Westchester Family - February 2023

Page 1

Power of emPathy

Why kids utilizing emotional skills may be the cure for bullying

education listings

We Lucie

Lucie Fink on her unique professional journey, her relatable postpartum experience, and how she balances her family’s privacy

smile!

Dentists share tips on keeping your kids’ teeth healthy

February 2023

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10 | Parenting

Talking to kids about miscarriage

26 | cover: lucie Fink

Lucie Fink’s on her unique professional journey, her relatable postpartum experience, and how she’s balancing being a public figure with keeping her family’s privacy intact

stories & colUmns

6 | editor’s l etter

8 | a sk the e xpert

Peaceful Parenting and how it works

12 | education

Everything you need to know about Catholic Schools

16 | h ealth Keeping kids’ teeth healthy

18 | Family Fun Kids’ Night on Broadway

20 | s potlight Meet Mildred Agbana of Mimaami Organics

22 | Family Day o ut American Girl store guide

24 | a sk the e xpert

Why empathy is the key to preventing bullying

30 | crafts Valentine’s Day Hot Air Balloon

Family FU n

28 | c alendar

All the fun events and activities for February

Directories

14 | Private s chool listings on the cover

Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com

Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com

Cover Story written by: Cris Pearlstein

Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd

4 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023 February 2023 WestchesterFamily.com contents pg. 26 pg. 16 pg. 12 pg.28 pg. 30
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We Love February

Spring may be around the corner, but winter lingers, yet the days are becoming brighter. This means it is a great time to check out a local event (page 28) or curl up on the couch and read our latest issue; happy February!

Teeth brushing and dental care for the kids starts early, and there are some great hacks to keeping those new teeth in good shape - our Dental Partners (page 16) share how to keep kids’ teeth healthy.

Bullying, unfortunately, impacts many kids daily, whether through social channels or IRL. It frankly sucks, and any form of it is heartbreaking. We asked experts to

weigh in, and they shared the simple answer: compassion. Check out this must-read, Why Empathy is the Key to Bullying (page 24.)

We love this month’s cover mom Lucie Fink (page 26) who is also a native of Westchester! Our Editor at Large, Cris Pearlstein, chatted with this new mom and prolific content creator on her unique professional journey, her relatable postpartum experience and balancing being a public figure with keeping her family’s privacy intact.

Publisher: Clifford Luster

e xecutive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd

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Goldberg-Peck, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Cara Roteman, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli

marketing & s trategy Director: Rosalia Bobé

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marketing a ssistant: Tilejah Gilead

art Director: Leah Mitch

Web Develo P er: Sylvan Migdal

g raP hic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti

eD itors at large:

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6 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023 editor’s note Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily get in touch
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What is Peaceful Parenting?

We all know parenting can be challenging which is why many of us parents love to share and commiserate about what is and is not working in our parenting journeys. Maybe you chatted or heard about the Peaceful Parenting Revolution, and if the words ‘parenting’ and ‘revolution’ pique your interest — you’re not alone. But what exactly is it? Is it doing yoga with the kids or burning some sage?

We connected with parenting expert and author of the new book The Peaceful Parenting (R)evolution , Kiva Schuler, the Founder & CEO of The Jai Institute for Parenting (jaiinstituteforparenting.com), where Kiva trains parenting coaches to help families parent with compassion, balance and communication.

What is the Peaceful Parent Revolution?

In today’s chaotic world, there is a need for a radically different approach to parent-

ing. One that helps parents and children create a life-long bond by accessing emotional intelligence, conscious communication, and an understanding of our children as evolving human beings. The Peaceful Parenting (R) evolution redefines the way parents support their children as they face the complex challenges of this world.

The real change that Peaceful Parenting advocates is that parents shift their role from disciplinarian to being our child’s mentor and guide. Traditional parenting strategies like punishments, arbitrary consequences (meaning the consequence isn’t directly related to the mistake our child made) and “tough love” aren’t necessary to teach children values, boundaries, rules and morals.

Today, more than ever, our children need us to be their safe-harbor, knowing that they can trust us to support them through the ups and downs of life.

When we give children what they need, they will give us what we need. The shift to Peaceful Parenting creates a family system

where every person in the family’s feelings and needs matter, and families thrive.

In what way do parents (unintentionally) bring their generational trauma into their parenting?

One of the biggest myths of parenting is that it “comes naturally.” But what actually comes naturally is affected by the way we were parented. Especially in moments of highstress, overwhelm, exhaustion or conflict.

Our emotional reactivity is the outcome of the culture we experienced in the home we grew up in. Whether you avoid conflict at all costs or you’re always ready for a fight, you likely learned this from your early environment.

If you grew up in a family of yellers, you yell. If you grew up in a family that simmered in silence, you simmer. Unhealthy conflict strategies create disconnection, resentment and have an impact on our nervous system, keeping us in a constant state of fight or flight.

Unchecked, we pass these unhealthy communication strategies down, generation

8 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
ask the e xpert
An expert shares on building stronger, more balanced communication between generations

after generation, even if we want to act differently. The good news is that we all have access to something called neuroplasticity. This means that with intention and practice we can learn new ways of relating to our children, and break any generational cycles of harm that impacted us as children.

Is it possible to transform your parenting style with older kids?

One of the things that we hear from parents all of the time is “I wish I had this information when my kids were younger!!” But truly, it’s never too late to repair the relationship with our children, even if they are teens or adults. It requires three things:

1) Vulnerability

The first step in regaining trust and connection is a willingness to speak to the reality and truth of our awareness of the past. This takes tremendous courage. But for your child to hear – from you – that you recognize the mistakes you’ve made and are open to hearing their experience lays the foundation for a new relationship to emerge.

2) A willingness to listen without getting defensive

Defensiveness is a natural response to shame. But it serves its purpose, and creates a wall between people. It’s helpful to think of yourself as an interviewer in these relationship-rebuilding conversations. Ask a lot of questions! Things like:

“What was it like for you?”

“How did you feel when ____ happened?”

“Tell me more.”

“What do you wish things were like?”

You’ll probably notice a tightening in your chest or heat rising in your face. Just breathe and resist the urge to negate, explain, justify or give context. Just listen.

Let their words sink in. The simple act of being willing to just listen is a gift your child will relish. It’s truly what they’ve been longing for the whole time. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel had your parents been willing to do this for you?

3) Patience

When our children are older they’ve stockpiled a lot of evidence about who we are and how we treated them. Repairing relationships takes time. It may take several of these empowered conversations over the course of months or even years for the relationship to heal.

In my book I share a story about a very difficult experience I had with my own daughter when she was 14. She was justifiably

furious with me. But I was trapped in believing that I was doing the right thing because of my own fears and beliefs. Once I realized what I had done, and used the framework above, it took almost a year for her to come back to me with an open heart. I am so grateful to have had the support of one of our parenting coaches at The Jai Institute for Parenting, because I now have an incredible connection with my daughter.

This experience strengthened our relationship. We learned to trust, hear and forgive each other. This is the foundation of the intimacy that I believe all parents truly want with their children.

What tools can new parents exercise when they lack a foundation/understanding of peaceful parenting?

One of the biggest misconceptions of Peaceful Parenting is that it is permissive parenting. Effective peaceful parents set boundaries, make rules and have expectations of their children’s behavior.

The difference is that we don’t use any tools of manipulation, shame, punishment or threats to instill these valuable life lessons in our children. The idea that we have to cause our children pain and suffering to teach them to be good people defies logic. Power-over strategies perpetuate so much of the suffering we see in the world.

