Solutions For Parents


Big Dreams and Sharp Minds

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Parents and their kids, big dreams and sharp minds:

Why modern child-rearing savvy rules will make your house a home and create a life-long approach to discipline that promotes healthy and gifted kids!

What are the house rules in your family?  

Modern media makes good parenting seem glamorous, but it is not easy when moms and dads feel entitled to have their own life which takes time away from being a parent, and family activity levels are high.  Plus, even practically perfect parents are gone/ employed most of the day, and kids, well, kids are kids, and no matter what age, they want attention.   Kids live for attention and get it in good and bad ways, if parents are not available!         

First Savvy Rule: Be available.

            As a modern practically perfect parent, do you compete with your kids’ media, a vast array of movies, stars, dates, clothes, cars, food, friends and enemies? 

            Are you a compliant, silent parent who stays out of school issues and friendships, or personal behaviors?   Do your kids ask for advice or 

settle their own problems with siblings and friends?  

            Second Savvy rule: give compliments, don’t be a critic, speak in a conversational voice, don’t yell, hit or use a belt and listen more than you talk! 

Are you a modern complaining parent who blames schools, teachers, other kids, and more?  Third savvy rule: have family meetings once a week and review calendars and family functions and what bothers whom and what makes life good and not-good   in your household!   

Did you know:  family life that produces a gifted, sharp and capable progeny musty includes family pride,

Family traditions and rules, especially methods of discipline and work ethic are generally passed down through generations of parents and relatives?  Why do you want to do what your parents did?   Modern Media has negated that dependency!  Try another way and do it now because family rules can provide the parental tools that accelerate learning. 


The primary tool to encourage kids to be smarter and improve accuracy and retention is a weekly or more often as necessary, family meeting with multi-age children present to compliment kids, review work and school activities, question kids about sports and newsworthy- information, online and other rules set by parents.


With family meetings as the imaginary center of the rules and simple few rules to follow, you can have gifted and savvy kids who live in modern times with a good chance that they will be happier, joyful, social and healthy in every way. 


This is not about Television or WIFI or i phones!  It is about a return to the home for learning and entertainment and skill-building to achieve a sense of self pride and accomplishment in kids at earlier ages than ever before! 


The best motivator in childhood is self-assurance and confidence that when there are mistakes, they are forgiven and no shame or doubt is associated with it!    Kids who are successful learn from their parents, coaches, and teachers that they are free to forgive and forget!


If kids are lucky, parents know they are in charge and so do the kids!  The rule of power is in the hands of parents who have learned to be good listeners, and fair-mindedness. Lucky families have a wide range of personalities that are different but compatible and parents, even those parents who are divorced or cohabitating, make a decision to avoid physical and verbal abuse. 


Many families are parents whose rule is they ignore and neglect, and let the kids fall between the cracks.  Self-absorbed parents can be drop-em-and-leave-em types and have personalities that are gregarious and often cruel in their attempts to communicate with their children, and even as older parents can’t be strong and clearly communicative about expectations and rules.  Your personality dictates pretty accurately how family rules take shape.


Have family meetings when needed and give kids a chance to vent frustration and anger without being punished.  Most kids are not so lucky and the before dinner rule is that they can’t go out till homework is done. What is the worst problem kids and web/internet produces and what influences children’s leisure time, sports, faith, school performance even personal habits.  “After school time” is touch phones, game boy and video games that connect bodies to brains and keeps the body planted in front of screens. 


All this new knowledge is arriving just in time!  It isn’t a dark secret that most parents are experiencing difficult times as they raise their families.  Families are caught up in a mire of multitasking, confusing beliefs about guidance and discipline, and overly busy daily living.  One very tired dad told this observer he was consumed by work and never cooked anymore at home.  A mom relayed the fact she seemed to live in her car and has such a case of “kid nerves” that she doesn’t let them talk to each other, in the car or in stores, because they might argue.  She resorted to putting a TV in the back seat, turns on her CD player, and tunes out.


Families are literally running themselves into depression and a state of raggedness trying to keep pace.  And what is the effect on a child’s personality and brain development as a result of family life styles like these?  If children, even infants, are scheduled beyond what is possible for adults to do in a day, what chance do children have to pay attention, regulate their own behavior and act according to their own temperamental traits?


According to recent family studies, the result is the violence and child-parent rage reported by teachers of even three year-olds. This observer is often called into day care centers who are evicting children as young as 24 months old from their programs for unacceptable behavior, or is it unacceptable acting out of mental frustration and personality conflicts?


Elementary schools are routinely refusing kindergarten admittance to children of a certain age, not because of age, but because the boys and girls are not “ready.” Their brains and mental acuity, affected by demeanor issues, affect their behavior and treatment of each other and adults seem to interfere with concentration and learning.   Their bodies, strength, and physical development seem to be working fine.  No one bothered to get to know their temperamental traits or sort out who each child really is!


As families run fast to keep up with responsibilities, they spend little time together, and very little of that at home, just hanging out.  The Ohio Family Focus research group data shows that school age children exhibit minor fears and trauma, increased stress, daily irritability, depression, even bipolar symptoms when they have no free time or time to just relax.  Interestingly watching TV is not considered by children in the studies as free time, or time at home with their parents.


A large day care study found that babies who don’t spend at least half of their 24 clock hours at home in a clean, healthy setting get sick and stay sick longer than those who do. High quality infant day care centers know this, and strenuously recommend a home atmosphere during the hours the infant is not at childcare. Children’s bodies and brains are geared up for learning to be a person- a little person, at first, but still a person. 


Infants and preschoolers need frequent “rest stops” where they can think about their own thinking, and develop a sense of self about who they are.  The positive effects of having shelter, free time, and emotional reality checks and adult supervision are that their developing minds and personalities thrive.  They get smarter faster, and the chemistry of brain research clearly shows us where and how that occurs.


