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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Community Spotlight: A Road Map for Adventures in Parenting

Aug 01, 2012 12:00AM
Infant Child Specialist Cynthia Anka gets parents on the right track.

by Linda Sechrist

Parenthood, one of life’s most important roles, has two sides. Although the rewarding aspect of this multi-tasking responsibility can mean receiving a lifetime of unconditional love, the challenging flipside includes many sacrifices and perhaps struggling with a child’s behavior. This paradoxical duality frequently leads inexperienced parents to seek advice from pediatricians, authors, friends and family members, or even today’s popular reality TV shows, such as Supernanny. Fortunately for parents in BucksCounty that are in need of professional childcare advice, there is Cynthia Anka, an infant specialist with more than 30 years of experience.

The oldest of four siblings, Anka realized that even as a young girl, she derived great satisfaction from caring for children, especially her younger brother. “I liked helping my mom with my brother, being the neighborhood babysitter, and being a mother’s helper during my summer vacations from college, where I majored in family and child services,” says Anka, who once took a brief break from childcare to attend cosmetology school.

“I went back to working with kids because I adore them and am passionate about helping people to parent smart—the subject of the book I co-authored with my mom, Phyllis,” Anka continues. “Mom and I poured all our knowledge and experience about caring for children during the most important years—from birth to age 5—into Smart Parent Smart Child, because we know that every parent we’ve ever worked with wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. They want to learn the skills necessary to communicate with respect and understanding of their child’s intelligence, and our book helps them do that.”

Anka’s childcare skills fit perfectly into her mother’s dream of opening a family day care facility. “When mom downsized from her career in corporate America to open the day care center, I joined her for six years to specifically work with infants, and then I returned to one-on-one care in private homes,” recalls Anka. She says her years in day care were very rewarding—they gave her the opportunity to know for sure that she wanted to specialize in infant care, and she and Phyllis were able to see firsthand that many parents, even when well educated and professionally successful, were unskilled and overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenting. “We saw how many parents were unknowingly making serious mistakes, because they lacked the knowledge and expertise to understand what the future results of their actions would be,” Anka explains.

She believes that her talent and skills for good parenting are instinctive and innate. “With time and the experience gained from caring for more than 130 children, I’ve simply been able to fine-tune those skills,” she advises. First-time parents particularly appreciate the peace of mind derived from all the special touches that Anka knows are helpful additions to her services: organizing, laundry, cleaning, and maintaining open communications during the day via cell phone. “Parenting during a child’s early years can be time-consuming and exhausting, so I like to make things easier for moms and dads whenever I can,” she enthuses.

Anka, who is a children’s nighttime/sleep consultant, derives deep satisfaction from showing parents homeopathic and other natural solutions for children that don’t sleep through the entire night. She especially enjoys helping parents that have to bribe their child to eat vegetables; are embarrassed when their child has a tantrum in public; disagree with their partner on what action to take when their child misbehaves; or are confused by conflicting advice from numerous sources such as books, pediatricians, family members or friends.

“When [parents] truly grasp my philosophy—that children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born—and learn understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills, as well as development-related expertise, it is amazing what they and their child can accomplish,” says Anka. “In fact, learning to be a smart parent leads to the best scenario: children that achieve their maximum potential.”

For more information, call Cynthia Anka at 323-356-2695 or visit August 2012

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