Saturday, August 20, 2011

Liar Liar

A while ago I posted on lying in children. It has ended up being one of my most read posts. So read, that I did a CBS 11 segment on it. So read, that I'm giving a talk on it today. So read, that I decided to add some more information.

You can read the original post and watch the CBS clip here but to quickly recap: children don't lie to be bad. Are you shocked? Don't be. Kiddos may be avoiding punishment, yes, but in reality they are practicing a new skill they're learning- that I know something you don't know. I can lie to you about it and you won't know that I'm not telling you the truth. 

But why do kids lie? Where does it come from?

Lying comes from a bigger set of skills called Theory of Mind. It's this idea that we can know about our own thoughts and also the thoughts of others. I can know for example, that you're reading this and assume I'm a professional and am giving you credible information. So I could, in theory, be making all of this up. But I also know enough about other people's motives to know that you could find out that I'm not giving you credible information. You could, in essence, find out whether I'm a liar. So I'll tell you the truth :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Parenting Quick Tip: Don't Get Bogged Down in the Details

When you're in the middle of a struggle with your preschooler, it's super easy to get bogged down in the details, whether it's making sure the clothes match, making him eat all his veggies, or just getting OUT of the store without having a major meltdown. 

Quick tip for today: Think big picture. What am I trying to accomplish here? Getting dressed and out the door in time for school? (Then do matching socks really matter? And really, do they ever?) Making sure he gets enough veggies for the day? (Try another type- carrots, beets, peas, green beans, cherry tomatoes, need I go on?) Happiness on both of our parts? (Carry her out of the store piggy-back, saddle-back, arm-in-arm). 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Parenting Quick Challenge: Summer Breeze

Find one. Just kidding. Well, kind of. Guys. It’s been over 100 degrees here for 15 days straight. Fifteen. And I won’t even tell you what it feels like. Molten lava comes to mind, not that I know what that feels like, but I do think I have a pretty good idea at this point...

Okay really though, the challenge (which we haven’t had in a while, I know, I’m slacking...) is to be like a breeze. If you’ve forgot what that’s like, here’s what one looks like:

Now let’s all do a collective groan and vent about how much we can’t wait for autumn.

Are we done? Okay.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

From the Archives: Look Who's Talking!

A while ago I was having a conversation with a friend about her car radio breaking. She was complaining about not being able to hear traffic and news and just her poor excuse for a car in general. Then she paused. ‘You know,’ she said, ‘I do talk to my kids a lot more in the car now that our other alternative is silence.’

This made me think: Does this happen a lot? And why have we stopped talking to our kids while we’re in the car?  The commute to school/karate/ballet class/church/the grocery store is the perfect venue for talking (and listening) to our children. Especially for toddlers and preschoolers, having conversations with adults is important because it teaches (and gives an outlet for practicing) two important rules of conversation:

  • Question and answers – As adults, we instinctively know how this dance goes. One person asks a question, the other answers. Babies first begin to learn this when an adult asks a question they already know the answer to (“What color is this?”) and then answers it for the child (“Green!”). As children get older, they can answer questions and learn to ask other questions through practicing conversation.
  • Turn taking – I think all parents will agree that this is an important skill and the basis of learning to share. It also shows up when we talk with others. We all have the friend who (bless her heart) never learned this skill and talks your ear off while you nod along and your eyes glaze over. By practicing conversation with your kiddo, you are teaching him that the best communication happens when both people have a chance to talk.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

On Parenting and Happiness

A recent study that polled over 200,000 people around the globe found that parents of young children are- wait for it- not quite as happy as parents of older children. Surprised? Well, say researchers, the answers may lie in the very simple, everyday tasks that stress out parents of very young children: diaper changes, night-time wakings, temper tantrums and the like. More still, young children use resources you may not be thinking of (or maybe you are) on a day to day basis: they take time away from you and your partner, your friends, and money out of your wallet. And even though parents love the snookers out of their little ones, it's a tough job, and one that may be affecting your happiness.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!

Perhaps one of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to explain Independence Day to youngsters is as America’s Birthday. Below are just a few ways for you and your preschool patriot to help America celebrate:

1. Make a paper or felt flag – older kiddos may enjoy learning what the stars and stripes represent (50 states and 13 original colonies).

