Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

Lead Your Child By Example

For your child to become truly open minded toward all kinds of people, you need to be a positive role model. In a study done in Child Development, the lone factor shown to reduce children’s prejudice was whether their parents had a friend of another race. If you say, “We should be friends with all kinds of people”, but the only ones who come over for dinner are those who look like you, what is your child going to think?

There are a lot of parents that talk a good game about embracing diversity, yet subtly communicate something totally different. Do you laugh when you hear a joke about a racial group? Are you willing to point out intolerance when you see it? We know that kids learn from what they see more than from what they hear. Check out one of our recent posts on respect. 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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Diverse Dinner

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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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Just because your child can sing their ABC’s does not mean that they know their letters. It means that they have memorized a song. To help them become more familiar with the letters they will start seeing every day in the classroom, try this little exercise.

  • Write each letter on an index card
  • Mix them up on the floor
  • See if your child can arrange them from A-Z

You can help them by putting out every fourth letter and encouraging them to fill in the blanks. With repetition they will soon become familiar with the order. Keep in mind that by age 4 most preschools expect a child to recognize their name, and will encourage them to start writing it. Make this a fun activity by writing it in chalk on the sidewalk or with a stick in the sand. Check out our post on setting the stage. 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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ABC

These summertime activities will help your little one get ready for their first day of school.

We all love a relaxing summer. But the transition to a structured school day in the fall will not be quite as big a shock to your child if you begin a routine and integrate some learning into their day now. Whether your little one is going to preschool for the first time or returning for another year, try these simple ways to make the shift to the classroom a smooth one. In our following post we will give you some great ideas to help in this transition. 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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independent

I am sure that you have already discussed the topic before, but now is a good time for a bit of a refresher course. Rather than bringing up stealing randomly and making your child think that they are in trouble, get the conversation started by reading a children’s book together like Ricky Sticky Fingers, by Julia Cook, or watching a movie together like Despicable Me. Then ask your child what they think about the behavior of the characters. Remind them what stealing is, Stealing is taking something that belongs to someone else without asking permission. And also let them know why it is wrong. Stealing makes the other person feel sad. It may help if you give a specific example of stealing. Tell them that taking a toy car from the store without paying for it is stealing. Then see if your child can determine if certain scenarios, like putting the teacher’s pen in their backpack, borrowing a book from the library, or taking papers from Dad’s briefcase are considered stealing as 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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Stealing

Your little one asks for a cup of water, and just as you hand it to her, she screams “NO!” and swats it away. Why did she freak out? When she asked for water, she wanted it with her Dora cup and the straw you gave to her yesterday, not the little purple sippy cup. What is wrong with you?

For toddlers, language issues are often the cause of emotional upsets. For the cup scenario is just a classic example. Your daughter expected exactly what she got last time, but she simply did not have the vocabulary to ask for that particular cup. And even though she did not react politely, it actually makes sense, in this case, to give it to her. Look at it this way: You are meeting your child’s need, now that you have figured it out, and you might even be preventing an even bigger meltdown.

Toddlers do read faces very well, so use both your voice and your language to convey your message to them. And pay attention to your child’s nonverbal cues, such as tilting her head when she does not quite understand something you have said. At least, as much as her words, the results just may surprise you.

One last piece of advice: Instead of spending your energy cleaning up every last mess and worrying about discipline, embrace the toddler perspective more often. You may actually discover a more creative side to yourself and a more cooperative side to your toddler. 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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Sticky Fingers

 

This does not mean that no one will ever fight. Conflict and connection go hand in hand. The opposite of connection is not conflict, it is indifference. It also helps to remind kids that they are allies. If you give kids a task to do together, it will reduce the conflict. This works well with my twins, and it will work well for you too. “You guys are fighting a lot over the Legos,” I said to them last summer. ” Do you want to figure out a way to organize them so that they are easier to share?” The kids wrote down some notes, pulled some containers from the recycling bin, and separated building areas. This calling on the conflicted parties to come up with their own solutions is one of my favoeite resolution strategies.

Of course, this is not always going to work with a grubby-footed baby who is staggering joyfully around the tent, getting mud all over her brother’s sleeping bag. Or with the remorseless snatch-and-go toddler who steals every one of the Lincoln Logs that her sister lays down. But even then, you can try taking the big kid aside and saying, “This is so frustrating for you. What do you think we can do about it?” You may be surprised by the way a child will rise to the problem-solving occasion. “Let’s fill the bucket and wash her feet in it!” or “What if I give her a turn with my special farm?” or even, “I do not know. I hate it when she does that.” At the very least, but something has shifted in me. I feel a kind of awareness that there is not another, better life we are traveling toward. There is just this life here, in this car, with these kids whom I love, whose needs are different from mine and just as important. Staying connected is the key. It is where kids get the attitudes, optimisn, zest for life, and resilience that tell the story abut how happy they will be. I can not think of a better story I would rather tell.

Did you read the Story of Abundance. That post ties in greatly with this one. Check it out! 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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Conflict