Tag Archives: Preschool

It’s Not the Terrible Twos, It’s the Planting Twos

The Planting Twos – Good Seed, Good Fruits, and the Golden Opportunity to Teach and Train

The stare down with Mr. Fish, Curiosity is a path to the Planting Twos and to an opportunity to teach at accelerated learning speeds. The “twos” are the Golden age of learning during early childhood development.

You may have heard the phrase the “Terrible Twos” and the challenges associated when a child is about this age. Instead, Starts at Home calls this time the Planting Twos an exceptional time in life when there is accelerated and unconscious learning.  Ancient inspirational Proverb and wisdom says to train a child in the way they may go, likewise today’s educational programs developed by Dr. Erick Erickson and Mari Montessori, MD. documented successful learning behavior during early childhood; so take the signs of tantrums and get ready for the Planting Twos not the “terrible twos”.

Parents try to their best to train children in grade school and high school, Starts at Home encourages parents to train a child before pre-school, these are the best years to plant seeds that will be blossom to be fruitful.

Early Childhood Development

According to Erik Erikson, Ph.D., the trust versus mistrust stage is the most important period in a person’s life. The trust versus mistrust stage is the first stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage occurs between birth and approximately 18 months of age. Without this an infant may be unable to form intimate lasting relationships later in life.

Bonding between the child and parent starts developing immediately following birth and strengthens with the first year after birth. This is a time when parents can nurture a child with hugs, talking, laughing, feeding, smiling, playing music, singing, and changing diapers. The regular and consistent support from parents, who are the primary care giver, is most important during this phase, also support comes from grandparents, uncles, aunties, sitters, and close friends who help nurture and protect the child; this is a basic need for attachment.

Children will not remember their first years of life and the instinctive and innate bonding that occurred. This period will never come back again. Dads, it’s a time to spend less time at work, less time with personal friends, and less outside activities; it’s a period to spend more time spent with your new baby and family.

During these planting years children learn from their parents’ family values, social morals, and analytical skills that children will keep for the rest of their lives. During these early years teaching children what is morally right and wrong, concepts of sharing, listening, reading, math, and obedience are learning quickly and almost without effort.

Maria Montessori, MD. said, “The first idea the child must acquire is that of the difference between good and evil”. She also said “The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything!” The infamous German leader, Adolph Hitler said, “Who owns the youth, gains the future.” Pastor Gregg Laurie of Harvest Ministries remarks “Obedience starts in the high chair, not in the electric chair”.

President Bill Clinton said “The single biggest social problem in our society may be the growing absence of fathers from their homes and children.” In an article found in the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs, we are reminded and too familiar with the statistics of being raised in fatherless homes; at JSI Research and Training Institute’s conference, moderated by, Gilbert Chavez, 06-10-09, he reminds us that fatherless homes are:

• 5 times more likely to commit crimes,
• 9 times more likely to drop out of school
• 20 times more likely to end up in prison
• Forty percent of all children born in America today will be born to unmarried parents.

Train A Child – Learning From a Mom of 10 Children

Starts at home invited Tani Freitas to share about how she raised ten (10) children and help encourage parents, after all, children are not born with instructions,. Tani was a loving, nurturing, and disciplined mom who gave her children chores beginning at the age of two (2); her oldest children is now a registered pharmacist and has her own family.

Each of Tani’s children had chores, beginning at the tender age of two. An important household rule was: No Chores, No Dessert, simple rule. If the children didn’t finish their dinner it was put into the refrigerator and served for breakfast. And if they didn’t want to finish dinner, they had to go straight to bed. If the children were hungry later in the evening, Tani said “sorry dinner time is over, you’ll have to wait till breakfast”. Every child helped with cleaning the dishes and kitchen after every meal, and there were lots of other chores for them to do around the house.

The importance of children and chores is also described in a phrase I like, by Pastor Greg Laurie who says, “obedience starts in the high chair not the electric chair”. Powerful words that are so true. Chores, obedience, and being a good follower starts at home with wise parents. Parents may at times give into children’s tantrums, especially when out in public. Children throw public tantrums because it often succeeds by embarrassing or wearing down the parent into submitting to the child’s will. As parents, we must be patient and wiser for our children, and train them early and consistently in a kind yet firm, loving, and nurturing manner. It is vital that we begin this type of parenting very early in the child’s life, for the longer we wait, the more difficult the child’s negative habits and behavior become to correct.


Starts at Home would like to thank LAVA 105FM for the opportunity to share this message on radio and Cynthia Honma of Ken’s Towing who sponsor of this radio program aired on September 7, 2011.  Like Ruth Matsuura, MD. retired Pediatrician says, “Parenting is the high calling in a person’s life”

El Sistema – Start to Train a Child in Music 2-3 Years of Age

Elsistemausa - Venezuela - Dr. Abrue begins teaching children at the age of 2-3 years old. The concept of teaching a child early is life works.
Elsistemausa - Venezuela - This program begins teaching children at the age of 2-3 years old and demonstrates that teaching a child early in life is rewarding.

