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Discovering Our Children’s Interests

“We labor under a sort of superstition that the child has nothing to learn during the first five years of life.  On the contrary the fact is that the child never learns [afterwards] what it does in its first five years.”     – Mahatma Gandhi, 1925

son kiss mumI was reading the Great Parent Magazine sometime ago, – Dr. Stanley Greenspan, the wonderful child researcher, developed an infant assessment process he called “Floor Time.”  The parents and the young child would sit on the floor with Dr. Greenspan, and he would observe the child and the child-parent interactions.  He then began to realize that a variant of this process could be used to enhance the parent-child relationship.  He suggested that for about fifteen minutes a day parents get onto the floor with their child and allow the child to direct the activities.  The parent becomes a benign assistant.  This is the time for the child to show the parent what she wants to do, what interests her, and what she feels.

“Floor time is a warm and intimate way of relating to a child,” says Dr. Greenspan.  “It means engaging, respecting and getting in tune with the child in order to help the child express through gestures, words, and pretend play what is on the child’s mind.  This enhances the child’s self-esteem and ability to be assertive, and gives the child a feeling that ‘I can have an impact on the world.’  As you support the child’s play, the child benefits from experiencing a sense of warmth, connectedness and being understood.”

All of this promotes the notion of listening to the child.  Listening to the child gives the child the sense that he is valued, that what he thinks and feels and is interested in counts for something.  This in turn enhances the child’s self-esteem.

So, let’s get back to the issue of interest.  Listening to and validating what the child is interested in pays huge dividends throughout the child’s life.  If the child is made aware that  his/her interests are important, the child then can more clearly identify genuine likes and dislikes, leading more readily to choices of career, spouse, and so on.  It is a sad occurrence, but not infrequent, to have patients at 30 or 40 or 50 years old say they do not know what they want to do or what they are interested in.  They did not have the opportunity early in life to learn that what really counted was what they were interested in.

Technically, the key component here is the affect of interest, as we have discussed previously.  Interest operates on a continuum from interest (or its close cousin, curiosity) to excitement.  As psychologist Silvan Tomkins says, “It is interest which is primary.  Interest supports both what is necessary for life and what is possible.”  Interest is responsible for our learning, exploratory activities, and creativity.

To summarize, listening to the child’s feelings gives tremendous benefits.  Interest can be promoted early on in children – listening to them, finding out the things they are intrigued with and enjoy.

What a gift!

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5 Disciplinary Mistakes Parents Make

Everyone has different styles when it comes to disciplining their children. However, there are certain methods that parents should definitely steer clear of. Read on to find out the top mistakes that parents make in disciplining their children.

shutterstock 70210417 e1362549086272 5 disciplinary mistakes parents make

Disciplining your children can seem easy for some parents because they have found seemingly easy ways to get their children to do what they want. What these parents do not realize, is that their methods can have long-term damaging effects on their children’s characters and attitudes.

1.    Backing down

Arguing with children is not easy. Parents often opt to take the easy way out by letting their children win arguments, or simply keeping quiet until the child is done with his say. It takes two hands to clap so logically the argument ends when one party remains silent.

However, silence implies consent and this makes for dangerous parenting. The child will believe that he is indeed in the right just because the parent is too tired to engage in an argument. Back down too often, and you will have a child with a distorted perception and a massive ego to boot.

2.    Bribing

Sometimes a little bribery is needed when dealing with noisy, restless or disobedient kids. A mother could promise her son some candy if he sat silent through a school meeting. The problem arises when the child begins to expect the treat. The child puts a price on good behaviour and will put on a show because of the reward at the end. Whatever lessons you want to teach about behaving well in public will be thrown out the proverbial window.

Experts instead suggest reinforcing good behaviour over small bribery. Encouragement wins out in the end and the right signals are sent out.

3.    White Lies

A little white lie every now and then is acceptable right? Wrong. The problem with white lies is that they are still lies. Hypothetically, a father could tell his kid to wake up early in the morning for school because any later, and the monsters would come out from under the bed. While the strategy probably results in a child waking up early every morning, the father eventually has to come to terms with the truth. When children find out the lie, they will believe that lying is acceptable, because their parents do it.

Worse still, as in the scenario mentioned above, that little white lie could instigate fears of the dark, or imaginary monsters, resulting in a child who is not as bold as he should have been.

4.    Breaking your own rules

The problem with parents implementing too many rules is that they too must adhere to them. These parents must take care not to argue with family members, not to wear their shoes in the bedroom, not hit other people, etc.

If they do break these rules, they lose their moral authority to discipline their children. A child would think that it is right to shout in class because his parents shout at each other at home. Parents become powerless because they too are culprits.

5.    Losing your temper

Children will test your patience and it is often difficult to keep that anger from boiling over the top. When parents lose their temper, they tend to ignore reasoning and focus on putting the child down. As such the child does not receive an explanation on his wrongdoing.

Worse still, children emulate their parents and frequent temper losses will also start to appear when children deal with problems


– by Ellery Aruldoss

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Basic Steps of Instructing Young Children

  1. Come near to your childboy angry
  2. Sit on eye-level
  3. Get his/her attention before saying something (e.g. call name)
  4. Use positive words (do instead of don’t)
  5. Make your facial expression match your verbal expression
  6. Use body movement to clarify the message/instruction (e.g. pointing).

When the Child does not respond:

  • Call his/her name again (a bit firmer without screaming)
  • Repeat the instruction (a bit firmer without screaming)

When the Child does not do as you say:

  • State the consequence (e.g. if you don’t put the toys in the cupboard, I will put them in my room and you won’t be able to get them out when you want).
  • Give another chance by repeating the instruction.

When the Child does not do as you say:

  • Perform consequence

Note: Young children naturally explore boundaries. So it’s normal for children to at times challenge them. Setting reasonable consequences and carrying them out however teaches them that you’re serious about your rules/boundaries and will eventually lead them to abide by them.

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How to make Children Love to Learn

HWAs parents would hope for the best for our children. There are various tips that are very effective so that children love to learn which makes a pleasant atmosphere. According to the results of research on how the brain controls the memory in the brain would be very easy to receive and record information that goes if it is in a pleasant atmosphere. children who may feel that learning is something that is fun to have a sense of want to know the great, and greatly affect the success of learning in the future.

Learn how to identify the type of child is the type of auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Break at intervals of 15 minutes rest is far more effective than learning continuously without any break. Results showed that children are able to fully concentrate a maximum of 20 minutes. more than that then the child will begin to decrease the power of concentration. Basically the child has an instinct to learn everything that is around. Children will be the spirit and enthusiasm in learning if the content of the material being studied children according to child development.

Study with periods of rest are very effective in comparison with continuously without any lag time of rest.

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