Tuesday, May 23, 2017

10 Ways to Raise a Happier Child Posted by Elizabeth Pantley in No-Cry Discipline


Thursday, May 4, 2017

'My house is like a prison. I want to go to school.' A story in collaboration with UNICEF España.

https://www.facebook.com/playgroundenglish/videos/457614167905252/

Suicide Games and Online Media: What Should Parents Do?

You may have heard of the Blue Whale game and Thirteen Reasons Why (13RW), or them trending on your social media feed. Such content have been circulating and may negatively influence our children to view suicide as a viable way to deal with their problems, or even romanticise or glamourise the act of suicide.
Thirteen Reasons Why (13RW) is a fictional story released on Netflix surrounding the traumatic events recounted by a high school student who chose to end her life by suicide. The sinister but unverified Blue Whale game allegedly incites teenage players to carry out tasks involving self-harm in a 50-day period and culminates in a final task to commit suicide in order to win the game.
While it is difficult to verify if suicide deaths are caused by online games, such games with dark themes related to self-harm or suicide are still of concern.
Viral content about self-harm or suicide is worrying and raises important questions about media influence and the power of social media. As parents, we play a very critical protective role that can minimise the negative effects of such exposure.
  1. Teach our children media literacy to discern between fake and real events
  2. Help our children discern and avoid online gaming or social communities that could present risks of suicide contagion
  3. Take stock of the media influences that our children are exposed to
  4. Engage in conversation with them to find out what they have been watching or playing online
  5. Encourage your child to post sensitively on social media so that they do not contribute to rumours or reports that sensationalise suicide
As we talk to our children, we need not by hyper-vigilant or transfer our anxiety to them, but instead communicate our concern for their well-being and a commitment to support them through any struggles they may be facing. Together, we can help them build their resilience to overcome challenges without resorting to suicide or maladaptive behaviour.
Here are some pointers on how to talk about issues related to anxiety, distress and suicide.

1. First, know the warning signs

When our children are going through distress, they send out warning signs through their behaviour. But are we catching the signals for help being sent out? Look out for these signs and read more about distress signs and behaviour .
  1. Displaying out-of character behaviour
  2. Injuries that are unexplained
  3. Sudden changes in appearance, interests or habits
  4. Temperamental changes
  5. Rebellious/ aggressive behaviour
  6. Extended absence/ deliberate social withdrawal
  7. Struggling to pay attention/ increased lethargy
  8. Sending/ posting moody or morbid messages (including expression of deaths

2. Talk about your child’s thoughts and feelings

Start with some questions to show concern for your child’s well-being, such as, “I noticed that you…. Is there anything you would like to share?” or “Is there something troubling you?”
Take your child’s comments seriously. Refrain from minimising what they are feeling or telling them that they should not feel negative about something. That could pose a barrier for them to open up further. Instead, be open and empathetic by showing that you are trying to understand what they are thinking and feeling. Don’t judge them or their thoughts. Listen, and be caring and kind.

3. Discuss what your child has seen or heard

If your child shares that he/she has watched a movie or played a game that has themes of suicide, discuss his/her thoughts and feelings. Share that while people may identify with the characters in a movie or story, there are many healthy ways to cope with the issues faced and acting on suicidal thoughts is not one of them. Most people who have distressful experiences will reach out to someone, talk to others, and seek help. They can also find other positive ways of coping such as exercising, finding ways to de-stress and doing breathing exercises.

If your child has watched 13RW in particular, check out these points 
you could use as you talk with your child.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask them a direct question about suicide

Contrary to what we may think, asking them such questions does not put the idea in their head but invites them to share what they are feeling without stigma or shame. Direct questions could include, “Are you having thoughts about killing yourself?” or “Do you wish you could end your life?”
If you suspect your child is in danger, get help immediately from SOS 1800 221 4444 or speak to your child’s School Counsellor. Ensure the child’s physical safety and explain that you cannot keep the secret but need to break confidentiality to get the help that they need. Remind them that the thoughts of suicide are just thoughts and that they need not act on them. The impulse to do so may pass after a while.

