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Help children learn the skill of Reflection

A university professor ended her week of instruction with reflection questions for her students: What was your significant learning this past week? What did you learn or what was reinforced about yourself? Reflection didn't happen. She asked the students to get in...

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Hot and bothered in the summer

I got into my hot car after the final stop of my morning errands. A foul-up at the self-checkout was going to make me late for a lunch date. I hate being late and I lost my composure as I drove to meet my friend and her 11-year-old granddaughter for lunch and a movie....

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Kids caring about their neighbors

Days ago, I emptied the last cardboard moving box and heaved a weary sigh of relief as I flattened it for recycling. At least now I could see all our stuff. Where to put it is another matter. At this stage of my life, I’ve decided the best option for me is to let the...

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Rediscovering the sacred, for kids’ sake!

Mr. Rogers treated children and their inner lives as sacred. Sacred is defined as connected with God; holy; blessed. “Talking to children about God is a key component of their sense of self,” says Rabbi David Wolpe. “Children are taught that they are important, but...

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Hear me. Let me help make this decision.

How do we become much more intentional and specific about the kinds of relationships kids need at home, at school, and in other places they spend time? In attempting to bring insight to this question, Search Institute proposes five essential actions in a family’s...

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Extended family and friends: what we offer to kids

Within my family I’m a great-aunt, and to some of my friends, I’m “like-an-aunt” to their kids or grandchildren.  I’m also “like-a-grandma” to two dear children. What spiritual impact can extended family have on kids? Time well spent We’re inching our way toward time...

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“What are the magic words?” Please? Thank you?

“I asked the boys to find something they wanted to give each other (in secret), and told them that afterwards we would use some scrap paper and wrap the "gifts" up.  They happily ran around trying to find things (my two-year-old usually came back with things that were...

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Empathy–do this simple, free activity with kids

After reading Bob Sornson’s book, Stand in My Shoes: Kids learning about empathy, Sheila Sjolseth wrote about a family activity worth sharing with our readers. The ability to notice what others feel Empathy is “the ability to notice what other people feel. Empathy...

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Blog’s 5th anniversary and 5 answers

When did you realize you wanted to blog? When I finished writing Child-Centered Spirituality but before its publication, several smart people recommended that I start a blog so that I’d have a place to raise issues around the subject. How did you feel when you started...

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My Christmas-Hanukkah story

“Who can tell us what Hanukkah means?” asked Ms. Simon my third-grade teacher one long ago December day. My hand shot up eagerly and I started into the story of how Judah Maccabee led a revolt against the Syrians. I continued with descriptions of the dreidel game and...

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Inclusive Thanksgiving gratitude expressions

Give everybody what they want for Thanksgiving: Offer one harmonious moment of silence and they will thank you. Gratitude expressions--inclusive and authentic--add deeper meaning to the holiday. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and your table will include...

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