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, September 8, 2017

The Infant Stage And All Its Challenges And Wonders!

We are so excited to have an infant in our daycare again!

Anna joined us this week at the wonderful age of six months. She is beautiful and already connecting with a few of the children.

As always, we will be tracking her growth and experiences and probably having more blogs that deal with the infant stage.

One of the most exciting aspects for us is to learn about her unique strengths and also to apply our experiences when she has specific challenges. So every case study will, as usual, reflect on our experiences and solutions with former infants.

She has had a great first six months since both her mom and dad took maternity leave from their work. Consequently, her life has been consistent and privileged so far.

We are already seeing how relaxed and friendly she is with the other children and how they are mesmerized by her.

With an infant arriving in their world, we are seeing how each child has elevated themselves to a new level of maturity. The ones who were hesitating about being toilet trained are talking about “being ready” and the older ones have become instant helpers.

Already we realize Anna is working too hard with her current bottle system that is really designed for newborns. We have made a system change so she will get all the nourishment she needs to grow and sleep well. She had turned into a snack eater and as a result her sleep pattern was too short. This usually can be corrected in a few days. We will let you know.

We are enjoying every day with her and we will keep you updated.

Please send us feedback and questions! You can email us at

Talk to you next week!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thumb Sucking! What To Do?

This can be a really challenging situation for parents, especially when the child is older.
Let’s start from the beginning, all infants have a strong desire and need to satisfy their natural sucking ability.

Mostly it will be satisfied through the ongoing feeding process whether the infant is breastfed or bottle fed.

If they are breastfed, follow the breastfeeding dietary list they can accept the milk. If they are bottle-fed, make sure they are on the appropriate nipple size so they have to work for their food but not so hard they quit or so easy they are not getting enough sucking stimulation. This period may require some testing until you get it right.

If you notice in spite of this attention to their needs that you child is frequently sucking their fingers or hand, we recommend a pacifier.

This pacifier should only serve as an addition to the stimulation describe above and should only be used following a feeding. It can be successfully used if sleep time also follows the feeding. The pacifier should remain in the crib.

It is never an object that becomes part of their regular awake time or play time. They need to be talking and crying when they are voicing a need.

This can be the ideal option since you can eliminate it once they are into their second year. This almost always works as a preventative measure and rarely do we see a child in these circumstances become a thumbsucker.

However, if that happens or you are in a situation where your child has been a thumbsucker from infancy, what has worked best is to now provide a substitute such as a teething ring in the shape of a hand.

I have recommended this to some of my families who had older children when their younger siblings join our day care. We also use it when we had children who became a biter.

We placed it on a ribbon around their neck and they wore it all day. Our guidelines were “if you feel like biting or sucking your thumb, bit or suck the hand instead”. Depending on the nature and age of the child, success was achieved in different time frames, but it did work for everyone. Even the children who sucked their thumb/fingers at bedtime were successful in using it.

Your child will need a lot of support and trust for this to work.

I am not a supporter of rewards for behavior modification. Accomplishing it is the maturing reward. This is all about taking responsibility and maturing as a result.

Only if you can think of an educational, maturing reward should it be part of the process.

Good luck! Be supportive! Don’t get frustrated, your child will be anxious already!

I am taking the next week off, It will include cataract surgery so I can read more easily and also time to plan my conversations with you in the fall.

See you then!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Joy, Pride, And Sadness Of Graduation Day.

Our graduates are both excited and sad to leave us and we always feel the same about them!

Each year is unique in terms of achievements and relationships.

The child who seemed so young last year and this year blossomed into a natural teacher. She will be missed the most by the younger ones because she had such a highly skilled approach and connection to them, to their great enjoyment. No one made number games so much fun.

The child who became the organizer and arranged basketball and soccer games as well as reading groups.

The ones who studied the human body and learned the names of all the bones which we would hear them using in conversation.

The group who painted an exact globe on a blue yoga ball!

The ones who were reading at a 3rd grade level!

How many times we have seen a child move to make advanced academic skills as though someone had pushed a button.

The child who organized outside play games such as hide and go seek, Simon says, clue games and I spy. Encouraging every child to stand up and be the spokes person.

The best result comes from the fact that in their last year they play a leadership role with all the other children by being a role model, a trainer, and a supportive helpmate throughout the year.

We have an environment where all age level interact on a consistent basis. This is the best of all opportunities for a child to develop advanced social and leadership skills.

Our goal is to create an environment where each child really believes they can accomplish whatever they set out to do! They believe in themselves!

We will miss them every day, but know they are confident, skilled, and caring individuals who will work hard and smart every day!

We wish them good luck!  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Candy As a Reward At The Doctor’s Office? I Don’t Think So! And I Need Your Help!

I am repeatedly appalled, disbelieving, shocked and outraged when one of my children returns to daycare from a doctor’s appointment with the news that they were given a lollipop (this seems to be the candy of choice) because they behaved during a checkup.

This occurs with pediatric and dental appointments.

With all the knowledge available about the importance of healthy eating habits and the well documented information that not only is sugar not part of a healthy diet, but it can also have an impact on a child’s physical behavior.

I know that periodically some study will state that sugar has little to no effect on behavior, but I am positive that if you poll daycare owners and employees, they will state otherwise.

For example: for days after Halloween, many children are hyperactive and unable to relax and cope and in some cases, are bouncing off the walls. We often see this at holiday time as well.

I realize that this reaction could also be affected by loss of sleep, but sugar input seems to be the bigger factor.

I am calling on all of the parents who are reading this blog to communicate with their child’s pediatrician and dentist that non sugar rewards be made available in their offices and sugar items removed.

Challenge them to be responsible and creative! They could provide:
-A small toy
-A selection of stickers
-Small activities

Both your pediatrician and dentist represent an authority figure in the health care world.

