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Harvard Psychologists Say: Parents Who Raise ‘Good’ Kids, Do These 5 Things!

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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

References

Key to raising a healthy and successful child in today’s world.
posted Oct 4 by Gowri Vimalan

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Photo source  File Photo Deccan Herald

Parents, take note! Children who drink plant based milk beverages or milk from animals other than cows are more likely to be shorter, a study claims.

Children who drink plant based milk beverages or milk from animals other than cows are more likely to be shorter

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/619203/kids-do-not-drink-cows.html

Parents, take note! Children who drink plant based milk beverages or milk from animals other than cows are more likely to be shorter, a study claims.


Researchers from St Michael's Hospital in Canada found that for each daily cup of non-cow's milk they drank, children were 0.4 centimetres shorter than average height for their age and for each daily cup of cow's milk they drank, children were 0.2 centimetres taller than average.

This height difference is similar to the difference between major percentile lines on the World Health Organisation growth chart, said Jonathon Maguire, pediatrician at St Michael's Hospital.

This means drinking three cups of non-cow's milk per day might move a child to the 15th from the 50th percentile for height, and vice versa, compared with other children their age, he said.


Researchers also found that children who drank a combination of cow's milk and non-cow's milk daily were shorter than average.

"This finding suggests adding some cow's milk to a child's diet did not reverse the association between non-cow's milk consumption and lower height," Maguire said.

Height is an important indicator of children's overall health and development, researchers said.

Many parents are choosing non-cow's milk for their children, which may have lower nutritional content, Maguire said.

Researchers examined about 5,034 children between the ages of 24-72 months. Of those studied, 13 per cent drank non-cow's milk daily, and 92 per cent drank cow's milk daily.

While the majority of children studied drank cow's milk daily, the number who drank non-cow's milk daily suggests its popularity has increased in recent years, possibly due to perceived health benefits, researchers said.

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

+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.”

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+1 vote

Twinkle Khanna has a subtle writing style that is consistently funny, real and hard hitting at the same time. Her contributions under Mrs. Funnybones on the Sunday Times are worth a read. Here she writes on one of her favourite topics - parenting. Go here for the full story: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/mrsfunnybones/why-good-parenting-is-like-gardening/

+1 vote

       

Photo Source:  The Gottman Institute

By: Angela Pruess

https://www.gottman.com/blog/10-insights-of-remarkable-parents-from-a-family-therapist/

At any given time, you’ll find four or more parenting books on my Amazon wish list, a few by my nightstand, and an email inbox chock full of insightful parenting theories and approaches.

Granted, child development is my career, but I speak with plenty of parents in my practice who find themselves in similar circumstances. With information around every corner and our culture projecting constant messages (many times contradictory) regarding how we should raise our kids, feeling like a confident and intentional parent can seem out of reach many days.

In my 12 years as a family therapist, I’ve seen many well-intentioned parents mistakenly employing strategies that aren’t meeting the emotional or developmental needs of their children or families. I’ve also observed an increasing number of parents who are successfully mapping out new and healthier ways of raising children.

These insights, collected over time and gleaned from experience, parallel what we know from current brain and behavioral research about what kind of parenting is most likely to contribute to the healthy development of children.

1. Know that kids will act like kids.

Often parents forget that children learn by screwing up. Making mistakes. Behaving immaturely. The “magic” happens when a supportive caregiver steps in to steer them in the right direction. Parents get frustrated and impatient, becoming annoyed with whininess and “back talk” when really this is how kids are wired.

The part of the brain responsible for reason, logic, and impulse control is not fully developed until a person reaches their early 20’s.

Immature behavior is normal for immature human beings with immature brains.

This is a scientific reality that helps us to be patient and supportive in order to guide our children when they struggle.

2. Set limits with respect, not criticism.

Due to the fact that our kids need to learn literally everything about the world from us, they will require many limits throughout their day. Without proper limits in their environment, kids will feel anxious and out of control.

Limits can be delivered in the form of criticism and shaming, or they can be communicated in a firm but respectful way. Think about how you appreciate being spoken to at work and go from there.

3. Be aware of developmental stages.

Have you ever questioned where your easy-going toddler disappeared to as they were suddenly screaming bloody murder while getting dropped off at daycare? Hello separation anxiety!

There are literally hundreds of very normal, very healthy transitions kids go through to become adults. Being aware of these puts their puzzling behaviors into context, and increases the odds of reacting to them accurately and supportively.

4. Know your child’s temperament and personality.

It seems pretty obvious, but if we are in tune with the characteristics that make our child unique, we will have a better understanding of when they may need additional support, and when and where they will thrive.

Once you know the basics of what makes your child tick, many important areas become much easier to navigate, such as pinpointing the best environment for homework, or understanding why your daughter needs to come home from overnight summer camp.

5. Give your child plenty of unstructured play time.

Unless you studied play therapy in school, most adults will never fully understand and appreciate the power of play.

Play is how kids learn all the things and develop all the stuff. This means leaving time each day for straight-up unstructured, kid-controlled, exploration of the world kind of play.

6. Know when to talk and when to listen.

Kids learn to be pretty good problem solvers if we let them. Because we love the life out of them and want them to succeed, it’s hard not to jump in and solve problems for them by virtue of lecture or criticism.

If parents more often held their tongues and waited it out, they’d be shocked at how often their children can successfully reach their own conclusions. Being heard is powerfully therapeutic, and it allows us to think things through and reach a solution.

