Hello wonderful parents and educators. It’s been a little while since my last blog and I hope that my previous blogs are visited as the knowledge is ever lasting. Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of getting to know Kate Power from down under in Australia. She is a former police officer and current super mom. Her book and website makes speaking with your kids about delicate issues easier for you. I learned a tremendous amount of information that was amazing to learn.
I have had the pleasure of co-hosting a teleconference about safety called Safe Keeping. The link is Safe Keeping teleconference.
Here are the first two shows for you to listen to and please share with anyone else who has or works with children. You can play them directly from your smartphone. Thank you for listening!
Let’s Talk about Text Baby: Cyber Safety
Stranger Danger, Sexual Predators: Facts vs fiction
Less than two weeks ago, two children two towns over from me were approached by an adult male at a convenience store who tried to buy them hats and fidget spinners. Luckily one of the children said something to an employee who intervened as the man fled. As a martial artist and an educator, I believe that having essential life skills like knowing what to do in a situation like this. Not only for your children, but also as an adult.
Article about man trying to lure children from last week
Previously I would present school assemblies and talk about stranger danger for kids until I learned about Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After. Her concept of a “tricky person” and “safe adults” makes a lot of sense and is simple to explain to children. I invite you to check out her information. I have changed the conversation because of her.
The reality of life is that there are child predators out in the world and it is important that your children know how to protect themselves. As you send your child to school and camp it is always a good idea to have information that will ensure they have a wonderful school day. To assist with this, we have the following tips for you and your children. Please take time out of your day to review these tips with your family.
Link to tips that Pattie offers.
Below are tips from a previous blog post that still has useful information. Read through it once and you’ll be surprised at some that you never thought about. Isn’t your children’s safety worth it?
The following are tips on stranger danger for kids to discuss with your child when they are outside the house.
- I will always tell my parents where I am going and when I’ll be home and return home before dark.
- I will always play or go places with at least one other person – NOT alone.
- I know my body belongs to me. I will trust my feelings. I will say NO and run away from a situation that doesn’t feel right.
- There are certain kinds of strangers that can assist me when I need help. For instance: mothers with children, other children, police in uniform or store clerks in the mall.
- If you think someone is following you, cross the street and go into a store. Tell a police officer or a mother with a child. Don’t try to hide — go to where you know you can find other people.
- If someone tries to grab you, kick, punch and yell: “NO! I don’t know you! You aren’t my Mom (or Dad)! Or Stranger, Help!”
- I will walk and play at places my parents said were OK. I will avoid shortcuts or alleys.
- I will not allow adults to trick or force me into going places or doing things like; help find pets, carry packages, take pictures, play games, or take drugs with them. I will always check with my parents first.
- I will not accept candy, money, gifts or rides from any adult without my parent’s permission.
- I will always lock my home and car doors. I will not tell anyone that I am home alone.
- I will learn to dial 911. I will learn to use the pay phone without money.
- I will learn my address and phone number.
- I will always walk against traffic on the sidewalk.
The following are stranger danger for kids tips to discuss with your child when they are inside the house.
- Many kids get home before their parents. If you come home before your mom or dad, make sure the first thing you do is call and let your mom or dad know you got home okay.
- If you come home and a window in your house is broken or a door is open that shouldn’t be, don’t go in. Go to a trusted neighbor, or find a phone and call 911.
- If you have to stay after school or want to play or study with a friend, tell your mom or dad.
- Don’t leave your home without asking your mom or dad first. Make sure a parent knows where you are going and for how long. Always tell your mom or dad where you will be and when you will be home.
- When your family is home and the doorbell rings, always find out who it is and ask your mom or dad before you open the door.
- If you are home alone, never open the door — unless you can see that it is a relative or a specific person who your mom or dad said would come over to stay with you.
- NEVER tell someone you are home alone, whether they call on the phone or come by your house. Ask your mom or dad what they would like you to say, like: “My Dad’s in the shower, can he call you when he gets out?”
- NEVER give information to anyone over the phone about yourself, your family or where you live. Hang up on anyone who calls to bother you or who says bad things on the phone.
- Ask your mom or dad for permission to go outside of your play area or yard or to go into someone’s home.
