Job and Career Planning for Teens

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog.

Today, I’m having our favorite Child Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen, share a topic for our teens…

Job and Career Planning for Teens
Dr. Valerie Allen

As teenagers progress through high school their career plans may boarder on whimsical, fantasy, or the far fetched. Parents, don’t be alarmed! What must Mrs. Disney have thought as her little boy, Walter, kept drawing all those mice? It’s good to think big and plan accordingly, however, it’s also important to consider “Plan B,” just in case fame and fortune doesn’t come overnight for your special teenager.

Arts and Humanities: skilled production of creation and/or presentations for aesthetic appreciation and/or recognition. Think: artists, creative writers, journalists, musicians, entertainers

Construction: processes in the building trades which help citizens in their living environment and life styles to meet their needs. Think: architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, tradesmen, .

Education: application of knowledge in research and helping individuals in gaining skills and techniques necessary to accomplish tasks. Think: professors, teachers, trainers, researchers.

Government: developing and enforcing the system of community living at the local, state, and national levels and regulation of quality standards for the production of goods and services. Think: politicians, lawyers, judges, law enforcement, policy makers, city planners.

Health and Welfare: maintaining the physical and mental well-being of humans, as well as being active in the care of animals as they impact on the overall well-being of society. Think: medical field, mental health professionals, case workers, veterinarians, personal trainers, life coaches.

Manufacturing: the design and production of goods and materials in an effort to make a product suitable for consumer use. Think: factory production of parts and pieces, heavy equipment, machinists, factory workers, assembly line.

Personal Services: aiding individuals in their daily life functions as related to their needs and desires. Think: direct patient care, case workers, vocational/career guidance workers, barbers, cosmetologists, health and beauty spas.

Product Services: the repair and maintenance of goods being used by the consumer. Think: auto   services, appliance repairs, mechanical engineers, infrastructure maintenance, utility workers.

Natural Resources: the management of environmental reserves in the production of goods and materials to satisfy the needs and wants of the consumer. Think: forest workers, fish and wildlife officers, pollution control, waste management workers, recycle and re-purpose workers.

Recreation and Entertainment: the application of artistic skills and talents for an individual’s own pleasure and/or the pleasure of others. Think: sports, spas, gyms, playgrounds, zoos, culture, entertainment.

Trade and Finance: involves the process of exchange of goods and services as well as monetary services, to aid both the producer and the consumer personally or professionally. Think: banking, investing, insurance, real estate, stock market, bookkeepers, accountants, loan officers

Transportation and Communication: the transfer of goods and people by air, land, or water and the transmission of information throughout the community and world society.  Think: airline pilots, boat captions, train conductors, big rig drivers, bus drivers, computer/IT workers

All jobs are classified into one of three categories; those involving people, data, or things. There is,  of course, overlap but the basic focus of a job is in one of these three classifications. This list of career clusters would be helpful to assist your teen to explore where his or her skills and interests might be found. You can use this information as a good talking point with your teen.


Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She has written a work book for teens and parents, “Go to the Guidance Office and Ask the Counselor About Career Choices.”
She has also published two children’s chapter books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New
Friends ” and a picture book for beginning readers, “The Sun and The Moon.”
Oh yes, she has also raised six children from whom she has learned many things about life and love.

Thank you, Dr. Allen, for being a guest on my blog today and helping parents everywhere help their child be a success!

As always likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

Thank you everyone for reading my blog.

Stay safe

Want To Be My Guest?

Hi everyone,

If you are an author of children’s books that share positive messages, consider this your personal invitation to be a guest on my blog.

This blog has been ranked among the top 100 of children’s book blogs.

I have wonderful followers who like, comment, and share posts. Some have even purchased books.

I absolutely love sharing other authors’ works!!

I’m here for you! I want to help you get the word out about your awesome book.

Together, we can make the world a better place by sharing our books that teach children how to be the best people they can be.

So, if you have always wanted to find a blog to share your books, you’ve come to the right place.

Contact me through either leaving a comment below, using the ‘Contact’ tab, or using the “Guest Blog’ tab.

I look forward to having you as my guest and sharing your work.

Don’t delay. Contact me today.

See what I did there?! I do love a good rhyme.

As always, likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

I love you all! Stay safe

Practice at Home to Prepare for School

2 young children huddled over a desk. One is writing and the other is looking on.

Hi everyone,

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in Florida, School is starting today!

I know, it feels early to me too!