2. Play patriotic music and sing along! Songs like Yankee Doodle and the Star Spangled Banner aren’t just patriotic, they’re fun and a symbol or respect for our country.

3. Pick out a red, white, and blue outfit for each member of the family to wear today!

4. Color in a map of the United States and start teaching your preschooler the names of each of the 50 states.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Five Fun Things to Do With Water!

Summer’s here and I don’t know about where you are, but it is H-O-T in Texas. Here are five funtabulously fun things to do with water with your preschooler (besides the obvious- swimming). Enjoy!

1. Make a water xylophone – Fill several drinking glasses with different amounts of water. Using a metal spoon, gently tap on each glass to hear the different sound it makes as a result of the differing amount of water. Tap out a song! Add some food coloring for an extra colorful instrument!

2. Washing Dishes Helper – While you’re washing the dishes, give your child a few clean tupperwares or plastic plates to ‘wash’ alongside you. It will get your child involved give him some fun sensory experiences.  

3. Experiment with Colors – Use food coloring, juices, or anything soluble that can turn the water different colors. Mix colors, mix materials, just have a go at it and create your own science experiment. Then see how things turn out when you try and use your creation as paint!

4. Paint the Sidewalk – with water. Grab an old paintbrush, fill a bucket with water, and ‘paint’ the sidewalk or the driveway. I used to LOVE doing this as a kid. It’s relaxing and it will help your toddler or preschooler work on fine motor skills.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Depression and Your Parenting Style: What it May Mean for Your Child

In a fascinating study that came out last month in the journal Psychological Science, researchers from the University of Maryland found that preschoolers with depressed mothers became more stressed out during mildly stressful experiences than children without depressed mothers, but only if their mothers exhibited a negative parenting style.

Let’s break it down. The researchers put preschoolers in mildly stressful situations when they participated in the research experiment, like interacting with a stranger or giving them a locked transparent box with a fun toy inside but no way to open it. They measured cortisol, a stress hormone, both before and after the stressful experiences. When we’re stressed out, our cortisol levels increase. The researchers found that the cortisol levels increased the most in kiddos who had moms who 1.Were depressed and 2.Displayed a negative parenting style.

What is meant by negative parenting style? I’m so glad you asked. In the kind of work I do, negative, or hostile, parenting is defined as parental behaviors that express anger, frustration, and/or criticism toward the child. At the extreme end, think put-downs, yelling, blaming. At the milder end, think sarcasm or frustrated insistence that a child do a task a certain way.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Physical Therapy: Warning Signs and What Parents Can Do from KidsCare Therapy

It is with such sadness that I introduce our final post in our KidsCare Therapy series. I've had such a fun time working with KidsCare to bring you valuable information about in-home Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy, what to look for as warning signs with your children, and how to help your children along developmental milestones. All good things must come to an end, I suppose, but I've let KidsCare know that they are welcome back 'round these parts anytime :)

KidsCare Therapy has bittersweet feelings about being back this week for the final post of our series with Avant Garde Parenting for the second half of information on physical therapy. We are so happy that after today we will have provided you with the last bit of information to help enable you to keep the kids in your life developing, but we have enjoyed sharing our passion so much that it is sad to see it end!

In our last post we covered the general overview of what a pediatric physical therapist scope of treatment includes. So what do you think we are going to discuss for this week?  That’s right – we are going to tell you all about the specific diagnosis our physical therapist see in children, as well as potential warning signs and some things you can do with your children to ensure they continue to develop on target!

Physical therapists most often see children with developmental delays. While they also treat many patients with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome and Neurological Impairments, as with speech and occupational therapy they are really treating a list of common symptoms in these diagnosis, which we discussed in our last post. In order to know if your child could potentially need physical therapy services, we have provided a list below of potential warning signs in a child.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Parent of the Week: Danny Tanner

This past Sunday was Father’s Day and I can’t think of a better dad to celebrate than Danny Tanner himself. I mean, seriously, raising three girls on your own PLUS letting your deadbeat starving artist musician brother Uncle Jesse, his wife and twin babies, AND your creepy (did he ever really date anyone?) quirky best friend Uncle Joey live with your family in your amazing San Francisco town home? How did he do it? And what did he do for a living again? (Oh yeah, he hosted a television morning show. I just Wikipedia-ed it. I guess they could afford that house...)

