Posts Tagged ‘Parents’

Discussing the New Zealand Volcano Tragedy with Children

December 11, 2019

How on earth do you explain the tragedy that took place in Paris to young children?

Below are some tips by experts in the field that can be used to assist in facilitating discussions about the recent New Zealand volcano tragedy:

 

Watch for Trauma: “Young children may have difficulties identifying and expressing feelings. Parents should pay attention to the children’s play (for instance, preoccupation with certain aggressive electronic games, drawings, repetitive play that imitates the traumatic event or events). Another sign of trauma is avoidance of reminders.” — Dr. Aurelia Bizamcer, Medical Director, Outpatient Psychiatry at Temple University Hospital

Keep Answers Truthful but Simple: “We’re not holding back, but we’re not giving more because the giving more could have the risk of alarming the child. … As a parent you have an obligation to protect a young child from being overwhelmed.” –Alan Kazdin, Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University; Director of the Yale Parenting Center.

Reassure Them: “We need to appreciate that kids have different fears. Many will worry about the movies, but others will worry about such events spilling over to other areas, such as the mall, school, the neighborhood. For kids of all ages, it is really important to let them know that these kinds of events are incredibly rare. ” –Dr. Gene Beresin, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital

Keep Answers Age-Appropriate: “Parents should be sure to pitch the discussion to their kids’ developmental level. For a 6-year-old, it’s completely appropriate to reassure them of their safety, with some emphasis on the fact that this person is no longer at large. For kids over the age of 8, more concrete details are appropriate, along with, perhaps, a general discussion of how to be safe in public — locating exit doors for instance, and getting to safety in the event of any dangerous occurrence.” –Jay Reeve,President and Chief Executive Officer, Apalachee Center

Don’t Make Assumptions: “Don’t project your own feelings, fears and anxiety on kids because you know you don’t really know exactly what your kids are feeling until you talk to them.” –Dr. Jane Taylor, psychiatrist

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Explaining Hawaii to Young Children

January 14, 2018

 

Twitter is awash with jokes about Hawaii and the missile false alarm.

One can understand why. When a person tries to regroup from a near trauma, they go to comedy to help them manage the shock.

But there is one section of the population that wont want to make light of this episode – young children. The kind that I teach in Primary school.

They wont get the humor and will be perplexed (and often wounded) by the story if it isn’t explained in a discrete and careful manner. The worst thing in the world a parent could do is make light of it or laugh it off. That wont work for children.

The best way to deal with it is to explain that sometimes adults believe things that make no sense. That a missile is never going to hit Hawaii and adults were so surprised by the message that they lost all common sense.

But isn’t that lying?

I feel that this white lie is imperative. Children must have it reinforced that their homes are not going to be pelted with missiles. Not now. Not ever.

Jokes will enable adults to move on.

I worry about the children.

 

Click on the link to read The Death of a Student

Click on the link to read Explaining the Paris Tragedy to Young Children

Click on the link to read Some Kids Are So Brave! (Video)

Click on the link to read Guess What This Map Represents

Our Students Show us Up All the Time!

November 7, 2015

bobby

 

You just know when there’s a badly worded question that our students will pick up on it. Take the worksheet above for example.

 

 

Click on the link to read Hilarious Video of Children Eating Candy

Click on the link to read Helping Kids Learn from Failure

Click on the link to read How Babies Learn (Video)

Click on the link to read Celebrating Our Mistakes

Tips for Making a Parent-Teacher Relationship Work

January 5, 2015

parent-teacher-cartoonThe strength of the parent-teacher relationship is absolutely pivotal to achieving in the classroom. Below are some insightful tips by teacher Toby Sorge:

 

* Think of what the end goal is. Teachers can tell when the focus is on a specific grade or assessment, whether the communication is by email, phone call or in person. Giving authentic feedback and grading assessments is not an easy task, but remember that the grade that was earned is now in the past.

* Work with the teacher to create a plan. This plan should focus on student engagement and growth. This may take time, so it’s important to trust the process. Maintain open lines of communication, so if you have questions about your role, you can ask and have them answered.

