Author Archives: Lauren Pohl

About Lauren Pohl

Lauren Pohl is the CEO and founder of Kidz Central Station and a mom to two amazing kids. She came up with the idea for Kidz Central Station while on maternity leave with her youngest child. On a quest to find the right music class for her young child, she quickly grew frustrated with having to search dozens of websites in order to find the right class, many of which didn’t even have online enrollment! Thus, the idea for Kidz Central Station was born. Lauren enjoys learning about all of the great kids’ programs that help busy parents keep their children active and happy.

Good Advice for Parents From A Child

When I was visiting my parents recently I was going through some of my old toys and books with my daughter and came across an old newspaper clipping I kept in my night table by my bed. it was from the late 1980s and was called “Memo From a Child to: Parents” and was published in a local newspaper. I had saved it for so many years and reading it now as a parent was especially meaningful. I now keep it in my night table by my bed and feel the message is important for all parents so am sharing it. I do not know who originally wrote this but thank him or her. I found the memo compelling as a child and I find it even more compelling as a parent. As our kids start another school year I hope parents will find this helpful.

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Dear Mom & Dad,

  •  Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for – I’m only testing you. 
    • Don’t be afraid to be firm with me.  I prefer it.  It makes me feel secure.
    • Don’t let me form bad habits.  I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
    • Don’t make me feel smaller than I am.  It only makes me behave stupidly “big”.
    • Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it.
    • Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins.  It upsets my sense of values.
    • Don’t protect me from consequences.  I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
    • Don’t be too upset when I say, “I hate you”It isn’t you I hate but your power to
      thwart me.
    • Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments.  Sometimes they get me the attention I need.
    • Don’t nag.  If you do, I’ll have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
    • Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I’d like.  That is why I’m not always accurate.
    • Don’t put me off when I ask questions.  If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek information elsewhere.
    • Don’t be inconsistent.  That confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
    • Don’t tell me my fears are silly.  They are real to me, and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.
    • Don’t ever suggest you are perfect or infallible.  It hurts and disappoints me when I learn that you are neither.
    • Don’t ever think that it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me.  An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.
    • Don’t forget that I love experimenting.  I couldn’t get along without it; so please put up with it, within limits.
    • Don’t forget how quickly I an growing up.  It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please do try.
    • Don’t forget that I don’t thrive without lots of love and understanding.
  • Please keep yourself safe, fit, and healthy.  I need you and I love you.

Parenting Tips for Kids – Choosing a Class for Your Child

There are many benefits to enrolling your child in a class. From newborn to teens, it’s important to get your child involved in extracurricular activities. For example, music classes can help build your child’s communication skills and acting classes can help your child become a confident public speaker. Joining a sports activity can teach a child about teamwork and getting along with others, not to mention keep them active and healthy. Young children learn about being with other children and socialization. There are several important factors that a parent should think about before choosing a class for his/her child. Since we attend many classes throughout NYC, here are my 5 Tips on Choosing a Class For Your Child – a part of my parenting tips for kids series.

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Parenting Tips for Kids – 5 Tips on Choosing a Class for Your Child

1.  Find something your child is interested in. When looking for a class, your first step is to look for something that your child would be interested in. If you have a newborn, then look for a class that you would enjoy for bonding with your little one while also meeting new moms. It’s important to find something that you child will like because you want him/her to look forward to the classes every week. The more that the class interests him/her, the more likely he/she will become involved and dedicated to the class.

On KidzCentralStation.com, you can sign up for free trial classes to ‘test and try,’ before paying and committing to an entire semester of classes. Ask yourself: Does you kid interact well with the instructor? Were the other moms in the class fun and friendly? What the place clean and inviting?

If you DO love the class, don’t forget to come back and leave a review on our site so other moms like you looking can see how much you enjoyed it!

2.  Ask friends for recommendations. Your friends and other moms are a great resource when looking for a new class for your child. Many of your friends are likely to have taken classes in your area, or have friends who have taken classes. Even striking up a conversation with other moms at your local playground is a good way to do some research. They are the people that can give you honest feedback and reviews on classes in your city. When it comes to moms, the word on the street is golden – don’t be afraid to ask!

