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8/12/2020 Letter Z – Be Zazzy! Be Zesty! Be Zippy!
The start of the school year usually brings these happy feelings to parents and children alike. This year the zip may be gone, but we need to bring it back! Find as many positives in your particular situation as you can. Do not bad mouth teachers, the educational system, or anything at all about the learning situation your children are in because it simply will not help or make things better. Find a real zest for learning new things in new ways. There will be struggles but at the frustrating times, step back, breath deep, and laugh. This too shall pass, your kids will be alright, and the strength garnered during this time of the pandemic will serve you all well in the future. 

New Year’s Resolution number 26: Find some zip during your frustrating times, some zazz when you are down and some zest when you are tired. There is a bright side to everything if you look for it, really there is! 

6/8/2020 Letter Y – Be Youthful
Now it’s time to PLAY! You have been parent, teacher, worker, support staff, everything you were before plus so much more! If there was ever a time to be youthful, it is now.  Enjoy your family, spend this summer together in relaxed mode. Do not worry about their educational future, everyone will manage to relearn, to learn more, and to go one. Be kind to yourself and to one another and just do what you need to do to feel young!

New Year’s Resolution number 25: Sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching and love yourself and your family!

4/21/2020 Letter X – Be X-tra Everything
This is a hard one. I am hoping you are being X-tra kind to yourself, no matter your situation. As a parent your first concern is for your children so you are without a doubt feeling overwhelmed and X-tra tired. The needs of your children are your priority, but neglecting your needs is not helpful. In the best of time parents are told to remember to think of themselves and to take care of themselves. Well, these are the worst of times and being X-tra careful to stay well, emotionally, physically, and spiritually never mattered more.  You are important, and right now your children need you to take X-tra good care of yourself.

New Years Resolution number 24: During very difficult time: Be X-tra good to you. 

03/30/2020 Letter W – Be Willing
In my life I have never experienced what I am experiencing now, a complete uncertainty each day and for the future. Yet, I am willing to believe that we will get through this and that life will return to what I knew, but even better. As parents we must be willing to believe.

New Year’s Resolution number 23: Be willing to keep believing and to carry on. 

03/26/2020 Letter V – Be Vibrant
Week two of schools being closed is almost at its end yet there is no end in site for this virus upheaval. I am hoping that in each day something makes you laugh. I am hoping that in each day there is time for you to rest. I am hoping you stay vibrant in your belief that this shall pass, and you will again be able to send your kids to their friends! 

New Year’s Resolution number 22: Keep remembering that when the storm is over a rainbow appears; anticipate the rainbow.

03/17/2020 Letter U – Be Someone’s Umbrella
What a trying time! You are so needed to calm your kids fears, answer their questions as best you can, keep them learning while letting them have fun. So much togetherness can and will be stressful while at the same time providing your family with an opportunity to learn new things about each other and appreciate each other more. You are the umbrella your family needs, my hope is you have someone being there for you. 

New Year’s Resolution number 21: If you need support, seek it out. We are not in this alone. 

03/10/2020 Letter T – Be Tenacious
So you have a stubborn child? Well that little one who will not give up and will fight to the end, may just grow up to be tenacious! “Tenacity is a good quality, when you know you are on the right course. Being tenacious will keep you astride, no one will knock you off your horse!” The difference between being stubborn and being tenacious has to do with knowing when to give it up. Stubbornness is when you see that the course you are on is wrong, but you can’t give in for fear of losing face. Tenacity is going the distance because you know the path you are on is the right one. As we grow we learn this difference if our teachers are wise. Be a wise teacher to your stubborn child so being tenacious becomes a quality to drive them. 

New Year’s Resolution number 20: Learn to smile at your child’s stubbornness and lead them into being tenacious. 

03/02/2020 Letter S – Be Smart
This one is going to be real short.  If we want our kids to be smart then we and they must read, do and talk, read, do and talk, read, do and talk. Read everything, books, newspapers, magazines, and talk about all that you read, all that you see, and all that you are doing. You cannot be smart if you do not know and you cannot know if you do not read, do and talk. 

New Year’s Resolution number 19: READ, DO AND TALK!

