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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Six Ways to Help With Learning

Friday, March 1st, 2013

You can help your child succeed in learning by building his or her self-confidence at home. Use these guidelines:

  • Respect your child by treating him or her with the dignity you would a friend.
  • Have faith in your child. Don’t be afraid to give your child increasing responsibility and independence.
  • Concentrate on the positive; avoid using discouraging words or actions.
  • Recognize your child’s efforts, not just his or her accomplishments.
  • Build self-esteem and feelings of adequacy by using positive phrases such as…
“I can tell you worked very hard on that.”
“You are getting much better at that.”
“I appreciate what you did.”
“You really handled that situation well.”
  • Discourage competition (in all forms) between brothers and sisters.

And, remember, don’t feel guilty if you “blow it”, but use your energy to try again more effectively.

    Happy Valentines Day!

    Thursday, February 14th, 2013
    I took a piece of plastic clay
    And idly fashioned it one day,
    And as my fingers pressed it, still
    It moved and yielded to my will.

    I came again when days were past;
    The bit of clay was hard at last,
    The form I gave it still it bore,
    But I could change that form no more!
    I took a piece of living clay,
    And gently pressed it day by day,
    And molded with my power and art
    A young child’s soft and yielding heart.


    A Family Pledge

    Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

    We will sit down as a family for some of our meals.

    We will build a family library, including some of our children’s favorite books.

    We will make family visits to libraries, museums, zoos, and other learning places. We will talk about what we see.

    We will set aside enough time to finish the day’s homework assignments.

    We will have family “study” time when parents read and children do their homework.

    We will balance our time between reading or other creative activities and watching TV.

    We will all share in the excitement and joy of learning.

    We will take time to visit with one another and to show our love and appreciation for each other and for our family.

    Choosing Books for Your Children

    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    One of the best ways to encourage children’s reading is to give them books of their very own. With so many children’s books in print, however, making the best selections may seem like a formidable task.

    Since all children should have books they can handle freely, durability is important, says the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Pick well-constructed board books for infants and toddlers, so they can help turn pages without damage. Consider paperbacks and plastic covers for older kids who are not quite ready for expensive hardbacks.

    Next, let your children’s interests guide your selections, suggests the Department of Education. When children ask you endless questions about where they came from or why the sky is blue, chances are good there is a book with answers they can understand. If a child expresses an interest in cars, sports, computers or dinosaurs, find books on those topics. If you will be reading aloud together, remember to choose books you can enjoy too.

    Quality is as important to children as it is to adults, according to the Library of congress Children’s Literature Center. Well-written fiction with a satisfying plot and strong characterization will motivate your children to keep reading. Good illustration and design are essential to picture-story books. Critical to non-fiction are accuracy, organization and clarity of presentation.

    Also keep in mind your children’s reading ability. Books should be challenging enough to stimulate their thinking skills but not so difficult as to overwhelm them. The Department of Education suggests school-sponsored book fairs as an excellent source of offerings geared to your children’s ages and reading levels.

    Is cost a factor in your selection? Many second-hand bookstores offer very reasonable prices. Some even allow you to bring in books your children have outgrown and trade them for others. Many public libraries also have periodic used-book sales. Ask a librarian for dates and details.

    If you are still not sure what is appropriate, take advantage of available help. Teachers and children’s librarians can suggest books that are good for reading aloud and books of interest to a particular age group. Most libraries have book lists and journals that regularly review and recommend children’s books.

    Can-D0 Kids

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    You can motivate your child for successful learning by building self-esteem. Ask your child to describe himself. Do bright, positive, upbeat words come out….smart, good, nice, popular, happy?

    Or do you hear…..dumb, fat, mad, broke, and a list of “can’t do” things like can’t read very well, can’t run fast, can’t make friends, can’t do math?

    Before a child can achieve learning success, he needs to believe in himself…..have an image of self-worth…..a sense of being capable….a sense of self-esteem. He needs to see himself as a “can-do” kid.

    Research shows that these feelings of confidence contribute to success in learning, success in social relationships, and high self-esteem.

    Quality of Time

    Monday, January 14th, 2013

    Busy parents……especially those who are working or are single working parents…..have a limited amount of time to spend with their children. Spending time with your child, no matter what the age, is extremely important, but research suggests it is the quality of the time spent, not the quantity of time that is important.

