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Acorn Families' Favorite Children's Books

January 21, 2022
By Mara Mauze, PhD, ABPP

Last week in our office newsletter, we held our January raffle.  Many thanks to those parents who participated and provided their favorite children's books to us.  I'm always looking for new books to read with our children and so I wanted to share the favorite books of some of our Acorn families.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Cactus Hotel

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest by Gerald McDermott

The George and Martha Series

How Do Dinosaurs________ Book Series (i.e., How do Dinosaurs Say I Love You, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School)

I Know a Rhino

Jillian Jiggs

The Junie B.  Jones Collection

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

Little Blue Truck's Valentine

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Miss Nelson is Missing

Never Touch a Tiger

Owl Babies

Princesses Wear Pants

Sheep Out to Eat by Nancy Shaw & Margot Apple

Snow by Sam Usher

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Rabbit Listened

The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse


2022 Updated Metro Health Covid Guidelines

January 03, 2022
By Mara Mauze, PhD, ABPP

Dear Acorn Families & Staff,

Happy New Year!  We hope you had a restful break and are getting back into the swing of things.  We have had a lot of questions about the changing policies regarding Covid exposure and quarantine.  We spoke with Metro Health, the epidemiology department specifically, at length today and this is what we were advised:

·If your child tests positive for Covid, they must isolate for 5 days and be tested for Covid after day 5.  Metro Health Department advises a PCR test rather than a rapid test.  If this test is negative and symptoms have resolved, they may return to school IF they wear a mask for the next 5 days. If they are not able to wear a mask consistently or don’t wear a mask, the health department has advised us they should remain home for an additional 5 days (10 days total).

·If a family member tests positive for Covid, they must isolate away from the child for 5 days, and test for Covid after day 5, then wear a mask in public for 5 days. If continued interaction with the child occurs (cooking meals, reading together, or interacting), the clock starts over each time they interact.  If a family member interacts with a child while the family member is positive, then the 5 days would start counting from the day after a family member’s negative test.  Each interaction with a positive family member is considered an exposure according to Metro Health Department.

·Adults who are vaccinated AND boosted and exposed to Covid, do not have to isolate or quarantine but must wear a mask in public for 10 days and should test after day 5 of exposure.

·Adults who are vaccinated BUT NOT boosted and exposed to Covid must isolate for 5 days, get tested after day 5 and then mask in public for another 5 days if test is negative.

·Children who are vaccinated BUT NOT boosted and exposed to Covid must quarantine at home, be tested on day 5, and then mask in public for another 5 days if test is negative.

·The last day of exposure or the day symptoms begin counts as day 0.

We know this is confusing and different even from more recent information. These guidelines are based on the extreme transmissibility of Omicron and the new CDC guidelines.  When in doubt remember the rule of 5: isolate for 5 days, test after day 5 (PCR test), if negative, mask for 5 more days. If your child cannot or does not consistently wear a mask, the health department advises remaining home for the full 10 days.  We will continue to call and seek guidance as there are so many things to consider in each scenario.  We will update you with any new information.  

Thank you for your support, and we wish you all a Happy, Healthy 2022!

Book Bundles: Just in Time for the Holidays

December 09, 2021
By The Acorn

Are you still looking for gifts for your little ones? Acorn Parent and Alum Lauren Nygard has put together book bundles, just in time for the holidays.  Orders must be placed by December 14th for delivery before Christmas and 25% will go back to support The Acorn.  Thank you Lauren!

The Pull Up Nation

November 17, 2021
By Mara Mauze, PhD, ABPP

Over the last few months, a theme has been emerging in schools and on child education listservs across the nation, “The Pull-Up Nation.”  When I first started hearing about this, I assumed this meant this year was one to help “pull kids up” academically.  However, it turns out that children across the country are arriving at preschool and kindergarten wearing pull-ups and are not toilet trained.              

On the surface, this trend is surprising as many children and families have been home for the past year and a half to two years.  However, this past period of time has been traumatic for many.  Parents have been working from home while trying to educate their children and maintain some sort of normalcy.  Every decision became weighted in a different way and parents are exhausted.  For many, many families, focusing on toilet training was an easy battle to forego.  However, now many children are entering school behind their peers in this key developmental milestone.

Certainly at The Acorn, we have very young children (2 and 3 years old), many of whom come to us early in the toilet training process.  This is not unusual.  However, if any of you are considering toilet training or are trying to make the process more successful, here are some recommendations:

1. Aim for an extended period of time at home to begin.  Winter break, Thanksgiving vacation, or a long weekend are great times to begin as you have an extended period of time together.  It’s generally a good idea to focus on remaining home as much as possible for easy access to bathrooms and laundry.

2. Plan out a schedule.  When toilet training, it can be helpful to give children scheduled toilet times.  Ideally, have your child try to use the toilet immediately upon waking up in the morning, about 20-30 minutes after breakfast, mid morning, after lunch/before nap, after nap/rest time, mid afternoon, and before bedtime.  Tie toilet attempts to natural changes in the schedule.  “As soon as you try to go potty we can eat lunch,” or “let’s go to the bathroom and then we’ll go play outside."

3. Wear underwear, not pull ups.  While pull ups can be great for school and sleeping, they are designed to help pull dampness away from the body.  Wearing underwear helps children have the sensation of wetness and feeling uncomfortable which helps them learn the body signals of needing to use the bathroom.  If you are concerned about running errands, sitting in car seats or your child sitting on furniture while toilet training, consider wearing underwear underneath a pull up or plastic pants.  It’s important that the child have underwear against their skin to feel the wetness/discomfort to help increase their awareness of those bodily signals.

4. If your child is against underwear, consider going pantless.  If you have a fenced or private backyard, allow your child time to play outside without pants.  Again, this can help them learn those body sensations and signals that they need to use the bathroom.

5. Make toilet attempts fun.  Have a basket of toys, books, or activities in the bathroom.  These are activities children use just when using the toilet.  This makes trying to use the toilet fun and helps them sit for a little longer.

6. Be sure children’s feet are properly supported. It’s very difficult to use a toilet if your feet are dangling in the air.  Add a stool for children to put under the feet.  This helps them feel more secure on the toilet and helps their body be in the proper position for a bowel movement.  Also consider a child sized toilet seat to fit on the adult sized toilet seat. This can make children feel more secure as well.

7. Keep your patience and your sense of humor.  Children will have accidents.  This is an inevitable part of toilet training.  Stay calm. Keep your sense of humor.  This too shall pass.

As always, we are here to help you.  Mara spent many years in private practice helping parents with toileting challenges with their children.  Feel free to use us as a resource.  We are here to help you anyway we can.

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