Keeping Kids Calm…

February 21, 2012

sleeptite_150

I got an email today that made me feel the pain of all the people out there who care for little children.

Here’s what this loving grandma wrote:  “I am a grandmother of a 3 and 4 year old.  I have had my grandchildren for a year now due to them being placed in foster care.  In the year that I have had them, we have been in 3 daycares due to major behavior problems. (biting, hitting, cursing, etc)  I feel like I have tried everything.  Thank you for providing these pictures.  I just found you and I am hoping that they work.”

I wrote this to her: “My heart goes out to you. Such a big job you have. My best advice, when there is so much conflict and tension expressed by them, is this:

  1. Try to slow the pace of everything down, and to keep a calm atmosphere when they are at home.
  2. Don’t let them have sugary drinks or sweets during the week since they cause hyperactivity.
  3. Make sure they DO get LOTS of exercise during the day to tire them out and allow them to have a good sleep at night.
  4. Give them plenty of water during the day (dehydration causes stress, too).
  5. Keep the TV OFF – it causes frustration.
  6. Play happy and relaxing music with positive messages to think about instead. Classical music calms the nerves too.
  7. Read books to them. It will make them better readers later on as they associate reading with the snuggly feeling of being near you and listening to you read to them.
  8. Above all, your influence is the very best thing for them. Your loving nature and sweet disposition will be easier ‘caught’ than ‘taught’.
  9. I hope that the charts help a lot, too.

Did you download the customizable ones here? http://www.gomommygo.com/thankdontspank.html They are great because there’s no need for yelling or fussing, just calmly stating the facts, “Oh – I see your shoes on the floor. Quick put them away so you can get your good mark! I don’t want you to miss your treat on Saturday!” That way you can be on their side, and a cheer leader for their success. Many thanks for doing the hard stuff!”

After sending this message to her I realized: These tips are good for everyone!

Keep up the great work out there with your kids everyone!

Love and Best,

Ruth

TIPS FOR GETTING KIDS TO BED:

February 18, 2012

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These helped my SEVEN kids get to bed when they were little:

1-  Make sure you do NOT allow TV or exposure to computer screens a few hours before bedtime. ALL lights stimulate the Pineal gland, which signals the body to ‘WAKE UP’! ALSO – keep your kids away from Sugar and Candy, which can cause hyperactivity. Only let them have it on special occasions or on the week-ends as a reward for good behavior perhaps. You will be amazed at their better behavior!

2- Another is to take advantage of natural GABA and Peter Gillham’s Natural CALM, a Magnesium Supplement. Both powdered  GABA and Natural Calm Magnesium help relax the body AND mind at bedtime. (They are available from most health food stores and online at the best prices at iHerb.com (you can get $5 off your first order with this code: KID067).

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3- Since I had so many kids, bedtime was always easier when I followed a ‘quiet time’ pattern each night. THIS is VERY important – but WORKS, and I elaborate on the details here: http://www.gomommygo.com/positive_behaviors.html#bedtime

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4- And getting ready for a good day at school is also an ART that starts the day before: http://www.edudesigns.org/get_ready_for_school.html

 

5- ALSO: Many parents use my illustrated behavior charts I offer FREE to everyone here, as incentives to positive behavior:  http://www.gomommygo.com/thankdontspank.html

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By the way – Melatonin is another natural remedy for sleeplessness that re-sets the body’s bio-rhythm. You only need to use it for  for 2 weeks straight at the same time each night 20 minutes or so before bed. After that your body should be ‘trained’ to go to bed at that time, and  not need it until your schedule changes. And we still take the GABA and Natural CALM Magnesium every night mixed with water and it really helps to give us all wonderful sleep. Ask your physician if you are in doubt, though most doctors know less about nutrition and concentrate mostly on pharmaceuticals. Lots of info can be found online about the benefits of these natural remedies, too.

SWEET DREAMS!

I promise not to have bad dreams…

November 17, 2011

 

Momma was careful not to let us watch scary movies. But when King Kong came on our black & white TV one night, I couldn’t resist.  I proudly proclaimed that I was now old enough, and assured her I was not going to get bad dreams. Unfortunately she believed me. So I watched, riveted to the tiny screen as giant Kong roared and the tiny lady screamed. And in my bed that night I really tried not, but woke up screaming in terror myself at the images playing in my head. Though I was ten years old Momma finally had to sing me a lullaby to get my mind to quiet down till I could think of something else!

