Why You Should Rethink Screen Time With Your Kids

Do we say yes or no to technology for the kiddos? It is my honor to welcome my special guest, Eduardo Henrique.

App developers want to engage clients so they interact with their app while keeping their interest. Your audience plays a big factor into how you want to engage them. PlayKids is designed to further the development of children using apps.

Our goal is to enrich a child’s motor and emotional development while opening up new opportunities and revealing new concepts. When you engage with the PlayKids app you will see a wide variety of activities. All have been designed by parents who know the importance of having a safe and responsible place for kids to play on screen.

Why We Built PlayKids

While developing PlayKids, we wanted to rethink screen time by using tech to support human connection to empower and inspire kids. Michael Rich said it best ‘What we owe our kids is a rich and diverse experience. Our focus should be on living well with media rather than opposing or restricting it.”

Living well with media for us means building a platform not only for children but one that can interactive with parents. Studies show that too much screen time can have bad effects such as childhood obesity, irregular sleep and social behaviors.

PlayKids focuses on having a rich and interactive experience with a limited amount of screen time. We choose this path because the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Mayo Clinic recommend less than two hours per day for children under two. Following that recommendation shows a positive impact on a child’s development. That is why all activities on PlayKids are short. We know that passive screen time shouldn’t replace reading, playing or problem solving. The key to making screen time beneficial is through parent interaction and that’s what we strive for with all PlayKids activities.

How PlayKids Benefits Both Children and Parents

Parents should be the driving force for teaching kids healthy media habits. Co-viewing with your child can help them understand what they are seeing and apply it in real life. Studies have shown that children around the age of 2 can benefit from screen time and parent engagement can make the screen time even more educational. Programs including music, stories, and movements are among the most beneficial to their development. While building the PlayKids app, we followed the Tips of Literacy Learning and the Three C’s.

PlayKids Also Helps Teachers In the Classroom

We have also opened PlayKids up to the classroom for teachers. This gives teachers and educators access to over a thousand books both modern and classic. The books vary from interactive to audio and are curated by themes and ages.

Educators and teachers also have over 1,500 videos to access in English, Portuguese and Spanish. These are great tools for teachers to check their kids progress and can help with lesson plans. Our goal is to open up the learning possibilities for children since we know that children learn at different paces and in different ways.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAlAAAAAJDRmZDM1MWNjLTk2OTktNDQ5OS05MmY5LTBmNTE0MzNkZjZiZQ.jpgAbout The Author:
Eduardo Henrique is the co-founder and head of US market at Movile Internet Movel S.A., the maker of PlayKids, a Naspers/MIH Group company and the mobile platform for content and commerce in Latin America. Movile sells mobile entertainment to end users via Apple Store, Google Play and in partnership with more than 40 carriers. To find out more about Eduardo please visit, https://www.movile.com/en/

Anger in Boys

I was talking on the phone to a teacher about a client we both share and she was asking me if all boys seem angrier to me these days. I pondered her question and answered, “yeah it does seem that we are seeing a rise in angry boys.”  When I got off the phone, I continued to think about her question and reviewed the number of boys I have seen in the last year with “anger issues.”

I believe that many of our boys are not angry.  They have situations that keep them from being successful and they become frustrated.  As early as 3 years old, I remember my son one day decided to slam our bedroom door after being told he could not stay up later.  I was amazed that this toddler had already figured out how to communicate his frustration by slamming the door.

All Anger is Communication

If you believe that emotions are normal and we all have them, then you must also believe that in that moment of anger our children are trying to communicate something to us.  That something is essentially their inability to manage the situation they are in with the skills they have.  Many of our children are “lagging skills” that they need to be successful.

In order to solve anger issues, we have to identify these lagging skills and solve the problems that occur when children find themselves in situations that require these lagging skills.

I love using Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) method for problem solving.  You can find out more about this approach on www.Livesinthebalance.org.

 Radio Show

I have had the pleasure of interviewing many great guests on our Parenting Tips 2 Go w/ Dr. Stacy Radio Show. Anger in Children with Guests: Elizabeth Verdick & Cornelia Spelman.

Books to Help Children

The authors below have penned great books to help us explore anger and emotions in boys:

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Tips for Parents

1. Be proactive. Identify situations that are difficult for your child and help them to problem solve.  Try to identify the specific difficulty your child is having using the CPS model (see above).

