Tag Archive | Children

How Kids Learn Cooperation by Lisa Mendell

By Lisa Mendell

I came across an article in my email that I thought some might benefit from and it’s called How Kids Learn Cooperation. Some of the areas they touch on are:

  • Raising cooperative children- Cooperation—working in harmony with others to achieve a goal—is vital not only to a happy, successful life but also to a more peaceful and harmonious world.
  • Tuning into your child – The seeds of cooperation are planted very early, when parents tune in and respond to their young child’s needs.
  • Sharing – kids begin the process of learning to share even though it may take a few years to sink in. Why? Sharing some of their possessions is an early precursor to sharing thoughts and ideas.
  • A few good rules – Having a few simple rules in the context of loving family relationships gives kids a strong foundation for working together with others.

That just touches on a few. For more, go to http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Family-Values-Toolkit/Family-Values-Cooperation.aspx?ppc=69352&source=NEWSLETTER&utm_campaign=Inspiration&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=NL

Building Core Values in Children, By Susan Haid, Lily's Truth

by Susan Haid

Raising children to become conscientious, empowered, responsible and joyful adults who are in complete charge of their lives is what we strive for as parents. If you could give your kids the skills and the tools to do this, it is something you would do in without a second thought. I am going to be direct and to the point here. There is a course available to you now that can give you the resources to build core values in your children at home. You see, I began putting this information together over a decade ago when my first child was born. I wanted something different for my kids…something that would cut through the confusion and give them the knowledge to move through life with self-confidence, authority, faith and keen, razor-sharp clarity.
The nuts and bolts skills I offer came as a result of my own life experience. Although I am an educated woman, I believe that life experience is our ultimate teacher. I have put every ounce of wisdom I possess into my Core Values Home Course. I want life to be better for my kids and for yours, so I painstakingly set about distilling my experiences into practical knowledge for parents and their families. I have studied many spiritual paths over the course of my life and culminated my experience into very simple, all-encompassing basic lessons.

These are real world lessons with real world tools. I know that the information I have to offer you is valuable. I know this because once I understood these life lessons and put them to work in my own life with my own kids, our lives unfolded gently into a life of joy, fulfillment and empowerment. This material has helped and supported me and my children so completely that I am making it available to all families.
The course I have designed is called Lily’s Truth. There are 17 chapters that give clear, concise and complete information on these concepts:

1. Authority
2. Trust
3. Individuality
4. Standards
5. Communication
6. Rights
7. Faith
8. Beliefs
9. Passion
10. Commitment
11. Letting Go
12. Courage
13. Appreciation
14. Acceptance
15. Love
16. Peace
17. God Within All Life

The course is available as a DVD/CD multimedia package or as a book. This artful and beautiful 2- hour production comes complete with music, illustrations and narration. This project truly extends from my heart to yours. My intent is to make the journey through life easier for our kids than it has been for us. My intent also is to offer parents support in their job. This gift is for you, your children and your families.
Very soon, I will be offering a workshop that will teach the above skills through play via an exciting game for parents and kids alike. If you are interested in this workshop, contact me at my website for further details.
Finally, if you have any questions about this project, please contact me, Susan A. Haid, at contact@lilystruth.com. My website is www.lilystruth.com. I hope to hear from you, and I hope to continue to offer outstanding parenting products so that we can raise our children better than ever before.

Teaching Children Responsibility, Pt 2, By Susan Haid, Lily's Truth

Here are five tips to teach kids how to take responsibility around the home and for their developing lives.

1. Help kids learn how to organize and manage their belongings.  We need to require that our kids clean their rooms, make their beds, put their own laundry away, keep track of their homework and school projects, sports gear, musical instruments and so on. Once in a while, we can give them a hand, but kids should know that they are the ones ultimately responsible for these duties.
2. Help kids become active contributors to life at home.  Every member of a home should contribute to the upkeep and management of the home. Age appropriate duties should be assigned to each family member, and once every week or two, the family should work together to accomplish these tasks. Duties such as dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, wiping down the countertops, raking leaves and even cooking are jobs kids of all ages can participate in. These duties give our kids the skills to become competent contributors as adults.
3. Help kids learn to set boundaries so they honor their own needs as well as respect the needs of others.  This is a fundamental lesson parents need to teach their kids. It’s OK in many circumstances to say no. We want our kids to stay in touch with what they may need and give them the skills to meet those needs. We also want our kids to be aware that everyone has the right to set boundaries when they are appropriate and necessary. This is a basic life skill.
4. Help kids learn to be accepting of differences.  Having nonjudgmental conversations about the differences we encounter in the viewpoints, lifestyle, beliefs and ideas of others is a basic tenet of building a philosophy of acceptance and compassion in our kids. These are great conversations to have because they ultimately help our kids get clear about who they are, what they think and what they believe. This also means that our kids should have a safe place to express their individual viewpoint even if it is different from our own.
5. Help kids accept the outcome of their choices and create new ones.
It is the ultimate empowerment experience when kids make their own choices and have their own resulting experiences. As parents, of course we need to be aware of what our kids are choosing so that we can intervene if it is necessary to do so. Although it is often difficult to give up control, we simply can’t make every decision for our kids. This deprives them of their experiences, the consequences of which are far less during childhood compared to adulthood. As often as it is reasonable to give our kids the authority to make choices for themselves, we should do so and understand we are respecting their individuality, honoring their learning process and building their knowledge of and confidence in themselves.

