PEACE and LOVE are a LOT of WORK!

I love people! When I was a little kid I dreamed of having lots of children.  And I wanted to change the world by bringing good people into it, one person at a time. 

ruth-singingWhen I was twenty years old I wrote a song for my future children, imagining what I would say to them should they ever make a mistake so bad they were afraid to come home.  It took over 40 years to get the song recorded, but last month it happened, thanks to a friend, and this month my husband and I made it into a video on YouTube!

PLEASE WATCH!

Life is a lot of work, isn’t it?

That’s why I’ve created this blog. Now that my own kids are all grown up, I have more time to share practical tips for handling the challenges you may face too.

Here are a few you may need right now!

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE 

WHAT IS A LEADER

KIDS NEED GOOD EXAMPLES

HELP STOP BULLYING (3 posters for you)

SEVEN SUPER STRATEGIES TO SUCCEED IN SCHOOL (with  printable pdf)

Love to you and yours,

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO® 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!




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7 SUPER STRATEGIES to SUCCEED IN SCHOOL!

 

pdf_tiny

Click to DOWNLOAD The PRINTABLE Version. 

7 SUPER STRATEGIES to SUCCEED IN SCHOOL!

 

SUCCESS TO YOU!

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO® 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!




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HELP STOP BULLYING!

These three posters stop Bullies!

Scroll down to the last one to download all three.


 

This one helps identify a bully:What_areBullies_frame


This one tells what to do when faced with a bully:

Stop_a_Bully_updated_FRAME


This one helps kids ask themselves, “Do I ever bully others?”

DoYouEverBully_shadFrame


HELP STOP BULLYING!

 Download all 3 Posters HERE3Bully_tiny

My gift to you!

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO® 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!




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WHAT IS A LEADER?

WILL THEY FOLLOW YOU?

Force alone does NOT make people want to follow. 

Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said,

“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower used to say that being a leader is like pulling a string. 

Pull the string,” he said, “and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.

You can begin NOW to become your child’s LEADER, by acting the way you want them to behave.

Calmly state what we want our kids to do and they will more willingly follow your example.


Mahatma Ghandhi influenced millions of people in his lifetime. He said:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Leave an example your children will want to imitate and follow.

When people tried to get him upset, Ghandhi used a technique he called, “Passive Non-Cooperation”. He would stick to his position stubbornly, but in a peaceful, non violent manner.

Josh McDowell, pastor, teacher and writer said:

“Rules without Relationship lead to Rebellion”

You can keep a good relationship with your kids without letting them ‘be the boss’. How? Instruct them patiently that there are CONSEQUENCES to every action, good or bad. Kids will test us, but continue repeating what they need to do calmly, without giving in to bad behavior yourself. 

KEEP THE GOAL IN MIND: The loving people you want them to be. 

LOVE YOUR KIDS AS THOUGH YOU WON’T HAVE THEM TOMORROW, AND TEACH YOUR KIDS AS THOUGH THEY WON’T HAVE YOU TOMORROW!

LOVE TO YOU AND YOURS!

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO® 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!




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POSITIVE DISCIPLINE

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE MEANS GUIDING A CHILD TO SEE THAT HE OR SHE CAN MAKE A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD.

Radio Therapist, John Jolliffe once said, 

“The way you feel about yourself is both your punishment and your reward. Your job is to become the kind of person YOU can love.”

When you feel Valuable and Needed, it makes a huge difference in what you can accomplish in life.  


HOW TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE (KIDS OR OTHERS):

From the WEAKEST to the most powerful ways to motivate others:

FORCE: This is where you say “DO it or else” Works only short term, and has negative repercussions later. Makes people fear and dislike you. 

GUILT: This is where you attempt to make the person feel bad if they don’t do what you want.  Again – it is only effective for a short time, and then makes people tire of you. 
INCENTIVES: The Carrot at the end of the stick, “If you do this, I’ll do that.”  Effective for a short time but needs variety or will lose its appeal. 
LOVE: A person will go to the ends of the earth, without pay, for someone they love.  

HOW CAN YOU GET YOUR KIDS TO HELP? 

You have to inspire them to WANT to help!

Once you have that, the rest is easy!

How do you do that?

Combining the Three ‘R’s’, of Relationship, Rules and Rewards gives you the best chance of motivating your child.

Relationship – Keep loving them. Nothing beats smiles, hugs and affirmation for encouraging a person to do better.

Rules and Rewards – Plan your strategy. Follow a system that will include incentives to action, whether a Chart, or reward for good behavior that grants special activities or privileges, to go along with a good relationship. Make it like a game, and it will be easier for everyone.

MOST of ALL – Be a GOOD EXAMPLE. Show you don’t mind ‘getting your hands dirty’ too. Your example will speak VOLUMES! If it’s a chore, get in there and act like it’s FUN. You may be pretending at first, but it WILL be fun if you’re doing it together. (Think of Mike Rowe from the show ‘Dirty Jobs’!)

READY OR NOT – YOU ARE THE LEADER!

Once you’ve shown them HOW to do a job the first time, then let them do it! Even if they don’t do it perfectly, praise efforts made. Be patient. It may take a while for them to get it right. 

LOVE YOUR KIDS AS THOUGH YOU WON’T HAVE THEM TOMORROW, AND TEACH YOUR KIDS AS THOUGH THEY WON’T HAVE YOU TOMORROW!

READ MORE on BEING A GOOD LEADER here.

LOVE TO YOU AND YOURS!

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO® 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!




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KIDS NEED GOOD EXAMPLES!

How can we get our kids to be nice people?

Be nice people ourselves!

But they need discipline, too.

Discipline means ‘child training’.

So, what are we training kids to be?

Many parents send the message,

“Be pleasant and do what I tell you

But, what the kids hear them saying is,

“I’m the parent. I can do whatever I like while I order YOU around!”

When parents either: 1- walk around angry and complaining, or 2- drudgingly drag themselves through life like martyrs, it makes ‘being an adult’ look pretty miserable! Who would want to follow that example?

Not me! I decided long ago I would NEVER forget how to have fun!

Sometimes a little thing like FUN can steer kids in the right direction, making the right thing seem a better choice than the wrong 

Never forget how to have fun, and learn to have fun with your children, and you’ll be the parent they want to follow as an example. 

Discipline is important, too.  Please see more on DISCIPLINE here.

LOVE YOUR KIDS AS THOUGH YOU WON’T HAVE THEM TOMORROW, AND TEACH YOUR KIDS AS THOUGH THEY WON’T HAVE YOU TOMORROW!

Love to you and yours,

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO® 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!




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The First Requirement of Parenthood?

INTERRUPTABILITY!

While working at home with a babysitter watching the kids, my 4 year old daughter Annie came into my office with a sweet smile and asked if she could just sit there quietly for a little while. I wanted to say, “Yes” – but my brain argued with my heart, thinking,

‘If I am to be organized, I must follow rules and not let anything interrupt me.’

So, against my intuition, I put on a straight face and said,

“No honey – I have to work”,  and sent her out.

She started crying hysterically as the babysitter took her out of the room.

I tried to rationalize that I wasn’t being heartless. 

“I’m supposed to be working. I’m paying the babysitter. She should handle this!”  

But I knew I had hurt Annie. I felt horrible all day, and so did she.

A few years later, the incident came up in conversation.

“Mom, remember the time I was 4 years old and you sent me out of your office ‘cause you had to work? And all I wanted was a HUG!”

I did remember, and I was sad about it.  I said, 

“I’m so sorry honey. Would you like that hug NOW?”

And Annie said,  Nope. It expired!

I thought, “What can I do, now?”

Had I hurt my daughter forever by that one ‘businesslike’ decision?

No.

My daughter did eventually forgive me.

But what did it take?

TIME.

And love.

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SOFTEN WITH LOVE

Did you ever cook oatmeal and not wash the pan right away?

When you come back later the oatmeal is dry and stuck like GLUE.

What do you do? Soak it in water for a while and it’ll soften up again.

Love, like water on dried oatmeal, softens the heart.

The hardest part is admitting when you are mistaken, though.

Notice I didn’t use the word ‘wrong’?

‘Wrong’ holds too much shame and blame.

DON’T USE THE WORD ‘WRONG’.

INSTEAD SAY, ‘MISTAKEN’.

As a new parent, I was deathly afraid of being ‘WRONG’.

I decided not to make the same errors my parents had made.

And I didn’t. I made NEW ones.

I assumed parents must always be good examples, do the right thing, and be the ones who know what to do in all circumstances. 

Everyone makes mistakes. And they can usually be worked through, unless we never apologize. Now THAT is WRONG.

