August 11, 2017

Bison In Columbus - Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Last weekend we had such a blast exploring Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park in Columbus. We love exploring our city and this place is one of my favorites because A) there's animals involved and B) it's eco-conscious and full of indigenous plants and animals. 

Previous mentioned animals are the bison (don't call them buffalo around my 4 year old) who roam around two enclosed prairies and are available for viewing in several places. 

There is parking in several places, but we parked near the playground area, had a nice picnic, and then headed on a lovely walk through a wooded area that opens up onto a prairie full of yellow flowers. Once passed the bison we came to a nature center. 

This place is very nicely done. It's striving for Leeds certification, has a green roof and is full of things for the whole family to explore inside. It's also a nice spot for a little bathroom break and quick snack before the hike back to the car. 

Flowing down the middle of the nature center is a 53 foot stream filled with all sorts of local creatures - turtles, frogs and fish. There is also a room full of pelts of animals found in Ohio that both horrified and intrigued my children. All-in-all a great day at one of my favorite metro parks. 
July 26, 2017

Deliberate Communication with our Kids

As the leader of an Attachment Parenting group in Columbus, OH I give parents the tools to connect with their kids and build a strong bond that fosters mutual respect as kids grow. Much of the time the "tool" I'm talking about come from group conversations based around core principals. Using gentle touch (massage, hugs, cuddles), for example, is a deep form of communication that lets kids know they are loved and cared for as they venture out to find their independence. My point is, I'm not giving them anything physical, perhaps a hand out or resource list, but our meetings are mainly focused on changing hearts and minds and supporting those hearts and minds, when needed.

Recently I've come upon two amazing Kickstarter campaigns that are aiming to provide actual, physical tools to help parents in their peaceful parenting goals. I'm happy to say, they've both been funded, but you can help them reach their stretch goals, as well as get your hands on some really helpful additions to your parenting "tool kit."

The first is Lori Petro's Concious Communication Cards. I can't wait to get these in my hands. I am an AP leader, but I often flail in the heat of the "bad behavior" moment with my kids and end up making the situation worse. I plan on pinning these all around the house - mainly in the kitchen, we always seem to be int he kitchen. When I imagine my 4 year old in the throws of a melt down - it's always on the kitchen floor. These cards will be a life saver.

The second by another parent educator, Suzanne Tucker, the Time-In Tool Kit. I have been talking up the benefits of time-ins, as opposed to time-outs, for a long time now. We have the "happy place" in our house where the kids go to chill out and get their emotions in check, sometimes they ask me to go with them, sometimes they want to be alone. I am really excited about adding the Time-In Tool kit to the "happy place" to assist them in learning about big emotions and how to deal.

I know a lot of adults, not excluding myself, who could have used more help in the emotion management department - if you know what I'm saying.