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, December 15, 2017

Holiday Joys And Pitfalls!

We have already begun the holiday journey that can be exhilarating, joyful, and rewarding while creating family memories that can be chronicled and drawn on for years, or you can experience a journey that will be regrettable and disappointing.

How do you ensure the first result will happen and not the second?


1.Above all else, make sure your child is getting enough sleep. If they are still an infant and napping twice a day, try to schedule your activities so they can remain well rested. The same approach is successful with a child who is used to one nap a day. Keeping them up all day and then expecting them to go to bed earlier and make up for the loss of sleep rarely works.

2.Keep high sugar foods to a minimum! Contrary to some experts, sugar does have a negative impact on their behavior and their eating habits.

3.Always inform them before and activity exactly what is going to happen and what you expect of them. Share the names of people they may be meeting for the first time. Provide them with some information about them so they will already have a connection.

4.Space out your social schedule so they get a break inbetween.

5.Keep all plans age appropriate. It is hard for a child to spend more than an hour or so in an adult environment.

6.Plan as much time as possible in child friendly activities. They have already been excited about the holidays since Halloween, so make sure some of their time is low key and calm.

Do Not
1.Over plan activities so they feel they are on a treadmill. This may result in unacceptable behavior.

2.Spend too much time in the adult world.

3.Take them into busy shopping environments unless it is absolutely necessary. Always have a conversation about whether they can make a purchase. Be firm and calm about it.

4.Allow them to break any existing rules because this is holiday time, you will be opening a door to problems and also losing credibility.

5.Expect too much of yourself! You need rest too!

6.Hesitate to turn down an invitation when everyone is already tired.

With good planning and communication, holiday time can be an adventure with wonderful memories!

We will be back in the New Year!

Have a great holiday time!

Good Luck!

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Critical Importance Of 100% Consistency!

David was almost two. He was very verbal, independent, caring, and curious.

We began seeing a slight change in his behavior that escalated to a major change.

He suddenly wanted help with tasks he had always completed himself.

1.Putting away his blanket after nap.

2.Getting his shoes and socks and bringing them to a teacher to get minor assistance.

3.Feeding himself at lunch time.

4.Organizing games with his friends or independently entertaining himself.

He also began crying over insignificant issues, instead of talking.

1.When someone took a toy.

2.When he asked for something he could not have.

3.When he was required to complete a task he knew how to do.

4.When he wanted a toy someone else was using.

5.When he was taking a nap or waking up from a nap.

We discussed these issues with his mom who noted that many of these behaviors were occurring at home as well.

These behaviors continued until one day was his birthday party. He sat down at the lunch table and refused to eat without help. We reminded him that there was a planned party following lunch but no one could participate in the party if they did not finish their lunch.

Normally that reminder immediately changes the dynamic and the involved child begins to eat and the party goes on as planned.

In this instance, David absolutely refused and kept asking for help, kept crying, and was finally told that the party was cancelled and would be held the next day if he was then able to take care of his responsibilities.

I called the mom to alert her to what had happened and understandably she inquired whether I could make an exception since it was his birthday.

Fortunately I said that I could not break a rule since I would immediately undermine my own credibility.

When David returned the following day, he seemed calm, happy, amazingly sweet and more like his old self.

I reminded him that I had planned to have the birthday cake that day. He had to decide whether he wanted to be an “independent and positive boy” and eat all his lunch without assistance.

What happened next was the amazing part- absolutely no crying. He was super positive, happy and interactive. He not only returned to the child he had been, but actually a more mature and positive version.

A child will often regress and test when on the cusp of a big change, turning two was a big deal. He needed to know that even when he misbehaved, was unkind to his friends, and seemed to lose confidence, we make it clear we still loved him and could wait for him to feel safe in moving forward because we would love him even more.

Understand that your child may test the rules, resist his responsibilities, and challenge your directives when they are ready to move to a whole new level.

You have to let him know it is safe to challenge you, but you will remain in charge of what is best for him and welcome him when he understands that.

Know what matters to you. You are their teacher, their source of survival, and their main resource. They will want to please you when you are clear in your expectations and are consistent.

Kudos to his mom who shared with him that she had spoken to me and totally supported my actions.

It is a challenge but you can do it!

Good luck!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Advantage and Joy Of Highly Developed Language Skills!

We have always placed a strong emphasis on communication.


1.Because we believe all children are capable of achieving that goal.

2.It makes interaction with an infant, toddler, and young child measurably more successful and rewarding.

3.Because we have proven that our approach benefits every single child and is transferable to any size group as well as an individual child.

How does it work?

1.Regardless of the child’s age, all caregivers (parents, nannies, relative, daycare workers) must communicate in concise, appropriate, clearly enunciated phrases and sentences every single time they speak.

2.Develop clear short phrases for frequently repeated actions and tasks.

3.Ensure all communication is grammatically correct.

4.Do not distort the language adding “ie” or “y” sounds to words. It is not make it sound cute, it is simply incorrect.

5.When a child is mispronouncing a word or making their statement difficult to understand, do not repeat what they said! Instead, say it again correctly. If they continue to try to enunciate correctly, stick with them and congratulate them when they improve.

6.Repeating an incorrect pronunciation of a word only confuses them, they are actually trying to imitate you!

A typical plan could be:

1.Set aside some time each day to practice sounds they may be challenged by. If a child has used any motions or devices to satisfy their sensory needs after the age of one i.e. pacifier, thumb or any soft item, they may be still sucking on, this actually may have delayed their tongue and oral cavity muscles from developing properly to support good speech skills. In this case you will need to work with them to reduce or discontinue these behaviors in order to help them achieve correct speech. A good resource is a CD called “Speechercise” by Twin Sisters Productions. We have used this before on some of our children.

2.Get in the habit of always using the correct words in order to broaden their vocabulary.

3.When they deliver any grammatically incorrect statement, this is how you handle is. Say, “This is how you say that” and have them repeat it correctly. It is amazing how quickly they catch on.
Apply this principle throughout the day. A major reward is how quickly they will successfully use these skills in their own verbal interaction.

Since you are already know that they are intelligent from the day they are born, you can expect them to sound intelligent if you make the educated investment in developing speech skills.

The best feedback we get is from our parents when their child is in a social situation with their peers.
Their confidence and skills always stand out, even to their own parents  as well as everyone in attendance.

The reward is everyone’s!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tips On How To Have A Successful First Year, Whether Breastfeeding Or Bottle Feeding Your Infant!

The first year with your infant can be extremely challenging, especially when it comes to their most important source of nourishment “milk”!

Here are some tips to help you navigate the process for the best results. For almost all children, a quiet space and a calm, patient parent can be the most important ingredients for success!

1. Without exception, follow the nursing diet that is posted on most infant websites.

2. Be aware of any known allergies in the families of both parents. Take those foods out of your diet for the first year. You can begin testing for possible reactions once they are starting their second year. Do these tests one food at a time.

