June, 2014    Vol 2
View this email in your browser

Help Your Children Expand Their Diet!

Four years ago when I met my now nine year old son, it took him three hours to eat an apple!  Needless to say that first attempt was filled with tears and frustration...  He now eats an apple in fifteen minutes and we have been adding other fruits and veggies.  We still have lots of work to do... but we are heading in the right direction.   My seventeen year old son had a dinner diet consisting of chicken nuggets and french fries.    Everyday!  365 days a year!  For several years!  He consumed zero "0" vegetables.  Three years ago I introduced him to veggies.  There was much protest!  (That's putting it mildly - he is 6' 2" size 15 men's shoes - imagine him having a tantrum fit protesting broccoli.)  

The plate below reflects his diet today.  He eats fruits and veggies and  drinks six glasses of water daily.  He follows an eating visual schedule, which he self-monitors!  It sometimes takes years to change a habit or establish a new one for our kiddos.  However my focus continues to remain on the adult they are becoming.  It's important to help them develop good, sustainable habits for the future.

Plate purchased at Rite Aid.  Great visual tool to help with a balanced diet! 

Help Your Child Reduce Rage and Isolation...

"Adolescents can take steps to live successfully with behavioral disorders and mental illness.  I believe my kids have learned very successfully, how to strike a balance in that sometimes tumultuous roller coaster of emotions from rage to isolation, that come with behavior challenges and mental illness.  I believe the key to our success comes from two areas…  First is self-identification/self-confidence..."  Check out our blog to read more... click here.

by: Nellie Valentine

Save the dates:  Aug 7, 14, 28 & Sep 4

4-Wk Workshop on Behavior Strategies & Organizational Systems.  Help your child find success in Time Management, Organization,  Back to School Planning and Emotional Regulation.
Register For Workshop
My Commitment:  Excellence
 "It is of vital importance that each child receive a superb, individually designed plan to meet their need."  
~Kids do well if they can~
Nellie Valentine


I cannot begin to tell you how many times and in how many ways I've been told my kiddos would not be able to accomplish a goal.  I was perceived as an ambitious parent who perhaps was over-reaching!  Often by well-intentioned folks, who had what they felt was the best interest of my children in mind. This began when my now seventeen year old son was in Kindergarten and his Teacher reported that all he did was wreak havoc in her class and he could not count nor recite his alphabet.  The school district was recommending an entirely different school for him.  Well, that was not our experience at home...  I was flabbergasted!  We eventually convinced everyone that my son knew the alphabet and could indeed count.

I learned two very important lessons early on... first no one knew my children better than me!  It was up to me to ensure that I continued my education on their behavior challenges.  The second lesson I learned was that there were many people willing to help...  especially when I knew what to ask for.  I've never met an Administrator who refused to "think out side the box" alongside me when I brought a viable solution to explore.  Collaboration is key!

As parents, we have a finite amount of time with our kids preparing them for adulthood and self reliance.  Everything we do today impacts how they will thrive tomorrow.  I often encourage parents to "Raise the adult, not the child."   What we fundamentally instill in them in 18 years, will be cultivated for the rest of their lives.  I'd love to teach you what I've learned over the years, in my upcoming "Organizing for Success" Workshop.  

UP of So Cal... a NEW website with great resources for Parents....
 Check it out at
Our amazing nine year old was the last runner in at his 400 M race at the Foundation Games in April.  The entire Arena were cheering loudly in encouragement to help him get to the finish line!  And he did it!  The picture shows our "winner" with his Coach Carrie. That is how his race Triumph!

His journey began with my son having severe out-of-control behavioral challenges.  At home he was combative, verbally and physically abusive to his siblings and 100% non compliant.  At school he was having tantrums, throwing pencils, shoes... anything on his desk at his classmates, having the entire classroom evacuated... receiving suspensions.  We initiated an individualized program that has him continually learning coping strategies, while developing self confidence!  This past school year?  No suspensions!  His school's Team work very hard to support my son!  We adjust his programs at home as his needs change.

The significance of this milestone is the trajectory of my son's life and achievements: Consistent Behavior Therapy and Ongoing Support Systems equal PROGRESS!.
At Swanky Brain, Inc. we are setting a goal in our first year to develop a Safety Plan for our kids.  As our younger kids play in the parks and our teens take public transportation or become drivers, we would like to ensure that Peace Officers can support them through a melt-down or any other emergency in a safe and harmless manner.  We are starting a Task Force and invite you to become a part of this effort!  Please contact us.  Email:

Be AWARE of new habits lurking!  One day my son asked to look at the TV Guide half hour before a program to see the story line. Then another day he asked again, and eventually this became his new norm.  I could see the rigidity beginning to set in.. he was getting downright adamant about his new habit... so I nipped it in the bud after about three weeks. He asked why and I said you will find out what happens when you watch the show.  My advice to you: Identify these potential challenges and re-direct or nip in bud early.  Don't wait!


I believe an important benefit of reading early to and with your children is an increase in the aptitude for learning.  When children can read, they are able to comprehend and grasp concepts.  They can generalize these skills in various areas of learning... improving their self-confidence.    Also, reading helps with pronunciation and decoding.  This helps children at any age, from toddler to teens, when using Social Stories to support behavioral goals. It does not matter the extent of a child's delay  Children benefit from hearing the words and stories!  Read with your children and continue to encourage independent reading at their level...  It makes a profound difference!
You are welcome to use any part of our articles in your Newsletter, E-ZINE or Website, as long as the following statement accompanies it: Nellie Valentine is a parent in the trenches committed to helping families with behavior challenges raise well-adjusted, emotionally healthy children, by introducing them to proven behavior strategies and systems.  For a consultation, please visit our website: or Email:
If you have questions or need further information on any of the articles in this Newsletter, please contact...
Copyright © *|2014|* *|Swanky Brain, Inc.|*, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Swanky Brain, Inc.
P.O. Box 5004
Orange, CA. 92863.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp