Being a parent is humbling. If you thought you knew all about parenting before you had kids, you soon learn how little you know once you have them.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Luckily, you can learn from them. However, the best way is to learn from someone else’s mistakes! That way, you don’t have to make them all yourself! 

Here are 5 to avoid:

Mistake # 1 – Not Paying Enough Attention: 

When you drive, you pay attention to the road, correct? But at home, you may want more time to yourself, and rely on TV and video games to ‘babysit’ them. When you fail to pay proper attention to your children you not only endanger them, you are saying, without words, that they are not worth paying attention to. 

SOLUTION: Engage with your kids more to increase attachment and connectedness. Think, E.T.C. for 3 keys to good communication: 
YE Contact,
ouch, and
ommunication (which includes Talking and Listening).   Remember to enjoy your kids. This period of their lives, and yours, will never come again.
Read more here… 

Mistake # 2 – Being too strict, or too lenient:

Either extreme is bad. Being too harsh can break your child’s spirit.

Being too ‘nice’ is not really being nice, and in the long run, teaches kids to be lazy and selfish.

Letting kids have too much time in front of electronic devices to keep them quiet will backfire afterwards.

SOLUTION: Like Dog Training, ‘Child training’, is a learned skill. We need to balance Love and Limits, and set boundaries.  You must be a Leader and take control. Learn how to discipline, limit electronic time, and KEEP THEM BUSY with other activities. Read more…

Mistake # 3- Undermining your spouse’s authority in front of the children.

Having disagreements over how to raise the kids is inevitable now and then, but take care not to belittle or override your spouse in front of the children. Trying to be ‘RIGHT’ all the time can be wrong.

SOLUTION: Politely interject, “May I talk with you in the other room for a minute?”  Take your spouse aside quietly and share your ideas away from the kids. When you’ve come to an agreement, you can announce with a united front, “We have decided… etc”.

Mistake # 4 – Doing too much.

I was really good at that! One day my son yelled out, “DAD! MOM HAD A NERVOUS WRECK!”

We get caught up trying to get everything done, and end up ignoring our most important relationships. Our patience evaporates, and then our rapport with others, too. 

SOLUTION: SLOW DOWN – and QUICKLY! Face the fact that you will never get it all done. Two weeks after you are gone from this world, your house will need cleaning again, so RELAX. Allow yourself to be ‘interrupt-able’. Kids need YOU.

Mistake # 5 – Not planning ahead.

Are you working too hard? Are the kids letting you?  They will, if you LET them!

SOLUTION: ORGANIZE. Have regular family meetings where you discuss family goals and desires. There is less chaos when there is order in the home. Share the problems you have getting everything accomplished. Divide the chores among everyone according to their abilities and create more peace at home. Read more…

There’s lots more!

Make sure you take advantage of all the free resources on GoMommyGO®:

2 – FREE Illustrated Behavior charts on GoMommyGO (the 8 1/2 X 11 charts you download, customize and print up yourself)

2 – When you click on any image on THIS PAGE it takes you to what the image means.


4 – What to do when you need to give CONSEQUENSES for bad behavior.


My Illustrated, Customizable Behavior CHARTS are FREE! As an animation artist, I first created them for my own kids. They worked so well, that I thought, “Why isn’t someone doing this for the moms and dads who don’t know how to draw?”
In 2003 I put them online, and GoMommyGO quickly became a resource for Autism Speaks, Headstart groups, many pre-schools, parents and teachers and a contributor to EDU DESIGNS.

It’s been a labor of love for over 14 years.
Will you help support my work? I have a special gift for you when you do.

You’ll get an instant download of my 100 BEHAVIOR CARDS that help you get organized!  A $9.99 value to use and share! 

The 3.5″ x 2″ images (business-card size) are perfect for planning ahead. Here’s a sample of what they look like:

Download ALL Cards with ANY donation!

When you click on the image above, it will take you to Paypal. Give what you can, then keep the page open and you will be redirected to your activity cards.  For full instructions and how to print, refer to this page.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are helping thousands of children and parents every day, providing materials for creativity and character development.

Thank you for helping the adults of tomorrow, today!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on 5 SERIOUS MISTAKES PARENTS MAKE


I love the taste of most non dairy creamers, like Coffee mate, but I know the sugar in them promotes inflammation, the precursor to most diseases. Honey is better by far. Also, since Turmeric and Coconut oil contain anti-inflammatory, anti-alzheimer’s properties too, I was determined to find a way to include them in my regular diet without having to think about it. By making my own coffee creamer I found the perfect solution…

And I FOUND it – in my OWN KITCHEN!

Here’s my recipe: (Download it here)



Coconut oil


Almond or Soy Milk



Spices as desired (I add Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves. All are beneficial for you!)


Add in blender:

1 Cup Water (If the coconut oil is solid, use boiling water)

1/2 Cup Coconut oil

3 Tablespoons of real Vanilla

1 heaping Tablespoon of Lecithin*

Honey, to taste

Note: I add 3/4 Cup, however you can also use any natural sweetener, like Maple syrup or stevia instead. Avoid artificial sweeteners, (like Splenda, Sweet n Low, etc.) which contain Aspartame, a known nerve toxin)

OPTIONAL: 2 TBLSP Turmeric powder, plus a TBLSP of Cinnamon, a tsp of Ginger, 1/2 tsp each of Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves

Blend at low speed until mixed

(30 seconds or so)

With blender still running,

slowly add 3 cups of almond milk for another 15 seconds or until thoroughly mixed:

(you can also use coconut milk, soy or other non dairy alternative you like)


Shake before using.

