{     Offering the Best Childhood Preparation for Social and Academic Success.     }

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Increasing Self-Esteem

Encourage self-esteem in your children so that they grow up to make confident decisions. Being confident will allow your children to get back up after being knocked down by something not going their way, such as not making a sports team or getting a bad grade on a test.

twenty20_cab8eb8e-2002-47fa-a276-8a3e38b0ea70

Here are some tips to help boost self-esteem:

  1. Give your children options. Choosing from options helps children learn to make their own decisions at an early age.
  2. Assign age-appropriate tasks. Ask your children to help around the house to teach them to contribute to their team.
  3. Let your children dress themselves. Let them use their skills to complete simple tasks like picking out an outfit or buttoning and zippering their clothes.
  4. Refrain from praising your children. It’s great to let them know when they do something awesome, but instead of telling them how great it was, tell them why it was great. Include the details of why their painting is spectacular or why you appreciate how they did their chores.
  5. Let your children see that you enjoy spending time with them. We all have busy, hectic lives, and sometimes we forget how important our affection is to our children. Plan weekly time with your child and plan the things you will do together each week. Consider visiting the local library, going on nature hikes or cooking a new recipe. Planning a specified time will give you and your child something to anticipate each week.

What are some ways that you try to boost self-esteem in your child?

Making Mornings Easier

Getting ourselves ready for work, our children ready for school and our pets ready for a day alone in the house can create a ton of stress in the morning and cause us to forget important steps in our morning ritual. For example, have you ever forgotten to send your child to school with a lunch or to take your dog out and later come home to a mess on the floor?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Follow these steps the night before to help your mornings work seamlessly.

  1. Choose and lay out your outfit and accessories and assist your children in doing the same. You might want to try on outfits before bed to ensure you’ll be satisfied with them in the morning.
  2. Pack lunches for the whole family. It’s a great idea to encourage your children to help with their lunches, which will help teach them
  3. Check that their homework is done, and that any outstanding papers or permission slips are signed.
  4. Premeasure your pet’s food for the morning, making it quick and easy to place in their bowl.
  5. Put a list of things that need to be finished in the morning on your refrigerator and check it off so you don’t forget anything critical.

What are your family’s before-bed rituals that help your mornings run more smoothly?

 

Jogging Memories with a Journal

As your children begin to learn to write, encourage them to keep a journal. This practice will enhance their arithmetic skills while allowing them to create memories from their childhood. Many of us might not have clear memories of when we were young. By encouraging your little ones to record their favorite remembrances and exciting milestones, they will have pages of memories on which to reminisce.

twenty20_f96ea818-8794-4546-8e7d-a7d7135a6283

Begin by asking your children to write a great, funny or inspiring thing that happens to them each day. Doing this will also boost their moods by noting uplifting things that are surfacing in their lives.

The Benefits of Cooking with Children

Inviting your preschooler to help you cook provides numerous learning opportunities. You can spend quality time with her while increasing her skills in the kitchen.

twenty20_6a81a03e-0bed-44bb-926c-61025ab33da8

Cooking involves careful planning and time management. Learning how to plan and manage her time will benefit your child as she grows.

While your child learns how to prepare food safely, teach her about the dangers in the kitchen. Point out these dangers, and talk to her about how to avoid accidents.

twenty20_fa885a06-b459-4717-8b4b-62f2d3086b98

Helping out in the kitchen can increase your child’s creativity and help her develop math and reading skills. When you follow the instructions on a recipe together, she can practice reading. Measuring ingredients is a great way to introduce her to the importance of learning math. Letting your child choose ingredients will enhance her creativity and encourage her to voice her opinions.

Pita Nachos

Need to make an after-school snack? Pita nachos make for a quick, satisfying treat.

nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat pita
  • Salsa
  • Grated cheddar cheese

Split pita into two rounds, then cut into wedges. Lay the wedges on a cookie sheet, then broil in an oven for a few minutes until golden. Sprinkle wedges with cheese and salsa, then broil again until cheese melts.

 

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

 

National Day of Listening

Sometimes we should be listening to our children rather than talking to them. When our children do something wrong, instead of immediately telling them what they did wrong, listen to why they did it and ask them why they think it was wrong. Today is the National Day of Listening. At dinner tonight, ask your children what is happening in their world and genuinely listen to them. It’s important for us to listen to our children to fully understand what is going on in their lives.

twenty20_7b1bcc8c-3d3c-4025-a11d-226cfbab4879

Let your friends and family know what today is and remind them to listen to their children and their loved ones as well.

