"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." -Harry S. Truman

The ABC's of Everything Blog

Guiding our children to become the best versions of themselves and our future leaders is a big job. It is also one of the most joyful and rewarding experiences of my life.

Susan Arthur
President, The ABCs of Everything, LLC
MA, Counseling Psychology

Does It Matter If Your Child Reads A Physical Book Or Reads On A Screen?

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With kids facing so many distractions these days, reading is a great opportunity for redirection. It's a well-known saying, "first you learn to read, then you read to learn".As your kids grow older, they learn more enthusiastically if they love the act of reading itself when they are young enough to form a relationship with the written word. This s...
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Getting Kids To Go To Sleep

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As a parent, getting your kids to go sleep at night can be quite a challenge. Having a child that goes right to sleep at bedtime is like winning the lottery and probably about the same odds. As difficult as it can be it's still one of the most important things you can do for your child's well being and your own sanity. Every child is different in t...
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Healthy Eating Habits Begin In Childhood

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The eating habits we develop early in life tend to stick around. I have always eaten a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables because that was the type of foods our family ate the most of while I was growing up. Not because we were particularly health conscious, but because we lived in an agricultural area and those food items were the le...
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What Really Matters

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​   Most of us welcome in the New Year with intentions to make some positive changes in our lives by setting goals and resolutions. This year I have a different kind of goal than in past years. My goal is to continually be aware of what really matters in my life. I live in Ojai California which is a lovely valley surrounded by beautiful mounta...
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Simple Holiday Crafts

Simple Holiday Crafts
​3 fun holiday craft ideas! 1.  Create a Centerpiece from your own yard This is the time of the year when holly, beautiful leaves and other fall foliage can be right outside your door. Cuttings from branches, pine cones, dried grasses and colorful leaves make great centerpieces for a holiday dinner. Combine with candles, baskets, gourds, or co...
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Sharing The Holiday Spirit

Sharing The Holiday Spirit
The holidays are traditionally the time of year when we seem to put more attention on others and look for opportunities to be more giving and kind to each other. Of course this is a state of being that we really want to practice every day. A lot of research has been done around why we feel good when we are kind or giving to others. Researchers call...
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Why Are Costumes So Much Fun!?

Why Are Costumes So Much Fun!?
​ In our family, Halloween was our favorite holiday and a lot of time and thought went into planning our costumes. I'm not talking about the kids, I'm talking about us adults. Of course the kids were excited about what they would be for Halloween, but let's be honest, they can pretty much wear costumes whenever they want. Halloween is no longe...
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Eating Dinner Together Is More Than A Meal

Eating Dinner Together Is More Than A Meal
I've always believed that food is love and sharing a meal together is a wonderful bonding experience. In the less hectic past, family dinners were the norm. However, with the demands of current work schedules, commutes and outside activities, getting everyone together at one time for a family meal is more challenging. It's challenging but not impos...
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The Joy Of Doing Nothing

The Joy Of Doing Nothing
​ The next time someone asks you what you are doing tomorrow or over the weekend, tell him or her you are doing nothing. The baffled look on their face will give you an insight into how confusing and uncommon it is to do nothing. To make no specific plans, have no obligations, no "To Do List" to get through, in other words no scheduled activities. ...
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How About Some Good News

How About Some Good News
You don't have to look too far to find some disturbing news about some dreadful discovery or atrocious behavior going on somewhere in the world. Social media and 24-hour news networks keep you updated on the gloom and doom endlessly if you're willing to participate. That's not really the whole story. If you choose to look in another direction you'l...
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Helping Kids Through School Transitions

Helping Kids Through School Transitions
A new school year is right around the corner and I remember how much time and effort was spent getting ready for that first day of school. Long lists of what needed do be done, getting new clothes, lunch boxes, backpacks, and school supplies. Then moving on to logistics – car pool schedules, bus passes and after school arrangements. This is the pra...
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It's Just A Toy

It's Just A Toy
I recently attended an event, which was giving out little gift items to the participants. One of the items looked like a cute little doll action figure. I thought – great I'll give this to my granddaughter. When I opened the packaging and looked closer at the doll (this time with my glasses on) I was unpleasantly surprised. It was a little girl dol...
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My Child Was So Disappointed - How Can I Help?

My Child Was So Disappointed - How Can I Help?
As parents, more than anything else, we want our kids to be happy. When something happens that causes them to be sad or disappointed, I think we suffer even more than they do. Our first impulse is to try to find a way to fix the situation and make them feel better. This is not always the best response. Disappointment is a part of life that we ...
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Healthy Eating Tips When Traveling

Healthy Eating Tips When Traveling
Getting yourself and kids ready for a trip or vacation takes a lot of planning. When I travel, one of the things on the top on my list (other than what shoes to bring) is what snacks to bring for the journey. When you're traveling you don't always have a lot of food options. This is always a challenge for me because I am conscious about what I eat ...
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When Is It Time To "Unplug" - Setting Limits On Screen Time

When Is It Time To "Unplug" - Setting Limits On Screen Time
There is an enormous amount of digital interaction available to kids of all ages. A lot of what is being offered is really great; it's educational, has positive messages and gives parents a little break. The challenge is in figuring out when too much of a good thing becomes detrimental. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates ...
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The Endless Summer - Part 3 - Go Outside And Play!

The Endless Summer - Part 3 - Go Outside And Play!
​ As children growing up we were always being told to "go outside and play" especially on weekends. This was also the standard response when we voiced our frustration about "having nothing to do". Of course times have changed.  Now kids have access to so many different types of electronic entertainment that they never need to be bored. This is...
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A Thoughtful Gift For Dad

A Thoughtful Gift For Dad
I want to share this simple, but very sweet Father's Day craft project I found on the Fun Handprint Art website. All you need is some finger paint, poster board, fun stickers and a black marker. You can add additional bling, photos, or anything else you think dad would like. For a more finished look, you can put this art in one of those inexpensive...
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The Endless Summer - Part 2 - Create Your Own Bird Santuary

The Endless Summer - Part 2 - Create Your Own Bird Santuary
Recently I was reminiscing with my son about the summer we put hummingbird feeders in our backyard and how much fun it was to watch the birds and their antics. We discovered they had different personalities and different roles. One bird was always keeping a look out while others were feeding. There was a hierarchy to who could feed first and as we ...
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The Endless Summer - Fun Projects For The Whole Family - Let's Plant A Garden

The Endless Summer - Fun Projects For The Whole Family - Let's Plant A Garden
I remember starting to panic about a month before summer vacation every year. How to fill all that leisure time my son would have day after day, week after week, which seemed like eternity. I would start by looking into some kind of camp (which only covered a small amount of the days I needed to fill) then moving on to some sort of sporting involve...
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Encouraging Mindfulness In Children

Encouraging Mindfulness In Children
I would describe mindfulness as "being in the present moment" the practice of focusing on what is happening right now and nothing more. It's a timeout from being in the past or future and an opportunity to take a break from over thinking, a time to quiet your mind and body. So how is this helpful for children? Practicing mindfulness throughout the ...
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