It will get thicker as it cools.

Have fun experimenting, and adjust to YOUR taste!

* Either Soy Lecithin, or

Sunflower Lecithin are available at Health Food Stores or iHerb.comLecithin is a natural emulsifier, which blends oil and water, and contains many brain boosters, like Phosphatidyl Choline & Other Phosphatides)

I get my powdered Turmeric at iherb.com, as well.

Here is a discount promo code for first time customers: https://www.iherb.com/?rcode=KID067

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHY NON-DAIRY CREAMER


Being connected made the difference.

holdHands_rectangle-lo-resWhen I was a child my mom and I would walk a long way to the grocery store. It was hard to keep up unless she would hold my hand. When she did hold my hand, somehow her energy would be transmitted to me, and it was easier to go the distance.

Connectedness is needed by adults as well as children. In Claudia Gold’s excellent post, she reveals how

 “Connectedness . . . protects us against the harmful effects of stress.” 

When I had kids of my own, there were days when the thought of cleaning the house weighed on me like a sack of bricks. But if I knew that someone I liked was coming over, the work breezed by. It was the anticipation of a supportive friend that made the work easier to accomplish – even fun. 

Just the IDEA of being connected to someone can make a positive difference!

The burden we bear alone is twice as hard to carry.

And we don’t have to carry it alone.

If you’re someone who has failed at connecting with others, here are some things you can do. Develop the capacity for empathy, become a flexible thinker, learn to regulate your emotions and practice resilience.

To learn this you will need to find someone who will listen and respond. Some things are more ‘caught than taught’.

A good relationship requires Connectedness.

You throw the ball to me. I throw it back.

Simple, right?

And yet in communication, sometimes we forget to ‘catch the ball’, much less ‘throw it back’!

To have real communication, or ‘connectedness’ with our friends, children, or spouse, we need to establish a good rapport.

That happens by SEEING, LISTENING, and RESPONDING with them.

We express connectedness through EYE CONTACT, BODY LANGUAGE and KIND WORDS…

To truly understand what we hear another say, we need to THINK, FEEL, and SENSE what our instincts are saying at the same time! 


brain_blue-RT-facingYour brain hears the words, then PROCESSES the information using our thinking, feeling and instinctive centers to understand it.




For a good relationship to grow, think before you speak:

Is it loving? Is it kind? Is it helpful?

hand-sm-blueWhen you communicate, make an effort to combine your MIND, HEART and INSTINCTS to really connect with others. It’s a great ‘people skill’ that gets better with practice!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.


Please donate!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on CONNECTEDNESS

Your Family Constitution

What will YOUR kids stand for?

“If you don’t STAND for SOMEthing, you’ll fall for anything!”

When my kids were little, I was losing ground. My utopian dream of bringing loving, creative people into the world was turning into a nightmare.  Just being a ‘good example’ wasn’t working. The ‘nicer’ I became, the more they took advantage and were becoming people I disliked: Greedy, selfish, mean, petty and squabbling. I had to put my foot down. 

Time For A Family Meeting

“All right, guys. There’s been too much fighting going on. We need to work things out. FAMILY MEETING TIME!”

We usually had a Family Meeting once a week, but when something extreme came up, we would have them at any time. We sat in a circle in the living room and I reminded them of the rules of the meeting: 

1- Sit quietly,

2- Listen carefully,

3- If you have something to say, raise your hand and wait your turn.

Make A Family Constitution

I challenged the kids to think:

“Who ARE we, anyway? What do we STAND for? What VALUES do we hold dear? We need to decide what kind of people we want to be. We need to create a ‘Family Constitution’.”

Taking notes, each child contributed what they thought were important rules for good behavior – points to add to our Family’s ‘Constitution’. Soon we had a list of ‘DO’s and DON’TS’ we all agreed on, and taped the list to the kitchen wall.

Things like:

DO: Be kind, helpful, do chores, feed the animals, do homework, etc…

DON’T: Fight, stick out your tongue, cuss, hit, yell or throw things, etc.”

Whenever anyone did something wrong (or right), we would add that infraction or good character trait to the list, and soon we needed to add more pages and the list was as long as my arm!

At our next meeting We looked at our list again. 

Then it came to us. All the items on the list boiled down to one rule that applied: That if we could treat one another the way we wanted to be treated, it would solve most of our problems.

The Golden Rule, by Ruth Elliott, 1987

THAT said it ALL!

“Treat others the way YOU want to be treated” became our new “Family Constitution”. When a conflict came up, the way to resolve it became simpler. 

The good thing about going through the exercise of listing all the do’s and don’ts was that it forced us to examine ourselves, to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, and observe how our actions and attitudes affect others. It increased our empathy for one another, and showed us that everything we do is creating the kind of person we are becoming.

John Jolliffe once said:


What kind of person do YOU love?

