Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BFF



Your family is at the dinner table. Quite naturally you look at your kids - so adorable and precious, looking alike and yet so very different. Too often you can't help but compare them. And quite often you voice your opinion... even sometimes try to encourage one kid to be more like the other. A competition between kids certainly helps get things done, BUT... People are competitive by nature and have a strong desire to excel, always to be the best. These display from very early age, I am sure all of us have noticed them in our children. If not contained, however, strong ambition and competitiveness can have negative impact and lead to aggressiveness and manipulation. Has it ever occurred to you that when competing with each other your kids quite logically ask themselves: "Am I the better kid? Does mommy love me more?"


The truth is your kids will compete - to get things faster and better, to be better than their siblings, to earn the greater share of your love. And in the process they will always compare to one another. The one who performs better can gradually become overly self-confident and develop a feeling of superiority. At the same time the kid who lags behind can easily get depressed. Competitiveness provokes conflicts. Insults, endless arguments and even resentment are natural consequences. Kids love each other but they fight all the time. And concentrated on having order in the family and obedient kids parents can unconsciously express their opinion which can make things ten-fold worse.



 

Siblings must be best friends and it is up to us, parents, to install in them the sense of belonging, the value of closeness, the strength of blood. Your kids have their own personalities, each one is different and unique. Be proud of this and love them for who they are.

  • Never ever compare a child - to yourself or your spouse as kids, to your other kids, to kids you know. Instead simply acknowledge their good characteristics and encourage them to develop them, to improve their weaknesses.

  • Since your kids have different personalities, you have to approach them, communicate and connect with them in different ways. What works for your older kid will not necessarily work for your younger one.

  • Encourage fantasy play. This will give an excellent opportunity to your kids to articulate what's really on their minds and enable you to negotiate a scenario which will make all kids happy.

  • Teach your kids how to be friends. Learning how to handle conflict and to avoid a fight are important skills in developing emotional intelligence. This will not only restore the peace at home, but it will seal the bond between your kids and eventually will help them later in life. 

  • Always strongly encourage the friendship between your kids; teach them to accomplish things as a team. This will also teach them to share duties and responsibilities and this in turn will unite them. Work to transform rivalry into revelry.                                               

  • Age and gender differences are relatively insignificant. A lot more important is for instance the relationship the older child has with their best friend.

  • Never discuss one kids` behaviour in front of the other. If your kids had been wrong or naughty you don`t want to scold and humiliate them in front of their siblings.

Teach your kids to value what they do and what they achieve. Teach them to find happiness and satisfaction in the process of achieving something rather than in the fact to always be the winner. Each kid has to feel equally loved and appreciated. This way they will not only grow up as self-confident people, but will develop a need to care for the others, to be compassionate and help. Your kids will not be rivals, they will be best friends forever. 




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Did You Know?



Celebrating Love and Friendship is not just for adults; kids have their share too. If only for the Love of Chocolate - a V-Day without chocolate is not a real V-Day. This year enrich your child's V-Day with some fun facts about this favourite to young and old treat.

  • The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocolatl, which means bitter water.
  • For ages chocolate was liquid; the first chocolate bar was made by Cadbury in  England in 1842.

  • Chocolate chips were introduced by Nestle in 1939.

  • The largest chocolate bar ever was made in Italy in 2000 and had a weight of 2,268 kilograms, which equals 5,000 pounds.

  • Chocolate makers use 40% of the world's almonds and 20% of the world's peanut

  • More than twice as many women than men eat and crave chocolate.

  • Women prefer milk chocolate while men prefer dark chocolate.

  • People spend over 7 billion dollars a year on chocolate and only on Valentine's Day - about 1 billion dollars.

  • In 1861Richard Cadbury created the first ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day, spurring the commercialization of the holiday. 
To this day, every February 14th we all still have a sweet spot for the sweet stuff.



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Facebook and Kids



The generation in their mid-thirties is the first generation whose children are coming of age alongside the social web.


Fact: 90% of teenagers who have social networking account have one on Facebook.


Fact: 7.5 million kids under the age of 13 have an active Facebook account.


Fact: Parents are concerned about the influence the Internet and the social web have on
          their children's life.


All this makes parenting in today's world a lot different than parenting even some 10 years  ago. And parents deal with the issue differently. Some are lenient and would rely more on general advice, school and their child's common sense and protective instincts; some spy on their kids in attempt to understand and protect them; others are highly conservative and controlling... Parents' attitude and ways of dealing with the issue are as diverse as people's personalities. Numerous studies show, however, that there are steps a parent can take to manage successfully their kids' online activities and help them develop mature online behaviour.





1. Join Facebook. If you already haven't, do so. Ask your child for help and advice how to navigate the site, ask them to help you learn a new skill and be a good student; just the same as you will want them to be when you teach them something new.


2. Understand what social networking is all about. The world and life are changing. Social networking is here to stay and it is not just for fun; it quickly is becoming also an important business tool. Nowadays one has to be tech-savvy to be competitive and successful in the new environment.


3. Connect with friends and family. Do it wisely and do not use it as a spying instrument. Your kid will be proud of your new skill and coolness and you will enjoy it all even more. 


3. Role modeling. Restrain your own use and and be an example for your child. That said, you have a busy enough life and it is fine to use some extra help from a suitable software. It is a lot more difficult, to say the least, for kids to control themselves how much time they spent on social networks.


4. Keep up. Social networks constantly change settings and introduce new features. Again, do not underestimate your kid's helping hand. Ask for help and advice instead; your kids are a step ahead of you anyway. Let them know it is Okay to ask for help when you need it.


5. Talk about it. Discussing Facebook - how big it is and how fast it keeps growing; what's new, how do they (or you perhaps?) do on FarmVille, etc. not only makes a great topic for a discussion, it also gives you valuable information on what and how your child thinks; establishes closeness and trust between you.

Use this new environment to provide your children with perspective they will value and trust for life. That's one of the best things you can do for your children, and,  as a matter of fact,  for yourself too.

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