Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Encourage Young Siblings to Share

At this time of year when kids are getting new toys sometimes refereeing is the never-ending game of which toy belongs to whom. These steps can help you spend more time playing and less time blowing the whistle.
Step One Set aside a specific time when you will interact and play with your children. Young children learn and remember best when a parent works with them directly for consistent periods of time.
Step Two Suggest some toys to play with, and help your children get them out.
Step Three Bring the toys to an open area so you all have room to play.
Step Four Establish a positive and constructive play activity while letting your children remain in control of their play. If you want your children to play with blocks instead of climbing on the furniture, start building a tower.
Step Five Monitor your children and their play. Watch for an older sibling teasing a younger one. Keep mental notes of how long a turn one child takes with a toy other siblings want to play with.
Step Six If one child takes a toy from another, give the upset child a toy the other child likes. If she also tries to take away that toy, tell her she must give one of the two toys to the upset child. Explain that sharing is fair.
Step Seven If a child refuses to share toys, place her in a time-out area - a predesignated spot, separate from the play area, where she can be alone, calm down, and get ready to return in a more cooperative mood. She must give the upset child a toy and apologize before returning to play.
Step Eight Praise your child for sharing or helping independently. Say things like, 'What a good sharer you are. Nice manners!'
Step Nine Follow these steps during playtime and use them during the course of the day to reinforce the skill of sharing.

Tips & Warnings
            Maintain a calm, neutral tone when explaining how sharing works: 'It is nice manners to share. Look how Tommy gets upset when you take away a toy. Please be nice and share with your brother.'
            Try to use positive terms by telling your children what you want them to do instead of telling them what you don't want them to do. For example, say 'Please give Tommy a truck to play with' instead of 'Don't take that away!'

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Child Behavior Modification - When To Let It Go

Behavior modification in children is a tremendously useful tool but it is certainly NOT a magic wand. Behavior modification falls under the category of good, old-fashioned hard work.
When a child has worked hard, he needs a break. (Not to be confused with wanting the break before doing the hard work, however.)
Knowing when to let the training go and take a breather and how to do that is a helpful skill to learn as a parent. Let's take a closer look.
- When to let go.
Sometimes a child has genuinely worked very hard on changing her behavior and frankly, she's tired of the whole process.
The key to knowing when to take a breather is knowing your own child. Has she been truly working on what you've asked her to work on?
Are there extenuating circumstances? Extra homework? Feeling sick? Simply going too hard for too long?
You definitely want to have compassion for your child. However, you don't want to be feeling sorry for your child. Do you understand the difference?
Certainly a child needs to be rewarded for working hard on behavior modification issues. An appropriate reward - choosing dinner for the family, getting to play extra with a friend, etc. - can help a child stay motivated on working forward. Always, always catch your kids being good and tell them so!
Likewise, when your child is feeling - and acting - overwhelmed, have a system in place for working towards calm again. It can be a ten-minute hug, time in a quiet place until calm returns, or any other structure that your child and you have decided works, but whatever it is, use it.
The middle of a meltdown or a moment of acting out specifically due to overwhelm is a very important time in behavior modification. That's the moment to show your child how to step back and take a break, but without going out of control. A child has to learn how to handle his distressing feelings and then know what to do afterwards. It's not the moment for pushing harder, but for learning to let go and regroup.
So, when the frustrating moment has passed, sit down together and discuss whatever triggered this incident. Decide right then how to take care of that trigger. If it's homework, it still must be done (make a plan). If an interaction with a sibling was the trigger, relationships must be repaired (make a plan). This has the effect of keeping accountability in the situation while still working with the reality of the moment (i.e. your child had a meltdown).
It also gives a child valuable instruction on what to do next time this situation comes up and of course, it will. That's life. And frankly, those are the moments when change can actually occur, when frustrations come up. Guide your child into seeing that this change is beneficial for him and the more he cooperates, the more the two of you can find solutions that work - together.
Behavior modification in children is a practical approach to helping your child gain self-control through incremental change. You'll need patience (you knew that!), flexibility, a determination to succeed. A sturdy sense of humor doesn't hurt, either.
Your child will be amazed as he learns he is totally capable of handling himself and making changes in his own behavior that benefit him and make his life better.
That's called growing up and every child deserves the best shot at it possible. Colleen Langenfeld has raised 4 kids and can help you enjoy your mothering more at http://www.paintedgold.com. Do you know your child as well as you would like? Get a free report on reconnecting with your kids plus grab more child behavior modification strategies today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bedtime Without Struggling

- by Kathryn Kvols and Helen Hall, RN, MSN, CFNP

"Zachary, time for bed." "NO!" Two year old Zachary responds, running toward the playroom. Mother follows close behind, pleading, "It's time for bed, honey. C'mon, now."

