Let's Talk Kids http://wuis.org en Kids and Water http://wuis.org/post/kids-and-water <p></p><p></p><p>In the months before we’re born, we swim peacefully in our amniotic sac. Born to be aquaphiles, we gravitate to water for all of our time on this planet (which happens to also be about 75% water.)</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 26577 at http://wuis.org Social Surrogacy http://wuis.org/post/social-surrogacy <p></p><p></p><p>They’re calling it “Social Surrogacy,” this new practice of affluent parents delegating the tasks of pregnancy and childbirth to another person.&nbsp; Social Surrogacy is for women who could carry a child, but choose not to because of perceived risks to their productivity or physical image.</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:11:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 26576 at http://wuis.org Cousins! http://wuis.org/post/cousins <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Closer than classmates, more sensational than siblings, cousins are a boon to growing up.</span></p><p></p><p>While I never lived in the same town with my own cousins, I remember how I loving family get-togethers.&nbsp; Even for cousins I saw rarely, our play would pick up right where it left off the last time we were together.</p><p></p><p>My older cousins were someone to look up to.&nbsp; My younger ones tickled me with their cuteness.&nbsp; We always managed to fill the hours with games and adventures that each of us could relate to.</p><p></p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 26575 at http://wuis.org Hatching is Hard http://wuis.org/post/hatching-hard <p></p><p></p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 26573 at http://wuis.org Teacher Let the Monkeys Out http://wuis.org/post/teacher-let-monkeys-out <p></p><p></p><p>In my family, the first time we see a child after school lets out for the summer, we HAVE to say, “School’s out, school’s out, teacher let the monkeys out!”&nbsp; A great deal has changed in the world since I was a student, but this remains true:&nbsp; The last day of school represents a real transition for children, for teachers, and for parents.</p><p></p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 26572 at http://wuis.org Remembering Love http://wuis.org/post/remembering-love <p></p><p>On May 1, 1865, former slaves dug up the remains of 257 dead Union soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp outside Charleston, South Carolina.&nbsp; They worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial in gratitude for their sacrifice.&nbsp; Following the burials, 10,000 people celebrated with a parade led by 2800 black children.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 22 May 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 26571 at http://wuis.org Super Kid http://wuis.org/post/super-kid <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Four-year old Luke sat quietly while his dad participated in a meeting with a bunch of grownups, hard at work on an effort of his own.&nbsp; Brow furrowed, he labored intensely throughout the meeting.</span></p><p></p><p>When the group adjourned, Luke shared his work.&nbsp; These words were written on small cards:&nbsp; AQUAMAN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, BATMAN and ROBIN.</p><p></p><p>Each word was spelled correctly and written meticulously in his clear childish block letters. I was heartily impressed.</p><p></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 22307 at http://wuis.org The Chaos Crescendo http://wuis.org/post/chaos-crescendo <p style="margin-left:4.5pt;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You rise with the sun, planning for a happy day with your children.&nbsp; You walk into your daughter’s room to wake her for school and discover urine-soaked sheets, again.</span></p><p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">You calmly strip the bed and run the bath for the requisite clean-up you hadn’t really allowed enough time for.&nbsp; You get this one headed to the tub and throw the linens in the washer just before you go wake your other child.</p><p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 17:57:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19932 at http://wuis.org Always Do Your Best http://wuis.org/post/always-do-your-best <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If there’s a gift I could give parents it would be to forgive themselves for not being perfect.&nbsp; We love our children so much we want them to be raised by perfect parents, but we’re daily aware of the ways we’re unable to be those imagined perfect parents.</span></p><p></p><p>The fourth of don Miguel Ruiz’ “The Four Agreements” speaks to this drive in parents:&nbsp; “Always do your best.”&nbsp; Notice, the concept is not “Be perfect,” but is instead “Do your best.”</p><p></p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:01:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19931 at http://wuis.org Don’t Make Assumptions http://wuis.org/post/don-t-make-assumptions <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The third of don Miguel Ruiz’ “Four Agreements” sounds simple enough:&nbsp; Don't Make Assumptions.&nbsp; But the application of this to living with children is not so easy.</span></p><p></p><p>When we make assumptions it’s because we believe we know what others are thinking and feeling.&nbsp;When it comes to our children, we blindly assume their lives will mirror our own.&nbsp; &nbsp;“Of course you love Brussel sprouts!&nbsp; Everyone in our family loves Brussel sprouts!”</p><p></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 15:59:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19930 at http://wuis.org Don’t Take Anything Personally http://wuis.org/post/don-t-take-anything-personally <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last week, I introduced the application of don Miguel Ruiz’ book </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">The Four Agreements</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to our work of raising children.&nbsp; Today, I would like to think about the Second Agreement, “Don’t take anything personally,” as it applies to the lives of parents.