If you didn’t do wrong on purpose, then it was a ‘mistake’.

You can’t fault yourself for the wisdom you didn’t have at the time.

Don’t wait to say “I’m sorry”.

Take care of the mess before it has ‘dried out’, and it will be easier to clean up.

But if you have made the mistake of waiting, soak the problem in love, be patient with yourself and your loved ones, and you’ll see.

They won’t be able to resist forever!

Q.  How do you stop an argument?

A.  Apologize

Now there’s wisdom that works!

And, be interruptable!

Love to you and yours,

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator,
GoMommyGO 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get. EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO are there for YOU. Please donate!




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A MAGIC FORMULA TO CHILD REARING?

Is there a magic formula to child rearing?

If there is, it surely would have to start with:

RELATIONSHIP

Get in on the bottom floor and stay with them all the way.

To simply lay down rules will not work.

As Josh McDowell said:

Rules without Relationship lead to Rebellion.

Kids need you. They know when a part of you is missing.

I like this epigram from Ashleigh Brilliant:

J. Krishnamurti wisely said: 

“Action has meaning only in relationship, and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict. The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action.”

Psychologists call the relationship needed for human development an attachment relationship.

To grow well, we need others to be attached to

Ones who LOVE us.

Gabor Mate, MD, says:

“From an understanding of the child . . . and the heartfelt commitment parents bring to the task of child rearing…arise[s] the spontaneous and compassionate wisdom that is the source of successful parenting.”   (From ‘Hold Onto Your Kids – Why parents need to matter more than peers,  by Gordon Neufeld, PhD., and Gabor Maté, M.D.)

A child is aware of others NOT noticing them.  We all are. They may unconsciously wonder,  “Why should I care about me?”

You may be the only one to answer that question – in the way you notice your children.

And HOW do we notice them?

Is it with hopeful expectation of a positive result, or with dread and suspicion of something awful that they will become?

At the store the other day I saw a mom scowling at her child. A frown, piercing eyes and forehead furrowing, her face and body language seemed to scream negativity.

That kind of attention will not bring about cooperation and self-regulation.

What makes the difference between a GOOD relationship and a bad one?

ATTITUDE  

How do you view your child?

I don’t think we realize how we appear most of the time. 

If inwardly, we are not paying attention, they will be aware of it.

A mom was vacuuming the house with gloom on her face.

Noticing this, her little girl asked, “Are you happy, Mom?”

Her mom said, “Yes.”

The girl’s response was, “Then why don’t you tell your FACE about it?”

Projecting a loving attitude while hoping for the best will show on your face, your body language, and everything you do.

If you can master the art of  these two things, RELATIONSHIP and ATTITUDE, you can know you did your best to make your child feel important enough to pay better attention to their own development, too.

“Make the most of yourself. For that is all there is of you.” ~ Emerson.

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

Posted in Character Development, Child Development, Children, family, Happiness, parenting, Psychology | Comments Off on A MAGIC FORMULA TO CHILD REARING?

THE TIE THAT BINDS

AntoineFisher- A bou should know How to Tie a tie

Life can either make you Bitter or Better.
From a crucible of  unimaginable suffering came a survivor –  Antwone Fisher*, The man the movie of the same name was made about,  directed by and starring Denzel Washington.

I had the pleasure of meeting Antwone in 2010 at Vroman’s, at the book signing for:
“A Boy Should Know How To Tie A Tie (and other Lessons for Succeeding in Life)” 

What a gift he shares in it: The advice he never got from the dad he never had. Brimming with insight, it shows his suffering was not in vain. 

He held a raffle for a gorgeous tie too. Antwone reached in and picked out the winning ticket – and as fate would have it, a young student, Marcus, got it! I’m so glad he won – he was so happy! 

Antwone Fisher with the young man, Marcus, who won a TIE at Vroman's

Antwone Fisher (L) with the young man, Marcus, who won the TIE at the Vroman’s book signing event.

Have you heard about Antwone Fisher? Have you seen the movie?

The movie, Antwone Fisher, directed by and starring Denzel Washington.

The movie, Antwone Fisher, directed by and starring Denzel Washington.

If not, this one is a MUST. Rent it at the library! Better yet – BUY it – you’ll be glad you did! (Note: It’s NOT for younger kids. Rated PG 13 for violence, language and involving child abuse)

 

By the way – Preventing child abuse starts with everyone. We are all dominos that affect those around us. GoMommyGO has tools to help parents learn to manage their kids’ behavior from a proactive standpoint. Visit for free behavior charts that REALLY WORK!