2/27/2020 Letter R – Be a Rebel
I am pretty sure all parents want their kids to stand up for those being bullied. I would bet that you talk to your kids about being kind, reaching out, and including everyone. This is harder for kids to do than we think. When we ask our children to call out the bad guy hurting the good guy, we are asking them to put themselves in a position of being ridiculed. How often are we willing to do that? How often do we turn away and say nothing when we find ourselves witnessing something we know is just not right? Being a rebel, standing up for a cause that we believe strongly in takes guts. In order to protect and defend we must be willing to suffer some, that’s a lot to ask of a kid. I am not saying we shouldn’t ask it, we need to, but we also need to appreciate what we are asking, and we need to lead by example.

New Year’s Resolution number 18: Be the rebel you want your kids to be, don’t look away, take a stand. Be strong.  

2/26/2020 Letter Q – Be Quiet
“BE QUIET!” I’ve yelled that more than once during my raising my kids stage. Sometimes they were fighting with each other and I simply had had enough. If I was on the phone inevitably one of them needed something but I wasn’t quite in a position to comply. Often they were just having fun, but I was tired or irritable and just needed the noise to cease. Quiet, we do need it during the course of our day or our brain just might explode. You need it? Go find it. Take even 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, to read a chapter of your book, to do the one small thing that gives you a release from the chaos. Children need to be able to quietly entertain themselves, give them the gift of being able to spend time in a solitary activity and then go enjoy one yourself. 

New Year’s Resolution number 17: Find some quiet time in your day, everyday.

2/21/2020 Letter P – Be Patient
“Are we there yet?” “Mom! I need you now!” “Is dinner ready? I’m starving!” “I can’t wait to be 6, 8, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21! ” Our response? “BE PATIENT!” Children are impatient creatures because the immediate future holds immediate gratification and the vision of the future holds such promise that waiting for it seems impossible! Children do need to learn how to settle themselves, and they need to learn how to wait. We as parents must teach them the value in being able to be patient. We as parents, however, need to be patient with ourselves. We are not perfect and should not expect our children to see us that way, (they won’t). We should not see us that way either. Take the time to be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to rest your body and your mind and stabilize your emotions. Take the time to get away and have personal time. Teach patience by modeling it every day, in every way and especially by giving yourself the gift of patience. 

New Year’s Resolution number 16: I will teach patience by being patient, especially with seeing to my needs. 

2/8/2020 Letter O – Be Original
Families comprised of more than one child will say,”One is nothing like the other,” “Different as night as day,” “Don’t know where that one came from!” Yet, knowing all of our children are different we still sometimes say or think, “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?” Let them be who they are. Celebrate their differences and embrace their oddities! Whether you have one child or ten, keep this in mind, and yes I have said it before; If you let them know you love who they are today, they will be just fine tomorrow. 

New Year’s Resolution number 15: Instead of thinking about how you are all the same in your family dynamics, think about and embrace how different you are and how great that is!

2/2/2020 Letter N – Be Neat
Helping our children to know that there is a place for everything and that everything should be put in its place is important. Routines are important. Organization is a prerequisite for success. That being said, there is beauty to be found in messiness! Alternative solutions often are found amidst the confusion. Brilliant ideas are formed during times of chaos. Encourage and help your children to be organized in their life, but embrace the times of disarray as a time to learn and grow.

New Year’s Resolution number 14: Learn to love the unexpected, the missteps, the mess. Embrace the opportunity to be creative in the chaos of family life!  

1/31/2020 Letter M – Be Mindful
When I speak of being mindful I am not thinking about an inner awareness, the meditative type, but a paying attention to all that is taking place around us. As parents we are cognizant of the importance of good nutrition to fuel the body and make it grow. We need to be just as cognizant of what is necessary to make sure the mind grows. Our children need experiences, interactions, and dialogue. It is important that our children understand the power of observation and the need to question and solve problems. We live in a fast paced world and one where technology is making us all more isolated so we are being challenged in our ability to be observant. This is not good.

New Year’s Resolution number 13: Take time as a family to watch what others are doing, to listen to what others are saying and to question the new or different things you will be lucky enough to experience by being observant. 

1/29/2020 Letter L – Be LOUD!
Do you have a loud child you would sometimes like to quiet? Do you have quiet child you sometimes wish you could get to shout? We need to let them be who they are but I really believe the child who lets their voice be heard has an advantage in this world. If our children feel valued and seen then they may be more able to confidently speak. Assuring our kids every day that they are important members of the family, their neighborhood, their school community will let them know that they matter. Giving a voice to a child is just about the most important thing we can do. 

New Year’s Resolution number 12: When your child is speaking to you, give them your full attention so that they understand that their thoughts have value, that their voice matters to you. 