</span></p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:57:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19929 at http://wuis.org Be Impeccable with Your Word http://wuis.org/post/be-impeccable-your-word <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In his book, “The Four Agreements,” don Miguel Ruiz laid out four principles based on the great religions of the world and particularly his own </span>Toltec<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> roots in Southern Mexico. &nbsp;&nbsp;These four agreements, he writes, provide a practical guide to personal freedom and happiness.</span></p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:55:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19928 at http://wuis.org Playing Outside http://wuis.org/post/playing-outside <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The numbers tell a solemn story.&nbsp; American children play outside less now than at any other time in our nation’s history.&nbsp; Time spent playing outdoors has decreased for all children, but especially for females and for minorities.&nbsp; This lifestyle change has contributed to increasing health risks as children display more obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure than in previous generations.</span></p><p></p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19923 at http://wuis.org The Anchor http://wuis.org/post/anchor <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every parent understands that your joy and sorrow rises and falls with your child. Your heart vacillates between those two extremes as your child faces tragedy and triumph.</span></p><p>You may be on top of your game at work, but if you get a call from the principal telling you your child just cheated on a test, you feel like an utter failure. You may be enjoying great health yourself, but when your child's pediatrician wants to run some tests to rule out a dreaded diagnosis, your lay awake nights worrying.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19926 at http://wuis.org Parenting Partners http://wuis.org/post/parenting-partners <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">My years of marriage have taught me that raising kids with another person is rarely a smooth ride.&nbsp; Any two adults bring very different upbringings to the table, causing them to often take a different view of kids’ behavior.</span></p><p></p><p>But the single most important thing parenting partners do for each other is that every day, we can count on this:&nbsp; No matter how difficult their behavior, we know that our kids are desperately loved by at least one other human being who would walk through fire for them.</p><p></p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 06:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19925 at http://wuis.org The Topless Blender http://wuis.org/post/topless-blender <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s take on toddlers is right on:&nbsp; “A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender but you don’t have a top for it.”</span></p><p></p><p>Our hopes for order and cleanliness are challenged when young children are around, for sure.&nbsp; At a recent family dinner, we thought we’d placed toddler Emmy where she could do no harm.&nbsp; We pulled back the tablecloth, laid a drop cloth on the floor beneath her, and covered her chair with a towel.</p><p></p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 06:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19924 at http://wuis.org Watch for the Twinkle http://wuis.org/post/watch-twinkle <p></p><p>Parents entertain the fantasy our children will enjoy the same activities that interest us.&nbsp; If you lettered in track in high school, you may be shopping for baby running shoes before your child can walk.&nbsp; If you spent your childhood playing in piano recitals, you have your little one listening to piano concertos on the nursery CD player as she drifts off to sleep at night.</p><p></p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 06:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 19922 at http://wuis.org Voice from the Past http://wuis.org/post/voice-past <p>Voice from the Past</p><p></p><p>The middle-age woman spoke tentatively as she reached for words to express her meaning.&nbsp; She was raised in the south, the great-grandchild of slaves.&nbsp; “When I was growing up,” she said, “We were taught that children are to be seen and not heard. I wanted to be a good girl, so I spoke very little until I went to school.&nbsp; There, I struggled to keep up with other children whose language skills were light years beyond my own.”</p><p></p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 20:55:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 17095 at http://wuis.org What Words Can’t Say http://wuis.org/post/what-words-can-t-say <p></p><p>I love words.&nbsp; A well-turned phrase gives me goose bumps.&nbsp; Words play a significant role in my life.&nbsp; But sometimes in the life of a family, words are nearly worthless.</p><p></p><p>When your daughter runs downhill too fast (despite your repeated warnings) and breaks out her front teeth in a spectacular face plant, she doesn’t need to hear you say that this was what you’d feared all along.</p><p></p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 20:43:04 +0000 Claudia Quigg 17093 at http://wuis.org Fill Up to Give Away http://wuis.org/post/fill-give-away-0 <p>You’ve probably had this experience.</p><p></p><p>Your day is too full already with too many places to be.&nbsp; As you race from one point to the next, you glance down at your fuel gauge and discover you’re running on fumes.</p><p></p><p>What to do?&nbsp; If you stop to fill your gas tank it will make you later than you are already.&nbsp; But the alternative is worse.</p><p></p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 17094 at http://wuis.org Joy in the Quiet Times http://wuis.org/post/joy-quiet-times <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After the holiday hustle and bustle, an empty </span>datebook<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> can seem anticlimactic. But in my estimation, those empty calendar pages feel like a benediction to the frenetic season just past.