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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It is a time to celebrate the greatest gift ever given "For unto us the Son was given" the promise of forgiveness and redemption. Which in turn gives us every reason to be joyful in our freedom from death.

This has been my first year of blogging and I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment.

As you celebrate during these last weeks of the year I encourage you to slow down, take a deep breath and smile. Hug your family close, drink as much water as wine, and make lasting memories. Have a very Merry Christmas. And as always Believe in Parenting!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teach your Children the Real meaning of Christmas!

Let me start off  by saying if Christmas has become too secular for your tastes do not let it color your view; ultimately Christmas is about you and what is in your heart. Let's look at some of the traditional themes of Christmas and how you can share them with your children.

Saint  Nicholas

The real Nicholas was a Christian Bishop. He lived in the late 3rd century. He saw so much poverty and sickness he worked to help the poor and the sick  After his death the legend of Santa Claus followed his giving nature. Every country has their own customs surrounding the mythical Santa.  However, the original St. Nicholas lived when Rome was still and empire.

Candy Canes

Candy Canes were originally just white sticks of candy. A German Catholic Priest In 1647 started handing them out to children to get them through the long mass on Christmas Eve. Another person a candy maker wanted to decorate his tree with them so He curved them. The candy cane did not make it to the  US until 1847. Then it was still a white hooked candy.. Before 1900 all pictures with the treat where white. The pictures with the red and white were shown after 1900. There is no official time or person to attribute the  red and white Christmas Canes we know today. However, there is a legend in Christan circles written in the poem seen below.
Christmas Candy Cane Poem

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!
Christmas Trees

Many ancient people groups believed in sun gods. They also believed that bringinging in evergreens and other life affirming plants would help the sun god heal. This all happened around December 21 the Winter Solstice. This is the pagan beginnings.

However, Christians began to look at trees in the  late 16th century as a way to express their belief in the everliving God in the 16th century/. The country of Germany is credited with the Christmas tree. Here in the US it is said the first Christmas tree was found in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the 1830”s. Legend says it was the German Protestant Minister
Martin Luther on the way home from a sermon seeing the stars through the boughs of an evergreen tree; used a tree and candles to show his family the beauty he saw.

 Fruit Cake

Fruit cake was a way to preserve a food source. Someone could bake a bread filling it with nuts, fruit, and seeds from the harvest and then preserve it by pouring alcohol over the loaves once a month. Fruit cake will remain edible as long as it is doused every so often. They have been known to last over ten years. The cakes were served during the Victorian era as a tea cake in England. It was very popular in the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. I suspect because it is so labor intensive to make. It has gone by the wayside for many home bakers.

Nativity

We have all seen a picture of Mary and Jesus as a baby. I especially like to see the whole Nativity scene with animals, Shepards, Wisemen and all. This depiction of the Savior's birth is both heartwarming and humbling.  Luke 2 gives the full details of the story from conception to birth. Though historians and the habits of sheperds tell us that more than likely these events happened at a warmer time of year; these events somehow seem more special having taken place in winter. From my point of view the most heart tugging point of the story is that the King of Glory thought it fit to show the world His great humility by being born in a stable, while the "kingmakers" found the way to Him by following a star.


Giving

Unto us a Son is given. This verse in the Bible is found in Isaiah 9:6 and reads:
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Giving is a large part of the season. It was Luke in Acts 20:35 who told us: It is more blessed to give than to receive. I think this is a real value our children can benefit from learning. One important thing to remember is the appropriate time to approach these lessons is between five and six years of age. These lessons may include getting your big kid to gather all his baby toys to take to the local shelter or getting her involved in the planning of getting her  gift for Grandma. When teaching these lessons it is important to let the child see the results of their giving. Kids need to see the joy others get when they receive a gift.

Love is the ultimate theme of Christmas

it was Jesus who told us in John 3:16 “That God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him would receive everlasting life.” Ultimately this is the true gift of Christmas. It is impossible to separate out the myths, folklore, and questionable portions of our Christmas traditions. After all those who are Christians brought these with them into their new walk. However, placing the sacred above the folklore and trusting our Savior to take care of the rest is our responsibility. Also, teaching our children to know and recognize the differences gives them the knowledge to choose and understand how and why they celebrate.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Using Multiple Intelligence for Buying Christmas Gifts

Parents did you know there are eight forms of ntelligence. This theory is called Multiple Intelligence or MI. The most well known purveyor of this theory is Dr. Howard Gardner. I think it is very important for you to know each of your children's MI. In addition, to understanding them well enough to help them and their teachers use it in creating positive learning environments!

Here are the eight:

Linguistic-reading, audio\visual, listening
Logical/Mathematical-Thinking and figuring out how things work,Puzzles,
Spacial-Picture, artistic representation
Bodily Kinestetic- hands-on, involved in a physical manner
Interpersonal-talking or engaging with other people
Intrapersonal-getting time to think or ponder alone alone or focused on self-expression
Musical-sounds, rhythms or musical patterns
Nature-outdoors, animals, oceanic sights or sounds

Each of these eight can be a primary, secondary, or even tertiary form of intelligence. One way of discovering a child's MI is for them to take an inventory. Scholastic has a great one for children.

Why is MI important?

Each one of us learns differently. The eight ways of learning above effects the way we all see the world. However, they also effect how we learn in general.

I am a linguistic/interpersonal learner, guess what every teacher said about me in class? Yep, Barbara talks too much in class. My learning bent showed up. My second cousin Acacia was an exceptional gymnast, yet she struggled in school. Until she had a teacher who helped figure out how to get herself to engage physically in what she was learning or to do some physical activity to fire up her brain. As it turns out if a person regularly engages in things which are part of their learning bent learning becomes easier. This is why I am suggesting parents buy gifts for their children which will help them engage their MI. (I also think you should buy gifts for adults the same way.) I have created a .pdf for $0.99 which gives suggestions for things to buy for each area of MI. I hope you enjoy your holiday, while giving your loved ones the gift of brain power.

Purchase the list here..

Believe in Parenting

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Take the Time to Enjoy your Kids

One of the best things in life is getting a hug from your child. From any child really it is one of the best parts of working in early education. Adult life can get so busy especially this time of year. I want to remind you to stop and enjoy your kids.

Take the time to do some fun activities.

Make Ornaments
String Popcorn
Build a Snowman
Have Snowball fight
Go Sledding
Go Caroling
Decorate
Make Cookies and deliver them to the neighbors
See a Christmas Carol
See the Nutcracker
Throw a Party
Make your Christmas Gifts

Slow down and appreciate the time you have with them!

Believe in Parenting

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Give your Children the Gift of Giving

We are on the heels of Thanksgiving where gratitude is the hallmark of the day. The Christmas season is all about giving. Teaching children about the joys of giving will help them to be just a little less focused on getting. Though let us be honest it is also a season for getting.

Now is the time to start asking kids what they would like to give others. If they have not saved allow them to work at earning money to buy gifts. Talk to them about making gifts for friends and family. This is great for artistic children

One of the best things in life is making a plan to give something good to someone.There is an inherent joy in the planning, the anticipation of their response, and the joy we get in the joy of their getting it. We so enjoy doing this for others yet, we sometimes overlook teaching it.Take the time to hive your children the giving.

