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Avoiding Power Struggles with Defiant Children: Declaring Victory is Easier than You Think

anger_childHow do you nip escalating fights over power in the bud? We show you three powerful techniques for defusing defiant power struggles.

“Remember, when you engage in an argument with your child, you’re just giving him more power.”

How do you know if you’re entering into a power struggle with your child? Any time you’re asking your child to do something and he’s refusing to comply—when you find him “pushing back” against the request you’ve given or the rules you’ve set down—you’re in a struggle. If the push for power is appropriate, you should be able to sit down with your child and talk about it in a fairly reasonable way. If it escalates into an argument or fight, you are in a defiant power struggle—and make no mistake about it, parents need effective ways to dial that back immediately.  Read more …

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Why You Can’t Be Your Child’s Friend

Here’s the Truth

If being your kids’ friend was enough to raise them successfully, we would all probably parent that way. But our job is way more complicated than that. Children and teens really crave boundaries, limits and structure. At the same time, they also need some healthy separation from us as they go through adolescence and develop into adults. Our role as parents is really to teach, coach and give our kids consequences when they misbehave. Read more …

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Student and Learning Affirmations

Today’s Thought: 

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ~ Robert Frost

In our modern, fast-changing world, learning is no longer confined to a period of years that we call “formal education”. The world where that was possible is long gone. We don’t learn information once and it lasts us for our entire lives or careers. In fact, learning is a life-long endeavor that lasts far beyond the classroom.

Most careers require continuing education and re-education as fields change, expand, and cease to exist. Some fields change so rapidly that the information by a college freshman is out-of-date by the time that student reaches his or her junior year. This is what it means to live in the information age. We are in a constant dance with information through its conduit learning. In fact, the most successful and happiest people are those who become students of life.

They understand what Frost meant in the quote above. Frost was articulating what Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Life is the THE teacher. Experience is THE teacher. Our “teachers” and “gurus” are merely facilitators opening our hearts and our minds to be good students of these great teachers. Knowledge is just knowledge.

It is the role of the student to  be a visionary, to use knowledge to transform and transcend experience. The affirmations in this article are targeted at the student, the learner. They encompass everyone from the second-grader learning math to the student of life seeking the meaning of life. There will be more added to this list, but this is a good start.

Student General

  1. Today and every day, my thirst for learning is alive and well in me!
  2. I can learn anything! I can know anything! I can be anything!
  3. This semester is MY learning experience and I take from it what is useful to me.
  4. I love the challenge of finals! I am acing all my finals this semester.
  5. I am a student and being a student is ALL about the possible!
  6. I am a great student and getting better each and every day!
  7. Learning new things is a challenge and I love challenges!
  8. I am prepared for my tests. I love taking tests. Tests are a breeze for me.
  9. I thrive and I succeed at school! Learning is my gateway to an abundant future.
  10. When I am exposed to information that benefits me, I absorb it like a sponge!
  11. Learning is life. I love learning and I am good at it!
  12. Today I study hard, so tomorrow I can make my difference!
  13. Education is the gateway to my future! Today I make the most of my academic opportunities.
  14. Today I take charge of my education. The more I learn, the more I achieve.
  15. As my demand on my thinking grows, my learning expands.
  16. I am the engine of my learning!
  17. I am a good learner. Learning comes easy for me!
  18. My life is what I make of it and today I make it a great place to learn!
  19. Today I set aside my fears and achieve all my educational goals.
  20. I am smart and today I prove it!
  21. A great student lives within me and today that student shows up in my classes.
  22. I grow and I learn at my own pace.
  23. I value my education because it prepares me for a bright and successful future.
  24. I value my education because it creates a more complete me.
  25. This semester is MY semester! I succeeding at a whole new level!
  26. Education is the path to freedom and today I walk that path with confidence.
  27. Education is my way up! Education is my way out! Education is my way through!
  28. I am bigger than this test! I am better than this test! I AM acing this test!
  29. I contribute to the learning environment in every way that I can.
  30. I set high standards for my educational experience and I achieve them.

