Archive for the ‘Skills’ Category

The Toddler View

Remember when your child would instantly spin around to you when you said, “cookie” even though you thought they were not listening? Toddlers have an incredible ability to pay attention to all the details around them. It is their superpower! Adults naturally filter out extraneous information, like a cool pattern of shadows on a sidewalk, but toddlers do not know what is most important. There is actually a biological basis for this. Young children have fewer inhibitory neurotransmitters, the chemicals that prevent neurons from firing, so their brain is constantly exploding with stimuli. It is similar to what you see when you visit an exotic new location. Your attention is overtaken by new sounds, smells, and sights.

This super attention is critical for learning, but it can be a distraction for a child, and sometimes can be very frustrating for you. You may feel a bit better knowing that one reason your toddler likes you to read the same book over and over to them is because when they hear it again, they are not distracted by as much of the new information. Young children learn new words when they are exposed to them in the same stories read repeatedly. They fail to learn these new words when they are exposed to them in different stories. So while you may have your child’s favorite kids book memorized, they are still delighted by the new sounds and words that they are uncovering with each repetition. Check out our first post on Toddler Goggles. 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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Reading

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Seeing that kids love to play, turning a good behavior into a game makes it more likely they will follow directions. Have a child who sighs about having to get on their shoes? Try, “I bet you can not get your tennis shoes on in 45 seconds!” Have a child reluctant to brush their teeth? “I wonder who can brush their teeth longer, you or me!” If you are at the grocery store, play “I Spy” to keep them occupied while you shop, or let them fill a produce bag with apples or choose a vegetable for dinner.

Cut right to the chase is another tactic that works very well. 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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shoe-tying

If you have had it up to here with your kids constant bickering, we can help you to reach a sibling cease fire.

First, there is the screaming fit over who gets to put the key in the front door lock. Then, there is the shoving over whose turn it is to sit on the window bench. Finally, there is the Disney dance party turned into WWE cage match, which ends with one of the kids shouting, “I didn’t do it!” and the other yelling, “He started it!” and me yelling, “Stop yelling!”

As the thoughts turn in my head, “I have lost control of the asylum.” The kids fight every single day: in the car, in the bathroom, in the grocery store. These 2 little boys who barely a year ago were so close, now feud like the Kardashians. Way too much of our family time is spent negotiating a truce. Yet nothing gets resolved. The next morning, the battle hymn begins and just like that they are off to the front line.

Of course, it is comforting to know we are not the only ones whose kids spar. Studies have found that kids 3-10 usually have arguments several times an hour. Whether you have girls, boys, or a mix does not matter. Most siblings squabble.

While it is true that disagreements can help brothers and sisters hone their social skills such as a negotiation and compromise, there is a downside. Frequently, intensive fighting heightens kids risk of depression and anxiety and can lower their self esteem. Battling siblings are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, including drug use as adults.

That puts a new perspective on our latest scuffle of the day (over who owns the Lego T-shirt). It does concern me: I can not deal with another 10 years of being a referee and I do not want them growing up to be bickering, sniping, it is not fair, I hate you siblings.

It is a real possibility, though. The way your kids interact early on tends to stay consistent as they get older. Work with your kids, especially from the ages of 4-8 and help them learn to resolve differences and manage their emotions. The good news is you can change the pattern of fighting among your kids. But you have to be willing to put in the work.

Our next several posts will give you tips on ways you can help manage their behaviors and help them grow and mature. 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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bickering

Can’t you just get along.

In Poor Weather, Outdoor Exercise Often Goes Out The Window. What is the solution? Bring it inside! You do not have to be outdoors to tone your muscles and to get your heart pumping. Look at winter as a chance to shake up your fitness routine. The same exercise routine, day in and day out, can start to get boring to you and stop challenging you. Create a set of activities that will work regardless of what the weather is. Consider riding an exercise bike or swimming indoors, doing aerobic dance or calisthenics, climbing stairs or skipping rope. Do you love to walk? Log in some miles at the local mall.

Need some more inside exercise tips? Try out a few of these:

  1. Turn your chores into a workin. Burn some calories by mopping, scrubbing or vacuuming.
  2. Dance to your favorite upbeat music.
  3. Join an exercise class. Try some yoga, kickboxing or body building/sculpting. Variety can keep you motivated and interested. A class also offers consistency and a social outlet.
  4. Work out to fitness videos or DVD’s. For variety, check out a few from your local library.
  5. Purchase a gym membership. Look for seasonal deals at a fitness club.
  6. Purchase some home exercise gear, such as a treadmill, stationary exercise bike or an elliptical trainer.
  7. Exercise as you watch your favorite TV shows. Get off the couch and lift weights. Do some leg lifts or stretching.

Now that you have plenty of ideas, there will no excuse for getting out of shape during the winter months. 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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workout

Making Your Workout A Workin

 

Share your favorite and best stuff with us. We want to see what kind of things you are into. Just leave your comments or post a link to your content in the comments section. Thanks! 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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sharing

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Here is the quiz, just as promised:

1. Attitude
My kid…
a. dislikes getting ready and going to school
b. suddenly likes school less than he used to
c. has always enjoyed going to school

2. Temperament
I would describe my kid as…
a. extremely talkative
b. introverted
c. easily distracted

3. Assignments
My child tends to…
a. ask for help
b. claim she has no homework (then I later find out she does)
c. complete assignments quickly and easily

4. Abilities
When it comes to getting his schoolwork done, he…
a. procrastinates until I take something away (like an iPad)
b. completes assignments independently
c. sometimes has trouble with subjects taught in class

5. Behavior
Lately I have noticed that my child…
a. seems less focused
b. is not interested in educational toys or games
c. finds school more enjoyable than previously

Answer Key:
1. b 2. c 3. b 4. a 5. a

If you matched four or more answers it is worth exploring the possibility of a tutor.
If you matched three answers your child could use extra help from a teacher, a tutor or you.
If you matched two or fewer answers your kid probably does not need a tutor.

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tutoring

Private tutoring is turning into a big trend or as your child’s English teacher might say, “Enormous.” It is over a $5 billion per year operation and is becoming more popular at even younger ages. Many of the larger tutoring companies now offer even Pre-K programs. Some parents want to give their children an early edge.

A typical 4-year-old starting at this early of an age would get an hour’s worth of tutoring five days a week to develop reading skills and basic memory training. The earlier a kid starts learning, the better chance they have of getting into the best schools.

Certainly, that is not at all typical for most families. There is little evidence that a pumped up Pre-K learning is a pipeline to a primo college. However, it has been found that kids who entered kindergarten with solid elementary reading and math skills are most likely to excel in school later on.

At this age, tutoring is about building skills and confidence rather than addressing any deficiencies. It might involve teaching basic skills such as problem solving, numbers, new words and science. Children with even a small foundation of knowledge experience a significant academic advantage relative to their classmates. The tutoring sessions also provide a set time to sit and focus. This is a valuable practice in an age when technology pulls kids’ attention in every direction.

If your kid is on par with his peers, your child’s preschool teacher can help assess this, there is no need to hire a tutor. But if they are struggling a bit, should you consider the extra help? To find out, our next post will include a quiz for you to find out.

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tutoring