Blogging with Dr. Susan


Blogging with Dr. Susan

There is a Better Way to Communicate


Share This Article: On Twitter On Facebook Print

It’s a process (not really steps at all) that teaches people (teachers, children and parents) how to get things done with respect, self-control and some semblance of democracy.

First – Teach Yourself how to be genuinely cooperative in your own life, in your own circle of family and among your own friends. Make yourself use specific cooperative actions, such as asking for help, or saying out loud that there is no one way to do anything. Asking for assistance is a vital skill all people need to learn, in order to feel good about themselves and to feel competent. Cooperative actions must be practiced. Show other people what you consider good cooperative behavior. Show your family how to ask for help, how to give compliments, how to ask for time to have talks, meetings and conversations. The hope that when there are differences, everyone will recall how to behave.

Practice asking permission to discuss or converse
Practice cooperation and helping each other
Give family members plenty of reminders about cooperating
Reward brainstorming and cooperation
Have family meetings

Next – Make a resolution to depersonalize your words when there is a problem, say “what’s going on here?” or “What is the situation?” rather than calling people you or she-names, using accusing or threatening words. STOP saying “you didn’t take out the trash the way I told you”…Start saying, “I noticed that the garbage is still here…your room isn’t cleaned up”…” I wonder if this IFSP would sound better if…”

Practice listening then talking
Give complements, as a way of getting people to listen
Practice ways that help you to keep your cool

Last – take the time to write down what you are experiencing, what is happening in your life, your family situation. Keep notes and records, so that you have information which you can use when communications and negotiations break down.

Take the time on a regular basis to write (or make an audio tape) of your opinions, of options and choices you think of. This skill allows you to act rationally and calmly when you need to deliver strong messages. Learn to document your actions, beliefs and needs in ways that facilitate conversational problem-solving.

How to Make Children Feel Love & Support at Home & School


As families struggle to organize their complicated lives, Susan wants to leave you with several ideas of how to make children feel supported both at home and at school.

  1. Find ways to compliment your children each day
  2. Have family meetings when children don't do what they know is expected of them and talk it over
  3. Offer your free time to play or do an activity, as a privilege that reminds them you love them
  4. And, importantly, train (force) yourself to stay home an hour more each week, realizing that free time to "hang out" and just be together sets the academic and developmental goals for your children higher, by virtue of the fact they can do whatever they want, ask questions, or just be alone or with friends. Let them decide. Avoid over programming your children. You will all be happier for it!

Words That Encourage Blog


Hug them. Tell them they are terrific. Show how much you care about them. Above all LOVE THEM.

Discuss problems without placing blame. Children are more likely to share the problem and seek a solution if they don’t feel attacked.

Use “Please” and “Thank You” to build esteem.

Words that encourage

You’re doing a great job!

You’re really working hard today.”

Now you’ve figured it out!

That’s the way!




That’s better!

That’s the best you’ve ever done!

Good for you!

Good thinking!

Way to go!

Keep on trying!

I’m so proud of you!

That’s the right way to do it!

You remembered!

You’re really improving!


I like that!

Now that’s what I call a fine job!

You did that very well!

One more time and you’ll have it!

This is really great!

You really make my job fun!

Everybody makes mistakes sometimes!

I like the way that you are listening!

Thank you so much!

What a great idea!

Now you try it. You can do it!

I really appreciate your help!

I know that is very hard!

I understand how you must feel!

What nice smile you have!

I could listen to you read (sing) all day!

Your kindness is so refreshing!



New mothers and fathers, emotional beings, say hello to their infant, saying her name, congratulating each other; they are owners of a baby, who, previously was content in the womb and has been thrust into a chilly nest.

Sensing a rush of love, the baby's owners circle around, holding and cooing, as the infant's gaze fades, eyes close, and all three breathe and shudder.

New mothers and fathers, lost in love, hear a ring and open their door, admitting family members into the circle, who click potots on cell phones, sniff as they already know all about babies, but, mercifully, returning to their homes and apartments, cars and houses where their children wait for supper.

The departed guests walk away, stare at their cell phone photos, and, thinking of mother and father, smile at thoughts of the night ahead.

The Moment of Birth

Babies are born with 206 skeletal muscles and 300 billion brain cells so they have a lot of competency built right into them from the moment of birth. They develop from top to bottom head to toe. Their head comes into voluntary control first followed by the neck then the trunk of the body followed by the upper extremities and the lower extremities. Babies are truly amazing. Infants and toddlers are born ready to learn. I think I'll give this baby something to paly with.


What to do About Tantrums

Your child is a smart, normal child need attention, but also a good talking to...sheis not the boss of the family you are!

Toddlers cannot get enought of their own sense of power and if they do not get their way, they resort to hysterics and bouts of sulking, screaming, yelling and other successful habits that parents buy into!

Use the stairway in your house as a simple and close area to sit your child down and giver ther the chance to calm down. Do not yell or hit...just talk and look at the wall and not at your child's face!....Tell her you are in charge and you will sit on the stair with her as long as it takes to get her to get control.

The stairs are closed off and narrow and safe at the bottom and you are the boss remember?

Singing or talking to the wall or looking away are all successful parenting tools to end the tantrum quickly but don't give in even for a minute and do not leave her alone! All that happens in that scenario is that she gets up and has to be given attention, causing more of a scene!

