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Parentry: How to Avoid being a Blunder-Man/Woman

+3 votes
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Photo Source :   indiatimes.com

Oops, I did it again. Mistakes happen all the time, but are somehow unforgettable when it’s caused by you, the parent. And while this is fun in hindsight, at the time... in the moment, it can get us quite worked up.

Probably because we parents wear the guilt badge all the time; probably because we’re unwitting role models. That said, here are a few parenting blunders to quickly demo what not to do. Some are from friends – most are my own.

Christobelle Joseph

http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/columns/you/parentry-how-to-avoid-being-a-blunder-man/woman/articleshow/59636229.cms

Great. I got your attention. Now read on.

#1 Swearing. You never know what you’re saying until you hear it mirrored right back in your face. For me, it was once simple and yet, embarrassing. While my daughter and I drove out (with new friends in the backseat, I think), a pedestrian ran across the road and while I braked, she shouted out ‘idiot’. She was four. I have never used that word since. Maybe your repertoire is more extensive? Watch it, stinky mouth.

#2 Discussing people. This, I’m careful with – or smart with my timing – I won’t say which. Why? Because I have experience, first-hand. I once saw a nun who my mum and I had met on an earlier occasion. The minute she was near, I recognised her and shouted out, “Hey mum, there’s the yappy nun. We’ve seen her, now let’s run.” I don’t think the nun was pleased. Or mum.

#3 Evaluating kids. When they’re small, and you’re into ‘good parenting’, it’s easy to buy into good behaviour encouragement tools like charts and points. But remember, kids hold us up to the same standards we apply to them. And, admit it, we don’t measure up.
A few years ago, in a happy moment of mum-daughter time with my (then) fussy child, I got a compliment.

Well, sort of. “I really love you mum,” she told me, “but minus 1 point for all the bad times.”

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References

Learning from one’s mistakes is a wonderful thing – but not so much, when you’re a parent
posted Jul 19, 2017 by Nalini Vishwanath

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+2 votes

                                                                   

Photo source: www.yourmodernfamily.com

Have you ever wondered how to un-spoil a child?  I know that this can be hard, because you don’t even realize that it is happening and then BAM… you hear the disrespect in your child’s voice and realize that you need to STOP doing that for your child!

by-Becky Mansfield

http://www.yourmodernfamily.com/how-to-un-spoil-a-child/​

With this post in mind, I asked this question to the parents in my local ‘moms-group’ and their answers were fantastic!  I know that this can be quite a challenge for many parents, so I hope that this gives you just the boost of confidence and knowledge that you need to unspoiled your child!   Remember that while spoiling your child CAN happen by giving them too much without any appreciation, it can also just be that your child is not respectful of others or of things.    Hopefully, we can change that and raise our kids to be responsible, respectful adults…

FIRST OFF- GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK FOR TAKING THIS STEP!  This was the hardest part… admitting that your child is spoiled or disrespectful.

We don’t intend to have spoiled kids – it’s just the day & age that lends itself so easily to that, you know?  According to a recent study,  “A vast majority of parents — 94 percent, according to a recent survey — judge their children to be spoiled.” says Dr. Bromfield.

There are great deals on cool things that we know they will love.  We love to see them smile so we give them things that will make them happy, not even realizing that we are turning them into ungrateful people – people that expect it.   That’s Ok- because today is the day that we start the UN-SPOILING!

1. Be consistent
This is the key to success, in my opinion.  I saw this when I was a teacher, I see it as a play therapist and I see it as a mom.   Consistency is the key.  Every time that they ___, they get ___.  (ex: every time that they talk back to you, they get put into time out.)

2. Use the when–>>then method.
When you ____ then you ____.   (When you have done your chores, then you can play on your iPod. )

3. Set expectations.
Give your child a run-down of the day, if possible.  Let them know what to expect.
“We will be going to the store today.  You will not be buying anything.  If you ask for something while we are there, I will be taking away electronics for the remainder of the day.  I will have to do this because I am telling you RIGHT NOW that we are going to the store for groceries and nothing else.  Do you understand?”   You are simply telling them ahead of time and asking them to respect what you say.

