Tag Archives: teaching

Friendship: Books About Friends

Friendship is such a  fundamental part of our lives as humans. We cultivate relationships from the moment we are born until the day we die. Friendship is one of the most important relationships we will ever have. So it isn’t surprising that we sometimes need a little help understanding why we need friends, and how to treat our friends. One of the great ways we can teach our children about friendship is through modeling. We model how a friend should be treated and appreciated through our own behavior. Another great way to teach children about friendships is through fun and simple books. The following books make the interaction fun, interesting, and is presented on a child’s level.

Books About Friends

This great book, The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers follows a little boy as he rockets in to space and lands on an alien planet where he is stranded. The only other living being there is a small martian. Together the two develop a fabulous plan to fix their spacecraft and return home. They not only repair the spacecraft, they develop a friendship that changes them.

In conclusion:

This fun book is playfully illustrated with child-like stick drawings that speak to the reader and help to rekindle that child-like innocence. It is perfect for reading with a parent, sibling, or for a child to read alone. The emotions expressed are universal, and will help to show just how important friendship really is in this world.

4 Helpful Hints When Disciplining Your Kids

Recently I have noticed my little one has been testing limits. Mine, Dad’s, even their own. We do not like to spank unless it is an issue of personal safety. The child reached out to touch a fire, tried to pick up a knife from the dining room table (the knife set for someone else’s place at dinner.) only in instances in which we want to make a very substantial memory that this was a very bad thing to do. But when it comes to daily events like misbehaving, climbing furniture, throwing toys, etc. we tend to use timeout or discussing what the behavior was and why it was wrong. But with the recent increase in misbehavior we have all grown a little impatient, annoyed, and aggravated and I have noticed that we are doing more yelling than I want my child to hear, or have directed at them. It is beginning to feel more like we are seeking to punish instead of teach and discipline.

I catch myself yelling because I am angry. I use a sharp tone because I am impatient and cannot believe this behavior is still going on. My child knows better. I have taught them better. But they are still kids, they are young, they are learning, and learning means doing things over and over again. I know all this, yet it still find myself losing my patience far too often. So what can we as parents do when we are behaving more like our children, yelling in anger, snapping with impatience, and seeking to punish instead of teach? We need to talk a breath, relax, find a calmer place, and try once more to teach. But it may mean we need a few lessons ourselves.

Helpful Hints

Your toddler son is playing in the living room stacking cups one on top of the other. When suddenly you no longer hear the soft kathunk of the cups landing on top of one another and begin to hear the splashing sound of water being poured from one cup to the other, and then all over the hardwood floor. You begin to see red. Your anger rises, your jaw tightens and you just can’t hold back the yell of “no do not do that!” What do you do? Take a step back, breathe deep, and think of something calm. Yes there is now water all over your clean floor, the stacking cups will need cleaning and drying, but is it the end of the world? No. You look at your son and ask, ” is that how we play with our cups? Do we use water in them? Why not? Because they get the floor all wet and that is bad because someone could slip and fall from the water.”

1. Take a deep breath. Relax. You want your words to resonate with your child, you want to teach why this behavior is wrong. You don’t want to scare them or punish them for being bad. They aren’t bad, they are showing bad behavior. You don’t want to punish or scare the child, you want to teach the lesson of why this behavior is unacceptable, and show that if done again it will be dangerous.
2. Discipline from a place of anger does not teach your child what they did was wrong. It shows them that when things don’t go right you should be angry, and rude and act out. Which is not the behavior we want them to exhibit, so why do it ourselves. Take a deep breath and think about the situation. It was a mistake, people learn from mistakes, make this a teaching moment to show that although people can make a mistake, they can make it better by trying to fix the mistake or clean up after it. Get a towel and get your child to help clean the mess.
3. Allow your child the chance to explain what happened. Listen. Hear their reasoning, explain why this was the wrong thing to do, even if they think it was just for fun it could still cause a problem for someone else which is not fun.
4. Don’t seek to punish. Get your child to help clean up, explain why it is a bad idea to play with water in this way. Then when they are done and are once again back at play later in the day do not continue to be upset or punish them for what happened. What’s done is done, they do not deserve to be treated badly for the rest of the day. The mistake has happened, been rectified, and forgotten.bringing it up over and over to punish the child is only hurtful to the child and makes them resentful. We want to build our children up, not tear them down.

In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to stop how we are feeling and thinking and try to be understanding and good teachers but it is important for us to show this behavior so that when our children are placed in similar situations they can see how they are supposed to react. Do you have any other ideas or tips that help you in situations like this?

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Encouraging Strong, Independent, Healthy Children

Strong, Independent, Healthy Children

Being a parent is the most important job ever. We are the number one role model, teacher, mentor, and example our children have. Let’s face it, at the end of the day our children model what we show them. We see it in huge little things. Like the way they stand in front of the mirror and brush their teeth the same way we do, or always put their jacket on their left arm first because mommy does. They pick up on everything we do. So shouldn’t we be modeling perfect behavior? Yea, like that is possible. No one is perfect, especially parents. What no one tells you when you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, is that there are no right answers, there is no handbook, and you will always wonder if what you are doing is the right thing. Parenting should be called practicing, because that is what we are doing!

Life is an experience, everyone is just figuring it out. So it isn’t any wonder that even as adults and parents we still feel insecure, lack confidence, or feel scared. But since we know that. Our children are watching everything we do, and copying it, we need to find ways to also show that we are confident in things, we are secure in our abilities, and we fight on even when we are scared. But just how do we do that?

Model Confidence
: just because we aren’t confident 100% of the time doesn’t mean we can’t show our confidence at all. Confidence is about knowing that perfection is not possible, but trying something and succeeding, or learning from the failure, is the most important thing. Admit when you succeed. Admit when you fail. But try not to let the failure slow you down. When your kids see you succeed celebrate it, when they see you fail make it a lesson. “Mommy may not have been able make that amazing looking cake on Pinterest, but taste it, it sure tastes good! Next time maybe mommy should try to adding less flour to the fondant, then maybe it won’t be too hard to shape. I will do better next time!” Your kids will see that you tried, failed, but kept pushing on. You didn’t sit and cry and complain that you are a terrible decorator and should never have attempted this. Model what you want to see them try!

Share Your Feelings: if you are sad, hurt, or angry because something didn’t go right, share that. Emotions and feelings are an important part of us. Children sometimes are hesitant to express their own emotions because they never see their parents do it. Emotions are important, as long a so you don’t let them take over a situation. Show your kids it is ok to cry, but then you need to calm down, clean up, and move on. It’s ok to be angry, but you can’t let that anger change you. Be angry that you lost, be angry that something didn’t work out, but then take a breath, clean yourself up, and try again.

Be independent: show your kids that it is important to do things on your own sometimes. Maybe Mom relies on Dad to do the tough things like set a mouse trap. Show them that you aren’t afraid of doing things, you don’t always need someone else to help. Let them see you try. Set a mouse trap or two next time you have a little mouse visitor. Maybe Dad always waits for Mom to come home and cook dinner. Pick a meal and try to cook something on your own Dad. Show off that independent spirit.

While modeling good behavior will not be the only thing that will change our children it is a big deal, so next time you see yourself modeling behavior that might be harmful, or send the wrong message take a deep breath and try to remember that you are being watched.