3. When following the diet, do not ingest an excessive amount of any one group i.e. fruits. This could cause your infant to either reject the breast milk or have a harder time digesting it.

4. Also be aware of any foods that are allowed but that you know you have a harder time digesting. We feel these situations are often labeled as “colic”. Try a change of diet vs. medication.

5. Make sure you, the mom are getting plenty of sleep!

6. Make sure you are not offering your infant a nursing option every time they are uncomfortable or challenging in any way. Doing so may create a “snacker” instead of a “full food eater”. This is not only hard to correct, but will also have an impact on their sleep pattern, turning them into cat nappers instead of well rested sleepers.

7. If they begin to fuss somewhere near two hours after a feed, distract them with a toy, a new location, interactive play, a new book, until it is at least three hours since a feed. Do not put them in a swing or provide any motion. They may doze off and defeat the purpose of correcting their feeding pattern.

8. Sometimes it is too easy to rely on breastfeeding during the fussy time since it is so easily available.

9. If your infant is in the final quarter of their first year, you may want to consider “topping them off”. By the end of the day, you may not be producing enough milk to satisfy them for 10 to 12 hours. This is highly a recommended strategy as everyone benefits from a full night’s sleep. It is not unusual for parents to adopt this strategy at an earlier age.

10. If this is not your first child, develop a role and plan for your older child so they can be involved directly and not be demanding your attention. This can turn breastfeeding into a very difficult time otherwise.
a. Give them specific tasks.
b. New books to read.
c. Even a special iPad time could be useful.
d. They need to know they are still important

Bottle Feeding
1. The first thing to consider is whether there are any dairy allergies in both parents’ families. This is very common. We have also seen infants who have had a hard time digesting cow’s milk. Even though they may not actually be allergic to it. If your infant is spitting up, cramping, having difficult bowel movements, consider an alternative.

2. You will want to start with a bottle feeding system that provides a specific nipple for newborns. There are some available that are patterned off a mother’s breast.

3. Usually when they are in their third of fourth month, this type of nipple may not be allowing enough milk flow and therefore is making your infant work too hard to get enough nourishment. They may quit or fall asleep before they are full. This could interfere with your infant creating a good feeding and sleep schedule. If they are showing hunger signs within two hours, this could be the reason.

4. There are bottle feeding systems available with soft nipples for their full first year. This could prevent your infant turning their nipple into a teething ring instead of a source of nutrition. We recently had this experience and solved the problem by going online seeking a soft nipple system for an older infant.

There is no hard and fast rule for when a parent should stop breast feeding or bottle feeding their child. Decisions can be influenced by experiences or culture or preference.

We have always recommended that parents begin preparing their infant prior to their first birthday to master drinking from a small cup with no top. We begin by sitting with them and helping them hold it. Many of them have it mastered by the 1st quarter of their 2nd year.

One of the best benefits is that it allows their tongue and check muscles to begin developing for the mastery of speech. Remaining too long in a system that promotes sucking can delay that development.

It also gives the child an important message that they are no longer an infant and will successfully begin mastering the toddler world.

Even with all the challenges involved every day, it is an exciting wonder.

Good luck!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is all about the family!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Food! Its Nutritional And Social Importance On Your Child’s Overall Health!

When Brendan joined our daycare at twenty months, he had a history of a limited diet and poor overall habits and table manners.

He benefited from our system of serving food groups in order of vegetables, protein, carb/grain and then fruit.

Each child had to finish one group before they asked for the next. When completed, they were welcome to request an additional portion of whatever food remained.

We have a specific menu for each day of the week and those five menus are repeated weekly.
Most of the children at the daycare referred to each day by the foods that will be severed. Lunch was an extremely important part of the day and was definitely one of Bernard’s favorite times.

After more than a year, we suddenly noticed that his manners and style at the lunch table were dramatically different. He began using his hand to handle his food rather than his spoon, played with each food group. He became difficult and either stalled in terms of a reasonable time to complete each food group, or stuffed his mouth with food. He would then become upset when he lost the option of having a second severing due to stalling.

He went from a happy, efficient participant, to a disruptive and attention demanding child.

When we inquired from the parents whether they had noticed any changes at home, they admitted he had been so efficient and happy at meal time that they had stopped sitting with him and instead used that time to get caught up on work and then enjoyed a quiet dinner together after he was in bed. They also stated that they did not always want to eat what he was having.

It was no surprise to us now why a major change was occurring at our daycare.

Brendan was feeling abandoned, isolated and angry that he was left alone. This is not only because food is more enjoyable when shared, but also because he had not seen his parents all day!

Meals are a major family and social connection. Brendan’s habits told us that he was either stalling to get more attention, or stuffing his mouth to finish quickly so he could join his parents. 

Brendan’s parents were missing an opportunity to enjoy time together, but also to share their day, and especially to introduce him to their favorite foods for a more expanded diet.


1.Establish a menu for the week.

2.Repeat all the successes and add in a new item periodically.

3.If each parent has some favorite foods, they should be included and shared with him.

4.Keep the conversation positive, you can add in some personal experiences but keep it to a minimum.

5.Breakfast is often a meal everyone can participate in together. Make sure there is at least one parent with the child.

6.The effective use of personal skills and habits needs to be monitored and corrected when necessary.

7.Just think of how proud you will be of him when you take your child to a restaurant or a family/friends home and he knows how to enjoy food.

8.Brendan has now moved to a table with older children and is starting to use a fork, and can be relied on to be polite and happy!

9.The parents are committed to family meals now that they understand that sharing food is both a social experience and the basis for a healthy life.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Challenge and Necessity Of Helping Children Deal With Their Emotions and Behavior!

A look at typical behavior in our daycare:

1.Anna will grab toys from other children, run away and then cry when she is expected to give them back.

2.Bryan has learned to cry for everything because it works at home.

3.Peter is getting more upset when his mom does not pick him up on time and is often withdrawn by the time she arrives.

4.Robert had started biting his friends when his feeling got out of control.

5.Mark had begun hitting when he wanted to be included in an activity.

We approach these situations from two perspectives.

We are totally committed to respecting a child’s feelings. They cannot move effectively from anger to sorry in one step without an acknowledgement of their initial feelings.

A straight forward question, “how do you feel right now?” following aggressive heavier will allow the child to respond honestly to the conditions that probably initiated the actions.

This approach usually diffuses the level of anger when it is followed by an acknowledgement of these feelings and then can move on to an appropriate solution.

We are also totally committed to strictly focusing on the action and not the child.

Children are never bad or good.

What they are is a child who follows or breaks the rules, is respectful or disrespectful, listens or does not, tells the truth or tells lies ect.

Do not label their person.

Some key exchanges that focus on the action only to resolve our initial examples:

1.Identify the action and then have them take it.  “Anna, do you know that this toy is not yours? May is going to ask you to please return it”.

2.Bryan, crying does not work at daycare to get your way, you will have to use your words.

3.Peter would like to tell you how he feels right now, “Mommy, I get sad when you are late”.

