Introduction:

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!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tips On How To Have A Successful First Year, Whether Breastfeeding Or Bottle Feeding Your Infant!

The first year with your infant can be extremely challenging, especially when it comes to their most important source of nourishment “milk”!

Here are some tips to help you navigate the process for the best results. For almost all children, a quiet space and a calm, patient parent can be the most important ingredients for success!

Breastfeeding
1. Without exception, follow the nursing diet that is posted on most infant websites.

2. Be aware of any known allergies in the families of both parents. Take those foods out of your diet for the first year. You can begin testing for possible reactions once they are starting their second year. Do these tests one food at a time.

3. When following the diet, do not ingest an excessive amount of any one group i.e. fruits. This could cause your infant to either reject the breast milk or have a harder time digesting it.

4. Also be aware of any foods that are allowed but that you know you have a harder time digesting. We feel these situations are often labeled as “colic”. Try a change of diet vs. medication.

5. Make sure you, the mom are getting plenty of sleep!

6. Make sure you are not offering your infant a nursing option every time they are uncomfortable or challenging in any way. Doing so may create a “snacker” instead of a “full food eater”. This is not only hard to correct, but will also have an impact on their sleep pattern, turning them into cat nappers instead of well rested sleepers.

7. If they begin to fuss somewhere near two hours after a feed, distract them with a toy, a new location, interactive play, a new book, until it is at least three hours since a feed. Do not put them in a swing or provide any motion. They may doze off and defeat the purpose of correcting their feeding pattern.

8. Sometimes it is too easy to rely on breastfeeding during the fussy time since it is so easily available.

9. If your infant is in the final quarter of their first year, you may want to consider “topping them off”. By the end of the day, you may not be producing enough milk to satisfy them for 10 to 12 hours. This is highly a recommended strategy as everyone benefits from a full night’s sleep. It is not unusual for parents to adopt this strategy at an earlier age.

10. If this is not your first child, develop a role and plan for your older child so they can be involved directly and not be demanding your attention. This can turn breastfeeding into a very difficult time otherwise.
a. Give them specific tasks.
b. New books to read.
c. Even a special iPad time could be useful.
d. They need to know they are still important

Bottle Feeding
1. The first thing to consider is whether there are any dairy allergies in both parents’ families. This is very common. We have also seen infants who have had a hard time digesting cow’s milk. Even though they may not actually be allergic to it. If your infant is spitting up, cramping, having difficult bowel movements, consider an alternative.

2. You will want to start with a bottle feeding system that provides a specific nipple for newborns. There are some available that are patterned off a mother’s breast.

3. Usually when they are in their third of fourth month, this type of nipple may not be allowing enough milk flow and therefore is making your infant work too hard to get enough nourishment. They may quit or fall asleep before they are full. This could interfere with your infant creating a good feeding and sleep schedule. If they are showing hunger signs within two hours, this could be the reason.

4. There are bottle feeding systems available with soft nipples for their full first year. This could prevent your infant turning their nipple into a teething ring instead of a source of nutrition. We recently had this experience and solved the problem by going online seeking a soft nipple system for an older infant.

There is no hard and fast rule for when a parent should stop breast feeding or bottle feeding their child. Decisions can be influenced by experiences or culture or preference.

We have always recommended that parents begin preparing their infant prior to their first birthday to master drinking from a small cup with no top. We begin by sitting with them and helping them hold it. Many of them have it mastered by the 1st quarter of their 2nd year.

One of the best benefits is that it allows their tongue and check muscles to begin developing for the mastery of speech. Remaining too long in a system that promotes sucking can delay that development.

It also gives the child an important message that they are no longer an infant and will successfully begin mastering the toddler world.

Even with all the challenges involved every day, it is an exciting wonder.

Good luck!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is all about the family!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Friday, November 3, 2017

Food! Its Nutritional And Social Importance On Your Child’s Overall Health!

When Brendan joined our daycare at twenty months, he had a history of a limited diet and poor overall habits and table manners.

He benefited from our system of serving food groups in order of vegetables, protein, carb/grain and then fruit.

