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, September 30, 2016

Freedom Of Movement! An Important Key To Your Child’s Development!

Barry was an alert, skilled eleven month old when he joined our daycare. We realized immediately that he was a making no effort to pull himself up in his playard, had no crawling ability and in fact, resisted putting his feet on the floor.

This was extremely puzzling, since we have found that in the majority of cases, an infant will learn these skills without adult assistance and often before the parent realizes they are capable of these accomplishments. For the most part, these skills are self taught.

We requested details of his experiences to date and discovered that he had been:

-Kept in a sleep bag for both nap and night times until he was nine months.

-Had very little “bellytime” during awake hours.

-Sleeping on his back for all sleep times.

-Often in a car seat and if he fell asleep, remained there for his full nap time.

-Never encouraged to be independently mobile.

Since his health was great and he had no physical ailments including his bone development, it was clear that his delay was the result of his environment.

After one month, he was already crawling forward and backward, doing the “buttshuffle” and working hard toward accomplishing his crawling efforts with his arms and thighs extended.

Obviously, with a lot of effort and practice he is going to catch up, because we are all now making his path to success a priority. But what should have occurred naturally is now a lot of work for everyone and may have led to serious problems if we had not become involved.

Here are our suggestions that will allow development to occur naturally.

1. We are committed to having our children sleep on their belly from birth or at least three month of age. Please refer to guidelines on this from the CDC.

2. Whether you choose to have your child sleep on their back or stomach, do not use confining clothing. Make sure their sleepwear is loose enough for movement. A traditional pajama will provide warmth and ease of movement.

3. If your child is sleeping on their back then awake time should be on their belly.

4. Set the mattress low enough that the child can pull themselves up to the top bar in the crib and be safe.  

5. Usually once they can turn over on their own, many parents move them to belly sleeping. It is a sounder sleep, more developmentally beneficial and often reduces the child’s habit of playing in their bed.

6. During awake time, once they can sit up on their own, a playard will be safe and easily managed environment allowing your child to pull themselves up and develop/reinforce their leg muscles. It is also a safe area for their first steps as well as ongoing practice.

7. Time in a car seat, stroller, swing, bouncy chair, should be kept to a minimum.

When children are provided with the most supportive and beneficial first year their physical development is usually an effortless success!

Good luck!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Responsibility And Pride Of Teaching Our Children The Correct Use Of The English Language!

Amelia is almost two. She has been at our day care for one year, has a vocabulary of probably one hundred words. She frequently speaks in sentences or at least phrases.

Several weeks ago I was going through an animal book with her that unintentionally turned into an affirmation of a typical child’s verbal skills that reflect how they are spoken to and taught. She was enunciating every word I said: hippopotamus, boa constrictor, orangutan, white rhinoceros and flamingo.

I head read this book with her before, but this was the first time she began repeating every word.

It occurred to me once more as this was happening that because we have always communicated with all our child in grammatically correct and clearly enunciated sentences, that they are also capable of learning to do so at a very young age.

Years ago when my children were growing up, I recall reading about a theory, espoused by a child development professional, that a child would be more successful enunciating the English language if the IE was added to it.

Unfortunately this theory also fit with the general emphasis that our culture places on the baby stage. We typically hear potential parents say they would love to have a baby rather than using the world child or family. "Baby" is only one year of a person’s life out of possible 82 plus years!

At the time I found this opinion very puzzling, since my own children were at a young age when they became mostly fluent in English.

Now that I have had twenty three years of experience teaching language skills to hundreds of children at various stages of learning, I am positively convinced that this theory has absolutely no merit.

Unfortunately the habit has become so accepted that the majority of parents and the general adult population use this approach when communicating with all children. For example: dog, horse and cut/bruise/scrape are never used, what we hear is doggie, horsie and boo boo. The last one, boo boo, is of course a made up word supporting the baby culture. When any child joins our day care and is already somewhat verbal we are always shocked that they have no idea what cut, bruise or scrape even mean.

I find this circumstance disrespectful of a child’s intelligence and a strong reflection of our prioritizing of baby culture.

It is rare that you hear people say that they are planning and hoping to have a child or a family or children. Instead the common statement is “I really want to have a baby.”

Considering that the baby stage is only one year, this emphasis is often a barrier to any child achieving their maximum potential, socially, emotionally and academically. It also may interfere with their assertiveness and self-confidence.

Fortunately for many children, including those in our care, they are being treated like intelligent, responsible people and enjoy a full mature life because of that!

Thanks for letting me share one of my deepest beliefs with you!

Good luck!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Professional Therapy! It Is Not An Embarrassment – It Is a Wise Decision!

Raising children has always been the most important and challenging responsibility!

We have established a relationship with our parents that involves daily updates, effective directives to gain positive results when any behavior needs improvement, and if appropriate, counseling sessions with both parents.

We have had ongoing improvements and mostly excellent results with this approach. However, for certain situations, the process has demanded more time and in some cases, more knowledge than we have.

In these cases, we recommend family therapy with a practicing psychotherapist who has been wonderfully successfully with several previous families.

Even in this current culture where people seek expert advice for all their personal issues, we have found that to some of our parents this suggestion is a public admission of some level of failure.

In some cases, it has taken a lot of persuasion and in others the parents resisted until the behavior accelerated and the child was transferred to a special needs daycare. In one instance, he situation exploded with the child and parent while they were at our daycare. The parents then realized the child’s behavior was out of control and a sibling’s safety was at risk.

There is no embarrassment! Like all other problems in life, situations that have negative components always become more serious and sever when neglected!

Taking positive corrective action at the beginning is always the best solution! Your only concern is doing the best thing for your child and family! It is never what anyone else thinks!

Good luck!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Importance Of Preparing Everyone Involved For A Major Change!

We recently shared the excitement and joy of our recent graduation. We are continuing to see how these children are adjusting to their new environment, responsibilities and new friendships as they happen.

The impact this major event would have on their younger siblings was somewhat underplayed. The parents were surprised and unprepared for the emotional reaction that occurred on the actual graduation day and continued for several days after.

Several factors come in to play from the siblings’ perspective.

-The room is decorated and the graduates are wearing special celebratory clothing.

-The parents are present in the middle of the day and then leave to go back to work.

-All the attention is on the older child with no defined role for them.

-Younger siblings often see themselves as benefiting from all family events and in this once instance are unquestionably excluded.

We have found taking the following approach has had the best results in helping them make a positive adjustment!

1. Describe in some detail what the classroom will look like for the event.

2. Ensure they understand that you, the parents, will be present for the celebration and clearly explain that you will be leaving without them. It helps if you are clear on what time you’re returning to pick them up.

3. If possible, have the sibling play a role such as giving the graduate flowers.
If appropriate, coordinate a change involving the younger child that is necessary anyway such as a grow up car seat.

4.Rehearse how the younger child can express their congratulations.

Do Not
1. Treat them like a baby. Holding them, carrying them etc. If they are crying (which is a possibility) it is because they see themselves as not big enough for the occasion. So babying them will not make the situation better.

2. Buy them a gift. It is a maturing experience for a child to realize they cannot be the center of attention at every event.

3. Downplay any of the older child’s accomplishments and pride.

All milestones in any family require planning. You want to have everyone enjoy it based on their role in the event.

Good luck!