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Posts Tagged ‘Moms’

8 Methods to Stop Your Child From Being a Bully

December 31, 2014

 

 

Courtesy of via huffingtonpost.com:

 

1. Your child needs to be aware of others’ inner experiences.
It needs to become second nature to him to think about others and their feelings almost as quickly as he thinks of his own. Many parents validate one child’s perspective, but fail to discuss their own feelings or feelings of another child. Just validating your own child’s feelings does not teach him that there are other people in the world whose feelings matter.

Example of validating your child:

“I see you felt really angry right there when John took your ball.”

Example of teaching empathy:

“I see you felt really angry right there when John took your ball. He looked angry too. I think he thought you were going to play with him, but then you ended up playing alone.”

2. Discuss your own emotions too.
It does children no good to view a parent as having no weaknesses or vulnerable emotions. If they can empathize with you, they will remember this and it will facilitate self-compassion when they are an adult behaving as you do. Here’s an example of that:

“I’m sorry you got upset when Mommy didn’t play with you. Mommy was feeling anxious because she had a lot of cleaning to do before our friends come over. I will play with you now.”

3. Discuss both siblings’ or friends’ emotions after any conflict, validating and empathizing with both sides. Do not only validate the child whose actions you agree with more.
Example: “You were mad that your sister grabbed your doll, and she was feeling sad that you weren’t paying attention to her.  That’s probably why she grabbed it.”  You’re not condoning any behavior, but just giving a value-free description of the emotions underlying each child’s actions.

4. Make sure to speak for those who cannot speak, such as pets or babies.  
“Why is baby crying?  I wonder if he is hungry or tired? What do you think?” And a zero tolerance policy for meanness to those smaller and weaker than yourself.  Horton Hears A Who! by Dr. Seuss is a good book to serve as a springboard for a discussion about why it is important to look out for those smaller than yourself.

5. When you interact with others outside the home, discuss their feelings later together.
“I wonder what Grandma was thinking when she waved bye bye to you. I think she was happy she visited with you, but also a little sad you had to go. What do you think?”

You can also do this with characters in books and on TV.

6. Aim for consistency around the issue of meanness and teasing.
Any name-calling or making fun of others should be nipped in the bud right away.  Bad names and mean words are unacceptable, even from the smallest child. Don’t laugh or roll your eyes when your 3-year-old calls Daddy a poopy head. This just shows her that bad names are okay and even funny. Instead, say something like, “It hurts Daddy’s feelings when you call him a bad name. That is not nice and it’s not okay.”

You and your partner or any other caregiver should get on the same page about “teasing.” Often, one parent thinks that gentle teasing is okay, and a more sensitive parent or child then ends up getting hurt a lot because the less sensitive family members are “just” teasing them multiple times a day. This is especially a salient issue with Highly Sensitive Children.  I recommend that this is discussed openly in a family, e.g. “Mary thinks that you calling her sillyhead isn’t funny, so please don’t say that to her. Joe thinks it’s funny so we can say it to him. Whenever someone says they don’t think teasing is funny, it means we should stop right away.”

7. When children see others who are different from them, e.g. with special needs or birth defects, it is important to discuss that everyone has feelings and wants friends.  
Don’t be content with just telling your kids not to talk meanly or make fun of these children. You should go up and say hello and introduce yourselves.  Read this wonderful article by a mom of a little boy with a craniofacial disorder for more on this.

8. When you are mean, apologize.  
Don’t just feel ashamed and then try to silently make it up to your child or partner later. Own your mean behavior. This is extremely important because you’re modeling taking responsibility for your mean behavior. Children learn from what they see you do much more than from what you tell them to you.

Example: “I’m sorry I grabbed your arm roughly when you pulled the stuff off the shelf in the grocery store. I did it because I was mad. But no matter what I was feeling, grabbing you wasn’t okay.”

 

If I can add to the list I would recommend having your child watch the entire How to UnMake a Bully series. I was fortunate enough to have some involvement in the installment above.

 

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Gift Ideas for Children that Are Not Toys

November 9, 2014

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A clever and useful list of gift ideas by mother of 6 and blogger Rachel Jones:

 

18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children

1. Classes. Music, dance, riding, drawing — classes are a great way to encourage children in their interests and let them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy.