Believe in Parenting

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Master Parenting Part 7: Living Your Dreams and Goals

If you like me a few years ago you
watched the Lifetime biopic of American Idol's Fantasia Barrino. You saw as I did her telling her brother, " if I do not follow my dreams, Zion won't follow hers. And I am not having that." This is so on target I cheered. You see, there has been a school of thought which says once you have a child you  put your dreams and goals behind you. Balderdash! You are your children's role model living your dreams is key to ensuring they do the same. Which Ms. Barrino clearly understood.

In the last segment of this series I spoke on Authenticity which is the alignment of beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions. It is impossible to follow an authentic life without following your dreams. However, what it means to follow your dreams may mean lots of preparation for your following; while you put a priority on family life. I could say following your dreams while sacrificing your children is in no way effective parenting. Building a foundation on which you can launch your dreams while being there for your family is building not only them but you.

Creating a Plan

Some dreams can be achieved easily. I dreamt of seeing the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy live. I took my mother and sister to see The Nutcracker. Done. Yet, not all dreams are so easily accomplished. I have the dream of becoming a world class, highly sought after, and acclaimed Parent Expert. Still working on it! Yet, I have a plan and am working on it regularly. What is your dream?

Here are some ways to get started.

  1. Write down your dream at first it may be a sentence. My dream is...
  2. Find people who have succeeded in your chosen goal and read their writings, watch their videos, follow who they follow on social media in the field.
  3. Begin to explore what makes you the same and different in thoughts and execution.
  4. Get a coach in your field and preferably in your city.
  5. Start building the structure for your dreams.
  6. Create a list of steps.
  7.  Set benchmarks for yourself in time and what the finished task will look like.
Talk about your Plan to Family 
  1. Be Carful! Share your plan with those you can trust to love and support your dreams. Do not putt it out to be trampled.
  2. Discuss in terms will not if.
  3. If it can be drawn or writing out put it up where you see it constantly.
  4. Celebrate each benchmark as it is completed share them with your family before and during.
Dreaming with your children

Many parents have dreams for their children. But, the key to helping your kids living authentically and with their own set of goals is in parents helping children discover their own dreams, mentors, coaches, and set of benchmarks. Be supportive and guide them if they get stuck or lost. But, let them lead. After all, it is their dream. You have your own dreams to bring to pass. Be sure to follow the above steps above as you support your children!

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Parental Engagement on the ECE Level

Research shows children who have parents who are actively engaged in their educational lives, do better. This is especially true when talking about early childhood education. Yet many parents have no idea of how to get involved.  As a parent development specialist and a persom well versed in Early childhood , I think there are 3 ways parents with a young child should be involved with their child's education. 1) Be willing to learn about and understand the difference in the way young children and older children learn. 2) Ask about ways you can help and support children's learning at home and do them. 3) Make time to volunteer in the center in the ways they need you to be involved.

~Be willing to learn about the difference in how younger and older children learn
Young children learn by actively observing and then acting out  what they see. Young children from age six months to five years watch, listen, and learn. Children are natural observers. However, children really begin to learn as they act out their observations. We in early childhood call this acting out play. Many parents not understanding the difference between acting out observations and play for enjoyment tend to  see dearly beloved sister who education as "just playing".  The truth is your child is learning through acting out a variety of situations they have observd over their young years. Early educators use observations, knowledge of child development, and open ended questions to help children link their observations with the skills they need to prepare for life and school.
Older children who can think, talk, read, and interact with others use those skills to learn and play becomes a chance to unwind. Play no longer is the primary tool for learning. Older children have developed other skills they use for learning.

~ Ask about ways you can support your child's learning at home and do them
Early childhood learning involves discovery, pre--skills, and learing from the world. Teachers use the classroom setting to help children learn and grow. Parents can also do activities with their young chilren which can promote discovery, curiosity, and observation. Making cookies, jello, and cakes can help children to observe changes which are made by adding cold or heat.  Asking open ended questions can help children make the observations. Example: when we put the jello in the refridgerator we could pour it like water now we can't. Why do you think that happened? Your child's teacher will have more suggstions for you. Remember  when you do them with your childen you are supporting their growth and development.

~Make time to volunteer at your child's center in the way they need you to be involved.

Every child care center needs volunteers for things to run smoothly. Sometimes they need someone to help kids into jackets to go outside. Or they may need you to help serve lunch or snack. Sometimes you could be asked to help to decide on a committee which effectts the whole center. For instance, you may sit on a playground committee deciding to resurface the ground. Please give your full atrention no matter the task and  you will not only be appreciated. You will become a part on the centers' commiunity. This is ultimately your goal.
Parents are a vital part of whole efucation proces Using these three suggstions as your starting point will help you to begin engaging in your child's educational growth.

Believe in Parenting

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and Service

Many parents look for teachable moments. I want to say up front the holidays are great time to teach your  values to your  kids. This time of year is a great time to talk about what it means to be thankful, grateful, and to serve others. Teaching these values enables us adults to remember the holidays and life in general is not just about consumerism. It is about opening up our hearts and recognizing just how blessed we are and to give thanks for it. It's a time to let that thankfulness seep into our hearts long enough to become gratefulness. Then allowing that feeling to blossom into the need to share those blessings with others. This is in essence the steps of moral development. Which is one of the foundations for emotional intelligence.

Helping children learn thanksgivings and gratitude is not as difficult as you might think. It can be as simple as taking them with you as you serve the community. Whether it is the local food bank, children's hospital, animal shelter, or homeless shelter does not matter. When you take them talk about what is happening and why. Let them see how what you are doing is making life better for those in need. Give them time to experience the everything, give them space to absorb what is happening around them. When they start asking questions and they will answer honestly. Share your deepest feelings about thankfulness, gratitude, and serving others. The ideal time to start doing this is around the age of five. The truth is we overlook the fact that this is a part of early childhood development.

According to Lawrence Kohlberg ideally moral development should be set around age 13 . However, here in the West we no longer purposely teach these skills. Children actually begin to show signs of empathy around two years of age yet it is often not nurtured. Ever see or have a young child give their  favorite toy to another child or you who is upset. That's the beginning of empathy. They see someone upset and are seeking to comfort them by giving to that person what gives them comfort. Recognize those moments when you see them and celebrate them. Be specific about what you saw.

"Jamie, I am so proud of you. You shared your Pooh bear with Jenny when she was upset. Good job! Give me five!"

This statement and ones like it give your children not only the joy a good job statement, but knowledge in how to repeat the behavior. Recognizing when your child is showing signs of thankfulness, gratitude, and service and pointing it out is a great use of  teachable moments.

