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The Impact Parenting E-book is live!

Practical, personalized guidelines to create success for you AND your kids right now.

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The brand new e-book from Author and Tournesol Kids Executive Director, Carey Davidson is live! The Impact Parenting E-Book: The Five Archetypes Mindset for Resilient Parents is a time-tested, clear code to create and nurture a successful environment for your kids now — while everyone is at home — and beyond COVID-19.

In this e-book Carey will share: 

Discover individualized plans to maximize your time with each of the Five Archetypes, including:
• Understanding their strengths, challenges and fears
• Relationship behavior
• Learning and studying type
• Triggers and button pushers
• How they show stress
• Needs for safety
• Coping mechanisms
• How to soothe your child
• Pleasing colors and calming shapes for their space
• Activities that build resilience
• The best daily structure
• Aromatherapy
• Yoga stretches
• How your child will trigger YOU

A portion of proceeds from the Impact Parenting e-book benefits Tournesol Kids.

The Impact Parenting e-book is here!

The brand new e-book from Author and Tournesol Kids Executive Director, Carey Davidson.

Pre-order by 12/17 and get 50% savings. Use code AGAME at checkout. 

Get it here first! A Five Elements parent’s guide to optimize your home for success during COVID and beyond.  Juggling work, homeschooling, relationships and self-care? The Impact Parenting e-book delivers practical, customized techniques to navigate the busy household with ease, precision and success.Discover individualized plans to maximize your time with each of the Five Archetypes, including:
• Understanding their strengths, challenges and fears
• Relationship behavior
• Learning and studying type
• Triggers and button pushers
• How they show stress
• Needs for safety
• Coping mechanisms
• How to soothe your child
• Pleasing colors and calming shapes for their space
• Activities that build resilience
• The best daily structure
• Aromatherapy
• Yoga stretches
• How your child will trigger YOU

A portion of proceeds from the Impact Parenting e-book benefits Tournesol Kids. Pre-order now before it goes live on December 17th for 50% off with code AGAME at checkout.

In this episode of the Autism Parenting Secrets podcast, Dr. Stephen Cowan shares the wisdom of The Cosmic Snowman, a Roadmap for a greater connection for yourself and your child with autism.  

He uses a model called the Cosmic Snowman which is the evolutionary design of our neurologic system. It links our mind and body’s functions and how it relates to healing and true connection.

The base of the snowman is centered around the reptilian brain and its ability to sense but also function properly. This is where we must first focus our healing efforts if we want to grow, change, and learn. It’s imperative to have a solid foundation so that we can physically connect with the world around us.    

The middle circle is our limbic system or our puppy brain. This is where our excitement lives. It is where you will find passions, instincts, and emotions and it’s where you find things like inner and outer exploring.  

At the top of the snowman is the neocortex, our highest point of evolution. This is where our spiritual gifts live and where we celebrate a true sense of joy. The ultimate goal here being optimism and a sense of celebration even in times of challenge.   

Dr. Cowan explains the interconnectedness between each part of the snowman and the power of using this as a guide for true connection. We discuss the symptoms of children outgrowing their diagnosis and why behaviors that are typically seen as regressive may actually be a sign of genuine connection and progress. 

His model of understanding children with autism empowers parents to truly connect and create better relationships with themselves and their children.

Be sure to tune in to this transformational episode.  

Listen here

In this episode of the Autism Parenting Secrets Podcast, Dr. Stephen Cowan discusses the secret that your child with Autism is your teacher.

Dr. Cowan talks about the importance of looking at the “how” as opposed to the “why” when supporting your child with Autism, as this allows you to focus on the unique gifts in your child. This is a cornerstone of keeping a growth mindset. On the other hand, a fixed mindset tends to isolate symptoms or takes the symptoms out of context rather than looking at them within a holistic framework.

The goal here is to shift your perspective so that the parent takes on the role of student, allowing them to discover their child’s gifts. A doctor can only offer clinical insights, but a parent taking the time to become a student of their child offers a clearer understanding of individual needs and a broader picture.

This kind of student and teacher relationship empowers your child to reveal further information that will help you meet their needs and harness their gifts. It becomes an equally beneficial opportunity for the parent and child to thrive.

The real warrior parents are the ones who recognize and acknowledge that they’re the experts on their own child because they allow their child to teach them.

