I’m a kid… at heart. Hey – Maybe that’s why I’ve never forgotten how to have fun! Did you know that if you can draw a circle, a square and a triangle, you can draw a SKELETON? During Halloween week I had fun showing classes of 1st and 2nd graders how to draw one – And then we made him animate using two sheets of paper!
Got KIDS? You can show them, too. Go ahead. Have some fun!
Co- Founder and Director of Edu Designs, a 501(c) (3) Non Profit Fed. Tax ID # 261576531 When you donate to Edu Designs, you help students Build their Brains and Hearts through the Arts. Follow YOUR heart. Click on the seal below to give:
Start SMILING when you think of what you want for yourself and your loved ones. If you already shop on Amazon, did you know that Amazon will donate to EDU DESIGNS when you start from smile.amazon.com? Set up a smile.amazon account free at smile.amazon.com. Then, choose EDU DESIGNS as your charity. Now, every time you start shopping from smile.amazon.com, Amazon will make a donation to the Non Profit that is Building Brains and Hearts Through the ARTS. And it won’t cost you a penny more.
I remember that old saying: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get”…
Like when all of a sudden you find your energy gets the “spinning ball of death”
If that happens to your computer, then you know it’s time to reboot.
Like a computer, we must have enough hard drive space (enough room to store stuff), processing speed (the energy to do the work), enough ram (mental space to multi-task), and not be doing too many things at once. If we get overloaded, we will crash.
A reboot can give your computer a fresh start. But how do we do that for us in “real life”?
How to ‘Reboot’
SHUT DOWN PHYSICALLY
It’s importantto start with our physical foundation. Stop. Surrender. Rest. You can’t do business from an empty warehouse. So to make sure you have enough energy, practice taking care of your body through enough rest, hydration, exercise, Yoga or meditation and good food.
After Rest, plan new habits of self care:
Physically, stop pushing yourself beyond your capacity. Slowing down will get you there faster. Like the tortoise and the hare: Slow and Steady wins the race.
Did you know the first reaction in the body to dehydration is stress? I could see it in my kids when they would get hyper active or tense for no reason. As soon as I’d give them a glass of water or juice they would calm down immediately.
FEED your HEAD:
Fill your mind with good thoughts. If your mind is racing, (have a glass of water first – LOL) then Choose one saying. Repeat it over and over, like a mantra.
I remember having stressful thoughts as a teenager. I decided toread that book – the power of positive thinking – and in it, Norman Vincent peel mentioned you should say over and over again “every day in every way I am getting better and better”. And I thought “wow that’s really dumb” but I was feeling really depressedone day whilewalking home from school,so I thought I might as well try it -what can I lose? And after about 10 minutes of saying it over andover, I actually started to feel better. I was really surprised it worked.
Over the years I’ve tried it again and again with different sayings and it works to lift my mind to a better place.
FEED YOUR EMOTIONS
Your body affects your mind and your mind affects your emotions and they will all help each other. Believe it or not, the world is not going to fall apart without our stressing over everything to hold it all together.
Examining our underlying emotions can help unlock the reasons we thought we had to work so hard in the first place. Was it for approval? Love? Out of shame or fear of not being good enough?
When you start being nicer to yourself, you’ll feel better, all around. And you’ll be nicer to everyone else, too.
The whole reason I wanted to study all of these things was to find out how to end pain in my own life: emotional pain, mental pain, the agonizing burden of sadness for the world and my inability to change it.
Eventually I learned that I have no control over others. The only control I really have in this world is by taking charge of my own physical well-being, state of mind, andmy own emotions.
The secret of happiness is really quite simple, but no one else but you can make it happen. It’s not hard, but it takes a lot of work.
Learning to hear what your subconscious is trying to tell you is a fascinating topic I’ve studied for years. With it you can open the window to see your true purpose in life. We’ll go into that in depth in my next videos.
The marvelous thing is that we can have more energy to do the things that we want to do and more joy in doing them when we practice taking care of ourselves.
IF YOU DON’T TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, YOU WON’T HAVE ANYWHERE TO LIVE!
Are you dancing on eggshells – backwards – in high heels?
Stuffing your emotions so you won’t make waves?
Trying to speak without opening your mouth?
I know all about it.
For 40 years I stayed in a relationship with someone suffering with Borderline Personality disorder.
