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30 Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

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Photo Source: parents.com

While these gestures may seem trivial to adults, they go a long way with your little ones. Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile. 

By Margery D. Rosen

http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/positive/30-little-things-that-mean-a-lot-to-kids/

  1. Wear that macaroni necklace to work. Well, at least until you're safely out the door.
  2. Tape a family mantra or slogan (Unstoppable! We can, we will! We've got this!) to your refrigerator door and invoke it whenever your child feels discouraged.
  3. Go for a walk with just one child.
  4. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate) into her lunch box.
  5. Build your own Minecraft world alongside his.
  6. Say "yes" to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter. 
  7. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park rides as they do. 
  8. If you quarrel in front of your child, make sure that he also sees you make up.
  9. When her room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  10. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandma every now and then. 
  11. If your child has given it a good try, but he's still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  12. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  13. Get out the glitter glue and make a birthday card for your child.
  14. Take in a pet that needs a home—and a child's love.
  15. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  16. Hold off with the barrage of how-was-your-day questions if your child comes home from school grumpy and tired. You can always get the rundown at the dinner table.
  17. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall.
  18. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  19. Let your child wear her dress-up clothes to the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  20. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about her. 
  21. Stay up late to see the full moon. There's one on October 27.
  22. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  23. Don't be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  24. Cook heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
  25. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  26. Make a secret family handshake.
  27. Hang a whiteboard in her room to leave messages for each other.
  28. Start a pillow fight.
  29. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were her age.
  30. Thank your child when he does a chore on his own—even if it's just hanging up a wet towel without prompting or refilling the empty water pitcher.

References

Few easy tricks to make your child smile.
posted Aug 23 by Gowri Vimalan

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+1 vote

       

Photo Source:  DEEP ROOTS AT HOME 

 By Jacqueline 

http://deeprootsathome.com/kids-bored-entitled/

Victoria Prooday, OT finds today’s kids come to school emotionally unavailable for learning. There are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this.

She writes:

I am an occupational therapist with years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers. I completely agree with this teacher’s message that our children are getting worse and worse in many aspects. I hear the same consistent message from every teacher I meet. Clearly, throughout my time as an Occupational Therapist, I have seen and continue to see a decline in kids’ social, emotional, and academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.

As we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment, we can make the brain “stronger” or make it “weaker”. I truly believe that, despite all our greatest intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction. Here is why:

1. TECHNOLOGY

Using technology as a “Free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner.  We pay with our kids’ nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification. Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient.

2. KIDS GET EVERYTHING THE MOMENT THEY WANT IT

“I am Hungry!!” “In a sec I will stop at the drive thru” “I am Thirsty!” “Here is a vending machine.” “I am bored!” “Use my phone!”  The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have the best intentions — to make our children happy — but unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term.  To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.

The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls, restaurants, and toy stores the moment the child hears “No” because parents have taught their child’s brain to get what it wants right away.

3. KIDS RULE THE WORLD

“My son doesn’t like vegetables.” “She doesn’t like going to bed early.” “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast.” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good at her iPad” “He doesn’t want to get dressed on his own.” “She is too lazy to eat on her own.” This is what I hear from parents all the time. Since when do children dictate to us how to parent them? If we leave it all up to them, all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese and bagels with cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed. What good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep, our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive.  In addition, we send them the wrong message.  They learn they can do what they want and not do what they don’t want. The concept of “need to do” is absent. Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do.  For example, if a child wants to be an A student, he needs to study hard. If he wants to be a successful soccer player, he needs to practice every day. Our children know very well what they want, but have a very hard time doing what is necessary to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals and leaves the kids disappointed.

4. ENDLESS FUN

We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty. We live in two separate worlds. They have their “fun“ world, and we have our “work” world. Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry? Why don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains the brain to be workable and function under “boredom,” which is the same “muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school.  When they come to school and it is time for handwriting their answer is “I can’t. It is too hard. Too boring.” Why? Because the workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun. It gets trained through work.

5. LIMITED SOCIAL INTERACTION

We are all busy, so we give our kids digital gadgets and make them “busy” too. Kids used to play outside, where, in unstructured natural environments, they learned and practiced their social skills.  Unfortunately, technology replaced the outdoor time.  Also, technology made the parents less available to socially interact with their kids. Obviously, our kids fall behind… the babysitting gadget is not equipped to help kids develop social skills. Most successful people have great social skills. This is the priority!

The brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him biking skills. If you want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach him patience.  If you want your child to be able to socialize, you need to teach him social skills. The same applies to all the other skills. There is no difference!

TRAIN THE BRAIN

You can make a difference in your child’s life by training your child’s brain so that your child will successfully function on social, emotional, and academic levels. Here is how:

1. Limit technology, and re-connect with your kids emotionally

  • Surprise them with flowers, share a smile, tickle them, put a love note in their backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have pillow fights
  • Have family dinners, board game nights (see the list of my favorite board games), go biking, go to outdoor walks with a flashlight in the evening

2. Train delayed gratification

  • Make them wait!!! It is ok to have “I am bored“ time – this is the first step to creativity
  • Gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get”
  • Avoid technology use in cars and restaurants, and instead teach them waiting while talking and playing games
  • Limit constant snacking

3. Don’t be afraid to set the limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and healthy!!

  • Make a schedule for meal times, sleep times, technology time
  • Think of what is GOOD for them- not what they WANT/DON’T WANT. They are going to thank you for that later on in life. Parenting is a hard job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them because, most of the time, that is the exact opposite of what they want.
  • Kids need breakfast and nutritious food. They need to spend time outdoor and go to bed at a consistent time in order to come to school available for learning the next day!
  • Convert things that they don’t like doing/trying into fun, emotionally stimulating games

4. Teach your child to do monotonous work from early years as it is the foundation for future “workability”

  • Folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table, making lunch, unpacking their lunch box, making their bed
  • Be creative. Initially make it stimulating and fun so that their brain associates it with something positive.

5. Teach social skills

  • Teach them turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising, complimenting others , using “please and thank you”

From my experience as an occupational therapist, children change the moment parents change their perspective on parenting.  Help your kids succeed in life by training and strengthening their brain sooner rather than later!

 

Reasons Today's Kids Are Bored At School, Feel Entitled, Have No Patience & No Real Friends, Victoria Prooday, Occupational Therapist, teacher, social, emotional, academic functioning, disabilities, learning, kids, modern lifestyle, brain, malleable, environment, remold, technology, delayed gratification, classroom, boring, visual stimulation, over stimulation, screen time, emotional availability, parenting, stressors, lazy, demanding, irritable, anxious, inattentive, dull moments, boredom,training brain to work, digital gadgets, unstructured play, social skills, re-connect, board games, learn to wait, I am bored, OK to be bored, patience, monotonous work, 

Victoria holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical School at University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University. She is founder and director of a multidisciplinary clinic in Toronto, Canada, for children with behavioral, social, emotional and academic challenges. Victoria, along with her team, has helped hundreds of families across Canada and around the world and is a frequent guest speaker to teachers, parents and professionals.

+1 vote

Vital growth signs of children's early years of infancy and growth are so important to watch, monitor, track and correct if required. But not surprisingly a big challenge today for super busy parents, where juggling double incomes, careers and home front with little or no support system in place is a monstrous situation. And as you will find in this article, if you miss a vaccination milestone or do not notice an emerging pain point in the child, you and the little one may end up paying a heavy price. So what is the solution to this? Several start-ups in Bengaluru and elsewhere are building a suite of cool apps that help monitor your baby and also track important events to remind parents of what needs to be done. Full story here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/no-parenting-blues-apps-keep-track-of-children-every-day/articleshow/56244568.cms 

+3 votes

One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child is to encourage them to develop a range of interest outside the academic sphere that not only rounds them out but stops them from being isolated from their peers.                    Gifted children are a diverse group of kids who are talented in specific areas such as mathematics, language, sport or music. Some gifted kids are multi-talented excelling in a variety of areas.

http://www.lovingyourchild.com/2010/08/raising-gifted-child-balance/

Gifted children tend to be passionate and single-minded about their interests focusing their energy on the topics that absorb them, often to the exclusion of other activities.                                                                                      Just as all children need to have a balanced diet to remain in good health they need a balance between work and play to make sure they develop good social networks and maintain emotional health. That means that parents need to guide these children towards leisure-time options that they wouldn’t normally consider.

Work From Strengths

One way to encourage a gifted child to be more well-rounded is to get them to lead with their strengths. In other words, it maybe that a computer whiz meets up with other like-minded souls but extend the meetings to activities away from the computer. Or an artistic child can be encouraged to develop her literacy skills by adding simple stories to their illustrations.

