Home and Family     Healthy Kids     Teen Health     Early Education     K-12    

Two words, many solutions



Focusing on “pre” and “and” can really help

Focusing on “pre” and “and” can really help


When I worked at a Mt. Tremper preschool from 2003 to 2007, I crossed paths with dozens of two-to-four-year olds. Some of these kids are still around, and I frequently cross paths with quite a few of them. They’re all in their late teens and early twenties now. I am continually surprised how they’ve changed, and more pointedly, how wrong I was about some of the difficult ones. I thought a few with impulse control issues were certainly headed for troubled teen years, but they’re fine. Some who had trouble making friends and seemed doomed to loneliness have in fact blossomed into social butterflies.

In her article on msn.com, writer Suzanne Zuckerman advises parents to be mindful of what I have learned: preschoolers are in their “pre-change” stage, meaning they are little works-in-progress. At the preschool we endeavored to help the aforementioned kids to no avail, but they figured things out on their own timetables. As Zuckerman pus it: “Children don’t change their behavior unless and until they are developmentally ready, or otherwise motivated, to do so. We can’t predict when or how exactly this will happen. We can’t always envision the event, friendship or new environment that will catalyze a change in our kids. But that doesn’t mean change isn’t coming.”

READ MORE: How to teach manners to the very young

The other word is “and.” It seems simple. Citing Dr. Robyn Koslowitz’s podcast Targeted Parenting she notes how two seemingly contradictory things can be true at the same time:

“Using ‘AND’ with our kids helps us convey our unshakable love and belief in them, even when it is necessary to demonstrate our disapproval of their actions.  For example I can say ‘you are a loving, gentle and kind person AND you need to learn we can’t ride on the dog. You are a hard-working, responsible student AND we need to come up with a system that helps you remember to turn in your homework. You are a loving sister AND you need to practice your tolerance skills.’

Koslowitz reminds us how language carries a lot of power, even simple words, and simple concepts. In the blur of Covid-era parenting, these can actually cut through the best.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Residential refresh

    Personalized touches for your home

    Your home is an expression of you, your personality, and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home’s aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space. read more »
  • An elevated sandwich for any occasion

    Your family is going to love this

    They might not be the fanciest of foods, but when you eat a filling, protein-packed sandwich, you are usually left satisfied and full of energy. From ham and turkey to mayo and mustard, the possibilities are nearly endless when sandwiches are on the menu. read more »
  • Graduation party planning

    5 tips to make yours awesome

    Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, a significant milestone worth celebrating. However, planning a graduation party can be overwhelming. read more »
  • Know as they grow

    How birth defects affect each stage of life

    Birth defects, structural changes that affect one or more parts of the body, are the leading cause of infant mortality. A baby is born with a birth defect every 4.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). read more »
  • Almost two-thirds of home fires are due to human error

    Here's how to prepare

    The threat of a home fire is greater than most people think. 40% of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire, yet residential fires are the most common disaster people face in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. read more »
  • How to erase negative self-talk and feel better

    Writing can help

    It’s been four years since the collective trauma of the pandemic created widespread grief, anxiety, and isolation, but the psychological wounds of this period have not fully healed. read more »
  • 7 ways to reduce energy bills during summer heat

    Don't let your budget get smoked during a heat wave

    With temperatures forecasted to run at least 2 degrees higher than historical averages across more than half the country, according to projections from AccuWeather, heat waves may lead to soaring air-conditioning bills this summer. read more »
  • Celebrate Father's Day with exciting outdoor activities

    5 ideas for a day of fun for the special guy in your life

    A thoughtful card or personalized gift can go a long way on Father’s Day, but what many dads (and grandpas) want on their special day is time spent with loved ones. read more »
  • Preparing for your first pet

    5 tips for new pet owners

    Welcoming a new pet into your family can be an exciting addition, but preparation is required to provide a loving home and enjoy the unconditional love of a four-legged family member. read more »
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101

    What every student-athlete should know

    Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases. read more »