Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bringing Us Closer Together: Thank You, Glenn Doman, for This Amazing Piece of Your Legacy

Glenn Doman bringing mothers and babies closer together original image: IAHP facebook page

"Once, many years ago, someone who did not agree with Glenn's ideas about early learning said of him, 'All Glenn Doman is doing is driving mothers and babies closer together.'
Well, it is not all that Glenn did in his long and highly productive life, but he often said, 'Put that on my tombstone, make that my epitaph: He drove mothers and babies closer together, and I will rest well.' "

Glenn Doman lived such an amazing, dedicated, impactful life. His service to the children of the world both directly and indirectly is so close to immeasurable, one can almost only dream about the influence this one man has had in his great lifetime. His legacy and reach will surely continue on for centuries.

There is so much that could be said of him, his life, and the impact he has had.

But today, I am pondering just one very minuscule fraction of that.

Even just of all the amazing things he has meant to our one family, today I am thinking about one very small part of that: how he brought me closer to my children in a powerful and extraordinary way.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"Every child has, at the instant of birth, greater potential intelligence than Leonardo Da Vinci ever used." -Glenn Doman

Thank you, Glenn Doman, for opening my eyes to the incredible capabilities and potential of my children.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"If, after reading this book, mother does nothing more than look at her baby with new respect, that will be wonderful. For surely that new respect will profoundly effect the way in which she raises her child." -Glenn Doman

For this knowledge has created a level of great respect and admiration towards my children that I never would have otherwise known, and changed the way I interact with them in for the infinite good.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"Tiny kids can learn anything that you can present to them in an honest, factual way. If you give them the facts they'll deduce the laws that govern them. That is exactly the same method that scientists use to discover laws. So don't give them theories and abstractions, give them facts, give them reality. From the facts little children are brilliantly able to intuit the laws." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for gifting me with such a strong motivation to have more quality interactions with them.

Thank you for opening my eyes to how meaningful and important and long-lastingly beneficial these interactions with my children are.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"When parents take honest pleasure in the company of their children they become the best teachers their children will ever have." -Glenn Doman

For within this increased time joyfully interacting together, our relationship has grown in indescribable ways.

The gift of time spent together, it is the most precious and priceless gift in the world. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for bringing us together in this way.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"The brain grows by use. There are very few sentences of only five words that contain more power to change the world than this one." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for teaching me the amazing way in which my children's brains grow. Thank you for teaching me which activities and interactions and opportunities develop which areas of the brain, and for what purposes.

Thank you for teaching me why this is important to intentionally provide opportunities to grow the brain, rather than leaving it to accident or chance.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"The human brain is unique in that it is the only container of which it can be said that the more you put into it, the more it will hold." -Glenn Doman

For this information and understanding has given me such a powerful sense of joy and satisfaction in our time spent together, as I am aware of the ways in which I am helping my children's brains grow and blossom, and in turn, helping their spirits grow and blossom as well.

It has transformed what might have been a dullness of simple routines to a bliss of meaningful pastimes.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
“The growth and development of the human child is much too important to be left to chance.” -Glenn Doman

It has changed my sense of purpose and dedication as a mother and bettered our relationship and quality of life. It has opened my eyes to see beauty and meaning and power in the seemingly mundane moments.

For in childhood there are no mundane moments, only moments of great potential and opportunity to be either squandered in meaningless pursuits, or captured and shared for the good.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"This book is dedicated to all the parents of the world throughout history who have delighted in standing their babies atop their own broad shoulders and saying, BEHOLD THE WORLD MY CHILD." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for teaching me to believe in myself as a mother. Thank you for teaching me to see my own value in my children's lives. It has made me better, and made us better, it has made our relationship and time together better.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"Inextricably tied to human mobility and manual function is human intelligence." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for teaching me about physical mobility and its effects on brain function and development. Thank you for introducing me to all the wonderful physical activities that can benefit my children and, as a pleasant side effect, myself.

Thank you for all of the family runs and jogs and hikes and after-dinner walks. Thank you for the extra trips to the playgrounds and the parks. Thank you for the family swimming sessions learning how to swim better or longer together. Thank you for the balance games and tumbling sessions enjoyed in the living room and on the lawn.

Thank you for all the extra things that I never would have done with them if it weren't for you.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"Very young children can and do learn to read words, sentences, and paragraphs in exactly the same way they learn to understand spoken words, sentences, and paragraphs." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for introducing me to the world of early learning.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"Always remember that math is a game. It is fun! It is playing with your baby." -Glenn Doman

For these moments spent teaching my children and exploring the incredible, beautiful world of knowledge with them have been the best and most meaningful of my life.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"Little kids... hear musical notes in the sounds of refrigerators and in horns in traffic. We see math, and they see solving problems. We see gymnastics as a subject and they see how the human body moves." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for the chance to see my children's eyes light up when they learn something new, or figure something out, or understand for the first time something great.

For because of you these moments have been multiplied exponentially and have been found in ways that would have otherwise been never known.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"The younger they are, the more they believe that learning is a joy. The younger they are, the easier it is to learn anything." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for the opened doors of discovery we got to walk through together.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"By regularly reading classical literature to a child, using selections beyond his own reading ability, a parent will stimulate his enjoyment, imagination, and understanding of the vast and beautiful language of his culture." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for introducing us to the path of so many interesting, beguiling discoveries that lay waiting for us, ones that we otherwise never would have had the pleasure of experiencing together.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
“Every mother who embarks upon this adventure expects to expand her tiny child’s ability. She does this with such vim and vigor that she hardly takes the time to assess the changes that are taking place in her own abilities and viewpoint, until one day when she finds herself happily preparing to teach her child calculus or nuclear physics and is brought up short by her own bravado. She is startled, but not for long. ‘I always secretly knew I could learn anything’ she says to herself and gets back to work teaching her child.” -Glenn Doman

For these shared adventures have been sewn into the very essence of our being: a shared journey, a shared memory, a shared pool of knowledge, a shared interest and love that will eternally connect us, and enrich our conversations and hearts for the rest of our lives.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"The purpose of giving a child encyclopedic knowledge is not to make Nobel Prize winners, or concert violinists, or Olympic stars, or geniuses of any sort. It is to give them unlimited options in life." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for opening the doors to greater hope and joy in my and my children's futures. For this new sense of potential and hope has, in turn, enriched our joy of the present exponentially.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"If indeed knowledge leads to good, surely this world will be a better place when its children are more capable and as a consequence more confident of their own superb abilities, and more able to use those abilities to solve the problems that beset us. This is, after all, what the gentle revolution is all about." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for the games. Thank you for the silliness. Thank you for inspiring me to creativity and ingenuity in finding fun ways to play with and teach my children.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"They knew the real secret. They knew that the magic is in the child, not in the materials... Most specifically, the magic is in the child's incredible human brain." -Glenn Doman

Thanks for the smiles. Thanks for the laughs.

In discovering the silliness of Andrew Jackson's hair.

Or the humor of Mommy playing peek-a-boo from behind a math equation.

Or the joyful abandonment found in dancing to Tchaikovsky.

Thank you for the kisses and the cuddles and the snuggles and the hugs. Thanks for the belly blows and wrestles and the high-fives and goofy faces.

Thank you for teaching me that learning together is the most joyful and wonderful experience a parent and child could ever have.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
“Mothers are the very best teachers. They know their children better than anyone else, and they love their children better than anyone else. And it turns out that kids are pretty crazy about their mothers too.” -Glenn Doman

Thank you for the chance to get to know my children better than I ever normally would have.
To, in planning for our learning together, study them and discover the things they would like to learn about and the best ways to teach them.

To, in teaching them, learn so much more about their preferences and favorites, about their moods, about their actions and reactions at different times of day and under different conditions.
To get the chance to notice. Notice little things that might have otherwise been overlooked. To notice their subtle changes and growth and development. To celebrate the neurological milestones that I might have otherwise never known to look for.

Getting to know my children in this deep and intimate level - has been priceless. And I thank you.

Glenn Doman Bringing Mothers and Babies Closer Together
"It is worth remembering that you are not simply teaching your child all that is worth knowing in this world, you are also teaching your grandchildren's father how to teach them.  It is a humbling thought." -Glenn Doman

Thank you for opening the door to the joy and power that is learning together

We are eternally grateful for the miracle that is you who brought us closer together in immeasurable ways.

Your incredible legacy lives on. Thank you.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pieces of My Week 5.12.13: Legos, Undies, Phonics (Life as DomanMom)

Legos Hunter (8) building with Legos, a constant this past week

I am working on sharing more of the journey of parenthood and teacher-hood with my boys: the process, the stretches between the milestones.

Because sometimes, between blog posts, things aren't so glamorous. And they aren't so organized and concise. And it doesn't always make sense in the moment.

But the beauty is in the journey. The path. The growth. And I am trying to recognize that and, more importantly, remember those little details that fade into the distance with the blink of an eye. Some pieces of my week...


That I could focus. I feel like my brain is constantly, overwhelmingly full. Trying to focus on multiple things at one time, almost always. Never able to settle down on one thing an put action to it.

That my only responsibility was my kids. The chores, the "adult stuff", I wish it would all go away. In a perfect world I could spend all of my working hours teaching and learning with my kids.

For just one regret-free day. Where I did everything "right". A full, peaceful, fulfilling day where everything that needed to, got done.


Starting Damien (23 months) on simple phonetic books. He is so interested in sounding out words. He loves phonics. He will love it.

Making more flash card videos so my life can be easier during some more transitions in the following weeks.

Finishing Hunter's (age 8) 5th grade curriculum before summer gets away from us. Doing more interactive, hands-on things with his coursework.

Damien's second birthday.

Damien building towers with blocks

Frustrated with...

Damien loving my iPhone a little too much.

Disorganization. Sitting too long.

Grown-up stuff. Paper. Too slowly developing technology.


Hunter's obsession with Legos. Damien's obsession with blocks.

Spring. Sweet, sweet Tennessee.

Undies at naptime. Eventually undies at bedtime (so far this week, we have had 3 dry overnight diapers in the morning).

Damien acting like a cat. Damien wanting to snuggle so very, very often. Damien being obsessed with learning.

Hunter explaining things to me. Hunter always wanting to talk. Hunter showing me self-learned computer shortcut buttons.

Underwear for naps
Batman in tighty whities. 23 months old.

My own little journey....

Learning to be present.

Learning to devote more time to what keeps life running.

Learning to celebrate the successes no matter how small.

The goal is the same: life itself; and the price is the same; life itself. James Agee

Friday, May 3, 2013

Potty Training Update: 22 Months

Potty Training Update 22 Months Old

About 9 months ago I wrote "5 Things You Can Do With Your Baby That Will Make Potty Training Later On Easier". The post was mostly about some tips I had been using with my baby as part of a light, alternative form of "elimination communication". The post quickly went viral and has been viewed over 360,000 times, and still continues to go strong with usually about 500-1000 views per day.

I haven't written much more about it since then on the blog. So here is an update of our progress at 22 months old:

Potty Training Update 22 Months Old

Damien at 22 months old, playing on the phone while using the potty

His month of being 22 months old was the strongest yet, and I can say he is almost "officially" potty trained.

After I wrote that original post, Damien was doing wonderfully with our laid-back, casual potty training, and during his months of being 13-14 months old, he even started taking himself to the potty sometimes when he needed to go, and would almost always go when I sat him on the potty. But then we did a ton of traveling during the fall and all the way up until Christmas, and things just sort of fell apart during that time, mostly because I was too distracted.

However, in January (when he was 19 months old), we really started to get back into potty learning again. I kind of went cold turkey and put him in undies for most of the day. I cleaned up a lot of messes for a while, but he caught on eventually, especially when I started using the sling (he did not like peeing on me or himself when he was in a closed in space like that and started telling me when he needed to go).

Potty Training Update 22 Months
Damien riding in the sling, a real help in potty training

Not long after turning 22 months old, he started having many days where he would go all day without an accident. Sometimes I would put him on the potty (such as when first waking up, or if I noticed he hadn't gone in a long time) but most of his potty times were self-initiated.

He also started asking to go to the bathroom while out in public. He actually asks to go potty when we are out in public sometimes more than he asks to go at home. I think he has figured out that doing so can get him out of his car seat, high chair, or the shopping cart, hence his asking so much! But nonetheless, he still does go on the public toilets, even if it is only a tiny bit sometimes. We ended up buying the Kalencom Potette 2-in-1 Potty for such times to make public restroom and side of the road stops easier, which I'll write more about their great potty soon!

Where his progress is at 22 months old:
  • He wears underwear all day and doesn't have hardly any accidents anymore.
  • He still sleeps in a diaper, but often wakes up dry from his nap. He doesn't usually wake up dry in the morning, but his diaper isn't usually "full", either, just a small amount, and he will fill the potty upon waking up.
  • I haven't gotten brave enough to take him out in public in underwear yet, but he will often stay dry for the whole outing.
  • He is somewhat past the point of getting a treat every time he uses the potty. Occasionally I will remember to give him one, but it is so "common place" now that it isn't a big deal for him to go and we both usually forget.
  • He mostly uses the regular toilet (with a Sesame Street seat insert) rather than his little Ikea potty now. The Ikea potty was helpful to have either right next to him or for him to sit on while he played, read books, or watched a show, but now that he tells us pretty much every time, we find it is unneeded, and using the regular potty is easier to clean up after. Still planning on using the little potty when he is playing outside, though.
  • He loves his "undies", specifically his Cars undies. I'm not exactly sure if they were any kind of motivation for him, but I'm not going to rule out the possibility. He also really fell in love with his big brother's Thomas the Tank Engine underwear, but they didn't fit, so we are going to get him his own.
  • Sometimes if he wakes up in the morning or after nap and we don't take his diaper off right away, he will go in it. I think he gets the idea that diaper on = ok to use, and he is admittedly a little "lazy" when he first wakes. Hopefully that will change soon, but for now we're just working on making sure that as soon as he wakes up the diaper comes off, and he does fine.
  • When he is playing outside, for some reason he frequently has accidents even though he does fine inside. I think the problem is he doesn't want to go back inside, afraid that he won't be able to come back out, and even if I bring the potty outside, he doesn't seem to want to stop what he is doing to go. His outside play is very intense! I am hoping he will catch on soon.
  • When we are visiting other peoples' houses, he tends to use his diaper. Grocery store, he will tell you, friend's house, he won't. Strange, but I think he just gets too preoccupied with the "new", and I am usually preoccupied too, so it's a recipe for accidents. Perhaps if as soon as we get somewhere I show him where the potty is, give him an opportunity to go, and then take him periodically, he will get the hang of telling me no matter where we are.
So that is where we are at right now. Just barely on the verge of being able to call him "potty trained", 100%.

Right now I guess you would classify him as "at home, daytime potty trained". And we are working on the "in public, outside potty trained" phase. Once we conquer that, I guess he officially gets the big boy "potty trained" label.

Nighttime potty training, I don't include in the definition of "potty trained", as I know that can come much later for many children, but I am hoping that perhaps sometime soon I will have the courage to stop doing diapers at naps, which seems reasonable since he does wake up dry most of the time.

That is all for now, friends. I do have a lot of things that I "wish I would have done differently", which I will write about another day. I will also write another update post when we reach that much-awaited phase of being fully daytime, everywhere-we-go potty trained!

Damien just turned 23 months old