2. Memberships. Zoo, science museum, children’s museum, YMCA membership, etc. These are particularly great for family gifts! Many young families want to enjoy day outings, but affording them can be a challenge, so give them the gift of a yearly membership.

3. Subscriptions. Kids enjoy getting things in the mail. Why not encourage their reading by getting them a magazine subscription for something they are interested in!

4. Events. Movie tickets, or tickets to a play, concert or sports event are really exciting! Having an event to look forward to makes the rest of life more enjoyable.

5. Activities. Mini golf, bowling, skating rink. These are so much fun! And a big part of the fun is going together. Children love spending time with the adults in their lives; they want to see you enjoying your time as well as enjoying them.

6. Recipe and Ingredients. Kids love cooking with their parents. Baking something special or cooking dinner is an ideal time to spend together and learn life skills. Print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients and set a date for cooking together.

7. Crafting Date. Our daughter loves making crafts. I do, too; I really do enjoy the creative aspect. But I rarely take time out to do it with her. These crafting dates mean the world to our creative little girl. Keep a basket of craft supplies and get out a book for inspiration. We like Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight, by Marthe Jocelyn.

8. Arts and Crafts supplies. If your craft box is running low, stock up a little on things you need. Add in something fun the kids haven’t used before. A gift of arts and crafts supplies often brings on the imagination, and kids can’t wait to get to work!

9. Coupons. An envelope of coupons that they can “spend” at any time: I’ll do one chore — no questions asked; movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie!; 1:1 game of cards or basketball (whatever the child’s interest is in); sit and read a book with me; stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime.

10. Restaurant Gift Card. Dinner, ice cream, coffee, cupcake — whatever suits their fancy! Give them the freedom of inviting whomever they wish: it may be mom or dad; it may be a grandparent, aunt or even teacher they would like to spend more time with.

11. Dress-Up Clothes. These do need to be limited, but two dresses and a couple play silks can get hours and hours of play!

12. Books. We get a lot of books from the library, but there are some that I just can’t find there, or it takes us longer to read through. We have read through the entire Little House series, Narnia, and are working our way through Shel Silverstein’s books. Be sure to pass the books on when you are done, so they don’t clutter up your home.

13. Clothes. When kids only have a certain amount of clothes, they often enjoy getting clothes. Make it a point to get something that fits their style. That may mean Western clothes, superhero, fancy dresses, etc.

14. Snacks. If your child is a foodie, they will love this! Some homemade granola or cookies made just for them is a special treat!

15. Outdoor Supplies. If you are an outdoorsy family, giving kids their own fishing tackle or gardening equipment can be a big deal. It’s also something that gets left on the shelf in the garage, so you always know right where to find it.

16. Telling Time. Many children these days don’t know how to read analog, or find it takes too long to think about it, so they search for a digital watch. Getting them a cool watch makes them want to be able to tell time on it. Boys, girls, and even teenagers can be excited about this.

17. Games and Puzzles. Games and puzzles are great activities for when kids have to be indoors. It’s a good practice to have individual quiet times during the day, and having a puzzle to sit and work on by themselves helps brain development and problem solving skills. Games teach a lot, too! My kids talk about how they passed geography, just because we played Risk when they were little. Monopoly and Payday have been popular and help cement math skills. Memory games are great for younger children.

18. Calendar. Many children like to know what is going on, what day it is, how many days until ____. These kids are the ones who want to know what the plan is for the day, the order in which things will happen, what time friends are expected over, etc. They struggle with spur-of-the-moment and can be frustrating if you are a spontaneous parent. But celebrate it! These children have many strengths, and make our world run more smoothly. 🙂 Embrace their inner schedule and get them their own calendar. They can write down their own classes, appointments, playdates, etc. And if they ask you, send them to their calendar so they can get used to being in control of their own schedule. You can even schedule “spontaneous days,” so they know that something different will happen that day. Trust me, it will help them enjoy the spontaneous outings!

 

Click on the link to read When Parents Get Busted!