The Courage To Be Imperfect

Gifted children are often low risk-takers in areas or endeavors that are not their passions or strengths. Used to automatically excelling they fear doing things poorly, so exceptionally capable children can be reluctant to attempt unknown or different tasks.

Parents Can Push Too Hard

Some gifted young children slow down their learning when they start school as they focus their time and energy on making friends. In terms of fitting in to social settings this is essential however parents who are proud of their child’s achievements can become quite anxious at this apparent shift in interest away from learning.

Making Friends

One of the most difficult tasks for a parent is to engineer circumstances so that children can make friends. Some children make friends naturally while others can be slow to warm up around their peers.

Being Part Of The Family

Family life can be a great leveler for gifted children. A sibling can bring a talented child back to earth, letting them know that they may be a star at school or in sport but their talent pulls no rank at home. Jobs need to be done, games can played and big heads can be easily deflated.

A Well-Rounded Young Person

Talented kids can become self-absorbed in their interests and passions to the detriment of developing broader interests and in some cases social interactions. With a little coaching and prompting parents can help children achieve balance in their lives so that they don’t become isolated and rely on a narrow set of interests for their identity and self esteem.

+1 vote

      

Photo Source: creativechild.com

As a mom of kids ranging from 2 to 12, I realize how quickly time flies. I love watching them grow, try new things, and discover their passions. As a parent, it can be hard to let them struggle through, or even fail at, experiences outside their comfort zone. However, those experiences develop confidence and independence which is valuable in raising children. I want to raise self-sufficient adults and that means I need to start training them now. Here are some ideas to help kids naturally develop the independence needed to be confident and responsible adults.

by Sarah Lyons 

https://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/training-my-child-to-be-independent

The Preschool Years (ages 2-5)

Create a helper

Toddlers and preschoolers love to follow their parents around the house; so why not have them help with the chores? They can help put clothes in the dryer, match socks, sweep the floor, or assist in any other task. They may not be able to do chores independently or have household responsibilities yet, but taking the extra time now lays the groundwork for the future.

Give opportunities

During the preschool years, kids typically show an interest in trying self-care tasks themselves. It may be easier (and faster) to tie your child’s shoes, zip up their coat, make their lunch, and buckle their seatbelt but allowing your child to try these things on their own helps them become more independent. Consider starting the preparation for your day 15 minutes earlier to allow time for your child to try some things on their own. If frustration arises, remain calm and ask if they would like help. Instead of just completing the task for them, take time to teach them how to do it so they can try again tomorrow.

Problem solve

Problem solving skills begin to develop at a young age. Toddlers and preschoolers will often get frustrated when things don’t go their way and it may result in a temper tantrum. While this is age appropriate, parents can begin to help their children develop problem solving skills by calmly suggesting solutions to what is upsetting them. Have your child come up with ideas to solve the problem and when possible help them work through it on their own.

Bonus tip for preschoolers

Give your child choices whenever possible to help them develop independence and to give them a sense of control.

The elementary school years (ages 6-11)

Create a helper

For elementary age kids, you can advance what was done in the preschool years. I will assign my child a chore like washing windows, vacuuming, or putting away dishes and since they have helped me with these tasks for years they no longer need my assistance. If they are reluctant to do chores, I make a list of things that need to be done and have them choose a few things they would like to do. When they are done they will have free time for electronics, outside play, or something they have been looking forward to. Chores teach kids to be independent and responsible.

Give opportunities

Give your child more opportunities to be independent as they mature. This may look different depending on your child’s age and maturity but some ideas may be ordering and paying for their food at a restaraunt, riding their bike home from school, packing their own lunch, or trying a new extracurricular activity. Each opportunity, even a challenging one, helps your child become self-sufficient and develop more independence.

Problem solve

Elementary school kids will begin to face bigger problems that may include challenging friendships, struggles with schoolwork, or even bullying. Foster good communication with your child and help them come up with solutions they are comfortable with. Cheer them on when they are able to work through obstacles.

Bonus tip for the elementary school years

Do your best not to criticize your child’s efforts but instead praise them for doing their best.

The teen years (ages 12-18)

Create a helper

Tweens and teens should be given even more household responsibilities as they are nearing adulthood. Take note of what skills it takes to run a household and begin to teach them these tasks. Cooking, yard work, babysitting, laundry, car care, and even a part time job fall into this category. The more responsibilities your child is comfortable while in your home will make the transition to living on their own smoother.

