Stuck at the back of the bus!

stuck at the back of the bus

Q: My child is stuck at the back of the bus. That is the only seat left when my child gets on the bus and it is where the rowdy kids sit. How can I get her a better spot on the bus?

A: Ahh the back of the bus.  The action zone! I hear there are some bus routes that have a driver and a monitor on board. Not a bad idea. Honestly how can a driver be expected to monitor all of the behavior on the bus while driving safely?

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Did you know that the bus drivers are also responsible for the cleanliness of their bus? To that end I don’t think there is a bus driver out there who wants a child to get sick on their bus. Perhaps you (or even your child depending on her age) could explain that your child MAY get “bus sick” if not riding at the front of the bus. Who knows the driver might just save your child a seat in the front- near a trashcan!

And don’t forget your bus driver at seasonal gift time!

photo credit: lori05871 via photopin cc

Don’t play chase with toddlers!

Don't play chase with toddlers

As soon as our babies begin to toddle we are inexplicably drawn into a giggle filled game of chase. Perhaps it is because mobility is a new-found skill. Perhaps it is because it allows for a new level of interaction. Or perhaps it is just because we love to hear the delighted squeals. But the innocent game of chase could in fact be setting our child up for an unsafe situation.

Have you ever seen a child running from a parent in store? The child squeals and the parent frantically yells things like, “Stop!” or all three of the child’s names followed by “Come back here.” To the child this is an extension of the fun at home game of chase. To the parent this is a problem. Now picture the same scene in a parking lot. A young child’s cognitive development does not allow for the consideration of all of the safety variables. They are enjoying the game. But this is no game. It is a huge safety concern.

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Do not ignore the desire to interact with your newly mobile toddler, but instead of engaging in a game of chase- a game which involves running from an adult, try Red Light Green Light- a game that involves stopping when requested by an adult. Red Light Green Light can produce the same delighted squeals especially when the game ends in a parent’s arms, but without the potential safety concerns.

I bet you’ll never guess how I feel about Hide and Seek with young children. Okay, maybe you will. Stay tuned.

photo credit: Retrofresh! via photopin cc


Exercise your brain! Go to a movie!

Exercise your brain! Go to a movie!

Most moviegoers pop up from their seats at the first inclining of the credits. Some audience members are out the door before the credits even roll. Not our family. We stay in our seats until the screen goes blank. Why? Well if these people worked hard to provide entertainment for us they deserve at least some respect. But that is only part of the reason…

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We play a game. Each family member scans the credits for their name. Their whole- all- three-names name. Sometimes we’ll even quietly announce when we see a friend or relative’s name. But this more than a game. It is exercise for your brain! Your brain is being taught to scan large amounts (of moving no less) written material for specific information. Think about it. This is an important skill. This is a skill that translates to standardize testing, reading comprehension, and anything that requires your brain to look for information.

So go to the movie. Enjoy the entertainment, but don’t forget to exercise your brain!

photo credit: Steve Rhodes via photopin cc

Speech Issue


Speech Issue

 Q: My 4-year-old daughter has some speech issues. I can understand her, but no one else can. Should I do anything about it or just wait until she starts kindergarten next year?

A: Do something! Being understood is directly linked to self-esteem in a child.

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She needs to have a speech evaluation. You can seek this service in a private agency (no idea if your insurance will pay for this), but in many states there are free screening services available to preschool age children. In the state/county where I live it is called Child Find and it is through our public school system. (I’ve worked with this organization in my classroom many times and they are fantastic!) If the evaluation indicates that your daughter has speech needs then it is quite possible that she can receive free services in your neighborhood school before she even begins kindergarten.

This is definitely worth checking out.


It is a journey

Welcome to Growing the Whole Child, a blog site devoted to offering simple parenting in complex times.

The world is not the same as it was when we were children. Gone are the days of drinking out of the garden hose and coming home when the streetlights turned on.  It is a different world today. And yet the ultimate parenting wish remains the same: to help our children be happy, healthy, and successful- to grow the whole child- the mind, body, and soul.

Parenting is not an easy job. Growing the whole child takes energy, patience, time, organization, forgiveness, love, and support. This blog site is intended to offer you support on your parenting journey. Here you will find ideas, tips, and answers to parenting questions.

Take a look around. Enjoy Growing the Whole Child- it’s a journey.

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