We don’t need to look at children to see

that they don’t work. We can simply look at adults: how we judge other people… or become people-pleasers because we learned this was how to get our needs met when we were kids… or become demanding because now we’re the grownups and we finally get to have the power.

So the first tool would be the recognition that the power-over strategies of traditional parenting cause unnecessary pain. Next, I would recommend simply getting curious about why we believe that we have to treat our children this way for them to learn. Is it possible that they could learn the same things without compromising the trust and connection in the relationship we have with them?

We can absolutely parent peacefully without compromising our role as parents.

What principles do you use in your parenting?

As the founder of a Peaceful Parenting institute, I feel extraordinarily lucky to have had these tools as I’ve raised my children. They are 16 & 18 now, and I get to reap the rewards of doing the work of becoming a better person in the name of raising good people. I’d say these are the core three principles that have guided us through:

1) Trust :

I trust them to be able to create solutions for their challenges. The way children learn to make good decisions is to make decisions (and sometimes bad ones!). So I don’t rescue them from their challenges. I’ve learned to talk less and listen more. And to step back to make room for their confidence to grow.

2) Honesty :

Children can handle anything when we tell them the truth. They are so incredibly smart and wise, when given the chance to be. Our family has experienced our share of adversity, from divorce and financial struggles, to illness and death. I’ve learned that being direct and honest with my kids about what is really going on allows them to feel safe and respected.

2) Fun :

Parenting is no easy feat. So it’s really important to remember to make as much time and energy for fun as possible. Whether it’s impromptu dance parties in the kitchen or one of my favorite family activities: speed cleaning the kitchen after dinner (can we do it in under six minutes?!!) These moments strengthen the relationship I have with my kids and fill our cups for the more challenging situations that arise.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 9
The Peaceful Parenting (R)evolution: Changing the World by Changing How We Parent by Kiva Schuler is available now! Kiva Schuler, author of The Peaceful Parenting (R)evolution @lindsayhite

Talking to Kids About Miscarriage

Sharing the loss of a baby with siblings is often unbearable for parents who are grappling with emotions and trying to process the tragedy themselves. “Many parents question if they should share this info with their children at all,” says Dr. Lauren Starnes, a child development expert and chief academic officer for The Goddard School, “but it’s a critical conversation to have if a child is expecting a baby to come into the home and they will no longer be arriving as expected.”

Young children lack perception so their thoughts, ideas, and concerns might be worse than reality. “Talking to them helps them make sense of what they are seeing,” says Dr. Starnes. Here, her advice for one of life’s hardest conversations.

Practice & Plan (What You Can)

As with all tough convos, it helps to think through what you’ll say, plus where and when you should have it. “Talk in a place where your child is most comfortable and when he or she is well rested to maximize their attention and focus,” suggests Dr. Starnes. This means not interrupting their play (at least for the initial convo) and minimizing distractions. Reading a book with your child can help open up the dialogue more naturally, too.

Because this convo can be very difficult for parents, Dr. Starnes recommends taking time to prepare in advance. “Parents can practice with another adult or write down the words,” she says. And if it’s too painful, having another person speak with your child is a perfectly acceptable solution. Dr. Starnes says, “The most important thing is letting your child know and giving them the opportunity to process and ask questions.”

Be Direct, Even When It’s Hard

Young kids don’t understand pregnancy and childbirth from an emotional perspective because they have concrete ideas of what is. Dr. Starnes suggests starting with a simple statement about what has happened and how you feel. For example, I think you saw me crying. Mommy/Daddy and I are sad because we are not going to have a new baby right now.

We both love you very much. The goal is to share the important information and reassure your child.

Dr. Starnes says it’s also important to avoid euphemisms, like gone to a better place, and clearly label the emotions to help children understand what they’re seeing and why. You can say, It makes me feel sad because I wanted to have a brother or sister for you. “You don’t need to share too much detail. Be simple and matter of fact,” says Dr. Starnes.

Pause So Kids Can Process

Adults tend to be uncomfortable with silence, but it’s important to resist the urge to keep talking. “We need to give children time to think about the words and any questions they have,” says Dr. Starnes. “They need to think and respond–or not. Silence as a response is totally okay.” Their response really depends on their verbal skills, their own life experience, how much exposure they’ve had to the idea of siblings and how much they knew about the baby on the way.

By pausing, parents also have a chance to take a breath and observe their child. Some children will physically exit the convo, while others may fidget or show they’re actively thinking. Parents can ask a simple follow-up question like, Are you okay? Do you have any

questions for me? How are you feeling? to allow them to respond if they wish.

Let Kids Control The Convo

It’s important to give your child control and let them own the conversation. As long as your child is having questions and showing interest, follow their lead but be mindful not to force a response.

“You know your child and their emotional level, so trust what you’re seeing and experiencing,” says Dr. Starnes.

Parents should also revisit the conversation at least once because the child may not be sure how to bring it back up. “Young children are curious and it takes them a while to process what they’ve seen and heard,” says Dr. Starnes. “This shows the child it’s okay to talk about and gives kids the chance to ask unresolved questions.” You can say, Yesterday I told you X, do you have any questions or do you want to talk about that?

Expect The Unexpected

Young children aren’t always aware of what should and should not be said. “This lack of life experience can lead them to make statements that are unexpected and may feel hurtful,” says Dr. Starnes. “Acknowledge how your child feels, then explain how you and other adults feel.” You can say, I’m glad you’re okay, but we’re still sad and we might be sad for a while so you might see us crying. Be careful not to negate or minimize a child’s egocentric emotions.

Be Reassuring, But Honest

It’s okay to tell your child you don’t have all of the answers, while reassuring them that their health and well-being are not tied to the loss of the baby. “The goal is to offer honest reassurance,” says Dr. Starnes. “Answer any questions in simple terms and avoid metaphors or abstract phrases that children may not be able to understand.” If your child asks a scary question (such as Will this happen again?), it’s important to refrain from minimizing their curiosity, which is completely normal, adds Dr. Starnes. Answer simply and explain your emotion with the basic facts.

10 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
parenting

Next month's FREE Parenting Talks you

The Shifting ADHD/ADD Lens: Moving From Disability to Ability

With New York Times-bestselling author Dr. Edward Hallowell

Thursday, March 2, 2023, 4 p.m. ET

A Parenting Playbook for Raising the Happiest Kids on Earth

With cultural researcher, parenting expert and columnist

Jessica Joelle Alexander

Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 2 p.m. ET

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Catholic Schools

Everything you need to know

Choosing a school for your child is always a time-consuming, challenging process. If you have been considering a Catholic School future for your child - to save you time (and stress!), we’ve got the scoop on Catholic Schools in New York City and Westchester. If you’re considering a Catholic School for your kiddo, read on to learn how these schools have thrived since the pandemic, continue to maintain community, implement safety precautions and so much more.

First things first, here’s something you should know: The Archdiocese of New York invested over $18 million to ensure schools could open on time and without incident for the 2020-21 school year. School principals worked with the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council to draft an opening plan that got kids back onto a regular schedule. The plan was accommodating and flexible for different family situations.

The schools also put out the “Rising Above” opening plan for 2022-23, detailing facility requirements and guidelines when it comes to COVID-19 safety.

It’s also important to note that the Archdiocese offers a variety of tuition assistance programs, including scholarships and financial aid to qualifying families at participating schools.

With investments like these, we feel good about kids continuing to get a great education well into 2023-24. Let’s take a look at some more highlights that are making Catholic schools stand out for the next school year.

Test Scores: Improving Since the Pandemic

When it comes to a good education, there’s something to be said about test scores. In 2022, the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York reported continued excellence in test scores. The all-important ELA (English language arts) state test scores went up 7.3 percent, while math scores held nearly steady with only a slight decline from pre-pandemic levels.

