Fall 2007

Dear Friends

The lure of the quick fix can be tempting for parents. Whenever I feel myself sliding down that slippery slope, I remember the time my parents definitely did not take the easy way out -- the day I met my childhood best friend, Polli.

We were about as different as two 6-year-olds could be. Shy Polli, with her blonde pixie cut, was as much of a beach and country girl as I was an extroverted city slicker. I was all about my shiny plastic boat; Polli was enamored with the scampering crabs along the shoreline. Her first words to me were, ''You're not afraid of crabs, are you?'' as she flicked several of the creatures into my boat. I was horrified and couldn't get home to my parents fast enough -- home to where I would find comfort, love, and vindication! Yes, I was convinced they would surely put this little hellion in her place. How they handled it, though, turned out to be one of the greatest lessons of my childhood and a template I would use many times with my own daughter.

Some may take issue with what my dad did. They may say his words were not conducive to building my budding self esteem. While I initially was stunned by my dad's response, I believe it was just the medicine my hyper-sensitive, princess-in-training soul needed. ''No daughter of mine is going to be afraid of some little crabs.''

What?! No ''Poor baby!''? No blaming that wretched tomboy? Instead, my dad presented me with a bucket of the feared crustaceans. ''Watch this!'' he said, as he plunged his bare arm into the saltwater. Soon his arm was covered with the creepy crawlers, as he enthusiastically talked to them. ''Hey, guys. Where do you think you're going?'' He then invited me to try it. Reluctantly I put my arm in the bucket, and soon I was laughing at these interesting looking creatures tickling my arm. He then strongly encouraged me to return for Round II with Blondie. So with the confidence of a maritime sailor, I rejoined the girl who would become my lifetime friend.

I've often wondered what the outcome might have been had my dad not encouraged me to work this conflict out on my own. Might I have missed the friendship of a lifetime? Might I have one day found myself living the life of an entitled, yet helpless, woman and wonder why I was so depressed? Parenting is such a balancing act of knowing when to provide comfort and when to seize the ''teachable moment.'' The greatest gift we can give our children is a lot of both.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

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Holiday 2007

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