Student by Category

  1. Math is fun for me! Math is easy for me! Math is fun and easy for me! (Substitute class of choice)
  2. In those moments when I want to give up and quit, I remember this doctoral dissertation is a doorway to my dreams.
  3. I am easily and effortlessly gathering my research and documentation for an outstanding dissertation.
  4. I am writing a groundbreaking dissertation that receives high praise.
  5. I easily and effortlessly learning new processes at work.
  6. English to Spanish! Spanish to English! I am quickly learning and applying the Spanish I learn. (Substitute your foreign language)
  7. Uno, dos, tres. Spanish is as easy for me as one, two, three!
  8. Grad school is the gateway to my dreams. Today I am claiming my dreams!
  9. I have outstanding credentials! Any grad school would be lucky to have me!

The Seeker

  1. What is mine to teach, I willingly share. What is mine to learn, I eagerly absorb.
  2. Today I find the pearls of my enlightenment scattered along my path.
  3. Love is my teacher and life my classroom. Today I am an honor student.
  4. I am always open to learning a better way.
  5. A chance to learn is a chance to grow. I love growing!
  6. Learning from my morning, I make adjustments to my afternoon.
  7. I hear and I know. I see and I can. I DO and I achieve.
  8. Ordinary thinkers conform to the tribe. Extraordinary thinkers transform it.
  9. As I transform my thinking, I make it easier for those around me to do the same!
  10. Today I pledge to learn from what I don’t understand rather than fearing it!
  11. I learn from every experience. I grow from every experience. I thrive on every experience.
  12. I CHOOSE to move forward every day, growing and learning as I go!
  13. Today I release my either/or thinking and open my mind to new possibilities!
  14. I refuse to unconsciously become the past! I choose to consciously become the future.
  15. Whatever I need to learn always comes my way at just the right moment.
  16. Today I am choose to learn my life lessons the first time. I refuse to waste my energy learning them over and over.

Original Quotes

  1. One empowered mind changes a life. Many empowered minds transform the world.
  2. Every new experience is a new opportunity.
  3. The world is built from ideas, as surely as it’s built from atoms. The world can be transformed by rearranging either.
  4. Some days our progress is small, but our learning is much.
  5. A lesson learned is a heartache missed.
  6. A lesson learned is
  7. As an open leaf collects the morning dew, an open mind collects wisdom.
  8. An open mind opens worlds. A closed mind stifles them.
  9. An open mind is a growing mind. A closed mind is a conquered mind.
  10. An open heart opens the mind. An open mind opens the world.
  11. A closed mind gathers no light. An open mind thrives on light.
  12. Education that flows one way is conditioning, not education. True learning is always collaborative.
  13. The dogmas that you hold, hold you.
  14. A little vision takes you further, faster than a lot of knowledge.
  15. Actually, great minds don’t think alike. Great minds innovate and transform the status quo.
  16. In every moment, your thoughts are transforming your world consciously or unconsciously. It might as well be consciously.
  17. Big questions are scary things, but their answers can bring big transformation.
  18. Experts tweak the status quo. It takes visionaries to transform it.
  19. Authentic learning is about staring big truths in the face and refusing to blink when questioning them.
  20. The tribe will always conform you until you have the courage to transform you.
  21. The great learner transcends then transforms the group by pursuing truth, even at the expense of the group’s most cherished dogmas.
  22. One empowered thought is the birthplace of a life transformed.
  23. Do you create your own paradigms or are you a tenant farmer in someone eles’s paradigm?
  24. Your paradigms should serve you, not the other way around.
  25. Unless you awaken and think for yourself, those who control your paradigms will control you.
  26. Bigger thoughts change me. Bigger actions change my life. Bigger paradigms change everything.
  27. A paradigm tested by questioning is a fortress. A paradigm untested and unquestioned is a house of cards.
  28. Learning is not a period of years in your life. It is your life. The classroom never closes.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss. – Siti

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Five Key Skills for Academic Success

It’s never too early or too late to help your child develop the skills for academic success. Learn how to build these skills and stay on track all year long.

It takes a combination of skills – organization, time management, prioritization, concentration and motivation – to achieve academic success. Here are some tips to help get your child on the right track.

Talk to your Child

To find out which of these skills your child has and which he can develop further, start a simple conversation that focuses on his goals. Ask him about his favorite subjects, classes he dreads and whether he’s satisfied with his latest progress report.

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Listen for Clues

Incorporate your own observations with your child’s self-assessment. Is your child overwhelmed by assignments? She may have trouble organizing time. Does your child have difficulty completing her work? She may get distracted too easily. Is your child simply not interested in school? She may need help getting motivated.

Identify Problem Areas

Start here to help your child identify which of the five skill areas are trouble spots.