“This is a testament to the dedication of

our pastors, principals, and teachers in delivering a Christ-centered, academically excellent education,’’ Michael J. Deegan, superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of New York, said. “These results demonstrate that our work will continue to achieve positive outcomes and elevated expectations for all our students.”

Deegan has previously noted that state test scores are one factor of academic success. The Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese use multiple measures of student growth and achievement. Deegan also noted that the schools took action throughout the pandemic that helped lead to educational success.

“Catholic schools have distinguished themselves in a way that we always knew but now the country recognizes,” Deegan said. “Through our strong test scores and post-pandemic performance, parents have recognized that what goes on in a Catholic school is not only richly Catholic but academically excellent. These two principles—our faith and our high-quality curriculum—are the underpinnings of everything we do.”

COVID-19 and Respiratory Illness Precautions

Although schools have remained open fulltime for in-person learning since September 2020, the Archdiocese has still made health and safety a priority.

The Catholic schools have been—and

continue to be—prepared for peak levels of respiratory illness including flu, RSV and COVID-19. Many of the precautions Catholic schools have had in place remain in the schools. These include:

• Exhaust fans in every classroom

• Frequent cleaning

• Ensuring good ventilation and air circulation throughout the buildings

• Thousands of HEPA filters deployed

Throughout the height of the pandemic, safety was a priority. Speaking of health and safety, you may be wondering how NYC Catholic schools took precautions during the pandemic to ensure little ones returned home from school happy and healthy. Maria Regina High School said last year: “All students are required to complete a daily health screening through the app SchoolPass…Students and staff entering the building have their temperature checked before signing in and moving to their classes for the day…Lunches are pre-ordered and individually bagged. We have increased our maintenance staff to deeply disinfect our school building each night after students and staff have left for the day”.

The Catholic schools also supported students by maintaining normalcy when possible. Many kept with their traditions by turning virtual. St. Raymond Academy for Girls, for example, hosted virtual spirit week and Christmas activities. St. Joseph’s School held virtual coffee house events.

12 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
Education

A Strong Community

We all know that support also means communication. So if you choose an NYC Catholic school, how will you stay informed with what’s going on? “Our families stay connected to the school community via a number of channels,” said St. Raymond Elementary School, “We post updates of important information for parents both on our school website and on our Facebook page. In addition, our principal Eugene Scanlon emails updates to all parents and also sends home hard copies of announcements…Mr. Scanlon also publishes his Monthly Messages newsletter, which goes to parents and is also posted on our website.” We appreciate how St. Raymond Elementary School provides not just one, not just two, but multiple outlets for communication.

Jennifer Cedro Puglio has two boys who attend St. Peter’s Boys High School on Staten Island. She loves the sense of community and support network that thrives among the staff and parents.

“The staff and parents are a family. We all get along and work together and support

each other’s boys,” she said. “ We look out for each other. If the boys are doing something wrong, we are always there to guide them. The principal is amazing. He knows each boy by name and treats the parents the same. He is always there to talk and is open with us. This is what makes it a Catholic school.”

Is a Catholic School the Right Fit for Your Child?

Now that you know all about the current state of NYC Catholic schools, you may still have some more general questions about whether a Catholic school is the right fit for your kiddo. Well, we’ve got you covered with that too.

Here’s the rundown: Catholic values and academic excellence guide NYC Catholic Schools. Students learn in an environment where respect, courtesy, and service to others are always part of the curriculum. Not only do these schools offer Math, Religion, English language Arts, History, and Science, but they have expanded technology in the classroom and STEM programs. Recent New York State Education Department

Examination results show that Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York outperformed New York State and New York City schools in performance growth once again. Immaculate Heart of Mary, for example, has over 90 years of exceptional Pre-K to 8th grade education, and it’s been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

But New York Catholic schools are about a lot more than academic results. “When you send your children to Catholic school you are sending them for the community,” explained one parent in a recent Archdiocese of New York survey. Another parent said: “My children love their school. It is like family to us. They love their teachers. The teachers are the backbone of the school.” Community is a foundation at these schools, and it’s been a top priority to maintain during these challenging times.

Want to learn more about Catholic Schools and see if they’re the right fit for your family? Visit catholicschoolsny.org, check out catholicschoolbq.org, you can also go online to book a virtual tour.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 13
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b lue rock s chool

110 Demarest Mill Rd, West Nyack, NY 10994

845 627-0234

bluerockschool.org

Blue Rock School has been fostering confident critical thinkers for over 30 years. We offer an educational approach based on hands-on experiences and real world problem solving. In small dynamic class settings, our challenging academic curriculum is infused with the arts, nature and play from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. By nurturing children’s love of learning, developing their interpersonal skills and encouraging deep thinking, we prepare them for a changing world. For more information or to schedule a private tour, please call 845-535-3353.

the cedar s chool

200 Pemberwick Road Greenwich, CT 06831 203-808-5005

info@thecedarschool.org thecedarschool.org

The Cedar School is a co-ed day school serving high school students with language-based learning differences, such

as dyslexia, and executive functioning challenges. With small class sizes and a rigorous college-preparatory program, Cedar engages students with differentiated instruction and a multisensory curriculum. In addition to core academics, The Cedar School offers electives such as art and ASL alongside experiential learning opportunities like an internship program. Located in Greenwich, CT, The Cedar School serves the Fairfield, Westchester, and New York areas.

the chapel s chool

172 White Plains Road, Bronxville NY 914-337-3202 info@thechapelschool.org thechapelschool.org

Since 1947, The Chapel School (TCS) has engaged a diverse community of learners with challenging academics and personalized attention that is only available in small class sizes, encouraged explorers to take advantage of thriving extra-curricular activities in the music, arts and athletics, and empowered leaders to build skills and character focused on serving others. Join TCS

Family and give your child the opportunity to be comfortable enough to become their best!

g erman i nternational school n ew york

50 Partridge Road, White Plains, NY admissions@gisny.org

914- 948-6513

For over 40 years, GISNY, an independent, bilingual Pre-K through Grade 12 college preparatory program, has cultivated students to develop into curious, analytical, and conscientious global citizens. GISNY is the only school in the tri-state area where graduates earn the NYS High School Diploma and the German International Abitur. No German is required for entering Pre-K or Kindergarten children. All nationalities are welcome!

h udson country m ontessori school

340 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle, NY 914-636-6202

info@hudsoncountry.org hudsoncountry.org

Hudson Country Montessori School inspires and promotes

innate curiosity and a love of learning through its progressive Montessori pedagogy. HCMS also strives to help children grow into respectful, sociallyadept and compassionate leaders. The curriculum empowers students to become independent, creative thinkers and confident achievers. Private, co-educational school, toddlers (18 months) through 8th grade. Schedule a private tour today!

John c ardinal o ’ connor school

16 North Broadway, Irvington, NY 914-591-9330

johncardinaloconnorschool.org

JCOS is dedicated to providing the benefits of a faith-based education to children who learn differently. The school empowers children to thrive academically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially in their supportive school community. JCOS is dedicated to providing an affordable learning experience backed by a skilled teaching staff. Their commitment to well-rounded schooling for students has made their private Catholic school one of the foremost in Westchester County.

14 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023 Private schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
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Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy

During the COVID lockdown, parents wore many hats. Teacher, cafeteria cook, and barber were just a few of our tasks, but the one challenging area was dental care. Of course, the kids brushed their teeth, but many of our kids went without dental care for a significant period. Once in-person appointments opened up, at least for me, it took time to get an appointment. I would have had better luck getting tickets to see Taylor Swift! This is because dental care is critical, especially for growing teeth. Thankfully lockdown is over, but the need to know how to take care of our kids’ teeth is not.