ANYway, Danny was an awesome dad and the last five minutes of every show make me confident of this. Why, there was the time DJ went on a crash diet so she could be skinny, the time DJ got drunk at a party...man, DJ had a rough go of it. But Danny was always there for a quick 5 minute heart to heart, complete with compelling background music. And shoulder pads. For both of them. And a swinging kitchen door. What is it with 80’s/90’s sitcoms and swinging kitchen doors? Did any real people actually have these in their homes?

I digress. Again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teens who Feel Responsible to Parents Fare Better in School

In a fascinating new study, researchers find that teens who feel a sense of responsibility toward their parents tend to do better in school. Interesting, huh? I know what you’re thinking – this website is about preschoolers. But preschoolers grow up to be teenagers. And parents are always concerned about how to help their children succeed in school. So I thought this was relevant J

The study followed children from 7th to 9th grade in both the United States and China and asked kids questions like, ‘How much time do you feel you need to spend with your parents?’ and ‘Do you try to do well in school in part to please your parents?’ When students were in 7th grade, both American and Chinese students felt equal respect and responsibility toward their parents, but something interesting happened as they got older: American teenagers began to feel less responsible to their parents. This was not true, however, for Chinese teenagers. This is likely a difference between cultures.

But here’s where it gets really interesting. For both American and Chinese teens, those who felt a high sense of respect toward and responsibility to their parents got better grades and showed better attitudes for learning. Why? Well, we don’t know for sure, but it may have something to do with those teens and parents maintaining a close relationship with each other. One of the authors of the study suggests the importance of parents being involved in teens’ lives, which was also linked with teens’ feelings of responsibility toward their parents.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Children and Mistakes

I'm excited to bring you a guest article from Alina Tugend, author of Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong. Goodness knows that I'm wrong. A lot. I'm so excited to read this book and learn about how we can actually benefit, and help children benefit, from learning from our mistakes rather than dwelling on them...enjoy!

Children and Mistakes
by Alina Tugend,
Author of Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong

It's crucial that we, as parents, allow our children to make mistakes and fail and figure out how to recover from them. We can't rush in and fix every problem, whether it be forgotten homework, an awkward social encounter or not getting a part in the school play.

We know from research that building children's self-esteem and self-worth is much less about praise and gold stars and trophies for everyone and much more about creating resilience. Children who know how to screw up and fail and try again.

"While we do not want our children to face ongoing failure, to attempt to overprotect them and rush in whenever we fear they might fail at a task robs them of an important lesson, namely that mistakes are experiences from which to learn," writes Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein in their book Nurturing Resilience in Our Children. "It also communicates another subtle or perhaps not-so-subtle message to a child: We don't think you are strong enough to deal with obstacles and mistakes."
It's not that resilient children don't feel bad about their mistakes and failures, but they don't see themselves as failures. Too often children who think that messing up means they're losers quit tasks, blame others and deny responsibility.
But, as we know, nothing in parenting is black and white. It's fine to theoretically say that all children must make mistakes and fail, but when it's our children, all that great insight can go out the window. Or as my sister said when her nine-year-old was having a particularly tough baseball season, "I just don't want to be there when he strikes out."
What parent hasn't felt he or she would do anything to stop the tears? Or even worse, knowing there's something we can do and chose not to because our son or daughter has to learn a lesson.
So here are some thoughts that I keep in mind during the treacherous journey of parenthood:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Parents of the Week: Dr. And Mrs. Huxtable

Oh, you didn't think I forgot them, did you? Not a chance. Just waiting for the right moment.

Cliff and Claire Huxtable rocked the mid-late 80's with style, humor, and romance- not to mention raising five children! That family had everything- a kitchen with a swinging door, living room furniture with fancy wooden feet, and even a hunky older brother (Theo) with a cool hairstyle (flat top). Just saying.