This year during the holidays I suggest you do the following:
  1. Take your children to help pack Thanksgiving boxes for the needy.
  2. Have them help you shop and drop off toys for Toys for Tots.
  3. If they are older ask them to help you pick volunteer projects for the family.
  4. Get them to start a gratitude journal.
  5. Get them to tell you one thing they are grateful for each day.
  6. Tell them one thing you are grateful for each day.
  7. Catch them in thankful/grateful behavior and make a specific statement about what you saw.
  8. Have them write thank you notes for Christmas gifts.
Remember you are their example. Say please and thank you. Demonstrate thankfulness as much as possible. Encourage them to give you compliments too. Give them a chance to catch you. This holiday season I hope you use this time to plant, nurture, and tend to our children's development of thankfulness, gratitude, and serving.

Believe in Parenting 

Friday, November 13, 2015

It is nice when others appreciate your work!

I love what I do! Coaching Parents has been a passion of mine for almost 30 years. Several months ago an agency on Linked In the Center for Parenting Education put out a post requesting articles for their website. They asked for articles already published.  I submitted my favorite article. Effective versus Ineffective  Parenting.

It goes live today. Here is the link.

Believe in Parenting!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: Fire Up your Parental Engine!

Shelia Lyon Halls 19 page book is straightforward, direct and candid in the advice she gives to parents of teenagers. Her 8 Transitional Parenting Practices, guide adults into thinking about interactions with their teens. This is a book which many Christian parents will appreciate. However, people of all faiths will also gain insight from her direct communication.

I recommend this book for parents of eight to twelve year old children. Parents can use the ideas to prepare their mindset for the teen years. In addition parents of teens can use these ideas to help them to reposition themselves. Here is a link to the book.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

5 Ideas ECE and Elementary Teachers Can Use to Support Parent Engagement at Home

Creating a Parent  Engagement Plan for Teachers

One thing I think teachers can do is to encourage family support for education  at home. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Choose 2 books a month which support  what you are teaching and encourage  parents and children  to read them and discuss  them at home. Allow children extra credit for reporting family impressions in class.
  2. Create take home boxes of family projects which can be taken home and done.
  3. Create homework  projects  where children  need parental support  to complete.  Include detailed instructions  for parents.
  4. Invite parents into your classroom. Make suggestions  for how they can help. Send home family activity  pages which support  class learning.
  5. Make several suggestions of family outings where children can see and engage in enriching activities.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Work/Life Balance an Age Old Concept

Work/Life Balance seems like a new concept. Yet according to an article  written  five years  ago in the Examiner It has been a concept talked about since the beginning of the Industrial  Age in the mid 1800's. We Americans have been struggling with this issue for over 150 years. Work/Life Balance is defined as the balance which should exist between our lives in the work place with our personal and family  life.

As a parent educator I speak with many parents about this issue here are some of my tboughts.

  1. You need time to yourself. We all need time to ourselves to regroup and relax our bodies and minds. If you have to put this time on your calendar. Make this a priority, your  life  has no balance  unless you give to yourself first. This is not selfish you are setting  an example for your children in balancing life and work. 
  2. You need time alone with your spouse. Many parents especially  Mom's make the of failing to keep the relationship between  Mom and Dad on the prior list. Let's be honest without the marriage  the family is broken. Our marriage  is  the foundation  of  the  family  protect  and build on? it.
  3. Each child needs some of your undivided time each day. I believe  each child needs at least 15-45 minutes a day of undivided attention from each adult who lives in the house. This is an important part of relationship  building. Children  need time to talk, listen, and ask questions,  without being interrupted. Adults should be solely  focused  on the child during these times. 
  4. Find work you are passionate  about. One of the most important  aspects of finding work/life balance is enjoying  your  job. Going to a job you dislike is draining and can get deprssing. This makes achieving balance much harder. When you love what you do, the joy of doing it makes you a happier  person. The more content you are the easier it is to maintain balance.
  5. If you must take work home make a plan to  work smarter not harder. Working from home after work  can be a non-negotiable  in some fields. The key to balance here is building it into your routine. For instance, if you need to bring work home. Maybe your routine  is Saturday  mornings while the kids watch cartoons you work until noon. Then if you need more time Sunday between 1:30 and 4:30 pm. While the family naps, watches a movie, etc you work. Allowing for Sunday mornings  and  evenings to be reserved  for  family  time. 
  6. Work on focusing on the now. Be present in the moment you are in fully. Most of us have  a hard time living in the moment.  Yet, this is ultimately  the crux of work /life  balance. Being where you are and being fully committed  to  what you are doing in that moment is what this balancing act is all about.
If you think the above six items are much easier  said than done, then perhaps you can understand why we have been stringing with this for 150 years. Humans often struggle  with  the  issue. Try putting the above habits in place and perhaps  consider making these 6 practices your New Year's Resolution  for 2016. Remember  as a parent it is not just about doing this to have more time with your children. It is about being a living example  for them to follow.

Believe  in Parenting

Just after I wrote this piece. I discovered ivankatrump.com and #womenwhowork. This site has excellent resources to help women with work/life balance!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Master Parenting Part 6: Authenticity

On October 17, 2015 I was honored to be the Inspire Me Today Luminary my topic was on authentic living. Here is the link, if you read it please leave a comment. Parenting requires authentic living because children can spot quite easily who is not being real. Authenticity is all about aligning your beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions. Living life based solely on what you believe. This is not to say you can not change your mind about what you think and believe. It does mean it is one of the things you talk about doing.

Teaching authentic living requires three things:


  1. Talking about what you believe and think
  2. Explaining to your children about why you think and believe what you do
  3. Living authentically yourself
If you read my blog on patents teaching value this is vey similar.(Here is the link.) Authenticity is a lifelong pursuit. It is challenging because in our world there is more and more pressure towards thinking as the group thinks. Authenticity require we believe and think on an individual level. There is no one who can live authentically on group think!

Master Parenting requires both parents to not only live authentically, but to respect their partners authenticity as well. Whether you are married to your co-parent or not respecting them is an important part of  your team effort to bring up a child who can live in an authentic life. Listening to your children and responding openly and honestly to their thoughts will help them to know what they think and why. 

Here is the hard part given all the same factors your child may come to a different conclusion. It is important you not take this as a rejection of you. Rather seek to understand their reasoning. It may be they have thought of something you missed. However, many times children mistakenly relate two things which do not relate. You need to understand their thought process in order to correct mistaken thinking. If in the end their thinking is sound and you just disagree, encouraging them to live authentically requires you too be accepting, encouraging, and loving though you disagree. This is one of the most difficult parts of parenting because it requires us to back off and let our children be their own person and not our carbon copies. We are raising children to become authentically living adults. This requires us to teach authenticity when they are children.

Believe in Parenting

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November is Education Parent Involvement Month

20 years ago I was an Educational Advocate, I wrote a blog piece in 2013 called the Confessions of an Educational Advocate. Where I gave some tips for parents on becoming advocates. My book Parental Advocacy: Getting you Children through School with Excellence is almost ready for publication. The most important thing for parents to remember is the school you choose is only there to help. Ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure your child is well educated. The school is part of your team not the other way around. Here are a few tips for schools and parents.