 3. Look online in your search. The internet is a great resource for finding just about anything you need, including classes. You can search many of the facilities in your city that provides classes for your child. KidzCentralStation.com is another great resource for searching for classes in New York City. It allows you to search for classes  based on certain criteria including age, day of the week, time of day, class type, price and more. Like I mentioned above, it also has reviews of classes from other parents.

Some other great resources to use when scouring the web?

Mommy Nearest (A FREE app you can download that is location based. You can pull it up to find open spaces and parks ‘on the fly’ as well as kid-friendly restaurants, changing tables and more!)

–  Well Rounded NY Is a great place for pregnant and soon-to-be moms to get started. They offer tons of tips and information on everything and anything during pregnancy, including prenatal classes like yoga!

Big City Moms  Lots of great parenting resources – directly curated for us Big City Moms. They are also the masterminds behind the Biggest Baby Shower, which I highly recommend you check out!

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4.  Make sure it works with your schedule and budget. You might have found the perfect class for your child, but you want to make sure that it fits your schedule and your budget before you enroll. Make sure that it is on a day of the week that you have free and that your child will have no problem attending during the week. If you have a baby that still takes a nap during the day, do not schedule a class that will interfere with that! The last thing you want is for your little one to attend a class tired and cranky. You guys are there to have fun!

 5.   Have fun! Yes, have fun! It might sound simple, but one of the very reasons that you want to enroll your child in a class is to have fun. You want it to be a class that he/she looks forward to every week and will tell all of his/her friends about. You know that your child is really enjoying a class when he/she can’t stop talking about it.

So put down the cell phone, kick off your shoes and spend those 45-60 min bonding and having fun with your child. Remember – they watch you and look up to you, so if they see you having fun they will too!

Classes with Our Kids in NYC

CLASSES WITH OUR KIDS

My 4 1/2 year old son is the epitome of a first born. He is a “take charge” kind of kid and is full of confidence. And, he is ALL boy. He is active, energetic and non-stop. I became a coffee addict just to keep my eyes open until his naptime. Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant again, the week of my son’s first birthday, I panicked. How was I going to have the stamina for two energizer bunnies? When that fateful day arrived, “delivery day”, I was stunned when I delivered a bouncing baby girl. We had chosen not to learn the sex of either of our kids, but I was sure I was carrying a boy so it was a huge surprise when my daughter was delivered and my husband and I looked at each other with fear…how were we going to take care of a girl?

Three years later, it is our little girl who has taught us how to take care of her – she pretty much potty trained herself, was eating solids and feeding herself very early and learned to dress herself before her brother ever expressed an interest in dressing himself. She is also the one who told me that she wanted to take ballet because she saw her friends dressed up in their ballerina outfits one day. Every class I had taken with my son was exhausting. I was usually chasing him around some field or gymnasium, telling him to listen to his coach, reminding him to not hit the kid next to him and explaining to him that yelling was not acceptable. So, when my daughter informed me of her desire to take ballet, I wasn’t sure how much fun Mommy was going to have.

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But, of course, I enrolled her and to put it simply, it was fantastic. As she dressed herself for class in her leotard and white chiffon skirt and proudly put on her tights and ballet shoes, she was transformed into a charming ballerina. She enjoyed the class and loved being with all of her new friends. And, I was able to sit back and watch her learn and could recall being a toddler ballerina myself and it made me smile. In my busy life as a full-time working Mom, taking my daughter to ballet was a weekly opportunity to simply observe. It was a moment in time that I wasn’t focused on my career and chores at home. Instead, it allowed me the chance to watch my baby turn into a little girl. She was so proud to learn how to do the passé, the arabesque and always made sure that I was watching. Her interaction with the other ballerinas was so adorable that I found myself taking plenty of pictures to share with my family. It was a class full of Mom’s and Dad’s enjoying their children and we all seemed to be aware of how special that early age was and how important it was for our children to demonstrate their newly learned skills.