Great teachers speak in parables. Stories can change the character of the people who hear them – for the better. That’s what our non profit, EDU DESIGNS aims for in our media for children. Thanks for your support of what we do.

We can’t do it without you! 

Many thanks,

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

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Welcome to the Land of “I’m Sorry”

I heard the news one day about a young boy who had committed suicide to ‘save face’ after he’d made a mistake he thought would embarrass his family. I felt so sad to think he believed he had no other choice.  I cried for that boy and his family, and as I drifted off to sleep this little story came to me:


Once there was a boy whose teacher said,

“Boy – Always do right, and Never do Wrong. Then you will be perfect.”

So the boy went out to always do right.

But one day he did something wrong. He was so sad he thought his life was ruined forever. “There’s nothing left to do but jump down a hole and HIDE.”

He was about to jump, when someone came along and said,

“All is not lost! You can still have a good life. But you have to go through these two gates first, called: “I’M SORRY” and  ” I’LL DO BETTER NEXT TIME

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So the boy left the hole behind, and went through the gates.

On the other side he saw his teacher there and was shocked. He said,

“You’re here, TOO? 

YOU had to say sorry? What did YOU do that was wrong?”

The teacher said,

“I told you ‘you could be perfect and never do wrong’ – but that was impossible to do. That was my mistake. I am sorry.”

The Land of “I’m Sorry”, © Ruth Elliott, 2010

 Please. Never give up hope!

Warmly,

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Welcome to the Land of “I’m Sorry”

9 TIPS TO KEEP YOU FROM FREAKING OUT

Managing kids may be the easier part.

The bigger challenge? Managing ourselves.

You set up rules for good behavior, and then, BANG!

All of a sudden you’re acting the way you don’t want the kids to act.

But how are we supposed to deal with that?

We need to be in charge of us first.

Here are 9 tips to help:

TIP # 1  OBSERVE YOURSELF

It’s good to pay attention to others, but take a look at you. What is happening inside you? The better you are at spotting your own body’s signals, the better you will get at knowing another person’s needs.

Are YOU hungry? Tired? Overloaded? Dehydrated? Have you been ignoring your inner voice? Or heard it and didn’t know what to do about it?

TIP # 2  OBSERVE OTHERS

Everyone needs the same things.

Stop and think of their needs, and what was causing their behavior.

Maybe THEY are hungry, tired, dehydrated, etc.

TIP # 3 – KEEP ANGER DOWN. DON’T LET YOURSELF GET TIRED

If I ask myself, “Why am I angry?”, nine times out of ten it is because more is needed of me than I can fulfill. My brain doesn’t work well when I’m tired!

When a person is worn out they will jump into anger mode without thinking, to get a temporary boost of energy.  However, anger backfires and raises cortisol levels which in the long term can drain us further, causing depression, weight gain and make problems with others.

TIP # 4 – KEEP YOUR ENERGY UP

S= SLEEP:  Rest to REFILL so you’ll have more to give.

E= EXERCISE : Move to get rolling.  An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

N= NUTRITION: What you put in WILL control how much energy you have to put  out.

Drink LOTS of water, (Read about the importance of water here: http://www.watercure.com/)

Stay regular – Constipation is the thief of health.

Eat lots of fruits and veggies and avoid soda and refined carbohydrates. After the initial rush, SUGAR makes you TIRED!

T= THANKFULNESS:  Studies have shown that gratitude makes us happier and healthier. Thinking of others boosts our own mood and curbs depression. A SMILE increases your ‘Face Value’!

TIP # 5 – STAY IN BALANCE

Moderation in all things: TV, Work, Eating, Exercise, Fun.

Your kids will not die if they are not the best looking or smartest kids in the world.

Don’t expect to get everything done. Two weeks after you are gone from this world your house will get dirty again – all by itself!

TIP #6 – THINK AHEAD

Schedule your activities.

Learn how to be a good leader.

Read my tips on being a good leader here.

Think ahead about what your family will need so you won’t be running by the seat of your pants.

TIP #7 – HAVE SOME FUN

Allow time for fun.

The dishes can wait.

Happiness is important too!

Don’t expect the kids to be adults – yet.

