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, 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!

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:
-Respect for themselves and others, including their physical possessions

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

“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!