Category Archives: Ask Kara

Ask Kara-How do I help my pushing/hitting toddler learn to interact with his/her peers?

I was chatting with a friend the other day who asked my advice about how to help her toddler (almost 2) who is aggressive with other kids. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a toddler, but I have to admit that both Sofia and Gabe went through  hitting/pushing/toy stealing stages right before they turned two […]

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Amanda N. - September 28, 2011 - 11:03 pm

I have had to leave a few places due to naughty behavior. It’s difficult at times because it seems more like a punishment on the parent than the kid, but it works. The next time Chance started acting up, I simply said…”remember we had to leave Gigi’s house because…xyz”? — stopped him dead in his tracks.

Parenting is hard. And sometimes it’s a struggle to know what you’re doing because it takes time to see results.

Kara - September 28, 2011 - 11:14 pm

Amanda, this parenting gig is hard!!
Here are a couple of comments that I got on facebook too:
Jennifer said:
Another awesome article Kara and I can’t wait to check-out this series of books! While small children hitting small children can be common, I think it’s crucial to pay close attention to the duration. Meaning-if the behavior is sticking around past the “typical” age-range, it can be a red flag (not always of course but it can). Sometimes children hit because they have vestibular/spacial and even vision issues. Again, like so many others, hitting can be a sensory issue that often goes undetected and therefore can be a continual problem. BTW…I laughed so hard at your “poop flowers” comment! That was a good one! Thank you again for the fantastic information!

Jenn said:
another idea that may work for some and not others is something I did which was paired up with a mom in corvallis who has a daughter the same age as Maeby and who were both aggressive and we more or less let them figure it out with each other. We never let the aggressiveness go too far, but letting them wrestle and play rough with each other within some boundaries let them get it out of their system. It actually kept them from hitting or being aggressive with other kids because we could say “no, you save that for playtime with Lilly” and she’d stop. It could just be how things worked out for us, but sometimes letting kids kind of work it out (obviously without letting it go too far) helps them figure out a lot of other things too especially social skills and their own physical limitations.

juliette - October 1, 2011 - 8:21 pm

What? What was that lovely floral aroma in the bathroom this evening after my perfect daughter pooped (in the toilet, of course…she would just NEVER poop her pants!)

Ask Kara-Preschool Options

I received the following question from Chrissy last week: “Your kiddos are of preschool age (and beyond?), right? I was wondering what your opinion is of all the local preschooling options, and maybe what you’ve chosen yourself. Or are the homeschooled/unschooled~? I’d love your input! Thanks!” I love this question Chrissy. I feel like preschool […]

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Michelle - August 18, 2011 - 4:38 am

Just my two cents, we’re planning to send our baby to Montessori. I think it’s a phenomenal program for the kiddos!

Camille - August 18, 2011 - 12:53 pm

I would love it if others would chime in here and add:

Name of your child’s preschool
A few details about their activities/philosophy
On a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), how thrilled are/were you about it?

Kara, maybe you could start a new post soliciting this general info.

Wendy M. - August 19, 2011 - 7:59 am

Both my kids went to Grant Avenue Preschool and we were all very happy with it.

-They do a little bit of very basic academic instruction every day (i.e.- letters, the sounds they make, etc.) Most of the day is spent playing, listening to stories, more playing, snack, crafts, etc. The primary focus was on developing social skills/learning to play well together, learning to sit still and follow teacher’s directions and so on.

-It is at a church and I loved that they used Bible stories (and the fact that they kept it non-denominational.)

-There were several field trips (going to the library on the city bus, the lambing barns, the pumpkin patch, Papa’s pizza are the ones I can recall) and that is the only time they request parent involvment with the class. Once a month (approx) we were responsible to bring in snack for the class.