It was then I realized for myself how vulnerable our minds are to the power of suggestion.

TV was only black and white back then, and the programs milder.  Today with the myriad of images and thoughts bombarding our kids each day it’s easy to see why they might have trouble sleeping, ADHD, OCD, less self control and a host of other problems worse than we had back then.

How can we help our kids process input, analyze and deal with the fears and bad thoughts that come to them? How can we control the onslaught to their impressionable minds?

First: TURN OFF (the TV) or electronic media that’s putting the bad stuff in.  Then: TURN ON (Real Life) by doing positive things that help them feel empowered to control and impact their environment.

And then: TUNE IN (to what’s playing in your head, too).  Watch and listen.

If you don’t like what you find there, ‘Change the channel’ by putting something good in it’s place.  Nice music. Happy thoughts. You’re in charge now. Don’t let the TV be the boss of you.

And by all means don’t listen to your kids if they say they are ‘old enough’!

I’m still not old enough to watch some of the things on TV today!

Thanks for paying attention to what’s in YOUR head,

Ruth Elliott

Director, Edu Designs

director@edudesigns.org

PS – There are gazillion things to do besides TV and video games. Make something with your hands, draw a picture, paint, build something, clean up the mess after your creative explorations, learn to play an instrument, cook, stare at the clouds, read, pet the cat, watch the plants grow, etc…

Tell me some of your ideas. I’ll add them to my list!  Email me!

By the way – Are you on Facebook? Check out the story on our page about the little boy who was inspired by my art textbook to draw an award winning picture for a soldier and gave it to him this Veteran’s Day!

GoMommyGO is proud to partner with Edu Designs, a CA Non Profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation. All donations are Tax Deductible as allowed by law. Tax  ID # 26-1576531
Edu Designs makes careful use of your support! We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for salaries – 100% goes to programs to help children

What to do with the Terrible TWO’s!

August 12, 2011

Jeanette recently emailed me with a problem:

“I am really eager to use the chart for my 2 1/2 yr old. When my son is not able to do something for his own self he gets mad and throws the item (toy) Is there a a visual that can teach him not to throw his toys when frustrated and instead ask for help in a nice voice instead of screaming?”

Here is my answer:  So glad you contacted me, Jeanette.
Yes, there IS a visual to help him use words instead of screaming! It’s right here:
http://www.gomommygo.com/positive_behaviors.html#talkYes_Yell_NO
Boy talks, instead of yelling
2 Yr olds get frustrated when they can’t express their feelings, and that can certainly put us in a panic at times! I recently discovered through research that the brain of a 2 year old is developing faster than at any other time in his life. Here’s my full article about it it:

http://www.edudesigns.org/ToddlersBrainPower.html
Since they can’t always say what’s bothering them, or even have the mental agility yet to be able to figure it out themselves, your job is to evaluate the situation objectively to find out the source of their problem.

Is it Emotional? Is it Physical?

Anger is a secondary emotion. That means that it doesn’t appear first.  There’s always a hurt that happens first, and THEN the anger. People who don’t want to cry many times jump into anger in order to bypass the pain they feel.
If you are a working parent and don’t see every little thing that goes on with them during the day, it can be hard to figure out what’s wrong sometimes. Your child may feel hurt and rejected from being at the babysitters all day. It could be an emotional hurt from an experience they just had. Or exposure to something they saw on TV. Young kids are much more sensitive than we realize.

Sometimes it can be a physical issue that can trigger outbursts.

  1.  Are they tired? Physical stress can cause a person to lose control.
  2. Are they thirsty? Dehydration causes the body to react in stress.
  3. Are they hungry? Blood sugar changes can cause stress and anxiety.

Sometimes, sensing that my kids were hungry or tired or both, I would let them know I could see they were upset, and that they were going to have to calm down so we could get them what they need right away.  I would ask them in a calm voice something like this:  “I can see you’re really tired and hungry. Would you rather settle down now so I can help you, OR do you need a little time to quiet down in your room?”  Either way, they get a double message where the only choice given them is to settle down.