4.Robert, when you feel like biting, tell me and we will count to ten together.

5. Mark is told by a child in the playground “Do not hit me, it hurts!”

We are convinced that every single child has the skill and understanding to either completely handle their own solutions when given the language and to show respect for their peers when they feel the rules and expectations are clearly defined.

Empower them!

Confidence, skill, and knowledge will be the best assets in helping a child handle their emotions and behavior!

Good luck!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Power Of Love!

We have found over the years that children who are having difficulty with the parent/child relationship at home will begin showing signs of their frustration, resistance, and anger during their time at day care. Their motive is to get our attention and help so we can correct the conditions that are causing the problems.

Consequently, when we see an extreme change in a child’s behavior toward their teachers and friends, i.e. not listening, hitting, throwing toys, knocking down other children’s project, kicking, biting ect. In all cases these were new behaviors for the particular child and usually a cry for help.
Every situation is a little different, but one recently reflected on circumstances that we have frequently experienced.

Sylvia was 2 and a half when we noticed a dramatic change in her behavior. We were aware that there were major changes in her home experience. She not only was seeing her parents less, having more baby sitters in her life, and in generally usually found herself eating meals alone.

At the same time, she was behaving aggressively at day care, as well as causing physical harm to her friends. We found ourselves often taking her out of playtime because of her harmful and aggressive behavior.

She showed increase separation anxiety when her parent dropped her off. This increased measurably over a week’s period until one day she appeared out of control when her parents were leaving.
At that moment, I realized that what she most needed was a strong feeling of security and love.

I happened to be sitting on the floor with some other children. I reached out and took her in my arms and told her that I loved her. She broke into sobs holding on to me with all her strength.

We remained together in that embrace for an hour before she was ready to venture away to play with her friends.

Every day for the next week began with us sitting together and conversation entered the process on the third day. This fact was extremely meaningful since during her aggressive and difficult stage, she could not communicate about her feelings at all.

By the end of the second week, she just needed five to ten minutes to touch base with me, get reassurance, and be ready for her day.

When we evaluate a child’s behavior, it is wise to step back and understand their world may be leaving them threatened or scared. This situation dramatically called for an outpouring of love to get her to know she was important, wanted and loved no matter what.

We are always reminded to never leave you child without a hug and a verbal reminder of your love.

Fortunately, the parents were able to modify their work schedule and spend more quality time with her.

This was big doses of love that set everyone back on the right track, especially Sylvia! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Parent Alert! Your Words Are A Message To Your Child Every Time You Speak!

There have been so many instances lately when parents have made statements that are influencing their child in impactful ways that probably contradict what the parent says are the values they are teaching their child.

I have observed and been shocked and saddened when I hear a parent lie to their child:
1. It could be about what time they will be picked up.
2. Where they are going, when in reality they have a doctor’s appointment.
3. When there is a baby sitter picking them up so they won’t have to deal with the child being upset.

The fact that these situations are ongoing is of grave concern the parent not only loses credibility with their child but it creates also great anxiety and possibly leads to the child also not telling the truth.
However, the scene I witnessed over the weekend was infinitely more disturbing for several reasons.

I was enjoying a light breakfast at a popular supermarket when a dad and 2 year old daughter sat at the next table.

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a dad with a young child. The fact that it was a girl was a little special for me.

The dad had purchases a full breakfast plate of eggs, bacon potatoes and toast. The child had a yogurt with fruit. They engaged in a meaningful conversation while he prepared the fruit by cutting it into small sections. They both began eating.

She noticed that he had bacon and asked for a piece. The dad responded that this was real bacon and she could not have any.

After several more requests the dad relented, giving a medium sized piece with the warning “You can’t tell mommy about this!” while she quickly ate it up.

Predictably, she stopped eating her yogurt and fruit and repeatedly requested more bacon. The dad began rushing to finish eating his meal so he could put an end to the incident. Sadly they also stopped communicating.

Why am I so upset with the scene?
1. The dad told his child to lie to her mother. This is within the family unit which should be “as one” at all costs.
2. The dad probably realized that since his daughter knew how to say “bacon” she conceivable would mention something at home, that he would have to answer for.
3. The dad should have realized that what he had done was very serious and corrected himself by saying “We will have to tell mommy what we did, that was my mistake”.

I did not hear that, but I hope for the child’s sake it happened.  I wonder that if I had asked that dad whether he wanted his daughter to grow up and be honest, he would have responded that he did. He probably would have been hurt if I asked.

But the facts speak otherwise and the facts matter.

Parents speak otherwise and the facts matter!

Parents need to realize that they are the source of their children’s values. Behavioral standards, rules and guidelines.

Every statement matters!

Think before you speak!

Note: A blog will not be posted again until the week of 10/15. My marketing manager is off to take a reol in a feature film. We are wishing him good luck!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Treat Your Newborn As Though You Have Four Other Children!

This is the wise statement of a mother of five! She has effectively communicated what all other parents of several children took years to learn.

That is invaluable knowledge born out of necessity, which was often the only effective way!

She saw that the two most important things were that her infant slept well and ate well. That allowed her to make everything else work.

How exactly does this idea work?

1.Infants know how to eat and sleep. Do not mess it up!
     a.Feed your infant when they are hungry, let them sleep when they are tired.
     b.Do not disturb their natural body needs.
     c.Do not wake them up to feed.
     d.If you are a nursing mom, it is important that you follow the nursing mom’s diet at all times. No exceptions – no treats. You will pay a price for that choice because your infant will probably not be able to digest what you have treated yourself to. It is not worth it.
     e.Usually by three or four months, you infant will be having a shorter morning nap and a longer afternoon nap. Especially in the afternoon, they may sometimes turn it into a catnap by making the sleep shorter. Either let them put themselves back to sleep or if they need help, a tap on the but to their bottom rhythmically will help.
     f.Whatever you do, do not get into the habit of feeding them every time they cry. They can quickly become “snackers”. Every cry is not a hungry one!
     g.They should be on three meals a day and a night feed.
     h.Make sure when you put them to bed they are full and they will sleep soundly.

2.Do not rush to pick them up as soon as they squeak or every cry. They often will settle down and get used to waiting. If they are waking up from naps crying, this often means they are still tired.

3.Do not carry them around when they are awake or provide them with some sort of motion all the time.

4.Keep them in a their home environment as much as possible. Your social life can wait! Nothing takes priority over the needs of your infant!

5.Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk! Tell them what is happening! They will get used to familiar phrases. If they wake up and you can’t get them right away, tell them that. Your voice will reassure them! Introduce them to music, especially by singing to them.

6.Part of the day should be a safe place where they can practice turning over, crawling and pulling themselves up.

7.They need time every day to entertain themselves. Ideally, on a floormat with appropriate toys to entertain and stimulate them. Let them work to reach the toys.

8.Step back! Let your infant show you their personality and skills! They can’t learn when you are doing everything for them.

Just think how busy you would be if you had four other children! So relax and give them some time and space! Sometimes they will have to figure it out.

