25 Jun

Babies can be affected by the toxic fumes in dry cleaning. Take plastic bags off clothes, and allow them to vaporize before wearing.

Dried, spilled chemicals on cupboard floors can be reactivated by a saliva-soaked hand and ingested when Baby’s hand goes into his mouth. Scrub your cabinets after you empty them of hazards.

By pretending, children are able to:

• act out real life or imaginary roles playing alone or with other children without the accompanying stress of responsibility

• stimulate and express their thinking, creativity, and imagination by manipulating and rearranging their environments and experiences

• escape from the limits of being little, weak, or naive

• experiment, explore, and extend their boundaries of experience, size, strength, time, space and logic

• build self-confidence with opportunities to feel important, to support or repair their self-esteem, feel less helpless, more in power

• challenge their own thinking and resourcefulness

• focus on new concepts and ideas and integrate them into their lives

• see what it feels like to temporarily be someone else by acting out what another person might say and do

• enhance their communication skills: vocabulary; comprehension; speaking; attention span; listening to and following directions

• clarify their feelings, and vent their problems by putting them into words

• express their ideas, needs, feelings, fears and fantasies safely

• neutralize negative, aggressive, destructive feelings by releasing unacceptable impulses

• prepare for grown-up roles by imitating many different adults

• learn about different situations, people, animals, and places

• work out their fears, problems, resolve issues, experiment with solutions, make sense of confusion

• test limits, take risks, reverse usual roles, act out anti-social behavior (try bad behavior)

• develop a sense of morality and pro-social behavior

• gain knowledge about social relationships and understand themselves better

• enhance cooperation, and take turns as they plan and work together

• discriminate between reality and fantasy by bringing them together in play

• experience similarity, diversity, and inclusion

• cultivate senses of belonging, joint purpose, and cooperation


“I like those colors.”

“You must have worked hard on that.”

“Tell me about your picture.”

A non-judgmental yet enthusiastic attitude promotes creativity as well as a positive self-image.



Say “do” instead of “don’t.” “Do” sentences (or those in the positive form) give your child a better idea of what behavior you expect.

Example: “Don’t run” gives child no alternative, but “We walk in the house, running is for outside” will let your child know what to do instead.

“Don’t jump on the bed” becomes “Off the bed.” Tell them what you really want in the positive.

Try it for a week with the whole family. It works!

DON’T SAY “DON’T” SAY “(DO)…..”!


Kids need alone time!

18 Apr

….unstructured, unplanned, unorganized alone time…to relax, to daydream, to just plain think….

Too often we overschedule kids into activities without thinking about the added stresses this may create.

Somehow we got the notion that WE are responsible for our kids’ happiness. So we give kids videos, babysitters, classes, sports, i-gadgets, computers, field trips or some stimulating activity to keep them busy all the time. We don’t need to–they don’t need it!

Kids, even babies, need alone time to solve their own problems, cope with separation, and be responsible for their own happiness.

Make sure your children each have adequate alone time…..please!

Speaking is the most powerful way in which we influence children and their behavior. Words have strong meanings to children. They take our words literally. Words are fleeting, yet the damage they inflict can often be irreparable, while the benefits they produce can be permanent.

Imagine speaking the words your kids understand and getting the behavior you want!

They have only one childhood…you have only one chance.

Join Dr. Melanie at her special event Thursday, May 5th at West Boca Medical Center, Boca Raton, Florida at 7:30 p.m. and learn how to nail your kids attention with the language that helps them listen and cooperate! Reservations required through drmelanie@drmelanie.org Watch this video!

Click to Watch Video about Free Event

We have a habit of asking, “okay?” at the end of a direction.
Do you say any of these?
“Wash your hands now, okay?”
“We’re going in the car, okay?”
“Finish your dinner now, okay?”
“It’s time to take your bath, okay?”
“Time for bed, okay?”
“Mommy’s going to work now, okay?”

If you are guilty of asking questions like these, are you asking permission of the child? I don’t think so. Each of these questions gives your child the chance to say “NO, it’s not okay. I refuse. I’ll do the opposite.”
Why express this as a choice when there really isn’t a choice?
You leave yourself wide open for defiance!
What would yo do if your child said, “No, it’s not okay.”

It’s just a bad habit!

Drop the okay and make a statement:
“Wash your hands now.”
“We’re going in the car.”
“Finish your dinner now.”
“It’s time to take your bath.”
“Time for bed.”
“Mommy’s going to work now.”

Give your child a clear, concise message. Tell your child what you expect…before you expect it.
It’s a lot easier for children to follow directions when there isn’t a “get-out-of-doing-it clause.” No “…okay?” when it isn’t a choice.

1. Baby may cry more the second week of life than the first. Now recovered from birthing, Baby has learned that crying gets action! PARENTING 101 p. 1-3

2. Always feed a hungry baby. PARENTING 101 p. 5-2

3. 100% of Baby’s nutrition comes from his breastmilk/formula the first 6 months of  life. The second six months, 75% of his nutrition STILL comes from his breastmilk/formula. PARENTING 101 p. 5-3

4. Wiping Baby’s gums after feedings with a dry washcloth over your finger keeps milk from pooling in mouth, and gets Baby used to your fingers in his mouth for later dental hygiene. PARENTING 101 p. 2-37

5. Putting Baby on her tummy often during waking hours helps her develop much needed neck and shoulder strength. Even if she doesn’t like it, she needs it. PARENTING 101 p. 2-42

6. When Baby’s feet are cool and her tummy’s warm, she’s okay; when her feeet and her tummy are cool, she’s too cool. PARENTING 101 p. 1-7

7. Dads are for play and pleasure. Moms are for food and comfort. Babies know this!

8. 3 big mistakes new parents make: not getting sleep; not getting help; not getting out. PARENTING 101 p. 2-19

9. Clockwise tummy massage relieves trapped gas pain, balancing Baby on a 24″ slightly deflated beachball works too. PARENTING 101 p. 5-5

10. Biggest mistake parents make is putting their kids ahead of their marriage.  Date Night is a must.

More information can be found in Dr. Melanie’s book PARENTING 101: Because Kids Don’t Come With Instructions.

What is something else that no one ever told YOU?

Fear. Fear is the basis of all stress. Parents’ stress is basically being afraid of not knowing what to do, how to handle (read: control) their kids.

Fear manifests as frustration, concern, worry, guilt, tension, anxiety, anger and more.

Parents are frustrated over their kids’ misbehavior, concerned about their kids’ learning and worried about their grades. They feel guilty about not spending time with their kids and not being able to give them what they want. They are tense about their children being liked and accepted by others, they are anxious about where their kids are and with whom. They are angry about their kids’ bad manners.

These stressors can cause parents to lose sleep which causes lack of patience, which causes negative reactions to children’s naturally immature behaviors.

Stress comes from fear and fear comes from feeling out of control.

What stresses you? What can you do about it?

The more in power we feel, the better we feel about ourselves. Bullying compromises, even denies, a person’s individual power. Kids especially feel powerless against a bully and, as a result, their self-esteem plummets. This imbalance of power may be teasing (verbal), taunting (emotional) or terrorizing (physical). It may take place on the playground or the internet or anywhere in between. In all cases, bullying erodes the building blocks of self-esteem–confidence, courage and trust.

Kids have few if any tools to counteract a bully. They feel defenseless and overpowered.

We adults must have zero tolerance for bullying and teach our kids tools for their safety.

What are some tools for protection?