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!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Listening! The Most Important Behavior For Successful Parenting!

This appears to be the most challenging responsibility for parents, partly because it involves so much of a parent/child relationship on an ongoing basis.

Case I
Jessie, Barry’s Mom, arrives at the daycare and notices that he is very absorbed in adding to a road he has built for his cars.

She requests that he put it away because they have to leave immediately. She sits down on the floor beside him and keeps repeating the request. Barry continues to play and does not even look at her.
This scenes continues for five minutes while he adds to his game.

She finally starts taking the game apart without warning. Barry is upset and tries to grab the blocks from her as she is returning them to the tub.

The fact is that his mom rarely follows through on her requests she he had no expectation that she would destroy his game. He begins screaming and reaching to retrieve the blocks.
After a heated tussle, they leave with the mom pulling him by the hand.

Case II
Pamela and Mark disagree on behavior standards for Peter. We notice that Peter has developed a particularly aggressive relationship with his mom who is inconsistent and tends to do most of his work rather than give him the time to be responsible and efficient.

We start to see an increase in his disrespect for her and one night, he throws his jacket at her with the order “Here, take this!” in a very loud voice, and pushes past her out the door and runs to play in the yard.

She waits outside until he decides he is ready to leave and she follows carrying his jacket.

Analysis and Guidelines
This issue is an ongoing challenge for us, experienced caregivers. To convince and guide our parents to a realization that setting rules and boundaries and being 100% consistent in following them actually results in successful parenting with great results. It makes life so much more enjoyable, rewarding and pleasant for everyone. It also allows children to be more trusting and safe and much less likely to disobey. They will know what to expect at all times.

Parents inquire and seem amazed that all the children at the day care listen to us at all times. How does that happen? Because we are 100% consistent, we have gained 100% credibility.

Will they challenge us periodically? Yes. But we calmly remind them what the expectations are and how much better the results will. This is what allows everyone to interact positively.

Do and Don’t
1.       Do be clear on your behavior standards and rules and follow through on them. They are all important, but we have put listening at the top of the list.

2.       Don’t say anything you don’t mean. This was interpreted by Peter’s mom to mean she could just be silent. Not so! It means: know your priorities in terms of behavior and rules and be silent when the circumstances do not fit in to those categories. It does not mean to abdicate your parenting responsibilities.

3.       Once you have spoken, expect to be listen do 100% of the time.

4.       Do not make any statement or request you do not mean or intend to follow up on.
5.       Acknowledge their resistance or non-conformance, but do not change your mind. “Once I speak, I mean it. You know the rules!”

Trust me! This approach is so much less work and so much more rewarding and successful.

You will enjoy your role more than you thought possible and both you and your child will be rewarded with a much healthier relationship!

 Good Luck!

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Important Topic Of Where Your Child Should Sleep

Question: Where should our child sleep?

Answer: In their own bed!

Some of the scenarios we have experienced:

1. Peter was finally sleeping through the night, but he was waking up at 6am. After weeks of this pattern, both the mom and dad were exhausted and when one day he woke up at 5:30am, the mom decided to bring him into their bed. She didn’t think she could get through another day she was so tired.

By the next week, he was no longer sleeping through the night and instead was waking up between 3 and 4 am and screaming to come into their bed.

Making matters worse, neither parent was able to fall asleep again after the disturbance. This made the situation worse than it ever was.

2. Stephen caught a really bad cold and was having a hard time sleeping. The parents decided to have him sleep in their bed so they could be aware of his condition throughout the night. He has now been back to normal for a week and will no longer go to sleep in his own bed.

3. Molly and tom thought it would be the right thing for everyone that their newborn, Sylvia, share their bed from the beginning. 

Initially, it seemed ideal. Molly could nurse her as needed without getting out of bed.

As time went on, they realized they were never getting a good night’s sleep and had given up any opportunity for a private moment.

When they decided to move her into her own crib at six months, she was having a very difficult time and woke up at the slightest sound. Now instead of enjoying her, they were constantly arguing about how to correct the situation and get some rest and privacy.

These were just a few of the situations that we were hearing about and being called on to fix.

Our recommendations that led to success: 

Your child should have their own sleeping space from the beginning. It can be a bassinet that is in your room and it should be separated from your bed by a screen. This way they know from the beginning that it is important to be treated as an individual.

As they grow, they need to be moved to a larger space such as a crib and ideally into their own room. If that is not an option, have them in your room in an alcove or as far away as possible. Still make use of a screen or any other efficient barrier. Treat this as though it is a separate space, and if they are still using the accommodation going into their second year, give the location its own identity name “your room”.

Make sure, at any age, there are no toys in their bed. It is strictly for sleeping! Sometimes, an appropriate mobile will attract their attention upon waking and allow them to be fully awake before calling for you. 

Now let’s talk about solutions for the earlier case studies.

Firstly, it is critical that both parents agree on any strategy presented to fix or prevent any of these situations from occurring or continuing. 

Being in agreement is critical to your success as a parent, even, or especially, when some situations are more demanding than others.

Case 1

You will understand after two or three days that your child is fine and really doesn’t need attention at this hour.

