Thursday, January 29, 2009

From Babies to Big Kids

As a child therapist, I get lots of questions from parents that start with, "Is it normal if my child is...?" There are so many developmental milestones to pay attention to and young children are changing so rapidly, it can be confusing to know where your child should be!

These days, there are lots of ways for parents to get information about their young child's development.

Parents don't have to necessarily wait until their child's next appointment with the pediatrician or see a child therapist to have their questions about development answered. There are books galore and internet resources available.

One of the newest and best of these comes from Zero to Three in Washington, D.C. They have created From Babies to Big Kids, an email newsletter parents can subscribe to which outlines where their child should be developmentally.

It's so easy! Just enter your name, email address, and the age of your child (you can enter up to three) and you will get a monthly From Babies to Big Kids newsletter tailored to your child.

This and other tools on Zero to Three's website can provide a lot of very helpful information for parents which can be further fleshed out by a pediatrician, child therapist, teacher, or other early childhood professional.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The K5: Great for Kids and Parents

One of the best things about what I do is getting to know all kinds of people -- from parents and teachers to school administrators and occupational therapists. They are constantly giving me good information and support.

One of the latest helpful resources I’ve learned about from a second grade teacher is The K5 ( If you guessed that it’s for parents with kids Kinder through 5th grade who are looking for some tips and guidance, you are absolutely right!

Here, you’ll find advice on everything from how to help your child get ready for school on time to tips about finishing homework.

You can even ask their school psychologist, J. David Carr, questions! Here’s a taste of the clear and solid guidance you get from him and folks at The K5:

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Willingness to Nurture

"For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break..but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate." --44th President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

What an amazing and exciting week this was!

I hope that many parents, grandparents, teachers, and others who care for our youngest children were able to witness the inauguration and the ushering in of an era of hope and change.

When I attended the Zero to Three conference here in Los Angeles in December, there was a lot of conjecture about President-Elect Obama's true commitment to young children and families. And, there was a lot of discussion about our feelings of hope that his administration could help to increase awareness and resources spent on this critical period of a child's life.

After all, the first three years are when the bulk of brain development happens; it is the time when children make the fastest and most dramatic gains.

As I listened to President Obama's speech on Wednesday morning, I of course honed in on the small part of it directed at parents.

Parents, teachers, daycare providers, you are key to implementing the positive changes that we seek as a nation. You are the ones who instill in our littlest ones the belief that they are loved and valued. That they can become an Ironman, Superman, or the President of the United States.

This is a task that each one of us can help with, even if we don't have our own kids. As we move through the world, we can be the adults who model good behavior, who do what is right even if it is hard. We can be grownups who are willing to listen to others' opinions and show kindness to people who are different from ourselves.

Let us move forward with hope in our hearts and as our new President puts it, the willingness to nurture our children.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Belated New Year's Message

Happy New Year!

After a period of life transitions, the blog is back!

Now that the holidays are behind us, it's a good time to make a list of what we would like to achieve in the year ahead. For parents, some of these things may be general, like "Be a better mom or dad." Or, more specific, such as "Read one story to my child every night before bed."

As for me, I want to continue to help moms, dads, and anyone else taking care of our youngest children to be the best caregivers they can be.

For this blog, this means that I will be including more information on child development and parenting issues, guidance, links to resources, and answering any questions that you may have.

So please stay tuned!

Happy New Year!