top button
    ISpark Community
    Connect to us
      Facebook Login
      Site Registration Why to Join

Facebook Login
Site Registration

Stop Overindulging Your Children

+2 votes
305 views

                                                          

Photo Source :  pixabay.com

By Jill Rigby

What do your children really need from you? Love, guidance, shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and an education. 

That’s it.  

Everything else is a want, a luxury:  video games, iPods, cell phones, the latest fashion—whatever new item their friends have.

Today, far too many parents fall for the “nag factor.”  They know their kids are bombarded by ads telling them to buy certain products and that many parents are buying those products for their children. They know the pressure that comes from their children’s peers, and so they buy their kids far more “stuff” than they can even use, all in the hope that their children will fit in and be accepted by their peers.

Read more...

posted Jul 27 by Nalini Vishwanath

  Promote This Blog
Facebook Share Button Twitter Share Button Google+ Share Button LinkedIn Share Button Multiple Social Share Button

Related Blogs
+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.

+1 vote

                                               

Photo Source: Brain Inspired

When we are first born our parents are all that we have in this world. We would not be who we are today without them.

Our parents are the people we look to for support and guidance. They are supposed to keep us feeling safe at all times and make sure as children that we follow their rules. However, as humans, we are all capable of making mistakes.

http://braininspired.net/never-use-phrasess-talking-children-psychologists-warnn/

As a child, we do not often think of our parents as ‘just humans’ we see them as more than that. These people we call Mom and Dad are our creators, guardians, protectors. They are Gods and Goddesses in our eyes as children, there is nothing Mommy and Daddy cannot do.

Everything that a parent does and how they do it becomes an important part of their child’s psyche. The way we speak to our children becomes their inner voice. It tells them what is right and what is wrong…

If you are often angry and cold towards your children they will carry on this into adulthood. They will do the same thing you are doing to them to themselves later on. We all make mistakes, if you are making one now why not take the time to correct it?

We want our children to have an inner voice that does not insult them. If you are friendly and motivating to your child they will take that on as their inner voice, this will prove to be much more effective than having an inner voice that makes them feel worthless.

The Phrases below are ones you should NEVER say to your children, no matter how mad you are or what they have done:

                                                    

“STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW!”

Even if there is no reason for your child to be crying in that moment do not make them feel stupid for doing so and for not being able to stop. They cannot control their emotions. They deserve to be allowed to feel what they are feeling if you say this to your child you are programming them to think that it is not okay to have emotions. They will eventually suppress everything. You should try saying something else in situations like this.

Something like “It’s okay to cry but you still need to understand what you did was wrong.”

This will get you much further.

“I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU!”

Parents tell their children this when they are in trouble and already feeling down about themselves and whatever they have done. When your child does something wrong help them to find the right path don’t let them think they are a disappointment.

Try saying something like “What you did was wrong, let’s talk this over okay?”

“YOU ARE NOT [SOMETHING] ENOUGH!”

By telling your child there is something lacking in them be it something on the inside or on the outside it hurts. While you are not specifically saying they are not enough you are implying it. This is something that will grow into your child feeling not good enough in life overall if you do not address it soon.

 Try saying “You are [something] enough, we can work harder at it.”

“BIG BOYS/GIRLS DON’T GET SCARED”

Yes, they do.

This is not protecting your child in any way. They are scared, you cannot stop their fear by telling them to not be afraid. Everyone gets scared sometimes, even you. Face your fears instead of running away from them, that is what you should be teaching your children.

Say something like “It is okay to be scared, everyone gets scared sometimes but I know something that will help.”

Read More

+2 votes

                                                    

Photo Source by :  Pixabay

by Charles Schaeffer, PhD

For many people, Father's Day evokes images of family BBQs, new ties, and loving cards from kids. And the occasion also gives us an opportunity to recognize all the hard work fathers do. But there are millions of fathers we may not think about on Father's Day and who are often invisible to us all year round – fathers who don't live with their children.

Nonresidential fathers – dads who are divorced, separated, incarcerated, or otherwise not living with their children – make up more than 12 percent of American fathers. That means there are more than 7 million nonresidential fathers in the United States – many of them changing diapers, providing emotional support, helping with homework, and paying child support every year.

