Tuesday, January 29, 2008

3 Tips That Will Help Control Your Child's Behavior

In this article, I find the first tip especially true. I attended a seminar previously and in that seminar there is a saying, "Kids don't do things you asked them to do, they do things on seeing what you do." In other words, kids model after what you do.

Mood, like attitude, is contagious. When you are around happy people, naturally you will feel happy and vice verse when you are around unhappy people. And if you are around negative people, you will be influenced with their negative attitude. Our mind is our greatest asset that we have and we must guide it against any negativity.

You live a stressful life, what with work demands, shopping, paying the bills, friends, family, hobbies and everything else! And now, your child or children are driving you crazy. You come home, hoping to relax and have a peaceful environment, and the kids are out of control. Can't they see you're stressed? Oh, yes, they see. Maybe not consciously, but more on a subconscious level.

TIP # 1--Your Child Mirrors Your Mood

Your child or children pick up on your mood. So, when your stressed, angry, or frustrated, they are more likely to be that way, too. It's not something the child does on purpose, it's a natural reaction. Think about when your husband or wife is in a bad mood. If you're around them for any time, pretty soon you are in a bad mood, too. It works the same way with you children. They receive their cues from you! As difficult as it may be sometimes, it is important, if you want to alleviate the tension and chaos from your household, to project a calm and positive manner to your child.

TIP # 2-- You Are The Adult

Sounds silly, but time after time, I have seen a mother or father treat their child as if they had the mind of an adult. Children, even teenagers, do not have the development of their brain to comprehend completely the consequences of their actions. Children are self-absorbed. They are only thinking of their world, their immediate needs. When a parent gives their child too many choices, or tells them to do something and expects them to 'fill in the missing pieces' of the action required of them, the child is going to be frustrated, fail, act out, or disappoint you. Not on purpose, but because they don't have the knowledge, experience or development to be able to acceptably complete the task correctly or to your satisfaction.

This, of course, stress' you out and you probably take it out on your child. But, think about what happened. Did you explain to your child every step he or she needed to do in order to successfully complete what you wanted? Or did you assume they would inherently know what to do?

TIP #3--Your Child Needs And Wants Structure

Young children to teenagers feel more secure and comfortable with structure and routine. They need to know what to expect and when to expect it. It is reassuring to them. When a child is an environment where activities, schedules, rules routines are constantly changing, the child will constantly be in a state of tension and, possibly, anxiety. Your child will behave in the ways you wish him or her to, when your child has developed a routine of acceptable behavior because you have created that structure and routine.

What this means is that, as hectic and busy as the family schedule may be, you must make an effort to make a structured schedule and stick to it, at least 70% of the time. Dinner at a set time, homework to be completed before fun with the electronic games. Maybe cell phones in a basket until chores are done. If you have been running your family environment chaotic, the change to routine and structure needs to be implemented, not all at once, but gradually. First, family dinner at a set time, then bed time, and so on.

It's not going to be easy or an overnight turn around for your family life to change. Remember, you are the one in control of making it happen. Your children do want to please you! They aren't happy either when they are acting out or out of control. The sooner you start understanding your child's motivation and needs and creating an environment that supports those positively, the sooner your family life will be a joy to come home to.

About the Author, Kate Carpenter: Get over 3000 of all the resources and tools you need to support and help you create a pleasant and happy home at http://www.squidoo.com/GainControl

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How To Stop Your Child From Biting Others

I was at my sister's house today when I witnessed my nephew trying to bite the nanny because the nanny wanted to take away a piece of diaper that he was playing with. That action brought him a light pinch on the face and scolding from my sister which immediately sent him wailing. I reprimanded my sister; Not for giving my nephew his due punishment but for not explaining to him why he was being punished. I found this article quite interesting and probably you, and even I, can make used of some of these information provided in the article.

Parents are often dismayed and outraged when a playmate at daycare or on the playground bites their child. If your child is the biter, feelings of despair, anger, and helplessness may lead to a series of ineffectual punishments and interventions. What can you do to discourage your little biter?

The Root of the Problem

Toddlers often bite out of frustration or anger. If their basic needs such as hunger, thirst, toileting, nap time, and attention from an adult are unmet, the resulting frustration brings on a bite. Meeting these basic needs puts a stop to many occurrences of biting.

Countless children bite playmates during altercations over a toy, a snack, a pacifier, or a position on an adult’s lap. It is a defensive, self-protective action. Teaching the child to deal with his feelings in an acceptable manor ends this type of biting.

