LOVE does not have to be PERFECT

January 28, 2011

Time togetherAre you a perfectionist? Do you agonize over every detail of a project? Do you measure yourself against everyone else constantly? If so, chances are that you are doing this in your parenting, as well. Perhaps you are asking yourself: Am I providing enough of this? Enough of that? Did I follow up on this?

Please don’t get me wrong: The very best parents are informed and purposeful parents, but we sometimes miss the power of simplicity. We forget how healing a kind word is when a child feels lousy, how encouraging a loving pat on the back can be, or how good a gentle embrace feels when the rest of the world has hurt us. Try it. Step off the merry-go-round of life and just listen to your child. Be present—get lost in the moment and enjoy it. Let them FEEL that you are there with them as their #1 fan just when you see that there is a need. Don’t worry that you are being too soft or that you might get off schedule. Follow your instincts. If you feel a need, respond to it.

If you have an infant or toddler, let things that are crowding your mind go and enjoy these months that will soon pass. Indulge yourself and your child. These priceless moments will not come again. Yes, after these magical moments, it will be back to the business of life. There will be homework to do, jobs to take care of, chores to manage, and life skills to teach. However, when we take the time to enjoy the simple connections, these moments become the magical glue that holds us together through all kinds of weather. Trust me—these memories are the ones that you and your child will treasure as you both grow and age.

Don’t wait for the perfect vacation, the perfect day in the park, the perfect field trip. Just STOP! Indulge you and your child in the precious little moments along life’s path. It will make life OH so sweet, and you and your child will be OH so glad you did. Seize the moment—any moment you can find! It is wonderful to plan beautiful events that ARE perfect, but don’t wait on them. You will be surprised at what you might uncover!

Written by : Donna McClintock, COO at Children’s Choice Learning Centers

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Thank you and have a wonderful day!


101 Parenting Tips

January 24, 2011

More4Kids has provided an article on the Top 101 Parenting Tips.  These parenting tips have not been written by a medical expert or a child psychologists but by parents. We all know that there is not just one parenting method or even one method that will work on all your children that live in the same home.  We know based on experience that isn’t true. Knowing who your child is and the best way that they learn is the key.  We hope you enjoy these tips and would love for you to share your own!

101 Parenting Tips

1) Think Before You Speak

2) Be a Positive Role Model

3) Listen, Catch and Redirect

4) Be Spontaneous and Affectionate

5) Provide Feedback that is Accurate and Positive

6) Foster a Safe and Loving Home Environment

7) Focus on Cooperation Over Competition

8) Pay attention to your child and what interests them

9) Stress the Behavior, not the child

10) Don’t compare them with siblings or others. Each child is unique

11) Tell them very often how much you love them

12) Spend time with them doing what it is they want to do.

13) Listen to their point of view and help them achieve their goals.

14) Support their school work. Don’t do it for them.

15) Get involved in their school

16) Encourage them to make friends, welcome their friends into your home

17) Help your child explore any hobbies or talents they have

18) Realize that tomorrow it will be Different.  Ask yourself: Will it really matter tomorrow?

19) Master the Art of Compromise

20) Tell them you love them (don’t assume they don’t need to hear the words)

21) Lead by Example

22) Patience: Tell Them Everything Has Its Own Time

23) Patience: Explain to Them Why They Need to Wait

24) Set Goals with Them

25) Give Concrete Responses

26) Give Concrete Consequences

27) You Have to Follow Through with your actions and your words

28) Reward Them for Being Patient

29) Reward Them for a Job Well Done when they don’t think you are looking!!

