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, July 29, 2016

The Downside Of The Tangible Reward System and The Consequences!

Over the years we have had so many parents who used the instant reward system.

-Mary’s mom gives her a stamp on the tracking board every time she puts her clothes in the hamper, picks up her toys, does not cry when brushing her teeth, stays in her bed etc. When the designated space on the board is filled in, she can purchase a toy of her own choosing with a maximum cost of $25.

-Jeremy can have a lollipop every time he eats his meal, uses the toilet without soiling the floor, does not hit his sister for a day.

-Eric can buy a new lego project if he goes to bed for one week without having a tantrum,. This reward system is expanded as needed.

-Max resists leaving out daycare every evening when his mom arrives. She decides one time to offer him a treat at the ice cream shop on their way home even though he is picked up at 6 pm and dinner will be served shortly after they arrive home. She has realized six months later that she is bribing him with a food treat every time he does not want to follow her request. She not only feels trapped by the situation, but she realizes that it has negatively affected his eating habits at mealtime.

-Cindy shares that she will be given some candy when she is picked up one night if she eats all her lunch.

I could go on with dozens of additional examples because bribing is such a common option for parents when their requests or rules are not being followed.

What happens as a result?

-These children are no longer listening to their parents or following requests that are made.

-The bribes expand and multiply.

-You house begins to look like Toys R Us.

-Sugar becomes a staple of their diet.

-By the age of 6 they will be bargaining for a major purchase and you will have given up your responsibility to set their boundaries, reinforce their values, and generally have an enjoyable, positive relationship with your child.

Don’t let that happen!

Review what you have defined as your child’s boundaries, values and behavior that are important to you!

Both parents need to have a talk with their child together. Have an honest conversation and admit that as a family you have gone off track. Bring them in as partners to help everyone achieve the family’s original goals.

Rewards are acknowledging the accomplishments with verbal praise, high fives, hugs, an additional privilege (if appropriate). The goal is to have a mature, empathetic, socially skilled child.

It will not be easy, but it is possible!

Good luck!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Listening! The importance of the other side: listening to your child

Cheryl is a happy, bright three year old. She plays well with her friends, mostly follows the rules, can follow instructions during independent academic assignments, and is overall, a great child.

However, when her parents come to pick her up, her speaking tone rises ten decibels so that she never really speaks to them, but is shouting her requests and answers.

This habit is beginning to show up at daycare if she feels the other children are not listening to her or if we do not immediately respond to her requests. She is also using it if she is not getting her way during playtime. Sometimes the sound borders on a screech.

We have seen this before. It seems to happen mostly when parents might be still on a phone call while present to pick up their child, or if a parent (especially the mom) conducts a business at their home, and not surprisingly, we have heard the parents communicate in a harsh, loud, disrespectful tone.

Obviously this child does not feel she is being listen to and has resorted to a style of communication that she believes will get her attention.

It is not surprising that any child will seek whatever level of tone they feel will work for them.

1. Ensure that you are totally available to your child when arriving at daycare. They have not seen you all day and clearly need your undivided attention.

2. Refrain from having confrontational conversations in public or private when your child is present. I know this requires a lot of discipline and a firm agreement between the parents to be mature and respectful.

3. Arrange your work schedule, if you are conducting business from your home, to be completed when your child is present. If there are necessary follow-up activities, schedule them when your child is already in bed.

Do Not
1. Give your child corrective attention when they are screaming. Like crying, they must be calm before any discussion occurs.

2. Ever scream in anger at them. Obviously, they will copy you because they think this is how people communicate.

You always want your relationship to be a productive one. Your role as a parent is to provide the best possible example, to set clear guidelines with respect and to ensure to allow both quantity and quality time without interruptions and distractions.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Possible complications during breastfeeding

A Cynthia Anka Post

- Mastitis: infection and swelling of the breast, usually caused by a blocked duct
- Bacteria enters thru cracks in the nipple
- Soreness, redness, fever, yellow pus, fatigue; sign of infection
- Inverted nipples
- Sore/cracked nipples; issues with latching on

- If any of the above conditions occur, call your OBGYN and obtain advice
- If antibiotics are necessary, you will pump and dump your milk (supplement with stored milk or formula)
- Keep nipples clean and dry
- Clean before and after feeding