"No, Mommy, no!" squeals Zachary as Mother swoops down to pick him up. Zachary's body stiffens, his back arches, and he begins kicking his feet in order to free himself of her tightening grip. Wildly, Zachary kicks his Mother as he struggles to get loose.

"Stop it! You're going to bed, NOW!" Mother declares, not to be outdone by her child's resistant behavior. Zachary begins to cry loudly as Mother, somewhat beaten and greatly exasperated, pulls off his clothes for his impending bath. This emotional and physical power struggle continues through Zachary's bath, pajamas, tooth brushing, and abruptly ends with a token kiss.

Exhausted and frustrated, Mother proceeds down the stairs hopeful for some solitude, only to hear, "Mommmmy, I want a drink. Me go potty!" Feeling guilty and yet, still angry, Mother hurriedly responds with the requested water and a brisk trip to the bathroom. Mother sets him on the bed and says evenly, "Don't let me hear another word. Good night!" Mother stomps down the stairs after slamming his door. Zachary is left huddled on his bed, crying into his pillow and Mother feels guilty and frustrated in front of the television.

Now, look at this same scene through the eyes of the child - in this case Zachary. We parents get accustomed to looking at this scene through our "adult eyes" and miss the opportunity to understand from our child's perspective.

Imagine that you are in the middle of a good book and your spouse says, "It's time for bed." In spite of your response, "No, I'm not ready just yet," you are helped unwillingly up the stairs, your clothes are removed and you are forced into taking a bath. Consider how you are feeling. Are you feeling disrespected, violated, angry, devalued or controlled? You may be thinking, "Yes, but a two-year-old doesn't feel this way - it's not the same, he's not an adult, besides, I'm the parent."

True, the child is not yet an adult. However he IS a person, has feelings and is at an important growth stage of wanting independence and experimenting with how to have his choices be known and honored. This is the beginning of his being an individual - he is establishing his separateness from his parents and is exploring his competence and capabilities.

Many times going to bed is not the issue, he may be tired and ready. Yet the command of being told what to do and when to do it brings up a feeling of being controlled. Isn't it true that this is often our reaction as adults when we are "commanded" in the same way? The issue becomes one of wanting control over ourselves and what happens to us. In this scene with Zachary and Mother, Zachary does not feel understood and it causes the struggle to escalate. Also, as Mother continues to overpower Zachary, he feels unloved and rejected and Mother is left feeling pretty much the same way.

