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.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Friday, March 2, 2018
Sunday, February 25, 2018
The Dilemma And Challenge Of The “Pacifier” or “Blankie”, or Any Other Sucking Or Soothing Prop You May Be Giving Your Child!
Thursday, February 15, 2018
1.Where is my child going to sleep?
a.Ideally, they should have their own room in close proximity to yours.
b.If you do not think you will be ready to be separated so soon, then a bassinet kept in your bedroom is a good option. We recommend that you identify a specific space, separated by a screen. That way you are acknowledging that they are their own person and will eliminate the responsibility of deciding when the separation should happen. It is best to do so at the beginning before your child realizes you are in the same room.
2.Who takes care of your child and when?
Ideally, both parents should share equally in the responsibilities. In the case of most of our families, both parents have taken parental leave from work. Not only should your child be familiar with both of you, but it also reduced the possibility of one parent becoming exhausted with no break. Both of you will be lacking sleep, but that is part of the parenting experience.
Be flexible as the circumstances change. Make sure you are reworking each parent’s role before one of you is unable to cope. As mentioned in an earlier blog, if you are self-employed and working at home, you will need a nanny when you resume your work. Start the search before the child is born.
3.What are the guidelines for your child’s interactions with other people?
This includes family members. You don’t want to have your child isolated, however noone should be allowed to disrupt their sleep pattern or expose them to possible illnesses. Be firm! Socialization should be carefully monitored for the first six months.
4.Where do you go for advice?
Do not rely on your friends for parenting advice. Sorry! They are probably not experts. Research available professional advice that makes sense to you. We have had so many situations where action should have been taken for problems with behavior or developmental issues before we were involved. When we followed up, there were instance of poor advice from family and friends. Even your pediatrician may not be an expert in emotional and developmental areas. Ask for a referral. If you have already read Smart Parent/Smart Child, you would be wise to do so, it will help you make the right decisions.
5.If you are nursing, how will the other parent fit into that feeding schedule?
It is wise to have both parents be an active participant in the feeding process. The mom can begin pumping sometime in the first month so the other parent can be an active participant. This involvement will also have a positive impact on the bonding relationship.
6.What values and behaviors are important to us and must be part of our child’s life?
This is a big deal! It must be discussed and agree on before or at least in the early months of your child’s life.
This topic may require a lot of discussion. Most of our parents are from very different cultures and have had very different experiences.
Discuss until you agree! Your child cannot grow and mature with parents who constantly are giving conflicting messages. Be consistent! If a mistake occurs, do not undermine your partner in front of the child. Make this guarantee to each other from the beginning!
7.How can I have a proactive approach to managing my responsibilities?
a.Sleep every chance you can. An infant’s nap should be a parent’s nap.
b.Pass on social events that will interfere with your rest schedule. You will have plenty of
opportunities when your child is older. These guidelines are particularly important for the first year.
c.Have as many of your necessary purchases delivered as possible. Shopping almost always takes longer than planned. If it happens frequently, then your child will find themselves in a car seat too often and for too long a time. This may cause them to rely on motion to fall asleep. You do not want this to happen. Since it can also interfere with their gross motor skill development. It probably sounds exaggerated, but occurs more frequently than you may think.
I’m sure we will be communicating about these issues again! It is an ongoing challenge! Enjoy every moment of these early months.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Here are the most common omissions and errors we repeatedly observe.
1.Disagree on whether they are ready for the task or on any step/responsibility that is theirs.
2.Contradict your partner once they have given your child a directive or voiced an opinion.
3.Reward them for any steps along the way, i.e. any time they pee in the toilet.
4.Sit and read to them or play a game. Their focus needs to be on the task and their goal should be to complete it as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
5.Plan extended time activities outside the home for the first two weeks.
6.Threaten them with any negative action i.e. taking away a toy, cancelling a plan ect.
7.Use negative terminology when referring to their responsibility.
8.Use the process as a topic of conversation with family and friends. Your child will overhear and probably not understand how the comments relate to them.
9.Forget they are experiencing a learning curve and this is one of the biggest challenges.
1.Remove all items that are “baby” related such as dishes, high chair, toys, books or clothing. If they are still in a crib I have experienced moving them into a bed at the same time but I have seen better results if that move occurs once they are trained. It can be a reward for their mature behavior. That is the only kind of reward that should occur, a bigger cup, bigger cutlery, bigger dish ext. NOT A TOY!