Are you becoming that person?

Love and Warm Wishes,

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder & Director: EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
Creator: GoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Your Family Constitution


Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow!


At seven years old, I wanted to help people.

I imagined that “helping people” meant becoming a doctor.

Then one day, I heard some kids swearing and yelling at each other on the street.  I asked my mom, “Why do they act that way?” 

Children model the behavior they see around them.

She said, “It’s probably because that’s what they hear at home.  

As she shared how the experiences we have as children shape our character, I realized many people walking around need more than just physical help. They need work on their emotional health, too.

I considered maybe I should become a Psychologist, instead of a doctor.

Then I got the idea: They wouldn’t need to fix up all the broken people, if they would just start them out right in the FIRST place!

To my young mind, being a good mother became the best way to change the world for the better.

My mom had always said things like, As a twig is bent, so grows the TREE! and,The hand that Rocks the cradle, RULES THE WORLD!” I was lucky she was a patient and loving model to follow.

At seven years old, dolls were not enough. I wanted a REAL baby to care for. But how was I to get one?  I was too little to have one myself.

Gazing up at the sky that night, a shooting star raced across the sky. This was my big chance! I closed my eyes and wished for a baby brother.

A few months later, I noticed my mother’s tummy looking a little bigger, so I asked her, “Mom, are you getting fat?”

And she said, sadly, “No – I’m afraid I might be pregnant”.

“YAY!” I shouted, “A baby!”

But she didn’t smile, and added, “Well… Your father isn’t very happy about it. He wants me to get an abortion.”

“What’s that?” I asked. 

“That’s where they take the baby out.”  

Horrified, I cried, “NO, Momma, NO! Don’t DO that! I’ll help you take care of the baby! I’ll change diapers – I’ll wake up in the middle of the night –  ANYTHING – Just don’t take the baby away!

After a few minutes of me pleading, she finally assured me that she wouldn’t get rid of the baby. She told me that though she wanted to please my Poppa, it was illegal, [back in 1956] and she didn’t want to do anything against the law.

Then, on the verge of tears, she blurted out, that my father hadn’t wanted me, or my sister, EITHER – because  the hospital bill would be $350 – and that was a lot of money back then.

Wait a minute…


Those words fell like a knife deep into my heart. It was a terrible thing to tell a child, but my mom must have been in great distress to say it. 

I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want me. But when I first came into the world, all I had to offer, was love.

My father never actually acted as though he’d wished we hadn’t been born – but the thought of it sent my world reeling. 

I adored my father – and when he’d hug me, it felt like heaven in his arms.

But from that moment on, I resolved to never need anything from him, or to be a burden to anyone. After all, I reasoned… people could kill you if they didn’t want you around, so I’d better be useful.  I became the ‘always ready to help’, kind of kid, figuring if I was indispensable, they wouldn’t want to get rid of me.

And even after I grew up, if Poppa would ask if I needed anything, I would thank him – but politely refuse, because deep down inside, I still felt I would be a burden if I accepted. 

My twig had been bent.

When my little brother was born, I kept my promise and did all I could to help my mother – by feeding, cleaning and watching him – even when I was tired, or wanted to do something else.

I’d tell myself, “Real mothers have to do this kind of stuff, so I’d better get used to it.” 

I determined to make it my job to teach him everything I knew, though I was only 8 years old. And that little boy soaked it up!  He became SUPER SMART! He was always inventing things and grew up to become an engineer – like my dad.

PLUS – my brother became closer to my father than ANY of the other kids in the family. My dad grew up, too, and finally realized his kids were some of the best things that ever happened to him.

And ME? I went on to be an artist, like my mom. And a mother – of seven children. After all, I’d had lots of practice already!

It was a long road to where I could finally ask for help from others, though.

It was when my kids came along that I learned how precious I was as a baby – and worth all the work.

Seeing how much I loved them made me realize I was worth loving.

I learned that there is always help available if you need it.

All you have to do is SEEK, ASK, and KNOCK

The answers are there when you need them.

The present is the only way to the future.

And what a GIFT it IS.

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

By the way. . .

Make sure you take advantage of all the free resources I have available on GoMommyGO®:

2 – FREE Illustrated Behavior charts on GoMommyGO (the 8 1/2 X 11 charts you download, customize and print up yourself)

2 – When you click on any image on THIS PAGE it takes you to what the images mean.


4 – What to do when you need to give CONSEQUENSES for bad behavior.

The charts above are FREE, but if you’d like to support my work please feel free to make a donation. If you do, you can download 100 BEHAVIOR CARDS that help you get Organized!  I wish I’d had these cards when MY kids were little! I didn’t have a printer back then, and had to draw each one by hand.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.

Please donate!

Posted in abortion, behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, Ethics and Character, guilt, moms and babies, overcoming obstacles, parenting, Psychology, stress, victims | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on CAN A KID CHANGE THE WORLD? You BETCHA!

Art and Music Can Help Kids with Special Needs!

Children with special educational needs (SEN) require a different approach to learning to help them cope with the tasks of everyday life.  Targeted therapies can help them to learn basic skills such as thought processing, organization, memory, and paying attention.


