Introduction:

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, 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.

Reminders
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!

Do
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.

Do
-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:
-Independence
-Persistence
-Self-Confidence
-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!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Have Clearly Defined Standards Of Behavior That Both Parents Agree On

Paula and Alexander met while they were in college like a lot of couples, they came from opposite sides of the country and very different cultures. They are very happily married, but really struggling as parents with two year old Bernard.

They feel like he is completely running their lives. Everything they have tried has not worked such as:

-Having him listen to them.
-Being able to sit down to a meal together.
-Getting him to bed without a tantrum.
-Having any social activity that is successful and enjoyable.

They find themselves disagreeing over how to handle him and now realize that constantly changing their approach is only making the situation worse.

I instantly conclude the they never prepared themselves for their parental role by taking the time and responsibility to educate themselves about the role of a parent and the importance of having an agreed on plan of behavioral standards before beginning the process.

Both Paula and Alexander feel that their childhood was too restrictive and disciplined. They were hoping for a more open and interactive role with Alexander. Obviously, they were not achieving that goal and now had to go back to the beginning.

It required two sessions for them to agree on the behavior standards they want. I assure them that this was time this was time well spent and the agreement achieved was absolutely necessary.

The behavior standards important to them are:
-Listening
-Kindness
-Respect for themselves and others, including their physical possessions
-Honesty

I challenged them to come up with simple phrases to get their message across.
Examples:

“Please do not touch my computer – it is not a toy”
“We are going to read two books before bed time and then turn off the light”

Any and all phrases they needed are reviewed for clarity and understanding. This is an important point. Do not analyze or defend. Keep your directives clear and short!

When needed, the phrases are stated, followed by a 15 second pause so Alexander can process them and then decide if he wants to follow the request.

These phases are then state twice more and if no action is taken by Alexander, the parent follows up by taking him through what he should have done while repeating the phrase.

Whichever parent speaks up first will be responsible to follow through to completion. The second parent cannot interfere no matter what. They must be in agreement. Any disagreement will be resolved when they are positive Alexander cannot hear them.

We have a touch base sessions for a month. Both Paula and Alexander are surprised that they instantly had some success with other situations being more challenging.

They have held to their commitment to never contradict each other no matter what.

At the end of a month, they are enjoying him most of the time with a few challenges left i.e. mealtimes. They know the approach works and periodically review the phrases giving them some tweaking in the areas that are still a challenge.

The best result is that they are beginning to feel like successful parents and are getting positive comments from their friends.

Their stress level has dramatically lessened and their reward level increases.
Everyone can do this!

They key is to commit the time to arrive at a consensus goal and stick with it!

Good luck!


Friday, February 24, 2017

Always Tell Them Exactly What Is Going To Happen And What You Expect Of Them

Olivia is three years old and has been at our daycare for almost two years. She is extremely friendly, verbal and very confident.

We have a holiday get together every year where we enjoy a very large gathering of current and former families who attend. Some of these families now include college age children which creates an environment of a large group of grown-ups.

This is Olivia’s first time attending the event as they were out of town the previous year.

We always alert families to prepare their children for the number of people attending and the disproportionate number of grown-ups vs. children.

Many of the other new and young children are visibly enjoying themselves. Some of them are a little quieter than usual, but comfortable leaving their parents to interact with their friends and enjoy the activities and food.

Unfortunately, Olivia’s parents have forgotten to inform her how many people will be in attendance and exactly how she can navigate the large group and play with her friends.

As she turns the corner of the building and sees the crowd and activity, she stops, lifts her arms to be picked up and is crying as she enters the daycare.

Needless to say, we are really surprised by her behavior and react in puzzlement. Her parents are attempting to calm her down (unsuccessfully) and realize that they had forgotten to prepare her for the extreme change in the daycare environment.

Even Olivia, who is usually prepared for her circumstances, and handles them well, can be completely unable to adjust to the unexpected instantly.

The family finally leaves the event early regretting they were unable to stay and have special time with their friends.