Really, though, Cliff and Claire were great parents. Sensitive and loving with clear boundaries. Supporting each other's decisions. Parenting with humor and not taking themselves too seriously. The way Claire would sit down and have a heart to heart with the kids, the way Cliff could make anything not seem so horrible...could you ask for more from parents?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quality of Parent-Toddler Relationship Linked with Childhood Obesity

A recent article suggests that the quality of parent-toddler relationships could affect children's risk for obesity...what?! Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Let me explain.

In this fascinating study, the authors looked at the attachment relationship between parents and children. The attachment relationship is a special bond between parents and children. In short, it's based on the consistency with which you respond to your child- do you comfort her when she's upset? Do you pick him up when those precious arms are reaching for you? Do you snuggle her when she's sick? All of these behaviors foster the attachment relationship and send the following message to your child: "My parent will be there for me when I need her/him." They become securely attached.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Inside Look at Physical Therapy from the Folks at KidsCare Therapy

KidsCare Therapy is back, for our third and final month to tell you about another great therapy service for children. Thus far we’ve covered occupational and speech therapy, and during the month of June we are going to tell you all about the third discipline we treat –physical therapy. As with the other disciplines, we will start out this month by giving you a general overview of a pediatric physical therapist’s scope of treatment in this post, and then follow it up in a couple of weeks with specific diagnosis, potential warning signs and some treatments. After this month we hope that you will all be well versed as to how to identify a child that may be in need of speech, occupational or physical therapy, as well as how you can help to ensure you keep a child in your life healthy, and on target!

By definition physical therapy is a branch of rehabilitation that uses specifically designed exercises to help patients regain or improve their physical abilities.  Physical therapists work with many types of patients from infants all the way through adulthood to assist with that which limits a patients ability to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. This differs from occupational therapy (which we learned about in April) because physical therapy deals more with large body movements versus the fine use of the hands. Physical therapy is helping mobility and strength, while occupational therapy assists more with the fine motor skills involved with performing each task. While both of these play into one main goal, which is to help ensure a child develops into a fully functioning adult, with all of their motor skills intact– each of these disciplines have different ways of obtaining this goal. A physical therapist would describe “success” as being able to facilitate improvement of functional skills and independence, but also strength, coordination and balance for increased mobility.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Parent of the Week: Adri

Today we honor Adri. Adri is A-mazing. She's just full of joy and it comes across in her words and photos. She's also a singer- she wrote a lullaby for her baby girl and gave me permission to print the lyrics!! (They're at the bottom of her post). Okay- enjoy!

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!

Tell me about your children.
I have two step-sons, Sephiroth (11) and Sebastian (10). Then, there is Serena, better known as "Critter". Critter is 11 months old and walking, practically running. The boys dote on their sister and she lights up when they come into the room. Seph is good with electronics, engineering, robotics. He's a wiz kid as long as he's doing a project that he thought of and not an assignment the teacher gave him. Sebastian is great with writing, video gaming, and make believe. He has such an imagination and writes incredible stories. Serena has been a constant blessing in an often stressful world. She loves to sing, dance, and beat out a rhythm. But, it is the three of them together along with their dad that bring deep joy to my life.

How did you meet your husband? Robert and I were good friends in the youth group at our church. I met him when I was 13 and he was 15. When he turned 18 we went our separate ways. It was in 2003, I was 23 and he was 25, that he came back to that same church and I was there...again. We started dating almost immediately and in 2007 we were married. It hasn't always been an easy road, but with God's help, everything that we have gone through has made our marriage stronger and everyday I love him a little bit more.

I would also like to take a minute to point out that my husband is a stay-at-home dad. He is incredible with Serena. From the moment she was born, he had stars in his eyes. For the first few weeks he was the only one that could calm her down when she got upset, which was rare because she is happy 95% of the time! Most mornings, Robert brings her to me (in bed) and I get to snuggle with her and then feed her and put her back to bed for her morning nap before I have to get ready for work. He knows how important that time is to me. Then, while I’m away, he sings the ABCs with her everyday, reads books with her, gets down on his knees and plays with her in her nursery, keeps her out in the yard while he gardens or straps her on his back when he cleans up around the house, and then spends time with both of us every evening when I get home. He has been with her everyday for the past 11 months and I do believe our family routine has contributed to Serena’s early development.

