What is #OlympicMoms

For the next 14 days my blog will be dedicated to the Olympics. We were encouraged by a mom who wanted more play time, a better exercise plan and more whole food to create an international community of moms who could support one another for better health, fitness and family fun inspired by the Olympics.  I wrote to 15 international experts in food, nutrition, family & exercise and asked if they would share recipes, meal plans, fitness tips and children’s activities with us for FREE during the Olympics. The response was overwhelming. Recipes, stress-free living tips and more came pouring in. Thank you warmly to our experts.

We are all #OlympicMoms and #OlympicDads who for 14 days will eat better, play with our children more and exercise daily in order to jump-start a year of health and wellness within our families. Anyone can participate.

Download our #OlympicMoms Participant Guide, from Slide Share, print out the Health Plan page and start sharing, communicating and lifting other parents up with your helpful eating, fitness and family fun tips. For all the expert content in one place visit our Social Hub. We like and appreciate dads as well, join us!

OM What is

Download it, view it, share it, it’s all Fun & FREE!

Got Social Skills? Social Adventures Can Help!

It’s Expert MONDAY!  Meghan Graham MS CCC-SLP, Karen Head MS CCC-SLP and Jill Perry MHA MS OTR/L are with us today to talk about how to teach children social skills. I had the opportunity to ask Meghan, Karen and Jill questions parents often pose when I make a referral for language therapy, social skills enhancement, social competency training or occupational therapy. You may be wondering as well…

  • What does a speech pathologist do to help our children?
  • How does an occupational therapist enhance our children’s skill sets?
  • What is social competency?
  • How do children learn social skills?
  • What social skills do children often have difficulty with and why?
  • What is Social Adventures?
  • How can parents/kids/teachers use it and how?
  • What ideas do you have for parents when their children miss social cues, are emotionally dysregulated and more…

LISTEN IN LIVE or on REPLAY as Meghan, Karen and Jill help us understand the ins and outs of enhancing our children’s social skills, emotional regulation, social relationships, anxiety, anger, bullying and more.


Guest Post written by Meghan Graham MS CCC-SLP, Karen Head MS CCC-SLP and Jill Perry MHA MS OTR/L

Over the past several years, educator, therapists and parents have become increasingly focused upon supporting positive social skills development in young children. Perhaps this has been in response to increased understanding of a number of developmental diagnoses; such as, autism spectrum disorders, nonverbal learning disorders and attentional disorders and the impact they have on a child’s social functioning.

As treating therapists, we have worked with hundreds of children with social challenges over the years through the Social Adventures Program at Children’s Therapy Associates in Natick, MA. We typically see children between the ages of 4 and 9 and at these ages we have found that children learn best through doing rather than talking about social rules. In fact, we have found that many, if not most of the children in our program are often able to articulate a social rule and even recognize when someone else is doing something “wrong”, but they aren’t able to access and effectively use that knowledge “in the moment”. Therefore, we have adopted an approach to teaching social skills which includes 3 critical components:

The first is to “boil down” appropriate social behavior into easy-to-remember Social Catch Phrases. Some examples of these include: “Let Them Know” which helps kids remember to be active listeners and let their friend know they heard them and are interested.

“No Thanks, How ‘Bout” provides a reminder that if they don’t want to do a friend’s idea, they need to offer an alternative. We have found that the most effective means of introducing the power of these catch phrases is through role play. Kids love it! We have also developed cartoon illustrations of the phrases that we use for prompting “in the moment.” We particularly like our “I Need My Space” cartoon.

The second component of our program involves attention to the sensory and motor aspects of social interaction. We recognize that inefficient processing of movement, muscle sense, and touch information leads to balance, spatial awareness, self-regulatory, and motor coordination challenges; all of which play a huge role in managing relationships. The structure of our program is based in the understanding that young children need to move to learn and thus incorporates direct teaching and practice with regard to body/space awareness, understanding body language, and self-regulation.

