A Mother’s Gift: WELCOME TO OUR HOME

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Betty with little Matthew a week after he joined the family.

Welcome to our home

We knew we wanted children and made the decision to adopt. When we started the process it was so exciting to think that we would be able to offer them a place in our home . . . to become part of our family!

Both of our children arrived from Central America at 5 ½ months old.

I was always a little sensitive to their health issues, however, since we had no genetic background on either one of them.

About 1 ½ years before our son was to finish college he fell ill. It seemed one thing or another.  I talked to him daily and encouraged him to see the medical staff at college. He continued to plug along so I thought it was just the long nights of studying and not eating properly that contributed to his exhaustion.
Then 3 weeks before he was to finish college he wanted to throw in the towel and just quit and come home. It broke my heart, but I encouraged him to stay since he was so close to being done. We had a long phone conversation and the next day he called me. 

“Mom, I thought about it and I am not a quitter. I’m going to do whatever it takes to finish the last weeks I have left.”

It was a sigh of relief. I talked to him a couple of times a day just to check up on his mental and physical state. He made it to the finish line and came home. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

When he finally arrived home we thought his dream job of becoming an animator was just around the corner. January 2015 we went to the Dr. and he was put on a 6 month prescription for a dermatological condition that had developed. Because of it he had to stay close to the Dr. here and could not really venture out of the area. I told him it was ok, that after the 6 months were over he could continue to find his dream job.

However, in June 2015, he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. His words were “Life is not fair to me”. Our hearts melted and we knew that we had to be strong for him.

The first surgery was performed days after the diagnosis and then it was a choice between Chemo Therapy and RPLND surgery. We did discuss this but knew that it was his body, his life and that he had to make the final decision. He elected surgery and we backed him 100%. August 2015 it was performed, and in recovery is now getting stronger every day.  His team of Doctors at the cancer center gave him a good prognosis. With active surveillance he will get blood work every 3 months and a yearly CT scan. 

I am so thankful that after all he has been through his passion for art and animation is stronger today than it has been in a long time. His words now are:  “Mom I have been sick, been told I have cancer, had 2 surgeries, now it’s time to move ahead in life and prove that whoever hires me will be glad they did”.

Here is Matt today, a survivor, pursuing his dream of a career in Animation.

Here is Matt today, a survivor, pursuing his dream of a career in Animation.

I reflect on what I have always told my children since they were little:
“Follow your dream in life – in your dream is your strength”
“Don’t compare yourself to others, you are your own person, stay grounded, stay rooted and always try to always find a positive in everyday”
“Don’t let negative things that happened in the past control how you navigate through your future”


NOTE from Ruth: I am so grateful for the love and support Betty has given her son, physically and emotionally. By encouraging him to follow his dream he will be a blessing to many. He has already blessed others us by generously sharing his talents in our animated short, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU. See a preview of the film he helped to bring to life here:
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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, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.  We need YOUR help to do that!




 

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My ART BOOK for KIDS!

See What You're Looking At! © Ruth Elliott

Click the picture to find out MORE about Ruth Elliott’s Art Textbook for kids “See What You’re Looking At!”

SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT reveals the secrets of how children (and adults) can learn to draw!

SPECIAL OFFER!

LIMITED TIME ONLY until our next printing:

Get a FREE download of my Art Book with any donation!(A $9.99 Value)

Click the Blue Button above for a sneak peek at a few pages of this book!

After donating 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. 

PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS!  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 the previous one, to discover new skills 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.

For a limited time only, Get a FREE download with any donation!




 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.  We need YOUR help to do that!

THANK YOU!

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SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU!

EDU Designs AND DaniMation Entertainment TEAM UP
TO PRODUCE “SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU!”

Somebody Needs You is a story about a distracted little girl who thinks she’s not important. Once she sees that others around her have real problems, she discovers something new about herself.
 
Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, founder of EDU Designs, created the story & music and assists in animation & production.
The animated short features the voice talents of the incomparable June Foray. Best known for her work on Rocky and Bullwinkle in the early 60’s, and a myriad of cartoon characters over the years, June created the annual Annie Awards in 1972 to recognize the contributions of individuals in the Animation Industry. June lent her voice to our story as a personal favor to me.
 
  
Photo on left: Ruth Elliott and June Foray at the Annie Awards, 2013. On right: the famous Temple Grandin and Dani Bowman at a conference of AutismWorksNow, 2015. 
 
Dani Bowman is the director and chief animator of our project. Dani founded DaniMation Entertainment, of La Cañada, CA, at the remarkable age of 14. As a high functioning individual with Autism, she has a passion for public speaking, animation, and teaching the arts to others on the spectrum. After Dani agreed to work personally with me on this film, I knew I had found a partner. She has been the prime mover in bringing this work-of-love to life.
 
