Barista Kids New Year’s Round-Up

BY  |  Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Here’s a round-up of our favorite New Year’s posts, including things to do, resolutions and fun crafts!

Happy New Year Baristaville!

New Year’s Resolutions For Kids; Helping Them to Believe In Themselves

BY  |  Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

I love the New Year’s holiday. I love the “dancing, kissing, champagne, onion dip” as the characters exclaim in my favorite New Year’s musical “Striking 12” (my husband is one of the stars of the show). And I love the opportunity New Years presents to review the past, reconnect with personal dreams, and resolve to manifest them in the New Year. And I believe that New Year’s resolutions are also an opportunity for children to learn the value of goal-setting and self-discipline.

I asked my son what he thought about this whole New Years Resolution-setting thing. He immediately and enthusiastically started listing off all kinds of resolutions for himself: “be a great runner, be a great artist, have fun because when kids are having fun the world is a happier place, etc., etc.”

“Excellent; he is a boy with dreams!” I thought. But then pragmatic mom jumped in “how can I help him to actually achieve these things and feel good about himself?”

You see I know that helping children to believe they can succeed is an essential life-skill. It is what psychologists call “self-efficacy”*, the ability to define a goal, persevere, and see oneself as capable. Researchers have found direct correlations between high self-efficacy and personal accomplishment, reduced stress and lower vulnerability to depression. Aren’t those qualities that every parent wants their children to possess? Researchers found that one of the key sources for building self-efficacy is through observing others. Seeing someone similar to oneself work hard to achieve a goal makes you a believer that you too can do the same. Isn’t that what the Weight Watchers advertising team is banking on?

A great way to encourage these types of observations with your children is through stories, either factual or fictional. Try these practices in the New Year:

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Mr. Jingle’s Visit To Baristaville

BY  |  Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

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New Year’s Parenting Resolutions

BY  |  Friday, Dec 30, 2011 9:55am  |  COMMENTS (3)

Most of us make resolutions to eat better, exercise more, or some other health related thing, but as parents, the new year is also a great time to reflect on our jobs as moms and dads and see how we can improve.

For some parents it may be to spend more quality time with their children. Others may need a little help in the patience department. My parenting resolution is to let my girls become more independent by a) backing off a bit and letting them try new things, even if I’m afraid they might get hurt and b) giving them more responsibility.

Here are what some other Barista parents want to improve, or do, in 2012:

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Riley is Woman, Hear Her Roar

BY  |  Friday, Dec 30, 2011 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (11)

Okay, this little girl named Riley isn’t a woman yet, but she would make Helen Reddy proud.

At her young age she already knows that kids shouldn’t be pushed into gender stereotypes. That, even though some little girls (like my 4-year-old) can’t get enough of princesses and pink, many girls also like trucks, superheroes and LEGO sets — the gender neutral kind. And while many boys go crazy over Captain America and Star Wars, many love to play with dolls and join the tea parties.

Where in Baristaville Is Mr. Jingle?: December 29

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Mr. Jingle is thinking of First Night Montclair in this spot which will be the center of the fun, but alas today is his last day in Baristaville. Although Mr. Jingle has thoroughly enjoyed his time here he is now  going to visit some old school chaps staying at Moresby Hall, Parton, Cumbria UK .

LEGO For Girls

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

Here we go again. Yet another company has determined that the only way to appeal to females—in this case, young girls—is to reduce her to a stereotype. This might not be so surprising if the company were one of the usual suspects—say, American Apparel—but this time around the offender is LEGO, a toy manufacturer we respect and generally love.

LEGO’s new line of Friends, which you’ve surely read about by now, has left us scratching our heads. Friends is a set of LEGO building blocks and figures geared to girls. LEGO created the line because it said it wanted to broaden its appeal to “the reach the other 50 percent of the world’s population,” as CEO Jorgan Vig Knudstorp put it. Presumably all those LEGO Star Wars and fire house play kits are not meant for girls (that, in fact, was the company’s strategy. After it began catering its toys just to boys, revenue grew 105 percent) So what does the new Friends line for girls include? Five figurines who live in “Heartlake City,” a purple and pink hued village that has a beauty shop, a “splash pool,” a cafe. What, no massage parlor?

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Ask Holly: Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles for the New Year

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 9:31am  |  COMMENTS (3)

When I asked my eight-year-old what New Years Eve makes her think of, she simply said, “Bubbles.” Most likely because we love going to First Night Montclair and watching BubbleMania and because I always make my kids fancy bubbly drinks on New Years Eve. Mommy stays far away from adult bubbly drinks, as she and Mr. Champagne had a nasty break-up.

Here are few bubbly things to do with the kids for New Year’s, from blowing frozen bubbles to making “Fancy Drinks” as my four-year-old calls them.

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Giveaway: Canal Park Playhouse’s Classic Shorts & Brunch Matinee

Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 7:30am  |  COMMENTS (6)

WINNER: Congratulations to arch!

Canal Park Playhouse is a cozy performance venue in TriBeCa that is quickly becoming a family event space by offering classic shorts from when we were little, so we can share them with our kids. Beginning on January 7 for a limited engagement, Canal Park Playhouse will offer screenings of The Little Rascals on weekend mornings at 11 am.

You’ll enjoy three Our Gang shorts with Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Froggie and the rest of the gang screened in the intimate Playhouse theater. As a bonus, you’ll also see classic Casper the Friendly Ghost and Popeye cartoons. Here’s the thing that makes it really cool. As part of Canal Park Playhouse’s Classic Brunch Matinee series, families can enjoy brunch from The Waffle Iron Café. The menu includes hot-off-the-waffle-iron spinach, mushroom, smoked chicken sausage frittatas; French toast; and of course Traditional Belgian Waffles with pure Vermont maple syrup and butter as well as the house specialty The Playhouse Pink Waffle (a pink waffle with strawberries and whipped cream). Greek yogurt, granola and fresh fruit are also available.

Thanks to the generosity of Canal Park Playhouse, we are giving away a full morning’s worth of fun. One lucky winner will receive brunch for a family of four and 4 tickets to the The Little Rascals screening on either Saturday, January 7 or Sunday, January 8. (winner can choose)

Keep reading for details….

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Where in Baristaville Is Mr. Jingle?: December 28

BY  |  Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Mr Jingle and Ms. Imani are saying good bye to Mr. Gimel today and taking him out for a drink at this well known pub in Montclair.  After the last night of Hanukkah, Mr. Gimel is traveling to warmer climates outside of Baristaville. See you next year Mr. Gimel!

Can you guess where they are?

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