Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Recognize the fact that your child is not color blind. Experts think that one big mistake that parents make (especially white American parents) is assuming that their children are unaware of race. We always hear, Oh, my child does not even see skin color, but the truth is that kids absolutely do notice.

As your children grow, look for cues about what different appearances mean and which ones matter. They will quickly realize that some things, whether someone wears a hat, for instance, are irrelevant while others, such as sex are significant because we talk about them constantly (“Boys line up on the left, girls on the right”). What about race? Obviously, we do not say, “Good morning, black and white children,” or Asians go get your backpacks.” But even if you never say a word about ethnicity, racial distinctions are plainly visible to kids. Many communities are highly segregated, which children notice. You will be driving through town and your preschooler is thinking, Oh, here is where the Chinese people live.

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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Infants as young as 3 months begin to instinctively categorize people based on their sex, skin color, and the language they speak. Between 5 and 10 months babies begin to learn about race based on experience. Furthermore, 3-5 year-olds not only categorize people by race but express bias based on it. Overcoming these types of inherent prejudice will take a proactive effort on your part, and it needs to start early, before your child’s opinions are fully formed.

Tolerance is an absolute necessity in our increasingly global and multicultural society. So-called racial and ethnic minorities now make up the mafority of children born in the U.S. By the year 2043, nearly half of the population will be people of color, according to recent Census projections. Our nation is becoming more diverse in other ways too. Islam and Mormonism are among America’s fastest growing religions. Same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states plus the District of Columbia. More than 35 million people now speak Spanish as their primary language at home. And our school system is increasingly placing children with disabilities in regular rather than specialized classrooms.

Today’s kids are going to have to interact with people from many backgrounds and cultures, as well as with those who do not look or act like they do. Celebrating diversity, not merely tolerating it, is going to be the key to their success. In our upcoming posts we will give you some steps you can take to teach your children how to be open-minded towards others.

Check out part one of this series of raising a respectful child. 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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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

  • Embrace playdates. Invite friends or relatives with kids to join you on outings and vacations. If he is around kids, there are sure to be some conflicts. That is a good thing since your child will learn to resolve them.
  • Be a little childish. If there is only one piece of pie left, split it instead of letting him have the whole thing to demonstrate sharing. Do not let him win every round of Candy Land or always decide what to watch on TV. Re-create some situations that he will encounter with peers.
  • Work it out in front of your kid. Seeing you and your spouse resolve your disagreements shows him that they are a fact of life and it is not the end of the world. Plus, he will learn some negotiation strategies just by watching 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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There are a lot of sibling conflicts that occur because younger children do not know the proper way to express what is bothering them. That is why toddlers resort to biting and hitting and older children impulsively spout statements that they don’t truly mean. (“I hate you.”) This can easily turn a minor disagreement into a huge battle. The more words that a child has to describe their feelings, the more likely they are to stay calm. So if his little sister comes by and knocks over his block tower, he can tell you, “I am angry that she ruined my project” instead of just yelling or hitting her. It is important to talk about emotions beyond happy, sad, and angry. Expressing how you feel out loud, whether it is annoyed, disappointed, or confused will teach your kids new words to express what they are feeling. This is a significant step in learning how to manage emotions.

Rather than waiting for your kids to be upset to have a discussion, take advantage of some teachable moments. When we are at the park and see other children freaking out, I always ask my boys, “What do you think she is feeling right now?” When they default to saying mad or sad, I fill in the blanks. “If my sand shovel broke, I would be pretty frustrated, wouldn’t you?”

Check out another post that ties in nicely to this one on getting along. 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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emotions

I am very frustrated right now.

Preventing fights from flaring up in the first place is the best way to promote harmony in your family. Start by referring to your children as a team as often as possible. (“You guys are such a good clean up crew.”) or (“You two are quite the silly dancing duo.”) This gets you in the habit of praising their positive interactions. I myself will sometimes go the other way at poking fun at them. (“Your singing together sounds like chickens squawking during a fire alarm.”) Not only does this make them laugh, but it also moves them to defend their Ariana Grande like abilities to me, as a team.

Siblings who feel like they are working together, rather than being against each other, will naturally help each other out. Set up some situations in which your kids join forces, such as building a fort or making cupcakes. In order to earn playtime have them do chores together, such as clearing the table. The younger kids can clear the dishes and the older ones can stack and wash them. Then work as a team to dry them and put them away. If you have a dishwasher, give it the night off to do this. Working together, it will take no time at all. 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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