animals in his new book include the monarch butterfly, the armadillo, and the cave salamander. He loves to sit down with his 3 daughters, ages three to nine, and read his books to them. “They love hearing what the critters have to say, and it’s one of my greatest pleasures,” he reports. “At my book events our oldest daughter often performs parts of my books with me.” Like the first book, this one ends with a couple of pages of additional bonus facts about all the animals, a silhouette quiz to help children remember all the animals about which they read, and even a glossary. David photographs and writes for various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, and Shutterbug. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University, with a specialty in narrative theory, investigating the components of storytelling. Curious Critters, Volume Two, will be released in February and is available to pre-order on Amazon. More information at curious-critters.com

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How To Instill a Love of Reading Neither my parents nor my husband’s parents read to their children. Reading was considered an academic skill taught in school. Our parents provided books for us to read only when our interest and skills in reading were obvious. Consequently, my sisters never acquired a love of reading in their school years. My husband and I, however, are voracious readers, eager to share our love of reading with our three sons as early as possible. We began cuddling and reading books to my oldest son when he was six to eight months old. We tried books designed to engage a baby like Lift-the-Flap and Touch and Feel books, and chose the ones he especially loved. Over time, we’ve discovered some exciting and fun ways to engage children in reading. Reading is supposed to be fun, so find reading readiness activities that your children enjoy. Sit with your child while reading, laugh a lot, and praise often. For myself, I even found that it was possible to read to my sons while nursing my twins. Model a love of reading and interest in books. Our children could tell that we enjoyed reading to them. We also spent time engaged in reading, drawing and writing activities as a family. Encourage your child to retell a favorite story to a younger child, portraying the story in a way the listener will love. Encourage an older child to care for a younger child by retelling stories the older child wrote and reading simple books.. The younger child will look up to an older child that reads to him, so this activity strengthens sibling relationships as well as engendering a love of books. My sons loved adventure stories and books about dinosaurs and dragons. My eldest son drew dinosaurs from age two and wrote stories about dinosaurs at age four. They also incorpo-

rated the special creatures in the adventure stories they read into books they created themselves. We encouraged this as a celebration of their independent thinking, creativity and imagination With the twins, we helped them find the right words for their illustrated stories, sometimes contributing a sketch ourselves when requested to do so. Our dining room table, five feet in diameter, was art center for our three sons and their neighborhood friends. Each child had a large box of felt tip pens and colored pencils. The children sat for hours drawing pictures with captions and storybooks. I often heard shrieks of laughter and compliments. Last weekend. I found a book my eldest son created at age five, The Peep Peep Book, a story of a mother bird who lay three eggs in a nest She sat on the nest till the eggs cracked, the birds

emerged crying “Peep, Peep!” The story ended with the birds leaving the nest. The colored pen drawings on computer paper 11 by 17 inches were whimsical and funny; everyone loved them. Make a special effort to read to each child a special book at night while cuddling the child. This is a time for bonding; convey the love you feel for the child and how special and how unique you feel the child is. My husband and I made it a point to read separately to each twin the book they loved most whenever possible in the evening. Instilling a love of reading in your children lays the groundwork for future generations. The teacher of my six-year-old granddaughter asks her to read to kindergarten students. Her cousin, barely five, writes captions on her drawings and has begun to write stories. The boys love of adventure stories, particularly those featuring dinosaurs and dragons, inspired me to create a story incorporating my granddaughter’s favorite elements: Space aliens, dragons and dinosaurs. Because of activities like this, it did not feel like work for my husband and I to instill a love of reading and reading activities; it seemed to come naturally to all three boys at a very early age! Susan Coursey is a children’s book author and editor of the website DigitalSmartpen.com, a resource with articles providing guidelines and examples for creation of interactive talking storybook elements. Her book is called How do you make a Dragon Laugh?: Lia’s Magic Dragon. Susan shares some ideas about books for babies at LivingstonParentJournal.com

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JANUARY Thur & Fri 2 & 3 School’s Out We’re In Gym Games, Open Bounce, Crafts, and Gym Play. Bring lunch and snack. Hartland Sports Center 9am-5pm $5/hr or $35/day 810.632.7222 hartlandsportscenter.com

Thursday 2 Pixar Short Films Free popcorn. Hartland Library 10am 810.632.5200 cromaine.org The Incredibles Undergo superhero training, make a cape, and find your superpowers while the movie plays. Hartland Library 10am 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