They admitted that in the future, preparing her for new challenges will never be neglected.

Do
1. Give your child general information. In this case, that the number of people present will mostly be strangers as well as grown-ups.

2. Assure them that you will be at their side initially while they are adjusting to the environment and will be assisting them to connect with something familiar or of interest to them.

3. Always practice some verbal interactions, short phrases/sentences that they can call on when needed.

4. Assure them that you will expect them to speak for themselves.

Do Not

1. Instantly label them in new situations as shy. In most cases, they are simply unprepared and have relied on you to speak for them. It is amazing how easily that label is used, often with long lasting negative effects.

2. Automatically assume they cannot handle change and challenges. It’s the preparation that makes the difference.

3. Insist that they stay beside you. Instead, give them latitude to instead be in view when it is safe. It is opportunities like these that build their confidence and skills.

You want your child to be confident, skilled and socially interested.

Support and inform them!

Good Luck!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Always Tell Them The Truth. Keep The Details Simple And Clear.

No matter how often it happens, I am always shocked and in disbelief at how easily, consistently, and calmly parents lie to their children.

Some scenarios:

1. Evan is picked up early from daycare. He has been told he is spending some time with his dad, when, in fact, they have an appointment at the pediatrician’s to receive three shots. We hear the next day that Evan’s dad has promised him a large new toy when Evan was out of control at the doctor’s office.

2. Maria does not like the baby sitter her parents have been leaving her with. The mom and dad really want to attend an event on the upcoming weekend, so they do not tell her that they are going out until the last minute and say there was an emergency. Needless to say, Maria is not only hysterical when they leave, she is awake and crying when they return.

3. Raymond tells his son that he will pick him up early from daycare so they can spend some time together. When Raymond finally shows up at 6:30 pm, he does not apologize and explain what happened, but he actually appears to think that it is not a big deal. 

There are many more examples, but this last one is indisputably the most common. It is so frequent we have no concept of the total count.

When this situation occurs, the parent will arrive to pick up their child at the regular time, or maybe even later, with no comment or explanation about the change in plans.

Not only has the child been repeatedly going to the glass doors to see if their parent is coming, but they have also repeatedly inquired of us why their parent has not arrived.

It is rare that the parent arrives with an apology, an explanation and a new date for an early pickup.

Hurt, anger, confusion and lack of trust and credibility are the results of any and all of these incidents.

If there is a legitimate reason you can not follow through on your plan, then call the daycare with the reason and the caregiver will inform your child. Or better yet, you can ask to speak to them yourself, however do not rely on this solution too often or they will catch on!

Parents have to earn their child’s trust, credibility and respect. Only if they do, will they enjoy a positive relationship. Your child’s respect for self and other, their empathy, honesty, and self-confidence is directly impacted by their relationship with you.

Everyone wants the best for their child. They have to live with high standards if they want that to happen.

The rewards are limitless!

Good Luck!

Friday, February 10, 2017

When Giving Your Child A Directive, Keep It Short and Clear. Repeat It Exactly The Same While You Are Demonstrating The Actual Action Or Process

Daryl joined us when he was thirteen months old. The update information we received from his mom, Patricia, was not unlike what we typically hear.

He cried a lot i.e when he woke up, when they changed his diaper, when he was hungry, when she did not respond instantly to his needs ect.

The first few days he was with us, we observed the same behavior.

-When he was dropped off at day care, when he woke ect. 

-On his second day, he established something of a record by crying for forty minutes (with screaming thrown in.)

-When we changed his diaper.

-As soon as he saw his mom at pickup time.

These were the major areas. At the same time we also observed significant positives:

-He was very independent and curious.

-He mostly entertained himself.

-He spent a lot of time where toys and building challenges were available.

As with any new child, we focused on his particular needs. Even thought he was not yet verbal (that we could understand), you could get a clear message from him on how he felt.

1.       The first success was nap wake up time. We repeatedly told him he had to wake up and talk (no crying) and we would help him. We did ensure we were visible to him so he would feel secure.