The final critical component of our program is to provide the kids with opportunities to use new skills during highly-motivating activities. These activities vary from table top collaborative projects to active playground games depending upon the skills being targeted. Using fun, often familiar activities to practice new skills is a powerful tool for promoting generalization.

As this program has developed over the years, we have been asked by parents and other professionals if there was a way to publish the program so that it could be more easily shared. We considered publishing a book but wanted a medium which would allow for easy updates with new activities, cartoons and other meaningful additions. We were stumped until the advent of the iPad and iPhone apps. Once we realized the flexibility that apps provide, we decided it was time to share the Social Adventures program. In April, 2011 we founded all4mychild and in October, 2011 we published our first version of the Social Adventure app which includes over 40 activities, parent tips, a Sample 8-week Program, cartoon illustrations of our 9 most commonly used Social Catch Phrases and an interactive game, the Bag Game. In February of this year, we published the Bag Game as a separate app.  Please contact us if we may help you, your students and children with social skill development.

Questions or Comments?  Send them along to info@all4mychild.com  Follow us on Twitter:  @all4mychild, @SLPmeg, @airborneOT, and @speechNinja 

Meghan Gallahan Graham, MS, CCC-SLP  graduated from Ithaca College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science  degree in Teachers of Students with Speech and Hearing Disabilities. She then went on to Boston University where she received her Masters of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology. Meghan then was hired by Children’s Therapy Associates in Natick, MA, a pediatric multi-disciplinary clinic where she serves a range of children with various communication profiles.

Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education.  While teaching and working in a community health center, she developed a social pragmatics group with a speech-language pathologist and there fell in love with the idea that two (or more) frames of reference were better than one. Jill went on to earn a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University in 1985 and became certified in administering the Southern California Sensory Integration Test; the original Sensory Integration test developed by Dr. Jean Ayres.

Karen Samstad Head, MS, CCC-SLP graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1984.  While she enjoyed the intellectual challenge of a career in pure science, she found that she craved more “people” time and soon found herself volunteering with a variety of agencies, including teaching English as a Second Language and providing respit for caretakers in a group home for children in the foster system.  Through these experiences, Karen learned of the field of Speech Language Pathology and soon entered the Master’s Program at Emerson College, where she received a degree in 1991.

Get Motivated! #StresslessSummer

Love this guide to getting motivated and avoiding procrastination. Summer is the perfect time to develop new habits. What new habits will you be creating this summer?

Read today that motivation is what gets you started, habits are what keep you going. This is so @davidnowell. Click to enlarge, good stuff!

  For more valuable content from Alex Vermeer CLICK HERE. He’s pretty darn interesting.

Father’s Day Printable by Ashley

Saw this on Pinterest and loved the idea of personalized subway art for your dad. Here is some inspiration, get the kids drawing to make meaningful art for father’s day. Have fun!Subway Art

About the artist ~ Ashley is a mum from Phoenix who provides free craft tutorials on her sunshine-filled site, Project Bazaar ~ check it out. LINK


Drawing with markers is super fun for the kids, but if you wish to use picmonkey and do a touch of graphic design here is another mom~made tutorial.


“Dad, can I have 5 dollars for …” Teach Your Kids To Manage Money: Before debt manages them

Today’s Guest Post is a must-read for any family who wishes to teach their tweens, teens or young adults how to manage money before debt manages them. Christos S. Efessiou, PhD, author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood and host of Straight-Up with Chris offers insight and strategies that go beyond save, spend, and give. Read on and change your child’s spending habits, teach money-intelligence and prepare your child for a life-time of wealth.

Anyone can run a company without profit, but no one can run a company without cash. The same applies to life. We’ve all heard the cliché “Cash is king.” I actually believe and teach that “Cash is prince,” because “Cash flow is king.”

Many young people fail to manage their cash flow properly and run out of money before the next paycheck, unable to meet their financial obligations. They miss credit card payments, car loan payments, or, worse, student loan payments. Soon threatening letters and phone calls begin, and inevitably collection notices and derogatory statements on their credit report weigh down their credit score. In some cases, young adults before the age of 30 file for personal bankruptcy and then spend a good part of their lives rehabilitating their credit. More important, prospective employers, landlords, and other credit issuers routinely check the credit score before offering employment or approving an apartment lease.