School
  • Create spaces for parents in the school. 
  • Parent liaisons should be supportive and not critical of parents and their parenting.
  • Parents need to be welcomed into their children 's classroom period.
  • All school personnel need to respect parents and their role as the only consistent adult in the child's life.
  • Teachers should know each parents preferred method of communication.
Parents
  • Great school performance for children require getting into bed by nine pm for children eleven and younger, 10 pm through middle school.
  • Children need protein at breakfast to keep their brains active until lunch.
  • Know your child's teacher preferred method of communication and check in monthly.
  • Attend parent teacher conferences with your own thoughts and questions prepared. Take notes.
  • Create a homework routine at home.
  • Know your child's Multiple Intelligence (here is some info)
  • Plan on your calendar school events and make attending a priority.
  • Talk to your kids on a regular basis about how important education is to you. Be present in school, on field trips when possible, and join in on as many activities for parents at school as possible. This all lets your children see you value their education.
Believe in Parenting 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Christian Parenting and Sexua Development Part One

In Christianity talking about sex has become taboo making room for agencies like Planned Parenthood and local school districts to begin to teach our children about sexuality. This is dangerous because though well meaning these agencies are not equipped to give our children the whole picture of what sexuality is and what it was designed to bring about in human living.

In all honesty our culture has reduced sexual connection to a feel good activity that can be used to sell products. Instead of the deeply personal communication which can exist between a man and a woman in a committed married relationship, which can sometimes produce children. I am going to write a series of blogs on Sexual Development for Christian parents. For the purpose of these discussions I will be using the following definition.


Sexual Development-Prior to puberty it is the understanding the differences between the male and female body, emotions, and attitudes. It can also be defined as a desire to want to be cuddled and close to other human beings. After Puberty the hormonal changes that allow for conception and childbirth. It is also physical desire and the desire to be close to someone physically both for cuddling and sexual intercourse. 

There will be many things I will suggest over the series of blogs here are the first three.


  1. Use proper terminology right from the beginning. Give body parts their correct names. Our bodies are private, but not shameful using incorrect names gives the impression of shame.
  2. Let your children see you being affectionate and occasionally French kissing. Why? Many years ago on a 20/20 I saw a 3 year old interviewed about what she thought was sexy. When asked how Mommies and Daddies kiss, she puckered her lips. When asked about how boy and girlfriends kiss she opened her mouth. The problem here not true. We are the example for our children while being too graphic is not okay showing genuine honest affection should be.
  3. Never talk about sexuality without mentioning God's plans for it and the commitment of marriage. Always tie the three things together.
That is it for now. Please comment and give feedback on these blogs. I need to know your thoughts and questions as we proceed through this topic.

Believe in Parenting 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Master Parenting Part 5: The Spirit

I realize this topic can be a touchy subject. However, I am going to give you my take on it. I encourage you not to ignore this part of parenting. I urge you because it is a vital part of not just parenting but, of living a happy, peaceful, and fulfilling life.

Every person alive has a spirit. We are spiritual beings who touch Earth by living in a body. If you have ever read a book about people who have died and came back, you know this life is just the beginning. We all have to make a definitive decision about our spirits. Many choose not to make a decision not realizing, that in and of itself that is a decision.

What I believe is we all have this choice, we either recognize that there is in fact good and evil in the world or we ignore the battle exists. If you choose to believe in good and evil then you have to accept each has a leader. If you choose not to recognize the battle then you choose evil by default. This may seem unfair, but this is why the last part of this series on The Will is so important. You are making a decision on a subconscious level, based on what you feel, what you have been taught, and what you think. It is a decision.

What I know for sure is there is a Living God who rules in the affairs of men. He is not far off. He is as close as your next breath if you ask Him to be. The key to this is He asks you to surrender to Him, so He can take away the ugly, dark, and unsatisfactory parts of you. He will then make an exchange and give you life, light, and peace.

Now, let me warn you Christianity is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work. You will have to begin to pray. Actually, this can be especially difficult at first because you may feel you are talking to yourself. I encourage you to ask God to reveal Himself to you in your daily life. Ask for help and guidance and watch what happens.

You will be required to yield your will to do what is right rather than what is expedient. You will need to read and study the Bible on a consistent basis. (I recommend you tart with the gospel of John.) You will be required to gather with like minded people to discuss and examine your thoughts, feelings, and actions. What will you get in return? A real honest relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

Many people here would give you a prayer to pray, but I fully believe your first prayer should come from your own heart. I will recommend you ask for forgiveness for not being able to live up to God's standards for humans. None of us can do this which is why Messiah came to die on the cross. He knew we could never reach the standard, so He reached it for us. Second, you need to say and truly believe Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah and did indeed die on the cross in order to save us from our own evil and by doing this He brings us back into a relationship with Him and His Father. Lastly, you need to as mentioned before fully surrender your will to His. This is the basis of what is called the "sinners' prayer". Sin is the word Christians use to say we cannot live up to the life God expects of humans. That is it.

So, now what does this have to do with Master Parenting? Parenting is all about preparing children to live full, happy, well-adjusted adult lives. Yet, we often fail to prepare them for what happens after life ends. This is the one question which can stump many. What happens when you die?

We are spiritual beings our bodies die, but we do not. Instead we move on into life without a body. The Bible in Luke 16 beginning in verse 19, tells us there are two places our spirits can live; a place of comfort or a place of torment. As responsible parents it is our job to teach our children about our spirits, the two places, and encourage them to develop a relationship with the Creator ensuring they go to the place of comfort. As I mentioned before there are books which talk about near death experiences in the ones I have read people all say they still existed after death. So, now it is up to you to investigate these things. Read about near death experiences, read Luke 116:19-31, pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you. Then teach that truth to your children and prepare then for life after death. Face your fear of death and dying and help your children never ever fear it.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, October 26, 2015

Atlanta Businesses and Work/Life Balance

Parents, Teachers, and Advocates has been serving Atlanta's nonprofit community since 2004. We have served the Salvation Army, Atlanta Public Schools, and Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children and others. Our most popular class by far is Parenting in the 21st Century is about how parents can achieve great family lives by establishing rules, routines, discipline which reduce stress and helps parents develop work/life balance.

Work/Life balance is all about learning how to establish plans to create more efficient strategies to reduce stress and increase effectiveness in personal, family and work life. This class helps adults to create plans, put them into place any and all strategies to enable the plan to work, work the plan, and then make adjustments to the plan as needed.

Over and over again among parents who have taken this class tell us how much their lives to improve. We are now ready to bring this specific class to the Atlanta Business Community. Here is a copy of our syllabus. If you are interested in learning more please contact Barb Harvey via phone at (770) 256-3281, email at educatepta@gmail.com, via Twitter handle @educatepta1, or via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/barbara-e-harvey/18/7/236. 

What Parents Have to Say

“Thank you for mothering me. Now, I can be a good Mother to my kids.” Marisol P. 2006

“This is awesome! Every new Mom should take this class.” Nita W. 2008

I have taken classes with DFCS (Division of Family and Children’s Services) they kinda helped; your class is the best I have ever taken. You have helped me a lot. Thank you.” Anonymous, 2010

“This class has helped me and Tracy to both be a stronger couple and better parents.” Phillip H. 2013

“The class helped me to understand and do what is needed in my blended family.” Kevin J ,2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Parenting and the Work Life Balance

Earliest this year I started a blog series on Master Parenting. In November I will be finishing up with Master Parenting and miving onto work/life balance.