There are lots of great tips you can get on speaking with Toddlers from Chris Thompson, the guru of TODDLER-Whisperers everywhere!  His site is here: http://talkingtotoddlers.com/4-tips
I was so impressed with his free audio lesson that even though my kids are all grown up, I bought the whole course!
You’ve got to check him out.  Let me know what you think.
I really want to help in any way I can,  Jeanette. Please let me know if there’s anything else you can think of that might shed light on the problem.
Best,
Ruth
PS – Did you ask for the Free laminated behavior card on this page yet?
 http://www.gomommygo.com/portable_charts.html
Just let me know.
:) Ruth

Ruth Elliott, Director, Edu Designs
www.edudesigns.org
www.gomommygo.com
Helping parents and caregivers guide character development…EDU DESIGNS is dedicated “to produce and distribute multimedia materials for the education, motivation and character development of children”  Edu Designs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Get Your Laminated Behavior Cards!

August 9, 2011

REMEMBER!

For a limited time only, you can get this handy PORTABLE Laminated BEHAVIOR CARD courtesy of GoMommyGO! Want us to mail it as a gift to someone else? Just let us know!The portable laminated behavior card is used for positive reinforcement in combination with the home chart when parents or caregivers are out with their children. Used by parents, social workers, Special Ed teachers, preschools and caregivers. They are great for sharing with friends or grandparents, to help instill manners in the young ones they love!

Front Back

These positive behaviors are reinforced on the card:

Side 1- POSITIVE BEHAVIORS on“Coming and Going”:
1- Come when you are called- without a fuss!
2- Hold hands to stay safe
3- Keep your seat belt on at all times in the car

Side 2- POSITIVE BEHAVIORS on“Words and Manners”:
1- No screams or yells – use WORDS instead
(Say, ”I can’t understand what you say if you yell. Use your WORDS instead.”)
2- Say “Please”
(be polite, don’t whine!)
3- Say “Thank You”
(be grateful!)

Here’s how to use the PORTABLE Laminated BEHAVIOR CARD
from GoMommyGO:

When you catch your child being GOOD, let them know you NOTICE!

1- The Portable business card-size chart is for using out of the home – in the car, on your way, or where you want kids to remember how to behave!
Make a check mark (or their initials) on the laminated card with a Dri-Erase marker on the box next to the good behavior to show they know how to behave in public.

2- THEN, when you get HOME, place a sticker next to the BONUS GOOD MARKsection of their BIG behavior chart like it shows on the sample below. YOUR BIGbehavior charts are available FREE to print up (for your personal use only) fromGoMommyGO! © Ruth Elliott, 2010)

PLUS – So many of you responded to our newsletter about the four BUILDING BLOCKS of CHARACTER that I created special cards for children to remember them by! SO - if you act NOW – as our thank you for a donation, you’ll get this additional SPECIAL GIFT – a set of 4 Laminated cards representing the four ‘BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER’:”ASK, THANK, APOLOGIZE and FORGIVEBack view of cards Front view of cards

You can get ALL these cards Free when you make a Donation to EduDesigns, the non profit I started to help children’s character development.No gift is too small! Please Donate what you can!The four ‘BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER’ cards plus the PORTABLE Laminated BEHAVIOR CARD will be sent to you for your donation of any amount.

YOUR KIDS CAN’T WAIT TILL THEY ARE GROWN! THEY NEED YOUR HELP NOW!

Your privacy is important to us. Your information will never be shared with anyone.
Edu Designs is a CA Non Profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation. All donations are Tax Deductible as allowed by law. Tax ID # 26-1576531
Edu Designs makes careful use of your support! We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for salaries – 100% goes to programs to help children.

CHARACTER is PREPARATION for the STORMS of LIFE!

May 22, 2011

From Ruth Elliott, Director

They hit you sooner or later…

A drawing © Ruth Elliott in Magic Marker, 1968

No way around it. Troubles hit you. Some financial. Some personal. Like Rudyard Kipling asked, how DO you hold on when all about you are losing their heads and blaming it on you? Even more, how do you keep trials and troubles from your door? The answer is: You can’t.

If Character is defined as “what you are when no one is watching”, then there has to be that space within to return to that is untouched by the storms of life. The eye of the hurricane, the apex of the pendulum that remains steady while the weight is swinging below it – that place we can hold on – and to align our perspective by. Keep that as an anchor and don’t let go! You can make it. Take the time to find it if you haven’t yet. It’s THERE. You’ll need it.

I heard a great man once say,

“There are two paths placed before us: The ‘GOOD’ and the ‘PLEASANT’. He who chooses the PLEASANT misses the mark. Please join with us on the better road!

