Second Week of the Guiding Your Strong Willed Child Workshop

February 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

In addition to the presentation above, our time together this week was full of great questions and reflections which I am sorry I am not able to include here – you’ll just have to trust me!  One take-away was that carving five minutes out of each day for uninterrupted play with our children is often harder than it sounds but it is an investment worth the effort.

This week during the Daily Five, in addition to Naming the Good, families will try out using Sure Y!  First X, Then Y!  Although this technique can eventually be used during real life situations, we want to introduce it in the context of play.  I love to practice new skills – for both kids and parents – in the context of play.  Parents, keep using it in the context of play until the technique feels comfortable and natural to you AND your child has developed a positive history of responding to it.  When you are ready to put it to work, make sure you still keep the X (the demand) short & specific!

p.s. Workshop families (…others are welcome too) I would invite you to subscribe to the blog so that you can be automatically notified when the content is up here each week!  Just click the “join biehus” button on the upper right hand side of this page.

Guiding the Strong Willed Child Workshop – Week One

February 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

Welcome to the latest and greatest edition of Guiding the Strong Willed Child!  It is such a privilege to be able to share one evening a week talking with and learning from parents.  Though it may be a bit cliche, I truly believe that parenting is best experienced as community endeavor.  We can be shaped and supported when we walk together.  Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, comments.  Good luck on your first video!

It’s a Small World

February 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Peter in Blueberry Land

We have been loving the book Peter in Blueberry Land - a classic Elsa Beskow tale about a little boy who receives help gathering berries for his mother from members of a tiny kingdom.  In the story the Blueberry king taps Peter’s shoe and he shrinks!  We thought we would do a little magic of our own.  After tracing the image onto a blank Shrinky Dink sheet with a pencil and then coloring it in with colored pencils, we popped him (and the Blueberry King & Mrs. Cranberry) into a 350 degree oven!  I asked Geneva what she predicted would happen.  She said, “I think they will turn into ice cream or pies!  Can we eat them?”  Much to her amazement, he did not become dessert but rather a very tiny little character!

Snow – Inside & Outside

February 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Snowy WIndow

This is the season of snow for us in Chicago and with it, comes an invitation to explore.  Our daughter loved cutting strips of recycled printer paper into “snow” and letting a piece of contact paper – taped sticky side up to the table – catch the flakes as they fell.  Tempting as it is to only admire pretend snow through a window, it is so important for young children to play outside too!  We don’t have a yard but we take to the city’s sidewalks & parks armed with ladles for scooping or sleds for sliding or carrot noses for decorating.  The bundling often takes longer than the play but rosy cheeks and big smiles make it worthwhile!

February’s Table

February 1, 2015 § Leave a comment


Our poem this month is Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - a favorite of our daughter’s thanks to The Poetry Foundation’s The Poetry Show.  Our piece of art is Sky Above Clouds IV by Georgia O’Keefe.  Our habit of character this month is demonstrating a readiness to listen & act.  We say, “I can obey right away!”  To teach this habit we “practice happy” which means creating mini, playful opportunities to practice this skill (think Simon Says).  We are also trying to highlight the natural consequences of obeying right away.  This sounds like, “You obeyed right away when I said it was time to come inside!  I know I can let you play in the snow next time because I can trust you to listen!”

What did February bring to your table?

Old Becomes New

February 1, 2015 § Leave a comment


A favorite book from my childhood – Sophie’s Hideaway – was in need of repair.  I was moments away from tossing the not-so-gently used copy I had ordered online.  Instead, I decided to channel my Montessori mentor teacher who is a master of reusing and repairing.  During our time together, she taught me – by example, never a lecture given – that a broken thing repaired is often more beautiful than it was unbroken. Turns out the Japanese have a name for this art – kintsugi.

Sophie now has a basket below her balloon and there is a new yellow building in the crease that has four empty windows – invitations to personalize it even further. Thank you SG.

Cultivating Your Child’s Character

January 21, 2015 § 3 Comments

It was a pleasure spending the evening with an engaged group of parents to think about what we each want our Character Legacy to be and how to practically go about passing that on to our children.  If your parenting partner was unable to attend or if you would like to participate at home, please feel free to email me and I’d be happy to send along the Cultivating Character Worksheet Packet to you.  Please keep me posted on your discoveries!


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