By age 6 months, children can benefit from a variety of fun potty games that speeds and eases later learning. Play regularly, and many tots finish training by the time they can walk - which is the norm in much of the world!
Youngsters ages 8-13 may roll their eyes like teens, but they still need parental guidance and limits. Learn how to be the loving guide your child needs during these critical years of development.
Educational Consultant, Editor:
Sports-A-Thon, A Birthday Mystery, & My Aladdin Adventure
- REAGAN'S RECIPE
By Linda Sonna
In a brimming bowl of racism,
Simmer segregation until hardened,
And set aside to cool.
Fill a white ceramic pot with love,
Add ads, blend in bitters,
And bring to a roiling boil, stirring often.
(If the greed becomes too thick, dilute with drugs.)
Line a nation-sized dish with millionaire dreams,
Dust with corruption to prevent sticking, and fill.
Skim off excess compassion and discard.
Season with sprinkles of entitlement,
Garnish with grated bootstraps,
Best when served on a warm planet
With a side of tyrant.
• Meets the daily nutritional requirements of an oligarchy.
- SCULPTED BY TIME
By Linda Sonna
What do youngsters know of art and beauty?
Only Time, the master sculptor,
Can fashion couples from raw love.
It takes years
to etch soft creases onto velvet skin;
to weld fine silver onto silky strands;
to carve true wisdom in two winsome hearts.
We were lovely once, caressed by life, awash in youth.
But now, chiseled by Time, adorned by love,
How beautiful we've become!
- LOVE FEAST
By Linda Sonna
Hungering for thirsting eyes,
She caressed his love-sweetened dreams,
He nuzzled her honeyed hope.
A lap for the little girl,
A breast for the little boy,
Love-food for the soul,
How they feasted!
They suckled the foolish fantasy,
Then drinking too deeply,
They sucked it dry.
How hungry the little girl,
How thirsty the little boy,
Their craving devoured their souls -
But, oh! How they feasted!
- THE CUP
By Linda Sonna
He pretends not to see me
on the street corner,
but I am through with games.
Cornered, I heed his hearty voice
“Hey, Good-ta-seeya. How-ya-been?”
His body slides sideways, his left arm rises.
Apparently we are to hug.
I searched for his scent
When he lay beside me, swathed in sheen,
marveling at the mystery of odorless love.
Now, as he tosses his arm around me
I’m careful not to inhale
just in case.
“My coffee cup?” he asks.
I nod, my bitter laughter long reduced
to a fleeting smile
I’ve imagined the scene behind his cabinet door
eight dishes, saucers, bowls placed a half inch apart
but only seven cups.
Chaos unleashed in his cupboard,
the hole where I should be.
He drives to my house to retrieve
The Cup Left Behind.
I’m glad to give it up--
No more lips curled on rose-colored porcelain
as I sip creamed coffee laced with sugar
floating on dregs
Instead, we curl our lips around the silence,
Cloaking its nudity in words.
“My hernia,” he says.
I’m not good at glib, but give it my all. “My poems.”
“Who knows? Maybe even go to China.”
“China!” he exclaims. He skips a beat, then recovers. “Fancy that.”
I place The Cup
In his large bony fingers
It is right to smile, so I do.
He strides toward the door.
“I won’t tell you I’ve missed you,” he says.
Then, “Come here, gimme-a-hug.”
Front forward this time, two arms rise,
hold me hard
his blond head finds its home in my neck
and he inhales.
My love had a scent.
“Gimme-a-call sometime” he says,
laughs, colors, then adds,
“To say ’bye when you leave for China.”
He needs me more than a cup
to fill his cupboard hole.
Or maybe not.
That one completes the set.
While Western families struggle with sibling conflict, this is not the worldwide norm. Learn how to nurture the sibling bond, to affirm and honor differences, and teach your children how to manage their role as an older or younger sibling.
Learn everything there is to know about homework problems and then create a plan for solving them.
