… If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient. If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world can be a friendly place.”  

Dorothy Law Nolte, Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values, Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World”, Johann Christoph Arnold

Their Name is Today
Johann Christoph Arnold

He surveys the drastic changes in the lives of children, but also the groundswell of grassroots advocacy and action that he believes will lead to the triumph of common sense and time-tested wisdom. Arnold takes on technology, standardized testing, overstimulation, academic pressure, marketing to children, over-diagnosis and much more, calling on everyone who loves children to combat these threats to childhood and find creative ways to help children flourish. Every parent, teacher, and childcare provider has the power to make a difference, by giving children time to play, access to nature, and personal attention, and most of all, by defending their right to remain children.

No Drama Discipline
Daniel J. Siegel

Defining the true meaning of the “d” word (to instruct, not to shout or reprimand), the authors explain how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and turn a meltdown into an opportunity for growth. By doing so, the cycle of negative behavior (and punishment) is essentially brought to a halt, as problem solving becomes a win/win situation. Inside this sanity-saving guide you’ll discover

– strategies that help parents identify their own discipline philosophy–and master the best methods to communicate the lessons they are trying to impart
– facts on child brain development–and what kind of discipline is most appropriate and constructive at all ages and stages
– the way to calmly and lovingly connect with a child–no matter how extreme the behavior–while still setting clear and consistent limits
– tips for navigating your child through a tantrum to achieve insight, empathy, and repair
– twenty discipline mistakes even the best parents make–and how to stay focused on the principles of whole-brain parenting and discipline techniques

Complete with candid stories and playful illustrations that bring the authors’ suggestions to life, No-Drama Discipline shows you how to work with your child’s developing mind, peacefully resolve conflicts, and inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family.

There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather

Linda Åkeson McGurk

When Swedish-born Linda McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized that her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. In Sweden children play outside all year round, regardless of the weather, and letting young babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is not only common—it is a practice recommended by physicians. In the US, on the other hand, she found that the playgrounds, which she had expected to find teeming with children, were mostly deserted. In preschool, children were getting drilled to learn academic skills, while their Scandinavian counterparts were climbing trees, catching frogs, and learning how to compost. Worse, she realized that giving her daughters the same freedom to play outside that she had enjoyed as a child in Sweden could quickly lead to a visit by Child Protective Services.

The brewing culture clash finally came to a head when McGurk was fined for letting her children play in a local creek, setting off an online firestorm when she expressed her anger and confusion on her blog. The rules and parenting philosophies of her native country and her adopted homeland were worlds apart.

Struggling to fit in and to decide what was best for her children, McGurk turned to her own childhood for answers. Could the Scandinavian philosophy of “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” be the key to better lives for her American children? And how would her children’s relationships with nature change by introducing them to Scandinavian concepts like friluftsliv (“open-air living”) and hygge (the coziness and the simple pleasures of home)? McGurk embarked on a six-month-long journey to Sweden to find out. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather is a fascinating personal narrative that highlights the importance of spending time outdoors, and illustrates how the Scandinavian culture could hold the key to raising healthier, resilient, and confident children in America.

Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities
David Sobel

Through academic research, practical examples, and step-by-step strategies drawn from classrooms throughout the United States, Sobel celebrates teachers who emphasize the connection of school, community, and environment. Place-Based Education uses the local community and environment as the starting place for curriculum learning, strengthening community bonds, appreciation for the natural world, and a commitment to citizen engagement.

Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Hear in Nature Education
David Sobel

Beyond Ecophobia speaks to teachers, parents, and others interested in nurturing in children the ability to understand and care for nature. This expanded version of one of Orion Magazine’s most popular articles includes descriptions of developmentally appropriate environmental education activities and a list of related children’s books.

The Hundred Languages of Children
Carolyn Edwards, Lella Gandini, George Forman

Educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, use a distinctive innovative approach that supports children’s well-being and fosters their intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation. From birth through age six, young children are encouraged to explore their environment and express their understanding through many modes of expression or “languages,” including verbal communication, movement, drawing, painting, sculpture, shadow play, collage, and music. This organic strategy has been shown to be highly effective, as the children in Reggio Emilia display surprising examples of symbolic skill and creativity.

This book describes how the world-renowned preschool services and accompanying practical strategies for children under six in Reggio Emilia have evolved in response to the community’s demographic and political transformations, and to generational changes in both the educators and the parents of the children. The authors provide the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the Reggio Emilia experience, and address three of the most important central themes of the work in Reggio in detail: teaching and learning through relationships; the hundred languages of children, and how this concept has evolved; and integrating documentation into the process of observing, reflecting, and communicating.

Boulder County Resources

SNAP: Food and Nutrition Assistance

WIC: Special supplement nutrition for women, infants, and children

The Languages of Food
Reggio Children, Italy

In Reggio Emilia, the choice of having a kitchen in each of the infant-toddler centers and preschools has always conveyed a strong meaning, both pedagogical and cultural. The kitchen is a place for listening to the families and their habits, as well as for orientation toward the community where lunchtime becomes a space and context of relationships and encounters with the world. This is the backdrop for a cookbook made up of good recipes, experiences, projects, and thoughts that are constructed and take shape in and around the kitchen.

Child Care Assistance Program
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides financial assistance to eligible low-income families who need child care benefits for children from birth to age 12. If you are eligible, a portion of the total child care cost will be paid. You will be required to pay a portion of the childcare costs directly to the provider based on family size and income.

Act Early: Track your child’s developmental Milestones

PEAK: Health coverage, food & nutrition, child care, employment, and more

Boulder County Healthy Kids (CHP+)

Boulder County Housing & Human services: Healthy Communities

Lafayette Eye Associates
Provides FREE eye exams for infants 6 to 12 months and accept Medicaid and CHP

Finding Low Cost Dental Care

Finding Health Insurance Coverage

Free Tax Help

ALK Blogs and Articles

Kids are amazing creatures who never fail to bring wonder to a parent’s life. On the other hand, they also bring an equal measure of exasperation, too. Indeed, as parents, you definitely have your work cut out for you, but to be sure, you likely won’t have it any other way. Thankfully, there are always ways to make parenting just a tad easier. Here are some great links to help you achieve that in various stages of your children’s lives.

Overall Wellness
Maintaining your child’s physical, mental, and emotional health is among the most important tasks of parenting.

Dietary Recommendations for Healthy Children
Toddler Exercise: 5 Tips to Get Moving!
Puberty: Helping Your Child Handle the Changes
6 Facts Parents Should Know About Mental Illness in Teens

Intellectual Stimulation
Keeping your child challenged and engaged intellectually guarantees both academic excellence and street smarts.

7 Educational and Entertaining Activities for Little Kids
Tech Tools for Learning at Home
Learning Math at Home
How Homeschooling Can Make Kids Smarter
How (and Why) to Encourage Your Teens to Write More

Healthy Habits
Healthy habits that encourage productivity, consistency, and hard work in your child starts at a young age.

Healthy Habits You Should Teach Your Child Now
How to Keep Nap Time Consistent With Little Fuss
How to Motivate Your Teenager to Do School Work

At the end of the day, it’s still best to trust your instincts, as well as trust your child’s capacities. Ultimately, you’ll find that while raising kids isn’t exactly a breeze, it can be a lot simpler, helping you better recognize it for what it is — the adventure of a lifetime.

by Kris Louis