4. Stop buying unnecessary things for your child.
Your child might ask you for things or you might buy un-needed things because they are:
– cute
– on-sale  (this is what usually gets me!) 
– fun
– educational
Your child does not need them.  While it is nice to buy them things and you feel like you are helping, you need to take a step back and ask yourself if you are teaching them that they can have whatever they want before you buy it, or ask yourself if they really do need it.  (Plus, when you aren’t constantly buying them things, they will appreciate it more when you do.)

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+1 vote

       

Photo Source: washingtonpost.com

By Valerie Strauss

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/24/how-twisted-early-childhood-education-has-become-from-a-child-development-expert/?utm_term=.e5c53c678eec

Nancy Carlsson-Paige is an early childhood development expert who has been at the forefront of the debate on how best to educate — and not educate — the youngest students. She is a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma., where she taught teachers for more than 30 years and was a founder of the university’s Center for Peaceable Schools. She is also a founding member of a nonprofit called Defending the Early Years, which commissions research about early childhood education and advocates for sane policies for young children.

Carlsson-Paige is author of “Taking Back Childhood.” The mother of two artist sons, Matt and Kyle Damon, she is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Legacy Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps for work over several decades on behalf of children and families. She was just given the Deborah Meier award by the nonprofit National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

In her speech accepting the award (named after the renowned educator Deborah Meier), Carlsson-Paige describes what has happened in the world of early childhood education in the current era of high-stakes testing, saying, “Never in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen the situation we find ourselves in today.” Here’s the speech, which I am publishing with permission:

 

 Thank you FairTest for this Deborah Meier Hero in Education Award. FairTest does such great advocacy and education around fair and just testing practices. This award carries the name of one of my heroes in education, Deborah Meier—she’s a force for justice and democracy in education. I hope that every time this award is given, it will allow us to once again pay tribute to Deb. Also, I feel privileged to be accepting this honor alongside Lani Guinier.

When I was invited to be here tonight, I thought about the many people who work for justice and equity in education who could also be standing here. So I am thinking of all of them now and I accept this award on their behalf — all the educators dedicated to children and what’s fair and best for them.

It’s wonderful to see all of you here — so many family and friends, comrades in this struggle to reclaim excellent public education for all – not just some – of our children.

I have loved my life’s work – teaching teachers about how young children think, how they learn, how they develop socially, emotionally, morally. I’ve been fascinated with the theories and science of my field and seeing it expressed in the actions and the play of children.

So never in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen the situation we find ourselves in today.

Where education policies that do not reflect what we know about how young children learn could be mandated and followed. We have decades of research in child development and neuroscience that tell us that young children learn actively — they have to move, use their senses, get their hands on things, interact with other kids and teachers, create, invent. But in this twisted time, young children starting public pre-K at the age of 4 are expected to learn through “rigorous instruction.”

And never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would have to defend children’s right to play.

Play is the primary engine of human growth; it’s universal – as much as walking and talking. Play is the way children build ideas and how they make sense of their experience and feel safe. Just look at all the math concepts at work in the intricate buildings of kindergartners. Or watch a 4-year-old put on a cape and pretend to be a superhero after witnessing some scary event.

But play is disappearing from classrooms. Even though we know play is learning for young kids, we are seeing it shoved aside to make room for academic instruction and “rigor.”

I could not have foreseen in my wildest dreams that we would have to fight for classrooms for young kids that are developmentally appropriate. Instead of active, hands-on learning, children now sit in chairs for far too much time getting drilled on letters and numbers. Stress levels are up among young kids. Parents and teachers tell me: children worry that they don’t know the right answers; they have nightmares, they pull out their eyelashes, they cry because they don’t want to go to school. Some people call this child abuse and I can’t disagree.

I could not have foreseen in my wildest dreams that we would be up against pressure to test and assess young kids throughout the year often in great excess — often administering multiple tests to children in kindergarten and even pre-K. Now, when young children start school, they often spend their first days not getting to know their classroom and making friends. They spend their first days getting tested. Here are words from one mother as this school year began:

“My daughter’s first day of kindergarten — her very first introduction to elementary school — consisted almost entirely of assessment. She was due at school at 9:30, and I picked her up at 11:45. In between, she was assessed by five different teachers, each a stranger, asking her to perform some task.