</span></p><p></p><p>Children are pushed through holiday observances on the crest of their families’ schedules and their own adrenaline. But as those special times wind down, regular life once again takes center stage.&nbsp; And for most of the little children I know, regular life is a pretty big deal.</p><p></p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 18:32:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 14788 at http://wuis.org Capturing Memory http://wuis.org/post/capturing-memory <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Stars glittered in the mother’s eyes as she described her family’s recent drive west through the Rockies.&nbsp; They stood in wonder at the foot of beautiful waterfalls.&nbsp; They marveled at the girth and height of some enormous trees.&nbsp; They thrilled at their quick glances of shy moose and elk.</span></p><p></p><p>Mom and Dad are convinced they’ll never forget this experience, but they have a concern.&nbsp; The youngest member of this journeying family is only three. How will she ever remember the experience?</p><p></p> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 18:24:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 14787 at http://wuis.org The Race is On http://wuis.org/post/race <p></p><p>The middle-aged woman’s excitement was palpable as she described the lovely gifts she had just purchased.</p><p></p><p>Her two grandchildren would be in her home at some point for the holidays, and she’s planned to recreate every holiday tradition her family’s ever enjoyed.&nbsp; She’ll bake each cookie recipe in her family cookbook.&nbsp; She’s arranged a visit from a friend who owns a Santa suit.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>And the gifts!&nbsp; She’s bought every toy these children might possibly desire, and looks forward to showering them with her love on December 22.</p><p></p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 18:21:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 14786 at http://wuis.org A Firm Foundation http://wuis.org/post/firm-foundation <p>Each morning my little dog and I venture out in our neighborhood for a brisk walk.&nbsp; She employs her excellent nose to read messages from other dogs, and I try to notice things a little higher up.</p><p></p><p>Yesterday for the first time I noticed each home’s foundation.&nbsp; These foundations are primarily concrete of a non-descript color, so as not to take anything away from the lovely paint and siding colors and architectural details of the homes.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 12625 at http://wuis.org Regrets for the Wrong Turns http://wuis.org/post/regrets-wrong-turns <p>"We've done it all wrong!" moaned the mother. "We've mishandled bedtime, and now we've taught our son the wrong way to go to sleep. Will he ever learn the right way now?"</p><p></p><p>How old is their son? Four whole weeks.</p><p></p><p>You don't get too far into the parenting game without questioning your choices. Second-guessing ourselves is a steady occupation for most parents.</p><p></p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 19:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 12624 at http://wuis.org Emergent Empathy http://wuis.org/post/emergent-empathy <p>There’s one resource every parent needs:&nbsp; a close friend or family member to stand beside them in the trenches.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Dr. Victor Bernstein from the University of Chicago teaches that “Relationships take the edge off chaos.”&nbsp; When we find ourselves in the midst of trauma, chaos or disorganization, a relationship with someone we trust has the power to soothe and settle us.</p><p></p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:03:21 +0000 Claudia Quigg 12623 at http://wuis.org Better than You Think http://wuis.org/post/better-you-think <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Parents despair over their children&rsquo;s disappointing behavior, but here&rsquo;s some good news:&nbsp; Odds are, your children are probably turning out better than you think at every point along the way.</span></p><p></p><p>The trouble with grownups is that we&rsquo;ve seen the results of bad decisions and anticipate the consequences of every mistake our children make.</p><p></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 17:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 10220 at http://wuis.org Normal and Novel http://wuis.org/post/normal-and-novel <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It&rsquo;s one of those enigmas of child-rearing: In order to flourish, children need a complex mix of events that are both normal and novel.</span></p><p></p><p>Normal events include reliable routines which structure a child&rsquo;s day.&nbsp; Going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday may sound a bit boring.&nbsp; And yet, this predictable pattern helps children develop healthy sleep habits.</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 10219 at http://wuis.org Childless or Childfree? http://wuis.org/post/childless-or-childfree <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Recent reports about women choosing not to bear children has brought the </span>&ldquo;Childfree<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Choice&rdquo; into the spotlight. Time Magazine reports that in 1976, only one in ten American women in her forties was childless, compared to the current statistic of one in five.</span></p><p></p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 17:00:00 +0000 Claudia Quigg 10218 at http://wuis.org Keep the Conversation Comin http://wuis.org/post/keep-conversation-comin <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Parents long to know what&rsquo;s on their kids&rsquo; minds, but getting kids to talk about those things can be a tough nut to crack.</span></p><p></p><p>But there&rsquo;s one time when kids are likely to have a great deal to say, and that&rsquo;s when in they&rsquo;re smack-dab in the thick of an interesting experience. If you want to hear your kids talk, plan to be present with them when something&rsquo;s going on.&nbsp; Here are some ideas:</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 19:27:37 +0000 Claudia Quigg 10217 at http://wuis.org