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Kids Helping with House Chores

Chore charts can help keep your life organized, teach your child about responsibility and how to be a part of a family.

Any given moment in our lives can become a teaching moment, we simply have to take the time. This rule especially applies when we first introduce the notion of household responsibility to our children.

Here is a simple way to go about it:

A rule of thumb in our home is: “Sharing is Caring”. We share our toys, food, T.V. time and so on. We share everything, which also means sharing the responsibilities around the house. At the moment my son Zabir has 4 ‘jobs’. Making his bed, clearing his toys, setting the table and putting the dishes away.

My Rules Are:

  • Children should have anywhere from two to four household responsibilities.
  • Chores should be viewed as responsibilities and not as WORK.
  • Do not forget to show your appreciation and thank your child when they complete the task. A little bit of praise can go a long way.

Here are my top ten age appropriate chores for children.

  1. Setting up the table.
  2. Clearing the table.
  3. Putting the toys away.
  4. Making their bed.
  5. Help put the groceries away.
  6. Feed the pet.
  7. Putting the laundry in the hamper.
  8. Matching up clean socks and folding them. (Great math skill)
  9. Watering the plants. (Gross motor activity)
  10. Putting their tooth brush away and keeping a tidy bathroom.

I believe that children in their preschool years should have up to four household responsibilities.

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When Our Child Is Struggling at School

lead_960It can be discouraging to learn that our kids are struggling academically. Don’t wait for the problem to work are some practical steps toward helping:itself out — act now. Here are some advice you may want to follow:

  • Meet with teachers. Ask questions, listen and take notes.
  • Research problem areas, and learn how you can provide practice and structure. Most academic struggles can be alleviated by consistent practice in the home.
  • Most school will give home revision and tests. Check it daily. When needed, follow up with teachers via email or their school dairy.
  • Set up a reward system that you develop together with your tween. Follow through and make sure to celebrate successes.

When parents and teachers unite, students have the best chance to experience academic success.

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When Kids Do Not Get What They Want?

When kids find it hard to get what they want, they go to “fairy land”, where magic and fairies (or other grown-ups) grant them their wishes. Unfortunately, they learn this irresponsible technique from the grown-ups around them. Even parents, when they do not get what they want, go to the “fairy land” of wishing for a winning big money, drawing a big prize and having more luck, so it is really no wonder their kids do exactly the same. They justify their unhappiness as bad luck or blame someone else for it.

Thus it is very important to educate our kids to be a REAL Muslim Kids.

I agree there is some benefit in developing the imagination with wishes and dreams, but it is very important for kids (and parents) to understand we have the responsibility to create our own luck by actively working towards our goals. If kids want to have friends, they need to do something about it. If kids want to be successful at school, they need to do something about it. If kids want to be able to swim, they need to do something about it. When kids do not wait for things to fall from the sky onto their lap and know they have to go actively looking for them, they are empowered. And their parents are there to help them succeed.

EXERCISE

Ask your kids this question:

“If I could help you achieve 3 things in the next 3 months what would they be?”

Let them speak their mind. Listen to their words. This is the time where we can hear more of our child from their inner thoughts, which we parents often neglect. Insya Allah, our kids will be more open when they realize that we acknowledge and respect their say.

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TIPS

  1. Adjust the question to the right age. Remember the emphasis is on “helping THEM get what THEY want”
  2. Make sure your kids ask for something THEY want and not something they believe you want to hear. If you suspect this is the case, ask them “Why did you choose this?” or “What will you get if you do this?”
  3. Do not belittle any desire or they will keep some desires away from you
  4. Hold yourself back from doing the job for them. Remember you are not the genie. You are just helping them move towards something they want
  5. Every process of going forward has some setbacks. You want your kids to learn the process. Talk to them about the progress, the movement, the improvement, not about being 100% successful. As long as they are moving forward, they ARE successful
  6. Encourage your kids to write their current goals down somewhere to allow both of you to see them and read them in the next 3 months. If your kids are too young to write, they can draw or cut and paste pictures from a magazine
  7. Remember to write the date on each of the goal statements, drawings and collages and keep them as memorabilia

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How to get a Defiant Child to do Homework

child-screaming“No! I won’t do it!” The screams are heartrending as they emit from the kitchen amid gasps of tears and foot stomping. Unfortunately this occurs all too often in households with a defiant child refusing to do homework. Homework can be a burden both for students and parents if not approached correctly. If a defiant child is involved in the equation, it can mean even more misery for parents and care-givers. There are several strategies that can be taken to ease the homework dilemma with a defiant child and help create an environment for success.