 

2. Identify language your child can use when they are angry that helps you know how they feel. Teach them to verbalize feelings in appropriate ways to help solve their frustrations.

 

3. Use deep breathing techniques, like blowing bubbles and counting to ten, that help children to calm their brain and regulate their emotions. Practice even when they are not angry.

 

4. Make sure children are not hungry, tired or bored to avoid angry episodes. Sleep is often a key factor in irritability in children in the morning.   http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Sleep-Better.aspx

 

5. Get children exercising 30 minutes a day to improve overall health and wellbeing.

 

 

Parenting Tips 2 Go Book

As a busy, mother, I know how tempting it is to be frustrated with children and to take my own frustrations out on them.  But I always stop and think before letting it go on my children.  Are they really the reason I am so frustrated?  Is my frustration justified? Is this something I will regret saying or doing later? Yes, it is a long “stop and think” moment, as it should be…

 

 

Parenting Tips 2 Go by Dr. Stacy Haynes, Buy HERE.

Anthony Meets Dr. Stacy: A Book About ADHD, Buy HERE.

Powerful Peaceful Parenting: Guiding Children Chaning Lives, Buy HERE.

My Blog

Well if you have stumbled across my blog, know that I am a parent right in the midst of it, just like you.  I hope to share my thoughts, guest experts who will help us all (me too!), and my prayer for each parent is to parent with power and peace.

My favorite verse, serves as a guide for me as I parent my children:
Proverbs 22:6
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I encourage you today to have parenting that is effective and prevailing, creates friendship and unity as you provide guidance, love and care for your children.

Until Next Session,
Dr. Stacy

 

When Mistakes Get You Down

Sometimes as a wife and a mother, I reflect too much on the mistakes I have made in my past. I think about the days when maybe I am not as nice as I should be to my husband or I respond to my children in a short tone.

There are moments that I feel guilty about, as a mother and wife.  Then God reminds me of many examples of women in the Bible and the past mistakes they had made in their walk with the Lord.

We can easily think of Eve, why the first woman in the Bible who made a pretty huge mistake because of sin and temptation.  And yet she goes on to be the mother of all living things and raises her children to love and worship the Lord.

One woman stands out to me, as her past created her future.  Rahab the harlot as the Bible calls her was not aware how two spies would change her past and bless her future.

Joshua 2, tells us the story of how Rahab hid the spies, made them promise to save her and her family and she vowed to profess her faith.

1.She believed in God despite her circumstances.

Rahab- whose first part of her name Ra- the name of an eyptian God, was a pagan. She was not a believer and yet she is proclaiming here her faith to these spies.

Rahab was not concerned about her past and what things look like.  Sure she was not worthy to house these spies- but she believed.

Proverbs 8:17
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

I remind myself that circumstances sometimes are not the best and behavior may not always be Christlike in the moment, but God has chosen me to be a mother and a wife in this season for His glory.

2. She trusted in the promises of God.

The Bible has a Hall of Faithers list if you will and Rahab is listed in the Bible Hall of Faith in Hebrews- with folks like Abraham, Moses, Joseph, and David.

Hebrews 11:31 
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

A prostitute was spared, and did not die with those who were disobedient.

God can forgive my past and give me a future.  God is not sitting up in Heaven, counting our mistakes as mothers. He asks us to trust Him, to confess our faith and ask for forgiveness when we sin.

3. She brought others to salvation.

One thing I love about Rahab – she immediately became a disciple and brought others to the Lord.  And yet God saved her and her family.  All because of Rahab.

A woman who decided her past would not determine her destiny.

A woman who decided her life was worth giving up for God.

A woman who will always be remembered in the family lineage of Jesus Christ himself.

A woman who made mistakes, and lived to tell about it.

As the story goes, one of those spies, Salmon- decided he loved Rahab and married her.  She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth from whose son, Obed, Jesse the father of David came.

Salmon was a prince of the house of Judah, and thus Rahab, the prostitute became a princess.

You see in those moments when I doubt my imperfections, my mistakes as a mom and a wife I am reminded of how good God’s grace and mercy is.  I am reminded that God loves us, He created us and He has forgiven us.

I am reminded of the lessons that can be learned when we go through trials and the patience that God is building in my character with each new experience.