Friday, June 3, 2011

CBS 11 clip- Traveling with Kiddos

Totally forgot to post my CBS 11 Clip from this week! Here it is:

Wow, I look really happy in the still. (I was really happy. I LOVE the people at CBS!) Read more...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Question for Parents

What is your child interested in? How do you support that interest? Could you be doing more? Read more...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parent of the Week: Daddy Warbucks

I’m always talking about how parents influence children. But as we all know, children influence parents just as much. A great example of this is Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks. Remember how cold Daddy Warbucks was at first, insisting that he must have a boy orphan come stay with him? But sure enough, in just two short hours- er, several weeks- that cute, red-headed, curly top won over his heart and had him tap dancing on the steps of his mansion (who hasn’t tap danced on the steps of their mansion?) while fireworks spelled out her name in the sky. I’ll have you know that, as a child, I thought fireworks spelling was a real possibility for years. Every Fourth of July I waited for the show to end with the spelling of something in the sky, only to be disappointed. Thanks a lot, Annie.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summertime Travel Tips

Summer’s here and for many families, that means travel. Whether by plane, train, or automobile, your child is bound to get bored at some point in the trip. While it’s so tempting to hand your little one the iPhone press play on the laptop for two hours of peace thanks to a movie, the truth is, you could be using this time to 1. Connect with your child and 2. Help him or her learn. Here are some ideas on just how to do that and I’ll give you a hint: remember when we were kids? Yes, the days before technology...

1. Play ‘I Spy’ – Perfect for waiting on the airplane before it takes off, ‘I Spy’ challenges children to be observant and use a critical eye. Use different variations like colors, numbers or shapes (“I spy with my little eye something with three circles”), or letters (“I spy something with an S in the name of it”).

2. License Plate Game – This game is perfect for long road trips and can be done over a period of days (or weeks!). Try and find as many different license plates as you can. Can you find all the states? How many countries? Be careful, it can become an obsession...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speech and Your Child - Tips from KidsCare Therapy

Welcome to summer time in North Texas (and everywhere!) from all of us here at KidsCare Therapy! We are excited to be back this week to further honor Better Hearing and Speech month. In our last post you learned all about speech therapy, including what they do and the symptoms they treat. This week we will focus on some of the potential warning signs for delay, as well as offer up some tips that can help to ensure a child in your life continues to develop their speech skills on target. 

While many of the patients that a speech therapist treats will have diagnosis such as ADD/ADHD, autism, and developmental delays – generally speaking they will be treating a list of symptoms that happen to coincide with these diagnoses, not the diagnoses themselves. As you learned in our last post these symptoms can range from speech or language delays to articulation or dysphagia.

So by now you may be asking, “How can I tell if a child in my life needs speech therapy services?” For receptive language problems (problems pertaining to how a patient processes and understands communication) it is important to see if the child can follow directions that are given, and to make sure they are comprehending questions they are asked. If they look or seem confused when you speak to them it could be a sign that they are not processing the communication.

If a child is not using words, or is unable to communicate their needs, then they most likely have an expressive language delay (which pertains to what they are able to say or how they use language to communicate). While the level of communication will differ with age, look to see if the child is able to express their needs. Even a baby will squeal or cry to get a desired response. Please see our developmental delay chart for specific milestones that a child should be achieving at each age.

So, what are some things you can do to keep a child on par with developmental milestones related to their speech? Well, constantly communicating with the child is perhaps the greatest contribution to their thriving. Talk through each activity you do, and ensure the child tries to communicate in order to request their needs.  Reading to a child, or having them read, is also another great way to continue development. When reading, it is helpful to ask the child questions as you turn each page to ensure there is comprehension (or that the receptive language is being developed). Using pictures is also a great way to have kids associate and learn words.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Parent of the Week: Katy

I'm so excited to present Katy to you! First of all, she sounds like soooo much fun. Second of all, she bakes. She also dances. See why I love her?! Okay- I'll let her tell you the rest...

