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Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Things New Parents Can do to Increase Infant Attachment!

Image result for baby on camping trip

Attachment is the process through which infants bond with their caregivers. This usually means Mom, Dad, and if there is another caregiver in the picture nanny or early education professional. Building this relationship is about establishing trust, safety, a sense of comfort and connection.  Men and women bond differently to their babies but both kinds of bonding are valid and necessary. Men bond through face to face interaction. Holding the baby and gazing into their faces. d can do this for hours. Studies also show men never pick up their infant the same way twice, this adds a variety in the interaction and give infants a sense of adventure and knowing the world can be unpredictable. While, moms also gaze into baby's face, they also tend to talk to baby and cuddle more. Holding the infant close to the body and nurturing them. The important thing is a child is bonding with both parents. There are five things parents can do to purposely bond with their child.

  1. Hold them as much as possible during the first year.
  2. Meet the need they are crying about quickly.
  3. Talk, read, and interact with them consistently.
  4. Eliminate all screen-time before age 3.
  5. Spend time together as a family.
Hold them as much as possible the first year. There is an old piece of advice which says if you hold a child too much they will expect it, so it is best not to hold them too much. However, the research supports holding infants is the best way to develop an emotional, physical, and life long bond. Touch is very important to infants. The discovery was made as researchers wanted to know why some orphanages has an infant mortality rate of 30+% and also a failure to thrive rate as well. The answer was not enough touch. I am not saying you should never put your child down. You have a life to live and they need sometime to just be. But, do not hinder yourself from holding them you will not spoil them by holding them too much. In fact the opposite is true. Holding your child and helping them develop a secure attachment is what gives them the security and confidence to explore the world when they are developmentally ready to do so.

Meet their needs as quickly as possible

Children are new to the world and we teach them about the world by how we treat them and what we do for them. A child whose needs are met quickly develop a sense of trust and reliability on their parents and the world. Are you always going to be able to meet their needs now!  No, and I do not expect you to and you should not expect that of yourself . However, meeting the need as soon as humanly possible is a key component of developing a secure bond between you and your child. Keep in mind sometimes meeting the need is tolet them cry. If you want your baby to be able to put themselves to sleep; an important part of that process is to allow them to cry themselves into an exhausted sleep. Is that easy. NO! Is it necessary? It depends do you want to rock them to sleep forever?

Talk, read, and interact with them consistently

Human beings are social creatures and need interaction with others. You need to be this connection for your infant. So, talk to them you can just speak. Pretend they can understand everything you say and just talk. The more you talk the them the sooner they will begin to understand and the sooner they will talk back to you. I have one friend who is a complete chatter box. Her son was speaking in complete sentences by age 3. Hold them and read stories. There is so much connection in holding a book and your young child and reading and holding the book. Interact,move them around and build arm and leg strength by letting them hold onto your finger and pull, or by gently bending their legs and letting them brace their feet on your hands and push on your hands. Play peek-a-boo, blow raspberries on their necks and tummies, take something bright and colorful and let them follow it with their eyes as you wave it in the air. Just love them and play with them. It is this activity which build love, connection, trust, and attachment.

Eliminate all screen time before age 3

The research is ever growing that brain development and screen time are mutually exclusive. Young children need and crave the complexity of human interaction. Screen time numbs their brain activity and eliminate the brains ability to make complex neuroconnections needed in later life. I am no expert on this but a site I follow has a blog by someone who has the pulse on this issue; I suggest you read it! The long and the short of it for this post is that screen time can literally cause brain damage in young children!

Spend time together as a family.

Bonding among the rest of the family and the baby is most cemented by spending time together as a family. As much as possible include the infant in the activities the family enjoyed be for the birth. If the family enjoyed camping before then camping after may have to include a trailer or RBV to ensure the baby has all of their needs met. You may have to think outside of the box in order to accomplish this however, family life should not stop because there is now a baby. Instead find a way to incorporate the baby's needs and continue on with living. It is a mistake to make the family's life surround the baby.

These five points will help you to build bonds with your infant and strengthen bonds with each member of the family. I hope you enjoy this time!

Believe in Parenting

For more information check out ptanda.org

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Sexiest Thing A Man Can Do!

Recently, I was out with a girlfriend who is gay.  We were at a local resturant when she said to me. You know I am not interested in men but I think that Dad over there is the sexiest thing I have seen in a long time.  When I turned to look there was a Dad in a booth making funny faces at his three kids making them giggle and then laughing back at the faces made at him. I got a big smile on my face and turned back and agreed.  This is not the first time I had such a conversation with a girlfriend and I stil’ think as a single woman being a great Father is the sexiest thing a man can ever do.

