Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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).
  5. Keep the TV OFF – it causes frustration.
  6. Play happy and relaxing music with positive messages to think about instead.
  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 while listening to you read to them.
  8. Above all, your good example and 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 also help.

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 state 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

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 FREE SAFETY BEHAVIOR CARD!

August 9, 2011

The SAFETY CARD is for out of the home – in the car, on your way, or where you want kids to remember how to behave. The Safety Behavior Card is great for positive reinforcement in combination with the home chart (You download the home chart free from GoMommyGO®). Used by parents, social workers, Special Ed teachers, preschools and caregivers, they are great for sharing with parents or grandparents, to help instill manners in the young ones you know.

GET YOUR FREE SAFETY CARD!

For a limited time only, you can get this handy PORTABLE SAFETY BEHAVIOR CARD courtesy of GoMommyGO®! Want us to mail it as a gift to someone else? Just let us know where to mail it!  

The Safety Behavior Card is used for positive reinforcement in combination with the home chart when you are out with children.

(Sign up for your home chart here:  http://www.gomommygo.com/thankdontspank.html)

behaviorCARD-NEW

These positive behaviors are reinforced on the card:

POSITIVE BEHAVIORS
1- TALK- Don’t Yell! (Say, ”I can’t understand what you say. Use your WORDS instead.”)
2- Say “Please”
(be polite, don’t whine!)
3- Say “Thank You”
(be grateful!)
4- STAY CLOSE (Don’t get LOST)
5- Hold hands when needed
6- Keep your seat belt ON in the car

The other side of the card explains how to use it: “Remind kids what you expect of them before you leave the house… When you catch your child being good, let them know you notice! When you get home, place a BONUS good Mark on their BIG Behavior Chart you download free from GoMommyGO®”

Go to this page for more information!

http://www.edudesigns.org/portable_charts_edu.html

POSITIVE BEHAVIORS Shown on the Card:
1- TALK- Don’t Yell!  (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!)
4- STAY CLOSE (Don’t get LOST!)
5- Hold hands when needed
6- Keep your seat belt ON at all times in the car

The other side of the card explains how to use it: “Remind kids what you expect of them before you leave the house… When you catch your child being good, let them know you notice! When you get home, place a BONUS good Mark on their BIG Behavior Chart you download free from GoMommyGO®”

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

Made of sturdy plastic, the Portable SAFETY CARD from GoMommyGO® is to use out of the home:

In the car, on your way, or at any location you need them to remember how to behave!

How do you USE it?

Simple! Before you leave the house, explain to your child what you expect of them.

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

When you get HOME, place a sticker or check mark next to the BONUS GOOD MARK section of their BIG behavior chart  (as it shows on the sample below.)

sample_bonusmarkChartANIM

Your CUSTOMIZABLE illustrated behavior charts are available FREE to download (for personal use only) from GoMommyGO®  © Ruth Elliott, 2003 – on)  GoMommyGO®.

At the end of the week, If my kids were trying hard, I’d let them buy ONE item from the Dollar tree or 99 cent store, (or choose another inexpensive reward).

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

The Four Building Blocks of Character…

November 18, 2010
It starts when they’re small…   © Ruth Elliott, 2010

What are The Four Building Blocks of Character?

THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER
can be boiled down to these:
1-ASK
2-THANK
3-APOLOGIZE
4-FORGIVE

BUILDING BLOCK # 1- We learn to ASK or ADMIT
When we learn to say, “PLEASE!” we ASK. In ASKING, we ADMIT our need for others! From the moment we were born we began asking – crying – for our needs to be met. The very fact of our existence is proof that someone answered that cry – cared about us enough to nurture, feed and protect us – or we wouldn’t be here. As we get older, sometimes we hate to admit we need other people, unconsciously feeling like a helpless infant again. But relationships are the stuff of life! We all need each other, so it’s OK to ASK. Hopefully we learn to ask POLITELY! Teach kids to say “PLEASE!”

BUILDING BLOCK # 2 – We learn to THANK!

When we realize we need others, we begin to be THANKFUL for what we have been given. We wouldn’t have anything, not even life itself, if it had not been first been GIVEN to us! We need to teach kids to say “THANK YOU!”

BUILDING BLOCK # 3 – We learn to APOLOGIZE

Being human we all make mistakes. To APOLOGIZE requires humbling ourselves and ADMITTING we are not perfect. We can never grow further in our character until we can learn to say, “I’m Sorry.”

BUILDING BLOCK # 4 – We learn to FORGIVE

After we admit we are not perfect, we can then say, “I FORGIVE YOU”, knowing that we also need forgiveness. How else can we get along in this world?