Winter Twilight, Kyra Markham 1935, lithograph. Detroit Institute of Arts

Let Me Show You What I Saw: American Views on City and Country, 1912–1963 opens Dec. 20 – June 29 at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Sat & Sun 4 & 5 Cross- Country Ski Lessons Learn classic cross country skiing. Snowmaking machine on site. Huron Meadows Metropark 10am & 1pm $5 + $13 for ski rental 734.426.8211

Saturday 4 Royal Garden Trio will be on the White Steeple Stage. Community Congregational Church Open Mic 5:30-7:15, Concert at 7:30. $10 734.878.3419 whitesteeplestage.com

Tuesday 7 Family Tae Kwon Do Tuesdays and Thursdays through 1/30 Kils Tae Kwon Do 7:30-8:30pm $100 517.546.0693 howellrecreation.org

Desk Calendar Hands-on workshop for children ages 5-12. Free workshop apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement. Home Depot 9am-Noon 517.548.3742

Friday 3 Monsters University While the movie plays, younger children can make a monster, and Scare Games for ages 7 and up. Hartland Library 10am 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

Matthew Ball, Boogie Woogie Kid Acoustic Café at the Howell Opera House 7-9pm $7 517.540.0065 howelloperahouse.com

Turkey Shoot Paper target event for individuals and families. Participants should bring their own shotgun; ammunition is provided. Children can participate if a parent is present and the child has completed a safety course. Livingston County Wildlife and Conservation Club 1pm 810.231.1811

Sunday 5 Breakfast with Cinderella Breakfast is served 8:3011:00am. Cinderella will arrive at 9:45am and perform from 10:15-10:45am. Bring a camera. Saint Mary’s Church 734.878.3161. Winter Marketplace A variety of fresh produce, arts/ crafts, home décor and gift items offered by local area vendors. Howell Opera House 10am-2pm $5 517.540.0065 theoperahouse.us/events.html

Car entry fee.

Reservations required. Please call ahead.

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Polar Plunge Support the Special Olympics athletes of Livingston County by plunging into the icy waters of Leith Lake. Free soup from Olga’s, coffee from Starbucks, live music and face painting. Brighton High School 2pm. Minimum fund raising is $75.00 for adults and $50.00 for students. somi.org

Tuesday14

Predators and Prey Explore what fossils can tell us about the lives and coping strategies of predators and prey. Presented by University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. For children ages 7 and up. Brighton Library 11amNoon FREE 810.229.6571 brightonlibrary.info

Wednesday 15

Sanchin Ryu’s Family Karate Physical techniques, drills and exercises in a non-competitive environment. Tuesdays through 3/4 Barnard Community Center 7-8pm $104/family 517.546.0693 howellrecreation.org

The War to End All Wars Artwork Unveiling World War I Savings Stamps poster collection and other special items from our community. Hartland Library 6:30m 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

The Star, Christmas Night, Charles Burchfield, 1939, watercolor. Detroit Institute of Arts

Friday 10 Scottie Alexander & Joe Hassel Acoustic Café at the Howell Opera House 7-9pm $7 517.540.0065 howelloperahouse.com DIY Sharpie Mug Ages 11 and older can decorate a mug with Sharpie pens. All materials provided. Pinckney Library 4-5pm $5 734.878.3888 pinckneylibrary.org

Saturday 11 Health and Wellness Program Screenings for skin cancer, blood pressure and BMI measuring; mini fitness checks, virtual ski/snowboarding, ShapeDown weight management, and healthy snacks and prizes. Family yoga 12:15-1:15pm, yoga for back health 1:30-2:30pm St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Noon-3pm FREE stjoeshealth.org.

Peace at Christmas, Charles Burchfield, 1917/1947, watercolor, gouache, graphite and/or charcoal. Detroit Institute of Arts

Sunday 12

Thursday 16

Quacktacular The National Rubber Ducky Day Quacktacular will celebrate the date rubber ducks were invented. Howell Pool 1:00-2:30pm $4 517.546.0693

Sanchin Ryu’s Family Karate Thursdays through 3/6 see January 14

howellrecreation.org

Monday 13 Positive Behavior Support Workshop for early childhood educators and parents of young children to support development using evidence based strategies and techniques, and explore ways to deal with challenging behaviors Hartland Library 6:30pm 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

