Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

The School Year: Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster

When Christine Hammond picked up her first-grade daughter from school one day, she sensed that something was wrong. Her suspicions were confirmed when her daughter cried uncontrollably for 20 minutes while sitting in the car. As a concerned parent of three, Hammond patiently waited for her child to reveal that she did not earn a sticker for the week because she talked out of turn in the classroom. “Our son, the oldest, attempted to comfort her by telling her that it was OK because he never earned a sticker in all his years of school,” said Hammond, a registered mental health counseling intern and educator. Her daughter’s crying quickly turned to laughter at her brother’s remark. “No two kids are the same,” Hammond said. “So, just because one is upset, it does not mean the other will be upset over the same issue.” As a parent, you can easily recognize when your child is angry, hurt or even sleepy from a busy day. Your child, though, is not always able to recognize, absorb and accept his feelings. Fostering his ability to recognize and understand his emotions can help him succeed in school, make and maintain friendships, and even grow closer to the entire family. Read the rest of the story here - Shannon Philpott

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

The World of Parents and Their Tweens

The tween years can be an exciting yet treacherous time for a child. Beyond an increased awareness of physical and emotional changes, these 8- to 12-year-olds clinging to childlike innocence are pushed into the world of adolescence. "Around these years, children begin to become increasingly self-conscious, and this often drives social difficulties that did not exist in their lives before," said Dr. John Duffy, a Chicago-based clinical psychologist. "Of course, pushing the boundaries of freedoms and exhibiting new attitudes also arise during these years." Even though the tween years can test the strength and patience of the child and parent, it doesn't have to result in a game of survival. The key to a healthy parent-tween relationship relies on a clear understanding of boundaries and the struggles and freedoms the tween is now facing on a daily basis.

Blog, Reflecting

Nice to Meet Me

My name is Shannon and I like to run, sing, and dance around by myself. I truly like cutting the grass with the sun shining on my shoulders. I like to listen to music – any music – that makes me want to dance and I like to people watch and daydream. It’s nice to meet me. I’ve always known ‘things’ about myself – I’m a mom, a partner, a teacher, an adviser, a friend, a colleague, a sister, a daughter and a neighbor – but I've always felt a little lost consumed by all of these roles. I wasn’t sure who I truly was and what I liked. Read the rest at http://www.shannonphilpott.com

Blog, Journalism, Teaching

I See You: Taking Risks Online

I’m not one to lecture and I hate being lectured to, but when it comes to talking to my students about establishing an online presence, I turn on my ‘lecture’ voice. “Be proud of what you produce because it is permanent.” In the past 5 years, I have uttered these words more times than I… Continue reading I See You: Taking Risks Online

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Your Turn: Games to Foster Better Sibling Relationships

Your Turn: Games to Foster Better Sibling Relationships Create a Winning Match Through Play Article Excerpt: A squabble over toys or a disagreement about house rules may seem pretty typical between a brother and sister. However, when the arguing escalates and disrupts home life for the entire family, it may indicate that sibling rivalry is rearing its ugly head. According to New York-based Jane Greer, Ed.D., a nationally known marriage and family therapist and author of "What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship," when children aren't taught to share, it results in severe sibling rivalry. Read the rest of the story at http://www.shannonphilpott.com

Blog, Reflecting

Trust Me … I have a Plan

If you asked my family whether or not they viewed me as a planner, I can guarantee that the answer would be no, maybe even Hell No. This stems partially because I never seem prepared. I’m that mom in the carpool line digging through my purse fishing for quarters to pass out lunch money to my kids. I’m the driver scrolling through my GPS searching for directions on the way to my destination. And even worse, I’m one of those last minute appointment makers and birthday gift buyers (typically on the way to the party). The reality is, though, that I am a mental planner. My ADD-ish brain is constantly in planning mode. I’m brainstorming ideas for activities to entertain my kids, I’m sorting out an outline for my next freelance story and I’m planning out the beginnings of course activities that come together at the last minute. I’m planning newspaper pubdates, ad rates and AP quizzes more often than I care to admit. My brain is a planner – neatly writing out my life’s plan on its internal sketch pad. My actions may not always reflect the creative intentions my brain has planned, though. Unfortunately for me, the exterior does not always model the interior. But trust me, I have a plan. Share Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: March 18, 2011 © Shannon Philpott, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting, Teaching

Silly Little Pumpkin Pie Deliciousness

I’ve never been crazy about pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or even pumpkin-flavored ice cream treats, but I do have a fascination with the word “pumpkin.” Ever since my daughter was born, she has been my pumpkin. And when my son came along, he became my pumpkin pie. Twelve years later and I still call them my pumpkins. I text them with embarrassing lovey-dovey notes such as ‘How is my peppy slice of pumpkin pie deliciousness’ and ‘Mommy loves her pumpkin doodle.’ [More...] They act like they absolutely hate my terms of endearment, but when I see a smirk on their faces as they read it, there is no denying that they love the pumpkin-filled attention. The terms of endearment are not solely stemmed from the satisfaction of embarrassing two pre-teens – it is more about showing them that life can be silly, fun and a little more brassy and bright at times. We all need these random acts of silliness when life is too serious, whether it is at home, at work, in the newsroom or in the classroom. When deadlines and production gets the best of my newspaper staff, it always breaks the ice when someone says something off the wall and random (and that happens frequently). It helps to break out in song or dub a nickname, such as chick-a-dee or “the kavahn” to a random student. When students get extremely stressed about grades and assignments, I don’t mind being the one to break the ice and say something ridiculous and potentially embarrassing in front of a class of 25, just as it breaks up the momentum for my children when I tell them that they are the most fluffy, flaky and perfectly golden slice of pumpkin pie around. I’m not sure what ‘terms of endearment’ most have for me, but if it makes me giggle when life gets to serious, bring it on. - Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: March 6, 2011 © Shannon Philpott, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Paying it Forward for Spring Break

Published March 2011: eHow Family & Relationships Paying it Forward for Spring Break Pitching in for a good cause teaches important lessons Article Excerpt: As a clinical counselor, Susan Fee listens daily as parents talk about wanting their children to be more appreciative, selfless, independent and caring. "I often ask, 'What opportunities are you giving… Continue reading Paying it Forward for Spring Break

Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing

The Snow-Covered Editor-Writer Relationship

This weekend, my mom got on me about not shoveling the snow off my driveway after the Midwest was pummeled with 12 inches of winter wonderland-ness. My response? “We have 4-wheel drive. Why do we need to shovel?” I’ll spare you with the ‘you should think of others’ lecture I received after she tried to… Continue reading The Snow-Covered Editor-Writer Relationship