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!

Friday, May 27, 2016

How Can You Keep Your Family On A Healthy Schedule During Holiday/Vacation Season?

Here we are starting holiday and vacation time again with all the demands of more travel, visits with friends and family, outdoor summer activities, and vacations from daycare and school schedules.

I was reminded of this when four of our children on Monday were absolutely exhausted and having a difficult time handling normal tasks and relationships. These children each napped for four hours, more than double their normal sleep pattern.

To achieve a successful summer season, you need to have some plans in place!


1.Accommodate an earlier bedtime if your child is going to miss their afternoon nap. Your daily activity should not extend past their dinner time.

2. Plan a nap if they will be involved in an activity that will delay their night bedtime.

3. Monitor sugar content in their diet and keep it to a minimum. It is so easy when you are off their normal routine to end up with a high sugar diet.

4. Always have healthy snacks handy. Stick to the rule of “no snacks prior to meal time”.

5. Make sure that family and friends are advised of rules that are important to you and expect them to follow your request.

6. Consider your child’s best interest when arranging sleep accommodations. If you are traveling or having sleepover guests, no sharing an adult bed. Inflatable beds are a great option. Your child will reward you if their sleep pattern in not disturbed.

7. Have a backpack for each child if you are traveling away from home. Include a few of their favorite toys and books and a few new ones that will have long entertainment value. Avoid toys with small parts that may be easily lost.

Do Not

1. Arrange long exhausting travel days. It only takes one of them to disrupt your child’s behavior.

2. Introduce them to more than one new food at a time in case it disrupts their digestive system or they have an allergic reaction.

3. Expect them to be surrounded by adults all the time and benefit from that. Connect with child friendly adventures all the way instead.

4Summers that are planned at home or away from a child friendly perspective can be wonderful experiences, entertaining and educations. Consider their interests and needs and you will be overjoyed with the results. Also check out my other post on Holiday Tips For Parents

Start off with a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday. 

Talk to you next week! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Communication is key to great parenting!

A Cynthia Anka Post

The following quote is from a father:
"Talk to your baby from the beginning and tell him all the little things you're doing. My son would calm noticeably when Cynthia spoke telling him what she was doing. He somehow knew his needs were going to be met and he could relax. Even more surprising and rewarding was discovering that if this communication is open between you and your baby from the start, he will begin to "talk" to you, too. Listening, understanding and communicating are key."

These words are exemplary. Communication is so important. Words are the way to connect with your infant in so many ways. They are also how to show your infant that have the utmost respect for her.
Remember your child has heard voices and sounds in utero and will now be able to talk with you in person. He understands you and will respond with verbal sounds called CRYING. Yes, crying is your infant's way of communicating. This is the way they tell you what they need.

Four basic cries:
BM diaper

Listening to your infant and learning the sounds for the above will make such a difference for you. Hearing crying can be very unsettling. Taking the time to listen will make you and your infant more relaxed and more connected.

Friday, May 20, 2016

What Approach Do We Take To Minimize Any Anxiety Our Son May Have After His Sister Is Born?

Fortunately John and Eliana wanted to ensure that their two and a half year old son, Jaden, would not only be prepared and welcoming for his sister, but that he would feel involved in the process from the beginning.

They informed him as soon as the pregnancy was considered safe, which is probably ideal timing for any announcement. 

We shared our guidelines for Jaden’s education, involvement, and responsibility. 


-Use a current calendar or purchase a special one and mark important milestones as they occur. Jaden requested a special one which they named the “Lucia Calendar”, after his sister’s chosen name.

-Use all the correct language when describing any milestone in the process. This is not only because it is the correct thing to do, but also because he will be overhearing comments and conversations. You want him to feel informed and connected. Always answer honestly and without including unnecessary detail. 

-Respond to any question or request Jaden may make. He became fascinated with the knowledge that his mom was eating for herself and his sister. So he suggested that she have two plates, bowls or any other appropriate utensil. One he called the mom dish and the other was called the Lucia dish.

-Have him involved in clothing and furniture purchases including bedding.

-Share any ultrasound pictures with him. Some of our parents have taken their children to the actual procedure, a choice that also depends on the physician involved.

-Before Lucia was born and brought home, assign Jaden some responsibilities. Examples are: getting diapers and wipes, assisting at bath time with powder and fresh clothing. 

-Advise him of where she is going to sleep. This is especially important if she is going to share the parents’ room at the beginning. Hopefully that is for a specific time.

-There was a possibility she would be sharing his room in a few months, so this was discussed and clarified that they would designate a specific area so that he would not be moved totally out of his space.  

-Make sure he knows what arrangements are in place when you go to the hospital or wherever the birthing is occurring.

-Have him visit as soon as possible if he is allowed to be with her that is the best approach.

-Schedule special time between mom and Jaden even in the first week after Lucia’s birth so he never feels neglected.

-Request that family and friends ask him about his activities before they talk about the new baby. He is a unique person first, not only a big brother.

We are really please about how positive Jaden feels about Lucia. She was moved into Jaden’s room at five months and he could not have been happier or prouder.

There were a lot of milestones in their first year together, but John and Eliana had created such a honest and warm environment that some major steps went very smoothly. I.e. the few times she woke him up too early, they were able to resolve with an earlier nap for him.

At nineteen months, he still adores her and we are continually communicating so we stay ahead as new developments occur.

Everyone is pretty satisfied that they have come this far so successfully. Part of that success was respecting Jason’s role throughout the process.