Enjoy and good luck! 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Listening! One Of The Most Vital Behaviors In A Parent/Child Relationship.

Why are parents having such a hard time being successful at it?

This listening issue is constantly surfacing. Our experiences and observations at the daycare are:

1. Parents rarely follow up on a request or directive they give to their child.

2. Parents have not clearly communicated their expectations.

3. Parents have no agreed with each other on the rule, boundaries and behavioral expectations.

What to do?

1. Both parents must agree on what the rules and behavioral expectations are!

2. Do not give your child any negotiating power when you have communicated their responsibility to follow your communication on a rule or behavioral expectation.

3. Repeat the request in fifteen seconds increments exactly as originally states and firmly state “you have to listen to me”

4. If they are still not responding then assist them in following through and clarify that when you make a request you mean it.

When you are communicating regarding an action or opinion that is not a rule or behavioral expectation, then you can compromise and let them be involved in the process.

This is very different from the first scenario and should not be confused!

You have to understand and respect that your child will know the difference.

They can choose between the red shirt or the blue one for example.

But they cannot choose not to listen to you when you have requested a follow-up or action that you consider a rule. An example is “please clean up your toys now”.

Be clear, be firm and be confident!

You are the parent and your child is not in charge of the values they need to grow up with, you are!

Good luck!

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Infant Stage And All Its Challenges And Wonders!

We are so excited to have an infant in our daycare again!

Anna joined us this week at the wonderful age of six months. She is beautiful and already connecting with a few of the children.

As always, we will be tracking her growth and experiences and probably having more blogs that deal with the infant stage.

One of the most exciting aspects for us is to learn about her unique strengths and also to apply our experiences when she has specific challenges. So every case study will, as usual, reflect on our experiences and solutions with former infants.

She has had a great first six months since both her mom and dad took maternity leave from their work. Consequently, her life has been consistent and privileged so far.

We are already seeing how relaxed and friendly she is with the other children and how they are mesmerized by her.

With an infant arriving in their world, we are seeing how each child has elevated themselves to a new level of maturity. The ones who were hesitating about being toilet trained are talking about “being ready” and the older ones have become instant helpers.

Already we realize Anna is working too hard with her current bottle system that is really designed for newborns. We have made a system change so she will get all the nourishment she needs to grow and sleep well. She had turned into a snack eater and as a result her sleep pattern was too short. This usually can be corrected in a few days. We will let you know.

We are enjoying every day with her and we will keep you updated.

Please send us feedback and questions! You can email us at

Talk to you next week!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thumb Sucking! What To Do?

This can be a really challenging situation for parents, especially when the child is older.
Let’s start from the beginning, all infants have a strong desire and need to satisfy their natural sucking ability.

Mostly it will be satisfied through the ongoing feeding process whether the infant is breastfed or bottle fed.

If they are breastfed, follow the breastfeeding dietary list they can accept the milk. If they are bottle-fed, make sure they are on the appropriate nipple size so they have to work for their food but not so hard they quit or so easy they are not getting enough sucking stimulation. This period may require some testing until you get it right.

If you notice in spite of this attention to their needs that you child is frequently sucking their fingers or hand, we recommend a pacifier.

This pacifier should only serve as an addition to the stimulation describe above and should only be used following a feeding. It can be successfully used if sleep time also follows the feeding. The pacifier should remain in the crib.

It is never an object that becomes part of their regular awake time or play time. They need to be talking and crying when they are voicing a need.

This can be the ideal option since you can eliminate it once they are into their second year. This almost always works as a preventative measure and rarely do we see a child in these circumstances become a thumbsucker.

However, if that happens or you are in a situation where your child has been a thumbsucker from infancy, what has worked best is to now provide a substitute such as a teething ring in the shape of a hand.

I have recommended this to some of my families who had older children when their younger siblings join our day care. We also use it when we had children who became a biter.

We placed it on a ribbon around their neck and they wore it all day. Our guidelines were “if you feel like biting or sucking your thumb, bit or suck the hand instead”. Depending on the nature and age of the child, success was achieved in different time frames, but it did work for everyone. Even the children who sucked their thumb/fingers at bedtime were successful in using it.

Your child will need a lot of support and trust for this to work.

I am not a supporter of rewards for behavior modification. Accomplishing it is the maturing reward. This is all about taking responsibility and maturing as a result.

Only if you can think of an educational, maturing reward should it be part of the process.

Good luck! Be supportive! Don’t get frustrated, your child will be anxious already!

I am taking the next week off, It will include cataract surgery so I can read more easily and also time to plan my conversations with you in the fall.

See you then!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Joy, Pride, And Sadness Of Graduation Day.

Our graduates are both excited and sad to leave us and we always feel the same about them!

Each year is unique in terms of achievements and relationships.

The child who seemed so young last year and this year blossomed into a natural teacher. She will be missed the most by the younger ones because she had such a highly skilled approach and connection to them, to their great enjoyment. No one made number games so much fun.

The child who became the organizer and arranged basketball and soccer games as well as reading groups.

The ones who studied the human body and learned the names of all the bones which we would hear them using in conversation.

The group who painted an exact globe on a blue yoga ball!

The ones who were reading at a 3rd grade level!

How many times we have seen a child move to make advanced academic skills as though someone had pushed a button.

The child who organized outside play games such as hide and go seek, Simon says, clue games and I spy. Encouraging every child to stand up and be the spokes person.

The best result comes from the fact that in their last year they play a leadership role with all the other children by being a role model, a trainer, and a supportive helpmate throughout the year.

We have an environment where all age level interact on a consistent basis. This is the best of all opportunities for a child to develop advanced social and leadership skills.

Our goal is to create an environment where each child really believes they can accomplish whatever they set out to do! They believe in themselves!

We will miss them every day, but know they are confident, skilled, and caring individuals who will work hard and smart every day!

We wish them good luck!  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Candy As a Reward At The Doctor’s Office? I Don’t Think So! And I Need Your Help!

I am repeatedly appalled, disbelieving, shocked and outraged when one of my children returns to daycare from a doctor’s appointment with the news that they were given a lollipop (this seems to be the candy of choice) because they behaved during a checkup.

This occurs with pediatric and dental appointments.

With all the knowledge available about the importance of healthy eating habits and the well documented information that not only is sugar not part of a healthy diet, but it can also have an impact on a child’s physical behavior.

I know that periodically some study will state that sugar has little to no effect on behavior, but I am positive that if you poll daycare owners and employees, they will state otherwise.

For example: for days after Halloween, many children are hyperactive and unable to relax and cope and in some cases, are bouncing off the walls. We often see this at holiday time as well.

I realize that this reaction could also be affected by loss of sleep, but sugar input seems to be the bigger factor.

I am calling on all of the parents who are reading this blog to communicate with their child’s pediatrician and dentist that non sugar rewards be made available in their offices and sugar items removed.

Challenge them to be responsible and creative! They could provide:
-A small toy
-A selection of stickers
-Small activities

Both your pediatrician and dentist represent an authority figure in the health care world.

