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Sometimes It’s Both: Helping Children Make Good Decisions

Father and Son Dancing TogetherHelping  your child to learn to make good decisions start earlier than we think. When we ask our toddler, “Fruit pop or jello” we limit the choices to only two things.We unconsciously give our children choices of either/or, rarely ever a choice of  both. Sometimes we should introduce the concept of having and doing both. How about do a little dance while you clean up your room or pick up your toys. Turn on the music and have fun while you are cleaning up. It doesn’t have to be all of the time, but it should be some of the time so that children learn that there are more choices than this or that.

I totally understand that as a parent you just don’t have a lot of time and you just need things done. Ditto that for teachers, you have even less time because there are so many other demands in the classroom. But what would happen if we could expand our thinking just a little bit to think about how we can teach children as well as ourselves to ask “How can I do both.” or ” Is it possible to do both.”  So we can give choices of would you like tuna salad and turkey salad, have a little of each. Or in the other example clean up the room and have fun while doing it.

The choices that we give children should grow up with them. They wont need to have either or choices forever. They can make decisions on having both. When my daughter was making a choice on her career, she initially felt that she had to choose between being a dancer or an attorney. I asked her why can’t you do both. You can be a professional dancer and find a way to practice law also. It doesn’t have to be either/or.  A light bulb went off in her head, she had never thought of that.

I am going to make a point of thinking in terms of both when making decisions and choices and be open to thinking about what else is possible.  Doing this will open up greater possibilities and choices to  choose from. Having greater choices and possibilities will result in experiencing a richer and fuller life.

Try this not only with your children but also when you have to make decisions yourself. Think in terms of how can I have both and see what opens up for you. Come back and let me know what happens. I’d love to hear from you. Please share this with family and friends if you find value. Also please feel free to leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you

What Is Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool

Family reading.

Have you ever thought about what the most powerful parenting tool that you have in your parenting tool box? Let me assure you it is more powerful than you can ever imagine. I know you say, “It’s love.” Love is the driving force behind this powerful tool; think again. “The belt! or “The strap!” and still others might say it’s “My voice, I can yell and scream so loud that you can hear me on the other side of the world. That really gets things moving in my home.”

Here’s another hint: using this tool helps both you and your child to feel Read more »

Welcome to Pitter Patter Feet

D'Ta-Relle's Portrait

Hello and welcome to the Pitter Patter Feet Blog. I am so happy you stopped by. My name is D’TaRelle F. Tullis, Founder and Owner of Pitter Patter Feet. Since its inception in 1993, The Pitter Patter Feet Method has been successfully used by over 20,000 children ranging in ages from infancy to 12 years old. It is a system comprised of music, movement, dance, physical development techniques and brain integration. The system is designed for all types of learning styles and ways children love to learn and is for both girls and boys. My specialty is early learners between the ages of 2 1/2 to 6. The goal of the program is to develop smart, happy and fit children by focusing on four key areas in child development, cognitive development, social and emotional development and physical development.


Children develop self confidence and esteem, a love of learning and exploration, have better self control over their bodies and emotions, become more self reliant and learn to work well with others. The most exciting result is children learn to use their brains and bodies more efficiently and effectively and express themselves with confidence and freedom. Most importantly, because all of the activities and processes are age appropriate and designed for young learners they are packed with fun, excitement and lots of movement and adventure.

Teachers, parents and directors also benefit greatly from the system. Because the Pitter Patter Feet Method was designed by an Early Childhood Consultant/ Trainer and Owner of a mobile dance studio, both the body and mind are engaged. The classes are held at the children’s school so parents do not have to worry about getting their children to an additional location. Teachers and directors also love it because children remain in a familiar environment and receive reinforcement and different ways of experiencing their Early Childhood Curriculums.  Movements from the class come from sports, the martial arts and yoga in addition to dance, creative movement and basic physical development movements designed to help build balance, hand eye coordination, spatial awareness and more. Props such as bubbles, balls and material are also used to enhance the learning experience and provide additional sensory information and experiences.


As mentioned earlier, all children are free to express themselves and have a great time. Some are silly( check out my friend in the front making a face and my smaller friend behind him with his shirt over his knees :-)), and some are just eagerly awaiting for the start of class. They are all honored and accepted for who they are and are all encouraged to do their very best at whatever level they are currently at.


This blog is designed to provide resources and information for parents, teachers, directors, principal and educators and everyone who works with and care for children and are interested in optimizing children’s potential as well  their own. You matter and your comments and questions are always greatly appreciated. I encourage you to share your experiences and expertise.  Please feel free to get your questions answered and add your comments. Let me know how I can best serve you and I will do my best! Please refer to the testimonial page on our blog to find out about others experience of the program. Have a great day!

How The Centers In Early Childhood Centers Develop Multiple Intelligences In Children

In teaching a parenting workshop this week the parents  really appreciated learning how the classrooms in early childhood centers were not only set up to teach children skills, but also develop talents and intelligences within the children themselves. I explained the correlation between the types of learners, visual,  auditory and kinesthetic and how children are smart in different ways not just cognitively and how all the ways that children are smart should be recognized and appreciated.