Sit down until she takes a quieter breath or deep breath then compliment her for stopping the tantrum, get up, say no more and end it then and there!

Flipping the Classroom



In this day and age teachers need creative ways to get kids interested in learning exciting new ways. 

“Flipping the Classroom” refers to kids watching a video of the teacher’s lesson at home and doing the homework in class.  WSQ refers to students who (W)atch the video, (S)ummarize the content and ask a (Q)uestion. This gives the teachers the time and technological tools to give students more individualized personal attention.  This technique creates a rich environment where personalized learning, student-teacher interaction and better understanding of the subject matter exist. Students become learners who learn for themselves and by themselves.

There are many sites devoted to screencasting.  You can learn how other teachers have switched to the Flipped Classroom technique and how TWIRLS (thinking, writing, interacting, reading, listening, speaking) in class holds children accountable for learning, processing, discussing, and questioning the content.

Creating Spaces for Children



Toddlers and preschoolers make mental maps of the spaces they occupy.  The make repetitious routes around furniture and objects. They are restricted by partitions, furniture, and other environmental patterns that create difficulty in knowing what is “on the other side” of walls, etc. They use “Tunnel” vision (near to far distance vision) in scanning and entering into arranged spaces.

To create a space for children enter how a toddler would enter and think how a young child would map out the premises. A child’s visual field resembles a megaphone.  He only briefly scans what is nearest to him first; then his view widens out as he looks forward and outward and concentrates on what he sees “out there”. A child uses near vision more often than far vision to gain acuity and control over objects because he sees objects close at hand as being extensions of himself_- not separate from himself. Children look “out” and then “down”.

 A child views space as air, light, even temperature; space includes surfaces such as rugs covering a floor, perimeters such as door openings.

A child changes position every few seconds, so the child’s gaze change constantly. Motor movements are altered. A child moves forward first, then sideways, or backward.

Children are attracted to open shelves, visible tables, and furniture.  Children are attracted primarily to lower level objects before they are attracted to higher level objects.

Teachers and parents need to create higher level and lower level objects, and arrange those objects by using specific categories such as miniature cares, dolls and people, tools, talking and reading and feeding and eating.




Developing Language


The average child will learn the language spoken in his or her family and community simply because the ability to learn language is rooted in the biological nature of human beings. As the child's body and mind mature, so does the ability to understand and speak a language. Which language? Naturally, it will be the language spoken all around the baby/child, complete with dialect, accent, and details specific to the family's socioeconomic group. Whether or not people consider themselves language models, they are "demonstrating" a language (or two if they're bilingual), with a particular dialect or accent, pronunciation style, vocabulary, set of cadences and idioms, and are saturating the little human being in it.

Whether or not they think of it that way, these people are providing a total immersion language learning lab. Children imitate and practice by babbling away much of the day in a specific manner that changes with their maturational developmental level. Whether or not people have ever heard of (or believe in) behaviorist theory, they naturally "reinforce" certain of the sounds babies, one and two-year-olds utter - by responding to them, and repeating them - and "extinguish" those sounds that don't "mean" anything to them - by ignoring them, thus decreasing the probability that the child will keep "saying" them after a few years of just enjoying making sounds and weeding out the ones that "don't work."

In many cultures and socioeconomic groups, adults don't attend to what little children are saying to them, and don't have conversations with children, yet words and even grammar somehow unfold and are absorbed (probably some of each). The children develop normal language.

Your education director's reason for encouraging staff to chat with children is probably that she's trying to aid you in making your program a high quality family child care center setting is that adults have lots of pleasant interactions with each child, including language interactions. Yes, language will develop without special attention or intervention. Yet there is much we can do to enhance it. Because possessing excellent language skills is basic to so many kids of excellence in life - including reading and interpersonal success - if we're aiming high all around in our child developing work, we have to consider it important to facilitate language development.

Auditory Processing Disorder


Children with Auditory Processing Disorder cannot process the information they hear in the same way as others do, which leads to difficulties in recognizing and interpreting sounds, especially the sounds composing speech. It is thought that these difficulties arise from dysfunction in the central nervous system (i.e., brain).

A child with Auditory Processing Disorder will show some of the following symptoms: hearing loss, aggressive hitting and pushing behaviors, normal posture and skin tone, gazing into space and losing concentration, no change in expression, does not attend to people around them, sensory integration (especially spatial and Tactile) delays, face lacks energy and expressiveness, has quick jerky movements.

The effects of hearing loss may be the cause of outbursts and tantrums. Rule out Cerebral Palsy by watching the body movements.  Do they engage arms, legs and trunk of the body.  Do they move forward and backward and in a reverse direction.  Is the posture normal?  Is there head and back spinal control? Is the muscle and skin tone o.k.?  If you can rule these out then you chances are it is not Cerebral Palsy.

Suggestions: This type of child needs plenty of speech exercises.  Speech therapy should include oral exercises for mouth, tongue, lips and facial muscles. Having the child eat several times a day (small meals) will help the child articulate words and sounds. 

Children benefit from keyboard training, reading and working on computers. Yes, computer time helps chldren "test" their skills, play with notes on the keyboard,
"play" with letters and words. BUT - adults need to be involved, to help and to encourage and have fun with letters and words.Children needsreading, geography, art and music and writing instruction at school and at home.