Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Parent of the Week: Vivian

Meet Vivian- a mom and grandmother who is just delightful! Would you believe that this adventurous lady has jumped out a perfectly good airplane...something called skydiving... ;) Read on as she describes how the lessons she learned as a parent led her to create her very own business, which you can check out here!

As always, if you'd like to be a Parent of the Week or would like to nominate someone, email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!


My love affair with children’s picture books began over fifty years ago as I helped my mother turn the pages of THE LITTLE HOUSE by Virginia Lee Burton.  Even as a very young person, I knew that my life would be devoted to uplifting young children. 

Vivian's book art- her 3 children!
As a kindergarten and Head Start teacher in the New York City public schools, I implemented an innovative program, using daily picture book stories, simple craft projects and easy healthful cooking activities that helped build self-esteem and develop pre-literacy skills.  But, when my husband and I decided to start a family, we made the decision that I would quit teaching and stay at home to raise our children.
However, our finances (or lack of them) required a second income.  And that’s how my daycare operation for the children of local teachers began.  Now I could stay home with my children, while earning money at the same time.  For me, it was the ideal solution to a problem that many parents face.

Looking back, while it might have been an ideal situation for me, I know that if you had taken a survey of my husband and my own children, you would have gotten a very different impression.  My husband was a teacher at that time and he returned home from work at 3:30pm…to be greeted by a houseful of young children…the six children I watched in addition to our own three.  And, even though they were usually involved in constructive and educational play activities…nine children in one home equals, well, nine children. :)  My husband wanted me to be there for HIM…not busy changing several diapers or preparing afternoon snacks for a bunch of toddlers.  My own children also resented this intrusion…other children sitting in THEIR chairs, playing with THEIR toys, taking the time and attention of THEIR mother.  They didn’t voice their unhappiness at the time…but whenever we talk about it now, they tell me that it made them mad and sad. 

Vivian's daughter and grandson
I think that being a parent is the most challenging and difficult job in the world…whether you are a SAHM or SAHD, whether you work at home or work outside the home while raising your children, whether you volunteer part-time as a crossing guard or you work 50 plus hours a week in an executive level position.   What works for one person, may not work for another.  Each person’s family situation is unique.   I guess my advice to parents is that they need to communicate with each other and decide together what works best.  Talking really does help…our special place was in the car parked in the driveway after the kids were sleeping.  We felt we were away from the situation…no phones, no interruptions…but close enough if we were needed.  It worked for us (we celebrated our 43rd anniversary last August) and hopefully our children (all grown with families of their own) have discovered their own ways of dealing with problems and situations that arise.

This past September, I was able to share the innovative and successful program that I developed while teaching and doing daycare when my new book for parents and teachers of preschoolers, SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING, was published.  It pinpoints 100 picture books every young child should hear and provides a story summary, gentle parenting tip, eco-friendly craft project and child-friendly healthful cooking activity for each recommended title.  This ultimate resource for busy parents builds self-esteem, develops pre-literacy skills and creates a life-long parent-child bond while giving parents a newfound sense of confidence in their own parenting abilities as well.

Vivian and Past Parents of the Week: Feel free to grab the Parent of the Week Badge:


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