85 episodes

Sonia Bestulic from the Chatabout Children Blog educates, enlightens, and entertains with valuable insights into all things children, from birth to pre-teen, so you can enjoy fulfilment with the children in your world.

Discover children at a whole new level, learning simple yet powerful strategies to nurture child development, overall health, effective learning and robust life skills.

Uncover techniques on positive parenting, and conscious communication to strengthen your relationships, and empower you to grow, together with the children in your life.

In her unique holistic approach, Sonia takes you further, including super easy tools to remember yourself, on the journey of fostering thriving happy children, within a connected family or workplace.

As a mother of three young children, a Children’s Author, and a reputable Speech & Language Pathologist, Sonia contributes a professional evidence-based perspective, and personal/ parental tips and tricks, as you share in a Chatabout Children with Sonia Bestulic.

“The quality of our communication determines the quality of connection to ourselves, to others and to the world around us” Sonia Bestulic

Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic Sonia Bestulic

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Sonia Bestulic from the Chatabout Children Blog educates, enlightens, and entertains with valuable insights into all things children, from birth to pre-teen, so you can enjoy fulfilment with the children in your world.

Discover children at a whole new level, learning simple yet powerful strategies to nurture child development, overall health, effective learning and robust life skills.

Uncover techniques on positive parenting, and conscious communication to strengthen your relationships, and empower you to grow, together with the children in your life.

In her unique holistic approach, Sonia takes you further, including super easy tools to remember yourself, on the journey of fostering thriving happy children, within a connected family or workplace.

As a mother of three young children, a Children’s Author, and a reputable Speech & Language Pathologist, Sonia contributes a professional evidence-based perspective, and personal/ parental tips and tricks, as you share in a Chatabout Children with Sonia Bestulic.

“The quality of our communication determines the quality of connection to ourselves, to others and to the world around us” Sonia Bestulic

    CC84 - Kids and Social Skills with Alex Kelly

    CC84 - Kids and Social Skills with Alex Kelly

    According to Harvard’s longest study of adult life, relationships play the most important role in making human beings happy. Social connections not only enhance mental and emotional well-being, but they also affect our physical wellness. This fact is noticeably true even early in childhood. However, certain difficulties may affect a child’s ability to interact with his or her peers, teachers, and even family members. How can parents, teachers, and professionals help children develop great social skills? We bring in Alex Kelly to talk to us about this topic.

    Alex Kelly is a speech and language therapist with over 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents who have difficulties with their social skills, self-esteem, and relationships. Alex is best known for being the author of 13 books including the hugely popular Talkabout Resources, a collection of books that teach social skills to children. Together with her husband, who was a teacher, Alex runs Speaking Space, a business that provides training and consultancy work as well as speech, language, and occupational therapies for over 40 local schools. The business also provides a day service to adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. Speaking Space is the only speech and therapy service in the United Kingdom to be accredited by the National Autism Society and the only day service in England to have advance status. Alex also conducts research and lectures internationally on her field of expertise.

    Listen to my conversation with Alex Kelly and learn:

    The critical role that social skills play in the lives of children.
    The definition of social skills.
    The components of social skills and how they develop from birth to school age.
    Why assertiveness is the final stage of social skills.
    Why getting help for social skills when your child is already at school is already quite late.
    The most common problems Alex encounters in her work.
    How important a child’s environment is in building his or her social skills.
    The relationship between self-awareness, self-esteem, and social skills.
    Being alone and not wanting friends is not necessarily a bad thing.
    How technology can help build social skills among children.
    Alex Kelly’s top three tips for teaching social skills to children.
    Find the child’s motivator and work with that.
    Look at the child’s environment and modify it to support the child’s confidence.
    Teach social skills in a safe space.

    So sit back and enjoy this episode of the Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic as she interviews Alex Kelly.

    Listen to the full episode here. 



