Long Island Family - January 2023

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January 2023 newyorkfamily.com Education Goals for the New Year + our Education Guide Forget the Resolutions! Our expert tips on how to get unstuck and move at your own pace — at any time of the year Don't miss our CAMP FAIR See page 31

Study the liberal arts and . . . SCIENCES.

Start college after 10th or 11th grade and earn your Bachelor's degree two years early.

Simon’s Rock offers dual degree programs at Columbia Engineering Program (BA/BS), Dartmouth Engineering Program (BA/BE), Levy Economics Institute Program (BA/MS), Vermont Law Environmental Policy Program, and SUNY Upstate Medical Center Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only college in the country specifically designed for students ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade and begin working on their Bachelor’s Degree two years early. Simon’s Rock offers a curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences, taught by supportive, highly trained faculty, who are leading scholars in their field. The College grants degrees in more than 35 majors. Great Barrington, Massachusetts

| simons-rock.edu
January 2023 | Long Island Family 3
Founded in 1923, Buckley Country Day School is a co-educational independent day school serving 350 children in grades Pre-Nursery through Eight. Open House: Wednesday, January 18th at 9:00 A.M. Sign up today at www.buckleycountryday.com/admissions @BuckleyCountryDaySchool Follow us on
4 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023 Ja N uarY 2023 NewYorkFamily.com contents FEATURES 24 | c areer The mom’s guide to quitting your job 26 | Babba c r ivera The founder of the clean hair brand Ceremonia, reimagining self-care, sustainability and what it means to be authentic 30 | e xtracurricular activities Balancing sports and activities SToRIES & ColUM n S 6 | editor’s letter 8 | a sk the e xpert Forget the resolutions and try these expert steps 10 | c amps Is your child ready for sleepaway camp? 12 | Travel Family-friendly ski resorts 14 | education New Year’s Education Goals: How to set intentions for success for your child in 2023 20 | family fun The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame opens in Stony Brook 22 | family n ight o ut Where to see stars FAMI ly FU n 28 | c alendar All the fun events and activities for January D IRECTo RIES 18 | education listings pg. 26 pg. 22 pg. 14 pg. 28 pg. 20

Shaping Children For A Bright


Our Early Childhood and Preschool programs provide a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn, grow, and develop social skills. Our curriculum is designed for ages 18 months* – 5 years old and includes art, science, music, fitness and swimming, outdoor play, circle time, math & reading readiness skills, and so much more. *Programs and ages vary by branch.

January 2023 | Long Island Family 5 Bay Shore • Glen Cove • Huntington • Patchogue REGISTER ONLINE! YMCALI.org/Childcare
Future YMCA

Moving Foward

The New Year is here (yay!), and many of you may be thinking about next steps for 2023. Some parents are waiting for school application results to be announced (fingers crossed.) We are also at the mid-school year, which means time to set education intentions for success for your child in 2023 (page 14.)

Every New Year, there is an emphasis on resolutions - which are not unhealthy to make; goals are good. Still, you may want to make them on a level that works for you rather than sweeping changes. We chatted with Lifecoach Leah Wiseman Fink (page 8), who shared year-round tips on making shifts

in our lives. However, if quitting your job is definitely on a list, our piece, The Mom’s Guide to Quitting Your Job (page 24) from our sister site, Mommybites (mommybites. com), is worth reading.

We are excited to feature Babba Rivera in our first issue of 2023. The Founder and CEO of Ceremonia (page 26)shares on paying tribute to her Latin culture as the founder of a world-changing clean hair brand, reimagining self-care, sustainability and what it means to be authentic.

xo, Donna

n ewYorkFamily.com

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editor’s note
| January 2023
get i N
n ina g allo Photography
January 2023 | Long Island Family 7 www.ComprehendTheMind.com 718-441-0166 Dr.
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Forget the Resolutions!

Lifecoach Leah Wiseman Fink shares some year-round tips

How many times have you created a resolution and ooff you either forgot you made one or worse, you dont keep it, and you feel bad about it?

Leah Wiseman Fink, a Lifecoach who works with corporate leaders to new moms, believes that resolutions are overrated. Leah shares, “I understand why people get hung up on January 1st, but what does it mean anyway? Leah adds, “Whether it is January or June, why not think about where you want to be right now? You’ll get there anyway!”

We chatted with Leah about ways to change your life, regardless of the time of the year. This month, don’t worry if you do not have a laundry list of changes or goals you want to accomplish. Instead, focus on what is possible at any time of the year.

There is always this pressure to make sweeping changes in the New Year, what are small ways a person can start to feel good about where they are in life?

One thing I’d recommend is to think about what you can add instead of what you can subtract. For example - instead of thinking about subtracting pounds, can you think about adding some health goals? And to continue with the health metaphor, instead of trying to cut out all sugar, get to the gym every day, and stop drinking, can you do one out of the three?

Another thing I am a big fan of is the list of appreciation. I often have my clients write down a list of 10 things they are grateful for daily. It makes a big difference in the mindset of knowing what you already have, and being settled and appreciative of what you have will naturally catapult you to the next level.

When in a rut, the kind you don’t even know how to start to get out, what are the first steps someone can take to climb out?

Although being in that space is rough, a small change is all you need to get started. In terms of the specifics, here are some tips.

Identify where you want to be, phone a friend, and ask for help.

Pinpoint a goal, whether big or small and then take steps to get there. I always suggest tangible goals, like signing up for a race.

Feel free to plan backward; what are the short workouts you have to do to get the harder ones? And build up from there. This can be applied to anything: a career move, finding a relationship, or a big move.

Remember -the only thing that will keep you stuck is not doing anything at all, so take a deep breath; you got this, and whether it is enormous strides or small steps, you are moving forward.

What are examples of realistic goals a person can make to feel less frazzled mentally?

Carving out time for yourself is essential, even in small ways like not reaching for your phone first thing in the morning. Then, I urge people to block out time in their schedules for things that fill them up. Can you drink a glass of water and stretch instead of worrying even for five minutes? Is there a dance class you can take? Can you get your partner to watch the kids so you can get out and grab drinks with friends?

Try an afternoon nap or, even in a minor

way, a walk around the block. The chunks of time don’t have to be huge, but they do have to be consistent.

Many people, especially moms, have challenges with creating boundaries. What are some healthy ways to develop them?

I define boundaries by figuring out what you want and not letting anything get in the way. Boundaries can be tough because in keeping with what is best for yourself, you sometimes make another person uncomfortable. To reference the sometimes-overused analogy, you must put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on anyone else.

Leah Wiseman

Fink holds Master’s degrees in Education Leadership and English Education with 12 years of a combination of work experience in consultancy, the NYC public school system, and higher education. As a Business Lifecoach, Leah helps women to figure out their path, see their worth and get their mojo back. Learn more at leahwisemanfink.com.

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ask the e xpert
January 2023 | Long Island Family 9 To ensure a safe environment, we are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID 354 Lakeville Road, Great Neck, NY 516-466-8422 | www.CMSGN.com Our fullyequipped, spacious classrooms offer the most enriched curriculum available for 18 mos – 6 yrs with the American Montessori Society since 1988 •Spacious playground •Large classrooms •Low teacher-student ratio •Early drop-off and extended day available Countryside Montessori School An Education Where Children Thrive Under the Guidance of Great Teachers in an Environment that Stimulates Creativity and Individual Potential! REGISTER TODAY FOR SPRING 2023 CLASSES

Is Your Child Ready for Sleepaway Camp?

Thinking about overnight camp for your child? Attending overnight camp is an important experience for a child, helping them to gain independence, self-confidence, and resilience, which are all skills that are needed to become successful adults. But how do parents know when the right time is to send their child to camp?

It’s more than age

Many parents focus on the age of their child to figure out when the right time is for overnight camp, however, age isn’t the only factor when considering readiness. While there is no specific sign that can tell you that now is the time, there are certain indicators that can signal that a child is ready for the experience.