- Engorged: Fast let-down of milk thru ducts: swelling of tissue with milk, increase blood supply; hard and tender, skin shiny and hot
- Pump or manually express 1oz to relieve the breast before feeding. Advisable to pump after feeding to empty the breast and avoid
   the same thing happening at the next feed
- Apply moist heat 30 minutes (approximately) before a feed
- Massage breast

- Blocked ducts:
   Nursing will help eliminate this problem and get milk to flow
   Massage down from top of breast to nipple either for comfort or before feeding
   Warm compresses
   Wear loose clothing
   Keep breast clean

- Helpful products:
   Aloe vera gel
   Slippery Elm
   Avocado Oil
   Olive oil
   Nipple covers
- Wash off any product before feeding
- Do not use soap, rubbing alcohol, or petroleum based products
- Air dry breast after washing

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Second Most Important Responsibility Of A Parent Is To Be Honest! (Maybe it’s the first)

Thomas arrives at daycare after lunch to pick up his daughter. Several of the children ask where she is going. Thomas responds that Cheryl (his daughter) has a doctor’s appointment. When one of the children specifically inquires whether she is going to get a shot, Thomas tries to move quickly out the door and places his finger over his lips as a sign to the questioning child to please be quiet and that he also intends not to answer that question.

Later that same day, Ronald mentions that his dad is picking him up early so they can go to the museum. It happened that the two previous days he had to be picked up by a family friend instead of his parents. He was really looking forward to this special time with his dad.

His dad finally arrived at 6:40pm. This particular day all the other children had been picked up by 6:00. When Ronald greeted his dad with the comment “I thought you were picking me up early” his dad’s reply was “This is early!”

These two situations are slightly different but cause the same result.

1. Both parents show disrespect for their child by lying to them. The first was by omission and the second was by commission.

2. Both parents are establishing a relationship of mistrust, hurt feelings, loss of credibility and confusion.

Every parent is not only the source of values, behavior standards and boundaries, but is also their child’s most important role model.

-Always tell your child the truth.

-Provide them with the details that will directly affect them.

-Prepare them for situations that could possibly be traumatic or painful. For example, regarding Cheryl’s visit to the doctor, her dad could say “You are scheduled to have a shot and it is probably going to hurt. It’s ok if you cry, I will be right there with you. Your mom and I are providing you with protection so you will never have (Whatever the shot was for).” Cheryl will probably talk about it all the way to the doctor’s office. Reassure her. She could still be upset when it happens, but she will know you told her the truth!

-In the second case, always admit it when you have not kept a promise. Ronald’s dad should have done two things. Called our daycare as soon as he realized he was not going to be able to keep his promise, and apologized to Ronald when he arrived.

Depending on his schedule, he needs to select another date to keep that commitment. He needs to make sure to block out that time on his schedule because it is the most important thing he has to do.

Do not
-Delude yourself that it doesn’t matter what you tell your child, that they will “probably forget it anyway”.

-Treat them as less important than your other business and personal responsibilities, they’re number 1!

-Never lie to them or to anyone else when they are present.

Think of it this way, if a friend or co-worker or business associate treated you this way, would you respond this way or be silent? Probably not!

Treat your child as the most important responsibility you have in your life. Good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Unconditional, consistent love! The importance of expressing your positive feelings for your child all the time, not just when they are sick or good!

Derek’s parents have a history of mostly being preoccupied with their careers. They rarely pick him up early (before 6pm) and he is often the last one at daycare. We rarely observe verbal or physical “loving” expressions and in fact none of us can recall seeing him hugged or kissed by either parent. He often is lacking basic necessities such as clothing that fits correctly, attendance at special events, or even play dates at his home.

The only exceptions to the above occur when he is sick or we had to report that his is breaking day care rules. He seems pleased to share conflicts that he has had with his friends.

Over time, we noticed that he is exaggerating (or may be faking) health problems.

Several months ago he was diagnosed with a chronic respiratory condition that understandably has alarmed his parents. He is now experiencing ongoing attention because of that fact, his whole behavior has changed. He seems to exaggerate his condition when they appear and has become demanding of them.