- If you have a babysitter that hits you, touches you or makes you play games that embarrass you, tell a trusted adult, even if the babysitter told you not to.
- Keep all the windows and doors in your home locked.
- If someone tries to break into your home, call 911 immediately and give them your full address, including your apartment number if you have one. Tell them that you are at home and someone is trying to break in. Then, try calling a neighbor you know is usually home. If you can get out of the house, get out. If you can hide, hide.
The following are tips for parents to discuss and think about
- Maintain current ID, including photograph, video and fingerprints.
- Maintain current addresses and phone numbers of your children’s friends.
- It is important to keep all doors and windows locked.
- Do not advertise your child’s name on clothing, school supplies or backpacks.
Knowledge is power and knowing what to do in a situation involving a possible child abduction is extremely important in this day and age. If you are ever looking for school or camp assembly ideas to assist you in teaching your child what to do in a tricky person situation we offer a powerful “Outsmart the Stranger” assembly program that can be brought into your school or camp. Visit our website www.outsmartthestranger.com to learn more about the program. Recommending this program to your school and camp can help save a child’s life. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer. Stay safe, be smart and aware and have a fun summer!
Have you ever sat back and thought about your journey through the education system?
Have you ever been bored in class or asked questions like why do we have to learn this?
Do you or your children learn a different way?
Are you a person who thinks outside of the box?
How many of you have ever wondered why schools are not teaching children true skills that they will need in life?
Why is it so important to focus on education and consistently have children work by themselves to memorize information, put it back onto a test, and then forget it like they never learned it?
I consistently hear stories about people who are extremely successful in their fields of interest because they choose to follow their passions as opposed to getting lost and subdued in a typical college environment. What did you learn the last few years of high school and the first two years of college? And why is it that we learn in an educational institute and then typically discovered that the real world is the opposite. When I was 19 I took a 40-hour bartending course, paid $250 for it and then got a job as a bartender. I made no drinks that I learned and poured beers and wine into glasses 98% of the time. I wasn’t a bartender, I was a bottle opening pourer. I then went to real estate school at 21, paid $450 and spent 40 hours of my life learning and storing information. Day 1 of my orientation meeting at my new real estate office my employer’s first words out of his mouth were, “Forget what you learned at real estate school…real estate is only about… “If you are curious as to why the education system is the way that it is, then I invite you to have an eye-opening 12-minute experience by watching this video. If you learned anything from this video then I ask you to share it with others.
12-minute eye-opening video on why our education system is the way it is.
This weekend is usually spent with friends and family enjoying BBQ and enjoying a 3 or for some 4 day weekend. As with every journey worth traveled, there may be bumps in the road. For example getting stuck in traffic…or getting your buttons pushed by that one family member that just gets under your skin (Passive-Aggressive Patty). What about your children losing in a game of anything and getting upset and letting you know about it. Before you respond to a person or situation that will not serve you in the future, I offer 4 different types of breathing that will require 30 seconds of your time and a powerful choice to try something new. Each breath is based on an element of nature. Number 1!
EARTH BREATH (belly breathing)
Place one hand on your belly and one hand right underneath your throat near your collarbone. Take three deep breaths either focusing on something in front of you or even better closing your eyes. Notice if the deep breaths are coming from your belly extending out or your shoulders and chest extending up. Try to then intentionally focus on taking 3 more deep breaths with your belly while keeping your shoulders and chest calm and relaxed. You may have to focus on intentionally pushing your belly out farther than you’ve ever done and then as you breathe out pull your belly in. Then place both hands on your belly and breathe in while extending your belly, and then breathe out and pull your belly in. Belly breathing is a fundamental component of any yoga practice.
WIND BREATH (tongue breathing)
Cold breathing is designed to relax the body and give a sensation of coolness and calming. Take your tongue and place it behind your bottom teeth. While keeping your tongue behind your bottom teeth take a deep breath in with your mouth. What do you feel? Do you feel the cooling sensation of the air gliding over the top of your tongue? That cooling sensation will help a child or adult relax their bodies and become instantaneously more calm and aware.
FIRE BREATH (nose breathing)
Fire breathing through the nose is designed to invigorate and energize the human doing it. I first suggest that you blow your nose really well so that nothing comes out while you do this. Fire breathing is breathing in and out of your nose as fast as possible while keeping your mouth closed. As you continue to do this your abdomen will automatically be breathing in and out for you.
