Review: Parenting with a Story

SmithCover

Paul Smith, Parenting with a Story: Real Life Lessons in Character for Parents and Children to Share (AMACOM, 2014). 272 pages.Once upon a time my mother stepped out of a friend's car and down an open sewer grate. Fortunately she grabbed onto the sides of the hole as she fell, and her friends helped her climb back out. My mom told me the story a decade and a half later, when I was a little girl, and the idea that I might fall into a sewer followed me for a decade after that. Stories are an … [Read more...]

Enchanted Composting

A picture of compost

"I'm going out to the compost. Does anyone want to come with me?" I asked, and a moment of near panic followed when the kids thought I might get there without them. "Coming, coming!" piped the one year old, and the five year old chimed in, "Wait just a second--I need to pause the TV!"We've had our compost tumbler since August, and the kids are still excited about dumping in food scraps and leaves, smashing eggshells, and pushing the composter hard to get it turning: all good sensorimotor … [Read more...]

Of Children, Paint, and Unplanned Sabbats

BeltaneBaby

By C. B. CabeenWhen Beltane came, we'd planned to dance a May Pole at my older daughter's preschool.  Not exactly pagan, but I don't know many pagan families locally, and the school May Pole was as close to traditional as we were going to get.  Well, my daughter lost all interest in it at the last minute.  Maybe it was because she'd gotten frustrated making her May crown.  Or maybe it was just too hot.Beltane where I live starts summer.   The green spring grass gives way to gold, roses bl … [Read more...]

Off to School Altars

Off To School Altar

Off to School AltarsBy C. B. CabeenLast year my almost four year old spent the first event of the school year in hiding.  She'd enjoyed preschool in the Spring, but now that school was about to start again, she was worried and didn't want to talk about it.  I felt helpless.  Her initial transition into preschool had taken months of patient work, but now I had a baby, and what if we had to do the same thing again?  I couldn't shepherd my kiddo through the experience this tim … [Read more...]

To The Gates of Dreaming: Using Guided Meditation to Help Young Children Sleep

By Jerry MagnuM Porsbjer (www.magnumphoto.se) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By C. B. CabeenI've spent countless hours helping my daughters fall asleep, nursing and bouncing, massaging and singing and praying, lying absolutely quiet or else reciting Mother Goose.  By the time my eldest was preschool age, I turned to magic.  I began using guided meditations with my daughter around the time she was two and a half.  She already enjoyed storytelling immensely, so I figured she could visualize well enough to benefit from a simple trance induction aimed at sleep.  This one … [Read more...]

Responding to Ina May: The sacred is multiple

Editor’s note: I asked some of our regular contributors to each respond to a quote from midwife and natural birth advocate Ina May Gaskin.  In her new book Birth Matters Gaskin wrote: Birth… matters because the journey through pregnancy and birth offers an irreplaceable way for women to explore their deepest selves – their minds, bodies, and nature… There is a sacred power in the innately feminine capacity of giving birth.  It is one of the elemental, continuing processes of nature that women ha … [Read more...]

What color is your pain? Magic for pregnant aches

By C. B. CabeenMidway through the second trimester, my ribs started hurting around the bra line, like something was cutting into them.  It wasn't my bra's fault, though, because taking it off didn't help, and changing bras didn't help.  It messed with my ability to exercise and cook dinner, and after a few weeks I was sick of it.  I was even more sick of hearing myself talk about it.So many of the ways we describe pain are boring.  If I describe exactly where my ribs hurt, how much does that … [Read more...]


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