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Parent Express for 27-Sep-2009
As school is in full swing, you won't want to miss our featured articles in this issue. Erin O'Keefe's book review of Dr. Susan Linn's most recent book, The Case for Make-Believe provides a fine overview of this comprehensive look at the importance of the human imagination. Erin has captured the essential elements in the book for you, but I encourage you to read it and refer to it often—it is inspiring as well as comprehensive.
You may also want to checkout the podcast of my interview with Dr. Susan Linn to introduce you to Susan and her helpful ideas for successfully navigating the commercial culture and its impact on our children.
In the second article below, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Kris Meyers provides practical and important ideas for "nurturing the love of reading." Reading, after all, isn't just one other subject to study—it is the entire curriculum! Reading success in so many ways does mean school success.
All of us at the Parent Coaching Institute wish you a wonderful Autumn Season—and a successful school year ahead!
Gloria DeGaetano, Founder and CEO
"I am continually amazed by the "magical" transformational changes that occur when using the PCI coaching model. I honestly don't always know how "it" happens. I just see that the transformational changes do take place. It is amazing!"
— Lori Anderson-Tepley, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Apply Now for Spring Term 2010!
On Oct. 1 we will begin accepting applications for Spring Quarter with Course 1 phone classes to begin the week of March 15, 2010. There are two major advantages for early application:
Word is getting out about our innovative, energizing, and highly practical Parent Coach Certification® Training. Because of the overwhelming response, we highly encourage you not to delay in submitting your application for spring start. By planning ahead, you will be assured of a spot if accepted into the program after the enrolment process is complete. Please send in the basic application as the first step. Download the application here. Once we receive this document, we will contact you for a phone interview.
Questions? Please call: (425) 401-1519.
Please Note: Phone classes are in the evening time, usually at 5PM or 6PM (Pacific Time) to accommodate the work schedule of our students.
Learn more about our acclaimed, graduate-level, distance-learning Parent Coach Certification® Training Program by clicking here for more information.
Check out our Video About the PCI Parent Coach Training Program and see what professionals think about their training with the PCI.
"I have facilitated parenting groups for twenty years and the PCI training has taught me far more about how to ask questions, how to formulate them, and how to time them than any other training I have received in my career."
—Kaaren Borsting, Ashland, Oregon
Working with a parent coach who has received Parent Coach Certification® through the PCI is giving yourself a valuable gift as well as a sound investment in your family's future. PCI Certified Parent Coaches® are caring, thoughtful professionals with years of experience working with parents. They have successfully completed the PCI Parent Coach Certification® Training Program—a comprehensive academic, one-year, graduate-level program in collaboration with Seattle Pacific University. Through a series of coaching conversations that can be either by telephone or in-person, PCI Certified Parent Coaches® help you re-discover your dreams and design your life for more joy and satisfaction.
To find a PCI Certified Parent Coach® in your area, please click here or call (425) 401-1519 for a referral to a PCI Certified Parent Coach® selected especially for you.
Visit www.parentappreciationradio.com to listen to programs featuring PCI Certified Parent Coaches® and other experts from around the country discussing topics of interest to moms and dads.
Programs are available as podcasts. Listeners can download individual episodes directly, listen to them from this site using a Web browser, or access them via the iTunes podcast directory. iTunes subscribers will automatically pick up new episodes as they become available!
by Erin O'Keefe
The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World
Creative play is the essence of childhood. Some of my fondest memories involve building forts from sofa cushions and battling mythical dragons. I recall the excitement and promise of embarking on dangerous explorations through uncharted (backyard) terrain. One year, my friends and I spent most of our summer designing and building a contraption that we were sure would fly! Most of all, when I think back, I can recall a sense of wonder and endless possibility that such unstructured play afforded. It all seemed so natural and effortless. So why is it now, as the mother of two young children, that this unencumbered creative play doesn't seem quite so easy for my own kids? I feel I have to work to create an environment for my children that will foster imaginative play. Is this perception merely a facet of my different role, that of parent and facilitator, rather than of the child I once was? Or has something else changed over the past few decades since my own childhood? These are the questions that I have grappled with since becoming a mother, and why I was so thrilled to come across Susan Linn's book, The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World (2008), Linn makes a compelling case for the importance of imaginative play in the lives of children, and beyond. Linn clearly demonstrates the ways in which supporting children's imaginative play benefits society as a whole. Despite the tremendous importance of play, at both the individual and communal level, American society not only fails to support imaginative play, but actively seeks to undermine it for the sake of corporate profit.