WATER BREATH (rib breathing)
The water element invites us to do our jellyfish breathing. When you breathe in with your belly your chest is still compressed so we tend to not get the fullness of the breath. With jellyfish breathing, we have our arms go up in the air floating like jellyfish so that our rib cage extends and we get to fill our lungs with a deeper breath. Try the jellyfish breathing in two parts. 1st be intentional about breathing in and making your belly big and then once your belly is full of air then raise your arms up like they are floating to the sky and open up your rib cage and see how much additional air you can fill in.
Try these with your children and other friends in your life and you will see a huge difference. How often do you get to take five breaths for yourself? This weekend I invite you to breathe and enjoy life. Have a wonderful weekend.
Physical fitness is proven to help a child develop a strong body and mind. Exercise increases oxygen intake into the body and works muscles and organs to keep us in Tip-Top shape. Sometimes we as adults make excuses as how we can’t get to exercise because we don’t have time. I’ve also heard that in many schools as well. Body weight calisthenics are a key component in my school assemblies as they implement different animals to use different parts of the body. These animal movements increase heart and lung power, strengthen all the muscles in the body and increase ligament and tendon flexibility. It also lets us be silly. And one of the best behavior management strategies I know is to get your children tired!
Below is a list of animals that we use in our classes . Included in the list are beginner basics like a bear crawl and a kangaroo hop to more difficult animals like the inchworm and gorilla. Try these out with your kids, especially before it’s time to nap. Yes, I suggested YOU try them out as well. If you do, you’ll feel a complete body change immediately after. If you know any other animals that are on this list, feel free to email me and I would love to add it and give you credit. And try to make the noises as best you can so that you can feel silly and light-hearted again. Let me hear you growl!!
- Bear walk – walking on hands and feet
- Frog jump – baby frog jump is squatting down all the way, heels off the ground and jumping. Super frog jump is when same frog jump is done however knees are brought into chest for additional height. Instruct children to land on balls of feet like a cat.
- Crab walk – start sitting on bottom. Feet are flat. Hands are flat under shoulders. Fingers pointing toward toes. Lift bottom off of the ground and walk either forward, backwards, or sideways.
- Snake slither – child is on belly, arms are in front, feet are crossed, and they slither around the room making any S sounds.
- Monkeying around – is just basically bucking around, any sort of body movement, walking on your hands or feet, your legs jumping. Monkeying with a combination of bear and frog.
- Kangaroo hops – kangaroo is when feet are together, knees slightly bent, elbows are tight to body and hands are in front and you are hoping, sometimes a “boing” sound. This exercise is great to finish off any animal exercise and go right into karate because it’s easy for any kid.
- Seal crawl– seal is when your lower body is laying on the ground and your legs do not move and your upper body is pulling your lower body.
- Tiger pounce – walk on all fours slowly for muscle tension, then get real low while trying to keep the body off the ground. Take a giant jump forward or straight up like a tiger pouncing on its prey.
- Bunny hops – like kangaroo except hands are over ears making bunny sounds, which also increases shoulder strength.
- Inch worm – student lies on stomach, hands on the ground, then jumps their feet up to their shoulders. Then they walk the hands out further and then jumps the feet up to the shoulders and walks hands out further and repeat.
- Gorilla – Just like a bear walk, however the child is developing wrist strength by walking on their fists. Either knuckles forward or sideways work.
Picture by James Emery
In March of 2016 I had the true pleasure of observing a gym class at the Douglas school in Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. I had worked with autistic children before but only on an individual basis and sitting down with my two interns at the time to watch the gym class was truly an extraordinary experience. What I saw was a group of adults with patience and compassion in their hearts working one-on-one with these kids. They range from ages 10 all the way to 17. The class was an hour long and the kids had a great time. After having a lengthy conversation with the physical education teacher, he let us come back to do a sample class of Yogarate.
