The month of December can sneak up on you like a train at an underground station! It appears out of nowhere and barely gives you a chance to get on board before it whisks you away. For many people, December is a busy month filled with holiday celebrations, activities, and family traditions.
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When it comes to parenting a one-year-old, I’ve learned speed is a necessity. Recently, my child and I played at the base of the hills we hike. My kiddo crawled around in a beautiful open space painted with warm colors bursting from the trees.
It was a last-minute arrangement. I offered to watch the kids for a couple of hours, so my cousin could run some errands. I was excited to see the children, and they were just as happy to see me. Their parents said goodbye, and we were busy playing when out of the blue, big tears rolled down one child’s cheeks.
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If you scroll through a plethora of tucked-away photo albums beneath the staircase of my parents’ home, you’ll eventually come across the pictures capturing my fourth birthday. Among these photos, you’ll find documentation of the moment Tabby was gifted to me. Tabby was a baby doll designed to look like a newborn.
Isn’t it delightful to see a child’s exuberant excitement? Their energy erupts in uncontainable hops, jumps, and wiggles like soda bubbles fizzing to the top of a glass. A child’s laughs and smiles are contagious and automatically spread joy to those around them. Having moments of fun with kids has a way of refreshing our souls and reminding us of what’s important in life.
Bouncing on an exercise ball, typing away in my cozy home office, and breaking to rub my growing belly was how I spent last July. 2021 was a busy year for the product development team at Great Kids. We were excited to announce the launch of our play-based preschool curriculum just this month, and I was honored to be a part of the group that worked to pull this product together.
“Can I play the drums again?” they asked. Without giving it a moment of thought, a “no” came out of my mouth. It wasn’t the most convincing ‘no’ ⸺ more of a feeble reaction to the extra effort this activity would require when my patience was already thin. To this child, that no from their warm-hearted aunt sounded negotiable, and the lure of the shiny drum kit won over.
As I settle in to write this evening, the blue sky is fading to dark, and the evidence of a busy day lies scattered amongst my home. Stacked dishes fill the kitchen sink, toys decorate the living room floor, and dirty laundry overflows from every hamper.
Why am I talking about trees, you might wonder? Well, yesterday’s incident got me thinking about how unexpected storms can also come up in life, and if we, our families, and our communities are healthy and resilient, we’re in a better place to withstand these pressures and thrive.
March is finally here! If you’re like me, you’re eager for this month to arrive. I’m happy to welcome longer days, warmer weather, and a brand-new season. One of the ways my family celebrates the budding trees and blooming flowers is by firing up the grill. You can often find us stacking shish kabobs with colorful peppers, slices of sweet onion, and juicy chunks of pineapple.
Almost a decade later, when I reflect on this memory, I can still feel this parent’s presence. At that moment, nothing else mattered in the entire world to this parent. It almost seemed as if time was standing still. Looking back on this memory, it’s obvious what was happening right before my eyes. This parent was fully present with their infant. A secure attachment relationship was forming.
I paused at the entrance to the trail, double-checking that I was prepared for the unknown. Water, check. Shoes tied, check. Trail map, check. I took a deep breath and my first steps into uncertain terrain. Equal parts eager and apprehensive.
In training a few weeks ago, a home visitor shared that her families often express that “they are not doing enough,” and this struck me because I realized I’ve been hearing this sentiment shared a lot lately. Maybe you’ve even had these thoughts yourself:
Growing Great Kids®
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Over 37,000 people have been trained to use the Great Kids curricula
Protective Factors – GGK Constructs
Research informed constructs embedded in the Protective Factors Framework
Alignment with Head Start
The Growing Great Kids Home Based Curricula Series exceeds all Head Start Curriculum requirements
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As evidenced by seven independent evaluations, the GGK Curriculum produces outstanding results
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Healthy Families America
The Growing Great Kids curriculum aligns with and builds upon the HFA model approach