Defiance is a Symptom

Occurs all too often in households with a defiant child refusing to do homework. Homework can be a burden both for students and parents if not approached correctly. If a defiant child is involved in the equation, it can mean even more misery for parents and care-givers. There are several strategies that can be taken to ease the homework dilemma with a defiant child and help create an environment for success.

Often times when a child is defiant regarding homework it is a symptom of other issues or habits. It may mean investigating understanding why the child is defiant. Children can be more defiant for one parent versus another parent or testing the boundaries that the parents set. Sometimes it is evidence of defiance against the teacher or even other siblings. So before attempting other steps, trying to analyze why the child is so obstinate is the best place to start.

clockEstablish Time and Place

Routine is important to children. Homework should become a routine just as bedtime, bath time and brushing teeth. Usually it is best to start the homework as early as possible. Once the child is tired, there is a greater likelihood that the child will become defiant. If homework is a consistent part of the daily routine then the child knows that there is no wiggle room for defiance.

Be Steadfast

Under the pressure of defiance, parents sometimes lose their will to enforce good homework practices. There is a temptation to be worn down. Keep in mind if the child wins and just doesn’t do the homework, it is a long term loss. Will the fact that one assignment doesn’t get completed on one night affect a child’s education? No, but over time the child will have missed out on many learning opportunities and eventually it can cause a student to be behind other classmates academically. As the child becomes older, there will no doubt be situations that will have more at stake than simply a grade and yet the defiant child will have had defiance rewarded in the past. It may lead to more defiant behavior in the future.

New Infusion of Authority

Sometimes a great tool is to bring in a new person to be the authority for awhile. Many students improve by having a relative or a tutor come in to work with them on homework for awhile. Children tend to think that parents don’t know anything, but when someone else tells them the exact same thing, the student begins to respond. Another factor in this is when children see the negative attention from a parent as attention. Bringing in someone that does not have that emotional tie can help with a change in behavior.

Small Successes

It may be necessary to begin with small steps with rewards. The defiant child can rebel because homework seems daunting and overwhelming. Break the assignments down and then take a small break or have a snack. Often times when the student knows that a break is coming after one task, it will be tackled with more gusto. Eventually the student may indicate the desire to do a little more before taking a break. To start the goal may be finish five math problems or read one page in the book. The small goals make children feel like it is a surmountable task.

Be Calm

Often the frustrations of parents come through to the defiant child and make the situation worse. It is always best to be calm and if a parent feels upset with the child it is better to step away and ask the other parent to step in for a while. Another good idea is to decide that one parent will work on English and Social Studies while the other parent works on Science and Math. As a result is varies who is the person enforcing the homework. Also if there is such a push for perfection on the assignments that the child feels he or she can’t be perfect, it can lead to defiance. It is acceptable for the child to get a problem wrong once in awhile. Don’t push for perfection.

Work with the School

Talking to and enlisting suggestions from the child’s teachers is a valuable step. Do not keep the child out of the discussions. The teacher, administrators and counselors can be there to reinforce the expectations. It helps to make it clear to the student that everyone is united. Do not see the professionals as enemies. They are able to look at the child objectively and not emotionally.

Make it Visual

Consider a visual way for the child to see accomplishment on homework. For younger children it may mean taking a link off of a paper chain or putting jelly beans in a container. It can be a marker board or calendar to mark off the items completed. When the tasks are made visible to the student, the student develops a stronger sense of accomplishment. For older children it can be as simple as having an in-box and an out-box. Don’t put everything in the in-box at first.

BrightColoredPresents-GiftCertificaNo Rewards before Completion

A common mistake is to allow students to watch a little television or play a few video games before tackling homework. It must be established early on that completion of the homework comes before pleasure. If it is the other way around, a defiant child will continue to be defiant because of the desire to continue the pleasurable activity.

Proper Working Conditions

For some children an improper working environment can cause them to be defiant. Students are hungry and thirsty when they come home from school. A few minutes for a snack are certainly appropriate. Consider having the child sit at the counter while preparing meals so the parent is available for supervision and questions and yet it is not overbearingly looking over the child’s shoulder. Make sure that the student has appropriate supplies and that the study area is clean and neat. Cluttered desks, tables or other study areas are not conducive to studying for many students. Do consider playing music lightly in the background or allow an MP3 player as it can help some students to focus and then the homework is a little more pleasurable. Finding the proper working conditions may require a little experimentation.

If a child is defiant with homework, it may just be a symptom of other areas of defiance also. Parents should take this seriously and try to improve this behavior at as young of an age as possible. Developing homework skills at a young age can create habits that will last a student into college and beyond.

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