-Overall, I can’t imagine that we would have been happier anywhere else…we were fortunate to find a good fit!

kara - August 19, 2011 - 9:17 am

Michelle,
I have heard really good things about Montessori from all of my friends who do it!
Camille,
I am going to link to facbook to try to solicit more responses!!
Wendy,
One thing I consistently hear about Grant Avenue is how loving they are with the children, and that alone almost sells it for me. It sounds like a great program.

kara - August 19, 2011 - 9:18 am

Michelle,
I have heard really good things about Montessori from all of my friends who do it!
Camille,
I am going to link to facbook to try to solicit more responses!!
Wendy,
One thing I consistently hear about Grant Avenue is how loving they are with the children, and that alone almost sells it for me. It sounds like a great program.

EmmaJ - August 19, 2011 - 10:29 am

We are sending our oldest to her first year of preschool (she just turned 4) starting next month. Out here in VA it is pretty competitive and we signed her up in February, and it was full by March. I costs 3 times what my sister paid in UT, but most things are like that out here. She is going to the same school that some of her friends go to although she is only going 3 days a week (9-12) and they go 5, so they won’t be in the same class. I was thinking about doing a home program, but then with a newborn and a 1 year old I knew that would be impossible. We have full day Kindergarten here, so I felt that getting her out to a preschool was necessary to help with that transition.

Audra - August 19, 2011 - 8:23 pm

My oldest went to Waldorf for preschool. We LOVED it there. The environment is so warm and the Waldorf philosophy works for us. No Elizabeth is not reading and she mixes up numbers and letters sometimes but she knows how to plant a garden put on a puppet show and recite stories from memory how to bake and prepare vegetable soup. I also love that Elizabeth would come home dirty and tired from being out side most of the day RAIN OR SHINE. If I could have our children go through all the grades I would. Unfortunately that is just not possible with as much as we move:)

Amy - August 19, 2011 - 8:23 pm

My son went to Zion Lutheran Preschool this past year. He’ll be going there for Pre-K this next year. He absolutely loved the teacher, but she retired and there is a new teacher now. (He wanted to have her over for play dates!) He has had the new teacher this summer (since I work), and she seems to be good. She is very caring and interacts well with the kids. The Pre-K teacher is the director of the Early Learning Center, and I’ve heard she is FABulous.
*The preschool focuses on learning through play, storytime, art, etc. They go outside for play time if it’s not raining.
*The Pre-K is a bit more “academic”, but from what I saw last year they still had lots of play time and art activities. I’m not really sure what else Jonas will do in PreK.

Ask Kara-Tips from a garage sale queen

I am often asked about how I score such amazing finds/deals at garage sales. I buy a large majority of our stuff second hand, and I thought that I would share some tips for buying and selling at garage sales. Tips for buying: I usually look on Craigslist and at the Gazette Times online to […]

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Wendy M. - August 11, 2011 - 9:06 am

Oh, Kara- I just want you to be my garage sale personal-shopper. :-) I’m always impressed with your success in finding great items! I haven’t had any luck with the few sales I’ve visited this year (although I do feel pretty good about the items I’ve found at the Furniture Share benefit sales- you *have* to go with me next time!)

EmmaJ - August 12, 2011 - 4:06 am

I wish I lived near you so we could go to yard sales together and I could learn from your wisdom. I don’t go to yard sales, I have just never had good luck so I stopped going. I have had great luck at the REI Attic sale though.

kara - August 12, 2011 - 1:31 pm

Wendy,
Give me a list!! I really do want to make it with you to the furniture sale. Keep asking me, and eventually I will be able to go :)
Emma,
My sister just scored for us at the REI attic sale. She got each of my kids brand new looking keens in the next size for $8!!

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Ask Kara

Hey Friends, I am going to start a new series on the blog called, “Ask Kara.” It’s my own fancy advice column that you can all participate in. What I need from you all is to contact me with random questions. Your questions can be about pretty much anything that you would like my perspective […]

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Amanda N - August 6, 2011 - 8:52 pm

Hmmmm. Ask Kara. It’s weird that I’m drawing a blank as to what I could ask you. I already ask you stuff all the time, right. Ugh. This makes me miss you for some reason. Xoxo.