Blog - Children & Families

Children & Families

Blog Nancy Spiegel

Providing Non-Residential Services During a Pandemic

Our HRC Service Providers who provide non-residential services had to work quickly after congregate service settings were ordered to close, to find alternative ways to provide services to our clients and families on a virtual platform. Thank you to Service Providers for sharing your creative service delivery examples.

Blog Monique Leotaud

Screen Time While In Survival Mode

A lot of parents are currently in survival mode and that means doing things as a parent that they hadn’t planned on doing. For a lot of parents, that is letting your child have screen time or an increased amount of screen time. The first link below is to a great article to let you know that if your child is having screen time there are ways to make it quality screen time that they can learn from. I hope this article provides new tips for how to incorporate screen time, if necessary, and how to remove any guilt you may be feeling.

Blog Monique Leotaud

Fun Activities to Do At Home

Here are some fun ideas for activities to do with your kids with items you may have at home

Egg carton:

Sort materials such as beads, buttons, bottle caps, etc. Sort by color like in the picture below or sort by size, small items go in the egg slots and big items go on the other side. [Works on strengthening finger muscles and ability to differentiate items by color or size.]


Bullying: What it is, How to Recognize it, and What to Do About it

What is bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior towards a person that often happens again and again. Bullying includes teasing, name calling, written and verbal abuse, threats, physical assault, and other hurtful behavior. Bullying is meant to threaten or intimidate the victim.
Take a look at the article here to learn more about how to prevent bullying.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Relationships Matter

Caring for our children has many facets, but what really matters is that we give our children a feeling of safety, and a sense of belonging. As Mona Delahooke, PhD tells us, “We need to begin with the “birthplace of emotional growth: the relationship”

Blog Kathie Sarles

Traditions: Refection of Our Values

At this time of year I often reflect on my traditions, and what they mean to me and my family. Traditions connect one generation with another, bringing shared family values into our daily lives. Our Children learn what we hold dear, what is important and necessary to us, through our incorporation of these values into our home life. Families are as unique as the people within them, and traditions exemplify these differences.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Toileting: What’s the Fuss?

This is a REPOST but worth a read….

There are many good parenting articles, blogs and DVDs that address this very natural and routine milestone,( look for these in our resource center). There are also many sage and “helpful” relatives and friends that offer advice on this issue. When it comes right down to it there are only 2 people who matter in this specific skill development: the child and the caregiver (s). It is up to you and your child to decide when you are ready and what method to use.
Below are the things to think about and the steps that might be helpful on this short, but intense journey.
Is your child ready? His chronological age is not a factor in this specific checklist. If he/ she is between 2 and 3 it is a good time to look for the signs.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Breathe in the New Year!

Parenting is hard enough, but add in the challenge of a child with delay or disability and your tough job becomes almost insurmountable. Steady breathing, and a calm demeanor are not often attributed to parents of young children. Our children actually take our breath away when they act upon impulse or attempt a new challenge that puts them in danger. Of course the same is true when they accomplish something new or when they just crawl into our laps (and hearts) for some love.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Calming Big Emotions

All young children have big emotions. We can see these big emotions and experience them first hand when our children tantrum or have meltdowns. Our children, however, don’t often know that they are experiencing emotions. What they do know is how they feel: bad! The overwhelming feeling of a strong emotion that begins deep inside and needs to come out is scary for children. Letting them know that we all have emotions, naming them and allowing them to understand that the feeling will pass, will help those emotions calm sooner.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Forget the Flashcards… It is all about the Relationship!

It is all about the relationship. The most important factor for positive developmental outcomes for young children is the relationship with the significant caregivers in their lives. “Young children experience their world as an environment of relationships, and these relationships affect virtually all aspects of their development.” (Center on Developing Child Harvard University).

Blog Kathie Sarles

Calming the Storm of Emotions

We could all use help calming down when big emotions overtake us. When we encounter a stressful situation, our body is flooded with physical and emotional responses. As adults we usually can find our way to the “other side” incorporating strategies that have worked in the past. Our children have had less experience and a less mature nervous system, and regulation is more difficult in times of anxiety and stress. Creating a daily calm down routine into our children’s life will serve them well as they grow and encounter more times of turmoil. Modeling your own daily mindful breathing, meditation, yoga or relaxation technique will give them the motivation to try.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Traditions: Reflection of Values

At this time of year I often reflect on my traditions, and what they mean to me and my family. Traditions connect one generation with another, bringing shared family values into our daily lives. Our Children learn what we hold dear, what is important and necessary to us, through our incorporation of these values into our home life. Families are as unique as the people within them, and traditions exemplify these differences.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Parenting in the Twenty First Century

Growing up in America has taken on a new dimension in the recent decades. Children are exposed to many more “truths” than they were in the baby boomer generation. Our generation hid the adult issues, talking in whispers when the children were around or sending them out to play when adults needed to talk. The old adage: Children need to be seen and not heard, was largely touted as the way to raise children. The advent of the 24 hour news cycle and the internet, however, opened up a world of wonder, knowledge and violence for everyone, including children.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Emotion Regulation

A meltdown, the typical response from a two year old when he is unable to have the thing he wants, can be the ultimate problem for parents. Couple that meltdown with a public display, and a seemingly calm and confident parent turns into a whining, bribing, pleading yelling out of control adult! Why?

Blog Kathie Sarles

Should I Spank?

Is It Ever Alright to Spank?

Over the years in my work with children and families I have heard many parents say,“ I spank my child when they misbehave; it works,” and then add defensively, “I was spanked when I was a child and I am well adjusted.”

Blog Kathie Sarles

How to Follow Your Child’s Lead.

Following Your Child’s Lead

What does it mean to follow your child’s lead when engaging in play?

Although the concept is easy to understand, the practical application is difficult. We have many “schemas” or play plans already completed in our minds. We know what we can do with Legos or blocks or how to place the animals in the zoo or barn. We have had past experience with these toys and feel competent at completing our game plan. Our children however, still enjoy experimenting and randomly placing a variety of toys in many different areas and seeing how it looks or feels. When we interfere with this experimentation the child looses his motivation and creativity. In other words, we spoil their fun. Do that too many times and they don’t want to play with you or worse, they think YOUR way is the only way.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Sharing and the World of Mine!

Sharing and the World of “MINE”

Kathie Sarles M.Ed.

As parents we want to raise our children to be respectful of others and learn how to be social. We try to model many social norms like greetings, being polite and sharing. We expect that once our child interacts with others that he/ she will begin to follow that model while interacting. Toddlers and preschoolers will fall short of this expectation, and that is due to their social / emotional development. These toddlers are egocentric, which means they feel they are the center of the world and no other perspective is valid.

Blog Kathie Sarles

You Are the Expert

How many of us take the time to think about parenting? We are parents, we love our children, but the “how to” and the “what to do” get lost in the” just getting it done.” Who has time to think about parenting, while you are in the midst of parenting!

Blog Kathie Sarles

Postive Parenting the Young Child

New class for parents of HRC clients ages 1-5 years.

Create a positive atmosphere while setting limits that allow your child to develop internal controls. Using the STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) curriculum our early childhood educator will present research tested, effective strategies that you can use immediately in your home with your child.

These five session classes will be offered four times a year alternating between HRC’s Torrance and Long Beach locations.

Blog Kathie Sarles

What to say instead of saying NO!

Parents: Below is an article I wrote to begin this Early Childhood Blog. Those of us working with the 0-3 population are often asked questions about early childhood development and behavior. We would love to answer your questions. Please feel free to ask questions here or comment on what is written in this blog. We can all learn from each other. 
Kathie Sarles, Early Childhood Specialist