Jesus healed a man demon possessed in Mark 5. And when the man wanted to travel with Jesus, Jesus replied

Mark 5:19
Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

You see I am able to share my faith through my mistakes with others. My life is not a story of perfection, it is a story of Great God whose grace and forgiveness allows me to serve Him each and every day.

 Until Next Time,
Dr. Stacy

Back to School… Already?

Yes the best words ever: School is in!  Okay maybe not.  I know in my home we are all ready with supplies and new lunch kits but really our attitude is like “oh no school is in”.

One of my neighbors observed all the children getting on the school bus and as the last kid piled on the bus, he turned to us parents and said, “Where’s the nearest bar?”  What a true sentiment from a parent realizing the bitter sweet that comes with the return of school.

More than Just Supplies

Children take time adjusting to the return of school just like parents need time to adjust to their children returning to school. For me, I usually have a modified mommy schedule for the first two weeks of school because the demands each day are unpredictable.  Not to mention the first day, I have an hour of homework from all the papers to sign and return to school.

Getting ready for school is a mindset shift as well. Children, who have had relaxing no stress days, now return to days filled with hours of instruction.  Talk to any child and they will describe this as “boring instruction” at best.  Learning can be boring and is a huge change from the summer time beach trips, hours laying in the yard or just riding your bike all day.

Don’t Rush the Return

Parents I encourage you to take a few weeks to settle into your new school routine. Children can be overwhelmed the first few days by new teachers, new experiences and even new expectations.  Take a moment to check in with your child each day to problem solve any minor problems before they become major problems.

I love using Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative and Proactive Solutions method for problem
solving.  You can find out more about this approach on www.Livesinthebalance.org.

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Radio Show

I have had the pleasure of interviewing many great guests on our Parenting Tips 2 Go w/ Dr. Stacy Radio Show. Interview with Rita Wirtz, below.

 

Books to Help Children

Back to school concerns can vary from child to child. I love the use of books to help prepare children for back to school.  The authors below have penned great books to help us explore going to school together:

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Tips for Parents

1. Try not to stress the first few weeks of school. Learning can be overwhelming for parents as well.
2. Take a moment before each school day to find one thing your child is thankful for. A simple moment of gratitude in the morning can help change their attitude all day long.

3. Read everything that comes home. Try to be a source of information for your child by knowing all the classroom policies, school procedures, etc. Children feel comforted when we can answer their questions about the school day.

4. Start communication early with the teachers. If you feel there is any concerns with your child, don’t wait. The early you communicate the sooner issues can be resolve

5. Make learning fun. Homework time is not meant to be stressful and full of tears. Take a brain break when you notice your child having a difficult time. Play music, dance, or blow bubbles for five minutes and then come back to the work.

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Ecclesiastes 3:1                                                                    You can order my new book here.
There is a time for everything, and a
season for every activity under the heavens


My Blog

Well if you have stumbled across my blog, know that I am a parent right in the midst of it, just like you.  I hope to share my thoughts, guest experts who will help us all (me too!), and my prayer for each parent is to parent with power and peace.

My favorite verse, serves as a guide for me as I parent my children:

Proverbs 22:6
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I encourage you today to have parenting that is effective and prevailing, creates friendship and unity as you provide guidance, love and care for your children.

Until Next Session,

Dr. Stacy

Rio – Following Your Dreams

I love the Olympics.  I love to watch the Olympics.  Since I was a little child, I always was fascinated at the skill, dedication and determination that it takes to become an Olympic athlete.  I, of course, had dreams of playing volleyball in the Olympics, until I realized that I was not at all as talented, dedicated or determined in the sport as these athletes.

One thing that is clear in the Olympics, is the parent support of these athletes.  Commercial after commercial, we see athletes giving thanks and honoring the support of their parents.  It has to make me wonder, if their parents knew the sacrifice through the years would actually pay off, not just in an Olympic medal, but in a public profession of gratitude.

Parents Behind the Scenes

Parents many of us will not have the honor or privilege of watching our children on a world stage like the Olympics or even a national stage.  But we sure enjoy the honor of the local soccer match or the dance recital at the high school and even the Friday night football game that seems to bring back nostalgia as we sit and watch our children compete.

As I watch my children each week, I feel a sense of pride, knowing that they are out their giving activities they love a try with all their heart!  Children who are involved and are active have a sense of self worth and confidence only gained by the sense of accomplishment.  I am grateful for the team lessons they learn that help them to be successful in all areas of their lives.

