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Why you shouldn't diss maths in front of your children Thinkstock

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It's undeniable that maths skills are useful in adult life ­­ whether you need to calculate a percentage increase or simply need to pass a numeracy test to get a job. Unfortunately , however, many children fall out of love with maths and science from a young age as some of us are simply more drawn to creative subjects.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=Why-you-shouldnt-diss-maths-in-front-of-31052017017033

And if you never liked scientific subjects as a student, it can be hard to inspire enthusiasm for them in your children. However, teacher, author and education consultant Maya Thiagarajan has now revealed how parents can raise their children to love maths even if they themselves don't: “First, I think that parents should refrain from making statements like `I never liked maths', or `I'm not good at maths', in front of their kids,“ she told `Smart Parenting'.

“The important thing is to integrate maths into everyday conversations and activities.“ She cites Singapore as an example, where many mothers talk to their children about numbers, shapes and patterns from a young age, thus integrating maths into daily life and creating a mathematically rich home.

“They play maths games in the car or at the dinner table,“ Thiagarajan says, and gives examples such as “guess the number, solve the mathematical riddle, add up the numbers on license plates as quickly as possible, calculate distance traveled.“ According to Thiagarajan, these successful parents also encourage their children to play maths-related games. “They teach their kids chess. They spend money and time on Lego sets, building blocks, tangrams, jigsaw puzzles, and board games,“ she says. “When they take their kids to the grocery store, they talk maths. If one apple costs $0.80, how much will six apples cost?“ They're simple changes that could make a huge difference to your child's life.

Rachel Hosie

THE INDEPENDENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted May 31, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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+1 vote

       

Photo Source: mycity4kids

By Niharika Ghosh

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/article/6-little-behavior-problems-you-shouldnt-ignore

One of the biggest challenges parents face is managing difficult or defiant behaviour on the part of children. Whether they’re refusing to put on their shoes, or throwing full-blown tantrums, you can find yourself at a loss for an effective way to respond. Overall, parents have a lot on their plates, and sometimes that can lead to them making some important oversights. Obviously, moms and dads aren’t expected to study or analyse every little thing their children do, but there a quite a number of little conduct problems that should never go unnoticed, as they can be troublesome in the long run.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at 6 of these minor problems that parents can’t afford to ignore, and how to address them properly:

1. Not Seeking Permission

It doesn’t take long for children to start preparing snacks on their own, rather than asking for help getting them. However, giving them control of when they can eat or perform certain activities does not help teach them to follow the rules. It is best to have an established set of rules for the household, instead of letting your child behave as he pleases. This gives him a constant set of rules to follow and adjust to, as opposed to teaching him to make the rules for himself.

2. Stretching the Truth

If your child over-exaggerates or lies about something that does not matter, it may not seem like a big deal. But, lying easily becomes a habit that kids often turn to in order to get out of chores or trouble. If your child lies about something, make sure you let him know that it is important to tell the truth.

To fix this behaviour, try to set the record with your kids whenever applicable. Sit them down, and tell them that you know the truth, and that they should just admit the truth. Be sure to teach lessons like short stories or fables in order to let them know that if they develop a tendency to lie, people won’t believe them. Kids will likely slow down on exaggerating if they realize that it is not as harmless as it seems.

3. Showing some attitude

When children show their parents a little bit of attitude or arrogance, they’re basically displaying a small lack of authority towards you and possibly other authority figures. You may think your child is mimicking you, rolling their eyes, or answering back at you is simply a phase, but if you don’t address it as soon as possible, this attitude could soon develop into a long-term trait. Some parents ignore it because they think it’s a passing phase, but if you don’t confront it, you may find yourself with a disrespectful teenager who has a hard time making and keeping friends and getting along with teachers and other adults.

A great way to counteract this behaviour is to deny your children a reaction from such behaviour. If they, for example, try to copy you when you tell them to do something, you can walk away. Or, you can tell them something along the lines of, “I can’t hear you when you talk that way. Why don’t you say something more constructive if you want a response?”

