A very valuable book

I'm reading 'The Whole Brained Child' and totally love it. I remember when I was teaching I was introduced to the book 'Begin With the Brain' and I loved that one too. When I worked with the group C.L.A.S.S., we referenced the book often.

I also remember joking around about the title 'Begin With The Brain,' what else had we been working within education after all! But it really was a notable change in education since we were just starting to really learn so much about the brain.

So the book 'The Whole Brained Child' is again a fun title,(what, are we only nurturing part of a child's brain),  BUT, hmmm... Are we only nurturing one part?  Are we only interested in discipline that makes us look good? Are we only interested in academic success? Do we parent from both our upstairs and downstairs brains?  These are the many curious thoughts I'm having as I'm reading this book.

In the book 'The Whole Brained Child' the Downstairs brain is defined as "the area involving the brain stem and limbic region, whereas the Upstairs brain is made up of the cerebral cortex which involves the pre-frontal cortex."  The "downstairs" or lower more primal part of your brain is responsible for survival, and the "upstairs" is the more refined part that is responsible for deep inquisitive thoughts. When we discipline our children, we need to be aware of where our response is coming from and also where their behavior is coming from.

 Just some thoughts about a beneficial book I'm reading. 

Guest Blog Post by Daniel Sherwin; Teaching Your Kids Safety in the Kitchen

Teaching Your Kids Kitchen Safety


Image via Pixabay


Why should children learn to cook?


Letting your kids spend time in the kitchen with you and learning how to cook and bake themselves is wonderful for their overall development. Cooking is a lifelong skill that fosters independence and thriftiness. Knowing how to make healthy meals from scratch means they don’t have to rely on calling in takeout from restaurants or resorting to frozen meals. Meanwhile, cooking also helps people save money in their day-to-day lives. Eating out at restaurants tacks on the ever-rising costs of labor to your meal’s bottom line.


Your kids learn other valuable skills in the kitchen as well. Cooking teaches a person to be patient and that the best things in life take a little more time and attention. Kids also learn math in real-world applications as they measure and weigh ingredients for recipes. Furthermore, they learn about different ingredients and grow to appreciate a wider range of foods as they develop a palate that appreciates things that are fresh and healthy. Finally, the kitchen provides an ideal environment for family bonding. While washing, chopping, stirring, and boiling, you are given ample opportunities to talk and share with your children.


Kids’ Safety in the Kitchen


Other than the bathroom, the kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house. It’s especially dangerous for children with its hot surfaces, fire risks, sharp edges, and potential for harmful bacteria. In order to keep your kids safe while teaching them to cook, it’s important to both talk to them about safety but also to provide a good example on what to do. After all, your kids learn by copying you.


Sanitation Safety


●      Always wash your hands before handling food. During the cooking process, wash your hands again if you touch raw food, use the bathroom, touch another person or pet, or if you touch the garbage bin.

●      Keep every material that possibly touches food clean and sanitized.

●      Separate raw food from other ingredients.

●      If you use materials like a knife or cutting board to handle raw food, they must be washed and dried thoroughly before being used again.

●      Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking. Use three parts water and one part vinegar for an effective produce wash. Designate a scrubbing brush to clean root vegetables, like potatoes, if you plan on eating them with the skins intact.


Fire Safety


●      41 percent of home fires begin in the kitchen, so NEVER leave a child unattended in the kitchen when the oven, stove, or other heated devices are on.

●      Teach your children to always get an adult first if they see an out-of-control fire.

●      Keep a fire extinguisher on hand to put out grease fires. 

●      Create a plan in case of fire, and practice what to do with your children.

●      Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from any flammable surface.

●      Regularly test your smoke detectors.



Other Kitchen Safety Tips


●      Show your children the proper way to pass a knife to another person and to put it blade down in the dishwasher.

●      Teach them about the right knife to use depending on what you’re doing.

●      Keep knives sharp; a dull knife is a dangerous knife.

●      Always use oven mitts and pot holders to handle anything that has been in the oven or on the stove.

