It's hard to believe our time at PBS is coming to a close. We'll always be thankful to Jean Crawford for inviting us to be a part of the PBS Parents line-up and believing that our stories, presence and tips on child development could make a real difference to everyday parents online.
Special thanks to Jeanine Harvey and Kevin Dando who brought the best of Supersisters to PBS Facebook fans and believed in us from the very beginning. We'd also like to extend a kind hand to Tracey Wynne for stepping in and providing leadership during an important time of transition for our team. We wish you all the very best.
And last but not least, thank you, our readers and friends who became part of our circle of supersisters. We wouldn't be where we are today without your kind comments and warm support. Like us, you believe in the values PBS represents, and we thank you for caring enough to read along over these last two years.
While we'll greatly miss our time here at PBS, we are excited to look toward the future as our children continue to develop and grow. If our writing here has been meaningful to you, we invite you to come say hello on our personal blogs.
Thanks again. It's been a real honor to be here.
One of my favorite things about Sesame Street is that it's relatively watchable by parents too. Sesame Street was one of the original shows to bring in the greats in a way that connects with children and parents alike. My rock-free childhood was saved by The Beetles "Letter B." So when I heard that Katy Perry's Hot N Cold duet with Elmo wasn't going to air because it was deemed too sexy, I was shocked. Okay, at first I laughed. I've met some of the Sesame Street people and the thought of them letting anything through that did not meet high standards was craziness. Craziness, I say.
According to US Magazine, a Sesame Street representative gave the following statement.
"Sesame Street has a long history of working with celebrities across all genres, including athletes, actors, musicians and artists. Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult. We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver. We also value our viewer's opinions and particularly those of parents. In light of the feedback we've received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers. Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on You Tube."
I'm torn. I think it was awesome that Sesame Street listened to their viewers, or should I say, their viewers' mothers. The thing is, I don't get what the big deal is. I watched the video. If I'm going to be honest, the first thing I thought when I saw the video was that I didn't think Katy's outfit was flattering for her. Cleavage? Hmm, not so much. Upon consultation with my better half, he agreed that our 1, 3 and 5 year olds would never have even noticed. Maybe it's the years of breast feeding that has reduced our children's focus on breasts as functional. What with the fact that they are functional.
One of my favorite comments was the author's comment about Katy Perry cleaning up her lyrics so they could be acceptable for Sesame Street. Um, that's how it works. The excitement as a parent is wondering how your favorite pop song is going to turn into something rated G by the great minds at Sesame Street.
So maybe Katy Perry shouldn't have been wearing an ice skating outfit with her duet with Elmo. Maybe her dress up outfit could have been less conical. I guess I'm just a little desensitized by all the elementary school dance teams on YouTube wearing tassel tube tops to trashy pop songs. I guess if you are a parent who doesn't take your child to the beach or the pool or out in public at all, you may have a point. But for the rest if us, maybe it's time to take ourselves a little less seriously.
I leave you now with my all-time favorite Sesame Street/Elmo song, accompanied by the Goo Goo Dolls. The song? Slide. For those of you who don't know, it's about a teenage girl who gets pregnant. After being Sesame Streeted, it's a song about Pride. It's one of the best Sesame Street songs ever. Hands down. I mean, other than Letter B.
We are getting closer and closer to our Great Day of Gratitude on May 5th! Now that the gratitude train is going, what a great opportunity to explore being grateful with our kids in other areas of our lives. Here are a few things we are trying on at the moment to learn more at our house.
The Gratitude Growl and Howl What is the one thing you are going a little crazy for these days? It's easy to be thankful for the things that make us really happy or even just stuff we enjoy. Go around the circle and give a growl, a howl and then state what you are grateful for. Being silly as a parent sometimes unlocks the joy inside and invites kids to share (or laugh at you). We are grateful growling for wildflowers, berries, Pokemon cards, the computer and puppy dogs at our house.
