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Posts Tagged ‘Child Development’

5 Games that Make Kids Smarter

January 31, 2015

hopscotch-educational

I love playing games with my students. I am always looking to use a game to help teach a math or language skill. Below are 5 games said to make children smarter courtesy of Sasha Brown-Worsham:

 

Battleship: In Battleship, “you are thinking about space,” Jirout says. “You need to figure out which direction their ship is in and how you can use effective questioning to get there.” It’s not a game one might immediately jump to when you think of STEM skills, but those are precisely the skills it builds.

Hopscotch: Although, not in the category of blocks, board games, and puzzles, this very physical game also involves numbers and spatial orientation, says Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, Director of Defending the Early Years, an organization dedicated to helping educators fight testing and all the things that take away from the way children truly learn. “Children practice large and small motor skills and spatial relationships as they draw the game with chalk, McLaughlin says. “And then toss their pebbles and jump along the numbered spaces. There is so much to figure out and do.”

Chutes and Ladders: Many parents probably have fond memories of this game and of rolling the dice and climbing to the top only to shoot back down the slide. But this game is more than just luck and chance and fun. “The board itself is made up of a grid,” Jirout says. There is a counting, math component to it all, but also a strong sense of spatial orientation. Where is my opponent compared to me? How can I catch him? What number do I need to get to get there?

Jenga: There was no game more exciting — or more simple — than Jenga. Simply pull a block from the tower and hope and pray it doesn’t fall. But there is so much more to it, says McLaughlin. “Children develop eye-hand coordination and experiment with gravity as well as cause and effect,” she says. “They will learn that the blocks are more stable on some surfaces than others. The sounds that travel from the falling blocks will very depending on how high the tower gets, and the surface they are playing on.”

Blocks: Give a child an old-fashioned stack of blocks and let them go to town. There are so many varieties — cardboard, wooden, Legos, Bristle, and more — but they all have one thing in common: Children are manipulating in three dimensions. They are feeling the weight of the blocks in their hands. They are imagining something in their head and making it real. Blocks help children learn how to manipulate and change the world around them.

Click on the link to read Try Sitting Still as Much as the Average Student Has To

Click on the link to read Things Middle School Students Wish We Knew

Click on the link to read Watch a Classic Argument in Action (Video)

Click on the link to read 7 Things a Quiet Student Wishes Their Teacher Knew

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Try Sitting Still as Much as the Average Student Has To

January 19, 2015

chair

If you want to improve the behaviour of the classroom you could do worse than treat your students the same way as you wish to be treated. Just like I find sitting on the mat utterly uncomfortable I try to minimise the amount of time they are on the mat. Just like I can’t sit still for too long before feeling under duress, so too I allow my students to experience active lessons that mixes learning with some movement.

The truth of the matter is that kids are bound to their seats or the mat for way too long. It is unhealthy and bad for the brain. Don’t take my word for it. Read this wonderful piece by pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom:

 

Except for brief periods of getting up and switching classrooms, I’ve been sitting for the past 90 excruciating minutes. I look down at my leg and notice it is bouncing. Great, I think to myself, now I’m fidgeting! I’m doing anything I can to pay attention – even contorting my body into awkward positions to keep from daydreaming. It is useless, I checked out about forty-five minutes ago. I’m no longer registering anything the teacher is saying. I look around the room to see how the children a few decades younger than me are doing.

I’m immersed in a local middle-school classroom environment. I quickly realize I’m not the only one having a hard time paying attention. About 50 percent of the children are fidgeting and most of the remaining children are either slouched in the most unnatural positions imaginable or slumped over their desks. A child suddenly gets up to sharpen their pencil. A few minutes later, another child raises their hand and asks to go to the bathroom. In fact, at least three children have asked to go to the bathroom in the past twenty minutes. I’m mentally exhausted and the day has just begun. I was planning on observing the whole day. I just can’t do it. I decide to leave right after lunch.

There is no way I could tolerate six hours of sitting even just one day, never mind every day – day after day. How on Earth do these children tolerate sitting this long? Well, the short answer is they don’t. Their bodies aren’t designed for extended periods of sitting. In fact, none of our bodies are made to stay sedentary for lengths of time. This lack of movement and unrelenting sitting routine, are wreaking havoc on their bodies and minds. Bodies start to succumb to these unnatural positions and sedentary lifestyle through atrophy of the muscles, tightness of ligaments (where there shouldn’t be tightness), and underdeveloped sensory systems – setting them up for weak bodies, poor posturing, and inefficient sensory processing of the world around them.

If most of the classroom is fidgeting and struggling to even hold their bodies upright, in desperation to stay engaged – this is a really good indicator that they need to move more. In fact, it doesn’t matter how great of a teacher you are. If children have to learn by staying in their seats most of the day, their brains will naturally tune out after a while – wasting the time of everyone.

Are these teachers clueless to the benefits of movement? No. Most teachers know that movement is important. And many would report that they are downright and overwhelmingly frustrated by their inability to let children move more throughout the day. “We are expected to cram more and more information down their throats,” gripes one middle school teacher. “It is insane! We can no longer teach according to what we feel is developmentally appropriate.” Another teacher explains, “due to the high-stakes testing, even project-based learning opportunities are no longer feasible. Too many regulations, not enough time.”

They go on to explain that recess has been lost due to lack of space and time as well as fear that children will get injured. “Too many children were getting hurt,” says a teacher. “Parents were calling and complaining about scrapped knees and elbows – the rest was history.” Even their brief break from instruction during snack time is no longer a reality. These few minutes of freedom are now replaced with a “working snack” in order to pack in a quick vocabulary lesson. Physical education is held only every sixth day, so technically this isn’t even a weekly affair.

The children line up for lunchtime. “Come watch this,” a teacher yells over to me. The children line up in pairs and are told to be quiet. Once everyone is quiet, two teachers (one in front of the line and one in back) escort the children down to the cafeteria. The thought of prison inmates quickly comes to mind, as I watch the children walk silently, side by side down the corridors of the school hallway. I’m told they are to remain quiet and seated throughout the lunch period. “I feel so bad for them,” exclaims the teacher. “They are so ready for down time during lunch, but are still required to sit and be silent!”

Many parents are also becoming increasingly unsatisfied with the lack of recess and movement their children are getting in middle school. One mother states, “Middle school kids in particular are just coming out of the elementary school environment, consisting of multiple breaks throughout the day. These kids are still young, and depending on the district, could be just 10-years-old going into middle school. They are experiencing a great change already in the transition alone. A break during the day is what they need to re-group.”

This same parent contacted the district’s school board members who ultimately make many of the decisions regarding school policies. She also met with the principal and deans and created an online petition consisting of a strong parent community advocating for more movement in school. The results? A brief five to ten-minute walk outdoors after lunch, which the teachers explain is really half a lap around the building and back indoors they go. “It may not be recess–but it’s a good start,” this mother states. “However, I still believe it’s necessary to make it school policy that all kids get a longer break.”

I ask the teachers what kids do when they get home from school. “About 60 percent of them are over-scheduled. The other 40 percent have no one home, so they do what they want – which often relates to playing video games,” a teacher complains. “I’d say we have only a handful of children that go home and find time to play.” Both teachers try to keep homework meaningful and under an hour, knowing kids need time to release after a long day of school.

Even middle-school children need opportunities to play. This past summer, a teacher at one of our TimberNook camps brought along his 12-year-old daughter, Sarah as a “co-counselor.” Sarah was excited about being a counselor alongside a college student for their small group of five children. In the past, she had simply been a camper. However, as soon as the group set out into the deep woods, dispersed, and started to play,  she quickly switched roles. She instantly forgot about her new status and jumped wholeheartedly into the pretend world, alongside the younger children. What took place next, was quite remarkable.

Sarah climbed high onto a fallen log that ascended to the very top of their newly designed teepee, donned with fresh ferns to camouflage their rustic “living quarters.” She wore a brightly colored feathered mask on top of her forehead. “Listen,” she said to the group of children gathered around her. “We need to get ready for the opposing team’s attack.” She took the time to look each of the children in the eye. “You,” she said to one of the bigger kids in the group. “You are now appointed as top commander.” “Julie,” she said to a girl that is known to be one of the fastest runners in the group. “You are going to be our top spy.” She proceeded to roles for each of the children to play.