TIP #8 – DON’T BE AFRAID TO APOLOGIZE

You had a moment. You blew it. Don’t try to rationalize or blame. Just admit it. You’re only human. NOBODY IS PERFECT. Your kids already know it! Seek the solution to the stress you were under and get back in charge.

TIP #9 – LIVE AND LET LIVE 

Give yourself and others a little space to breathe. Like the margins that surround text on a page, a little space makes everything easier.

Allow your kids to discover who they are too, and you may all like each other a lot more.

dustpan-shattered-pieces-tilt

Please read my little story, “The Land of I’m Sorry”.

Enjoy your life and precious loved ones,

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

 

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on 9 TIPS TO KEEP YOU FROM FREAKING OUT

STRESS!

My daughter Lisa actually said this to me one day:

Paying attention to other people all the time isn’t easy.

Attention requires ENERGY.

I heard about a little girl who tried to talk with her mom while her mom was racing around doing chores.  Her mom emitted an occasional  “Uh huh…”, when suddenly the girl cried out,

MOMMY! You’re not LISTENING!”.

Continuing her work, her mom said,

“I am listening, Honey.”

The little girl protested further:

“But you’re not listening with your EYES!”

Paying loving attention means we are present and aware with our whole being: Mind, Heart, and Body. And that’s a skill that takes time to learn.

Practicing loving attention means:

  • Eye Contact 
  • Listening
  • Body Language

Being a parent has been called the hardest path to walk in this world.

You stumble and fall, and hurt yourself and others without meaning to.

When my kids were little, there were times I was so worn out by the end of a 40 hour week, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and escape from the world. I was super burdened with no where to run, no where to hide and no way to change my schedule or agenda.  I could only change my thoughts.

Learning to think about things differently – and laughing at myself – kept me from freaking out. I drew this autobiographical cartoon after weeks of only 4 hours of sleep a night.  

Just like practicing paying attention, practicing patience (with ourselves AND others) is a skill we need to learn. 

Do we scold toddlers for falling down as they learn to walk?

Of course not. We encourage them to pick themselves up and keep trying.

The mistakes we make as parents can be horrendous and cruel at times, because the responsibilities are huge and the pressures are great. 

The fact is, we need to forgive ourselves  so we can go back out there and keep trying to improve. We can recover, even while we continue going two steps forward and one step back.

How?

1 – Keep trying to do the right thing, though we fail.

2 – Keep merciful and forgiving (to ourselves, too).

3 – Be humble (only God is perfect).

My mom used to say, “As long as there’s LIFE, there’s HOPE.”

And there’s always hope.

Don’t give up!

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

 

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on STRESS!

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, RULES THE WORLD!

holdHands_rectangle-lo-res

“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.”

As I said in my last article, You Can’t Spoil a Baby, a baby needs to feel loved and wanted with the kind of love Carl Rogers calls “Unconditional Positive Regard”. [1]    

I think there’s a little baby in all of us that needs that kind of love.

St. Augustine once wrote of ideal love:

“To love each person as though you had love for them alone, and to love all, as though all were one.”

If a mother can love her child unconditionally, imagine how different the world would be if we all had that regard for one another. The world would be a better place, for sure, if mother’s really did ‘rule’ the world from the top down. But we’re too busy – handling things from the ‘bottom’ up!

READ about the lady who changed 36,000 diapers! ME!

READ about the lady who changed 36,000 diapers! ME!

I think we like it better that way, anyway.

As Mohandas Gandhi said, “If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children.”   

 Here are some of my favorite quotes about mothers:

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
~ Author Unknown

“If people had to pay for what Mothers do, the world would be bankrupt!”
~ David Elliott, father of seven

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
~ Honoré de Balzac

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
~ Tenneva Jordan

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
~ Rajneesh

“A mother understands what a child does not say.”
~ Jewish Proverb

“There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.” ~ Chinese Proverb

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
~ Sophia Loren

“I’d like to be the ideal mother, but I’m too busy raising my kids.”
~ Unknown

Happy Mother’s day!

If you are not a mother, be thankful you had one!

My next article will be on STRESS.

Until then: KEEP THE VISION!

STAY PRESENT.

PAY ATTENTION.

YOUR WORK IS IMPORTANT! 

ruth-sig.jpg

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

[1] Unconditional Positive Regard:  http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html

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CAN YOU SPOIL A BABY?

CAN YOU SPOIL A BABY?