Ruth Elliott, Director, Edu Designs

director@edudesigns.org

Donate NOW to receive free gifts!

When you make a donation to Edu Designs – the Non-Profit I founded to help kids, The four ‘BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER’ cards plus a PORTABLE Laminated BEHAVIOR CARD will be sent to you!
No gift is too small! Please Donate what you can!

If you want a better tomorrow, everyone must help children today.
Edu Designs is a CA Non Profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation. All donations are Tax Deductible as allowed by law. Tax ID # 26-1576531
Edu Designs makes careful use of your support! We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for salaries – 100% goes to programs to help children.

EMPATHY RULES – without RULES!

February 28, 2011

From Ruth Elliott, Creator of GoMommyGo, Director of Edu Designs

Why is it that some people seem to have more empathy than others? Some seem to have none at all.  How did we get this way? Is it nature? Is it nurture?

Neuroscientist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, author of “Mirroring People, the new Science of how we connect with others” tells how scientists have discovered the brains’ capacity for what they call ‘mirroring’: the ability to feel something that happens to another as though it’s happening to us!  What we call ‘empathy’ happens when our brains light up in the same areas in our brains that mirror what the other person is feeling. One of the earliest scientific observations found a monkey’s brain fired up seeing someone licking an ice cream cone as though he were eating it himself!

Monkey watching someone eating an Ice creamDr. Iacoboni says, “All in all, we come to understand others via imitation, and imitation shares functional mechanisms with language and empathy.”

To me  that sounds like, “MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO!”

Most of us are innately wired to feel for each other. And certainly nothing makes you sacrifice for another person faster than being a parent. When your little one suffers, you suffer. When they laugh, you’re happy. And in moments of clarity we may even see a bum on the street as a mother’s once beloved child, and suddenly we are all humanity struggling with the same breath.

It’s no wonder that most faiths embrace some sort of teaching that expresses “Treat others the way YOU want to be treated”.

But how can we teach that to children?

According to Dr. Iacoboni, “…whenever you expose kids to any form of… violence, through media, through video games or through films, then you put these kids at risk of expressing violence with their own acts because they’re going to imitate that.”

What kids need is more GOOD examples.

We get tired. The house is a mess. The pressure is great to finish our ‘to do’ lists. But our kids will only be teachable for a little while, and they are learning from YOU things that are more ‘caught than taught’.   Dr. Iacoboni said, ”The way we understand other people’s feelings is by simulating in our brain the same activity we have when we experience those emotions.”

So why not let them help with the chores? Turn off the TV and involve them with the day to day boring things that you want to ‘get over with’. Let them ‘mirror’ what YOU are doing. It’ll be more fun if you work together. They’ll learn to sacrifice, too! A little bit won’t hurt them. Really. And their fun will be so much better when they are done. They’ll be proud of themselves, too.

That’s why I made all my Behavior Charts and put them on GoMommyGo for Free. So you can reinforce the kinds of behaviors you want your children to do.

I know you care about educating children for good character. And if you ARE a parent, I know you must be pretty busy, so thank goodness you took a moment to read this!

Here are some links you can use to help you find things fast on GoMommyGo:

1- You can get my free Behavior charts on GoMommyGO here: http://www.gomommygo.com/thankdontspank.html

2- When you click on any image on THIS PAGE it takes you to what the images mean.

3- So many parents struggle to know how to discipline their kids.  Here are some tips for PLANNING AHEAD! And what to do when you DO need to give them consequences for bad behavior, HERE.

Many thanks for reading, and caring about the future adults around you!

Ruth Elliott
Director, Edu Designs
ruth@edudesigns.org

Got Courteous Kids? See me on TV to learn more!

December 28, 2010

Guess WHAT?
I was interviewed by Father Manning – beloved by many for his insightful views on living in truth and love!
You’ll want to check out what made me such a kid fanatic and why I am the way I am!

Watch a portion of the interview with Ruth Elliot by clicking on the image below:


COURTEOUS KIDS December 29, 2010
Courteous Kids Banner

(Here is an excerpt, below,  from an email sent to me by Wordnet Productions, where Father Manning mentions the show!)COURTEOUS KIDS
One of the precious realities of our world are the children. They bring new life and joy. Sometimes they don’t act the way we think they should. One person said “If you want to train teenagers, do it when they are three years old.”Today’s guest, Ruth Elliott, has much to say about helping children develop the respect, love, kindness that we expect of them.