Master Parenting focused on the things we all need to be cognizant of in our own lives to be effective parents. This series will look at what needs to be in balance to make our,lives and family better all around.

This series will discuss:

Establishing a great Co-parenting relationship with your partner whether you share your parenting as spousr, partners, or living separately.

Time for adult relationships as well as time with your kids, and time for yourself.

We will explore families who thrive verse families who merely survive and hoew you can become one who thrives.

Worklife and Homelife how to make both a priority without losing yourself.

Master Parenting Part 4: The Will

The will is the road we travel as our emotions and mind meet. It is where choices are made. Often these decisions are made on a subconscious level.

Psychology tells us we all have a ever running dialog based on our experiences and what we have been taught as children. This ever running tape is called self-talk. It is the foundation of how we think and feel therefore it often controls the  decisions we make. I first learned about and dealt with my own self-talk in Dr. Phil Mc Graw's book Self Matters.

In this book Dr. Phil helps readers recognize their own self talk and make adjustments. Adults can often make decisions in a mistaken belief they picked up in childhood. For instance in my blog on Domestic Violence I spoke of a child learning to be either the abused or the abuser. Neither one of these is true yet the cycle of violence often perpetuate generation after generation based almost entirely on self talk and the kinds of relationships which people choose to have in their adult lives.

The only way to adjust self talk is to first recognize it as it is happening and then say out loud what you want to replace it with now. I recommend Dr. Phil's book and workbook if you would like to further your understanding of the topic. Because self talk is the foundation of our decision making recognizing what it is becomes paramount.

Our choices in parenting are also based on emotions, thinking, and self talk. This means being a master parent takes our stepping back and taking a good look at all of the above before making a decision about what our children may and may not do.

It also is very important to live in front of and talk to our children with great care and concern because we are formung their selt talk as well. Children believe what their parents tell them it becomes the foundation of how they make decisions in life. So, be honest , be kind, and be thoughtful about what you say and do. Master Parenting takes recognizing the decisions we make can and will effect our children in both good and negative ways. Choose Carefully!

Believe in Parenting

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I was recently approached by Inspire Me Today to become one of their Luminaries. Today, I am featuredHere is the link!

http://inspiremetoday.com/brilliance/can-start-living-authentically/

Friday, October 16, 2015

Domestic Violence and It's Affect on Children

Most people fail to realize the affect Domestic Violeence has on the children involved. Even our social services professionals fail to see children living in these homes are constantly being affected by toxic stress.
    Toxic stress is a term used by psychologists and developmental neurobiologists to describe the kinds of experiences, particularly in childhood, that can affect brain architecture and brain chemistry. They typically are experiences that are bad for an individual during development such as severe abuse.

    Toxic Stress :: DNA Learning Center

    https://www.dnalc.org/view/1226-Toxic-Stress.html

    Yet, witnessing the servere abuse of a parent is often not considered abuse? In this I am afraid the poem Children Learn What They Live may be true. This kind of abuse can lead children to one of two conclusions. Either you can be the abuser or be abused. The erratic behavior of the abusers leaves everyone in their sphere frightened of the next time anger and violence will erupt. Which leads children living in an unstable, chaotic, and toxic environment. Many victims who eventually find the courage to leave their abusers finally do so for the greater needs of the safety and protection of the children.

    Many children who have lived in homes with domestic violence need to be treated for abuse as well. The helplessness, fear, and anxiety which plagues  children who suffered child abuse are also the same issues these children suffer from, witnessing abuse. Make no mistake children who live in homes where abuse happens have the hidden scars of abuse. 

    I would go so far as saying children who have lived in homes where domestic violence is prevalent are emotionally abused. There is a term used for it called Complex Trauma. 

    Complex Trauma describes both children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature, and the wide-ranging, long-term impact of this exposure.



    It is between the ages of 3-5 where children are heavily focused on learning the roles of male and female. A child is extremely vulnerable at this age of learning the abuser either male or female is expected to act this way. Many adults who grew up in abusive homes may find themselves repeating these roles or attempting to live these roles because they are conditioned to them. This is why many programs in shelters for abuse victims have child focused programs. However, I believe we need many more folks to help these families. Children who have lived in these homes need to talk about, learn, and internalize the true roles of healthy men and women. Also, they need to observe healthy relationships.

    Parents who have suffered abuse are often great parents. They know what their children have been through and work very hard to give themselves and their children healthy, peaceful environments in which to live. I believe the community can better support these families by reaching out to single parent families. You do not need to know their circumstances to invite them to your barbecue, on a picnic, or on a trip to the Zoo.  As a fellow parent you can simply include them, allowing to join, your traditional, blended or mixed up family. Allowing them to experience true friendship and support. This can be your service to helping and supporting victims of Domestic Violence. Parent to Parent.

    Believe in Parenting

Monday, October 12, 2015

Passing on the Faith

Monday October 5th was the final and 8th day of Sukkot. The Jewish holiday which reminds the people that God still cares for us even in our disobedience.  This day is a Torah celebration. A celebration of the Lord giving the Jewish people the Word of God. In addition, it is the time to roll the Torah Scroll back to the start, as it has been read from beginning to end during the previous year. During the service the children were called to the front, age fourteen and younger,. The Rabbi blessed spoke to them about the inheritance of the Torah, prayed for them to learn and grow in the words if the Torah, and then said the traditional Aaronic blessing over them. This is one of the ways the Jewish people pass on their faith.

Another way they do so is in the liturgy. Every Shabbat also known as Sabbath they quote Deuteronomy 6:5-9. Tthis scripture outlines how to pass your faith to your children! You talk about it constantly. In Romans 10:17 it says faith comes by hearing and hearing about the Messiah, who He is what He has done, what He is doing and will do for us.. Parents are the primary and most constant adults in their children's lives. They need to here it from you over and over. Children's Ministry is about supporting you by reinforcing what you have said.

However, it is not just about saying the words it is about being authentic in living it everyday. I have been working with children since age 13 and I can tell you two things about them. One is they are keen observers and second the can spot  hypocrisy at 10 paces. If you are talking the talk but, not walking the walk you are phony and your kids will eventually leave the faith. You can not fake having a relationship with Messiah. Either you know and serve Him or you do not. There is no middle ground. Many may balk at this statement, but Jesus told us, it is this way. He told us in the parable of  Lasurus and the Rrich man in Luke 16:19-31.

Luke 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

I will not belabor the point. Passing on our faith comes in constantly talking about it in both word and deed.

It was Saint Francis Assisi who said" Preach the gospel and if you must use words."

His point was not to say keep quiet. His point was to be a living example!

If you would like to read more on this topic I have an article you can read here.

Passing our faith onto our children ultimately requires two things.  Authentically living what we believe and talking about it constantly! You can do this!