    The quality of the time you spend together can be enhanced by talking with and listening to your child. Communicating with your child encourages him or her to express ideas, improve vocabulary and develop thinking skills……all of which are important for success in school.

    Quality time can occur at any time or any place. Driving in the car or riding in the bus, taking a walk in the park or a stroll through the neighborhood or going for an ice cream after dinner are all good opportunities for talking together. Cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, or washing the dishes together provide time to communicate with each other and keep in touch with each other’s activities. Children of all ages especially enjoy having your full attention at bedtime when you can read or talk together.


    Friday, January 11th, 2013

    In an educational sense learning and behavior are inseparable.  Learning is said to have occurred when there is an observable change of behavior.  All learning results from exposure to stimulation.

    The source of stimulation is referred to as the stimulus. For the newborn all stimuli are unique in that they have not yet been meaningfully associated with a personal response mode.

    With the passage of time the child begins to associate specific stimuli with specific personal reactions. By way of example a child may relieve personal discomfort by moving the head away from an intensely bright light. Conversely the child may associate auditory sound patterns made by an adult with the satisfaction of his need for food.

    Through continual exposure to stimulation, the child begins to accumulate a pool of stimulus bound information. In this way he is ultimately able to predict his personal reaction to any stimulus which he has previously experienced in some meaningful way.

    A stimulus is not sufficient unto itself. A stimulus must be sensed or received if it is to have instructional value. Some sensory organ on the body must be able to detect the stimulus. Having a stimulus and the process of receiving it cannot complete a learning sequence. The received stimulus must be processed by the brain to cause some form of expression. The final part of the learning model which must be considered is what actually happens as a result of having detected a stimulus, or the terminal behavior. By combining all of these elements the basic learning model, in its simplest form, looks like this:

    Stimulus —» Reception —| Processing |—» Terminal Behavior (Expression)

    The learning model graphically represents a chain type of reaction commencing with receptive skills, proceeding to process skills and concluding with some form of expressive activity.

    Eight Rules for Teenagers and Parties

    Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
    Teenagers often run into serious discipline problems in connection with parties they attend or host.  Parents can help avoid these problems by taking a few precautions each time a party is planned.  Experts suggest when you host a party……
    Agree to certain rules ahead of time.  You may want to consider some of the following:

    • No coming and going from the party.
    • Make certain rooms off-limits.
    • Keep lights on
    • No uninvited guests
    • No smoking, drugs or alcohol
    • Set a time limit when the party begins and ends
    • Invite another parent to help deal with unexpected problems
    • Know your responsibilities:  Remember that as an adult you are legally responsible for anything that may happen to a minor who has been served drugs or alcohol in your home.

    Adapted from Illinois School Board Association

    Holidays and the “Missing Parent”

    Sunday, December 30th, 2012
    Holidays can be difficult times for children when their parents are divorced or separated.  According to psychologists Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts”  “The child may be hurt or angry when the parent does not contact him on a holiday.  The parent who lives with the child may then be left to deal with the emotional reactions.  The child may have fantasies that the holiday would be much better with the missing parents.  or he may blame the parent he is with for the fact the other isn’t there.”

    Ignoring the emotional stress may be tempting….especially if you yourself are still dealing with the stress and emotions of a divorce or separation.  But that only causes your child to feel worse, the authors say.

    They suggest:  Sit down with the child and look at pictures of the missing parent and talk about what it would be like to have contact with him or her.  Set aside your own anger and simply listen to your child’s feeling, say the authors.  help make contact with relatives of the missing parent if they want to see the child.  if there is no chance of the child reconnecting with a missing parent at holidays, have an honest discussion about the subject.

    “Family Change: Don’t Cancel Holidays,” Psychology Today

    Christmas Everywhere

    Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

    Phillips Brooks
    (Born December 13, 1835; died January 23, 1893)

    Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
    Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
    Christmas in
    land of the palm-tree and vine,

    Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
    Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright.
    Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,
    Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
    Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,
    Broods o’er br
    ave men in the thick of the fight;

    Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!

    For the Christ-child who comes is the master of all;

    No palace too great, no cottage too small.

    From Christmas Songs and Easter Carols
    by Phillips Brooks, 1903.