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.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
The Important Distinction Between When Your Child Has a Choice And When You Absolutely Must Be In Charge!
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Mother’s Day is always when I spend extra time reviewing and analyzing the status of that most important of relationships.
The last year has been one in which that bond was the focus of the children’s behavior, more so than usual.
A few of our moms have taken on significantly more responsibility in their professional lives. This has had a measurable effect on the time available for them to spend with their child.
It took us a while to also become aware that the change was not only a time issue, but also a quality one.
Some patterns developed:
1. The children were having a hard time leaving their mom when being dropped off at daycare. They would do thing such as: requesting additional hugs, hang on to them, requesting an early pickup, being read to before departure, standing at the sliding glass door and watching until they disappeared. These were all new behaviors.
2. These children also displayed anger issues such as screaming to get attention, breaking down their friend’s building structures or games, biting their nails or skin, and generally becoming somewhat hostile vs. the friendly children they had been.
3. When their circumstances became more intolerable, they began transferring some of their loss feelings to their teachers. This behavior has been a reoccurring approach, over the years, when a child wants something fixed at home and needs our help.
4. The most sad and disturbing situation I experience was a mom requesting that she spend Mother’s Day alone as her gift. The dad and children had to leave their home for the day. I can’t imagine what the children were thinking. Alarmingly, it was the first thing we were told the next day.
We have always shared with our parents that the quantity of time they spend with their children is important, but the quality is critical.
Especially when the quantity is reduced and limited, moms must not allow anything to interfere with their time together.
1. No phone
2. No computer
3. No friends
4. No distractions
Most children need the first 4 to 5 years to really create a lifelong bond with their mom. They are much clearer on their place in the world.
I am always applauding my moms when I see and know that the time they spend with their children is truly meaningful, setting an example and building their self esteem.
Our future is in your hands! Handle it with love and care!
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Friday, May 5, 2017
Since it is difficult for the parents to assess how the change is going to affect themselves, projecting that for their children is not only challenging but it must be evaluated, and discussed, frequently after the changes have occurred.
Some of the circumstances that have challenged our parents in the last several months:
1. Both parents simultaneously moving on to more demanding career responsibilities that included longer hours.
2. A new baby in the family.
3. An older sibling moving on from the daycare to elementary school.
4. A relocation from the east coast where both parents had a large support system to L.A. with no extended family or close friends.
5. A parent going back to work at the same time as the child joins our daycare.
6. The death of a loving nanny who had been a member of the family since the children were born.
In every case, the children in our care displayed clear emotional and sometimes physical and relationship changes.
-They cried more easily.
-Had difficulty falling asleep at naptime.
-Preferred to be with us rather than playing with their friends.
-Expressed a need for more attention when completing tasks they had normally performed easily and willingly.
-Displayed some regression in areas they had perfected such as bathroom habit, academic skills and conflict resolution.
These are the suggestions we offered each of these families.
1. Change the rules or your expectations of your child including values and behavior standards. Continuity is critical and boundaries need to be maintained.
2. Feel sorry for them. They are a critical part of your family and whatever decisions were made, it was with their interest in mind also.
3. Be inconsistent when they are showing anxiety about anything they miss. Acknowledge their feeling and then move on to some advantages they now have.
4. Feel guilty about the change it is done!
1. Give them new responsibilities specifically related to their new situation. It will help them feel more involved and in control.
2. Have a dialogue with them when you see unusual behavior. Resist the urge to defend the change but instead focus on a positive fact about it.
3. Put their needs before yours.
4. Be patient. They will not move from negative/lost feelings to happy ones instantly. Just like they cannot move from angry to sorry in five minutes.
5. Trust their resilience and intelligence and flexibility. They are survivors and probably will emerge more mature and stronger if that is your goal and what you expect and communicate.
You can turn every new experience into positive growth!
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Our day care is an environment where strong social connections, both physical and verbal, occur and in many cases, these have been so strong they have extended into the adult lives of the children.
Currently we are witnessing a bond that developed visibly between 14 month old Sarah and 13 month old Jack.
At this time, Sarah had been with us for four months and Jack was joining a day care for the first time. They are both independent and very self-sufficient for their ages.
It took Jack a few days to become oriented and then decided that Sarah had something he liked and needed.
Without any specific encouragement on our part, they began seeking each other out and sharing more time together while they both explored their options. What was especially interesting is they are both strong willed and independent yet they communicated and played in complete harmony.
I think they benefited most from an environment where they are given the freedom and responsibility to entertain themselves and therefor respond to their individual feelings and needs.
They are our most recent example of the ability of very young children to identify and expand on their feelings and needs when an environment is created that allows them to explore and make choices without adult persuasion and interference.
Most parents feel the need to direct and control every action of a young child. Experiences and opportunity tells us that they can make choices to satisfy their needs and in fact, when given a safe and supportive environment, will be able to accomplish this at a much younger age than most people believe.
-Ensure your child’s environment in the first two years gives them the freedom to explore their world independently.
-When organizing playdates, make sure your child is given the time and opportunity to select and play with objects they want to interact with.
-Give them space and time to solve their own problems. In most cases when they become frustrated they only need a small key to find success. Give them advice and let them continue independently.
-Introduce them to a variety of friends.
-Seek a social environment where you will be effectively removed from their sight. This should occur periodically. Make sure the supervisor/educator has and displays your philosophies and goals.
-Consider your role to be an entertainer- you are their teacher, give them time to learn.
-Underestimate their ability. By the time they have mastered a skill, they are already thinking at the next level-make it available. Everyone advances at their own pace.
-Underestimate them: watch for their reaction to new situations. Give them time to evaluate and adjust.
Your child is the ultimate work in progress! Encourage their interests and natural curiosity.
High levels of self-esteem come from this approach!
Friday, April 14, 2017
The child who figures out the shapes cube, and the sunbeam coming through the window reflecting on the daycare wall.
The child who writes their alphabet letters by themselves, and the sun still shinning late in the day so we can play outside.
Our parenting world and spring are full of new discoveries and surprises!
We are wishing everyone a joyful spring and parenting experience.
Stop to appreciate the surprises of spring and your child's world. Enjoy and Good luck!