Here is the problem most young kids run into. An amount of money goes to their bank account every week or every two weeks. They pay whatever bills are due at the time, and see a significant surplus remaining in the account. Most treat it as extra spending money and  do exactly that. They spend it. This is the ultimate in a false sense of security, because while they think that the “surplus” is spending money, it is actually money that must be used to pay bills that come due later in the month. Inevitably, when that time comes they are short of cash.

To prevent this from happening to my daughter, I taught her the following simple principles for managing her cash flow.

1. Create a realistic budget and stick to it.

2. Set up multiple bank accounts with online access and link them together.

3. Pay yourself weekly or biweekly. Wherever your money comes from, your employer, your parents or a school loan, deposit your check in one of the online bank accounts; let’s call it the master bank account.

4. Transfer 10% of your income from the master to a savings account.

5. Transfer the money intended to pay bills to a bill-paying account. Immediately transfer the equivalent of two weeks of expenses to this account.

For example, your rent is most probably due on the first of each month. If you are paid biweekly, transfer half the rent from the master account to the bill-paying account, and do the same with all your bills such as utilities, food, credit card payments, etc. If you are paid weekly, transfer a quarter of your monthly expenses to that account.

6. Pay all your bills by credit card whenever possible. Doing so causes you to write fewer checks and makes record-keeping simple and centralized.

7. Pay all your bills online. Program your accounts to automatically issue payments two days before the bills are due. This helps you in two very important ways:

a. Your bills are always paid on time, and that is the most important ingredient for a good credit score.

b. You avoid making the cardinal mistake of overspending and running short or “bouncing” a check.

Consider this all too familiar example: You have paid your bills with physical (paper) checks and mailed them to the intended payees on time and you feel good about it. The next day you check your account balance and discover that you have more money than you anticipated. To reward yourself, you decide to spend it on things you enjoy. A few days later the bank calls you with an “insufficient funds” message.

How could this happen? Here is how. When you pay by paper check, the money stays in your account until the check clears the bank, which, counting transit time and other factors, could take from a few days to a few weeks. Online bill payment removes the money from your account on the same day the check is issued, thus eliminating any unpleasant surprises. It is fast, secure, and automatic. It also saves you money because while many banks charge you for writing checks, most banks offer online bill payment for free.

8. Pay your credit card bills weekly. Programming your account to pay a quarter of your credit card bill each week reduces the finance charges assessed by the banks if you carry over balances from month to month. More important, you eliminate any risk of a late payment, and your credit score rises.

9. After you have followed steps 3 through 5, you should still have the money you budgeted for entertainment and the like.

10. Withdraw the full amount in cash. Use only cash for drinks with friends, dinners out, movies, etc. This is your safety valve. You can order only as many drinks as you have cash to pay for.

Keep the credit card in your wallet and you will have no unpleasant surprises.

Entrepreneur, Marketing Strategist, Negotiations Architect, Speaker, Author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer®-The Business of Fatherhood, and Radio Show Host. Chris Efessiou understands first hand that the dynamics of success are the same whether you are addressing a group at work, or tucking your child into bed at night. As the number of children living in single-parent households and stay-at-home parents has exponentially increased, a new generation of working parents has evolved. Though his own personal experiences, Chris Efessiou Founder and CEO of SRxA-Strategic Pharmaceutical Advisors, shares his discovery of how the skills critical to becoming a successful business leader can be seamlessly applied to parenting and personal relationship with equal efficiency.

Five reasons to teach writing to your kids

21 states recently reported they will no longer teach script in school BIG MISTAKE! Handwriting is a very important brain process that helps children with language, communication and motor skill development. We parents are going to have to teach writing at home. What do you need to know about kids and handwriting. Today we’re in the studio with Megan Eldridge MOT, OTR/LHandwriting Development Expert and creator of Scribble 2 Script For more visit www.scribble2script.com.