“I don’t feel there is a specific age to begin

going to overnight camp. It’s more dependent on an individual child’s developmental levels and maturity,” says Marc Rauch, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and director of Camp Kinder Ring, a coed overnight camp in Hopewell Junction, NY. “It’s important to closely examine and explore a child’s overall functioning in differing environments, as well as their personality, social skills, temperament and how they handle change and different situations. Does the child have the ability to self-soothe, display effective coping mechanisms and effectively verbalize their needs and wants? Some other readiness indicators include a child’s ability to appropriately separate from parents, accept guidance and supervision from others, a desire to sleep at varying peers households, eagerness to have playdates and a child’s displaying of an ability to meet new successes when challenged.”

Bolstering your child’s confidence Often parents feel their child is ready to go away to camp, yet their child is hesitant.

Laurie Rinke, director of Camp Echo Lake, a coed overnight camp in the Adirondacks says, “The biggest factor that determines a camper’s readiness is their parents’ ability to let their child borrow their confidence that they are ready for camp. If a parent says to their child ‘we found the right camp for you, we trust the directors, we know you can do this, and we know you will love camp,’ children can use their parents confidence to bolster their own. When a parent gives a child the sense that camp is the right place for them, that helps a child feel confident.”

Renee Flax, camper placement specialist for the American Camp Association, NY & NJ feels there is a big difference between gentle persuasion and pushing a child to go to camp. “Taking your child to visit the camp so they can see for themselves what camp is all about and meeting with the camp director to have them talk to your child are both helpful tools. However, if your child is adamant about not wanting to go, you do need to listen to what their concerns are. Some of them are fixable

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issues that can be resolved such as they don’t want to go for too long a period of time or they want to know someone at the camp.”

Preparation is important

Once you make the decision to send your child to camp, preparing them for what camp will be like can help set your child up for a positive experience.

“Think about the things that your child will do at camp that they may or may not do at home like changing the sheets on their bed, combing their hair, applying sunscreen, and taking a shower independently,” commented Rinke. “Your child certainly doesn’t have to perfect these tasks and counselors will help them, but familiarizing your child with these tasks can allow them to feel more confident about doing them.”

Rauch says the manner in which a parent sets the stage for camp can ultimately seal the fate of whether or not the experience is successful. “Parents shouldn’t spend the entire academic year leading up to camp talking about it. The focus needs to be incrementally introduced to a child,

especially one who has some level of concern. When you talk about camp, always focus on the positives that lie ahead and don’t harp on how much a child will be missed, on how different home will be without them or on things that can go wrong. It’s also important for parents to work hard to not put their own anxieties about their children leaving home onto their children. The more comfortable a parent is with the overnight camp experience, the more comfortable the child will be.”

Other resources Camps also offer a lot of events and resources to help your child prepare for camp.

“There are new camper events, new parent events and Big Brother or Sister programs to give you and your child the confidence that they are going to love camp. I also encourage parents to read all emails, blogs, and parent information from your camp as there is valuable information that will help you and your child,” Rinke says.

Flax says: “The right time for a child to go to an overnight camp is when they are ready! Don’t worry what other people are doing – you need to assess how your child is doing emotionally and how mature they are before deciding to send them to an overnight program.”

January 2023 | Long Island Family 11
Sleepaway Camps Meet & Greet – Everything You Need to Know Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 at 1:00 PM Finding the right Sleepaway camp can be a daunting task. Let New York Family help by introducing you to 5 amazing Sleepaway camps. Our panel of camp directors will introduce their camps and tell you about the fun options in store for your child this summer. Moderated Q & A session to follow the webinar. www.SchnepsMedia.com/webinars Sign up now. Space is limited.
“It’s important for parents to work hard to not put their own anxieties about their children leaving home onto their children. The more comfortable a parent is with the overnight camp experience, the more comfortable the child will be.”

Family-�riendl� Ski Res�r�s

Are you looking for a winter getaway?

Take a ski trip with your family at these family-friendly ski resorts. There are a ton of ski resorts and ski slopes to choose from, so we rounded up our top 5 picks. Many resorts have gentle slopes and “ski school” for kids and adults, so no prior ski experience is necessary to have winter fun. Pack your bags for your next weekend stay at a New York ski resort!

Smugglers Notch

4323 VT-108, Jeffersonville, VT 05464

For your next family ski trip, head to Smugglers’ Notch, Ski Magazine’s #1 resort for families for the last 20 years! The 78 trails, eight lifts, and the highest vertical drop in Northern Vermont at 2,610 feet is not only a winter wonderland – it’s designed to deliver the ultimate ski experience.

There are multiple terrain parks and 1,000 acres of skiing and riding. For fall, enjoy the beauty that is Vermont with outdoor activities and crisp air fun. Come winter, kids will love snowshoeing, tubing, cross country skiing, swimming, Fun Zone 2.0, ice skating.

The Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s mission is to give families an experience that they will cherish for life, and it’s no wonder many make visiting a yearly ritual. Smugglers’ condominiums are located in wooded spots with mountain views or make your home in one of the condos closer to the village. The convenient, cozy, family-style lodgings with fully equipped kitchens and more are perfect for the entire family. If you don’t ski (some of us prefer to lounge and drink hot chocolate, and there’s no guilt in that!), the “Winter Experience Package” offers you a Cat Trax ride to the top of the mountain for a view of the fireworks on Thursday nights.

We all know kids can go 24/7 – there are activities for everyone such as Bingo, Family Feud, nightly hot chocolate by the bonfire, the fireworks we mentioned on Thursday night, and more. For those tweens who need extra, there is a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop, nighttime tubing; a new Teen Center called The Alley with Virtual Reality quests and Xbox Live, Night School for Boarding, and Jibbing.

Mount Peter

51 Old Mt Peter Road Warwick, NY 10990

Mount Peter may be the only ski and snowboarding destination initially started (in 1936) by Macy’s Department Stores as a “showroom” to sell their ski fashion. Very très chic and New York. As one of the oldest operating family-owned ski spots in the country, it is a special place for families to visit or discover each winter. Located in Warwick, NY, it is about one hour from NYC

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— making for a convenient day trip and a great spot to learn to ski or get in a day of skiing, snowboarding or tubing.

Known for their free beginner ski and snowboard lessons on weekends and holidays, this is the perfect spot when the kids are ready to ski or for mom or dad to learn the art of skiing or snowboarding. Super family- friendly, this spot consists of a combination of locals, city peeps, and tourists worldwide. There is a reason Mount Peter is called New York’s family mountain!

Mount Peter features 14 trails for skiing or snowboarding and a 600-foot tubing run. Rates are affordable, which parents will appreciate if bringing a large group. If you don’t own skis, no problem, as there is a daily ski rental barn where you can rent skis, snowboards, poles, and helmets.

Tip: we suggest heading to the rental shop as soon as you arrive as the line can get long, and we all know that kids have little patience when the fun is around the corner. For tasty food, the lodge serves food and Pete’s Pub offers adult beverages as well as a gift shop!

Belleayre Mountain

181 Galli Curci Rd., Highmount, NY 12441

Belleayre Mountain’s excellent skiing, reasonable pricing, and year-round activities make it one of the best family-friendly ski resorts in Upstate New York.

We love their heated gondola that keeps us nice and warm on the slopes. With a variety of downhill courses, a snowsports school offering classes for kids, teens, and adults, and summer activities like biking, hiking, and Belleayre Beach, this resort has something for everyone at almost any time of year. Located just north of Big Indian Wilderness, it is just over a twohour drive from NYC.

Plattekill Mountain

469 Plattekill Rd., Roxbury, NY 12474

Located in the northwestern Catskills, Plattekill Mountain is a different breed of ski resort. This privately owned and operated resort, affectionately called “Platty” by the many ski enthusiasts who visit regularly each year, offers a unique family vibe that visitors love. Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing fun can all be found on the mountain,

but visitors will also find a welcoming atmosphere, plenty of smiles, and unique experiences.

At just about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the city, it’s a great option for getting in some great skiing and feeling like you found a second home.

Gore Mountain

793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek, NY 12853

Located on the eastern edge of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Gore Mountain has something for everyone all year round.In the winter months, visitors can take advantage of 110 trails and 14 lifts on New York’s biggest mountain. The resort also offers classes and private lessons for kids, teens, and adults.

With a variety of beautiful accommodation options and delicious dining choices, the mountain is an all-season resort destination that’s widely considered to be the best in all of New York and in the upper echelon of the northeastern US. It’s well worth the drive of just under four hours from NYC to get there.

