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, 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.

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.