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Thursday, February 14, 2019

It is time for the church to take her head out of the sand!

Hello, as many of you have probably seen on Facebook and Linkedin, I am one of four host on a new show coming to Christian Television and Queen Ester network in Macon, Georgia. The show is called Moms of Compassion. It is our goal to bring to the forefront of Christian living the struggles, hardships, and needs that the church has been ignore for decades.

These issues are as follows:

Special needs children, mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse,spousal abuse, child abuse, sex trafficking, pornography, abortion, and many others.

I can tell you that after communing with the Holy Spirit, He is not happy. He called us to the Earth to be His hands and feet to bring hurting people comfort, support, aid, to bind up there wounds, to get in the trenches and help them. To work with and be led by Him to the remedies to help people deal with what's going on in their everyday world.

Instead, we have abandoned them,  looked down on them with our pride and log filled eyes. It is time for us to take our heads out of the sand. It is time for us to recognize that we have failed to love one another. To really love and care for the least of us. It is time to wake up and be about our Father's business.

Moms of Compassion is a television talk show dedicated to Bringing these issues to the forefront through conversations and then getting out into the community and bringing forth solutions, information, support, and resources for people who need them.

I recently heard the story of a special-needs family whose child admittedly an older child accidentally soiled himself at church. Did the church respond in a loving and caring way? Letting the parents know that even though the child was older, we recognize and he has special needs and he may not have all the capabilities of other children. No, you Guessed It they asked that family to leave the church and not bring that child back. The left foot of fellowship!

It makes me ashamed to call myself a Christian  because they do. It just adds another layer to the line Christians are the only ones who shoot their own wounded. It is time for the Bride of Christ to stop acting like a bunch of lily-livered wimps and stand up and come against the enemy with everything in us and love  know another, and hurting people with everything in us.

I know this post is a rant and I'm sorry. For those of you who follow me I know you know that my heart is to help and support people. To give people especially parents the tools and resources they need to do an exceptional job with their children.

It is my hearth desire to see the church step up and become exceptional  in how they care for God's  people.


Friday, January 25, 2019

Why the Parents of Premies need to Visit Their Local Socttish Rite?

On a Saturday September  I got a chance to hang out with a friend at Congregate Beth Hallel where we attend. She is the grandmother of  5 kids on the Autistic Spectrum. She told me something I knew, but had not really considered autism effects each child differently and what works for one child will not work for antoher. Because the disorder effects different people with different modes of challenges.

It made me see that Autism is a disorder with many faces. One thing I have learned is that most pre-mature infants who spend tie in the Nursery Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will mostl ikey be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. This was interesting for me to find out; because I was born premature in 1965. I can see that at times I can fail to read social cues, sometimes I actively ignore them, but there are times when I fail to ecognize them at all. It has not hindered my life overall though. I tend to make friends easily, and my three closets frends I have had since my teens.

Autism is not a one size fits all disorder it has a spectrum. It might be a mild form like me who misses occasional social cues or servere like a child who has no visible sign of communication with the outside world. This is why I recommend that parents who have premies go to their local Scotish Rite Hospital and learn about the variou services in your city for autism. Many children do not begin to show signs of autism until about 12-18 months. However, as the saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Since we know premies are much more likely to suffer from the autistic spectrum getting the information, tips, and suggestions on working wiath a child to improve the outcomes of this possibility is imperative. You need to know the signs to look for and get help immediately. The sooner interventions are in place the better the outcome for your child.

The reason I recommend the Scotish Rite hospital is they they specialize in the care of children with special needs everything from with physical needs, to speach and language issues, and social/emotional challenges they deal with it all. It is a good place to start to seek out resources and find support. If your child was born premature it is essential that you find a high-quality center that uses the Ages and Stages Qustionnaire to do a yearly baseline on children's development. It is this instrument that is likely to show any issues in developmental lag. You can also use this instrument, however the professinals you are working with should also be using it to help you spot issues so intervention can be immediate.

If you are looking for a center which does great work in this area already check your local area for an Easter Seals child care center. Easter Seals does great work with young children who have all kinds of siabilities much like Scottish Rite Hospitals. They also provide parental and other family support services.

I know your sweet baby is precious to you and having been in the NICU was difficult and you just want your life to get back to normal. However, it is important for you to recognize that coming into the world early is going to effect and affect your child their whole lives. However, the more services and interventions you put in place while they are young; the better the outcome will be for them when they are older. There is support out there for you! Your best support are the professionals and other parents who have been there. Get help now so you can begin to know what to do. Overwhekm is mitigated by knowledge. Arm yourself now and you will be ready to face any challenge which might come later!

