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: I am a home daycare provider with six children in my care. This summer, my program was overwhelmingly full of boys, and some new issues have come up.

One of the boys currently at my home who is five years old has the hardest time when playing games, if he is not the one always ahead and the winner. He wants to play organized game such as football, baseball, dinosaur checkers, etc., but he storms off if anyone gets slightly ahead of him.

I explain that one of the boys is almost two years older than him, and therefore has had two year’s more experience than he has. The other boys who range in age from four to six back me up with this and try to help me explain this to the boy. The other kids tell him, “No one wins all of the time.” He gets so upset, quits the game and vows never to come back here. What do you suggest we say or do to help him?

A: This is a striking example of a child with a strong appetite for competitive games that is powered not by love of playing but by a desperate need to succeed. As a result he must win in order to feel worthwhile. Losing or even falling behind confirms all his fears of being inadequate and causes him to feel unbearable pain.

It is no wonder that his response to this misery is the wish to leave and not come back. Because he is not in control of this vicious circle, efforts to get him to consider the inevitability of defeat are doomed to fail. Even when he wins, his relief will be short-lived, as his underlying insecurity continues unabated, and the specter of losing continues to loom on his horizon.

The kindest and most helpful thing to do for this child is to encourage him to pursue activities that are consistently enjoyable and allow him to feel in control of a successful outcome. Activities that would be good for this boy would be non-competitive.

We suggest that you tell him in a friendly and non-judgmental manner that for now you are going to find something else for him to do when the other children are playing sports. Explain that since his response to losing is to feel terrible about himself it would be better not to play these games, until he can feel comfortable inside when he doesn’t win.

Because you are helping him and not punishing him, do try to find a non-competitive substitute activity that he will truly enjoy, such as painting or building. We would emphasize that since this child’s central problem is his insecurity, he may react even to non-competitive activities by feeling inadequate.

For example, he may say that the picture he painted “stinks.” However, it will be easier to help him feel good about his effort in a context where there are no clear winners and losers.

In general the greatest gift you can give this boy is to relate to him in a manner that tells him he is likeable, liked just for himself and respected as a capable, competent person. In this way you will make a real contribution to his future emotional well-being.

Alderman Cappleman’s office is sponsoring a meeting to discuss development plans for Pensacola Place on Mon., Nov. 16, 7:00 p.m. in the community room at Pensacola Place, 4334 N Hazel St. which is the high-rise that is part of the Jewel complex at Sheridan and Montrose.

The new owners of Pensacola Place would like to amend the current Planned Development from 1973 for that site to build townhouses where a portion of the current commercial space is on Hazel and make other changes and upgrades.

This is not technically a zoning change, but it does require the Alderman’s approval, so he would like to host a meeting for both Buena Park Neighbors Association and the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association to attend to hear any questions or concerns.

Planned Development Exhibits:


The latest newsletter from Friends of the 46th Ward Schools.

Back to School!

A lot has happened since our last official newsletter! Our call for new board members and additional volunteers to keep our group going was answered by a chorus of interested community members willing to help. We held a transitional meeting on August 6 and we were so encouraged and energized by the turnout! The fact that so many people attended the meeting or expressed an interest in helping us meant that what we are doing is worthwhile. WE knew it, but to know that so many of you believe it too is a great feeling. It means we all have the same goal in mind and it means supporting the public schools in the 46th Ward is a priority for all of us.

Our supporters come from all walks of life. They have no kids, or young kids, or grown kids. They work, they are retired, they are stay-at-home parents. They go to school. They live in the 46th Ward and they live outside the 46th Ward. It is inspiring to see all of these people from different backgrounds uniting for a common cause. WE are Friends of the 46th Ward Schools and WE continue on to support the six public schools in our ward. We are honored to be allowed to continue our work.

Thank you to all of the supporters who have attended our meetings, expressed an interest in helping us, donated funds and school supplies, spread the word about our mission and activities, and generally worked to help our 46th Ward students thrive. You are the heart of our organization and it lives because of you.

