I’ll admit it, I was worried. It didn’t help that everyone I knew sent articles--to me and my son--on how to cope. One in particular explained the significance of letting your mom make your bed for the last time. Making his bed? 

I remembered joy when he found his people--in the theater doing tech stuff.

Question: My son is aging out of his birth to 3 therapy program in a month. These ladies have been with us so long we’re all a little sad! I’d like to do/give them something meaningful as a thank you! What are some appropriate ideas?

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I also just got photos taken so I think I'll write the main teachers a card with a photo. 

And other times that were so amazingly cool:  the time we took a six-week road trip across the American West--in a 19’ travel trailer! Or when we kayaked together in the ocean stalked by a dolphin who wanted my son’s hat.

We went through the normal move-in procedures, sweat running down our backs in the 100-degree heat of central Florida. It took most of the day to get him settled, with runs to Target and Home Depot--because every engineering student must have coated plywood to make a 4x8 dry erase board in his room--and get everything set up. By 6pm it was time to call it a day.

It’s one of those moments you wait for as a parent: you hold your breath and wonder how you’ll respond, hoping you won’t embarrass yourself or, worse, that you won't embarass your kid who is trying so hard to be brave and cool and grown up at the same time.

It was being present in all of those moments, big and small, remembering them and knowing they prepared all of us for this moment, that made me so comfortable being able to say good-bye and see my son walk confidently into his own world, ready to make his own precious memories.

This really bothered me at first. Why wasn’t I a puddle of emotions? Where were my tears? What was wrong with my heart? I was convinced I was defective in some way. Strangely, as I noticed myself trying to cry, I began to reflect back to the 18 years we’d spent together.

Who exactly is the gift for? the students or the teachers?

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Mom to Sarah (Dec 2007), Chase (August 2010) and Ella (June 2012)

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Ki (pronounced “key”) is Japanese for universal energy or life force; it’s the central syllable in Aikido and the symbol you see in my logo.

I remembered times of heartache when he didn’t understand why it seemed the only way to make friends as a boy was to play sports. He hates sports.

I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead

Judy Ringer is a conflict and communication skills trainer, black belt in Aikido, and founder of Power & Presence Training and Portsmouth Aikido. Would you like free tips and articles every month? Subscribe to Ki Moments!

This is a great thread. My girls are leaving their home daycare this fall and I've been struggling with what to get their DCP as a gift. We've recently had family and kid photos taken and I think I'll include a couple prints a nice card and something else. Since she's the only one who looks after the kids, a gift card seems really impersonal.

PP, I think gift cards are always welcome! It's my favorite gift to get! It could be for her to relax (Starbucks), date nights (movie tickets), get something for her daycare (amazon.com).

Baby #3 due late Nov/earlyDec 2014I also have a daughter born July 2010 and son born June 2012Married since 2005! 

I looked around the room and gave him a hug. We’d be back in the morning to bring refrigerator items and have a last lunch before saying good-bye.

Thanks everyone. Yes, I wasn't sure whether to get something for the classroom (my daughter is only 1 and is in an infant/toddler room) or something for the teachers. All of your ideas are very helpful!

Years ago, when I was home everyday with three kids under the age of 4, others told me how fast it would all go. Even though it seemed impossible at the time, when one day felt like 20, I took that to heart. I was conscious to remember those times--the times it was tough and the times it was amazing; the times we traveled and the times we stayed home.

Good Bye present for my son

Do any of you think a donation in her name or a bouquet of fresh flowers would be appreciated? I was thinking donation because her SIL just passed away from cancer. She's also a bit older (her own kids are grown) and I know she doesn't need any nick knacks or anything like that.

We're moving and my daughter has her last day in daycare two weeks from today. Should we bring a gift? We love our daycare and would love to show them appreciation, but I'm not sure what to get them. I think they discourage bringing outside food in (due to food allergies or not wanting unhealthy food options for kids). I saw a few months ago another parent brought books as a gift, but I think our classroom gets a lot of books from the Scholastic program. Thoughts?

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I remembered his little freckled face playing with frogs and his addiction to his sandbox. He is the only 7-year old I’ve ever known who was so into building that he’d torn old, unused copper pipe out of our basement and sweated it to make a full sewer in his sandbox construction zone.

My problem is that there are 4 main teachers in my daughter's room (all who are great), plus people who are behind the scenes but help out, like the director and the assistant director. That's a lot of gift cards to buy...

The long drive to school didn’t help--23 hours if we didn’t hit road construction or traffic. And of course we hit both. My nerves were shattered by the time we arrived. And my normally chatty, light-hearted child was unusually quiet. Yep, this was going to be terrible.

It is never easy to find the right leaving gift ideas. With our selection of leaving presents, you can personalise them to your colleague, which will make your gift even more special. It's always important to send them off with the leaving gift they deserve.

The next day, saying our final goodbyes, I waited for the expected flood of feeling to hit as I watched my son grow smaller in the rearview as we pulled away.

Ki  (pronounced "key") is Japanese for universal energy or life force; it’s the central syllable in Ai - ki - do and the symbol you see in my logo. 

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We are leaving our daycare in a couple weeks too. They overall have been great for the 4 years we've been there. We are giving staff that have taught DD thank you and appreciation cards along with the director (she's been great). We have non-food goodies for DD's friends. DS is a bit too young to understand so we are not doing anything for him. Then we'll get some store bought pre-cut fruit (as cutting it at home isn't allowed) for DD's class for snack time too.

I don't know how your center is but, the people I worked for were so mean to the staff!!