Bedtime can be a special time between children and parents as it is natural for us to desire closeness or connectedness before going to sleep. Often times, however, parents have over-burdened themselves during the day and so they are eager to get the child in bed as soon as possible so they can have some quiet time for themselves. This can cause the child to feel that his parents are trying to "get rid of him." In our bedtime struggle story, Zachary's desire for more closeness is expressed through wanting a drink and "going potty" which results in more tension between he and his mom and both feeling hurt and rejected.
So, consider these questions: What did Zachary want in our story? More importantly, what does your child want?
  • To declare his independence or sense of self.
  • To feel close or connected with his parent.
  • To feel a sense of control over what happens to him.
  • To feel respected and heard.
How can you, as a parent, give your child what he wants and needs and still have him go to bed in a timely manner?
  1. Respect your needs. Take care of yourself during the day so you are not feeling hassled and frazzled at your child's bedtime. Set your child's bedtime at an hour that allows you some solitude and/or "couple time"with your partner after your child goes to bed.
  2. Whenever possible, have both parents be a part of the bedtime ritual. Bedtime is more fun and less of a burden when both parents participate.
  3. Start your bedtime ritual forty-five minutes to one hour before your child's actual bedtime hour to avoid unnecessary stress and struggle. This process should be a winding down time, in other words, eliminate activities that would excite the child such as rough-housing or tickling.
  4. Respect his sense of time by telling him that bedtime is in 15 minutes, allowing him to complete a particular activity before his actual bedtime hour.
  5. Offer choices instead of orders. Your child will have a feeling of control over what happens to him when given choices. For example, you might say, "Do you want your dad to help you with your bath or me?" Or "Do you want to wear your red pajamas or your blue ones?" Or "Do you want to sleep with your gorilla or your kitty?"
  6. Create a bedtime ritual with your child's help and advice. For example, read a story, snuggle, give three stuffed animals to kiss, give a hug and two kisses and leave the room singing a song. Routine is particularly important from at least 12 months of age through age two. The routine needs to have a quality of sameness or routine -- the same order or the same song -- to provide a sense of security.
  7. Create closeness. For example:
    • Talk about "Remember When," such as "Remember when we went camping and that raccoon got into our food?" Or "I remember when you were a baby and loved to have your tummy rubbed."
    • Listen to your child's feeling about the day.
    • Say three things that you love about eachother. Start each statement with, "What I love about you is..." and complete it with a specific thing that you love. For instance, "What I love about you is the way you helped put your books away today," or "What I love about you is the way your singing can lift my spirits."
  8. Ask the following questions that allow your child to share more about himself:
    • "What was the best thing that happened to you today?"
    • "What was the worst thing that happened to you today?"
    • "What was the silliest thing that happened to you today?"
  9. Some children may talk more freely with the lights out. Try to discover what is most encouraging to your child in enhancing your communication together.
  10. After you have completed your bedtime routine, leave your child's room. Explain to to your child ONCE when you start this new routine, "If you come out of the room for any reason other than emergency, I will lovingly guide or carry you back to your room." "I will not talk to you after saying goodnight and closing the bedroom door."
It is essential that you do not talk to your child after the bedtime routine is complete. Your child will pay more attention to your actions than your words. Further, if you continue to talk to your child, you are more likely to get into a verbal power struggle about going to bed. If you discover yourself saying, "Didn't you hear what I said? I told you to go to bed and I wasn't going to talk anymore!" Stop talking and take loving action by guiding your child back to bed. You may have to guide your child back to his room several times, particularly at the beginning because children will test their parents. However, as the week progresses, bedtime will become more pleasant for both you and your child.

You can make bedtime a time of nurturing, closeness, shared communication and fun. By involving your children in the decision-making process and spending this special time with them, they will feel valued and respected. By setting limits, you will gain the respect of your children and build their self-esteem.
Helen Hall is a pediatric Nurse Practitioner for the FM 1960 Pediatric Center and Learning/Development Center, both inHoustonTexas. Helen also teaches parenting educators through the International Network for Children and Families.

Kathryn Kvols is the president of the International Network for Children and Families and the author of Redirecting Children's Behavior. She is also a national speaker and workshop leader.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Early Childhood Education – More Than Daycare

If you are a single parent who must hold down a job (or, as is the "uniquely American" case oftentimes, two or three jobs) in order to provide for a family, it goes without saying that when it comes to toddlers and pre-schoolers especially, quality daycare is a necessity. But is it enough?

If you are among the fortunate enough to have family members or a neighbor who is willing to look after your very young child while you are on the job – or are able to hire a babysitter – your child is probably missing some important opportunities for intellectual growth. Yes, his/her physical needs for nourishment and protection are certainly being met, and there may be some socialization that occurs in a typical day care center, but many of them neglect learning activities that can stimulate cognitive function and give the child a firm foundation for furthering his/her education later in life.

It Starts On Day One

What happens to a child between birth and age five has a tremendous impact on their performance in school later on, this is a well known fact that Educators have long realized (even if policymakers refuse to acknowledge it). Sadly, although a recent policy decreed that "every child will enter school ready to learn," lawmakers on Capitol Hill were as usual very vague on how this is supposed to happen.

Research has proven that children may start learning even before birth; during the last trimester, the child may benefit from exposure to certain types of music as well as speech. The human brain undergoes rapid growth throughout the preschool years; it is safe to say that what happens to a child during the first five years of life largely shapes the adult s/he will become. At this stage of a child's life, s/he develops his/her basic language skills, a sense of self, his/her place in the group and the role of culture – all the basic tools required to function in a given society.

In short, the preschool years are those in which an elastic, malleable brain is "hardwired."

The Benefits

It has been clearly demonstrated that even one year of attendance at a certified preschool in which young children have opportunities for cognitive development through age-appropriate learning activities (such as educational games and other forms of constructive play) gives a child a tremendous advantage when they enter kindergarten. Such children have superior skills in reading, writing and speaking and mathematics – which are the foundation of every other subject. Additionally, children with a year or more of academic preschool have better social skills and are able to function better in a group setting. The effects of a quality preschool education will last a lifetime – and make it far more likely that the child will succeed as an adult in a Darwinian economic and social system in which every person is for him or herself and the only rule is "survival of the fittest."

