Many people have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but did you ever think about how important it really is? Probably not, and that is because most mornings for busy families can be hectic! Parents need to get ready for work, while also getting their children prepared for school. Usually parents pick a quick and easy breakfast for their children to eat because it’s more convenient. Other times, breakfast might be skipped altogether! However, skipping breakfast or eating something sugary, such as cereal, can really affect your child’s attention, academic performance, and behavior.

breakfast healthy fats

When thinking about healthy nutrient-rich foods to feed your child, aim for these 3 food groups: whole grains, protein, and fruit. Don’t forget to add healthy fats as well! Foods such as real butter, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado make great additions to your child’s meals. Healthy fats boost brain power. Kids who go to school on a low-fat diet don’t have what it takes for their brains to thrive! The brain is about 60% fat! To give our brains what it needs to stay healthy, it is vital to eat foods that are high in healthy fat and Omega-3s. "Healthy Breakfast Ideas Your Kids Will Love" is an article written by Katherine Lee who provides quick nutritious breakfast ideas that will give your child a solid start to their day. The article also gives parents tips on how to prepare a healthy breakfast without adding more to an already busy morning!

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, noticed that some students were able to easily bounce back after failure while other students were distraught over small mistakes. She set out to study students’ attitudes towards failure so she could understand why students respond so differently. Dr. Dweck created the terms growth and fixed mindset after spending years studying the behavior of thousands of students. In a Ted Talk, Carol Dweck stated that, “a growth mindset is when students understand that their abilities can be developed.” Students who believe the mind is malleable (growth mindset) are able to easily recover from failure because they see it as a learning opportunity.

Many scientists once believed that the brain’s ability to change and grow was only possible in early childhood. However, recent neuroscience research shows that our brains are much more malleable than we thought and the brain continues to change into old age. “The brain is constantly creating and destroying neural pathways, forming the thought and behavior patterns our brain uses to make decisions, choose actions and present us to the outside world. The pathways that are used get stronger; those that are under-used grow weak and eventually replaced,” according to Margie Meacham. This means that our brains are not static, they are like a muscle! Through repeated practice and exposure to new challenges, we can create pathways that make our brains stronger and smarter.

When you change your words, you change your mindset. When your child is faced with a challenge the image below shows how to help them turn a fixed mindset statement into a growth mindset statement!

Instead of this thinking, try thinking

There is a strong link between mindsets and achievement. Many educators, parents, and employers have adopted the mindset principles found in Carol Dweck’s book and have seen astounding results in their students, children, and employees. However, there are 3 common misconceptions about growth mindset that Carol Dweck wants everyone to be aware of before implementing it with their child or in the workforce.

  1. I already have it, and always have. Carol refers to this as a “false growth mindset” because a pure growth mindset does not exist. “Everyone is actually a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets, and that mixture continually evolves with experience,” states Dweck.
  2. A growth mindset is just about praising and rewarding effort. “Unproductive effort is never a good thing,” says Carol Dweck. Often times students are praised for showing effort, but not learning and this only makes students feel good in the moment. Therefore it is important to praise a student’s effort and the learning process they went through to achieve the desired outcome. Carol Dweck and her team found that when children focus on the learning process (trying new strategies, asking for help, viewing failure as an opportunity for growth) then they are better equipped to implement a growth mindset and its benefits.
  3. Just adopt a growth mindset and good things will happen. Someone may not reach their goal but it is important to reward them for the lessons learned during the process. Dr. Dweck wants educators that coach students to have a growth mindset to “encourage appropriate risk-taking, knowing that some risks won’t work out.”

How to encourage students

Coaching a growth mindset

The websites below are wonderful resources for educators or parents who want to teach their child about growth mindset. The first website shows how to explain what growth mindset is through pictures, activities, and printables. The second website explains growth mindset though animated video clips, discussions, and questions. Both resources are excellent ways to begin the process of instilling a growth mindset in your child!

Children Screen Time

We all use screens now as everyday tools. Our adult screens come into play for phone calls and texts, to check schedules, send reminders, add new contacts, etc. Watching a TV movie and checking the news count too.

I personally don’t play games on screens, but many children do, and even the youngest children can be seen watching an iPad video while Mom shops for groceries. When interviewing new students and their parents, I always ask about video gaming and the amount of screen time normally spent on a daily basis. How much is too much?” the parents often want to know.

Ann Saker wrote for the Cincinnati Enquirer answering that question: Too Much Screen Time Changes Children’s Brain’s Cincinnati Children’s Finds.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has set guidelines for monitoring your children’s screen time, available here at kidshealth.org: Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games, and the Internet.

