Archive for the ‘Kids / Children’ Category
Schools struggle a lot with the increased use of mobile phones by children. Many new regulations are in place to stop children from bringing mobile phone to school. At a primary school level, some schools ask the students to deposit their mobile phones at the office. In high schools, the phone devices are part of everyday life and a regular item in each class. In the past, teachers had to deal with the concentration and focus of the children. Now, they need to fight the attraction of the mobile phones as well!
With the introduction of mobile phones, one new problem that teachers to deal with is cheating on tests. In the past, students had to think of very sophisticated ways of writing cheat shits on paper, on their hand, the back of the ruler or the calculator. Kids today have a very handy way to keep the information and they use it well.
A survey conducted by a media sources with some common sense discovered that a third of teens with mobiles admitted to storing information on their phone, using it in an exam or texting their friends the answers while their friends are in the exam.
In Australia, the new school year starts today. I sent some rules about starting the year on a positive note to all my clients, which I would like to share with you too.
Even though the first week of the school year is not very important in terms of learning material (because most teachers do not teach new things), I believe it is one of the most important weeks. It is a pivotal point for setting the right frame of mind to ensure a good year.
Most kids are very excited to start the year. They have mixed emotions of anticipation and fear. Whatever happens in the first week of school, will determine which will take over – the fun and excitement or the dread, from the new teacher, academic performance or lack of friends.
Up to 6 years ago, Gal was the person who worked outside of home while I stayed home with the kids. Being around kids has been a great joy for me. I think it allowed me to borrow some strength from my work and use it at home and vice versa. When I need an idea of what to do with the kids, I only need a couple of seconds and I can come up with heaps of ideas. Usually, the parent who stays at home with the kids is the one with most of the ideas. They have the task of spending time with the kids, taking care of them. It makes them very creative, flexible and preferably efficient.
One of my clients complained that her husband had to spend one evening with the kids, while she had to go studying, and that she was very stressed about it. Her husband said he had no idea what to do with them. When she gave him some entertainment suggestions he said, “No, I want to do something with them that will be meaningful”. This made me think that some parents do not understand that for kids, everything can be meaningful if it is in the form of play.
I hope this post will be great help for parents who are sometimes stuck for ideas.
For most of us, gifted children and creativity go hand in hand. Not all gifted children are creative. A child can be very gifted at memorizing things which requires no creativity. Yet all creative kids are gifted because creativity opens the kids’ minds to lots of opportunities.
I think parenting requires creativity. Not all parents master parenting. Some parents are not very creative in their philosophy and actions. But that does not mean they cannot develop that creativity, that drive and flexibility to search for, and find that switch in their kid’s brain.
In my last “Gifted Children” post, I shared an assignment our 11 year old daughter, Noff, had to do for school. Mr. Martin was very impressed with her work and showed it to all the teachers and even the principal. In a way, he turned on Noff’s switch. She was so “switched on” that she would get up early in the morning to work on her assignment.
Gender stereotyping has bothered me since the first years of my education studies. When I learned to recognize that we, as teachers, make assumptions about kids even if we do not like to admit it, I realized that I could influence the kids I worked with by using positive prejudice or limiting prejudice.
The gender stereotype is one of the biggest and most limiting stereotypes. It influences how we make decisions and we often make bad decisions based on it.
Although I understand there are some major differences between boys and girls, men and women (for example, having different physical features), I think the main difference is due to the way they are treated since childhood. Yes, I know, it is not easy to admit that we treat boys and girls differently and by that, we teach them to behave differently, but I think it all starts with dressing girls in pink and boys in blue.
To help your children find their gifts and talents, it is good to find yours first. Children learn best by example and this will make you a role model for being gifted. Here are my simple rules for finding your switch.
Do not do anything out of fear, guilt or shame, because that will just make your brain a darker place. If you want to help your kids, make sure they do not do things for you. Doing things just to please others is a sign of a dark, dark place and no learning and growth can happen there. So do not make your kids feel guilty for not practicing their musical instrument and do not make them feel bad about not achieving.
Most people (and children) already have the light shining through them, but they just do not recognize it or appreciate it. Finding the things you are good at is a very good way to narrow down the search for your light switch. If you let go of following the school system, which only focuses on three areas, you will find that there are millions of other places to look and millions of things to look for.
The “things I am good at” list is a very important list for grownups and for kids. Kids are not used to saying things like that about themselves and they grow up to be grownups who do not appreciate themselves. Try making this list on your own, but if you are stuck, ask others to help you by telling you what they think you are good at. Children may need more help to make this list. As I always say, aim to put 100 items on your list.
In my parenting workshops, when I talk about ways to find that switch in the kids’ brain and talk about Eden, who is emotionally gifted, and Tsoof, who is musically gifted, I get a feeling that many of the participants believe that they were born gifted. The hardest thing for me to do in the workshop is to convince them that Eden and Tsoof were as ordinary and special as all other kids in the world. Sometimes, when I manage to convince my clients how we did it, they sit there in shock and in silence for a minute and ask, “Do you mean your kids are just regular kids?!”
Yes, I do!
“They are as regular as others and they are as special as others. All kids have the light inside. The only difference between them and others is that their parents dedicate enough energy to finding the switch that turns on the light”.
I believe that the essence of life is finding that switch and turning the light on. This light is where all good feeling resides. Where success can find a home, abundance is on our dinner table constantly and happiness shines in every corner of our being. I consider people lucky if their light is on or if they know where the switch is and they can turn it on at will.
The great thing about that light is that it can be used in dark times and life is full of dark moments.
The best time to find the switch and turn the light on is during childhood, long before the dark ages of our conditioned adulthood, long before we think of ourselves as frustrated and unable. This requires parents to dedicate much of their energy to finding that switch.
Last week, I ran two parenting workshops. At each one, I told the parents that I had found an amazing formula for raising gifted children and that my goal for the day was to share this formula, or at least the main parts of it, with them.
Every time I run a workshop, I get puzzled looks and parents ask, “How can you share such a thing with us? Aren’t kids either gifted or not?”
Well, no! Kids are gifted. Period. We just have to help them discover their particular gifts.
Imagine that the brain has switches. Kids are born with all the switches turned on. As they experience life, they learn to specialize, to switch some off and keep some on. It is impossible to have all these switches on all the time, so the mechanism of turning some of them off is very healthy and helps people survive. Can you imagine an expert who specializes in biology, art, history, electricity and music? I did not think so. The idea of specializing is that we narrow down our range interests to allow us to delve more deeply into the things we choose.
The first thing God said in the book of Genesis was, “Let there be light”. Parenting and teaching are kind of like being God, because our job is to do just that – turn on the switches and say, “Let there be light”.
Many parents, when they think of traveling with their kids, immediately hear this whine in their mind, coming from the back seat of the car, “Are we there yet?” I have seen similar scenes in way too many movies too. Being in the car with bored kids is possibly one of the most common fears parents have, which causes many of them to avoid traveling with their children.
Another thing that is now very common is the use of electronic gadgets to pacify kids and keep them occupied on the way to interesting places, because of the fear of what they might do if they get bored. Watching a DVD or listening to music, often each person separately listening with headphones, seem like good ways to “have some peace and quiet”.
Again, how horrible.
Because traveling is not just about the places we visit. Traveling is also about breaking the family routine, spending quality time together and bonding. Sharing a DVD player may keep your kids occupied and quiet, but it will prevent them from developing their imagination, their ability to keep themselves interested and their connection with other members of the family. In fact, it actually makes them bored more often and teaches them to fear boredom and to view their own children later on as a nuisance.
How… OK, you get it.
Ronit and I have just returned from a week away with our kids. It is now winter in Brisbane, with temperatures below our enjoyment threshold, so we decided to go to Port Douglas, which is in the tropical region of Australia. We were hoping for nice, warm weather. Instead, the sky was overcast, it rained lightly on most days and the temperatures we pretty mild. But we had a ball anyway.
Last week, our 11-year-old daughter Noff had a slumber party for her birthday. Since she has a birthday party every year (most of her friends do not), we decided we would try to do something different this year. She had already had one or two friends for a sleepover, but never a whole slumber party. At first, I asked her how many girls she would invite and she said 5, but when the invitation went out, I discovered she had invited 12 girls.
Hmmm… I wondered how that would work.
While I was worried if we would be able to fit 12 girls into our living room as the invitation went out, I realized that a slumber party required more than just a big living room. It comes with lots of other challenges. Some people also questioned our choice to allow this mass sleepover to take place, but I thought it was a great opportunity to give our daughter a chance to learn things about herself and others that no amount of talking could.
Challenge 1: The number of kids
The first challenge was to reduce the number of people from 24 that usually come to her parties to 7, which we thought would be a good number. Obviously, this did not work for us, because with a lot of effort, Noff only brought it down to 12. She struggled so much that we comforted each other, “We’ll manage. We always do”.
Eventually, 7 girls confirmed, we put mattresses on the floor, and as the girls came with their small suitcases, we discovered there were 9 girls there, 10 including Noff.