We checked in with our dental partners to answer questions about keeping our kids’ teeth healthy. We have the answers from in-between visits to a hack on warding off cavities after a meal to when is the best time for braces.

How can I make brushing fun?

Want to help a child brush better? Use music and a rhythm during the brushing routine. Also, let the child pick their favorite toothpaste and toothbrush. Have them involved in their oral care. Remember to brush and floss for 2 min twice a day. — Dr. Parul Makkar, Kids Dental, pdmfamilydental.com

Any fun tricks when you don’t have a tooth bush handy?

After eating cookies, crackers or chips, eat a piece of fruit. It acts as a cleanser and prevents anything from sticking to the teeth causing cavities.” — Dr. Penny ResnickGraulich, Main Street Pediatric Dentistry, mainstreetpediatricdentistry.com

I have seen kids get braces pretty young and as teenagers. When should a child have their first Orthodontic consult?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic consultation

around age 7. This is because by this age, most children have a mix of primary (baby) and permanent teeth, which allows the orthodontist to identify and evaluate potential issues with jaw growth and emerging teeth. Early evaluation and treatment can prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. However, It’s important to note that every child is different, and some may need to be seen earlier or later, depending on their specific needs. If you notice any concerning issues with your child’s teeth, jaw, or bite, you should schedule a consultation with an orthodontist as soon as possible. — Dr. Seth Newman, Jackson Heights Orthodontics, jacksonheightsorthodontics.com

When is the best time to schedule appointments for kids, especially your child’s first visit?

One of the most common questions new parents ask about the dentist is when to bring their babies for their first visit. You should have your child come for their first visit as soon as the first teeth begin to come in. Pediatric Dentists specialize in treating babies and children can use this time to check and make sure teeth are coming in correctly and give you advice and tips on how to take care of your child’s teeth until they are old enough to manage the techniques themselves. By setting up regular appointments with the same dentist, your dental provider can keep a record and track your child’s unique dental progress. The rule of thumb is to schedule the first appointment between six months and one year. Starting around the age of three, it can be expected to start up the “regular check-up” routine, visiting the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.

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Kids’ Night on Broadway

Mark you calendar for one special evening this winter, kids will take over Broadway! The Broadway League is once again inviting young people ages 18 and under to attend a participating Broadway show for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.

The 25th annual Kids’ Night on Broadway takes place one night only on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. Fans can sign up for The Broadway Fan Club at KidsNightonBroadway.com to be the first to know when tickets go on sale.

A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket also includes restaurant discounts and other perks. Select shows will offer in-theatre activities for kids including talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books, and other events still to be announced.

Attendees celebrating their first Broadway show experience will receive commemorative stickers to wear and add to their Playbill.

Kids’ Night on Broadway will also take place in multiple cities around the country, with different shows and venues putting their own spin on the event on several dates throughout the year. For more information, visit KidsNightonBroadway.com.

Kids’ Night on Broadway is a year-round

national audience development program of The Broadway League, the national trade association of the Broadway industry. Designed to introduce young people to the magic of live theatre and make Broadway accessible to a new generation of theatergoers. Kids’ Night on Broadway has welcomed young people to Broadway shows in New York and on tour across the U.S. since the program was created in 1996 by the League and Theatre Development Fund.

18 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
family fun
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now part of

Kids Get a Bilingual Education at The German International School New York

parents who want to ensure their children’s futures often choose bilingual education because of its many benefits. They know that enrolling their children in a bilingual school will help them build confidence, improve their academic performance, and enhance awareness of their native language. Once parents decide on a second language, however, the crucial question is which school to choose. In the tri-state area, those who choose German know there is only one option: the German International School New York (GISNY).

Since 1980, GISNY has been offering well rounded German and American instruction to students from Pre-K through grade 12. It is the only school to offer both a NYS High School Diploma and the German International Abitur,

which grants access to universities throughout the world. By maintaining a small student to teacher ratio, GISNY is able to give students individual attention. As a result, the school has been awarded the seal of “Excellent German School Abroad,” for the third time in 2022.

The pride of the school is its brand new

Science Wing, with a cutting edge Maker Space that encourages students to explore fields such as design, artificial intelligence, and life sciences.

Pre-K and kindergarten students enjoy a caring, nurturing environment. Because of their Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program, they spend their days exploring, learning, and playing on a beautiful 20-acre campus. And they needn’t already know German, since GISNY builds that foundation so that students are ready for bilingual instruction by first grade.

The centrally located White Plains school is holding a virtual open house on Thursday, February 16, 3-4:30pm and an in-person open house on Friday, March 10, 10-11:30am. Go to gisny.org/admissions for more information.

GERMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL NEW YORK

Virtual Open House

February 16, 2023 at 3pm - 4:30pm

Open a world of opportunities to your child with a bilingual education in English and German at GISNY. Our independent Pre-K through Grade 12 college preparatory program with an emphasis on the sciences and arts cultivates students to develop into curious, analytical, and conscientious global citizens.

We offer Pre-K and Kindergarten children a bright, spacious and nurturing environment and a nature-based early childhood education program where most of the school day is spent outdoors on our beautiful 20-acre campus.

Children entering Pre-K or Kindergarten are not required to speak or understand German and build the foundation for being bilingual by first grade.

All nationalities are welcome!

cognitive growth and positions them for long-term academic success.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 19
WWW.GISNY.ORG | admissions@gisny.org | 50 Partridge Rd, White Plains, NY 10605 | (914) 948-6513
Westchester Family partner

Meet Mildred Agbana of Mimaami Organics

Dry skin and eczema are not the easiest conditions to treat. Take it from Mildred Agbana whose daughter had been suffering with these conditions for years. Her mother sent her a tub of shea butter from Ghana, and within days of using it, she realized it was the magic ingredient she was been looking for. What followed was the creation of Mimaami Organics, a brand that offers simple yet effective natural and organic skincare products that are clean, nourishing, affordable, vegan-friendly, and ethically-sourced from female cooperatives in Sub-Saharan Africa to provide them with economic empowerment. Read on to learn more about Mildred, the line, and her partnerships with women in Africa.

How did the idea for Mimaami Organics come about?

Ten years ago, my daughter was born with severe dry skin and eczema. I searched tirelessly for an effective moisturizer to keep her skin hydrated. As a nurse, I knew moisturizing is key to maintaining the skin moisture barrier

and preventing further breakdown; however, from the most expensive to prescribed moisturizers, nothing worked, and she was up all-night scratching and crying. It was one of those frustrating nights that I reached out to my mother in Ghana who reminded me of the power of the shea nut.

My mother sent a tub of shea butter to a relative traveling to the United States, and within days of trying shea butter on my body, I realized it was the magic ingredient I have been searching for all this while. It kept my daughter’s skin protected and moisturized, and she went from crying to sleeping throughout the night and became a baby in matter of days. I wanted to share this healing balm with mothers all over the world who may be experiencing something similar or close to that.

When I learned that women made shea butter in the Sub-Saharan Region of Africa and it’s their primary source of income, I became more empowered to use the business to support them.

What was your background before Mimaami Organics?

Before Mimaami, I was working full-

time as a nurse case manager and had to communicate back and forth to the office. Prior to starting Mimaami Organics, I knew very little about the shea butter supply chain; it all changed after my daughter was born, and learning about shea butter as the” women’s gold” due to the economic opportunities it brought women there gave me the drive I needed to launch Mimaami.