4. Interrupting you when you’re talking

Even if your child is just ignoring you because they’re excited to tell others something, parents should ignore it when their children interrupt them. By allowing your child to develop the habit of interrupting you, you’re nurturing a habit that teaches them it’s okay to be inconsiderate of others. Later on it may be possible that your child thinks that he is entitled to other people’s attention and won’t be able to tolerate frustration.

If you find your child interrupting you at any point and time, be sure to let them know that they must wait their turn to speak. Tell them that you were not done speaking and that it’s rude to not let you finish. Be sure to let them know that interrupting you won’t get them anywhere and that you will not accept such behaviour.

5. Playing Rough

Children are bound to play slightly aggressively or get a little out of hand at times. However, there is still a limit with how rough parents should let them play. Furthermore, if their children are playing too roughly, they should step in and not ignore such behaviour. It can lead to bad habits, and to more aggressive behaviour. If intervention is not done, then it may become a full fledged habit by the age of 8 or 9 years. Also, it sends a message that hurting people is acceptable.

Whenever you see your children displaying aggressive, rough behaviour, you should aim to stop them immediately. Tell them the importance of treating others the way you’d want to be treated. Also, make sure they know that playing roughly is not acceptable and it can lead to them hurting others.

6. Ignoring what you say

If you find yourself repeating yourself as a result of your child pretending that he can’t hear you, don’t let them get away with ignoring you. In the long run, what you’re supporting is the idea that it’s okay to disregard your commands or wishes. Ignoring you may be a game of power but if you allow the behaviour to continue, he is likely to become more defiant and dominating.

If your child is ignoring you as you give them a command from a slight distance, try walking to them and directly confront them. Also, demand more eye contact when you’re talking to them in order to ensure that what you say is being heard and understood. If they still refuse to listen, offer a consequence for their misbehaviour.

+1 vote

                                        

Photo Source: Pick Any Two

By- Katie M. McLaughlin

http://pickanytwo.net/the-train-analogy-that-will-change-how-you-see-your-crying-child/

My 4-year-old was climbing into bed, his face turned away from me and toward the wall, when he asked the question.

“Where’s Glenn?”

His tone made the question sound like an afterthought, but I know better. Glenn is the opposite of an afterthought; he’s the tiger lovey blanket my son has been carting around with him since he was old enough to maintain a tight grasp. 

    The Train Analogy That Will Completely Change the Way You See Your Crying Child

My husband offered to head back downstairs to search, and I absently commented that I actually hadn’t seen Glenn around that evening, which was unusual.

At that, my son slowly turned around to face me but without making eye contact, his mind racing. His eyes were fixed on some background point as his mouth twisted and turned with each darting thought. They met mine only as he realized it, his shoulders straightening and his back growing taller as the panic scaled him. 

Finally, the shout: “I left Glenn in the back of Gigi’s car!!!”


Gigi, of course, was one state away by this point, which means we were facing my son’s first night since he was an infant—the first night ever in his little memory—without Glenn curled up in the crook of his arm.

Oh, sure, we’d lost Glenn before, but he’d always been found before bedtime, even if sometimes it required what felt like hours of searching. And then there was the time my son held him out the car window and accidentally let go, so Glenn spent a bit of time playing chicken on the yellow lines of a busy street. 

But still, there had never been a bedtime without Glenn.

The initial shock was, of course, followed by electric currents of anger that coursed through my son’s little body. He punched the air and gritted his teeth and screamed, “I WILL NOT SLEEP WITHOUT GLENN! I WILL NOT GO TO BED UNTIL HE’S HERE! I WILL NOT GO TO BED EVER AGAIN!” More punching, more gritting, a few angry flops onto the floor. 

At this point my husband had returned from his futile search, and was looking at me for direction. How are we handling this one, mama? 

I don’t know if the look I shot back reflected confidence, wisdom, and clarity, but believe it or not, that’s what I felt.

Because right when I needed it most, I remembered the train analogy.

The Life-Changing Train Analogy 

The analogy was nothing new, something I’d learned in my own therapy years before I had kids and something we’ve all heard in the form of an overused cliche. Truthfully, I’d always struggled to apply it to my own rush of emotions, but here, with my poor child flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water, it seemed like the only reasonable response.