Dr. Linn is a co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood and a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School. She has worked extensively with children in the capacity of a play therapist. Her own playful character shines through in her writing, as it is interwoven with dialogue between herself (Linn is also an accomplished ventriloquist) and her puppet, Audrey the Duck. Linn's passion for imaginative play as a means of coping with fears, as well as creative expression, is clear in her writing, which is peppered with references to the children with whom she has worked and observed engaging in imaginative play, such as Michael, the little boy who utilized play to deal with his fears about transitioning from day care to kindergarten, or Kara, a four-year-old girl with HIV, who was able to work through her fears and anger through play therapy. In each of her examples, Linn masterfully illustrates for her reader just how vital creative play is for children as a means of dealing with a myriad of issues affecting their lives. Play is empowering; it gives children the freedom to express their feelings and work through them, replacing a sense of helplessness with a sense of mastery. Pretend play combines "two wondrous and uniquely human characteristics, the capacity for fantasy and the capacity for and need to make meaning of our experiences." (p. 12)
Life's a Poodle is Launched!
New Director at Nature-Based Preschool
Gloria DeGaetano's October Presentations
Mark Your Calendar Now!
Workshop: The Gift Of Appreciation with Jamal Rahman
Friday, November 6, 2009
To register: Please call the PCI Office at (425) 401-1519
Jamal will share insights, stories, poems, and discussion topics that demonstrate the power of appreciation in our daily lives. Being eternally grateful has roots in all spiritual and wisdom traditions because it is a focused way to stay connected to our Divine Source and the Divine Source in others. In this interactive, participative workshop, Jamal will highlight specific strategies that work to bring the gift of appreciation into our lives and into the lives of others we are blessed to influence. Jamal is a popular speaker and spiritual leader. We are very fortunate to have the gift of his presence for our PCI community. Jamal's books will be available for purchase at the event.
About Jamal: Jamal Rahman is a Muslim Sufi minister originally from Bangladesh. He is co-minister at Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio, and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. Jamal travels often, teaching classes, workshops, and retreats locally, nationally, and internationally. He is the author of The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam, and a co-author of two new books: Out of Darkness, Into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources, and Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and a Sheikh. To learn more about Jamal, please go to: www.jamalrahman.com.
Back issues of Parent Express are available on the PCI Web site. There you can read articles by Gloria DeGaetano and PCI Certified Parent Coaches®, and easily send past issues to friends and colleagues via e-mail.
Beyond the ABCs: Nurturing a Love of Reading
In recent years, parents have heard a lot in the media about what is lacking in our school system, and how so many of today's kids can't read. When I worked with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students as an elementary Reading Specialist, the truth was almost all of my students could technically read. They had learned phonics and appeared to be readers. But what many of them didn't have was an understanding of what they were reading. Instead of more phonics instruction, these students primarily needed help with reading comprehension. They needed to learn how to think.
As reading becomes more complex many children begin to struggle simply because they focus too much on sounding out words and they don't take the time to think about what they are reading. When this happens, reading becomes something kids feel they have to do rather than something they want to do. Today there are simply too many children who would rather spend time watching TV or playing video games, than spend time reading, or learning something new, just for the fun of it.
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This issue of Parent Express was originally published September 27, 2009. Some content, contact information, and links may be out of date, and the conversion from the original email edition may introduce formatting inconsistencies.
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