Kids want and need to be heard, and feel understood. Just like the rest of us.

7. Have an identity outside of your child.

Many of us often claim that our children are our world, and this is certainly true in our hearts. In terms of daily life however, parents need to have more. We need to nurture the friendships, passions and hobbies that make us who we are as individuals.

Doing this can feel like a battle, as our protective anxieties try to convince us our children can’t be without us, and also that we can’t be without them. But we can be, and need to be, in order to stay sane, and avoid saddling our kids with the task of meeting all of our emotional needs.

8. Understand that actions speak louder than words.

The way you interact with your child and live your life will be your child’s greatest teacher. Kids are incredibly observant and way more intuitive than we give them credit for. They are always watching.

This can be slightly inconvenient for parents, but if we’re able to keep it in mind, knowing our children are watching our actions will not only teach them how to behave, but it will make us better people.

9. Recognize that connection, fun, and creativity are the best ways to promote positive behaviors and a cooperative attitude.

Fear and control aren’t effective long-term teachers for our kids. While those dynamics may appear effective in the short-term, they won’t equip our kids with a strong moral compass, or effective problem-solving skills.
If our child feels valued as a person based on our interactions with them, they will naturallylearn to value others and have the confidence to make good choices.

10. Set the overall goal to shape a child’s heart and not just their behavior.

We often get the impression from the world around us that the goal of parenting is to produce a compliant, well-behaved child. While these are certainly desirable qualities for most parents, they are not core qualities that contribute to a happy and healthy human.

Helping our children understand the importance of their thoughts and emotions gives them coping and relationship skills. Skills that will protect and guide them throughout their lives.

Changing our parenting habits and styles is never easy, but if it’s truly in the best interest of our children, it’ll always be worth it.

+2 votes

                                                

Photo Source: Psychology Today

By- Victoria L. Dunckley M.D.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201706/hey-parents-put-down-those-devices

Being strict about your own screen-time greatly improves the odds that you’ll be able to manage your children’s screen time in a mindful manner. Further, if you’re considering doing a 4-week electronic fast first to help reset your child’s nervous system (which I recommend), it’ll help you implement the fast successfully, plus give you a leg up on healthy screen management afterwards. Why? Because in addition to setting a good example, you will feel better, function better, and sleep better.  

Parenting Stress and Electronic Media Use

Child rearing is harder and more complex than ever these days, and parenting a child who’s experiencing mental health, learning or behavior issues can produce stress that’s “off the charts.” Ask yourself if you have a tendency to use a mobile device throughout the day or while in bed at night as a means to escape from that stress. The activities may seem innocent enough, like reading on a Kindle, sharing funny family pictures on Facebook, or reading blog posts about parenting. But, as with children, interactive screen-time affects an adult’s frontal lobe, too, so even moderate but daily use can cause a parent to become disorganized, exhibit poor impulse control, lack self-discipline, and have trouble following through on goals—including establishing healthy screen limits. Screen-time also affects an adult’s body clock, melatonin levels, and physical health. And just as with children, these effects are more likely to occur if a parent is stressed, not sleepingwell, or has difficulty in those areas to begin with.

Thus, there are numerous reasons to cut back. In fact, doing the electronic fast or committing to limits with your child can be a powerful healing experience for the entire family.

Seven reasons why it’s worthwhile for parents themselves to put down those devices:

1You’ll model good screen habits. Parents’ own screen habits closely correlate to their children’s, and joining in on a fast or new limits with your child helps build mutual respect. This also reinforces the message that a screen fast or limits are not a punishment, but something the whole family is working on to be happier and healthier.

2. You’ll be more aware. Screen-time is distracting, and it diminishes how in touch we are with our environment. If doing the fast, you’ll be more aware of how your children are doing during the fast and more vigilant about any attempts they make to skirt the ban. If simply cutting back, you’re more likely to notice patterns of behavior that occur with and without the presence of screens.

3. Your executive functioning will be enhanced. Everyone’s frontal lobe functions better with less screen-time, so planning and problem-solving will come more easily. You’ll also be more creative, which makes family activities and one-on-one time more enjoyable — for you and your child.

4. You’ll be much more likely to follow through on what you said you would do. Whether that means actually finishing the fast or eliminating screens during the school week, improved frontal lobe function helps us sustain efforts and be self-disciplined.  It builds “grit.”

5. You’ll be more present and emotionally attuned. Your in-the-moment awareness and sense of emotional connection will be enhanced — and your child will notice.  Kids and teens often complain that they feel ignored by device-using parents even when they’re in the same room. Indeed, studies show spending time together and healthy attachment to parents helps protect children against technology overuse and addiction.  

6. You’ll be more rested. Reducing your own levels of hyper arousal will help you sleep more deeply, improve your ability to tolerate frustration, and give you more energy. You’ll also be less likely to give in when your child attempts to wear you down or argue about screen limits.

7. You may see fewer tantrums in general.  While screen time itself can precipitate tantrums and meltdowns (due to creating a hyperaroused and overstimulated nervous system), a recent study found that high parental device use was associated with more behaviour issues in children. This finding is in line with what we already know about development: that emotional resonance, eye contact, and face-to-face interaction with a parent helps regulate a child’s nervous system and eventually helps teach the child how to self-soothe.  This benefit seems to be separate from and in addition to all the physiological changes that result in improved behaviour from removal of all that stimulation.

Guidelines for Mindful Screen Limits for Parents

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