February 2017
The Children_s Trust Parenting Our Children Newsletter Header
Father reading a book to his young son in the park.
Give Your Kids an Academic Edge
The Read to Learn Book Club is a resource your children can't afford to miss
Written by Beryl Meyer

It's a fact: Children exposed to reading and literacy-related activities prior to preschool get better grades, are more likely to graduate and go on to college, and realize greater successes as adults. The Children's Trust Read to Learn (RTL) Book Club, free for all 3-year-olds in Miami-Dade County, is a fantastic way to get them started

Developing Language & Literacy
The RTL Book Club delivers an age-appropriate book - either in English or Spanish - to every 3-year-old who is a registered member, for every month of their third year. The books cover a variety of subject matters, each one selected to excite, entertain and educate, all at the same time. "A supplemental guide for parents is also mailed to the child's home with that month's book, so they can support their children's language skills and growing literacy," explains Lisa Blair, president of the Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership.   Read More
Smiling little girl waving good-bye.
Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Bad Habits 
Nail-biting, bed-wetting, whining... don't despair! You can overcome these developmental setbacks with insights from the experts.
Written by Denise Yearian

Children, like adults, are creatures of habit who take comfort in the familiar - for better or worse. And although most kids' bad habits are developmentally related and disappear over time, behaviors that persist, are injurious or intensify should be addressed. In such cases, child development professionals suggest parents pinpoint the underlying cause, search for a solution and offer lots of support and encouragement.

Identify the root. "When looking at a habit, parents need to remember their child's behavior has a purpose - it's serving a need," says Laura Morris, an associate director of a busy preschool. "Many children engage in habits for comfort or to help them cope with stress, fear or anxiety. Some do it out of boredom or to get attention. It may even spring from a need developed during infancy that lingers on."   Read More
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Curly-haired little boy sucking his thumb.
10 Tips to Tackle Toxic Behavior
Written by Denise Yearian

Want to stop your child's anxiety-causing habits for good? These targeted techniques get to the bottom of troubling behaviors and help turn them around.

1. Look for teachable moments. Choose a time when the atmosphere is calm and you aren't in the midst of the problem to talk with your child about their habit. Avoid lecturing, scolding or ridiculing as this could cause the behavior to escalate.

2. Offer specifics. State clearly and positively the behaviors you want to see. Instead of saying, "Don't forget your homework again," say "Remember to do your math and science homework tonight." When you see desired behaviors, offer praise. This increases your child's awareness of the habit in a non-overt way and serves as a reminder of what they should be doing .   Read More

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Bright red_ black_ white_ yellow and green sign reading Black History Month.
5 Amazing Women of Color Your Kids Need to Know About
While the contributions of many celebrated African-Americans both past and present continue to inspire, those with lesser-known names have also gifted us with an enduring legacy
Written by Beryl Meyer

From Bessie Coleman, the first licensed African-American woman to pilot a plane, to Katherine Johnson, whose expertise in the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA aided the United States' aeronautics and space programs, these bold female figures have earned a rightful place in American history.

Isabella Baumfree (aka Sojourner Truth) Historians don't frequently reference Isabella Baumfree when discussing the movement to end slavery, yet the abolitionist and women's rights leader, who changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843, made great strides in bringing racial and gender inequality to the forefront. A daughter of slaves, she not only fled to freedom, she was also the first black woman to fight a white man in court and win - ultimately reclaiming her son from the man to whom he had been illegally sold.   Read More

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Read to Learn - The most important 20 minutes. Click here to learn more.
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