1/28/2020 Letter K – Be a Keeper
What do you want your children to keep as important memories? We don’t really think about that as we go about our daily lives creating the memories our children will keep. My adult children will often throw out a memory that I don’t even recall, some funny and some not so funny. Just as often they speak of things I do remember with happiness or sadness, but we were there experiencing it together. We make memories. We take the important days and try to make them grand so that in future years those moments will be what we recall with joy. The momentous sad events are also marked with some sort of pageantry that becomes a fixture in our minds down the line, and they are important times to remember. Just think about the fact that every day we do something that our children will keep in their memory, so try to make some moments in every day worth remembering.

New Year’s Resolution number 11: Daily, memories are made so make them worth remembering.


1/23/2020 Letter J – Be Jolly and Joyful
Don’t you hate when your child is sad? Don’t you want to make it all better? Well here’s the thing, making it all better doesn’t allow your child to feel bad, and if one never feels bad how can one know true joy? Appreciating the good things in your life is what allows your heart to be joyful. Being giddy and acting jolly only happens if you have known unhappiness or have wanted for something. Protecting our children from feeling bad or giving them all they desire is a disservice and robs them of their ability to feel real joy. 

New Year’s Resolution number 10: I will help my children know true joy by giving them every opportunity to help others. 

1/20/2020 Letter I – Be Incredible
We all believe we have incredible kids and we do, but it is how we see what is incredible about them that is important to their knowing that they are incredible. As parents when our children display a gift or talent we naturally nurture it, and we feel proud when they perform successfully. Our children need to recognize though that they are incredible not because they have a gift or a talent but because of the hard work they do to perfect it. There isn’t a child who doesn’t have a gift, as parents we need to help them discover it, encourage them to use it in a way that matters to them or others. Our children will feel incredible when they have accomplished what at first they do not think they can and when that achievement brings pleasure to them. 

New Year’s Resolution number 9: Help your children feel their incredibleness by encouraging them to try and to try and to try. Allow them the opportunity to soar and to reach for more by standing in the shadows, their struggle is important. 

1/18/2020 Letter H – Be Hopeful
We so want to make our children’s hopes and dreams come true. As parents we provide the opportunities for the desires of our children to come to fruition. We can’t always give them everything they need to keep their hopes and dreams alive, and sometimes we realize the unrealistic nature of their longings and know we have to steer them in another direction. Still they hope and we hope with them and for them. Hope, what else is there? 

New Year’s Resolution number 8: Enjoy your children’s hopes, help them make them real, tailor them to fit the reality of their world, and then hope that they surpass all of their hopes and dreams!

1/15/2020 Letter G – Be Grateful
So how do we instill gratitude in our children? I think today it is more difficult than ever before. Our kids see so much to have, so much to do, so much they don’t have and so much they don’t do!  
TV ads shout about the products that will make our lives better. The theme parks call us and make it seem that everyone is going there, not once but again and again! Social media is showing us a world of fantasy that our kids believe is reality. Yes, many are having wonderful experiences and fabulous vacations, but they are also having hard times and not so wonderful experiences, we just don’t see it. The importance of your family is the best way to teach your children how lucky they are. When I was growing up, I had friends who had more than me, and I dreamed about changing places with them so I could have their clothes, or go on their trips. I realized in my youthful imagination, however, that I would have to also live in their house with their family to really switch places with them, in fact their family would become my family! I was lucky enough to know I didn’t want another family. 

New Year’s Resolution number 7: Each night at dinner talk about what you have that makes you the family you are and say “We are the ________!” And be so very grateful to have each other. 

1/13/2020 Letter F – Be Friendly
Oh we want others to be friendly to our children, and we want our children to be friendly kids. Our heart breaks when we learn that someone has treated our child unkindly, and if we find out that our little darling has been unkind to a peer, well we simply do not want to believe it! Kids will be mean, other kids and our own kids. Children will not want to invite everyone to the party and our children may find themselves not invited. What to do? Children will have their group of friends, or a very good friend. They will not like everyone and they certainly shouldn’t have to. Being kind does not necessitate a long-term relationship and “friendliness” should not be something you only offer to your friends. Being human brings with it the ability to not hurt just because you can, that’s a good lesson to teach. Maybe instead of the constant sermon of “be kind to everyone, be nice, include everyone,” maybe we want to say, “don’t be unkind, and don’t turn away if you can be of help, and don’t make someone feel bad. Show your children that when you do something that makes another feel good, you feel good. 

