Monday, September 12, 2016

I wanted to share a great review a mom of two gave me on Peachhead. It meant a lot to me. It's nice to hear about what specific things people appreciate about our class. Thank you Amanda! Here's the review:

"My whole family LOVES Sing, Dance, Play with Teacher Susy! The class is run through Culver City parks and rec and the most affordable class I have found....and the most fun!My daughters have completely different personalities (oldest very shy and reserved and youngest very social/outgoing), and both enjoy the class. It was hard finding a class my oldest liked, many teachers find it hard to relate to a shy kid, and would try to change her (one teacher even called her stubborn to her face when she was 2 because she was too timid to come get a sticker), but what I really appreciate about Susy is how she makes each feeling you have feel ok (she evens ends her classes with a song about it :)My husband is not the type of guy to look forward to kids classes but always looked forward to going, and even took my daughters when I was working, and willingly came even when I brought them. My mother-in-law will be attending the next session with my youngest, and I am sad I'll be working and can't go myself."

                                                             ~Amanda, mother of two


Hello and happy fall! It's time to register for our new session of Sing, Dance & Play at Vet's Park in Culver City. 2016 marks our 14th year at this great location. Come experience the joy, the silliness and the fun, friendly atmosphere that we enjoy in our music class! Enjoy learning new songs and musical activities to make your  entire week better. Teacher Susy has been leading music classes since 1996 . She understands your young child and knows how to engage, educate, and entertain this precious age group. Sign up today. Don't miss the fun. Babies grow up quick! Yes they Do!


Register online or in the Park office at Vet's Park on Overland and Culver Blvd
info for our class is on page 12 in The Culver City Living Brochure. here is the link:
http://www.culvercity.org/home/showdocument?id=1781



My day with Shirley Jones! In addition to starring on Broadway and in some of the greatest musicals on film (Oklahoma, The Music Man). She also played the beloved single mom, Mrs Partridge, on The Partridge Family. She is the real life step mother of David Cassidy, who played her son on the show. I was thrilled to meet her. I put my cheek close to hers and sang "If I Loved You" the song she sang in Carousel. She was so warm and friendly. She is the exact same age as my mom. It's nice to meet a talented, famous person who is also truly gracious and kind. Thanks Shirley for all the years of music!


picture taken at Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write salon in 2015

Friday, August 5, 2016

Miss Susy's Classes: Kid Paradise
by Jessica Davis

Susan Porter brings an infectious sense of fun to her long running "Sing, Dance and Play" classes.



Originally from Ohio, Susy Porter, like so many transplants, moved to Los Angeles  to pursue a career in entertainment.  But while making ends meet as a party entertainer, she met a clown (really!), married him and ended up raising her family in Culver City.
Filling up six “Sing, Dance and Play” classes a week for almost a decade since then, she's now in the enviable position of having gotten to know hundreds of Culver City families  and watch them grow up, including mine.

It was in 2004 that the Culver City Living Catalog first introduced my to Susy’s classes at the Veterans Memorial Building.  It was my first regular opportunity for “me” time, and then-baby Trinity’s first experience in a classroom.  
One of Susy’s many strengths as a teacher is that she relates to each child exactly as he or she is, and accommodates the quirks and gifts of each.  Always an observant child, Trinity preferred sitting on the sidelines versus mixing it up with the other kids. Five years later, baby Ashton took a different approach.  A man of action, his biggest challenge was putting the instruments back in their baskets when class was over. He just wanted to keep playing.  Despite their different learning and participation styles, however,  Susy made it easy for both of them to enjoy the classes on their own terms.

It’s not only the kids who have a good time, though. There's plenty for the adults to enjoy as well. The jokes and humorous asides can fly fast and furious in between songs and activities, and Susy’s ability to bring her unique—and occasionally naughty—sense of  humor and fun to class is another one of her gifts.

Culver City Patch, April 15th, 2011


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Our Spring session of Sing, Dance & Play begins Wed, April 6th and Thursday April 7th at Veteran's Park in Culver City!

I love this piece!It demonstrates with a few well told stories, how important our words are to our children. It's not easy to raise kids, but I find that remembering what is the most important thing, our children's hearts and our loving connection with them, makes it all worthwhile.

