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.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Nutrition and Quality Family Time
The key to heath, happy eaters is a well-planned "family together" meal approach. Food time is a social experience.
Are you sitting down with your children at mealtime?
Are there firm rules in your home regarding NO TV, NO Telephone, NO I Pad or I Phone, etc. at mealtime?
Mealtimes are an opportunity to educate your child about nutrition, well balances meals and, also, to discuss general topics addressing subjects that are important to everyone.
If you are discussing school, talk about what they enjoy and what they may need support with.
This is not the time to discuss any occurrences during the day that require discipline or reprimand.
They need to have a positive experience with food.
They should be given specific directives about table manners.
No games or playing of any kind at the table.
Most families are able to be together for breakfast and dinner.
- For most families, breakfast has some time constraints.
- The children must be dressed for the day as soon as possible after they wake up.
- No entertainment (non-school days) or food until dressed.
- If the parents are both leaving the home at the same time as the children, it is worth getting up at a time that allows them to be able to sit down with the children. The ages of the children can influence this meal.
- Provide food choices that do not require a lot of preparation - keep it easy, simple and nutritious.
- Non work days can be more involved in terms of preparation.
If this is a new routine to have "family dinners", discuss it with everyone before beginning.
Do not be discouraged if all does not go well every day. Work through the issue that was unsuccessful!
It is astonishing how few families really enjoy a family dinner.
1. They sit in front of the TV and have absolutely no conversation together.
2. A parent stops to pick up "take-out" food on the way home and the children eat in the car.
3. The parents are exhausted and stressed form their work day so the children are fed first and the parents eat later after they put them to bed. It is probably a different menu.
1. Vegetables are served first. Ideally, there would be two included in the meal. These need to be eaten before there is anything else placed on the plate.
2. Protein comes next. Again, it is eaten before anything else is served.
3. Pasta, rice, potato come next.
4. Fruit next and then bread if desired.
When you introduce this approach, you may have to do some coaching. Remind them how delicious the vegetables are. Start out with ones they really like ( if possible) and then add variety.
But be firm. This is the approach we use for meal servings at our daycare and all the children have an amazing lunch every day.
If they refuse to eat (it is usually the vegetables at the beginning), they can remain at the table if there is no one else to watch them while you finish the meal but they should not be given anything else on their plate unless they eat the vegetables. (don't worry, it is ok to miss a meal).
At the beginning, this can interfere with your plan for a "family together" meal but trust that it will not last long.
Be calm and firm but do not give them alternate food or snacks. They will get the message in a few meals.
You can either serve yourself the full meal so they will see what else is available or you can follow this approach. This second option may get the message across more quickly.
Do not give snacks later in the evening because they are saying "I'm hungry" and you feel badly that a meal was missed.
Two things will probably happen. They will have a huge breakfast and they will not hold out on eating the vegetables for more than two or three days.
See this as just a small obstacle in creating a lifelong, positive and healthy eating pattern!
Friday, March 21, 2014
Recently, I had the joy of a visit from my new grandson. At 8.5 months, he is really a delight of activity.
The first night they were with me, I offered to give his parents an opportunity to visit friends so I was taking care of him without much knowledge of his sleep pattern.
Three hours after he fell asleep, he woke up agitated, distressed and completely uncontrollable. Since I had no advance warning, I was thinking " sensitivity to something he had eaten", " constipation" or was it " habit".
When his parents returned, I discovered that, in fact, this was a nightly pattern which had started when he was 4 months old.
Like most parents, they responded to the middle-of-the-night wake-up by giving him attention i.e. changing his diaper, feeding him , giving him a pacifier, walking him, etc. They were prioritizing that they had a neighbor who definitely could be disturbed by his screaming.
For all parents with children not sleeping through the night ( 4 months and up):
1. Make sure the child has had plenty to eat for the last feed.
2. If he is at the early stages of teething, apply Hyland's teething gel, Hyland's teething tablets and Boiron camilia caplets before putting him to bed.
3. Make sure he is properly clothed for the current weather conditions.
4. Speak to your neighbors about your plan and enlist their support. You may want to start on the weekend nights since most people will not have to wake up early. It is very unlikely your neighbors will not be supportive.
