Tag Archives: child development

Helping our Children to Make and Keep Friends

Social Skills

We all know some children make friends easily and are invited to everything. If we looked into the future, these children will be socially successful wherever they go.

However, some children are not born this way. The children that are shy, the children who have not had many social experiences, the children who have never learned these critical early skills, are handicapped socially. Finally, the pain of social rejection will set in and affect our children far more than we may realize. However, do not despair!

There is huge Value in Teaching Social Skills. It is so important to help our children learn friendship-making skills. Many studies have been done and prove that children reject other children if they have poor social skills, are aggressive, or immature. However, from this early age your child’s pals can protect your at-risk child from depression and anxiety now and in later life.

The good news is that social skills can easily be taught. Teaching these skills can enhance children’s social confidence and expand their potential interpersonal fulfillment. By teaching your child one new skill at a time and practicing it over and over until he or she can use it on his or her own, you can help your child make new friends and improve their social confidence. Here are a few top friendship-making skills that are critical to our children’s social competence and ALL are teachable.

Eye contact, Listening to a conversation, Resolving conflicts, Introducing self, Meeting new people, Starting a conversation, Joining in, Handling rejection, Staying calm, Saying no, Encouraging, Asking permission, Apologizing, Sharing and taking turns, Bouncing back, Problem solving, Etiquette and manners, Suggesting an activity, Identifying and expressing your emotions, Sticking up for yourself, Expressing feelings, Accepting criticism and being teased, Compromising, Negotiating.

STEP 1: Choose the one skill your child needs and FOCUS on it.

STEP 2: Coach the New Friendship Skill
Find a private moment to model the new skill to your child. Talk about why the skill is important, and then be sure your child can show you how to do the skill correctly. Go to a playground, so she can observe other kids actually using the skill. Seeing the skill in action helps your child copy it, so she can try it on her own. Be creative in helping your child learn the new skill.  Some ideas: Look for a character using the skill on a TV show or movie, Have “teddy bear” practice with “Peter Rabbit, “Role play or play act the skill out.”

STEP 3: Provide Practice (and lots of it!)
Your child needs to try out the skill with other children. The third step is to find fun ways for your child to rehearse the skill until he can finally use it without adult guidance. Here are a few Ways to Help Kids Practice a New Skill. Look for the kid next door, the kid at the park, Keep the practice session short. Do not overwhelm your child. Keep the session fun–this is not meant to be a tutoring session like learning math facts! Stand back at a comfortable distance to give your child comfort. If your child is having problems in the group, offer suggestions, but only privately–never in front of other kids. Preserve his dignity! Repetition is crucial for learning. This step is crucial in boosting performance. As soon as you can ask some of these questions:

How did it go? What did you say? How do you think you did? What would you do differently next time?

Acknowledge success. The little efforts and the small gains. Remember: one friendship skill at a time. Gradually your child’s social competence will grow.

Do not Give Up!

Friendship making groups may be available in your area. Friendship plays an enormous part of your child’s self-esteem and success. Do not overlook this part of your child’s world.

Life lessons we must teach our children

Parent Children Education Engagement

Before I had my children, I was a teacher. I love education, I love seeing children blossom in our schools. I love how teachers are our children’s true heroes.

However I know as a parent now that there are things our schools cannot and do not teach. We have to take responsibility for teaching and guiding our children in regards to life skills and prepare them for their teenager and adult lives.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TIME MATTERS
Talk to them about what being on time means, be conscious about it. Spend quality time with your children, not quantity. Teach them to use their time wisely and not to be idle and lustful.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO FINISH WHAT THEY START
In today’s world, it is so busy, there are so many distractions, if we as parents do not insist on our children finishing everything they start, they will be low achieving and low productivity young adults. So if they start tidying their room and then get distracted and play, take them back to the original task. If they start an extra mural activity, do not let them just stop because they do not like it. Ensure they complete a term and then they may decide to stop. Teach these valuable lessons early and you will set your children up for success.

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO TRY THEIR BEST AND WORK HARD
We need to guide our children to do their best. Working hard will give them results they are proud of. Set up chores at home, when done well, they can have a little bit extra of TV time, to can earn an allowance. Make a game of this.

COMMUNICATE
This skill is the one done badly by all of us. Work on playing games to make children talk in front of their friends, puppets that they make are a great way to get them uninhibited.

RULES
Rules are what keep our world a safe place to live. Teach your child from early, hot and cold, walking with a knife or scissors, the importance of seat belts. Make these lessons into rules.