5. Use the S.P.A.C.E tips

The S.P.A.C.E tips can guide your conversation and foster resilience in the longer term.

Space Tips 1Space Tips 2(Click to download)

6. Encourage a healthy lifestyle and a wide range of coping strategies

Encourage your child to develop a sleeping routine to help them get a good night’s sleep. For example, waking up and getting to bed at the same time, avoiding caffeine during lunchtime and shutting down electronics before bedtime.
Physical activities can help relieve stress and provide a good distraction from worries. Find a physical activity to carry out together with your child if your child is struggling to get active, or play sports with friends. Eating well can also help with sleep and general health and wellbeing. A well balanced diet helps the body and brain to function well.
Other coping strategies include talking with people they trust, keeping a journal, drawing and expressing themselves through art, practising relaxation and deep breathing. It is helpful to build up a toolbox of a variety of coping strategies.

7. Encourage them to be a positive influence


You can also encourage your child to be a voice of hope and positive influence for his/her peers. Your child can play his/her part to look out for warning signs if a peer is distressed or at risk of suicide. Encourage your child to refer the friend immediately to a trusted adult for help.


https://www.schoolbag.sg/story/suicide-games-and-online-media-what-should-parents-do

Monday, April 24, 2017

12岁前必须让孩子养成这7个好习惯,长大就迟了!

作家冯唐曾说,“成功没有捷径,但需要一些好习惯。”的确,如果将人的各种命运分解、揉碎,试图从中找出一些规律的话,那么良好的习惯,敢于抓住际遇的勇气是比天赋更为重要的东西。而幼年是养成好习惯的最佳时期,这时的孩子就像一张白纸,如果能在家长的引导下养成好习惯,就能在这张白纸上慢慢展现美妙的图画,而不是乱七八糟的笔划。

习惯一:做事有计划
做事有计划的人才会赢得信任,不至于临时抱佛脚。有些孩子每次考试前就一团乱麻,做作业时三心二意,早晨起床上学常常找不到袜子,零用钱花不到月底就一分不剩……当孩子有这方面的坏毛病时,一定教会他懂得计划的重要性。不妨让孩子在睡前梳理好第二天的日程,让孩子抄在便利贴上方便执行。养成这个好习惯,孩子绝对终生受益!

习惯二:讲礼貌,善待他人
每个人都愿意面对一张微笑的脸。微笑待人的人,总是真诚友善、宽容大度,他们走到哪里都会是受欢迎的人。爸爸妈妈应当教会孩子讲礼貌,比如日常生活里常说“你好”、“谢谢”、“对不起”,在请求他人帮忙时多用“麻烦你帮我……好吗?”的句式,平时多关心他人……长久以往,孩子会收获到比礼貌更有意义的人生财富。

Advertisement
习惯三:自己的事自己做
很多家长怕把事情交给孩子做的话,孩子会搞砸,可是谁第一次做事不是迷迷糊糊的呢?多给他一些尝试的机会,慢慢地,你会发现孩子的能力超乎你的想象!请让孩子养成“自己的事自己做”的好习惯。在孩子学会自理之前,父母要做的是放手。

特别在孩子进入小学后,起床问题,叠被子,整理房间,收拾书包等这些事情就不要再为孩子包办了。爸爸妈妈可以为孩子举办“小仪式”庆祝孩子的长大,然后提醒孩子:“你现在走进小学,已经是小大人,以后自己的事情自己做,爸爸妈妈相信你能做好。”

习惯四:别人的东西不能拿
帮孩子建立物权意识,区分自我和他人的界限。告诉孩子:“自己的东西可以自己支配,可是别人的东西不能拿。如果想要拿别人的东西,一定要征求别人的同意,不能偷偷拿,也不能明着抢。“

有的孩子会偷偷拿大人的钱去买东西,看到其他同学的玩具,孩子可能会“顺手”拿回家。这正是孩子没有物权意识造成的,爸爸妈妈要帮助孩子承担责任。当孩子喜欢拿别人的东西时,不要轻易界定孩子是小偷,请先帮助他分清楚:物品是有私人和公共的。对私人物品,不能乱碰;对公共物品,从哪里拿的要放回哪里,谁先拿到谁先使用,后来者就要学会等待。

