Archive for January 2015

TGIF: The origins of the phrase and its use in countries around the world

The other day was one of those days when it was nearly impossible to get my two young sons out of bed and off to school. Before we walked out the door that morning, I said to my sons, “TGIF.” They replied to my quick comment with two tired, utterly blank stares. And, then it... Read more »

How do you define “world citizen”?

How do you define “world citizen”?
These days, to me, it seems like the world keeps getting smaller, and the impact we, as individuals, can have on it, keeps getting bigger. The inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are regularly shared in countless memes via social media, with a big spike in shares happening on Martin Luther King Day. The amazing... Read more »

5 ways to channel a child’s vivid imagination into creative pursuits

My husband and I have been struggling with an ongoing parenting challenge. We want our sons to dream big, but we also want to find ways to channel their creativity into pursuits that allow them to better themselves and potentially the world – as students, people and world citizens. You see, our sons, like most... Read more »

Celebrating diversity: Can pointing out our differences help bring us together?

I admit it. I used to want my sons to not see the differences between us. When my sons were young, I’d never call attention to a person’s differences. I felt like if I didn’t point them out, they wouldn’t see them. Instead, my sons would grow up to be “people” who just saw other “people.” And, they wouldn’t be quick to categorize them by what makes... Read more »

Parenting is a two-way street: Kids help expand our horizons, too

Let’s play a little game. Can you guess the type of the “pages” I follow on Facebook? I’ll give you a few seconds to jot a couple of them down. Did you guess travel? Or, multicultural resources? What about parenting? Maybe fashion? Or, even about my hometown of Chicago? If you did, you’re absolutely, 100... Read more »

A reminder to find hope within you - from my nine-year-old son

The conversations in our home have been rather deep these days – to say the least. With Martin Luther King Day coming up, we’ve been talking a lot about equality – and the times (past and current) when equal rights have been denied people based on their gender, race, religion or sexual preference. We’ve also... Read more »

5 ways you can encourage your child to be an "upstander"

“I have a dream.” It’s hard to not think of these four words whenever I think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a parent, I want my sons to dream big. I want them to think they can be and do anything. And, I don’t want anything to hold them back. But, I don’t just want them... Read more »

Can you name the foods in a full English breakfast?

During the winter, my family loves to spend our weekend mornings at an English pub – in Chicago. Yes, with the cold weather upon us and English Premier League soccer well under way, an English pub is a fantastic place to spend a morning fueling up and cheering on our favorite teams – even with our young sons. For us, there’s nothing like... Read more »

Sports jerseys: A great way to start conversations around the world

I’m convinced there is one easy, almost guaranteed way to strike up conversations with people around the world – wear a sports jersey. No matter where we go, if myself, my husband or our sons are wearing sports jerseys, people will talk to us. It happens all the time in Chicago – and it’s happened to us in Paris, London... Read more »

How many different ways can you say "you're welcome?"

When someone says “thank you” to me, my response is usually “you’re welcome.” It’s automatic. It’s learned. And, it’s something I hadn’t thought too much about – until I participated in an “ambassador” training for a volunteer position a few months ago. Our role as “ambassadors” was to welcome people from around the world to... Read more »