2.       The second was diaper changing. He could not have toys because we needed his help. He had to cooperate with appropriate body movements as we talked him through the process.

3.       Drop off time with him fit our solution pattern. We enjoy quite an interesting and challenging entry: a flight of stairs up to a veranda, an assortment of flowers and furniture to observe and interact with along the veranda and then a section of down stairs to the daycare. We suggested his mom drop him at the top of the first stairway, let him navigate and connect with the flowers and furniture along the way and then teach him to walk down the second flight.

Does this take a little longer? Yes. But it allows Daryl to physically leave him mom’s arms before having to actually enter the day care. This approach always works in two to three days. You can apply this approach to whatever your entry situation is.

4.       At several moments during afternoon play and reading time, we reminded him that he was going to greet his mom with a kiss and a hug when she arrived. There would be no crying, he was going him with her so there was no reason to cry.

Overall, within two and a half weeks we had a laughing, happy child enjoying his new experiences at day care.

His mom was so impressed. She was delighted to have us coach her through the steps and language we had used so she could enjoy him so much more at home.

It took her a little longer but she became a believer that Daryl understood her requests and was more than happy to comply.

Three months later we were all enjoying him and we can’t remember what he sounds like when he cries because he talks so much.

The best thing about this story is that everyone can get the same result.

Be consistent and confident!


Good luck!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Talk To Your Child When It Is Social Or Feeding Time, Tell Them What is Happening Using Correct Language In A Calm Tone

When Edwin joined our daycare at two and a half years, even though he seemed alert and friendly, he was totally lacking in speech skills. He even lacked the “babble” most one year olds have already developed.

We were somewhat confused because his mom was a high communicator with us. We did find that his dad was unusually quiet and actually never offered any information when he brought Edwin to day care unless we asked and even then, his responses were very limited.

By the time Edwin was three, he had improved but at the same time, was slow to socialize and was experiencing challenges in terms of interaction with his peers and his teachers.

By the age of four we were concerned there were developmental problems. Only then did his mom admit that she never really spoke with him after work because she was too tired. Even though our last pickup time is 7pm, she was almost always late, with the excuse that the traffic was exceptionally heavy.

Only when we called in a psychotherapist to asses him did the dad (who cared for him during the day before he joined us) admit he had never spoken to him either.

Is this extreme? Probably! He was diagnosed as having signs of Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. When parents do not realize how intelligent their child is, their behavior unintentionally has serious effects on their child’s development, maybe even in a critical way.

Another factor to consider is that a large majority of the children who join a day care are cared for by a nanny or a relative. The vast majority of these individuals are caring and skilled communicators; however this is your child. Make sure you stress the importance of skilled communication.

If your infant is not making skilled and frequent verbal interaction with you between six and nine months, this could be a clue they are not getting as much verbal stimulation as they need.

The other factor you need to be aware of is that if you hired a nanny who speaks a different language that you believe is a benefit to your child, then your nanny should only speak to your child in that language.

If their skills in your native language are heavily accented, that fact can delay your child’s speech since they would then be hearing two new languages instead of one. We have had many two year olds join us with no language skills because of that confusion.

Children can easily learn as many as three languages at a young age when each of the three adults involved only speak to them in one language.

It is exciting for us and wonderful that the child development experts are now in agreement that brain development is critical from birth!

Having your child skilled enough to communicate with you at a very young age is one of the most exciting facets in the parenting experience.


Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Schedule Your Day So Your Child Can Be In A Position To Respond To Their Body Clock

When Theresa came to visit our daycare with her two and a half year old son Malcolm, her description of his behavior fit the profile of all the “out of control” child we have seen in public.

1.Screaming for something his parent keeps saying he can’t have and then being given that very thing.
2.Being carried by his parent, asleep on their shoulder at 2:30pm (Probably his nap time)
3.Showing up at 10:30 am with a baby bottle filled with milk.
4.A child that will only nap when he is driven around in a car.

During our conversation she shares that she never puts his needs first when planning her day. She finds herself mostly in crisis mode since she has never established a child friendly schedule, nor does she have clear and firm expectations for herself and her child.