January 2023 | Long Island Family 13
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education Education Goals for a New Year

How to set intentions for success for your child in 2023

Ahh, the new year is here—a time for making positive changes, and sticking with them! Now, as a parent, you know how important a good education is for your little student. So why not make some cool resolutions to help ensure a successful education for your child in 2023, and beyond?

Whether your child is struggling in school, has an A+ average or falls somewhere in between, there are so many ways to improve grades, test-taking skills and overall academic achievement at any age. You can set new goals, encourage reading, build a support system and so much more. We spoke with parents, education experts (and did some of our own online research!) to put together this New Year’s guide to help create and continue education success for your child throughout 2023. Save it, refer to it, and just keep it handy!

And don’t worry. Our resolutions aren’t all study, study, study. After all, we gotta have kids on board for their successful education, too. We’ve researched ways to make learning fun at any age, from toddler to teen.

(BONUS: Even as adults, you might learn a thing or two about how to increase your own wealth of knowledge!)

Ensure a Successful Education for Your Child in 2023

This is probably a no-brainer for most people, but education is important for a variety of reasons, including life success. And it doesn’t matter what kind of school your child goes to, whether it be public, private or any other type of institution. A lot of what can make a good education is what children, parents and teachers put into it.

Jennifer Cedro Puglia of Staten Island has two boys in Catholic school. To her, a good education leads to her kids being independent and focused on goals.

“A good education is a foundation for a better life and a better person,” she said.

Richie Blings, whose children attend NYC public school, agrees.

“I tell my kids that you’re an adult a lot longer than a child. So, go to school, learn and get yourself a great job,” Blings said.

A Resolution List for Preschoolers: Ages 3 to 5 Years

Pre-school age refers to kids ages 3 to 5 years.

These are important years for building a foundation for learning. And it doesn’t really matter whether you choose to keep your child home during these years, or enroll them in daycare or preschool.

But if your child does attend daycare or preschool, keep in mind they’re usually not given grades. They’ll also learn how to socialize, which can be tough to do at home. As Wendy Levey, an education consultant explains, preschoolers get assessments on

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Shoes and Accessories


January 2023 | Long Island Family 15 25 Store Hill Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568 516-626-9300 www.holychildacademy.org admissions@hcali.org Holy Child Academy Sunday, Jan 29 12-2pm A premier, independent Catholic school for children of all faiths - Toddler through Grade 8 OPEN HOUSE Visit Our 14-Acre Campus Nurturing the Spirit, Challenging the Mind We Buy, Sell And Trade Gently Used Items! Bring in your nearly new kid’s stuff, and we’ll pay you cash on the spot for all items accepted. Shoes and Accessories • Casual and Dress Shoes • Sleepwear WE ACCEPT ALL SEASON CHILDREN'S APPAREL All equipment and toys must be less than 5 years old and not to be recalled Kid’s Stuff With Previous ExperienceTM Used Items Buy Back Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-1pm Visit our Website at onceuponachildseaford.com 516-579-4200 1089 Hicksville Road, Seaford 1/4 Mile North of Southern State Parkway (exit 29N, Rte. 107) Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 11am-5pm • Changing Tables & Dressers • Bassinets & Cradles • Glider Rockers, Book Cases, Toy Boxes FurnitureFurniture • Newborn to Size 14 (0-12 months must have tags) • Play Clothes • Dresswear & Outerwear ClothingClothing • High Chairs & Swings • Gates • Pack N Plays, Bouncy Seats, Walkers, Exersaucers EquipmentEquipment • Children’s Books • Infant-Preschool Toys • Outdoor Toys • Puzzles Books and ToysBooksToys Clothing must be in good condition, of current style, freshly laundered and neatly organized in boxes or other folding containers. Toys, equipment and furniture items must include all original parts, be clean and in good working condition, and meet all industry safety standards. Because the safety of children is a top priority of Once Upon a Child, we are unable to purchase recalled or retrofitted products. We reserve the right to refuse items based on condition, current inventory levels and past experience.
Bring in your nearly new kid’s stuff, and we’ll pay you cash on the spot for all items accepted.
Sell And Trade Gently
• Casual and Dress Shoes • Sleepwear
All equipment and toys must be less than 5 years old and not to be recalled Kid’s Stuff With Previous ExperienceTM Used Items Buy Back Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-1pm Visit our Website at onceuponachildseaford.com 516-579-4200 1089 Hicksville Road, Seaford 1/4 Mile North of Southern State Parkway (exit 29N, Rte. 107) Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 11am-5pm • Changing Tables & Dressers • Bassinets & Cradles • Glider Rockers, Book Cases, Toy Boxes FurnitureFurniture • Newborn to Size 14 (0-12 months must have tags) • Play Clothes • Dresswear & Outerwear ClothingClothing • High Chairs & Swings • Gates • Pack N Plays, Bouncy Seats, Walkers, Exersaucers EquipmentEquipment • Children’s Books • Infant-Preschool Toys • Outdoor Toys • Puzzles Books and ToysBooksToys Clothing must be in good condition, of current style, freshly laundered and neatly organized in boxes or other folding containers. Toys, equipment and furniture items must include all original parts, be clean and in good working condition, and meet all industry safety standards. Because the safety of children is a top priority of Once Upon a Child, we are unable to purchase recalled or retrofitted products. We reserve the right to refuse items based on condition, current inventory levels and past experience. Jack Joel Center for Special Children (HLVS), is a not-for pro��� program that provides services fo r infants a nd children up to 12 years of age with learning, language, 750 Hicksville Road, Seaford, NY 11783 • 516.520.6000 • �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������rogram that provides services for infants and children up to 12 years of age with learning, language, and social delays, moto�� ������������ ���� ������ ����� ��������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���� ���������� ��� ������� �� �������������� ������ ��� ������������ ����������� ����� ��� ��������� ��� ������������ ���� ��� ������� ��� ���� ������ ������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Providing Services for Over 50 Years! Related Services: • Speech • ����� • Parent Training • Family Support Services ���������� ����������������� (Birth–3) SEIT ������������ Services ABA Home Programs • • • • • Special Ed Classes: • Preschool (3-5) • School age (5-12) • Inclusion Jack Joel Center for Special Children (HLVS), is a not-for pro��� program that provides services fo r infants a nd children up to 12 years of age with learning, language, 750 Hicksville Road, Seaford, NY 11783 • 516.520.6000 • �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ro gram that pro vides services for infants and c hildren up to 12 years of age with learning, language, and social delays , moto�� ������������ ���� ������ ����� ��������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���� ���������� ��� ������� �� �������������� ������ ��� ������������ ����������� ����� ��� ��������� ��� ������������ ���� ��� ������� ��� ���� ������ ������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Providing Services for Over 50 Years! Related Services: • Speech • ����� • Parent Training • Family Support Services ���������� ����������������� (Birth–3) SEIT ������������ Services ABA Home Programs • • • • • Special Ed Classes: • Preschool (3-5) • School age (5-12) • Inclusion

their attention span, focus, ability to count sequentially and share toys, and other factors.

If your child will be in preschool this year, whether he’s a new student or currently enrolled, Levey recommends the following resolutions for 2023:

Be Happy! Don’t leave your child at the door of his classroom looking like you’re about to cry. Wear a smile and go cry at Starbuck’s.

Homework : Find out what is going on in school and reinforce it at home. For example, if teachers have the kids washing their hands and dumping their snacks after finishing, do that at home, too.

Get Involved: Help with the school’s bake sell. Or go on a school trip. Things like this are not only beneficial for you, your child and the school...it’s also fun! And of course, parents/caregivers should arrive at school on time to drop their children off or pick them up.

Choosing to keep your kiddo home at this age? You’re not alone! Many parents choose this route for a variety of reasons. Check out these positive parenting tips from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that you can use to create your preschool-age New Year’s resolution list and help ensure a successful education for your child.

A Resolution List for Elementary, Middle and High-School Students

In NYC, kids enter kindergarten in the fall of the calendar year they turn 5. Elementary and middle school is the crux of their academic career, and should give them a great foundation for high school, college, trade school and eventually their chosen profession.

“I tell my daughter that her education is important for her success. There’s so much to be learned from school,” said Madeline Elena Vidal, whose daughter is in fourth grade. “Her education is important now, especially if she plans on going to college to further pursue anything. She also knows that college isn’t mandatory. Going to a trade school is also an option.”