Here’s What’s Growing

Outgoing Board Members

Two of our board members have stepped back to fulfill other commitments and pursue other interests. While they are no longer serving as board members, they will still be involved with Friends of the 46th Ward Schools and will continue to contribute their time and perspectives when they are able. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jenni Masterson, our Outgoing President, and Susan Ridihalgh, our Outgoing Treasurer for their many contributions to our group. If it weren’t for them, the group would not exist, plain and simple. They have been generous donors of their time and resources as we started things up and they have been exemplary collaborators as we’ve kept things moving. Their community is all the better for it and we thank them for all they’ve done.

New Board Members

We have two new board members and one continuing board member who has shifted roles. Shelly Tozzi, formerly the board’s Secretary, has moved into the role of President. Chris Jessup is serving as Secretary and Sarah Casey is our new Treasurer. Our new board members are dedicated residents of the 46th Ward and have been very active in the community. They are energetic and passionate; generous and hard-working. We’re all looking forward to working together to continue the projects initiated since the group’s inception and we’re excited to come up with creative new ideas for supporting our schools.

Fall School Supply Drive

Our 46th Ward students return to school on Tuesday, September 8 and our Fall School Supply drive is already underway. We’re working with Alderman Cappleman’s office again this year and his office (4544 N. Broadway, Mon. 9-7, Tues.-Fri. 9-5) serves as the primary drop-off site for donations. Donated school supplies can also be dropped off at the Uptown Library Branch (929 W. Buena, Mon. & Wed. 10-6, Tues. & Thurs. 12-8, Fri. & Sat. 9-5). You can find printable lists of needed school supplies on our website.

You can also purchase supplies from our Amazon Wish List. Items purchased through the Wish List will be sent directly to Alderman Cappleman’s office. We’ve already started to receive quite a few donations this way so it seems to be pretty popular. Most of the items we selected are Prime eligible so you won’t pay additional shipping costs if you are an Amazon Prime member. Also, if you’ve selected Friends of the 46th Ward Schools as your Amazon Smile charity, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases (from our Wish List or otherwise) to our group so it’s like helping us twice! To find out more about Amazon Smile, click here.

If you are time-crunched or don’t like shopping, you can donate to Friends of the 46th Ward Schools through Paypal. Follow this link to the Paypal donation button on our website. As always, all donations are tax deductible.

Fall Fundraiser

We’re planning a mid-September fundraiser in conjunction with our Fall School Supply Drive. We’ll announce details soon. Once again, we will be looking for donations of raffle prizes for our fundraiser. If you have something you’d like to donate or have suggestions of 46th Ward businesses we should approach, please let us know! We’re always looking to make new connections. Our raffle prizes are usually a big draw at our fundraisers and we like to provide fresh options to encourage more donors. It’s also a great way to promote 46th Ward businesses.

Pending Donors Choose Projects

Help a 46th Ward teacher by contributing any dollar amount to one of these projects. For a limited time, use matching code JUMPSTART and your donation will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Just follow the links below.


Great Materials + Eager Students x Daily Stations = Success

Purchase activity stations for middle-school special needs students to practice math, reasoning, and vocabulary skills.

Right Into Writing

Fund reference books, guided learning materials, and editing tools for middle-school writing classes.

Basic Classroom Supplies to Get Our Year Started Right!

Help purchase notebooks, folders, and paper for junior high math students.


No pending projects.


No pending projects.


Getting A Move On Reading!

Purchase interactive DVDs that make learning to read fun for kindergarten students.

Everyone Has Feelings

Help fund 32 books and 2 manipulatives to help preschoolers learn about emotions and manners.

Eager 2nd Grade Artists Needs Supplies!

Help purchase basic art supplies for combined class of bilingual and monolingual students.

Perfect Solution to Second Grade Pencil Problem

Purchase pencils, pencil cases, and incentive prizes to help second graders be more responsible for their pencils.


Help Us Care for Our Class Pet!

Purchase food and bedding to help middle school students care for Oreo, the classroom guinea pig.


No pending projects.

The free End-of-Summer Concert in the Park was a perfect night for relaxing with family and friends and enjoying the music, tasting from food trucks or your own.