The Manners Police Start young, before kids can even talk with please and thank you. Introducing the practice and gentle reminders send us back to the value we want to honor and instill. This helps us learn to be intentional in our thanks.
The Gratitude Tree Head out for a nature walk to search for a medium size branch with lots of tiny branches. Buy a simple clay or ceramic pot you can decorate or paint together. Use plaster of Paris or marbles/rocks to hold your "tree" in place. Every season decorate your tree with the things you are currently grateful for written on tiny paper leaves. In the winter, you can hang ornaments or colored balls with the words written on instead. Just like the seasons, life is cyclical, the leaves are bursting and other times the tree is bare. This is a good activity to mix creativity and revive the focus every now and then.
Quiet Thanks Doing acts that express gratitude anonymously can help kids discover that we can express our gratitude without the need for a return. Leaving flowers on doorsteps or writing a notes and hiding them for those we are thankful for to find can be really fun and kind of sneaky. Some children might prefer this way of being grateful.
Leaving Space for Need Usually when we have a hard time being grateful it is because we are in need of something ourselves. Kids (and parents) might need the space to express needs and invite help or empathy which in turn produces a new and different kind of gratitude.
What ways do you celebrate gratitude at your house? What has or hasn't worked for your family? Do share in the comments.
The lovely Lauren
World Kindness day is coming! Did you know it's on Thursday, November 13th? You can read more about it here. Practicing kindness is a great way to bring families together. Here are some ideas for your celebration.
1. Leave something special on the neighbor's doorstep. Flowers, a baked good, an invitation to share a meal.
2. Make your kid's bed. Do the one chore your kid hates the most for him/her.
3. Make a contribution toward this very important fund. Change and one dollar bills from piggy banks count too.
4. Write a thank you or draw a picture for someone you love. Tell them what you love about them and thank them for being themselves.
5. Pay the toll for the car behind you, let your child give the money from the back window.
6. Pick up some trash. Spend an hour cleaning up a park, school, or even your neighborhood.
7. Make Hope Notes together as a family and spread them all over your city or town.
8. Try to smile at 10 people today.
9. Visit a grandparent or elderly friend.
10. Start an Acts of Kindness list.
Add to our list Supersisters or tell us how your World Kindness Day celebration went in the comments.
A few years ago the teachers in my son's preschool class noticed the kids seemed to be struggling with lots of conflict. It was towards the end of the school year when classmates are more comfortable with each other and start acting almost like siblings.
Instead of whipping the kids into shape with a reminder of rules, the teachers found a more creative approach to changing the feel in the classroom. They invited a puppet named Verde to come and talk to the kids about being kind to one another. The kids and Verde came up with the idea of documenting acts of kindness. Everyday, the children were on the hunt to find the acts happening around them, not their own. Before long there were lists all over the room and kindness had worked its magic.
I was so touched by the idea and wondered if it could work for our family. We gathered the markers, decorated our own sheet and proudly displayed the colorful paper on the refrigerator.
"Mom! Mom! Jack helped Lucy put her jacket on, put it on the list mom!" Josiah yelled from the other room.
"Josiah, mom made pancakes, we LOVE pancakes mom. I think it's an act of kindness..." Jack said trying to find something in the hunt for goodness.
I sat at the table one night watching my husband Jorge and thought to myself, "Awww, He DOES love me, look at him doing the dishes."
I quietly walked to the door and added his act to the list. I started noticing the things he was doing instead of focusing on our long standing "discussion" on division of labor.
A week later small things held new value and peace had claimed a bigger stake in our everyday family life. The list eventually filled up and faded with water marks and juice stains but I didn't have the heart to take it down until we moved. Every once in awhile when everyone gets kind of grouchy and sick of each other, I revive the idea even if it is only identified in words. Kindness can always find it's way back if we just look for it.
What are your secrets for turning things around when your family is in a funk?
Try this kindness activity and tell us if it was a winner or a bomb at your house, or any variations that you think would work better.