Welcome to “On the Horizon”
Issue 15: Moments Together: Engaging Our Children in Everyday Life
On the Horizon is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.
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Enjoying the Moment!
A Note from Nicole: Happy June! T.I.M.E. for children
Idea of the Week: Strawberry Shortcake Delight
Feature Article: Moments Together: Engaging Our Children in Everyday Life
Featured Resource: Do Something Daily Calendar
Featured Program: Summer Camps 2008
Upcoming Events: CORE Approach Workshops, Sib Shop
Happy June! The school year is coming to a close this week for those of us in West Michigan. At the start of the summer it always seems like there is this huge stretch of weeks ahead for relaxing, getting projects done, going to the beach, etc. I often find that August is here before I know it, and I try to cram all the “summer stuff” we were going to do into the last few weeks before school starts again. I’ve got a goal to try to space some of those summer adventures out a bit more this year!
For my article this week I chose to focus on the moments we spend together with our children, and how we choose to engage with them. I watched something unfold in a restaurant recently that compelled me to think about how we often miss the opportunities that are present in small moments throughout the day. There is a very moving video, entitled “To a Child Love is Spelled T-I-M-E,” that highlights the points I make in the article. The movie is brief (about 3 minutes) and you can view it here. I hope you’ll take the time to watch the movie, read the article, and think about the moments you will spend with your child today.
Looking to the horizon,
Strawberry Shortcake Delight!
Strawberry shortcake is a great summer treat! Work together to bake a favorite shortcake recipe and let it cool. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and rinse them. Once the strawberries are rinsed, begin smashing up the berries. Try a variety of utensils to smash with, such as a spoon, fork, spatula, etc. Each person can decide which utensil worked the best for them—did everyone choose the same one or did different people like different tools? Place the strawberries on your shortcake and enjoy! To make the strawberries sweeter, try adding a little sugar.
Bonus Idea: Thanks to Alicia Erbter for sending this recipe our way!
Gluten-free No Bake Cookies
2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 cups certified GF oats or quinoa flakes
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Add oats or quinoa flakes, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.
Moments Together: Engaging Our Children in Everyday Life
By: Nicole Beurkens, M.Ed.
I witnessed something this past week that has caused me to think about the time we spend with our children, and the importance of everyday moments. While standing in line at the counter of our family’s favorite pizza place, waiting for our take-out order to be ready, I noticed a little girl and her parents walk into the restaurant and sit down. The girl was probably around 5 years old, and she smiled widely at me as they walked past. My pizza was taking a while, so I had the opportunity to stand and watch this family out of the corner of my eye.
They sat in a booth together, the little girl next to her father and across from her mother. After ordering their drinks, both parents immediately pulled out their cell phones. The father was pressing buttons with his phone to his ear, apparently listening to voicemail messages. The mother was fiddling with the buttons on her phone while looking at the screen. I watched as the little girl sat there silently looking around the restaurant, then back at her parents. She intermittently sipped her drink, kicked her shoes off and then put them back on, and at one point handed her glasses to her mother to have them cleaned. Her mother set the phone down long enough to wipe the glasses with a napkin, and then promptly devoted herself to the phone once again. The only other time I observed the parents to pause their interactions with the cell phones was when the server came to take their order. As soon as the server left the table, those cell phones were back in hand again.
I watched this go on for 15 minutes as I continued to wait for our pizzas, and the same scenario was still occurring as I left the restaurant with pizzas in hand. There was a part of me that wanted to go over to the table, grab those cell phones, and make the parents look at their little girl. That, coupled with a lecture about the importance of relationships and engagement in the development of children, would have made me feel much better! I resisted the urge, however, and instead thought about this sad commentary on our society and how we define “spending time” with our children.
Do Something Daily Calendar
$19.95 (Per Calendar) Each day includes ideas to inspire you and your children. Calendars are assembled by clients in our EmployAbilities program. $1.00 from every calendar will be donated to FARR.
Click on the image below to visit our store!
Summer Camps 2008!
There are still some openings! We will continue to take registrations until all spots are filled. Check for open sessions!
Your child is going to LOVE the exciting adventures we have planned for this summer! Each week we will explore a different theme together, complete with lots of opportunities for movement, music, problem solving, working together, and indoor and outdoor fun. Our camps are design to offer a fun, safe, and therapeutic environment for children with developmental disabilities to engage with peers, try new things, and retain skills over the summer months. A low staff to child ratio ensures that everyone is supported. Principles of the Relationship Development Intervention (CORE Approach) Program are integrated throughout all activities, which provides oportunities for campers to improve communication, increase competence, enhance regulation, and build relationships.
For a brochure, click here
For a registration form, click here
To sign up online, click here
Please join us!
- Parent Chat – Great Books to Read for Kids & Adults
For current clients only
Tuesday June 3, 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM EST
- Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) ® Program 2-Day Workshop
June 13 and 14 in Lansing, MI
Click here for more information or to register.
- Teleseminar – Co-Occurring Disorders: Separating Core Deficits From Other Symptoms
For current clients only
Tuesday June 17, 8:30 PM EST
- SibShop – Horizons Sibling Network
Open to everyone!
Saturday June 28, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST
- Beginning CORE Approach 4-day Parent Seminar – Lansing, MI
Registration and Location Information To Be Announced…
See our Event Calendar for more details…