Posts Tagged ‘children’

At JCL, we love September for many reasons…cooler temps, change of seasons (hello boots!) and of course, all those great school supplies!  We love the smell of Sharpies and crayons. Is there anything more beautiful than a perfectly sharpened No. 2 pencil?  Nirvana. We realize, however, that not everyone gets as excited about notebooks and rulers as we do, but relax. “Back to School” doesn’t have to mean “Back to Clutter.” Check out the following ideas from some of our favorite organizing guru moms and fellow bloggers for some creative solutions to  your homework headaches. We got goose bumps just looking at them!We just loved this Children’s Homework Message Center.  What’s more, this crafty momma has these templates available for purchase!Take a look at this Organize Your Morning hanging shelf.  No more scrambling in the morning to help your child get dressed and out the door.

For a space saver, try this over the door school supplies organizer.  No more scattered pencils and glue sticks in this home…

For the small areas of the home needing a little order, use a shower caddy organizer.  Brilliant!

Stuck with a stack full of school work from your children?  Organize them by grade with a hanging folder system like this.

Have a creative back-to-school organizing solution? Share your answers–it’s the only time you won’t get in trouble for sharing answers in class.

Read Full Post »

You’ve been living for the weekend and finally it’s here–time to do some window shopping, sit at a cafe and sip an iced latte while you people watch.  And then it hits you–its 100 degrees outside, and your makeup cannot withstand more than 60 seconds in the humidity without melting.  What to do on a lovely, albeit sweltering summer day?

An air-conditioned theatre is a great place to cool down on a hot day.  For example, the E Street Theatre is an eight-screen luxury movie theatre specializing in first-run independent and foreign language films, documentary features and classic revivals. To “sweeten” the deal, they also have delicious pastries and an espresso bar!

If you haven’t heard of Arlington Cinema & Draft House, you are truly missing out on some great films, eats and brews!  They have $1 Mondays, $2 Tuesdays, wine nights and stand-up comedy!  Check out their website for the most recent showings.

If you have kiddos, check out Imagination Stage, a children’s theatre located in Bethesda, MD.  Imagination Stage is the largest and most respected multi-disciplinary theatre arts organization for young people in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Don’t miss their production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, running through August 12.

Just a few more ways to contribute to the DC Arts Scene while staying cool this summer!

Read Full Post »

The tax man has cometh…praise the Lord! Did you feel the weight of the world lift from your shoulders as you put the envelope into the mailbox?  Interesting coincidence that April just happens to be Stress-Awareness Month. Studies show how stress is linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, and also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviors. JCL doesn’t like stress–we are here to make your life easier and stress free!  It’s a good goal!

As adults we’ve all learned some coping mechanisms–hopefully some that don’t include a bottle of Merlot.  My personal favorite is a nice hot bath with some candles. It’s like my own personal Nestea plunge and I can practically see the steam rising from the water as my body slips down into the water. One of the things I try to be mindful of is that my emotions are like sneezes–they are contagious.  If I’m stressed, I’m likely passing that energy off onto other people. My co-workers certainly don’t need to feel my stress, but it happens. It’s probably worse if we try to bottle it up inside. If you are a parent, think about the effects your post-work stress might be doing to your kids. Do you come home at night and vent about the boss all through dinner or grab a glass of wine and a cigarette and go into solitary confinement? As we perused the stats of the Self Assess to Fight the Stress! blog, we came across some startling information on adolescent stress.  As adults, a majority of our stress and/or anxiety comes from unmet expectations of a spouse or boss, but children are predominantly affected by change.  Kids (like the rest of us) have to cope with major life events. These events don’t have to be negative to be stressful, but its always helpful to be mindful of these changes so we can help our children transition as smoothly as possible.  Typical sources of stress may include:

  • Parent having problems
  • Fight with a friend or a sibling
  • Taking a test
  • Wondering if someone thinks you’re attractive (teens especially)
  • Not having enough privacy
  • Birth of a brother or sister
  • Moving to a new school
  • Re/marriage of a parent
  • Not having enough money (try not to talk about your money problems in front of the kids!)
  • A teacher who doesn’t like you

According to Sabine Hack, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, the impact of a stressor depends on a child’s personality, maturity, and style of coping. It is not always obvious, however, when children are feeling overtaxed. Children often have difficulty describing exactly how they feel. Instead of saying “I feel overwhelmed” they might say “my stomach hurts.” When some children are stressed they cry, become aggressive, talk back or become irritable. Others may behave well but become nervous, fearful, or panicky.  Thankfully, parents can help their children learn to keep the harmful effects of stress to a minimum by…

  1. Parents should monitor their own stress levels.  In studies on families who have experienced traumatic circumstances such as earthquakes or war, the best predictor of children’s coping is how well their parents cope. Parents need to be particularly aware of when their own stress levels contribute to marital conflict.
  1. Keep communication lines open. Kids feel better about themselves when they have a good relationship with their parents. There’s a fine line, however, between being a parent and a friend so be careful.
  1. Encourage close friendships. Children who do not have close friendships are at risk for developing stress- related difficulties, parents should encourage friendships by      scheduling play dates, sleepovers, and other fun activities.
  1. Parents need to shape daily schedules with their child’s temperament in mind. Although children thrive in familiar, predictable environments with established routines and clear safe boundaries, their tolerance for stimulation varies.
  1. No matter how busy their schedule, children of all ages (including us grown kids) need time to play and relax. Children use play to learn about their world, explore ideas and soothe themselves.

As much as we’d love to protect all children from life’s ups and downs, its important to remember that daily challenges are important steps in their development.  As Mary Tyler Moore said, “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”  Help cultivate your kids to be “brave” with all that daily life has in store, and remember that your kids are watching how you deal with stress.  Deep breaths, long baths, quiet time, and an occasional glass of Merlot!  Life just got easier!

Read Full Post »