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

Making Independence Day Fun!

The United States is the only country with a known birthday. – James G. Blaine

Starting our 4th of July early this year! Thanks to Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Paige 9 years old, created the most delicious patriotic inspired dessert. Below you will see her artwork of the American Flag and beautiful fireworks!

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Also to help all you parents out, below is a list of my favorite go to sites for 4th of July events, Happy Independence Day! Another thanks to Welch’s Fruit Snacks.

http://newjerseyisntboring.com/njibs-guide-new-jersey-july-4th-events/

http://www.visitphilly.com/july-4th-in-philadelphia/#sm.0012z3rf814kxe8mqlt25li129te5

http://mommypoppins.com/newyorkcitykids/new-york-city-kids-best-new-jersey-4th-of-july-fireworks.

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/06/fourth_of_july_fireworks_new_jersey_july_4_nj_guid.html

I would love for every home that is filled with children to be filled with love. 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. – Dr. Stacy

Mom, I’m Scared of the Dark!

Children are afraid of many things as they grow up. Many parents report night time fears as one of the main reasons they have a hard time getting their little ones to sleep at night.  Being afraid of the dark is a normal part of child development and parents should learn to give children comfort in these moments of fear.

Why Are Children Afraid of the Dark?

Parents would love to be able to answer this question and get a good night sleep. But for many children there is no real answer. Sure they saw a scary commercial, they got scared during the storm or the clown at the birthday party haunts them- these are all valid reasons to be scared of the dark.  And for some children, “just because” is also a valid reason.

Children began to dream and have nightmares at night as their brain’s develop.  The more they are learning and taking in during the day, the more their brain is processing during the night.  Often between 2-9 are the peak times for nightmares.

Do We Let Them Sleep with Us?

NO, NO, NO!  I often tell parents that once you start down the slippery slope of bringing them to your bed to sleep, you will never sleep alone again.  The goal is always to have them sleep in their room and in their bed.  How can you help them feel safe in their room should always be your game plan.

Parents often have tried many solutions like leaving the lights on, or having them sleep with 100 stuffed animals to no avail. Each child and the solution for them to sleep in their room may be different.

Fear Detectives- Tips to Calm the Fear

Parents should talk with their children to make sure that they totally understand the fear presented by their child. Make sure to ask what makes you afraid? When are you afraid? How often are you afraid? Questions that help you to get to the bottom of their fear, are great questions.  We want to be fear detectives.

Next create a plan of solutions with your child and ask them if they think the solutions would work. Many times as parents we tell our children what they are going to try and of course, it fails miserably.

Continue to try solutions and think outside of the box. If you need help with problem solving with your child there is a great model, Collaborative and Proactive Solutions by Dr. Ross Greene that helps children and parents solve problems.

http://www.livesinthebalance.org/

Read A Book

I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Chad Cramer, author of Lights Out! Helping Your Kids Overcome Their Fear of the Dark.  Chad offers up many helpful solutions to parents and children about tackling this very real fear.

Chad’s radio interview is below:

Kohl’s has teamed up with author Salina Yoon to create a children’s book, Stormy Night, that helps children and parents deal with the fear of storms.  This book offers great solutions from singing together, reading a book and giving each other a kiss in order to forget about our fear of the storm.

Side Note: To date, Kohl’s has raised nearly $300 million through the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program. To reinforce the company’s commitment to children’s health, Kohl’s has donated financial support to hospitals across the country. The donations fund hospital outreach programs focused on children’s health initiatives and address the specific issues needed most in each hospital’s community. These tailored programs provide vital resources to families at no cost and include topics such as injury prevention, asthma awareness, dental care, and fitness. A complete list of hospital partners is available online.

https://corporate.kohls.com/corporate-responsibility/hospital-partners http://www.chadcramer.com/

Solutions Families Have Tried

Here is a list of solutions I know that families have tried:

Having a sleep over in the child’s room

Leaving the lights on until their child falls asleep

Using character night lights that glow on the walls

Using glow lights, stars, and glow in the dark pictures

Having a time of prayer about fear

Singing together or using music at bedtime

Doing a room safety check (for monsters)

Closing blinds and adding extra layers to curtains

Remember parents you want to acknowledge their fear as being real, offer comforting solutions, and hopefully all will get a good night’s sleep.playing-time-1246157

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.

Parenting Tip on Fear of The Dark Below:

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

The Daring Prince Dashing – Marilou Reeder

*This section of my blog will help parents find great children books for all ages. My daughter Paige, 9 and my son Paxton, 8 will be helping me to write reviews from a child’s perspective.

I must say this book warmed my heart. I had a “stick thingy” when I was a child, so I could relate the Prince being fascinated by the girl with the “stick thingy”.  Children will laugh and want to be silly right along with this Prince.  You walk away with the feeling that it is okay to be yourself and to enjoy friends just like you.

Paige’s review “This is an interesting twist on the classic Cinderella story, told with a Prince and lots more adventure.”

Paxton’s review “This book was so funny. He was trying to always do things that were daring.”

Below you can find our interview and their book.
If you are an author and would like me to review your book, please send us a review copy.

https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Prince-Dashing-Marilou-Reeder/dp/1634501616

Contact Me

 

Red, Yellow, Blue & A Dash of White Too! – C.G. Esperanza

*This section of my blog will help parents find great children books for all ages. My daughter Paige, 9 and my son Paxton, 8 will be helping me to write reviews from a child’s perspective.

So besides the fact that there is an elephant on the cover of this book, I was so drawn to the book’s beautiful depiction of the primary colors.  I am not an artist and I vaguely remember the art lesson in elementary school about the primary colors but this book brings this lesson to life.

Children will be drawn to the artist’s colorful display on each page of the little girl and her elephant.

Paige’s review “This book teaches kids their colors by using only the primary colors.  And then compares them to things that are those colors.  As an artist, the drawings are creative and easy to follow the creation of colors.”

Below you can find our interview and their book.
If you are an author and would like me to review your book, please send us a review copy.

https://www.amazon.com/Red-Yellow-Blue-Dash-White/dp/1629146242

http://www.cgesperanza.com/