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!


Tell me a little about you.                       
My name is Katy and I'm a wife and a mom.  I work a few jobs, one PT job outside of the home, one PT job from home and, most recently, starting my own business, Fresh Life Foods.  I love to bake, and I bake everything from scratch. It might actually be the sampling of what I bake that enjoy a little more than the act of baking, but either way, my new business has allowed me to turn my hobby into a career.   I also like to read, sew and play disc golf.  I love, love, love to dance, so dancing in the car is a must for me.  

Tell me about your children.                       
I have two children, one girl who is 5 years old, and one boy who is 5 months. They are both so funny and loving.  My daughter is such a great big sister and loves helping me with her little brother.  My daughter's favorite activities are singing, dancing and playing outside. My son likes eating, sleeping and chewing on toys at the moment.

What surprised you most about parenting?                        
How much I love these little guys. You hear it all the time, but it is just so amazing how you can have so much love for them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teaching Children Self-Compassion

Self-compassion sounds a little cheesy, but it’s pretty simple. It has to do with acknowledging your own feelings and helps you relate to the feelings of others. There are three parts: mindfulness, or the actual acknowledgement of your feelings- realizing they’re there, common humanity, realizing that, others, too, go through difficult emotions and finding support and strength in numbers, and being kind to yourself and others in an effort to reduce further hardships.

Researchers look at self-compassion as a sort of middle ground between the type of ‘tiger mom’ parenting you may have read about, where children’s self-esteem and approval from parents is based solely upon whether they succeed at certain accomplishments, say, playing a piano piece perfectly from start to finish, and the type of parenting where self-esteem is doled out in the form of ‘everyone gets a trophy. For everything. All the time.’ You can imagine that, in the first instance, children may be made to feel that they are never good enough, and in the latter, that they are always the best. This could be problematic for a number of reasons, but namely because children are taught that self-worth hinges upon performance and how they stack up compared with other children. How stressful!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Parenting Quick Tip: Connecting During Frustration

When your child is frustrated, it can be equally frustrating for you, especially if you have a young preschooler who can't yet express everything he needs and wants. Your first reaction may be avoidance- to turn away and let your child figure it on on his own. Or, you may enter into a frustration battle with your child that ends up with both of you melting down.

Next time, try connecting with your child by saying this: How can I help you right now? It will challenge her to use her words and think through her emotions, why she's frustrated, and what she needs in the situation. And it will help you connect with your child in a way that will be meaningful and work through the frustration more quickly :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Parent of the Week: Jenn

You all will love Jenn- I do! Why? I'll give you three reasons: 1. She's a Texan (I don't know if she's actually from here, but she lives here, so that counts) **UPDATE** She is ALL Texan. Read her comment below. I think she's more Texan than Big Tex. 2. She's got such an adventurous spirit and tries fun things you always wanted to but never would/did and 3. She posts the most precious photos of her most precious family on her blog. I could think of eleventy bajillion more reasons why you will love Jenn, but I'll just let you read for yourself...

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!
Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer... I go by Jenn... call me Jenny and I'll... well I don't know what I'll do but it won't be pretty. I met my husband 20 years ago and we've been married for 16 years of that time. We weren't ready to have kids right away so we waited until we had 10 years of marriage under our belt before we took the plunge. We now have two daughters ages 6 and 3.

In a past life I majored in Anthropology only to find that a liberal arts degree doesn't really guarantee you'll find work. So I worked in several different fields looking for the right job. I worked for a veterinarian, a catering company, a group home for people with disabilities, and a university library just to name a few... Finally I got sick of it all, and my husband and I sold everything and moved to Mexico to teach English. We managed to pay the bills there for about a year and a half. We lived off our savings and a salary of pesos before we had to move back. Once we returned I think that we finally decided that we were grown up enough to have a family. I've been a stay at home mom since my my first daughter was born and even though some days I want to go back to work outside the home I know that this is truly the most rewarding job I can have at the moment.


As far as hobbies go I have many: cooking, knitting, crocheting, just about anything outdoors (except maybe bungee jumping or cliff diving), basket weaving, playing guitar, and song writing. I currently write two blogs... one called worth a fig (where I share recipes and write about foodlore) and worth a knit (where I write about my knitting and other crafts).