Some children bite as a way to bully others. This is a behavior problem exhibited by strong willed children. Prompt intervention is required. Firmly explain to the child that this is not acceptable behavior and that you will not tolerate biting.


It is important to address every biting occurrence when it happens. Waiting to intervene until a behavior pattern develops makes putting a stop to biting harder for you and the child.

• Firmly tell the child that biting is not nice and that he is not to do it again.

• Provide immediate consequences for the behavior. Remove the child from the play area. Initiate a time out or withdraw a favorite snack, privilege, or toy. Be sure that the child is aware that the punishment is a direct result of biting. Ask them why the punishment occurred so they have clearly understood it's because of biting. Provide reminders that further biting will result in undesirable consequences.

• Instruct the child to apologize for biting. Explain that biting hurts both physically and emotionally.

• If biting occurs with an older child, ask the child why they felt the need to bite. He or she may be able to tell you what feelings or actions led up to the incident.

• Teach your child constructive ways to deal with frustration and feelings of anger. Have them kick a ball outside, talk about their feelings, switch activities, or seek out the soothing comfort of a favorite toy or blanket.

• Provide praise and reward for every instance your child handles a period of frustration or anger without biting.

• Be consistent with punishment for biting. Instruct other caregivers what to do when biting occurs and create a unified front. Never allow biting to slip by unpunished.

• Biting your child is not recommended. This models unwanted behavior and confuses the child. If it is OK for you to bite him, why is it unacceptable for him to bite another child?

You can stop biting behavior with consistent, early intervention. Set clear behavior expectations and understandable, age-appropriate consequences for biting. Balance punishment with positive praise when your child chooses to react appropriately instead of biting. Balance punishment with positive praise when your child chooses to react appropriately instead of biting.

About the Author, Lily Morgan: Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop a great selection of kids furniture and classic toys. Visit us online at http://www.TheMagicalRockingHorse.com today!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

10 Ways To Make Learning More Fun For Children

Traditional ways of learning required a teacher, a chalkboard,a desk, a ruler, pencil, and a textbook. A teacher with a stern, professional posture stood before the room with barely a smile on her face as she taught her class. This was the image seen in many movies and some adults actually had her in their class many years ago. She or he may have conducted a rather boring class, spending a lot of time talking over your head or talking to the chalkboard. The teacher restricted the class to textbook studies only and quizzes and tests every week.

Every now and then it was a real treat for students to watch a movie in her class, even if it was boring and the film jumped around on the screen. As for field trips, forget about it, students were lucky if they got to have an additional recess from time to time. Then when test time came, the worksheets seemed to be as old as them. Oftentimes a student, with a raised arm, would say, “I can’t read number 15. ”Then other students would nod or murmur in agreement. It would be a long school year in Mr. or Ms. XYZ’s class.

Years ago the Internet didn’t exist so we will just excuse Ms. XYZ for not having readily accessible information that could give her the ideas to stimulate her students. She may have been too busy grading papers or tending to her own family. Whatever her excuse, she has none nowadays. There are plenty of websites, articles, and other ways to make learning fun for children. The following suggestions may help you as a parent, who would like to assist your children or the teacher, stimulate her skills while making life more interesting for her class.

1. When beginning a new subject or topic to teach, why not decorate the class related to a theme. For instance, if you will be teaching about dinosaurs, why not have posters hanging in your classroom about dinosaurs?

2. Provide something fun related to your topic that children could take home to color, solve a puzzle or show off such as stickers or a colorful book that they can keep.

3. Always have an interesting DVD ready to “kick off” a new subject.

4. Set a time during the day, maybe Friday, where the students are required to work on a project together related to the topic. Students could try to piece a puzzle together, watch a video and write or draw what they really like from it, or play a game that will help them remember what you have taught them.

5. You may want a speaker to come in and talk about the subject other than you. Find out from parents if they know someone that would be willing to come to the classroom to speak on the topic you are teaching. Have the speaker bring something with them that will help the students remember his or her visit.

6. Talk with other teachers about what you are doing and maybe they would be willing to help you. They may be interested in getting their class to participate.

7. Research your local community on events that will aid you in your teaching. There may be a “free zoo day” and you just happened to be teaching on animals.

8. Watch out for sales. Sometimes products you may need to accompany your topic can be purchased at a reasonable price.

9. Tell parents both verbally and physically how you can use their input.

10. Visit online forums, blogs or create your own social networking profile to connect with other teachers to exchange ideas.

About the Author: Nicholl McGuire, Freelance Writer and mother of four

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