Does Having 12 Kids Make You a Better Parent?

Lillian and Frank Gilbreth had a new baby every 15 months.  And, yes, she did know how babies were made!

13 in all.  One was stillborn, another died at age 6.  But the rest, all eleven, survived to adulthood.

Not bad for the early years of the 20th century!

We are impressed ALL the children are looking at the camera!

We are impressed ALL the children are looking at the camera!

Frank Gilbreth is known as the Father of Movement Engineering

What?

He studied motion.  How people did tasks.  His goal was not to make people work faster, but to eliminate unnecessary movements to be more efficient

He tried to find the One Best Way to perform tasks. 

If you’ve ever had surgery, or performed surgery, you have Frank to thank.  It was he who determined surgical nurses should be in the operating room to hand scalpels and other tools to the surgeon.  Previously, surgeons searched for and fetched their own instruments while operating.

What do you think that bucket is for?

What do you think that bucket is for?

Lillian Gilbreth may not have gone to school for engineering, but she agreed with her husband.  Her goal was to help mothers eliminate unnecessary movements to be more efficient and decrease fatigue, therefore finding more time for leisure and creativity.  She called those moments “happiness minutes.

She tried to find the One Best Way to perform tasks.

If you have a trash can with a foot pedal in your kitchen or bath, you have Lillian to thank.

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But what about in their home?

Is it possible to eliminate unnecessary movements to be more efficient in a household with 11 children?

Is there One Best Way to raise children?

The Gilbreth home doubled as a real-world laboratory where Frank tested his ideas about efficiency. 

Here are some of the things he tried:

  • Bath time was not for just getting clean, but for learning to speak French and German by listening to language records.

  • He filmed his children washing dishes, studied their movements, then showed them how to reduce their motions and get the dishes washed more efficiently.

  • The children were required to initial process charts showing they had bathed, brushed their teeth, made their beds, and combed their hair.

That doesn’t seem too far out!  We think you have tried some of the very same techniques with your own children:

  • Listening to Rosetta Stone foreign language CD’s in the minivan.

  • Chore charts on the fridge.

  • Showing (over and over) the proper way to load the dishwasher.

Family fun at the shore. Morse code lessons are next!

Family fun at the shore. Morse code lessons are next!

But there’s more.  Frank also did this:

  • Dinner time was not just for eating, but for running through multiplication tables.

  • Irregular jobs, such as painting the back porch or removing a stump from the front lawn, were awarded on a low-bid basis. Each child who wanted extra pocket money submitted a sealed bid saying what he would do the job for. The lowest bidder got the contract.

  • Vacation on the beach was for learning Morse code.

  • When a few children needed their tonsils out, Frank had the doctor take ALL the children’s tonsils out.  While he filmed the surgeries.  To determine wasted movements, of course.

Ewwww!

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Two of the grown up Gilbreth children wrote a book sharing their fond memories of home, called “Cheaper by the Dozen.” 

You can find this book at the library

You can find this book at the library

Does that sound familiar?

The 2003 Steve Martin movie is nothing like the true story; instead it plays on the wacky chaos of a big family.

Funny, but not at all about the gilbreth family

Funny, but not at all about the gilbreth family

The 1950 movie is just like the book, a gentle comedy of the Gilbreth family led by loving, time-management-testing parents.

Funny, and all about the real gilbreth family

Funny, and all about the real gilbreth family

What do you think?

Is there One Best Way to raise children?

We’re certain you have at least one tip that has made life with your children more efficient, with less wasted movement.  Please share with us!

Sometimes, School is a Pain in the Backside

We’re not talking about the old days, when teachers could hit students.

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We’re talking about now.

We’re talking about school days that look like this:

  • Morning: Your child is late because he could only find one shoe.

  • Math:  What homework?  Now there’s extra homework tonight.

  • Recess:  Your child’s best friend is mean to her.

  • Language Arts:  Too much sitting still for your squirmy kid.

  • Lunch:  All the food is yucky.

  • Art:  Paint drips on your child’s good shoes.

  • After School Program:  Kids sit in front of a video, no homework completed.

  • Evening:  Running to ballet, soccer, youth group, scouts, robot club, etc.

  • Homework:  Becomes a battle.

  • Baths, books, brush teeth, bed.

Isn’t it funny how soon we forget complaining about school being out for the summer!

Some days it seems summer lasts waaaaay too long!

Some days it seems summer lasts waaaaay too long!

The office supply store Staples even made a clever commercial about this several years ago.  The song is meant for Christmas, but for parents in August, back-to-school may just be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

We have mixed emotions about school.  Sending our kids off to school is both a relief and a struggle.

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What do we do about it?

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or autism, or you are wondering about their hyperactivity or lack of attention, you may feel conflicted with back-to-school.

          Hooray – My child is back in a routine

          Boo – Other kids may not treat my excitable child nicely.

          Hooray – I actually can get something done with the kids gone all day.

          Boo – my child’s teacher may not understand

Take a look at what this 59 second video has to say.

Teachers have a variety of teaching styles, and it can be hard for some teachers to manage the behavior of children with ADHD.
— Crystal Sanford, Our Expert
Oooh! Who is he going to hit with that paper airplane?

Oooh! Who is he going to hit with that paper airplane?

Children with ADHD are challenging to live with, and challenging to teach.  But ADHD is not our fault.  It is not our child’s fault.

It’s our circumstances.  That’s just how it is.

ADHD does not mean our children cannot succeed in school.  We just have to work with them a little differently.

It’s our choice.  There is much we can do.

There is hope for your child with ADHD. Here are some strategies that parents find helpful:

  • When doing homework, a short ‘movement break’ can help a child with ADHD refocus on completing the work.

  • A small fidget toy is not a distraction for a child with ADHD.  It helps them relax and be alert.  Try giving your child two quarters to rub together between their fingers.

  • Children with ADHD feel it when adults don’t seem to like them.  Love them and be their cheerleader.  Let them know you are on their side.  At the end of the day, did your child receive more corrections, or more compliments?

You are a resourceful parent.  What will you try for a ‘movement break’?  What have you found works for a fidget toy? How will you be your child’s cheerleader today?  Let us know so we can share with other parents just like you.

PS. What is the first thing you treated yourself to when your kids left for their first day back to school?  Or maybe you have a special routine to celebrate back to school with your child?  Please share with us!

At Age 111, You Can STILL Get a High School Diploma!

Sometimes circumstances keep you from doing what you should.

Lela Burden was a 15-year-old school girl in Virginia, when the Spanish Flu struck her town.

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Lela’s high school was closed, and students told to stay home.

Not Lela.  She went to work.  Two jobs, in fact.

It was 1918, and money in her pocket felt so good, that when the flu epidemic passed, Lela decided not to go back to high school.

Lela Burden’s graduation day!

Lela Burden’s graduation day!

In 2014, 96 years after dropping out of school, Lela got her diploma.  She was 111-years-young.

Wow!

  • Question: Did she go back to the classroom and take geometry and history?

  • Answer: No, it is just an honorary diploma, but it recognizes a life well lived. It shows that circumstances can’t keep a good person down.

Lela is officially the oldest person to be given an honorary high school diploma. 

I’m not old yet. I’m still a young lady.
— 111-year-old Lela Burden of Virginia
We hope we look this good at 111.

We hope we look this good at 111.

Way to go, Lela!

Sometimes, our choices keep us from doing what we should.

make good choices

In 1942, Dorothy Liggett was just a few weeks from getting her high school diploma in Ohio. 

She forgot her gym clothes, so the teacher told her to go to study hall.

1940's girls gym clothes

Dorothy wasn’t having that!  She blurted out,

“No.  I’m married.  I’m going home.”

Married?  WHAT??

Yup.  She and John Huston, who was a B24 pilot in the US Army Air Corps, had run off to Kentucky and secretly gotten married.

And married girls were not allowed in high school.

As Dorothy stormed home to her parent’s house, who didn’t know she was married, she thought to herself,

“Oh, my gosh.  I shouldn’t have done this.”

Dorothy was expelled, and denied her high school diploma. And she called this the Stupidest Thing I Ever Did.

  • The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did: She didn't mean sneaking off to get married. That turned out pretty good for John and Dorothy Huston, who were married for 66 years before John’s death in 2007.

  • The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did was not graduating high school. Her five children heard it all the time, “You kids have to have your education.”

You kids have to have your education.
— Dorothy Huston of Ohio
John and Dorothy Huston

John and Dorothy Huston

Yes, it was Dorothy’s poor timing that kept her from graduating from high school.

But, as a surprise for her 93rd birthday, Dorothy’s five children arranged for her graduation to be recognized.  She graduated officially from high school 75 years late!

Dorothy Huston’s graduation day, 2016

Dorothy Huston’s graduation day, 2016

All of us have done something stupid.

Our kids do stupid things, too.  But our children are amazing, also. Perhaps they drive us crazy at times; maybe their choices make life chaotic. But each child is special, and is your gift.

Even on the days you wish there was a return policy on children!

jumping boy

What did you take away from Lela or Dorothy's story? Are you amazed? Surprised?  Do you know any inspiring graduation stories? Write us back and let us know.

PS. What do you want to finish? What do you want to begin?

Exploring Invisible Disabilities Video Course

Your child has ADHD. Or autism. The diagnosis isn’t a death sentence, but you probably have some questions:

  • What is an invisible disability?

  • Who's fault is this?

  • What are the range of challenges facing my child?

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Do you feel uncertain?

  • Do you avoid certain people because they make you feel like a bad parent?

  • Do you dread emails from you child's teacher because they say all sorts of things about your child that you don't understand?

  • Does your child's doctor toss around terms like ASD or hyperactivity without explaining what that means? 

Maybe you can just try harder.

Oh, please.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

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STOP. JUST STOP.

Make a better choice.

We have created our Exploring Invisible Disabilities:  ADHD and Autism to help you. To give you an understanding of your child's diagnosis.  To give you guidance for your next steps.

You are busy. Everyone is busy. This short video course is like having access to experts whenever you want!

Binge watch the course. Or listen to it as you would an audiobook. Or watch a little at a time. Owning the course gives you unlimited access to Crystal and Cindi on your own schedule.

This will not get better on it’s own. Early intervention is so important.

PS. If you have questions, see the Frequently Asked Questions section on our product page.

Family Secrets - Don't Tell!

Don't you wish you knew the story behind this family photo? Or stories?

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If you have had a relatively fun and relaxed childhood, all things considered, then you probably owe your mom a huge gift.

All families will have some traction, all kinds of small feuds and issues, and perhaps a few skeletons in the closet.

It’s up to moms to act as a buffer between their children and the turbulent relations within the family, always keeping their chin up and a smile on their face.

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Especially on family vacations with teens!

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Isn't it great how this mom shows love to her children in this family photo?

Some differences in our children can cause confusion or embarrassment. Especially at school.

Watch what our expert Cindi says about when you disagree with school officials.

A parent has multiple jobs. Start by getting more information from the counselor.
— Cindi Britton, ADHD Expert

Another family secret: ADHD or autism wont get better on it's own. Early intervention is key.

For the price of a few cups of coffee, you can purchase our online video course Exploring Invisible Disabilities: ADHD and Autism.

  • You will have access to information that will explain autism and ADHD.

  • You will have knowledge and understanding when the doctor or school professionals talk to you about your child.

If you buy before 11:59pm Pacific time tomorrow Friday May 17, as a bonus, you will get a FREE 20 minute Phone Discovery Session with one of our experts!

You will be able to schedule your FREE 20 minute Phone Discovery Session at a future date of your choosing. You will get personalized feedback and guidance from Cindi or Crystal

PS. Perhaps you’d like to have our FREE chart. Click here now.

Different is Nice, Until it Drives You Crazy

Some families have children that are different.

Actually, every child had difficult days.  Even children in perfect families.

(Here’s the secret – there are no perfect families).

Having a child with ADHD or autism brings challenges to your home and to your child’s school experience.

Autism and ADHD are known as invisible disabilities

  • A child with autism has no outward sign of his disability. 

  • A child with ADHD looks just like every other child.

Yet children with autism or ADHD can act different than the other children.  And this can cause confusion, frustration, and even anger in the adults around the child.

Here is what our expert Crystal has to say about taking a child with autism out in public.

You wish you had a button that said, “My kid is not spoiled, my kid has autism. Give them some space!”
— Crystal Sanford, Autism Expert

Exploring Invisible Disabilities: ADHD & Autism is our short online video course geared to helping parents understand these two common invisible disabilities.

Two experts in education as well as ADHD and autism provide an understanding of both disabilities in a short video course. Only $24 will bring you to a peace of mind and understanding about your child and their disability.

Understanding invisible disabilities helps.

Curious?  Find out more about our Exploring Invisible Disabilities video course.

Be one of the first to buy this course before Friday May 17 and get a free 20 minute phone discovery session with one of our experts. 

PS. You may want to see our free chart first.

Mom is Always Right - Except When She's Not

Moms do make mistakes.

We look at this photo, and think,

What was she thinking???

But stop it.  You know you’ve done something like that.

  • Like taking your timid child to the shark exhibit.

  • Like making your kid go to school when they were sick.

  • Like making your teen die of embarrassment just because a good song comes on.

Apart from making sure that they are safe, and have enough to eat and wear, a mother will face a thousand and one little challenges while trying to raise her kids right. 

Challenges that outsiders do not see.

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I see a perfect family.

I also see

  • the struggle to find everyone’s shoes

  • the argument with the daughter who only wears princess dresses

  • the child who is distracted by the lights

  • the struggle to get teeth brushed and hair combed

  • the meltdown about to happen

  • and the teen who is dying of embarrassment

Quirky characteristics can be hidden from the outside world.  Your spouse who collects Russian space pins.  Your teen who is obsessed with Legos.  Your child who will only eat orange foods.  Your kid who is always fidgeting.

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It can be difficult.  It can seem like you are all alone. 

You are not alone.  You are valuable to your family.  You are doing a good jobYou care.

Mothers matter.

You matter.

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Just know that none of us are right all the time…

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Things May Be a Little...Off

Have you ever entered a room, and felt that something was off? 

Did someone leave you a surprise?

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Or did someone rearrange something? 

Does this make you happy….or worried?

Does this make you happy….or worried?

Some people like to have things just so, and know it if you’ve made a change.

It does kinda make sense….

It does kinda make sense….

Have you ever shared a photo, and then realized something was off?

Maybe there was something awkward in the background. Maybe someone photo bombed you.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Maybe something happened that you didn’t expect.

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We can get upset. Or fussy. Or, we can choose be grateful.  And choose to laugh, even if we know we will be the one to clean up.

Breakfast in bed ….almost!

Breakfast in bed ….almost!

We can simply appreciate that sometimes we are a little ‘off’ ourselves.

We hope you had a nice, spill-free Mother’s Day!

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How to Get Your Child to Do What You Want

Lists can help a child manage tasks. Here are some tips for success!

We have many more ways to support you on your ADHD or autism journey.

No obligation. No judgement. Just hope for your parenting journey.

My Child is Not Spoiled

Some people just can’t keep their opinions to themselves.

You don’t know what she’s thinking about you, but it can’t be good!

You don’t know what she’s thinking about you, but it can’t be good!

When you are out in public with your child, and your child throws a tantrum, everyone is suddenly an expert. Really, they are a critic.

Dads can really be the target of unkind words from strangers when their child misbehaves.

Dads can really be the target of unkind words from strangers when their child misbehaves.

It can be worse when you child has an invisible disability such as autism or ADHD.

Our expert Crystal says

As a parent you are always thinking, “What are people thinking when my child tantrums?” Because they are going to tantrum about something.

Watch this 1 minute 44 second video where Crystal explains what it is like for parents when their child has a meltdown in public.

Our experts Crystal and Cindi want to help you with your child’s journey through autism or ADHD.

No judgement.

No obligation.

Just hope for your child.

If Momma Ain't Happy...

Marriage can be strained by a child with disabilities.

To be fair, no one looked happy in old time photos. I’m sure she was a lovely lady in person.

To be fair, no one looked happy in old time photos. I’m sure she was a lovely lady in person.

When a child is struggling, parents struggle, too.

  • What is the best way to help our child?

  • Who is right?

  • Why is the teacher always calling me at work?

Sometimes, we blame ourselves.

Sometimes, we blame each other.

Don’t worry. This is a stock photo, and the parents are just acting. So is that adorable boy.

Don’t worry. This is a stock photo, and the parents are just acting. So is that adorable boy.

It is even worse when the school professionals are telling you stuff about your child that you disagree with.

Watch our expert Cindi explain your rights as a parent in this 50 second video.

We know you have the best interest of your child at heart. We know you love your partner, and wish it would get easier.

We know.

We've been there.

That's why we have created a variety of resources to help families just like yours.

No obligation.

No judgement.

Just support for your ADHD and autism journey.

We believe in you and are cheering you on. Let us know if you have any questions.