Listen to internet radio with The Family Coach on Blog Talk Radio

How to Recover from Vacation in 5 Easy Steps by Lara Galloway

Today’s Fab Friday Guest Post is from our esteemed colleague and energetic mum Lara Galloway. She’s a happenin’ mom biz expert with some super practical advice.

This post really got me thinking about all the habits we all have around vacation. I clean the house before we leave, so we come home to a clean home. I don’t clean the house any other time, just before vacation:). Since I hate laundry that also means about 14 loads at one time:). I wash the car as well, is that weird? I like to come home to a clean car.

What about you. How do you prepare ahead of time to recover from vacation. Let Lara and me know @mombizcoach @drlynnekenney.

Don’t forget to check out Lara’s blog, it is really informative.

Ah, vacation…

With any luck, you’re a mompreneur who has created the right systems and support to allow you to get away from it all now and then. You pulled off the miracle of planning, prepping and packing for weeks (even though you were only gone for four days). You negotiated a sweet deal that even your budget-conscious husband approved. And you kept the kids from whining (some of the time). Mom, you deserve a medal!

But returning home can be tough. There’s the laundry. The grocery shopping. Getting the kids back into all their activities. And then there’s your small business. The emails. The Social Media. The phone messages. As a busy mom entrepreneur, you need some success strategies to make recovering from vacation a breeze. I’ll give you five!

Mompreneur Tip #1:  Before you leave for vacation, set yourself up for success by making sure that you communication your absence to your clients, customers, team, family and friends. Setting expectations ahead of time will reduce the urgency of follow-ups when you return. An “out of office” notice on voicemail and email that states when you’ll be returning messages really helps.

Mompreneur Tip #2: If possible, wash all your dirty laundry wherever you are, so that you return home with clean clothes you can quickly put away. This has made a HUGE difference in how I feel after vacation. When there isn’t a mountain of dirty laundry to get through, I can unpack quickly (with the kids’ help).

CLICK here for more of Lara’s valuable tips!

Lara Galloway is an Entrepreneur, Mompreneur Speaker, Trainer and Business Coach. Learn more about Lara at mombizcoach.com.

The Mind Garden

When experts, parents, educators and passionate people gather together in person or though social media you get A Mind Garden.

What a glorious place to play, learn and grow. Each day, I wake up wondering, “What will I find in ‘The Mind Garden’ today? Will I discover new flowers, a cool new brain blog or some new stencil design for our daughter’s room?

Today I discovered:

Brain Development
IPads for education
MRIs and Math
Make Money Teaching?
Early Childhood Lesson Plans

The Mind Garden has a new meaning to each person who participates. For some it’s about social connections, for others it’s about getting help editing your newest book. For me, The Mind Garden is about learning through sharing. The Mind Garden is a place of discovery and change. Where we share, give and learn with one another.

One moment in the mind garden I will learn about oceanography another moment I’ll be reading about planting windowsill herbs, yet another moment I’ll be dreaming up how to help foster youth in the UCLA Guardian program.

Some days while the girls are playing sports, I play and learn about new recipes, design and education on Pinterest.

Need a new web designer or a spring dress. Want an opinion on your summer reading list for the beach? You can ask in The Mind Garden #mindgarden.

Drop on by the blogs of other mind gardeners and grow with us, here on twitter, on facebook and in person at Parenting 2.0 in August. @kidlutions @mommyperks @listentomepleas @andreapatten @RidingWithVW @DrBethKids @cindyspringsteen @movingsmartnow @sueatkins @louiseasl @stressfreekids @thekidscoach @theteendoc @imaginationsoup @braininsights @therubybooks @flyonthecwall @drmarty01 @marjieknudsen @davidnowell @mamamarlaine @safetystar and more…

Be a mind gardener, all you gotta do is share what you discover.