Each child had to finish one group before they asked for the next. When completed, they were welcome to request an additional portion of whatever food remained.

We have a specific menu for each day of the week and those five menus are repeated weekly.
Most of the children at the daycare referred to each day by the foods that will be severed. Lunch was an extremely important part of the day and was definitely one of Bernard’s favorite times.

After more than a year, we suddenly noticed that his manners and style at the lunch table were dramatically different. He began using his hand to handle his food rather than his spoon, played with each food group. He became difficult and either stalled in terms of a reasonable time to complete each food group, or stuffed his mouth with food. He would then become upset when he lost the option of having a second severing due to stalling.

He went from a happy, efficient participant, to a disruptive and attention demanding child.

When we inquired from the parents whether they had noticed any changes at home, they admitted he had been so efficient and happy at meal time that they had stopped sitting with him and instead used that time to get caught up on work and then enjoyed a quiet dinner together after he was in bed. They also stated that they did not always want to eat what he was having.

It was no surprise to us now why a major change was occurring at our daycare.

Brendan was feeling abandoned, isolated and angry that he was left alone. This is not only because food is more enjoyable when shared, but also because he had not seen his parents all day!

Meals are a major family and social connection. Brendan’s habits told us that he was either stalling to get more attention, or stuffing his mouth to finish quickly so he could join his parents. 

Brendan’s parents were missing an opportunity to enjoy time together, but also to share their day, and especially to introduce him to their favorite foods for a more expanded diet.

Do

1.Establish a menu for the week.

2.Repeat all the successes and add in a new item periodically.

3.If each parent has some favorite foods, they should be included and shared with him.

4.Keep the conversation positive, you can add in some personal experiences but keep it to a minimum.

5.Breakfast is often a meal everyone can participate in together. Make sure there is at least one parent with the child.

6.The effective use of personal skills and habits needs to be monitored and corrected when necessary.

7.Just think of how proud you will be of him when you take your child to a restaurant or a family/friends home and he knows how to enjoy food.

8.Brendan has now moved to a table with older children and is starting to use a fork, and can be relied on to be polite and happy!

9.The parents are committed to family meals now that they understand that sharing food is both a social experience and the basis for a healthy life.
Enjoy!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Challenge and Necessity Of Helping Children Deal With Their Emotions and Behavior!

A look at typical behavior in our daycare:

1.Anna will grab toys from other children, run away and then cry when she is expected to give them back.

2.Bryan has learned to cry for everything because it works at home.

3.Peter is getting more upset when his mom does not pick him up on time and is often withdrawn by the time she arrives.

4.Robert had started biting his friends when his feeling got out of control.

5.Mark had begun hitting when he wanted to be included in an activity.

We approach these situations from two perspectives.

We are totally committed to respecting a child’s feelings. They cannot move effectively from anger to sorry in one step without an acknowledgement of their initial feelings.

A straight forward question, “how do you feel right now?” following aggressive heavier will allow the child to respond honestly to the conditions that probably initiated the actions.

This approach usually diffuses the level of anger when it is followed by an acknowledgement of these feelings and then can move on to an appropriate solution.

We are also totally committed to strictly focusing on the action and not the child.

Children are never bad or good.

What they are is a child who follows or breaks the rules, is respectful or disrespectful, listens or does not, tells the truth or tells lies ect.

Do not label their person.

Some key exchanges that focus on the action only to resolve our initial examples:

1.Identify the action and then have them take it.  “Anna, do you know that this toy is not yours? May is going to ask you to please return it”.

2.Bryan, crying does not work at daycare to get your way, you will have to use your words.

3.Peter would like to tell you how he feels right now, “Mommy, I get sad when you are late”.

4.Robert, when you feel like biting, tell me and we will count to ten together.

5. Mark is told by a child in the playground “Do not hit me, it hurts!”

We are convinced that every single child has the skill and understanding to either completely handle their own solutions when given the language and to show respect for their peers when they feel the rules and expectations are clearly defined.

Empower them!