The message they are giving your child by this practice is undermining your authority and practices, as well as telling your child it is acceptable to eat unhealthy food.

Please take a minute to follow up today!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The History And Experience Of Explosive, Destructive And Violent Behavior In Very Young Children.

I hesitated to discuss such a deep and disturbing behavioral condition during this calm, warm summertime. But experience tells me that negative and disturbing behaviors do not get better with time. So as always, I will share the experiences now rather than later.

We have now lived through four separate family situations where children between the ages of two to five have displayed behaviors that were both self-destructive and outwardly violent.

The behaviors that eventually surfaced at daycare were:
1. Throwing furniture.
2. Not only nail-biting, but biting all the skin around the nails, initially on their fingers and then on their toes. In one case, we observed the child’s toes were covered in band aids, obviously the child revealed this purposely by removing his shoes.
3. Running across the street unattended with the parent left behind at the daycare entrance.
4. Locking himself in the bathroom when the parent arrived to pick him up.
5. Kicking and communicating with the parent using foul language.
6. Biting the sibling.
7. Physically kicking and hitting the parent.
8. One of the children responding to a playmate who was concerned that biting the skin on her hand “must really hurt” and the child responding “It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as I hurt inside”

Behaviors revealed by the parent:
1. Inflicting harm on family animals.
2. Threatening the sibling with physical harm.
3. Afraid of being alone in a room.
4. One parent’s fear that they were raising a serial killer.

In trying to understand what family conditions could have caused such behavior, we compiled a profile of each of these families. I was surprised and really shocked to realize that three of these families fell into the same profile in most of the major categories.

A profile of outward symptoms for these three was:
1. Each family consisted of two parents and two children living in the same home.
2. In each case, the mother was the primary income provider. Both parents worked long hours, with most of these hours outside the home. They often brought work home to complete in the evening. They were also committed to on demand travel which could accumulate to 10% to 15% of their total hours.
3. In each case, the father was self employed in a creative field which resulted in an unpredictable schedule and income. It also created a situation where this parent was not only the sole caregiver, but he was preoccupied with searching for employment or preparing for a secured assignment. Since this situation was so unpredictable, the dad often found himself as the caregiver and worker at the same time. In these circumstances he shared that he expected the children to entertain themselves. He shared that this demand often triggered an angry outburst.

The profile for the fourth family:
1. Both parents worked outside the home with long working hours and frequent travel for both of them. Back up care when both were traveling is unpredictable and could involve family members or any caregiver that was available.
2. There was very little family time on any given day. Most frequently, the dad would drop off and pick up the children.
3. The mom was less likely to be home before the children went to bed. In this case, one child went to bed completely silent and the other child constantly screamed when the mom picked them up.
4. These children usually teamed up when it came to destructive behavior.

We obviously were unaware of the depth and severity until each of the children demonstrated an aspect of it during regular care or when the parent came to pick them up.

We were surprised and alarmed that none of the parents had considered therapy, or as often happens, shared these details with us. They obviously needed help to understand and correct these behaviors.
In every case, we were able to recommend an expert who visited the home, as well as observed the child’s behavior at the daycare. They all committed to family therapy. This has to be the approach as it is not just an issue for the child but for every member.

Everyone in the family had to make changes. A common recommendation that was made in each case was the importance during the first five years of quality and quantity time with the mother who plays the major nurturing role at the beginning, and in each case had to increase their direct presence with the child.

I realize parents are committed to providing their children with the best physical environment as possible, however their emotions and psychological well being is even more important!
The more I think about these families, I am surprised that they did not ask for our advice or seek outside help when the behaviors first started.

Each family though the situation would improve over time. That typically does not occur without a planned strategy.

Each child finds ways to express their feelings. When their actions become so destructive and abusive and harm is self inflicted: get help immediately!!!

The behaviors noted in these cases is not normal. Fortunately children in our care who experience any sort of conflict and display aggressive behavior at home will eventually bring them to daycare as a cry for help!

Do not ignore them!

If we encourage even one family to get help before a serious problem escalates, it will be worth having shared these very disturbing family relationships!

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

Friday, July 14, 2017

No blog this week

Hi everyone, I'm working on a blog that is about a serious subject and I want to make sure it is really well done, talk to you next week!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why Dads Deserve A Special Day!!!

My apologies to all the amazing dads out there who follow my blog, because of personal issues I missed the appropriate timing of this blog. Sorry!

1. The proud look on the face of the dad walking his twins sons in the double seated stroller down Sunset Boulevard.

2. Five year old Martha happily leaves daycare early with her dad to attend a performance of The Nutcracker.

3. All the dads who encourage a challenging risk for a child building their confidence and maturity i.e. taking the training wheels off the bicycle or climbing the tree branch that looks too high.

4. The sight of the dad at the supermarket with an infant in the shopping cart and a three year old helping him push the cart while they discuss the grocery list.

5. The dad who asks to be taught to make braids that his daughter wants.

6. The dad who encouraged his wife to attend an award dinner in Europe acknowledging her publication of a design book while he cared for a six month old and a four year old.

7. The entrepreneur dad who takes his daughter to the office at least once a month to expose her to the environment and lets her sit in on the meetings.

8. The dad who takes time off from work to take his two year old son to the auto show.

9. The dad who picks up his son and daughter and takes them to the court to play basketball.

10. All the dads who hug their children when they drop them off at daycare and also when they pick them up. You feel like it is the most important moment to them.

Even though thousands of dads are directly and deeply involved in their child’s life, it is still very heartwarming to see a dad/child connection, especially in a non-traditional scene.
Thanks and congratulations to all the dads who have a lose and meaningful relationship in their child’s life!

Friday, June 30, 2017

What Are The Most Common Omissions And Errors That Parents Make and What Are The Consequences?

A lack of pre or early planning regarding parental expectations, both in terms of behavior and values, can have significant consequences.

1.       Tom and Marla are stunned that their daughter Sandy has essentially taken control of their time together. Meal times especially have turned into a nightmare. To get through them, they are giving in to her in terms of food choices and actions. She has reduced the menu to two items, plus a sip cup full of water and then will demand a snack thirty minutes later.

2.       Liz and Dan cannot believe that they have to pick up Charlie even at the age of three, regardless of where they are or what the issue is. He totally ignores their requests, especially when they need to leave where they are. This is true no matter how many times or different ways they ask him to do so. They usually find themselves walking away with a screaming, kicking child.

3.       Ellen and Paul are shocked and sad that five year old Christopher has become a compulsive liar. Ellen especially considers herself a truth teller and has to admit she does not believe a word he says.

4.       Douglas cannot believe his three year old son Timothy is constantly crying for everything. I.e. a slight body contact, even when self inflicted, or any request that requires a “no” response, even from friends, not being first for an activity or given food he does not want.  This is a situation that before Douglas was a parent he was extremely critical of when he observed it with his friends’ children.

What do all these parents have in common?