The analogy goes like this:

Difficult feelings are tunnels, and we are trains traveling through them. 

We have to move all the way through the darkness to get to the—you knew this was coming!—calm, peaceful light at the end of the tunnel.

It sounds simple, but it’s way easier said than done.

Where Well-Meaning Parents Go Wrong

The problem is that we well-meaning parents and caregivers often attempt to intercept our children on their journey through an emotional tunnel.

For example, watching my son wrestle with his anger and sadness and fear at not having his lovey, I could easily have said:

It’s only one night. We’ll get him back tomorrow.

We have so many other stuffed animals, just sleep with one of them tonight.

You’ll be fine, I promise.

Those would all have been true statements, not doubt, but they would not have been helpful ones.

So often when our kids are struggling with a difficult feeling—sadness, anger, fear, embarrassment, loneliness, guilt—we try to logic them out of it. We explain why they’re overreacting, or how WE know it will turn out just fine in the end.

We’re trying to help our children, of course, but if we peel back the layers a bit, I think we’ll find that what we’re really doing is trying to make OURSELVES feel better. Because our children’s pain hurts US so deeply, makes US so acutely uncomfortable. 

We’re the ones who want their crying to stop as quickly as possible—not them. 

Back to the analogy: If emotions are tunnels and we are trains going through them, then we NEED to keep moving all the way through to the other side. 

What we adults often do when facing our own emotional struggles is attempt to get out of the tunnel early—banging on the sides, ignoring the cavernous echo, and wondering with confusion why we can’t see daylight yet.

Sometimes we squat in the darkness, close our eyes, and just pretend we’re not in a tunnel at all. Everything is just fine, thank you very much.

Sometimes we do a whole host of other things—eat ice cream, drink wine, shop online, run marathons, binge watch Netflix, play games on our phones or scroll mindlessly through Facebook—to distract ourselves from the fact that we’re in a tunnel in the first place.

But none of those things gets us out of the tunnel, does it? 

Then, when we FINALLY let ourselves scream and wail and bang our fists and crumble onto the floor and have a good cry, we suddenly feel so. much. better. 

Same goes for our kids. We can’t teach them there’s some secret side exit when there’s really not. There is no way out except through, and it’s our job to guide them there. 

That’s why I didn’t say a word to my son. Instead, I just sat next to him as the ripples of anger melted into shaking and sobbing. When I thought it was OK to do so, I started rubbing his back—still without speaking. He kept crying and crying and crying. 

As those tears flowed, I realized I had just done what Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate call “dancing our children to their tears.” In their book Hold On to Your Kids they write:

“…a parent must dance the child to his tears, to letting go, and to the sense of rest that comes in the wake of letting go…[a parent must] come alongside the child’s experience of frustration and provide comfort. The agenda should not be to teach a lesson but to move frustration to sadness…Much more important than our words is the child’s sense that we are with her, not against her.” 

With that in mind, I was actually delighted that my son was shaking with sobs because I knew that meant he was traveling through this emotional tunnel rather than getting stuck in it.

He cried and he cried and he cried.

Until he wasn’t crying anymore. 

Until, from his vantage point splayed out on the floor, he caught a glimpse of a nearby book about world-recording-holding dogs, pulled it over, and started paging through it. As if nothing had happened at all. 

I peeked at the clock. It had been eight minutes. 

Building Resilience

I decided speaking would be OK now, so I asked my son if he wanted to make a plan. I told him I knew that bedtime tonight would be extra tough, but maybe we could think of some ideas together to help him through it. 

(Had I suggested such a thing two minutes prior, he would have EXPLODED. But because I waited until his train was through this tunnel, it was fine.) 

Without any additional prompting from me, my 4-year-old chose two different stuffed animals to sleep with that night, then asked if we could read two extra books before bed to help make the evening more special. 

Later, as I kissed him goodnight and he turned onto his side to fall asleep, he said peacefully, “I’m going to be OK tonight.” 

Yes, dear son, you are.

Because this is where resilience is built.

Had I driven an hour each way to retrieve Glenn, we wouldn’t have built resilience. 