Just like in preschool, it’s important to be involved in your child’s school work at the elementary and high-school levels. Gabrielle Gambrell, professor at NYU and Columbia University, says it’s important to devote time to talking about school to become invested in your child’s education.

“As both an educator and a parent, I know firsthand how important it is to show interest in your child’s education,” Gambrell,

who’s also the founder of Gift of Gabrielle, says. “This can be done by devoting time to discussing school with your child, their day, curriculum, classwork, homework, what they are excited about and beyond.”

There should be no interruptions with phones, electronics, or any other distractions. All emphasis should be on having sincere discussions about school and its significance.

“This time will also help you to identify what your child enjoys about school, learn their academic strengths, as well as if your child is struggling with anything or falling behind on their coursework,” Gambrell says. “Use this time to reiterate the significance of education and how proud you are of your child. When parents participate in their children’s schooling it makes a world of difference. During this time, be sure to remind your children to communicate their needs. This is a practice that children can learn early. It’ll help them throughout their academic journey.”

Here are some resolutions that will help your elementary, middle and high-school students this year:

Read Together : If you have younger children, read with them. Read books about starting the school year off right. Books with characters that your children can relate to can help boost their confidence about the year ahead. This allows an opportunity to discuss how your child feels about returning to school in 2023.

“It’s always wonderful to assess how your children are feeling and what they’re thinking about,” Gambrell says. “Be sure to show them that their feelings and thoughts are also your concern. Children should often be reminded

of how much their parents care about them. Reading together is a great way to start important and relevant conversations.”

Create an Environment for Learning : A dedicated home learning environment is instrumental to a child’s success. Does your child have a desk at home? Do you have a dedicated place for homework? Have a dedicated place where your children can sit and learn at home away from distractions.

Stick to a Good Bedtime (and Other Routines) : Routines are paramount to academic success. Setting a time and place for homework surrounded by all necessary supplies is pivotal to success. Receiving proper sleep is instrumental to be fueled for academic success.

“As we all know, getting enough sleep supports your child in feeling their best as it prepares them for a full day of learning,” Gambrell says. “Also, getting to school on time makes a difference in student success. Stay on schedule. The earlier children learn the significance of time management the better.”

Set Goals : Talk to your kids about what they want out of the school year, and what you want. Be a positive force in your child’s life. Affirm their successes. You can also reward your kids for doing well, getting better grades or just improving overall.

Ushindi Lewis, program coordinator at the New Jersey Youth Corps of Middlesex County New Brunswick Public Schools, underscores the importance of the role parents play in their child’s education.

“A parent can help reshape a student’s thinking about learning by encouraging the student to think of learning as a passion,” Lewis says.

Check Your Child’s Assignments : No matter what grade your child is in, parents should resolve to be actively checking assignment books and online assignment/ grading sites, explains Ryan Michele Woods, a teacher at Staten Island Academy with 18 years experience in the NYC Department of Education.

“Kids will often tell you they are on top of things, but in reality are having trouble organizing themselves and are overwhelmed,” Woods says. “Even if they say they can do it on their own, they may not be able to, and often aren’t. To be successful, parents need to be partnering in their accountability. This also prevents surprises at grading time.”

Woods added that this is especially important for upper elementary and middle school students.

16 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023
“Use this time to reiterate the significance of education and how proud you are of your child. When parents participate in their children’s schooling it makes a world of difference.”

January 2023 | Long Island Family 17
Learning Clinic
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Literacy instruction that builds on the learner’s strengths to build confidence and improve reading and writing proficiency
All Literacy Classes taught by New
York state-certified
small-group literacy classes are provided in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere
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2023 CLASSES NOW FORMING For more information, including registration and fall program options, visit hofstra.edu/rwlclinic or call 516-463-5806 SPRING LITERACY PROGRAM Spring2023_RemoteLiteracy_NYMetroParentQtrPg_Vert.indd 1 12/16/22 11:20 AM SPRING SEMESTER begins February 1 90 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY 11030 www.MiliMusic.com • 516.627.7052 Strings, Piano, Voice, Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone Suzuki, Traditional and ABRSM Methods Directors: Carol & Geri Kushner English, Mandarin and Cantonese spoken June 23, 2023 Gala Concert ��������������������������������������������

Bard college at s imon’s rock

Great Barrington, MA 01230 413-644-4400 admit@simons-rock.edu simons-rock.edu

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only college in the country designed for students ready to enter college early and begin working on their BA degree after the 10th or 11th grade. Simon’s Rock offers a liberal arts and sciences curriculum, taught by supportive faculty who are leading scholars in their field. The College grants degrees in more than 35 majors.

Buckley country Day school

2 I.U. Willets Road, Roslyn 516-627-1910 buckleycountryday.com/ Cfortuna@buckleycountryday. com

Buckley Country Day School is an independent, coeducational Columbia University; Teachers’ College affiliate day school providing a superior elementary education in grades Toddler through Eight. Buckley provides the foundation that enables students to achieve their full potential and excel as educated, ethical, and selfconfident individuals. Buckley graduates are well prepared for secondary schools and beyond.

countryside m ontessori school

354 Lakeville Road, lower level, Great Neck 516-466-8422 info@cmsgn.com

Countryside Montessori School offers children, 18 months to 6 years, a wellbalanced and enriched

curriculum which includes traditional subjects, art, and music. They are located on an estate-like setting with an outdoor playground and nature walks. Classrooms are fully equipped and spacious. Countryside Montessori is offering in-person camp for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. There are morning academics for the older children and playtime for all children.

The h agedorn little village school

Jack Joel Center for Special Children

750 Hicksville Road, Seaford 516-520-6000 littlevillage.org jon.feingold@littlevillage.org

The Hagedorn Little Village School is a not-for-profit school highly regarded for providing outstanding educational and therapeutic services for children with a wide range of developmental disabilities. HLVS provides year-round programs and services that include diagnostic evaluations and treatment, early intervention, a preschool, an elementary school, SEIT, and related services.

h ofstra reading/ writing learning clinic

Hofstra University, Hempstead 516-463-6535 hofstra.edu/rwlclinic rwlclinc@hofstra.edu

The Reading/Writing Learning Clinic is dedicated to providing personalized literacy instruction for children and adolescents in a supportive environment. NY State-certified teachers work with students to build their skills as readers and writers. Whether you seek to enhance

your child’s literacy learning experiences or nurture your child’s joy in reading and writing, they will address your learner’s literacy needs and interests.

h oly child academy 25 Store Hill Road Old Westbury, NY 11568 holychildacademy.org Instagram: @holychild_LI 516-626-9300 admissions@hcali.org

Holy Child Academy is Long Island’s only premier, independent Catholic school for children of all faithstoddler through eighth grade. Their creative educators help each child develop a joy for learning by seamlessly integrating a traditional curriculum with technology, fine arts, music, theater, and athletics.

Trinity regional school 1025 Fifth Ave., East Northport, NY 11731 631- 261-5130 trsoffice9346@trinityregional. org trinityregional.org

Trinity Regional School provides a safe community for all learners where all are welcome. The Trinity Regional School family keeps faith as its focus while providing a nurturing environment for students to succeed and prepares them to excel in high school and beyond.

village e ast g ifted 33 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 111, Huntington Station 216 Mineola Avenue, 2nd Fl., Roslyn Heights 631-549-2313 villageeastgifted.com villageeastgifted@gmail.com Is your child gifted?

Village East Gifted (VEG), is celebrating 16 years of academic excellence in the field of gifted education. They offer a rigorous CORE curriculum, covering all subjects, to gifted students ages 2-15. Founder and CEO, Tobi J Phillips, Ed.D. (cert.) trademarked her teaching methodology and curriculum which is highly-creative and intellectually-challenging.

winston Prep long i sland 30 Deforest Road, Dix Hills 631-779-2400 kpreston@winstonprep.edu Winston Preparatory School

Long Island is a leading school for students with learning differences,including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorders. Learn more about their nationally recognized program at winstonprep.edu.

ymca of long i sland 855-2YMCALI (962254) Bay Shore, East Hampton, Glen Cove, Holtsville, Huntington, and Patchogue ymcali.org Childcare@ymcali.org

ENROLLING NOW! Preschool and School Age Child Care Programs. At the YMCA of Long Island, they believe the values and skills learned at an early age are vital building blocks for future success. Their early childhood/ preschool programs provide a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn, grow and develop social skills.