Not one of them considered it necessary and actually essential that they discuss and agree on the behaviors and values they wanted for their children prior to the birth.

This timing is preferable so they prevent extreme emotions being part of the discussion. If a child is already a part of the family, try to approach the discussion as openly and unemotionally as possible so the decisions are appropriate and effective.

I am continually surprised at how often parents had no idea what their partner’s beliefs, experiences and life lessons were.

Most of my parents are from culturally different backgrounds which makes this discussion and agreement even more important!

Solutions and Guidelines

1.       Tom and Marla had to treat meal time as both family social time, and nutrition education time. Everyone must be seated together with no interruptions. Everyone needs to be eating the same food in a relaxed atmosphere. It is a huge advantage to serve one food group at a time. This helps your child get a well balanced meal and understand food group benefits. Also involve your child in food related conversation. Understand that they may not adapt to this change instantly. Believe me, it works! During this introductory period, they may not be completing the meal. Do not give them a snack because you think they may be hungry. They will make it up at the next meal, trust me. Do not become a snack family!

2.       Firstly your child must listen to you. Only speak what you really mean and follow up on it! If you have not been doing this, you must start now! Whichever parent speaks is in charge. If the other parent has a hard time being quiet, all they can say is “You have to listen to Mom or Dad” Do not elaborate. If a change of location or activity is involved, give them a five minute advanced warning and then a two minute warning. You can refer to your watch and teach them how to read it. This really helps. Your child will probably test you, do not change the message or the directive. Make sure they understand the rule before you go anywhere.

3.       Usually a child learns to lie by accident or by imitation. They tell a lie initially because they feel they will be in trouble if the parent knows the truth. Even though the parent suspects they are lying, they do not challenge them or investigate the statement. They need to make a strong commitment to their child that under no circumstances will they be disciplined if they tell the truth. There may be consequences if there is a reparation involved as well as potentially an apology, but that is all. Make it a teaching moment! This was not the situation in our study but there is a possibility they have witness their parents in a lie and bragging about the success of the lie. In this, the child imitate the parent’s behavior and the only solution is for the parent to admit their mistake and never repeat it.

4.       Timothy had continued to cry over everything because he was getting attention when he did so, which is what he really wanted. The only time he should cry is when he is seriously hurt, physically or verbally. The parent should identify that and provide the appropriate solution. If that is not the case, say immediately, “I will not talk to you until you stop crying” and do that. If you want your child to change a behavior, be clear on what you expect. Period!

Both parents have to be in agreement on acceptable behaviors and values or any one of their directive and solutions is unlikely to happen and become a reality.

Have ongoing discussions privately until you achieve success.

You are responsible to raise a socially skilled and educated child. That will only happen if both parents are committed to it!

Good luck! 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hope you had a great memorial weekend.

I am working on a project that I hope to share with you soon.

Talk to you next week.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Important Distinction Between When Your Child Has a Choice And When You Absolutely Must Be In Charge!

Somehow many parents have become unclear or confused about their role or intimidated and just plain afraid of their children.

We are experiencing more situations where parents are hesitant to be firm regarding their expectations and the children are taking control.

Some examples:
1.       Amelia and her mom arrive at daycare and Amelia requests that her mom stay and read a book to her. The initial response is “I can’t, I am already late for work.” Amelia begins to hit her parent with her fists and the follow up is, “Well just a short story because I don’t have time.” When the child chooses a long story, her mom comments on that fact, but instead of making a change, proceed to read the book.

2.       Pamela has taken charge of her wardrobe choice every day. Consequently, she has come to daycare in the same dress for a week. It is obvious that Pamela is completely in charge and when questioned, her mom shares that when she suggests an alternative, Pamela begins throwing her clothes around the room and refuses to get dressed.

3.       Marina has recently started to play in the schoolyard when she is picked up instead of going directly to the car. Every time the dad suggests leaving, she begins screaming. Finally, after a week of this interaction, the dad shares that she has been using this screaming tactic at home and they find themselves giving in to stop it.

These parents and many others have given control to their children and that decision has led to highly aggressive behavior on the part of the children.

It is disturbing to see how often parents are controlled and intimidated by their children. Once a parent gives up their responsibility to socialize and teach their child to understand and respect rules, it can quickly spiral out of control.

We recommend the following solutions:

1.       Amelia’s mom has to decide before leaving home what her needs are. If in fact she is late for work, then she states that before they leave the house. “We are not going to be able to read together when we arrive at daycare. I will need to leave quickly but we will have an extra big hug before I leave!”

2.       Pamela needs to place all the clothes she has worn on any given day into the hamper when she is preparing for bath time. She should never have the choice of wearing the same clothes twice. This includes undergarments and socks. Before bedtime reading, she and a parent can select two outfits for the next day, then she will be able to make the choice of one of them or she can mix them up.

3.       Once the dad has stated that they need to go straight home and not remain in the playground, then he has to keep his word without exception as that has probably not been the case. He may have to either take her by the hand in order to exit or, worst case scenario, pick her up if there is no other option.

As you can tell from these examples, none of these situations happened overnight. They are the result of a parent/child relationship turned upside down.

1.       Always remind your child exactly what you expect from them and what is going to happen.

2.       Your child is more interested in getting what they want than in following rules and regulations that will help them become responsible human beings. Both parents have to follow the same behavior standards and expectations 100% of the time. It only takes one error or misstep to open the door and to lose control.

3.       Respect yourself and your child when you are being undermined as a parent, the results can be negative and long term.

4.       Children do not want to be in control, no matter how much it appears that they do. It is very scary for them to not have a confident parents.

If you haven’t already scheduled as parents to review established behavior standards and guidelines, do it now!

If you need help seek it now!

Good luck! 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Critical Importance Of The Mother/Child Bond!

Mother’s Day is always when I spend extra time reviewing and analyzing the status of that most important of relationships.

The last year has been one in which that bond was the focus of the children’s behavior, more so than usual.

A few of our moms have taken on significantly more responsibility in their professional lives. This has had a measurable effect on the time available for them to spend with their child.

It took us a while to also become aware that the change was not only a time issue, but also a quality one.

Some patterns developed:

1. The children were having a hard time leaving their mom when being dropped off at daycare. They would do thing such as: requesting additional hugs, hang on to them, requesting an early pickup, being read to before departure, standing at the sliding glass door and watching until they disappeared. These were all new behaviors.

2. These children also displayed anger issues such as screaming to get attention, breaking down their friend’s building structures or games, biting their nails or skin, and generally becoming somewhat hostile vs. the friendly children they had been.

3. When their circumstances became more intolerable, they began transferring some of their loss feelings to their teachers. This behavior has been a reoccurring approach, over the years, when a child wants something fixed at home and needs our help.

4. The most sad and disturbing situation I experience was a mom requesting that she spend Mother’s Day alone as her gift. The dad and children had to leave their home for the day. I can’t imagine what the children were thinking. Alarmingly, it was the first thing we were told the next day.
We have always shared with our parents that the quantity of time they spend with their children is important, but the quality is critical.