“To me the great thing about the Concerts is it feels like Buena Park is small town America, “said Buena Park Neighbors Association President Lisa von Drehle. “It is almost like a 4th of July parade. Make your own night; hang out with neighbors and meet new people.”

For photos of the event click here.

The Buena Park Neighbors Concert in the Park was brought to you by our good friends at The Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Park District and Uptown SSA #34 and Thorek Hospital.


Buena Park Neighbors is a 46th Ward neighborhood association of more than 200 residents, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations in the nationally registered Buena Park Historic District. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for everyone in Buena Park.

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 daughter hates school, and she is only in the first grade.

My six-year-old daughter started first grade this fall, and she has been coming home and says that she hates school. At first she refused to talk about it, but I gently persisted, and she finally said that she is the worst at math, that all the other kids know their addition and subtraction and she does not. They have something called a math minute; they have a minute to see how many addition and subtraction problems they can do. She says that other kids get scores of more than twenty out of twenty-five, but she almost never gets more than six or seven. I have tried to reassure her by telling her that first grade is the place to learn math, but she says everyone else already knows it. I feel really badly for her, but I do not know what to do to help. I never knew that children had to know math by first grade. What do you suggest?

A: We have heard this kind of understandable frustration from many parents who discover too late that there are schools that expect children to enter first grade with both reading and math skills. Many kindergartens do not believe in teaching math and reading to five-year-olds which is fine. Rather than realizing that with instruction they can catch up, many children measure themselves against their peers and conclude that the problem is that they are not smart enough. These children often respond by disliking reading, math and school. In this way children like your daughter are needlessly being discouraged and made to feel inadequate.

Talk to your daughter’s school and see if they offer after-school help or other enrichment programs to enable your daughter to catch up in math. If you have a computer, there are many math programs for first graders that children find enjoyable. Most important: continue to tell your daughter that the problem is that she was not taught math in kindergarten, not that she can’t learn it, and that you are totally confident that she has the talent to become an excellent math student.

Buena Park Open Day celebrated its third-annual neighborhood festival with an “At Home in the City” theme. The festival highlighted why our neighborhood motto is “Good Living by the Lake.”

The festival’s hub was at the Smart Love House at Clarendon and Buena where visitors signed up for architectural tours, participated in family friendly activities, shopped the new Bazaar on Buena, listened to live music and took a break at the pop-up café.

“We are extremely satisfied with this year’s festival,” said Buena Park Neighbors President Lisa von Drehle, “because we think it represents all the best that our neighborhood has to offer. Plus, there was something for everyone from urban aficionado, architectural maven, families looking for a special outing, or people like us who just want to have some fun on a summer afternoon.”

Many thanks to our generous sponsors who make BPOD possible: Thorek Hospital, SSA34, Reside Living and the Chicago Cubs.

For more photos of the event click here.

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: There is an increasing trend for starting three-year-olds in preschool. Is it necessary? Are there any educational gains? Will my daughter be behind if she waits another year? Thanks.

A: The purpose of preschool is not to teach your child any particular content, such as colors or numbers, but to introduce her to the school setting and show her that it can be enjoyable. If your three-year-old likes to play with other children, uses the potty and is comfortable separating from you for a few hours, she is probably ready for a good preschool. She will be able to enjoy it and have a positive first school experience. On the other hand if she tends to squabble over toys, isn’t potty trained or has difficulty separating from you, there is no reason to put her in a school situation. Doing so may leave her convinced that school is frightening, painful or otherwise unpleasant. There is every reason to wait a year until she is ready.

If you conclude that your child is ready for preschool, but you are a stay-at-home parent who wants another year to enjoy her full-time, do not worry about keeping her home. Missing the first year of preschool will have no educational significance for her and she will have the deep pleasure of spending her days with a parent who loves being with her. Not much is at stake either way, as long as you do not send your daughter to school before she is ready. If you do enroll her, choose a preschool where the director and staff understand that its most important job is to help children feel comfortable at school rather than to socialize them or teach them anything in particular.


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