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!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


            Respect the child as an intelligent human being – birth to one year

            The first year of parenthood can be emotional, demanding, overwhelming, wonderful, fulfilling,
    rewarding and challenging.

            Since your newborn knows how to cry the instant he is born and this is going to be his primary
    means of communicating, your main challenge is to really listen to his cries and figure out what they

            How are you going to do this? You have to let him cry so you can distinguish what his cry

            There are four main cries:

            Hunger – accompanied by sucking and rooting.

            Indigestion – this cry may be a higher pitch and he will probably show agitation and pull up his

            Fatigue – usually will slow down his body movement and rub his eyes.

            Distress – can be a basic need to have his diaper changed or can be the result of being over              stimulated or over tired or teething.

            Talk him through the process while you are trying to figure it out. If you keep your tone calm,
     that will help him respond to you and probably prevent you from becoming too anxious.

            You will be much more successful in satisfying his needs if you give yourself the time to get to
     know him.

            Case Study

            Michael and Carmen have a beautiful infant boy who joins a five year old sister. Following two miscarriages, they are delighted with his arrival and choose to have him share their bed for the first four months (which we don’t advise). During this period, both the parents and the sister are constantly picking him up as soon as he makes a sound. They carry him around or entertain him in some way for every minute he is awake.

            By the time he comes to our daycare at five months, he is demanding constant attention and has developed a piercing cry that escalates from zero to 200 in an instant.

            For everyone’s sake, we begin the transition process by verbally communicating with him regarding what is expected and what will happen. We also set up a play area for him on the floor where he is provided with appropriate toys with visual stimulation and expected to entertain himself for short periods of time.

            After a month, the transformation in this child is amazing. He now has a lower level cry heard only when he is very tired or has a bowel movement. He makes verbal sounds when he is hungry and we are beginning to hear the same sound each time as though he is saying the same word.
The biggest change is that, at the beginning, the other children did not connect with him because he fussed and cried so much. Now they absolutely adore him because he is so much fun and they are so proud of his accomplishments.

            When you understand and respect how intelligent he is, it changes everything! As he grows, you want him to communicate verbally not through crying! We will address nutrition, sleep and distress in the next classes.

            Go back to parenting class 1 if you are unfamiliar with our philosophy.

            Talk to you again soon!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Class 1 Featured Q&A

Q: My husband and I often disagree on how our son should be disciplined. When my son has a tantrum to get his way, his dad will give him what he wants. I feel my son needs to know that I don't agree with that decision. As a result, while my son is enjoying his triumph, his dad and I are arguing about the action he took. I feel strongly that my son should know how I feel and will eventually realize I am right.
A: This is a perfect example of the need for agreement and consistency on behavior standards.
     1. Your child loves both of you equally and wants to please both of you.
     2. When you disagree he is always making a choice.
     3. Because the messages he is getting are contradictory and confusing and he lacks the life experience to do so, he will not necessarily know who is right and will, in fact, go with the parent who is giving him his way in most cases.
     4. You used the term "discipline" in your question but, in fact, this incident is giving him power. He is learning that emotional outburst and physical aggression "work".
     5. The most important thing you need to do is schedule time for you and your husband to apply our solutions-driven steps toward agreement. It is critical that you both realize you are currently on a path to "out of control" behavior.

Parenting Class 1


Parenting Class  I

We will cover some major topics tonight that define our general approach and go into greater depths as the classes proceed.
My main objective in offering parenting classes is that your day as a parent can be as successful and rewarding as mine.  I want you to be the best parent possible. Your child deserves it and so do you.
Every day is a combination of teaching, observing, communicating and being challenged, but it is also incredibly rewarding, loving, fun, often with positive surprises. That is what I want your time with your child to be! Not only will playtime be fun and rewarding but so will mealtime and bedtime and worktime.
The reason for that result is, every moment, we are living our philosophy that children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When you understand and respect that intelligence, it changes everything…

 - How you think about them?
- How you communicate with them?
- What your expectations are?
- What is the everyday practical application?

       It means you can teach him personal tasks that make him independent and self-reliant and he will do them.
       He will understand:

 - When you break a rule
 - When you do not follow-up on what you say
 - When you bribe
 - When you do not tell the truth

       He learns quickly when he can disregard your directives/requests and there are no repercussions.
       He will continue to push for boundaries because he only feels safe when he is clear on what is expected of him.
       He understands what you are saying when you are consistent in your verbal description and follow-up with the appropriate action.
       However, because he is as intelligent as you does not mean he is your equal nor does it mean he is in charge. You are his parent and his teacher. You will be responsible to teach him survival skills, interpersonal skills, social skills, self-discipline, values and behavioral standards. Your role is also to love, guide, nurture and support your child in such a way that he will develop the skills, confidence and abilites to survive in the world and achieve his maximum potential.
       Most of the parents I have had in the school are highly educated and successful in their careers. But I have found, over the years, that they were often making serious mistakes because they lacked the knowledge and expertise to understand what the result of their actions would be.

            Kate, the first child we ever had in our daycare, was eighteen months old, did not crawl or walk, had extremely limited play skills, had always been rocked to sleep and, although she had good speech skills, she had none of the verbal skills for positive social interaction.
James had made the commitment to be a “stay at home” dad so Kate would get the best possible care. With complete dedication and love, James was constantly doing her tasks for her, entertaining her, isolating her from social interaction and, unknowingly, denying her the ability to grow, learn and do because he lacked the understanding of how intelligent she was.
We communicated with him daily. We provided him with extensive knowledge and examples of his child’s intelligence, coached him on appropriate communication skills and developed guidelines to establish achievable standards. Within a year, she had learned to crawl, then walk, run, play with other children in a pleasant and constructive way and fall asleep on her own. She took the first steps toward verbally asserting herself while respecting other people’s needs.
This sounds extreme but this was a loving dad who gave up his career so his child could have the best possible care. He lacked any understanding of how intelligent his child was and thought his role was to be a “doer” instead of a “teacher".


