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Archive for December, 2014

Smart Love Corner: Parenting Q&A

All the questions and answers come directly from Smart Love Solutions in Early Childhood-A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers by Drs. Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper.

Q: My Child is Scared of School

My five-year-old is starting kindergarten this fall. Previously he was in preschool for a few hours per week, but the kindergarten is all-day. When we try to talk to him about how much fun he will have in his new school he doesn’t want to talk about it. Sometimes he walks out of the room or puts his hands over his ears. We also notice that he is having many more nightmares than usual and seems very easily upset during the day. We wonder if these behaviors are related to his starting school, and if so what we can do to help him since he doesn’t seem to want to talk about it.

A: You are correct. Your son’s behavior is related to his worries about starting kindergarten. The problem is that you are trying to talk your son into looking forward to starting school by telling him how much fun he will have, rather than trying to find out what is worrying him. As a result, he feels he is doing something wrong when he can’t adopt your positive attitude. So he wants to avoid all discussion of the situation.

We suggest that you change course.  Tell him you recognize he has concerns about going to kindergarten and that this is normal-many children worry about starting a new school.  Add that worries can be expressed in bad dreams and upset feelings.  If you show your son that you are comfortable with the notion that he may be dreading school, he will probably feel more comfortable discussing his concerns.  It might help to ask the librarian at your local library to suggest age-appropriate books about children who imagine that school will be unpleasant.

Once your son opens up and tells you what he fears, be careful not to contradict him (“We met the teacher and she is very nice,” or “That’s silly, of course the other children will like you.”)  Rather, let him know how great it is that he is communicating his fears and that if anything does go wrong at school he can come right home and tell you and you will help him figure out a way to handle the problem.  Fears don’t go away, because someone tells you not to worry. What is reassuring is to know that if what you dread happens, you have someone to turn to who can help you.  Once school starts, leave some quiet time every day, perhaps when you’re putting your son to bed ask him how his day went.  Make sure you give him an opportunity to tell you about the bad as well as the good.

To order your own copy of Smart Love, please visit: smartlovepreschool.org/preschool_publications.php

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7pm, The Kick-off
Wine, Appetizers, and Getting Toasty
Hosted at: The Shift, 4101 N. Broadway

9pm, The Main Event
Entertainment, Dinner, and Many More Drinks
Hosted at: Michael’s, 4091 N. Broadway

The NYE menu will feature grilled shrimp, calamari pasta, arrachera, pork belly tacos, and many more house specialties!


Ticket price: $60
Includes all festivities, food, and an open bar!

Purchase tickets at Michael’s Restaurant, GNS Market, or North Buena Deli.
Tickets are limited, buy yours before they’re sold out!

100% of ALL sales will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

All expenses incurred will be underwritten by Michael’s Restaurant

View event flyer (207KB PDF)

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El Palmar Front

El Palmar

Drop into El Palmar, just west of Sheridan Road on the north side of Irving, and you feel transported to Mexico City. Beautiful serapes and sombreros decorate the walls, and Latin rock ‘n roll may be on the juke box, or a Mexican soccer game on the television. The menu at El Palmar features more than 130 items, ranging from homemade tacos at about $2.50 apiece to Molcajeteada de Carne, at $24.95.

Proprietors Sofia and Miguel Lopez took over the restaurant when Sofia’s mother, who founded the restaurant with her daughter, suffered a stroke back in 1996. Their son, Michael, also works at the restaurant.

When she and her mother, Sofia Aviles, arrived in Chicago in the 70s, her mother, who loved to cook, started making and selling lunches for her coworkers in the factory. The elder Sofia, who had been an entrepreneur back in Mexico, spotted the available storefront that had housed a driving school. That was in 1986, and it’s been going ever since. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Although Sofia’s favorite item on the menu is caldo de camaron, a tomato-based soup with shrimp, she says that the customer favorite is Sofia’a plate, the chef’s special of beef, chicken and shrimp. El Palmar’s clientele is split about half and half between Latinos and Anglos, she says, although Anglos are more prominent evenings and nights and Latinos during the day.

El Palmar features a variety of homemade soups and sauces, including homemade corn quesadillas, called “quesadillas de maiz” on the menu. The restaurant fries its own tortilla chips and makes two 10-gallon containers of green and red salsa every other day.

She says her employees are like family. Two of the cooks have been with her more than 10 years, as have several of the waitresses. “We treat people like we want somebody to treat us,” says Sofia.

Although El Palmar is in some ways a secret to many Buena Park residents, it is busy at all hours of the day and night, with customers hailing from as far as Indiana and Wisconsin. Sofia says they do not spend money on advertising. “My advertisement is my food,” she says. “Once someone eats here, they say, ‘How come I missed this place?’”

Sofia says her husband sometimes asks her if she wants to buy another property, but Sofia says no. “I’m happy the way I am. This is my place and I’m happy here.”

El Palmar
1008 ½ Irving Park Road
773-404-5969

Sofia Lopez with waitress Marleth Apolinar, who has worked at el Palmar for 16 years.

Proprietors Sofia and Miguel Lopez in the dining room of el Palmar.

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