The habits we learn as children will stay with us a lifetime. Giving kids THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER will lay the foundation for a good life. How many gang wars, world wars, marriage conflicts and sibling rivalries would be avoided if people just learned these four things:
ADMIT we need each other,
THANK others,
APOLOGIZE for our mistakes, and
FORGIVE one other!
“Habits are actions built up strong and tall. LIke bricks laid together to form a high wall. When once they are built it is so hard to break them, you’d better be careful about how you MAKE them!”  – Anonomous*

*Thanks to my son Jon for sharing this poem he learned from Mr. Stevens in 5th Grade and STILL REMEMBERS!

I’m thankful for YOU!

Ruth Elliott
Director, Edu Designs
ruth@edudesigns.org
“Teaching kids the important things, one kid at a time…”

Pictures © Ruth Elliott,2010, courtesy of GoMommyGo.com

I was a THUMBSUCKER!

September 30, 2010

I was a thumbsucker when I was 4 years old. To be precise, I loved to suck on my index and middle fingers at the same time. This brought me much comfort, especially before going to bed. Tucking me in one night my mother told me I was now a big girl and could not suck my fingers anymore. She had an air of certainty to her words. I protested vigorously. But she had an alternate plan for me. Placing a small pink ceramic doll in my hand she said, “Here. Every time you want to suck your fingers, hold this little dolly close to your cheek, instead.” I was dubious, but thought I must do it somehow if I was ever to be a ‘big girl’.

That night as I struggled to obey her, nestling my hand tightly into my cheek, it wasn’t fun, but it did bring a certain relief, as I settled into the idea that I was now being a ‘big girl’. Soon I was just as addicted to that dolly as I had been to my fingers before, and could not go to sleep without it. One day as my mother changed the sheets it fell to the floor, and broke into pieces. I was horrified! What will I do now? I cried bitterly. In a calm voice she assured me, “Won’t worry – we’ll get you another one.” Days went by, and when I’d ask her about it, she’d say, “Don’t worry – we’ll find one someday”, and then promptly distract me with some interesting activity or other. Week after week she never did ‘find one’ and I learned to live without it. How clever she was, to replace one attachment with another, not leaving me abandoned to my grief.

Last year at a garage sale, I saw the exact kind of ceramic dolly staring up at me. Somehow it had lost its allure. How much that little block of ceramic had meant to me! The very symbol of comfort. And security. Bigger things have since replaced it, and one by one been lost or broken themselves, disappointing me in the love of ‘things’. Only love itself, not its trappings, lives forever. I’m not letting go of THAT. EVER!

Ruth Elliott
www.gomommygo.com
Helping parents and caregivers guide character development…
more about Ruth
gomommygo

No way to stay clean…

September 11, 2010
Sept. 10th, 2010

Ruth Elliott, Director

No way to stay clean…
© Ruth Elliott, 2010

Why is it that you can’t get something clean without getting dirty in the process?
The biggest slob I know won’t touch anything filthy or yucky. No way.

“EWE! I ‘m not getting near THAT!” So the result is that the mess sits.

And sits. And sits.
Of course, they are not parents – yet.

What about diapers? Imagine if we just let the baby sit in their poop forever.

The baby would die. There’s no way around it. In order to get rid of something bad

you must get in there and face the awful truth. We’ve gotta get rid of it.

No matter how bad it smells.

Yep.
I think God invented babies so we would learn to finally grow up.

We can’t let the baby die!
So we face the poop.

And in dealing with the poop in our little ones, we begin to learn to face it in ourselves.

How mean and selfish and awful we are only to be thinking of ourselves.
And in the process something wonderful happens.

We become people who do truly care about others.

Once our little ones are clean and neat again, they’re so beautiful. And sweet. And lovable.
Even though you know they will get dirty again. We can forgive them for that.

They can’t help themselves.
Were we ever so precious? We were. And still are.
Underneath all the poop we still make.
Don’t give up. You’re cleanable!
Forgive!


Ruth Elliott
Director, Edu Designs
ruth

Have you signed up to see our videos on the web yet? All is not lost! Go to this page, enter your email address, and you’ll get FREE ACCESS to view our character stories. Enjoy!

YOUR Character CAN CHANGE the World!

Edu Designs makes careful use of your support! We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for overhead – 100% goes to programs to help children. Our all volunteer Board of Directors generously donates their time. If you can, please help too!

Please join with us. Contact us to find out how.

Edu Designs is a CA Non Profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation. All donations are Tax Deductible as allowed by law.