If you don’t know what Borderline is, it’s like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Dr. Jekyll is the charming, nice and irresistible half – and the horrendous one is Mr. Hyde.
But Mr. Hyde doesn’t hide. He just pops out of the woodwork any time of day or night, when you least expect it. So you can never relax. Ever.
You never know when the other shoe will drop.
Because it will drop, and it will always be your fault.
I was one of the lucky ones who made it out alive.
My late husband is no longer here, so I finally got up the courage to talk about it. Though I loved him dearly, it was a very hard road to hoe and I had no one to help me… until I opened my mouth and asked for help. You may be in a similar situation and need to know you are not alone– and there are things that can help in spite of the confusion and pain.
It was a miracle I survived – and I don’t want you to suffer as long as I did.
We are only as sick as our secrets.
If you are suffering, don’t wait as long as I did to ask for help.
I was finally able to pull out the crap that was inside of me and look at it.
And you know what? Bringing it out into the open made me see I wasn’t as bad a person as I thought everyone would think I was (if I ‘told’).
But if you’re where I was, ‘they’ don’t want you to tell.
Are you being abused, physically emotionally or verbally?
What do you FEAR will happen if you DO tell?
They want you to think it’s your fault they get angry.
Award Winning Artist Ruth Elliott created these Posters of the 4 BUILDING BLOCKS of CHARACTER to remind us that these essential character traits are life-giving foundations for our lives. Watch the video and keep reading below, to download them for FREE!
The Four Building Blocks of Character can be boiled down to these:
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 we ALL need each other. Relationships are the stuff of life! So it’s OK to ASK. And please say, “Please”.PLEASE?
BUILDING BLOCK #2 – We learn to THANK!
When we realize we need others, we begin to be THANKFUL for what we have been given. We wouldn’t have anything, not even life itself, if it had not been first been GIVEN TO us!
Gratitude is the source of JOY.
How can we teach our kids to be Grateful? By giving them more and more toys, entertainment & stuff they want, so they will see how NICE WE ARE? NO. Doesn’t work. When you are hungry you want to eat. NOT when you are full. So, If people stuff more food at you after you’ve already eaten, you don’t want it.
BUT- If kids are given what they REALLY need (Your love and attention) they will EAT IT UP!
THANK YOU for teaching kids to say, “THANK YOU!”
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’!)
BUILDING BLOCK #4 – We learn toFORGIVE
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?
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,
APOLOGIZE for our mistakes, and
FORGIVE one another!
“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 (My son’s 5th Gr. teacher)
DOWNLOAD a complete set of these 6 POSTERS on the BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER HERE, and receive a bonus poster of the story, THE LAND OF “I’m SORRY”, too!
Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.
Did you know that EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help? We are building Brains and Hearts through the Arts.
As an all volunteer non-profit, we need YOUR help to do that!
Emmy Award Winning Artist and Author Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon is the
Founder & Director of EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity, and Creator of GoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
One of the directors of Edu Designs is a First grade school teacher.
I love that she has the kids version of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (by Steven Covey) on her walls and always reminds them it is their responsibility to choose wisely:
These important habits are just habits.
Like brushing your teeth or saying “Please” and “Thank You”.
And with repetition, they become second nature.
It’s great that even the school shirts are promoting reminders of good behavior to kids. It’s bound to sink in if we keep it up!
Please help us as we spread the word to other students, teachers and schools about character education. I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there are so many children out there needing positive media resources.
Your donation is needed and appreciated.
Your support allows us to nurture little ones with high ideals of good character. This will help ALL of us when THEY become the adults in charge!
Thank you for caring!
Please click the button below:
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PLEASE GIVE US A 5 STAR RATING ON GREAT NONPROFITS:
After you click on the image above, then look for where it says, “SHARE YOUR STORY” on the next page.
That will help us so much.
Founder & Director: EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
Creator: GoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
Feelings are important and shouldn’t be ignored. We may cringe at someone’s outward appearance and feel repulsed. Or sometimes our instincts may say we should run in the opposite directionfor safety.
But you can still choose to ‘love’ a person you don’t ‘like’.
I’m not talking about romantic love (‘eros’ in Greek), or even brotherly love (‘philia’), but the kind ofunconditional and universal love our creator has for us. In Greek, it’s ‘Agape’ love.
That kind of love is a choice we make.
HOW CAN WE DO THIS?
