How Do You Know If You and Your Child Need a Play Date Consultant?


Have you ever heard the expression that “there is nothing new under the sun”…

I was a believer in that saying, until I read about this!

Experts said that kids may need the play-date tutoring because their young lives have become so regimented, with classes in subjects like Mandarin and violin, that they don’t know how to play with others.

via Rich parents hire play-date consultants to help kids play better for private-school admissions –

Since when do children need experts to tutor them in how to successfully negotiate a play date? Has childhood really become so regimented that kids don’t know how to be kids any longer?

Or is it that parents do not know how to let kids just be kids?

Play is childhood…it is how children learn about the world and how they develop skills that they will use in day to day life. It is how they first learn to problem solve.

Watching children play is absolutely fascinating…at least in my eyes.

As a grandmother of one…I am having the time of my life…I am getting to have another chance to interact on an almost daily basis with a child. I have learned from experience with my own children “not to sweat the small stuff” that children will figure it out if left to themselves to solve a problem.

Patience and time is what I have on my side. This was not always true and I realize that it is the same for this generation of parents. Like myself, they cannot wait for their children to grow…they want them to succeed…they want them not to have to deal with all the difficulties that they dealt with as children. They want “the best” for them.

In this quest for “the best”, today’s parents may just be denying their children what is best. That is just being a child and being allowed to grow and develop through play activities and imagination.

Can trust be said enough times? Trust should be our mantra. It is the secret to the most successful parenting and also the secret to enjoying it. Trust in our child, along with the magic word “wait”, help us to stay our course when friends, family, and unenlightened professionals imply that we’re not doing enough, and/or our child isn’t keeping up. Trust will remind us to let go of personal expectations for our child and to instead recognize and support the expectations she has for herself. Trust, trust, trust. It will never lead us astray. ~ Janet via Janet Lansbury/Elevating ChildCare


Parenting is definitely work and that has not changed.

In many ways, it is even more difficult in today’s world to unplug, wind down, and leave the calendar open to do whatever you fancy for a day now and then.

Just perhaps parents should schedule themselves to unschedule and let themselves and their children stop and learn to play.



Ways to Have Fun Reading with Kids

Where the Wild Things Are

Children’s literature is one of my personal joys….

Thank you, dear granddaughter

for sharing this joy

Thank you, Toddler Approved for your “Virtual Book Club”


Our July Virtual Book Club for Kids author is Jez Alborough!

Each month for Virtual Book Club for Kids we feature a new author. You can find many of the posts we’ve shared over the past year on our VBC Pinterest Boards. Below are a few of the authors we’ve featured. We’ll be announcing our author line up for 2013-2014 in a few weeks!

Week in Review from ParentingintheLoop

It’s Friday, so here are some quick, informative reads that I came across this week.

  •  Do you ever wonder what your pediatrician would like you to do for your preschooler?
  •  Below is a quick highlight of a post from one of my favorite sites Baby Center.

Top 5 things doctors wish you’d do for your preschooler | BabyCenter.

1. Don’t make potty training a battle

2. Have two-way conversations

3. Stop germs at the sink

4. Enforce the helmet law, even at home

5. Don’t use the doctor as punishment


  • How do you raise children without using punishment when their behavior gets out of line?
  • I found a blogger, who does just that…read her tips for a punishment free home!

What does a punishment-free home look like?.

What we have in our home is a lot of love, a lot of respect, a lot of empathy, and a lot of communication.


  • We are a tech savvy home and we have books everywhere including on e-readers.
  • In particular I have a series from the Smithsonian Institution about T-Rex, Penguins and Polar Bears, my 4 year old grandchild loves these books on my i-Phone…you can read them yourself or you can listen to them being read to you. They are delightful.

Should Your Child Be Using an E-Reader? | CSH Greenwich Middle School Parent Blog

Adults with e-readers and tablets continue to report that they’re reading more, a trend that we can hope trickles down to younger readers. After all, we should always be happy seeing children reading, no matter the format.