My Dad was one of the best men I ever known and I miss him every day.  The saddest thing I ever heard him say was that his Dad divorced his mother and him when he was 12. This pain caused him to focus on giving to us what he did not have. My Dad was always there in my world whether it was to console me when I broke up with a guy I loved. Or to celebrate the little things like making second chair in Band. I remember when i was five and in the hospital having eye surgery.  I was the only child in the ward that week and he brought me a giant stuffed zebra to keep me company. I kept Zebbie until I was 28.

As I have been studying the impact Dad’s have on children I am beginning to understand that a child’s safety, security, self-concept, and whole world is wrapped up in the love, support and caring they receive from their fathers. So men if you are out there here are three suggestions read Gary Smalley’s book The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love. Spend lots of time with your kids from the day they are born until they leave for college. Finally, give love, honor, and respect to your kids Mom whether you are married or not. The greatest gift you can give to your kids is to be at peace with their Mom. But, the sexiest thing you can ever do is to be a great Dad.

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Be a Wife not just a Mother

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It is so easy while pregnant to focus on the coming baby. However, you are not bringing this child into the world on your own. You have a husband who is your partner in life. He should come first! While your are pregnant and bring your sweet baby home you will be tired and overwhelmed. The antidote for this problem is to keep your husband first in your mind. One of the things men have as a built in mechanism is the desire to be the keeper and the guardian of his people; meaning you and the baby. Encourage him to bond with your child This happens when men hold their babies and gaze into their faces, encourage him to hold the baby while you take pics for social media pr for the baby announcements. Several years ago I wrote a blog post called the Sexiest Thing a Man Can Do, the answer was be a good Dad. Hear is a link to it. Read it and get him to read it and then when ever he does something to love on  you or your child make it worth his while by making his favorite dinner, plan an outting for him and his buddies, or just lay one on him which will keep him revved up for a little while.

Remember, your marriage relationship is the foundation of your family. Make connecting with him your priority. If you do this I guarantee he will more than return the favor. He wants to be your hero, make sure he know that is the truth and you will keep him coming back to you over and over. Keep in mind as well men are programmed to think about sex   times a minute. He exercises more control over his libido just by letting you get dressed every morning. So, as soon as the doctor clears you to go back to marital relations make that a priority. While you will likely not be as active at before the baby, let him know you want thim in your life and in the bedroom.

I know you feel like the baby needs you more than he does; because he is an adult. But, the baby needs you two to stay close and connected because your relationship is their world. They will never get another one. Do not allow having this child to become the thing that fractures their world because you neglected it, caring for them.

Friday, August 4, 2017

WARNING! Teen Vogue's Scandalous Article


As I lay in bed and listened to the Executive Director of  Enough is Enough from the site enough.org talk about the article in the online version of Teen Vogue and it's article called  "Amal Sex 101 How to do it Right". I about swallowed my tongue. When I heard the editor of Teen Vogue sent back a  lewd picture in response to a request to remove it from the web I went to the website and posted a direct link as a warning to parents. Then thought better of it deleted my reactionary posts and knew it was time to kwrite about it instead! 

I choose not to read the article which gives a graphics, detailed explanations on how to  participate "safely" and extols the pleasures of this act; to girls although the articles does not refer to them as girls rather some new politically correct version of female.  But, if  you feel the need here is the link. I fully and with all the strength in my body encourage you to go to enough.org and sign the position however the real power you have is to speak with your dollars. Vogue is owned by the Conde Nast Publications Conglomeration which publishes just about all of the magazines you currently have a subscription to here is a list.

Fashion and lifestyle[edit]









Defunct publications[edit]

I know you can hear it coming the real way to get the message across is to cancel your subscriptions and make it clear why! This is the great equalizer parents have to make it loud and clear! Over the two years I have been writing this blog I have never written a more important post. This article is dangerous to your teens. It not only gives them the mechanics of how to engage one of the most dangerous  forms of sexuality it lets them know how good it feels. This will of course encourage them to try it. Which is the whole point of the article. Parents need to cry out not only for their teen girls, but for the teen boys as well. This article I am sure will up the curiosity and let me try it factor in teens who are already seeking to feel like adults and try out what they think is adult -like behaviours. Kids are already engaging in sexual activity at the age of ten in today's culture. This article only encourages them to be more active in more destructive ways.

