I’m honored to be featured this week on Katherine’s Corner for her Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop! It’s a great blog hop where you’ll find new blogs and make new friends! So come on and link up your post for lots of exposure!
The power of the brain! What an incredible creation, made by the Creator Himself. Did you ever think about the difference of a human being and an animal? Think of the differences visible at birth. While an animal is somewhat self sufficient in a matter of hours, and can fend for themselves, an infant takes years of parental nurturing until they can be on their own. Yet, the same infant that could not even feed itself at birth, and would have starved to death without his loving parents care around the clock, surpasses the animal by leaps and bounds, as the brain matures and grows. Watch the movements of an infant, watch as the baby learns new tricks, as his every move ingrains in his brain a new learning experience. Soon this infant starts to recognize people, and they become part of his memory. He experiments with crawling, and rolling over, and then remembers these new movements.
At times a child is born with limitations. A part of their brain isn’t as developed as his peers or siblings. Can anything be done to compensate? Can he lead a functional life? Interestingly, even when the brain is not fully functional there are tools with which to help. Physical therapy and exercises can create new pathways in the brain. This is called nueroplasticity. It is possible to learn new tricks. Many children with disabilities receive proper therapy sessions, with parents trying to supplement extra time at home.
When parents want their child to put forth extra effort they must remember a few key points:
-Extra work must be enjoyable. Try a new machine, one that is not too strenuous, and yet helped strengthen the necessary muscles.
-Make it fun, it should not feel like a chore.
-Remember that therapy is hard work for the child, and it can hurt. Be empathetic, understand the pain. Try active listening.
-Is there a friendly teen in the neighborhood who can pitch in? Sometimes a new face can make the situation more enjoyable, and the parent will have one less thing to fight about.
Keep it short, a drop shorter than your child can handle, so he will be willing to come back for more next time around.
Try the Strider Bike – a fun way to squeeze in extra time strengthening muscles, and its so enjoy able, all the neighbors will want to try it too!
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“You really shouldn’t let your child manipulate you.”
“You really shouldn’t eat dessert. It will ruin your diet.”
How would you feel if someone told you these helpful statements? Defensive? Annoyed? Angry? If so, you are not alone. It is challenging to hear rebuke even if it is for one’s own benefit.
As parents, it is our obligation to give our children rebuke and guide them on the correct path. If we will not nudge them gently in the right direction, how will they know not to stray? At the same time, we cannot just dispense heaping spoonfuls of rebuke. At best, the child will tune it out; at worst, he will rebel. Either way, the child will most likely become crushed and broken. Giving rebuke in a positive, effective manner is a balancing act. When given respectfully and smartly, we can get our messages across and still maintain our child’s dignity. As is said by the age-old adage, “Dispense criticism like pepper and compliments like sugar.”
As you are about to give rebuke, it should be done out of love and care (put your arm around the child’s shoulder, pat his hand while rebuking him), rather than stemming from anger or embarrassment. A motive such as, “what will the neighbors think?” or “this is ruining our family reputation” is not valid. If your child has done something wrong and you are not in the state of mind to give him rebuke, either wait until your feelings simmer or have another objective party do the guiding.
When rebuking your child, choose your words carefully. Be clear. Keep it short and sweet. Sometimes, even a stern look or gesture can be enough to get a message across. Don’t use sarcasm, put-downs or comparisons. Keep your tone of voice friendly. Don’t start a discussion or argument. Try to think of a positive way of phrasing your message, such as “When your blouse is tucked in, you really look like a princess.”
Most importantly, try to preserve your child’s self-esteem and self-image. Of course, that means to give rebuke in private and to criticize the action not the person, such as your room is so messy vs. you are a slob. Your goal is to improve character traits. Below are some suggestions how to do this:
- Allow the child to figure out on his own what he did wrong. It is much easier to swallow the rebuke that way. So, instead of yelling at your seven-year-old for bossing his playmate, you can tell him, I saw how you treated your friend when he came over. How do you think he felt?
- Remember to use the skill of negative-I messages. “When I entered the living room and saw the food left by your studying team, I felt annoyed at your lack of responsibility and initiative to clean up.”
- With younger children, you can weave a message into a story about a child of the opposite gender, living in a different city…with the same challenge. Or you can find a book with a message similar to the one you wish to impart.
- You can describe what you see going on, rather than offer direction. I see toys on the floor that can cause someone to trip. You can also state rules, rather than give orders, such as when milk spills, we use a rag to clean it up.
- For children who have a hard time accepting rebuke, you can sugar-coat your words by keeping your message open-ended. For example, “You might want to consider eating breakfast today, since you need more energy to take the big test…”
- Always try to teach your child a skill rather than criticizing a given area. For example, instead of telling your son his briefcase is messy, teach him how to organize it.
- Finally, teach your child that accepting rebuke is a skill to work on. You are their role model, teaching them to accept rebuke graciously. Children must understand that to improve, we must all listen to each other’s constructive criticism.
Of course, it’s hard to master the skill of giving rebuke effectively. However, it’s even harder not to give rebuke at all and hardest to give it in a constructive way. So, keep these words of rebuke in mind…as you give your child rebuke and honest feedback.
Did you ever feel annoyed or angry at someone for giving you rebuke in an inconsiderate manner?
I bring to you all today a guest post from Babysitters.net – enjoy!