Monday, May 16, 2011

CBS 11 clip- Kids and Sharing

Remember last week when I posted about helping children learn to share- and I goofed and mixed up my CBS 11 topics? Well I talked about sharing on CBS 11 today. And here it is!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

An Inside Look at Speech Therapy from the Folks at KidsCare Therapy

In May, KidsCare Therapy continues to celebrate our amazing therapists by partnering with Avant Garde Parenting for Better Hearing and Speech Month! Over the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring—you guessed it—speech therapy services. You’ll learn about a speech therapist’s scope of treatment and the various ways they help children overcome a wide range of developmental delays. By the end of the month, we hope you are equipped with the tools to identify a child that could benefit from speech therapy services.

Just as with occupational therapy, speech therapy’s scope of treatment is very broad and contains some surprises. As their title suggests, speech therapists treat speech and language disorders. What might surprise you is that speech therapists also treat feeding and swallowing disorders, called “dysphagia”. This is the same for both adult and pediatric patients, although the focus of treatment will likely vary. Speech therapy in adults is typically more rehabilitation-based, where as pediatric patients are typically learning skills for the first time.

As in occupational therapy, the goal is to help children develop into fully-functioning independent adults by developing necessary life skills—in this case, communication and feeding skills. By giving a child effective communication skills, he or she is able to express their needs and wants, especially those that are medical. Feeding skills are vital in allowing a child to gain nutrition for appropriate weight gain and growth.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parent of the Week: Carol Brady

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!


Today’s Parent of the Week is dedicated to a TV mom I grew up with: Carol Brady. Carol Brady always knew what to do when there was trouble- whether it was a fight brewing between her six children, a problem at school, or just a silly misunderstanding. And that woman could always wrap it up in 30 minutes or less. I don’t know how she did it.

But let’s talk more important things for a minute- her hair. Was it short? Was it long? I don’t know, but it was awesome. It framed her mom face perfectly and I’ll tell you what- even as a child watching in the 80’s (waaaay past the prime of the Brady’s), I tried the flippy-outy at the bottom. Yes, I did.

Monday, May 9, 2011

CBS 11 Clip- Fighting with Your Teen

Though this blog is geared toward preschoolers, get ready, because preschoolers because preschoolers grow up to be teenagers! So today I mixed it up a bit today on CBS 11 and talked about fighting with teenagers- enjoy!


Helping Children Learn to Share

**UPDATE: Whoops! I goofed on dates and actually talked about fighting with your teenagers today on CBS 11. I promise that, when I do talk about sharing, I'll post the clip :)

Be sure to check back later tonight for my CBS 11 clip on this topic!

Is your child good at sharing? No? Well, get with the program, because your preschooler should be a sharing pro.


The truth is that preschoolers just aren’t good at sharing. We all know this. What’s interesting is that, even when children know that they should share, they still have a really hard time doing it. You know this as parents, but the research supports it, too. In fact, one study found that 100% of 6-12 year olds know that not sharing is wrong and another study found that even preschoolers know that a pile of candy should be split evenly between two people...but kids still have trouble sharing!

Why? The research jury is still out, but it’s likely that desire is so strong at young ages that it trumps everything else. Very young children just have a lot of trouble overriding the desire for a toy (or a sticker, or a treat, or what have you) in order to share with someone else.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parenting Quick Challenge: Live in the Moment

One thing I admire about young children is their ability to live in the moment. They play freely, without worry of what the next day or even hour will bring. What a free feeling that must be!

I’ll be the first to admit that I have trouble living in the moment. I’m a planner. A worrier and a planner. Those qualities have their advantages- I’m rarely late, I almost never forget things, and I’m usually prepared for anything. However, I also wake up many a night- and lie awake- thinking about what I need to do the next day. Not because I have a big meeting or presentation, just because I’m afraid I’ll forget something or not be completely prepared. I toil over details and worry about others far more than I should or probably need to.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parent of the Week: Helen

This week's parent of the week is Helen- a delightful, funny, down-to-earth mom of a precious adorable 4-year-old boy. You will love reading about her adventures and perusing her cute photos. Enjoy!