Lessons We Learn

Many parents carry a sense of pride with them for their children at these events.  Unfortunately this sense of pride can turn into ugly screaming matches between parents, as often showcased on the evening news.  We see displayed on reality shows, parents who push their children using harsh “tough love” tactics, to hopefully create larger than life super athletes.

Not to say that these parents are also not present at the Olympics, I just think they probably do not outweigh the ones who gently and lovingly support and nurture their children’s dreams to success.

What Happens When You Say Yes to Your Child?
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I had the honor of talking to parents who decided to say Yes to their child’s dreams.  Mark and Jan Foreman, parents of Jon and Tim Foreman of Switchfoot, authored the book “Never Say No raising big-picture kids”.  These parents focused on not just rules but real meaningful relationship with their children.

Interview with Mark Foreman Here.

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Another supportive parent, Bonnie J. Wallace, mother of Dove Cameron star of Live and Maddie, shared her journey in helping her daughter realize her acting dream in the book “The Hollywood Parents Guide Your Roadmap to Pursuing Your Child’s Dream”.

Interview with Bonnie J. Wallace, Here.

 

Being Balanced

One thing parents of successful athletes, actors and musicians stated, is that having family balance was just as important as seeing the dreams of their children come to fruition.  Being able to keep their children developmentally appropriate even as their “professional” careers begin to develop was often a challenge.  Having a supportive family and being able to rely on each other helped them to get through the ups and downs of following a dream.

Parents try not to let your fears impact your child’s ability to be great. 

Well if you have stumbled across my blog, know that I am a parent right in the midst of it, just like you.  I hope to share my thoughts, guest experts who will help us all (me too!), and my prayer for each parent is to parent with power and peace.

My favorite verse, serves as a guide for me as I parent my children:
Proverbs 22:6
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I encourage you today to have parenting that is effective and prevailing, creates friendship and unity as you provide guidance, love and care for your children.

Until Next Session,

Dr. Stacy

 

Do You See Summer LAG? Don’t Be Scared!

 THE RESEARCH IS IN!! Children loss at least two months of learning during the summer months.  I guess this is why we all dread September.  Think about it.  We spend time catching up each school year for the two months of learning we loss during the summer.

Many parents want summer to be a break from learning as many of us struggle with homework during the school year.  We dare not think about trying algebra in July.  But wait parents, we know that children do better in the next grade when they have summer learning in place.

This is why our schools have started even in elementary school with summer reading.  The idea is to keep reading skills sharp at least because children need reading in every area of school these days, including math

Where to Start?

Most schools are sending home summer packets or have summer reading assignments for children.  The great thing about this is that you can always say “the school said to do it”.  I recommend to parents to take 10 minutes a day or 1 hour a week to improve learning.

Children should be reviewing the main topics they learned the year before and I like to start learning the new topics for the new year.  The Common Core website has great information about the requirements for each grade level.  www.Corestandards.org

I like to review first as my children respond well to things they know and then I start introducing new topics about midsummer, as we get closer to the new school year.

Radio Show

I had the great privilege of interviewing F. Stewart Kallinger the author of A Lesson for Ms. Fort.  This book looks at our education system from the perspective of a teacher and the challenges we face in educating our youth.

  • Stewart Kallinger has spent 31 years teaching in NYC public schools and 6 additional years teaching remedial reading and writing to students attending the community colleges of the City University of New York. Earning a BA and MS in Education and English from Long Island University, Kallinger is passionate about bringing to light the literacy crisis, not only in New York City, but across the rest of the country as well. Today, he is retired from teaching and spends his time as a freelance writer in New York.

Dr. Stewart Kallinger’s Interview Below:

Great Summer Resources

You can find great workbooks in stores like Walmart, Target, Five, Bellow, the Dollar Tree and Barnes & Nobles to get your children started.  I like to use a variety of subjects and workbooks for my children’s summer learning.  These workbooks can easily cost $1 to $13 depending on the depth and complexity.

The library is a great free resource.  Many libraries have a Child Librarian who can help you pick out great summer resources.  They have math and science books, language videos, social studies references, all great resources to help with summer learning.  I take a trip to the library weekly and have my children pick books about  a new country or state each week to learn about.

There are many great online resources as well.  Students can benefit from educational learning tools online.  I warn parents to balance their approach to learning as children still need to practice writing skills and using an actual pen and paper.

