Children’s Book about Misbehaved Mutt Teaches Key Values

By children’s author Lana Schneider
http://sheasheasheananigans.weebly.com/about-the-author.html

 

sheasheaHow many times have we seen or been the parent of a child who has suddenly ‘run off’ from a playground or grocery store isle? As our hearts pound with panic and our faces turn pale we find them, hugging them and reprimanding them at the same time.

 

In the children’s picture book series, “Shea-Shea Shea-na-ni-gans”, Shea-Shea is a rambunctious German Shepard mix whose mission is to create as much mischief as possible. In the first book of the series, “Shea Runs Away”, the dog demonstrates her unrelenting urge to leave the safety of her own yard and explore the neighborhood. She hops a fence and wanders the streets alone.

 

In her time away from the safety of her loved ones, Shea-Shea meets a sweet old woman, a butcher, and a firefighter. She even finds time to take an afternoon nap in the local park. However, her curious ways put her in the ‘doghouse’ when her owner catches up with her.

 

Parents can use Shea-Shea’s examples to teach their children the dangers of running off with no supervision. As parents, we don’t want to use scare tactics with small children, however, we do want key safety points to be embedded in their minds. Reading a short picture book with fun, entertaining illustrations, with realistic outcomes is the perfect way to get the point across to your little ones.

 

All the books the Shea series are meant to teach important lessons or highlight milestones in child’s life. This was my thought process behind the second book, “Shea Goes to the Doctor”. We all remember that childhood milestone for ourselves don’t we?

 

Not every kid is brave enough to undergo such a taunting first time experience. Shea-Shea goes through all the basic motions of a checkup and even gets shots! It’s my goal that after you reading the book with your child that they can walk into that doctor’s office with confidence.

 

Later, in the Shea-Shea Sheananigans series there will be subtitles such as “Shea Goes to Preschool”, and “Shea Get’s a New Puppy”, however, no matter what the content of the lesson, you can count on Shea-Shea to represent the situation well and get your child through that daunting childhood milestone.

 

I realize that childhood is an important time for teaching and the development of young minds. I hope that my work can assist parents in the upbringing of wonderful children.

Make The Potty Training Process Easy and Enjoyable With These Five Tips

When it comes time to say goodbye to diapers, it is important that little ones are developmentally ready for success.  Once parents are certain their children are prepared for this milestone and they, themselves, are willing to devote the necessary time and energy it takes to potty train, it’s time to start the process.  Lilly Cueto, spokesperson for SoapTime®, an action-packed hand soap dispenser and SmartBase™, offers the following tips to help transition children from diapers to the bathroom:

potty chartPotty Charts:  Potty charts are very helpful during the training process.  Before you begin teaching your child, set up a chart and hang it in the bathroom.  Personalize the chart by letting your child color and decorate.  Once completed, explain that every time they successfully use the toilet, they will be given a sticker to put on their chart.  Knowing they will receive a fun sticker after each potty break will encourage them to go more often.

Incentives:  One way to conquer potty training is to offer incentives to your child.  Fill a reward bag with small treats and once your child has finished using the bathroom, let them choose one item out of the bag.  Providing children with small rewards and positive verbal encouragement will stimulate ongoing use.  When praised for their achievement, they will begin to recognize the importance of using the toilet.  As children begin to accomplish each stage of potty training, parents can slowly reduce the amount of praise and incentives they give.

soaptimeSoapTime®:  A great way to coach children to use the potty and also to teach them proper hand washing habits is to provide them with SoapTime for hand clean-up after they are finished.  This electronically enhanced product encourages children to use the bathroom more often because it gives them a fun and engaging experience at the sink.  SoapTime’s hand washing system consists of three uniquely shaped bottles: ABC, Earth and Elephant set in a SmartBase®.  Each bottle is recognized by the SmartBase and has a distinct educational theme narrated by its own Professor Goodhabits.  The themes include unique songs, factoids and LED light shows.  To use, a child simply pushes the dispenser and for 20 seconds they wash their hands while learning and enjoying their time at the sink.

Four-piece kit including a SmartBase, ABC, Earth and Elephant bottle is $16.97 each.  Visit mysoaptime.com.

Water Colors:  Turning potty training into a fun game can further entice little ones to use the toilet.  One way to do this is to dye the toilet water with blue or red food coloring.  This way, once the toddlers use the potty, they turn the water into an orange or green color.  Children will get a kick out of changing the color and will be more eager to join parents in the bathroom for potty training time.

Books:  Giving children books to look at on the potty will help them feel more comfortable sitting for a longer period of time.  After your child is sitting down diaper-free, provide him or her with a potty training book, as many have been written on this topic, along with any other favorite books of their choice.  Potty training books available on amazon.com include A Potty for Me by Karen Katz and Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel.  They start at approximately $5.

It is important for parents to remain patient as they go through the potty training process.  Taking the time each child needs to learn this new skill is essential and with these engaging tips, it can be a fun learning time, too!

The Root Word of Discipline is Disciple

by Muriel Drake Ryan, author of The Innkeeper’s Wife

Are you a toaster parent? You watch your child approach something or do something and hope they don’t get hurt.  You hop up to get involved at the last second while you are a little hot around the edges.

Are you a teakettle parent? You keep whistling in their direction and slowly your tone gets louder and then you find yourself boiling over with anger.

Are you a remote control parent? You keep speaking in the child’s direction from a distance and hope that they will instantly do what you want. You keep sending the same message without moving in their direction.

Do you ever find yourself parenting like a microwave?  You count on saying something briefly and only once as you hope you can teach them instantly.

The good news is that by looking at these bad habits we can learn new, stronger parenting skills. The toaster parent waits too long to get involved. You should know where your child is, what they are doing and who they are doing it with. From toddlerhood to teen years, this is a must. Rushing to rescue at the last minute is not good parenting. Be vigilant at all times. Set boundaries which contribute to a safe environment. This includes everything from baby proofing the outlets to setting a curfew for teens.

The teakettle parent waits too long to communicate those warnings and expects anger to communicate. Make your rules clear in your house. They look to you to set the standards. Give the warnings in a strong calm voice.  Make sure you can look eye to eye. Hold those shoulders, but no shaking. Don’t blow. Take control.

The remote control parent thinks once is enough and that shouting orders from a distance works. Much more effective is that eye to eye communication. Children have lots to learn and need direction. Sometimes they need the same direction over and over. Inconsistency in your example or applying those rules undermines that learning. Sticking to the rules lets them know what is expected. Children need a clear picture of what is expected. The clearest picture of how to behave in your family should be you.

The microwave parent thinks parenting gives instant results. Children need guidance and direction every day. They need years of discipling and direction. The good news is that with ingredients of time, patience, guidance and good role models of Godly behavior, children are rich blessings.

It is said that from birth to age five, effective parents get 50 percent of the work done in terms of setting their child on a positive forward course in life. The next 45 percent of the work is done in the years from six to 12.  So start early and stay the course. Effective parenting is worth the effort. Each day, disciple your child.
About the author
Born in Terre Haute, Ind., Muriel Drake Ryan grew up on a small farm with working parents. She attended Indiana State University and graduated from University of Indianapolis, IUPUI, Indiana University and the University of Minnesota with honors. She served in public education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. After retiring in 1992, Ryan founded Families by Choice with her husband, Bernard Ryan in 2006. Families by Choice provides basic needs to people who are at a distance from their family, either geographically or emotionally. The homeless shelter Ryan and her husband started now has three locations in Indiana and all net proceeds from her books will go to the work and expansion of Families by Choice.