He has quickly learned that he has finally found something that demands their attention. Even his physical demeanor has changes. He has taken responsibility for his own survival and mostly was assertive and independent. Now he stops playing, takes on a stooped body shape and speaks in a whining tone when they appear.

We are concerned with the changes in him, and in fact compare his behavior to that of other children we have had over the years who were in similar situations.

These visible symptoms of the need for any child to feel loved and attended to is truly the basis of emotional expression.

We shared our observations with the parents and are reinforcing the coaching we originally provided. It took them a while to realize we were not exaggerating.

The most fulfilling and beneficial relationship is based on the following.


1. Let your child know that you love them unconditionally, no matter what.

2. Separate their actions from who they are. You may not like what they say or do, but who love who they are.

3. Treat an illness for what it is: a condition to care for and about, but not the only relationship you have with your child.

4. Provide whatever time and care they need to be healthy, but do not allow that to dominate your relationship and be the only topic of conversation you have.

5. Give them quality time every day! They should have at least 2.5 to 3 hours each day between daycare and bedtime, and be totally present with them.

6. Invest in an inflatable bed for you if you think their condition is serious and they should not be left alone.

It is concerning and amazing to us how many times we have seen this type of relationship dominate. Children often feel good about being sick, especially if they get to sleep with their parents when that occurs.

Your child’s self confidence and emotional health are keys to their future. Support it, protect it, and nurture it!

Good luck!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Is Your Infant Getting Enough Nourishment

A Cynthia Anka Post

The basic needs of all infants is nourishment, sufficient sleep, changing diapers and elimination of gas bubbles in stomach (burping)

Information was given in a previous blog regarding the sleep/feeding rhythm. Here are signs to watch for to help you assess the feeding rhythm and health of your infant.

- Should sleep throughout a sleep time without frequent wakes
- Should hear sucking and swallowing when eating
- Should sleep throughout most of the feed in the first months and then may occasionally doze when older
- Should fall asleep on night time feed
- Should not be doing any increase crying while feeding or while sleeping
- Should have sufficient urine output as per age
- Should have sufficient weight gain. This is probably the most significant sign. Should gain about 2 pounds each month and stay in an upward climb on growth chart
- Should establish sleep rhythm in sync with feeding pattern and amounts
- Should increase volumes of milk intake with age growth

Being aware of the feeding rhythm with keep you in sync with your child's growth and health. Do not hesitate to communicate with your child's pediatrician if you have any concerns. You are the parent and know your child best and should be asking questions and should be satisfied with the answers given. If not, continue to ask until you are.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Two Parents With High Demand Careers, What To Do?

We received a challenging question, “I’ve been offered a major promotion that will be very time demanding. My husband is already in a high powered position that includes long hours and frequent travel. What should I do?”

Many of our parents have been in this same position and arrived at different decisions.

Those who turned down the offer, both moms and dads, felt strongly that their family would be negatively impacted if both parents were in a position of spending less time with their children. This was even when they had a full time nanny that was highly skilled and very dedicated to their children.

These families were already in situations where one parent was not available for nightly dinner and bedtime and often away for important invents such as birthdays, school activities, family gatherings and important milestones. They found it challenging to compensate for these losses and chose not to increase and emphasize the situation.

From our perspective, we observed that the children who had both parents absent from typical family share time, i.e. dinner, bedtime, trips to museums, parks, playdates and sports events, often made statements such as “I’m not important”  and “Daddy and mommy are always busy”. They were often taken to birthday parties and playdates by another child’s parent and usually commented on that fact.

They also had a higher rate of fabricating illness to get attention, or relied on teachers and friends’ parents for attention. We also had several children express their feelings in anger towards their friends instead of their parent; which they usually expressed physically.

We are very aware that a parent’s basic responsibility is to support their children and be in a position to give them the best education while living in a desirable community. They also fear that if they turn down an opportunity there may not be another one anytime soon.

Fortunately our culture is more supportive of the family unit than it has ever been and most bosses will support the decision a parent will make to remain accessible to their family.

It is a big decision! Do you favor your time with you child or your personal success that may have a negative impact on your role as a parent?

We believe that especially during the first five years, which are so important in terms of the experiences of a child that build confidence, leadership, values, boundaries, security and love, that at least one parent has the responsibility to be present for them.

Good luck with such a huge decision!