After teaching the first class I fell in love with all of those kids. Their uniqueness and their gifts were awe inspiring. Some of the kids picked up on the martial arts and the deep breathing immediately and were able to focus better than some of my other students in traditional schools. These kids had a yearning to communicate and there was something in the way that I was committed to figuring out. With the assistance of some unique associates and friends, I began the journey of inquiry. One of these amazing angels on earth is a lady by the name of Nicole who is a nutrition specialist and much more. She also focuses on other modalities of health and wellness. From her I learned about how color dyes and preservatives in food have a direct link to autism. With a wealth of information at her fingertips, she shared with me two articles that opened my eyes. However the articles that she shared with me intrigued and frustrated me, I made sure to read them. Even if it took me 3 sittings.
I have shared both articles below. The first article talks about how an autistic family completely changed their families diet and within three weeks their child had displayed dramatically less autistic characteristics than ever before. The second article is a case study that talks about the lack of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and how a deficiency in the body can affect children and adults with depression, ADHD, and autism just to name a few. Pause and think about it for a moment. Our bodies adapt to the environment that they’re put in and what we put into our mouths is the most important thing to be aware of in the realm of solving all of our ailments. My invitation to you is this… If you or anyone that you know have children or adults that have been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, bipolar, or Autism, I offer to you the opportunity to read these two articles. That is going to be the easy part. Actually having the power to make changes in your diet is going to be the hard part, especially if your kids are already addicted to things like gluten and fake foods that have different colored dyes in them. I get it. And you can still get them gluten free organic pizza and chicken nuggets.
You get to make a choice whether to take a stand for the well-being of your family or to keep giving them food poison so that they have continued challenges through the rest of their life. It’s not your children’s responsibility to go food shopping, it is yours. You get to choose right now to be a powerful stand for your family and make the right choices in the realm of nutrition no matter how hard it is in the beginning. A month will go by and you will look back and laugh as you realize it wasn’t that difficult. You’ve made important changes in your life and you survived and maybe even thrived. You can do it again for your family. What could it hurt? It could only change your family’s life forever. Is that worth it to you? I hope so. I’m honored that you read this blog post and I hope that you enjoy the articles as well. The second one is a case study so feel free to skip around to what pertains your child. I acknowledge you for being a powerful champion for your family. Get that that is a CHOICE that you make. Go you! Hi-five!
Curing autism with food
Why Omega 3 & 6 Oils help autism, ADHD, Bi-Polar and much more.
Picture by Jeremy Kieth
It’s the middle of the school year and the teacher has been notified by her higher ups that a new student is starting in her classroom today. That morning that child shows up and he is excited. Looking all over the classroom and wanting to touch everything and run around the room looking at everything that’s new. To some people he has too much energy. What three or four letters do you immediately think of as the reader to describe what’s happening with him? Did you say ADD or ADHD? You wouldn’t be the first and you certainly wouldn’t be the last. “That child has too much energy”, we think. “He can’t focus”, we think. The evaluations that we put on that child when he is six might be slightly different when that child is 16 years old and he is running up and down the sports field faster than anyone else. He understands plays and strategy better than the majority of the kids on his team because of his mind’s design. He is being scouted by 7 different colleges looking to cover his entire college tuition. Does he have too much energy now? Or do the other kids have too little energy? It’s all based on how inconvenient it is for the person evaluating that child. Unfortunately we still live in the world where there are teachers that think that their students have to conform and adapt to the teacher and if they don’t then the child is deemed unteachable. Then you have teachers who are loving and open and understand that every generation of children are smarter, quicker, sharper, and faster and it’s completely up to the teacher to adapt their teaching for that child. Also, that teacher that changes for her children doesn’t HAVE TO, she GETS TO. The first is being a victim of the situation. The second is being the source of the situation. One is a teacher that blames others for their happiness and another one is a teacher that chooses responsibility and power. Can’t have both. Which one are you?
