Every parent we have ever met wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. Raising a child is the most important responsibility anyone will ever have and can provide the most pleasure and reward.

SMART PARENT/SMART CHILD is the revolutionary philosophy that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When parents have learned understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish and, in fact, each child will achieve his maximum potential.

Our mission is to help you achieve that goal. The key to a child's education and success is a skilled, knowledgeable, informed and educated parent.

This blog addresses specific issues, to really be the best parent possible the book is a must!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

It has been such a great experience witnessing so many wonderful Dads taking a major role in their children's' lives. Congratulations and thanks! Keep it up!

Monday, June 4, 2018

What do I do when my son is being extremely physical in expressing his feelings for a girl at his Daycare?

A question from a reader:

“What do I do when my son is being extremely physical in expressing his feelings for a girl at his Daycare? He can’t seem to stop hugging her, holding her hand, telling her he loves her and generally wanting to be near her all the time.”

Through the years, we have had many children who had very strong feelings and physical attachments to other children. Most of the time, it was a situation where girls would talk of marrying one of the boys (often two or three girls with the same boy).

We have also had situations that were more intense. One that comes to mind was a two year old boy who would immediately seek out a younger girl when he arrived at daycare, give her a warm hug, and then generally choose to be near her or be helpful to her. They were often referred to by other parents as behaving like an old married couple.

Coincidentally, very recently, we had a relationship between a 4 and ½ year old boy and a 3 and ½ year old girl that suddenly escalated from great playmates to inseparable friends and then to intense physical interaction and a desire to be isolated. 

At that point I took them aside and the following conversation occurred.

Me: I realize you really care about each other, I see you hugging, holding hands, sharing verbal endearments and wanting to be alone. I am glad you enjoy each other, but you have to be older to express yourselves in such a strong manner.

The boy: Can we do it when I am twenty?

Me: Of course you can.

The boy: When we get married?

Me: Absolutely!

They instantly moved forward to a relationship that was similar to the way they were before.
What was important?

-Their feelings were acknowledged and validated.

-They were not reprimanded in any way.

-They were given a positive message that strong emotional attachment at any age is valid.

Do Not

-Label their behavior as bad, wrong, unacceptable or not allowed.

-Punish them.

-Try and keep them separated.

Respect, a clear positive directive, and support for who they are will always give positive results.

Good Luck!

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Early Father’s Day Celebration!

I realize I could have saved this story until the actual day, except it was so heartwarming I have to share it now.

As you probably know by now, I am always drawn to the sight of a dad with a child, caring for them on his own. It is particularly appealing if it is a very young child.

What I witnessed at the supermarket on Sunday was a dad pushing one of the available accommodation cars (the ones often offered in supermarkets). In this case, it was a two seater with an upper backseat that faced the parent. The children were a 4 ½ year old boy, a 3 year old boy and in the backseat, a 19 month old boy.

What caught my attention was not only the obvious and their appealing appearance, but the fact that the dad was involving them in the shopping process, using a normal calm tone and appropriate language. They were discussing the choice being made as they moved along the aisles.

The other factor that was somewhat unique is that they were not eating. Often parents will supply snack foods in order to keep children quiet.

I lost track of them for a few minutes, and then as I came to the end of an aisle, I smiled as I saw the dad carrying the 19th month old while following the older two to the restroom. What could be more demanding than one parent to take three young boys into a public restroom?

Finally they were checking out in front of me. If you closed your eyes you would have thought that this dad was communicating with friends; he was speaking in such a natural, involved and respectful manner.

This man has taken on the most demanding job in the world. He is obviously clear and comfortable in their relationship and is enjoying the reward of that.

At no time did I hear raised voices, arguments or demands.

Happy Early Father’s Day Dads!

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Best Ways To Transition Your Infant To Eating Regular Food and Successfully Drinking From a Cup

Without exception, children who have joined our daycare in their second year are still on a bottle or nursing and eating pureed food or a minimum selection of regular food. This is often true for eighteen month + children.

Obviously, the longer you wait to make the transition, the more challenging it is, and almost no measurable success has occurred. In this case, the typical result is that their menu is limited to their favorite foods, and vegetables are rarely an important part of their diet.

We begin in their ninth month by offering them one component of the older children’s menu. A vegetable is the best start, usually with a green one. They can successfully handle peas, green beans (cut into small parts) and then move on to carrots or whatever is on the menu.

If they are able to pick them up and feed themselves that is the best! If not, being fed with a spoon serves the same purpose.

You can then move on to proteins, carbs/grains and then fruit.

If there are allergies in your family, introduce these one at a time for several days and watch for any reaction.

As it is the case at our daycare, vegetables must be eaten first, followed by proteins, carbs/grains and then fruits.

We have stayed true to this pattern, even in the introduction stages with the most success.

We take the same approach with liquids. We introduce whole milk in a regular size cup (six to seven ounces – no top). Obviously we are holding the cup with the infants to keep the flow controlled and the cup balanced. We have never had an infant resist this approach. The result is that by their first birthday they are drinking an adequate supply of milk without relying on a bottle. You can include water as needed. Do not introduce juice until the infant is enjoying the process and is successful at it. If they are getting a diet of adequate fruit intake, you may be able to skip that step.
In almost all cases, we have been successful at enjoying seeing our one year old seated at the tables with the other children and successfully enjoying the same food.

