Parenting

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Nothing turns a kid off faster then yelling, so do the opposite: talk softer not louder. Teachers have used this strategy for years because it works.

    Try whispering your request. It usually catches the kid off guard and he stops to listen. (For toddlers: whisper the direction to a teddy bear or the kitty. Nothing gets a little one’s attention faster!)
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    A , Psychology, answered
    It’s normal for a child to be nervous in a new situation. Your role is to help him work through his anxiety so that he can feel skillful. When you practice the words and even role-play in the backyard, in bed or in the car, you are fueling him with words and actions to handle the situation. If a child has the words and actions to cope with an anxiety-provoking experience, he will have the skills to cope with the situation much better.

    If you practice the beginning, middle and end of a sporting experience with your son, talking about what’s going to happen and what kinds of thoughts and feelings he’s going to have, then he can apply that in lots of different places. He can apply it when the teacher asks him to read in front of the class and he feels like he doesn’t read well. So, instead of having a fit, a meltdown or a depressive experience, your child can know he has some words and behavioral choices that he can apply across situations. Even if he does become upset by the experience as it happens, he will be much better situated to understand those feelings and process them effectively.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    There are no hard rules, but here are things to consider about a tragedy as to which children are more likely to be affected:
    • The closer in proximity a child is to the physical event, the more likely the child will be affected. Also: If the child personally knows the victim, the more the child will be affected.
    • If the child is more sensitive or anxious in nature.
    • If the child has endured a recent trauma such as a parent's deployment, a divorce, a death. If the child identifies with the victim (same age, gender, or other characteristic).
    A child can also seem fine at the time, but display emotional signs later. You just don't know, so tune in closer. The child may also be unaffected by an event. You just don't know.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    A certain type of parenting is key to the success of unschooling. I’m convinced that in the end, the success of unschooling usually depends more on the parents than on the kids. Here are a few parent reality checks to determine if unschooling will work for your child and family.
    • Financial check. Unschooling is an expense and will cut into some of your income. Can you afford the extra expenses that are required to be solely responsible for your child’s education? Also, do you have access to the type of resources needed to unschool your child (museums, mentors, libraries, trade centers, networks, etc.)?
    • Kid check. Do you know your child well enough to understand his unique learning styles, interests, talents and weaknesses? Is this the type of learning environment your child needs to thrive? Does unschooling create the more self-reliant, inner-motivated, creative child or the more entitled me-operating child? 
    • Self-check. Are you competent and confident you will succeed in unschooling? Are you willing to put in an enormous amount of work and commitment? Do you have the personality to pull this off? Can you be a facilitator instead of a teacher? If you have any doubts, you may want to begin with a less radical approach -- homeschooling -- or do a trial run of unschooling with your family during the summer.
    • Belief check. Unschooling involves giving your child freedom to learn what he wants to learn at his own pace. Do you agree with that belief and could you do so without micromanaging your child? Have you checked with other parents who unschool? Can you let go of developmental milestones and educational guidelines and not compare your child’s performance and ability to other kids? Might unschooling limit your child’s education so he ends up knowing a lot about dinosaurs and Roman history but misses the Civil War and Jane Eyre? Will the unschooling approach close a door that could have led to an exciting endeavor in science, medicine or technology but because he wasn’t exposed he’s not aware?
    • Family Check. Large chunks of time and personal resources are involved in unschooling. Is your family (spouse, siblings) ready for this full-time learning venture? Are you comfortable spending enormous amounts of time on this cooperative learning venture with your child? Do you have a stable family or community support to help your kids flourish? Do you have enormous patience to be with your kids day in and day out?
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    You’ll want to start getting them adjusted to the new sleep schedule early, so they’re not shocked on the first day. It can be tough to just force them to go to bed earlier, so focus on the mornings at first. Wake them up 15 to 30 minutes earlier every morning for several days until they’re used to their school-day wake-up time. They’ll be sleepy at night, and this will help them accept the earlier bedtime.
     