So, to help you get this year off to a good start, here’s our favorite School Psychologist with some tips for parents on how you can support your child at home.

Dr. Valerie Allen

Practice at Home to Prepare for School

There are four basic areas of development for the young child which can be fostered at home. These skills lead to success at school and set the pace for a positive educational experiences. Here are some home activities parents can support and encourage.

Intellectual:  Kids who read succeed. Take your youngster to the public library for his or her own library card. Allow your child to check out books from the library and spend time together reading them to each other. Play board games, cards, crossword puzzles, word searches which are challenging and appropriate for your child’s age. Help your youngster to explore, question, and discover new things.

Social:  Children need to engage in positive relationships with their peers as well as with adults. Encourage new friendships at school, in the neighborhood, and youth groups. Hobbies, team activities, and community organizations can offer new skills and nurture responsibility. Demonstrate a positive attitude toward rules and authority figures to develop respect and cooperation.

Emotional:  Children need to feel loved and accepted without demanding perfection. Openly show affection. Listen to your youngster and help him or her explore alternatives to find solutions to problems. Praise their efforts even if it doesn’t lead to success the first time.

Physical:  A child’s height and weight should be commensurate with his or her age. A good mantra for healthy children is “Eat less, move more.” Routines for adequate sleep, eating healthy foods, and personal hygiene support physical conditioning and offers preventative care. The best strategy to prevent disease and illness is hand washing!

Children will thrive in all areas of development when parents are actively involved in these simple day-to-day actions with and for their youngsters.

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist, speaker, and author. She  has published two books for  children in grades 3 to 6 , ‘Summer School for Smarties‘ and ‘Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.‘ Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Holiday Homebody (Education doesn’t have to take a holiday during the break from school)

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist.

Holiday Homebody

The clock is ticking, the phone is ringing, excitement is in the air! The children can’t wait to sleep in late, yet, learning can still find a place in your home. Holidays can be a time of enrichment and creativity for young minds. Here are six ways to turn the holidays into an enjoyable learning experience to share with your child.

1.  Discuss the meaning and the origin of your holiday celebrations. You can also talk about how other cultures celebrate at this time of year. Identify various customs, foods and traditions.

2.  Vocabulary:  There are many words related to holiday celebrations. Start a list and add to it everyday. Words can be classified into nouns, such as apply pie, candy canes, ornaments, candles and so on. They can be identified as emotions, such as happiness, sharing, caring, joy, and similar responses.

3.  Read: Give books as gifts. Refer to classic stories that celebrate your holiday traditions. Talk about real vs. make believe and encourage critical thinking about fact and fiction. Discuss fairy tales and characters in children’s books. Decide which parts of a story are about real things and which parts are pretend.

4.  Cultural beliefs.  Research the history of various celebrations. Talk about the significant religious, social and cultural aspects of the holidays.

5.  Food Celebrations.  There are certain foods we enjoy during specific holidays. You can find simple, no-cook recipes for children to make and enjoy together. Discussions can include favorite holiday foods and the basic healthy food list. You can read the ingredients used in desserts and compare them to the healthy food list. This can also lead to a discussion of sharing food with others in the community.

6.  Talk about giving, receiving, and sharing. Gifts don’t have to have a monetary value to have meaning. Make a connection between work and money and making financial decisions about how and why to spend money for the sake of others.

Just because school is out, learning doesn’t have to take a vacation during the holidays!

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist and author in Melbourne, FL.  She has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Halloween: Tricks & Treats for Learning

6 children dressed up in various halloween costumes holding a sign that says Halloween

Hi everyone,

It’s the beginning of Holiday Season, as I like to call it, and here to kick it off is our favorite School Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen…

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist.

Halloween: Tricks & Treats for Learning

Those “teachable moments” can happen any time, any place, on any occasion. As we move into the holiday season, one such event is Halloween. Aside from your personal, school, or neighborhood activities, Halloween can be a prime learning opportunity.

Here are six ways to turn Halloween into an enjoyable learning experience to share with your child.