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!


Tell me a little about you- Who are you? What do you do? Hobbies? Do you dance in the car?
I'm Helen and I'm pretty sure it'd be easier to tell you what I don't do than to tell you what I do do.  I have a culinary degree, but I gave up the dream of being a pastry chef when I realized the hours I'd have to put in - on my feet.  ha!  Now my degree is put to use packing lunches & making family dinners. 
I do work outside the home still, at a desk job though.  I also run a jewelry business with my sister (Pink Fish Designs) and a local park blog (DFW Parks & Playgrounds).  In my free time (haha!) I enjoy running & off-road cycling.  I also try to spend as much time as possible with my crazy son & my amazing husband of 9 years.
Oh, and I totally dance (and sing, terribly off-key) in the car.

Tell me a little about your child.
I have one full-throttle, non-stop, spirited, loving, hilarious son, who will be 4 in July.  He is a morning person for sure - he literally bounces out of the bed early in the morning, talking non-stop.  He usually doesn't stop talking or moving until he falls asleep - sometimes not even then!  He loves to be the center of attention & if we're in a crowded room he'll ask me "how can I make all these people laugh?".  He is super smart (of course!) and comes up with random questions likes "do they play a lot of tennis in Tennessee?".  He is currently obsessed with jellyfish, electric eels, Legos, Scooby Doo, & Transformers.  He also loves to tell stories, read books, go "adventuring" & climb on any & everything he can find.

Monday, May 2, 2011

CBS 11 Clip - Handling Unwanted Parenting Advice

Just wanted to share my CBS 11 clip from Friday on handling unwanted parenting advice from others...everyone has gotten it at one time or another! Enjoy!


Friday, April 29, 2011

First Time Books Giveaway

Have you clicked the 'giveaway' tab lately? You might want to...we've got a doozy of a giveaway going right now from First Time Books. And it's for EVERYONE- you don't have to do a thing to win! Read more...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Occupational Therapy: Proactive Parenting Tips and An Autism Success Story!

A hot and humid “Howdy!” from KidsCare Therapy in Dallas/Fort Worth, where the temperatures are getting higher and higher! In our last post you learned all about pediatric occupational therapy—why and how an occupational therapist helps children. This week, we are going to review some of the things an occupational therapist regularly sees when treating patients.  We will also let you know about some of the most important developmental milestones your child should be reaching and at what age these milestones occur. You’ll also learn a few tips from our in-house OT clinical manager that you can use to ensure that your child continues to develop and thrive on target!  And, of course, we’ll have another inspiring success story where you can see the real-life benefits of home health services.

As you know, an occupational therapist treats a wide array of conditions—everything from sensory processing disorder to autism. As a review, below are some of the more common conditions treated by an OT:

  • Developmental delays
  • Cerebral Palsy and other neurologic disorders
  • Autism and other spectrum disorders
  • Down Syndrome and other genetic disorders
  • ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Parent of the Week: Mama Bear

Today we honor the mother we all try to be. The mother who has the perfect lesson for every situation. The mother whose hat always matches her dress (and who always finds time to put on a neatly pressed dress!). The mother who, despite the stress of raising a family of bears, never seems to age a day. I think it's the fur.

Today we honor Mama Bear Berenstain, wearer of blue (and she does wear it well, doesn't she?!).

Mama Bear is the wife of Papa Bear and mom to Brother Bear, Sister Bear, and Honey Bear. But she's so much more than that! She's the moral compass of the family, encouraging her children to count their blessings when they become too fixated on how many Bearbie Dolls and video games they have. 

Mama Bear is involved in the community, too! She's the president of the Bear Country Garden Club and champion quilter. In fact, she's even turned her quilting hobby into a business- can you say super-bear-mom?!

Since 1974, The Berenstain Bears have inspired families to be respectful, honorable, and good citizens- in large part thanks to Mama Bear. Now doesn't that just make you want to give her a great big bear hug?


Copyright 2009 Parenting | Singleparent Blog. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress by Wpthemesfree