习惯五:遵守时间
合理的生活安排、规律的作息可以增强孩子的秩序感,树立时间观念,提高做事效率。但让孩子学会守时,并不是件容易的事。父母以身作则的同时,可以尝试把主动权交到孩子手里:“10分钟后就关掉电视去做作业”、“再睡20分钟就得起床了”。慢慢地,孩子也不会为了偷懒找各种借口。

习惯六:保持一颗谦虚的心
学会发现别人的优点,向他们学习。告诉孩子,“每个人都有自己的闪光点,我们应该从别人的闪光点中想想,自己是不是也能这么做?”这个时候,保持一颗谦虚的心是极有必要的。
曾经有个孩子不敢举手回答问题,可同桌勇于发言,时常得到老师夸奖。孩子听从妈妈的话向同桌请教“秘诀”,同桌大方地告诉他:“反正说错了也没关系,老师不会怪我们的。”正是这句话打开了孩子的心扉,慢慢地,这个孩子也跟着同桌主动回答问题,也正是这股劲头,孩子的成绩提高了,性格也越见开朗。

Advertisement
习惯七:在错误中反思自己
孩子在生活中做错事,在学习中做错题是常见的事,如何做到下不为例,这就需要孩子能在错误中反思自己,从而彻底改正过来。

当孩子做错事时,爸爸妈妈请别光顾着责怪他,不妨这么反问:“你知道自己哪里做错了吗?”等孩子回答后,认真和孩子约定:“那下次我们记住这个教训,不要再犯了好吗?”对待学习也是,懂得反思的孩子能够及时总结,查漏补缺,大大减少错误再次出现的几率。从长远来看,这能够“缝补”知识漏洞,给孩子的学科打下牢固的基础。

“给孩子金山银山,不如给孩子一个好习惯。”在孩子的幼年时期,让孩子养成一些好习惯,对他的成长甚至一生都会产生重要作用。一般说来,一个习惯的养成需要21天,“冰冻三尺非一日之寒,滴水石穿非一日之功”。同样地,这些习惯对我们大人也很适用,引导帮助孩子的同时,我们也一起来提升吧!

文来自: 妈妈育儿必看


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Neuroscience Says Read to Them Like This (but Most Parents Don't)

Read to young children in this way, and they'll develop greater intellectual empathy -- and become more successful.



If you're like most parents, you'll do just about anything you can to increase the odds that your kids will be successful.
So, what if I were to tell you there's a simple thing you can to do to make it more likely that they'll be successful in life -- specifically by increasing the likelihood that they'll learn to read other people, and even predict how they'll react?
What's more, while this parenting practice might be a bit more time-consuming than some alternatives, it can also be a lot of fun and increase your bond with your children.
We're talking about the way that parents read to their young kids. Neuroscientists say there's a trick that can make the daily bedtime ritual (one my wife and I enjoy with our daughter, and that you might well enjoy with your kids, too) far more effective and beneficial.
Here's the background -- plus how it works and why:

First off, of course, read to your kids.

Let's start with the basics. Pediatricians have been preaching this for a while, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has been officially recommending it since 2014: Parents need to read to their children from the earliest ages.
Infants, even? Yep. While the youngest babies might not understand your words, the impact of your reading aloud to them is thought to have at least two benefits:
  • bonding over verbal exchanges between parent and child, and
  • demonstrating how communication itself works.
Of course, the advantages of reading become even more obvious as children grow a bit older -- and they continue to cascade. It's one of the lessons that I heard again and again in compiling my free e-book, How to Raise Successful Kids.
"The stronger their language skills are when they reach kindergarten, the more prepared they are to be able to read," Brown University professor Pamela High told the PBS NewsHour. "The better they read, the more likely they will graduate from high school."
From there, they'll be more likely to achieve higher education, enjoy positive familial relationships, and attain economic security. (No pressure, but it really does start at a young age.)

Next, read with your kids.