Cancel your subscriptions because you care about your kids, your nieces and nephews, the cute little girl cheerleaders you see at peewee football games. Or just because you care about the future. I encourage you to sign the petition, cancel your subscriptions, and talk to your teen about this to see if they have seen it. It has been out since July 17th; so, likely they have at least heard about it! This is not going away, though we may succeed in getting Teen Vogue to remove the article the damage is already done and your teens are dealing with it. So, please take action and... 

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Back to School Bash: It's A Celebration of Summer

The end of Summer is always bittersweet. For those of us who are teachers, for kids, for parents it is the end of the carefree days of no homework, not getting up early, and no long days spent in the pool or watching movies. So, it is a great way to kick off the end of Summer by throwing a great back to school party.


I suggest you make them. Have a family sit down and create an assembly line and make some fun cards using cardstock and fun markers, cut outs and glitter markers. Then make sure you save one for your family scrapbook.


This party is a time to celebrate all the great times you had during the summer. Use pictures collected items and other things to decorate that made this particular Summer great and one you want to remember.


Every region in America has it's traditional summer foods. Whether it is  a low country crawfish boil, or a northeastern clambake, a west coast tuna roll, a midwest well grilled steak or the universal hot dogs, hamburgers chicken and ribs of the local barbeque scene in your city. Let your food reflect the Summer of your region. Celebrate the Summer in your area and serve the quintessential food of your Summer living.


I suggest you do a backyard outdoor game contests, set up some games folks can play as they go around the yard. Lawn darts, tossing a bean bag into a hula hoop, jump rope, keep the ball in the air or volleyball, and a water balloon toss. Reward the person with the winning score from all the games a gift card to a great school supply place.


Amazon sells a great cd with the 25 greatest Summer songs. This would be a fun one to play.


Here is where I suggest you make a nod toward the coming season of Autumn by serving Apple drinks. 

Kids- Apple Sparkler 


1 bag of pink lady apples juiced and strained
1 bottle of gingerale
1 quart water
2 tbsp agave (optional depending on sweetness of the apples)
Mix ingredients in a pitcher and pour over ice and serve

Adults-Apple Bomb(Pitcher)

2 Hard ciders
2 jiggers of Apple brandy
1 quart apple cider
4 dashes apple bitters
2 tbsp agave

duo glasses with cider and run in sinnamon sugar

Stir well pour over ice serve

Apple Bitters

Place the apple peels, lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, cassia, chinchona bark and cloves in a 1-quart Mason jar or other glass container with a lid. Add the bourbon, making sure all the ingredients are covered. (Add more bourbon if needed.)

Party take home gift

Small basket of school supplies I love the Dollar Store for this. Buy cute baskets and a vareity of school supplies get fun stuff for kids like sticky notes, double sided tape, and washable glitter markers. Just make it fun and useful for back to school.

The goal of this party is to have fun and celebrate the Summer and have one last group of great photos for your Summer Scrapbook. Ir ia lao  rimw ro juar ewlz ns hcw dun qirh youe friends and family.

Believe in Parenting

Sunday, July 30, 2017

US Parents Day-The Fourth Sunday in July!

Today is national Parents Day! It is the day we in the US set aside to  celebrate parent's and the job they do every day! Unlike Mom's or Dad's day this is a day to celebrate the family unit. It is about the love and joy; parents feel towards their children and the relationship they are building on a daily basis.

So, today as you go through your day, take some time to think about the relationship you have with your kids and how you can make it deeper, richer, and more meaningful for all of you. I suggest finding a way to spend at least 15-20 minutes a day with each of your children getting your undivided attention doing something you both love.

If you are having trouble with how your relationship is going the best thing you can do is start with you. Are you being the best example for your children? Are you being true to yourself. I encourage you to read my 50 word essay on Inspire Me Today and Start you Journey to Authenticity. It is this journey which will  create a strong foundation for becoming  a more effective and connected parent!

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Parents: 5 Things About Homework Teachers have Forgotten to Tell You!

Multiple Intelligence is Important

If you have been following this blog for any time you know multiple intelligence is the way your rain engages at the highest level. Here are two blogs that will help you understand it if you have not read about it before. (Giving your Kids the Gift of Brain Power and Fighting ISIS Using MI)  The tool of multiple intelligence allows human beings to rev up their brains ability to engage at a high capacity. Doing activities which fall into our primary, secondary, and tertiary forms of intellect allows us to re-engage our brains from a tired, blanked out, or distracted place to focus and think better. Therefore, it makes perfect sens to use a 10-15 minute time frame before homework to geted the brain revved up for it.

Learning and Instruction are not the same.

