Friday, August 24, 2012


I love these quotes about temperament...
"Most parent’s can predict with good accuracy, how their child will respond in specific situations, but many parents feel confused and frustrated by the predictable response. They choose to fight with it or give in to it rather than shape and guide it. When we accept our child’s temperament as a fact of life, behavior is much easier to understand and manage. “
He later goes on to say…
“The problem many parents experience is that they invest too much time and energy trying to change the one thing they can’t change-their child’s temperament. We can’t change temperament, but we can understand it, guide it, and shape it in a positive direction.”
Robert MacKenzie (Setting Limits with the Strong Willed Child)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

CPR Videos and Info

(These resources are meant to be an educational tool. Check your local fire department for the most up to date certified training.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Development Matters

Barn 1 Clip Art
It's quite simple. When it comes to behavior expectations, development matters...a lot! If we want to be able to create reasonable and fair expectations for a child, we have to have some background information about the child's development age and stage. If we choose not to take into account a child's age and stage, we will most likely create unrealistic expectations, which will cause lots of extra frustration for us and for them!

We can not change the age/stage our child is in, but we can accept it, understand it, and use that information to create a more supportive environment for our child to work on developmental tasks. Some ages/stages are extremely challenging, but there is likely some important learning and skill development that needs to go on during those times. It is sometimes hard to see, but if we look hard enough there are usually enjoyable things and challenging things about each age/stage.

Jean Illsey Clarke's theory has helped me understand my children's development more clearly. In her theory the developmental task is something that the child is continually working on during that stage, which helps explain some of their behaviors. It also states that we sometimes cycle back through previous stages. Check out the link below to learn about this theory and Clarke's child developmental stages and tasks.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

School Stuff

Focus on their strengths
It is really important that we focus more on a child's strengths rather than their weaknesses. As we focus and give them opportunities to develop and succeed in areas that they have natural interest and gifts, they will develop a healthier and positive view of themselves. If we focus too much on the stuff they are not doing well in, they may develop a negative view of themselves and become unmotivated.When they are feeling discouraged and comparing themselves negatively to others, remind them of their strengths. Encourage them to focus on those. Remind them that no one is good at everything, but if they work at the things that they struggle with, they can improve in that area.
Help them identify their personal strengths (not just academic).

Focus on their effort 
Help build your child up by acknowledging their effort and their opinion. 
"You are working really hard at that."
"You worked really hard at that."
"Why did you get that one right?/How did you do that? You got that problem right? How come?
--- Did you try hard? Are you getting better in that area?"
"To me it's more important what you think. What do you think? It's more important what you think." (We describe what THEY did, and let them do the judging.)
"I noticed you _________."
Helpful resource: Shaping Self-Concept by Jim Fay

Encourage a Growth Mindset
Teach your child that their brain is like a muscle and gets stronger and makes more connections when they use it. Instead of praising and giving all the attention to easy, perfect performance; praise EFFORT and notice perseverance. Help them learn that if they stick with a tough task they can improve, learn, and grow. Here are some simple things you can say to promote a growth mindset.
"We can grow, learn, and improve. We can become more skilled, knowledgeable, and intelligent in any area."
"I want to become better at______so I am going to work at it."
""Oooh. I am definitely working my brain really hard right now."
"Man, this is tough for me, but I am going to keep working at it, so I can get better at it."
"If you work hard and practice, you can learn how to________."
"Oh, man. I made a mistake. I wonder what I could learn from this?"

Model an excitement for learning
Say things like...
"Wow. I learned something really cool this week."
"This sounds really interesting to me. I want to learn more about that."

Help them understand tests/grades/mistakes
Teach your child that it is important to try their best on tests, but teach them what tests and grades are really for. Tests and grades are a way for the teacher to find out what things they know well, and what things they need more practice with. It helps them decide what they need to teach. As they get older test (high school) scores become more important. Grades and tests are not about how SMART or DUMB they are. Everyone learns at different speeds, so it doesn't matter how they compare to their friend. The important part is that they do their best and learn from mistakes.
As parents, when a child brings home a report card, notice the positive first. Then have a conversation about the areas that they are struggle in. To say it in a positive tone, that keeps the responsibility on them you could ask questions like...
Which grade are you most proud of?
Which grade would you like to change?
What do you need to do to get it changed?
What  can I do to help you?

Help the class and the school!
Teachers have a very challenging job. Try to find a way to help support the class or the school where you can. Try to communicate concerns respectfully, be patient, and be grateful for the hard work they do.

Be an advocate for your child!
Be an advocate for you child and encourage the school to adopt policies that are healthy for your child. (Recess, homework limits, discipline approaches...)

Great Resources
Helpful info about how to support your child at each grade level

Sound Steps To Reading
BOB Books
Great Spelling Apps

IXL Math Website
Kahn Acadamy Tutorials

Time For Kids
National Geographic
Story of the World Workbook and CD's


Touch Topics

How do you talk to your kids about


*Be willing to initiate conversations about tough topics.
 *Listen and ask open-ended questions. 
*Find out what THEY think, THEY feel, THEY know, and THEY believe about a tough topic. 
*Tell them what you think about the topic and why.
 *Share some factual information.
*Show respect for your child's point of view, so they will be willing to hear and respect yours.
 *Have many conversations. Don't feel pressured to cover it all at one time. 
*Keep them short and sweet, share a few facts, share your values-"I believe...because", let them share what they think.Discuss dangerous consequences.  
*Work to maintain a healthy relationship with your child. 













Great Quotes

"The challenges of parenthood are daunting, but it's rewards go the the core of what it means to be human... intimacy, growth, learning, and love."
-Carnegie Corporation

“I looked on child-rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it.”
- Rose Kennedy

“There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.” -James E. Faust

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead

“The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”
-Harold B. Lee

“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.”
-Gordon B. Hinckley

“The most important thing to learn is that there is no way to be a perfect mother/father and a million ways to be a good one.

“A mother who radiates self-love and acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem.”
-Naomi Wolf

“The way you think about and manage your own body image and weight issues will be communicated to your daughter and impact upon the way she thinks about her own body.”
-Susan Bartell

“As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children.”
-Gordon B. Hinckley

"Children need to see that calm words---not yelling or hitting---are the way to solve problems."
-STEP Parenting Handbook

"What is the difference between child abuse and discipline? 10 seconds."

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."
-Charles Swindoll

Parent and Child Caregiver Links

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