Author: Parent Cue

Improv Parents

Guest Post by Jon Williams Improvisational Theatre.  In my mind, there is truly nothing more exciting than watching two to three performers take a couple of completely random suggestions from an audience and make a complete story right in front of me.  As an audience member, I feel like I am on stage with them. It’s agony. It’s fantastic. It’s improv. So, how do performers make up stories on the spot and create these massive story lines right in front of your face? Are these performers master actors with years of training? Very rarely. They are able to do all of this by learning one very valuable statement. The statement is simple. It’s “Yes, and…” The “Yes, and…” is a very powerful tool. Very simply, it’s never saying “no.” It’s difficult. It’s challenging. It’s improv. In an improv situation, everything that comes out of another actor’s mouth is considered gold. Now, it might not actually BE gold, but it is your job as a fellow performer to treat it as such. And the only way you can do that is by saying “Yes, and…”  Let me reiterate. EVEN IF IT’S A BAD IDEA AND EVERYONE IN THE ROOM KNOWS IT, you still treat it as gold. It’s power. It’s grace. It’s improv. So, why am I taking up very valuable real estate on a parenting blog talking about improvisational...

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Too much too soon?

Did you hear about the New York mom who sued her daughter’s preschool because it hadn’t properly prepared her four-year-old for entrance exams for an elite education? “It is no secret that getting a child into the Ivy League starts in nursery school,” reads one tenet of the lawsuit. I don’t care how smart your kid is, when college-like competitiveness overtakes the creativity and wonder of childhood, something is wrong. Recent research released by MIT and UC Berkley seems to agree. Slate Magazine reported the study and concluded, “New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger...

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10 Ways to Tame your Temper

Here are 10 tips from the Mayo Clinic to help you control your anger: 1. Take a timeout. 2. Get some space. 3. Once you’re calm, express your anger. 4. Get some exercise. 5. Think carefully before you say anything. 6. Identify solutions to the situation. 7. Use ‘I’ statements when describing the problem. 8. Don’t hold a grudge. 9. Use humor to release tensions. 10. Practice relaxation skills. Click here to read the entire article on anger...

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I Want My Kids To Be Happy

by Kendra Fleming I want a lot of things for my kids, but if I were completely honest, I would tell you that I want my kids to be happy. I don’t like it when they are sad. I feel bad when they don’t make the team. I hate it when they are not invited to the party. When their feelings get hurt, when they are suffering the consequences of poor choices, when their best friend moves away or when their boyfriend breaks up with them; all of these circumstances could possibly break the heart of my kids. They also have the potential to break mine. I want my kids to be happy. I spend a lot of time picking out their birthday gifts because I want to see that big smile of surprise and well… happiness. I go to concerts that I don’t really enjoy because it makes my kids happy! I eat pizza every Friday night. Why? Because my kids love it! But there are a lot of things I do that don’t make them so happy. They’ve all had their shots. Ouch! I cook vegetables on most nights. They have to help with the dishes and do their homework. They have to be home by their curfew. They aren’t allowed to go to certain parties, and they don’t get everything they want. In other words, sometimes...

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The Most Stressful Time of the Year

According to a survey  released by the American Psychological Association this month, nearly 75% of respondents reported unhealthy stress levels in 2010. The survey also found that parents may underestimate the impact of stress on their families. While 69% of parents say their stress has little or no impact on their children, 91% of kids ages 8 to 17 report that they can tell when their parents are stressed. You can read the full “Stress in America Report” here. There’s no doubt that in our efforts to make this the “most wonderful time of the year”, the holiday season can bring on even more stress. The “Holiday Stress Index” conducted by Harris Interactive reported that 90% of respondents say they experience stress during the holiday season. So, what is everyone so stressed about? According to another survey by the American Psychological Association, Americans list lack of money (61%), the pressures of gift giving (42%), lack of time (34%) and credit card debt (23%) as top causes of holiday stress. What are you doing to reduce your level of stress this...

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