You might ask me why is this so important? It is because there is a large fallacy in our culture about learning and it will effect your children if you let it. Here it is: learning does not take place in school, instruction does. There is a process to learning: 1) the teacher instructs the students in whatever subject matter is presented, then provides opportunities for kids to participate called guided practice. 2) Teacher provides in class "guided" independent practice and works with the students to get the concepts down and  be able to use them. 3) The teacher provides independent practice called homework where the student puts into practice what was instructed in class. This is where leaning takes place! It is when children put info practice for themselves the instruction given in class. They lean bb focing thier brains to use the new information. So, this process works so much better if just before they sit down they have turned their brains on to max capacity.

Clear Expectations and Rewarding can Help

The main task of parents in the learning process is to support both the child and the teacher. A discussion at the beginning of the year about your expectations surrounding homework. I recommend you develop a reward system surrounding doing homework and turning it into the teacher. This could be a quarter or semester goal and something simple. Like getting a more expensive something for heir homework environment, or a chance to go to a more targeted camp focusing on their favorite activity. The reward should be focused on either their MI or favorite school subject. Try not to make it random. The goal here is to help kids to get and stay motivated in doing and turning in their homework.

Homework Rules and Routines Make Life Easier

In our world with kids engaged in all kinds of activities, online and off it helps if you hdevelop a fue rules and routines when it comes to homework. Depending on the age of our childen homework could last 15 minutes to an hour or two. Decide the best time of day for kids to do their homework. I suggest they have at least a half hour/45 minutes home from school before doing their brain activity so they can unwind and decompress from the day. Just like us kids need a the to break up the time between work and the evening. I suggest only a few rules.

  1. Homework or not this time of day is used for some form of learning activity which does not involve screen time.
  2. Doors are to be kept open during homework time.
  3. Homework time is quiet time if you are using sounds or music it should not disturb others.
  4. Homework routines can be S-Th, giving kids two days respite.

The Environment Makes a Difference

Homework environment can also support this brain engagement. Setting up your child's work space by using their multiple intelligence can help keep their brain engaged during the learning process. The above link giving your child the gift of brain power provides a link for your children to take an inventory which will guide you to understand their intelligence. Once you know itm, get your child involved in picking item like posters,cd's, books, and objects specific to their intellectual bent. Use these items to create a personalized learning environment at home. Check in with your child periodically to see if this is working for them. Surprise them with special little things which will enhance this learning area.

Education is the most important thing we provide our children. We are fortunate in this country we have free public education this is an export to the world; before free public education in the US it did not exist. We are unique in the world for that reason, most nations do not provide free education like we do some Arab countries which have oil resources provide free education through college. Yet, the concept is uniquely American. Take full advantage of the fact, give you kids the tools they need!

Believe in Parenting

Monday, July 24, 2017

Solve the Mystery of You: a Master Class-Registration Blog!

Conference Call for more information 8/9/2017 8pm
Call number 515-603-3175 Access Code 504512#

We all experience issues of tragedy and triumph in our lives. It is these highs and lows in our life which make us stop and look at our lives, where we are, and where we go from here. One such tragedy hit my life in 2003, when I was told I was permanently visually impaired. It hit me like a ton of bricks to know I had Diabetic Retinopathy. This sent me into depression and I had a hard time seeing up. This started me on a journey to find out for myself who I am and what does life have for me now. Though in my 20's I found my purpose to serve children and families through parent education I asked myself: what does that look like now? Can I still fulfill what I feel is my life's calling? Little did I know how this journey to find the answers would only deepen my call and make it even more real to me.

Through a series of books, working with my clients , and soul searching, I discovered who I am what I believe and how to pull all that together and become more true to myself. I have turned this experience into a class I have done with hundreds of parents. The class is called Defining Values/Achieving Goals. The purpose of this class is to help adults reach the highest level of Maslow's pyramid self-actualization. One of my clients said to me it is like I am discovering myself. In prayer one day the title Solve the Mystery of You came to me. Thus,the master class came to be.

Here is the class in a nutshell:

Over a 12-week period we will meet in a video conference where I will do a mini-lecture on that weeks exercises and what I want you to do and what it will bring up for you to think about. Each weeks assignment will consist of one exercise and one journaling guide to prompt you to think about what you have learned about yourself from the exercise and how it applies to your life. Some exercises will require you to be introspective. Some will require you to talk to your significant other or a close friend. All the exercises are designed to get you to know yourself better. Authenticity requires a true and deep knowledge of what you believe and why. My goal is two-old one to help you to get a clear view of who you are and to develop a personal mission statement for your life. The second is to give you the tools you need to help your children get to the same space. 85% of what your children will carry with them into the future is what they see you do! Which reinforces my feelings about my least favorite statement when it comes to parenting: "Do as I say, not as I do." This statement does not work and never did. Your children will do what you do and become better at it than you ever could.