New Year’s Resolution number 6: Model friendliness so that your children understand that it has more to do with valuing others than it has to do with liking or being liked. 

1/10/2020 Letter E – Be Effervescent
What parent doesn’t love to see their children bursting with joy? How often do your children make joyful sounds and dance around? How many times a week does the family engage together in a fun activity that brings laughter to all? Busy lives, rushing around to get to practice and games, homework, housework, so much to interfere with time to just engage in play. I have a pet peeve and I’m going to disclose it here, I cringe when I see parents and kids looking at screens when they could be interacting. Put them away and play a game or have a conversation. Waiting in the doctor’s office? Play eye-spy. Driving in the car? Play the ABC word game. Taking a walk? Look around and discover together. Sitting in a restaurant? Talk!! Make some joyful noise together everyday.

New Year’s Resolution number 5: Find time to be involved in an activity together each day that spreads joy through the whole family. 

1/7/2020 Letter D – Be Determined
Sometimes we think of a determined child as a bad or difficult child, the one that won’t let go, won’t back down, and just keeps trying to wear us down. This determined child, however, knows something we don’t know, that they will succeed in the end if they can out last us! While we need to put the breaks on certain “determinations” we certainly do not want to under value this very important trait. Determination is vital to survival! Build determination in your children by allowing them to try, to struggle, even to combat. Let them fail so they try again. Let them hurt a little in their attempts so their success is so much sweeter. And make sure they know who the parent is by your determination to win the battles you must win!

New Year’s Resolution number 4: Be determined to allow failure to be the teacher so your children can benefit from trying again and in turn become determined to succeed. 

1/4/2020 Letter C – Be Curious
I know too many questions drive you crazy! Children learn though by asking questions. What’s this? What’s that? A curious child is a child who is involved in their world. Unfortunately today, with the way technology has overtaken our lives, I think children are asking far fewer questions about the world around them, because they don’t see it. Perhaps the most loving thing parents can do for their children is to unplug and look around together. 

New Year’s Resolution number 3: Step out of the technology bubble and engage together in the world. 

1/2/2020 Letter B – Be Benevolent
I love this word! I tell kids it is a big word for a simple thing, be kind and be nice. Be warm and fuzzy. Do good things for others because you can, because you should, and because it will make you feel ohhh soooo gooood! I wonder sometimes about the children who have difficulty being kind, is it because they have been shown so little of it? Do they not see enough kindness in their own lives? Our days our so very busy and in our rush to get things done we are often short tempered and impatient with the people we love the most. Perhaps in this new year we need to slow down a bit and spread more kindness in our own homes. I think too that as we are out and about, rushing here and there to accomplish all that we need to do, we are unaware of others and do not see the many opportunities to show someone a bit of kindness. It is true that children will do what they see you do far more likely than doing what you simply tell them to do, so let’s pause and take the time to be kind to someone else in the presence of our children. If children are treated kindly, if they see kindness than they will know how to be kind to others. 

New Year’s Resolution number 2: Teach kindness by being kind. 

1/1/2020 Letter A – Be Affectionate
A hug can say so much, but the most important thing a hug says to your child is, “I love you.” Children who know they are loved, who feel loved, are confident and secure. There are so many articles on the importance of hugging. This link will take you to one that is short and sweet,


I chose “Be Affectionate” for the letter A because I know how good a hug can make you feel. My dad was a huge hugger and his hugs told me without a doubt that I was loved. I choose to hug those I love, tightly and often. I hope that hugging is a comfortable way to show affection in your family. If hugging is not something you are comfortable with, then how do you show your children that you love them? Saying I love you is always good, but a silent gesture is also needed, and human touch is truly necessary to thrive. Take some time to discuss as a family just how you show your affection for one another and why it is important. This could also lead into a “talk” about good hugging and bad hugging. Hugs should make you feel good and if they don’t then something is amiss. Your kids need to know that they do not have to be hugged by anyone. If someone’s hugging makes them uncomfortable, let them know they can tell you. Today of course there is so much trepidation about touching one another in any intimate way that talking with your older children, both your daughters and your sons, about how to hug appropriately and when it is appropriate to hug someone is definitely needed. There is confusion today in how to let someone know you like them without crossing the line, so open up the dialogue so good happy hugs do not become a thing of the past!

New Year’s Resolution number 1: Take the time to hug the people you love.