Had I told him over and over again it was no big deal, it’s just one night without one stuffed animal, we wouldn’t have built resilience either. The message there would have been that his pain was invalid and that his struggles weren’t worth being taken seriously.

But simply sitting by his side as bumped his way through the tunnel? Allowing him to feel the rush and the panic, and then come up for air all on his own? THAT is building resilience.

Remember Your Job

So the next time your child is deeply frustrated, angry, or upset, remember what the job of a parent really is.

The job of a parent is to:

  • Provide comfort through the frustration.
  • Draw out our child’s cleansing tears.
  • Show empathy to our child’s struggle.
  • Allow the life lesson to be learned naturally—not through preaching.
  • Support our child’s journey through the emotional tunnel.

The job of a parent is NOT to get our child to stop crying as quickly as possible. Tears are a sign of parental success, not failure.

So rub your child’s back. Sit with them in silence. Stay alongside them as they chug chug chug through their tunnels of feelings. And be with them when they finally reach the calm, peaceful light at the end.

+1 vote

        

Photo Source: World Economic Forum

By- Teresa Belton

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/being-bored-is-good-for-children-and-adults-this-is-why?utm_content=bufferb8f6b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

From books, arts and sports classes to iPads and television, many parents do everything in their power to entertain and educate their children. But what would happen if children were just left to be bored from time to time? How would it affect their development?

I began to think about boredom and children when I was researching the influence of television on children’s storytelling in the 1990s. Surprised at the lack of imagination in many of the hundreds of stories I read by ten to 12 year-old children in five different Norfolk schools, I wondered if this might partly be an effect of TV viewing. Findings of earlier research had revealed that television does indeed reduce children’s imaginative capacities.

For instance, a large scale study carried out in Canada in the 1980s as television was gradually being extended across the country, compared children in three communities – one which had four TV channels, one with one channel and one with none. The researchers studied these communities on two occasions, just before one of the towns obtained television for the first time, and again two years later. The children in the no-TV town scored significantly higher than the others on divergent thinking skills, a measure of imaginativeness. This was until they, too, got TV – when their skills dropped to the same level as that of the other children.

The apparent stifling effect of watching TV on imagination is a concern, as imagination is important. Not only does it enrich personal experience, it is also necessary for empathy – imagining ourselves in someone else’s shoes – and is indispensable in creating change. The significance of boredom here is that children (indeed adults too) often fall back on television or – these days – a digital device, to keep boredom at bay.

Some years after my study, I began to notice certain creative professionals mentioning how important boredom was to their creativity, both in childhood and now. I interviewed some of them. One was writer and actress Meera Syal. She related how she had occupied school holidays staring out of the window at the rural landscape, and doing various things outside her “usual sphere”, like learning to bake cakes with the old lady next door. Boredom also made her write a diary, and it is to this that she attributes her writing career. “It’s very freeing, being creative for no other reason than that you freewheel and fill time,” she said.

Similarly, well-known neuroscientist Susan Greenfield said she had little to do as a child and spent much time drawing and writing stories. These became the precursors of her later work, the scientific study of human behaviour. She still chooses paper and pen over a laptop on a plane, and looks forward with relish to these constrained times.

Sporting, musical and other organised activities can certainly benefit a child’s physical, cognitive, cultural and social development. But children also need time to themselves – to switch off from the bombardment of the outside world, to daydream, pursue their own thoughts and occupations, and discover personal interests and gifts.

We don’t have to have a particular creative talent or intellectual bent to benefit from boredom. Just letting the mind wander from time to time is important, it seems, for everybody’s mental wellbeing and functioning. A study has even shown that, if we engage in some low-key, undemanding activity at same time, the wandering mind is more likely to come up with imaginative ideas and solutions to problems. So it’s good for children to be helped to learn to enjoy just pottering – and not to grow up with the expectation that they should be constantly on the go or entertained.

How to handle a bored child

Parents often feel guilty if children complain of boredom. But it’s actually more constructive to see boredom as an opportunity rather than a deficit. Parents do have a role, but rushing in with ready-made solutions is not helpful. Rather, children need the adults around them to understand that creating their own pastimes requires space, time and the possibility of making a mess (within limits – and to be cleared up afterwards by the children themselves).