 
Left: Ruth, June Foray, Dominique Ovalle, and Nicholas Mastrangelo. Right: Matt Miller’s stand-in.
We also received valuable support from several other notable artists: On backgrounds, Dominique Ovalle; in animation, Nicholas Mastrangelo; and with character development, Matt A. Miller. All donated their generous time and energy. So thankful for them!
We are now in final production. Look for our animated short to be released online soon!
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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.
 
GoMommyGO® is a Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS, a Non Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation 
Fed. Tax ID # 26-1576531   (626) 344-2340    
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HOW KIDS LEARN EMPATHY

Why is it that some people seem to have more empathy than others? And some seem to have none at all. How did we get this way? Is it nature? Is it nurture?

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           Neuroscientist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, author of Mirroring People, the new Science of how we connect with others” tells how scientists have discovered the brains’ capacity for what they call ‘mirroring’: the ability to feel something that happens to another as though it’s happening to us!  

What we call ‘empathy’ happens when our brains light up in the same areas in our brains that mirror what the other person is feeling. One of the earliest scientific observations found a monkey’s brain fired up seeing someone licking an ice cream cone as though he were eating it himself!

Dr. Iacoboni says, “All in all, we come to understand others via imitation, and imitation shares functional mechanisms with language and empathy.”

To me  that sounds like: “MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO!”

Most of us are innately wired to feel for each other. And certainly nothing makes you sacrifice for another person faster than being a parent. When your little one suffers, you suffer. When they laugh, you’re happy. And in moments of clarity we may even see a bum on the street as a mother’s once beloved child, and suddenly we are all humanity struggling with the same breath.

It’s no wonder that most spiritual faiths embrace some kind of teaching that expresses “Treat others the way YOU want to be treated”.

But how can we teach that to children?

According to Dr. Iacoboni, “…whenever you expose kids to any form of… violence, through media, through video games or through films, then you put these kids at risk of expressing violence with their own acts because they’re going to imitate that.”

What kids need is more GOOD examples.

We get tired. The house is a mess. The pressure is great to finish our ‘to do’ lists. But our kids will only be teachable for a little while, and they are learning from YOU things that are ‘more caught than taught’.   Dr. Iacoboni said, ”The way we understand other people’s feelings is by simulating in our brain the same activity we have when we experience those emotions.”

So why not let them help with some of those chores? Turn off the TV and involve them with the day to day boring things that you want to ‘get over with’. Let them ‘mirror’ what YOU are doing. It’ll be more fun if you work together. They’ll learn to sacrifice, too! A little bit won’t hurt them. Really. And their fun will be so much better when they are done. They’ll be proud of themselves, too.

That’s why I made all my Behavior Charts and put them on GoMommyGO® for Free. So you can reinforce the kinds of behaviors you want your children to have.

I know you care about educating children for good character, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

If you ARE a parent, I know you must be pretty busy, so thank you for your time!

Here are some links you can use to help you find things fast on GoMommyGO®:

 1- FREE 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.

3 – TIPS for PLANNING AHEAD!

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

 Many thanks for reading and caring about the future adults around you! For your gift of any amount, I have something special for you – Click here to find out what it is!

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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, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.  We need YOUR help to do that!

Please donate!




 

 

 

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FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS of CHARACTER!

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Give Kids what they REALLY need:

THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER.

It starts when they’re small.

The Four Building Blocks of Character can be boiled down to these:

1-ASK

2-THANK

3-APOLOGIZE

4-FORGIVE


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BUILDING BLOCK # 1 We learn to ASK or ADMIT 

When we learn to say, “PLEASE?” we ASK. In ASKING, we ADMIT our need for others! From the moment we were born we began asking – crying – for our needs to be met. The very fact of our existence is proof that someone answered that cry – cared about us enough to nurture, feed and protect us – or we wouldn’t be here. Sometimes we hate to admit we need other people. But relationships are the stuff of life! We ALL need each other, so it’s OK to ASK. Hopefully we learn to ask POLITELY!

PLEASE – teach kids to say PLEASE!


BB-04-thanksm-webBUILDING BLOCK # 2We learn to THANK!

When we realize we need others, we begin to be THANKFUL for what has been given us. We wouldn’t have anything, not even life itself, if it had not been first been GIVEN TO us!

THANK YOU for teaching kids to say“THANK YOU!”


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BUILDING BLOCK # 3 We learn to APOLOGIZE

Being human we all make mistakes. To APOLOGIZE requires humbling ourselves and ADMITTING we are not perfect. We can never grow further in our character until we can learn to say, “I’m Sorry.”  (See my little story ‘THE LAND of I’M SORRY’!)


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BUILDING BLOCK # 4 We learn to FORGIVE

After we admit we are not perfect, we can then say, “I FORGIVE YOU”, knowing that we also need forgiveness. How else can we get along in this world?


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The habits we learn as children will stay with us a lifetime. Giving kids THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER will lay the foundation of a good life.