Before you get worried wondering, the quick answer is:

“NO”. You CAN’T spoil a baby.

There are many reasons.

Babies need consistent Loving Attention. Not only for physical survival but for the emotional security and intellectual development to build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.

BEING A BABY CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL

I remember. Here’s one of my memories of infancy at around a month old:

In a dimly lit room, lying on my stomach in my crib, I awoke to sounds of people laughing in the other room. I wanted to go out and enjoy the fun, but I couldn’t get up. Just lifting my head took a huge effort, so I called out for someone to come and get me. Sadly, no one heard me. I cried out over and over, to no avail until I became so exhausted I fell asleep again. I awoke later as my Mama was coming into the room.  She picked me up and smiled. I was exhilarated and thought, ‘Finally! Now I’ll get to see all the people and find out what made them laugh!’  But when we got to the other room all the people were gone! I was disappointed.  Funny how a baby can be aware of more than we realize!

Remembering how it felt to be a baby made it easier to identify with my children’s needs when I became a mother. Especially their need to be seen, heard and known.

I found scientific affirmation of my impressions from Dr. Gabor Mate. He calls the instinctive hunger to be SEEN, HEARD and KNOWN the need for ‘Attunement’

If we are ‘Attuned to’ as infants, we will have greater inner security, an all-important anchor to keep us steady through hard times, and an increased ability to comfort others. Attunement can prevent ADHD in children as well as Anxiety in adults.  [1]

Carl Rogers calls it, “Unconditional positive regard”, wanting the best for our offspring from the deepest part of ourselves. 

That kind of love can never ‘spoil’ anyone.

The joy on this baby’s face demonstrates the happiness and emotional security kids can experience when they have good communication and feel ‘attuned to’ by their moms.
(Thank you to my friend Candi Alvarez Matz for allowing me to share this lovely photo.)

Dr. Claudia M. Gold, best known for her work promoting children’s mental health, writes, “the science of early childhood tells us that the brain grows in relationships.

“When a parent gazes into her baby’s eyes, she literally promotes the growth of her baby’s brain, helping it to be wired for a secure sense of self…” [2]

“The brain makes millions of synaptic connections every minute. It is in infancy that the parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation have the most rapid development.” [3]

Whoever is taking care of the baby should give that baby everything it needs. In others words, feel free to ‘spoil’ your baby.

When it feels loved and wanted, given “Unconditional Positive Regard”, the person that emerges from that child will succeed in relationships through all of it’s life.

And long before, you, the caregiver, might even find yourself smiling like the mom in the picture above.

 

“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.”  Old Adage

If not the entire world, then certainly the world of that child.

Wishing you ‘unconditional positive regard!’

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

Footnotes:

[1] http://drgabormate.com/preview/scattered-minds-u-s-scattered-chapter-twenty-five/
[2] http://claudiamgoldmd.blogspot.com/2013/09/investing-in-early-childhood-means.html
[3] http://claudiamgoldmd.blogspot.com/2010/11/diagnosing-autism-in-infancy.html
[4] Attachment Theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory

 

Posted in adhd, anxiety, behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Education, Ethics and Character, moms and babies, overcoming obstacles, parenting, Psychology | Leave a comment

MOONLIGHTING AS A MOM

One of my kids said one day, “Mom, how come you never yell at the baby?”

Before I could answer, my oldest girl piped in,  “That’s easy. When babies are little you need to be nice to them, so when you yell at them when they’re older,  they know you still love them!”

At first I laughed, and then it made me stop and think. Had I been yelling, then?

I MOONLIGHT –  AS A MOM

All I ever dreamed about was being a mom, changing the world one kid at a time through love and understanding.  But after the first two kids, financial pressure forced me out to earn a living.  I eventually found a job in animation.

It was fun drawing Scooby Doo and the Smurfs. However, my new career was taking a huge chunk of time away from my relationship with the kids and my duties at home. I cried every day I had to leave them at my mother-in-law’s. I was giving my ‘all’ to someone else’s celluloid dreams, while my original aspirations of child-rearing got squeezed into a corner.

SHOVELING MUD UPHILL

By the time I was a mother of four, just getting out the door in the morning was a big challenge. But after a full day’s work at the office, I’d come home to the other full-time job of meeting the children’s needs. Fatigue gave way to dread as the never-ending cycle of mealtimes, dishes and laundry piled up before me.