Her age, strength, and intelligence made her their natural chosen leader and the children respected her decisions. She played just as hard as the other children. She forgot about her new role as co-counselor for the rest of the week, except to occasionally lead a group song or chant during morning meeting. The fun of being a camper and free play trumped all responsibility. She was still a child. She was not ready to give up her right to free play. Who could blame her?

Why do we assume that children don’t need time to move or play once they reach sixth grade, or even fifth grade? They are only children! In fact, I would argue that we all could benefit from opportunities to play, even up through adulthood. Everyone needs downtime. Time to move our bodies. Time to get creative and escape the rigors of reality.

What can we do for our middle-school children? I asked Jessica Lahey, a middle school teacher, contributing writer at The Atlantic, and author of the upcoming book, “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed,” to give her opinion on the matter.

“Teachers are often afraid that if they let children move, it will be hard to get them to settle back down again. This shouldn’t stop us from providing them with the necessary movement children need in order to learn. Middle-school children can always benefit from recess! Also, when I taught for Crossroads Academy, we had some great nature trails behind our school through the woods. I would often take my whole English class for walks. I’d give them a topic to ponder and then we’d walk for ten minutes to think about the question. We’d huddle and discuss the topic. Then, I’d throw out another question and we’d start to walk again.”

Jessica explains that this is also true for schools in urban regions. Children can walk to museums or local parks to explore and learn. They can bring along their writing journals and assess the world and culture around them. Learning doesn’t have to be done in a chair. Jessica goes on to tell me that one time, she had her middle-school children practice public speaking by taking turns standing on a small bridge over a rumbling brook. They had to learn to project their voice over the babbling brook in order to be heard by the rest of class. “It was a good practical lesson and there is something about nature that grounds the child, taking away the anxiety that typically comes with public-speaking,” Jessica reports.

All people in decision-making positions for school policies should be required to sit through at least one school day and experience first-hand what is required of children today. Then they will have a better idea of what is appropriate and what isn’t. Then they will start to think about what their decisions mean for real children in real schools. Maybe then, they will begin to value children’s need to move, need to play, and the need to be respected as the human beings that they are.

Middle school-age children need to move – just like everyone else!

 

The Skills They Think We Don’t Teach, But Actually Do

December 30, 2014

skills

I have attached an article listing 15 life skills that teachers apparently don’t teach.  I certainly cover most of these and I would be surprised if many teachers do as well:

 

1. Basic financial management

I’m not talking about stocks and portfolios (but, okay, those too), I just mean the very simple, very necessary art of budgeting and making household finance decisions. This is one area that kids could use some expert guidance, considering most parents weren’t taught properly themselves.

2. Understanding credit and student loans

A class on interest rates alone would have saved me from a few mega financial blunders.

3. Relationship counseling

We take classes and a test before getting a driver’s license. We take lord knows how many exams before getting into college. We’re even offered a variety of parenting/birthing/breastfeeding classes before having a baby. And yet I could walk into a courthouse with a simple registration and some makeshift rings and call it a marriage. How can something so complicated and important — something that affects everything from our money to our health to our happiness — have next-to-no training or instructions?

This is another thing that should be learned at home in theory, except many kids have really crappy relationship role models because their parents had crappy role models because THERE’S NO EDUCATION ON MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS.

4. Personal communication skills

Children are being born into a world of silent communication (texting, emailing, messengering, etc.), and so their personal communication skills — how to engage and connect with other people — might need a boost. Considering our ability to effectively communicate will affect every single aspect of life, it’s astounding how little attention it’s given in school.

5. The power of negotiation

Unless we had the insight to join a debate team, we probably never learned the art of negotiation — something all adults will need at some point, whether negotiating with a boss, a bank, or a spouse.

