Me in a Tree

Posts Tagged ‘Raising Children’

30Aug

Get your family started on the path to better communication!

Building a stronger family can be challenging, even for the most dedicated parents.

• Create greater harmony with a weekly Family Huddle

• My Duties Calendar is a simple monthly overview of all the chores and responsibilities to be completed on any given day

• on the Family Calendar enter all the family’s activities, appointments and schedules

• Things to Do is full of fun activities, events, workshops and volunteer positions that are available in your community for you and your family to experience

Parent Support has a Parent Talk forum, resource center, blog, and Ask Eva column where parenting support and help is available at your fingertips

Me in a Tree: Where parents can get the help they need.

28Aug

Creating a  close family is the result of having clear plan, online parenting resourcesa commitment to each other and a willingness to work together to make it happen. It’s a choice: creating a close family is a conscious decision to tackle and master the hardest job on the planet: being a parent.

Raising compassionate and successful children to adulthood takes resources, tools and information:

  • Talking to and sharing with one another more
  • Managing your time more effectively
  • Creating more time for family
  • Reconnecting with your spouse
  • Understanding your family’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Restoring balance and peace in your family
  • Being more organized
  • Teaching your children the things they need to know as they grow up
  • Reducing stress
  • Teaching teamwork
  • Building self-esteem
  • Having more fun as a family

Me in a Tree creates close families through interactive games and activities your whole family will love.

22Aug

These days, we face a staggering fact: Me in a TreeThere are primary school aged children with – wait for it – cellphones! Unfortunately, the fact of our modern world is that we are becoming quite fast and furiously an “I want” society. A new phone is released on the market every few weeks; the next hottest toy hits shelves, and your child has to have it, or you become embroiled in the next big craze – like the Tamagotchi of the 90s or the Snuggie of 2012, remember those?

However, while preparing for this post, I came across a blog that listed 15 things that children should value more than possessions. Things like valuing honesty, hard work, justice, nature made the list. But so did the more tangible things like family members and friends. It was refreshing to read this blog post, and think about what we value now. Television, internet, e-readers, and cellphones would all make a top 10 list of things that we valued in our modern world.

But, what if families turned off the television and put away the cellphones for, say, a week? What would happen? I imagine houses smelling like chocolate chip cookies, children experiencing the joy of running through the sprinkler on a hot day, and families laughing together. This is oversimplifying things, but even if families set aside one day a week or every two weeks and spent time together as a family sans technological distractions, it is possible that children can learn to value things like friendship, honesty, family, and other things.

1Aug

Seeking attention, power, or revenge are all ways that children mistake dealing with power hungry childrenas tactics of acceptance. The child who wants power is often characterized as the one who feels that if he defies authority, he will be noticed and praised for standing up for himself. These children tend to provoke arguments, throw tantrums, and become disrespectful toward his parents and peers. However, there are ways to deal with situations when your child fights for authority and power.

Remove yourself from the power struggle. Don’t engage in any argument with your child. Insist that the both of you will talk it out later, but refrain from exchanging verbal hostilities. When you exert your authority over your child through intimidation or force, the outcome is often negative. Either your children will lose the motivation to make decisions for themselves or they rebel even more. By disengaging from the power struggle, you can retain a positive balance of power.

It is important that you step back and look at the whole picture. What is the context surrounding your child’s defiance and insistence? It is up to you to set the course for cooperation and understanding in any relationship that your child encounters as they grow older.

As a final remark, remember that it is still important that you give your children space to make their own decisions. This fosters a cooperative attitude, and will increase their self-esteem. Remember, you can always ask for help. Check out our parent forum or Ask Eva for more support to specific situations.

31Jul

Children begin to develop a sense of self starting from infancy, watch yourselfand they see themselves through their parent’s eyes. Your tone of voice, body language, and expressions all contribute to how your child views him or herself as they develop.

Regardless of your child’s behaviour – positive or negative – your reactions will have an influence on how he or she continues to behave, so it becomes very important that you are aware of your responses.

You may find that you become more susceptible to your own reactions if you see the situation from your child’s point of view. This allows you to understand their perspective and adjust your reactions accordingly. For instance, if your child is behaving badly and is really pushing your buttons, do you launch into loud lecture, or step back and ask yourself if your reaction is one that you would be willing to observe in your own child. If you always react in an angry way when your child doesn’t behave like they should, he or she will think that this is a normal reaction and begin to model it back to you or his or her peers.

Remember this one thing: children watch you. They will constantly observe what you say, how you treat people, and how you react in different situations. If you want them to have calm, cool-headed, positive behaviour, you must model that yourself.

30Jul

Effective parenting requires patience, and patiencePatience and Parenting requires time and persistence.

Every parent loses his or her patience every once in a while, but like any habit, this can be cultivated and mastered, and is especially important when dealing with your children.

Has your child ever spilled something on the carpet or broken something valuable? Did you ever lose your cool? Of course you have! Children are some of the most curious and mischievous people. The way you react to your child’s behaviour is often proportional to how he or she behaves in the future, so it is important to react with patience.

Here are some tips on cultivating patience every day.