You can accomplish the same at home! Place your child’s high chair at the table with you and welcome them to a family mealtime environment.

They key to all this is:

1.       Starting early.

2.       Treating it as a natural growth skill.

3.       Preparing them to give up their bottle/nursing and their pureed food at their first birthday without negative consequences.

When everyone in the family is involved in this transition, it is amazingly rewarding.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Rashes? It takes some common sense, an honest evaluation of circumstances, and action to come up with an answer!

 Over the years we have experiences many forms of rashes, including measles, chicken pox, hand-foot-and mouth, allergies to food, and sensitive skin conditions.

Many times they initially were a challenge to identify and treat.

This time, Michael, who was one, began scratching his legs every time we were changing his diaper. The rest of the day, this area of his body was covered by clothing.

Small blotches and irritated areas began to appear on his legs with the most irritation being at his ankles.

This increased condition was diagnosed by a pediatrician as the result of his tendency to be a “compulsive scratch-er”. At the age of one that did not seem reasonable to me, but unfortunately we did not take any corrective action immediately.

We started reviewing what I call “lifestyle possibilities” and since I felt the condition actually resembles a heat rash, it could be cause by too warm and fitted clothing and coverings. During sleep time this is common when infants seem most vulnerable to having their bodies overheat.

We also switched to cotton only and loose clothing for both and night to allow his skin to breathe and treated the area with concentrated skin lotion.

We actually saw very light improvement initially and then the condition actually got worse. Some of this result was due to the fact that he had access to the irritated areas when clothing and diapers were being changed.

Certainly the changes we made were a plus, but we were not getting the result we wanted and in fact, the lower areas of his legs appeared to be infected.

Finally, and obviously, an appointment was scheduled with a dermatologist. This diagnosis was eczema, a serious skin condition that now requires a detailed treatment regimen and a long term plan to control and possibly prevent follow up occurrences.

There is a history of this skin condition remaining in a person’s system and reoccurring at times throughout their life.

This is one time I did not follow my own rules.

1. Analyze each condition affecting your child’s health.

2. if you are knowledgeable and/or experienced in terms of a treatment, then it could be reasonable to follow and implement that experience.

3. If after 10 days, there is no improvement that is measurable, then you would be wise to call in a specialist.

Raising children is always a challenge, especially when illness is involved.

Good luck!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Toilet training? There is always a new detail to make it work!

Peter is now almost three years old and is still not toilet trained. He has always talked about having some of the perks that go with that achievement.

-Playing on the big slide.
-Getting a bigger cup for drinks.
-Getting a bigger spoon for meals.
-Line up with his friends to go to the bathroom before outside playtime instead of with the younger children to have a diaper change.

He finally says one day that he is ready to be toilet trained and we are very excited and supportive.
However, he goes days without any success. This is not really that unusual and everyone remains very positive including Peter.

After the interminable time of two full weeks of trying, he is partially successful. We share with him that we are not sure he has really emptied his bladder (we are looking for yellow water). We decide after an extended time to let him get off the toilet. Ten minutes later, he has had an accident and is somewhat concerned when this incident is shared with his dad at pick up time.

After two more days of the same experience, it is obvious he is having difficulty emptying his bladder. We decide to make a few changes to help him.

1. We lift the rim of the toilet so his body is at a different angel on the toilet. His backend is lower than his knees.

2. Instead of just pushing his clothes down to his ankles, we actually remove them so his legs have some flexibility and his body can be a little lower and more comfortable.

3. Finally, for the next two days he is able to completely empty his bladder each time he uses the toilet.

4. The next day he asks to be excused from the lunch table to pee and guess what? He has a huge B.M. at the same time.

He is awed by his performance and we have learned a new emergency technique.

There are high fives all around.

“I don’t need diapers any more ever!”

I hope this helps anyone out there looking for a new idea to achieve success.

Good luck!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sleep Bags? What are they really for? How long should they be used?

This subject only seems to be discussed when we discover that sleep bags are being used for children attending our daycare when they are at home.

They do not seem like a comfortable and natural way for an infant to be clothed while sleeping since they essentially restrict their movements.

Several situations have been shared with us:

-My son had a habit of flailing his arms as soon as we would put him in his crib. He was so active that he had a hard time falling asleep and we were advised to use a sleep bag.

-I automatically used one because I thought it would keep my daughter warmer during the cold months.

-My pediatrician recommended swaddling my infant and using a sleep bag as a normal thing to do. We never were advised when we should discontinue it, and finally when he outgrew it, he was always having difficulty falling asleep and turned into a poor sleeper.

We believe that having an infant sleep on their stomach is the most natural way. However many of you are following one of the guidelines of the CDC to prevent SIDS and are having your infant sleep on their back in their early months. The sleep bag can possibly be a benefit to prevent your infant from flailing or playing and having difficulty sleeping.  

Once your infant can turn over at will, you may want to place them in regular pajamas. This reduces their ability to play, increases the soundness of the sleep time, and allows movement upon awakening.
Infants who have had a restful sleep will wake up happy and entertain themselves in their crib. This is also an environment for their first experience at pulling themselves up and practicing early waking time.

If you feel safer keeping them in a sleep bag a while longer, we suggest that it not be past their first birthday.

Movement and independent physical activity and challenges is an important part of their physical development.

Don’t physically confine you child unless it is in their best interest.

Good luck!