Music and art have several perceived benefits to children. They are sources of entertainment and can lengthen a child’s attention span, help them concentrate, teach them to focus, and improve communication abilities.

By drawing, a child can express his/her feelings and emotions. Where it is not possible for speech to take place, art and music can act as a substitute for words in order to make a point or statement.

Music and art are not only useful as recreation, but also as a means to enhance learning among children with special educational needs. Autism, for instance, is a developmental disability whose symptoms include various degrees of language and communication delays and difficulties in socializing.

Statistics indicate that 1 out of 110 American kids is affected with autism and the rate is increasing at 10-17% per year. Autistic children basically live in their own world and struggle with daily life.

Music therapy, listening to and learning to play instruments and singing, helps them to build self-confidence. Drawing, painting or sketching, also enhances motor skills and coordination. These things all lead to improved social contacts. 

Practical Activities to Expose SEN Children to Music and Art

To make use of art and music therapy for kids with special needs, here are some suggestions for activities:

Musical Themed Parties

Musical themed parties are great at encouraging children to learn something new. Sharing fun music prompts children to move and sing, making use of their vocal chords and physical rhythms. If you can, hire professional entertainers who have experience with SEN kids.

Musical Events

Going to concerts, live events and festivals, is another way to introduce music to kids with special educational needs. They will learn about the variety of music that is available and benefit from its therapeutic effects. Author of ‘Musicophilia’ Oliver Sacks, M.D., believes in the power of music and its healing effects on the brain. He documented the positive effects of music in Parkinson’s patients and autistic children.

Art Galleries and Museums

Visiting museums also helps handicapped children in many ways. Works of art encourage visual perception. Exposure to various styles, colors, subjects, is educational to everyone, handicapped or otherwise. Talk to your children, ask them what they like. Tell them to draw what they have just seen. 

Art and Music Workshops

Organize, or sign up for, art, music or dance lessons. Dancing is a great option for kids with autism or sensory perception disorder. Expressing themselves through dancing not only creates movement but also body awareness. Social interaction is also enhanced, giving them self-confidence. Whether it is through creating music, moving in a dance, or making art, these activities are all forms of creative expression. Be sure to look for programs and classes  that have experienced special-needs instructors.

When visiting museums or other studios, make sure to plan visits in advance, note the layout of the place and take advantage of resources such as maps, narrative guides, tours and the like. Remember, every child is unique, so you might consider headphones for those who have anxiety or who require quiet spaces. 

Posted in Art, autism, kids with special needs, Music, School | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Art and Music Can Help Kids with Special Needs!

The Appalling Effects of BULLYING – at WORK!

by Jenny Holt

The Emotional and Physical Impact of Workplace Bullying

Did you know a higher percentage of people are bullied in the workplace than in schools? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? When we think about bullying, we always think of the picked on kid in school. Our culture is geared toward it and to trying to deal with it. Yet while 20% of schoolchildren are subject to bullying, according to the CDC, this number rises to 25% in the workplace.

There is no guarantee that the school bullies and bullied go on to resume these roles within the workplace. However, one thing which is consistent is the impact bullying has on both mental wellbeing and physical health.

It can create feelings akin to PTSD, including anxiety, depression, more reserved and conserved behavior, and also increases the risk of heart attacks, health problems, and increases the risk of suicide.

Workers, managers, and owners should all be aware of the consequences of bullying from a wide range of viewpoints. This runs from the health and wellbeing of individuals to its detriment on the team and company performance as a whole. This expert guide from Why Team Building will give you more information on all aspects of workplace bullying and its impact.

Note from Ruth Elliott, Founder of EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO®:

A BIG thank you to Jenny Holt for contributing this important article.

Bullying is such a crucial subject for all of us, that I created 3 Anti-Bullying posters for kids you can download for FREE, here!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on The Appalling Effects of BULLYING – at WORK!

Kids Need Your HELP!


GoMommyGO® has been creating media for kid’s character development since 2003!

Kids are WORTH it. They need to know they have a future and a hope!

We are scraping bottom to do all we can, but our non profit needs YOU!

Will you help us meet the expense of reprinting our books?

I have something for you when you do. Keep reading!

Gosh – If each one of our subscribers gave just one dollar, we would have enough to reprint our most-requested books: See What You’re Looking At, The Richest Kid In The Poor HouseThe Night PrincessLittle Blossom and Somebody Needs You, for the coming year!
All five of our books are out-of-print, frequently sought after, and costly to reproduce. 
When we do sell our books, it is at just-above-cost.  We usually donate one set of books to the library of every school we visit, and have done such a good job of giving, we are now out of them.
WHATEVER you can spare – ANY amount – will help. $5, 10, 20,_?

I have a special BONUS for you if you can contribute.

We recently earned the ‘Top Non-Profit’s Award’ from Great Non Profits and one person commented:
“Art – and the arts – can have such powerful benefits to children. Many go through school with limited access to art…Edu Designs provides these opportunities… I am so grateful that they do…”

Schools, teachers, parents and students need inspiration and enthusiasm for learning.  And kids need tools to succeed.

We offer just that. But doing so is expensive.

Please  click the button below to donate:

With your donation, I have a special gift for your kids.