    Links:
    Chatabout Children
    Flourish for Mums by Sonia Bestulic
    Alex Kelly’s website
    Alex Kelly’s work website

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 30 min
    CC83 - Raising Resilient Children with Michelle Mitchell

    CC83 - Raising Resilient Children with Michelle Mitchell

    Even if we wish they were, our children will never be immune from the setbacks and failures inherent in life. These setbacks could be experienced by our children very early on, whether they be in the form of friendship dramas, academic pressure, or internal self-doubt. Getting back up after a setback is what we call resilience. Resilience is therefore an important skill to teach our children. In this episode of Chatabout Children™, we bring in author Michelle Mitchell to talk to us about how parents can raise resilient children.

    Michelle Mitchell is an award-winning speaker, author, and educator who has incorporated years of grassroots experience into her books. After leaving her profession as a primary school teacher, Michelle focused on helping teenagers, particularly teenage girls, learn vital life skills to support them while at school. Her latest book, Everyday Resilience: Helping Kids Handle Friendship Drama, Academic Pressure, and the Self-Doubt of Growing Up, tackles the very interesting topic of teaching resilience to children and teenagers, and we ask her to talk more about this subject in this episode.

    Key Learnings: 
    - How Michelle transitioned from being a primary school teacher to teaching kids how to be resilient. 
    - Michelle explains “Resilience is the capacity to thrive regardless of the circumstances’ and shares the importance and challenge of connecting with your child.
    - The seven characteristics of a resilient child
    - She shares some strategies on helping children develop resilience in their everyday lives, for both girls and boys. 
    - Addressing a child’s “I can’t” mindset
    - Teaching why it’s okay for kids to start doing something poorly.
    -We discuss perfectionism in kids.

    Michelle says to parents and educators - It’s all about connection. Connecting with our kids is vital. Kids need the loving support of adults in their life so that they are not afraid to take risks. In replace of being connected, sometimes we over-parent kids, whereas we really need to be focusing on connection and allowing our children to fail.

    So, sit back and enjoy this episode of the Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic as she interviews Michelle Mitchell.

    Listen to the original episode here.



    Links:
    Chatabout Children
    Flourish for Mums by Sonia Bestulic
    Michelle Michell
    Follow @michellemitchellspeaker on Instagram



    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 22 min
    CC82 - Attention, Learning and your Child with Jacky Peile

    CC82 - Attention, Learning and your Child with Jacky Peile

    Attention is a very basic skill for human beings, so basic that we don’t usually talk about it.

    But for some, attention is not a skill that comes easily and this problem can emanate early in childhood. This is where Occupational Therapists like Jacky Peile enter. They help children with attention difficulties live a better life. In this first episode of a two-part series, we chat with Jacky about attention, learning, and your child.

    Jacky Peile established EarlyLinks in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire in Australia in 2010. Today, she leads a team of occupational therapists who support children, teens, and young adults with anxiety and sensory-processing difficulties through practical strategies that make their daily life easier. 

    Key Learnings
    What attention is and how it develops early in life.
    How attention problems arise in childhood.
    How a shift in a child’s social environment (i.e. pre-school to school) affects attention
    The different subtypes of attention: shared attention, sustained attention, selective attention, alternating attention, and divided attention.
    The relationship between motivation and attention.
    How a child develops divided attention.
    How parents can identify attention issues in their child and when they should get professional help.
    What sensory-processing difficulties are and how they are related to a child’s ability to sustain attention
    The “Purple Mat” technique to teach your child selective attention

     

    Jacky’s questions for parents who want to test children for attention difficulties before consulting a professional:
    Can your child maintain attention to something that is important or motivating to him or her?
    Can your child achieve basic short periods of attention?

    So sit back and enjoy this episode of the Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic as she interviews Jacky Peile.

    Listen to Part One and Part Two of the Attention, Learning and your Child episodes. 

     

    Links:

    Chatabout Children

    Flourish for Mums by Sonia Bestulic

    Early Links

    Connect with Jackie on LinkedIn

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    CC81 - Food Fuel for Effective Learning with Monica Kubizniak

    CC81 - Food Fuel for Effective Learning with Monica Kubizniak

    In this week’s episode of the Chatabout Children™ Podcast we sit down with dietitian Monica Kubizniak, where we will talk about food fuel for effective learning. 

    Monica completed her Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2000. Since graduating, she’s worked in community health centers, hospitals, and private practice both here in Australia and overseas. 