“How do OTHER mothers DO it?”, I agonized.

DON’T DO THIS!

My mind raced down the ever looming to-do list in my head. I became a task oriented robot, numb to my feelings, and everyone else’s. But I could only hold back the pressure for so long.

One day I finally exploded at the kids and then ran into the bathroom, horrified at myself, “I USED to be such a NICE person!”

In my desperation, I knew I had to figure out a way to organize myself.

Afterwards, I apologized to the kids. “You don’t like it when mommy yells, do you?”  They all shook their heads.

I don’t like it either. I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to stop yelling. But I’m gonna need a little help from you guys.”

GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW

My husband, the kids, and I had our first family meeting that night. We brainstormed, we discussed our goals, what we all wanted as a family (peace, no yelling, sharing chores, etc) and how we should be treating each other. We agreed on a set of rules for good behavior.

This became our family ‘Constitution’, which was taped to the wall for all to see. Our Constitution  not only expressed the crucial needs we had as parents, but it included important concerns the kids themselves came up with. Chores were one thing. Gripes that needed to be aired were another. “Don’t stick your tongue out at people”; “Don’t kick each other”; etc, were suggested by the kids themselves.

We continued adding to and refining our constitution with each weekly meeting. As time went by, the additions taped to the wall were becoming too numerous. We eventually boiled good behavior down to one phrase, “TREAT OTHER PEOPLE THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED”. This turns out to be a thought even young children can appreciate.

LET THE CHART BE YOUR GUIDE

When it came to chores, we wrote them all down on pieces of paper and put them in a hat. We took turns drawing them out one at a time (even me) till all the chores were handed out. If a child got a chore that was too hard for him, we exchanged it with someone else’s, until each person had a chore or two they could actually handle.

For instance: 4 year old Mike was too little to vacuum, but he was able to pick up around the house. Johnny, who was 6, could then do the vacuuming.

I created a chart for each child showing which task they had, with spaces to mark when it was completed. It too was taped to the wall. Time proved that some fine tuning was needed. We’d assess our progress at our weekly meetings, and switch or add chores as needed. And the charts would be updated.

As an incentive, at the end of the week we would all go to the 99 cent store or the Dollar Tree and they’d each get to pick out ONE thing. Any thing they wanted! No one would get ‘paid’ unless they had done their ‘jobs’. For me this method was enormously helpful. It was always necessary to be the CEO, but I was now able to stay cool, calm and collected and simply remind each kid of what they had agreed to do.

I’d say “Oh, I see you left your shoes on the floor. You want your treat this weekend, right? Go put them away so I can give you your good mark!” Then I’d smile. Reminding them was enough. (At least until they became teenagers.) 😉

NO YELLING NEEDED

The reason I invented the Good Behavior Charts on GoMommyGO® in the first place was to keep myself under control, along with the kids. It became a guideline to follow, a system that SHOWED the kids what I needed from them in a way THEY could understand and remember.  They learned what it was to feel needed and important, while I got the help I needed so I could pay attention to what I really wanted: A good relationship with the kids.

GET YOUR OWN PLAN:

After the kids grew up I put my charts on the web so every parent can use them too. 

Here’s how to get the charts you can customize from 90 different images. My gift to you.

Go to http://www.gomommygo.com/thankdontspank.html

My next article will have secrets to improve your relationships.

CHEERS!

Ruth

Posted in Character Development, Child Development, Children, Education, Ethics and Character, family, guilt, moms and babies, parenting, School | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to do the Travis Pick

Many friends have asked me over the years, “HOW DO YOU DO THAT?”

So I finally decided to put this up.

Now I just send them the link!

To understand the pattern even better, here’s a little illustration to see it written out:

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Hope that helps!

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BUILDING BRAIN CELLS THROUGH MUSIC!

All kids LOVE music!

We’ve been adding Music to enrich our Art Presentations. 

There's nothing like Music to brighten your day and activate brain cells.  

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(L to R) Mark Hisdon, Jas Hilsdon and Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon activating brain cells!

At a recent Fair at Cobb School Jas and Ruth Hilsdon performed for 3 hours. The joy and energy from sharing music with the kids was infectious. Here's a VERY short video from that day.

A BIG THANK YOU to Mark and Jas Hilsdon for investing their talents in children.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

Would you throw this precious one away?

Would you throw this precious one away?

Mark and Jas Hilsdon have a special place in their hearts for kids with Special Needs.