In an effort to be honest, I will confess that ballet class was not our first endeavor. No, that would have been the soccer class for kids under the age of two. That was a class where Mommy learned the soccer skills needed to be a soccer star. It was a class that Mommy learned how to kick a ball, sing songs and perfect the art of walking around the gymnasium floor with a little monkey girl who learned how to wrap herself around my leg, the minute the class started and never let go, for six weeks worth of classes. I took her to every class and was sure she was going to outgrow her clingy behavior and I could sit back and drink my coffee. But, that day never came. My hope is that all parents experience a class (or two) with their kids. You never know what you will witness and learn!

By: Denise Courter, Manhattan mother of two children under the age of 5 and Founder of FiDi Families.

Our New Series– Classes with our Kids

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We are excited to kickoff our new series Classes With Our Kids today July 22, 2013 which features different parents writing about their experiences taking classes with their kids. As a new parent I loved knowing that once a week at a set time I would be in a group of other parents of children about the same age as my daughter. It was a nice break as a new parent to be able to connect with other parents and share stories and get advice.

I also loved watching my daughter see new things and people and hear music. Taking classes with her allowed me to see the world though her eyes. It was such fun to see her excitement over bubbles and her ability to eventually say “bubbles” by the end of the semester. As she got older, it was interesting to see her develop skills and interests. She enjoyed art in preschool and we fostered this enjoyment by enrolling her in an art class.  She made friends in her art class with other children who also enjoyed art.

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Kidz Central Station invites parents to share their experiences of taking classes with their kids and any tips they would like to share with other parents.

Please email us at info@kidzcentralstation.com if you would like to guest post on this topic.

By Lauren Pohl, the founder of Kidz Central Station a site which helps parents find, compare and enroll in tons of classes, camps and activities in NYC and other areas.  She is the mother of 2 young children. 

Benefits of Outdoor Play for Kids

Playing outside every day is good for the body and the mind.  Being outside for playtime has many benefits for children and we listed a few of our favorites here:

  1. Children can see the community they live in.  By going outside to play, children see other people who may be the same or different from them all living in one area.  You can even pack some gloves and a trash bag and pick up trash on your way there and back.  Children feel more included when they helping pitch in.  Of course, never let your child pick up any sharp objects, even with gloves!
  2. Children are encouraged to use their imagination.  With everything made in miniature version, it is fun and healthy for children to use their imagination to create a “cake” by mixing “ingredients” with a “spoon” they found outdoors.  This is actually an early form of problem solving!
  3. Children have the opportunity to exercise.  Everyone, even children need exercise.  While we go to the gym for an hour (more like forty minutes) our kids need room to run and jump and climb and there is no better place than outdoors in your local park!
  4. Children learn social skills.  The park and playground are for everyone, which means children must learn to take turns, wait and play by certain rules.  This is something we can tell our children, but really this all takes practice.  An even better bonus?  There are new and different people every time you go, so your child may have to learn different social adjustments each and every time!
  5. Children learn to try new things.  Remember the first time you went across the monkey bars alone?  This is a great chance your child to feel accomplishment when they master something that was challenging.  Nothing builds self-esteem like real accomplishments.  Just remember, it’s important that your child feels a tad frustration to feel like he/she accomplished something!

So now with a few reasons why being outside is a must, make sure your child gets some time every day to play outside!

By Shannon Drummond, founder of The Play Champs.  The Play Champs offers outdoor classes to build child development in local parks throughout New York City.

3 Fun and Educational Activities You and Your Child Can Do at The Beach

Spending a summer day, or even a whole vacation, lounging on the beach can be a great way to kick back and relax with your family.  However, the beach is also full of opportunities for you and your children to learn about astronomy, geology, and chemistry.  By trying out a few fun science activities, you can keep your children learning, even while they relax and have fun in the sun.

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Hello World

We are so excited to write our first post! We created Kidz Central Station to help busy parents find amazing classes and camps or their kids in New York City and to make the process so much easier. We also want to help the providers of these wonderful classes and camps connect with more NYC parents. Many of our team are NYC mothers and we know how finding the right class or camp can be tough and how little time you have. Our kids have taken enrichment, dance, cooking, music, soccer, spanish and art classes and we have learned from our work on Kidz Central Station about so many other interesting classes we didn’t even know existed! We look forward to hearing what classes your kids like and what they didn’t and what ages your kids started taking classes and anything else  related to classes or camps in NYC.