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Atlanta day care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Kids Are Out of Control, HELP!

Are there any other moms out there that can help me with this?

My husband and I work opposite schedules. I work days and he works nights. I leave for work at 7:45 in the morning so my husband gets to do all the getting ready for school and taking the baby and two children to school. I get calls after he drops them off that the kids were fighting and biting all morning.  I have them pick out their clothes for school the night before and lay them out. I have to approve them of course. So when my husband tells me that my daughter went to school again in a skirt with shoes that require no socks. I am annoyed at my daughter once again. It is 40 degrees outside and raining. I just told her yesterday she needs to wear socks to school or I will take tickets out of her jar, a reward system we use. When I pick them up from school my husband leaves for work. We barely have a chance to talk. When I ask my husband what he does for discipline he says he separates them and tells them to stop. He does not use any of the positive reinforcement I tell him to use or the reward system I set up.

If they are caught being good they get a ticket. If they do something without being told they get 4 tickets. If we tell them to do something and they do it the first time being asked they get 3 tickets for each time they are asked it is one less ticket. If we have to keep asking they owe tickets. Fighting they have to give a ticket. They can buy things with their tickets. For example, 20 tickets is a Slurpee or an ice cream.

They act a little better for me but do not do what they are told most of the time. I have to ask a bunch of times to get anything done.  I feel like I am constantly struggling with them. My 4 year old gets really stubborn and does things on purpose just to make me angrier. My 7 year old just does what she wants. The reward system seems to not work anymore. I wish my husband and I could be consistent with the discipline but we are never together for me to show an example of how it works. I try to explain to him but he doesn't listen fully. I love my kids so much but lately I feel extremely frustrated.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do You Say "Tomorrow I'll do better", Yet by 8am You're Yelling at Your Children?

by: Jill Darcey 

Most parents put their hand up and say, "Yes, me too!" Exhausted from a day of nagging, yelling and demanding your children do things faster, better, or do something at all, you flop into bed and wish for more peace in home. With your head churning, you long for a better way to do things and hope for a little courage so you can try harder tomorrow.

While no parent is exempt from this pressure, it is especially true for those who are in a Complex Family; those who co-parent, or parent beyond separation, divorce, or some form of family breakdown. The Split Family or Broken Home places extreme pressures onto parents, and none more so than the solo parent.

Great parenting is not out of reach, it's not even that difficult — it takes one key element to lift it from mediocre to great. It requires you to be aware, or rephrased as parenting consciously. Be aware of how you handle the day-to-day mundane repetition that is your child's training ground. Every day is simply a progression of tiny moments that are all strung together over the course of 24 hours. If you feel overwhelmed, angry, resentful, or even plain exhausted, it helps to remember that the most important part of your day is right now. It's not what will happen in 10 minutes, half an hour, or even in two hours time; it's not important what has gone before you, previous days, weeks, or even years; it's only important what you decide right in this very moment.

If you get frustrated that your children seem unable to get themselves ready for school on time in the morning, choose how you will handle this repetition instead of continuing with your frustration and emotional outbursts. To yell at them, does little to lead your family in a strong and positive example; instead you reinforce to them the feelings of being out of control and powerlessness. When this becomes a daily ritual in your home, it's not surprising their behaviour will reflect this frustration.

The next time you're about to raise your voice and yell - STOP. Simply take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are the parent and it is your responsibility to lead your family.

As you climb into bed while you hold the wish for greater peace inside your home, take the time to reflect on how you might remind yourself to stop reacting and start responding to every little moment - the ones that are strung together to make up a day.

When you trip up and you hear yourself yelling before 8am in the morning in sheer frustration; don't give up — stop mid-sentence and say to yourself, "Let's try again..." In a calm, strong, and effective tone, continue to remind your children (without nagging) and do nothing more. This conscious choice encourages and empowers you for the next moment, and then the next, and next, and so on.

It helps to have practical solutions and I can give you clever strategies, and plenty of them — some of these are found inside my book — but even the most efficient and effective strategies inside a home can have negative effects if you carry them out while you harbour inner resentment, anger, frustration, or even disengagement from life.

It is most important to understand you first influence your family in every moment through who you are being, then second, through what you are doing. There is no substitute for taking responsibility for your choices in each moment and leading your children to greatness one seemingly insignificant repetitious step after another every day.