So, reading to your kids is important -- but doing so is really only "the bare minimum," according to neuroscientist Erin Clabough. Instead, the premium model to follow might be summarized in a subtly different way: Read with your kids, not just to them.
The pitfall here -- something we're all sometimes guilty of -- is that reading often becomes a rote bedtime ritual. It's something that parents do to "make [our kids] sleepy, or so they can have something to write down on their school reading logs," Clabough writes in Psychology Today. Unfortunately, doing it that way is only marginally different from simply sitting them in front of the television.
"We've been sucked in by the plot, and we're dying to know what happens. But we're still on the outside, watching someone else make decisions. The real magic happens inside our own heads when we try on someone else's life," Clabough writes.
OK, so how do you "read on the inside"? And what exactly is the goal? In short, it has to do with developing intellectual empathy.

Developing intellectual empathy.

Clabough refers us to research that David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano of The New School in New York did three years ago, demonstrating that people who read literary fiction develop better intellectual empathy -- meaning they can learn to better understand the thoughts and motivations of others.
Reading literary fiction might be a little advanced for young children, but Clabough suggests that we can spur the same kind of development in children by reading with them in a way that encourages them to put themselves in the story -- even simple stories.
It's important to note that we're talking here about developing intellectual empathy, as opposed to emotional empathy.
Intellectual empathy is the ability to perceive objectively how other people see and experience things -- from a distance. Emotional objectivity is more about the ability to actually see and feel things the way others do.
Both can be beneficial, but to summarize, intellectual empathy might be more useful -- it helps people predict how others will react to them, can inspire them to come up with ideas and even products that will inspire others, and doesn't carry with it the risk of decision paralysis or inaction that emotional empathy can.

Choose their own adventures.

If intellectual empathy is the goal, here's the strategy. Instead of simply reading straight through a book with your children, Clabough suggests embracing dramatic pauses and interrupting the story at appropriate moments to encourage your children to put themselves into the minds of the characters. Let them sort through the conflict before the characters do.
Do you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure stories? It's sort of like that, only done with any book that you might read to a child.
As an example, Clabough cites Are You My Mother, a classic children's book (one I've read to my daughter about a zillion times) about a baby bird who hatches while his mother is out foraging for food.
"What would you do, if you were the baby bird?" she suggests asking your young child. "Even for books you've read together 216 times, your child can come up with a different way the character can react, a different decision the character can make."
Of course this doesn't mean you have to interrupt every story every few pages and ask your child to rewrite it. But embracing the practice, so that sprinkling it into your child's reading experience becomes effortless for both of you, can lead to real benefits.

Far-off dividends.

What kind of benefits? Well, like a lot of parenting choices, we're talking about vectors here: small choices now that can have ridiculously outsized effects on a child's future success.
And of course, we're not saying that if you don't read to your children enough, they're destined to failure. But the medium- and long-term benefits of reading with your children in this manner are myriad.
Educational studies suggest that it's reflecting on a learning experience afterward that truly inspires growth, Clabough says. And encouraging children to make decisions while they're reading amounts to decision-making practice, which "results in synaptic changes and strengthening of neuronal pathways in your child."
At the end of the day, you're teaching your children not only to become better readers, but more effective people -- intellectually empathetic people who have "better relationships and lower divorce rates," she writes, and who often turn out to become "better bosses, co-workers, negotiators, and friends."

A Genius OB/GYN’s Pregnancy FAQ Every Parent-to-Be Needs to Read

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Teach Your Child to Gently Work Through a Mistake With These 5 Questions

Here's how to teach children to work through a mistake gently.

Here’s how to teach children to work through a mistake gently, giving them a lifelong empowerment blueprint for bouncing back from bad situations.

Big or small, we all make mistakes. It’s an unavoidable part of the human experience.

These life blunders teach us a lot about how to work through feelings like shame, embarrassment, fear and sadness.

Resilience is defined as “the ability to recover quickly from difficulties.” It’s an essential life skill we all need to learn. Thankfully, the first few mistakes in a child’s life are like mini resiliency workshops.