Listen to the episode here

Summer is the season of surrender to the pulse of life. Think of the child on the swing urging his parent, “Higher, Higher, Higher!” Picture the barefoot couple gyrating to the beat of salsa as the waves crash on the sand.  Recall how kids of all ages scare themselves silly on the roller coaster. Life is a party when the days are long and the sun is out.

Just as quickly, the mood can shift. One minute you’re kissed by the sun, and the next minute, you’re burnt to a crisp. The baby who was squealing with delight as he’s tossed into the air is screaming in his sleep when the lights are out. Too much excitement and too much fun can flip over into fright and flight.

In homeopathy, an entire family of plants addresses just this dynamic relationship of excitement and fright/flight. It even carries the name of the sun: Solanaceae, the nightshade family. They include the key players of the summer kitchen garden – tomatoes, eggplants and peppers — as well as the tobacco plant that perfumes the night.

The Solanaceae family has some of the most brilliant remedies for children. Here are some of my favorites for common childhood acute ailments.

Belladonna (“beautiful lady”) owes its name to a risqué habit of Italian Renaissance women who squeezed the juice of its berries into their eyes to create the look of wide-eyed allure.  In ultra-diluted form (12C and above), this remedy can resolve the same states of wide-eyed frenzy. It comes in handy when the child’s fever spikes in the middle of the night and heat radiates from his skin while he is moaning for water to quench his fire. Belladonna resolves the fever and restores his vitality overnight.  The child who becomes unwell after a haircut may also need Belladonna. “An angel when well and a devil when sick.”

Stramonium is the grand remedy of night terrors. It is for the child who wakes up screaming with fright, clinging to those near him. The creatures of the dark — ghosts, animals, shape shifting phantoms — appear out of nowhere and are out to get him. He can’t sleep without a night-light. He may also have strange hallucinations and want to flee.

Hyoscyamus is the silly goose who is always singing, talking, laughing, and jesting to provoke and to entertain. He takes off his clothes or gestures wildly to attract attention. He may pick at his bedding and play with his hands, dancing on the edge of cute and crazy.

Tabacum can be kept in the travel kit for the child who gets deadly nauseous after the car starts, turning cold and pale. He must keep his eyes closed, or his vertigo will get worse. Open air relieves, but vomiting may not.

n.b. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s own healing response. They should be selected according to the individual’s holistic symptoms on the principle of like curing like. A little goes a long way. The indications above are a fleeting glimpse into an ocean of inter-related symptoms for parents looking for gentle solutions and are not intended as this-for-that prescriptions.

Inspired by a visit to the beach with my friend Pamela, when a whale visited Rockaway Beach 105 on the last Sunday of summer. We cried, we laughed, and we mourned for the lost child in us. We danced to the beat of Venezuelan drums, touched the wild, wild things and left as our NYPD heroes showed up in full force to rescue a missing swimmer. 

For the very first time, the principles of digital wellness, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology are joining forces with the Tournesol Kids framework to address the technology use of tweens.

Watch this workshop preview hosted by wellness expert and mom Krissy Shields, founder of Maha Mama, and psychotherapist and parenting coach Teodora Pavkovic. 

Interested in the workshop? Take this survey or email for more info!

It’s time for Summer Camp! Our kids can’t go away to camp this year so we want to bring camp to you. We envision live online events that you and your kids can participate in for free. We’ll show you bite-sized, neuroplasticity-based exercises that you can do together to build resilience during these challenging times.

Help us plan our camp by answering the following questions:

Would you join our Tournesol Kids Camp live online?
What days and times are best for you and your kids to participate in live online events?
What length of event do you prefer?
Would you want to be on camera during the event?
Are there any specific topics or challenges you would like us to cover?
Take the survey here
Thank you for helping us shape this programming. We’ll see you at CAMP!

Thank you for helping us shape this programming. We’ll see you at CAMP! 

by Belinda Levychin, Program & Marketing Director

I sit here at my desk as a black woman, a mother of two young black men, unsure of where to begin.  As someone who has been working on the creation and development of Tournesol Kids from its inception, I turn to the tools that we have been working so hard to bring to the world, this time, to find my own balance. So, I begin looking for Water Power, which will help me be able to find grounding and some new perspectives. Before there can be any movement forward, we must begin to Listen Deeply. Water Power can help shift our thinking in even the most troubled times.

