Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Back to School: Classes for Adults

You’ve decided to take the plunge and head back to school. Although this journey may seem a bit overwhelming at first, the good news is that you are probably more prepared than you think. “When adults return to college, they bring with them wisdom, experience, maturity, skills and knowledge that informs and enhances their educational experience,” says Karen Stevens, chief academic advisor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. With some research, planning and evaluation of your career goals, you will be ready for the first day back to school.

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Teaching Kids Boundaries With Peers

Watching your child play with her peers can be an eye-opening experience. Is she sharing with others? Respecting her peers’ boundaries? “Being able to keep good boundaries with peers is essential for developing healthy self-esteem and friendships,” says Raquel Lefebvre, Vermont-based licensed psychologist. Help your child foster healthy friendships by teaching her about appropriate boundaries with role playing and activities that will enrich her understanding of herself and her peers.

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Teaching Children to Learn From Failure

Ever wonder why some children throw in the towel as soon as things get tough while others get right back on the horse and try again? The fear of failure can stifle one child’s progress while motivating another. “Failure is an opportunity for a child to build their resilience muscles,” says Ingrid Kellaghan, founder of Cambridge Nanny Group in Chicago. Learning to deal with failure, rejection and challenging situations shapes a child’s personality and opportunity for growth. As his parent, you have the power to teach him how to get back on the horse and continue to ride along on this important journey.

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Teaching Children to be Good Listeners

Your little chatty Cathy probably shares every detail about her day with you on a regular basis. She talks about her friends, her toys, her wishes and her wants with excitement and enthusiasm. However, once the chatter stops, does she really listen to you and others? “Developing the ability to listen allows a child to learn not to see only their perspective on things, and to be open to connecting to others on a more intimate level,” says Melody Brooke, a family therapist in Richardson, Texas. Before children can really connect with others, it’s important that they are taught the skills to be good listeners – at home, at school and in social settings.

Blog, Reflecting

The Little Things: Aging Gracefully

I’ve never wanted to admit that I’m aging. In fact, as I get closer to 40, I find myself acting more like a teenager, wearing scarves, boots and purple jeggings, dancing to Flo Rida in my underwear and sucking down trendy Starbucks drinks much to my childrens’ dismay. However, one thing I’ve learned during this year of transition and quite possibly, a mid-life crisis, is that as I age, it’s the little things that matter the most.

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Gender Neutral Activities for Kids

As a parent, you know that there are many differences between a boy and a girl in how they play. Your daughter may particularly like tea parties while your son wants to roughhouse with a football. Gender-neutral activities offer benefits for both boys and girls. “They are suitable because they do not focus or push the child into a category that is pre-prescribed based on gender bias,” said Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn, an associate nursing professor at Sacramento State University who specializes in brain and gender studies. Finding a common ground between your princess and your jock doesn’t have to be a challenge with the variety of gender-neutral activities.

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, 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.