   - Be with your child in mind and heart and body. When it is your time together, you are not on the phone or watching the news or socializing or using your computer.
   - If you are a “stay at home” parent, organize your time so some of the day is yours. Probably naptimes and his alone play time (which is ½ his awake time). The rest of the time he is your priority.
   - If you are a “working” parent, from the time he is picked up from day care until bedtime, your time is totally his. He has not seen you all day and needs your attention. Also, make sure your time together is adequate – if he is picked up at 6:30 PM, he does not go to bed at 8 PM. He will feel neglected, angry and probably stall or disrupt bedtime. A two hour time frame should be adequate. 
   - His needs come first. Your time with your partner is after he is asleep.
   - Organize your weekend with his needs in mind. Do not exhaust him – try to stay on his regular schedule as much as possible.
   - You need to love your child unconditionally. Distinguish between what he does and who he is. If he broke a rule or did not listen, he is not “bad” – focus on his action.
   - Do not do anything for him that he can do for himself. Once he learns a task, do not do it for him again. You are negating his achievement. This applies to everything. Rolling over, holding a rattle, stretching to reach a toy, walking, washing his hands, dressing himself, making his bed.
    - Have him in a child-friendly environment as much as possible. If he must go shopping with you, give him a task, bring a book, bring a toy, try to find new words he can learn.
   - Make sure he is always clear on what is expected of him.
   - Correct unacceptable behavior as soon as it happens.
   - Your child must “listen” - to achieve that, you must be clear, concise and 100% consistent.



Evan and Pat come from totally different backgrounds culturally, geographically and economically. They wait years to have a child and, in all that time, never really discussed and agreed on how their child will be raised in terms of behavioral expectations and parent/child relationships.
Philip is 2 ½ years old and is so confused by the extreme differences between his parents’ expectations and styles that he runs to hide under the table when, on occasion, they both come to the daycare to pick him up. He has no idea how he should behave since, no matter what he does, he will be choosing to please one parent over the other.

            There are many reasons why parents today find they have totally different and conflicting parenting styles and personal values:

   -Most parents have not discussed how they feel their child should be raised prior to having him.
   -They have discussed it and don’t agree. The subject is dropped and they figure they will solve
     the issues on an “as needed basis”.
   -They come from completely different backgrounds
   -Do know what they “do not want to do” but not what they “want to do”.
    -One parent is very opinionated and expects to have total control over how the child is raised – in reality, that parent is not always present and does not have complete control. Therefore, the child is not only getting a mixed message but probably a contradictory one.
    -One is a “disciplinarian” and the other is a “soft touch”. In my experience, the “soft touch” usually wins and, as the child matures, he may actually take out his frustration on the “disciplinarian” because he wants that parent to “fix’ the situation since a child really wants clear guidelines and expectations.

     The most common conflicting values we see are:


  - Children are naturally honest. They will typically tell a lie by mistake or observation. Even               though the parent may suspect a lie, they do not follow through.
  - Sometimes they are afraid to tell the truth because the method of discipline in their situation is        “punishment”.
   -If you are not being honest and not correcting his dishonesty, there develops a complete                   breakdown of trust on both sides.


    -These impact your every day life, your language, your values and your opinions.
    -The farther apart these beliefs are, the less likely you are to come to a compromise.
    -Based on what we have seen, there has been more stability and success when one belief is              selected. The parent making the change needs to be knowledgeable, supportive and committed        to make the choice work. As the child matures, he can be educated and exposed to the other            religious beliefs and, in maturity, can make his own choice.


      This is the ongoing, most obvious area of inconsistency and disagreement. We often wonder what happened to raising a child to be honest, respectful, kind, polite, considerate and obedient, have well-defined standards of behavior and clearly communicated and enforced rules.

      Why is this happening? We see:

    -Parents who love their child deeply and believe parenting is their primary responsibility but lack knowledge and skill to be effective.
    - Parents who have never agreed on discipline standards.
    - Parents who are stressed, tired and preoccupied by the demands of their lifestyle (either work or social or both). In this case, the discipline is based on the parents’ needs not the child’s behavior.


       It is disturbing how common it is for communication channels to break down between parent
themselves and parents and children. Parents are communicating conflicting messages, no messag or are contradicting each other.

       The child is left unprepared, uninformed and unsure.

      -Talk to your child all the time. Tell him what is happening and what is going to happen. Make sure the message is clear, concise and uncomplicated. If you have to repeat the message, do not change it.
      -Parents and children also need to communicate their feelings, differences and conflicts. They will learn that all these needs are successfully resolved verbally.
      -Make sure you are listening carefully before you respond.

             Ideally, this issue is resolved before you become a parent. However, it is so critical to parenting success that whatever stage of parenting you are at, it must be done now!

            There are several steps that each of you should take.


 1. Each parent should review their own experiences and decide what they want to keep or change.
 2. Identify  the values or lack of values that were part of your upbringing.
 3. Think through how your personal and family experiences have helped or hurt you succeed in life.
 4. Do you want to repeat, modify or eliminate any of that experience.
 5. Each parent needs to make a list of “do’s and don’ts” that are really important
 6. Select those you agree on and discuss them to make sure your meaning is similar.
 7. Start a discussion on those you don’t agree on. Don’t think the differences won’t matter. They will just become greater!
 8. If you both agree it is a critical value or behavior, you will have reached an agreement.

I will be available any time in the evening or on the weekend. That is how important this decision is! I don’t want any of you to go forward without completing this process.