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, September 26, 2010

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.

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