Three things are needed to objectively and unconditionally love and respect one another. We must:
1- Acknowledge the inherent worth of every human being.
[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ] The word INHERENT means ‘Built-in, innate, and natural.’[/dropshadowbox]
Regardless of appearances, no one life is essentially worth ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ another human life. Other talents and attributes may be acquired, but we can never lose our inherent value.
2- See past outward appearances to the person underneath. Realize that they are an individual on their own journey through life, and just as important as we are.
3- Put yourself in ‘their shoes’. This is basically the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.”
What if we are forced to be around people we dislike?
Sometimes our in-laws can be ‘outlaws’, our friends can be ‘frenemies’, and relatives can behave badly. Then what do we do?
1 – Understand it is not your fault if they choose to act the way they do. Remember you are still worthy of respect.
2 – Create, nurture and cultivate your own inherent worth and value and love yourself for everything you are.
3 – Sometimes you may need to actually disconnect from others. Tell the other person when they are behaving badly. Perhaps something like: “Ouch! It really hurts my feelings when you say things that way.” Or, “That behavior is not going to work if we’re going to stay connected.”
4 – If they are truly toxic, and continue acting badly, you should minimize your exposure to them except for times when it’s absolutely necessary.
You can stay within your own bubble of peace and self-respect by remembering the truth: That YOU HAVE INHERENT WORTH AND VALUE.
I wish I had been taught these simple truths as a child! Thank goodness it’s not too late for the kids growing up now!
I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there were many children out there who needed positive media and educational resources to lift them up. Your support allows us to nurture little ones with high ideals of good character that will help ALL of us when THEY become the adults in charge!
Your donation is needed and appreciated.
DONATE by clicking the button below.
Thank you for caring!
Founder & Director: EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
Creator: GoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
I must confess there were times in the beginning, when the constant pressure of motherhood (and the smell!) could have gotten me down. But looking into the fragile and impressionable little faces reminded me their emotional security was more important than my momentary inconvenience. I told myself that only a finite number of diaper changes would be needed until this little one grew up. From that moment on I embraced every opportunity to relate with smiles, coos, laughter and assurance that this precious little baby not only came first, but was an important person worthy of my time and attention. One day the phrase came out of my mouth, “Changing Diapers are Mommy and Baby’s chance to say “Hi!” to one another!”
The idea hit me – what a great thing to remind moms of:
Forget the TOLL and remember the GOAL!
Since that time I found Cafe Press – who will print up your designs on a T-shirt and at a reasonable price! I ordered some and they came within a few days. You can get my T-Shirt too – HERE!
ABOUT the AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR:
Her 7 kids are grown (and yes, she’s changed over 36,000 diapers in her time). As an Emmy Award winning animation artist, author and illustrator and director of the non profit charity Edu Designs, Ruth gives Art presentations to schools and enjoys sharing ideas to help busy parents with the challenges of raising their kids to be productive and positive people! She offers parents tools for positive behavior through Spirit-Led Supermoms.
The breakdown of the parent/child relationship can affect us as adults. And stress is a big culprit. I’ve come to realize that a lot of my own personal anxiety can be traced back to my early experiences as a child.
Was I important to my parents?
Now that I AM a parent, I KNOW how important I must have been to them. But back then as a kid, I couldn’t always tell.
Kids only know what they FEEL.
For example, I remember how lost I felt when my mother went to work outside the home. And I was 10 years old when she did!
After I grew up and had kids of my own, I anguished over needing to work outside the home, and tried my best not to until my kids were around a year and a half old. Nowadays many mothers feel compelled to go back to work after only 6 weeks or so – right about the time mom and baby are just getting to know each other.
[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Statistics show that due to economic pressures, nearly 60% of today’s workforce is women, many going back to work too quickly after their babies are born.[/dropshadowbox]
Stanford based psychologist Robert Stopolski states we are affected by our environment as soon as we have one. And where is our first environment? In the womb. Studies show babies whose moms are stressed while pregnant had higher levels of Cortisol at birth, and the more stressed the mother is in pregnancy, the more behavior problems are seen by the time their child is 3 or 4… And this is a lifelong affect.
According to Dr. Gabor Mate, it creates a subconscious feeling of abandonment in the child, and that rising cortisol levels can predispose them to ADHD.
A lack of real attunement to our kids can rob them of the thing they need the most: A secure beginning to give them a firm footing in life.