●      Teach your kids to dress properly when cooking: pull back hair, avoid too-loose clothing, remove dangling jewelry, and always wear shoes.

●      Never reach into a soapy sink that might contain items that can cut skin.

●      Always test how hot the water is before using your bare hands to wash dishes.

●      When in doubt, wear protective gloves to wash dishes in the sink.




Teaching your children to cook is a wonderful experience that instills valuable life lessons while providing opportunity for family bonding. It’s important to teach your kids safety along with all the family recipes you plan to pass down. Sanitation safety is very important. You want to show your kids how to properly handle ingredients and material to prevent foodborne illness. Fire safety is also necessary as 41 percent of all home fires begin in the kitchen. You should also go over other safety norms like how to use the right knife, what to wear in the kitchen, and how to properly wash dishes. While you should definitely talk with your kids about these things, it’s even more important to act as a positive example by following best safety practices in the kitchen.


What's in a NAME


I have a big concern for what's going on with our children these days.  It's a subtle undermining of your parenting skills. It's name-calling.  You might think I'm talking about what happens at school on the playground, but I'm not, It's happening in your own home, and in public and you, the parents are the culprit!  It's not "sweetie, honey, little cutie" or any other term of endearment, it is labeling in a negative, derogatory way and it is hurting your child(ren).

When you state to your child they are "naughty," "so bad," "monsters," "a brat" you are NOT parenting.  You are bullying!  I've listened to this at the store, movie theatre, family functions, school functions; you name it.  These parents, who in a sweet tone announce that their child is "a brat" to the child and those around them.  There are the parents who comfort their kids and while the child is wrapped in their arms tell them they are "naughty."  I repeat this is NOT Parenting!

In doing this, there are four things you are doing.  1)You are giving your child something to live up to.  2)You are reinforcing the negative behavior that is the reason you called your child a name.   3) You are showing your other children how to get your attention. And 4) You are telling those around you that you have "GIVEN UP."

Problem #1  Living up to the label.  Parents have the most influence on their children, especially in the early years.  You set the stage for what they can become.  Repeating this name calling sets the stage for what they will try to live up to.  

Problem #2 To children ATTENTION is ATTENTION.  They don't see positive and negative attention until they are much older, and by then you have been reinforcing this negative behavior for years.  

Problem #3 If you are calling Tammy "Naughty" while hugging her and giving her your attention your other children see how to get attention.  Your child's mind draws the most obvious and logical conclusion.  "Tammy threw a rock at Jimmy, Tammy is getting snuggles and dad's attention, I'll do that to have dad snuggle me too!"

Problem #4 You are announcing to others loud and clear that you have no INTENT to help change  Tammy's behavior.  You are telling your child "naughty" is ok. 


SOLUTION: Stop!  You are capable of parenting, you LOVE your child(ren) and therefore are capable of learning some parenting tips and strategies to help you discipline your child(ren) with love and kindness.

Little Damon and a case of POWER

We encountered Little Damon while on vacation.  He is adorable!  4 years old and lots of energy, as is usually the case.  He ran the show! He giggled and ran and swatted and giggled and ran and really didn't do much he was told, as I'm sure he learned from his parents lack of follow through.  

Now with that said, I cannot tell if what I was witnessing was in some way an improvement. His parents may have been doing better than before, and therefore he may have been behaving better than ever and since I don't know their "before" I can only comment on what I saw.

We were by water, a lot of water, and it could be perceived as dangerous.  I'm not advocating for fear-based parenting, however, when you are by water, especially moving and deep water, you should use caution.

Damon exhibited lots of control in his family.  He did what he wanted, and his parents just used his name, a lot.  Like "Damon, stop that, Damon, don't, Damon, come here, Damon, listen to me, Damon, hold still, Damon, wait!"  And on and on...  Common phrases we've all said to our children, however, this went on for the entire time we were together, approx 5 hours!

His parents tolerated everything he did.  It was as if they didn't want to "Rock the Boat" so to speak.  You know, "cause a scene," but in their actions, or lack of, they ended up causing a scene anyway. One of over tolerance and lack of discipline, lack of safety and actually a "look at us, we are TRYING here."

