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The Ridgewood PBA Local 20 is collecting unwrapped toys for children for the Holiday toy drive

police toy drive

December 2,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood PBA Local 20 is collecting unwrapped toys for children for the Holiday toy drive. Toys can be dropped off at Police Headquarters or the PBA tent at Van Nest Square during the holiday tree lighting 12/1/17. Stop by and say hello to our officers who will be handing out hot cider and giveaways for the kids.

We are a small part of a giant area toy drive which takes place on Dec. 18th. It benefits tons of area children including the Valley Hospital Pediatric Center. New Unwrapped toys can be dropped off, at anytime, at the Ridgewood Police Headquarters or you can find us at our tent during Downtown for the Holidays on Dec. 1st. Help us spread some joy this holiday season!

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Why More Parents Need to Say ‘No’ to Their Children

teen-boys-video-games

Annie Holmquist | May 18, 2017

When I was around 5 years old, a neighbor friend of mine had a huge, Victorian dollhouse. She never seemed all that interested in it, but I thought it was beautiful. So much so, that in the years following, I would often look longingly at similar dollhouse kits at the local craft store.

Alas, the family budget was slim, so my parents never had the opportunity to provide the Victorian dollhouse of my dreams, although they would have loved to do so.

In retrospect, however, this deprivation was a positive thing, for my sister and I created our own. We pulled books from shelves to make rooms, created doll beds with cassette tapes, made miniature bedspreads from ragbag scraps, and formed appetizing, doll-sized meals from modeling clay. True fun, I discovered, came not in having my wants fulfilled, but in putting my imagination and creative skills to fill any deficit I had in “stuff.”

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/why-more-parents-need-say-no-their-children

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Why Children Should be Encouraged to Build Things

build

Are we squelching critical and creative thinking?

Several years ago, a little boy I know set out to make and enter a project in the state fair. He gathered his supplies, came up with a design, and forged a hand-crafted knife – blade and all.

While his creation was quite impressive, the state fair was not amused and refused to let him enter his creation over fear about the type of message it would send.

Fortunately for this young boy, his parents continued to encourage his creativity and ingenuity even when the fair did not, and today he is in college about to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.

But what about all the other little boys (and girls) in the U.S. who don’t receive encouragement to use their imaginations and invent or create something? Are we hindering something which could be of great help to our children and nation?

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-children-should-be-encouraged-build-things

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How To Help Children Stay Off The Naughty List Year-Round

santa

November 18,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, It’s that time of year again when beleaguered parents constantly remind disobedient children that it’s more important than ever to do the right thing.

Otherwise, they could end up on Santa’s notorious naughty list – the one specially reserved for kids who fight with siblings, refuse to do their homework, throw temper tantrums and don’t eat their vegetables.

While banishment to the naughty list has long been a handy tool in the disciplinary arsenal, any responsible parent wants their children to be good the rest of the year, too, when the threat of empty stockings holds less sway over those impressionable minds.

“I suspect most children deep down want to do the right thing, but they struggle with temptation,” says K.J. Hales, author of It’s Hard to Be Good, the first volume in the Ellie the Wienerdog (www.elliethewienerdog.com) series of educational picture books for children.

“A lot of it comes down to self-control – being able to control both your emotions and your actions when things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want.”

Hales, who creates teachers’ guides and educational activities to go along with the lessons in her books, says the earlier parents start teaching children to do the right thing, the better.

She says some of the ways they can reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior include:

• Be generous with praise. Don’t underestimate the importance of your words. It’s easy to notice when children do the wrong thing and to chastise them about it. But take note when they do the right thing, too, and praise their good choices or good behavior.  “Everyone loves words of approval and children will want to please you as a result,” Hales says.
• Make good choices a fun activity. One way to encourage good decisions could be to set aside one week in which each day you ask your children to write or draw about a good decision they made or they saw someone else make. Hales says this is an activity she suggests for classroom teachers, but it can work in the home as well. Be sure to discuss those good decisions with the children.
• Reward them. Discipline so often focuses on punishments for bad behavior, but children should also be rewarded for good behavior. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. A reward could be a picnic in the park or a favorite dessert after dinner.

“I’m sure every parent wants their child to gain independence, grow emotionally and learn to make good decisions about their own behavior,” Hales says. “And this is important 365 days a year, not just in the weeks before Santa Claus comes to town.”

About K.J. Hales

K.J. Hales (www.ellietheweinerdog.com) is author of the Ellie the Wienerdog series of educational children’s books for children. The first volume in the series is It’s Hard to Be Good. The Ellie character is based on Hales’ own dachshund also named Ellie.

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How To Help Children Stay Off The Naughty List Year-Round

jill-greenberg-crying-photoshopped-babies-end-times-17

October 28,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, It’s that time of year again when beleaguered parents constantly remind disobedient children that it’s more important than ever to do the right thing.