Tell us more about the line and what you offer?

Mimaami Organics creates simple yet effective natural and organic skincare products that are clean, nourishing, affordable, vegan-friendly, and ethicallysourced from female cooperatives in Sub-Saharan Africa to provide them with economic empowerment. Our products are inspired by traditional skincare secrets from Sub-Saharan Africa that are passed on and shared with mothers worldwide.

Mimaami Organics has a rich and bold brand identity and products that pay homage to African culture, heritage, and legacy. “Mimaami” means my mother in the Twi language of Ghana. Adinkra symbols and patterns are beautifully illustrated in the logo and packaging, conveying the essence of mother earth: natural, sustainable, with healing properties using the power of shea nut.

Our product lines includes imported nutrient-rich body oils, such as argan oil,

20 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
spotlight
@c-wellpictures

baobab oil, moringa oil, marula oil, whipped shea body butters, belly butter, and African black soap face wash and body wash. The new line will provide hydration and nourishment for customers in new forms and build brand awareness with expecting and new mom segments. Our products are ideal for dry and sensitive skin but suitable for all skin types.

Tell us more about your partnership with African artisans.

Mimaami Organics sources our products directly from Pansung Cooperative in Northern Ghana. We pay fair trade for our services providing women with economic empowerment. We organized training to ensure quality improvement and sustainable farming practices. Overall, we donate 5% of all profits towards maternal and child health initiatives in the region.

How is Mimaami Organics different from what’s out there?

We prioritize quality over quantity and agree that you don’t need 20 steps to a skincare routine. We provide you with simple,

quality, natural and organic ingredients that are clean, safe, never tested on animals, and happily tested on our family.

Our close collaboration with the female producers in our supply chain provides them with economic empowerment, and by having a perfect and long-standing relationship with them, we are able to pass these benefits to you at affordable prices

We also have eco-friendly packaging, clean, cruelty free, and responsibly-sourced ingredients. We use our business as a vehicle

to do good and make the world a better place for future generations.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Westchester/the Hudson Valley?

In Westchester, I love taking the kids to Croton Gorge Park. They love it and never want to leave. Within the Hudson Valley, we spend family time in Cold Spring, and enjoy the walkway Over the Hudson in the summer. We also enjoy movies and having family dinners at local restaurants.

Anything else to add?

Mimaami Organics is passionate about women’s health. As a registered nurse, I have dedicated 5% of all profits towards maternal and child health initiatives in Lingbinsi in Northern Ghana. Maternal and child health mortality rates are high in the area, and the Sub-Saharan region as a whole, which is why Mimaami Organics’ mission is to our part by making an impact by reducing the rates in the region.

Mimaami Organics is available mimaamiorganics.com.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 21
Your online resource for all things parenting WestchesterFamily.com provides a rich array of local resources, useful content, directories and interactive tools to help families meet and celebrate the challenges of parenting. Visit us online today! WestchesterFamily.com

American Girl Store 101

A guide to making the most of your visit to the NYC flagship

Avisit to the American Girl New York store is a dream come true for American Girl (AG) doll fans. The NYC flagship welcomes kids of all ages for an incredible day of dolls and their stories, outfits, accessories, and interactive and educational experiences like the cafe, salon, and historic exhibits. Take one step inside the store and every visitor will feel like a VIP thanks to the warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable staff. Bring your doll for the ample photo opps and to create magical memories.

The flagship store has two, sprawling levels of fantastic fun. Some families will love that they can walk into the store and enjoy experiences without advanced planning and without spending a penny while others will love planning ahead to ensure everything is

scheduled and experiences are secured. Some families may plan a special visit to purchase their very first doll and others may plan an annual birthday visit. Whether you spend a few hours, half a day, or an entire day at the store, there’s no right or wrong way to spend time at AG. Savor every second and get ready for some doll and girl sized fun. Not sure where to begin? To plan the best visit ever, here is the ultimate guide to everything you need to know for your visit.

Suggested visit: It’s best to plan to visit for a few hours for a meal and doll fun but be warned – once your doll lover starts to play and explore, s/he won’t want to leave.

The Main Attraction: AG Dolls, Dolls, Dolls American Girl truly has a doll for everyone and AG experts say that it’s most important that the kids choose the doll they love best

and not what parents love best. Throughout the store everything is thoughtfully placed at child height to be easily taken in and is fully accessible.

The heart of American Girl is its histori cal character dolls. Each of the AG doll char acters has an empowering story, bringing the past to life with inspirational, girl‑sized stories. Visitors will find each of the doll’s two books, stories, and accessories within each doll section. Everyone will also love the hands on and immersive doll experiences like playing basketball in Julie’s Groovy World, and admiring the revolving closet that mixes and matches bold ‘80s fashions in Courtney’s World.

Younger visitors may gravitate to Bitty Babies and Wellie Wishers and everyone will love the Girl of the Year, World By Us, Truly Me, and Create Your Own. The ever popular Truly Me is the contemporary line of dolls that reflects your personality and matches who you are and want the doll to be. Create Your Own is a special experience where you create your own doll and design one of a kind fashions with more than 2.4 million possible combinations. Pricing for these 18” dolls starts at $115.

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Family day out
Photos courtesy of American Girl

Get All Dolled Up at the Dolled Up Salon

The Dolled Up Salon is as darling as it sounds and offers services including girl and doll hair styling (the most popular hairstyles are twice twist and sweetheart styles), girl and doll ear piercing, girl and doll nails, and doll hearing aids. Girls will love that there are doll and girl styles that allow for the girls to twin with their dolls. There are lots of sweet extras and add-on as well like tiaras or spa packages. Everyone will be glowing inside and out after their visit to the salon. Be sure to reserve an appointment ahead of time and look at the styles online before you go. Pricing starts at $10.

Cafe

The American Girl New York City Cafe serves lunch, dinner, and tea and has special occasion packages.. The café is the ideal spot to celebrate a birthday with their special packages complete with birthday cake, goody bas, and tiaras for girls and dolls. There are also private dining room for parties and special events.

Don’t forget to bring your doll to dine with you and if you don’t have an AG doll or forget yours, they have a beautiful selection of

dolls at the café to borrow for dining. Every meal there becomes its very own special occasion with the delicious food, sweet doll experience, and extra high touch. Dolls get their very own doll chair, plates, and cups to eat alongside their kiddo. Start with the cafe cinnamon buns and order fan favorites like the bow tie pasta and chicken fingers with the best French fries. And don’t miss the adorable and delicious chocolate mousse flower pots for dessert. Enjoy this tasty, three course meal for $27 per person and again, make sure to book reservations online in advance.

Complimentary Personal Shopping

Anyone can make a free personal shopping appointment in-person or virtually. There is no budget or minimum spend required. Just book an appointment to have a shopper share their expertise and help you find what you’re looking for to get the most of the time together.

Doll Hospital

The hospital offers a free doll wellness exam with a specially-trained doll doctor who checks the heartbeat, pulse, temperature, and reflexes of each 18-inch patient. Once they

have a thorough exam (and little ones have lots of pretend doll doctor fun), a complimentary Certificate of Good Health is given to doll owners after each visit, along with wellness tips to help girls care for their dolls at home.

Activities and free special events

American Girl Store New York hosts a multitude of sensational, seasonal events, ranging from free Trick-or-Treat days to seasonal salon and activity classes (think Dolloween dance parties, pumpkin painting, and tea parties) for a fee. The full calendar of events is here.

The best of the rest

The store has ever-changing displays and new fan favorites. Everything displayed can be purchased for any doll, and mixing and matching is part of the fun. There’s always something new and exciting and you cannot go wrong whichever way you go.

