Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘beliefs’

Social Media Reality: Look Up! What Are You Missing?

Mobile phones, the vehicle for social media

Technology and social media have become a significant part of our life. Recently, I learned some valuable lessons about just how they affect us and the opportunities they make us miss.

My 13-year-old daughter, Noff, is the youngest in our family. Lately, she has been struggling with not having a mobile phone to take to school. To her, mobile phones are very cool. Some kids need them to coordinate pick-up times or for safety on the bus.

Unfortunately for her, she does not need it for any of those things. She so much wants to be part of the mobile phone in-crowd that she uses our old phones to play games. She struggles with not being like everyone else and I struggle with my parenting.

I have some beliefs and rules about social media and I know I need to adjust them to suit the times. I have three kids and I cannot apply the same parenting rules regarding media with Noff that I did with my first two.

Discrimination: Speak Up!

Girl with anti discrimination sign: I was born this way

Discrimination is an important issue that we as humans need to tackle. I even have my own discrimination story. When I was young, I was discriminated against a lot.

I was discriminated against for not being a good student, for my ethnicity, for my social status. I was discriminated against for things I had control over and things I had no control over (like my parents’ income, my height). I was also discriminated against by my own family. My mom discriminated against me for being a girl (and not a boy) and for being sick while everyone else was healthy. Even my siblings excluded me for not being able to sing like them.

Back then, I felt very sad and miserable about it. I think I was very confused. It was hard for me to comprehend people’s discrimination towards things I had no control over. Now, over 35 years later, I am glad I experienced that discrimination.

Do you know why?

Kids: The Best Anti-Smoking Incentive

Little girl smoking

Smoking is bad. Everyone knows that. Unfortunately not everyone understands it. Countless campaigns have tried and failed to encourage people to quit smoking but I think kids have the power to make a difference.

When I was growing up, my dad was a smoker. He was not one of those people who smoked a cigarette every once in a while. He smoked more than a packet a day. For my dad, smoking was a manly thing. While my mom never smoked, and my older sister fought with him about for years, he kept on smoking. Even at home, next to us. He had no intention of stopping. His excuse was, “I have been smoking for years. I can’t stop now”.

One day, he found out that my brother, who was about 16 years old, had smoked his cigarettes. He freaked out. I remember that day. He was furious. He ran around screaming like a crazy man. My sister, who was 17 years old at the time, said something to him that changed his perspective completely. She said, “How can you tell him smoking is bad for him if you smoke yourself?”.

14 Ways of Developing Empathy in Kids

Elephant and young woman touching foreheads

Empathy plays a very important role in the interaction between human beings. I have been working with children for over 28 years and have found that although some kids are naturally empathic and others are not, empathy can be learned.

Empathy is just one of the elements of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). As teachers, we focus on 4 major components of EQ:

- Recognizing my feelings.
- Managing my feelings.
- Recognizing the feelings of others.
- Helping and supporting others to manage their feelings.

Empathy falls under component 3 (recognizing the feelings of others). Despite it being an element all on its own, we believe that it can contribute greatly to the development of the first two components. We believe that anyone who can understand the feelings of others is better at communicating, managing conflicts and generally has more successful relationships.

Happily Wealthy Family: Positive Beliefs about Money

Piggy bank - useful with some positive beliefs about money

Being wealthy is more than counting the money you have in your bank account. It is a mindset. In the last chapter of Happily Wealthy Family, I shared many of the negative beliefs we often have about money. By identifying these beliefs, you can do your best to replace them with positive beliefs about money.

Here is a list of 100 positive beliefs about money, wealth, investing and rich people. Reading them does not mean you automatically adopt them. Find the ones you do believe in and make sure to hang them up in a place you can read every day. If you find others you want to adopt, find a story, a situation, or a person you know that is proof that this belief is valid.

For example, I had a belief that you have to be born rich to be rich. I wanted to believe that everyone could be rich. I knew a guy (who was my dad’s boss) who was very wealthy but was born to a very very poor family. With the help of this story, I could adopt the belief “Everyone can be rich!”

This post is part 9 of 9 in the series Happily Wealthy Family

The Beauty Inside

Blonde toddler, still with the belief of beauty inside

It is a fact that we cannot see ourselves the same way others can see us. Firstly because we usually see ourselves in the mirror which is not the same position others see us in. Secondly, because we see ourselves from the inside and the inside is cluttered by thoughts and feelings we have towards ourselves.

The beauty inside is developed by what others, who are very close or important to us, say about us. I have met many grownups who carry negative beliefs from childhood. For example, people who are critical of a facial feature like a long nose or big eyes that mom or dad mocked at the age of 6. They simply cannot shake this feeling in adulthood. I myself grew up in a culture that thought straight hair was an advantage and curly hair was not. As kids, we spent year looking for ways to straighten our hair. It was only when I grew up and met others who spent a fortune on curling their hair that I learned to appreciate what I have. This is a natural process.

Happily Wealthy Family: Negative Beliefs About Money

Money tree - one of the most common beliefs about money

I was born in a poor family and I think the people in my family had poor beliefs about money. I made it my goal to raise my kids with rich and wealthy beliefs about money. I think I did. You see, poor people adopt beliefs to justify the fact that they do not have money. Because of their beliefs, they do not take certain opportunities to gain money and their situation remains the same. My job as a mother is to keep my kids away from those thoughts.

Most people think that in order to have money, you need to make, earn or win it. I think that in order to have money, we have to have good thoughts and beliefs about money, about making money, about finances and wealthy people. If you have these thoughts, the money will come to you rather than you trying to chase it.

The best way to become wealthy is to examine your beliefs about money, get rid of the bad ones and adopt good beliefs. My strategy of getting rid of negative beliefs is to find just one example where it is not true. For example, if I believe money only comes when I work hard, I think of a time when I sat on my butt doing nothing and still got paid.

This post is part 8 of 9 in the series Happily Wealthy Family

Parenting Sore Losers

Little kid on a winners podium who came third

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.

How to Be a Great Teacher (L to T)

Apple on a stack of books

Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching. In this post, we continued with the letters L through T of How to Be a Great Teacher.

Love of learning is the ultimate teachers’ goals. Use any (positive) way you can think of to promote, advertise and support your students’ love of learning. If they love learning, regardless of what mark they get, you get an A in teaching. To evaluate yourself, ask the kids at the end of every year how much they enjoyed and loved learning with you.

This post is part 3 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Be a Great Teacher (A to K)

Love teaching written on a blackboard

As teachers, our teaching ability is an art form that we keep developing throughout our careers. One of the best parts of any professional development courses I run for teachers, is the discussion about our philosophy and tips we can share with others about teaching. Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching.

Here is a guide that has informed my teaching over the years. I hope the teachers reading this blog will find it useful.

Affirmations are very important in education. Things you repeat over and over again become the thoughts and beliefs of your students. Make sure to plant good affirmations in their minds, ones that they will be able to use long after you are not there. “I can do it!” for example, is a great affirmation that will benefit them more in life than an A in math. Watch what you are repeating.

This post is part 2 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

Ronit Baras

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