Otherwise, they could end up on Santa’s notorious naughty list – the one specially reserved for kids who fight with siblings, refuse to do their homework, throw temper tantrums and don’t eat their vegetables.

While banishment to the naughty list has long been a handy tool in the disciplinary arsenal, any responsible parent wants their children to be good the rest of the year, too, when the threat of empty stockings holds less sway over those impressionable minds.

“I suspect most children deep down want to do the right thing, but they struggle with temptation,” says K.J. Hales, author of It’s Hard to Be Good, the first volume in the Ellie the Wienerdog (www.elliethewienerdog.com) series of educational picture books for children.

“A lot of it comes down to self-control – being able to control both your emotions and your actions when things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want.”

Hales, who creates teachers’ guides and educational activities to go along with the lessons in her books, says the earlier parents start teaching children to do the right thing, the better.

She says some of the ways they can reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior include:

• Be generous with praise. Don’t underestimate the importance of your words. It’s easy to notice when children do the wrong thing and to chastise them about it. But take note when they do the right thing, too, and praise their good choices or good behavior.  “Everyone loves words of approval and children will want to please you as a result,” Hales says.
• Make good choices a fun activity. One way to encourage good decisions could be to set aside one week in which each day you ask your children to write or draw about a good decision they made or they saw someone else make. Hales says this is an activity she suggests for classroom teachers, but it can work in the home as well. Be sure to discuss those good decisions with the children.
• Reward them. Discipline so often focuses on punishments for bad behavior, but children should also be rewarded for good behavior. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. A reward could be a picnic in the park or a favorite dessert after dinner.

“I’m sure every parent wants their child to gain independence, grow emotionally and learn to make good decisions about their own behavior,” Hales says. “And this is important 365 days a year, not just in the weeks before Santa Claus comes to town.”

About K.J. Hales

K.J. Hales (www.ellietheweinerdog.com) is author of the Ellie the Wienerdog series of educational children’s books for children. The first volume in the series is It’s Hard to Be Good. The Ellie character is based on Hales’ own dachshund also named Ellie.

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Some Readers Object to people purporting to having their children make “their own” statements

valley construction

 

These people purporting to having their children make “their own” statements need to better consider the long term impact of having their children make public fools of themselves. Remember how awkward we all felt when that kid stood up at the council meeting and stammered and fumbled his way through his parents speech for him as he told the adults on the dais that they were on the take? Where were his parents?? That will require years of deep therapy to overcome for sure.

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Pony Power Puts a Unique Spin on Therapy for Children with Serious Illnesses or Developmental Disabilities and Their Family Members

Pony Power Puts a Unique Spin on Therapy for Children with Serious Illnesses or Developmental Disabilities and Their Family Members

Photo Caption:  Shown at Pony Power’s Therapeutic Riding Center are (left to right) Wendy Lupo, Director of Development, Pony Power Therapies; Judy Tamburro, Volunteer, Valley Home Care; Dana Spett, MSW, Founder & Executive Director Pony Power Therapies;  and Dyana Thompson, Clinical Manager, Maternal and Child Health and Butterflies Palliative Care & Hospice Program, Valley Home Care.

August 23, 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgwood NJ, Children and their family members who receive services through Valley Home Care, including the Butterflies Program for children with serious or life-limiting illnesses, are benefiting from a unique recreational opportunity with therapeutic benefits offered not in a medical office or home-care setting, but on a fully accessible farm in Mahwah.

The children, their siblings and their parents recently wrapped up a weeklong summer extended-day program at Pony Power Therapies that included horse-assisted ground activities for children and parents, as well as riding sessions for the children.

During the therapeutic horseback riding sessions, riders are paired with a team of trained volunteers and certified instructors who tailor the riding experience to the abilities and needs of the individual rider. Therapeutic horseback riding at Pony Power provides both physical and emotional benefits to children, such as increased strength and muscle development as well as fostering feelings of self-confidence and pride. Importantly, the project also allows siblings to enjoy a range of activities together regardless of limitations. The parents also spend time with the horses engaged in activities that encourage them to work on their own self-care and to serve as a source of support for each other.

Riding can help increase strength and muscle development and foster feelings of self-confidence and pride. The young riders work on balance, body positioning, communication, critical thinking and partnership skills. Most importantly, the children enjoy a unique, shared experience with their brothers and sisters, as it’s one of few recreational activities that is completely inclusive, regardless of a person’s limitations. When engaging with horses during ground activities, children and parents learn how to stay present and focused; they experience life in the moment without the worry of usual stresses or concerns. Plus, tailored sessions help parents build upon current skills and develop new skills for handling the emotional difficulties that can come from caring for an ill child.

