Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
Winning is easy and losing is not. Let’s face it, regardless their age, no one likes to lose. Even the word “losing” sounds devastating. It is no wonder most of us are such sore losers. Most of the time, parents who are sore losers raise sore loser kids. What can we do to make sure losing is not so devastating?
When I had my early childhood center, we stopped using the word “losing”. We replaced it with words like learning, opportunities, testing, growing and evolving. It does not sound like much but it worked well for the kids. It takes away a lot of the heartache and pain.
When we lose, we feel so terrible because we face feelings that we do not have tools to manage. Some feelings are: disappointment, inability, failure, missing out, inferiority, lack, disempowerment, helplessness, and fear.
Today is the first school day in Australia and my 12-year-old daughter Noff is starting high school. That’s it, my little girl is in high school and I am very emotional.
Every year, on the first day of school, we get up very early. Most years, the kids could not sleep from too much excitement. If school starts at 8:45, but they were ready to go at 7:00. It is funny how many years you can drop kids off at school (my eldest is 25 years old now) and still have the same feeling every first day of the year. It is one of those things that time and practice do not change. I drop them off at school and feel I give the most precious thing for me to a group of teachers who will spend more time with him or her than I will. It is not a feeling of neglect, more like a bond we have between us, parents and teachers, that will last for as long as my child goes to that school.
The first time I heard about Autism was 29 years ago, when I was studying special education. It opened up a whole new world for me. The institute where I studied had amazing teachers who specialized in autism. The institute had a center for Autism but unfortunately, students were not allowed to do work experience there. Throughout my bachelor degree I did work experience anywhere between once to 3 times a week. But never in the autism center.
In my third year of studies, I had to choose a work experience placement again. Many organizations gave presentations in an attempt to convince us to join them for the year. Once again, work in the Autism Center was not on offer. I was disappointed because I felt a pull to work with autistic children, or at least to learn more about them. In a very bold move, I specified the Autism Center as my first, second and third preferences for placement.
In every family, some mornings are harder than others. How the morning goes often sets the tone for the rest of the day, so the way all the family members wake up can determine whether the day will be easy and relaxed or stressed and chaotic.
Imagine a rushed morning. You find yourself saying things like, “Get ready”, “Get dressed”, “Come on, put your shoes on”, “We are going to be late”. The kids are late for school, you are late for work, you spill coffee in the car, the kids forget their lunch boxes and when you think it could not possibly get any worse, you find yourself stuck in traffic. You end up thinking if only you had those 5 minutes you wasted hurrying the kids, you would have been ready on time.
It is not always easy to wake up kids. If they went to sleep later than usual, or they stayed up late in front of a screen, it can be even harder. The best way to help them wake up in the morning is to give them time. I know it sounds funny but enough time to wake up at their own pace is all it takes. Regardless of their age, waking up at their own speed is essential for a good start to the day.
In Australia, we are halfway through another school holiday season. I love school holidays, even though I finished school many years ago. For parents, the holidays can be a stressful time. Here is an A-to-Z guide of what you can do with your kids these school holidays to make the time a bit easier.
Acting is a very healthy and fun thing for kids to do. Give them opportunities to rehearse a play and present it to you. They can make puppets and use a table as a stage. Be a very supportive audience and encourage them to perfume for you.
Beach is a great place to be in the school holiday. Give the kids a ball and some boxes to build sand castles and they will be busy for hours.
Children will strive with encouraging. If kids were plants, their environment would be the soil while encouragement and support would be the water and sun they need in order to grow.
Children who receive positive encouragement grow up to have very strong emotional stamina. Their emotional intelligence helps them manage challenges, difficulties and failure. These skills form the basis of growing up to be successful people. Parents, teachers and caregivers are those who can give us these skills.
Here is a list of 20 positive feedback starters that encourages kids to keep doing something you would like to support and promote. You can change the ending to suit whatever it is you want to encourage.
“You’ve done a wonderful job at… picking up the toys”
“It was an excellent idea to… make a strong foundation for the Lego building”
“You must be very proud of yourself for… submitting the assignment on time”
Being a mother has been one of the greatest achievements of my life. Each of my kids is an achievement, and they are also big achievers themselves. Some say that it is a cycle. We, as parents, make our kids successful, loving achievers and in return they make us successful, loving achievers.
One of the best descriptions of my feeling towards them is pride. They do amazing things and I am enormously proud of them. I have come up with a theory that I like to call “Pride Therapy”. Every time one of my kids has an achievement, by proxy, I have also achieved something.
In my coaching and presentations, I sometimes ask people to describe their feelings as animals. I find it makes it easier to express these feeling. It does not have to be an animal that represents all your feelings all the time. Each feeling is a different animal. For example, you might be a panther in the office, and a sloth on a relaxed Sunday.
Self regulation is the ability to control ourselves and not do things impulsively. This skill is like a muscle – the more we practice, the stronger it gets. Once it is strong, it is much easier to resist temptation and function according to a “plan”, rather than going with whatever comes your way or whoever applies more pressure.
In the last two posts in this series, I explained the mechanism of self regulation and shared some research on its importance, particularly in parenting. Today, I want to share some tips with you on how to strengthen the self regulation ‘muscle’. It can be easy to find self control and be the role model you want to be for your children.
In my last post I wrote about the difference between parents who try to control their kids and those who are self controlled. It all depends on the “self regulation muscle”, which has three levels of strength: weak, medium and strong.
This week, I would like to share some research on self regulation that might help you on your parenting adventure. It may even help prevent conflict and disagreement in your other relationships.
Remember, it is called “self” regulation for a reason. It is not something you can do to someone else. You have to do it for yourself. This is what most parents do not understand. They try to enforce regulations, but they are an external force so it does not work as well.
This week, I met a guy at a social gathering and we introduced our families to each other. I talked about my wonderful kids and he told me about his kids. About the first two he just mentioned their age. About the youngest he said “This one is the kid from hell”. I talked to him a bit more and realized that you can tell a lot about successful parenting from a parent’s ideology about whether they should control their kids or control themselves.
There is an area in the brain, a bit like a muscle, that is responsible for “self regulation”. Self regulation is the ability to control ourselves and not do things impulsively without thinking them through. People who are able to self regulate have better relationships, mange conflicts better, have more money, were more popular as kids and have less conflicts and problems in life.