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By Mary Kerwin 11 Jan, 2018

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. ~Clarence Thomas

By Mary Kerwin 18 Nov, 2017
It started the minute Halloween was over -- magically, mysteriously, instantaneously -- the holiday decorations popped up in stores. The ads on TV were all about what you needed this holiday - everything from canned food to cars. The Toys-R-Us catalog is being promoted as the ultimate reading material for kids - we wouldn’t want to miss out on the “must have” stuff of the season.It’s no wonder most kids are suffering from a bad case of the “gimmes”!Just the other day, after finishing up KIDS
By Mary Kerwin 26 Oct, 2017
 It’s the scariest time of the year, especially for anyone who fears the inevitable sugar cravings and the repercussions from Halloween indulging (and, if we're honest, we know that this is only the beginning of that slippery slope we call "the holidays").Grocery stores are frightful places – you go in for your daily shopping and suddenly you are surrounded by aisles and aisles of candy corn and Fun Size ® Skittles® and M&Ms – all looking colorful and appealing, designed to weaken our resistance
By Mary Kerwin 22 Oct, 2017
According to a recent study from the Microsoft Corporation,  the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8. This drop began in 2000, coinciding with the beginning of the mobile revolution.As a means of comparison, goldfish are believed to have an attention span of 9 seconds. Eight seconds! And that's the average! Not a lot of time to give to learning, conversing, meditating, whatever. It's no wonder that we have to redirect out kids' attention a gazillion times when they're
By Mary Kerwin 13 Oct, 2017
TIME FOR CHANGETHE BADVery seldom do any of us need to commit to a bad habit to keep it going. Those bad habits just seem to follow us no matter how much we want to stop. Good habits, however, take time and commitment to form and stick to. Think about it...How easy was it for you to start ...smoking? ...drinking soda? ...overeating? How hard was it to quit? Are you still trying?Well, it's the same for your kiddos. Whether it's brushing their teeth, hanging their coats up, or settling down to do
By Mary Kerwin 11 Oct, 2017
"My  kid is terrible in Math." "George is brilliant, he just freezes on tests." "She just never pays attention." "He's a little devil." "You can't trust that one." "He's not creative." "She can't...." "He can..." These are actual phrases I've heard. A lot. As a parent, I considered myself lucky to have kids who didn't struggle in school. When presented with a problem- they figured it out, asking for help as necessary.As a teacher, I watched my students attack assignments.  The methods of
By Mary Kerwin 05 Oct, 2017
How to help your kids feel safe in a scary world.We were reminded, once again, of our mortality and the frailty of human life.  I don't know about you, but the mass shooting in Las Vegas shook me to my very core. I look for reasons, for someone to blame. And then, one of my 8 year-old clients decided to have a discussion with me about it. I realized he was trying to figure out this world we live in and was looking to me for wisdom and advice. (expletive deletive!!!)So, I had to pull myself
By Mary Kerwin 07 Sep, 2017
Today was back to school for most students in NYC. As I troll through Facebook (after being away from it for a week), I smile at all the first day of school pictures - students looking fresh, bright-eyed, and bushy tailed with happy faces (mostly) holding signs that say "the first day of (insert appropriate grade)." There are many memes of happy parents doing their happy dances, others sending their babies off with tissues in hand with a small amount of regret and a big dose of love...Behind all
By Mary Kerwin 29 Aug, 2017
Good citizens all over this fair city (New York) have been setting up and planting green spaces to make life more beautiful. I, being born and raised in this concrete jungle, don't actually have an affection for gardening - but I can appreciate the time and effort it entails, and the beauty that stems from that time and effort.  This spring, a woman in my building, decided to beautify two of those spaces - one surrounding a tree, and theother a little fenced in area next to the building that was
By Mary Kerwin 05 Aug, 2017
How ready are you? You've been through the supply list -twice. New clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, locker accessories, and various other accoutrements have been purchased, packed, and are ready to go. You are all set! Or are you?Good-bye SummerMaybe it's because I taught for so long, or maybe it's because I never really grew up but the start of August is almost always a little bittersweet.There's still a whole month of summer left (in NYC, school starts the day after Labor Day), but you
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By Mary Kerwin 11 Jan, 2018

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. ~Clarence Thomas

By Mary Kerwin 18 Nov, 2017
It started the minute Halloween was over -- magically, mysteriously, instantaneously -- the holiday decorations popped up in stores. The ads on TV were all about what you needed this holiday - everything from canned food to cars. The Toys-R-Us catalog is being promoted as the ultimate reading material for kids - we wouldn’t want to miss out on the “must have” stuff of the season.It’s no wonder most kids are suffering from a bad case of the “gimmes”!Just the other day, after finishing up KIDS
By Mary Kerwin 26 Oct, 2017
 It’s the scariest time of the year, especially for anyone who fears the inevitable sugar cravings and the repercussions from Halloween indulging (and, if we're honest, we know that this is only the beginning of that slippery slope we call "the holidays").Grocery stores are frightful places – you go in for your daily shopping and suddenly you are surrounded by aisles and aisles of candy corn and Fun Size ® Skittles® and M&Ms – all looking colorful and appealing, designed to weaken our resistance
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