Give opportunities

There is a fine line between giving your child independence and keeping them safe in the teen years. As kids start to drive, spend more time with friends, and work outside the home parents have less control over their choices. Continue working on open communication and trust with your teen so that as they venture into the world, you both feel comfortable with the change.

Problem solve

One of the hardest things kids have to experience is the consequences for a poor choice. A parent’s first reaction may be to step in and “save” their child but, in the long run, this does not teach them anything. For example, if you child left their homework at home they will not receive credit for the work. The easy thing to do would be to run the assignment to the school, but chances are your child will forget again and most likely, on a larger assignment. As adults we have to manage our responsibilities and teens must also learn these lessons. If forgotten homework is repeatedly an issue, suggest packing up the night before. Sit down with your child and help them come up with solutions to problems and encourage them to do this without you and present their solution to you.

Bonus tip for the teen years

Set specific household rules so that your child has the opportunity to be independent but not out of your comfort zone as a parent.

As our children grow, so must their responsibilities. As always, you will be there to guide and train them but giving your child tools throughout their childhood will help them grow into a confident and independent adult.

 

+1 vote

        

Photo Source: PQ

By Peace Quarters

https://www.peacequarters.com/harvard-psychologists-say-parents-raise-good-kids-5-things/

5 CRITICAL STEPS FOR PARENTS TO TAKE

SPEND QUALITY TIME

Be there. Not just physically, but also emotionally. Listening to your child and making conversations helps you to bond with each other. Also, turn off all the electronics and give them your time without any disturbance. Doing things together will teach your child to be a more caring and considerate person.

Practical things you can do:

  • Play their favorite game together
  • Read them a book
  • Ask them questions about their day

BECOME A ROLE MODEL

Children learn from things they see and experience. Many parents may not notice how much of their behavior young kids see and understand. This is why you should think about your words and actions. When you make mistakes, admit them and apologize. Be the example you want your child to become.

Another important thing is respect, which can only be earned. So always be honest, show that you are a human too and people make mistakes. Also, try to see everything as a lesson and a chance to grow and become a better person. Teach this to your child as well.

Practical things you can do:

  • Always admit your mistakes and apologize for them
  • Talk about problems and finding solutions
  • Find time to take care of yourself, only then you can take care of others

TEACH THEM VALUES

It is important that your child communicates with others and learns to share in the young age. Taking other peoples’ feelings in consideration and being selfless is an essential feature and can become beneficial in the future.

The Harvard study found that caring about others is as important as one’s happiness. This is something that parents need to teach their children consistently because sometimes the message is not received quickly.

As a parent, you must always be an example. This means taking responsibility and doing the right thing (even when it is not the most convenient thing to do). Be a role model and confirm your words with your actions. Remind them, that others are counting on them and it is not nice to let people down.

Practical things you can do:

  • Teach them every day to be kind
  • Make them take responsibility for their actions and stick to their commitments. Do not just let them quit a sport or end a friendship. It is always easier to just give up, but it is not always the right thing to do.

     

TEACH THEM GRATITUDE

Teach them to appreciate people and things in their life. Tell them about the history and trying times, so they would understand how lucky they are to live in this time with plenty of opportunities. Teach them not to take their life and possibilities for granted.

The study has shown, that people, who practice gratitude in their everyday lives, are more helpful, generous, compassionate and forgiving. What is most important – they are more happy and healthy. So it is a key feature in a real person.

Practical things you can do:

  • Remind your child to be grateful in everyday life
  • Teach them to show respect and appreciation for people (family members, teachers, neighbors) in their lives
  • Be the role model and do not take individuals and things in your life for granted

SHOW THEM THE BIGGER PICTURE

It is a commonly known fact that children care about a small circle of family and friends. This is normal, but the difficult challenge is to teach them to empathize with people outside their circle.

Children need to learn that it all starts with people and that they can make a big difference in someone’s life. So it is important to show kindness towards people you do not know so well (new kid in class, the shopkeeper, the cleaning lady).

The Harvard study suggested that children should learn to zoom in and listen carefully to those, who are part of their inner circle but also to zoom out and take in consideration the bigger range of people they interact with on a daily basis.

Practical things you can do:

  • Teach your child empathy – teach them to comfort a crying kid and reach out to a new classmate
  • Have conversations about different people and their lives. Talk about people with different religions, beliefs, communities, and countries
  • Teach them not to have prejudices and to show kindness to people around them
...