Friday 17 Indoor Snow Day Indoor snow forts, snowball fight, and #D snowflake craft. Ages 5 & over. Pinckney Library 2:00-3:30pm FREE 734.878.3888 pinckneylibrary.org The Premier Big Band Swing Dancing at the Acoustic Café at the Howell Opera House 7-9pm $7 517.540.0065 howelloperahouse.com

Sat & Sun 18 & 19 Cross Country Ski Lessons* see January 4 & 5

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Sunday 19

Sonic Freeway Rock and Jazz at the Acoustic Café at the Howell Opera House 7-9pm $7 517.540.0065

Thursday 30

Winter Marketplace see January 5

howelloperahouse.com

Monday 20

Parents Night Out Games, crafts, and snack. Ages 5-10 Barnard Community Center 6-11pm $15 517.546.0693

Preschool Open House Interview Hartland area preschools and learn which school will suit your needs. Hartland Library 9:30-11:30am 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

School’s Out We’re In see January 2 & 3

howellrecreation.org

Thursday 23

Saturday 25

Lego Club Meetings involve theme-based building. Caregivers should plan on participating. Legos provided. Ages 5 & older. Pinckney Library 6:00-7:30pm FREE 734.878.3888 pinckneylibrary.org

Preschool Open House Meet with local preschool representatives and learn about preschool resources available in the Brighton area. Brighton Library 11am FREE 810.229.6571 brightonlibrary.info

Friday 24

Tuesday 28

Hero Party Get ready for the Lego Movie, find out what Hero you are. For grades 1 and up. Hartland Library 1011am 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

Bring Your Own Tools Tear things apart. Put them back together. Build robots. Hartland Library 6:30pm 810.632.5200 cromaine.org

Friday 31 Bayou River Band Dixieland at the Acoustic Café at the Howell Opera House 7-9pm $7 517.540.0065 howelloperahouse.com

LIST YOUR EVENT FOR FREE livingstonparentjournal.com

School’s Out We’re In see January 2 & 3

February 1 ACT Practice Test Pinckney High School 8:30am-1:30pm $35 810.227.1800 sylvanbrighton@sbcglobal.net

Community Connect A free event to help people in need find assistance and information. Benefit information & financial services, legal consultation, senior services, health screenings, baby items, haircuts, books, and clothing. Parker Middle School 9am-2pm For more information contact 211. Race Car Hands-on workshop for children ages 5-12. Free workshop apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement. Home Depot 9am-Noon 517.548.3742 Annie and Rod Capps will be on the White Steeple Stage. Community Congregational Church Open Mic 5:30-7:15, Concert at 7:30. $10 734.878.3419 whitesteeplestage.com Remove Invasive Shrubs Volunteers are needed. Island Lake Recreation Area 10am1pm 248.359.9057 malvitzl@michigan.gov Turkey Shoot see January 5

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Worth the Drive: Even with the Kids

January 11 Monster Jam® will feature 18 Monster Jam trucks, including the legendary Grave Digger® driven by Chad Tingler, Max-DSM (Maximum Destruction), driven by Morgan Kane, Northern NightmareSM driven by Cam McQueen and El Toro Loco® driven by Becky McDonough. Ford Field 7pm $22 800.745.3000 MonsterJam.com

January 23-25 Owl’s Winter is a delightful collection of stories based on Arnold Lobel’s Owl at Home, presented by Wild Swan Theater. Each performance will be followed by a “Meet the Owl” experience provided by the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Towsley Auditorium Thur & Fri 10am & 1pm, Saturday 11am $12 734.995.0530 wildswantheater.org

January 9-12 The Ultimate Fishing Show features hundreds of the newest fishing boats and more than 200 booths of fishing gear, outfitters, guides and lodges. More than 75 free seminars are planned for novice to expert anglers. Special features: 110,000-gallon Lake Ultimate, Hawg Trough demo tank, Ice Fishing Extravaganza, Ice Shanty Truck Load Sale, Virtual Fishing Simulator, Shore Lunch Fish Fry and Kids Trout. Suburban Collection Showplace Thur 3:00-9:30pm, Fri 11:00am-9:30pm, Sat 10:00am-9:00pm, Sun 10:00am-5:00pm $10 800.328.6550 UltimateFishingShow.com

January 24-25 Stomp The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. The Whiting Fri 8pm Sat 2 & 8pm $25 thewhiting.com

Car entry fee.

Reservations required. Please call ahead.