Especially when the quantity is reduced and limited, moms must not allow anything to interfere with their time together.

1. No phone
2. No computer
3. No friends
4. No distractions

Most children need the first 4 to 5 years to really create a lifelong bond with their mom. They are much clearer on their place in the world.

I am always applauding my moms when I see and know that the time they spend with their children is truly meaningful, setting an example and building their self esteem.

Our future is in your hands! Handle it with love and care!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why Moms Deserve A Special Day!

1.       They love you no matter what, even if they don’t like what you did or said.
2.       Their hug can heal all!
3.       They are the best booker reader in the world because they make the story come alive.
4.       They hold your hand while you are walking into the ocean or pool for the first time.
5.       They think all your drawings are beautiful.
6.       When you talk about being a mom or dad someday, they tell you it is the best job in the world.
7.       When you fall in love with space or science or teaching or business or art, they encourage you to follow your dream.
8.       They are overjoyed if you say you want to be like them but make you understand there will be a lot of hard work and that you can do it!
9.       Nobody welcomes you into their arms like they do.
10.   There are some foods she makes that are so delicious and special that you don’t want to eat anyone’s but here.

And these are just some of the reasons we have given her a special day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Challenges When Major Changes Occur In Your Child’s Life

Major changes can be particularly challenging for children even when the parents communicate the appropriate amount of information prior to the change and continue with all appropriate discussion throughout the process. The change can be a confusing, destabilizing, anxiety inducing and fearful time.

Since it is difficult for the parents to assess how the change is going to affect themselves, projecting that for their children is not only challenging but it must be evaluated, and discussed, frequently after the changes have occurred.

Some of the circumstances that have challenged our parents in the last several months:

1. Both parents simultaneously moving on to more demanding career responsibilities that included longer hours.

2. A new baby in the family.

3. An older sibling moving on from the daycare to elementary school.

4. A relocation from the east coast where both parents had a large support system to L.A. with no extended family or close friends.

5. A parent going back to work at the same time as the child joins our daycare.

6. The death of a loving nanny who had been a member of the family since the children were born.

In every case, the children in our care displayed clear emotional and sometimes physical and relationship changes.

-They cried more easily.

-Had difficulty falling asleep at naptime.

-Preferred to be with us rather than playing with their friends.

-Expressed a need for more attention when completing tasks they had normally performed easily and willingly.

-Displayed some regression in areas they had perfected such as bathroom habit, academic skills and conflict resolution.

These are the suggestions we offered each of these families.

Do Not

1. Change the rules or your expectations of your child including values and behavior standards. Continuity is critical and boundaries need to be maintained.

2. Feel sorry for them. They are a critical part of your family and whatever decisions were made, it was with their interest in mind also.

3. Be inconsistent when they are showing anxiety about anything they miss. Acknowledge their feeling and then move on to some advantages they now have.

4. Feel guilty about the change it is done!

1. Give them new responsibilities specifically related to their new situation. It will help them feel more involved and in control.

2. Have a dialogue with them when you see unusual behavior. Resist the urge to defend the change but instead focus on a positive fact about it.

3. Put their needs before yours.

4. Be patient. They will not move from negative/lost feelings to happy ones instantly. Just like they cannot move from angry to sorry in five minutes.

5. Trust their resilience and intelligence and flexibility. They are survivors and probably will emerge more mature and stronger if that is your goal and what you expect and communicate.

You can turn every new experience into positive growth!

Good luck!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Power Of, And Human Instinct For, Social Connection!

The child development world is finally taking a major step to educate parents about the importance of verbal interaction of child with other children and adults from the day they are born through the first five years.

Our day care is an environment where strong social connections, both physical and verbal, occur and in many cases, these have been so strong they have extended into the adult lives of the children.

Currently we are witnessing a bond that developed visibly between 14 month old Sarah and 13 month old Jack.

At this time, Sarah had been with us for four months and Jack was joining a day care for the first time. They are both independent and very self-sufficient for their ages.

It took Jack a few days to become oriented and then decided that Sarah had something he liked and needed.

Without any specific encouragement on our part, they began seeking each other out and sharing more time together while they both explored their options. What was especially interesting is they are both strong willed and independent yet they communicated and played in complete harmony.

I think they benefited most from an environment where they are given the freedom and responsibility to entertain themselves and therefor respond to their individual feelings and needs.

They are our most recent example of the ability of very young children to identify and expand on their feelings and needs when an environment is created that allows them to explore and make choices without adult persuasion and interference.

Most parents feel the need to direct and control every action of a young child. Experiences and opportunity tells us that they can make choices to satisfy their needs and in fact, when given a safe and supportive environment, will be able to accomplish this at a much younger age than most people believe.

-Ensure your child’s environment in the first two years gives them the freedom to explore their world independently.

-When organizing playdates, make sure your child is given the time and opportunity to select and play with objects they want to interact with.

-Give them space and time to solve their own problems. In most cases when they become frustrated they only need a small key to find success. Give them advice and let them continue independently.

-Introduce them to a variety of friends.

-Seek a social environment where you will be effectively removed from their sight. This should occur periodically. Make sure the supervisor/educator has and displays your philosophies and goals.

Do Not
-Consider your role to be an entertainer- you are their teacher, give them time to learn.

-Underestimate their ability. By the time they have mastered a skill, they are already thinking at the next level-make it available. Everyone advances at their own pace.

-Underestimate them: watch for their reaction to new situations. Give them time to evaluate and adjust.

Your child is the ultimate work in progress! Encourage their interests and natural curiosity.

High levels of self-esteem come from this approach!

Good Luck!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring and Parenting! They are both about new surprises!

The child laughing at a joke you didn't think they understood, and the flower that appears on a plant before it's time.

The child who figures out the shapes cube,  and the sunbeam coming through the window reflecting on the daycare wall.

The child who writes their alphabet letters by themselves, and the sun still shinning late in the day so we can play outside.

Our parenting world and spring are full of new discoveries and surprises!

We are wishing everyone a joyful spring and parenting experience.

Stop to appreciate the surprises of spring and your child's world. Enjoy and Good luck!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Toilet Training! Insights and guidelines to success!

We have just completed six months of toilet training and thought it would be a perfect time to share our recent experiences with you.

As you know, every child is different, and consequently they may handle that major responsibility a little differently.

Note: We do not use a portable “potty” for several reasons:

-We want a child who is training to feel like a big kid doing exactly what the big kids do, this is a great motivator.
-It is less work.
-We do request that our families stay close to home for the first home training weekend. When training is completed, your child will be comfortable accessing public facilities.
-We are so committed to proper language that it is important you child is using the correct terminology for both the facilities and body parts.

Following are some of the specific behaviors our recent trainees either benefited from or displayed.

1. Make sure by the time they are being trained, that they are being given responsibilities they have to do at home. No matter what!