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Women the forgotten victims: How God Loves You!

Tomorrow many thousands of people will walk in the streets of Washington DC for the 46th Annual March for Life.Here in Georgia the gathering will be held on January 22 at Liberty Plaza at the Georgia Capital. I have been a pro-life supporter since the age of 16, when I did a report on the affects of abortion on women. After working in a crisis pregnacy center I have concluded that women as well as their babies are both vicims in this violent, cruel, and life destorying process.

In every war there are casulaties many people in this particular fight talk about mercy and compassion, but what is lost in the war of words is the fact that there are millions of women who are living with the fallout of the horrors, emotions, biological and mental effects of having had an abortion. Even as I wrote my paper in 1983 there was massive research on how abotion negatively effects the women who have them. It included everything from abortion psycosis to brest and ovarian cancer. However, this post is not about thet. This post is to remind women that God cares about you and what you have been through and He has long since forgiven you for the choice you made and it is now time to forgive yourself.

I realize I am not talking to every women who has gad this procedure; but there are enough of you I think need to hear this. There is only one unpardonable sin and having an abortionn is not it. The God of Heaven who sent His only Son to die for your sins on the cross is reaching His arms out to you and loving you as Hid daughter. He wants to help youheal your mind and emotions from this choice you have made. Romans 8:38 says:

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of Godthat is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This measns the choice you made to have an abortion can not separate you from His love. But, at the same time you have to choose to turn to Him and get the forgiveness He has already granted you. The truth is that your baby is with Him and thoughthey only lived within you for a short-time they will live forever in the world where time is no longer relevant. When you turn to Him and reeive the forgiveness the Messiah purchased for you on the cross the end result is you will get to see your child in the world that existed before time and will exist long after time is no more.

I have spent years praying for women on both sides of this tragic decision,those who are considering making this choice and the women who have made the decision to go throughwith it. I have come to love them all. Life is hard and no matter the reason this choice was made the pain of it can last a lifetime and cripple the women who make it. But, God does not want that. He wants women to heal from this tragic circumstance and receive His love. He wants them to heal; so they can move forward and do what He has sent them to the Earth to accomplish.

I encourage you to cry out to, speak to, and reach out for the love of the great Father of Lights who wants to heal you and make you whole again. All you have to do is ask Him for help. Is is as simple as saying; "God, I know you have forgiven me. Help me to forgive myself."

If you need someone to talk to you can feel free to reach out to me. I will listern and prey with and for you. Blessing on you and I hope this blog will help you to begin the healing process. You can be whole again all you need to do is ask.

Love, peace, and joy.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Social/Emotional Development: The Foundation for School Success

     Early Childhood Education  is based on children learning about themselves and what they can do. The main focus of this form of education is the development of social emotional development.When people hear the term social/emotional development they instinctively think about how a child gets along with others. However, that is leaps ahead in the process. First children must be able to focus on themselves. The one thing most people fail to understand about the main purpose of early education. That purpose is all about the in many ways  a child is learning about themselves what they can do. This is the crux of social emotional development.

One thing to keep in mind as we talk about children three and younger is the fact hat they are focused on learning about themselves and what they can do in the field of early education this is called egocentric. Do not mistake this for selfishness. Children this age are not developmentally able to separate themselves from what is in their hands. Asking a young child to share a toy is the same as asking them to take of their hand and give it away. They just are not ready for that sharing is a developmental stage most appropriate for children three and older.

What children learn about themselves from Birth to Age 3:

  •         Recognizing independent person
  •         Recognize they have emotions  
  •         Label those emotions
  •         Listen to and follow one direction
  •        Learn to express them appropriately
  •         Recognize their own things
  •      Develop the ability to put those things where they belong   
  •         Hear, listen to and follow two  directions

In addition, children learn to sit and pay attention from 2 minutes at 18 months to around 10-12 minutes at age three.Once children have mastered these skills they move on to being able to interact with others. These skills look similar but, are different in that children associate what they have learned about themselves and begin to apply it to others. They make the mistake of thinking others are just like them and it take a while before they learn others have their own way of doing things.

