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Tag Archive | "parenting"

Kent School Services Network to host parenting with purpose


September 23, 6:30-8:00 at Cedar Springs High School

What do lunches, books, haircuts, and speakers all have in common? They are all part of programs the Kent School Services Network has brought to Cedar Springs. KSSN is an initiative that involves many partners and services, with the primary goal being to increase student achievement.

KSSN is excited to offer a Parent Education Speaker Series this year on topics to cover everything from parenting, to anti-bullying, to emerging drug trends. The first in the series will be Parenting with a Purpose, on Tuesday, September 23, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Cedar Springs High School auditorium.

The session, taught by Zsanara Hoskins, M.A. Educational Leadership, is about intentional parenting. The description reads: “We all want our children to be successful but what are we doing to set the tone for their achievement? We all have goals and dreams for our children, but are the things we are doing moving us towards those desired results? Parenting with Purpose is all about intentional parenting! In this session, we will take a deeper look at what it truly means to be an intentional parent. Through a practical approach, Zsanara teaches parents 8 steps they should do to be a parent of purpose and ensure their child’s success! Target audience is K-12.”

Future sessions in the series are:

October 21: “Y do you hate me?” (anti-bullying)

November 18: Online safety for youth

February 24: Languages of love

April 21: Emerging drug trends

KSSN is in 29 school sites and nine districts within the Kent ISD. While services vary from school to school, depending on what families are seeking, typical services include counseling, health care, DHS. Special events, workshops, and activities may also be offered at the schools. Placing services at school removes many barriers families have in finding services and helps keep students in class. When students are in class, they can keep learning and achieving. The school offers a welcoming place, builds relationships with families and serves as the “hub” of the neighborhood in meeting community needs. This also provides a one-stop location for families, making services easy to use.

This summer, KSSN staff coordinated with school personnel and community partners to help bring in some programs to the Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. The CSPS Food Service was able to offer free lunches through their “Meet up and Eat Up” initiative.  Under the direction of Jane Webster, lunches were brought out to the Estates twice a week. Steve Seward, Assistant Superintendent, led the charge to spread the word to teachers and administrators, and rallied a troop of amazing staff who donated their time and their books to students. Children were read to, and given books.  Rachel VanHorn from the Kent County Health Department also ran programs, offering workshops on self-esteem, healthy decision-making, substance abuse, and conflict resolution.

Another program KSSN offered this year was free haircuts during open house at Cedar View and the Middle School. Stylists were recruited from the Random Acts of Hazel facebook page and donated their services. They were able to provide over 50 haircuts to students.

If you would like more information or have any questions regarding KSSN, please feel free to contact Community School Coordinators:  Jennifer Willette (Cedar View) 696-9102 ext. 6295 Jodi West (Middle School) 696-9100 ext. 6278.


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Mercy in Mamahood

The 3 P’s: potty, prayer, pride

By Sarah Read

It’s been 10 months of potty training struggles. Before age 2, my daughter showed an active interest in using the potty, so we started it early-on. She had gone off and on, even through messy, unsuccessful weeks at wearing “big girl” underwear. We would start with enthusiasm and end in tears, giving up and dropping the subject for a few weeks and using diapers again.

Potty charts, reward stickers and treats, pull-ups, underwear, timing schedules, bare-bottoms, potty chairs, potty seats, potty books, potty videos, talking about it a lot, not talking about it all… trust me, we have done it all. The dismissive advice I would get from other parents would often add to my annoyance. “Oh, just use stickers and keep putting her on the potty throughout the day…” or, “Don’t worry about accidents; just don’t put her back in diapers no matter what and eventually she’ll learn.” Well, you know what? My daughter likes stickers, but not enough to stop playing to go potty for one. And my daughter is stubborn. If I put her on the potty and she didn’t feel like it, she would simply wait three minutes and tinkle on the floor. Don’t worry about accidents? How about when those “accidents” are all day long around your house? Am I supposed to sit back while my floors, rugs and couch are ruined? No one would suggest such a thing if I told them our dog was the source of such messes. They’d tell me to build a doghouse in the backyard and be done with it.

We started a new system about two months ago with marbles. My daughter loves marbles. We have a Mickey Mouse jar; when she tried on the potty she could put a little marble in, when she succeeded in using the potty she could put a large marble in. We told her that when the jar was filled with marbles she could have a new, big girl bicycle. My husband even brought her to the store to sit on one. It wasn’t long before the novelty wore off and she was back to going in her pants again, mostly just to get a reaction from me. And try as I might not to give her any reaction, I’m sure my “it’s okay, just try again next times” were laced with the inner frustrations I felt from having to clean up the mess again. We would have some seemingly progressive days then back to the drawing board. When I knew she was going in her pants on purpose, I would take a marble back out of the jar, which was never popular. I began to feel as though we would never turn a corner, never reach the day when it would happen and stay that way.

It’s been five weeks of potty training bliss. My daughter, at 31-months-old, is finally and officially potty trained. She tells me every time she has to go, even in public, and never complains when we have to try. She is also diaper-free at night. It’s like I have a completely different child. What turned this magic switch? The only trick in the book that worked was, believe it or not, prayer. Did I ask Jesus to potty train my daughter? No. I did, however, pray that I be released from the agony of caring one way or another if she was trained or not. I prayed for patience for myself, for however long it took. The next day she was accident free and self-determined to use the potty every time and successfully stuck to it.

It brings to my mind this bible quote, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:20 (NIV).

Now, granted, potty training my 2-1/2 year-old is not on the same realm as the miraculous cure of a child that was lunatic and vexed with a devil, as was the case in that biblical story but if any parents out there have had to deal with potty-training stubbornness, regression or potty power struggles, well, you can certainly appreciate the similarities.

Her Granny and Papa got her the big-girl bike, which she loves, but it seems to come second to the pride she feels in her own accomplishment, a sure sign it’s the real deal from the Man Upstairs. “Say you’re so proud of me, mama,” she will insist after she has used the potty. “I am SO proud of you,” I say. With a triumphant smile, she always replies, “I’m so proud of myself, too.”

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