  1. Vocabulary: There are many words related to Halloween which can be categorized as nouns or verbs. Words can be alphabetized. They can be used to create word pictures or to find rhyming words. They can be sorted by number of syllables. Some words to consider: black cat, boo, broom, candy, costume, Fall, Jack-o-lantern, October, pumpkin, scary, treat, trick, and witch.
  2. Big Word into Little Words: Using only the letters in the word Halloween, make as many small words as you can in five minutes. You can offer points for the total number of words, with a bonus for words of five letters or more. Some of these words include: he, hen, hall, all, an, law, lean, low, eon, no, own, we, and when.
  3. Real vs. Make Believe: Encourage critical thinking about fact and fiction. Discuss fairy tales and characters in children’s books. Decide which parts of a story are about real things and which parts are pretend. This can also be an opportunity to discuss social issues about truth, misinformation, lies, and deception.
  4. Creative Imagination: Talk about costumes and who they represent. Discuss how people dress in different countries and those who wear uniforms. Talk about the difference between styles of dress and costumes. Use a story character and make up an adventure story. Discuss the purpose of clothing to offer protection from the elements, safety, and identification with others in a group or organization.
  5. Cultural beliefs. Research the history of the celebration of Halloween. There are significant religious, cultural, and agricultural roots in the celebration of Halloween. This can open discussions about differing beliefs, understanding, and tolerance.
  6. Food Celebrations. There are certain foods we enjoy during specific holidays. You can find simple, no-cook recipes for children to make and enjoy together. Discussions can include favorite holiday foods. You can talk about the ingredients used in pumpkin pie, apple pie, and mincemeat pie; which items are the same and which are different. Candies can be counted, sorted by texture or color, or by flavor. Other foods might include maple syrup, apples, cinnamon, and cider. This can also lead to a discussing of sharing food and candy with others in the community.

Halloween can be used to open doors to leaning, not just for those cute little Trick or Treaters!

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist and author in Melbourne, FL.  She has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties; Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends; oh and she’s raised 6 children!

Thank you, Dr. Allen, and be safe out there everyone and have fun!!

Reading with Franky the Finicky Flamingo

There is nothing like spending time with children to put a big smile on your face!!

I had that opportunity this past Friday when I was invited to a local Mom’s Group to read Franky the Finicky Flamingo.


I should have counted the children but I lost track after 8. They were all about 3 years old and under. They played with the toys available and interacted with each other. It was little girl with gray t-shirt on with a pink flamingo on the front and a saying that says, "Party Like a Flock Star"super cute! The host’s daughter was very outgoing and engaged everyone.

There was a little girl who was shy (I, too, was shy as a child so I knew how she felt) and she didn’t want me talking to her but she did eventually get over the fact that I was in the vicinity and started playing with the host’s child. She had an adorable flamingo shirt on for the event. See picture to the right.

One girl had gorgeous curls and so did one boy.  I love curls!

There was laughter and tears (when someone’s finger got caught on something or a head bumped) but those were short-lived.  Each Mom knew their child’s cry and they were quickly attended to and comforted and then went back to playing while at the same time, Moms were catching up with each other. Ah, the joy’s of being a parent! It was beautiful!

But, this is what parenting is all about right?! There’s stress but there’s laughter and hugs and quiet moments and loud moments. There’s times when you think you can’t take it one more moment and then your child looks at you and says in their sweet angelic voice, “I love you, Mommy.” That’s when you realize you wouldn’t want it any other way.

I can say that because I’m the Mom of a grown child. I remember the days of having a young child in the house. Toys are never quite all the way put up because they are in the midst of being played with. There’s bottles on the sink, there’s projects left undone. You feel like you’re not going to live through this time. But, you do. And when you look back, it’s the best time of your life!

I loved the energy of the host’s home. It was bright with hand-painted pictures hung up on the wall with tape. There were bright colors and kid-friendly chairs. It was perfect!

After about 30 minutes of playtime and Mom’s visiting, we made our way to the living room. The 3 year old children sat right in front of me and kept their eyes on me the whole time. The younger ones played nearby. A couple of children sat in their Mom’s lap.

Wanda Luthman, children's author, reading picture book Franky the Finicky Flamingo to children
Faces are pixalated to protect identity

I read my book and interacted with the children by asking questions and clarifying a few big words. I think they enjoyed it! They clapped afterwards.

I took the opportunity to share my upcoming Halloween book (Hayley the Halloween Cat) with the children and they are definitely interested in seeing it once it gets all done and made into an actual book!

I’m so grateful that I was able to spend some time with these wonderful women who value reading to their children and understand the need for community with other Moms. It was heart-warming to see the next generation parenting so well. I have great faith in the children coming up, even in this crazy world.

These children are loved. Their parents are supportive. And play is paramount.