Thankfulness

The fourth Thursday of November is when we prepare our bellies to receive lots of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more. It’s Thanksgiving! Amid all the bustling of cooking, cleaning and getting your family ready for this filling holiday, don’t forget to tell your loved ones how thankful you are to have them. A great way to show them how you feel is through poetry.

twenty20_950c2203-e5f2-4d90-9f6e-77f8adb7e1c4

Here’s a haiku to help get you started.

Thank you for your love.

Your bright smile warms my heart.

I’m thankful for you.

twenty20_2b9f70f0-cad1-41e6-8304-1552d74ec07b

Travel the Globe (Virtually)

Traveling is a great way to keep our little ones’ excitement with learning at an all-time high. Use a globe (any size) to decide where you will virtually travel. Each week, ask each of your children to spin the globe and place a finger somewhere on the globe to stop the spinning. Choose one of the countries where their fingers land as your destination.

twenty20_01294c0c-d1f9-4cda-b23b-1132d60b4964

Spend the beginning of the week with your children researching the different cultures, food and clothing found in this country. Talk about the temperatures there and the wild animals that you can find there. Discuss how your culture differs from theirs. At the end of the week, dress up in clothes that are native to that country and plan a meal that originated in that country.

Where will you and your little ones travel to?

Five Ways for Children to Give Back

Encouraging your children to give back to their local community will teach them the importance of helping others. Participating in these activities will create an opportunity for bonding with your children.

Donate toys – Children may receive toys that they only play with a few times. Instead of letting these toys gather dust in the closet, go through them with your child and let him pick out which toys can be donated to children in need. Knowing that his toys will bring happiness to less fortunate children will leave him feeling good about himself.

twenty20_8ff514b0-3906-4f4e-88a6-06eefa89e7c5

Plant a tree – Planting a tree is a great learning experience that brings the whole community together. Talk to neighbors in your community and propose a tree-planting event. Before the event, teach your child how planting trees creates a healthier and more beautiful earth. Arrive at the event showing a lot of enthusiasm for improving the environment. This is an easy way to teach your child the importance of giving back while having fun.

twenty20-garden

Bake Sale – If your child loves getting his hands dirty in the kitchen, and most children do, this activity is perfect for him. Help your child prepare one of his favorite desserts, and invite members of your community to help their children prepare treats, too. Let him select a charity that will benefit from the proceeds of the sale, and help him draw up signs, set up the event and take charge of sales. Set prices in easy increments, such as $0.25, $0.50, $0.75 or $1.00, so that your child can help collect the money. Do not forget to bring money to make change and money to pay for any pastries that you and your child purchase from other children in your community. This tasty event will have your little one and his taste buds excited to contribute to the community!

twenty20_44497aad-7aa5-4141-b0bc-553336f81b5e

Visit a nursing home – Children love hearing stories and senior citizens love telling them, so this is a perfect match. Bring your child to a local nursing home and let him donate his time to one of the members. Many senior citizens do not have family members close by who can visit them frequently, so spending some time with you and your child may mean a lot to them. Your child can learn a lot from this while he provides companionship to his senior citizen buddy. If the first visit is a good experience, you could make routine visits.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Facing a Power Outage

When a strong, windy storm results in a power outage, some young children may become afraid, especially in the evening when it’s dark outside. Follow these steps to make power outages seem less scary and even enjoyable for your little ones.

twenty20_6f385d16-3a31-42c2-a6e7-15bcd64dab5d

  1. Be prepared. Before a big storm, make sure you have at least two working flashlights and plenty of batteries for them.
  2. Be safe. Light candles, out of the reach of children, in each room. Make sure to have a well lit path from the living room to the kitchen, to the bathroom and to wherever you and your child
  3. Be smart. Call your power company to find out the estimated time to restore the power. It will seem less scary to your little one if she knows when the lights will come back on. Consider incorporating a fun game of counting down each hour.
  4. Be wise. Have planned activities ready for your child in order to avoid boredom. Here are a few activities that you can include:
    • Card games such as go fish
    • Coloring and other arts and crafts
    • A taste test with things found in your kitchen – Lay out a few plates with different foods on them. Have your child cover his eyes and ask him what is on each plate.
    • A sock puppet show – Guide your child in making faces on the socks, and then put on a puppet show.
    • A concert – Ask your child to use his imagination and gather things and from around the house that can be used to create music like pots, pans and bells. Then make some music.
    • Special time – Snuggle up and read a book together.

What are some activities your family does together during power outages?