2. Reassure them when they are toilet trained and more independent that you will love them even more!
3.Measurably reduce the amount of liquid provided, especially water. This is challenging especially in hot weather. If you feel water is necessary, give them ½ the usual amount and follow up with a bathroom trip in 20 to 30 minutes. Most children will be unable to control their bladder until they have more experience. Keep juices to a minimum, including fruit, until your child is handling their responsibilities successfully.
4.During colder weather, your child will benefit from a thick training underwear when outdoors. If they are already excited to be wearing themed underwear, they place the thick on under the theme one. Since until now they have been protected from the cold by a diaper, their body may not be able to control their pee when outdoors.
5.Commit to considering their bathroom needs first before planning away from home activities. You want your child to be successful and your consideration will not only help, but will increase their confidence.
6.Decide on some more mature tasks and support items such as letting them chose their new underwear with your guidance. Give them additional tasks that require more responsibility such as helping clean up after meals or feeding the pets.
Respect them throughout the process, set clear expectations with their knowledge.
Monday, February 5, 2018
1. Maria and Anne were both cared for during the day by their dad during their first two years while he worked from home as a writer for various television series. He expected them to be quiet for extended periods of time, and specifically stated that it was very important that he completed his assignments and they were not to interrupt him. At the same time, their mom worked for a large corporation in a very demanding position and spent long hours away from them including frequent travel.
2. Rebecca’s parents are working from home as marketing managers for several organizations. They thought they could block out work time when she was napping or in bed for the night. They quickly realized that this schedule was not predictable nor was it giving them enough time to meet their commitments. She was often left in her playpen for extended periods and had very little verbal or physical interaction with them. This created several areas of delayed development.
3. Andy’s mom works from home as a marketing manager and employs four people. This group utilized some designated workspace in the home but often had to expand into the family living space to accommodate some larger projects. When that happened, Andy had very little space that he could share exclusively with his single mom. Everyone on staff found themselves pitching in to care for him on an "as needed" basis. By the time he began coming to our daycare at 2 and a half years old, it was already evident that he was frantic for her time and approval and would be almost inconsolable when she left him.
What has happened in each of these situations?
Infants, as well as young children, need the on demand attention of an available, caring parent, or an experienced caregiver. If the parent is employed at home, they are unavailable to meet and satisfy their child’s full time needs.
It is particularly confusing and frustrating for a child to know the parent is at home but is unavailable to them.
We have witnessed extreme reactions, aggressive behavior, self-destructive behavior, anger, and silence. Any or all of these are already being demonstrated by the time they come to daycare.
Since they have often experienced less social interaction, they may show signs of withdrawal or extreme aggression.
In each example the child required specialized care, and in Andy’s case, he had to be placed in a special needs environment because of his aggressive behavior towards the other children.
If having a full time nanny is not an option, you need to arrange for part time care, or have part time work. It is that important to the health and development of your child.
They need to feel loved and care for in order to develop physically, psychologically, and emotionally!
Two years of neglect is hard to make up, give them your time and love!
Saturday, January 27, 2018
1. Do you want to be a family day care provider but don’t know where to start?
2. Are you already a family day care provider and need assistance with managing and marketing your facility?
3. Do you want to stay home to raise your own child, ideally in a small group environment, but you need an income to accomplish that goal?
4. Do you believe you have the skills and knowledge to have a positive influence on a child’s life, but never considered that being a family day care provider would be the opportunity that would work for you?
5. Do you love being with children but thought you needed to go back to school to get another degree to accomplish that goal?
Well Wonderschool may be the answer!
I have just joined this new organization that has positioned itself to be a worldwide presence.
Wonderschool is based on the genius idea that the best possible social and developmental environment for the first five years of a child’s life is with a small group of multi-age children in a home environment. To expand on that belief, they are tapping into the experience and skills of existing long term successful day care providers, and utilizing them to recruit and train the new providers.
They are also providing management and marketing support which is especially critical for individuals whose primary skills are non-operational and promotional.
If you want to follow up, please visit their website and be advised of the details of their program:
I am really looking forward to expanding the opportunities for more caregivers and children to be guided and taught using the “Anka Philosophy” that children are incredibly intelligent from the minute they are born and when that intelligence is acknowledged and respected, every child will achieve their maximum potential.
In fact, I am leading a workshop today at our school. Please do tell any friends who may be interested in joining! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/incorporating-a-philosophy-of-care-education-in-family-child-care-tickets-41449499569
We will also benefit from even more case studies to help all of us be more successful.
We are all off on a new journey!