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YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE STARTS HERE. THE

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LIVINGSTON PARENT JOURNAL

THIRD ANNUAL SUMMER CAMP FAIR

Saturday, February 22. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. @ The Commons.

7526 W. Grand River, Brighton. You are invited to join us for free at our 3rd annual Summer Camp Fair. Meet with local camp representatives who will be on hand to answer all your questions in regards to what camp will be best for your child. Don’t miss this opportunity to help provide your child with memories that will last a lifetime! Call 866.806.1680 or email: rick@livingstonparentjournal.com for more info.


inter at the ature enter We love spending time outside with our kids. It benefits them in a myriad of ways: Emotionally, physically, mentally and socially. There are also many beneficial elements for moms. When we are outside our kids fight with each other so much less. They engage with their surroundings instead of squabbling over toys. Occasionally there are small skirmishes about who owns which stick, but since there are always plenty more that problem can be solved quickly. Additionally, if you head outside with a friend, moms and kids get both playmates and fresh air for the day. Heading to the beach or to a park in the summertime is something just about every family does. Once November hits however, families tend to hole up inside because of cooler temperatures. It’s rough for kids (and moms) to be cooped up for four months. We have found that dressing appropriately and visiting outdoor places that also have an indoor option allows us to get outside regularly all year. The problem is there aren’t really that many places with both features. Either you are completely stuck outside in the frigid temps or you are swapping germs with a bunch of other kiddos at an indoor play place. One place that fits all our requirements is the Howell Nature Center. We adore that place. We’ve been going there for years and have enjoyed seeing continued additions to the center. 2014 will mark the arrival of a treehouse kids can play in! The Wild Wonders trail is open to the public all year and is the perfect length trail to conquer with little ones. It is a half mile of stroller friendly terrain. Even after the snow falls, you can strap on your boots and head down the path. The park boasts all Michigan native animals including foxes, porcupines, coyotes, groundhogs, opossums, owls, hawks, falcons, and more. Each animal is in a habitat specifically designed to mimic it’s natural environment. For example, the barn owl habitat is actually a barn made from real barn wood. If your kids start complaining about the colder temps (or if you are secretly freezing) you can stop into the Nature Zone, a small indoor play center. The Nature Zone is a hands-on interpretive space based on nature in your own backyard. It was designed by local artist, Michael Monroe, and it includes a pond, live flying-squirrel habitat, a tree sculpture, animal tracks table, and more. Although it is small, it offers many engaging things for kids, and it’s warm inside! After you’ve warmed back up you can take a short walk to Alexandria’s Playscape. This is our dream backyard. It is the epitome

of an outdoor, free-play nature space for children. The entrance is across from the new raptor center. In the warmer months the cascading water flowing down the water feature which ends in the splash area at the bottom is a fun place to play. In the cooler months just head to the top of the hill until you arrive at an extremely large sand box with a slide, a digger and tons of sand toys. This area is called the Sand Dune and also has some rope climbing spots that the kids love. There are two versions of a Stump Jump to accommodate kids big and small. There are also Music Garden, Weaving Wall, and Mud Painting areas, as well as a Log Jam to climb on. One of our kids favorite places to play is the area where they can build a fort with branches and sticks. The Playscape is com-

The Wild Wonders trail is open to the public all year and is the perfect length trail to conquer with little ones. pletely fenced in, and is unlike any other playground to which we’ve ever been. It’s a natural space designed for children to initiate play and connect to nature. This kind of unstructured outdoor play has many benefits such as increased physical activity, enhanced creativity and imagination, improved risk-assessment skills, and reduced stress. The Center is located 6 miles south of I-96, between Howell and Pinckney at 1005 Triangle Lake Road, Howell, MI 48843. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a suggested donation for visiting the Wild Wonders Wildlife Park of $4/adult and $2/child. Jen, Lisa and Ginny are moms who have a passion for getting kids outdoors. Stemming from their backgrounds in health and fitness and education, they are driven to provide a carefree childhood with all the health and developmental benefits that outside time provides. They have nine kids amongst them who all love running, building, picnicking, playing and napping in the open air. Their blog is called 1000 Hours Outside (1000hoursoutside.com)

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SAVE 50% on Kids’ Tickets!

Good on All Performances Ages 2-12. Limit of three (3) kids’ tickets with purchase of a full-price adult ticket. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. No double discounts. Excludes premium seats.

Sat. JAN. 11 + 7:00 PM FORD FIELD

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What is holding your child back? You can help them reach their full potential in school, sports, and socially.

