Archive for 'park day'

Parenting for a Peaceful World, written by Robin Grille, is a book for parents who want to learn to get inside their parenting with true compassion and understanding of both their children and of themselves. It is for child health professionals who want to gain insight into every infant and child, and even adult, they encounter. It is for adults who want to gain insight into their whole selves again and indeed, the whole self of every person they meet.

This book is nothing short of a manifesto for policy-makers, teachers, community leaders, and anyone who wants to deepen their connection to themselves and humanity as a whole. If the findings outlined in these pages are put into practice, the result may be a revolution of peace, humanity, and a world beyond our imagining.  And it can all begin in ourselves and in our very own families.

During our time together we will:
* Examine the whys of who we are
* Discuss the book
* Explore how our own early experiences influence what we believe about ourselves and how we parent
* Share some of the messiness and joys of parenting today
* Learn and practice mindfulness techniques that will help reduce stress and model good emotional health and regulation to partners and children

Time: 7-9pm
Dates: Every Wednesday for six classes starting July 29th
Cost: $250/person or $450/couple
Location: 919B Cardinal Lane Austin TX 78704

This is for mothers and fathers with children of all ages who are ready to explore and create new understandings of themselves, their children and their world in general.

Click here if you are registering as an individual.

Click here if you are registering as a couple.

Please contact Carrie at or 512-694-7794 if you have any questions.

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Amy Pertl-Clark, an Austin-based slow mama, alerted us to this New York Times article on slowing down kindergarten.

As an early parenting guide with a pretty clear understanding of brain development and nervous system regulation, I feel strongly that children, especially young children, especially kindergarteners, should NOT have homework. Why? Because they’ve been at school for many hours using their brains — learning things, trying new activities, navigating social interactions — and managing big feeling without mom or dad. That is a lot of work. In order for them to properly integrate what they have learned, tried and experienced they need a break. They need to have space and time to relax. They need to be…time to putter around the yard, play with their toys, look at books, cuddle with someone who loves them dearly, play with friends, do some art if they feel like it. Basically, time to do what they want to do. Or not do anything at all. When we allow children an intellectual pause at home all the neural connections that have been stimulated at school  link up and create new pathways in the brain. This is really good and important stuff that should not be underestimated or overriden by a bunch more learning.

Perhaps there needs to be a movement to abolish homework? Oh, look there already is one.

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The way the morning flows can set the tone for the day. If things are hectic and everyone is racing around, there is less connection and less fun. However, when you choose to slow things down, connect and enjoy the time you have together before leaving for the day, everyone feels better and things go smoother. It’s not always easy but it certainly is worth giving it a try.

Here are some simple and practical tips for slowing down the morning:

  • Get up and get going. When you get out of bed just 15 minutes before everyone else it gives you a chance to set some intentions for how you want things to go.
  • Get yourself ready before the rest of the family rises.
  • Do something just for you even if it’s just for for 5 minutes. Drink a cup of tea/coffee, write in your  journal, meditate, stretch, etc. Take the time to check in and be with yourself.
  • Connect, connect, connect. Your child’s been asleep for many hours and needs some emotional filling up before he/she is ready to do the tasks of the morning. Taking just a minute or two to snuggle, shares some kisses or sing a song as you carry your child to the bathroom can make the “have to’s” go a lot smoother for everyone involved.
  • In efforts to help your little ones stay on track with doing what needs to get done, break things down into simple chunks and connect in between each thing. For example hug then brush teeth… hug then get dressed….hug then get shoes on…
  • Set things up the night before for a smooth and easy morning. Prepare breakfast and lunches for the next day, get bags packed and place them by the door, let your children sleep in the clothes they will wear the next day if dressing is too big of a battle in the morning. Make it easy so you are able to be more present with the people and less focused on the tasks.


In Austin this time of year it’s hard NOT to be outdoors. The afternoons are perfectly delightful – even causing a bit of shade seeking on occasion. This weekend we’ve got lots of reasons to be outdoors and while we often do it solo, this weekend we’re doing it in groups.

We’re having a neighborhood creek clean up on Saturday morning. We’ll all 6 of us be there with our boots on and our gloves ready to pick up whatever we come across. Well, not whatever. We might save some of it for the more industrially clad members of the group.

Then there’s a Slow Family park day on Saturday afternoon from 2-4. If you’re in Austin that day come hang out with us at Butler Park. It’s a super swell park with lots of room for wheeled items of all varieties – particulary scooters and the like. There’s a hill to roll on. A field to run in. Rocks to climb and a little pond to throw rocks in. And if it’s hot, there’s even fountains to play in.

Saturday night it’s an indoor event and I’ll leave the family at home to attend LiveMom’s big mama blog event at IF&D in downtown Austin. Should be a blast.

Sunday it’s back outdoors with the first in a hopefully ongoing series of Family Nature Club hikes. This one is being put together by Marc LeFebre who has just recently named the South Austin Family Nature Club. The first family hike will be at McKinney Falls on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. McKinney Falls is probably one of the most urban of State Parks and is a mere 11 miles or so from the capital building. It’s a slice of natural beauty just minutes from our urban dwellings! We’ll meet at 2:00 at the Smith Visitors Center near the upper falls. Come out and hike and play with us!

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Saturday in the Park

Announcing another Slow Family Park Day folks!!!

Saturday November 21 3:00-5:00 at Butler Park (a.k.a. The Fountain Park) Butler Park is located between Riverside Drive and Barton Springs road next to Palmer Events Center and the Dougherty Arts Center.

So come out with blankets, balls, bubbles, babies, bikes and whatever else strikes your fancy. Bring your friends. And let’s make it a party in the park!

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…this seven year old person is full of goodness.

Solstice Celebration!

Title: Solstice Celebration!
Location: Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge in Austin, TX
Link out: Click here
Description: Gather on the bridge to celebrate the changing season and to welcome the light that is on its way.
Start Time: 4:05
Date: 2008-12-21
End Time: 6:00

Slow Family Movement Park day is this weekend Sunday 11/16 2-4 p.m. at Austin’s Butler park near Town Lake and the Long Center.

1. Connect with your family
2. Spend time outside
3. Connect with other families
4. Walk the labyrinth
5. Lie on a blanket and take a rest in the sunshine
6. Play in the fountains
7. Meet new people
8. Introduce your kids to new people
9. Celebrate being a family
10. No agenda other than hanging out and playing

Come on out and play!!!

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