“By the time I picked her up, she did not want to talk about what she had done in school, but she did say that she did not want to go back. She did not know the teachers’ names. She did not make any friends. Later that afternoon, as she played with her animals in her room, I overheard her drilling them on their numbers and letters.”

The most important competencies in young children can’t be tested—we all know this. Naming letters and numbers is superficial and almost irrelevant in relation to the capacities we want to help children develop: self-regulation, problem solving ability, social and emotional competence, imagination, initiative, curiosity, original thinking — these capacities make or break success in school and life and they can’t be reduced to numbers.

Yet these days, all the money and resources, the time dedicated to professional development, they go to tooling teachers up to use the required assessments. Somehow the data gleaned from these tests is supposed to be more valid than a teacher’s own ability to observe children and understand their skills in the context of their whole development in the classroom.

The first time I saw for myself what was becoming of many of the nation’s early childhood classrooms was when I visited a program in a low-income community in north Miami. Most of the children were on free- and reduced-price lunch.

There were 10 classrooms – kindergarten and pre-K. The program’s funding depended on test scores, so — no surprise — teachers taught to the test. Kids who got low scores, I was told, got extra drills in reading and math and didn’t get to go to art. They used a computer program to teach 4- and 5-year-olds how to “bubble.” One teacher complained to me that some children go outside the lines.

In one of the kindergartens I visited, the walls were barren and so was the whole room. The teacher was testing one little boy at a computer at the side of the room. There was no classroom aide. The other children were sitting at tables copying words from the chalk board. The words were: “No talking. Sit in your seat. Hands to Yourself.”

The teacher kept shouting at them from her testing corner: Be quiet! No talking!

Most of the children looked scared or disengaged, and one little boy was sitting alone. He was quietly crying. I will never forget how these children looked or how it felt to watch them, I would say, suffering in this context that was such a profound mismatch with their needs.

It’s in low-income, under-resourced communities like this one where children are most subjected to heavy doses of teacher-led drills and tests. Not like in wealthier suburbs where kids have the opportunity to go to early childhood programs that have play, the arts, and project-based learning. It’s poverty — the elephant in the room — that is the root cause of this disparity.

A few months ago, I was alarmed to read a report from the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights showing that more than 8,000 children from public preschools across the country were suspended at least once in a school year, many more than once. First of all, who suspends a preschooler? Why and for what? The very concept is bizarre and awful. But 8,000? And then to keep reading the report to see that a disproportionate number of those suspended preschoolers were low income, black boys.

There is a connection, I know, between these suspensions and ed reform policies: Children in low-income communities are enduring play deficient classrooms where they get heavy doses of direct teaching and testing. They have to sit still, be quiet in their seats and comply. Many young children can’t do this and none should have to.

I came home from that visit to the classrooms in North Miami in despair. But fortunately, the despair turned quickly to organizing. With other educators we started our nonprofit Defending the Early Years. We have terrific early childhood leaders with us (some are here tonight: Deb Meier, Geralyn McLaughlin, Diane Levin and Ayla Gavins). We speak in a unified voice for young children.

We publish reports, write op eds, make videos and send them out on YouTube, we speak and do interviews every chance we get.

We’ve done it all on a shoestring. It’s almost comical: The Gates Foundation has spent more than $200 million just to promote the Common Core. Our budget at Defending the Early Years is .006 percent of that.

We collaborate with other organizations. FairTest has been so helpful to us. And we also collaborate with –Network for Public Education, United Opt Out, many parent groups, Citizens for Public Schools, Badass Teachers, Busted Pencils Radio, Save Our Schools, Alliance for Childhood and ECE PolicyWorks —There’s a powerful network out there – of educators, parents and students — and we see the difference we are making.

We all share a common vision: Education is a human right and every child deserves one. An excellent, free education where learning is meaningful – with arts, play, engaging projects, and the chance to learn citizenship skills so that children can one day participate — actively and consciously – in this increasingly fragile democracy.