American Girl Store New York

75 Rockefeller Center

Store hours: 11am – 6pm (weekdays) and 11am-7pm (weekends). Check website to verify as hours may be subject to change.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 23

Is Empathy the Cure for Bullying?

Anti-bully group Sweethearts and Heroes says emotional skills are key to prevention

We don’t have a bullying problem in America. At least that’s what Sweethearts and Heroes founder and former MMA fighter Tom Murphy says.

When I first approached the anti-bully group, my goal was to learn ways a parent can help their child who is being bullied. After talking to Murphy, I decided to reframe my plan because, apparently, there is a larger issue at hand, and it starts with improving the emotional health of our children.

Sweethearts and Heroes is an organization that visits schools across the country, educating students of all ages on the negative impacts of bullying and empowering them to be more empathetic and compassionate individuals. Since its inception, the group has met with over two million kids, including over a thousand schools in New York State alone. I chatted with Murphy to get an understanding of what kind of social and emotional issues are plaguing today’s younger generation – one that is facing a whole new kind of bullying –and what parents can do about it. He began by explaining the group’s approach to the topic.

“From day one, the bullying problem has never been our focus,” he says. “Our message has always been about empowering students. People think our focus is empowering only the kids who are marginalized. But it would be a silly little trick for me to give a motivational speech and some kid is sitting in a sea of a thousand students and thinking ‘Tom Murphy said I can protect myself!’ Unfortunately, it’ll be a short period before that kid is humiliated again. Because that is that kid’s reality. You have no idea where they are coming from, what they have been subjected to, neurologically how they’ve developed over time, the culture that they’re in. It’s crazy to think that I’m going to fix a

bullying issue in a one-time speech. But you know who has the opportunity to help that child? The other kids who are walking the halls with that student on a regular basis.”

According to Murphy, we can’t be quick to label a child a bully.

“Bullying is habitual; it happens over and over. There has to be an element of intimidation or fear involved. It is an intentional act,” he explains. “But many kids operate on their feelings. Sometimes they have really difficult things going on at home. Maybe their parents are getting divorced, or their pet died. You can’t expect that kid not to come to school and say something mean or hurtful. We do it as adults! And we label that kid as a bully because he hurt someone’s feelings? This kid is labeled because he is struggling in life? Not that these issues can’t lead to actual bullying, but essentially bullying is an intentional act.”

Statistics show nearly 170,000 students skip school every day in North America because they are afraid to face their bullies. So what can be done about it? The short answer

is to stop it before it starts, using effective parenting methods. Murphy points out that while most people spend over 20 years preparing for their careers, they spend less than nine months preparing for parenthood. Yet essentially it’s on us as parents to teach our children to be kind and compassionate human beings.

“The greater issue is these human skills,” he says emphatically. “Empathy has been nearly cut in half in the last 30 years — both cognitive and affective empathy have been sliced in half in our students. So while we can develop a curriculum to teach kids about bullying, if you don’t have the neurological circuits in your brain that have been developed around things like empathy and compassion then good luck. Without empathy, there is no society. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s interreality and to say ‘ok they’re not me but I’ve got to work with them’, that’s the greatest struggle in our society. So I spend a lot of time identifying why empathy has degraded, and what activates it, and how to create environments

24 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
ask the e xpert
sweethearts and heroes founder tom Murphy (left) visiting a school with pat Fish (middle) and rick Yarosh (right).

and conditions where it can grow and thrive.”

“We need to start having conversations dealing with feelings,” he continues. “Parents love to say ‘don’t be sad’ to their kids. But what’s wrong with being sad? I used to be so uncomfortable when kids would get upset around me. But then I realized that was MY issue. Anger is a natural feeling. And dads, in particular, are often terrible at stopping those natural feelings from happening. You can’t do that to your kid because they will grow up and not know how to manage those feelings, and they’ll be uncomfortable around people.”

Conventional educational methods don’t seem to be working, Murphy says. You can’t send your child to school and expect they will learn the human skills needed to be compassionate and empathetic beings, because it’s just not possible in that environment.

“The famous psychologist Benjamin Bloom talked about something called learning for mastery, ” Murphy continues. “He said that anyone can learn anything given the right strategy and the right time. Unfortunately our society doesn’t allow us to treat each child differently – but they are! They’re all unique individuals, and every child has 120 billion neurons that do 10 quadrillion things per second and they’re all unique! But it’s just really hard when you have a class full of kids that are jumping up and down and screaming, not to just treat them all the same.”

Perhaps the biggest problem is the role technology plays in bullying today. It’s nothing our parents ever had to deal with and nothing we, as parents of Gen Z children, were ever prepared for.

“Bullying has been around for thousands of years, and it’s always been the same format” Murphy remarks. “But when you talk about the last two decades, it’s drastically changed. There’s no reset button anymore. When we were in school, we got to go home Friday and escape from that feeling or the behaviors directed at us. For many kids, that reset button has been ripped away. I had one mom say to me ‘My son took his own life in his bedroom, in his private misery.’

“In over a decade, I’ve never seen these challenges young people are facing today. We were in two schools this year that had suicides the week before we got there. A school in Kentucky had three in the last year, after not having one in 22 years. One school had a 12-year-old young man take his own life on the playground and his best friend found him. It’s beyond belief that our children are

in such a state of hopelessness that they don’t feel like they can hold on to the possibility that exists for their future. How did we get to this space?

“Most kids don’t know how to talk about feelings of hopelessness. If your parents were born in the 50’s or 60 you didn’t talk about that stuff; you just hid it. But the research is extremely clear that talking about these things never makes them worse. The parents of today just don’t know how to talk about these things because no one talked about it with them.”

Technology isn’t the only difference between then and now, he goes on. “The most important thing is the human skills that we used to get when we were baking with mom or working on a car with dad or in the barn with grandpa,” Tom mentions. “These human skills have been nearly cut in half because we

just don’t spend that face time with people anymore in play. Self-directed and selfcontrolled play has been eviscerated. We just don’t allow kids to do it at even a fraction of the rate that they did 100 years ago. So when you ask me about creating a curriculum to end bullying, sure we can do it, but I think the greater need is for these human skills that used to be taught naturally by parents and extended families. Nowadays it’s about just rushing kids to get them to the next thing to do instead of really working on the whole child and these emotional states.

“When I was a kid, the kid who had down syndrome or was in a wheelchair was the easy target. I’m not saying it’s always the case, but largely, I feel like we fixed that. That kid is rallied around today. I think the kid with the mental health issues or emotional health issues is the new target today and we haven’t figured out how to talk about it and to understand that it’s a condition like any other condition.

“But I feel like maybe there is a change coming in our consciousness that these issues are not to be made fun of. The kid who sits in the back of the room with his hoodie up, he’s talking to us. He’s saying ‘I’m not doing good. There’s things going on in my life that I need help with and I need different strategies than other people because the ones you’ve given me, they don’t work for me.’”

Sweethearts and Heroes aptly calls kids who help other kids superheroes. “Every superhero is ruining things with their powers when they first start using them,” Tom says. “It’s your job to teach your kids how to use their superpowers to help the kid who is not being treated the right way.”

For more information about Sweethearts and Heroes or to book a visit to your school, go to sweetheartsandheroes.com.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 25
Sweethearts and Heroes' goal is to teach kids to be a "superheroes" by helping others.
“I spend a lot of time identifying why empathy has degraded, and what activates it, and how to create environments and conditions where it can grow and thrive.”