Warmest :o)

Jill Darcey

About The Author
Jill Darcey (Author, Parent, Founder & Speaker), a mother of three; thousands of hours in counseling and coaching; and more than a decade of split-family co-parenting. In Jill's book, Parenting with the Ex Factor (http://www.complexfamily.com/book), she works to inspire divorced parents to 'stop drinking poison' and start constructively building the new parenting model. Parenting with an Ex? Receive a free 'Care & Routines' eBooklet today or join Complex Family for free (http://www.complexfamily.com) and receive $330 worth of benefits for free!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Best Expert Parenting Advice Ever

What your doctor, babysitter, preschool teacher, and all the other pros in your life really wish you knew -- but wouldn't dare say to your face!
Preschool Teacher
Okay, tell us the thing you'd never say to our face.
If a parent doesn't follow my directions, I'll assume her child won't either. I give parents specific instructions -- fill out these forms by this date, e-mail instead of calling, don't put candy in your kid's lunch. As soon you break my rules, that creates an immediate bias against your child. And most teachers feel the same way. 

Ouch. What else?
The six most lethal words to a teacher at the end of class: "Hi! Do you have a minute?" We hate that. Make an appointment. Likewise, don't pretend you're in my classroom to volunteer and then try to use that time to chat about your child's progress. 

What's the biggest secret among teachers? 
Just as you have a preferred teacher you want for your kid next year, we have preferred students we want for our classrooms. How to become a preferred family? Start each school year by sending your teacher this e-mail: "Please provide me with a wish list of 10 things you would like for your classroom." She'll ask for things like Post-it notes, a chess set, a 50-cent deck of cards. When you spend maybe $20 on these items, it goes through the grapevine that you are here not just for your kid but for the entire class -- that this is the family that cares about the community, whose child is probably a team player too.

Please speak for all doctors. What is the most annoying thing we parents do? 
Overreact to the little ills of childhood. American kids are the healthiest humans who have ever lived. But their parents often fear they're one sniffle away from certain doom. So, please, have confidence that you can handle most of the little throat itches, earaches, goopy eyes, and low fevers your child has. You don't need me; you just need a little chicken soup and love. 

But what about medicine? 
As much as you want a prescription to fix everything, your kid probably doesn't need antibiotics. For example, 80 percent of ear infections go away without them. It's a dirty little secret of pediatrics that ear infections pay our bills. Doctors are nice, and sometimes we write prescriptions because we want to feel like we're doing something to help, even though you'll be fine without it. 

What's another secret? 
There's a syndrome called "Sick enough to see the doctor, but well enough for baseball." The kid absolutely must see me on Sunday, but just not until after his game. If your child is well enough for school or practice, he's really not sick enough to see me. On the other hand, if your kid is sick enough to see me, he's probably sick enough to have an adult stay home with him. I can't magically make him well enough to get back to school or daycare. 

Daycare Director
You've seen it all. Your biggest beef? 
I call it Rule-Bending Acrobatics. You have 66 reasons why your kid shouldn't have to eat what everyone else does, nap when everyone else does, and should be allowed to wear her princess costume every day. But it's really not good for her to feel like she's special in the group. Everyone has to follow the rules. 

What else would you like us to know? 
I ain't Grandma. Pick your child up on time. I love her, but I'm overworked and underpaid, and I want to get home too. 

Any advice you can't believe that you have to GIVE? 
At pickup, get off the cell phone, make eye contact, and say hello nicely. It's a long day for a little kid, and he misses you. Give him all your attention. Say, "Hi, I'm glad to see you. I've missed you today. How are you? What have you been doing?" You'll be rewarded with a kid who's less clingy and whiny all evening. 

Runner-up for most obvious advice that isn't listened to... 
Quit negotiating! If it's cold outside, don't discuss it with your toddler. Put his jacket on, for goodness' sake! 

Kids' Dentist
Most people don't like going to the dentist. Do kids know that? 
You may fear dentists, but there's no need to make your kid be afraid of them. Tell him, "You'll meet some nice people, they'll shine your teeth and count them. They'll have some neat special tools they'll show you. And at the end you'll probably get a sticker!" Don't hold him tight in the waiting room, whispering consolations. Don't call out, "Be brave!" as he walks toward the chair. That makes him think there's something terrible awaiting him. 

Don't make promises I may not be able to keep. Don't tell your kid, "The dentist won't take x-rays" or "You won't feel a thing," because it may not be true, and it undermines both parent and dentist. If he asks a question you don't know how to answer, say, "Good question, sweetie. Let's ask the dentist together." Also, it's not funny to joke with kids about having a tooth pulled. 