 

+1 vote

                                            

Photo Source: parents.com

By Michelle Crouch 

http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/10-life-skills-to-teach-your-child-by-age-10/

With so much for our children to learn in today’s high-tech world, it’s all too easy for them to miss out on practical life skills, whether it’s running a load of wash, reading a map, or handwriting a letter. A recent study by the online security company AVG Technologies found that while 58 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds in the U.S. can navigate a smartphone, fewer than one out of six (15 percent) could make their own breakfast. “I see many parents doing everything for their kids instead of letting them figure out how to fend for themselves,” says Tim Elmore, founder of Growing Leaders, a nonprofit in Norcross, Georgia, that works with schools and civic groups to promote leadership qualities in children. Start teaching these life skills now, and put your kid on the path toward independence.

1. Doing the Laundry

Too many teens head to college with no clue how to clean their clothes. Don’t let your kid become one of them. You can begin teaching your child when she is around 6. If you have a top-loading washer, keep a step stool nearby. Walk her through the process—how to measure and add the detergent, choose the settings, and start the machine. Amy Mascott, who blogs at TeachMama.com, taught her three kids (now 9, 10, and 12). She chose cute names for jobs: Wash Warrior, Super-Fly Dry Guy, Put ’Em Away Triple Play. Mascott says there have been snafus, like the time a whole load was folded and put away damp. “But I’m not aiming for perfection. I’m aiming for them to get the job done,” she says.

 

2. Planting a Seedling

Lots of preschoolers learn to plant seeds in class but not how to transfer sprouts into a garden. Whitney Cohen, coauthor of The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids, shares the basics.

  •  Ask your child to dig a hole that’s slightly larger than the container the plant is in.
  • Once you remove the plant from the pot and place it in the hole, have her delicately push soil around it and pat it down.
  • Let your child water it with a gentle stream from a watering can with a perforated nozzle.
  • By age 6 or 7, your child can remove a seedling himself. Have him split two fingers apart so the stem of the plant goes between them, then squeeze the outside of the container until the plant comes out. If the roots are wound tightly, he should loosen them a few at a time before planting.

3. Wrapping a Gift

Your child already loves giving presents, and wrapping them makes it even more satisfying. Preschoolers can help cut the paper and stick on the tape, while kindergardners can complete additional steps with your help, like removing the price tag, finding the right size box, and wrapping paper all the way around the gift to make sure it fits before cutting it.

4. Hammering a Nail

  • Give your child a 7- or 9-ounce hammer. Home-improvement stores sell kids’ models as light as 4 ounces, but with those it’s harder to pound a nail.
  • Use a piece of soft wood (such as pine, poplar, or cedar). You can hold it in place with clamps or a vise, or simply place it on the ground.
  • Pick nails with a wide head. At first you’ll have to “start” each one for him.
  • When your child is ready to do it himself, you can push a nail through a small piece of cardboard so it’s held in place as he hammers it into the wood. Make sure your child holds the edge of the cardboard instead of the nail (to protect his fingers).
  • Once he’s mastered that method, have him try holding the nail. Be prepared for a sore thumb or two, but before long he’ll get the hang of it.

5. Writing a Letter

Toddlers can dictate a letter to a family member (enhanced with drawings), attach the stamp, and drop it into a mailbox. Teach an older child how to address an envelope and the five parts of a letter: date, greeting (“Dear…”), body, closing (“Sincerely”), and signature. You can also have them help with holiday cards, find a pen pal (sites such as Amazing Kids and International Pen Friends can help), or correspond with POTUS by having them address a letter to The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500.

6. Preparing a Simple Meal

Invite your child to help make meals, assign him jobs to do, and stay calm when the flour spills and the eggshells fly, says Christina Dymock, a mom of four and author of Young Chefs. Yogurt with fruit is a good first DIY breakfast. Preschoolers can spoon yogurt into a bowl and add prewashed cut-up fruit. Work with kids 5 and older on making sandwiches and smoothies (monitor the blender closely). Around age 7 or 8, your kid can try toaster-oven faves like English-muffin pizza, or make a simple salad by ripping lettuce, dumping in croutons, and cutting up tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. By age 10, kids can use the stovetop with supervision for a grilled-cheese sandwich. Focus on safety and practice, and you might just have a Master Chef Junior on your hands. 

