Asking For Assistance

Written by Maren Schmidt

Can you help me, please?

These five words seem to be hard for many people to say.

In airport check-in lines, at fast food restaurants, or in grocery stores, we may react negatively when someone neglects to ask, “May I help you, please?”

But at...

Asking Permission

Written by Maren Schmidt

For many of us it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

If you really want to do something, why risk being told ”no”? Why endure the hassle of trying to sell your point? Why listen to pessimists who say that what you want to do...

Leave It Ready For The Next Person

Written by Maren Schmidt

Sustainability seems to be a current buzzword. Product labels proclaim sustainability. Clothing is sustainable. Tuna is sustainable. New construction is sustainable.

Marketing types seem to be playing upon our ecological concerns of making sure...

Parents Are The Real Thing

Written by Maren Schmidt

"Humans would degenerate without the child to help him rise. If the adult does not waken little by little, a hard crust will form around him and make him insensible.''

~Dr. Maria Montessori

Being in the city is interesting, to say the least....

Spontaneous Self-Discipline

Written by Maren Schmidt

An indicator of healthy and normal development in children (and adults, too!) is the presence of self-discipline that seems to appear almost out of nowhere.  In reality, there are factors that contribute significantly to the development of...

Teaching Values

Written by Maren Schmidt

”Do you teach values?” a telephone caller asked.

Back in the early 90’s parents were upset that values were being taught in school. Controversy brewed and bubbled.

Do you teach values? The question caught me off guard. How can you not teach...

Please Don't Eat The Marshmallow

Written by Maren Schmidt

In the 1960’s, Walter Mischel conducted the now-famous “marshmallow study” at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford University. A researcher would let a four-year-old choose a treat from a tray and tell the child that he or she could eat the treat...

Beginning A Conversation

Written by Maren Schmidt

We were looking forward to spending the weekend with old friends and their eight- and ten-year-old sons, whom we had never met.

As soon as quick introductions were made, the boys picked up their electronic game machines and headed toward the den.

Do The Hokey Pokey

Written by Maren Schmidt

In the gardening shop I looked up to discover a sign over my head.

”What If The Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About?”

For whatever reasons, I started to laugh. Uncontrollably. My husband came from across the store to see what could be so funny.

...

Time Out Or Time To Think?

Written by Maren Schmidt

Isolating children when they don’t meet our expectations of behavior is one method of implementing time-out. Using time-out may be one of the most popular discipline methods used by parents today. Carl Larsson, the Swedish artist, did a painting...