March 2022 Newsletter

March has to be one of the longest months of the year as a parent of a school age child.  Daylight savings brings the promise of spring, yet the chance of snow and cold weather hangs at our heels and does not want to let go.  We are so eager for the warm weather and the excitement of Spring Break that the long weeks without any extra days off seem to drag on and on.  Third quarter is well underway and always brings with it the most difficult work of the school year.  The countdown calendar to Spring Break has been ticking away in the kitchen since President's Day weekend at my house.   

I think another reason March feels SO LONG has a lot to do with our eagerness to emerge from winter and transition into spring.  As with any transition in life, that waiting time, or liminal space can be frustrating and challenging to sit with.  We are ready for the next phase (or season) and don't want to wait!     

What can we dig into during this waiting time until spring?   Is there a project you have been putting off, or a book you have wanted to read?  Perhaps you can take this time to assess what family goals and intentions you want to set for the spring and summer.  Better yet, involve the kids in the conversation and you might be surprised at what ideas they bring to the table.  I don't know if March will ever be one of my favorite months, but maybe it will seem shorter and more fun by looking forward to new and brighter days ahead.




Telling children they are capable is not effective. They must have experiences where they feel capable.

1. Children feel capable, belonging, and significance when they contribute.

2. Look for every opportunity to say, “I need your help.”

3. Be sure to let your children know how much you appreciate their help.

Parents don’t realize how much they can damage their children’s character when they do too much for them in the name of being a good parent, and in the name of love.

When parents do everything for the child, it is likely that the child will decide, “I’m not capable,” or “Love means getting others to do things for me.” Then parents wonder, “Why does my child act so demanding after all I have done for her?”

Alfred Adler taught that the measure of good mental health was the level of gemeinschaftsgefüel, a German word he coined. The word has so much meaning that it is difficult to translate into English, but “social consciousness” and “social interest” come close. Adler believed that mentally healthy people had a desire to contribute to their social community, beginning with the family. Research keeps proving what Adler taught: allowing children to make meaningful contributions in their homes is a key to the development of a healthy sense of self-worth and capability.

I believe the desire to help starts at an early age—as soon as they start walking and talking. I have vivid memories of both of my boys saying, “Me do it.” Yes, it requires a lot of patience and some training, but the more my boys did, the more confident they became.

Below is a list of examples you might try that worked for us. I'm sure you can think of many others.


  • Putting the diapers away and in the trash
  • Picking up toys (lots of modeling and mirroring)
  • Cleaning up messes with wipes
  • Kissing boo-boos better and offering a hug when someone is hurt or feeling bad




  • Buckling their car seat (or at least trying to)
  • Stirring the mix for muffins (even cracking the eggs)
  • Getting themselves dressed, starting with pajamas (they likely need help with zippers, buttons and snaps)
  • Clearing their dishes from the table
  • Putting toys away
  • Pushing buttons on washer and dryer
  • Folding laundry (starting with washcloths and socks)
  • Pushing the stroller (or at least attempting)
  • Carrying groceries (make sure to pack a couple of light bags)
  • Looking for groceries in the store (for example, asking for help finding the milk, bananas, or bread)
  • Sweeping and cleaning (having supplies made for little hands, such as a kid-sized broom or little spray bottle filled with water, helps them feel like they’re contributing to the chores)
  • Trash (toddlers love to throw stuff away)
  • Washing their bodies and hair in the bathtub



  • Help creating grocery lists
  • Help with preparation of meals
  • Folding and putting laundry away
  • Bringing up trash cans from the bottom of the driveway
  • Cleaning their rooms
  • Clearing dishes at mealtimes
  • Unloading dishwasher
  • Vacuuming
  • Raking leaves
  • Wrapping gifts for birthday parties
  • Decorating for holidays and seasons


Some of these chores were done with more enthusiasm than others. It would have been easier to do many of them myself, but I kept the long-term results in mind, teaching our kids to become contributing members of society, and wonderful, caring partners and parents in the future.



Positive Behavior Activities for Kids (4-8 years)  is a great book full of fun activities that build emotional intelligence, self-regulation, and communication skills. Young Readers can follow the prompts and play on their own, but the activities can easily be modified for younger children as well.  This is a great resource for family fun!


 Available on Amazon:





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