Believe in Parenting

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Parental Resilience and Mental Health

I was recently talking to a group of Mom's about Parental Resilience and as today is Mental Health Awareness Day I want to share some of the same thoughts here. We are so conditioned in Western culture to think of mental health as limited to Bipolar, Depression, and Multiple Personality Disorder. However, mental health also extends to stress, mental exhaustion, and road rage.

Let me ask you a question when was the last time you got so frustrated with your child you wanted to pull your hair out? How often does it happen? What happens when you reach the tiping point? If you answer within the last three months to the first question. Less than three months on the to the second question. And I spank to the third question. It is my assertion you are overtaxed, stressed, and/or having a tough time setting and maintaining boundaries. I
 would like to make the following four suggestions.


  1. Take some "me time" on a weekly basis. We all have things we do to relax. Some read, some walk/run, some knit, and some do nothing all, set aside 2-hours minimum a week to yourself to  do something which recharges your own batteries. The purpose of this is it relieves stress and allows you time just to be. Just being is an important part of developing a well rounded mental healthvcare plan.
  2. Teach your kids to relax. Each weekday as you get home make it quiet time. (30-45 minutes.)Make this a "family time out". Everyone should have their own spot, get comfortable and do something relaxing. ( read a book, look at a magazine, color, work with play dough, paint,  write a story ,draw pictures,etc. ) I strongly suggest not including television or gaming during this time. These activities while they can be quiet via headphones . They race the brain with the colors, images, and sounds which causes the opposite reaction in children.
  3. Create a set of rules and consequences for your family. Parents can create 3-5 general rules which encompass a wide variety of behaviors. Here are the three generally found in an Early Childhood Classroom. Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Neat. Have the family sit down together and develop consequences and rewards. Put the rules, consequences, and rewards up and review them on a daily basis for the first month. Then weekly for the next month.  Finally review them monthly on a permanent basis.. This takes parents out of the bad guy role. Children know the rules. Keep in mind these are family rules, so if,Mom or Dad break the rules they also have to pay the consequences.
  4.  Remember parenting is primarily working to build strong, long-lasting, relationships with your children. Do things you both enjoy. Doing these fun things together builds bonds and reinforces  relationships.

Mental health in the general population is not about medication or hospitalization. Rather it requires we put plans, habits, and structures in place to keep us on an even keel. An adult who puts a premium on maintaining these practices, will support their child's ability to exercise these same habits.

Believe in Parenting

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How can Parents Support Education?

Parents are the greatest and most important teachers in a child's life.  This is because parents are the only teachers which stay with the child from pre-school through high school graduation. Parents know the struggles their children had last year, what is going well emotionally, physically, and every other aspect of children's lives. Ultimately this is why parents are so desperately needed in the educational process.

Parental advocacy is so important in children's educational development research has shown children who have parental support consistently do better than peers who do not, this report by the NEA supports these findings. What does Parental Advocacy look like?


  1. Parents shares best way to contact them'and request same of the teacher.
  2. Parents visits the school or talks to the teacher on a regular basis (monthly or bi-monthly, more if working out an issue.).
  3. Parents know and inform the teacher of child's form of intelligence and we they struggle. Also, any major changes such as death of family or pet,  sepatation/divorce, or birth of a child.
  4. Show up on time, with questions for the teacher to Parent-Teacher Conferences.
  5. Are an active participant in the PTA/PTO.
  6. Attends as many school function as they are able.
These are all things busy parents can plan for by using the school calendar to put these important happenings into your personal calendar. One thing to include in you monthly contact with the teacher is an update for your calendar.

I will have more tips in my upcoming book!

Until them keep Believing in Parenting!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Why Should Churches Conduct Parent Education Classes?-Part 1

One of the greatest tasks of any adult is helping  helpless human beings grow into responsible and capable adults. Yet, many adults have no clue and little support in achieving this goal. In many ways the church already offers support through offering Children's and Family Ministries. However, the church is constantly asking why do so many of our children either look like the world or leave for college and drift away from the Faith. Why? Because we have been so focused on getting adults to act Holy, we have neglected to teach them what it means to live a life connected to the Creator.

Acting Holy and living Holy are two entirely different ways of living. We have majored in acting Holy, so no need to go there. But, how do we live Holy?

Holy living starts with authentically knowing who you are and what you believe. It matters not that the person sitting next to me believes I am Holy. Because if I am being authentic I'm not and quite frankly neither are they. Romans 3:10 tells us "there is no one righteous no not one". It is completely inauthentic to act as if we are. Our right standing with God the Father, only comes through accepting the sacrafice of Yeshua the Messiah who came to Earth to be our Passover Lamb. Slain by the sins of Adam and everyone who will ever walk the Earth except the Messiah Himself.

If I spend my life acting like I am something I am not my children will see through it. And quite frankly want nothing at all to do with it. Who could blame them?

What needs to happen is every person who loves God needs to take a step back and examine their lives to see if what is required is evident and how.

Micah 6:8 states quite clearly what is required.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love [a]kindness,
And to walk [b]humbly with your God? (NASB)

Authentic living starts with acting and living your life according to your beliefs and values. This is what it means to do justice. Our places of worship often fail to get people to examine their own beliefs. They tend to tell us what to believe. This causes people to try and live what they hear rather than what they truly believe. This is the crux of the problem. People are trying to live their Iives based on what someone else's beliefs. Children pick up on this and relate all of Christianity to being false or fake.

Similarly, patenting education  starts with helping adults to understand their own beliefs and values then begin to line up their actions accordingly. In order to build strong relationships with their children adults need to be "real". This means to say what they mean, by living it out in front of them day in and day out. Acting justly as God requires.

Churches need to get involved in Parenting Education to teach adults to live justly. Churches are the place where learning to live justly is paramount to living out your faith in an authentic manner. It is what has called me to work daily to act justly. It is why I ...

Believe in Parenting

B

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Master Parenting Part Three: The Soul

The soul is a part of ourselves we often do not connect with on a regular basis. This is very sad because our emotional intelligence stems from the soul. There are three segments of the soul. Our mind, will and emotions. These three parts of us help us to connect with ourselves and others. The soul is what makes us unique and an individual it is also the part of us which needs to connect with others on a meaningful level.

Mind -The mind is where our conscious and unconscious lives are lived. There is a Jewish proverb which says "As a man thinks, so he becomes". Our thoughts and beliefs are the bedrock of how we live our lives and the main reason we have a hard time changing. Before a person can change he/she must examine how they are thinking or feeling about a topic. This is especially true in becomingva better parent. Parenting is a learned skill, usually at the feet of our own parents. But, what if you do not like some or even most of the way you were raised. I have spoken to many adult who feels both shocked and stunned when they hear something coming out of their mouths they promised themselves never to say to their own children. This happens because adults need to not only make this promise, but to develop a different way of thinking on purpose. The subconscious neefs to be reprogrammed. This takes time, effort, and concious deliberate change. The main thing is to monitor  your own thoughts as you are working on the change and change the thought by saying out loud what you want your thoughts to be. This process works on many levels and is a good strategy for changing your mind.