They will need some materials too, but these need not be sophisticated – simple things are often more versatile. We’ve all heard of the toddler ignoring the expensive present and playing with the box it came in instead. For older children, a magnifying glass, some planks of wood, a basket of wool, and so on, might be the start of many happily occupied hours.

But to get the most benefit from times of potential boredom, indeed from life in general, children also need inner resources as well as material ones. Qualities such as curiosity, perseverance, playfulness, interest and confidence allow them to explore, create and develop powers of inventiveness, observation and concentration. These also help them to learn not to be deterred if something doesn’t work the first time, and try again. By encouraging the development of such capacities, parents offer children something of lifelong value.

If a child has run out of ideas, giving them some kind of challenge can prompt them to continue to amuse themselves imaginatively. This could range from asking them to find out what kind of food their toy dinosaurs enjoy in the garden to going off and creating a picture story with some friends and a digital camera.

Most parents would agree that they want to raise self-reliant individuals who can take initiatives and think for themselves. But filling a child’s time for them teaches nothing but dependence on external stimulus, whether material possessions or entertainment. Providing nurturing conditions and trusting children’s natural inclination to engage their minds is far more likely to produce independent, competent children, full of ideas.

+2 votes

 

Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh

“My first thought was these children are not going to live long by picking food from the streets. But I did not know how to help them. I did not know much about Indian culture and everyone I spoke to dismissed these children as rag-pickers and thieves," he says.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/how-a-monk-brought-children-out-of-slums-to-schools-lobsang-jamyang-dharamshala-4699506/

Varinder Bhatia | Dharamsala

In 1997, when Lobsang Jamyang escaped from Tibet and arrived in Dharamsala, the 24-year-old had two “goals in life”: to meet the Dalai Lama, which he did soon after arriving; and study religion, which he went on to do at Sera Jey monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka.

However, he says, it was only when he returned to Dharamsala in 2001 that he realised his second goal was farther away, that his religion had more to teach him. “Two children used to follow me as I went from my home to the monastery, wait for me outside all day, and follow me back, begging for a coin or something to eat,” says Lobsang. Then one day, in July that year, he saw the two foraging through a heap of garbage outside his one-room accommodation, looking for something to eat.

“My first thought was these children are not going to live long by picking food from the streets. But I did not know how to help them. I did not know much about Indian culture and everyone I spoke to dismissed these children as rag-pickers and thieves,” he says.

That was his big Buddhist moment. “My conscience pricked me. As a follower of His Holiness and a student of Buddhism, how could I allow such a thing to happen,” says the 44-year-old.

That’s how the monk, whose official status in India is that of a refugee, set up Tong Len Charitable Trust, which runs a residential set-up in Sarah village, some 15 km from Mcleodganj, with financial backing from the Dalai Lama. Today, there are 107 children, mainly ragpickers from the slums of Kangra Valley, who stay at Tong Len. For their schooling, the Trust has tied up with Dayanand Model Senior Secondary School.

Pinky, a 17-year-old, has just finished her higher secondary school with 75 per cent marks in the science stream. “I will be starting my coaching classes for my PMT (pre-medical test) exams. I want to be a doctor,” says Pinky. Both her parents are daily wagers.

Meenakshi Gautam, principal of Dayanand Model Senior Secondary School, says, “We are lucky to be part of this initiative. There are nearly 100 students from Tong Len who are with us.”

Lobsang says he used to pay parents Rs 150 every month to keep their children at Tong Len. “But as the numbers increased, we thought we should utilise the money to provide better facilities at Tong Len,” he says.

+1 vote

       

Photo Source: Motherly

I know you love our kids and miss them and want nothing more than to see their eyes light up with love for you.

I know you want to do something that enriches their lives and shows them the simple pleasures of childhood.

So please, dear family + friends, know that this message comes from a place of love: No. More. Toys.

by Elizabeth Tenety

https://www.mother.ly/child/please-no-more-toysbut-if-you-want-to-give-a-gift-try-this#close

 

Our kids don’t actually need much of any “things”—they just need our presence, consistent love and guidance.