By asking our children to evaluate the situation, separate facts from feelings, and develop a game plan, we’re giving them a lifelong empowerment blueprint for bouncing back from bad situations.

These are the 5 questions I ask my own children when they come to me after a major misstep. As perfect as my kids are (to me), I know they’ll continue to make mistakes throughout their lifetimes. Yours will, too.

We can’t stop the inevitable, but can we help our children become resilient little problem solvers? You bet.


Question 1. “What happened?”
Getting all the facts in a situation is the first step in being able to help your child work through a mistake. We can’t help if we don’t know what happened.

Facts are not feelings. Helping children learn the difference between the two is an important part of their ability to solve issues now and in the future.

“I messed up at Jenny’s birthday party and no one is going to invite me to another party ever again!” is not a fact. “Messing up” is one perspective of the actions that took place, and worrying about not receiving invitations to future parties is speculation coupled with fear.

Ask the right questions and build up a solid factual foundation

“What do you mean by ‘messed up’? Can you tell me what happened?”

“Did anyone say you’re never going to get an invitation again, or is that what you think will happen?”

Dig through the information your child provides, and echo only the facts back to them. “So if I heard you correctly, you got mad and yelled at Spencer in front of everyone because he took the last cupcake. Is that what happened?”

Sometimes just stripping away everything but the facts helps reframe a stressful situation for an upset child.


Question 2: “How are you feeling?”
Now that the facts are out of your child’s head and onto the table, it’s time to find out what’s going on in the heart.

Good or bad, emotions are a vital part of the human experience. Shame, fear and worry are fairly common after an emotional fall, but some kids have an extra layer of anger or self-deprecation they have to wade through before arriving to those core emotions.

Younger kids might have a harder time identifying or naming feelings, so this can be a particularly strong teachable moment.

Have your younger child describe how they’re feeling as best they can (“It makes my tummy hurt. I don’t want to go to Jack’s house anymore!”) Then, along with the facts of the situation, help them define the emotion (“Are you worried about what Jack will think of you because you pushed him? I sometimes feel that way when I’m embarrassed, and it makes my tummy hurt, too.”)

You know your child best, so guide them through this step with the proper amount of time and care. Some children move through emotions quickly, while others linger in them for a while before being able to get to the other side.


Question 3: “What have you learned?”
This next question requires a bit of distance from the weight of overwhelming emotions. It can be hard to look at a situation objectively when you’re still clouded with those intense feelings.

When you do ask your child what was learned, be prepared that they might not see the bigger picture just yet. It can sometimes take a few hours, days or even weeks before a new perspective is born from the ashes of a bad experience.

Younger children might have a hard time sifting through the debris and finding the lessons, so offering a similar story from your own life can help. (“I had something like that happen when I was around your age, and what I learned was…”)
When kids realize there’s a teachable takeaway from every mistake, it adds a silver lining to an otherwise bad situation.


Question 4: “What can you change for next time?”

It’s time to put an action plan together.

All of us can feel pretty out of control after making a mistake and seeing the aftermath of our actions. Therefore, coming up with a solid plan to handle similar situations the next time can be very empowering.

“Instead of cheating on the test next time, I’ll make sure to study harder.”

“Instead of hitting Lily when I’m frustrated, I’ll come talk to you.”

Watch your child’s confidence grow. We all love it when a plan comes together.


Question 5: “So, how are you feeling NOW?”
Now that you’ve ironed out the facts, talked out the feelings, excavated the lessons and worked out a game plan for future situations, all that’s left to do is remind your child the sun will still come up tomorrow.

Chances are when you ask this question, things won’t be 100% better. But they’ll be getting better. Fast or slow, emotional improvement is what’s important.

Resilience is built up through life lessons like this one – and the many that will come after it. It’s not a perfect skill, but it does improve with practice.

At the end of the day, your little human is exactly that: a human. We are imperfect beings who make imperfect decisions from time to time.

But with the right amount of love and support, your child will generally come out the other side of his or her mistakes a little stronger and wiser than before.

http://www.mothering.com/articles/teach-child-gently-work-mistake-5-questions/