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, 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!