El Sistema: a visionary global movement that transforms the lives of children through music is a new model for social change that is helping many communities.

Thirty five years ago, Dr. José Antonio Abreu gathered 11 children to play music. El Sistema was born. The program now teaches music to 300,000 of Venezuela’s poorest children, demonstrating the power of ensemble music to dramatically change the life of hundreds of thousands of a nation’s youth while transforming the communities around them.

Children begin attending their local El Sistema center, called a “nucleo,” as early as age 2 or 3, with the vast majority continuing well into their teens.

El Sistema – Teaching a Child Early In Life – How to play music.  Enjoy watching Dustavo Dudamel, Conductor, Los Angels Philharmonic Orchestra.

Teaching music, reading, writing, math, and other talents, Starts at Home with a nurturing parent early in a child’s life.  Enjoy your children, teach and encourage them when they are young, to reach their full potential, and their gifting.

Believing in Your Child’s Potential Increases Your Child’s Success – Encouragement

Encourage your children early in life 1- 7 years of age.

Encourage a child with good faith,  and you will be able to watch a flower bud blossom into a beautiful flower or a chick evolve into an eagle.  Believing in your child’s potential increases your child’s potential in life.  A parent’s faith and belief will help children to have faith and believe in themselves, thus enabling  them to achieve their goals in life. In the educational profession this theory has been called the Pygmalion effect, or the self-fulfilling prophesy.

Know that each of your children are different, with different talents, no child is the same, each child is unique, like snowflakes … not one alike,  so accept John being different from Jimmy. You may become disappointed when the career for your children are not met or they quit the occupation you selected for them. Instead, nurture their spirit to have faith and be pleasantly surprised with their successes in what they choose freely to do in life.  Our love must be unconditional, nurturing, and disciplined.

Here are some words of encouragement.

“Ruth, you have a good memory.”

“Mark, you play the ukulele so well.”

“Deborah, you read well, let’s keep reading.”

“Kimberly, you want to do another math problem, that’s good.”

“Arnold, where did you get all your strength”

“David, wow you sure kick the ball good.”

“Jeffrey, wow you sure can swim and hold your breath a long time.”

“Johnny, you sure planted a lot of seeds, let’s be patient and watch them grow.”

“Justin, you sure can keep focused on playing Lego a long time, that’s a neat car you made.”

Tame Our Tongue not to Speak Discouraging Words

Discouraging words tear down a child’s future so we need to tame our tongue.  When we seek to refrain from discouraging speech, we will find that it will be easy to do.  Often, parents who were themselves raised with discouraging speech will follow the way they were brought up; it’s up to the parents to break this generation curse.  Here are some examples of speech that will discourage a child:

“You’re not good at anything”

“You won’t amount to anything”

“Why can’t you get that right”

“Why aren’t you more like your sisters and brothers?”

“You’re just being silly”

Whether we’re raising our own biological children, adopted children, or those from another family member, remember that each child is different, with unique personalities and talents.  Despite these differences, all children need encouragement and  need to know that their parents believe in them.  What matters is as parents,  we whole-heartedly believe that our children are bright and will reach their full potential.  Believe it, practice it, and our children will too. Love and discipline are gifts to our children.

Wikipedia – Robert Rosenthal is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. His interests include self-fulfilling prophecies, which he explored in a well-known study of the Pygmalion Effect: the effect of teachers’ expectations on students. From 1962 to 1999 he taught at Harvard, became chairman of the psychology department there in 1992, and Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology in 1995. On retiring from Harvard in 1999 he went to California.

Having a Part in Raising Ten Children – Love, Obedience, and the Family Team

Terri and Tracy Freitas
Learning to be polite “starts when you’re babies” say Terri Freitas (r) next to sister Tracy.

At one of our parenting support dinners, Tani Katada-Freitas was asked to share her parenting skills in raising  ten (10) children.  We all know that raising children is a challenge, so how does she successfully raised her five biological children, three stepchildren, and two Hanai (children from other immediate family members).

As our evening’s guest speaker, Tani and three of her children arrived early in their modest Toyota station wagon, rang the door bell, where they all greeted  us with smiles,  the children shy yet so polite.  My wife Amy and I welcomed them into our home with hugs and shook their hands.   Impressed with the children’s behavior, I asked Tani’s twelve-year-old daughter Terri where they had learned their good manners and she answered “it starts early when we’re babies”.  After the other parents and children arrived, we had dinner and fellowship, then started to listen to Tani’s story.

Tani was a teenage mom, having had her first child at the age of seventeen.  This child, Krystal, will soon be graduating from the University of Southern Nevada, School of Pharmacy, as a Pharmacist.  She is married and starting her own family.  Tani shared how she began reading to the children when each was four to five months old, and that she constantly read to them. Reading definitely plays an important role in successfully shaping the lives of Tani’s children just as it does the lives of many other successful citizens of our community.  Reading works, it is essential in raising children to become successful adults.   Tani said that Krystal was an excellent student; her name was regularly on the principal’s list.   Tani herself was frequently invited by the Dept. of Education as a guest speaker at various high schools to encourage teenage parents to continue school so that they could be the best parents they could be for their children.

Each of Tani’s children had chores, beginning at the tender age of two.  An important household rule was:  No Chores, No Dessert, simple rule.  If the children didn’t finish their dinner it was put into the refrigerator and served for breakfast.  And if they didn’t want to finish dinner, they had to go straight to bed.  If the children were hungry later in the evening, Tani said “sorry dinner time is over, you’ll have to wait till breakfast”.  Every child helped with cleaning the dishes and kitchen after every meal, and there were lots of other chores for them to do around the house.

The importance of children and chores is also described in a phrase I like, by Pastor Greg Laurie who says, “obedience starts in the high chair not the electric chair”.  Powerful words that are so true. Chores, obedience, and being a good follower starts at home with wise parents. Parents may at times give into children’s tantrums, especially when out in public.  Children throw public tantrums because it often succeeds by embarrassing or wearing down the parent  into submitting to the child’s will.  As parents, we must be patient and wiser for our children, and train them early and consistently in a kind yet firm, loving, and nurturing manner.  It is vital that we begin this type of parenting very early in the child’s life, for the longer we wait, the more difficult the child’s negative habits and behavior become to correct.

Tani continued sharing her story.  She described her use of office folders for what she called the “Folder of Shame”, one of her effective discipline systems. It worked this way: if a child did something wrong, that child had to write a sentence 100 times,  for example,  “I will not hit my brother or sister and keep my hands to myself”.  Writing this was an effective form of  time out, and no child wanted a fat or thick folder.  Spanking without anger was occasionally used as a last resort.  Another house rule was “If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime”.  House rules were very important and consistently enforced. Tani added “being a parent is like being the head of a company. “You must treat everyone with mutual respect and with that respect they will want to ‘pitch in’ to help”.

Similarly, rewards were regularly “earned”; these included keeping one’s room clean,  getting good grades, and finishing chores.  Tani’s children learned that earning rewards meant earning time to play the XBox, going to a friend’s home, and other fun things that each individual child enjoyed.  On a different occasion I met Tati, one of Tani’s older daughter who remembers earning rewards like candy and being taken our to eat, as well as sitting at the table and writing to put into the Folder of Shame.  Tati said “I owe this lady so much”.

Katada-Freitas Family

Tani remembers the early tough years of being in an abusive marriage, and once lived for two weeks in her car.  To help her cope, she spent time in church at New Hope Christian Fellowship where she helped Pastor Wayne Cordeiro.  Today those tough years are a memory as she and her family continue to move forward to overcome these challenges.  As with many families, finances are a constant challenge;  Tani and her boyfriend maintain their multiple jobs and raise pedigree Pit Bulls which they sell.  Any major purchases as well as any family concerns are discussed by the family as a team. Tani is pleased that she did not accept any financial assistance and instead they worked hard to earn money to provide for their family; I could see she feel felt good about this and setting a good work ethic for her children.

At the end of the evening, we wanted to help Tani with a monetary gift but she graciously refused to accept anything.  Her can-do attitude is truly inspirational. She is a person of strong integrity who does not seek handouts, rather, she is a giver and a conqueror; we appreciated her time of sharing.  She is a living testimony that parenting not only starts at home, but it starts when we train a child early in the way they should go, and they obey parents who are loving and nuturing.  One has only to look at Tani and her children to know that they are her treasures and that it isn’t the material things that are important to a child’s success in life.   In closing she says “I did not start out knowing everything about parenting, with my older children I’ve made a lot of mistakes but with those mistakes I have learned and hope that I am a better parent”

One of the principles of Starts at Home seeks is to encourage men to love their wives and together raise their children, unfortunately sometimes in abusive and adulterous relationships a separation or divorce is considered by the couple. It’s highly recommended that a third-party such as a pastor or a marriage counselor intercede to assist during these difficult times.  Spouse and child abuse is a very serious matter and may be or become a generational problem, sometimes divorce may be a wisecourse of action to prevent the spread of an angry and tormenting spirit. In such cases, the angry person may need a healing process to become a loving parent. To help settle differences seeking wise counsel is imperative; in our marriage of over thirty-five years, Amy and I sought the counsel of our pastors four times; they helped us through our difficult challenges.

Tani, thank you for sharing your encouraging stories, parental wisdom and insight as you continue to love your children.


Starts at Home potluck luck dinners are held on the second Tuesday of month; information on these parent’s meet ups are posted in this blog under the Classes Menu. These dinners are open to the public.  Because our parents and children have busy schedules, dinner starts early at 5:30 pm and done by 8:00 pm.  Parents are married, single, and blended families; all are welcomed. For more information call (808) 937-4392.  Aloha!