The message they are giving your child by this practice is undermining your authority and practices, as well as telling your child it is acceptable to eat unhealthy food.

Please take a minute to follow up today!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The History And Experience Of Explosive, Destructive And Violent Behavior In Very Young Children.

I hesitated to discuss such a deep and disturbing behavioral condition during this calm, warm summertime. But experience tells me that negative and disturbing behaviors do not get better with time. So as always, I will share the experiences now rather than later.

We have now lived through four separate family situations where children between the ages of two to five have displayed behaviors that were both self-destructive and outwardly violent.

The behaviors that eventually surfaced at daycare were:
1. Throwing furniture.
2. Not only nail-biting, but biting all the skin around the nails, initially on their fingers and then on their toes. In one case, we observed the child’s toes were covered in band aids, obviously the child revealed this purposely by removing his shoes.
3. Running across the street unattended with the parent left behind at the daycare entrance.
4. Locking himself in the bathroom when the parent arrived to pick him up.
5. Kicking and communicating with the parent using foul language.
6. Biting the sibling.
7. Physically kicking and hitting the parent.
8. One of the children responding to a playmate who was concerned that biting the skin on her hand “must really hurt” and the child responding “It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as I hurt inside”

Behaviors revealed by the parent:
1. Inflicting harm on family animals.
2. Threatening the sibling with physical harm.
3. Afraid of being alone in a room.
4. One parent’s fear that they were raising a serial killer.

In trying to understand what family conditions could have caused such behavior, we compiled a profile of each of these families. I was surprised and really shocked to realize that three of these families fell into the same profile in most of the major categories.

A profile of outward symptoms for these three was:
1. Each family consisted of two parents and two children living in the same home.
2. In each case, the mother was the primary income provider. Both parents worked long hours, with most of these hours outside the home. They often brought work home to complete in the evening. They were also committed to on demand travel which could accumulate to 10% to 15% of their total hours.
3. In each case, the father was self employed in a creative field which resulted in an unpredictable schedule and income. It also created a situation where this parent was not only the sole caregiver, but he was preoccupied with searching for employment or preparing for a secured assignment. Since this situation was so unpredictable, the dad often found himself as the caregiver and worker at the same time. In these circumstances he shared that he expected the children to entertain themselves. He shared that this demand often triggered an angry outburst.

The profile for the fourth family:
1. Both parents worked outside the home with long working hours and frequent travel for both of them. Back up care when both were traveling is unpredictable and could involve family members or any caregiver that was available.
2. There was very little family time on any given day. Most frequently, the dad would drop off and pick up the children.
3. The mom was less likely to be home before the children went to bed. In this case, one child went to bed completely silent and the other child constantly screamed when the mom picked them up.
4. These children usually teamed up when it came to destructive behavior.

We obviously were unaware of the depth and severity until each of the children demonstrated an aspect of it during regular care or when the parent came to pick them up.

We were surprised and alarmed that none of the parents had considered therapy, or as often happens, shared these details with us. They obviously needed help to understand and correct these behaviors.
In every case, we were able to recommend an expert who visited the home, as well as observed the child’s behavior at the daycare. They all committed to family therapy. This has to be the approach as it is not just an issue for the child but for every member.

Everyone in the family had to make changes. A common recommendation that was made in each case was the importance during the first five years of quality and quantity time with the mother who plays the major nurturing role at the beginning, and in each case had to increase their direct presence with the child.

I realize parents are committed to providing their children with the best physical environment as possible, however their emotions and psychological well being is even more important!
The more I think about these families, I am surprised that they did not ask for our advice or seek outside help when the behaviors first started.

Each family though the situation would improve over time. That typically does not occur without a planned strategy.

Each child finds ways to express their feelings. When their actions become so destructive and abusive and harm is self inflicted: get help immediately!!!

The behaviors noted in these cases is not normal. Fortunately children in our care who experience any sort of conflict and display aggressive behavior at home will eventually bring them to daycare as a cry for help!

Do not ignore them!

If we encourage even one family to get help before a serious problem escalates, it will be worth having shared these very disturbing family relationships!

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

Friday, July 14, 2017

No blog this week

Hi everyone, I'm working on a blog that is about a serious subject and I want to make sure it is really well done, talk to you next week!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why Dads Deserve A Special Day!!!

My apologies to all the amazing dads out there who follow my blog, because of personal issues I missed the appropriate timing of this blog. Sorry!

1. The proud look on the face of the dad walking his twins sons in the double seated stroller down Sunset Boulevard.

2. Five year old Martha happily leaves daycare early with her dad to attend a performance of The Nutcracker.

3. All the dads who encourage a challenging risk for a child building their confidence and maturity i.e. taking the training wheels off the bicycle or climbing the tree branch that looks too high.

4. The sight of the dad at the supermarket with an infant in the shopping cart and a three year old helping him push the cart while they discuss the grocery list.

5. The dad who asks to be taught to make braids that his daughter wants.

6. The dad who encouraged his wife to attend an award dinner in Europe acknowledging her publication of a design book while he cared for a six month old and a four year old.

7. The entrepreneur dad who takes his daughter to the office at least once a month to expose her to the environment and lets her sit in on the meetings.

8. The dad who takes time off from work to take his two year old son to the auto show.

9. The dad who picks up his son and daughter and takes them to the court to play basketball.

10. All the dads who hug their children when they drop them off at daycare and also when they pick them up. You feel like it is the most important moment to them.

Even though thousands of dads are directly and deeply involved in their child’s life, it is still very heartwarming to see a dad/child connection, especially in a non-traditional scene.
Thanks and congratulations to all the dads who have a lose and meaningful relationship in their child’s life!