She now admits that she never enjoys him no her role as a parent.

Fortunately for her, at two and a half years old the situation can be corrected with a new schedule compatible with his needs, clear guidelines, coaching skills, better planning and self-confidence that she can turn the situation around and have everyone on a positive path.

Do
1.Separate his physical needs and his emotional behavior.

2.Tell him he is a “big boy” and you will celebrate by eliminating all the “baby things.”

3.Chose a date-2 to 3 days later and tell him he will throw his bottle in the garbage (Preferably on garbage pickup day so it is not returnable.)

4.Establish a schedule that is realistic for his age.
     a.Dress upon awakening (expect him to help)
     b.Breakfast! Sit with him and share similar foods and dishes.
     c.Morning time should be a combination of playtime, shopping or visiting and learning time. Be          home in time to have lunch five to six hours after his morning awake time.
     d.Share as much of the meal as possible. Make learning about new foods fun and exciting. If he          rejects them, offer them again in a small quantity. Keep expanding his menu.
     e.Naptime is a must- have reading time. Expect him to sleep at least ninety minutes so he will be        refreshed for a positive afternoon.
     f.If possible, be outdoors, especially in the afternoon. Set a schedule to learn new skills such as            climbing up the slide, riding a tricycle. If you are indoors, puzzles are great, number games etc. as      well.  
     g.Dinner is a family event. Have him share the same menu and share positive comments. This is          not a time to report to the other parent on his day’s misbehaviors.
     h.Give him responsibilities: Dress himself, help clean up and put his toys away, help set the table,        put dirty clothes in the hamper etc.

Emotional issues

1.Tell him he cannot cry to get his way. Give him the language needed to express himself.

2.If he is crying or screaming, tell him to stop before you communicate with him. This is really important!

3.Tell him what is going to happen and what you expect of him.

4.Listen to him.

5.Keep your directives and requests short and clear. Repeat them exactly the same until he understands he has to do it.

6.Teach him respect for other people’s belonging and space.

You will be amazed at how interesting a two and a half year old is when they are communicated with, listen to, and taught.

Make sure when you are together, they are your priority. No telephone time with friends, no computer time. If you have to take a call, make it short.

You are their teacher. They will achieve the standards you set!
Good Luck!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Consider Their Needs First!

Maria is expecting her first child in two months. Most of her friends already have children and she is starting to notice in social get togethers with them, infants, even in their first months, are being included in the events.

These infants are often being left in car seats during the gathering. They are sometimes awakened by the noise level or having to be nursed or bottle fed while the mom is involved in the verbal exchanges that are happening. She also notices that these infants are often fussing and unable to enjoy a peaceful sleep.

After months of these observations and comments by her friends regarding the challenges they are having with their infants’ sleep patterns and eating habits, Maria makes a commitment to her expected child that she will have a very different approach and plan once her child is born. She is taking six months off from work and plans to spend 99% of that time with her child except for unavoidable emergencies.

She has read our book and is most impressed by the challenge of allowing her child (which she is going to call Eric) to respond to his own body clock for sleep patterns as well as learning his hunger signs for nutritional needs.

She knows she will have to be a consistent communicator and a skilled interpreter of her child’s message.

She experiences some errors along the way with Eric i.e. picking him up after nap when he is crying since that usually means he is still tired. Instead she should provide him with a soft voice and touch lulling him back to sleep to complete the nap and wake up well rested.

Eric also beings making a unique sound when he is hungry which helps improve her success at satisfying his nutritional needs. Maria hires a nanny for three months and ensures she is following the same approach.

By the time Eric joins our day care at nine months he is a very contented child, sleeping soundly with no help. And well on his way to being a great eater.

Best of all, he is curious, happy and confident. He has benefited enormously from his mom’s early commitment to him.

It is hard to believe, but most of the infants who have joined our day care, were already displaying anxiety with both sleep and food as well as needing some form of attention such as motion most of the time they are awake.