1. Organization

Whether it’s keeping track of research materials or remembering to bring home a lunch box, children need to be organized to succeed in school. For many students, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than to a lack of intellectual ability.

Tips to help your child get organized:

  • Make a checklist of things your child needs to bring to and from school every day. Put a copy by the door at home and one in his backpack. Try to check with him each day to see if he remembers the items on the list.
  • Find out how your child keeps track of his homework and how he organizes his notebooks. Then work together to develop a system he will want to use.
  • Shop with your child for tools that will help him stay organized, such as binders, folders or an assignment book.

2. Time Management

Learning to schedule enough time to complete an assignment may be difficult for your student. Even when students have a week to do a project, many won’t start until the night before it’s due. Learning to organize time into productive blocks takes practice and experience.

Tips to help your child manage time:

  • Track assignments on a monthly calendar. Work backward from the due date of larger assignments and break them into nightly tasks.
  • Help your child record how much time she spends on homework each week so she can figure out how to divide this time into manageable chunks.
  • Together, designate a time for nightly homework and help your child stick to this schedule.
  • If evenings aren’t enough, help your child find other times for schoolwork, such as early mornings, study halls or weekends.

3. Prioritization

Sometimes children fall behind in school and fail to hand in assignments because they simply don’t know where to begin. Prioritizing tasks is a skill your child will need throughout life, so it’s never too soon to get started.

Tips to help your child prioritize:

  • Ask your child to write down all the things he needs to do, including non-school-related activities.
  • Ask him to label each task from 1 to 3, with 1 being most important.
  • Ask about each task, so that you understand your child’s priorities. If he labels all his social activities as 1, then you know where his attention is focused.
  • Help your child change some of the labels to better prioritize for academic success. Then suggest he rewrite the list so all the 1s are at the top.
  • Check in frequently to see how the list is evolving and how your child is prioritizing new tasks.

4. Concentration

Whether your child is practicing her second-grade spelling words or studying for a trigonometry test, it’s important that she works on schoolwork in an area with limited distractions and interruptions.

Tips to help your child concentrate:

  • Turn off access to email and games when your child works on the computer.
  • Declare the phone and TV off-limits during homework time.
  • Find space that fits the assignment. If your child is working on a science project, she may need lots of space; if she’s studying for a Spanish test, she will need a well-lit desk.
  • Help your child concentrate during homework time by separating her from her siblings.

5. Motivation

Most children say they want to do well in school, yet many still fail to complete the level of work necessary to succeed academically. The reason is often motivation. Tapping into your child’s interests is a great way to get him geared to do well in school.

Tips to help motivate your child:

  • Link school lessons to your child’s life. If he’s learning percentages, ask him to figure out the price of a discounted item next time you shop.
  • Link your child’s interests to academics. If he’s passionate about music, give him books about musicians and show how music and foreign languages are connected.
  • Give your child control and choices. With guidance, let him determine his study hours, organizing system or school project topics.
  • Encourage your child to share his expertise. Regularly ask him about what he’s learning in school.
  • Congratulate your child, encourage him and celebrate all his successes.

Often what holds children back from trying is the fear of failure or the memory of a time they didn’t do well. You can help break this cycle by celebrating your child’s successes, no matter how small, and by giving him opportunities to succeed academically.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students

effective learners

Habit One: Be Proactive
I am a responsible person.
I take initiative.
I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods.
I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked,
even when no one is looking.
Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind
I plan ahead and set goals
I do things that have meaning and make a difference.
I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision,
and look for ways to be a good citizen.

Habit Three: Put First Things First
I spend my time on things that are most important.
This means I say no to things I know I should not do.
I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan.
I am disciplined and organized.

Habit Four: Think Win – Win
I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want.
I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts.
When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.

Habit Five: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings.
I try to see things from their viewpoints.
I listen to others without interrupting.
I am confident in voicing my ideas.
I look people in the eyes when talking.

Habit Six: Synergize
I value other people’s strengths, and learn from them. I get along well with others, even
people who are different than me.
I work well in groups.
I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with
others we can create better solutions than any one of us alone. I am humble.

Habit Seven: Sharpen the Saw
I take care of my body by eating right, exercising, and getting sleep.
I spend time with my family and friends.
I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school.
I take time to make meaningful ways to help others.

 

Source: Covey, Stephen R. (2008) The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents around
the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At A Time. Free Press, Detriot MI.