After you’ve completed your donation of any amount, don’t close the window right away – WAIT a second or two – until it redirects back to EDU DESIGNS. You’ll be able to download 100+ GoMommyGO® Activity Cards to save and print! (Read how to use them, here)
Since nearly one hundred percent of our funding comes from the generosity of of the community, it is no exaggeration to say that your support is truly making a difference in the lives of people across the world.
Thank you in advance for whatever you can do.


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder, Director EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
CreatorGoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS



EDU DESIGNS is a CA Non Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation. Fed. Tax ID # 261576531   GoMommyGO® is a Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
EDU DESIGNS_IRS_Letter of Determination

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Kids Need Your HELP!

Help your Child ORGANIZE! (Help YOU, too!)


with my NEW Activity cards*

Download 90+ Cards with ANY donation!

Download Free with any donation!

Use them to make a CHART to show


1- Tape a strip of stiff paper (or cardboard) across poster board to make a pocket to hold activity cards.

Top row is for things to DO.

Bottom row is where to put activity cards when they are DONE.

Kids (and YOU) can keep track of what they need to do next! 

You can choose the order of activities, behaviors or chores from over 100 Activity Cards.  For instance:


How to get Activity cards:

Get  all 11 pages that include 100+ activity cards with any donation to EDU DESIGNS, using the button below. Just download and print up the activity cards yourself on 8.5×11 card stock or business card stock!

(The images below shows how the cards are arranged 10 to a page,  to print up and cut out yourself.)

After you donate – WAIT! Keep the window open and you will automatically be directed to a new page that includes all 11 pages of activity cards and instructions to print them. When the file appears, right click, or select download to save it to your computer.

Email me if you have any questions!

Here’s to getting organized!



Founder and Director of EDU DESIGNS, Creator of GoMommyGO® <director@edudesigns.org>


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Help your Child ORGANIZE! (Help YOU, too!)




Before you know it, those teachable moments will be gone. 


Change the life of a child you know – before it’s too late.


Do you let your kids watch TV or play video games for hours and hours on end? Of COURSE NOT! I know you’re not the type who wants that for your child! We’ve all been there once or twice perhaps, then after an occasional slip of too much TV we face the consequences – the bleary eyes, the irritability, the not being able (or wanting) to pay attention to any worthwhile activity (including parents), the lethargy, bad dreams at night, etc.

Not worth it. And then the effort of trying to get back on track again with new rules: “This is IT, kids: ONLY ONE HOUR A DAY – and only AFTER homework and chores!” Then hearing the whining, moaning and crying that you are being mean and cruel, etc.

You know how it goes…

But there’s something ELSE you can do now:

Get them Ruth Elliott’s Art book to keep them busy INSTEAD! 


Emmy Award winning author and illustrator Ruth Elliott has packed over 30 years of experience in drawing into one amazing book. What makes this art textbook unique? She has distilled what she knows into simple language that anyone can understand in step by step lessons that build on each previous one, to discover a new skill in ‘seeing’ what you’re looking at. Including tips on everything from how to hold your pencil to how animation works, plus a bonus section with art games.

This is the book that finally reveals the secrets of how children (and adults) can learn to draw!  

(Click here for a sneak peek at a few samples from the book)

Why is it some people can actually CREATE a picture that LOOKS REAL? Simple hand coordination is not enough. You need to learn the secrets of ‘SEEING’ what you are looking at! The secrets of drawing perception are simple: The secret is in being able to figure out what you are SEEING – and then you will be able to DRAW what you see. 

booknews wkbkcover_tiny-shad

The expanded and updated FOURTH EDITION includes BONUS CONTENT from our Drawing WORKBOOK (a $9.99 value)incorporated into the new edition – PLUS additional information on Writing and Storyboarding your own stories!

Like getting 2 books for the price of one!

It’s a 39.95 value (but wait till you see the price below).

Ruth takes you step by step through each phase of perception, so there’s no guesswork. When you follow the steps in each chapter exactly as she says in the book you are assured to expand your ability to see what you’re looking at.
In fact, that’s the name of the book – 


The mother of seven children, Ruth Elliott’s dream has always been to help kids.  She was sad to see children denied the guidance and education that could increase their learning ability and lead to greater success in life. This increased her determination to provide TOOLS they NEED TO SUCCEED. That’s what this book is all about! You can LEARN how to SEE! You can learn how to THINK about WHAT you are LOOKING AT! You can learn to “SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!”

I’m sure you don’t want your kids to be abandoned to the TV, right?

What can you do?



And Drawing.

And CARING about the world around them.

It has been proven that the arts improve brain development!

When she heard that children involved in the arts improved their math scores by up to 15%, Ruth worked relentlessly, taking years perfecting the system that could lift awareness and improve manual dexterity – teaching the brain and hand to work together.

At the same time the essential character values of compassion and persistence are imparted through the book with anecdotes from the true story of Roscoe the squirrel she rescued as a baby.


Never miss an opportunity to do a good deed!

Unfortunately THE PRINTED BOOK is now SOLD OUT – 

But for a LIMITED TIME ONLY, until our next printing, you can still get a free download of Ruth’s Art Book with any donation. Of any amount.