If we keep in mind that "discipline" is "teaching," then by their lack of, they were inadvertently causing a scene.  We saw where Damon had all the power and Damon was "being taught" how to wield that power negatively, instead of how to LISTEN, Follow Through and Communicate clearly, especially around water.

The message I want to share out of this encounter is to STOP, step back and look at what you are "teaching" in your attempts to discipline. If you keep speaking with no follow through, no point of when things are serious then DON"T expect your child to learn anything other than what Damon learned, "I have a lot of POWER."




Discipline or Punishment



March 30, 2017


March 30, 2017

First of all YES, they are different.  For many people, the words (punishment and discipline) are used interchangeably. Somewhere along the line people started thinking that they meant nearly the same thing.  This ISN'T the case, especially where our children are concerned.

Webster defines "Punishment" as a penalty imposed or HARSH TREATMENT, whereas it defines "Discipline" as TRAINING that develops self-control.

We as parents want our children to have self-control.  After all, we are raising them to be adults. 

As you are thinking of how to best help your child grow and gain self-control, you will want to discipline when necessary.  Discipline includes things such as Time Out, Discussion and even removing kids from a specific environment.  It does NOT include, yelling, slapping or hitting. It doesn't include threats or name calling either.

Discipline is a way to TEACH; teach your child(ren) how to share, kinder words to use, nicer ways to play, how to stand up for each other and when to speak up...

I'm sure this topic will be revisited.


Mrs. Pang

Goals 2017

GOALS 2017

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Now that we've finished with the rush and stress of the holidays we can focus on our goals for 2017.  I like goals better than resolutions. Goals seem positive and forward thinking and attainable whereas resolutions feel a bit more difficult and slightly negative.

So before we get to goals take a minute and remind yourself of your successes. Big or small they are successes and taking note of them is essential. Maybe you were more focused on your kids, and perhaps you yelled less, maybe potty training your toddler went ok, maybe you survived a full year of teenaged eye rolling! You define success for yourself and then make your list. (Feels good right)

Now, with some success in your back pocket what are those goals you want to focus on this year? Quality time with your family, better co-parenting, LESS STRESS, whatever the goal, give it a name and then you can make a simple, straightforward plan to help you achieve that goal.

My goal planning advice is straightforward. It works like this.                                                              Example goal: to be less stressed!   To accomplish this the EASIEST step I can take is to ask myself each time I do something, think of something or plan something, How Does THIS (action, thought or plan), affect my stress level? See it's all a choice. I can choose to do the activity that when I ask myself "how does this affect my stress level" and I say NEGATIVELY and reap the higher stress level, therefore not making my goal. Or, I can choose not to partake in the activity or to modify it so that I incur less, little or no stress.  This naturally moves me toward my goal. 

A few of my goals for 2017 are: Move more, Eat healthier and take a class in ASL. All of these will help me with my ONE primary goal of being LESS STRESSED!  

The secret to parenting



December 31, 2016

So why are there parenting secrets? It's been around for so long you'd think they'd have written a book about it!  OK so yes, they have and maybe this is an explanation to the dilemma, there are hundreds of books on parenting implying there are hundreds of ways to parent. Not REALLY, but it appears this way.  

I believe that as a society we were once raising our children in "nuclear families" often surrounded if not housed with grandparents, aunts, and uncles, etc.. These families also did things that perpetuated the ideals they had for raising their children. So parenting was passed down each generation, and then the society they lived in helped preserve these ideals.

Fast forward to now, and we don't live in these close-knit "nuclear families," and we often move away from each other.  Maybe we wanted our voice in the raising of our children, understandable but in doing so, we also lost some valuable tried and true parenting info. (don't get me wrong, some of what we were trying to get away from was bad, and therefore we didn't want to pass any of it down)

My blog will share some of the tried and true of the past and also include current practices based on neuroscience and brain development. I hope that you find examples, solutions, and ideas that will help you navigate your PATHWAY TO PARENTING!

Choose your path,                                                                                                                                       

Mrs. Pang