6. Emotional awareness/intelligence

We learn plenty about our physical health, but what about our emotional and mental health? What about our inner worlds? Could there be any topic more relevant to students and young adults than understanding and managing their stress, anxiety, and emotions? If mindfulness and emotional awareness was as essential to the public school curriculum as Common Core math strategies, we just might raise a healthier generation of humans.

7. Digital etiquette

‘Tis the time to teach selfie regulation, Internet kindness, and social oversharing. Our kids are inheriting a digital world, and so they’ll need to know how to exist in it.

8. Coding

You know what? Take the cursive out of my kid’s curriculum, whatever. I’d much rather him learn modern skills like coding, computer science, and search engine techniques. If we want our kids to have solid life skills, they’ll need to understand their digital environment. THIS is their life.

According to LifeHack, “Not knowing how to program will soon become synonymous to being illiterate … If you don’t know how to program, you’re merely consuming the whole world around you, which is programmed.” Yet 9 out of 10 schools aren’t teaching coding classes, and computer science doesn’t count toward high school graduation requirements in 25 out of 50 states.

9. Focus

Scientists are now realizing that the newest crop of humans have an unprecedented ability to multitask, probably due to neuroplasticity (our brains ability to adapt and change to the environment). New York magazine reported that kids can “[conduct] 34 conversations simultaneously across six different media, or pay attention to switching between attentional targets in a way that’s been considered impossible.”

But with the give comes the take, and studies show that these kids have less of an attention span than ever before. Perhaps the best thing we can teach these kids is to single-task, and to really listen and focus, rather than succumb to every distraction like a dog in a field of squirrels.

10. Identifying our passions

Marc Mason’s “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose” should be required reading.

11. The art of failing

Students are chronically rewarded for succeeding and punished for failing — but what kind of lesson does that send? Some of our most important lessons in life come from the biggest failures.

12. Time management

Learning how to stay organized, on task, and productive is something that virtually every human, in every career, will need.

13. The basics of cooking

No student should be allowed to graduate college without mastering at least one dish beyond microwavable dinners and instant oatmeal.

14. Household repairs and maintenance

I’ve been alive for almost 30 years now, and I have no idea how to fix a leaky pipe or why my car makes that rattling sound.

15. Survival skills/basic first aid

Our kids can take a test and memorize facts, but would they know how to find water if they were stranded? Can they fish? Stop a bleed? Perform CPR? Correctly lift heavy objects? Follow a map sans GPS? I understand that these are skills learned over a lifetime, but shouldn’t we have at least one class on the basics of human survival?

Click on the link to read Things Middle School Students Wish We Knew

Click on the link to read Watch a Classic Argument in Action (Video)

Click on the link to read 7 Things a Quiet Student Wishes Their Teacher Knew

Click on the link to read Skills That Aren’t Taught But Should Be: #1 People Skills

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Skills That Aren’t Taught But Should Be: #1 People Skills

August 19, 2014

crash

 

Is it just me or are people afraid of human interaction nowadays? It’s almost as if people go around with an invisible shell that protects them from the outside world.

There was once a time where it was considered rude if you didn’t make an effort to get to know your next door neighbors. Now it’s hardly novel for people to admit that they have never once uttered a word to those living next door.

Today I visited my local supermarket. I make a point of avoiding the self service checkout and go to a regular register instead. I feel bad that machines are taking the place of people and make sure I support the check-out personnel, even if it involves a longer wait. This afternoon I noticed that the regular aisles were empty but the self-service area was banked up. I can understand that people use the self-service machines for convenience, but it seems they also like it because it gives them yet another opportunity to avoid human interaction.

I remember in my early days of teaching, I was having a general discussion with my Grade 3 students. They were talking about the size of their homes. One pointed out that she has 2 homes because her parents are divorced. Her friends were in shock.

“I didn’t know your parents were divorced” one of the said. “So are mine.”

“Really?”

“Mine are too” said another

“So are mine” said another.

Now I know that children are reluctant to freely open up about such things, but it surprised me that classmates would take 3-5 years of being around each other on a daily basis before finding that out.