 “The child’s mind,” according to Indian lore, “takes in all that is said to it, and believes it to be true.” Some families who are on the fast track have no trouble remembering to praise and thank their children, to give them compliments, to keep criticism to a minimum, but it requires effort and the cost to parents is the time it takes to do these things. 


Think of your children’s minds (brains) as huge galaxies, always roaming the universe, never staying in place, or dull or dark.  Those minds are always in some orbit, designed by magic to be active, never at full rest. Your children’s personalities are also analogous to these orbital bodies.  Each one is unique and their characteristics are all different, but…they all shine in their own time. 


Two examples of the effects of personality on the developing minds of very young children may help to convince families to find ways to spend more time at home and wean themselves from overly orchestrated “busy “nests.  A four month girl is taken to a sitter at 6 a.m. five days a week, but happens to be an infant who sleeps a lot and is a low energy person.  The infant can’t seem to rev up when aroused so early, falls apart, shakes with irritability and does a lot of moaning, since she isn’t by nature a crier. 


The infant, Shelley, is rushed and fussed over, in order to soothe her; the pediatrician, who uses the same day care center, calls her “colicky.” The developmental reality is not colic.  It is that, in fact, her personality traits are established and stable, and neglecting her needs as a person for early day rest and her low energy level make her feel anxious.  Her chest and heart rate fluctuate, making her feel uncomfortable and “low.”  She doesn’t get interested in her environment much all day and only livens up when she gets home.


As another example of the effects of personality on the developing mind is a three

year-old person named Joey, who is the is the original “energizer bunny.”  His high energy level and pleasant mood make him an enthusiastic child, but when he runs all over the house, pretending to be Superman, adults yell at him: “stop that, get over here, watch TV; sit down.”  Joey, whose personality traits also include a long attention span, and high interest in everything he touches, obeys, being the good Superman that he is! 


Joey’s body stops briefly, but his mind can’t and doesn’t.  Joey’s mind is still creating ideas about his personal version of Superman.  So, you guessed it, he leaps away to take the lion hiding under his bed and throw it into the forest.  His thoughts and actions provoke adult attention.  Joey’s personality gets him in trouble.  Personality, not bad behavior is the cause of his troubles, but he gets punished anyway.  Joey’s personality traits are the force behind his “mind at work.”  He has consistently high energy levels, an enthusiastic, long attention span and appropriate behavior for his type of personality and mental learning style.


My guess is that families are having a harder time controlling and managing children because they don’t have (or take) the time to really observe their children’s personality traits.  When family members figure out the talents and abilities of each little person in the family before children go to preschool or child care, their children are more apt to be cooperative, helpful and accepted by teachers and caregivers.


This observer guarantees that if families are encouraged to identify and name the abilities of each little person early in life, they will feel less like disciplinarians and more like a high quality, parental management company- one that closely and thoroughly guides and supervises by talking and not punishing.  If teachers and professionals from every discipline who work with children would focus on this identification idea, too, parents and teachers would have kinder, more productive three-way family conferences, meetings and healthier relationships.


Harsh treatment of children is a real concern and a high priority problem in most communities. It does not need to be that way. An alternative protocol to the maltreatment of children is to do three things, as a parent, a family member or a professional:

(a) think about the talents and gifts each child has;

(b) reflect on how these contribute to each child’s personality and style of thinking; and

(c) develop an inner acceptance of and adaptation to the inevitability that personality traits are good things and are stable over a person’s life time. 


There is no point in fighting City Hall!  Household and classrooms are full of good matches between personalities and not-so-good ones; be accepting and patient and work with each personality as if it were a ball of clay to be rolled, shaped and displayed as a piece of priceless art!


Even from infancy, children have personal habits that can be, and often need be, changed to fall in line with adult and teacher expectations.  Good study habits, bad eating habits, good bedtime habits, and bad body parts picking habits- all these can be classified as either acceptable or unacceptable, and viewed as covert or overt behavior.   But when we talk of personality, we depart from behavior, in so far as temperament drives behavior, not the other way around.


 Since every person is born with a body, a brain and a personality, these three conditions of human creation need to be valued and deemed worthy.  Feelings of self worth in children must be cultivated and developed in order that children feel successful and self confident.  Moreover, every child born has one goal in life and that is to demand attention.  The adult’s goal in life, however, is to give attention for the right reasons and signal “better luck next time” when there is no cause for celebration. 


Since each infant’s temperamental style emerges so early and so uniquely, it must be (and now the activity maps in the brain show it to be true) considered to be the expression of the infant mind at work.  The young child’s mind flow alternates between reality and imaginary, and between actual and perceived events that occur in a child’s life. 


These mental thought processes change with intensity and purpose as the cortex of the brain becomes more layered and areas of the brain become dominant for certain functions.  Moreover, children’s brains are not one-sided or one-dimensional.  All children use both hemispheres of the body and the brain to think, to feel, to be!  There are so many cells in every nook and cranny of the brain and body that one area can take over function for another with time and practice.


The body and brain are up to the challenge; they love to practice, to rehearse, to do over and over again repetitious tasks; they always learn something new in the process of reinvention and surprise.  The body and brain are never bored! They never take a nap, or a vacation, or say, “that’s too hard, or too easy.”


In the interests of the success of every child, keep in mind how miraculous the body and brain really are and how important to our future the safety, health, education and wellbeing of our children really is.  Children are not possessions, property or decoration.  They are developing person’s who deserve the respect of adults, communities and the world.  Take the time to know each child in your life as a person- complete with temperamental traits, abilities and talents. With guidance, nurturance and support, each child will far exceed any expectations or dreams, except their own!

Ask Dr. Susan