Father Frankenstein The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. - Joseph Campbell

In Mary Shelley’s classic, Frankenstein, the need for acceptance is a formidable theme. The Creature yearns for love and acceptance, and his realization that he will never be accepted among humans leads him to demand, and be denied, a female counterpart from his maker, Victor. The horror that plays out results from the lack of acceptance and sense of belonging that the Creature cannot endure. The universal pain of this type of isolation is taken to a violent and gruesome conclusion. For years, readers have agreed that, despite the book’s sci-fi genre, the novel is grounded in a very real theme: the power of love and acceptance, and the lifelong damage that occurs if they are denied.

The human need for acceptance is so basic and deep that when we are denied it from the first people we seek it from — our parents —we spend a lifetime scrambling to find it wherever we can: through peers, crime, and gangs, leaving us vulnerable to predators, and at risk for dangerous escapes like self—harm and suicide. A young man who feels that those around him genuinely respect and accept his right to his own feelings, point of view, temperament, and life goals is more likely to unearth his gifts and thrive as a confident, happy individual. Isn’t it common sense that, when a human being feels accepted from the start, she is more likely to have a secure attachment with those who accept her? Isn’t she more likely to have confidence that her personality is unique and precious, or that the way she sees the world can add value to it? A young man who feels that those around him genuinely respect and accept his right to his own feelings, point of view, temperament, and life goals is more likely to unearth his gifts and thrive as a confident, happy individual. After all, why would a person who has been valued and respected his whole life want to settle for something less than what he knows he deserves? Excerpted from Raise the Child You’ve Got - Not the One You Want, by Nancy Rose. Calling herself “The Acceptance Advocate,” Nancy offers presentations and workshops, and writes about the fundamental need of children to be accepted as they are, and her new model of parenting called Leading with Acceptance. nancyjrose.com

In actuality we are all held back by something aren’t we? The biggest limitations that most of us face are self-imposed. Things like the fear of public speaking or failure. Shyness. Lack of discipline or self control. Poor work ethic. Negative attitude. If we really look closely most of these started when we were young. What if you could identify these obstacles in your child and eliminate them? Can you imagine how much more successful and happy your child would be? You could end up a lot happier and saner as well. After years of working with hundreds of area children and parents we have discovered that almost everything that holds children back can be fundamentally traced back to three basic areas: fears, impulsive uncontrolled behaviors, and social awkwardness.

This might be helpful to you and your family: FEARS – From birth to kindergarten this surfaces as separation anxiety or difficulty trying new or hard things. The “I can’t” syndrome. In elementary school it may show up as shyness or fear of making mistakes. We also see many children that are debilitated by a constant state of fear, worry or anxiety. Fearful teens display negative attitudes, an inability to complete things, or susceptibility to peer pressure. LACK OF SELF CONTROL – This is a really important area for preschoolers. If is often called “Self Regulating” skills, the ability to control their impulses. A good example are boys that “cannot keep

their hands to themselves”. Later in life self control involves skills like listening and focusing. Teens who lack self-discipline fail to turn in homework, get poor grades and have poor work ethic. SOCIAL – Early childhood development experts refer to this as “social fluidity”. This is the ability to read social cues, play with others and share. In elementary school kids who lack social skills have difficulty making and keeping friends. In high school they can be isolated, either becoming bullies, being bullied, or just hanging around the wrong kids. Once you have identified these, they are actually simple to correct, but it does take work, consistency and patience. The biggest thing that holds most parents back is “denial”. This is most often expressed as “He is normally not like that!” or worse yet “He will outgrow it!” I am running out of room in this article but I will share the keys to working through these obstacles with your child next month. In the meantime, if I can help you and your child please do not hesitate to contact me at (517) 586-1001 or through our website at www.ohanakarate.com. Yours for rock solid kids,

Sam Larioza For more information go to www.ohanakarate.com Ohana Karate 517-586-1001

P.S. – New beginner classes forming.

Save the date: Celebration of Life. April 3, 2014 6-9pm. Tickets $20.

Featuring former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino whose testimony before congress was called “The most heartrending abortion testimony you’ll ever hear”

Look for another excerpt about the power of acceptance at LivingstonParentJournal.com

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We love to hear from our readers, so you can email or call us with any questions or comments.

866.806.1680 rick@livingstonparentjournal.com

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Livingston Parent Journal January 2014  

Family, Childhood Education, Crafts, Parenting

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