30) Find Fun Activities that Require Patience

31) Teaching Diversity: Watch Movies that Introduce New Places

32) Teaching Diversity: Have Kids Write to Pen Pals

33) Teaching Diversity: Make a game out of learning about different cultures

34) Capitalize on “Teaching Moments” in Life

35) Forget the Clock

36) Encourage Cooperative Work

37) Foster Family Participation

38) Set Family Goals

39) Encourage them to be and express Themselves

40) Don’t Embarrass Them

41) Teach them the Importance of a Smile – by example is best 🙂

42) Encourage Emotions

43) Point out and Praise good behavior

44) Learn to Listen to your child as much as you expect them to listen to you

45) Helping Hands – Teach your child the importance of helping others

46) The Walk Away – Learn to pick your battles

47) Understand Who Your Child Is and Talk to Them

48) Be An Apparent Parent

49) Monitor Online Activity

50) Teach Your Child to Stand Up For Themselves

51) Get Involved with Your Child

52) Tell Your Child What You Expect

53) Know Their Friends

54) Talk About Drug & Alcohol Use with Your Kids

55) Appreciate Who They Are

56) Don’t Undermine Your Child’s Ability

57) Don’t Underestimate Your Child’s Abilities

58) Encourage new experiences and be less fearful of new situations.

59) Set routines, be consistent

60) Explain, Educate, Talk, Listen, Encourage, Praise, Support and Cheer On

61) Teach to Return an Insult with a Compliment

62) Allow Your Children to Express Their Feelings at Home.

63) Forster an open atmosphere at home and not be judgmental.

64) Let them Know They Should Never Tolerate Being Made to Feel Uncomfortable by others

65) Don’t Give Answers Provide Direction

66) Encourage Them to Try it On Their Own

67) Make Opportunities to Challenge Them

68) Be Proud of Them and Their Accomplishments

69) Teach kids by example to Respect Others

70) Teach the Art of Saying “I’m Sorry.”

71) Take a Deep Breath before Responding

72) Encourage Truthfulness

73) Teach Your Child How to Apologize

74) Encourage Empathy

75) Demonstrate Patience

76) Talk to Them about Money and teach savings

77) Teach them That They Can’t Have It All

78) Master Table Manners

79) Teach kids How to Share Those Prized Possessions

80) Have Your Children Write  Thank You Notes

81) Kill the Tube, spend time together

82) Tell Them You Trust Them

83) Establish a Set of Family Rules

84) Talk to Your Children about the Rules

85) Set Concrete Consequences for Breaking a Rule

86) Enforce Rules CALMLY

87) Include Your Child in the Rule Making

88) Know When to Bend the Rules

89) Remember They Are Not You

90) Complement them on Their Individuality

91) Ask Your Self if it will Matter in Five Years

92) Teach Self Respect

93) Respect Your Child

94) Talk to them not At Them

95) Listen to them Actively

96) Give Them the Right to Present Their Case, but Don’t Just Give In

97) Follow the Best of the Examples You Had Growing Up

98) Teach Your Child How to Greet Someone

99) Encourage Them To Try

100) Get Healthy together (family hikes, bikerides, etc)

101) You Had Your Childhood, Let Them Have Theirs


Thank YOU!!!

January 24, 2011

Today I read an article that mentioned of a gentleman who wrote a thank you note each day for a year. He mentioned this simple act of daily gratitude changed his life. I was so inspired by his words and therefore need to take a minute to express my gratitude to you.

Here at Children’s Choice Learning Centers, we work to provide a healthy, safe, educational environment for your child each day. However, if it weren’t for you trusting in us with your most precious gift and being part of our CCLC family in the first place, we wouldn’t be able to undertake this mission. Thank you for your continual support. Each comment that appears on the blog makes my day! I am delighted each time someone “Likes” Children’s Choice!

We love working with you and your children and are grateful to you!

This week’s challenge is to find at one person each day and thank them for the assistance they provided.

I have no doubt that you already perform this simple act of kindness. I look forward to hearing about your experiences!

Best Wishes,

Shannon McAllister

Children’s Choice Learning Centers


Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

January 19, 2011

This past week, snow was on the ground in 49 states. Sorry, Florida, it just didn’t make it that far south. As we watched the snow fall in Texas and I personally observed my two little granddaughters find such joy in snow, I was reminded of all the benefits of nature and wondered how many parents and educators were looking for ways to get children outside instead simply saying, “No, it’s too cold.”