Tackling the major developmental milestone that is potty training requires plenty of patience and understanding, even
under the best of circumstances. When your child is stubbornly refusing to make the shift from diapers to a potty, however, the strain on a parent’s composure can be almost unbearable. Before you throw in the towel altogether and resign yourself to a life of changing jumbo-sized diapers for your college student, consider these five potty training strategies.
Don’t Resort to Punishments
When your child is outright refusing to use the potty and you know that she has a clear understanding of the concept, it’s easy to feel like the only possible solution is some sort of punishment when she has an accident. In fact, setting up a system of punishing your child for her failure to graduate to a potty chair can have deleterious effects. If she’s truly stubborn and simply isn’t ready to potty train, you’re effectively establishing a power struggle that can make her even less inclined to comply with your demands. If she’s just apprehensive and uncomfortable with such a big change, which can often be the case even when a child seems to be stubborn, the pressure of being punished for failure could actually inhibit progress.
Consider Taking a Break
It’s understandable to want your child out of diapers when she reaches toddler-hood but her developmental schedule doesn’t always follow your own. If you’ve been trying to potty train your child for an extended period of time and have seen no real results, your best strategy may actually be to wait it out a bit. Giving your child a little break from the pressure of potty training and letting her spend a bit more time in diapers might be just the thing she needs. When she’s ready to use the potty and is somewhat receptive to the idea of eschewing diapers, you may find that you’re able to help her make that leap with a greater degree of success.
Make Potty Training as Comfortable as Possible
When a willful toddler that likes to do everything for herself is faced with the prospect of being helped onto an adult-sized potty and supported by a grown-up, she may lose interest in the entire concept. Making sure that your stubborn toddler who loves to assert her independence is able to access a child-sized potty chair with a modicum of privacy may help to advance your potty-training timeline.
Make Clean-Up a Group Effort
Diapers are whisked off and thrown away, while wet training pants make it into the laundry room and puddles are cleaned up by an adult. When your child has little to no involvement in the clean-up process during the aftermath of an accident, it may be more difficult for her to connect discomfort and inconvenience with not making it to the potty. Sometimes an accident occurs simply because a child is engaged in an enjoyable activity and doesn’t want to stop what she’s doing; when you quickly change her and allow her to continue as she was, the lesson about choosing not to go to the potty passes her by. When she has to stop what she’s doing to help you clean up her accident, find new clothes to put on and get re-dressed, she’s able to understand that there are uncomfortable and unpleasant consequences of not going to the potty.
Avoid Long Outings
A little bit of incentive can go a long way, even with toddlers. That’s why letting your child know that you won’t be taking any trips or going on any long outings until she’s able to go a whole day without a diaper or an accident can be an effective tool. Talk about a trip to the zoo or the park that you’ll take to celebrate her big-girl transition to the potty and make sure that she understands that success is up to her. Give her the keys to her own milestones and provide an incentive for her to make it there, and she’ll probably be more receptive. This same tactic can also work with little ones that are eager to emulate an older sibling who goes to school. Let her know that she can’t go to preschool until she’s potty trained, because school is for big kids. The incentive to be more like a sibling she looks up to and to attend something as exciting as school can help her be more receptive to the idea of potty training.
In 2006, Babysitters.net was founded by a group of dynamic business professionals, bringing experience in customer service, traditional retail, technology, legal, and marketing. From there, they have grown and diversified even more in an effort to bridge the gap between babysitters and parents who ultimately, need each other’s services. They just couldn’t accept that finding a sitter last minute, or finding a babysitter after moving into a new town, could be so timely and difficult.
We live in such an amazing world full of miracles. The world is so vast and so intricate that only those who invest time to study the details of creation can really appreciate its beauty. Spending time with your child observing nature and learning the appropriate vocabulary will build your child’s understanding of the subject matter and reinforce its importance.
Plants, animals, and humans surround us, beckoning to us to take a closer look. The solar and lunar orbits, the stars and planets, the moon and sun can be brought into our world to be studied and understood. Think about the human body-every breath we breathe, every pump of the heart, every organ, every limb. The thought should fascinate us and propel us to learn more.
Why not then bring this wonderful subject to the four corners of your home? Don’t rely on your child’s school to get it all in. There are so many games and activities that will fascinate your children (and you too) while at the same time providing hours of fun.
Inspire your children (ages 5-6) to learn while having fun with the Let’s Grow The Life Cycles Game. Your child will learn the different developmental stages of a chicken, frog, butterfly and plant.
For all your ant-lovers try the AntWorks Colors of Life. Watch ants live, work and tunnel in the nutrious, non-toxic gel as they create series upon series of intricate tunnels. With the Multi-color LED Illuminator, a continuous light will shine through the clear gel.
Try setting up your very own science lab in your home with the Big Bag of Science. This kit contains more than 70 fun and educational experiments for you to try out. This includes activities from all areas of science such as physical, earth and life. You can try activities such as making water disappear, having a liquid flow uphill, making a 30′ soda geyser, growing fake snow instantly, balancing 6 nails on the head of one nail – and much, much more. This is sure to entertain your children for hours on end!
Looking for a plants oriented activity? Check out the Complete Rock, Mineral and Fossils Collection. This activity set includes: Fossils Collection, Igneous Rock Collection, Metamorphic Rock Collection, Mineral Collection, and Sedimentary Rock Collection. Your child can now hold a 70-million-year-old fossil in his hand or an Igneous rock which was produced by hot volcanic magma action! Your child will surely be fascinated!
Come check out all our other wonderful scientific products we have available at EducateWithToys and you’ll be able to rest assured that your children are having a great time while learning about our wonderful world!