Saturday, January 13, 2018

Brooks Gibbs - This video just might fix your kid's bullying...

Brooks Gibbs - This video just might fix your kid's bullying...:

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How 10 Minutes a Day Can Tame the Entitlement Trend by Amy McCready

In today’s world, we see a lot of kids who think the world revolves around them. They expect to be pampered, indulged, and have their happiness be our most pressing priority. They want the best of what life has to offer without putting in the hard work, and expect parents to clear the obstacles in their path. This “me, me, me” attitude is exhausting, irritating, and honestly — it costs our kids in the long run. Entitled kids can eventually grow into self-centered adults, needy spouses, and high-maintenance employees. Weary parents everywhere want to know how they can turn the tide of entitlement and get their kids on track in a positive way.
I’m a so-called “parenting expert” (is anyone really an “expert” in parenting?) but my home is not immune to the “me, me, me” epidemic. Like most parents, I’ve struggled to keep the entitlement bug at bay. In raising my own kids and working with thousands of parents around the world, here’s what I know doesn’t work — caving in to the 4-year-old’s tantrum and buying the candy in the grocery store line. Buckling under the pressure to buy your tween the latest and greatest smartphone or trendy top. Doing your sixth-grader’s science project so they can get a perfect grade and a bright blue ribbon.
As much as you love your kids and as much as their badgering may try to convince you otherwise, your children are not entitled to those things — they really aren’t. What they are entitled to, however, is your unconditional love and a daily dose of your undivided time and attention. What’s more, believe it or not, it’s what they need and crave more than any gizmo, gadget, or treat you could offer.
Let me share one of the most important tools from the “Un-Entitler Toolbox” featured in my new book, The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic. The tool is called Mind, Body and Soul Time and it is amazingly simple, yet effective for toddlers through teens. Mind, Body and Soul Time delivers the attention and sense of belonging kids need while simultaneously helping to prevent whining, fit-throwing, sibling fighting, and the rest. How’s that for a super-tool?
Here’s how it works: Set aside 10-15 minutes, once or twice a day to spend with your child, one-on-one with NO distractions. No cell phones, no email, no TV blaring in the background — not even a mental to-do list running through your head. During this time, be completely present and in the moment — doing whatever it is he or she loves to do. From reading picture books or chapter books to playing with cars, painting toes, coloring, playing a game, or listening to their favorite music — make it all about them. What that gives them? The essentials to feel loved, safe, secure, self-assured, and valued. What it gives you? Much of the same and so much more.
“But Amy, who has the time?” Trust me, I’ve been there and thought that. The good news is the 10-15 minutes you spend doing Mind, Body and Soul Time will actually save you hours of aggravation and power struggles. As you invest in filling their attention baskets and deepening the emotional connections, your kids will become more cooperative and will be less likely to display those entitled behaviors we’re trying to avoid.
Mind, Body and Soul Time with your kids is just as vital to their well-being as teaching them to eat well and exercise. Those things are good for their growing bodies. Spending one-on-one time with them exploring their likes, dislikes, needs, joys, fears, and interests is the foundational ingredient for happy, healthy, growing minds and souls. Try it. Your life — and theirs — will be forever changed for the better when you do.

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

All kids have the ability to develop mental muscle. We just have to teach them how to exercise their minds.

In my 15 years as a psychotherapist, I’ve seen how many of today’s common parenting habits are robbing kids of mental strength. Giving up those unhealthy habits takes strength on the part of the parents, but doing so gives kids opportunities to grow stronger and become better.
Based on my book 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, here are 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong child who is prepared to tackle life’s toughest challenges:

1. Condone a victim mentality.

Failing a math test or getting cut from the team doesn’t make a child a victim. Disappointment, failure and rejection are a part of life.
No matter how unjust or tough the circumstance, refuse to attend your kids’ pity parties. Teach them the importance of taking positive action rather than indulging in self-pity.

2. Parent out of guilt.

Backing down after you’ve said no or giving in because your child cries sends an unhealthy message to your kids that you’ll allow them to guilt you. They also learn that they have the power to manipulate you by preying on your emotions.
All good parents feel guilty sometimes. But it’s important to prevent those guilty feelings from impairing your parenting judgment. Hold firm in your choices, even when it causes you to wrestle with some guilt.

3. Make your kids the center of the universe.

While it’s important to make kids your top priority, making kids the center of the universe instills self-importance. And self-absorbed, entitled adults aren’t likely to lead rich and fulfilling lives.

Teach your kids that they’re important—but not the most important person in the world. They’ll grow up to become empathetic people who recognize the gifts they have to offer others.

4. Allow fear to dictate your choices.

Protecting your kids at all costs will spare you a lot of anxiety. But your kids will grow to believe they’re fragile.
If you want to raise brave kids, be a role model who encourages facing fears. Be a guide, but don’t become overprotective. Let your kids go out and experience the world firsthand.