We Love Lucie

It was a Saturday morning, I had just made my daughter breakfast, watched her eat it and then asked her to go up to her room to pick out an outfit and get dressed. She listened. At almost 5 years old, it’s hard to imagine her as the reckless, never-stopsmoving toddler she once was, or, better yet, the sleepless baby who woke up three times a night almost every day for the better part of a year. It’s even harder to imagine the frazzled, exhausted, overwhelmed me that existed during that time. But here we are. Now, she almost always sleeps all night, gets herself dressed and feeds herself. It’s wild.

But after breakfast I was suddenly transported back to those early days during my interview with social media content creator, Lucie Fink. Lucie is a new mom (son Milo is just over a year old) whose postpartum story is as relatable as they come—at least for me it was. As she recounted her experience I found myself either furiously nodding along or just sitting there, paralyzed by the similarities. I know motherhood is different for everyone, and I know that every baby is also different, but I believe moms have more in common than not. She said it best during our chat, “Since becoming a mom…I just feel this connection to moms that I never felt and it’s kind of wild.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s like we’re all in this secret club that’s not so secret, and no matter how we gained entry (biological birth, IVF, adoption, egg/sperm donors, the list goes on) we all share the burden and the blessing of being in charge of keeping a little human alive—and being their shining North Star in the process. It’s a lot to carry. Lucie says it’s “heavy” and she’s right.

She is set on keeping her platforms varied and exciting and not just about mom stuff— especially now that she’s feeling more like herself again. Many of Lucie’s 213K followers on Instagram, TikTok 440K and 417K subscribers

on YouTube are not mothers, so while she tries to balance her content to reflect all facets of her life, she can’t deny the major shift this last year has brought. Read on to learn about Lucie’s journey through her professional career, family life, and how her and her husband try to keep things as 50/50 as possible.

CP: Tell me a little bit about how you came to be a content creator.

LF: So I guess if I go back to my youth, I kind of had this split interest—I was fascinated by medicine and thought I wanted to be a doctor and then the other half of me was fascinated with TV and media. I grew up with a radio DJ for a dad and an interior designer for a mom, so I was raised in a very artistic, creative household and definitely was not pushed into a traditional career path. I was allowed to follow my passions. When it came time for college, I decided that the route I wanted to go down was the medical route. So I went to Johns Hopkins, and my first semester I was pre-med. Very quickly, while being surrounded by other students that were going down that medical route, I realized that my passion for media was actually more fitting with my personality type. Like, all throughout high school, I was in plays, I was the president of the Scarsdale High School Drama Club, my senior year and when I got to college, I immediately joined an acapella group—I was always performing. But really the one thing in college that I guess kind of kick started my career was during my freshman year I pitched a YouTube series that would live on the Johns Hopkins admissions website. My vision for it was like a travel channel type show about the city of Baltimore so that prospective students from around the world could see what the city has to offer without having to come to visit. They had never had a student that wanted to do something like that, so they said, ‘By all

means, here’s a student videography crew, go do whatever you want.’ It started as a total, extracurricular side passion, but after my first year, it turned into a full time job on campus where I was actually getting paid to make these videos. There were thousands of students who in their applications were writing that my videos were the reason that they were applying. So that was really my first experience .

CP: Let’s talk a little bit about how your presence on social media has changed since becoming a wife and a mom—what that means for your son, and how you’re navigating all of that.

LF: I’m lucky that I was with my husband since I started doing this because he’s always been a way more private person who has agreed to be in videos with me, if I ask him early enough—sometimes I need to put two weeks notice on his calendar that I need him for a video so he can mentally prepare (laughs). But I’ve always had to navigate being conscious of the fact that while I’m an open book and nothing’s taboo, I realized that a lot of elements of my personal life are actually his personal life, too.

CP: It’s not just your story.

LF: Exactly. I just feel like I try to be as open as I can myself while respecting his boundaries. And so when we got pregnant, we started talking about what are we going to do, because there’s just so many different theories—some people who are completely not sharing their children’s names or faces at all, then there’s some people who share a little bit or put emojis on top of the kids faces, and then some people who the whole channel is the baby.

CP: So where did you guys land? Or have you not landed somewhere yet?

26 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
Lucie Fink on her unique professional journey, her relatable postpartum experience, and how she’s balancing being a public figure with keeping her family’s privacy intact

LF: We landed in a place where we knew for a fact that we did not want my platforms to become a family vlog channel. My husband said to me, ‘If social media was a thing when our moms were young, if both of our moms were influencers, and put you and me on social media, maybe because of you and your personality, you would have been happy. But because of my innate personality, I would not have been pleased.’

CP: Do you feel like your love has deepened since having Milo?

LF: Definitely, but a lot of people warned me, our relationship has shifted a lot. And it has become way harder to find the time to connect just the two of us without Milo there, or without us talking about Milo. It actually takes a dedicated concerted effort to put in our calendar date nights and make sure we have someone to watch him. To go out and force ourselves to not look at pictures of him, to not talk about him. It’s definitely hard work. And even our New Year’s resolutions, a lot of them were about how at the end of the night, when we put him to sleep, not just putting in our own headphones and going about doing our own tasks, but connecting and doing highs and lows of the day, and looking at each other and sitting together and doing things together, because otherwise it’s easy to just put the baby to bed, finish up your work, and then get in bed and watch a show. So in a lot of ways, it’s gotten a lot harder, but the crux of it, has gotten way, way stronger. And I genuinely think my husband is in like the top 1% of partners in terms of how hands on they are with the baby. He works from home so he’s here physically, and he’s so 50/50. I hate to say that because I don’t like scorekeeping, but he’s definitely very involved.

CP: Again, very relatable. I loved talking to you about motherhood and hearing your journey into social media because I think it’s actually a very unique story. I think will be interesting for people to read about.

LF: What’s been exciting is since becoming a mom…I just feel this connection to moms that I never felt and it’s kind of wild.

You can find Lucie at: Youtube, Instagram, TikTok: @luciebfink. Facebook: Lucie Fink

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

February 2023 | Westchester Family 27
Photo by Yumi Matsuo

We S tche S ter

black history month exhibit ‘Fulfilling the vision’ curator Walk + talk

When : Feb. 1-22, Wednesdays, 6-7pm

Where : Bethany Arts Community, 40 Somerstown Rd., Ossining

ages: All

What: Go on a guided tour of this award-winning Black History Month exhibition.

Want to go?: $10-$25. 914944-4278. bethanyarts.org

music Fun with kurt gallagher

When : Feb. 2- March 30, Thursdays, 10-11am

Where : Port Chester/Rye Brook Library, One Haseco Avenue, Port Chester ages: Newborn-5

What: Little ones will make music as they sing and clap to interactive songs!

Want to go?: 914-9396710 x3. portchesterryebrooklibrary.org

happy birthday, croton!

When : Friday, Feb. 10, 7:309:30pm

Where : Croton - Harmon High School, 36 Old Post Road South, Croton-on-Hudson ages: All

What: Celebrate the establishment of Crotonon-Hudson with music, reenactments, and a glimpse of Croton in the late 1800’s.

Want to go?: crotononhudson-ny.gov

valentine’s Day cookie and candy Wreath class

When : Saturday, Feb. 11, 2:304pm

Where : Westchester Italian Cultural Center, 1 Generoso

Pope Place, Tuckahoe ages: 3-8

What: Create an adorable candy wreath and decorate some delicious cookies!

Want to go?: $35. 914-7718700. wiccny.org

music of the grateful Dead for kids

When : Saturday, Feb. 11, 11:30am and 2pm

Where : The Capitol Theatre, 149 Westchester Ave., Port Chester ages: Newborn-5

What: Move and groove with your little ones to the music of this famed band.