As a black person, it has been so hard to take in the events of not just of the past week, but the past several years. Growing up, I was taught that I had to work hard, to play by the rules, and to create change from being on the inside. I was willingly following the social contract and had a measure of success. Often in my life, I was the lone black person in the room. I pushed any discomfort I may have felt to the side, telling myself this is what it takes to be successful. I fell in love with the advertising world and saw the impact that I could have on how things were communicated. Luckily, I had an opportunity to work at one of the larger multicultural agencies, which led to a lot of opportunities at some very big companies and, for a while, that was enough. I thought I was doing the thing!

Then, I became a mother of two black sons. Through their eyes, I have realized my own complicity in the so-called social contract that Trevor Noah spoke about so eloquently this past week. It is no longer enough to work hard, to be the best, to just turn the other cheek. The reality is the kind of life I live is still a rarity in the African American community. The reality of a good life — and more importantly, a safe and healthy life — should not be relegated to luck of the draw. As most black mothers know, it is a scary proposition to raise a black child and while it is not safe for black women, it most certainly isn’t safe for black men. Even Michelle Obama made mention of the fact of this virtual luck of the draw during a 60 Minutes piece when she said that her husband was always at risk, even just going to the gas station. Going outside has always been a gamble when you are black. I am no longer interested in living in a world where I hope both my boys drew the lucky stick. We must be a part of the change — right now, not later, not when the election is over, or when the pandemic is over — but now.

More than 50 years ago the civil rights activist Fannie Mae Hamer spoke about the idea that when our communities were burned down, no one said anything; but when black people burn things down, somehow, it’s different. The reality is that the black community learned destruction from how they were treated by those who were in power. To hear similar words in 2020 from a current civil rights activist, Tamika Mallory, is more than unsettling, and I repeat her words wholeheartedly — enough is enough. It has become clear that we need to start over. And while my Fire self wants to see the system figuratively burn down, we must create a new social contract, this time with all parties in the proverbial room. 

Tournesol Kids’ basic philosophy can provide a spark. Tournesol Kids is based on the idea that we all have innate powers: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal) and Water. All powers working together can create transformation. One power, Water Power, focuses on going within, retreating, listening deeply and, yes, using the power of metaphor to better understand what is really happening.  The exercises that make up Water Power are used to improve mindfulness and the capacity to accurately self-reflect and grow our social intelligence.

As someone who is Fire Power, I have used one Water Power exercise recently and I encourage others to try it as well. You see, the exercises we teach at Tournesol Kids are not just for kids, but for everyone. Our methodology is meant to bring wholeness to us all. So, right now, while the world is burning try this exercise called Listen Deeply. The Water Hero walks the path of peace by listening deeply to the world and sharing deep insights with others. Listen Deeply is designed to help us gain perspective and confidence and to shift us into growth-mind thinking – because all of the unrest we are experiencing is coming from a fixed-mind perspective and that is not going to fix anything!

The Listen Deeply exercise works well by yourself or with others. Here’s how you start:

  1. Find a small bell or something that can create a fading sound. (If you do not have a bell, just find stillness.)
  2. Find a quiet space and close your eyes.
  3. Take a few cleansing breaths.
  4. Relax your body, from the top to bottom.
  5. Feel the weight of your body as you relax.
  6. Ring your bell to “clear the air” and listen closely to the sounds of the space that re-emerge as the bell fades.
  7. Whispering whatever you hear in the space.
  8. Don’t forget to notice the sounds of your breath.
  9. Now notice the sounds of your thoughts and how they can sometime distract us from hearing the world around us.

This exercise is designed to help understand our relationship with what is going on around us in a deeply personal way. It will help you gain deeper insights about our lives and our responsibilities to each other. 

I know that right now I am in listening mode. I know that what I am supposed to hear will be clear if I can be still enough. I hope we are all beginning to listen and then, as Spike Lee says, we will all “Do the Right Thing.”  Because enough is enough.

Every child has a secret power. This video from our #PowerUp program reveals the five different types of powers and helps you identify your own secret power.

Share with a kid in your life who wants to discover their secret power!

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Last week we talked about Growth Mindset. But do you know what nourishment you need to grow a big heart and a big mind? Imagine your mind is like a plant. What do plants need to grow? You’ll find what plants need has a lot in common with the Five Powers! 

Learn more about Growth Mind Elements in this video from our #PowerUp program.
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