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Telling Our Kids What TO Do: Three Ways to Build a Child’s Self-Confidence

At one of the schools I have the pleasure of visiting regularly, this week’s craft table featured what the teacher appropriately called the “paper guillotine,” along with some glue and paper. At one point, an unsuspecting adult walked over and saw the setup. She inquired, only half-jokingly, “Oh, is this the table where you slice …

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Observing the Experts (Who Are Rarely Adults, With This Exception)

  For the past week, I’ve attended a multi-age outdoor school led by Teacher Tom, who’s hailed by parenting experts as one of the “world’s leading practitioners of ‘democratic play-based’ education.”* If you haven’t followed his blog or bought his book, you should, and if you can attend his class, even better. Although I exceed the age limit …

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The Doctor, the Dentist, the Anxiety, Oh My! Helping Your Child Find Peace in Predictably Scary Situations

From the backseat of the car, my daughter asked me to tell her a story. Since we were on the way to her annual well child exam, I wondered if she was seeking a virtual role play in which the heroine of my story would be on her way to the doctor, too. So, sure …

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“I’m Not Your Mom” and Other Tips for Raising Self-Sufficient Humans

After finishing a two-week, multi-age summer class with Teacher Tom, who’s an internationally respected teacher and writer, I asked my child what she thought he was really good at. She pondered my question for a moment and thoughtfully replied, “He’s really good at sitting.” Well, shoot. At the risk of bragging, I’m a fine sitter, myself. Now that I know …

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