* Trust is one of the core values when it comes to fostering a successful relationship. Trust that the teacher knows what’s best for each student and how to get there.

* Trusting the process of learning is also important. True learning and deep engagement do not happen with one quiz, test or writing assignment. They take time.

* Make sure you work with teachers and not against them. Instead of coming in with an agenda, work on creating a plan with the teacher. The plan should focus on the development, practice and reinforcement of skills.

* Offer suggestions but also take advice. Discussing with teachers ways for students to succeed will help everyone fully understand children and what their capabilities are.

 

Click on the link to read Sometimes It’s Worth Risking a Fight With a Parent

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Parents

Click on the link to read 5 Helpful Tips for a Better Parent-Teacher Conference

Click on the link to read The Cafeteria Controversy

Click on the link to read Insensitive ‘Parent Bashers’ Take Aim at Grieving Colorado Parents

Are Our Expectations for Children Too High?

September 16, 2014

shave

 

I believe very strongly in setting firm but fair expectations for my students when it comes to behaviour, respect for others and effort. But in doing so, I must be mindful not to overburden them. The last thing I want is for them to drown in unrealistic expectation.

Author and speaker put together a list of unfair expectations parents put on their kids:

 

1. Always be in a good mood.

Isn’t it upsetting when you come home from a long day of work and your kids are in a bad mood? You worked hard all day to put food in their bellies; the least they can do is not add to your stress. Right?

I’ve felt this way, but the thing I had to realize is that they have bad days too. It might have been that irritating kid at school or a teacher in a bad mood, it could have even been their other parent, but our children experience things throughout their day that will put them in a bad mood, just like us.

We have to cut them some slack at times; they have issues to deal with too. Do you remember how crazy being young felt at times? They’re not always going to be in a good mood, and we have to learn to accept that. Don’t misunderstand me, if your child is ALWAYS in a bad mood, that’s a different story.

2. Be perfect in school.

It’s natural to want your children to study hard and breeze through school like Doogie Howser, MD, but you have to remember that was a TV show! In real life, children learn things differently. It’s our job to guide them, not punish them because they may have a harder time learning.

We’re not perfect at work — at most jobs, it’s not expected. School is our children’s form of “work” until they go out into the world.

3. Never mess up.

It’s frustrating when our children mess up. It could be a dish dropped, door slammed or something bigger, like a car accident. Hey, WE MESS UP TOO! Why do we try to hold our kids to a standard that we can’t maintain ourselves? Mistakes happen, we ALL mess up, that’s life. Don’t hold being human against your children.

4. Be grateful for what I’ve given you.

We give our children so much, and yes, they should be grateful, but being a parent means putting your children’s needs before your own. We can’t just give them the scraps.

That goes for giving of yourself too. Just because you’re in a room with them doesn’t mean you’re spending time with them — especially if you’re glued to the TV. They shouldn’t be grateful for just your presence; they need your attention, too. Give them everything you have, not what you think you can afford to spare.

5. Ignore how we treat each other.

Our children see and pick up more than we think. When we have those “heated” discussions in what we think is private, chances are they know what’s going on.

How you treat each other will affect what kind of people they grow up to be. If you talk down to each other in front of them, if you criticize or belittle each other, you better believe they will too one day.

Our children learn how to treat others from us. Not what we tell them — how we actually treat people. Think twice before you let your emotions take over and cause you to say something that could affect your kids.

6. Don’t try to get away with anything.

I remember trying to get away with so much stuff when I was younger. My mother would yell at me when she caught me. She would tell me daily that she couldn’t wait for me to have children to see what she has to go through.

I use to think, Whatever, Mom… until I had children of my own. Turns out, mom was right. We have to remember what it was like at that age and not make every incident a nuclear explosion.

Yes, some things warrant certain punishments, but others aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. If it’s a minor issue, letting your kids learn a “life lesson” might be a better approach.

Our youngest son worked hard all summer to buy a laptop for himself. When we moved here to Maui, he ended up dropping it and cracking the screen. We found out a few weeks later, and we were furious.

He lied to us, he hid things from us, he broke an expensive item. We had to take a step back, cool off and remember that this affected him more than us; he bought it with his own money. We talked to him about the lying, but him breaking his own laptop was a life lesson.