There is often reports in the media of a religion or culture that claims to be misunderstood or isolated, and you can understand why. There just isn’t enough effort on the part of society to leave the cocoon and start interacting with others. Especially those who are seemingly different from them. It’s just like in the brilliant Academy Award winning movie, Crash – people only deal with others when they literally crash into them. And of course by then, the interaction is never going to be healthy.

You would think that the schoolyard is the best place to address this issue. After all, schools don’t play favourites, they don’t seek to isolate and they try to encourage positive social interactions.

Or, maybe not ….

Some of the playground rules I have covered over the past few years do anything but that which I have just expressed. Take the school which has banned its students from having best friends. That’s right, banning best friends! In other words, to teach children not to exclude the school steps in and excludes for them.

And then there are the schools following this insane trend of outlawing touching. This includes not just hugging and holding hands but also high-fiving.  Just crazy!

So the very institution that can set a strong and purposeful platform for inclusion, unity and human interaction is actually, at least in some cases, preaching the opposite. They would rather see each child on their own instead of in friendship groups embracing one another.

I feel like we are missing an extraordinarily important opportunity. I see it as vital that we help our students to break the shackles and help them to want to connect with others in a meaningful way.

 

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

Click on the link to read This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools

Click on the link to read Political Correctness at School

Click on the link to read What Are We Doing to Our Kids?

Click on the link to read Stop Banning Our Kids From Being Kids

Smartphones and Tablets Blamed for Stunting Our Kids’ Speech

June 23, 2014

 

tablet

I find it ironic that some of the best speech pathologists use smartphone and tablet apps as a central plank of their clinical treatment. It seems that these devises are also blamed for creating the problem in the first place.

My view is that the best way to enhance a child’s vocabulary is to speak to them regularly. Unfortunately, many parents don’t have the same time with their kids that previous generations have had. The modern working family often relies on child care, which is not always the best place for kids to get regular conversations.

MORE children are starting school with serious speech problems because parents relying on smartphones and iPads as “babysitting” tools are allowing excessive use, education leaders have warned.

Up to one in eight children in some preschool and Reception classes need speech therapy because they have been starved of conversation and not read to enough at home.

School leaders want more access to speech pathologists to tackle growing numbers of students struggling to make basic phonetic sounds.

Some parents are resorting to private therapy even before their children begin kindergarten.

SA Primary Principals Association president Pam Kent said digital devices were “a fantastic tool” but “they should not be a babysitting device”.

“It’s not that we’re sledging parents but all these (electronic) activities need to be monitored in moderation. They are quite addictive and children can become quite obsessive about them,” she said.

I would like to see teachers modify their expectation of preschool language standards and instead of farming under performing children to speech pathologists, show a greater preparedness to fast track them from within the classroom.

Let’s just assume that children have less than ideal skills in areas such as speech and build a curriculum that meets these challenges rather than sticks up the white flag and reaches for the nearest specialist.

 

Click on the link to read A Preschooler’s Most Memorable Graduation Speech (Video)

Click on the link to read Is “Bubble Wrapping” Your Child Really Worthwhile?

Click on the link to read The Ease in Which Our Children Can be Brainwashed (Video)

Click on the link to read Teaching Young Children the 3Rs Could be Damaging: Psychologist

Click on the link to read 7 Ways To Teach Kids Self-Awareness

Click on the link to read Kids Explain the Meaning of Happiness

Is “Bubble Wrapping” Your Child Really Worthwhile?

May 25, 2014

 

bubble

We all do it. Too afraid to risk a serious injury to your precious child we say, “Steer clear of that” or “Get off that ledge”. Nobody wants to see their child break a bone or scream in pain.

As a stay-at-home father I take my son to a park almost ever single day. The idea is to let him run around and enjoy the fresh air. But let’s face it, the average park is a great disappointment.  The equipment is designed to seem fun, but when tested is severely underwhelming. The slides are slow, the climbing apparatus is hardly off the ground and the greatest element of danger is being accidentally bumped into by another eager child. Park designers are simply afraid of potential lawsuits, so they design a layout high on colour and style and low on substance.