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25 Ways to Approach the Dreaded ‘How was School Today?’ Question

August 30, 2014

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A great list courtesy of blogger Liz Evans:

 

1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)

2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.

3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)

4. Where is the coolest place at the school?

5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)

6. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?

7. How did you help somebody today?

8. How did somebody help you today?

9. Tell me one thing that you learned today.

10. When were you the happiest today?

11. When were you bored today?

12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?

13. Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?

14. Tell me something good that happened today.

15. What word did your teacher say most today?

16. What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?

17. What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?

18. Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?

19. Where do you play the most at recess?

20. Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?

21. What was your favorite part of lunch?

22. If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?

23. Is there anyone in your class who needs a time-out?

24. If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?

25. Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school.

 

 

Click on the link to read Learning to Let Go

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Loving Parents Are Allowed to Take Some Time Out

January 22, 2014

 

time

There is a pressure on parents to put their kids first in all instances. I can understand such a policy, but I’m not sure it work all that well. There are some times when parents, no matter how loving or emotionally available they are, need some personal time.

This personal time, whilst often coming with a fair amount of guilt, can be the best thing to refresh the mind and spirit of a parent. To those parents who have yet to allow themselves regular breaks, I bid you to read the sign posted above which I recently came across. I hope it provides you with the inspiration required to stake some well deserved time out.

 

 

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Things Children can Teach us About Happiness

September 3, 2013

 

kids

 

Courtesy of Melissa Sher:

1. They go with their gut. Small children don’t spend a lot of time fretting over whether they made the right decision. They’d much prefer to spend time fretting over whether you gave them the right color of cup at lunch.

2. They live in the moment. They don’t dwell in the past. They don’t worry about the future — unless they are being told that it’s almost bedtime.

3. They believe. Little children believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the power of Band-Aids. If nothing else, trying to peel the backing off the adhesive distracts kids from what ails them. When all else fails, put a Band-Aid on it.

4. They make stuff. They draw. They sculpt. They glue. They paint. They cut anything they can get their hands on. Seriously, keep your scissors hidden and don’t say you weren’t warned.

5. They dance. Do you know the expression, “Dance like nobody’s watching”? They do that. Except for the all the times when they want to make damn sure that someone is watching.

6. They sing. They break into song at the drop of a hat. Anytime. Anywhere. Even in the bathroom. Who are we kidding? Especially in the bathroom.

7. They hum. Little children hum to themselves quite a bit. Why do they hum? Because they can’t whistle.

8. They say what they mean. They speak their mind. They don’t need to get anything off their chests because they’ve already said everything they needed to in the first place. If adults did that, there would be a lot less drinking at Thanksgiving.

9. They get excited. They get so excited! (But have a hard time understanding the “future,” so be careful when you tell your son his birthday is coming up… in a couple months.)

10. They don’t care if it’s new. A child’s favorite movies are the ones she’s seen again and again. Her favorite books are the ones she’s been read over and over. And if she has a favorite dress, she’ll want to wear it every day. But adults? We’re obsessed with new. We want to be the first to eat in a new restaurant, see a new movie or wear a designer’s new “It” bag. Adults are really annoying like that.

11. They stop and smell the roses. They’re big on smelling things. Of course, the irony is that so many small children aren’t potty trained and don’t seem to give a sh*t about their own you-know-what.

12. They don’t discriminate. Until taught otherwise, they’re accepting of everyone. Well, everyone except babies. The number one insult from a small child is being called a “baby.”

13. They admit when they’re scared. This lets us help them alleviate their fears. Sometimes, the solution is as easy as turning on a night-light. If only all of our fears could be solved by turning on a night-light.

14. They accept compliments. When you give a child a compliment, she’ll probably answer with either “thank you,” or “I know.”

15. They nap. They may go into it kicking and screaming, but most little children nap and wake up new-and-improved. We’d all be a little better off if we napped. (And richer, too, since we’d spend a whole lot less money at Starbucks.)

16. They go to bed early. But it’s not by choice and it takes a lot of effort on our part because they actually believe the expression “you snooze, you lose.”