Like every important responsibility you take on, you have to educate yourself, commit your time to the task, and necessarily set aside the social life you may have had.

Time flies, provide your children with the care and attention they need! You both will benefit!

Create the best possible foundation for your family!


Good Luck!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Know And Understand That Your Child Is Intelligent From the Time They Are Born

I want to share the mission statement written twenty three years ago when I opened my daycare.

“We believe that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When a child is respected, understood, and cared for by loving, highly skilled communicators with relationship and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish. In fact, each child will achieve their maximum potential. Each parent/guardian is advised of the individual growth of their child in terms of their age-related development stages: social, communication, language, mathematics and reading skills as well as general knowledge. Nutritional needs will be satisfied by the offering of foods that support a well-balanced diet with special care to emphasize natural, healthy products.”

It clearly defines my philosophy and commitment. It was validated every day with every child. This success is the resource for the case studies.

Derek, Sheryl and Paula were all second children in their respective families. They not only joined my daycare when they were six months old, but just as important, their parents had been introduced to our philosophy when they older sibling attended our daycare.

Within a few months after their birth, we began hearing comments like “I can’t believe Derek knows when I tell him I am going to give him his bottle” or “She instantly puts up her arms when I tell her we are going for a walk.”

By the time they join us at daycare, between six and nine months, they are quickly connecting to the repeated directives we are giving them and surprise even us with their understanding and skills, i.e. at nine months Paula is crawling to the location where children wait for a drink or are lining up at the sliding door to go outside.

Paula was able to put her own blanket back in the blanket box after nap time by her first birthday without direction.

Each of them will crawl across a large area to the diaper changing space as requested and can also follow directives on placing shapes into a shapes cube.

After all these years, we still have high expectations because we know all these children are capable of achieving but there are still moments when we are surprised!

Here’s what to do

1. Develop short phrases for activities that will be repeated throughout the day.
“It’s time for your bottle”
“Mommy is going to nurse you now”
“We are going to change your diaper”
“I love you so much”
“You can’t play with that, it is not a toy”
“It’s time for bed”

These are just some examples. Keep the message clear and your tone warm and firm.

2. Half of their awake time needs to be conversation time. This should include reading time. Repetition is a necessity and benefit.

3. Tell them exactly what is going to happen and what you expect.

4. Sing or hum.

5. Verbally congratulate them for any accomplishment.

6. When they are having a difficult day i.e. teething, reactions to immunization shots, stay as calm as you possibly can, don’t let panic creep into your voice. Any anxiety reaction will make the situation worse.

7. Many of you will be working outside of your home during their first year. You should spend at least four hours with them.

8. Make sure any caregiver you entrust your child to is up to speed on and understands and agrees with your approach. This includes relatives. You are in charge of how your child is treated.

9. If you have any option, get help with the house work so you can have enough time with your child.

10. Plan your own time during your child’s sleep time.

Marvel at their incredible accomplishments!

You are their life coach.

Enjoy it!

For more advice, our book is available on Amazon

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Ten Commandments For Skilled And Successful Parenting!

1. Know and understand that your child is intelligent from the time they are born.

2. Consider their needs first.

3. Schedule your day so they can be in a position to respond to their body clock i.e. to sleep when they are tired and eat when they are hungry.

4. Talk to them when it is social or feeding time. Tell them what is happening. Use correct language and a calm tone.

5. When giving them a directive, keep it short and clear and repeat it exactly while demonstrating the action or process.

6. Always tell them the truth. Keep the details simple and clear.

7. Always tell them what is going to occur and what you expect of them.

8. Have clearly defined standards of behavior that both parents agree on.

9. Have clearly defined values that both parents agree on.

10. Never say anything you don’t mean and follow up on what you say.

We are beginning the New Year with weekly communication about each of these commandments.

Whether you are in the early stages of parenting or your children have been in your life for a while, everyone can build more skilled and rewarding relationships.

I am really excited about the opportunity to improve everyone’s lives.

Talk to you next week!

Good luck!