I'll never forget the story of David, my next door neighbor a while back, who taught me a great lesson one morning as I watched him trying to teach his seven-year-old son how to push the gas-powered lawn mower around the yard. As he was showing him how to turn the mower around at the end of the lawn, his wife Jan called to him to ask a question. When David turned to answer the question, Kelly pushed the lawn mower right through the flower bed at the edge of the lawn--leaving a two-foot wide path leveled to the ground!
David was not happy about this. As soon as he saw what had happened, he began to lose control. David had put a lot of time and effort into making those flower beds the envy of the neighborhood. The moment his voice climbed higher in a semi-rage toward poor Kelly, Jan walked quickly over to him, put her hand on his shoulder and said, "David, please remember...we're raising children, not flowers!"
The moral of this story couldn't be more important today. Each one of us is enduring more stress as we face a recession and a deep financial shakeup that has no end in sight. During times like these it's essential for us parents to remember what our priorities are. Our kids and their self-esteem are more important than any physical object they might break or destroy. The window pane shattered by a mishit baseball, a lamp knocked over by a careless child, or a plate dropped in the kitchen are already broken. The flowers are already dead. All of these things are replaceable; our children are not. We must remember not to add to the destruction by breaking a child's spirit and deadening their sense of aliveness.
Words, especially when yelled in anger, can be very damaging to a child's self-confidence. The child probably already feels bad enough just from seeing the consequences of his or her behavior. Our sons and daughters don't need more guilt and self-doubt heaped upon their already wounded egos. If anything, they need to be reminded that we all make mistakes throughout our life. (Here's an exercise to try: the next time you feel like raising your voice to one of your kids, stop and think about the last time you made a mistake. It probably wasn't too long ago, and you really don't care to be yelled at for that right now.)
More recently, I was buying some new clothes in a men's store and the owner and I started talking about parenting. He told me that while he and his wife and seven-year-old daughter were out at a restaurant for dinner, his daughter knocked over her water glass. It spilled everywhere and messed up her mother's dress as the water flowed over the edge near her seat. After the water was cleaned up without any recriminating remarks from her parents, she looked up and said, "You know, I really want to thank you guys for not being like other parents. Most of my friends' parents would have yelled at them and given them a lecture about paying more attention. Thanks for not doing that!"
Once, when I was having dinner with some friends, a similar incident happened. Their five-year-old son knocked over a glass of milk at the dinner table. When they immediately started in on him, I knocked my glass over, too. When I started to explain how I still knock things over even as an adult, the boy started to beam and the parents seemingly got the message and backed off. How easy it is to forget that we are all still learning.
One of the best stories I've ever heard about "spilt milk" and the lessons of making a mess comes from a famous research scientist who made several very important medical breakthroughs. A newspaper reporter once asked him why he thought he was able to be so much more creative than the average person. What set him so far apart from others?
He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother, which occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator, when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor--a veritable sea of milk! (Thankfully, no glass shattered, but the milk kept flowing out like a river.)
When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, "Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?"
Indeed, he did. After a few minutes his mother said, "You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up, and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel or a mop. What do you prefer?" He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk.
His mother then said, "You know what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let's go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it." The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. What a wonderful lesson!
This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment he knew he didn't need to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. They are simply that--just experiments to see what happens. Even if the experiment "doesn't work," we usually learn something valuable from it.
Wouldn't it be great if all parents responded the same way Robert's mother responded to him? After all, why do we have that phrase, "Don't cry over a little spilt milk." It truly is no big deal. We need to remember that we're raising capable, confident kids--not shiny linoleum floors.
One last story which illustrates the application of this attitude in an adult context was told by Paul Harvey on the radio several years back. A young woman motorist was driving home from work when she snagged her fender on the bumper of another car. She was in tears as she explained that it was a new car, only a few days from the showroom. How was she ever going to explain the damaged car to her husband?
The driver of the other car was sympathetic, but explained that they must note each others license numbers and registration numbers. As the young woman reached into a large brown envelope to retrieve the documents, a piece of paper fell out. In a heavy masculine scrawl were these words: "In case of accident . . . remember, honey, it's you I love, not the car!"
Let's remember that our children's spirits are more important than any material things. When we do, self-esteem and love blossoms and grows more beautifully than any bed of flowers ever could.
I'll end this be reminding you that parenting during acutely stressful time periods adds another element to the job that can be hard to prepare for. We are bogged down by our own emotions and woes such that the slightest mishap by one of our kids will send us over the edge. That said, our children can act as great buffers to that stress. They may not have a handle on all that's going on in the world, nor understand the decisions we have to make as parents to ensure the health and security of our families, but surely you can agree that the joy the bring to our lives outshines so much of that stress. Let them act as children--let them make mistakes and learn from them. After all, it's those same mistakes we made growing up that allowed us to mature into thoughtful, productive, and compassionate adults. And remember, you are raising children, not flowers!
© 2009 Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield is America's #1 Success Coach, co-founder of the billion-dollar Chicken Soup for the Soul brand, and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you're ready to be more accomplished and have more fun in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessPrinciples.com.