Press the button below to donate:

After payment you will be automatically redirected to download the file you may view and print from your own computer. You can print it as many times as you need (for personal educational purposes only of course).

(A $9.99 Value)


Please donate what you can.

Every little bit helps.

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!


Before I ever had kids, I thought I knew all about child rearing. After they started coming along, however, all pride went out the window and humility took it’s place.

It’s been almost half a century since my first darling baby (of seven) was born. Along the way there were seven thousand challenges to learn from, and approximately 36,000 diapers to change.

I read so many books that claimed to have the answer to ‘this’ problem or ‘that’ problem, but only addressed a certain type of child with a particular temperament. I would think to myself, “Well, that might work in their situation, but MY kid is different!”

It was the actual experience of raising my seven kids that gave me a broader insight into what works and what doesn’t work.

Each time I found another solution to a new dilemma, I’d think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this in the first place? Somebody should be sharing it with other parents so they won’t have to make the same mistakes I did!”

Well, finally someone did come along after my kids grew up: ME!

I am now compiling all my wisdom and practical tips from decades of hands-on experience in real life parenting into a book to share with you.

But I want to make sure it addresses your problems.

I know there are struggles you deal with that are specific to you, so I’ve created a short survey to help me target those areas that are most needed.

Will you share the things YOU struggle with?

It should only take a minute or two to complete.

I want my book to address YOUR issues.

Will you fill out my short survey?

If you do, you will be the first to get an advance review copy of my new book as soon as it’s ready. It will be yours for free.

I need your input, to make sure I include your concerns.

Please fill out my survey!

Here is the link:


Thank you for your attention and your time.


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®
Since 2007 EDU DESIGNS has been creating media for children’s character development. GoMommyGO® is the registered trademark of EDU DESIGNS.
Read More about EDU DESIGNS…

Thank you for your help.  Because of outstanding reviews we were awarded the ‘Great Non Profit’s’ Badge for 2016!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES!

SEE What You’re LOOKING At!


EDU DESIGNS earned the TOP-RATED Great Non Profit’s Seal!

Thousands of children, their parents and teachers benefit by what we do each year. Read what they share about our work here.

In addition to our free resources on GoMommyGO®, we donate materials to schools and teachers, including Ruth Elliott’s groundbreaking Art Book, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT.

See What You're Looking At! © Ruth Elliott

EDU DESIGNS brings the arts to children!

You can help too, by sharing my book with them. For a limited time only, you can get a free download of my 120 page Art book for kids, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!

Just fill out the form below!

Thank you so much.

I appreciate you!




Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder, Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®

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Roscoe the Squirrel


When my son was little and first saw this, he said,”Mom, did this used to be YOU?”

Way back in B.C. (Before Children) I raised a baby squirrel. Here’s a photo of me and Roscoe, when he was around four months old. 

Because he had fallen out of a tree as a newborn, he was afraid to climb trees at first. It inspired me to write this song:


Roscoe’s Song, © Ruth Elliott, 1974


Oh Little Darlin’ don’t worry about the trees,

Just keep on climbin’ as far as you can see,

Past life’s pinecones of plenty, life’s needles of pain,

Oh little darlin’ don’t worry ‘bout the next branch.

Too soon shall it come by the way.

By the way, don’t worry little darlin’,

Little darlin’ don’t worry ‘bout the way.


We’ve shared life’s journey so far,

Don’t turn your tail and run,

at the first shadow of a bird passing overhead,

Just keep travlin’ on,

So high, so very high above,

So high, above the trees.

(Repeat first verse)tinyroscoe3x4vert

I tell the whole story in my Art Book for Kids,
“SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!” (the first Art textbook to reference the CA Math standards!) 


Find out how you can get a free download of my art book at this link:


Keep Climbing!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder and Director of EDU DESIGNS



Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Roscoe the Squirrel

GET While You GIVE!

Monkey See - Monkey DO!

From my article: Monkey See – Monkey DO!

GET MY Art Textbook for kids FREE!

Does media influence children?
You know it does. 

From the time I was a child I have wanted to inspire kids to become BETTER people.

Since 2007 EDU DESIGNS has been “Building Brains And Hearts Through The Arts” by sharing positive educational materials with schools, teachers and students.    

All of us here at EDU DESIGNS are unpaid volunteers, giving what we can out of love. And our own pockets. 

Even if you are strapped for cash these days, I figured out THREE WAYS you can help us to help kids without donating a penny! 

Would you like to know how? 

YAY! I KNEW you would!

HERE are three ways to help:

1– WATCH “Somebody NEEDS You” – our 3 minute animated short that premiered at San Diego Comic-Con…and – read how we did it!


Click on the picture to open in YouTube


2LEAVE A REVIEW of the work we are doing, here.

Even just a few words from you, like: “Great Job!” or, “Keep up the good work!”,  give others a chance to hear about the work we do.

We are so happy we earn the Great Non Profit’s 2016 Top-Rated badge!

(Click on the picture below to leave your review. No need to create an account or login, just click “Post Review” when you are done.) 


3– If you buy things on Amazon, SHOP from this link,:


Amazon Smile (their charity) will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to EDU DESIGNS when you do! Bookmark (save) the link to shop from it each time, and you will give while you get, automatically! YAY!

 heart3-anim-best-2inx72dpi.gif️ To THANK YOU for caring,

Please accept a copy of my Art Book for kids! 