I can’t think of a better place to spend my time. I’m thankful that my books will be part of the fabric of their lives to encourage them to be the best little people they can be! I have no doubt they will be wonderful!

Franky the Finicky Flamingo picture book cover by Wanda Luthman and illustrated by Mara Reitsma showing Top Shelf Nomination Award and Mom's Choice Award emblems
Available on Amazon

Shy vs. Social Children


Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist. Rehabilitation Counselor


Shy vs Social

New situations can be intimidating for all of us, children and adults alike. There is an element of emotional risk involved when we deal with the unfamiliar. There is the possibility of rejection, judgment or criticism. Children especially feel awkward and perhaps shy when encountering new situations. They have not yet experienced many of the successes and positive outcomes that adults have learned from social interaction.

Encourage your child to participate in new experiences which will help them:

  • Learn new skills
  • Gather information
  • Make new friends
  • Build confidence
  • Discover their talents and strengths
  • Work with different authority figures
  • Follow rules
  • Meet people with common interests
  • Meet deadlines
  • Improve organization skills
  • Overcome challenges
  • Help others
  • Develop a sense of community
  • Take pride in their accomplishments

Hobbies and volunteer experiences provide excellent opportunities. Some suggestions are after school clubs, scouts, sports, church youth groups, or community service organizations. Volunteers are welcome at libraries, animal shelters, and walking for a cause. Groups often come together for the benefit of others, making hygiene packets for the homeless, collecting picture books for young children, donating canned goods to food banks, helping senior citizens with lawn care and home repairs and caring for animals.


Help your youngster be more confident, outgoing and socially aware as he or she grows into becoming a successful adult.


# # #


Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She presents seminars for parents and professionals in the field of child development and has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

To Mom, With Love

Mom holding baby boy up in the air with sunset behind on beach



Today’s post is written by our favorite school psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen and is in honor of all mothers everywhere…

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist ~ Certified Case Manager



To Mom, With Love

A mother loves her child and the bond grows stronger with…

Heart burn and swollen ankles

Labor and delivery

Night time feedings and all day naps


Diapers, booties, burps, and tears

Smiles, giggles, sticky fingers

Vaccinations and chicken pox


First tooth and first steps

Those first little words

Me, me, me, mine and no, no, no

Mom with white hat on and white cotton top holding baby and mouth open cooing to baby while holding baby up and baby cooing back on beach

Scratches, scrapes, cuts and boo boos

Crayons, clay, magic markers

Art work on walls and skates in halls


First day of Kindergarten

Singing, dancing, all dressed up

T-ball, Scouts, and Field Day


Happy Birthday boys and girls

Tricycles and baby dolls

Pups and kittens and slimy frogs

Mom scrunching nose at young boy with wooden plank background with map lying on floor

Runny noses, untied shoes

Dinosaurs and Halloween

Ice cream sodas and science fair


Tooth aches, tummy aches, heart aches

Pals, best friends, and puppy love

Car keys, curfews and the birds and bees

Mom holding baby while looking out a window

Final exams, grad night, prom

First kiss, first car, first job, bills

New credit cards and big bank loan

“See you Mom, I’m on my own”


…and through it all, a mother loves her child.


Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!


Sugar Foote and the Magic Crown by Anitra Ferguson

Anitra Ferguson, children's author

Hello, everyone!

I would like to introduce you to Anitra Ferguson today. She writes amazing children’s books with wonderful messages for kids.

Please welcome, Anitra!

Hello, My name is Anitra Ferguson and I am a native Texan. I was born and raised in Paris,Texas. However I currently reside in Fort Worth , Texas. I have always had a fascination with words and a passion for writing.

I hope to inspire people to pursue their passions and dreams at any age. I write urban fiction and children’s literature. My first book was self published in 2016 through Xlibris. My current book Sugar Foote and the Magic Crown was published in 2017 geared toward promoting self esteem in young girls.

Sugar Foote and the Magic Crown by Anitra Ferguson; Illustrated by A.M.B. Branding Design

I believe that if we gain that self awareness and pride in self at a young age we will a better chance in navigating through life as we get older.

Purchase Sugar Foote and the Magic Crown on Amazon or CreateSpace

Connect with Anitra on Facebook 

Check out Anitra’s website here

Thank you, Anitra, for being with us today and sharing about your newest book, Sugar Foote and the Magic Crown!

And thank you, everyone, for stopping in and reading my blog post today! I appreciate each and every one of you!!