How many gang wars, world wars, marriage conflicts and sibling rivalries would be avoided if people just learned these four things:

ADMIT we need each other,

THANK others,

APOLOGIZE for our mistakes, and

FORGIVE one other!

“Habits are actions built up strong and tall.

Like bricks laid together to form a high wall.

When once they are built it is so hard to break them,

you’d better be careful about how you MAKE them!”  – Mr. Stevens*


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You can order a complete set of 6 POSTERS on the FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER, and receive a bonus poster of the story, THE LAND OF “I’m SORRY”, too!

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INCLUDES FREE SHIPPING!

The complete set of 7 posters is $7.99.

Each poster is 8.5″x11″, suitable for framing.

Click the BUY NOW button below for secure ordering.

  


Choose # Sets



 

My BEST, to YOU!

 

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

*P.S. Thanks to my son Jon for sharing this poem he learned from Mr. Stevens in 5th Grade and STILL REMEMBERS! 

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.  We need YOUR help to do that!

Please donate!




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Idea for Creative Kids!

While searching for a pop up card to make for my grandson, I found so many great ideas that I couldn’t decide which one to make!  

But one of the best ideas I discovered was in this awesome video from creative artist, Maybelline Chow. (Check out her blog at: www.maybeitsmaybe.blogspot.com)

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THANK YOU for sharing your awesome talent, Maybelline!

And here’s a shorter video, just 35 seconds long!

I wanted to make one of these, too, but when I couldn’t find a template, I studied the video and made my own in Photoshop.  You can print it out to make 4 cards on one 8 1/2 X11 page of card stock.  Here’s the template:

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Drag the image to your desktop (or go to this link if that doesn’t work: 

http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/never-ending-card-base-low-res2.jpg  and right click to ‘save as’ to your computer.

The RED lines show where to CUT.  The GREY DOTTED lines show where to FOLD.  

Here are the steps I followed after printing out the page:

NOTE: Watch Maybelline Chow’s video carefully all the way to the end. Study how the same motion is repeated each time, so you can remember it.

1- Cut the page with scissors along the solid vertical and horizontal red lines to make four cards.

2- Carefully cut the 2 lines that look like a Red X in the center of the card. I used an exact-o knife and a straight edge, over a self-healing cutting matt.   (WARNING: BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL. Using an Exact-o knife, or box knife, can be very dangerous if you are not accustomed to it. If you are a child, do not attempt this without adult supervision.)

3- Once the X is cut in the center of the card, SCORE only the GREY dotted lines to make them easier to bend.

4- Holding the card in the air, bend the top section towards you, allowing the pointy part under it to swing up behind it so it does NOT get bent too. Do this for each of the sides, as is shown in the pictures below.

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Once you’ve gotten the creases in the right place, begin by drawing your first face in the OPEN position. Observe where Maybelline put the different parts of the face in the video, so they could be covered up by the next flaps! Experiment using light pencil to get them in the right places, then fold the next part down and keep adding sections of the next face you decide on. When you are happy with the different faces on each side, you can go over them with ink, markers, or any thing you like!

Have fun!

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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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CONNECTEDNESS

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, somehow her energy would be transmitted to me, and it was easier to go the distance.

Being connected made the difference.

Connectedness is needed by adults as well as children. In Claudia Gold’s latest post, she reveals how “Connectedness . . . protects us against the harmful effects of stress.” 

There used to be days when the thought of cleaning the house weighed on me like a sack of bricks. But anytime someone I liked was coming over, the work breezed by with near joy. 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 big, positive difference.

How we THINK and relate to others is most important in connecting.

Connecting is COMMUNICATING on important levels, from the INSIDE-OUT.

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

And we don’t have to.

If you’re the type who has failed at connectedness, 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 do this you will need to find someone who will listen.

And, IF you have to force yourself, listen back.

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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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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,

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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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7 SUPER STRATEGIES to SUCCEED IN SCHOOL!

 

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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:

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

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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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INTERRUPTIBILITY – 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:

hug-expired-for-web

“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.

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,

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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 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.

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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,

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on THE TIE THAT BINDS

Welcome to the Land of “I’M SORRY”

I heard on the the news one day that a young boy had committed suicide to after he’d made a mistake he thought would embarrass his family. He was trying to ‘save face’.  

I felt so sad to think he believed he had no other choice.  I cried for that little boy and his family that night.

As I drifted off to sleep thinking of him, this little story came to me:


Welcome to the Land of “I’M SORRY” by Ruth Elliott

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

Gates_im_sorry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

When he got to the other side he saw his teacher there.  

He was shocked and 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!

Warmly,

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

PS – Speaking of making mistakes – have you read my article on INTERRUPTIBLITY?  Click the word or this link:

http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/the-first-requirement-of-parenthood-interruptability/

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,

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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!

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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! 

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Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO 

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

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, RULES THE WORLD!