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.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
I shared the following case study with these parents.
Bernice graduated three years ago, like all children she benefited from being in our daycare, but the strongest influence in her life was her parents. When she first joined our daycare, I thought of them as being almost ideal.
-They were always on the same page.
-They gave clear directives.
-They followed up on what they said.
-They spent their non-working time with Bernice exposing her to creative, educational, social and fun experiences.
Then both parents changed careers at the same time. These career were more demanding in every possible way: time commitment, challenges, availability and stress.
Without realizing it, they were communicating with each other while at home almost exclusively about their work conditions and challenges and only focused on Bernice’s world when she acted out, i.e. breaking rules, not listening, playing at mealtime, stalling bedtime.
One incident stands out in my mind. Her dad came to pick her up and changed his initial request to her five times until he arrived at a version she approved of. Then he congratulated her on being such a good listener.
He was now settling for whatever worked so he could get home to complete a follow-up assignment.
He had easily given up his role as a guiding parent.
She was still at our daycare for two more years and at the time she graduated, we were witnessing a major change in who she was and her relationship with her parents.
Do children change over such a long period? Of course. But, they should not lose their core values, their self-confidence and their important guiding relationship with their parents.
She was no longer their priority. The amount of time they spent together was reduced to a bare minimum. She was neglected, was constantly pushing her boundaries to the extreme and displayed both physical and verbal signs of aggression.
She was still loving and sweet on occasion, but no longer the confident, outgoing, high performing child she had been.
The parents who raised this question understood the impact their decision could have on their family and decided that the best solution for them was for the dad to postpone the launch of his own business for a few years. This ensured that one parent was always available for their children. He felt confident that an opportunity would open up for him again in the future.
We are also working with another family right now who have taken on a major career change and are being challenged to make this all work for their daughter. They have finally found a really reliable baby sitter to provide care for their daughter, but are still witnessing behavior changes that are not positive.
Their present plan is to figure out how they can work out a better schedule so they are no relying on the sitter so much and spending some additional time together before the situation gets out of hand.
Our families all consist of two working parents. Under those circumstances, being committed and effective parents is already a challenge.
In our experience, having only one parent with a demanding high powered position that includes long hours and travel and the other parent hopefully with some schedule flexibility and less pressure in their workplace is less stressful and more realistically successful. It usually allows for more direct parent/child time.
A nanny/babysitter, even when great, is no substitute for the parent’s involvement. For their best well-being they need time and involvement with their parent.
Do everything you can not to shortchange them!
Friday, October 14, 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016
The last time I went on this search I found it challenging since this seems to no longer be a popular item. However what I found when I came to the kitchenware section of an extremely popular store was that not only did they have 0 of the style I was looking for, but instead had 40 choices of sippee cups! Some had a permanent straw instead but most had some form of an extended spout with a single or multi-hole tip.
I have forever banned these cups from my daycare and have explained to all my parents the reasons behind my decision. I now realize that the market is so saturated with this style that an option is hard to find.
Why I do not approve of sippee cups:
1. The name itself is a distortion of the English language. Also, unless you are a professional wine taster, you do not sup liquid, you drink it.
2.These cups were with 8 oz or larger.
What do they get filled with?
Water- the campaign to convince everyone to drink eight 8oz cups of water per day was created by two of the major soft drink companies who had each purchased a water bottling company. They saw this as a new market for them and wished to expand it.
Is water necessary? Yes, but it should be in proportion to a person’s body weight. These containers were large enough to accommodate a child going on a safari.
Juice- Children can have some juice during the day. Very importantly, the amount needs to be balanced by the amount of fruit they might consume during the day. Many bottled juices also contain added sugar. At any given time, they should not have more than 3 to 4oz twice a day.
Milk- It is unusual that these containers are used for milk, but if they are, remember milk is a food and large quantities close to meal times can have a negative impact on the amount of solid food they may consume. I keep remembering a parent who was complaining that her son was not eating his dinner and then I discovered she was giving him 8oz of milk prior to his meal.
-The continued sucking activity on sippee cups. One of the reasons children should no longer take a bottle or be nursed after a certain point is because their tongue muscles need to develop for speech. Continuing to engage in a sucking motion on an ongoing basis could lead to a speech impediment.
-Excessive amount of liquid as a regular diet can dramatically reduce the child’s interest in food that must be chewed. The body may also become deficient in the adequate amount of solid food for the best nutritional benefits for development and growth.
-There should be an assigned location in the home where the child is expected to be when they need a drink. This will keep any spillage accidents to a minimum as well as control the quantity of liquid intake.
-For the trips to the park or any outside activity, take a small regular water bottle. There will be plenty for the average excursion and can be easily handled by a child.
The positive of sippee cups? NONE!
1. We introduced our children to a regular small cup (5oz) as early as nine months. We usually start with water and then add their formula, breast milk or whole milk as they are getting closer to discontinuing the bottle or being nursed.
2. I have also noticed a major change in the food offering for children at some stores. Mixed food are being pureed and presented in pouch like containers with spouts so children can ingest them but just sucking.
3. I am all for the conveniences and progress, but not at the expense of our children’s health and family relationships as one of the most bonding experiences is sharing food together. Who knows what the trend may also be doing to their digestive systems.
4. Getting back to the beginning, the good news is that I found those cups online, primarily at kitchenware sites. So you can be doing the right thing without leaving your home.
I know this approach may be a major change for you and your family, it is one of the first steps to your child becoming more skilled and confidant.
I know for certain it is the right thing to do!