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, August 26, 2016

The Critical Importance Of Family Respect!

Evelyn is almost five. She joined our daycare when she was eighteen months old. She was very excited that she was going to have a new little brother, Mark.

Evelyn and Mark’s relationship was not exactly warm from the beginning, partly because their mom returned to work shortly after Mark was born. She was stretched thin and stressed by her responsibilities. At the time, their Dad was often traveling for work and missed a lot of the early relationship building.

When Mark joined our daycare at eighteen months, it was evident he was an extremely charming child in every way and did not have to work very hard to get all the attention.

The basis of the family’s relationships was not uncommon i.e. children competing for attention, a second child who is much more assertive than the first, and the parents unknowingly and unintentionally giving much more attention to the younger child than the older one.

Finally what began to alarm us was that the parents were always responding to Mark first as he became a screamer and a tantrum manipulator, completely dominating the family dynamic.

Most of the interactive communication in the family involved everyone talking at the same time. In most cases, Evelyn would start the conversation, Mark would talk over her, at the same time the parents would often be responding to Mark and correcting Evelyn.

The parents were constantly being referees, Evelyn was being held accountable all the time and Mark was given too much power.

There was a total lack of role responsibility and personal respect.

Because we have experienced that situation repeatedly, we were able to help these parents correct the destructive family dynamic by providing the following guidelines.

1. Guarantee the same quantity and quality of interaction with each child.

2. Express yourself respectfully at all times and provide similar terminology for the children that is always used with a respectful tone.

3. Think before you speak and be especially sensitive to the older child’s personality needs. They are often very sensitive to the constant competition.

4.Spend time wisely. Have activities with each child that are interesting, rewarding and relevant.

Do Not
1. Every compromise or change direction at the expense of the older child i.e. “It’s time to leave the park now.” The older child starts walking to the car-the younger child begins crying that they want to stay longer- the parent changes the course and says they will stay a little longer, and then when the younger child realizes they have won they want to leave and the parents says it is now time to go. We see some version of this behavior all the time.

2. Allow the younger child to interrupt their sibling’s conversations. They have to wait until the initial communication is complete.

3. Say any words that are psychologically or emotionally hurtful if you have to apologize for it.

Typically a second child has no concept of what life could be like if they were an only child, but the first child remembers it well.

Be caring, fair and sensitive!
Good Luck!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Our Graduation Celebration!

Like all graduations, this one came with very mixed feelings. We are so proud of their accomplishments but are also already feeling some anxiety not having them with us every day.

They are moving on to kindergarten and are confident, skilled, knowledgeable, assertive and best friends. They are also a little sad that they will be in different schools.

If they follow the path of many of our former graduates, they will still be friends in college.

Interestingly, we noticed some measurable social changes this year that may have been happening for a while. Our five year old girls (yes, it was only girls) were already behaving as if they were in middle school. Their primary social activity was to “hang out” and talk. Even when they were encouraged to play a game it would quickly evolve into a conversation that seemed to go on forever.

Their favorite entertainment? Playing beauty parlor which included hair styling, facial care and makeup. They were much more conscious of each other’s wardrobes than I can remember former graduates being.

Socially, they were much more aware than former students. I am sure that this was a progression over the years but this year became their focus.

The exciting part is that all this did not detract from their academic interest and performance. They excelled in reading, critical thinking and even mastered early levels of grammatical structure.

Every year these wonderful children amaze me!

We will really miss them, but we are so proud!


Friday, August 5, 2016

The challenge of toilet training a strong willed, independent twenty month old!

Krista joined our daycare when she was twelve months old. We realized after several months that she was not only intelligent, but also opinionated, highly skilled, and extremely independent.

She fit right in with our philosophy and thrived in our environment. Our approach worked easily and effectively with her, so we were not completely surprised when at eighteen months, she began resisting having her diaper changed.

We suggested that if she did not like to have her diaper changed, then she was going to have to use the toilet.

After a few days of this ongoing interaction, she arrived one day, walked into the bathroom, moved the stool in front of the toilet, climbed up and tried to take her diaper off. We worked out the logistics with her and began our training.

The challenge with her was acknowledging she needed to be in control, rather than our usual process of taking our training child to the bathroom on a schedule of timed intervals.

She was able to hold her pee much longer than most children in training, so we found ourselves being very anxious that she would have accidents.

If anything, she often sat on the toilet for twenty to thirty minutes before completing her bathroom task.

Periodically, we found ourselves doubting she could last so long between trips to the bathroom. It was hard to back off and let her be in control.

She continued to be in a diaper for her night bedtime, but never had an accident during naptime and was doing her bowel movements in the toilet by the third day.

Fortunately, we have had several children over the years like Krista, both boys and girls.

The keys to our success with children were:

1. Really respecting what we already know about their personality type and believing it would transfer successfully to one of the most demanding and mature responsibilities a young child has.

2. Creating an environment where they have clear guidelines and expectations and their strengths are encouraged and supported.

3.Understanding that when a  child is acknowledged as intelligent, you will often be astonished where their abilities will take them.

4. Not letting the fact that they are learning new skills faster than expected interfere with their development.

5. Making whatever adjustments necessary to support them!

Enjoy that challenge every day! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A question on sleep from a mother

A Cynthia Anka Post

This is a Mom writing about her 2 month old son.

We have had a wonky day or two and the result is that he has been sleeping long stretches at night - which is good! - but, during the day, he is awake a lot. Is this how he is transitioning to sleeping through the night?"

Continued: "It all started Thursday night hen he had a super slow long feed. Partially because I think there may have been air in the bottle and no suction so he was not getting any milk. Once he fed and fell asleep, he did sleep 5 hours and 44 minutes."

Yesterday, had a doctor's appointment. Had to wait a long time and he was mostly awake. Did a partial feed. After getting home, he finished the feed and slept for less than an hour. I fed him more and he tried to go back to sleep but couldn't. The whole day was thrown off and he never really slept enough or ate enough to sleep enough and hence the vicious cycle. I tried to space out the feedings so he was hungrier but did not help. It was as if he was fighting sleep. Would close his eyes and doze but be wide awake for no reason. In the evening, he ate 220ml (8+oz) and slept 6 hours and 20 minutes."

The response back to the Mom:

Both having the feed take so long the night before and the doctor appointment threw him off his rhythm. Nothing during the day happens to transition to sleeping thru the night except the increase in ml/oz at the four feeds. Naps and feedings stay the same. For instance, say that he eats 6oz 4x/day, then he will sleep 6-7 hours at night and wake for only one feed ( at 2 months). Should be able to get his rhythm back within a day. When the rhythm is interrupted, he gets overstimulated and overtired and the upside down cycle happens. Was a good idea to try to stretch out the feed. Fatigue will win out hunger and trying to get him to sleep longer will help the rhythm adjust quickly.