“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove . . . but the world may be different . . . because I was important in the life of a child.”

~ Forest E. Whitcraft

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Parents Take Out Free Babysitting Ad After Teen Breaks Curfew

One of the more difficult aspects of parenting in the 21st century has got to be discipline. We live in a complicated world, where kids and parents alike are used to getting what they want in seconds, at the mere click of a mouse button. Impulse control and delayed gratification have always been challenges for kids, whether they be toddlers or teens; but the world we live in makes it even tougher for kids to learn them.

Discipline has become complicated too. Go back a generation or two, and the rule was, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." Now parents are judged for everything from a swat on the bottom to giving their child a time-out. What works? How should we approach discipline? Will our parental authority be undermined before we can even get the message across?

Here's a reaction I wrote after reading about the Texas parents who sentenced their 16-year-old to 30 hours of free babysitting after she had a late night party in their home. What would you have done? Do you think she'll learn her lesson?

The Offence

Kirstin Rausch got bored one night when her girl friend was staying over. At bedtime she decided to invite about half a dozen friends over for an impromptu party in her family's media room. Her father and step-mother woke up at 2:30 a.m., and her friends were still in the house. The 16-year-old honour student was caught red handed, having broken both her bedtime curfew and the house rule against having friends over late at night.

The Punishment
Robert Rausch sentenced his daughter to 30 hours of unpaid babysitting. Rausch and his wife Wendy had initially wanted Kirstin to take part in a community service project, but when several community organizations were unable to assign a project, the family got more creative.

Read more....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Preparing a Future Kindergarten Student for the First Day of School

One of the hardest parts of the back to school season is getting kids out the door on time. You can make this easier for your future kindergartner by adopting a daily routine that has her getting up each day at the time he will have to rise for school. Make sure to change bed times too, if necessary.

Your child may need ten or more hours of sleep in order to be healthy, so be sure she is in bed early enough at night. Schedule a rest time for a nap or for quiet play or reading. Schools that have a full day program usually do this after lunch. if your child is attending half-day kindergarten, you can ask the teacher when the nap time will be.

Have your future kindergartner go through the morning school preparation each day, just as if he were going to school. This means not only having him up at the same time each day, but getting him to eat breakfast, dress and groom himself, and do any morning chores he is expected to do before school. Have him put on his school clothes or uniform, instead of wearing play clothes.


Credit: S Brumley

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Teaching Kids Conflict Resolution Skills: Telling vs Tattling

Credit: Gilabrand, Wikimedia Commons
Just as surely as a parent faces piles of dirty diapers and 4 am feedings in the early years of a child's life, as that child grows they will find themselves having to help that child cope with some kind of interpersonal conflict. Whether it's sibling rivalry or a fight with a soon-to-be-ex-friend, or maybe even feeling that a teacher at school is picking on them kids will often turn to their parents first, so we need to be prepared to help them.

The Difference Between Tattling and Telling
Tattling is probably the first interpersonal issue a parent faces other than kids not wanting to share, and it can last well into adulthood if it keeps paying off for the individual. Tattling is not the same as telling, although you may use the phrase "telling on" to describe it.

When a child tattles, most often the motive is manipulation of a situation. The child has tried to get something and was refused or out-voted, or has perhaps been excluded from play or has observed another child breaking the rules. When a child tattles, they try to make it seem as though they are doing the adult a favour or fulfilling an obligation. Often they beat around the bush about it, rather than coming straight to the point. They will often highlight their own good behaviour, in contrast to the offense the other has committed.

Telling, on the other hand, generally feels more genuine. The child may use fewer words or may seem distressed, as opposed to the tattler who presents his case triumphantly and is obviously expecting the adult to support him by immediately intervening or punishing the other. They get a little thrill from seeing the other child laid low.


Top 10 Essential School Supplies for Elementary Students

Before you go out to buy school supplies, have a plan for keeping them safe so you don't have to replace them. Order fancy labels or create your own. Make sure you have labels for everything - from clothing and footwear, to school supplies and backpacks.

Credit: sanja gjenero (sxc.hu/lusi)
Stick to the basics: HB pencils from a reputable company. The fancy pencils from the dollar store are not school supplies. No elementary student should be writing in ink until he has legible penmanship. It is preferable to wait until he has mastered cursive writing. A reliable black or blue ballpoint is all he needs for school. Leave the multicoloured gel pens at home.

Crayons, Markers and Pencil Crayons
When it comes to markers and pencil crayons, buy name brands that will last. For younger elementary students, be sure to buy non-toxic school supplies and choose washable markers wherever possible.

Scissors and Glue
Students need a good pair of safety scissors all the way through elementary school. When buying glue, try to get what the teacher recommends. They know what workd and what lasts. Buying the brand they suggest can save you money.

Paper and Notebooks
Paper is so often wasted in elementary school classrooms. Teachers tend to request much more than students will use, so watch out for first-grade school supply lists asking for ten 72-page Hilroy exercise books.