5. Tell your cild before he is put to bed that if he cries, you are not coming in to his room and you will see him when he wakes up in the morning. To help him through the process, you should be informing him regarding what to expect on an ongoing basis for all situations and what is expected of him. He will become familiar with the language and your tone. Be firm and confident.
6. When he wakes up in the night, you must keep your word and not come in to his rescue. My grandson's Mom talked with him on the first night and he cried for one hour and seven minutes. She said it was torture for her. If either parent thinks they will not be able to hold out on the plan, it might be wise to stay in another part of the house or even elsewhere.
7. Guess what? The very next night, he did not wake up and, in fact, lasted until 6:25AM. They left him in his crib while he whimpered for a little bit. When his parents went in to get him, they told him it was morning and time to get up for the day. Because they have always been great communicators about what is happening, he was used to their language and their tone.
Every child may not respond quite so quickly, however I have never seen it take more than 4 nights. Do not forget to give your neighbors a Thank You gift ( bottle of wine is a favorite).
This situation is just one component of a successful parenting relationship with your child. Did I make it sound too easy? Not really.
Always communicate with each other and your child!
Do the right thing for you and your child!
Solve problems as soon as they happen!
You will have a much more rewarding experience as a parent!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
For all of you who are just finding our blog, I want to introduce myself.
My name is Phyllis Anka. My whole life has been child-centered with four children of my own, four grandchildren and a great grandchild. A Senior Executive career in the Maternity field and twenty years as the owner of a DayCare for children 3 months to 51/2 years of age. All of this experience and expertise is the reason I am the co-author (with my daughter Cynthia) of Smart Parent/Smart Child,
a training manual for parents.
The DayCare was an opportunity to implement our revolutionary philosophy that children are incredibly intelligent from the minute they are born. When you understand and respect that intelligence-
"It Changes Everything!"
Several challenges became apparent within the first year of the DayCare. Most of the children lacked clear guidelines, behavior standards and life values.
Although the parents were successful in their work world, they were unskilled and overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenting. They were unknowingly making serious mistakes because they lacked the knowledge and expertise to understand what the results of their actions would be.
We knew we had to educate the parents and provide them with a parenting manual that would change both their child's life and theirs.
Smart Parent/Smart Child
- Provides guidelines that are as simple to follow as mapquest
- Shares case studies that will define and confirm their values
- Turn their intelligence into parenting "smarts"
- Give them the tools and knowledge that will bring them a lifetime of great experiences.
Many of the former students are now in high school and college and are not only achieving success but several have taken time out of their busy lives to contact me with thanks for the wonderful experience they had in our DayCare and how it has benefited them.
I could not ask for more!
Saturday, March 8, 2014
To start off the New Year, it is always important to share the basic concepts of great, successful parenting.
I meet many new parents and discussions with them remind me that parents rarely have an understanding of how intelligent their child is.
Most of the time, these parents are visiting our daycare school, observing the children's skills and communication levels as well as their confidence and maturity. They usually comment on the respectful and teaching-based manner that we use in interacting with them.
We explain that our goal is to provide an environment that assures each child is an assertive, confident, cooperative, curious, respectful, empathetic and fun loving individual.
How does that happen?
These are the guidelines:
1. Respect their intelligence. We believe it exists from the minute they are born and is at least as high a level as yours.
2. Set clear behavioral standards and identify values that you, the parents, both agree on 100%!!!
3. Always communicate respectfully as though you were talking to a best friend.
4. Always tell them the truth. This includes admitting when you have made a mistake.
5. Establish rules that are clearly communicated and must be followed. They should be based on respect for themselves and their family.
6. Do not disagree in front of your child.
7. Spend quality and quantity time with them. They are important.
8. Whichever parent begins a corrective action is the parent that finishes it.
9. Think before you speak and follow up on what you say.
10. Expect them to complete their own tasks as well as share responsibility for some family tasks.
11. Share meals together. No phone, texting, internet activity or technology of any kind. Conversations should include them. Keep it positive and educational and current.
12. Respect, Love and Nourish them always! Enjoy!
We will follow up on these topics throughout the year.
Talk to you next week.