Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Parent Talk Event Updates!

With the Olympic torch extinguished and Labor Day just around the corner, we hope you’ve enjoyed a relaxing and fun summer. The 2012-2013 Board of Directors is up and running and planning for the year. We’re gearing up for a busy fall with lots of events planned already. 
Two of our most popular support groups will kick off their events in September; Career Moms will be hosting a family picnic on September 9th, and the first Moms’ Night Out gathering will be September 25th.  
For the kids, we’ve got lots planned in September from a Music Together class on September 13th to a birthday party/movements class for varying ages on September 15th. Get outside and enjoy the fall weather by joining us for Hikes for Tykes on September 22nd at the Ridge Hill Reservation. Parent Talk is also supporting the Walk for Walker on September 23rd and we’d love to see you there. 
October 18th brings our first lecture of the year given by the Sleep Lady, Kim West. And, hopefully you’ve already marked your calendars for our fall Clothing, Toy, and Equipment sale set for Saturday October 20th. Not sure what to do with your husband and kids while you’re shopping the sale? Send them over to the playspace for “Reptiles Rock” where kids will have the opportunity to get personal with all their favorite reptiles. 
Of course, since Parent Talk is a volunteer run organization, none of the above events would be possible without our member support. To be able to continue to offer the amazing array of programs and benefits that you’ve come to appreciate as Parent Talk members, we need everyone to participate. We have both big and small volunteer opportunities, and we encourage you to get involved – whether it’s assisting in making phone calls to welcome new members, joining the marketing committee to help promote our events, joining the lecture committee to help plan future lectures, or volunteering at an event, the organization can’t continue without your help! If you’re interested in volunteering, feel free to email president@parenttalk.info and we’ll help you find something that fits your schedule and interests. 
Be sure to check the calendar for all the information on the upcoming activities and lectures, and enjoy the last weeks of summer! 
photo credit: pmorgan via photo pin cc

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Local Fun for a Great Cause! Walk for Walker

Walker will host its third annual Walk for Walker and Fun Fair (www.walkforwalker.org) from 10:30 a.m.  to 2 p.m., Sunday, September 23, at DeFazio Park in Needham.  

Walker programs provide special education, academic services, and meaningful therapeutic learning and living environments that help children and adolescents build on their strengths to heal, learn, and grow, while partnering with their families to restore hope.

The Walk for Walker begins and ends at DeFazio Park on Dedham Avenue in Needham. Registration begins at 10:30am and the Walk kicks off at 11 a.m.

Registration is free and easy. Simply go to www.firstgiving.com/walkerschool to get started. Fundraising is voluntary. We welcome anyone who just wants to come out and walk with us to raise awareness for Walker programs in the community.

Walkers can choose either a three mile or one mile route through Needham. Both routes are stroller-friendly and volunteers will help guide walkers. Before and after the Walk, we’ll have delicious food donated by local restaurants, entertainment, games, and exciting raffles. Wally the Green Monster will make a special appearance at registration to greet walkers!

We are proud to be a member of the Needham community and are thrilled to partner with other wonderful local organizations on the Walk for Walker.
Support from so many neighbors, community organizations, businesses, and friends have been tremendous. Each year, dedicated residents from Needham and surrounding towns dedicate their time and talents to make this event the best it can be.

We hope you’ll join us for a great day and for a great cause!

About the author
Amy Perna has worked at Walker in Needham for seven years. A member of the development department, she manages the Walk for Walker and other fundraising initiatives. Amy can be reached at 781-292-2110 or aperna@walkerschool.org with any Walk for Walker questions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DIY Seashell Mobile

As summer winds down, now is a great time to create a project with your children to incorporate all of your treasures found at the beach, by the lake or in your own backyard over the summer months. We made this wind-chime with a collection of beach treasures to bring us back to the sounds of summer all year long.

  1. My children scavenged the beach looking for pieces of driftwood and a large array of seashells with small holes.
  2. When we got home, we washed the shells in a bucket filled with bleach and warm water then let them dry in the sun. 
  3. When the shells were dry and no longer smelled of low-tide, using fishing line we tied two pieces of drift wood together to form an X shape. 
  4. We tied string to the four points and then began threading the string through the holes in the seashells, tying several shells onto each string. 
  5. Finally, we attached a thicker string to the top of our wind chime so that it could hang outside.

