Posts Tagged ‘Kids / Children’
It is the end of the school year here in Australia and like every year, my kids say goodbye to some wonderful teachers and I get sentimental. Noff (my youngest) is finishing primary school and will be going into high school next year, so we had to say goodbye to quite a few teachers.
As we were making up the end of year gifts, we made a list of all the teachers Noff has had in the last 8 years, and examined their contributions to her life and to ours, her family. Noff had about six teachers she said she really liked. Of those six, two made a significant impact on her life and one was such a fantastic teacher, Noff will remember her forever. She is what you might call a “forever teacher”.
Even just one teacher like that is enough to set your kid up for life. Noff was lucky enough to have this teacher for a whole year and then continued to stay in contact with her in one way or another for the next 4 years.
We, the Baras Family, would like to bestow the 2013 Best Teacher in the Entire World Award to Ms. Kellie Scrogings! Kellie (or Ms. Scrogings, as the kids must call her) was Noff’s Year 3 teachers. She then directed the school musicals when Noff was in Years 6 and 7.
As the state director of the Together for Humanity Foundation, I meet teachers and students to promote diversity and good relations and I believe empathy is the key. If we all had more empathy, the world would be a much better place. With more empathy, families would be happier – there would be fewer divorces and fewer problems with children.
In my work with parents and teachers, I am often asked about empathy and how others develop it. I have decided to combine all the suggestions here. If you are working with children, if you in relationship and would like to develop your own empathy, or if you want to encourage empathy in your students or children, I hope you can make good use of this list.
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.
This week, a client of mine asked about her son’s behavior. Thomas, her 3-year-old son, does not know what to do when kids take things from him. Sharon, his mum, says he starts crying immediately. She is worried that this will be his behavior in the future. She wrote in her email to me, “If a child cries when kids take toys from him, does it mean he will grow up to use crying whenever things do not go his way?”
The simple answer is:
No. Just because kids do certain things do when they are young, does not mean they will do them as adults.
Kids are inexperienced in searching for ways to get what they want. They have had limited exposure to “life” so they use more primitive and intuitive ways of getting things. When they were born, all they knew how to do was cry. And they found it to be an effective way to get what they needed. We all used crying as a method when we were babies, but that does not mean we do it now that we are grown up, at least, not in the same way.
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.
In the previous blog posts, I explained how to use the choice theory in the classroom, fulfilling the student’s basic needs. As I said in the blog post about business, bosses and managers, we can consider the teacher as a manager, the boss of the class, or the leader of the class.
I have been running workshops for teachers for many years. I am shocked 100% of the time to discover that 3 or 4 years of teaching degree focuses mainly on curriculum and lesson plans and nothing on the teachers’ emotional intelligence or leadership abilities. In 100% of all my workshops, the teachers feel disappointed the information was not available for them before they started their teaching career.
Still, we can all choose to adopt this method of teaching at any time. What I tell them is, “It is never too late to start choosing differently. In the past, you didn’t know about this, so there was nothing to choose from. Now that you have the option whether to adopt or not, you can practice your choice muscle.”
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.
Relationships are very sensitive and needs to be cherished. Sometimes in life, they will be threatened. Every conflict puts a relationship to the test, and we have plenty of conflicts in our lives.
As part of my work as a state director of Together for Humanity Foundation, I often lead discussions with kids and teachers about ways to deal with conflict and how it impacts our relationships. One story we tell the kids is the story of the Sand and Stone. This is a story that is important to keep in mind for every relationship: parent-child relationships, couples, friends, work colleagues, countries, enemies and for any two people who are in a relationship.