The Before/After School Programs support children in reaching their full potential by providing academic support and enrichment experiences for grades Kindergarten through 5th-6th Grade. Register: ymcali.org/childcare

18 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023 E DUCATI on D IRECT o R y | Special Advertising Supplement
Visit newyorkfamily.com to explore our site and sign up for our weekly newsletters! Check us out Online

Winston Prep Long Island

Choosing the right school for your child with a learning difference is essential. Winston Preparatory School Long Island, located in Dix Hills, is part of Winston Prep’s national network of schools that offer a highly individualized learning environment for students grades 4-12 with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD).

At Winston Prep Long Island, emphasis is put on discovering who each student is, what their strengths and learning needs are and, based on their learning profile, designing an individualized curriculum that is grounded in on-going evaluation by a team of expert faculty and staff. The feedback from Winston Prep parents is often that, for the first time, their child is being understood. While their child is learning and excelling, parents are comforted by the fact that they have found a community

where their child belongs and thrives.

Winston Prep’s Continuous Feedback process is designed to gain a deeper understanding of the students, facilitating constant assessment, remediation, and analysis of each student’s response to their individualized program -- while

building a strong community. This process is accompanied by Winston Prep’s Focus Program, where every student receives one-to-one instruction daily with their highly trained Focus Instructor to target important individualized goals remediating their greatest needs.

Winston Prep’s graduation statistics are stellar and they speak to the strength of the education method. Winston Prep’s high school graduation rate is 99.7% whereas about 18% of students with learning differences nationwide drop out of school. Over 80% of Winston Prep high school graduates enroll in a college or university program, while the average nationally is 33%.

Learn more about Winston Prep’s unique program and join an in-person open house: https://www.winstonprep.edu/ our-campuses/long-island or contact the Admissions Director Michele Bellatoni at mbellatoni@winstonprep.edu.

January 2023 | Long Island Family 19 New York FamilY partN er

Rocking by the Sound

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame opens its doors in Stony Brook

On Friday, November 25th, the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame opened to the public for the first time.

Spanning two floors, music fans and history buffs alike can explore memorabilia and artifacts loaned and donated by some of the area’s biggest artists like Blue Oyster Cult, Neil Diamond, and The Ramones. Although the organization was established in 2004 and has been inducting members since, this marks the first physical location for LIMEHOF.

“We are thrilled our organization has found a permanent home in such a wonderful location” said Ernie Canadeo, Chairman, LIMEHOF. “We’re excited to be able to share our world-class displays and unique

(left to right) a display of posters at the new long island music and entertainment Hall of Fame. children’s television duo carole and Paula from the magic Garden. Joan-Jett’s first car and Billy Joel’s motorcycle.

memorabilia collection that showcases Long Island’s rich and diverse musical and entertainment history in new and exciting ways. We feature different and exciting exhibits, displays, videos and education offerings that make the center a dynamic place for people to visit on a regular basis.”

The first floor of the museum offers visitors an up close look at several costumes worn by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Joan Jett’s first car- a 1983 XJ-S H.E. Jaguar, and Billy Joel’s Harley Davidson, which he’s been known to drive around the North Shore.

Everywhere you look there is something to discover- from the walls covered in the history of musicians that make up the Long Island scene, to the vintage concert posters hanging overhead, to the decals on the floor with fun factoids. The space is maximized for guests to soak in as much as they can.

Take a trip up to the second floor where you will find awards belonging to inductees, instruments, and even more memorabilia. See a pair of signed Adidas sneakers from the groundbreaking hip hop group Run-DMC, letters from fans to iconic children’s television duo Carole and Paula of the Magic Garden, and one of television, radio, and music star

Perry Como’s Emmy awards. There are also monitors playing historical performances, as well as a separate theater with seating for screenings.

LIMEHOF encompasses the areas of Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, with the goal to preserve and celebrate local musical heritage for future generations. To date, the organization has inducted more than 100 musicians, music industry executives, and venues that have helped shape music as we know it today. Not only is the organization looking to honor the past, but also to invest in the future by offering educational programs and scholarships, and awards to Long Island students and educators.

what you n eed to k now location: LIMEHOF is located at 97 Main St. in Stony Brook. hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 5 pm.

Tickets: Adult $19.50, Seniors (65+) and Veterans $17.00, Students (w/ ID) $15.00. Children under 12 are free. Tickets can be purchased online and at the door. website: www.limusichalloffame.org

20 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023
FamilY Fun
Photo by s hara levine
January 2023 | Long Island Family 21 FREE Parenting Webinars coming soon - Sign up now! Modeling a Loving, Equal Partnership for Your Kids With American sexologist Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D. Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, 5 p.m. ET Presents Register for FREE at NewYorkFamily.com/LIParentEd Past Forward: The Legacy of Racism in Modern-Day America With Jeffery Robinson and Khalil Gibran Muhammad Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, 4 p.m. ET NURSERY & PRE-K PROGRAM (3-5 YEAR OLDS) Faith filled nurturing environment Music, art, PE, and technology Robust academic foundation Affordable tuition Interactive/hands-on learning ELEMENTARY PROGRAM (KINDERGARTEN-5TH GRADE) Sacramental preparation STREAM program Academic rigor 1-1 Chromebooks Clubs during lunch and after school Confirmation preparation Regents Algebra and Living Environment Interscholastic sports Comprehensive high school preparation Musical/theater productions MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM (6TH-8TH GRADE) 6:00-8:00pm 10:00am-12:00pm All are welcome! RSVP to the Main Office (631) 261-5130 or visit our website trinityregional.org/open-house-and-admissions-1 Join us for one of our open house events! TRINITY REGIONAL SCHOOL NURSERY-8TH GRADE · EAST NORTHPORT, NY Mommybites.com provides expertly curated resources for all parents in the New York area, including our most popular feature — our mom-generated nanny board — the best online source for parents to find vetted (by other parents), experienced nannies and childcare providers who want to work in New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Northern New Jersey. Visit Mommybites.com; we can’t wait to see you there! is now part of

Where to See Stars

Helpful tips and cool places for stargazing in New York

New York City is full of bright lights, but nothing quite matches the glow of the night sky, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than stargazing. Stargazing is a great way to appreciate the night sky in a new way, especially if you have little aspiring astronomers in the family.

Getting started with stargazing might seem intimidating at first, especially if you don’t know much about stars, constellations or space. But you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy looking at the night sky! Stargazing can be a fun activity for the whole family, regardless of your level of expertise.

Here are some tips for stargazing for beginners, plus some spots in New York to stargaze as a family!


What’s In the Sky

Get an idea of what the sky’s going to look like before heading out for a stargazing session.

It’s best to stargaze before a full moon, so look at the moon phase when you’re picking a date. You’ll also see different constellations depending on what time of year and time of night you go out, so look at a star map to get an idea of what you’ll be seeing.

While you’re at it, be sure to check the weather before heading out. Nothing ruins a night of stargazing like a sky full of clouds.

Download an App

A stargazing app can be helpful as you and your family scan the sky. Many of them cost money, but there are plenty of free or cheap options if you’re more of a casual stargazer. Some good options for beginners include SkyView or Star Rover.

Expensive Equipment Not Required

Having an expensive telescope is not a requirement for stargazing, especially if you’re just starting out. An old pair of binoculars will do the trick. They’ll be more

than enough to magnify the night sky and allow you to see things you may not have been able to see before.

Get to know the night sky before taking the plunge and buying a telescope. If you decide later on that you want to take your stargazing to the next level, do some research when deciding what telescope is best for you and your family.

Dress and Pack Accordingly

You are going to need to dress for the weather when going out for a night of stargazing. New York nights are chilly until kate Spring, so be prepared to layer up with sweaters, cold gear, winter coats, scarves, hats, gloves and anything else you typically need to stay warm.

Bring a few blankets for extra warmth

and to give yourself some protection from the ground if you choose to lie down to look at the stars.

