Archive for the ‘Ages and Stages:Tween’ Category

Treating people of all races and backgrounds honorably is not just politically correct, it is the right thing to do, the respectful thing.

When my 4-year-old son, David, started flipping out about going to preschool, I thought it was typical first day jitters. Then he told me the reason: I do not want a teacher with brown skin. Our family who is white and live in a diverse neighborhood in Northwest Indiana. I must admit I was a bit horrified and confused. He had been around people of many races before. Our neighbor who had babysat for David before when he was a toddler is African American. But his new teacher whom he had met before at the school orientation was from Africa, so I think it had more to do with her accent. Concerned I turned to a psychologist who was also a family friend. I was reassured that little David was not being a racist.

It is natural for young kids to notice differences in a person’s appearance and manner of speaking, and to express curiosity or even fear about them. Many of us can probably share a comparably mortifying moment, whether it was our kid’s insensitive comment about someone in a wheelchair or an objectionable question about why a classmate of Asian descent has “squinty” eyes. In our upcoming posts we will share some steps with you that you can take to teach your child how to be open minded. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Check a few things off of your to do list and have some fun at the same time.

Week 4: Rock the fall style–shop Crazy 8 for the new and now looks that your kids will love. Help them express their unique style, have one less thing to do before school actually starts, and always get a good deal!

Week 3: Channel some of that summer energy into a project that will benefit your community. Community service is an integral part of most school curriculums, and it will help you and your child connect with others. Contribute to your school directly and look for Tyson Project A+ labels on participating Tyson packages. For every label that you submit, Tyson will give your school 24 cents for whatever it needs.

Week 2: Host a back to school playdate for your children and their friends to help them to get back in the swing of things. Provide healthy snacks like deliciously baked, gluten-free Pirate’s Booty, Welch’s Fruit Snacks made with real fruit, and Mott’s 100% Juice. Mix in some fun with activities like “Telephone Story”. Have each person take a piece of paper, write a sentence, and pass it to the next person on their right to write the next line until you have a one of a kind story to share!

Week 1: Play with your food. Try using Mini Babybel Original semisoft cheese to create fruit and cheese skerers and Hillshire Farm Naturals Lunchmeat to create ham and cheese roll-ups. They are sure to be exciting and healthy additions to your kid’s lunchbox!

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Back To School

Kids have a ton of a lot more stamina than you do. So your child will question, debate, argue, and oppose as long as you let them. (Bedtime battles, anyone?) Every time that you engage in this kind of back and forth exchange, you give them the opportunity to get stronger and better at it. Instead of giving repeated warnings and reminders, give one (“You have ten more minutes to play, then it is time to go to bed”) and ignore any arguments after that. If all else fails, pull out this classic on: Because I am the boss and I said so. You can also check out our post on bad habits. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Of course, you want to explain the great “whys” in life to your kid, just not when you are trying to get out of the door in the morning. So save the elaborations for a time when your child needs more guidance. When you want something to happen, like getting to school before the morning bell rings, be direct and specific. Kids need concrete information, so instead of a vague “Get ready for school,” which leaves too much room for them to dawdle, give them direct instructions: “It is time to put on your coat and your backpack.” Getting specific works well in other situations too. Instead of “I want you on your best behavior in the restaurant,” you can say, “Please use your indoor voice at the table.”

See this post on getting kids to behave. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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If you are tired of repeating yourself without results, here is some advice that actually works.

How many times do you have to say, or beg, or even yell: “Do not put that in your nose!” “Stop bouncing the ball off of your brother’s head!” “Quit jumping from the chair to the couch!” Thankfully, there are effective ways to communicate so that your child will listen and cooperate in a flash.

Connect, then direct. Sometimes it feels like your kid is not buying what you are selling when in reality they simply can not listen to the pitch. Children do not have great multitasking capabilities. It is almost impossible for anyone, let alone a younger child to concentrate intensely on getting their train tracks to connect in a perfect oval and also listen to you tell them to wash up for dinner. Instead of competing for their attention, ask your child to stop playing for a minute, and get down to their level so you can look them in the eye. Say their name, make your request, ask if they understand, and get them to repeat it back to you.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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SINGLE-PARENT-DAY

On Facebook you shared the small things you can not help but agree to.

  • Pillow-fort night, with every pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, and comforter in the house.
  • Letting my 2-year-old choose her own outfit. It may clash and include a tiara, but hey, a girl has to accessorize!
  • Bubbles, even indoors.
  • My 8-year-olds strip of pink hair.
  • Mud puddles, always!
  • Baths, no matter what time of day. Sometimes you just need a bath to feel good.
  • Writing in shaving cream on the shower wall.
  • Indoor camping, complete with tent and s’mores!
  • Letting my 4-year-old polish my nails.
  • Breakfast in bed, just because!

Have you seen our series on NO? Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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yes

When you finish X, you may enjoy Y.

As is the case in just about every household I know with kids, no two weekdays look alike. But every day, at some point, I allow my kids to watch one TV show. It is the some point that causes the problem. My first grader, David, has difficulty figuring out when he is going to be allowed his precious TV time. Every day, the minute we walk into the house, whether it is 2 P.M. or 6 P.M., he wants to know “When can I watch TV?” And I can not stand the daily barrage of begging, whining, and pleading that inevitably leads me to say no over and over again.

This is where I instituted the when/then strategy. When all the must do activities are finished, then David can have TV time. Because David’s TV time also depends in part on his siblings’ commitments, I lay out the full schedule for the day for him. “Jenna has gymnastics today, so when we get home from dropping her off, you and Joe need to clean up the playroom, and then yes you can watch a TV show.

Once David has the information for the day, he does not feel insecure about whether TV is going to happen or not. He is no longer constantly checking in with me because he now knows exactly what needs to happen, and I find I am saying yes a lot more often. I am successfully using when/then at other tricky times of the day too. For instance, when you brush your teeth, then we can read a book together and at mealtime when the dinner plates are cleared, then we will serve dessert. Here you can check out part 1 of this series.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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