Learning to interact with others age 3-5:

  • Recognize others have feelings
  • Begin to learn to share
  •  Learn to negotiate in cooperative play
  • Learn to share feelings in a verbal manner
  • Listen to and follow three step directions
  • Start bargaining to make friends
  • Show signs of frustration in the give and take of bargaining
  • Listen and follow three or more directions when given
  • Become responsible to put things away where they belong
  • Sit and listen for up to 20 minutes by age 5
  • Learn how to listen to another's feeling and share theirs
  • Share freely

    Only after children begin to master these abilities are they ready for elementary school. These are the building blocks for Kindergarten. Many parents think that knowing alphabet, numbers,colors and site words are the things children need to begin school and that is true to a certain point. However,  the above skills are more necessary for a successful elementary school experience. Which is why you see now the move to include so many aspects of emotional education in the school setting. Children who did not get these skills in early childhood in early childhood disrupt classroom learning and negatively affect the classroom experience for the other children. Thus, teachers are constantly working to get kids to develop self-control in these areas and not able to teach the grade level subject matter.

     As an early childhood expert, I often find it frustrating to see the push for reading, writing, and more kindergarten skills younger and younger and the push for social emotional growth in elementary grades. This is exactly backward. Kids need the social emotional development before they enter school this is the foundation for learning. Therefore, I highly suggest you look for an early childhood program focused on social/emotional development it will give your children the foundation they need for educational success.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, November 26, 2018

Confessions of an Educational Advocate

When I graduated with my MA my favorite job was working in a program as an educational advocate for children who were wards of the state of Missouri. Once trained by the state. I oversaw the education of 40 children for a period of three years. Half of the children were early childhood age and were enrolled in our on-site program, a local Easter Seals program, and an early intervention program run by the local school district. The other 20 were school age and attended the local public school, a magnet school, or were transferred out to the district they came from to maintain some level of consistency. As the children’s advocate I spent many days in the schools.   I want to share with you what I did that I feel made me successful as an educational advocate.

First, I contacted school personnel before school started. This included each child’s teacher for the year and all of the other professional staff including: Principal, School Secretary, the Ancillary teachers PE, Art, Music and Title I, Nurse, School Social Worker, the Psychologist, Librarian, School Chef, and the head Janitor. I gave each of them a business card and told them the best way to reach me was via telephone; on the back of each card were the names of the children.

Secondly, I kept in touch with the teacher regularly. For me as an advocate that was weekly. However for the average parent bi-monthly should suffice.  I also let teachers know if something was happening that could cause mental, emotional, or physical distress to the child in their class. These things could include that the child was worried about something, the house pet was sick at the Vet, or a visit with their family went badly or did not happen. This gives teachers a heads up that something is wrong and helps them to meet needs they otherwise may  not have anticipated.

Thirdly. I helped supervise homework time. As an educator I realize that a child’s time in school is not so much about learning as it is about instruction. Learning actually takes place as children take the instruction and put it into practice on their own which is the purpose of homework. I set up with my fellow co-workers a set homework time that stayed consistent. They and I would move around the room and help children to process what the teacher had instructed them on in class. We did this by asking open ended  questions such as:” What are the steps the teacher talked about in class today?”. This helped children to tie what they did in school back to what they were doing then.

Lastly, I attended Parent-Teacher Conferences. I approached these conferences as a chance for the teacher and I to get on the same page when it came to the children’s expectations.  I knew what homework had be hardest for them so I sought information on how to help them to process better. I came with a list of five questions I wanted answered about that particular child’s classroom performance, peer interactions, and overall school well-being. Then I took notes regarding our discussion and used these notes to inform my co-workers of the school progress of each child. We then worked as a team to help each child with their areas of challenge and weakness. This helped both homework and school progress improve.

Educational advocacy is all about being supportive of both your child and the teacher. Teachers are your team members. It is their job to instruct the children. As parents and caregivers it is our job to ensure children are learning what the teachers are laying out for them. It is also our job to ensure the educators are doing a good job making sure their instruction is meeting the needs of the children. Parents need to work hard not to take sides between children and teachers but, instead find a way to mediate.

I loved my time as an educational advocate and I hope these steps help you to feel confident as you advocate for your children. Please let me know what you think of this article and the steps that are outlined here.

Belie e in Parenting

Want more information? ptanda.org

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Focusing November 22 on Thanksgiving, Joy, and Fun

Here in Atlanta every Sunday Morning on our most popular talk radio station WSB 750 there is a show called the Monica Matthews show. She talks about faith, life. and politics. This week her show was about envy and this being the real reason for the climate in today's American climate. I think she has a valid point.
So, I wanted to write a post to encourage everyone to put down strife, contention, arguments, and any other thing which could get in the way of making this November 22 a true focus on Thanksgiving. A thanksgiving which is full of love, peace, and joy for your family.