These are basic requirements that have worked well in my home so far. I respect the rights of my children to live freely and happily. As their mother, I want my kids to have the skills to manage their lives very well without me or without the help of anyone else if they choose. I want to help my children become empowered and sovereign. By giving them reasonable responsibilities and expectations, I hope to provide them with the simple knowledge about how to successfully manage their own lives after they leave home. And ultimately, I want them to soar!

For more helpful information about empowering children, or for more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit www.lilystruth.com.

Building Core Values in Children by Susan Haid

by Susan Haid

Susan Haid with Family

Susan Haid with Family

There is a dilemma in parenting right now regarding the concept of “core values.” How does a parent build core values in a child? Let’s begin by talking about the innate and natural abilites that exist within a child by making the assumption that there is, in most people, the ability to self-regulate. We must understand this self-regulation mechanism and understand its value in parenting.

To begin with, let me present a metaphor. When a person stands up, there is something called “equilibrium” that takes place. Balance is something that is acquired as one learns to stand up and walk as babies do; babies learn with practice how to build the skills needed to learn to walk about without trouble. Of course, assistance is necessary in the toddler years, but proficiency grows with each new step. After trial and error, and some will-power to grow, the changes occur within ourselves to become efficient walkers. There is nothing about the mechanisms of this but trial and error. It is the same with learning to grow spiritually and building core values within oneself. There is not a lot about it that requires great strength. It has a way of beginning and growing from within itself all on its own, yet most profoundly through experience.

Children are not seekers of great truth; it overwhelms them. A sadness occurs within each child, a sadness that remains when values are imposed which force upon them a highly restrictive right-wrong system of living…a system which may shut down and confuse their innate ability to make conscious, conscientious choices. Instead, maybe we should let children teach themselves in as many situations that reasonably allow for it. Within the perimeter of a safe setting, we can let our kids figure out which side of the fence they’re on. They can choose which is the “right” side or the “left” side. We should understand that each way brings with it its own choices and discoveries. Neither choice is the “right” way or the “wrong” way. Each choice is valid.

This type of learning is experiential. It has its merits. The question, “Which way is the right way?” should be replaced with, “Which way will I choose?” and “How will I decide?” This method supports the development of corrective mechanisms as well as creative opportunities for growth. The struggle may be there, yes, it will be. At least in the face of a struggle, there is an opportunity for growth and change. In the midst of struggle, a desire comes forth that commands our attention. We must be seen, heard and understood for who we are. This resonates clearly as we ring forth our truth like a great brass bell.

This method requires a parent to step outside of older models of parenting into new territory. But it seems to me that the knowledge and the skills a child builds through this exercise comes from within their own domain of experience. This is a very powerful form of learning that far outweighs the benefits of mere rhetoric.

Consider this parenting method in this light; have you ever questioned yourself? As you struggle to find your answer, finally, you let go, knowing you did what you thought was best. You let go. You then must ask yourself, are you “left” or “right”? Whatever the answer, it tells a story. It is a story of answers. The answers speak to you, and you self-regulate. Just like a baby learning to walk.

Sure, there might be a few bumps and bruises along the way. But the main thing is, you learned to walk. You now stand tall and proud.

For more insightful information about conscious living and conscious parenting, visit http://www.lilystruth.com.

BPA and Perchlorate – Rolling the Dice with the EPA and FDA – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

I have recently read some alarming articles that I feel the need to share with all mothers. I will apologize in advance for any anger or sarcasm that may seep through.

Without making this blog too political, I will just say this once – I feel that the state of our government and its agencies is in shambles. One simple example – water. As a pregnant mother of two, I am at a complete loss of how to provide my children with the most basic of life’s necessities, or how, as a pregnant woman, I am supposed to drink it.

Now I know I am hyper-sensitive about everything I put into my body right now. Llast time I was pregnant it was (and still is!), pthalates. http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/pdf/factsheet_phthalates.pdf

And now, in one week, I have read two articles that truly scare me about the EPA and the FDA and their attempt to do their jobs. One about BPA’s (chemical commonly found in hardened plastic) and the other about a rocket-fuel additive, perchlorate.

Scientists who aren’t on plastic companies’ payroll, have been questioning the safety of BPA, or bisphenol A, for some time, but we were always reassured by the FDA and their industry-funded studies that it was safe. Here’s what a quick article search uncovered.

Just over a month ago we were told by the FDA that BPA was safe:

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/18/fda-bpa-in-plastic-bottles-isnt-a-health-hazard/

“FDA has concluded that an adequate margin of safety exists for BPA at current levels of exposure from food contact uses.”