ABC News has a recent article by Dr. Angela Ryan titled Screen time and Kids: New Findings Parents Need to Know. She cited a study published in JAMA Pediatrics states that extensive screen time can alter brain function related to language and reading development:

"Researchers looked at brain MRIs in 47 preschoolers and found that screen time over the AAP's recommendations was associated with differences in brain structure in areas related to language and literacy development.”

See also Screen Time Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers by kidshealth.org.

I sure hope this is helpful. Please share it with friends who have young children.

For successful learners,

Ann

Aiden Sound Therapy SuccessDuring the last 13 years the use of sound therapy has enabled many of my students to make faster progress, releasing them to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. If you have explored this website, you understand that sound therapy is the applied use frequencies (especially arranged and engineered recorded classical music) applied to the inner ear and the brain with bone conduction amplification. It sounds like listening to beautiful music, but over months of regular listening it can be powerful.

Today I am writing about progress of a particular 6th grade student, Aiden. Aiden has a diagnosis of Intellectually Challenged and has a speech impediment. In the past year he showed good progress through the iLs Focus programs. Then we decided to take a higher step. With a custom-designed iLs ProAmp program for six weeks, his progress really ramped up.

Following are some of Aiden’s mother’s comments.

  • September 9: He asked his aunt to take him to get his mother a birthday present and used his own chore money to buy it. On his mother’s birthday, he was the first one to wish her "Happy Birthday!" in the morning and gave her hugs repeatedly during the day.
  • November 12: Aiden has a new interest in board games. He is coloring with his sister. He actually stayed overnight for a sleepover. He used an appropriate “thank you” to his auntie. His vocabulary is expanding.
  • November 15: Aiden is asking about college! The family visited the College Living Experience in Austin. Aiden said he wants to live in an apartment on campus. [This shows motivation and planning.]
  • December 6: Aiden demonstrated a clear understanding of opposites for the first time. His speech therapist said that his articulation is much better.
  • December 13: The improvements continue. Aiden is paying attention to conversations around him. He is much more confident and is becoming very independent. He engages verbally with people much more. He is open to new things and new foods. He is completing his bedroom routine and getting to bed independently. He helps “babysit” the younger children when mom is at home. Aiden is showing more age-appropriate maturity and staying on top of his chores.
  • January 17: Mother reports that he is not a picky eater this week. Aiden really got into the Cowboys football game!
  • January 24: [my notes] Aiden entered my office with good eye contact and said “Hello, how are you?” He read a mid-first grade level book with good inflection, showing good comprehension and much improved visual memory for words. His fluency and articulation while reading were much improved. He enjoyed reading and dramatizing his voice for some of Fox’s antics.

Witnessing his progress brings much joy and satisfaction to those of us who know and love Aiden.

Every student has unique needs, and sound therapy brings different results for each person’s uniqueness. I’m happy to be able to assist and to witness my students’ progress getting “unstuck” and moving forward into a more productive and satisfying lives.

Is your family affected by autism? Many are finding that their autistic child or adult responds positively to sound therapy, neuro-scientific programming in which filtered frequencies are applied to the brain through specially recorded music. autism awareness month jpgOver time, sound therapy causes new synapses to form, improving the brain in specific, deficient areas.

As you may know from reading this website, I am an Integrated Listening Systems sound therapy provider. iLs’ new program, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), is a 5-day program, one hour each day, which parent and child can do at home with SSP equipment/music (a rental from Austin Learning Solutions). The Safe and Sound Protocol is being used with autistic spectrum clients and has also shown very good results for children and adults with anxiety.

Dr. Stephen Porges designed the SSP to calm the autonomic nervous system. This calming effect brings balance to disregulated emotional and physiological systems, allowing the child to feel safe. The “fight or flight” response is diminished, enabling the Social Engagement System to open up. The child’s ability to communicate and interact with family and others can progress. This enhances the efficiency of following therapies.

You may read more about the Safe and Sound Protocol here: http://integratedlistening.com/ssp-safe-sound-protocol/.

Be sure to read David's story (a student with Down Syndrome), on the same SSP page. Clinical use of the Safe and Sound Protocol is showing great results for both autistic and non-autistic clients. This link shows two columns about Pre- and Post-SSP state: http://integratedlistening.com/ssp-safe-sound-protocol-clinical-resources/.

Hope this is helpful! Please forward this to someone you know who may benefit from the Safe and Sound Protocol.

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