8.28.2014

Teaching Kindness? Netflix Can Help.

Kindness. It's something I really hope we're all trying to teach our children. Not because it's a fad, but because it's the way we should live. We should live with kindness. I try so hard to teach and remind my kids when and how to be kind. But I know it's not just me.

I can try to instill their behavior as deep as possible and tip their moral compass in the right direction, but I know so much more depends on their classmates, friends, and the things they watch and hear around them.

Have you watched The Fox and The Hound as an adult? I put it on for the kids on Netflix. It was a random choice on a night when I just needed something sweet for the kids (love Netflix for this times). I remembered really loving it as a kid, but once I sat down to a room totally silent as their stared at the screen, I realized it is one amazing movie. Heart wrenching and a reminder of what it is to develop early friendships and how they change over the years... I see W's future. He's like the fox. Sweet, committed to his friends, doesn't always get it when social dymanics change... I just hope he always learns to be sweet, but also learns when he needs to defend himself and when he needs to move on. That is one of the hardest things about being a parent -- trusting the world to be good to our babies.

Going back to school, I know that's the best thing I can teach him this year. While his teacher focuses on math and reading, I'll keep focused on keeping him kind - just the way he is now. We won't let kindergarten change that sweet, open smile.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team.

8.26.2014

8 AM at the Hannemaniacs' House

W has always been musical. He can sing on key, quickly get acquainted with a tune, give it his own twist for a remix. He loves music. It doesn't come from me, mind you. I am not musical, but love that he seems to be so far.

When we moved in the fall we found ourselves with a lot more space and devised a plan to one day get a piano. Little did we know my aunt would be downsizing at the same time and needed a place for my cousin's gorgeous baby grand to live until he is at the point in his life that he's ready to take it back... Perfect timing for all of us. We hired piano movers, found a piano teacher, and W fell in love.

I hate feeling like I'm bragging about my kids... But he's good. It just comes naturally to him. He hears a song on the radio and works on it until he has figured out the tune on the piano. Is it perfect? No. Does it usually just involve his right hand? Yes. Has he only been taking piano lessons for seven months? Yes. Does his teacher get excited when she's here? Yes. And that in itself is exciting.

For now, we've found his thing. Will he be a professional musician? Who knows. Will he even still be playing by the time he gets to high school? Likely, but not for sure. But for now listening to him work a song from inside his brain to a tune on the keys is the best gift. I can't thank my aunt and cousin enough for sharing this gift with us. As someone told me recently... "Whatever he is going to be... He's going to be SOMETHING." And maybe that something might just be a musician.




This post was inspired by 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino, a novel about hope, love, and music in snow covered streets of Philadelphia. Join From Left to Write on August 28 we discuss 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.