Face(book) Friends???

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Oh yes, we have joined the crowd and are having so much fun on Facebook! Like us!

https://www.facebook.com/LAVCFamilyResourceCenter

Finally! The Answer to Our “Three Things…” Question!

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So the question was: “name three things this boy is learning”.

There are so many many more…but here are just three things he’s doing to prepare himself for school:

1. Hand/eye coordination: see how beautifully he holds the dinosaur AND gets it to his mouth? He’s going to need to be able to hold a pencil and read an assignment at the same time.

2. Focus and concentration: He is completely engaged in his activity. He’ll need that focus to stay with and complete his school assignments.

3. Curiosity: How does this taste? How does it feel…is it bumpy or smooth? Is it heavy? We want him engaged in the learning process and  love to learn!

These are all questions he’s answering and and tasks he is accomplishing by himself! It is exactly what he should be doing at his age.

Once again, we see a lovely reminder that we often need to get out of our kid’s way… put them in an environment (like the FRC!) that supports them…and lets them learn as they develop.

If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to ask the FRC staff. We LOVE hearing about what you’re thinking and wondering about!

Kindergarten Prep!

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Can you name 3 ways this child is preparing himself for kindergarten?

Our MOST Favorite Royal Baby Adviser!

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Remember this post? We were referring to two great parenting books. We were shocked to find out that we’re not the only ones who think Drs. Brazelton and Sparrow’s ideas are pretty special (just kidding!).

We’re very excited that Royal Baby George’s parent’s are hearing good sound advice and that they might be reading the same book our FRC families love… The Touchpoints Book!

And The Royals would be jealous of us…because the authors came and spent TWO WHOLE DAYS with us last fall at Valley College! 

Falling in Love… Over and Over Again….

imageI know I’ve said before that YOU are your child’s most important person, place or thing…but I can’t find any other words to describe this photo.

I just love the way the little boy is looking at his dad…and the way the dad seems to be having such a great time with his son.

That’s only one of the many great things about the FRC…it’s just time for you to be with your child and play…no cell phones, dishes or emails to distract you. An hour and a half of uninterrupted bliss!

Need Some Peace of Mind?

imageIf the Royal Baby might be sitting in an improperly installed car seat….then anything is possible! What about our own babies’ car seats? How do we know they are providing the very best protection they can?

Worry no more!!!! The CHP is providing a FREE car seat installation inspection! Make an appointment and take your car by for a checkup.

Thank you Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian for sponsoring this great event!

My Toddler Wants My Attention ALL the Time!

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With our first children, it’s typical to think they DO need us all the time. At first they need us to meet all their needs -  diapers, food, comfort, interaction etc… And we’re so “in love”, and getting to know our babies, and that takes time. Everyday there’s something new to figure out.

But more and more, and as our parenting confidence grows, our role should include “observing” as well as “playing”. Our toddlers still want us…"we are our children’s favorite person, place or thing". Time together can be just “being together” as opposed to always thinking we need to be entertaining our children.

I really love this article. The author says it beautifully.

What do you think? Do you have strategies for dealing with this?

My daughter is 2 1/2 and she’s a TYRANT when we go to the park! Please help!

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Why do we expect our kids to be born with social skills? We don’t expect them to be able to tie their shoes before they are taught. Actually - that’s on our list of parenting duties. Kids need us to show and guide them how to treat other people. For most kids, sharing and cooperating takes a while to learn.

Your daughter still operates from her own point of view…and doesn’t quite “get” that other people have feelings. Mostly we can stand back and let kids work things out on their own…but sometimes they need our help. Our job is to observe and narrate what we see…help them to come up with an alternative that works for both kids.

Not only do kids need lots of experience with others to learn these skills, they need to be developmentally ready…and that’s not really until about four or so. Also make sure that’s top on the list of what her preschool does. She needs "social learning" well before "academic learning". A good school does that really well!

Parenting….or Putting One Foot in Front of Another….

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We all know there is no “recipe” or “instruction book” for parenting. Sometimes we wish there were. But it’s just not a onesizefitsall deal…kids are born with their own nature, birth order has an influence, how parents were raised matters….and on and on.