I read the following opinion piece in an online Canadian newspaper. I couldn’t agree with it more:

 

Imagine spending childhood outdoors, running, playing and even, heaven forbid, getting dirty.

Not only does it sound like a lot more fun than a play date booked three weeks in advance at an indoor gym under the protective watch of parents, but it’s also healthier.

And, unfortunately, it’s something that fewer and fewer Canadian children get to do, putting them at risk of growing overweight or just out of shape and, frankly, unadventurous.

As the Star’s Diana Zlomislic reported this past week, the first global report card to measure childhood physical activity gives Canadian youngsters an embarrassing D-minus score, behind top-rated countries like New Zealand, Mexico and even benighted Mozambique.

Leave aside the pointless comparison with a desperately poor country where kids do physical domestic chores like collecting water and walk to school as a matter of course. Ranked beside comparable countries, Canada still looks bad. Parents here may spend significant sums on structured activities but only 4 per cent of young people aged 12 to 17 get an hour of high cardio activity each day, according to a report by Active Healthy Kids Canada.

While it’s long been known that children are devoted to video games and parents stuck in gridlock run out of time to go outside with their kids and play, it’s fair to suggest that a little extra effort is needed.

Release those youngsters from the parental “bubblewrap,” as Healthy Kids’ researchers rightly suggest, and give them the freedom to play. Outdoor, unstructured play can provide kids with better exercise than the expensive programming.

As Healthy Kids’ chief scientific officer Dr. Mark Tremblay says, “We need to stop treating physical activity like a vitamin, something you take once a day.”

 

Teaching Young Children the 3Rs Could be Damaging: Psychologist

April 24, 2014

 

reading

Teaching young children the 3Rs may not be the only skills a teacher or parent should be imparting to their young students, but it is hardly damaging. A considerate, patient and skilled person can teach all kind of skills without causing the distress alarmist psychologists make us believe occurs:

 

Cambridge University lecturer David Whitebread said it was important for parents to play with their children, as these youngsters were more likely to enjoy solving problems, and better equipped to cope with failure.

Former primary school teacher Mr Whitebread also claimed the government was overly concerned with getting children to learn the 3Rs at an ever decreasing age, and said younger children were better off learning to cook alongside their parents.

Mr Whitebread, a developmental cognitive psychologist, said that although learning to read was an important skill, teaching reading, writing and arithmatic to toddlers was a waste of government money and the child’s time.

Mr Whitebread said that learning to read at to young an age could even be damaging for a child.

‘Instead the parent can share something they love, such as making cakes, or tinkering with engines, the key is partly sharing the enthusiasm but mainly the conversations you have with the child while doing it.’

 

Click on the link to read 7 Ways To Teach Kids Self-Awareness

Click on the link to read Kids Explain the Meaning of Happiness

Click on the link to read 5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Encourage Children to Play

Click on the link to read Allowing Children to Stand Out From the Pack

Click on the link to read Hilarious Examples of Kids Telling It As It Is

7 Ways To Teach Kids Self-Awareness

April 8, 2014

helmet

Courtesy of Sherrie Campbell, PhD:

 

1. Be a good role model.
In order to parent self-awareness, you have to have it yourself. This means that you demonstrate through your own behaviors that you can calm your anxieties and frustrations and not act out in a negative way. If you start to act out, demonstrate that you can call a time-out on yourself and get centered again.

2. Accept and recognize your child’s feelings.
Emotions are emotions. They are temporary energies meant to pass through. If we accept and acknowledge what our children are feeling, the emotions pass through much more quickly and with more understanding. Taking this time to sit with their feelings helps them to not act emotions out in a negative way. Accept the feelings from their viewpoint, and then, if possible, spin them in a positive light.

3. When in doubt, empathize.
Your empathy teaches children their emotional life is not threatening, abnormal or scary. Their emotions are not shameful or defective. They are human and manageable. In this way, you teach your children they are not alone. This helps them see that even the less-than-perfect parts of themselves are acceptable, which helps them to accept themselves and others more wholly.