So how should we prepare? 
It's fine to read your child books about going to the dentist, but review them alone first. Most of them have at least one really scary picture of a dentist wielding a needle, even though three pages later everyone lives happily ever after. I had an otherwise good dentist book in my waiting room, but it had two pages that talked about yankers and scrapers, so I taped them together. 

Parenting Expert
What's one thing you wouldn't say in one of your books? 
Becoming a parent is like contracting a debilitating disease. Imagine a disease where you couldn't sleep, you couldn't have sex, you couldn't travel, you had aches and pains all the time. Now, this doesn't mean you don't love your kids. In fact, the more you love them, the harder it is. Nobody tells you what the pull of loving your kids will do to the rest of your life -- including your relationship with your spouse. Even if you had a relatively healthy sex life before kids, after the second kid it's just kind of done. There's not always as much love to go around. 

Let's say you could make one rule that no parent could violate, what would that be? 
Don't give your child an annoying name. Especially, do not name your kid after a character in a movie. Nobody wants to end up being named Morpheus because his dad was really into The Matrix. That's just plain idiotic. 

What is the worst thing parents do? 
Babysitters hate it when the mom hangs around. For example, when we're having fun and laughing, and you come in to see what we're doing, it spoils the momentum of our play. And if your kid's having a tantrum or being disciplined, don't come in either! It undermines my authority. I know it's hard to hear someone else discipline your child. If my kids were acting up with my sitter, I'd want to go see what the problem was. But trust me, or hire someone you do trust. 

Children's Entertainer
All those kids in one place! Yikes! 
It's not the kids who are rude, it's the parents. You expect your kid to be quiet when you take him to adult events. But when you go to a kids' show, you chat loudly with the other adults. You're not showing the respect that you expect from your child. I even had a woman chat on her cell phone during my whole show. Also, don't bring babies who are too young to enjoy the performance. You'll feel torn when they start to cry -- even kids don't want to listen to a sobbing baby.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Top Notch Tips to Getting Top Grades - Principal Parenting Potentials For a Back to School Overview

 By Julian Anthony
With the end of summer comes the beginning of a new school year. If you made a promise to yourself that you were going to help your child to excel in Academics this year you are certainly not alone. There are a lot of parents becoming more involved with their children when it comes to education. Also many parents are a lot more involved with the Educational System itself, now more than ever before.

While I believe this to be a good thing it can have the potential to backfire. So here in this article will be a small outline of things that should be considered when probing deeper into your childs' school life.

These are just some helpful hints and an outline of things to consider in order to get the most out of school and education as is possible.

Every parent has high hopes for their child and really wants them to do well in school. It is a busy time for parents and children. When you are busy you can get stressed and anxious. Be aware of your own anxieties and be sensitive about it. Try not to let it get the best of you.

1. Keep the Pressure OFF. Having fun and exploring education in a positive way will keep a positive connection with school and your child. You want to keep your child interested in school in order to get the most out of it. In recent years the overall expectations of school based achievements and grade point averages have skyrocketed. Meaning parents and teachers keep the standards relatively high. Boys tend to be more competitive and girls tend to be more mature but all children share likes and dislikes.

The point being is school should, and needs to be enjoyed as a well liked experience by the child.

As mentioned earlier, we have a much higher standard and expectation rate than ever before. We must be careful not to let this get out of hand. So the most important thing EVER when it comes to keeping your child interested in school is to know when and how to apply the pressure. As well as when not to. Inspire in good spirits.

2. Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses. Continue to be observant and ascertain likes and dislikes. Letting the child make the decisions about what his/her favorite subject is and what they enjoy most. Do not let your influence or standard stereo types of gender or any other assumptions get in the way.

These are limits that children are not affected by and should not be restricted or bothered with. For instance a girl could be interested in fire-trucks or a boy dancing. It can be jolting but just be supportive and understanding.

3. Esteem and Academic Achievement. Keep a list of factors which will influence your child's development and learning capabilities. If your child enjoys something in particular this will usually mean they are good at it. Let them run with it and see where it leads. Once they build esteem through accomplished goals they will take an interest in school all around.

This is the highest goal. The worst thing is getting to a point where the children dislike school and find no joy in it. This is where all the problems rise up. The challenge just to get them to do their home work is very hard when the child just does not want to do it.

4. Motivation and the IMPORTANCE of a Great Morning Send Off. --This is wildly overlooked and underestimated. It is also the most important. When children are not given enough time to thoroughly wake up and eat a great healthy breakfast; they have a %50 disadvantage over one who does. This is very important to the maintaining energy throughout the day and feeling well from the beginning on.