• If your child starts to get on your nerves, count to 10. This is a really effective method to cool down before you say anything that you might regret.
Deep breaths. This works very well with the tip above. Count to 10, take a few deep breaths, and repeat if you need to.
Ask yourself, “Does this help?” Often yelling and angry words are not productive ways to get your child’s attention or discipline effectively.
Take a break. Sometimes, the best immediate solution is to physically leave the situation. Go take a walk for 15 minutes to gather your thoughts before you talk to your child.
• Just laugh about it. Like said above, nobody is perfect, and parents need to be reminded of that. Parents should enjoy their children. This doesn’t always work, but it’s good to remind yourself of this.
React with love. Initial reactions tend to be angry, but it is more effective to react with love.

24Jul

The ability to solve problems is one of the most essential skills problem solvingthat humans develop throughout their lifetime. It is critical for nearly every aspect of life: jobs, relationships, children, etcetera. Because having problem solving skills is so important, it is a good idea to start teaching them to your children when they are young.

One of the strongest and fastest ways to teach problems solving skills is through play. Scheduled opportunities – play date, playschool, or a trip to the park – allow your children to experience social problem solving. For instance, if your child wants to play with a certain toy, but another child is already playing with it, what would you do? Support your child’s resolution of the problem by gently guiding him or her to an appropriate response. For example, say to your child, “Do you want that toy? You should ask that boy if you can take a turn with the toy”. By modeling and matching your words and guidance to your child’s level of language and development, you increase your child’s success in problem solving in social situations.

This type of problem solving is not, however, specific to social circumstances. Working with your child to find solutions is a great way to:

1.  demonstrate the skill in your own life

2.  give your child the space to develop the skill on his or her own

Finally, encourage self-expression, which can lead to a generation of many possible solutions. Urge your child to evaluate each alternative and choose the best option. Follow up with talking about why your child chose the solution that he or she did. Before long, your child will become a problem solving whiz.

23Jul

Getting your youngsters to bed can seem like a full-time job, Me in a Treeand they often prevail as the boss. With electronic babysitters (i.e. television, iPods, video games, etc.), it is hard to transition from an active, engaged child to a sleepy, slumbering bundle of joy. Luckily for you, here are five tips on making bedtime much easier.

1. Set up a routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and follow this pattern – even on the weekends. Building this habit will make electronics before bedtime less of a distraction.
2. Set a time limit on television. Too much TV can have negative consequences for bedtime routines. Giving your children a warning such as “it’s almost time for bed” will ease some frustration around that transition.
3. Make getting ready for bed fun. Tell your children that if they get dressed and washed for bed in a certain amount of time, there might be an extra bedtime story.
4. Give some sugar. Not actual sugar – that would be a disaster. Give your children hugs and kisses to soothe them to sleep
5. Tell your child that when she is in bed, she has to stay in bed. If she gets up, don’t react, but take her hand and lead her back to bed.

Children are excellent negotiators when it comes to bedtime. They will often make reasonable requests just to stay up a bit longer; however, being firm about the rules around bedtime will help to establish a routine and ensure that your child is getting as much sleep as she needs.

22Jul

Parents, it’s not a talk that you ever look forward to, butMe in a Tree talking about sex with your children early on can be beneficial to their development. Opening up the conversation allows your child to ask questions and alleviate any awkwardness that naturally arises from the subject. Having micro-conversations and talking about sex many times throughout your child’s development, starting once your child can use language, eliminates the need for the long “birds and the bees” talk.

A key thing to remember is to keep your answers and explanations age-appropriate. As your child develops and starts to process more information, you can provide more detail in conversations.

Never avoid a teachable moment, even if they are at the most unexpected times – at the supermarket, for example. Dive in and offer accurate information whenever your child sashays anywhere near the topic of sex. If you are in a public place, you can simply tell your child that you will talk about either in the car or at home. It is important, however, to return to the subject. Don’t let it fall by wayside.

This is not an easy topic to talk about, but there are plenty of resources to help you out:

  • Find a support group of parents who are in the same situation. Talking with other parents may give you some tips for your conversations with your child.
  • Go to a library or even search on online (be careful about the credibility of websites!) to find age-appropriate resources to kick start your discussions about sex with your children.
19Jul

As your children grow older, their development becomes more sophisticated, Teaching New Skillsand they learn new many important skills, from technical to social skills. And, you are the first teacher your child will have.

One of the best ways to effectively teach new skills is to model the skills yourself, and your child will automatically imitate your behaviour. For example, if you want to teach the skill or the value of being polite, start by speaking politely to each other. Encourage your child to speak politely, and then praise him or her when they do.

Teaching your child anything can be daunting and difficult, but employ these tips to help you demonstrate necessary skills to your child:

Get rid of distractions: when teaching a skill, focus on only that. Turn off the television, put away the phone, and concentrate on building the skill with your child.
Model the skill first. Children model their behaviour more after what you do, rather than what you say.
Help your child. They won’t get it right away, but with patience and careful assistance, they will master a new skill in no time.
Offer praise. When your child demonstrates the skill without being assisted, have a celebration.

The key thing to remember is to be mindful of your actions. For instance, if you are teaching your child the importance of being polite, but you do not exercise politeness in your own life, your child will assume that you aren’t serious, and will imitate your rude behaviours.