Friday, May 22, 2015

Personal Childhood Web

This week in my Master's Program (week 3, yay) we discussed theories of childhood development and the importance of the people surrounding each child, their personal childhood web. It really made me think through some of the kids that I teach currently and how I only really see a fraction of who they are. It also reminded me how as my own kids get older and start attending school I'm now a part of a much larger team of people who influence and help them grow, it's not just family anymore. But this also challenged me to think back to my own childhood years and who made up my own personal childhood web.

Danielle's Childhood Web:

My Mom, My Sister Julie, My Uncle Jake, & My Dad
1. & 2. My Mom & Dad. They were (and are) my most prominent influence. My parents showed me what
love and family were. They created a safe and loving environment where I could grow, explore, learn and fail, and knew no matter what they would be there to catch me. They taught me way more than I realized and now that I'm a wife and a mom I can truly appreciate all that they both taught me. I see so much of my parenting style and our family's choices come out of the environment my parents created and I'm very grateful for that model and love.

Julie and I parasailing in Wildwood, NJ
3. My sister Julie-We are 12 years a part in age. When I was really little she was my idol, I wanted to grow up to be just like her, she was my hero. When I grew a little she seemed so far away like we were on different planets, I was learning my ABC's and she was learning to change diapers. When I was a teenager, she was my cooler older sister who knew everything about driving cars and makeup. When I became an adult, she was my confident, my friend, the person who gave me the reality of a situation but never changed her opinion of me based on that. My sister is still my hero, we still live far away but now it's by actual car miles, I have my ABC's down pat but now we're both changing kids' diapers, she's still cool (but don't tell her lol) and I can't imagine life without her.

4. My Grandma Boles-She made a huge impact on me. My
My Grandma Boles & I at Easter
grandma babysat me until I went to school, she walked me to and from preschool where I went for a half day, and she helped me learn how to get on a school bus for Kindergarten. She also taught me how to play cards, which soap operas were the best to watch, how yummy celery was with peanut butter, and that rock piles are the best place to look for white lucky stones. My grandma really set a lot of the framework for my childhood and gave me so many amazing memories. My grandma passed away in 2002 but when I dig for rocks with my kids, one of them dresses in every color imaginable, or we eat celery with peanut butter, I think of her and smile knowing that I'm passing down some of the same memories that she gave me.

My Uncle Jake holding my youngest daughter Ally
5. My Uncle Jake-He's more than just an uncle, he's practically Dad part 2. He taught me how to play chess, how to paint, how to laugh at the humor of life, and what it meant to be in the role of aunt/uncle. My Uncle Jake believed in me more than anyone, if there was a fad I was interested in or something that I wanted to learn about, he was right there to help me explore it. We played chess by mail, painted landscapes, wired contraptions together, built lego towers, jimmy rigged fuses in my car, turned my clarinet into a lamp, and laughed till I cried or spit my pop out on my sister. He gave me the foundation of learning and exploring and taught me it was ok to try something new & to laugh at myself through it.

Who is in your childhood web? How did they help you to be the person you are today?


  1. What great pictures of you and your family members. I think it would be awesome to have an older sibling or just a sibling to look up to. I was supposed to be a twin but we came really early so it ended up only me making it so I’m an only child. But I guess I would say my best friend would be close enough to be my sister from another mother. We do everything together or if we need someone to talk to we go to each other. Once we went our separate ways for college and we meet back up we start off right where we left off.

  2. You look like you had a great family to grow up with! My brothers and I are only a few years apart in age, but my husband is 10 years older than his only brother. I am always fascinated by the way the age differences impact the dynamic within the family, not that it makes it better or worse one way or another. I joke that my husband's family basically had two only children!