Newsflash

What you need to know about ticks!

With summer starting it is worth talking about ticks. Lyme disease can be misdiagnosed, so if you have any of the symptoms (even if you don’t see a tick or bite), talk to your doctor. Be sure to read the PSP guide to what you need to know about ticks on the PSP website here.

ticks sign

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How To Talk To Kids About Death: Overview

 

This is an overview from the 2018 talk, "How To Talk with Kids About Death" Park Slope Parents and Green-wood Cemetery co-sponsored. 

Presenters:

Amy Cunningham The Inspired Funeral

Liana Smith-Murphy, play, child and adolescent therapist at BrooklynPlayTherapy.com

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Age appropriate honesty is important. Kids know more than we think they do. If you’re not honest kids can come up with fantasized explanations of death (“I made grandma get sick and die”). Using concrete things like “X has died. Their body is no longer working” (rather than “Nana is ‘sleeping’” which can freak young kids out and lead to, “when is she going to wake up?”). You can also talk about your beliefs: “Our family believes that after someone dies you go to heaven.”

Let kids ask questions. Many adults have issues about talking about death so kids can believe it’s not okay to talk about being sad or the death. Everyone experiences death differently.

 

Read more...

Resources for Coping with Park Slope's Tragedy

For many, the crash at 9th Street and 5th Avenue on March 5th, 2018 was very emotional. For people on the scene it was even more traumatic.  We're working with some trauma and grief therapists (thanks to them for reaching out) to put together sessions that may help folks deal with the emotional aftermath of today's scene. Here are those resources:

Whether you were a witness, heard about it and were impacted, or had another experience that was retriggered by last week’s neighborhood (local? 5th Avenue?) tragedy, your feelings around this matter.

Below is a list of therapists who have offered support or have been listed as specializing in trauma/grief. We appreciate their stepping forward to help. (As a reminder—this is not an endorsement of any one therapist or approach to therapy.)

It's important to be supportive of the people who were there; it can help with their recovery.  We are going to gather a list of resources and post those as well.  

Please share these resources with your nanny-- some were at the scene and others know someone who has been impacted.

Resources about coping with this traumatic event:

 

 

Read more...

The Doughnut Fix Launch Party

Bring your child (8-years-old and up) to the Brooklyn Public Library to celebrate the publication of The Doughnut Fix, the first book in a fun new series by New York author Jessie Janowitz.
Meet the author and hear her read an excerpt from the book!


Enjoy hands-on activities!

There will be a book sale and signing!

Doughnuts will be served!


What: The Doughnut Fix Launch Party
When: Saturday, April 21st
Time: 1:00pm
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center

More Info HERE

Donut Fix

 

This event is recommended for ages 8 and up.

 

Top Twenty Baby on the Beach Tips

 

 

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Basics:
Swimsuit – depending on the age, either a float suit with adjustable buoyancy or “puddle-jumper” floaties
Rashguard – longer-sleeved suits that protect best from sun
Sun Hat – with tie and long back
Beach Towels (2/child) – reserve one for an end-of-the-beach-day-scrub
Sunscreen (check the use-by date and get a baby-friendly one)**
Swim diapers (even if kids don’t go in the water these are good)
Wipes
Water bottle/cup – Yeti or Thinkbaby make good ones
Washable Beach Bag with wet bags or large Ziplocs
Bucket – good for transporting items (including drinks and ice) to the beach and then for beach play 

 

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Stroller March Sunday!

 

Stroller March June 24th, 2018

 

NOTE DATE AND TIME CHANGE! Now Sunday @ 5pm!

 

RSVP HERE

2018.Stroller-March-Sunday-Eng-up

 

TOP 25 TODDLER TOYS & ACTIVITIES

 

Looking for ideas for Toddler Toys and Activities? Here ya go (Courtesy of great discussions on some of our PSP Toddler Groups). Not a member and are a parent living in Brooklyn? Join PSP here!

ToddlerToysmall

ACTIVITIES

Use an old wallet stuffed with expired credit cards ­ take out and put back in, repeat indefinitely! 
Put some old toys out of sight - they'll usually show interest again after they’ve been on vacation for a week or two! 
A small wooden kitchen with doors
– used or new, this is evergreen
A hand broom, Swiffer sheet, and a cordless vacuum cleaner
Any and all Read-Aloud Board Books.
A small Jar with a Treat Inside.
A Baby Piano/Xylophone
Any Activity Table or Box that comes apart and has lots of “things” on it to move and make noise with!
Put Duplo Pieces (or anything that will fit!) into an Empty Tea Tin and take them out again!
A small Tea Set.
Make your own Toddler Busy Board - here are some great ideas.