Find An Astronomy Club

There are a ton of clubs for amateur astronomers, which are a great resource if you’re looking to get into stargazing yourself. For example, the New York-based Amateur Astronomers Association (aaa.org0 offers classes, lectures and public observation sessions throughout the year. Joining a group like this is a great way to get more involved with stargazing alongside a new community.

You can also follow astronomers on social networking sites like Twitter. Often, they’ll tweet about cosmic events coming up or where and how you can see celestial points of interest.

22 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023
Family night out

Stargazing Spots in New York

Believe it or not, there are some great stargazing spots in New York City. They’re not great for seeing the deepest objects in space, but they’re good for seeing a few bright spots in the sky. If you’re looking to see more in the sky, we’ve also included some spots outside of the city.

Pupin Physics Laboratories Columbia University, Manhattan Home of the physics and astronomy departments at Columbia University, Pupin Hall hosts public outreach astronomy events for the whole family. Drop in for rooftop stargazing every other Friday during the academic year. Check out their Family Astro events, hosted three times a year and targeted towards children with families ages 6 through 12. Be sure to check out their website (outreach.astro.columbia.edu) for the latest news and events.

Vanderbilt Museum & Planetarium 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, New York 11721

The Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium at the Vanderbilt Museum on Long Island offers planetarium shows throughout the week and public stargazing hours in the Observatory on Friday evenings. Their website also offers a comprehensive list of astronomy resources for amateur astronomers of all levels.

Walkway Over the Hudson Walkway West (Highland) Parking lot address is 87 Haviland Rd., Highland, NY, 12528 Walkway East (Poughkeepsie) Parking lot address is 61 Parker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601

If coming on foot- the stairs entrance located at 131 Washington Street in Poughkeepsie This historic site is the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge and a great place to stargaze. Watch the stars shine against the Hudson River and take in the breathtaking views.

Montauk Point State Park 2000 Montauk Highway Montauk, NY 11954

This state park on Long Island is far enough

away from the bright lights of the city to give you a perfect sky for stargazing. If you go at the right time of year, you can even get a glimpse of the Milky Way’s core, which is visible from the Northern Hemisphere around February every year. Gaze up at the stars amid views of the Atlantic where it meets the Block Island Sound.

Harriman State Park

Seven Lakes Dr / Bear Mountain Circle Ramapo, NY 10974

One of the closest state parks to New York City, Harriman State Park in Rockland and Orange counties is full of great locations for stargazing. It’s open year round, so you can always make a trip with your family for some stargazing.

Big Buck Mountain Multiple Use Area Putnam County, NY

There’s no formal trails at Big Buck, but there are 146 acres of land open for primitive camping and exploring. It’s a good choice for stargazing if you and your family are experienced with camping and being outdoors.

January 2023 | Long Island Family 23
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The Mom’s Guide to Quitting your Job

If you’re going 100 miles per hour in a car and you try to smell the roses, you’re going to get whiplash. As a recovering workaholic, I should know. I spent fifteen years as an executive producer in national television news and the entertainment industry, creating content for Netflix, Fox, Us Weekly, Nordstrom, Target, AT&T, and more. For years, I was content being in the center of the rat race, until the day I was in the hospital delivery room, awaiting the imminent birth of my second child. Between the panting and the eagerness of this moment, I found myself on the phone frantically reviewing resumes after a messy corporate acquisition led to some of my 17-person staff fleeing the job. At that instant, as if a lightbulb suddenly turned on, I had my moment of truth: this was not the life I wanted anymore.

Working in media is a nonstop gig, and loyalties aren’t always reciprocated. I’d leveled up in the industry by saying “yes” to everything for more than a decade. Now, as a mother of two, I needed to start saying no and begin prioritizing myself, my family, and my life. And so, nearly cold turkey, I quit, finally removing myself from the neverending hamster wheel of the corporate world. While today I am happier than I’ve ever been both professionally and personally, the first year on my own was filled with doubt, confusion, and feelings of isolation. In the hopes that this advice will help you create a career path that leaves you fulfilled and happy, here are the things I wish I knew when making the decision to quit my corporate career.

1. Identify what you don’t like about your current work situation

Imagine it’s 90 degrees out, and your kids say they don’t like going to the beach or the pool. So then what? Sitting indoors all day will not actually bring them joy, despite

their insistence to the contrary. Likewise, slamming that metal door behind you and marching out of that gray office with no set plan will not bring you the life you want.

Ask yourself: is there something specific you dislike about your job? Or does it extend to your career as a whole? Do you want fewer hours, or would having a boss who doesn’t micromanage you solve your problem?

Answer those questions before handing in your resignation notice.

It was absolutely clear to me that I wanted to work for myself. I wanted control of my career and flexibility within my schedule. I didn’t want to sprint home from the office at 5:30 to steal an hour with my daughter before bed. I didn’t want to pretend to be at a doctor’s appointment to take my son to swim class. I was excited to leave office politics behind and focus on the work. I figured worse comes to worse, I could always find another job in my field if it didn’t work out. However, it still took me two full years to gather up my “3 C’s”: courage, confidence, and clarity, to really do it. It’s okay to take it slow, but not so slow that you’ll be ready to retire by the time you pull the ripcord!

2. Don’t use other people’s definition of success

Dr. Lisa Damour, PhD, host of the podcast Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting says it’s important for you to define your own success:

“It is easy to look at the people around us and think ‘well if they can do that I should be able to do that. Or why am I not doing what they’re doing?’ The question is ‘Can you be your own yardstick’? Can you decide for yourself what would be gratifying?”

For me, in my grasping (and gripping tightly) for a more balanced life, I had some big realizations. I recognized that I had to give up a title and a job that perhaps seemed glamorous to the outside world. Once I removed my ego from the decision and focused on the fact that it was my choice, and that my overall hap-

piness and balance was more important than any title, I felt freer. Ironically, once I set those external measurements aside, that’s when I started earning industry awards!

3. Start networking! I don’t mean meetups in mahogany bars with sad peanuts in small bowls — actually any social interaction can be “networking.” Coffee, wine, volunteering, pickleball session, surfing… you get my point. Any time you’re connecting with others, you’re networking. In deciding how big or small you want to grow your business, and as you begin to price your services, utilize networking to get more insight into what your standards should be. Leadership coach Leah Wiseman Fink says, “Money’s not an ugly dirty topic. Ask your friends and industry peers what they charge, tell what you charge.”

Connect with your first, second and third degree contacts on social media and on email – they will be your biggest cheerleaders and referrers, at least at first. My first big client came from a referral from a professional contact. That led to a long term consulting project and gave me the confidence to tell myself, ‘I can actually do this.’

Networking (or socializing, as it should be reframed) may seem daunting when you’re in transition. Neha Ruch of Mother Untitled, a community for ambitious moms leaning in to family life, has advice on owning your story. When someone asks “What do you do?”, Neha recommends answering with “This is what I’m doing right now. I’m choosing to ___” (and fill in the blank with whatever path you’re on). This comes from a place of choice and a position of power, instead of a position where you’re not wriggling in your seat answering, “Um, I used to be… and now I am sort of …” Own your choice!

4. Get a mom posse Remember when you had your first baby and

24 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023

you felt totally lost, wondering “How do I do this? What did I get myself into?” So you desperately befriended every mom with a stroller?

Find other moms who are working outside the 9-to-5. Your close friends who are climbing the corporate ladder may or may not understand your new challenges.

In my experience, when you tell people you quit your job, some of them will look at you like you have three heads. This is why you must find the people who will celebrate your choice and cheer you on! Other self-employed moms, consultants, stay-at-home moms with side hustles, they will be the ones texting you with balloon emojis when you land a client and grumpy emojis when you’re chasing

down an invoice. (Sorry, yes, those things sometimes happen!)

5. Remember your priorities

Panicking that you made the wrong decision? About to start job-hunting again? Tune out the noise! Sometimes I can still feel the buzzing energy of the ‘rat race’, but I’m trying to stay true to the reasons I decided to work for myself: I wanted more time with my kids and more control over my schedule. If I’m spending 60 hours a week ‘networking’ and posting on social media, why did I make this career change? Surely there is a different and smoother path?

Believe in yourself. You can do it. I promise.

My journey from burnt out media exec to founder of an award-winning video strategy company led me to launch Mom’s Exit Interview, a resource for moms who want to thrive without the 9-to-5. These tips and advice come from the awesome guests on our show – and myself!