7. Always forgive.

You can’t constantly treat your children poorly and expect them to always forgive. They might have a high tolerance for our issues, but there will come a limit.

There are some rough situations. Parents split up, maybe even divorce; there are money issues, stresses of everyday life, and lots of things that are out of your control. But you have to make the best out of every bad situation and not take it out on your children. In those situations, you have to do as much as you can to give them some sense of normalcy.

8. Do what I say, not what I do.

At the end of the day, our children learn more by what we do, not what we say. Actions do speak louder than words in parenting, and you have to lead by example.

When I told my children I was writing this, they informed me that I had a lot more than eight unrealistic expectations. I was irritated, but I’m sure they’re right.

We have to let our kids be kids, not perfect robots. They’re going to mess up — that’s life. Our job is to guide them and be there for them. If a situation requires discipline, then by all means do what needs to be done.

Here is what I challenge you to do: Take a step back first, and don’t let your emotions control the situation. These years are vital in molding the kind of people they will become.

9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

May 12, 2014

 

teacher quality

 

This list of of characteristics that great teachers possess prove that parents are extremely perceptive when it comes to assessing teacher quality.

 

1. They teach self-confidence.

“My daughter has gone from being shy and lacking self-confidence to being brave enough to teach a math class to her peers. She is shining and thriving and is excited about school every morning.” — Christine Sulek-Popov

2. They’ve got it covered.

“I know that my children are well looked after at school and I don’t have to worry because you will let me know if there is a problem.” — Erin Marsee Irby

3. They make kids feel special.

“My child feels like he belongs!” — Sherri Kellock

4. They know every child is different.

“You don’t compare his skill set to the other [kids in his class]. He is an individual and he’s treated as such.” — Athena Albin

5. Their commitment is unparalleled.

“My kids’ teachers are amazing. All 3 of them. They’ve brought my son out of his shell, they’re teaching my daughter how to be a leader, and they spend countless hours outside of the school time working on homework, fundraising, organizing class outings, and continuing to upgrade their skills all so they can be even better teachers than they already are.” — Jane Brewer

6. They have parents’ backs.

“My daughter had so many opportunities to see how valuable helping her peers can be, and you’re helping reinforce my lessons to her that there is joy in service.” — Debbie Vigh

7. They’re fair.

“My son is accepted for who he is. And you make the playing field even for everyone!” — Gayle Stroud

8. They’re always raising the bar.

“My daughter has grown in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve seen her flourish in areas I struggle in.” — Shaunna Glaspey

9. They generally rock.

“My son loves going to school everyday. You make him feel safe, loved, and included. It may be hard for you to see (since he is so shy) but he loves spending his day in your care.” — Jennifer O’Donnell Snell

 

Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

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Tips For Kids in Dealing With Exams

September 30, 2013

exam2I must confess to being quite overwhelmed when sitting for exams. I often froze and perhaps occasionally sabotaged a few times by allowing the mental demons to overcome me.

I hope these tips help others to manage their exam stresses:

 

Dr Friedland explains that in order to fail forward, people need to learn from their so-called failures and use them as stepping stones to future success.

“I’d advise students to throw away all thoughts of a number and change their definition of success, so instead they strive to give their studies their all and know they’re going to walk away having learned something,” he says.

“Don’t be driven by self-esteem. Instead let yourself have some self-compassion. Look after yourself, treat yourself well – success comes from that.”

Encourage them to look at the bigger picture

Ask a student to identify the most important thing they hope to achieve from an exam, assessment or the academic year, and they’ll say a good mark.

Dr Friedland admits it can be hard for young people to see the wood for the trees because getting a good score can seem like the most important thing in the world – their defining achievement.

He advises parents to gently help their kids see how other aspects of their life are important and he alludes to that oft-quoted mantra that it’s about the journey, not the destination.

“Encourage them to reflect on what truly matters in their life. Help them see that getting a great big number won’t necessarily lead to happiness and fulfilment, but the process of trying to get it might if they’re learning along the way and also nourishing themselves,” he says.