The brain needs nutrients to function properly. Without it you are left feeling sluggish in the morning which means you are more than likely missing out. Studies have proven that this is the SINGLE greatest element to learning and overall performance in school for all children. So breakfast is a must and a big one at that. Healthy too, of course.

5. Structure, Structure, Structure. A child needs an organized life to live in. A strong foundation in which to work. Routine and scheduling helps a child feel safe and confident. They are making decisions for themselves for the first time. They are learning and need confidence.

Plus when things are organized children tend to be more focused. The clean and orderly manner of a schedule helps to keep concepts moving forward with no friction.

Just to help keep things simple, a quick rundown cannot hurt.

1. Be aware of your own anxieties and Keep the pressure off throughout the whole school year.
2. Observe how your child learns and ascertain strengths and weaknesses. Teach them to compensate.
3. Take interest and support your child's interests. Allow them to have fun and keep school enjoyable.
4. The best morning send off is beyond important to them. Great mornings with great breakfasts is a must.
5. Structure, keeping it consistent. A schedule of reviews of how things are going. Knowing your child's school life and environment.

This list could really go on forever but you have some of the most crucial back to school tips to get the most out of an education. These principals work. When you apply these tips to get good grades with your current routine it will have a definite impact and improve your child grades all around.

Does your child hear you explain rules and openly ignores them? Do you worry that when you go out with your child they will throw a tantrum in public? There is a solution and it does not require you to punish your child and damage your relationship. This Happy Child Guide To Discipline program is getting excellent feedback all across the country. Find out how to Raise a misbehaving Child with ease and greatly reduce the stress and anxiety you feel when your child misbehaves.

If you are a parent who is struggling with your child please do not hesitate. You need a plan that can help you in providing discipline and taking the worry out of your day to day life. This is more than just a solution to Behavior Problems Children have, it is an excellent system that will help you and your child with finding discipline without punishment. Deep inside your child really wants to behave.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Julian_Anthony
Successful Parenting

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

How To Deal With Sibling Rivalry

I saw this article and wanted to share it. I personally have been dealing with this issue a lot with my 7 and 4 year olds. 

by: Amy Twain

Sibling rivalry is almost common to parents with more than one child. Not only exclusive to young children, sibling rivalry even extends even to children's adulthood.

For the parents, if you hear the fighting and bickering happening, let each child ask what their problem is, and ask each of them to figure out some ideas which can help solve their problem. Give them a chance to share their own ideas on their own. If ever they can't find solutions on their own, offer some of your own which might work. Everyone must agree with the given solution and stick to it--so that there would be change.

If this set up is already being constantly practiced and complied, then it's time the parents should stay out of it. If children come to you to gossip/report about the other, answer them nicely that it's no longer your problem and you believed that they could both generate some solutions to their problems like before.

Even you can obviously tell one child is wrong, try and have that child recognize that for himself; try your best not to take sides with either of them. Sibling rivalry usually happens when the parents do not play fair and seem to pick favorites. Also, taking sides only teaches the child to evade their own problem solving skills when they see that someone older is sticking up for them. 

Nevertheless, during those happy times when they play harmoniously together, compliment and praise them for getting along so well. And how about those times when they get to solve problems on their own? Be sure to remind them that you're always proud of them.

Model your behavior as you'd like your kids to emulate you. When you're in a dispute with someone, take note and be careful if your kids are there for they're learning how you deal with the situation.

About The Author
The author of this article, Amy Twain, is a Self Improvement Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Amy recently published a new home study course on how to boost your Self Esteem. Click here to get more info about her Quick-Action Plan for A More Confident You.


Friday, July 2, 2010

12 Keys to Successful Parenting



I love you, and I know that you want to be the best parent that you can be. I am very sensitive, and I can feel your warmth, your caring, and your heart's desire to see me happy, healthy and successful in all areas of my life.

I first want to thank you for being my parent; for giving birth to me and providing for my physical needs--food, clothing, and a home. Without you, I wouldn't be able to survive. Thank you for all the wonderful things you do for me. I am pleased and grateful that you are choosing to be there for me

I understand how difficult parenting can be--I did not arrive with instructions. I know that you always do your best with the information that you have. You basically learned how to parent from your parents, and they did from theirs and so on down through the generations. Unless I learn other ways, I'll probably teach my children what you share with me.

