kodomo No Ie
1: Would a Spiritual Being See Your Good Deeds? By Yu Michiko
2: Like Mother Like Daughter, a Caroon by Tashi Ohnsman
3: "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk?" By Kumiko Anicich
4: Summer Fun
5: How to Make Homemade Playdough Provided by Madoka Kimura

Papas & Mamas No. 40 June 2011 (Last Edition)

Would a Spiritual Being See Your Good Deeds? By Yu Michiko

Two years ago, then my seven-year-old son, started complaining about a headache. We took him to his pediatrician and were told that my son had a migraine. His symptoms, however, became worse. He was crying from the pain and became unable to attend school.

Then we took him to a neurologist. The doctor also thought he had a migraine but ordered an MRI just in case. The next day after the MRI, we received a phone call and were told that another MRI has been requested for more detailed examination. I was terrified. Something must have been wrong with my son. What would be the result of the MRI? I was nervous.

After those MRIs, we visited the neurologist again with heart wrenching anxiety. The doctor said, “The MRIs showed abnormality.” I was not able to stay calm. How on earth could that happen to my son? I don’t remember how I made it home on that day. My son was sent to a neurosurgeon next.

I panicked. Wherever I went and whatever I was doing, I was crying. Encho sensei told me that I could cry as much as I wanted but not in front of my son and that he would not know how to react to that. She said, “Have courage!”

My son had been absent from school for a while. But he wanted to go to his old school, Kodomono-ie with his sister everyday. Before the renovation, the area under the Yagura was all sand where he played - digging holes and poring water in them. Believe it or not, he did not complain about the headache while he was playing under the Yagura.

Encho sensei was praying for my son everyday. My husband and I even visited a temple to pray, and we went to the ocean with a Buddhist friend to release fish.

The neurosurgeon explained that the nature of the lesion would be unknown unless he took a sample and that another MRI in a month could determine whether or not it was growing. Later on, we kept on checking in three months, six months and a year; the lesion never grew although it never disappeared. The doctor said with regular checking, he could go back to the life he had before, thus my son was able to go back to school from which he had been absent for a month. Gradually he stopped complaining about his headache.

It was a miracle. We were saved. Of course we don’t know what awaits us in the future. Nevertheless, today, all of my family members can have dinner together, which we almost lost but miraculously we got back. I thank all who prayed for my son: Encho sensei, all of the teachers and friends.

Doing something good for other people, I realize, will come back to you eventually, almost as if you are accumulating good deeds and acknowledged by a spiritual transcending being. With my son’s incident, I would imagine the accumulation of my good deeds was either exhausted or was not plentiful enough, thus it has put me in debt of good deeds, so to speak. What can I do to start accumulating “good deed” savings? I know. Say good-bye to being a mean daughter-in-law! I am trying!

Like Mother Like Daughter, a Caroon by Tashi Ohnsman

Like Mother Like Daughter
Like Mother Like Daughter

"How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk?" By Kumiko Anicich

Have you read one of the classic parenting books titled How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk? The Parent Ed program at the Burbank Adult School (www.burbank.k12.ca.us) sometimes offers a 6-week workshop based on this book, and I highly recommend it. According to the authors, there are 6 steps to achieve what the title of the book says.
Acknowledge children’s feelings. When your child says, “I hate grandma!” What would you say? If you say something like “That’s not nice,” “You don’t mean that,” you deny your child’s feelings and he doesn’t want to share anymore. Instead, authors suggest to acknowledge or empathize with your child by saying something like “I see Grandma made you upset.” If you are not sure what to say, say “Oh…hmmm….I see”.
Engage children’s cooperation. Authors share 6 methods here, but what I remember most is not to use “Don’t”. When you tell kids “Don’t run,” they just hear the last word RUN, which is opposite of what you want them to do. Instead, say “Please walk.” Also, I use the “Say it with a word” method with my autistic son a lot, like “Shoes, backpack, and hands.” (The key is not to sound like a military command, though.) That goes in his head better than “Put away your shoes and backpack, and wash your hands, please.”
Alternative to punishment. What I learn most with this step is to let child experience the natural consequence of his problem behavior. So, if he used an expensive paint brush without your permission, the natural consequence would be he won’t be allowed to paint for that day, not “We’re not going to a park anymore!” Another item recommended here, brainstorming with your child to problem-solve what he could have done or what he will do differently next time is a lot of fun.
Encouraging autonomy. Treating your child as a separate person is hard for some of us parents. The idea here is to help children to help themselves. My favorite is to counter-ask my child’s question with “That’s a great question. What do YOU think?” Now that my older one is 11, I find myself saying “I’m not sure. Let’s find out on the internet” more and more.
New ways to praise. Authors argue that helpful praise comes in 2 parts: 1) The adult describes what he sees and/or what he feels, such as “I see a bright yellow sun and colorful flowers. This picture makes me feel happy.” 2) When the child hears her accomplishments described, she, in turn, will often praise herself, like “I can draw a good picture.” Typical praise like “I’m proud of you” is considered unhelpful praise by the authors.
Freeing children from playing roles. You call your daughter shy, which might give her the label and expectations about herself. This segment actually reminded me of an experiment I’d heard somewhere else. Students were enrolled in a school as “gifted”, though they weren’t. Teachers, school staff, and students themselves started treating them as gifted students. By the end of the school year, they all scored high on the tests and ended up in the “gifted” classification. I’m sure putting too-high expectations can sometimes backfire, but I like “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it”. Of course, they are easier said than done and we need to practice these steps with our children every day. Hopefully, they will reciprocate and start talking back to us with empathy. Authors’ web site can be found at www.fabermazlish.com.

If you’re going to buy this book, why don’t you get cashback by buying via my web site? From www.marketamerica.com/911 → click on “Partner Stores” → then, click on “Barnes & Noble”. Enter your e-mail address and open the Barnes & Noble web site to shop as you would normally. If you bought a Barnes & Noble gift card from KNI’s e-script, buy the book with the gift card and you’d fundraised for KNI and saved some for yourself. Any questions, call me at (818) 800-0668.

Summer Fun

Kids love water and summer is the season!

Parks with a splashing pad in the San Gabriel valley:

East of KNI, along the 210 FWY:
1. Dalton Park 
18867 Armstead St., Azusa 91702
(626) 852-1491

2. Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area (Paid parking)
15501 East Arrow HWY, Irwindale 91706
(626) 334-1065 

Off the 60 FWY
Sunshine Park
515 Deepmead Ave., La Puente 91744 (Near the City of Walnut) (626) 854-5559

Parks with a shallow wading pool in the Glendale area:

1. Brand Park
1601 West Mountain St., Glendale 91201
(818) 548-2184 (Glendale Community Service Line)
2. Dunsmore Park
4700 Dunsmore Ave., La Crescenta 91214
(818) 548-2184

We recommend you call each of the listed places for water days and time.

Car pool and go a little long distance:

Seaside Lagoon Seaside Lagoon
200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach 90277

Are you looking for a place to burn that rambunctious energy? Try
Adventure Playground . Kids will immerse themselves in mud and play to their hearts’ content!

How to Make Homemade Playdough Provided by Madoka Kimura

• 1 cup flour
• 2 Tbsp cream of tartar
• ½ cup salt
• 1 to 2 Tbsp cooking oil
• 1 cup water
• 1 pack of Kool-Aid or food coloring

Mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt in a pan. Mix desired coloring with water, add with oil to dry mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick. Mix in coloring later if preferred.

★ Store the clay in the refrigerator in a sealed container or a sealed plastic bag.


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