    To make bedtime easier, establish a good, consistent sleep routine:
    • Depending on the child’s age, this could include a bath, reading a story and then lights out, for example.
    • Turn off movies and TV before the bedtime routine, and keep all kinds of screens (TV, computer, tablet, phone) out of your child’s bedroom.
    • And make sure they get plenty of physical activity during the day. 
    Children’s sleep needs depend on their age. For elementary-school kids, the recommendation is 10 to 11 hours each night. Tweens need about 9 to 10 hours, and teens 8 to 9.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    No parent wants their child to suffer disappointments, and often our first adult instinct is to try and solve their dilemmas for them. But watch out: doing so robs kids of the opportunity to find their own solutions. Problem solving is exactly the skill kids need when they’re on their own.

    Avoid that temptation of rescuing your kid and solving his problems. Instead, step in only when really needed. Children need to build self-beliefs that say, “I can figure things out for myself.” Then do let your child know you believe he can.
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    A , Preventive Medicine, answered
    The best way for a parent to encourage communication in a family is to use some of the following tools and not let our hurried world suck the richness and love out of our families.

    Parents are competing with the noise of video games, iPods, MySpace, Facebook, other Internet sites, television, and cell phones. There is a lot of communication out there, but it is not happening between you and your child, nor is it the kind of communication that will motivate and inspire your child.

    Begin weekly family meetings that are mandatory for everyone to attend. Set the stage that these meetings are fun times of motivation and encouragement. These are the times parents talk to each child and become their cheerleaders.

    Learn to be a great listener. Many parents just "send" to their children and do not "receive." Children know when you are present and compassionately listening to their stories and experiences. Practice listening as if your life depended upon it. Listening is one of the greatest skills in life. When you listen to people you are showing them that they are valued, respected, and loved.
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    A , Health Education, answered

    Being a mother is the most rewarding and the most frustrating experience. Kids challenge you, mold you, and in many ways, define you. This relationship, at least in terms of influence, is definitely a two-way street.

    When you have a child, you become a hostage to fortune; you feel like your heart is walking outside your body. Having a baby is the most terrifying thing you will ever do. Nothing makes you more vulnerable than having a child. However, it also brings you inestimable joy and fulfillment. Scarily, just because you can have a baby does not mean that you have any clue about what to do with the baby once he or she is born. We are not like other mammals, who have the ability to nurture coded somewhere in their DNA.

    Motherhood is a unique time in your life - you are on the threshold between being a child and a mother. You experience not just the birth of a baby, but your own rebirth as well - of your identity as a woman, rather than a girl. Having a baby makes you grow up quickly. You are no longer free to pursue whatever you want - even if all you want is to sleep through the night.

    We are biologically programmed to connect with our babies. The hormones surging through our bodies make us love them, no matter what. This does not mean that a mother's love is straightforward or uncomplicated. Postpartum depression is real and very serious for many women. Even for those of us who have never had mood swings, a million minor things may interfere with our ability to bond with our child. Everything from external time demands to self-generated obstacles, like impatience and insecurity, conspire to rob us of the unique experience that is the mother/infant relationship.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    One of the reasons high energy becomes a problem in children is that the energy seems to have a mind of its own. It exists at the service of an unfolding urge or impulse felt by the child and is not directed toward productive ends. The essential problem is that the energy is unfocused. However, you and your child can learn to view her surplus of energy as a valuable resource. You can help your child learn to take charge of this energy, rather than being driven by it.
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    A answered

    Camp is an unforgettable experience for a child. Whether it’s a day camp or a sleepover camp, just for a couple of days or a few weeks, camps can provide wonderful opportunities for enrichment and recreation. They also can have a tremendously positive impact on your child’s self-esteem.

    For younger children, day camps are the best way to go. Children need to be emotionally and socially ready for an extended stay away from home before they attend an overnight camp. This readiness won’t magically happen at a specific age, so whatever your child’s age, you should give some thought to how he or she would fare being away from you for a week or more.

    Please, don’t put pressure on your child to attend an overnight camp if he or she isn’t interested or ready for the experience. I know that you had a fantastic time those two weeks you spent at Camp Winnebago when you were your son or daughter’s age, but it just might not be the right time for your child. He or she will enjoy the experience so much more if excited about it.

    From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.