ADHD and the Morning Routine

Mornings can be hard for all us, but they are especially difficult for children (and even adults) with ADD or ADHD. Children have a hard time moving at a steady pace, getting out the door on time, and avoiding falling into anger or frustration. A recent article by John F. Taylor, Ph.D., entitled “ADHD and the Morning Routine,” explores what causes morning conflicts and struggles. Continue reading

Tending the Seedlings

A bean seedling reaches for the sky.

A few weeks ago we started on our spring garden, and with the recent rain and longer, sunny days things are growing by leaps and bounds. I was a gardener before I had children, but watching the garden through my toddlers’ eyes is like discovering the magic of plants all over again. They’ve helped me put the seeds in the ground, water them daily, and wait for them to pop up through the rich soil. They’re impatient to find the first tomatoes and peppers and they’ve quickly learned that we have to be gentle with plants, allowing them time and space to grow.

Parents are always looking for ways to keep their children learning and entertained. Camps, performances, and movies are all wonderful, but sometimes the best fun can be had in your own backyard. Gardening allows children to understand where food comes from, the role of the sun and rain in sustaining us, and it gives them an introduction to concepts like patience, diligence and responsibility. And it’s fun — a sustaining kind of fun that will stay with them through their days. After all, as we parents understand, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as watching something grow.

You don’t need a huge yard to start a small garden. You can even grow tomato and pepper plants in pots on your front porch! What’s growing in your garden? What have your children learned in the garden? We’d love to hear your stories!

Tommy Terrific Keeps Kids Laughing

From Tommy Terrific's site.

This past weekend I took my toddler twins to see Tommy Terrific at the downtown library in Little Rock. The premise of Tommy’s show goes like this: Tommy is a big kid who’s there to see Uncle Fumpernutter’s magic show. But when it’s clear that Uncle Fumpernutter is nowhere to be found, Tommy decides to step in and take over. He enlists the children in the audience to help him, and with their help, and information found in the Magician’s Handbook, Tommy Terrific performs a series of impressive magic tricks.

Children crowded on the floor in front of Tommy and his huge pink magicians box and helped Tommy try and figure out how to make sense of the gigantic Magician’s Handbook. I won’t give away any of the tricks or jokes, but let’s just say that bread went flying through the air, sandwiches made themselves, and there were even a few card tricks thrown in for good measure.

My sons were a little young to understand what was going on (after all, all the world is magic to them at this age), but they certainly loved watching all the other kids trying to help Tommy. They sat transfixed for the entire show, which is a magic trick unto itself. The older kids were enthralled, laughing and aiding in the magic tricks with Tommy.

Tommy had a great rapport with the children, engaging their attention, reading bits and pieces of Dr. Seuss books, and by the end of the show there’s even a crazy bird that shows up! Tommy Terrific is based in Little Rock. To learn more about his show visit his site,