Howard Gardner developed a theory of “Multiple Intelligences”. It is not a matter of if your child is smart it is just a matter of seeing how they are smart. There are 9 ways in which children are smart they are:

1. Verbal/Linguistic(Word Smart)

2.Visual/Spatial(Picture Smart)

3. Musical

4. Kinesthetic(Body Smart)

5.Logical/Mathematical(Logic Smart)

6. Interpersonal(People Smart)

7. Intrapersonal(Self Smart)

8. Naturalistic(Love Nature)

9. Existential( Explore interests in the meaning of life)

The centers that are in a childcare center are but are not limited to 1) Art Area 2)Dramatic Play( think dress up and pretending to be a fireman or woman, doctor etc,)There also may be puppets  3. Block Area 4. Sand or Water Table    5. Music Area   6. Toys and Games or Puzzles  7. Library or Book Area. There can be many more but these are just some examples. In addition to learning cognitively like letters, numbers, shapes and colors children also learn through play and their imaginations and also through imitating adults.

Early childhood educators try to make sure that children spend time in each of the areas both of their choosing and as instructed by the teacher or educator. In both allowing the child to choose which center they will spend time in as well as encouraging them to try other centers, they help children to strengthen where they are smart and talented already as well as develop in areas that they might not have chosen and could use more development.

For example Ryan is a natural athlete he is very well coordinated and can run, balance on one leg with ease  and loves climbing and playing outdoors. His talent or intelligence would be “Kinesthetic ” or “Body Smart”. His teacher notices that he hardly ever likes to go to the book or game area where he can play with puzzles and small building toys so that he can develop more in the logical and mathematical area of his cognitive development, as well as developing better reading skills.

If Ryan’s teacher notices that not only is he good with his body but that he also likes to learn with his body and is a hands on learner or kinesthetic learner, she can make sure to provide many opportunities for him to learn in this way. Since this is an area where he is naturally talented, he will learn the information easier and faster. His teacher is using his strong points to strengthen and develop the parts of him that need more development and work.

This is a great approach to teaching children. This approach builds confidence and success and this helps to build self esteem and confidence. After many successes Ryan’s teacher will introduce him to more challenges to continue to build his confidence, challenge him and allow him to learn to deal with things not coming so easily. This is something that children get to learn early, just like they learned that when they first started walking they fell down until they were able to without falling so much.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of what is happening in your child’s classroom and that play is the child’s work and an excellent tool to teach children as well as help them learn. Please share what has worked for you whether it’s in the classroom  or at home. I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment in the “Leave a Reply section below.

How To Develop Your Child’s Natural Talent and Abilities Without Being Too Pushy

As a parent we want the very best for our children. We want to see them accomplish their greatest potential and live the life of their dreams. We want them to be happy and experience fulfillment through out their lives. One of the ways that we assure that this happens is through nurturing and developing their natural talent and abilities.

In this day and time of fierce competition, and go, go, go, with no time for rest for fear that we and our children will be left behind, getting the best for your child with ease and calmness is a challenge. Not to worry, help is here, I am going to make this easy and simple.  Listed below are some things you can do.


1. Remember your intention is doing and getting the best for your child, so relax and have confidence and faith in yourself that you will do the right thing. Your intentions are very important and count for a lot. They are going to be your foundation on which you will build a wonderful life for your child.

By wonderful I don’t mean that they are going to be happy all of the time. They may not agree with all of the  choices that you make for them. Some times there will be difficulty and challenges that they have to make in accomplishing their dreams. For example, my daughter wanted to originally go to boarding school. This required her to do extra studying and writing essays. She was not too happy about this and we had to constantly keep reminding her of her goal. It required asking her if this was still a goal of hers.

The decision to even consider boarding school  was a very difficult decision for my husband and I. We are firm believers in parents being the first teachers and influences for their children so we originally felt that going to boarding school was like allowing someone else to raise our child or the child raising themselves. We had to pray long and hard and ask for guidance because we didn’t want to allow our fears and misconceptions to hinder our child’s growth. This is what I mean by starting with yourself first. You have to make sure that you are open to other perspectives and points of view and explore deeply into your child’s desires.

2. Remember that it is your child’s life not yours. Your child may be just like you or not. So just because you wanted to be a famous Ballet dancer and never had the opportunity don’t leave your dreams through your child. Allow them their own dreams.

3. Sometimes because you didn’t have a particular experience growing up. You will have an opportunity to provide it for your child. Just make sure it’s what they want not what you want or you feel that they should have. Remember this is a natural gift or talent that they have. It will be something that will naturally reveal itself if you are open to it.


This is the easy part as well as the fun part. You are going to pay attention and notice all of the things your child is interested in and does. Does he or she love to draw, write or scribble. Do they love doing things with their hands? Are they creative? How are they creative? Are they independent and like to do things on their own or are they more social and like working in groups. Noticing all of these things will give you clues to their natural gifts and talents.

Jonathan Horton, an Olympic gymnast and 17 time medalist, climbed up to the ceiling of a department store. Instead of his parents scolding him they enrolled him into gymnastics. Jonathan was 5 years old when he walked into  his first gym and one day hopes to open a gym of his own.


Alex Morgan, a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team, gave her mother a note that she had written saying ” I want to be a professional athlete.” She was just 5 years old at the time. After watching Mia Hamm an Brandi Chastain, two previous Olympians, is when she made this determination. So take advantage of sporting events, the theatre and arts, when you’re watching tv or the movies, school trips and other experiences. Books are also an excellent place to expose children to different things that they might want to do.


Lastly make sure the influences that you expose your children to are positive and life affirming. Be encouraging and open and remember children are very influenced by their parents when young but as they grow older their friends and peers can be a greater influence. The media as well as social media and the internet are influences that were  not around 10 years ago but are very prevalent now. So be sure to monitor the shows they watch, and other influences that are can have an impact on them.

I would just love to hear your thoughts on this and what has worked for you. Please feel free to leave a comment.