I wish I could promise you stunning, miraculous results but, much of this is dependant on you and the work you are willing to put into each week. After Week one the majority of our calls will be on discussing what we have learned. If you feel you need private consultations we can discuss it along the way. But, most of this is me guiding you along the way. 

If you are interested in going on this journey the cost of the Master Class is $240.00 or $20.00 a week. For some of you this is pocket change for others of you this is a sacrifice. So, I am giving you time to save. 

(If you need the time I will allow you to pay in installment. You need to contact me to set this up. The full price must be bad by the end of the registration period. If you do not pay in full you will not get to participate and I will not refund your payments. So, please count the cost before contacting me.

The class starts Tuesday September 11, 2017. The last day to register is September 10 at 11:59 p.m. I am limiting the class to 30 participants, this way I can make myself available to everyone. If you are interested in Solving the Mystery of You you can register here

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Friday, July 21, 2017

#Authenticitiy= Effective Parenting Masterclass Coming Soon

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Are you interested in working to become more true to yourself? Being true to ourseves takes a lot of wotk. Authenticity is not easy to get to. But, it can help you learn to be more congruent within your daily life. When what you believe lines up with how you feel, what you think, say, and do then parenting is much more a flow of who you are and how you live.

This 12-master class is about living according to your own inner self and teaching your children how to do the same. You can start by reading this Luminary from Inspire Me Today. Once you have decided you want to enroll in the Master Class you can PM me here to register, linkedin/in/barbara-e-harvey-236000718 I will send you the registration link the class is $240.00. The discount ends September 3rd.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#Authenticity=Effective Parenting

Parenting is all about being true to yourself and teaching your children to do the same. As Dr. Phil says "you can't lead where you haven't been". So, I ask you is what you believe in line with what you think, say, and do? If not you are confusing yourself, your significant other, but most expecially your childfren! I can help you with that.Book a free conlult here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Parents: Early Childhood Educaation vs Babysitting!

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times called "Do Pre-school Teachers Really Need to be College Graduates?" . It is something those in the early childhood industry have struggled with a lot over tne years. Why? Because we know in order tohelp young children grow in each domain (social/enotonal, mental, physical/motor/ and languag) and to be properly prepared for school and ultimately for life we need trained educators who understand each of the four domains individually, how they work together, and to be able to identify if a child is progressing well along the developmental scale or needs help to develop coping skillls different than those used by their peers. Yet, paying a teacher with these skiill minimum wage and expecting them to stay in a child care setting when they could make a salary and have benefits in a school district or private care setting such as nanning it is difficult keeping a well trained staff. As an infustry this conundrum makes it difficult to because we are constantly lossing well qualifued taff to better paying; yet equally satusfying jobs.

Ultimately, this is the real difference between "babysitting/daycare" and erly childhood education. Brain research has come to light to show what we have known for years, thoses of us in ECE teach. How we teach is different because those we teach are not yet ready for the traditional learning method of Elementary School which most of us think of as education. I first really began to understand this when I found out therte are 90-semester hours difference between yhe two forms of education. I was shocked to learn they were so different they literally only share general education requirements in their degree areas.

In my teen years I was a babysitter extrodinaire. I made $4300 dollars babysitting between my junior and senior year of highschool. I think of of the reasons the kids like me is because I usually made the time all about them. I found out the things they really liked and made a plan for the time to be about them. I never had trouble getting them to go to bed because they were usually exhausted from doing what we did.  I loved spending time with kids and having fun with them. I can tell you there is aserious difference between what I did as a teenager and what I do now.

 Although, I am no longer in an early childhood classroom, I still occasionally train early educators and I can say  it is undoubtedly mentally and emotionally more draining work in a way babysitting is not. It requires observation, interaction, changing the classroom environment as needed, then being sure the enviornment is meeting the educational needs of each child each. Then revisitin the enviornment every day and being able to think on your fwt to change it; if it is not. It talkes listening to children as they interact with the materials to learn what they are thinking and figuring out what questions to ask to help them to expand their toughts and create a new concept to explore. Then ensuring tomorrow this particular child gets materials which will aid them in exploring the new concept as they begin to engage on the new and different concept. Babysitting requires noe of these skills or abilities!

The brain research shows a child's brain develops the most duruing the first five years' of life. There are experts  who know and understand what it takes to support that nrain development, early childhood educators. There are also those who will care for and keep your child safe and happy babysitters/daycare workers. Which do you prefer for your child's furst fuve tears?

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