There was a time where we had limited resources as educators on where to get access to activities to engage children with higher energy. Now we have Google and YouTube so that conversation is obsolete. It wouldn’t take a teacher longer than 60 seconds to find five activities to do with their children whether they are seated, standing, or in a physical movement environment. It’s all up to the teacher to take on that responsibility that they are the champions for their kids as opposed to blame in the child for being the way the child is. Would you take your puppy to an open field or dog park and then when they don’t stop running around and they keep on chasing other dogs while others don’t, would you ever classify them as having too much energy? Of course not. Our happiness and comfort are based exclusively on our perception of our environment and what we make it mean. Another trap that I’ve fallen into that happens with other educators is that for whatever reason we think that we can figure things out ourselves and don’t need help. That is one of the biggest sabotagers that ensures that we fail. Think about a parent that you as a teacher have had a conversation with that has been tricked by their own mind into thinking that they know what’s best for their child over an educator who’s been working with children for years. Would you go to your heart surgeon and make a suggestion as to how to do the surgery? Would you go to your attorney and tell them how they should run your case? Of course not. They are professionals in their field and have spent many hours studying and working in that field to see what works and what doesn’t. Yet for some reason parents think that they know what’s best for their child and usually it’s just to raise them the opposite way that their parents raised them.
Reach out to other educators who have experience with high energy kids. I taught at a school with one brother-sister tag team that were bouncing off the walls and each other. It was amazing to watch. After trying a few things, it seemed that the only thing that worked was showing up 15 early and having them do bear walks, frog jumps, crab walks, kangaroo hops and then finish by sprinting across the backyard area. And I had to reach out to a former associate for suggestions. I needed help and you do too. It’s ok and it doesn’t mean anything about you. Ask for help. People love to help. What could you use help with right now? Who could you ask that would be delighted to help?
I offer my help to start with the article below:
Article about understanding ADHD better. Is it behavioral or neurological?
Picture by Homeschoolfacts.com
Have you ever thought about somebody in your life and wondered how they are doing and then within a moment the phone rings and it happens to be them? Have you ever felt like there is something more out there than what you see with your eyes?
Just as we communicate with each other through modern technology like smartphones and tablets, there are channels of communication that are being used yet we don’t hear that phone ring. Unless we are taught to listen. To truly have effective communication with another human being, we need to first have effective communication within ourselves. The first step in doing that is being able to distinguish between the universal voice that guides us if we listen and the ego that steers us in the wrong direction.
If you’re wondering what voice I’m talking about when I mention the ego, then that’s the exact voice that just asked, “what voice is he talking about?” That voice more likely will tell you that if you’re having a long day you’re okay to have a sweet snack that you know is not on your meal program as opposed to telling you to go for an energetic and invigorating walk so that you can de-stress from the day. The brilliance of the ego is that it’s most important goal is to be right.
How often do you like to be wrong? How often do you like to be right? I know a few people in my life that are not in relationships anymore, whether romantic or platonic, because it was more important for them to be right about something than to be happy. When working in a preschool with many different personalities including the children, the parents, and your coworkers, there are many opinions in this mix and everyone thinks that they are right. Try on the next time that you get upset with someone, just ask yourself what’s more important, to be right about the situation or to be happy? You can only choose one. We think we can have both…another trick of the ego. Giving up being right opens up communication from the heart from one human being to another.
Another benefit to you is that your mind will get just a little bit quieter. Imagine not being upset about things in your mind and having them distract you instead of being with your awesome, wonderful children.
If you ever get in a situation where you don’t know what to do, whether it’s a behavioral challenge or a child simply not understanding a lesson, I asked you to take on being the champion of these children and choosing the more difficult task. That task would be to give up being right about the situation. Take as many slow and calming deep breaths with your tongue behind your bottom teeth so that cold air comes through your mouth and cools your body. Then wait for the universal energy to give you the solution. All you have to do is listen.
The first part of your challenge begins now. What are you making right and what are you making wrong about this article? Is it more important that your opinions are true or is it more important that there is a chance that letting go of you being right could magically connect you and transform you into a better champion, a hero for your children. NOW CHOOSE!
Picture by https://www.ramdass.org/ram-dass-on-the-inner-voice/
Watch this video with your child. It has good tips on solutions to a mental bullying situation. Like anything in life, we start as a beginner with a new task. In my school assemblies, we practice what we are taught immediately as a walk around to all the children and bully them in front of their teachers. Luckily they use the Power Look and say “and?” repeatedly to stop the mental bullying. Practice this with your children so when the time comes and they are faced with a mental bully, they are proficient in what to do. The same goes with a physical bully. Enroll your child in a martial arts program for their own good. Martial arts provides the vehicle for learning self-respect, self-esteem and confidence. Don’t assume they are taught in school, because we all know what happens when you assume…I hope you enjoy the video. Be well.