This wind-chime can also be created using treasures from the woods or your backyard. Good things to include might be acorns, pine cones, or small stones. Hope these wind chimes bring you back to the beach when the cool weather arrives!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mark your calendar for Flicks on the Field Aug 25th

We're excited to share that Parent Talk's annual Flicks on the Field event will feature the movie “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax!” Mark your calendars now for August 25th and join us at Memorial Field for a fun night under the stars with all your friends. We've included all the details below. All that's left for you to do is grab a lawn chair or blanket, pack a picnic and head over to the field with your whole family!

Flicks on the Field 
August 25th,
Memorial Field (92 Rosemary Street, Needham, MA)

6:30 – Jenny the Juggler, Josh and the Jam Tones, moonwalk castle, face painting, sponsor giveaways, pizza, chips and more.
7:35 (sundown) - “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” (If the weather is not cooperating, check www.parenttalk.info Saturday afternoon to see if there is a rain date message)

Parking: Please consider walking if possible. There are parking spots in nearby lots. Please do not park on the side streets or at Sudbury Farms. Places to park: Memorial Field Lot - Rosemary Street. Needham High School Lot (many spots here) - Kingsbury Street. Needham Library Lot - Highland Avenue.

PLEASE BRING: 1. A food donation for the Needham Community Council. Their wish list for food donations can be found at www.needhamcommunitycouncil.org. Find the white van in the Memorial Field Lot to deposit food. 2. CASH! Pizza and chips will be for sale. Glow necklaces will be sold throughout the crowds. 3. Long sleeves/pants. It will get chilly and buggy. 4. Blankets or chairs that will not disturb others or block views. 5. A flashlight to see while you are cleaning up your space and to find your way out. Restrooms are located behind the concession stand.

Oh, and think good thoughts for a sunny, dry weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Tips for Keeping Peace Among Siblings

For parents and caregivers of multiple children, keeping the peace among siblings can seem like a full-time job in and of itself. Siblings may fight for a parent’s attention, they may fight over a toy, or they may fight because their developmental levels are so different from one another that it’s hard for them to relate to each other. If siblings have opposing temperaments, such as when one is laid back and one craves a rigid routine, they may also bicker constantly because they are simply wired differently, making it hard for them to connect.
Fortunately there are things parents and caregivers can do to help keep the peace among siblings.
These include:
Allowing them their own space. Siblings spend most of their time together, and often it is not by choice. Allowing each child to have their own space and to play independently can help defuse feelings of resentment. While siblings should of course learn to play nicely together, allowing children to play alone at times gives them permission to take a much needed break from a sibling when needed. When a child says he wants to play alone, insisting other children allow him to do so provides an opportunity to teach about respect.
Allowing them their own things. While most of the toys in your home will be available for any and all children to use, each child should have a few cherished toys that they aren’t required to share. When children have their own things they are forced to take responsibility and ownership of them. Having a few toys that are share-free can help children to feel like individuals, which is important for their self-esteem.
Laying the ground rules.When it comes to acceptable and unacceptable treatment of siblings, the rules should be clear and few. Your rules may read something like this: “In our home we are kind to our siblings. We don’t hurt our siblings with our hands or our words.”  Make a simple sign and hang it on the fridge so everyone is reminded of the rules.
Staying out of it. At all costs, parents must avoid taking sides. Trying to assign blame or figure out who did what only makes the situation worse. When safety isn’t an issue, stay out of it for as long as possible to give the children a chance to work it out on their own. If you do need to intervene, instead of trying to referee, insist that both children stop doing whatever they’re doing wrong.
Teaching them to talk it out.For a child, learning to communicate their feelings with words, rather than fists, doesn’t always come naturally. Get out a paper towel tube and give it to one child at a time. Encourage them to use “I and when” statements to communicate their feelings with words rather than fists. “I feel hurt when you won’t let me play trucks with you.” While you may have to model and coach them through their dialogue at first, teaching them to talk it out is a life lesson that’s worth the time invested in instruction.
Insist they kiss and make up. When the children fight, encourage the instigator to apologize and say something nice to his sibling. When you do this, it forces the child to consider something nice about his sibling and allows the child who was hurt to hear something nice about himself. Teaching children to never go to bed angry is another life lesson worth teaching.
Appreciate each child. While it can be tempting to compare siblings, don’t. Appreciate each child for the unique being she is. If one child loves dance and the other baseball, encourage them to each pursue their own interests and passions. Don’t expect all siblings, even twins, to be cut from the same mold. As each child is unique, so is each sibling.
Spend time alone with each child. Carving out one-on-one time for each child every day can significantly reduce sibling rivalry. Each child wants to know that they are special to you and valuable enough to have your undivided attention. Whether it be giving each child a bath, reading a book to each child before bed or going for a short walk with each child after dinner, spending time with each child individually is vital to helping siblings to get along.
Foster a friendship. Your children are siblings by blood, friends by choice. Encourage your children to become friends. Provide opportunities for them to help and support each other. From attending school events in support of each other, to getting a diaper for a baby sibling, adopting an “I am here to help and support you” attitude in your children will foster lasting friendships for life.
Praise good behavior. When you see your children treating each other kindly and with respect, call them out on it. “I saw how you shared your last piece of candy with your brother. That was so kind and something a good friend would do. I am so proud you made the choice to share.”  When you call attention to desirable behavior, you naturally reinforce it.
While almost all siblings will bicker and argue from time to time, with a little planning and support from parents and caregivers, the overall relationships between siblings can be peaceful.