Unfortunately, when these dads receive public acknowledgment, it often comes in the form of negative images – deadbeat dads who refuse to pay child support or have little interest in or contact with their children

Read more...

+1 vote

Nothing delights a young child more than praise from his parents. But there can be right and wrong ways of praising toddlers, and sometimes praise can actually do more harm than good. A little praise never hurt anyone, but there are some basic guidelines that will help make the praises you sing to your little one loud and clear.

https://www.education.com/magazine/article/praising-toddler-donts/

“When praising toddlers, make it genuine and specific,” says Maureen Boylan, early childhood specialist and author of Leap into Literacy. “Rather than saying I like your picture, comment on the colors that were used or how hard your child worked on it.” These simple “Do’s” and “Don’ts” will help make your praise more meaningful for your child and more effective at getting the desired responses in the future.

DO

  • Make it Physical. Gently touch your child on the shoulder, or give him a hug, kiss or a high five when you are expressing your approval. A thumbs up or smile across the room can have the same effect. Your positive body language may mean more than the words you say to your young child.
  • Make it Genuine. Well-meaning parents can slip into a mechanical “Good job!” many times a day without even realizing it. Your child can tell if you really mean it! Be specific about what you liked and be sure the tone and inflection of your voice communicate your delight. Look your child in the eyes and smile at him to be sure he can see how pleased you are.
  • Make it Personal. Parents often make comments such as “I think that is just great” which is really all about what the parent thinks rather than the child's accomplishment. Instead, make the praise personal for your child. Try a few of these: “You are doing such a great job cleaning up”, “You are getting to be such a big boy!”, “You worked so hard on your picture!” Make it all about your child and not about your thoughts or feelings.

DON’T

  • Over Praise. Too much praise really can be a bad thing. If you praise your child for everything, he will come to expect it every time he does something. The first few times he hangs his coat up by himself, give him praise, but not every time. “Praise often, but don’t overdo it or it loses its effectiveness,” says Boylan.
  • Make it About His Character. Be sure the praise is about the behavior or the action, and not a comment on the child’s character. When you say “You are good” or “You are bad,” this is a reflection on your child’s character, and he may feel it can’t be changed. Instead say “Your behavior is good” or “Your behavior is bad” and it becomes something the child can choose to change.
  • Make it Critical. Be sure not to intermingle praise with criticism. For example, if your son dresses himself, and you say, “Good job dressing yourself, but those clothes really don’t match,” the praise is lost. Parents think they are helping to teach their children by redoing what a toddler has done incorrectly, but it really does more harm than good and sends a message that the child did not do a good enough job. Who cares if his clothes don’t match? Just walk into school, proudly exclaim to the teacher “Sammy dressed himself today, didn’t he do a great job” and give a wink. Your son will be proud and the kids won’t even notice!

Having an influence on the behaviors and actions of your child using praise can be both effective and rewarding. Aside from the outcome in changing behavior, there is simply no greater reward than watching your child’s face light up when you praise him!

+1 vote

               

Photo Source: scarymommy

By- Clint Edwards

http://www.scarymommy.com/stop-pushing-kids-be-best/

There’s an article from Boston magazine making the internet rounds right now titled “In Praise of Mediocre Kids.” In it, Julie Suratt describes how her son Finn was interested in playing the French horn, so they got him the instrument and signed him up for the school music program, only to find out that he wasn’t that good.

The school music director suggested they pay for a private tutor. Like any good parents, the Suratts looked into it. The music program already cost $150, and to rent the French horn was another $42 a month. Add the cost of private lessons on top of that, and once everything was tallied, Suratt was left wondering why they originally got into this whole “playing an instrument” thing. It wasn’t for Finn to play in the London symphony (do they have French horns in the London symphony?). It was so he could try out an instrument and see if he enjoyed the experience.

But her initial reaction to do everything she could to make sure her son was the best at the French horn, even if it cost a great deal of money, is relatable to me, and I assume it is to anyone with children.