7. Navigating

If you’ve ever gotten lost following a GPS’s turn-by-turn voice directions, you know why being able to read a map is essential (even if it’s one on your phone). These activities will build your child’s navigational skills.

  • Hunt for treasure. Maps seem boring…until you use them to look for booty. Hide toys in your yard and then draw a simple sketch to mark their location. Show your 3- or 4-year-old how objects on the map correspond to those in front of her.
  • Have her lead the way. Zoos, museums, and theme parks have colourful, easy-to-read maps. Ask your preschooler to track her path, and challenge an older kid to get you from point A to point B.
  • Take up geocaching. Kids ages 5 and up love this outdoor treasure hunt game, which uses GPS tracking to find containers filled with trinkets. Learn more at geocaching.com.

8. Treating a Wound

Teach your child from a young age not to freak out when he sees blood (and don’t overreact yourself). Giving him a game plan will distract him from the pain and come in handy when you’re not around to kiss his boo-boos: Apply pressure until the bleeding stops, rise the cut with water, dab on some antibiotic ointment, then apply a bandage.

9. Cleaning the Bathroom

Keep rags or a sponge handy for wiping toothpaste blobs off the sink. Toilet duties require greater skill. School-age kids can clean the lid, seat, and base with a disinfecting wipe. Make sure they wash their hands thoroughly afterward. Big kids can scrub the bowl with a nontoxic cleaner: Sprinkle the sides with baking soda, let it sit for a few minutes, pour in some vinegar, then scrub with a toilet brush.

10. Comparison Shopping

Teaching kids to be smart consumers takes practice. This three-step approach worked for our family:

  • Explain as you go. Mention prices out loud and talk about your choices: “I’m getting gas at the other station because it costs 10 cents less per gallon.” I tell my kids about some things I’d like to have (Lululemon yoga pants, anyone?) but don’t buy because they’re not in our budget. 
  • Let your kid pay sometimes. Give him an allowance, and then designate items he is responsible for purchasing. My husband and I don’t buy any sweets. That’s forced our kids to become savvy shoppers. When the ice pops at our local pool began putting a dent in their cash flow, they pooled their money and bought a box of 12 to keep in the freezer.
  • Play the grocery game. At the supermarket, challenge your kid to find the least expensive brand of paper towels or tomato sauce.
+1 vote

                                                     

Photo Source: kids activities blog

Back when my husband and I were living on the East Coast, we attended a moving workshop to prepare us for an overseas move to Japan. The idea of moving halfway around the world was both exciting and extremely terrifying. How do you calm an upset child when you are experiencing a day-to-day hiccup or a big life change?

By Lauren Tamm

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/84154/life-changing-phrase-calm-upset-child

During the workshop a counselor came to teach us about helping kids through big life changes.

Sitting in a classroom of about 30 people, I did my best to pay attention. But I'll be honest, the workshop was boring and my mind was starting to wander. I started daydreaming about the overpriced latte I was going to order from Starbucks after the class ended.

Then the counselor said something I'll never forget.

THE SECRET TIP TO CALM AN UPSET CHILD.

No matter if you are experiencing a big life change or an everyday life event, this tip is easily applied to a variety of situations.

Use I wish you a thousand statements to help your child cope and feel positive about what is upsetting them.

Here are a few examples of I wish you a thousand statements:

Example #1:

  • Child: I don't want to move to a new home. 
  • Parent: I wish you a thousand friends at our new home. 

Example #2:

  • Child: I ™m never going to pass my test at school. 
  • Parent: I wish you a thousand A+ grades on all your tests forever and ever. 

Example #3:

  • Child: I hate playing at this park. 
  • Parent: I wish you a thousand parks that are the most fun and coolest in the world. 

Example #4:

  • Child: My dad is never home to play with me. 
  • Parent: I wish you a thousand of your daddy so you would always have him to play with. 

Example #5:

  • Child: I want cookies for dinner. 
  • Parent: I wish you could eat a thousand cookies for dinner someday. 

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. You can use them in a variety of situations to help your child cope when they are feeling upset.

WHY I WISH YOU A THOUSAND STATEMENTS WORK.

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+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.

...