Happy New Year Baristaville!
BY Georgette Gilmore | Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 12:00pm
Happy New Year Baristaville!
It happens at our house every year at this time without fail. My oldest child, the one at school—that giant petri dish of bacteria and viruses—comes home with a cough, which worsens over the week and keeps him up at night. He then passes it on to his baby sister, who puts her own spin on the sickness and then sends it my way. After a few days of stuffy headed numbness, I begin to emerge from the fog only to find my husband unable to get out of bed. Somehow, the cold virus that passes among my family members gets worse with time and is hardest on him.
I love the New Year’s holiday. I love the “dancing, kissing, champagne, onion dip” as the characters exclaim in my favorite New Year’s musical “Striking 12” (my husband is one of the stars of the show). And I love the opportunity New Years presents to review the past, reconnect with personal dreams, and resolve to manifest them in the New Year. And I believe that New Year’s resolutions are also an opportunity for children to learn the value of goal-setting and self-discipline.
I asked my son what he thought about this whole New Years Resolution-setting thing. He immediately and enthusiastically started listing off all kinds of resolutions for himself: “be a great runner, be a great artist, have fun because when kids are having fun the world is a happier place, etc., etc.”
“Excellent; he is a boy with dreams!” I thought. But then pragmatic mom jumped in “how can I help him to actually achieve these things and feel good about himself?”
You see I know that helping children to believe they can succeed is an essential life-skill. It is what psychologists call “self-efficacy”*, the ability to define a goal, persevere, and see oneself as capable. Researchers have found direct correlations between high self-efficacy and personal accomplishment, reduced stress and lower vulnerability to depression. Aren’t those qualities that every parent wants their children to possess? Researchers found that one of the key sources for building self-efficacy is through observing others. Seeing someone similar to oneself work hard to achieve a goal makes you a believer that you too can do the same. Isn’t that what the Weight Watchers advertising team is banking on?
A great way to encourage these types of observations with your children is through stories, either factual or fictional. Try these practices in the New Year:
Here is a picture of Montclair Winters Past: the former American Ironworks at 194 Bloomfield Ave., which added charm and the promise of undiscovered treasures to the avenue before it was purchased to make way for a condo building in 2005, and then abandoned.
This picture was sent to us by Gordon Emrich, brother of the late Michael Emrich, the entrepreneurial antiquarian who owned Americana Ironworks and passed away this past year at the age of 49.
BY Georgette Gilmore | Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 8:00am
|This photo slideshow created with Smilebox|
The Karuna Shala is holding a New Year’s Day benefit for Yogic Chai, which has been trying to raise funds for its online chai business. A New Beginnings Flow with Ivy class will include live drumming by Icarus. A $20 donation is suggested.
The class will be Sunday morning, Jan. 1, from 10:00 – 11:30. For more information click here.
This morning I dropped a shovel on a bare spot of the garden and the garden bounced it back. The eternal optimist, I then thrust the shovel down nearby and it went right into the soil! So I then filled a large lasagne pan with soil from around the second spot and put it into the oven, now empty from Christmas baking. The compost was harder to dig, but I put another large pan of compost in the oven. Someday in the not-too-distant future when we go out to a dinner or a party, I will set the oven at 200 or 250, depending on how long I plan to be away. Then I will be able to make potting soil for early plants inside.
Friday, Dec 30, 2011 10:40am | COMMENTS (1)
1. Give Blood. 30 minutes can give someone else life. Find nearby locations to do so here.
2. Support the Squad. And the dozens of volunteers who donate hundreds of hours every week to keep South Orange safe. Donate to the South Orange Rescue Squad here.
3. Find a community group to get involved in. Spend just a few hours a month helping to make South Orange a better place. From SOPAC, to YouthNet, to Clean Sweep, there is a way for you get involved. Full list here.
Watch Torpey discuss his ideas for giving back in this special video:
Most of us make resolutions to eat better, exercise more, or some other health related thing, but as parents, the new year is also a great time to reflect on our jobs as moms and dads and see how we can improve.
For some parents it may be to spend more quality time with their children. Others may need a little help in the patience department. My parenting resolution is to let my girls become more independent by a) backing off a bit and letting them try new things, even if I’m afraid they might get hurt and b) giving them more responsibility.
Here are what some other Barista parents want to improve, or do, in 2012: