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Expert Insights with Pediatric Psychologist Dr. Lynne Kenney

June 12, 2013

by Michelle LaRowe
Editor in Chief

Recently I had a chance to catch up with good friend and nanny supporter Dr. Lynne Kenney, pediatric psychologist, author and mom. Dr. Lynne Kenney has been actively supporting nannies for many years and has spoken at many industry events, bringing a message of empowerment to those who partner with parents in caring for children.

eNannySource.com: Tell us a bit about what you do and what you’re doing these days.

Dr. Lynne Kenney: I am a pediatric psychologist who teaches brain-based parenting and academic skills to teachers, clinicians and families.

eNannySource.com: What components do you think are essential to having a healthy family?

Dr. Lynne Kenney: This is a BIG question. The short answer is that I think first comes love, then patience. Considering the developmental needs of your children and building your days/activities to enhance their growth and learning are fruitful.

eNannySource.com: What are some easy, practical things parents can do to improve the quality of their family life now?

Dr. Lynne Kenney: First, build social-emotional intelligence by helping children label and manage their feelings without getting angry at them. Second, build motor intelligence with fun movement throughout the day. Third, build thinking skills by describing what we are doing throughout the day. Fourth, enhance their learning, and fifth, look at books, notice words and read for fun to build literacy.

eNannySource.com: What do you think parents are struggling with most today? What are some solutions?

Dr. Lynne Kenney: I think families struggle most when they believe that consequences improve behavior. What really improves learning, communication and behavior is teaching children new words, thoughts and actions. We review this in our new book Bloom: Helping Children Blossom. When we focus on what skills children need in the moment and then we teach those skills, children thrive.

eNannySource.com: What are your best three tips for new, first-time parents?

Dr. Lynne Kenney: Tip one, read good books, like Nanny to the Rescue and The Family Coach Method. Tip two, develop a clear culture in your family communicating what you wish the children TO DO, not what they should not do, throughout the day. Tip three, think of your children as wishing to learn and grow through loving, connected daily experiences with you.

eNannySource.com: How can parents gain more confidence in themselves?

Dr. Lynne Kenney: I think if parents consider themselves teachers and learn about child development, social-emotional intelligence and (later on) academics, they will parent from a perspective of growth not punishment.

eNannySource.com: Tell us a little about Play Math.

Dr. Lynne Kenney: Play Math is an integrated program of motor math activities that gets kids up and moving in order to learn math facts, factors and fractions. Integrating the work of Dr. Martin Fletcher, J.P. Das, Zolton Dienes, Suzy Koontz, SPARKPE, Jean Blaydes Madigan, Georges Cuisinaire, Thomas Carpenter and more, this program provides opportunities for children to develop their math facts and understanding of math factors through movement and play. The program and the overview for motivated parents and nannies can be found at http://www.lynnekenney.com/national-nanny-training-day-play-math/.

Lynne Kenney, Psy.D., is a mother of two, a practicing pediatric psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ and the author of The Family Coach Method. She has advanced fellowship training in forensic psychology and developmental pediatric psychology from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Harbor-UCLA/UCLA Medical School. Her NEW co-authored book BLOOM: Helping Children Blossom is available this Spring on Kindle. Combining her love for motor movement and brain development, Dr. Lynne’s newest endeavor, Play Math, is helping children ages 6-11 learn their math facts with playground balls and hoola-hoops for better algebraic thinking. To learn more about Dr. Lynne Kenney and her new book Bloom, visit http://www.lynnekenney.com/is-your-family-blooming/


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