80 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

    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
    CC78 - Talking money with kids Melissa Meagher

    CC78 - Talking money with kids Melissa Meagher

    Is money an openly talked about topic in your family? Most of the time, our frustration comes when children want us to buy them what they want even though they don’t need it. As parents, we often consider our finances before any buying decision. But do we include our kids in the conversation? If you’re someone who struggles with saying ‘no’ to your kids when they frantically beg you to buy them another toy to add to their never-ending collection, today’s episode is for you. With me today is Melissa Meagher who took her passion for finance and making a difference in people’s lives to create her own money-coaching business called ‘Talking Money.’ She is a financial advisor who is also a mother of two. 

    Melissa shares her top tips for talking money with kids. She shares the most common obstacles that people need to overcome; how to be conscious about what we say and the impact money can have on relationships. She reveals practical ways to help kids understand the value and importance of money, and how to handle money better in this modern era, including common trends like credit cards for kids.

    Money chat should be a normalized daily conversation. Melissa says, ‘Talk to your kids about money in everyday life, as if it’s a normal thing. Don’t make it this thing you’ve got to sit down and have this big conversation about it.’ She shares how we can encourage healthy money mindsets, shape children’s reasoning as they handle money growing up, and how we can reframe language and be more conscious of the words we use in addressing money matters with our children. 
    ‘Get your children involved with making family money decisions so you get their buy-in and their involvement.’

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

    Links:
    Chatabout Children

    Talking Money
    Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn  
    Taking Money Facebook
     

    References:
    Pocket Money Calculator and Card
    Savings Goal Calculator
    Budget Planner
    45 Minute Strategy Session

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    CC77 - Raising Strong, Confident Kids with Dr Louise Metcalf

    CC77 - Raising Strong, Confident Kids with Dr Louise Metcalf

    Raising a child has never been easy. Raising a strong confident child, during a pandemic, is even harder. To learn how this is possible, I sit down with Dr. Louise Metcalf to discuss ways to look after our children’s wellbeing. We specifically talk about how we can teach our children to be more resilient and adaptable, so they can enjoy life as kids while becoming more eager to face the challenges of life growing up.


    We discuss the definition of resilience and adaptability, the makings of a strong and confident child and, how we help our kids discover their strengths and find ways to use them. Dr Louise shares how we can manage anxiety in our kids particularly during the COVID pandemic. Dr Louise says “Tell your kids what you like about them as a person – it’s about recognising self-worth.” Her advice to parents and carers is to slow down, practice relaxation and self-care, meditate, teach your kids how to meditate and remember to just stop and breathe. 
    We discuss some of the reasons we’re observing these mental health issues in kids nowadays and how, after years of supporting children with anxiety and mental wellbeing, Dr Louise had the idea for a robot that can help kids with their anxiety. It came in the form of an app called ‘Gheorg’. The Friendly Robot empowers children with emotional intelligence and mental wellbeing. ‘Build a village around your kids, the village should be quite big’ says Dr Louise ‘Gheorg can be part of that village.’


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

    Links:
    Listen to the full episode here
    Chatabout Children
    Connect with Dr Louise Metcalf on LinkedIn
    Download ‘Gheorg’ here

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    CC76 - Strengthening Emotional Wellbeing with Julia Pappas

    CC76 - Strengthening Emotional Wellbeing with Julia Pappas

    In our previous chat with Julia Pappas, we talked about what emotions are, what emotional development is, and how we regulate emotions. We’ve learned that our ability to acknowledge, express, and regulate emotion is a very crucial life skill and fortunately, as parents, we can teach this skill to our children. 

    In this episode, we’re diving a bit deeper and discussing how to strengthen emotional wellbeing. We tackle specific strategies and tools that we can use to nurture that strength in our children, such as building emotional vocabulary, storytelling, simple observation, and so much more.

    Julia shares some common issues parents have when dealing with their child’s emotional wellbeing and how their emotions might translate into behaviours when the child’s needs are not met. 

    No child comes with a parenting manual. Julia re-assures all parents that there is support. She shares the skills which are needed to strengthen our child’s emotional wellbeing and the difference between teaching the recognition of emotions and teaching emotional regulation. Julia gives us some real-life examples of situations wherein a child may still not have developed the skills needed for emotional wellbeing and how we can best respond to them. 