Written by Meghan Welker
She is a graduate in English literature and currently pursuing her masters in Online Journalism. She often writes for the Babysitting publication.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Needham Hidden Gems - Blue Ribbon BBQ Truck

Food trucks are everywhere in the Boston area, and a growing business here in the MetroWest region.  Recently, I visited the Blue Ribbon BBQ truck on Second Avenue for a lunch of North Carolina pulled pork sandwich, cowboy beans, coleslaw and a pickle.  It was delicious. The truck only started serving there in late May, but you may know the company from two popular restaurants.  Yep, it’s that Blue Ribbon BBQ.
As a southerner, I can be pretty particular about my barbeque.  I still hesitate when my husband suggests we barbeque for supper at 4 pm.  For a split second, I picture creating a dry rub (Memphis BBQ, mmmm), cooking a rack of ribs for hours and putting together my favorite vinegar-based sauce.  I usually realize we are talking about grilling burgers before I even get to imagining the beans baking in the oven and cutting up the vegetables for slaw. 
I love all sorts of BBQ, and Blue Ribbon makes some of the best North Carolina pulled pork I have tasted!  And I went to college in North Carolina.  It’s hard to believe that Geoff Janouski, a long-time Needham resident can make such succulent barbeque.  It assuages my southern pride to know that his brother, with whom he opened his first restaurant, went to school in Virginia. 
The Truck is a wonder, with a giant smoker, ovens and room for all the fixings.
Geoff’s brother returned to Virginia to open a successful BBQ business in the DC area there, but Geoff and his two partners continue to serve great barbeque at their two restaurants in Arlington and West Newton.   When they decided to use the truck for serving street food, Needham was the obvious place to look to.  Not only does Geoff live in Needham, but their commissary, where the truck goes for food cleanup and storage, and where those long hours of BBQ cooking happen, is in Needham Heights.
Those extras at the bottom of the menu are at a station where you can serve yourself the combination you want. Mmm, their sweet tea was just right!
I think Geoff originally planned to use the truck for BBQ competitions, but found he didn’t have the time for that with a popular and growing business. He decided to stick around town and serve us wonderful barbeque instead.  Thanks for that, Geoff.  I, for one, really appreciate that decision!
The truck has been used by their catering service when clients want their premium an on-site pig roast.  If you are interested in the variety of catering services that Blue Ribbon BBQ provides, you can click here.
The truck can be found on Second Street, Needham Heights, Monday through Friday from 11 am to 7 pm. So, if you are in town and it’s too hot to cook, go on down for the best BBQ in town!
Written by MC Brown

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