Want to go?: $17.50 in advance; $20 day of show. 914937-4126. thecapitoltheatre. com

lobo love: valentine’s Day Party with Wolves!

When : Feb. 11-12, Saturday, 11am-12:30pm and 2-3:30pm; Sunday, 2-3:30pm

Where : Wolf Conservation Center, 7 Buck Run, South Salem

ages: All

What: Learn about the mythology surrounding wolves, their important roles in the natural world, and assemble “wolfy” valentines for the Ambassador Wolves!

Want to go?: $15; $12 children younger than 12. 914763-2373. nywolf.org

18th century toys & games

When : Sunday, Feb. 12, 2-3pm

Where : Rockefeller State Park Preserve, 125 Phelps Way,

Pleasantville ages: 8 and older

What: Learn about 18th-century children’s activities and play with replicas including whirly-gigs, ball & cup, game of goose, and nine pins.

Want to go?: $5. 914-6311470. parks.ny.gov

Darwin Day

When : Sunday, Feb. 12, 11am-12pm

Where : Teatown, 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining ages: All

What: Celebrate the father of biodiversity, learn why biodiversity is so important, and meet the diverse members of Teatown’s live collection.

Want to go?: $8; $3 members. 914-741-0333. teatown.org

28 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
calendar
celebrate darwin day at teatown on Feb. 23, and meet some of the diverse bunnies in the collection.

Make a Valentine’s day cookie and candy Wreath at the Westchester italian cultural center on Feb. 11.

teen tuesday | valentine’s Day

When : Tuesday, Feb. 14, 4:306pm

Where: ArtsWestchester, 31 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains ages: 13-17

What: Create beautiful artwork for someone dear to you! Ages 12-16. Want to go?: 914-428-4220. artswestchester.org

2023 Westchester chinese new year Festival

When : Saturday, Feb. 18, 2-6pm

Where : The Performing Arts Center, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Harrison ages: All

What: Celebrate Lunar New Year with family activities, delicious Chinese food samples, artistic performances and stunning magic shows. Want to go?: $25-$30. cny2023.eventbrite.com

maple munchies

When : Saturday, Feb. 18, 12-1pm

Where : Muscoot Farm, 51 Route 100, Katonah ages: 5 and older

What: Learn about all the ways to use maple syrup in the kitchen while cooking up a maple-themed culinary treat!

Want to go?: $15. 914-8647282. muscootfarm.org

make your own birdfeeder!

When : Tuesday, Feb. 21, 11am-12pm

Where : Rockefeller State Park Preserve, 125 Phelps Way, Pleasantville ages: All

What: Help local birds find food this winter when you make your own birdfeeder.

Want to go?: $3. 914-6311470 parks.ny.gov

nyc

hip hop cinderella

When : Feb. 10-26, See website for schedule

Where : The New Victory Theater, 209 W 42nd Street, Midtown ages: 5 and older

What: See a fresh take on this classic fairy tale.

Want to go?: Tickets start at $20. 646-223-3010. newvictory.org

new york city ballet: the sleeping beauty

When : Saturday, Feb. 25, 11am

Where : David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side ages: 5 and older

What: See excerpts from this cherished ballet and hear from the artists who perform it. Want to go?: $22-$32. nycballet.com

Ages 4-9

SUN,

Optical illusions, chemical reactions, homemade hovercraft, and more! Ages 8-13. THEATERWORKS

SUN, APR 16 @ 11AM & 2PM

A fun-filled sweeping oceanic adventure. Ages 4-9.

February 2023 | Westchester Family 29
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KABOOM AND THE WHEEL OF SCIENCE
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Your online resource for all things parenting WestchesterFamily.com provides a rich array of local resources, useful content, directories and interactive tools to help families meet and celebrate the challenges of parenting. Visit us online today ! WestchesterFamily.com

�alen�ine’s �a� H�� Air Bal����

COURTESY OF JUICY JUICE

Valentine’s Day is here and that means fun ways to show your little one how much they mean to you. Your kiddo’s imagination will take flight with this cute hot air balloon that’s perfect for holding Valentine’s Day cards and plenty of candy!

Materials

• Tape

• Permanent marker

• Felt heart stickers

• Basket

• Bakers twine

• Colored paper shred

• Scissor (Under parent supervision)

• Hot glue & hot glue gun (Under parent supervision)

• Paper straws

• Clear school glue

• Ribbon

• Balloons

• Cardstock

• Name tag

• Valentine themed favors/candy

Directions

1. First cut the handles off your basket. Be safe and help your little one by cutting it for them.

2. Now you’re ready to begin decorating your basket. Start with wrapping some ribbon around the edge of the basket and adhere it using the hot glue gun. Give your hot glue some time to dry.

3. Now you’ll need something to attach the balloon to the basket. Take your paper straws and hot glue them evenly around the basket rim. Then give it a couple of

minutes to dry.

4. Blow up your balloon and tie in. Then cut out several red flags from the card

stock. Using school glue, glue these red flags to enough twine to wrap around the balloon. Separately, cut some twine and glue it to a length of ribbon.

5. Wrap both your flags and ribbon around the balloon. Attach the balloon and the basket, either by simply resting it on top of the straws or cut a few small strips of tape to attach the balloons and straws.

6. Write your little valentine’s name on the tag and use school glue to attach it to the side of the basket.

7. Add shredded paper, candy, and gifts to the basket. Finally, tape your favorite photo of your little one to the balloon.

30 WestchesterFamily.com | February 2023
CRAFTS
STEP 2 STEP 4 STEP 6

Charter School of Educational Excellence

cSEE is a Kindergarten to 12th grade school located in Yonkers, NY. The school has been designated as a Reward School and Recognition School for six years by the New York State Education Department. Reward and Recognition schools are the highest performing in the state – CSEE is one of the top 13% of schools in NYS. CSEE encourages all parents, including English Language Learners, and parents of students with special needs to apply to the school.

CSEE provides Special Education Services for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504s. The school employs full-time certified resource room teachers, school psychologists and counselors. For other mandated services such as speech, occupational and physical therapy, CSEE works collaboratively with the student’s district of residence to provide these services at the school. CSEE’s director of special education services meets with each new family to review their child’s IEP and mandated services at the time of enrollment to ensure all mandated services can be provided by the school.

Founded in 2005, CSEE was the first charter public school in Yonkers and Westchester County, and is overseen by the New York State Board of Regents. CSEE is a tuition-free public school open to all children through a lottery admissions process. The application process starts in January and the lottery takes place in April. Students are placed on a wait list based on the lottery results. We are currently recruiting students from all NY school districts. The Kinder-8 grade school hours are 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. School

opens at 7:30 am for breakfast. The High School hours are 7:30 am – 2:30 pm. School opens at 7:00 am for breakfast.

Charter School of Educational Excellence

260 Warburton Ave, Yonkers 914-476-5070

CharterSchoolOfEducationalExcellence.org

Westchester Family partner
Charter School of Educational Excellence LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS FROM ТНЕ WESTCHESTER, ROCKLAND AND BRONX COUNTIES CharterSchoolOfEducationalExcellence.org 914-476-5070 Ext. 4 NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Do you want an excellent education for your child? Apply Today to the Charter School of Educational Excellence ALL Students Welcome Charter School of Educational Excellence LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS FROM ТНЕ WESTCHESTER, ROCKLAND AND BRONX COUNTIES CharterSchoolOfEducationalExcellence.org 914-476-5070 Ext. 4 NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Do you want an excellent education for your child? Apply Today to the Charter School of Educational Excellence ALL Students Welcome A Free Regional Public School for Grades Grades K-12
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