Confidence, skill, and knowledge will be the best assets in helping a child handle their emotions and behavior!

Good luck!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Power Of Love!

We have found over the years that children who are having difficulty with the parent/child relationship at home will begin showing signs of their frustration, resistance, and anger during their time at day care. Their motive is to get our attention and help so we can correct the conditions that are causing the problems.

Consequently, when we see an extreme change in a child’s behavior toward their teachers and friends, i.e. not listening, hitting, throwing toys, knocking down other children’s project, kicking, biting ect. In all cases these were new behaviors for the particular child and usually a cry for help.
Every situation is a little different, but one recently reflected on circumstances that we have frequently experienced.

Sylvia was 2 and a half when we noticed a dramatic change in her behavior. We were aware that there were major changes in her home experience. She not only was seeing her parents less, having more baby sitters in her life, and in generally usually found herself eating meals alone.

At the same time, she was behaving aggressively at day care, as well as causing physical harm to her friends. We found ourselves often taking her out of playtime because of her harmful and aggressive behavior.

She showed increase separation anxiety when her parent dropped her off. This increased measurably over a week’s period until one day she appeared out of control when her parents were leaving.
At that moment, I realized that what she most needed was a strong feeling of security and love.

I happened to be sitting on the floor with some other children. I reached out and took her in my arms and told her that I loved her. She broke into sobs holding on to me with all her strength.

We remained together in that embrace for an hour before she was ready to venture away to play with her friends.

Every day for the next week began with us sitting together and conversation entered the process on the third day. This fact was extremely meaningful since during her aggressive and difficult stage, she could not communicate about her feelings at all.

By the end of the second week, she just needed five to ten minutes to touch base with me, get reassurance, and be ready for her day.

When we evaluate a child’s behavior, it is wise to step back and understand their world may be leaving them threatened or scared. This situation dramatically called for an outpouring of love to get her to know she was important, wanted and loved no matter what.

We are always reminded to never leave you child without a hug and a verbal reminder of your love.

Fortunately, the parents were able to modify their work schedule and spend more quality time with her.


This was big doses of love that set everyone back on the right track, especially Sylvia! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Parent Alert! Your Words Are A Message To Your Child Every Time You Speak!

There have been so many instances lately when parents have made statements that are influencing their child in impactful ways that probably contradict what the parent says are the values they are teaching their child.

I have observed and been shocked and saddened when I hear a parent lie to their child:
1. It could be about what time they will be picked up.
2. Where they are going, when in reality they have a doctor’s appointment.
3. When there is a baby sitter picking them up so they won’t have to deal with the child being upset.

The fact that these situations are ongoing is of grave concern the parent not only loses credibility with their child but it creates also great anxiety and possibly leads to the child also not telling the truth.
However, the scene I witnessed over the weekend was infinitely more disturbing for several reasons.

I was enjoying a light breakfast at a popular supermarket when a dad and 2 year old daughter sat at the next table.

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a dad with a young child. The fact that it was a girl was a little special for me.

The dad had purchases a full breakfast plate of eggs, bacon potatoes and toast. The child had a yogurt with fruit. They engaged in a meaningful conversation while he prepared the fruit by cutting it into small sections. They both began eating.

She noticed that he had bacon and asked for a piece. The dad responded that this was real bacon and she could not have any.

After several more requests the dad relented, giving a medium sized piece with the warning “You can’t tell mommy about this!” while she quickly ate it up.

Predictably, she stopped eating her yogurt and fruit and repeatedly requested more bacon. The dad began rushing to finish eating his meal so he could put an end to the incident. Sadly they also stopped communicating.

Why am I so upset with the scene?
1. The dad told his child to lie to her mother. This is within the family unit which should be “as one” at all costs.
2. The dad probably realized that since his daughter knew how to say “bacon” she conceivable would mention something at home, that he would have to answer for.
3. The dad should have realized that what he had done was very serious and corrected himself by saying “We will have to tell mommy what we did, that was my mistake”.