Much depends on home training. In this interview with
Fr. Mike, Ruth tells how she has done this.
Ruth Elliott was very successful commercially in art, design, and cartoons in the Hollywood area. Upon retiring and stirred by God to use her talents, she established
Edu Designs.
Through art, she helps parents and teachers to show children how to behave. When they see a picture, it is easier to remember to do the action.


Ruth is impelled by Michah’s quote: “To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” That is what this talented lady is doing, using her talents in the way that she feels God is asking her.

(for the complete
interview click HERE, or watch Courteous Kids on YouTube)
Cable Delivery of The Word in the World series “The Power of Love” PDF Document
Father Manning’s programs are available in over 200 thousand households around the world through delivery by broadcast, cable, satellite, and internet, as well as by direct video purchase.

The lady CHANGED 36,000 DIAPERS?

December 6, 2010

I must confess there were times in the beginning when the constant pressure of motherhood (and the smell!) could have gotten me down. But looking into the fragile and impressionable little faces before me reminded me that their emotional security was more important than my momentary inconvenience. There were only a finite number of diaper changes I would perform until this little one wouldn’t need them any more! From that moment on I embraced every opportunity to relate to them with smiles, coos, laughter and assurance that this precious little baby not only came first, but was an important person worthy of my time and attention. One day the phrase came out of my mouth, “Changing Diapers are Mommy and Baby’s chance to say “Hi!” to one another!”

The idea hit me – what a great thing to remind mom’s of, to help them forget the toll and remember the goal.  Since that time I found Cafe Press  – who will print up designs on a T-shirt for you, and at a reasonable price! I ordered them and they came within a few days!

Now YOU can get one TOO!

If you know a new mom or dad, this is your chance to get one for their little one! Seeing it just might be the reminder they need of the wonderful opportunity they have to nurture and enjoy them while they can!

Here’s where you get them: GoMommyGo’s CAFE PRESS store!

ABOUT the AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR:Her 7 kids are grown (and yes, she’s changed over 36,000 diapers in her time!) As a director of the non profit charity Edu Designs, Ruth now donates her time giving FREE art presentations to schools and enjoys sharing ideas to help busy parents with the challenges of raising their kids to be productive and positive people! An Emmy Award winning animation artist, author and illustrator, she offers parents tools for positive behavior in kids through her site GoMommyGo.com.

ChoresBehaviorChartsPotty-trainingAbuseDisciplineDrugs Contact

WHATTA YA KNOW! Are we workin’ our kids TOO HARD?

December 3, 2010

My son came home from school one day

and said, “The reason I went to school wasn’t there today!”


Then my daughter cried out:



What ever happened to ‘PLAY’?

It turns out that kids need UN-structured play time to learn self regulation.

FINALLY the experts have spoken!

PLAY is GOOD for you!

But too much structured play can lead to lack of self control in kids! That includes TV, video games, even too many extra-curricular lessons.

Letting kids use their imaginations in play frees them to ‘self-talk’, which allows them to think of different scenarios and learn to regulate their own behavior.
In the ‘old days’ (before television) kids spent more time improvising, exploring and being allowed ‘free space’ to pretend.
To quote Alex Spiegel from NPR News, “It turns out that all that time spent playing make-believe actually helped children develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function. Executive function has a number of different elements, but a central one is the ability to self-regulate. Kids with good self-regulation are able to control their emotions and behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline.

In NPR’s story “Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills”, shares how the commercialization of child’s play by merchandisers wanting to sell toys — was a trend which began to shrink the size of children’s imaginative space. The second half of the 20th century introduced TV, which brought marketers, and suddenly play was centered on a thing, a toy, rather than using their imagination to create their inner world. As Howard Chudacoff, a cultural historian at Brown University said, “It’s interesting to me that when we talk about play today, the first thing that comes to mind are toys. “Whereas when I would think of play in the 19th century, I would think of activity rather than an object.”

The psychologist Dr. Dobson once say that TV captures the imagination, and won’t let it go.
Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV and go play outside! (Trouble is, too many weirdos are running loose out there that spent their childhoods watching TV!)
Oh Dear! What’s a mother to do!

Here’s the rest of the story:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19212514

and more about The Best Kind of Play for Kids:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=76838288&ps=rs

Check out HOW to BUILD your CHILD’s CHARACTER here…

FREE Illustrated Behavior charts for kids here…


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