    The first step is to be observant. Whenever you are noticing a negative behaviour or the way a specific emotion is expressed, ride that out. This is what I see; this is a challenge. Then flip it into, this is what I would like to see instead. Be specific about the skills you want your child to learn. Ask yourself, What would I like my child to be able to do, to express, to show? And how can I teach that?

    It is important to remember, even in the midst of a meltdown, that your child is trying to communicate. Remember that emotions and behaviour are devices to communicate a need.
    Knowing ourselves as parents, how we process emotions, and how we support our own emotional wellbeing will help us in guiding that process in teaching and modelling to the child.

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

    Links
    Chatabout Children

    Julia’s website

    The Parenting Presence Podcast

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    CC75 - An Introduction to Emotional Development with Julia Pappas

    CC75 - An Introduction to Emotional Development with Julia Pappas

     

    Raising children is not only a fulfilling and rewarding experience in itself but also one that is quite challenging – especially when we see our kids having temper tantrums, mood swings, and getting upset over the smallest things. Sometimes, these situations can leave us feeling frustrated, guilty, and shameful when we don’t handle them well. We wish our child would just remain calm all the time and respond positively in the face of disappointing situations but could that even be possible? Fortunately, our guest knows a thing or two on how to regulate our child’s emotions and regulating our own emotions as parents as well. In this Chatabout Children episode, our guest Julia Pappas,  introduces us to the topic of emotional development. She shares why it is so important, and how we can help our children develop this valuable skill throughout life (without becoming an emotional mess).

     

    We start by defining emotions and the four core emotions she wants all parents to understand. We look at how social-emotional development develops from birth to toddler years to up until our child enters school. The three pillars of appropriate emotional development are ‘You’re ok, your needs are ok and your emotions are ok’ says Julia. As the adult care-taker, we need to have the self-awareness and emotional maturity to reinforce these pillars. 

     

    We also discuss parent guilt when we are not able to regulate our own emotions and tips on how to respond to our child having a tantrum - Make sure we are ready. Show up fully regulated ourselves. Recognize that the tantrum is an escalation of our child’s emotions because their need was not met. ‘When an adult is fine with whatever the child is feeling, then the child will be as well.’  Says Julia. 

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

    Links:

    Chatabout Children

    Julia’s website

    The Parenting Presence podcast

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    CC74 - The Power of Play with Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen

    CC74 - The Power of Play with Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen

    In today's episode, we chat with Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen, the Vice President and Chair of Learning Through Play at the LEGO Foundation in Denmark. He spent 9 years building the research agenda and organizational expertise on children's development, play, and learning to enable the LEGO Foundation to be the leading authority on Learning Through Play.

    The process of "learning through play" is a long-term game. LEGO builds skills for life. Regulation, manipulation, symbol recondition, muscle building and cognitive learning are all bonus’ of learning through play. Free-play teaches children to deal with change and uncertainty which is a skill needed for success in adulthood. So, by allowing children to play, create, build and problem solve is a valuable skill needed for their future. 

    Dr. Bo's wise advice to parents during their children's playtime: ‘Do not set your expectations, always to be the one who knows everything, but instead acknowledge uncertainty and help to ask questions, reflect and explore ideas. The goal is to equip children to make decisions and learn. We cannot do it for them. Always reflect and say, "How can we facilitate play?". Children need time, and an open from structure, to be able to ask questions, reflect, and contribute. ‘It’s the best way for them grow up and learn to make decisions on their own.’ 

    Educators, have a different role in play. First and foremost, the goal is to balance the instruction with project based learning and free play. Work with the school leadership to embed playful learning as part of longer sessions. Stitch topics together, embed collaboration, creativity and knowledge into that. ‘Be less concerned about failing as instructors, and just show the source of knowledge’ says Dr. Bo. Invite students to think about creative problems, projects, and collaborations. Allow them to assess what they are doing.

    So, sit back and enjoy this episode of the Chatabout Children Podcast with Sonia Bestulic as she interviews Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen.

    Links:

    Chatabout Children

    LEGO Foundation 

    Join the Free LEGO Foundation Course 

    LEGO Foundation Facebook 

    LEGO Foundation Twitter 

    LEGO Foundation LinkedIn 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 21 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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