So how can we get RID of the STRESS once it’s there?
Stress can be greatly alleviated by a feeling of attunement from others. In other words: We need people to BOND with!
“We can’t change the past, but we can ruin a perfectly good PRESENT, by worrying about the Future!”
Kids live in the present.
No one is perfect. I know I’m not, as my little cartoon below clearly shows in my daughter’s actual words to me once!!
If you DO have to go to work outside the home, don’t feel guilty. Just treasure whatever moments you DO have with your kids. They are amazingly resilient. They will survive. I did! Luckily, my mom was an artist, who inspired me to draw. And art has been shown to be a STRESS-RELIEVER! That is one reason why I am so passionate about introducing kids to art – “While they are still young, and there’s still HOPE!”, as my mom used to say.
EDU DESIGNS is the non profit founded to help children’s character development through media and education.
These kids were just a smidgen of the 549 students who attended 24 classes I gave in one week! At the end of the lessons, each was given a flip book I printed and bound myself, plus a blank one with instructions to make their own flip book. They LOVED it!
It’s just one of the many ways EDU DESIGNS is helping thousands of kids each year. If you believe in our mission, please support our non profit so more underserved kids in low income areas get the art exposure they need.
It’s EASY to give! Just click on the picture above, or this link to go to Paypal’s secure servers. All donations go towards our nonprofit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education, and not for salaries. If you believe in investing in education, please give. As soon as you do, you will be redirected to our thank you page with free access to 11 of our awesome educational resources!
Helping kids to settle arguments is very important to their ability to get along in life. When children are taught to calmly express themselves in a ‘safe’ environment and to listen patiently as they give others the same courtesy, it will go a long way to growing them into more thoughtful adults who will be able to work out their problems peacefully! This simple technique called Resolve or Report* helps them learn how!
Resolve or Reportis a method that teaches kids how to work out their differences. By giving them choices, they are empowered and not left feeling helpless.
When children have an argument or fight, take them aside. Tell them that this is not acceptable behavior and that we must learn to work out our problems peacefully.
First, give them a CHOICE:
Do they want to Resolve it between them peacefully?
Or do they need to Report it to an adult to help “referee” between them?
If they choose the RESOLVEoption, they will agree to try to resolve the matter between one another. When they are done, ask how they resolved their disagreement.
If they cannot do it on their own they can choose to REPORT it to an adult to help facilitate.
With EITHER OPTION, they agree to FOLLOW THESE RULES:
1:TAKE TURNS TALKING and LISTENING
They will each get a chance to tell their side of the story. Choose who talks first by tossing a coin (heads or tails) or throwing dice (the highest number goes first), or something similar.
2- TALK CALMLY when it’s your turn, and LISTEN POLITELY when it’s the other person’s turn to talk.
3- When it’sYOUR turn, make “I”, not “YOU” Statements:
——>For instance, “I felt_this_ when you did _that__”
4- SHARE these things:
HOW YOU felt
WHAT YOU think happened
What YOU could havedone differently
How you think the OTHER person felt
What you feel THEY could have done differently
This technique helps them to see each other’s perspective, making it easier to solve the disagreement.If they cannot RESOLVEthe issue between them by themselves, they can choose toREPORTtheir side of the story to an adult who can assist in helping them see the other person’s point of view.
Resolve or Reportis a way to give kids an understanding that they have options to work things out. Either by resolving issues between them -or- asking that another sit with them while they each take a turn reporting their story. Giving children a choice in resolving their own problems can immediately de-escalate behavior and decrease incidents in the future.
One Christmas night many years ago, I was driving our old station wagon in the pouring rain. Among my seven kids in the car, 10 yr old daughter Lisa was very excited. For years she had begged us for an umbrella of her very own. “I want a big sturdy one, Mom, like you and Dad have”, and that day, in the rain, we finally got her the umbrella she had always wanted!
We passed a homeless man on the other side of the street – no hat, no raincoat, soaking wet. I couldn’t find it in my heart to keep going.
“Oh that poor guy!” I exclaimed, “We have to do something.”
I stopped at the next light and began fumbling in my purse to see if I had anything I could give him. All I could find was an old inspirational tract that said, “God – I’ve made a mess of my life – can you help?”
As I turned the car around, and drove closer, I prayed silently,
“God – please help me! Give me the right words to say!”