Kim Rittberg is the host of Mom’s Exit Interview – http://moms-exit-interview.com and is a Gold Telly Award winner, Webby Honoree, a Content Strategy Expert and Creative Executive Producer in TV, digital video, and audio. She has been a speaker and instructor at PENN, Syracuse, and General Assembly and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School. Visit her website here: Kim Rittberg

January 2023 | Long Island Family 25

Babba Rivera

On paying tribute to her Latin culture as the founder of the clean hair brand Ceremonia, reimagining self-care, sustainability and what it means to be authentic

Ever since I spoke with Babba Rivera (@Babba), Ceremonia founder and mother of two, I couldn’t stop thinking about something she said. When I asked Babba about self-care, she said: “It’s not a destination, it’s a way of living.” When I asked her about sustainability, once again, she said: “It’s not a destination, it’s a way of living.” In our modern day of TikTok wellness influencers who take us through their daily skin-care vlogs, to fashionforward Gen-Zers showing off their vintage wear on Instagram, we’re entering a new era. This era, one where self-care, sustainability, among other things, are seen as everyday practices to be the best version of ourselves, is one that Babba is already familiar with. In fact, she’s leading it in the beauty industry.

Babba is challenging the status quo in these spaces to encourage a new way of thinking– one that requires intentionality and flexibility to grow. Ultra-mini uggs are trending. So what? Glass bottles are a sustainability practice precedent. So what? I learned from Babba that just because something is popular now or was the standard before, doesn’t mean it’s the future, and it definitely doesn’t mean that it’s you. The new era that Babba invites us into is one where we can be our authentic selves, where we are encouraged to tap into our inner creativity and create our world accordingly. Read on to hear how Babba’s brand Ceremonia (@myceremonia) is innovating a lot more than hair care.

Let’s first discuss your Latinx heritage. How has your family and culture influenced your hair care brand?

I am from Sweden and grew up very closely connected to my culture thanks to my parents, both from Chile. I was raised in a Spanish speaking household where Tia’s and Tio’s would come and go as they pleased and salsa played on repeat. Rituals were deeply rooted in my upbringing.

I have many fond memories with my family pertaining to rituals - beauty in particular. My father was a hairdresser back in Chile and would spend hours braiding my long hair, and my mom and aunties would invite me to their beauty practices using natural ingredients they knew and loved from passed down customs. My mother also taught me self-worth by practicing it herself, carving out the space for two hour baths and showers unapologetically as a mom of two. She also led by example in how she treated her skin and hair with nourishing products focusing on moisture and care versus styling and masking. What I loved most was the strong sense of community I learned from home as well as the healthy relationship to beauty I learned from my family as a form of self-care. Through Ceremonia, I pay tribute to my Latin culture because there is so much to be celebrated. From the powerful ingredients that are native to the region, to the rich rituals around beauty as a form of selfcare and self-love, not to mention the attention to care that goes into beauty as a whole.

We also know that self-care is top of mind with your brand. Can you tell us a little more about how you envision wellness and self-care in Ceremonia?

Self-care and wellness, for me, it’s not an end destination. It’s almost a way of living. It’s easy to deprioritize when you’re busy, but that’s when you need it the most. So with Ceremonia, we try to create every day rituals that are attainable, that can be those little pockets of joy throughout your day. One of our best selling Duos, the Sunday Reset Duo, is a papaya scalp scrub and a hair mask with babassu. These two products have become my sacred Sunday reset. Every Sunday, I take a bath and I give myself this deep exfoliating cleanse with the scalp scrub, which is basically a shampoo but more of a treatment shampoo that I use once a week. Then I put on the hair mask, and I let it sit in my hair for 15 minutes. I need to wash my hair that day anyway, but through

this ritual, it’s become a more joyful experience. That’s really what we try to do with the brand: making it possible for people to find every day joy in things that they need to do anyway. Let’s upgrade that experience.

Sustainability is also top of mind for your brand. What does sustainability mean to you, and how do you see it shaping the beauty industry?

Sustainability is such a big topic. For me, it’s similar to self-care: it’s not a destination, it’s a way of living. It’s a way of constantly learning and iterating. There is so much innovation happening within sustainability, which obviously is super cool, but sometimes I feel like the solutions become very gimmick-y and actually not really impactful at scale. It’s more like a thing that consumers can feel good about, and the brands can get a lot of PR around, versus actually having a sustainable impact.

A great example is one of the most common questions we get is: “Why don’t you use glass bottles? That would be more sustainable.” The reality is, it actually is not. We use post-consumer-recycled (PCR) materials. The reason we do that is because when we look at the entire carbon footprint and the recyclability of PCR, it’s much more sustainable than glass. Glass is great if you refill. If you keep the glass bottle in its original shape and you use it over and over again, then it’s more sustainable. But if you’re recycling glass, it’s actually very energy intensive. Not to mention the shipping implications of glass versus something much lighter like PCR. There’s this idea that it’s better if it’s glass because that feels more sustainable, but actually when you look at the bigger picture, is it really? For Ceremonia, it’s a lot about having that balance between perception versus reality, and we try to stick to the reality part. Even though sometimes we spend 5 times more on a solution that is not perceived, necessarily, as super sustainable and we don’t get any “green points”, we know that

26 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023

we’re doing the right thing. We see sustainability more so as our responsibility towards the Earth, not a marketing tool.

How has motherhood influenced your dayto-day life?

It’s influenced me so much. It’s the greatest joy. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, to be quite honest. I was so focused on my career and really terrified of motherhood. I was worried that becoming a mom would compromise my identity and career. What I found is that it’s only been additive. It’s been an addition to my life, versus a limitation. I feel more confident than ever in my own skin. There is this sense of confidence that settles when you have your own children, like nothing else matters. Worst case scenario, I still have my children. It doesn’t matter how this career goes, or I don’t even care if someone is mad at me. I have my children. It’s a very powerful and grounding experience. It’s also made me more productive than ever. I have many more boundaries, and I almost feel like nothing can get to me…except for something with my kids. If my kids are sick, then I’m so worried. So the downfall of motherhood is you’re always worried about your kids. But the plus side is you’re never worried about anything else.

What advice do you have for womxn, particularly those of underrepresented backgrounds, who are thinking of starting their own businesses too?

Do it. The reality is, just like with kids, there’s never such a thing as good timing. I don’t think it’s wise to wait for the perfect time to present itself, because usually you just have to decide for yourself that this is the perfect timing. That’s how it goes with any decision. There are no decisions that are right or wrong. It’s just how you decide to perceive them.

About starting a business though, I will say that it’s liberating, but also very intense. Ask yourself why you want to run your own business. What’s the mission behind it? What’s the purpose? Then make sure you’re setting yourself up for success to live up to that purpose. There are people that start businesses because they want to work less. That’s fine, then you’re setting up the business according to that. Then there are people that start businesses because they want to make a lot of money. Okay, how will you do that? Just be honest with yourself about why you’re doing it, and that will help guide all of the decisions.

This article has been edited for clarity and brevity. To read the piece in its entirety, please visit newyorkfamily.com.

January 2023 | Long Island Family 27
Photo by Yumi Matsuo


experience disney on ice at the usB a rena on Jan. 5 to 8.