    Monica is not only a dietitian but also a mum to 3 young kids. So, we ask her how she practises her expertise in food and nutrition at home. She gives us her top tips for creating healthy filling meals to help sustain our children as they grow and learn. 
    In this episode Monica and Sonia Bestulic also discuss:
    Why she advises parents against cooking more than one meal for families with more than one child.
    How she teaches and encourages her kids to listen to what their bodies are telling them — to cues — about fuelling and refueling themselves; something they will bring with them when they become adolescents.
    What are the best foods to give your preschool or school-age child for learning, concentration, and attention.
    A typical day for a dietitian with three kids. She shares the actual food she prepares for her kids’ breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner. 
    The common culprits that we find in the lunch box of a typical Australian child.
    How to cope with the imperfect days when you don’t have time to buy, or prepare, healthy food for your child.
    Monica’s Top After School or Morning Tea Snack Ideas for Kids
    What everyone should know about the harmful effect of nitrates in your body and the healthier options available in the market.

    When I asked Monica about her top 3 healthy snack ideas to prepare for kids, she gave me more than 3, which is amazing. Here are her top 7 snack ideas:
    Whole grain toast with toppings like avocado, baked beans, egg or peanut butter
    Nuts
    Savory muffins
    Mini frittatas
    Yogurts
    Smoothies with low-fat milk and fruits
    Soups – chicken and veggie or lentil and veggie

    So sit back and enjoy this episode of the Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic as she interviews Monica Kubizniak.

    Listen to the full episode here 



    Links:
    Chatabout Children
    Book an appointment with Monia



    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    CC80 - Foundations for Reading and Spelling Part 2

    CC80 - Foundations for Reading and Spelling Part 2

    In this episode of Chatabout Children™ Podcast, we look at the foundations of learning to read and spell with a real focus on pre-schoolers. This is part 2 of this comprehensive topic and a guide can be found in Sonia’s e-book - 4 Power Tools to Ready your Preschooler to Read and Spell.

    In part 1 we talked about practical strategies, speech and language milestones for 3-5 year olds, what to do if you are concerned that your child is not reaching those milestones, and oral language skills. You can listen to Part 1 here.

    How oral language is linked to literacy
    In the preschool period and early schooling, the real focus is for children to receive life experiences that are going to enrich their vocabulary. So, it’s really about having fun and incorporating things in your everyday life, and it’s not about sitting at a tabletop and forcing your child to learn to read or spell.
    Because those life experiences will build their vocabulary and their view of how things operate in the real world. Think about this: your child starts out by learning to read. And as they grow older, they are reading to learn. 

    Phonological awareness
    What is it? Phonological awareness is the conscious awareness of the sounds of language and that ability to reflect on the sounds in words.
    For example, preschool children start to notice the following:
    Words that rhyme: mum and drum
    Words that sound odd
    Words with the same sound beginning
    Engaging a lot in sound play – making their own words and rhymes

    5 ways to build phonological awareness
    Here are the 5 ways to build phonological awareness:
    Syllable counting – learning how to break up words into smaller parts makes it easier for children to spell long words. For example: Break the word caterpillar into cat-er-pil-lar. Another tip: To make it fun, you can clap out the syllables.
    Rhyme time – is a great way to learn new words and get kids to think about how words can relate to each other. It sets the foundation to learn about word families and sounds that letters can make. For example: ‘fight’ and ‘night’ belong to the same word family.
    Hearing the first sound in a word – You can start with family names from photos. For “Here’s Sally. What’s the first sound that we hear when we say Sally?” Another tip: You can use catalogues from supermarkets and let your child identify the first sound of products.
    Sounding out words – It’s not about the spelling of words, it’s about the sounds. Focus on words with a structure of 2 to 3 sounds like bin, dog, cat, go. Another tip: Use coloured counters. 
    Alphabet – learning and reinforcing the alphabet in everyday life. The car is a great place where you can do a lot of these activities like street signs, shop signs, billboards, etc.

    Listening and attention skills
    Being able to focus, pay attention and listen is so crucial to skill development, particularly for children looking to start school. There’s got to be that important foundation because they are going to an environment so different to their home environment.
    If you are concerned about your child’s attention or listening skills, you can do the activities that we already talked about or sharing books within a daily book routine will help build their concentration skills.