5. Give your kids power over you.

Asking questions like, “Do you want water or ice water?” empowers kids. But asking whether the whole family should move across the country gives them too much power. Treating kids like an equal—or the boss—harms their development.
Show your kids that you value their opinions. But make it clear that you’re the leader. Establish a family hierarchy that gives your kids opportunities to practice taking orders and doing things they don't want to do.

6. Expect perfection.

Kids will strive to meet your expectations as long as those expectations are reasonable. If you expect perfection, they’ll decide there’s no use in trying.
Teach your kids they don’t need to be the best at everything they do. Help them become a little better today than they were yesterday.

7. Let your kids avoid responsibility.

Countless studies show the importance of getting kids involved in household tasks. Yet, only 28 percent of children do chores.
If you want to raise kids who become responsible adults, give them plenty of responsibility. Let them pack their own lunches, assign daily chores, and expect them to take care of their own equipment for hobbies like sports or music.

8. Shield your kids from pain.

It can be tempting to shield kids from hurt feelings and hard times. But hardship is a part of life.
Kids need firsthand experience dealing with uncomfortable emotions like sadness, anxiety and embarrassment. With your support, they can gain confidence in themselves and trust that they can handle whatever difficulties life throws their way.

9. Feel responsible for your kids’ emotions.

Cheering your kids up when they’re sad, entertaining them when they’re bored and calming them down when they're upset means you take responsibility for their feelings.
Teach your kids how to manage their moods on their own. They’ll grow up to become independent adults who don’t need other people to regulate their emotions for them.

10. Prevent your kids from making mistakes.

Whether you correct your kids’ homework or you double check their backpacks to make sure they haven’t forgotten something, preventing mistakes won’t do your kids any favors. Natural consequences are some of life’s greatest teachers.
Let them fail sometimes just so you can support them in bouncing back. Teach them that their mistakes are opportunities to grow wiser and become stronger.

11. Confuse discipline with punishment.

Punishment is meant to inflict suffering. Discipline, on the other hand, is about teaching kids to do better.
Don’t raise kids who fear “getting in trouble.” Use consequences that teach self-discipline so they’ll strive to make better choices.

12. Take shortcuts to avoid discomfort.

Although giving in when your child whines or doing your kids’ chores for them makes life easier right now, those shortcuts will backfire in the end.
Implement delayed gratification and show your children you’re strong enough to stay the course. You’ll teach them they’re strong enough to reach their long-term goals despite the temptations to take the easy way out.

13. Lose sight of your values.

Would you rather the teacher said your child was the smartest or the kindest kid in the class? It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day chaos that you lose sight of what you value most.
Make sure your priorities accurately reflect your values. Instilling your values in your kids gives them the strength they need to live meaningful lives.
It’s important to build strong mental muscles as a family. Mentally strong kids have mentally strong parents. So be a good role model and exercise your mental muscles regularly. Establish healthy habits, like practicing mindfulness and gratitude. And give up the unhealthy habits that are holding you back. As a family, challenge one another to grow stronger and become better.