Focus the Family on  Being Thankful

One way to do this is to have everyone who comes into the house write on a piece of paper one thing they are grateful for since the last Thanksgiving and put them into a basket. Later in the evening pull out the basket and play a game to see who can guess which person wrote this thanks. Entourage that person to then share the story behind the comment. Or you could choose to do this throughout the day it will help keep everyone focused on gratitude. 

Another suggestion is to ask people to come in and as they say hi also share a gratitude moment from the last month they can share. This will organically get people to think about what they are thankful for which has happened recently.

Finally, as a take home gift this year have journals for folks to take home so they can start a gratitude journal. The Dollar Store sells journals, you can also use composition book these are sold in most places where school supplies are sold.

Family and Football

As Americans most of us recognize that Thanksgiving is synonymous with the gridiron. So, there are several ways to make football a fun part of your day; beyond watching the games. When people come into the house have clothespins which signify the colors of the game most important to you and your guests, one color for each team. Then. do a crossing game when one person from the red team catches a person from the blue team crossing arms, legs, ankles etc that team loses a pin. By the end of the game the team which has the most pins, wins gets a fun prize. (You can go to a local restaurant and get cpupons for lunches.)

Create a mascot and team matching game. Choose 10 football teams and put their names on a page on one side and mix up the mascots on the other and give a prize to the person who get the most matches correct.

Have a betting pool using a favorite hard candy. When people come in they each get five pieces of candy. Before the game starts people have to write on a card which team will win and by how many points then put their candy in the bowl one piece per each bet. After the game the person who is cloest to the actual score takes home the candy.

Food and Conversation

It is fun to do place cards around the table to get folks to mingle with others they may not usually sit with and talk. One way to make this easier is to include a conversation starter on each place card. So, here is a list to get you started.

The best book I read this year..
The best movie I saw...
The funniest commercial...
Tue most moving thing I observed...
What gave me the most joy...
The most interesting person I met...
Tue most surprising result...
My most treasured memory for this year...
The thing I am most looking forward to the holiday season...
Three things I want to accomplish in 2019...

I hope this list gets you thinking about conversations to have around the table to keep everyone focused on happy uplifting and joyful things to think about and be grateful for this year. The key to having a joyful and peace filled holiday is found in Phillip ans 4:8-9.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 

I wish you a great day on November 22 filled with love, joy, peace and thanksgiving!

Believe in Parenting

Want more information? ptanda.org

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Last Summer Horray!

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of  Summer. It is after this weekend most of us get back into the routine of going back to school and saying good bye to long hot days off to kick back and relax. So, I encourage you to make one last great memory for the Summer of 2018.

This would be a great time to:

  •  invite a few friends over for a barbecue in the back yard. 
  • Take the kids to see a ballgame.
  •  Find a local small town that has a great festival. 
  • take a trip to a local park and hang out. 
  •  Have a PJ weekend. Where your whole family decides to stay in. Play games, do some scrap booking of fun family days this Summer, watch movies and just be together for the weekend.

We are entering into the most busy quarter of the year. We kick into homework, scouts, school activities, the big project at work, long hours of doing research on papers, and so many other responsibilities. Use this weekend to spend with friends, family and those you love most and build a life long memory. Take this time to give you kids your undivided attention and play with your spouse. I will tell you a secret kids swill scream yuck when you kiss each other, but it gives them a sense of security few other things will. Knowing our parents are in love and happy together gives kids a sense of peace and everything is right in their world like nothing else can. So, Dad bend Mom over your arm and lay one on her this weekend no one will ever forget; especially her!

Labor Day is meant to celebrate the American worker. Be sure to talk to your children about your work and the men and women who work hard the soldiers, police, fire personnel builders, postal workers, coal miners, roofers, and all those folks who work long hours to serve us with hard physical labor.

Also, talk with them about service and what it means to give of yourselves. This would also be a great weekend to do some volunteering. Find a shelter for people or animals and do some helping. Go to a local hospital and give out flowers, clean up a local park, or start thinking about how you will give over Thanksgiving or Christmas and begin to make a plan. Whatever, you choose make it meaningful for you and your family.

I hope you have a super Labor Day Weekend and make some lifetime momories!

Believe in Parenting

Want more? ptanda.org