We hope everyone reading this has a similar result! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Transitioning With Bottle Feeding

A Cynthia Anka Post

A Mom wrote: 

"Been using the Avent 2 for a few feeds and milk is spilling out of his mouth. I am trying to fill the nipple only half way and not tilt the bottle too much but it is still happening. I tried the 1 nipple and that was frustrating him. Any recommendations?"

Transitioning from one nipple level to the next can be a little tricky depending on your child and the feeding habits. This little boy was a premie so he was consuming the amounts for his age but, physically, he was small for his age. 

It is best to go ahead and transition to the next level when you are being given cues that it is time. Your infant will become fussy when feeding, only eat a small amount, just enough to not be hungry but not enough to be satiated, sleep patterns with shorten and may be unusually gassy since having to suck harder to eat. 

The best way to switch is to lay the bottle flat so that nipple is only half full. Your infant will begin to suck. If the suck is too strong for the faster flow, milk may come out too quickly and your infant might choke a bit. Just take the bottle out and get things under control and then try again. May take a couple of feeds for it to register that the flow is faster and he will adjust the suck. 

Some infants switch with no problem. Helps if you have read the cues and the timing is right. 

As for the Mom above, what I suggested was to poke a hole with a sterilized needle to open the flow a bit which would allow her son to adjust this sucking and feed properly. Given a little time, she then switched to level 2 and he did very well. 

Infants want to eat well and eat quickly. Not really into working very hard to get fed. They want to be fully satiated and then sleep a while until hungry again. 

Have a specific parenting question? Email us at

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Power Of “No”!!! The Importance And Wisdom Of Using It Wisely!

Elias joined our daycare when he was three years old. We noticed when he visited with Ellen, his mom, that he appeared to be very much in charge of their relationship, was very demanding, and usually cried when he did not get his way. He was also responding negatively when Ellen even hesitantly requested anything of him. There would always be a resounding NO from him.

Why did we consider accepting him? Primarily because they were good friends of one of our families, stated that they desperately needed help, and finally begged us! Actually this was not the greatest challenge we have ever had and this is essentially our commitment to families.

We are experienced enough to realize that the older the child, the more challenging it is to have a positive influence on that child’s behavior and their relationships.

Initially we enjoyed more of Elias’ sweeter side and were pleased that he had good communication skills. However, he quickly began demanding help with all of his tasks, displayed poorly developed play skills, a low level of concentration and a short attention span. In short he was immature for his age.

But what stood out above all those challenges was his mastery of the word “NO”! He not only used it when any directive or situation displeased him, but he did the exact opposite i.e. ignored the word when it was used by anyone else, teacher or playmate.

This interest in the word “no” is quite common in the eighteen to twenty four month old development cycle and is relatively easy to control and not become un-managed. But by the age of three, Elias had taken complete control of it.

The Plan

1. It was critical that Ellen was coached and updated on a daily basis.

2. She immediately had to stop using the word “no” when not following up on it.

3. She had to be firm and not give in to him when he said it.

4. She had to be 100% consistent.

5. She had to handle any crying outburst calmly, remove Elias from the social environment until he was calm, and then repeat the request that was communicated to him.

The Result

1. His tendency to automatically respond with a “no” is still not perfect. Each time it happens he is reminded of the request that was made and is expected to follow through-no exceptions.

2. He is verbally congratulated for every success with a high five and an appropriate phrase.

3. His motivation was to remain in the social activity with his friends.

Elias came to daycare yesterday with flowers. Ellen shared that it was his idea to purchase them while at the super market.

It is not often that we get a thank you gesture from a child! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Joy and Amazement We Experience When Children Exceed Our Expectations Truly Makes Our Day!

As you know, we believe children are incredibly intelligent. We give them a lot of responsibility for decision making, problem solving, making choices, listening and following our requests.

So when they exceed our expectations it is truly an affirmation of their ability and their sense of pride and confidence in themselves.

Some of our recent favorites:

1. When a nineteen month old has made up her mind that she wants to be toilet trained, but thinks she can do it standing up like her brother. It is interesting to see her process the message that she has to do it like her mom and not her brother. After days of going through this process incorrectly, she finally looked at me and said “okay” got the stool herself and sat on the toilet. There were high fives all around for her performance.

2. When my son and his family, including a three year old boy, are visiting and challenged by a puzzle they have selected to do together, a three and a half year old offers to help. They are blown away by her confidence and skill. They spend an entire dinner engagement talking about the experience with friends.

3. We have a five year old and a four and a half year old who are both so anxious to read that we provided them with a set of “Bob Books” to take home and practice their skills. This afforded them more time to practice than we have at our daycare. Last week I decided to have them read to the rest of the group. Not only were they confident, perfect and proud, but their performance excited the other children so much they are requesting more reading time for themselves.  

All of you have similar experiences as the ones we shared. It is really important that you applaud your child when you witness one. This is one of the best building blocks of self confidence.

But it is also important that you reward yourself! Some combination of skills, knowledge and communication has allowed your child to step out of the box and challenge themselves with great success.

This message is particularly directed at moms who tend to be critical of their abilities and performance and rarely give themselves any reward.

It’s mother’s Day! Time to look on the bright side of your performance and accept some of the credit for the skills, knowledge and confidence your child has.

You are working full time at home or outside of the home while you are raising your child. The hardest challenge ever!

Have a Happy Mother’s Day!