17. They engage. Psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi calls immersing oneself fully into an activity the secret to happiness. He calls it “flow.” Children often become so deeply engrossed in what they’re doing that they don’t hear you when you call them. Tip: If they don’t answer to their name, try whispering the words “chocolate chip cookie.”

18. They march to the beat of their own drum. Literally. Little kids can often be found marching around their houses banging on things.

 

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24 Reasons Why Young Children Make us Smile

June 3, 2013

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This year I have taken leave from teaching in order to assume the position of stay-at-home dad. It is a big job and whilst I miss teaching, I have enjoyed spending the extra time with my children, doing school runs, taking my 1-year-old for walks in his stroller and watching him develop.

There is no doubt that young children can make us smile like nothing else. Below is a list written by writer and blogger Melissa Sher:

  1. That big breath before blowing out the birthday candles.
  2. A bedtime routine for a baby doll.
  3. Pasghetti. Handburgers. And other perfectly imperfect mispronunciations.
  4. Babies in sunglasses.
  5. Babies in hats.
  6. Baby thighs.
  7. Babies.
  8. A 4-year-old wearing his Halloween costume to school in April.
  9. An inability to whisper.
  10. Homemade birthday cards.
  11. Handmade jewelry.
  12. Conversations with imaginary friends.
  13. A big smile with only two bottom teeth.
  14. Flushed cheeks and damp hair after a nap.
  15. Waving “bye bye.” But doing it backwards.
  16. Left shoe on the right foot, right shoe on the left.
  17. A book read out loud by a child who can’t actually read.
  18. Galoshes. With a tutu.
  19. Songs sung in the bathroom.
  20. Freshly combed wet hair.
  21. Closing one’s eyes to disappear.
  22. The hand motions to “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
  23. Their sense of wonder.
  24. And their innocence.

 

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20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

May 20, 2013

beth

Courtesy of writer and humorist Beth Woolsey:

 

1. You are a hero for your kids. You are. You’re a go-the-distance, fight-the-dragon, face-the-challenges hero for your kids. Taking a beating makes that more true. Not less.

2. We all struggle. Every parent. Everywhere. We all second-guess ourselves. And we all want to quit sometimes. Hold the good times close, and when things are tough, remember, “this, too, shall pass.”

3. Finding the funny may not save your soul, but it will save your sanity. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, look for the humor and embrace the crazy. Laughter is a lifeline.

4. Every day, you will feel like you have mishandled something. Like you’ve been impatient. Like you’ve misjudged. Like you’ve been too harsh. Like you’ve been too lenient. You may be right. Apologize if you need to and then, whatever. Seriously. Just whatever. Let it go.

5. The crazy, the crying, the cuddles. The screaming, the sacred, the scared. The minutes, the magic, the mess. It’s all part of it. And it’s all worth it.

(more…)

20 Tips to Ensuring Your Kids Find You Embarrassing

August 9, 2012

Courtesy of blogger Jill Smokler comes 20 Creative Ways To Embarrass Your Kids:

20. Blast Broadway show tunes and belt out every last word, with the windows wide open.

19. Send elaborate love letters in lunch boxes.

18. Chaperone a field trip wearing a “Team Lily” t-shirt.

17. Cheer loudly and animatedly at sporting events à la Aly Raisman’s parents.

16. Carry adorable, naked baby pictures everywhere and whip them out to complete strangers.

15. Talk in goofy, made-up foreign accents to their friends.

14. Answer the door wearing a bright green face mask and plastic shower cap.

13. Dance like a crazy person when ’80s music comes on in the grocery store.

12. Dance at all, ever.

11. Use silly pet names in public. Loudly.

10. Force them to wear matching outfits for holiday photos.

9. Label their clothing with smiley face hearts around their names.

8. Shower them in constant kisses, wherever we may be.

7. Pick their noses.

6. Welcome the bus with a fully choreographed cheer.

5. Yell “I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!” at the top of my lungs as the bus drives off.

4. Use saliva to wipe off their dirty faces.

3. Wear a bathrobe and slippers to school pick up.

2. Maintain my blog.

1. Breathe. (I’m thinking that’s probably enough.)

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