For five years, Pony Power Therapies and The Valley Hospital have partnered to provide integrative health and wellness programming to the children and families of Valley Home Care. From therapeutic riding sessions for patients and siblings during the school year to week-long summer programming for families to horse-assisted ground activities for Valley staff, the organization’s comprehensive and holistic approach has empowered hundreds of patients and their “teams” — parents and professional caregivers. Valley’s financial support of the program allows Pony Power to continue facilitating Valley families’ physical and emotional growth, as well as introducing the power of ponies to adults battling serious illnesses.

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Children Should be Encouraged to Read Fantasy Fiction

Bike_Ridgewood_Public_Library_theridgewoodblog

Fantasy fiction is often pooh-poohed by academics and intellectuals, but it can whet the appetite for learning.
Jon Miltimore | August 19, 2016

Recently I spoke with a friend who expressed some angst that his 12-year-old son was primarily interested in reading fantasy novels. Efforts to introduce the lad to higher forms of literature were proving more difficult than he’d expected.

Not to worry. Fantasy novels and science fiction yarns, I said, are often gateways to the higher forms of literature. This was not just my opinion, I added, it was my experience.

When I was 12, I was not yet much of a fan of reading. I had enjoyed some young adult fiction writers (S.E. Hinton, R.L. Stein, Christopher Pike, etc.) and enjoyed the histories of NFL football teams, but I didn’t have a passion for books. That changed when my father gave me J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/children-should-be-encouraged-read-fantasy-fiction

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Ridgewood Moms: The 10-Step Sugar Detox Plan For You And Your Children

donuts

May 17,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, For adults who crave candy and ice cream almost as much as their children, the bad news on sugar continues to pour in.

Earlier this year, research into sugar’s deleterious effects showed a connection to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. More recently, the American Dental Association reminded parents just how bad sugar is for their children’s teeth.

“We think we’re so advanced in 2016, yet when it comes to health and a nutritious diet, many of us have a long way to go,” says nutritionist and juicing pioneer Cherie Calbom, who is known as “The Juice Lady.”

The good news for parents is they can ferret out the sugar-laden products that may be hidden in their and their children’s diets, and dedicate themselves to a healthy, sugar-free lifestyle, says Calbom, author of “The Juice Lady’s Sugar Knockout.” She offers her Sugar Addiction Quiz atwww.juiceladycherie.com/Juice/the-sugar-knockout.

Below is Calbom’s solution: a 10-step detox plan that parents can work on with their children to eliminate sugar in both their diets.

1. Avoid all sugar. If you can do it for 30 days, you can change your lifestyle. During this time, avoid even healthy sweeteners like honey, and substitutes, which overwhelm the taste buds.
2. Cut caffeine intake. There are multiple benefits to cutting back on your caffeine, including the temptation to use sugary creamers and accompanying sweets along with actually causing sugar cravings.
3. Skip foods that turn to sugar easily. This includes wheat and other grains, alcohol and starchy foods like white potatoes.
4. Enjoy healthy smoothies. Healthy smoothies that include dark leafy greens like kale or chard make you feel good in the long term and can help eliminate the urge for sugary snacks and excessive caffeine.
5. Power up with protein. Eggs, nuts, fish and other meats balance blood sugar and insulin.
6. Eat your veggies. Non-starchy vegetables provide your body with much-needed vitamins that also will cut your urge for unhealthy, sugary snacks.
7. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Sufficient pure water keeps you hydrated, reduces headaches and constipation, and flushes out toxins.
8. Supplement your diet. GTF chromium, L-Glutamine, B vitamins, Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin C assist your body in various ways to overcome sugar cravings.
9. Sleep well; sleep enough. Lack of sleep messes with your hormonal balance and contribute to feelings of hunger.
10. Fight sugar cravings with fat. Healthy fats like avocados and fish make you feel full and satisfied.

“Beware of sugar in places you might not have expected, like tomato sauces, salad dressing and marinades,” Calbom says. “Make a habit of studying labels.”

About Cherie Calbom, MSN (a.k.a. The Juice Lady)

Cherie Calbom holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as “The Juice Lady” (www.juiceladycherie.com) for her work with juicing and health, she is author of 31 books, with millions of copies sold worldwide. No stranger to healthy diet trends, Cherie joined George Foreman as nutritional spokesperson in the Knockout the Fat phenomena that forever changed grilling in America.

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Village of Ridgewood : Staying Safe in Cyberspace

home_security_social_media_stalker

Community Outreach Series Focuses on Well-being: First up is Internet Safety Talk

Internet Safety for Parents. The program will take place on October 28, 7:00-9:00 PM, at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood.

Staying Safe in Cyberspace – Internet Safety for Parents. Presented by the Bergen County Prosecutors Office.
The 2015-2016 parent/peers series consists of eight engaging presentations throughout the school year. Co-sponsored by The Valley Hospital, with support from The Foundation, adults are invited to attend these programs on creating balance in children’s lives.

Click here for details on the series.
Click here for the series flyer.