4. Do not encourage the avoidance of emotions.
Emotions may be uncomfortable, but never minimize them to your children or tell your kids to “move on.” Refrain from telling them what they are feeling is wrong. They may not be ready to move on, and it is important for children to learn to navigate the uncomfortable. This is how they learn and grow. We must teach them that whatever they avoid will return in the form of a similar and harder lesson, so they may as well do their learning now.

5. Encourage communication.
Repressing feelings doesn’t work. Repressed sadness turns into depression; repressed anger turns into rage; repressed envy turns into jealousy; repressed love turns into possession; and repressed fear turns into anxiety/panic. When we reject or ignore our children’s emotions, this causes them to repress, which leads to more severe and chronic emotional problems all throughout life. Let them express freely.

6. Time, attention and listening.
Actively listen to your children. You do not have to agree with what they say or feel, but to argue against it doesn’t allow them to hear or know who they are as unique people. Accept their feelings, repeat them back to them for understanding, and listen. Show that you care and can see their point of view.

7. Teach problem solving.
Most of the time, when children experience that their emotions are understood and accepted, the emotions lose their charge and begin to dissipate. This leaves an opening for problem solving. Sometimes, kids can do this themselves. Ask them how they want or think they should handle the situation which is upsetting them. This helps them to hear themselves out, and to learn to make good decisions from within. Sometimes, they need your help to brainstorm, but resist the urge to handle the problem for them; that gives them the message that you don’t have confidence in their ability to handle the problem on their own.

 

Click on the link to read Kids Explain the Meaning of Happiness

Click on the link to read 5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Encourage Children to Play

Click on the link to read Allowing Children to Stand Out From the Pack

Click on the link to read Hilarious Examples of Kids Telling It As It Is

Click on the link to read Kids Can Operate an iPad but Can’t Tie their Shoelaces

Kids Explain the Meaning of Happiness

April 6, 2014

 

Click on the link to read 5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Encourage Children to Play

Click on the link to read Allowing Children to Stand Out From the Pack

Click on the link to read Hilarious Examples of Kids Telling It As It Is

Click on the link to read Kids Can Operate an iPad but Can’t Tie their Shoelaces

Click on the link to read What is the Difference Between Over-Praising Children and Lying to Them?

Never Take the Dream out of the Child

March 3, 2014

ellis cashmore

It doesn’t matter how far fetched a child’s dreams may be, or how much it seems to distract them from their schoolwork, their dreams are vital to their growth and development.

A child’s dream is indicative of where their passions lie, and too many of us suppress our passions in favor of the socially acceptable and mundane. Not every child can become a pop star or gold medalist, but there is nothing wrong with aspiring to be either.

When I was a teenager I wished to be involved with movie making. I didn’t have to be the star or the director, I would have settled being the personal assistant to the editor.

Fast forward to adulthood and I may not be in the movie industry as such, but my desire to make it in movies was particularly helpful and instructive. It made me aware that what I really wanted was to make a difference. Just like the movies I watched as a child made a difference to me, I wanted to find a career that would allow me to inspire others.

That’s why I am completely at odds with the academic that spoke against allowing children to dream big:

Focusing on sporting success is a waste of time because ‘very, very few children’ are going to make it, an academic has said.

Ellis Cashmore, a professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, says there is little proof that the Olympic Games create any kind of meaningful sporting legacy.

And he believes it is high time parents realised children are more likely to make the finals of shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent than become sporting heroes of any sort.

‘We shouldn’t be trying to channel all of our energy into this pursuit of excellence in sports when very, very few children are going to succeed at any kind of level at all,’ he said.

‘My answer to parents who tell me their child might become a leading footballer or athlete is that they are putting them at risk of serious injury or closer to the world of performance-enhancing drugs.

‘I ask them: “Are you happy about that?” and they say: “It won’t happen to my child”.

‘To which I reply: “But it goes with the territory”. The cheats are very often those at the top.

Ellis Cashmore says there is little proof that the Olympic Games create any kind of meaningful sporting legacy

‘Do we want to churn out one-dimensional characters who leave no stone unturned in pursuit of excellence?’

 

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