 

SPECIFIC TOYS

Pockets of Learning Quiet Book – Indestructible books great for toddlers
Soft foam magnetic letters for the fridge
Skip, Hop & Explore Animal Car – Any “pull back” toy
Oball Rattle & Roll – or any Oball toy
Read Aloud Songs – listen to the song and follow along in the book
Magic Music Cubes
Peek-a-Boo Tunnels
Pop Toobs! – continue to be fun for years to come
Funky Moon Light with remote control! 
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Piggy Bank

Melissa & Doug gets lots of shout outs!

Play Cleaning Supplies
Door Puzzle with magnets
Shape Sorters

 

 

Top Ten Tips For Moving With Kids

Sponsored by

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FlatRate.SP.ss

  1. Whether you’re moving in or out, try to arrange it so that your children are out of the house during the initial loading and unloading. No matter how organized you are – or how amazing your movers are – you need to stay focused and not be distracted by your children or worried about their safety.

  2. If the children are home, make sure that they’re occupied in a separate, closed room and supervised by a caregiver or family member. This will make it easier and safer for the movers to work quickly and efficiently.

  3. Encourage children to paint, decorate or draw on their moving boxes! This is a fun craft project that will also help identify their boxes when you’re unpacking in the new place.

  4. Another way to engage younger family members is to have them pack some smaller, lighter boxes with toys, books or other items from their room. Let them carry one of these boxes to their new home or help load a few into a car. With the moving company’s permission, they could also place the box onto a mover’s dolly or watch them get loaded into the moving van/truck.

  5. Create a “move book.” The key to a smooth move is staying organized. Keep all the details of your move in a paper file or dedicated computer folder. Include everything – packing lists, insurance information, building management contacts, contracts, estimates, and invoices. Make sure the information is accessible before, during, and after your move.

  6. Moving is a great excuse to de-clutter and reorganize! Before packing, try to donate or give away clothing, toys and other stuff that your kids have outgrown or no longer need. Did you know that some moving companies offer free transport of items to the Salvation Army? Just ask!

  7. If you are in charge of the unpacking – and the kids are still out of the house – unpack their rooms before they arrive so they feel immediately at home. If the movers are unpacking, have them work on kids’ rooms/areas first.

  8. This tip might seem obvious, but make sure you and your kids are well fed and hydrated before and during the move. Don’t forget snacks! You may not have easy access to your kitchen/fridge, so pack an insulated snack bag full of treats and water to keep you all energized and hydrated on moving day. Moving can be stressful, so prioritize emotional and physical health before, during, and after your move.

  9. Put all important, irreplaceable documents like birth certificates, wills, and passports, etc., and prescription medication in one very safe place. Either keep them with you, transport them yourself to your new home, put them in a safety deposit box or leave with trusted friends until the move is done.

  10. In addition to arranging for the care of your human children, try to get your pet children out of the house before the move. It’s hard to keep pets safe during a move unless they are in a crate or carrier for the duration or have been boarded/temporarily housed. The cost far outweighs the alternative.

 

Unlimited Vacation Time Pros and Cons

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Unlimited Vacation Time Pros and Cons Compilation 2018
 
I was wondering if anyone actually has experience with "unlimited vacation". When I first heard of it on this list, I thought it was too good to be true, and I was right, at least according to this article I read:
 
https://medium.com/@wwalser/unlimited-vacation-is-a-dark-perk-and-you-should-use-that-to-your-advantage-f30495f0df23>
 
I am wondering on average how many vacations people actually end up taking. Anyone dared to take more than 4 weeks (real ones, not work-vacations) and not fear retributions.
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I worked in multiple companies that has such policy. The actual vacation length and frequecy culture varied from company to company and was just not clearly stated, one had to kind ask around to see what's appropriate. It varied from 2 weeks in a row being a very long vacation to 3 weeks + 2 weeks later in the year of being totally fine + some single days here and there.
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Our company went from unlimited vacation to 20 days annually, partially because there was the perception that the policy was being violated, or at the very least being taken advantage of disproportionately. We're a relatively small team so it felt like fairness was paramount to avoiding intra-office mutiny :) 
 
I think the size of the team matters a lot, as well as cultural expectations (of course). We're part of an international company so in a sense it felt fair to mimic the parent company's vacation policy, but that doesn't really work in practice. 
 
I much prefer mandatory office closures for certain periods. My last employer had an office closure the week between Christmas and New Year's, and the thing I liked most about it is that people tended to actually travel during that time, and it felt very much like school when they returned because everyone would share stories from their time off. 
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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. What I am still unclear about is how this unlimited vacation policy is beneficial to the employee? It is sold as something cool but so far I haven't heard that it adds value compared to the traditional way of stating plain and simple what the vacation days are. So when I am considering joining a company, I have not seen reasons to believe that as a selling point, but rather, just yet another thing to have to deal with within a company culture I don't know yet.
 