But maybe your family has gotten here, too. Heres how it happened it ours—

Growing up, my father regaled our family with tales of his humble childhood—he only had a ball and a stick to his name and walked uphill to school both ways and wore the same outfits several times a week. He ate ham sandwiches (every day!) for school lunch and spent his afternoons playing games in his friends’ backyards. It was a simple childhood.

But now, this loving grandfather started showing up to visits with armfuls of toys for our kids. He was a one-man Christmas morning, every time he visited.

It sounds like a four-year-old’s dream come true—but when it comes to kids and toys, there truly can be too much of a good thing.

When grandpa would come bearing gifts, my kids would quickly open up one box— not even taking the time to enjoy or appreciate it!—before they’d spy the next out of the corner of their eye and aim to rip it open, too. It was like they had an endless appetite for MORE.

Meanwhile, grandpa was perhaps just living *his* childhood dreams—through our kids. He meant well, but he wasn’t the only one dropping endless toys in our laps.

Add in excessively indulgent Christmases (they were the only grandkids on both sides.)

Drop in some birthdays.

Add a dash of family friends who can’t help but send goodies along to the kids every time we see them.

Add in Happy Meal trinkets, birthday goodie bags, the occasional impulse buy at the checkout line.

Add in ‘artwork’ that seems to come from everywhere.

Add in stick collections and penny collections and rock collections. “But mom, it’s my favorite orange rock!” (You can have a favorite orange rock?)

Our house was TEEMING with toys and stuff. There were half-finished puzzles (the pieces were always missing), books with pages torn out, block sets with essential pieces gone MIA and tent structures with nowhere to stand.

It was all of the work of having toys, but not enough space for the fun.

Most ironic of all? Our playroom was often unusable because—you guessed it!—the toys were E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E and all over the floor, all the time. (No room to play.)

So when we packed up our home earlier this year to settle our family a few states away, we spent weeks doing what we knew we needed to do: We got rid of 75% of the toys we owned.

We brought—honestly—probably 50+ bags/ boxes of “stuff” (toys included) to Goodwill.

(We also got rid of 50% of our own personal possessions—clothes, books, cosmetics—and that felt awesome, too).

It felt amazing to ditch years of junk that had been holding us back.

It felt great to donate hardly-used toys to families that could use them.

And it has been absolutely incredible to see the impact of living with radically less—on me, our home, and especially our kids.

My four-year-old’s reading skills have absolutely taken off.

My incredibly rambunctious three-year-old will sit on a couch and stare off into space, quietly contemplating the ending of Paw Patrol, or perhaps Particle Physics, or where do strawberries come from and why do they taste so good? (I consider this emerging introspection in him a major win.)

My one-year-old can be left in our new baby-proofed playroom with little fear that she’ll discover some danger amid what used-to-be hundreds of toys. (There is one shelf of toys now, and they’re all safe for her.)

I feel good about raising my children in a home that is orderly and purposeful.

I have more energy for work and myself because I don’t have to spend all my free time dealing with a house jammed full of stuff.

And thankfully, my family is totally onboard. (It might be because I sent them photos of the dozens of bags and piles of giveaway toys—and they saw their hard-earned money in the ‘donate’ bin.)

So please, no more random toys for the kids, please. If you really really really want to get something for my kids, I have made a short list.

Here’s what my kids really need—

 

New sneakers

Swimming lessons

An adult to look them in the eyes and talk about anything their little hearts desire (probably ‘poop’-related jokes, if I’m honest—they’re obsessed)

A weekend at grandpa’s

Art supplies

Someone to bring them to the library to return their borrowed books—and get new ones

A trip to the playground

A movie night

Grocery store gift cards. (Real talk: these little kids eat more than I ever imagined possible.)

Someone to build blanket forts

Ice cream. (Seriously.) It might be messy and sugary but at our house—it doesn’t last. Plus, ice cream leaves nothing but sticky fingers, brain freeze and innocent childhood memories—the best gift of all.

...