I did not hear that, but I hope for the child’s sake it happened.  I wonder that if I had asked that dad whether he wanted his daughter to grow up and be honest, he would have responded that he did. He probably would have been hurt if I asked.

But the facts speak otherwise and the facts matter.

Parents speak otherwise and the facts matter!

Parents need to realize that they are the source of their children’s values. Behavioral standards, rules and guidelines.

Every statement matters!

Think before you speak!

Note: A blog will not be posted again until the week of 10/15. My marketing manager is off to take a reol in a feature film. We are wishing him good luck!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Treat Your Newborn As Though You Have Four Other Children!

This is the wise statement of a mother of five! She has effectively communicated what all other parents of several children took years to learn.

That is invaluable knowledge born out of necessity, which was often the only effective way!

She saw that the two most important things were that her infant slept well and ate well. That allowed her to make everything else work.

How exactly does this idea work?

1.Infants know how to eat and sleep. Do not mess it up!
     a.Feed your infant when they are hungry, let them sleep when they are tired.
     b.Do not disturb their natural body needs.
     c.Do not wake them up to feed.
     d.If you are a nursing mom, it is important that you follow the nursing mom’s diet at all times. No exceptions – no treats. You will pay a price for that choice because your infant will probably not be able to digest what you have treated yourself to. It is not worth it.
     e.Usually by three or four months, you infant will be having a shorter morning nap and a longer afternoon nap. Especially in the afternoon, they may sometimes turn it into a catnap by making the sleep shorter. Either let them put themselves back to sleep or if they need help, a tap on the but to their bottom rhythmically will help.
     f.Whatever you do, do not get into the habit of feeding them every time they cry. They can quickly become “snackers”. Every cry is not a hungry one!
     g.They should be on three meals a day and a night feed.
     h.Make sure when you put them to bed they are full and they will sleep soundly.

2.Do not rush to pick them up as soon as they squeak or every cry. They often will settle down and get used to waiting. If they are waking up from naps crying, this often means they are still tired.

3.Do not carry them around when they are awake or provide them with some sort of motion all the time.

4.Keep them in a their home environment as much as possible. Your social life can wait! Nothing takes priority over the needs of your infant!

5.Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk! Tell them what is happening! They will get used to familiar phrases. If they wake up and you can’t get them right away, tell them that. Your voice will reassure them! Introduce them to music, especially by singing to them.

6.Part of the day should be a safe place where they can practice turning over, crawling and pulling themselves up.

7.They need time every day to entertain themselves. Ideally, on a floormat with appropriate toys to entertain and stimulate them. Let them work to reach the toys.

8.Step back! Let your infant show you their personality and skills! They can’t learn when you are doing everything for them.

Just think how busy you would be if you had four other children! So relax and give them some time and space! Sometimes they will have to figure it out.

Enjoy and good luck! 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Listening! One Of The Most Vital Behaviors In A Parent/Child Relationship.

Why are parents having such a hard time being successful at it?

This listening issue is constantly surfacing. Our experiences and observations at the daycare are:

1. Parents rarely follow up on a request or directive they give to their child.

2. Parents have not clearly communicated their expectations.

3. Parents have no agreed with each other on the rule, boundaries and behavioral expectations.

What to do?

1. Both parents must agree on what the rules and behavioral expectations are!

2. Do not give your child any negotiating power when you have communicated their responsibility to follow your communication on a rule or behavioral expectation.

3. Repeat the request in fifteen seconds increments exactly as originally states and firmly state “you have to listen to me”

4. If they are still not responding then assist them in following through and clarify that when you make a request you mean it.

When you are communicating regarding an action or opinion that is not a rule or behavioral expectation, then you can compromise and let them be involved in the process.

This is very different from the first scenario and should not be confused!

You have to understand and respect that your child will know the difference.

They can choose between the red shirt or the blue one for example.

But they cannot choose not to listen to you when you have requested a follow-up or action that you consider a rule. An example is “please clean up your toys now”.

Be clear, be firm and be confident!

You are the parent and your child is not in charge of the values they need to grow up with, you are!

Good luck!