But what we DO know… is when we see a good book…we grab it and use it! Two such books come to mind immediately - Touchpoints and Becoming the Parent You Want To Be are both fantastic! 

I love these books! They help us to understand that kids do things because they are supposed to…that their timeline is theirs and their intent is not to torture us with challenging behavior. Of course we still need to discipline - that’s what makes them feel safe enough to explore and challenge. But it’s so reassuring to be able to take a step back and get clear about each other’s roles!

Both books are available in the FRC Lending Library.  Swing by and check out a copy today!

Choosing Child Care or Preschool

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We are so happy that we are a resource for the parents who bring their children to play at the FRC. We are proud that parents see us as knowledgeable… and feel comfortable asking us for guidance. We get many, many questions about lots of different topics, some easy, some more complicated. In the next few months we will address your concerns….so keep those questions coming!

A common request is for help navigating preschool programs in the community. We do know about many specific programs, and definitely have our point of view. But rather than give a list of what we like…we want to help you figure out what feels right for your family.There are so many issues to consider…and in the end, it comes down to your own instinct. You must feel good about your choice and it must work for the whole family.

As my dear dad said, "trust your gut". And I would also add, "first educate your gut and make it smart”. There are so many resources available…hope this helps to begin the process!

Let us know your thoughts!

Swimming Upstream

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We don’t want to sound old and mean spirited. But we saw something at the museum that was so disturbing. There was a young adorable dad with his beautiful older baby boy, maybe14 months old -  in his baby carrier on dad’s chest, facing out. The baby had the perfect view of the paintings and he was at ear level for dad to be talking with him about what they were looking at. Instead.… (drumroll please….) dad was holding his iPhone in front of the baby’s face with cartoons. 

Why were we disturbed? Just a couple of days before that I had a conversation with a friend who was telling me how excited she is that her daughter chose to get married in a museum. My friend was saying how gratifying it is for her, as she has been taking her daughter to museums since she was a baby.

And that conversation inspired me to look at this post, which i find endlessly beautiful. 

There was a great article yesterday in the NY Times about technology. Yes it’s happening…and it’s not a bad thing…but we must go with it thoughtfully and smartly. Make sure you read the comments after the article - they are very interesting.

What do you think?

WE LOVE TO PLAY!!!

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We seem to post blogs about the importance of children’s play a lot. But when we see something great, we just can’t help ourselves! The importance of, and learning that goes on, when kids play is just endless. Our good friends over at the Child Development Institute said it well.

Play is one of the most powerful learning experiences for children and adults. The everyday back and forth interactions between you and your child while riding a bike, playing house, or digging in the sand actually changes your child’s brain! A bicycle, doll house, or truck is not your child’s favorite toy - you are! You are the love of your child’s life. When you play together, it lights up the emotional centers of your child’s brain which are crucial in learning and memory.

Playing with your child by following their lead increases your child’s engagement and interest in learning. When a caregiver is directive in their play style, the child’s level of interest and engagement declines. If you impose too many of your ideas, then the play is less interesting to your child and your child is less likely to be learning from their play.”

So go have fun together!

TOO MUCH FUN!!!

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This picture says 1,000 words! We are happily full for the summer Infant and Toddler Playgroups! Keep checking back here for information about registration for the fall program so you don’t miss out!

FRC Program Helps High School Students Get To College

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A Panorama High School student in our Career & Academic Success team (CAST) program was recently awarded a $5,000 D.R.E.A.M.S. (Developing a Responsible, Educated, and Moral Society) scholarship, and was the only student in her school to receive the scholarship.  The student worked with Jeanette Lopez, the high school coordinator for CAST at San Fernando HS and Panorama HS, on her college and scholarship applications.  Prior to joining the CAST program and working with Jeanette, the student had no plans to attend college (even though she was eligible), but will now be attending classes at Cal State LA in the fall.  WIth this scholarship, she will now be able to move forward and pursue her dream of becoming a family social worker.

We would like to congratulate all of our CAST high school graduates and  are looking forward to continuing our work together as you move on to one of our college-based CAST programs.

The CAST program is made possible from a grant funded by Los Angeles Universal Preschool.

-From the LAVC College Bulletin, June 2-8, 2013