I must be missing something here
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I like set vacation policies better, in theory . Devil is in the details. I just switched firms and my former firm cut me a check for the two weeks I hadn’t used. That meant I didn’t have a pay gap for the time I took between jobs. Very generous of them and since i’m a lawyer in a firm it wasn’t necessary since I wasn’t working at full  capacity so I felt strange taking the accrued time (but didn’t complain). I’m in an area that gives 4 weeks of vacation and assumes we are working hard when not away. If I only got a week or two then I might prefer a more “honor” system type of vacation policy. And I wouldn’t abuse it. I don’t take 4 weeks off. I take about 2
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I'm currently interviewing and a few places mentioned their unlimited policy as a selling point. I would prefer a specific amount of days as well because you can get paid out when you leave. 
 
I generally take at least 4 weeks throughout the year because that's what I've had so far at all my jobs and most of that is to visit family overseas. 
 
If we got to the offer stage do you think this is something to bring up to let them know ahead of time? Since I won't know the culture and I don't want them to think I'm taking advantage once I accept. 
 
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My experience with unlimited vacation is:
 
1. I am on the work-life team of our organization. Research shows that overall people do not take advantage of the policy and in fact overall people take LESS time then if there was a set policy. People NEED vacation to recharge and be productive but there is anxiety around what is the right amount of vacation to take? Most people err on the side of caution and take less in order to fit in with the culture.
 
2. My husband's company had unlimited vacation. Most people were taking 2 weeks or none. Some of the high powered workahaulics in the org of course are in senior management and they were not taking vacation. Employees took their cue from them and were not utilizing vacation. Now they have 4 weeks PTO and everyone uses it. 
 
And just an FYI, many orgs KNOW that people will not use unlimited vacation but that it sounds great on paper to millennials for recruitment. 
 
I have 4 weeks paid and 1 week personal and the week off between Christmas and New Year's and I use every minute of my vacation and am a really productive employee  
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I’ve read analysis that agrees with the feedback above. Typically flexible vacation policies look good on paper but are less favorable for employees and save the employer money.
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We went from a policy of x number of days per year to unlimited. From a corporate perspective it was good because holding millions of dollars in cash is difficult. From an individual perspective (I looked at my days off) and I'm just at 4 weeks from before and after. I also happen to have taken two paternal leave, which for me was 8 weeks each. I had less time off before the policy, for reference.
 
It comes to how you manage the unlimited policy. I work for StreetEasy, part of Zillow Group, and I encourage people to take time off. Am appropriate work-life balance is encouraged.
 
I can't say that I've observed much of a difference, though I've seen that some are able to take 5 weeks now without much issue.
 
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I think it depends on the culture of the organization - at my company, people do indeed take 4 weeks or more of vacation. On top of the actual days off, this policy has affected the culture in that people feel comfortable working from home a lot. Now, when I consider other opportunities, if they offer 3 weeks of vacation, I feel very restricted. 
 
As for how an employer benefits, they do not have to pay for any days not taken and given that empirically, people do not take a ton of time off, that means they're saving money. 
 
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I second these comments (although I worked at the same company as her!). When I started there, I thought the unlimited PTO policy must be too good to be true, but in reality it turned out to be everything I would have hoped. It definitely varied by team but I'd say I took over 4 weeks every year, and one year was 6 weeks. They had a caveat that anything over 30 days in a calendar year was supposed to be approved by your manager's manager.
 
I'm sure it varied by team, but with a supportive and flexible manager (and after proving your value and working hard!) it was taken seriously and I never sensed any judgment. For a while I wouldn't even consider interviewing anywhere else that didn't have the same policy. At my new job, I have 3 weeks a year and the only way that works for me is with a very flexible culture around working remotely. 
 
I hope to see more companies move in this direction!
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Motherless Mother Resources

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Motherless Mother Resources

Park Slope Parents has a Motherless Mothers group:

If you are not yet a PSP memer join us here 

If you're already a member and would like to be added email  

 

Website Resources

https://www.instagram.com/theimaginarylibrary/

Theimaginarylibrary on Instagram is a 100 day project on grief and loss created by a woman who recently lost her mother.

Modernloss.com

Modern Loss is new website offering candid content, resources and community on loss and grief.

Articles Shares by PSP members

http://therumpus.net/2011/03/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-67-the-black-arc-of-it/

https://alovelywoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/12-ideas-for-motherless-daughters-on-mothers-day/

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/opinion/sunday/children-dont-always-live.html

Why Grief Is A Series of Contractions and Expansions

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/read-youre-grieving/

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/letter-from-your-mother-mothers-day

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/03/we-dont-lose-our-mothers-reality-more-violent-that-that

http://www.scarymommy.com/overcoming-waves-grief-when-youre-motherless-mother/?utm_source=FB

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/surviving-the-grief-of-mothering_b_9757374.html