Why Your Grumpy Teenager Doesn’t Want to Talk to You


Most parents have seen their teenager start the day in a reasonably good mood, but then return from school draped in gloom and chilly silence. As hard as it can be to support our children when they tell us what’s wrong, it’s that much harder to help the obviously upset adolescent who turns down a warm invitation to talk.
These interactions usually unfold in an awkward and predictable sequence. We earnestly ask, “Is everything O.K.?” and our teenager responds with a full stop “No,” an insincere “Yeah,” or freezes us out while fielding a flurry of texts. We then tend to nurse a sense of injury that our teenager has rebuffed our loving support.
But when adolescents hold their cards close to their chests, they often have a good reason. To better ease our own minds and be more useful to our teenagers we can consider some of the ordinary, if often overlooked, explanations for their reticence.
They Worry We’ll Have the Wrong Reaction
Our children often know us better than we know ourselves, having spent their young lives learning our reflexive responses. When a teenager feels lousy about bombing a test but knows that you are likely to tell her that she should have studied more, she won’t be eager to talk.
If you suspect this might be a barrier and can listen without getting defensive, just ask, “Are you worried that I’ll have a bad reaction?” You might start a valuable conversation — even if it’s not the one you were looking for — while paving the way to better talks down the line. And we should probably think twice about the long-term implications of saying “I told you so” to our teenagers (even when we did tell them so).
They Anticipate Negative Repercussions
Parents focused on the narrow question of what went wrong can forget that our adolescents, who have more information than we do, are probably thinking about a bigger picture. Impassive silence can hide a teenager’s whirring deliberations: “Will Dad limit my driving privileges if I tell him that I put a ding in the car?” or “If I explain that Nikki had a pregnancy scare, will Mom be weird about it when I want to hang out with her next weekend?”
We can’t always keep ourselves from feeling judgmental about teenagers. And, to be sure, there are adolescents (and adults) who get stuck in worrisome ruts. But as a psychologist, there are two rules I live by: good kids do dumb things, and I never have the whole story.
Recognizing that teenagers (and, again, adults) screw up from time to time can improve communication. On the days when they do feel like sharing, we can alert adolescents to our compassionate and forgiving stance by saying, “I know you’re bummed about the car. How do you want to make this right?” or “That must have been really scary for Nikki. Is she doing O.K.?”
They Know That Parents Sometimes Blab
Teenagers are often justly concerned that we might repeat what they tell us. Sometimes we only realize in retrospect that news we divulged to others felt top-secret to our teenager. And sometimes they tell us critical information — such as word of a suicidal classmate — that must be passed along.
Whether you owe your teenager an apology for past indiscretions or are trying to get ahead of the issue, I think it’s fair and kind to promise adolescents a very high degree of confidentiality at home. Our teenagers deserve to have a place where they can process, or at least dump, delicate details about themselves or the scores of other kids with whom they must find a way to coexist.
Parents, like therapists, can lay out the limits of what we can keep private. Adolescents are usually sensible; they expect adults to act on news that they or a peer might be in immediate danger. But we can help teenagers speak more freely by making it clear that, barring a crisis, we will keep their secrets and offer moral support as they and their friends weather typical adolescent storms, such as painful breakups. And when our teenagers do share critical information about their peers, we can include them in the process of deciding how to pass along what they’ve told us.
Talking Doesn’t Feel Like the Solution
A wise teenager in my practice once said to me, “You know, I’m 90 percent of the way over what happened at school by the time I get home. Rehashing it all for my mom isn’t going to help me get past it.”
Even when we don’t know the source of our child’s turmoil, we should operate from the assumption that our teenager will soon feel better. Of course there are real grounds for concern when adolescents are miserable day after day and cannot bounce back from their emotional downturns. But most of the time psychological well-being is like physical well-being: Healthy people fall ill, but they recover.
We don’t take our adolescents’ viruses personally and we probably shouldn’t take their grumpy moods personally, either. Happily, the support we offer the flu-stricken also works when teenagers come down with grouchy silence. Without delving into what’s wrong, we can ask if there’s anything we can do to help them feel better. Would they like our quiet company or prefer some time alone? Is there a comfort food we can offer or is there something they want to watch on TV?
There’s more value in providing tender, generic support than we might imagine. It is difficult for teenagers to maintain perspective all the time. The speed of adolescent development sometimes makes teenagers lose their emotional footing and worry that they will never feel right again. We send our teenagers a powerful, reassuring message when we accept and are not alarmed by their inscrutable unease: I can bear your distress, and you can, too.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Praise your child. How to do it?

How can I be an involved parent in my child's education?

Learn about Joyce Epstein's six types of parental involvement for effective school-home collaboration.

There are various models of effective school-home collaboration. One that is widely known is Epstein’s (2001) six types of parental involvement: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making and collaborating with the community.
Adapted from the six types of parental involvement, here are some practical involvement tips and suggestions that you may consider:

1. Parenting your child
  • Recognise that your child has different needs at different milestones of his/her development
  • Make time to connect with your child and to show an interest in his/her daily activities by actively listening and gently guiding
  • Create an environment that is nurturing and affirming and look for opportunities to reinforce the values learnt at school
2. Communicating with your child's school 
  • Communicate with teachers to help you stay connected with your child’s progress, behaviours and achievements. Discuss with them your concerns if any. Be open to ideas and feedback on your child’s development
  • Familiarise yourself with the various school communication platforms and channels that will best serve your needs and will help you to understand the school’s various programmes in relation to your child’s needs and interests
3. Join as a parent volunteer! 
  • Enrol to be a member of the school’s Parent Support Group
  • Contribute your service and/or expertise to school initiatives, programmes and events
  • Respond to calls for assistance by your child’s teachers in class-related matters
4. Learning at home 
  • Encourage a positive learning attitude at home by fostering a love for life-long learning in your child
  • Engage your child in fun and relevant learning activities that will help him/her feel excited and enthusiastic about learning
  • Help your child draw connections between the content or concepts learnt in school and everyday life
5. School Decision Making 
  • Provide constructive feedback and suggestions to schools on programmes and practices through the various school’s communication channels and platforms
  • Assume leadership roles on Parent Support Group executive committees, where available
  • Contribute your ideas to other parents who serve in the same Parent Support Group executive committee
6. Community Partnership 
  • Gather information on community services and programs that will benefit your child and/or family
  • Share information about useful community services and programs with other families and neighbours
  • Surface opportunities for school-community collaborations in your community that your child, family, and school could be involved in
  • Support the school’s projects and programmes with the community