Then I saw the fellow. He was a young man, probably in his early twenties, but looking more like a 50 year old, stooped over, rain dripping from head to toe.
As we approached the corner, I rolled down the window and stuck out the tract,and said, “I wish I had something more to give you. I can’t believe you’re out here in this weather! You should go to one of the churches down the street. They can help you!”
He cocked his head and said, “They can?”
“Of course,” I answered. “That’s what they’re there for!” His eyes brightened up as he said, “Thank you.” Then I heard my daughter’s voice from the back seat. “Mom – give him this” and she handed me her treasured umbrella! He thanked us heartily, and we wished him a ‘Merry Christmas’ as we drove off. We prayed for him that night and I thought it was the end of the story…
Months later, I was driving again down the same street, right by the church I had told the young man about. I spotted him, raking leaves and talking to the preacheroutside. He was dressed in better clothes, and looked healthier. ‘Wow! He really did it!’, I thought.
Later that year I found myself Christmas shopping – againin the pouring rain. Looking for a parking spot amid the hustle and bustle of people, I saw one of the employees. He looked vaguely familiar. As I searched my memory, I suddenly realized it was the same young man I had seen those few Decembers ago! As he helped a customer into their car in the rain, he had a big smile on his face while holding a large, sturdy umbrella over them.
Wow. A sudden rush of astonishment came over me. Could an umbrella and a heart of compassion from a 10 year old have made a difference in his life? What if we hadn’t stopped that day in the rain? I’m so thankful I didn’t turn away. It sure made me happy to be a part of the story!
Students express loving kindness to me during EDU DESIGNS classes.
I get a blessing from them as they learn to sketch, analyze, and draw what they see.
Teachers (and moms) have known all along that that ART is as VITAL to growing a child’s intelligence as other subjects. The importance of the arts is now being recognized by the very people who took it out long ago. Schools are slowly beginning to implement the STEAM curriculum (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), but since teachers still can’t do it all, we are helping as best we can.
Would you like to help?
If you have a bit of artistic skill and a few hours a month to volunteer, I need you!
If the spirit is moving you, and if you are chosen to be part of this great work, you will be personally mentored in my easy-to-learn, step-by-step method of teaching basic drawing skills to elementary students. Or if you’d like to help in another way, let me know.
It’s an opportunity that you will never regret. And so much fun, you will treasure the memories.
PS – Isn’t it true that everything we have is because it was first given to us? Whether life, health, a sound mind, it is a gift. Along the line we get a chance to give back. Will you join us? That’s what Edu Designs is doing.
Peter Marshall wisely said,
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned!”
Our all-volunteer Board of Directors generously donates their time, so EVERY contribution helps, whatever the size.
In Fontana, these kids are “for the birds” – in a very positive sense.They are enjoying the combination of science and art enrichment thanks toLisa Elliott who received a grant from the Community Foundation and the EEC, allowing students to learn about birds and draw them, too! Lisa teaches them to become citizen scientists by observing and identifying different birds and their natural surroundings,the importance of birds to our ecosystem and how to use a binocular for bird watching. In the classes they learn how to record their findings andeven how to draw their feathered friends.
OUR BIRD ABBY ADDS HER HEART!
When students hear the story and see pictures of Abby, the bird we rescued, they are immediately touched, inspired to become more involved with bird life.
The excitement builds as Emmy Award winning artist Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon shows them how to draw birds and create their own animated flip page!
STUDENTS LEARN PARTICIPATION IN LIFE
At the end of the classes the students are invited to borrow a special school backpack that contains all the equipment needed to birdwatch and record their findings. Included is a book to identify birds, binoculars, pencils, paper and information on how to record and share their data.
BEING ‘FOR THE BIRDS’ IS A GOOD THING!
The best part of all is seeing the joy on the children’s faces as they actively engage with the world around them and learn to participate in caring for nature. This will truly impact them for the rest of their lives!
We need your help! All donations go towards our non-profit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education. Not a single cent of your gifts go for salaries.
We recently won the Top Non Profit’s Seal for 2018!
One of the reviewers said, “Whether children are enjoying art or doing it, it expands the mind, imagination, and ability to focus for extended periods of time which translates to success in all areas of curriculum. Clever and well-done content that promotes empathy and goodwill is what we just can’t have enough of. Go Edu Designs!”