(Click on the picture below to get it)

❤Share it with those you love.
Donate it to your local school.

🌷Watch people thank you!

Kids need good examples to follow.

That’s something you can give free, too!

Warmest wishes,


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

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on GET While You GIVE!


Sun After Rain In NY, by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 1968

Sun After Rain In NY, by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 1968

They hit you sooner or later…

No way around it. Troubles hit you. Some financial. Some personal.

Like Rudyard Kipling said, how do you hold on when all about you are losing their heads and blaming it on you? Even more, how do you keep trials and troubles from your door? The answer is: You can’t.

If Character is defined as “what you are when no one is watching”, then there has to be that space within to return to that is untouched by the storms of life. The eye of the hurricane, the apex of the pendulum that remains steady while the weight is swinging below it – that place we can hold on to – and align our perspective to. Keep that as an anchor and don’t let go! You can make it. Take the time to find it if you haven’t already. You’ll need it.

I heard a great man once say,

“There are two paths before us: The GOOD and the PLEASANT. He who chooses the PLEASANT misses the mark.”

Please join me on the better road!



Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon


Investing in Children makes a better world.

Edu Designs is making a difference.

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on CHARACTER is PREPARATION for the STORMS of LIFE!

Your Child NEEDS ‘Somebody NEEDS You’



My animated short is now a CHILDREN’S BOOK!

SNY-cover-amazonSOMEBODY NEEDS YOU has a powerful message that shows kids the character traits of caring and empathy for others!

Kids need to learn to be helpful. 

Don’t wait.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

Help them learn to pay attention.


You’ll be glad you did. 

Your children will praise you. 

Your grandchildren will THANK YOU.

Kids will read the book and learn EMPATHY.

World PEACE will get a little closer.

And LOVE will blossom.

Thank you.




PS –  HERE’S where to get my book!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Your Child NEEDS ‘Somebody NEEDS You’


how_to_get_doneIS ‘GOOD ENOUGH’, GOOD ENOUGH?

MY mom always told me, “A job worth doing, is worth doing WELL!”  

So I tried to be perfect!

But when my kids were little, I could never get everything donewell’ at the same time. 
To get the house clean, I’d have to ignore the kids.

When I paid attention to the kids, I would neglect the house.

And when my husband needed attention, everything else stopped.

I became a multi-task juggler and still couldn’t get it all done.

I practiced working faster and faster. My motto became:

“A job worth doing, is worth getting OVER WITH!


I asked myself, “Does EVERYONE go through this?”


When I asked other moms the question, “Do you struggle to get everything DONE?” the answer was always, “YES!”

The realization?

Everyone struggles, and NO ONE DOES IT PERFECTLY!

Got-it-all-done-color-DK-webWHEW! I WASN’T ALONE! But I still worried:


If you are doing the BEST you can DO, that’s ALL YOU CAN DO! 

How can you do MORE than the BEST you can do? If you ARE doing your best, then what more can you expect of yourself?



I like what Peter Marshall said:

“Small deeds DONE are better than great deeds PLANNED” 

Yes, you’ll make mistakes. LEARN and GROW from them.

dustpan-shattered pieces-smSomeone said, “Experience is what you get just after you needed it!”

Older people are revered for their wisdom and experience in almost every culture in the world – Why? Because they’ve made more mistakes than we have! And they are ready to tell you what they learned from it.

I love what John Jolliffe said, “You can’t fault yourself for the wisdom you didn’t have at the time.” 

He also 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.”

SO. . .  LOVE yourself, FORGIVE yourself, pick up the shattered pieces of your life and GO ON!

Remember to be compassionate with your spouse, too. Whatever their faults, there was something wonderful you saw in them from the beginning. They deserve the same chance to grow that you give your children or yourself!


I love this song my husband wrote over 30 years ago, that says it so well! 

Enjoy it here: SHE LOVES ME IN HER OWN WAY, by Jas Hilsdon

Love to you and yours,


By the way, my story, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU is now a BOOK! You can get it on AMAZON here!  Based on the animated short with voices by June Foray and animated by a girl on the spectrum, the story teaches the value of helpfulness and compassion to those around you.

Make sure to get a copy to help a child you know!



Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on WHEN IS ‘GOOD ENOUGH’, GOOD ENOUGH?


See What You're Looking At! © Ruth Elliott

See What You’re Looking At! © Ruth Elliott


We are so thankful to everyone who helped us win the 2016 Great Non Profit’s Seal! Read what people are saying about our work here.

Thousands of children and their parents benefit by what we do each year.

In addition to our free resources on GoMommyGO®, we donate materials to schools and teachers, including my groundbreaking Art Book, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT

EDU DESIGNS needs your help to bring the arts to children!

You can help by sharing my book with them!

Get a free download of my Art Book for kids by filling out the form below.

I thank you so much for helping. 

I appreciate you!







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

Your Email Address:
    First Name:
Enter the security code shown:

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Helping your child CLEAN THEIR ROOM!