A few years ago my daughter, who was 5 at the time, wanted to try ballet. We got her the leotard and the lessons and the cute shoes. I drove her to every practice and every recital, and as I did, I imagined her as a professional dancer. This graceful ballerina, prancing along the stage, wowing fans. The strange thing is, though, I don’t even like ballet. I’ve seen The Nutcracker a couple times, and I was never enthralled. And yet, the moment my daughter showed interest in something, I wanted her to be the best at it.

My notions of her devoting her life to ballet got quashed pretty quickly however. After about six months, it was everything I could do to get her to put on the tights. She hated it, so I ended up forcing her to do something that she didn’t like, with the hope that she would make me proud someday by becoming a prima ballerina — again, an art form I don’t even appreciate.

Like Suratt, I eventually took a step back and had to examine why I got her into this whole dancing gig in the first place, and the reasoning was to see if she’d enjoy it. Not for her to become some accomplished ballerina. Like really, what are the odds? 

Often as parents, we get lost in competition. We expect our children to be the best at everything, all while forgetting that turning them into upstanding adults with passions and good values is actually a pretty lofty goal all by itself.

But for some reason, parents in 2017 are fearful of mediocrity. Now, keep in mind, this is often a middle- to upper-class problem. You have to have enough money to pay for those extracurricular activities, along with the extra gear and lessons, plus the time to schlep your kid from place to place. I grew up with a single mother. We didn’t have money for that kind of thing, and she certainly didn’t have the time or resources to be shuttling me all over town each day.

We make enough money for my son to play soccer and for my daughter to attend gymnastics lessons (her new adventure). We don’t make enough money to devote our lives to the cause, but we wouldn’t want to anyway. Our kids are enjoying themselves and learning new skills, and we are happy with that.

I happen to work in a Division 1 athletics program. My job is to help make sure college athletes do their homework (I’m pretty popular, trust me). I will be the first to admit, I’ve seen student athletes who are so driven to excel at everything they do that I have to take a step back to truly appreciate how amazing they are. But on the flip side, I’ve also seen the downside of pushing a child to be the best their whole life: When they do fail, and they will because everyone does, it crushes them. This can be tragic.

In the past two years, two student athletes I worked with have died by suicide — one after he lost eligibility, the other when she was cut from the team. Those two students were bright and capable, and yet they had built up their sport to be so important, so valuable, that when it was taken away from them, they felt like they had nothing left to live for. But the fact is, they both had a hell of a lot of life left to live. They were smart and motivated. They could have had promising careers and families. They were good people, and their whole lives still lay ahead of them.

But they couldn’t see that.

Now, this isn’t going to be the case for all children who have been pushed to excel their entire lives, but we shouldn’t ignore the impact this has on our children’s mental and emotional well-being either.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a mediocre child. There is nothing wrong with being a B or even a C student. It’s not that you shouldn’t encourage children to do their best and challenge themselves. But pushing them to be the absolute best and demanding they excel at everything from soccer to the French horn to their class ranking might not be the best way for them to truly enjoy their childhood. That’s a lot of freaking pressure. And from my observations, it can, in fact, have tragic consequences.

Ultimately, that’s what Suratt concludes in her article: “It’s not easy to ignore societal pressure to push, push, push […]. Our parents didn’t sign us up for all the extras […]. They were more concerned with whether we ate our vegetables than how many goals we scored […]. We don’t owe our success to private coaching and tutoring; we owe it to our intrinsic desire to be our best self. That’s what we need to focus on with our children: building their self-esteem; creating a safe environment where it’s okay to fail and okay to try again; and encouraging them to be nice, honest, and loyal. And, perhaps most important of all, embracing mediocrity.”

We need to teach our children that failure is a part of life and that we still love them even if they are not the best at this or that, because on the whole, they are the best children we have. Everyone has their talents and their struggles, and that’s part of life. While my daughter will never become a famous ballerina, that’s okay. As long as she becomes a kind, self-sufficient, caring person, I will be incredibly proud of her.

And I have to assume all of you loving parents reading this article feel the same. So let’s make sure our kids know that. Let’s take the pressure off them a little. Let’s not worry about pushing our children to be the best, and instead, like Surratt, embrace mediocrity.

 

...