Tag Archives: tots

Creating a Family Cohesive Environment for your Tot

While attending church, we have always gone to the building that allows children to attend with their parents, instead of opting for weekly childcare. When the church recently added a building for high schoolers to participate in a church service with their peers, that felt off to me.  Isn’t attending church a family event to do together, not separate?  Unless they are homeschooled, children are at daycare or school with peers, up to 5 days a week.  Why would a 6th day at church be an additional option or offering?  I’m definitely not the only one that feels this way, because I do see some small tots to high schoolers with their parents during the service.
Recently I was led to a very intriguing book titled, Hold on to your Kids by Gabor Mate’.  This book provides profound information on the reasons that children are most often choosing to bond to peer groups, rather than parents, as early as 8 years of age. The book also cites the detrimental outcomes of children’s confidence, emotional development and even vocabulary by having an allegiance to their peers.  The dramatic increase in peer bonding is a fairly recent occurrence in society.
To get a flavor of the in depth information in Gabor Mate’s book, listen to this eye opening talk on the basis of peer group orientation.  It is a topic typically brought up by parents who are disgruntled and exasperated, yet regretfully accept that their children avoid communication with them and only want to be with their friends.   The link below and his book give perspective on a behavior that is believed to be “normal” for children, but in reality it is not normal, nor is it optimal for child development.  

Communicating with Compassion

In conversation, mom’s have happily shared the outcome when they extend compassion and empathy during a tot’s intense emotion. They notice the mood of their little one mostly shifts to completion and calm quite quickly. Now more and more parents have expressed to us the desire to be effective listeners who are naturally compassionate to their little one’s and loved ones.

Here is a wonderful opportunity for all to learn Communicating with Compassion in a 10 week phone conference course taught by Bernard Uzi Weingarten.  This tele-course will give you the skills of creating connection by understanding what it really takes to be an effective listener. You will quickly learn why the common phrase, “I hear you” is not effective listening and learn what really makes a person deeply know they are heard. Everyone wants to be heard and know they are understood, especially our little tots! Imagine the beauty of being the person that your child knows he can go to for listening and understanding.
And how to listen effectively is only the first part of what the course teaches. How to give advice without creating resentment; communication mistakes you want to avoid; and a very important section on how to avoid blaming and shaming. Best part is, class time is divided between learning the material and practicing it while Bernard coaches you. (And these skills are highly effective in dealing with adults, not just kids.)
To learn more about the course, please visit http://www.cwcseminars.com/ 
If you are intrigued and want to get an idea of the content and flow of the course, Bernard welcomes you to participate in the first two classes for free. You can join this week on Thursday Nov 17 at 2-3 PM EST (which is 11-noon Pacific) at no cost. There are also courses beginning every month, and the first two sessions are always free.
Email Bernard (uziteaches@aol.com) to join the class on Thursday or to get on his email list and receive his ‘nuggets of wisdom’ and notices of future courses and no-cost sessions. And tell him The Tot’s Café sent you!

An Environment That Grounds Our Children

How do we create a home environment and lifestyle that grounds our children?

Not grounding in the sense of “you are in big trouble mister,” but one that supports them in being stable children.

To develop and create stable, balanced and grounded children has to do with finding a balance considering the endless options of stimulating toys piled high in aisles of stores and visual distractions such as games and television.  Most adults are immune to these things and yet these same things strongly capture the attention of our tots. Only we can observe and determine if these things will contribute our precious children’s well-being, if they are neutral or harmful.

The way I’ve chosen to ground myself and my child has been through creating an environment that supports our daily lifestyle. Since birth, I have determined that my daughter and I benefit the most from minimal distractions around the house. As two years of her life have quickly flown by, I still observe that we are benefiting. This became especially apparent as of last year when I attended a 7 day course on how to teach you baby from birth to 2 years of age reading, math, encyclopedic knowledge, physical program, foreign language, and music program.  Early this month I returned to the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia to complete a 5 day graduate course that teaches parents how to advance the curriculum for children 2-4 years of age, plus introduce writing and independent reading. I see that the success and evolution of the teaching program, since we started last year, is not solely due to me being consistent and in tune with what topics my daughter enjoys. It would not be possible to teach my 2 year old daughter very much if I had to compete with the distraction of a stimulating television or more than a few dolls in the house. The rest of her toys are in the car piled in box near her car seat and the ones that I don’t want her to have are given away.  Most people know that the gifts she would use most are clothes or more teaching materials.

With a only few dolls and one musical DVD that she occasionally enjoys singing to, she is absolutely never bored. What I notice is that she is easily entertained with drawing, reading books, and listening to music and foreign language audios that we do together and in between our teaching time and physical fitness program. When I go to friends and family’s homes or mommy/baby events, there will be an array of toys and she will stay very busy with them.  Seeing this just makes it more clear, considering what I observe that keeps her grounded, that these things are better kept out of the house and she can experience them elsewhere. I see that my daughter is most grounded when she is listening to music, playing her percussion instruments, dancing, experiencing nature, and expressing curiosity and interest in the topics she chooses for me to teach her. I’m also more grounded because I’m doing things, rather than scheduling myself around a certain TV show, which I did years prior to my daughter’s birth. This feeling of balance and groundedness is all as a result of the environment I created that supports our lifestyle.

Yes, encouraging and supporting our children to be grounded in a world that’s abundant with environmental stimulation most everywhere is an interesting topic, because it will vary from one family to another. As parents, only we can effectively determine what is an optimal grounding environment for our children and how to create it based on the unique lifestyle we desire for ourselves and our tots for years to come.

This is aside from the bombardment of EMF frequencies from the cell phone towers, wireless networks and the challenge of keeping the little ones a safe distance from the computer, ipad and cell phone, which is a whole different topic for another time.