Helping Your Child Learn To Listen

Written by Maren Schmidt

"You can't help your child learn anything if you don't teach them to listen and pay attention. That's what you have to do first."

I overheard Tricia, a mother of three, as she visited with a father at a parent get-together.

Afraid of breaking a...

Learning To Make Good Decisions

Written by Maren Schmidt

What should we teach our children?

Research shows that 80% of the facts we learn for tests are forgotten in a month. We remember best that information with which we have an emotional connection. It's a lot easier to remember your birthday than...

Understanding Your Child's Artwork

Written by Maren Schmidt

A visitor gushed over my four-year-old daughter's new and quite abstract painting on our refrigerator. "Oh, what a beautiful painting. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

I was pleased that my daughter had remembered to say, "Thank...

Letters Of Encouragement

Written by Maren Schmidt

As young parents, my husband and I took a video-based parenting course called “Active Parenting” developed by Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. Impressed with all the valuable information I was able to put to immediate use, I became an Active Parenting...

Oxygen For Brain Development

Written by Maren Schmidt

Sometimes a simple and effective solution is right in front of us.

Our bodies are 65 percent water. Our brains are 75 percent water. Water, H2O, is made from two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Our brain needs oxygen and water for optimum...

Be Friendly With Error

Written by Maren Schmidt

Nicholas, a cheerful three-year-old, had cried every day at snack time for a week.

Because he had spilt a pitcher of water on the snack table, Nicholas refused to try to pour himself a drink of water.

Efforts to encourage Nicholas to pour an...

Freedom Within Limits Of Responsibility

Written by Maren Schmidt

Freedom and responsibility are linked together.

We are free to act when we have the right and also take responsibility.

For example, in our society, we have the right to drive a car. We exercise this privilege to drive by taking the...

Foster Cooperation by Giving Choices

Written by Maren Schmidt

Most of the conflicts we have with our preschool-age children involve getting them to do something they don’t want to do in a reasonable amount of time. Eating, getting dressed, going to bed or taking a bath may be familiar conflict areas. In...

From Creeping To Leaping The Kindergarten Year

Written by Maren Schmidt

A few years ago a Montessori mother, Sarah, allowed me to use the following letter in my Understanding Montessori newsletter.

The letter explains her confusion and decision about her daughter's third year in Montessori, or the "kindergarten year".

Avoid Discouragement, Apologize

Written by Maren Schmidt

"My dad never apologized for anything. He never admitted he was wrong, made a mistake or said he was sorry for anything. I think that caused so much friction and anger in our relationship. Now, I find I'm starting to do the same thing with my...