P20 Conference: Life Skills For Kids Count

Please join Dr. Lynne and Friends! in San Diego August 16-18, 2012

If you are ready for a meaningful paradigm shift in parenting and education away from rote learning and “teaching to the test,”  LinkedIn’s top ranked Parenting 2.0 group is holding their first P20 Talks Conference at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice in San Diego, CA August 16th-18th.

We’re all called to shift humanity toward a more conscious, mindful and skills-based approach to parenting and education. We’re exploring what matters for families: bullying, digital safety, brain development, financial success, education reform, adoption, poverty and more…

Fifty presenters from four continents will present critical Life Skills  – Skills that are too frequently tossed in the parental junk drawer and ignored by exhausted, overwhelmed parents: We’re dusting them off and building a better future for our children where their creativity and ingenuity soar.

Check out the International Speakers and Authors

In addition to being introduced to a new, more dynamic and proactive narrative for “Raising Humanity,” this is a rare networking and professional opportunity for Clinicians, Entrepreneurs, Educators, Parents, Social Workers, Psychologists and anyone passionate about child-rearing to join the dialogue for change.

Attendees with have the opportunity to network, grow and learn with others. Pediatric Psychologist, Dr. Lynne Kenney tells us, “This isn’t your typical speakers sit here, all others over there, this is an open – engaging – ongoing dialogue of educators, authors, and parents who want to make a difference.”

Seating is limited so please act promptly if interested.

For more please visit http://parenting2pt0.org

Are There Three Words That Describe Your Cause? Write & Shoot

While I would not call myself an activist, now that I have teens and have seen bullying and cruelty up close, I feel more strongly that each of us needs to identify our passion interest and dedicate a part of our energy toward raising awareness and creating change. #ReGeneration The Movie was produced by friends of my brother, Doug. It aims at empowering people to care and make a difference. You can make a difference with a photo and three powerful words. What are your three words?

Mine are: CRUEL’S NOT COOL (Thank u Annie Fox)

Come on friends ~ Tell us what matters to you!

What three words describe your greatest cause?



  • Homelessness
  • Feed The Children
  • Stop Racism Now
  • Bullying Hurts
  • Stop Testing Start Teaching
  • Accept People’s Differences
  • Be Nice or Leave

Now that #ReGENERATION is available in theaters, on your TV and EVERYWHERE on iTunes.

The award-winning documentary film, #ReGENERATION, explores the galvanizing forces behind the Occupy Movement and the state of social activism in our society. The film takes an uncompromising look at the challenges facing today’s youth and young adults as they attempt to engage on a myriad of social and political issues. Narrated by Ryan Gosling.

The producers would like to collaborate with you on a social activism experiment to move the conversation forward in an personal way.

Here’s your first in a series of simple missions:

1. Take a blank piece of white paper and the darkest, thickest pen you own.

2. Write down the primary issue you want to focus your activism on. In three big words or less (“teen homelessness”).

3. Have someone nearby (don’t be shy) snap a photo of you holding the paper at chest level (make sure pic includes your whole face and we can read the sign easily)

4. Email me your picture at jeremy@engine7films.com and include your name and city you are in now within the “subject”.

If on twitter, use #ReGENERATION and share it via twitpic or other app. Thanks for sharing this on Facebook and look forward to showcasing you and your cause in the gallery we are assembling now. FOR MORE VISIT REGENERATION.

Let’s hear from you! Friends weigh in will you?

@annie_fox @411voices @BruceSallan @childanxiety @cindyspringsteen @cutemonsterdad @davidnowell @drmarty01 @flyonthecwall @hoagiesgifted @kathyireland @kidlutions @kidshealthtips @lauriedupar @listentomepleas @listplanit @maggiecary @marjieknudsen @micheleborba @movingsmartnow @safetystar @shapingyouth@spectrumspeech @stressfreekids @sueatkins @SueScheff @suzannanarducci @talkingteenage @thecoffeeklatch @thekidscoach @theteendoc

Return to top of page
Copyright © 2014 Dr Lynne Kenney