There are many great resources available to parents and educators to assist them with planning outdoor time. I Love Dirt by Jennifer Ward is a great book of ideas. Planned activities are wonderful but don’t ever underestimate the value of children just running in wide open spaces, twirling freely, and breathing in fresh air with no agenda.

Richard Louv in Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficient Disorder states that stress levels plummet when children are exposed to nature. He is clear that this means getting their feet wet and their hands dirty. Watching nature shows on TV doesn’t have the same impact. Involving the senses of smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste in nature provides what knowledge alone can never provide.

We realize that the winter months present some challenges for parents and educators. Our first priority is the physical health and safety of young children. Here are some helpful guidelines and resources for staying in touch with nature during the cold winter months:

1.     Children need fresh air every day, so try to find a few minutes to play outside. In bitterly cold weather, remember to consider the wind chill factor as well as the temperature.

2.     Dress children in layers during the winter. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a good rule of thumb is to dress infants and young children in one more layer of clothing than adults would wear.

3.     The proper clothes are critical in cold weather. Children should not be dressed in clothing that allows them to sweat as this creates moisture close to the skin and allows their bodies to get wet. Take children inside and remove wet clothing as soon as possible.

4.     Children should always wear hats in cold weather. Hats keep a tremendous amount of body heat from escaping.

5.     Mittens are better for children than gloves because they keep their fingers in closer contact.

SIMPLE REMINDER:

C – COVER (WEAR A HAT)

O – OVEREXERTION (DON’T…IT CREATES MOISTURE)

L – LAYERS (DRESS IN LAYERS)

D – DRY (SKIN MUST STAY DRY)

For more information you can go to www.healthychildren.org and look for winter safety tips.


Yoga Helps Children Relax and Sleep Well at Night

January 17, 2011

Many parents struggle nightly getting their little ones in bed. Children are active and parents are exhausted. Creating a routine, avoiding refined sugars, creating a calm environment and a few yoga stretches will set the mood for relaxation. Read a quick articale for additional information by Stress Free Kids for Yoga poses.


JoAnn Johnson joins Children’s Choice as Regional Director

January 12, 2011

Children’s Choice is thrilled to announce the addition of JoAnn Johnson to our corporate team. She is a passionate Early Care & Education Operations Leader that has been recognized for her exceptional leadership, integrity and inspiration in national, division and regional general management roles.
JoAnne is a talented mentor and coach with a proven track record. We believe that JoAnn not only has great skills and knowledge and she fully embraces and lives out our Core Values of Compassion, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Dignity, Respect, Enthusiasm, and Niceness.
Children’s Choice is committed to excellence and we are excited to welcome JoAnn to our team of leaders. She will work directly with directors in a regional director position and will fulfill additional roles within operations.
Children’s Choice Learning Centers, Inc. is the nation’s premier educational childcare company specializing in corporate sponsored childcare…”where learning meets caring, one child at a time”.

Welcome, JoAnn, to out Children’s Choice family!


Children’s Choice Learning Centers to Co-Sponsor Work-Life Summit

January 12, 2011
Alliance for Work-Life Progress Logo

Allinance for Work-Life Progress

Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP) will hold their 2011 National Work-Life Summit, February 8-10, 2011, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Children’s Choice Learning Centers is pleased to co-sponsor this exciting Work-Life Summit presented by the Alliance for Work-Life Progress, a division of World at Work. This historic gathering of the Work-Life community will not be a traditional conference with speakers and workshops. Children's Chioce Learning Centers LogoRather, it is designed to be an interactive “think tank” where all participants, professionals who established the field, as well as, new work-life leaders, will engage in thought provoking discussions about history, current key issues and trends in the work-life field.  Karen Woodford, a pioneer in the field of work-life, and Jack Wallace, VP of Business Development, will represent Children’s Choice Learning Centers. Together they will join other attendees to analyze the past and develop future plans, which will fuel work-life momentum and propel the work-life field into the future.

Congratulations to Alliance for Work-Life Progress as this summit will mark their 15th anniversary.