Preventing Sports Concussions Among Children…Some Ways To Help

I see those positives. Yet if it were my call, those millions would be playing touch football instead. Many would be learning the fundamentals of tackling and other football skills. But they would not be playing tackle football until they turned 14.

via Preventing Sports Concussions Among Children | CSH Greenwich Middle School Parent Blog.


This is a statement made by

Robert C. Cantu, a clinical professor in the department of neurosurgery and a co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine, is a co-author with Mark Hyman of the new book “Concussions and Our Kids.”

After reading this blog post from a parent blog at Greenwhich Middle School, I could not help but agree with Dr. Cantu from a medical point of view.

It seems to me, many parents do not realize, their children are not just small versions of adults. Fact: children are still growing and their bodies are not strong enough for contact sports until around age 14.

So why do I see so many “little” kids playing soccer all over our town…where many of the parents are in fact doctors…shouldn’t they know better??? I would think so!

Why is it that sports play such an important role in our lives even when the statistics show that injuries in childhood can have long lasting effects later on in life?

Shouldn’t parents be advocating for stricter playing rules for contact sports that are played by children younger than fourteen years old?

How do we as parents and grandparents call for rule changes for contact sports,  given all we now know about sports injuries in childhood?

Concussions are serious and traumatic encephalopathy is not something to be taken lightly.

Even broke bones can be much more serious in childhood because the growth plates can be injured causing a much more complicated healing process.

Schools, sports groups and parents should be aware of the seriousness of contact sports injuries.

Maybe when insurance companies and sports groups realize this is as a new area of  culpability, things will change and kids will not be put at risk. Risks that children, themselves are unaware of…after all if kid’s  parents encourage these sports, they should be safe to play…right???

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Preschool Problems…

I recently read a post which discussed whether we should be teaching our kids to hit back when another child hits them in preschool.

Personally, I think hitting back in school should not encouraged at any age much less in preschool. If a child is being hit at school, it seems to me that the teacher should intervene. If the offending child keeps hitting that calls for parent/teacher discussions.

Our preschool does not tolerate hitting and deals with these issues directly with the offending child’s family. Apologies are expected from the child doing the hitting to the child or children that he/she hit. That is usually the end of it. I am not sure what happens if this type of behavior continues.

It seems that encouraging a child to hit back does nothing to solve the problem…it merely tells another child that hitting is okay in certain instances. To me, preschoolers, do not seem to have the ability to differentiate between when hitting back may in fact be appropriate.

I think preschoolers should defend themselves by telling the teacher and telling their parents.

The parent should then make sure that this is resolved swiftly and appropriately.

What do you think about teaching your preschool child to defend him/herself? Would you encourage hitting back? If so under what circumstances would you think hitting back was okay?

Do dads feel differently about this problem?


Toast Tuesday!

I know it is a little late but here is my “toast” today.

iGame Mom is a wonderful blog for parents looking for good Apps for children. I have downloaded many Apps that have been suggested on this site…most were free or at special pricing.

Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

A place for the busy parents to discover the good educational Apps for kids, and learn what they can do to stay engaged with the kids in the new games world.

via About — iGameMom.

Week In Review…

A few of my favorite reads this week…

Parenting can be so damn stressful. Kids push boundaries and buttons, and it’s a parent’s job to stay calm and steady in the face of it all. But most of us don’t perform this job with absolute perfection. We sometimes and say things to our kids we wish we could stuff back inside our mouths.

The Safety of Sleepovers: I Dont Trust Other Parents | BlogHer

This headline really caught my eye because I really did not trust other parents with my children…it was something left with me long ago from my grandmother ,who raised me along with my mother. She was so wise. For as long as I remember, I knew this fact and never denied it and rarely argued it.

 Bedtime is always a challenge…I truly have never heard so many reasons why it is necessary to get out of bed once the routine is done, the goodnights are said and the lights are out save for the nightlight. I always feel super guilty if the reason given for getting out of bed is “I’m hungry, Neena” Quick and Healthy bedtime snacks will do away my guilt…take a look. Any other suggestions for keeping kids in bed after the “final good night kiss”.

I hope you have a nice weekend…we are staying close to home and away from the NATO Summit here in Chicago!