Thanks to Mindi for suggesting I add a picture of “clean your room”, to GoMommyGO’s free illustrated behavior charts.
The simple command, “Clean Your Room” might be enough for some kids, but not for mine)!
Many get overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the task and need it broken up into smaller pieces, so they get a chance to learn a method of tackling the job and also feel a sense of accomplishment from each part. This can become part of their regular routine each day.


With my 7 kid’s, their room could quickly become a giant pile of rubble. I thought of the CTT method here, to help them clean the room in 15 minutes. 
Here is how it works:

C– stands for Clothes

T– stands for Toys
T– stands for Trash

C First pick up all CLOTHES you find – quickly – in less than 5 minutes!

T– Then pick up all TOYS (and put in toybox) – in less than 5 minutes!

T– Then pick up all the TRASH left – in less than 5 minutes!


ACT LIKE IT’S A GAME! Let them know that you will assist in directing the process, and TIME them doing it. Since this is a bigger job than mere stickers will reward, Let them know this will be a fun event that will have a bigger reward (like going out for an ice cream cone or a trip to the 99Cent store to pick out a treat for themselves afterwards). If you cannot go out, then perhaps offer a special dessert or treat you know they love as a reward. To get the child started out picking up the clothes:

(#1) YOU START the game, and show them how to toss the first couple of clothes into a pile as fast as possible! Once you’ve shown them, then let THEM do it.

Do the same with the Toys (#2) and Trash(#3).

This is a quick way to get the bulk of the work done and conquer the hardest part. The details will be easier after that!

I heard another GREAT idea invented by a lady whose son was autistic.
She helped him organize his room till it was just the way she liked it, then took a snapshot of the whole thing.
She printed up the photo, had it framed, and put it on the dresser. 
It was used as a model to follow how his room should look the next time he had to clean it!
Her son actually got so detailed in following the photo, that when his little action figure of a scuba diver was shown in the picture with one flipper on and one off, he always made sure he took one off, to match the photo!
I think this is brilliant, and one I wish I had thought of! 
Hope this helps!
Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Helping your child CLEAN THEIR ROOM!

Suicide Warning Signs

Suicide is the third largest cause of death among teens.

Suicide is the third largest cause of death among teens.

10 Suicide Warning Signs in Young People

“Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12,” according to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, or American SPCC. This is just one of the many alarming statistics about young people and suicide. Although it can be hard to tell when someone is contemplating suicide, there are signs you may recognize if you know to look for them. Listed below are 10 possible suicide warning signs. It is worth noting that some of these signs are similar to the signs of depression. Depression and suicide are closely tied, so these are very important to be aware of.

Signs to Look Out For

  1. The individual is talking about wanting to hurt or kill themselves. Talk of suicide must always be taken seriously. You may even notice the person writing these thoughts in notes or a journal. If you or someone else are thinking or talking about suicide, call 911 immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may also be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  2. The person is expressing hopelessness about the future. When someone expresses hopelessness there is definitely something going on, and this must never be taken lightly.
  3. The individual begins giving away treasured possessions to family or friends. These are items the person would never give away under ordinary circumstances. This may mean that the person wants the belongings to go to loved ones because they have no intention of being around much longer.
  4. There is change in eating habits. The individual may eat little or not at all, or conversely, overeat. When a significant change like this occurs, further investigation is always advised.
  5. The individual is sleeping too much or too little. Often a person contemplating suicide either can’t turn off their brain to sleep, or are so lacking in motivation for life that they sleep all the time.
  6. The person seems to be losing interest in their favorite activities. Often, a person considering suicide will not have the motivation to go to place or partake in things they loved in the past.
  7. The individual begins withdrawing or feeling isolated. People suffering from severe depression with suicidal thoughts will withdraw from everything, mostly relationships and interaction. They choose to be alone rather than participate in any activities or spend time with the people they love most. 
  8. There is an unusual neglect of personal appearance. The individual may stop taking care of their outward appearance due to a complete disregard for personal care. Or there may also be extreme alterations to their “normal” appearance.
  9. The person is experiencing changes in personality. They can go through many extreme emotional and mood changes involving sadness, withdrawal, irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, and indecision. These are classic signs for both depression and suicidal feelings.
  10. The individual may be “acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking.” Some of these reckless or risky activities may include reckless driving, drinking, taking drugs, or having unprotected sex. The person may feel that because they intend to die, it doesn’t matter how unsafe their behavior is.

Addiction and Suicidal Thoughts

Drug use and addiction may lead to suicidal thoughts, and vice versa. There are many ways to learn about or seek help for addiction. Whether you’re a member of the African American,  Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino, LGBTQ, or another of the many communities out there, there is help for you.

Please remember, if you or someone you know is in imminent danger call 911 immediately. Whether in imminent danger or not, you may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Take action to help yourself or someone you know.

Steve Johnson has always been dedicated to promoting health and wellness in all aspects of life. Studying in the medical field has shown him how important it is for reputable health-related facts, figures, tips, and other guidance to be readily available to the public. He created PublicHealthLibrary.org with a fellow student to act as a resource for people’s overall health inquiries and as an accurate and extensive source of health information. When he isn’t hard at work in his studies, Steve enjoys playing tennis and listening to his vintage record collection.

(Image via Pixabay by Foundry)

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Suicide Warning Signs