Below are some websites I find very useful during the summer:
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/summer-learning-resources-matt-davis

http://www.connectionsacademy.com/blog/posts/2012-12-21/The-Best-Educational-Websites-and-Online-Learning-Games-for-K-8-Students.aspx

8 Resources to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

 Make Learning Fun

I am a big fan of making learning fun for children.  Each summer I purchase two memberships, one for a family amusement park and one for a museum.  We can spend a year having fun as a family and learning as a family.

Field trips are great for this reason even during the school year. Take your child to the local park and learn about science and nature. Take them to the local bakery to learn about math and measurement.  Take them to the local museum to learn about history and current events.

We can as parents be our children’s best teacher.  I am convinced if parents could make learning fun then our children would learn to love learning too!

Make the Most of Summer

Parents, summer can be a time to relax and have fun as well. We can practice multiplication facts while playing a game of Yahtzee on the beach.  See it can be that simple and yet that learning time is valuable as we head into school in the fall.

Take notice of the areas your child has a difficult time with during the school year and focus on them during the summer months.  My goal is to help make the school year easier for my children by keeping the summer lag to a minimum.

Well if you have stumbled across my blog, know that I am a parent right in the midst of it, just like you.  I hope to share my thoughts, guest experts who will help us all (me too!), and my prayer for each parent is to parent with power and peace.

My favorite verse, serves as a guide for me as I parent my children:
Proverbs 22:6
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I encourage you today to have parenting that is effective and prevailing, creates friendship and unity as you provide guidance, love and care for your children.

Until Next Session,
Dr. Stacy

It’s Time to Potty Train

Every parent gets this wonderful opportunity to teach our children how to use the Potty.  It is funny my children who are now 8 and 9, would prefer that I not use the “Potty” word when I refer to the bathroom.

Children and parents experience potty training in many different ways. Many parents can’t remember the process and for those of us that do – it is probably because we had one that took forever.

Reflecting back on these times, I remember raising my niece for awhile and she was potty training at the time. To avoid any difficulty I had the potty in her bedroom. Yes right next to the stuffed animal bin, sat her potty.

She would roll right out of bed and onto the potty.  She would dress on the potty, read books on the potty, all while I waited for her to actually go potty.  We tease her now as she still enjoys just sitting on the potty.

Patience is the key

There is no specific science to training your child to use the potty. We can make plenty of suggestions of things that have worked in the past, but remember every child potty trains in their own time.  What worked for my two year old daughter did not work for my three year old son (notice the age difference in gender).

I learned that patience helped me survive this process. My goals were not to get them to go today but to go everyday and so we did not rush the process.

I remember hearing parents who did the potty train over the weekend routine.  Taking away all activity and spending their entire weekend in a bathroom with the hopes that by Monday morning their child would be magically potty trained.  For some they swear by this method, but for me I would rather enjoy my child for the weekend and let potty training take its own course.

How to master the potty

There is a great book out there called Oh Crap! Potty Training Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki, the Pied Piper of Poop (her words not mine).

I had the privilege of interviewing Jamie on a show about this very subject; Potty Training & Parenting Tips.

Strategies from the Trenches

Things I have seen parents do and things I have done in the potty training process:

*Eliminate wearing pull ups
*Give treats and praise for each successful trip to the potty
*Read stories about potty training
*Have children go to the bathroom with older siblings
*Let them pick out their own potty
*Help them pick out big girl/boy underwear
*Play music and have fun on the potty
*Help kids develop a potty schedule like most daycares
*Limit night time liquid two hours before bedtime

It May Take Time

When parents ask me how long before their child will be potty trained completely, I always respond “well it depends”.  There is no real set time.  Schools and daycares would like it by a certain age but you still may have a five year old with an occasional accident here and there.

Many children I find will not want to stop what they are doing- watching television or playing a game- and will have an accident on themselves. This is very normal.  We have to help new potty users to go before they start playing.  Be patient parents- there’s that word again.

Well if you have stumbled across my blog, know that I am a parent right in the midst of it, just like you.  I hope to share my thoughts, guest experts who will help us all (me too!), and my prayer for each parent is to parent with power and peace.

My favorite verse, serves as a guide for me as I parent my children:
Proverbs 22:6
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I encourage you today to have parenting that is effective and prevailing, creates friendship and unity as you provide guidance, love and care for your children.

Until Next Session,

Dr. Stacy