For example:
-Put their dirty clothes in the hamper.
-Help set the table.
-Help dress themselves, select appropriate items of clothing for them to choose from.
-Take out the garbage.
-Help make their bed.
-Help feed any animal pets.
-Any task they are capable of managing with little or no assistance.

This is a maturing and responsibility building process and will definitely be an important component of your child’s ability to take responsibility for using the bathroom facilities when needed.

2. Make sure they have helped select their underwear. Sometimes it helps if you say something like “You can’t pee on Thomas” or any character or design they have selected.

3. Watch them closely for the first two weeks. Don’t forget that this is a major learning curve for them and you need to be a vigilant coach.

4. It was more successful if one of the teachers remained in sight rather than actually in the bathroom. The child gets the message immediately that this effort and task is theirs alone. We are only supporting them.

5.Early in the process a child will display a behavior that is their signal, for example: crouching, hiding in a corner, touching their training underwear, getting really quiet when they were just talking.

6. If it has been an hour or more since they peed, have them go to toilet before you give them a drink.

7. Resist the urge to reward them every time they are successful.

They are taking responsibility for what is usually their last “baby” function. This is especially true when they resist doing bowl movement in the toilet and will rely on their nighttime diaper or their underwear. You are expecting them to complete a natural task in the process of growing up. When they are successful (and they will be) it is a major source of self-confidence.

8. Ensure your child accompanies you during your toilet time whenever possible.

9.Children with strong personalities and assertiveness tend to train at a younger age. They often are more work in terms of accidents, but it is important that you respect them and their request to be trained. Denial can undermine their confidence and stops an opportunity for them to accomplish a challenging task. They may signs of anger and regression at not being listen to.

Those children who show no interest until they are in the 3 year range may make the accomplishment in an easier manner. They are often more laid back about it and somewhat calmer in nature.

You must respond to who they are.

10.   During the first month of the training cycle, do not expect your child to tell you that they need to use the bathroom, nor will they say yes when you ask them if they have to do so.

-You will want to take a more direct approach and tell them when to go.
-One, to one and half hours at the beginning is best for success.
-You will extend these times as they gain confidence and control.
-If weather conditions require more water intake, stay close to a bathroom.

Key Issues-Make sure you are approaching this process from a relaxed place.
-Keep calm at all times.
-Reinforce the positive.
-Include your child in the tasks necessary when there is an accident. It will make them feel accountable and responsible.

Under no circumstances is your child punished verbally or demeaned!

This is a major growth experience for everyone!

Good Luck!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Never Say Anything You Don’t Mean

Never Say Anything You Don’t Mean And Always Follow Up On What You Correctly Say

The First Challenge
Invariably, when I am counseling parents, somewhere in the conversation one or both parents will say something along the lines of:

-I’m sure I have said many things I shouldn’t have.
-I was so upset I told her I didn’t love her.
-I said X, but I didn’t really mean it.
-I told her I would leave her at the mall if she did not stop crying.
-You are so bad, I am taking away your iPad for a month.

In a moment of frustration, anxiety, or impatience, your self-control can be lost and you blurt out statements that are devastating and very difficult or sometimes impossible to retract.

Because we are always extremely aware and sensitive to the emotional needs of our children in daycare, we find ourselves often contradicting what a child will quote what their parent has said to them under the assumption they did not really mean it.

We know that children often share or display situations that occurred at home to us to have them corrected, so we are careful not to directly undermine the parent while we reassure the child that they will never hear any of those statements here, nor be treated in that manner.

Children need reassurance that they are valuable.

At the same time, when a parent does request a reasonable and expected behavior, they must be consistent and follow-up. Make sure when you speak, you have thought about the action or response you expect from your child.

If you tell them:
-We are going shopping and you are not buying a today.
-You know how to put on your socks and shoes by yourself. So be persistent and get it done!
-We are leaving the park in five minutes, see where the hand will be on my watch. I expect you to leave like a Big Girl!
-Please get your jacket before leaving daycare. Don’t bother crying, it doesn’t work!

Stick with it. If you are just implementing this approach, it will take a while for you to earn credibility! You will have to be consistent and always follow through.

The second challenge
Parents are amazed at how readily children listen to me. It is no secret how that happens:

-I really think before I speak.
-I know what they are capable of accomplishing for themselves.
-The children see that I am fair and consistent with everyone.
-They are acknowledged for completing tasks and thanked.
-We never interfere when a child wants to do task by themselves, even if we think they may not accomplish it. We only offer suggestions when they are at a standstill.
-We never use negative language, never reinforcing what they are doing incorrectly, but instead stating what we expect them to do.
-Children are never bad. Eliminate all those damaging words from your vocabulary. They may have broken rules, not listened, taken someone’s toy, thrown their food ect.

Communicate what you expect them to do to correct that. Behavior instead of repeating what they already did that was unacceptable.

It does take a while to reprogram yourself to think positively. The reward will be evident when you manage to accomplish that task.

You and your child are establishing a positive bond that earns you trust and credibility – the basis for successful parenting.

Take a deep breath and know you can do it!

Good luck!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Have Clearly Defined Values That Both Parents Agree On

James and Alana have become role models in our daycare. When they decided to become parents in the near future, they invested in several parenting publications they were aware of, as well as ones that were recommended.

They amassed a huge amount of information. They felt much of it was contradictory and found themselves more knowledgeable, but not at all clear as to how to be the most skilled and prepared they should be.

Then they were given our parenting book by a friend and they were stunned at how intellectually and emotionally they were connected with it.

It became obvious that they had to approach this new role from a clear understanding that they would be dealing with a very intelligent human being who needed to be treated as such.

All the values that they had in dealing with their social and business partners needed to be applied to this child.

As a follow up to that conclusion, they needed to decide what values they felt were most important that they needed to agree on.

They decided they were:
-Problem solving

As their daughter Emily grew, they realized the most important time for them each day was to review her day and their observations.

A few observations they identified as really important:

-As soon as she mastered a skill i.e. turning over, pulling herself up, they no longer helped her physically, but encouraged her verbally. They even often walked away to let her know she was on her own to figure it out.

-Letting her figure out where the shape she had in her hand fit into the shapes cube.

-Navigating her first effort to put on her socks.

-Always backing off when she said “Let me do it”

-Holding back when she falls and scrapes her knee. Not rushing in to take care of the situation and instead, they let her evaluate the situation and come up with the proper care. (Note- Children come to daycare with band-aids that are applied unnecessarily on undamaged skin to make the child feel better)

A light bulb went off one day when they realized that they had transferred all the skills that they used in their management work world to their child: the situation was exactly like their approach when they had ever selected and trained a high skilled employee.

Since this time, the individual (Emily) would be the most important part of their lives forever, they wanted to be the most successful ever.

Because they were so on board with out philosophy and approach, Emily enjoyed a seamless transition each day from home to daycare.

When this happens, it is the best of all scenarios. It makes everyone’s life easier and better.

Take the time to decide on your values and be 100% consistent and committed.

The rewards are amazing!

Good luck!