FEBRUARY 2020
Greetings!
PARENTS-DESIGN A VALENTINE…
We would like to continue a tradition started many years ago and we need your participation!! We would like parents to design a Valentine for their child(ren) to be hung in the hallway at Especially for Children. This is your opportunity to be creative and have fun!! Due to limited space, the size restriction of the Valentine will be letter size (9” X 13”). The above example is just an idea to get you started.

Valentine’s Day Parties will be held the week of February 10 . Please check with classroom teachers on plans for individual classroom parties.  
CENTER HAPPENINGS
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE STORY TIME
Wednesday, February 12, Nicole Fenstad will be here to tell stories, sing, talking about love, kindness, practicing letters and some sign language. She will be here from 10:00-11:30 am –rotating with the different groups.  
BREAKFAST SNACKS FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS
In honor of the parents and guardians here at Especially for Children, we will be offering breakfast snacks on Thursday, February 20, at your morning drop-off. The treats will be available in the front foyer for these special people. Enjoy!!
DENTAL VISIT
We are arranging for a dentist to visit our classrooms to teach us about our teeth and dental hygiene. Please watch classroom newsletters for further information.
LIFETOUCH PICTURE DAY
On Monday, February 24, and Tuesday, February 25, Lifetouch Preschool Portraits will be here to take just individual (and sibling portraits.) We are trying a new method of ordering this time. You will receive a portrait sheet of pictures taken on picture day and from that—you will order the photos that you wish. This is different from how we have ordered in the past. This is the only way you will be able to order pictures for your child this time. If you have questions, please ask.
MN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM FIELD TRIP
February’s field trip will be at the MN Children’s Museum in St. Paul, MN. The bus will leave at 9:00 am and return after lunch. (We will be eating a picnic lunch at the museum.) The field trip will be on Thursday, March 5, and parent volunteers are welcome to attend. The field trip is for both Dolphins and Monkeys. 
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
SCARY NEWS
by Alli Zomer

A typical morning at our house: we load up the bags, head out to the car, forget a bag, rush back inside, then finally settle into the car heading to school. Just about the time we back out of the driveway, the debate begins. My son (almost 5) wants to listen to “talking” (aka the news) while my daughter (2) wants to listen to music. Until recently, I usually sided with my son. I am kind of a news junkie, and I like to know what is happening around the country and around the world. But more and more these days, I find myself turning the dial to music. There just seem to be too many complicated and potentially scary stories – and I don’t always feel prepared to explain them to an inquisitive preschooler. I strive to be direct with my children even when the topic is thorny, yet it can be challenging to balance my desire to be open and honest with a desire to protect my kids from fear and worry.

National Public Radio recently took on this very topic, asking child development experts what advice they have for talking to young children about unsettling topics. Their insights hit home for me.

  • Control the Exposure: This was my key challenge in the car – my kids were hearing things at the same time I was, so I didn’t have any time to prepare myself. Controlling the exposure is not about always keeping kids in the dark, but instead it is about not letting the radio or TV be the first messenger. Young children can’t fully comprehend news that is intended for an adult audience, so we as adults are encouraged to listen/read/watch first, then we can decide what to share with them, and how to share it in a way they can grasp.
  • Talk about it: Once children are aware of something, either because we chose to share it with them, or they heard/saw it somewhere, we can focus on understanding how it is affecting them. Asking them “What have you heard” allows us to make sure they understand what is really happening, which usually means we will need to clarify a misunderstanding or debunk a myth. Asking them “how are you feeling” allows us to know what is going on inside. Maybe they are feeling scared, or maybe they are feeling confused. And as we talk about their feelings, we can take an opportunity to explore empathy – if they are feeling scared, we can help them understand that other people feel scared sometimes too.
  • Avoid labels like “bad guys”: Labels can be helpful sometimes. We use them to help children sort and classify (think blue vs green, hot vs cold, big vs small). But in the realm of news, there are many shades of gray. So the experts encourage us to avoid labels like “bad guys” which oversimplify complicated issues. Instead, we can choose to focus on the action or circumstance rather than the person. When the inevitable “why?” floats up to me from the back seat, I find myself responding with some variation on “Because that person made a bad choice” or “Maybe they did that because they were feeling hurt, or sick, or afraid.”
  • We don’t always need the answer: This is one that has taken me time to embrace as a parent. When my children first started asking questions, I wanted to be able to give them the right answer. I thought that was my job. But I have come to realize, whether it is a question about space or a question about current events, I don’t always have the answer. And that is ok. It is just as valuable for my children to understand that the world is complicated and sometimes even adults don’t know it all.
  • Look for the helpers: Finally, as seems to be the case a lot lately, Fred Rogers had the answer. On his show he shared advice his own mother gave him, “When something scary is happening, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." What a profound yet simple message. So the next time my son asks about the wildfires in Australia, rather than focus on the devastation, I will try to share stories of the incredible people who are fighting the fire, protecting animals and rebuilding the homes of their neighbors.

Read more here:
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-2/2   Winter Carnival , Saint Paul
Now-2/2 Skate the Star at MOA , Mall of America
Now-mid Feb Ice Skating at Centennial Lakes , Edina
Now-2/17 The Dot , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
2/8   TC Field House Kid's Run , U of MN, Mpls
2/8   Valentine's Day 5k , Lake Nokomis, Mpls
2/9 Family Day: Jazz , Minneapolis Institute of Art
2/9 Family Fun Da y , Coon Rapids
2/14 Family Night: DJ Dime , Midtown Global Market
2/15 Monster Jam , US Bank Stadium
2/23 Family Story Time , Bell Museum
 
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford
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