THE LOVE OF LEARNING
The best way for you to do this, is to read. Read every night with your child. Make it a habit in your home. Take them to zoos, museums, do educational outings with them. Teach them to take an interest in the world around them

INDEPENDENCE
Every child wants to be able to help themselves, show the, how to make their bed, how to brush their teeth, help them to help themselves. Long terms this will ensure a healthy self-esteem and the confidence to do things independently.

MONEY
There are many ways to teach your children this skill. From 2 years old, they can have a little shop at home, when they pack away nicely, they can have a coin. They can swop a coin for a little sweet. The point is they need to learn the value of exchange and that money does not grow on trees.

As a parent, you need to accept and know that you are your child’s first teacher, and it is up to you to teach them the things they cannot learn or be taught at school.

Mistakes Parents Make with Teens

Parenting advice

We have all been teenagers. Here are a few pointers that could make your life much easier having teenagers in the house.

Lecture Rather Than Discuss: We want our teens to grow into responsible adults able to make wise decisions. Teens need to know they are safe in knowing that their parents are there, but not suffocating them.

Ignore the Obvious: Take notice of unusual behavior and talk before it is too late.
Not Following Through on Rules and Consequences: Always make sure your teens know what the consequences are for breaking rules and ensure that you follow through with the rules.

Setting Unreasonable Goals: Set expectations that allow the child to succeed based on his or her abilities.

Pointing out Only the Negative: The best rule is for every negative there are three positive comments. This will ensure that your child will not give up and will strive to succeed.

Leaving the Educating up to “Someone Else”:  We learn most of our habits from our parents so you need to show your children what is wrong and right and set guidelines as to what is correct.

Giving Up on Family Time: Make time for your children on a daily basis to keep communication open. Parents who spend time with their children will be more aware of changes in their demeanor and behavior.

Assume Good Grades Mean No Other Problems: A smart kid who does well in school may be able to maintain good grades even though they are drinking or using drugs. Do not write off other signs of trouble just because the grades are not slipping.

Not Taking the Time to Know What Is Up with Adolescents: It is a good idea to know the Internet and other cultural influences that may affect your child and influence their decision-making.

Giving Up Too Soon: Most teens who have already figured out creative ways to get what they want will not stop after one attempt to change their behavior. Be consistent.

Reasons for Teaching Kindness in Schools

acts of kindness

Acts of kindness always have emotional and physical benefits. In order for children to live a healthy life they need to be exposed to acts of kindness often. Here are 8 important reasons for teaching kindness in schools.

Happy Children – Science explains that the good feelings we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, and it has been proven that these feelings of joyousness are contagious, encouraging more kind behavior by the giver and recipient.

Increased Peer Acceptance – Research on the subject has determined that kindness increases our ability to form meaningful connections with others. Studies have shown that kind and happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well liked. It has also been reported that children have better than average mental health in classrooms where the class participation is more inclusive due to an even distribution of popularity.

Improved Health and Less Stress – Being kind releases endorphins that can decrease stress levels as well as produce mental and physical health benefits.

Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self Esteem – Even small acts of kindness are reported to heighten our sense of well-being, increase energy, and give a wonderful feeling of optimism and self-worth.

Increased Feelings of Gratitude – When children are part of projects that help others that are less fortunate than them, it provides them with a real sense of perspective and helps them appreciate the good things in their personal lives.

Better Concentration and Improved Results – Acts of kindness increases your levels of serotonin, which plays an important part in learning, memory, mood, sleep, health and digestion. Kindness is a key ingredient that helps children feel good. Having a positive outlook allows them greater attentions spans and enables more creative thinking, resulting in better performance at school.

Less Bullying – By always performing acts of kindness, it teaches people to treat all human beings with respect; this will result in a decreased number of incidents of bullying.

Reduced Depression – Serotonin is released when performing an act of kindness, which is known to work as a natural antidepressant.

We need to be ready and prepared to teach kindness, because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimization later in life. Yet despite these and other travails, the receipt of kindness and the ability to show kindness through service are both growth enhancing and soul cleansing. Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.

When Kids Say What They Want To Be When They Grow Up

AspirationsEncourage them! Please never project your experience on your child’s life

Not long after children utter their first words are adults asking them the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” So what are parents to do when their child declares a future profession?

Here are five tips to remember:

  • You can never go wrong with supporting your child’s dreams, especially when they are very young.
  • Don’t try to influence your child based on your own experiences or desires.
  • Never encourage your child to pursue a profession just for the money.
  • Remind your child that not knowing what they want to do is OK.
  • Talk with your child about their strengths and talents.

Somebody said once: “When I was a kid I wanted to be a fireman. Then I changed my mind in high school and decided to do Engineering in college. Now I am a consultant. And when I grow up I want to be Michael Buble.”