1. Make sure they have had a “full feed” at dinner time so hunger is not waking them up.

2. If they are somewhere around 9 to 12 months, offering them a bottle or nursing before you go to bed can be a solution.

3. If they don’t seem hungry at that hour, then don’t continue that strategy and realize their behavior is simply a habit. Tell them before you put them to bed that you are not coming in to see them while it is dark. Then do that! Do not go back on your word! Or the situation will get worse.

4. Tough it out and do not go to them until 6:30am or 7am which is reasonable. Make a point of telling them that this is going to be the routine. They may not understand every word, but will understand your tone and your actions.

Case 2
Your child is most likely to have some form of illness in their first 18 months which will be serious enough to warrant some monitoring during the night.

1. Invest in a bed, air bed, or sleeping back to be utilized by a parent if constant monitoring is necessary. 

2. If they are already in a bed do not sleep with them.

3. Continue this until you are no longer anxious about their condition.

4. Once that happens, make sure you tell them they are well now and you are going to go back to your own bed.

5. This will make your transition back to your own bed easier.

Case 3

The solution for this case calls under our suggestions on how to plan your child’s sleep from the beginning.

It is a well known belief that if your child sleeps and eats well that a parent can handle anything in between!

Good Luck!

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!

Any one of these items can be a great benefit during your child’s first year. However, when they are still relying on them any longer, they can become a crutch that delays development and are very difficult to take away.

The First Year:
During the first six month of your infant’s life, it is very possible that they will require some additional “sucking” over and above the amount they are getting from the actual bottle feeding or nursing.

During this period they may already be sucking on their thumb, finger, or the back of their hand. It is wise to realize that you should provide them with a substitute for the use of any part of their hand. If you don’t, it is very likely they will continue this habit well past their first year. By then, it can be most challenging to distract them from that habit or substitute it.

Two very important conditions need to be in place:

1.       You can provide them with a pacifier five to ten minute after they have completed their liquid intake.

2.       You can use the pacifier or blankie to help them go to sleep at bedtime.

Following these rules will allow you to discontinue their use on your child’s first birthday when you discontinue nursing or bottle feeding.

Part of the process is to talk to them about it before it happens. It is rare that it takes more than a few days for them to adjust and very rare that they begin sucking their thumb, fingers, or hand at that age as a substitute.

Make sure they are tired, but not overtired when placed in their bed. This can add a challenge to the process.

All of this comes under the heading of satisfying an “infant’s” need, but not allowing it to become a “child’s” habit.

The Second Year:

If you have not stopped your child’s dependence and are into their second year, the situation can change significantly.

1.       There is no longer a clear date when you should make the change. Most parents justify every reason for continuing their child’s new dependence of a sucking or a soothing prop:
·         They aren’t feeling well.
·         We are traveling soon.
·         We moved to a new home.
·         They cried for two days without it.

-You are now using the props during the day and significantly expanding their impact on your child.

-This additional use can have a negative effect on their speech, both in terms of its growth and enunciation. The tongue and muscles are being impeded from developing in support of great verbal skills, in some cases it can cause a lisp.

-They are being told by this process to be quiet during a time they should be:

·         Learning to speak.
·         Developing skills to deal with their emotional experiences.
·         Socializing with other children.
·         Learning the verbal skills to communicate their needs, both positively and negatively.

We all know about the importance of physical development in the second year, but it is just as important, maybe even more so, that they develop skills to deal with their emotional issues.
Hopefully you will realize now how to help them give up their emotional attachment to any of these dependent habits.

With their involvement, selected a day no more than a week, when your garbage collection occurs.
Explain to them that they will wrap up the bottles, pacifiers, blankies ect. In a bag and place it in the garbage continuation the night before or the morning of the garbage pickup.

Ideally, they need to watch the garbage truck actually pick up the container with their bag.

Join them in saying good bye and remind them that they items are no longer needed.

Important! For your sake, do not retain any of these items in the house. In a moment of weakness, you may want to resurrect one to soothe your child if they demonstrate any distress. Please do not go there! It may set back their dependency in definitely and you will be retaining these items or replacing them with alternate ones.

Focus on helping them mature and verbalize their feelings successfully as well as their interactions.

You are off on a growth pattern for life!

Good luck!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

What Questions Should You Answer Before Your Child Is Born?

Once your child comes into your life you can be overwhelmed by your emotional response and the tasks at hand, including how to figure out your own sleep needs. It is critical you address these issues even before the big day, or better yet, before your decision is made to have a child.

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.

Good Luck!

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Refresher Course On Toilet Training!

Note! If you are just considering beginning the toilet training process, please refer to earlier blogs as well as our parenting book Smart Parent/Smart Child for a very detailed set of plans and directives.

Here are the most common omissions and errors we repeatedly observe.

Do Not

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.

Good luck!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Why Do I Need A Nanny If I Work At Home?

We have experienced this scenario so often that it merits a conversation and solutions!

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!
It matters!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

The Opportunity Of A Lifetime to have an impact in children's lives!

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!

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!

Good Luck!