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Showing posts from January, 2015

Teaching Children to Ask for Help

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Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if everyone simply asked for help when they needed it?  There are so many stigmas attached to asking for help.  It is so hard for adults to accept when they need help that they suffer instead.  People don’t need to struggle alone with mental health issues.  There are professionals that can help.  Students don’t need to struggle with learning issues.  We live in a time of progressive special needs therapies and accommodations.  Adults drown in debt before they might be willing to reach out for financial counseling. 
I can’t help but wonder if resistance and feelings of fear & shame actually started when they were very young.  In our quest to make our children or our students independent, are we forgetting to teach them that we are here to help? 
In our preschools and at home, we should make “Come to me for help” one of the first strategies that we teach children.  Too often, I hear teachers and parents tell their children to go and figure it …

Discipline Without Name Calling: What To Say When Enforcing Rules

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Our interactions with children shape their view of themselves.   The words that we use when we need to teach acceptable behavior are just as important as the words we use when we are proud of our children.   We have learned a lot since the years of “children should be seen and not heard.”  We know that we need to teach children to seek positive attention and so we commit random acts of pride.  Parents today are willing to learn about making respect part of discipline methods.  The truth is that those actions are easy when compared to measuring your words when children are pushing boundaries and breaking rules.   
It is imperative that we use language that addresses the offending behavior without diminishing the child.  We need to speak simply, firmly and consistently.  We need to demonstrate that behavior can be addressed directly and calmly.  We need to simply say, “That is not allowed.” “That is not allowed.”  The subject of that sentence is the action and not the child. 
A child …

Family To-Do Lists: Not At All About Groceries, Appointments & Errands

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Our lives are full of lists and calendars.  The day-to-day minutia of our lives is recorded and charted.  We take lists to the grocery store.  We download calendar apps that allow all members of our family to see each other’s busy schedules.  We note upcoming bill payments, appointments and other reminders.  These are the details.  They are not the goal.  When I ask people about their vision for their family, they talk about having more time together while taking time for personal care.  They say that they want more quality experiences, more patience and time to really talk to each other.  No one tells me that they want to create the perfect grocery list; yet, we often spend more time focusing on that than on what really matters – creating a list that would lead to a life filled with peace, love and memorable moments of joy.
Get some paper.  Yes – actual paper because you want to stumble across this list daily and not have to click on an app to see it. Gather your family.  It’s time …