Why?

Their sister, Diane, was born with a hole in her heart and Down Syndrome. The doctor's told their mom and dad she wouldn't survive, so just "leave her at the hospital and we'll take care of it".

But their parents refused, and brought her home, and she lived to be 53!

Diane LOVED music, too.

Jas Hilsdon wrote a song for her you can hear at this link 

You can even hear a tiny bit of her singing in the very beginning of the song!

More of Jas Hilsdon's songs: JasHilson.com


 

Read another article about our school visits to Kids with Special Needs here: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/edu-designs-progress-report/

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KIDS NEED ART IN GHANA TOO!

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Eric Ansah, Director

THANKS to ERIC ANSAH, the director, and others from the Reward Foundation Ghana, this Non Profit Org is helping kids expand their opportunities through Art, Music, and other cultural and educational activities in Ghana.

EDU DESIGNS founder, Ruth Elliott’s, donated the use of her Art Textbook, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT to help kids! They need your help, too! Contact Eric at: info@rewardfoundationghana.org

SEE OUR LAST ARTICLE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING HERE: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/school-kids-in-ghana-are-using-our-art-book/

 

Please check out their new website, too.

http://rewardfoundationghana.org/

All of us are very proud to be a partner in their great work.

I hope you’ll be inspired to help them too!

Volunteer opportunities are listed on this page:

http://rewardfoundationghana.org/?page_id=61

Contact Eric at: info@rewardfoundationghana.org

 

Posted in Art, behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Ethics and Character, Ghana, School | Leave a comment

“Harriet Beecher Stowe Inspired Me As a Kid!”

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When interviewing the founder of EDU DESIGNS recently, I learned a lot. Here’s a transcript of what Ruth Elliott said about her early childhood:

“Both my parents families were from NY. After moving to Texas, my mom would tell us stories about how valiantly our ancestors opposed slavery, among them Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher, and how bad she believed segregation was.

Harriet’s brother, Henry Ward Beecher, famous for his preaching, secretly aided the fight against slavery by sending rifles to the South in pine boxes marked “BEECHER’S BIBLES”.

Mrs. Stowe was a friend of Hattie, the kindly wife of the plantation owner that Hattiesburg, Mississippi was named after. Hattie had many slaves. However, she held a reputation of being nicer to them than most slaveowners. What could Harriet, a sworn abolitionist, and Hattie, a veteran slave owner, have in common? And could they possibly have been in cahoots?

It was later revealed that Hattie’s home concealed hidden rooms, leading people to suspect her home may have been a stop along the Underground Railroad that carried runaway slaves to freedom in the North.

Growing up in Texas, my sisters and I were so stirred by stories like these, stories of courage in the face of injustice, stories of determination, that we learned to protest unfair treatment wherever we found it. We’d make friends with the kids from ‘Colored’ town, even though our white neighbors sternly warned us not to. I remember one day sitting in a packed bus with standing room only. A pregnant black lady came on board, and none of the white folks would give her a seat, so I gave her mine, despite the sneering looks from the white folks near me. I was a kid. So, they let me live…”

Historic times to grow up in.  Read how it inspired her to write her first book!

WE ARE BUILDING BRAINS AND HEARTS THROUGH THE ARTS

100% of every donation is used to create media for children’s character.

Please help!

We need to print up books for schools and teachers. Each book we donate to schools costs around $3 to print. Can you help?

WE NEED YOUR MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS!

Read the Article here and get a digital download of Ruth’s art texbook for kids when you donate!

 

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GET YOUR ILLUSTRATED BEHAVIOR CHARTS

Kids usually WANT to do what’s Right – if you give them the chance to, and explain the advantages to them!

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Customize your own Behavior Chart with pictures – it’s easy:

Go to GoMommyGO!

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This is a FREE public service from EDU DESIGNS, the non profit that creates media for children’s Character Development.

Take advantage of it!

It worked with MY kids!

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder of EDU DESIGNS 
Creator: GoMommyGO®

EDU DESIGNS is BUILDING BRAINS AND HEARTS

THROUGH THE ARTS



 Since we are an all volunteer organization, we get no salary. 100% of your donation is Tax Deductible, and is used to create media for children’s character.  Please help! When you do, you’ll receive a free download of Ruth’s Art Textbook for Kids!

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Posted in behavior, bullying, Character Development, Child Development, family | Leave a comment