N assau

Disney on ice: into the magic

when : Jan. 5-8, Thursday and Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 11am, 3pm, and 7pm; Sunday, 12pm and 4pm where: UBS Arena, 2400 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont ages: All whaT: This action-packed extravaganza features the stars of Disney’s Moana, Frozen, Coco and Beauty and the Beast

with other beloved Disney characters.

wanT To go?: Tickets start at $20, ubsarena.com

The rainbow fish musical when : Jan. 15-16, Sunday, 12pm; Monday, 11am where: The Showplace at Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore ages: 5-8 whaT: Find out why it’s far better to be admired for being kind than for being beautiful.

wanT To go?: $15. 516-5996870, plazatheatrical.com

creature feature when : Jan. 16-20, Monday and Friday, 1:30-2:30pm where: Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center, West End 2- Jones Beach State Park 150 Bay Parkway, Wantagh ages: All whaT: Learn about the reptiles that call the Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center home and meet them, too.

wanT To go?: $4. 516-8098222, jonesbeachenc.org

hot wheels monster Trucks live- glow Party when : Jan. 21-22, Saturday, 12:30pm and 7:30pm; Sunday, 2:30pm where: Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale ages: All whaT: Experience the thrill of watching your favorite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks in the

28 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023


wanT To go?: Tickets start at $40 516-654-8203, nassaucoliseum.com

lightwire Theater presents The adventures of Tortoise and hare: The next gen

when : Saturday, Jan. 28, 2pm where: Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post/720 Northern Blvd., Brookville ages: 4 and older whaT: Dazzling blacklight technology, poignant storytelling and the creative use of music from classical to pop, help continue Aesop’s classic fable. wanT To go?: $19-$42. 516299-3100, tillescenter.org

nai- ni chen Dance company in celebration of the year of the rabbit when : Sunday, Jan. 29, 7pm where: Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post/720 Northern Blvd., Brookville ages: All whaT: Welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year in a spectacular production of colorful costumes, mesmerizing, fantastic acrobatics and lively dance! wanT To go?: $32-$52. 516299-3100, tillescenter.org

su FFol K

it’s chinese new year, curious george Book launch Party when : Saturday, Jan. 7, 2-3:30pm where: Huntington Public Library Main Building, 338 Main St., Huntington ages: Newborn-5 whaT: Celebrate the launch of this new book and learn about Chinese New Year traditions and make Chinese New Year crafts.

wanT To go?: 631-427-5165, myhpl.libnet.info

snow globe family workshop

when : Saturday, Jan. 14, Drop in Program, 1-3pm where: The Whaling Museum and Education Center, 301 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor

ages: 5 and older whaT: Use clay, glitter, and other materials to design and create a wintry whale scene inside of a shimmering snow globe. Recommended for ages 5+.

wanT To go?: $6; $5 seniors 62 and older and children 4-18; free for children 3 and younger PLUS $10 and $5 for members. 631-367-3418, cshwhalingmuseum.org

storytime under the stars when : Sunday, Jan. 15, 6-7pm where: Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport ages: Newborn-5 whaT: Children are invited to wear their coziest pajamas and see their favorite bedtime storybooks come to life!

wanT To go?: $8; $6 members. 631-854-5579, vanderbiltmuseum.org

house That Jack Built when : Jan. 21-Feb. 4, Saturdays, 11am; 1/29 at 3pm where: Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson ages: 3-8 whaT: See this delightful collection of stories inspired by the Brothers Grimm and Aesop’s Fables.

wanT To go?: $10. 631-9289100, theatrethree.com

Broadway family favorites

when : Sunday, Jan. 22, 3pm where: The Argyle Theatre, 34 West Main Street, Babylon ages: All whaT: This celebration of musical theatre includes performances from Frozen, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid and more. wanT To go?: Tickets start at $54. 844-631-5483, argyletheatre.com


wonderland Dreams by alexa meade

when : Nov. 28 - April 8, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 12-7:30pm; Fridays, 10am-8pm; Saturdays, 10am-8:pm; Sundays, 10am-7:30pm where: Wonderland Dreams, 529 5th Avenue, Murray Hill ages: All whaT: Fall down the rabbit hole into a world of secret rose gardens, mad tea parties, in a living gallery that puts you inside the artwork. wanT To go?: Tickets start at $27, wonderlanddreams.com

2023 chinese new year fiesta - immerse in suzhou culture

when : Sunday, Jan. 8, 1-4pm where: China Institute, 125 E. 65th St., Upper East Side ages: All whaT: Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with authentic Chinese cultural experiences including the lion dance, workshops, activities, and more.

wanT To go?: $15; free for students and members, chinainstitute.org

musical explorers family concerts

when : Saturday, Jan. 14, 12pm and 3pm (pre-show activities 1 hour before performances) where: Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave., Midtown ages: 4-8 whaT: Meet artists from around the world with magnetic personalities who lead this vibrant, highly interactive concert for children. wanT To go?: Tickets start at $15, carnegiehall.org

DiscoverBoating new york Boat show when : Jan. 25-29, Wednesday-Friday, 12-8pm; Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm where: Jacob Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St., Chelsea ages: All whaT: Experience the best of the boating life with travel talks, indoor water activities for all ages, and the largest selection of new boats and marine gear in the tri-state area.

wanT To go?: $20; Children 12 years and younger allowed in FREE with a paid adult admission, nyboatshow.com

lunar new year celebration

when : Saturday, Jan. 28, 12-4pm where: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing ages: All whaT: Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with lion dance performances, zodiac-themed crafts and storytime, and more! wanT To go?: $5 suggested donation. $15 parking rate in effect. 718-886-3800, queensbotanical.org

January 2023 | Long Island Family 29 JAN uARY calendar
make a snow globe at the Whaling musuem in cold s print Harbor on Jan. 14.

Balancing Sports and Activities

The right fit for your child

As we move into winter, I have been spending my free time researching sports classes and extracurricular activities my kids will be doing this season.

I hadn’t planned it this way. I am a former Sports Mom, think stage mom of all things sports and after school, and this would be me. My mother never pushed my sisters and me to do sports. But my father was outdoorsy, and we did everything from track and skateboarding to racquetball and volleyball. And when my oldest son was a toddler, I enrolled him in his first soccer class. Watching him and his teammates figure out where exactly the ball was to go and why they couldn’t tackle or eat the netting was adorable.

Then it got serious. As the kids became older, they became more passionate, which meant more practice time and all-around parent involvement wasn’t just for a Saturday morning -practice weekdays were required. After soccer, we did basketball, flag football and then gymnastics. My son excelled in gymnastics, and I started to think – Olympics. Gold! But he hated it. He felt he was being pushed too hard, and the truth is, he was.

My youngest, who is autistic, had significant needs post-pandemic, requiring a lot of educational catch-ups and one on one time. And privately, as this ‘super sports mom,’ I was becoming unhinged with all that was on my plate. So we took some time off. This move was the best thing we could have done as a family. We focused on the youngest, his therapies and getting him into a specialty school. My oldest still participated in his afterschool activities, but as far as anything extra, we ceased it all for a bit. Having this time off also helped me get some perspective and realize it should always be about the kids and doing things they love.

And now, post-pandemic, post-time off, we are back. And here is why...we missed it. The practices, the running out the door early on Saturday mornings, even the snow days where I used to curse the weather as we trudged through the snow. But the truth is these kids wake up at dawn. Why not get out the door and be productive? And participating in a sport or an extracurricular

activity has enormous benefits.

Participating in a sport or extracurricular activity helps our kids to learn to communicate better, something they lacked during the pandemic. I can’t think of a better way for them to work on their social skills and come together with a group of kids of the same age (some from different schools!) and be part of a team or fine-tune a craft. Also, activities are not just sports; this is New York, where art, dance, theater classes (and more!) are plentiful. I am excited and nervous about all the future running around and the evening practices. But we’re ready and prepared to go with the flow and enjoy the ride. See you there!

Here are a few tips I learned during our hiatus:

For kids old enough, keep them involved . I never asked my son what he wanted to do. When one activity wasn’t his thing, we just moved on to the next. I never considered that maybe he didn’t like sports. He was excelling in afterschool classes of theater and dance and yet I continued to put him in sports classes. During our year break, I stopped pushing, and now he lets me know what classes he would like to try.

Step back if you have overscheduled your kids . If the classes, activities or weekend sports leave you or your family feeling like you’re losing it, step back. This doesn’t mean quitting. Skip a game or two. Talk to the coach and tell them you’ll miss a few classes. Take some time to ask why this is not enjoyable. Finish the class if you can, set new limits and work within the limitations you set up for your family when choosing the next set of classes and activities.

Ease up during the classes and games

We need to lighten up as parents, and I am as guilty as the next. In the past, my husband was the assistant coach for my son’s soccer team, which put added pressure on my son. The games, especially if the team lost, could be intense. Have fun. It’s only worth the stress if you have a future NCAA player and your kid is determined to make this something more. Work on having a healthy sense of competitive balance, especially in sports, so your child sees you are happy, win or lose.

Know your bandwidth . Learning from past mistakes — I am scheduling classes and activities close to home and maybe mixing it up, some afterschool fun, a weekend here and there, or a one-off or two class.

30 NewYorkFamily.com | January 2023
Extracurricular activitiEs
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