To make your job easier and to help you and I reach our goals, I want to give you the gift of telling you what I want and need. With healthy guidelines we can both experience joy, fulfillment, success and harmony.
Thank you for your openness and your love.

The following messages come from my heart:


1. Understand that I am growing up and changing very fast. It must be difficult to keep pace with me, but please try.

2. Listen to me and give me brief, clear answers to my questions. Then I will keep sharing my thoughts and feelings.

3. Reward me for telling the truth. Then I am not frightened into lying.

4. Tell me when you make mistakes and what you learned from them. That helps me accept that I am okay, even when I blunder.

5. Pay attention to me and spend time with me. That helps me believe that I am important and worthwhile.

6. Do the things you want me to do. Then I have a good, positive model.

7. Comfort me when I'm scared, hurt or sad. That will help me feel I'm okay even when I'm not feeling strong or happy.

8. Take responsibility for all your feelings and actions. That will help me not blame others and take responsibility for my life.

9. Be consistent with me. Then I can trust your words and actions.

10. Communicate what you feel hurt or frightened about when you're angry at me. That will help me feel I'm a good person, and learn how to constructively deal with my feelings.

11. Tell me clearly and specifically what you want. That will help me hear you, and will also know how to communicate my needs in a positive way.

12. Express to me that I'm okay even when my words or behavior may not be. That will help me learn from my mistakes, and have high self-esteem.

Thank you for hearing me. I love you!

(Excerpts from the booklet, e-book, book, "All You Need Is HART" and 
Posters "AS I GROW" & "HELP ME GROW")

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kids Birthday Parties

What is Kids Birthday Party Etiquette? Successful parenting is hard when we have to make these kinds of decisions. When your child is invited to a birthday party are you as a parent supposed to stay with your child. Is the parent expecting that? Is the parent thinking it is rude that you are hanging around? I'm sure in some way it depends on the age group? I mean with a bunch of 8 year old children a parent hanging around with each might be a bit much, but with a bunch of 3 year old children parents are handy. So what is the age cut off. I have two kids that are invited to parties at opposite ends of town at about the same time. I obviously cannot be at two places at once and I also do not feel comfortable just leaving my child. I am trying to be a successful parent and not keep my kids completely sheltered and allow them a social life, but I also cannot help being a paranoid mom. I am a what if thinker. I think of everything can happen if I am not there. What would you do?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Constant Thoughts

So often I find my mind going in a million directions. I have so many ideas of topics I would like to write about. Often these ideas come to me while I am lying in bed at 2 am in the morning trying to go to sleep. I think to myself I will remember that. What I need to do is keep a notebook next to my bed so that I can jot these things down.  Do you ever find yourself driving and get to your destination and wonder how in the heck did you get there?, because you were just so deep in thought. My brain never shuts off. It is constantly going. If I were talking out loud I swear someone would probably think I was crazy. Just going off in a million directions thinking about one thing that all of a sudden leads to another thing. Being a mom you are constantly thinking about the kids. The things you have to do with them, get done with them, whether or not you are being a good enough mom to them, are spending enough time with them. I sometimes have very little patience. (Something I really am working on) I often end up saying things I end up regretting and end up being really sad and beating myself up over. I do not want my kids to be unhappy. I do not want to yell at them. But for some reason this little twinge happens in my brain and another person comes out of me. Evil mommy. My son likes to egg evil mommy on. I get horrible headaches, almost daily. When I have these headaches whining makes them worse, so then evil mommy comes out more, then there is sad mommy, then regrets mommy. It seems to be an endless cycle. Then I spend a lot of time thinking if I have been a good mom that day and if I have said anything or if my actions that day have permanently damaged my little children.  

I love, love, love being a mom. It goes by so fast. I remember when my first was born, almost 7 years ago, people would tell me to enjoy every moment of it because it goes by way to fast. It really truly does. That is one piece of advice I would really tell moms to not take for granted. It is the hardest thing not to do. Life does not stand still it keeps going. Time cannot be stopped. Children keep on growing. Every minute they are another minute older. It is a heartbreaking fact. As much as I would like to turn back time and change certain events and make things better I can’t, all I can do is make the future better. I can’t help but stop and stare at my kids some times and admire the little being they have become. The little individual personalities they each have, the little smiles I receive and the love and happiness that dwell inside of them. It makes EVERY part of motherhood worth it.

Lots of times I find myself just watching them sleep. I still to this day cannot go to sleep till they are all asleep. I check and make sure they are all asleep soundly. I get out of bed a million times to check on them. They are so precious.