“Going into an exam with a ‘do or die’ attitude is counter-productive. The stress will become overwhelming and few people can thrive if they’re feeling like that. Give each exam the importance it deserves in the whole bigger picture.

“We all need to focus on taking care of ourselves – mind, body and soul.”

Click on the link to read The Harmful Effects of Yelling at Students

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Click on the link to read Another Reason why Television is Unealthy for Children

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Click on the link to read 5 Tips to Help Children Cope With Stress

Click on the link to read Seven Valuable Tips for Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Top Ten Compliments Your Children Need to Hear

Monitoring Children’s Social Networking Activities Proving too Difficult for Parents

March 20, 2013

social

It is very easy to advise a parent to take an active interest in their children’s online activities. It is much harder to put that advice into action:

After Friendster came MySpace. By the time Facebook dominated social media, parents had joined the party, too.

But the online scene has changed – dramatically, as it turns out – and these days even if you’re friends with your own kids on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you know what they’re doing.

Thousands of software programs now offer cool new ways to chat and swap pictures. The most popular apps turn a hum-drum snapshot into artistic photography or broadcast your location to friends in case they want to meet you.

Kids who use them don’t need a credit card or even a cellphone, just an Internet connection and device such as an iPod Touch or Kindle Fire.

Parents who want to keep up with the curve should stop thinking in terms of imposing time limits or banning social media services, which are stopgap measures.

Experts say it’s time to talk frankly to kids about privacy controls and remind them – again – how nothing in cyberspace every really goes away, even when software companies promise it does.

‘What sex education used to be, it’s now the “technology talk” we have to have with our kids,’ said Rebecca Levey, a mother of 10-year-old twin daughters who runs a tween video review site called KidzVuz.com and blogs about technology and educations issues.

More than three-fourths of teenagers have a cellphone and use online social networking sites such as Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

But Facebook for teens has become a bit like a school-sanctioned prom – a rite of passage with plenty of adult chaperones – while newer apps such as Snapchat and Kik Messenger are the much cooler after-party.

Even Facebook acknowledged in a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was losing younger users: ‘We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook,’ the company warned investors in February.

Educators say they have seen kids using their mobile devices to circulate videos of school drug searches to students sending nude images to girlfriends or boyfriends. Most parents, they say, have no idea.

Girl Writes Cute Note to the Queen

December 7, 2012

I love a bit of assertiveness. To a child, even the Queen of England is only a letter away.

 

queen

Click on the link to read Teachars Cant Spel

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Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

 

Teaching Children How to Argue

June 19, 2012

I noticed while teaching students about persuasive writing how difficult they find it to form opinions of their own. It is almost as if children today do what they have learned to do without ever reflecting on the reasons why. This poses a significant problem when it comes to peer pressure. If you don’t have the tools to work out right from wrong, positive from negative, you can be very easily lead.

This unfortunate consequence was part of the findings of a recent study undertaken by the University of Virginia:

WHILE parents have been teaching their kids not to argue with adults for generations, new research shows it may have its benefits.

A study by the University of Virginia shows that young teenagers who are taught to argue effectively are more likely to resist peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol later in adolescence.

“It turns out that what goes on in the family is actually a training ground for teens in terms of how to negotiate with other people,” said Joseph Allen, psychology professor and lead author of the study, results of which were published in a recent edition of the journal Child Development.

Prof Allen said that parents are often “scared to death about peer pressure” but also frustrated by argumentative children.

“What we’re finding is there’s a surprising connection between the two,” he said.

Prof Allen said that teens “learn they can be taken seriously” through interactions with their parents.

“Sometimes, it can be counterintuitive to tell parents to let their teens argue with them,” said Joanna Chango, a clinical psychology graduate student who worked on the study.

In fact, learning effective argumentation skills can help teenagers learn to “assert themselves and establish a sense of autonomy”, she said.

I don’t agree with the assertion that we should encourage our children to argue with us. Instead, teachers and parents alike, should encourage students to question everything, to feel confident to form their own opinions and not to follow a crowd just for the sake of safety in numbers.
Click on the link to read my post on beating peer pressure.

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