Multicultural Consultant & Editor
Beyond Borders English Book, Level 2
(Student Book & Teacher's Manual)
Learn how to cope with common problems, and how to teach the skills your teen needs to prepare for adult life.
Parenting children ages 1-3.
As we approach the elementary school, Juanito’s* little hand grasps my larger one. His fingers tighten until his fingernails dig small moons into my palm.
I am the eighth mother for my six-year-old foster son. When he arrived at my house, a lone plastic grocery bag held his only links to the past: three pairs of blue jeans, three T-shirts, three pairs of socks, four pairs of underpants, a pair of pajamas, and a handful of small plastic army men.
In his time with me, Juanito has confronted a new town, a new house, and a new foster parent. And new water. (“It doesn’t taste like water in that other town—whatchacallit.”) New food. (“But I don’t like your lettuce. It tastes icky!”) New rules. (“But that other foster mom—what was her name? She let me stay up all night!”) A new brand of toothpaste, (“Pretty good, actually.”) Two strange dogs. And a house filled with unfamiliar shadows. He gropes for light switches in his bedroom, rummages through four dresser drawers to find his socks, and struggles to extricate himself from the seatbelt in this confusing new world.
Yet, he’s settling in. An ice cream cone brings a wan smile to his lips. An occasional giggle ripples from his throat when I flutter a butterfly kiss onto his cheek. In rare moments between the storms that accompany bathing and getting ready for bed, his brown eyes sparkle and the dark circles underneath them fade. Hugs, toys, and treats from a stranger eager to love him are not enough to erase the trauma of this move or to staunch the wounds from so much loss. But they provide short respites from the pain.
As we step into the bustling school where hundreds of tiny people mill about my knees, I realize that my leap from an unattached single woman to a foster mother has dramatically altered my life, too.
I no longer sip cappuccino while debating the meaning of life with philosopher friends. I don’t get together to discuss the state of the planet with colleagues or participate in local political events. I am too immersed in cooking grilled cheese sandwiches, singing nursery rhymes, bandaging skinned knees, and finding lost shoes to indulge in the frivolous pursuits that used to captivate me.
Instead, Juanito and I try to unravel the deeper mysteries of the world. As he marvels at the clouds sweeping past the moon on a star-filled night, I join him in wondering why. When we chance upon a fuzzy worm on the sidewalk, we wonder what. As we study the makeup on a clown at the circus, we wonder who. And as we watch mothers shepherd their children through the grocery store, push swings at the city park, and distribute hamburgers to smiling broods at McDonalds, we retreat into ourselves to ponder the most important questions of all: where, when, and for how long. . . .
Where will the bureaucratic wheel that has caught half a million children in its spokes send Juanito the next time it turns? When will his mother choose him over drugs and build the kind of life that has room for a small boy? If her parental rights are terminated as expected and Juanito joins the 130,000 children in the United States awaiting adoption, will a family come forward to choose him? How long will he be mine to love?
Today, as I walk Juanito to his new classroom, the small hand clutching mine provides the answer: here and now, if not always. The security of tomorrow is what he truly needs, but any mom can chase the shadows from a youngster’s day. As I give his hand a reassuring squeeze, I feel honored that, for the time being, it is me.
Dr. Sonna is a psychologist, professor at Yorkville University, and author of eight parenting books. She lives in Taos, NM where she has fostered six children. “Fostering is the hardest job you’ll ever love,” she says.
*The child’s name and identifying information have been changed.
Parenting Teenagers, Indonesian.
A self-help book for children who are coping with painful cancer treatments.
Can you help with funding for production and distribution to pediatric oncology patients?
ESL Student Book & Teacher's Manual
Multicultural Consultant & Editor
Beyond Borders English Book, Level 6
For native Spanish Speakers,
Text & Teacher's Manual.
Fit your teaching methods to your child's age & needs.
Chapters by Dr. Sonna were included in this book.
Technical Editor, Adams Media, Potty Training Sucks.