    My comment on apps
    There’s lots of great apps that help with learning to read and spell, but there’s a popular one called Reading Egg. https://readingeggs.com/apps/ You should check it out. But be very mindful of screen time, a topic that I discussed in the last episode.

    It is good practice, a year before going to school, to have your child checked for the following:
    vision checked, particularly by a behavioural optometrist.
    ears and hearing checked
    fine and gross motor skills

    So sit back and enjoy this episode of the Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic as she shares the foundations for reading and spelling.


    Resources:
    Reading Eggs 
    Chatabout Children 079 – Foundations for Reading

    • 25 min
    CC79 - Foundations for Reading and Spelling Part 1

    CC79 - Foundations for Reading and Spelling Part 1

    In this episode of Chatabout Children™ Podcast, we look at the foundations of learning to read and spell with a real focus on preschoolers – children who are from 3 to 5 years of age. This is part 1 of this comprehensive topic and a guide can be found in Sonia’s e-book - 4 Power Tools to Ready your Preschooler to Read and Spell 

    Speech and Language Milestones

    Learning to speak and communicate is a crucial part of a child’s development because it will help them progress in their early school years in terms of mastering those rules of language.

    Even though development will vary for each child, it is important to have a rough guide (or milestones) as to what typical development is and you can ascertain if your child might need a bit more help.

    3 years of age
    Children at 3 years of age understand more complex directions (2-part instructions), WH Questions (What, Where and Who). Different concepts, and they can sort items into groups when asked.
    In terms of expressive language, they are able to say 4-5 words in a sentence and they start to have a conversation with you.
    When it comes to play skills, this is the age when they start playing beside other children and start role playing games

    4 years of age
    Children at 4 years of age children understand most questions about their daily routine, more WH questions (and answer those related to a story they just heard), and they are showing an awareness that words may start or finish with the same sounds.
    In terms of their speaking, sentences are longer now, making use of connecting words (and, but, because), they are able to describe or recount something that they had just done, asking a lot of questions, and you’ll also notice lots of concepts developing.
    As to play skills, they are now playing in small groups, they are continuing their pretend play and they are starting to play games with simple rules.

    5 years of age
    Children at 5 years of age understand longer instructions (3-part instructions), starting to understand “before and after instructions” and they understand instructions without having to stop and listen.
    They start speaking well-formed sentences understood by most people, turn-taking in a longer conversation, and tell simple stories with a beginning, middle and end.
    Play continues to be quite imaginative, they start to negotiate, you’ll find that they include other things — things they haven’t experienced like space.

     Speech sounds
    At 4 years of age, a child can say most of the consonant and vowels sounds correctly, and between 4 and 5 some of their pre-literacy skills start to be a little bit reinforced — rhyming words and syllables.
    At age 5, they may still have a bit of trouble with the r sound, replacing it with w like “wabbit” instead of “rabbi”. Also, they confuse the th sound with an f sound like “fank you” instead of “thank you”. Another common one is a lisp, where the s goes to a th sound like “it’s thunny outside” instead of “it’s sunny outside”.

    A child speaking another language at home (aside from English)
    If you speak a foreign language at home, you can still use the milestones I mentioned earlier as a guide and apply to the dominant language spoken at home. But if you are still not convinced, it is best to consult with a speech pathologist about this.

    What to do if you are concerned after learning the milestones?
    If you are concerned that your child has not reached the milestones we discussed earlier at her age level, then have a chat with your medical professional or family doctor, get the child’s hearing checked or contact your local speech pathologist.

    6 practical, easy-to-apply strategies on how to power up your child’s vocabulary
    Children between 2 and 5 years of age learn at a really extraordinary pace. They understand and remember words that they may have heard once or twice (warning: be careful with your own language). So a strong vocabulary helps a child to create a message and inform

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

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1 Rating

Behavcoach ,

Pairing research and science with practical parenting...

Parenting is hard. It is complicated and every kid is different. It is refreshing to have someone like Sonia who is actually grounded in research as a speech therapist but who shares her own personal stories and experiences as well. Excellent podcast!

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