Will-The will is the part of us which both desires and decides our course of action. There are people with all kinds of temperaments. Some are very meek and willing to go with the flow while others are strong-willed and often must be coerced or pushed into submission. However, most of us fall sonewhere in between.

Emotions-Are all about our feelings. There is a big trend right now around Emotional Intelligence. I believe this is because we in the Western World have separated our thoughts from our feelings as if they are two different things. However, as I am pointing out here in fact they are part of the same part of us. the soul.

Being a Master PaParent starts with understanding ourselves and what we think, feel, believe. It is also effected by our health, fatigue, stress, and other things which effect us on a physical manner.

Creating space in our lives to think, talk, read, and take care if our souls in many ways are both missing and frowned upon in our society. Yet, our lives are strongly effected by our mental, physical, and emotional health.

I think when we take time to take care of our souls, we become healthier more authentic people. Because of this people automatically become better at most everything, most especially parenting.

Parenting first, foremost, and always is about establishing a strong and deeply connected relationship with each child. This is much more easily accomplished when an adult has a loving, supportive, and forgiving relationship with themselves.

So, how does one go about creating a good relationship with themselves?

1. Take good care of your body. Honestly, this is personally, my biggest struggle. We all know what to do. Let's be honest. Go to the doctor at least once a year, the dentist twice, eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean meats, drink mostly water, get 2 hours of exercise a week, and get 7-8 hours of rest a night. This is the basics of a healthy physical lifestyle, yet most of us hit or miss, this on aa regular basis. If I told you in the next twenty years your children will pretty much be in the exact shape physically you are today, because how yoy live they will live. For decades, people have been trying to educate into or out of a whole host of things, but the research shows 85% of children live the lives their parents did. Your example is your kids future.

2. Mind we all learn differenly. Understanding how you learn is a large part of health in this area. I encourage every person to go onlune and take a multiple intelligence inventory. Once, you understand how you learn it opens up your world.


Mental health is also an important aspect of this area. There are 25-33%  of people in our world who are on some spectrum of a mental or  physical chemical imbalance. These folks need to be under the care of a physician no differently, than a diabetic or a hemophiliac patient.  They rest of us need to monitor our stress, depression, and mental clarity. I recommend once a month sitting down with a friend or significant other and talking about your thoughts and feelings regarding these issues. If you think you could use more support get it.

3. Emotional health starts by not ignoring or glossing over how you feel.  This article gives you feeling words for every letter of the alphabet. Start by putting this list on your refrigerator for a while at least once a day look at the list and desribe how you feel. The purpose of this exercise is to help you start to both recognize what you are feeling and to be able to clearly put those feelings into words.

Being a Master Parent is all about helping yourself to become more and more authentically in tune with who, you are and your mind, will, and emotions. You can do this!

Believe in Parenting

If you missed the first two blogs, here are the links.

Are you a Maestro in Parenting

Master Parenting Part Two

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cooking with Kids: CareAcademy

I want to thank CareAcademy for our collaboration to create thos blog.

http://www.careacademy.co/blog/cooking-with-kids-teach-life-lessons/

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bedtime Routines & The Rabbit Who Wants to fall Asleep

Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin is a Swiss  psychologist who spent many years studying sleep and is reported to have worked diligently to get his theories put into the right order to help children fall asleep. A story in the Daily Mail recounts his journey.

According to the reports it works and works well. A father recently posted a YouTube video of what happened as he read it to his son. Many are concerned about this book however, being an Early Childhood professional I can tell you children often need help in learning to fall asleep. Anyone with a toddler can tell you they only have two speeds full speed and sleep. They can literally be running full tilt one minute and then crashed out asleep on that same floor a moment later. Because infants sleep so much it may seem to many that sleeping is an innate behavior. Many times as in the case of toddlers the body just shuts down. However, getting in bed and going to sleep is not an innate practice; children have to learn good sleeping habits.  The beauty of Dr. Ehrlin's book is not just the bedtime story itself. But, that the story teaches children how to fall asleep.

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context. So, who better than a person who studies how the mind works to help teach your children to sleep. Another beloved author created a book about sleep. Dr. Seuss Sleep Book is a classic and I love it. This shows me even after all these years children need help learning to fall asleep. Actually, many adults have this problem too. Try Dr. Ehrlin's book. Perhaps you will by as in the end of Dr. Seuss's book number 99 zillion 9 billion and 4. Hear Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book read on YouTube. It is a fact many parents will need to teach their children how to fall asleep. I hope this tool called The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep  will help you to do so faster and easier.

Believe in Parenting!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Reading Is Fundamental

During the 1970's the campaign called Reading Is Fundamental, the goal of this program was to get kids reading. many you 40+ may remember LeVar Burton, talking about how important reading is in life. RIF is now according to their web pageReading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States

Their mission: 
To motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8.
Why is this important? One reason it is called the School to Prison Pipeline! By now I am sure you have heard the U. S. Prison system uses Third grade reading score to determine the number of prison cells which will be needed in the future. The general concern us I have heard is how can we get the prison system to change. My response to this is, WHAT! The question is we know what the issue is. How can we fix it. The answer? Make sure we get on board with RIF's mission and ensure every child can read on the Third grade level in Third grade!

Here is how we do that:

1. Every child care center in the nation gives parents who come into their program information on what they can do to improve literacy with children. Including reading in front of them, to them, and with them. W

2.  Every community programs giving clients who come to them information on local family reading centers, which help low and non-reading adults improve their skills.

3. Creating special programs which allow third graders not reading on level to get there before moving on.

4. Ensuring children I early childhood c are gaining the emotional intelligence skills needed to thrive in the early years of Elementary school.

5. Make sure we are using a variety of learning styles while teaching reading including hands-on interaction with letters.

6. Providing every school in the nation with a variety I of bilks about fiction and non-fiction topics.

These things will not help children who are older and can not. Reader need other strategies to help them. But, if we start with. These measures now we can at least stop any new cases from starting down the pipeline.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

When the Authorities Cause More Harm than Good

There are times when the authorities cause more harm than is necessary. In, recent history there have been stories where children have been taken into custody and transported away from the place where their parents told them to be asin the case of the Metiv's children. Children undertheage of eight placed in hand-ifs like Patrick  and Selecia hear in Georgia. Even a nine year old arrested and taken into custody. We have gone liturgical and it is more than just people filing behaviorfrivolous lawsuits. It is the criminalization of normal childhood behavior. This is a major problem because in essence it points to the fact it is adult expectations which are the issue.

When I was growing up I was told policemen are the community helpers that help to protect us. If you have a problem you can go to them for help. I ask you after what happened tp them are these two children and many like them going to believe what I did as a child.

On this blog I have spoken a lot about aagencies whose responsibility it is to look out for child welfare overzealous attempts to protect children and actually causing more harm.

So, what needs to happen to improve these situations?
  1.  We need to rrequire all public service employees (police, social workers, doctors) who may come into contact with chiodren to take a child development course.
  2. School authorities should be required to take child focused conflict resolution training, every two years.
  3. There needs to be a more discussions in the public discourse about proper expectations for children from ages three to seventeen.
  4. We need to reverse the criminalization of children's behavior including tantrums, pranks, and immature behavior.
How does this effect parenting?

We are all in this together. Parents need to have as much knowledge and understanding about children and development as anyone.

1. Know what is acceptable for your child's age and ability level.

2. Be in monyhly contact with your child's teacher.

3. Speak up at city council meetings about police being trained on dealing with children.

Write op-ed pieces to your local paper regarding thisissues incolving school, officers, and others engaging children.

4. Create a support group for families who have been negatively affected by government interaction with children.

5. Get a local church to sponsor programs for officials to talk about any issues and suggest positive and doable solutions.

6. Encourage the increase and availability of PParent Education in your community.

7. Find a local parent educator willing to work with all to create viable options.

8. Stand up for yourself and other parents to fully and independently engage in effective parenting.

The authorities I believe mean well. However, they can see so much negative things happening in their sphere, they tend to forget the are seeinf the exceptions and not the norms. It is all of our job to remind them of this and to help them to remember. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to School: Understanding Multiple Intelligence

Understanding Intelligence

Each of us has a primary, secondary, and tertiary form of intelligence. Dr. Howard says each of us have all nine. However, we all have some which are stronger. This is important because the more we engage in activities and practices which spark our brains the better we think and are prepared to learn new information.
The following Multiple Intelligence Inventory is designed to help you tap into your top three intellectual bents and begin to use them to help you empower your brain to engage.



     Understanding one’s intellectual bent is of utmost importance.  Learning especially in childhood is the primary function of life.  It affects our comprehension of information and the ability to put it into use. 

     Parents need to know how their teen’s brain engages best.  This is important on several fronts.  First of all, what parenting is the training of teens to become fully functioning adults requires the trainer (parent) know the best way to impart learning.  This is seriously needed when trying to teach right from wrong, setting boundaries, and instituting expectations.  A child whose brain is engaged through reading might get a better understanding of these things through a parental letter or a book on the topic.  However, a child who brain engages through music might get it better if the parent puts it in a rap or has the teens put the expectations into a song. Also, it allows parents to set up the home to promote all kinds of learning for their teens.






     Secondly, in helping the child to become more self-aware, knowing their own brain engagement will help teens especially older ones to set up homework, or learning times in a way which is best for them.  For instance, someone who brain is at its best through naturalistic means might have a higher learning curve studding outdoors, or with a cd of nature sounds in the background.

     Third, and perhaps just as important as the others maybe more is explaining to the child’s teacher how she can set up the classroom to meet the intellectual bent of your child; allowing both the home and the school environment to support the principles life-long learning.


Believe in Parenting 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Master Parenting Part Two:Take care of your Body

 Back in the 70's-90's there were ads saying "put children first". The theory is children are young and vunerable and they need to take priority. However, I am coming to believe more and more a parent needs to keep their health and Well-being in mind as well. Parents who are tired, run down, and lacking in good self care do not have what they need to parent effectively. In addition, children live what is modeled before them if parents do not practice quality self care children will not either as they age.

Body, Soul, and Spirit are the make up of each individual person. Each aspect of a persons being needs a particular form of care. What we all need is similar however it varies in terms of physical, emotional, and mental make up. This blog post is focused on the body. The body is your physique; the form, size and make up of your person. There are five areas of care when it comes to your body: eating, drinking, exercise, sleep/rest, going to see medical professionals.

EATING-We tend to eat things that taste good and feed the stomach but not the body. Did you know it is possible to feed the stomach and still starve the body? We do it everyday. If you tend to eat primarily carbs and meat and rarely eat fruits and vegetables, guilty. If you eat at a fast food joint more than four times a week, guilty. If you eat foods and vegetables primarily non-organic (genetically modifiedFoods), guilty. If you do most of your grocery shopping down the aisles and not on thr permeates, guilty. In other words the American diet. During the ten minutes I studied nursing I took organic chemistry. It is the study of the bodies processing on a cellular level. I learned no matter what we ingest it all gets broken down into molecules which are combined with others to feed the cells. The body needs certain molecules which only comes from plants in order to process certain foods. In addition plants tend to contain at a cellular level not only the nutrients we need but the enzyme the body needs to properly absorb the nutrients. So, what I am saying is your Mama was right you need to eat your veggies.  Organic, local and fresh is best. Organic frozen is next. Organic canned. If you can not eat organic local fresh or frozen is your best choice. Red meat is all that bad, but grass fed beef is less likely yo have hormones. The same is true of free range poultry.
  
DRINKING-Water intake is most important here. The average person should drink half their body weight in ounces every day. They used to say eight, eight ounce glasses. But, that was when the average woman weighed between 120 &130 pounds. Now that weight varies so much this is the standard. You can drink other things as well coffee, tea, juices are better than soda, fruit punches or kook-aid. You can cut down on juice by doing half water half juice. If you are going to drink diet soda try Zevia it is made with stevia a natural sugar substitute. It is available in most health food stores and many Kroger's carry it.

EXERCISE- there are three typesofexercise you should incorporate in your routine you can alternate getting them in 30 minutes a day. Cardiovascular this includes walking, running, swimming, bike riding, skating and aerobic classes. Muscle Stregnthening which includes weight training isometrics, and body building. And finally stretching,. This includes yoga, Pilates, ballet exercises, and general stretching. For people who have trouble with body movement I recommend T-Tapp a form of exercise which encompasses all of the above.

SLEEP/REST-we Americans also fail to get enough rest. The average adult needs ten hours of rest a day. This includes eight hours of sleep and two hours of rest. Please note I said needs not gets. Many people tend to think sleep is a waste of time. But, in fact our bodies are working hard on the cellular level as we are in sleep mode. While awake our bodies, do not do the self-maintaining it needs to keep the body running at peak effiency. It is too busy in wake mode keeping us conscious, thinking processing information etc.  When we sleep the body, finishes processing our food and deliver needed nutrients to the cell. Disposes of red and white blood cells which are not needed and produce new ones. Creates new hormones for the body to use. Gets rid of old skin and hair cells. Grows new skin and bone as needed. It fights off illness to prevent us from gettingsick, cleanses organs like the gall bladder, kidneys, and liver. Along with a whole host of other things which would take up pages which OI do not have. Let me just say sleep is important. There is a blog piece I wrote earlier this year on how teens are greatly influenced by their parents sleep habits. I note this because I want to reinforce the fact-children live what they see modeled. If you want your children to have good sleeping habits do what you want them to do!Rest-take time to just relax and be quiet sometime during the day and insist your children do too. I suggest a quiet half hour after everyone gets home. No video games or electronics. Just activities like reading coloring, looking at magazines napping, daydreaming etc.

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS-this is an easy one. I am just going to say it. Go! Doctor, dentist, eye doctor, ENT, etc

Self-care is one of the things children catch from observing their parents. We rarely talk about taking care of ourselves or not. We just do or don't. For the sake of your kids do. Children deserve to have healthy, happy parents.

Believe in Parenting