And here’s what scientists who aren’t on the plastics companies’ payroll said:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/04/27/20080427plastic0427.html

A decade ago, Frederick vom Saal, a reproductive scientist at University of Missouri at Columbia, came up with a different research strategy. He theorized that because BPA can mimic estrogen, a female sex hormone, minuscule amounts introduced to fetuses or infants could change cell structure and cause significant health problems later in life. He found that doses 25,000 times below what the government has labeled as safe harmed developing cells in mice.

The compound, bisphenol A, or BPA, has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, behavioral disorders and reproductive-health problems in lab animals.

Cut to last week, and here’s what was being said after the relese of a new study examining the effects on humans:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/09/16/bpa.safety.ap/index.html

“Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it’s safe, so we’re not recommending any change in habits,” said Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA’s office of food additive safety. But she acknowledged, “there are a number of things people can do to lower their exposure.”

Government toxicology experts have also studied BPA and recently completed their own report based on earlier animal studies. They found no strong evidence of health hazards from BPA, but said there was “some concern” about possible effects on the brain in fetuses, infants and children.

That’s enough for me – so I went out and spent $12.99 a piece on water bottles for each of us – not cheap AT ALL – but what else am I supposed to do? I guess we’ll just go without something else this week.

And then, literally, in the same place where I had just bought the BPA-free bottles – in my gym cafe where my son and I were having a snack – I read this article about the EPA and a jet fuel additive, perchlorate, found in drinking water:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/09/22/rocket.fuel.epa.ap/index.html

The Defense Department used perchlorate for decades in testing missiles and rockets, and most perchlorate contamination is the result of defense and aerospace activities, congressional investigators said last year.

The Pentagon could face liability if EPA set a national drinking water standard that forced water agencies around the country to undertake costly clean-up efforts. Defense officials have spent years questioning EPA’s conclusions about the risks posed by perchlorate.

The Pentagon objected strongly Monday to the suggestion that it sought to influence EPA’s decision.

The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists.

So, between the two, this can’t be great for my kids or my fetus, so what am I supposed to do? Does my water filter at home on my fridge get rid of perchlorate or do I have to now go spend more money on something else? Do I pour perchlorate free, yet BPA-laden water from a  bottle into my BPA-free water bottle?

As a mother, I feel really angry and helpless. I don’t feel that our government is looking out for our best interest, this just being the latest example. We have to be so pro-active just to be safe, who knows what else we may not know about! I am also angry at how expensive healthy alternatives are becoming, on top of food and gas. I truly hope this election cycle does bring “change” because I feel like the average American is being completely hung out to dry.

Aside from any political beliefs or perceived conspiracies, I hope this information helps other mothers make educated decisions about what goes into their children’s bodies. We must all take an active role in our health and pass it on to each other.

Keeping Kids Stuff Organized 2 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by: Sandra Beck

Contain the clutter. Of course toys will be used in areas of the home other than just the kids’ bedrooms, family room, or toy room, however, these other areas of the home should be thought of as off-limits when it comes to storing toys there. Part of the bedtime routine should be to remove toys from the living room, dining room, and so on. Make it an unacceptable practice to leave toys strewn about.

Or, keep bins and baskets in these rooms, and toys should be put in there when not in use. The bottom line is that things should not be left spread out in one room or over all areas of the home. You wouldn’t think of leaving your car parked in the middle of the street overnight; so too, children can learn that things need to be put where they belong when no longer in use.

Teach your child that each toy or groups of toys needs a home. When they go to put toys away, they need to put it in its “home.” This will help children to keep toys in their place.

These bins and baskets do not need to be expensive and you don’t need a professional that will come in and design a closet system for you. Plastic totes are usually available at any store and are usually very affordable. Shoes boxes can be painted or papered and used. Make it a craft project for the child and he or she will be more likely to use the container. Dollar stores usually have bins and baskets as well – laundry baskets, food storage containers, and desk organizers can work just as well for your child’s toys.

Make it easy for them. By using bins and cubbyholes that are easily accessible to the child, you can encourage him or her to do their share in keeping things organized. Don’t think that your child’s room needs to look like a showcase – wooden pegs on the wall and a nice stack of plastic bins may not be your idea of a model room, but can be much easier for a child to use when it’s time to hang up clothes, put toys away, and so on.

Label these bins and hooks so they know what goes where. If they’re too young to read, use pictures. Many families have a digital camera and a printer, so take a quick photo of the toy, jacket, or whatever. You can cut a picture of a train from a magazine and use that for where your child will store the train set, or cut out the front of the box the toy came in.

Organize like with like. Try to keep similar things organized together. So, one bin for stuffed animals, another for sports stuff, another for video games, and so on. This also makes it easier when they want to play with a certain toy – they know right where the video games are or their train set, and so on.

Purge at Christmas and birthdays. You might take the time a few days before these occasions to have the child go through his or her room and pick some things they want to get rid of, to make room for new things. Knowing that they’ll soon be getting presents makes this purge much easier on them.

Go for quality. With the many dollar stores that have sprung up in recent years, it’s become so tempting for parents to constantly buy their children small and cheap toys. Instead of getting them a huge pile of cheap junk, go for quality toys or possessions that will last long. It’s best to spend your money on a couple of great things than a whole bunch of cheap things that will break and be relegated to the junk pile in no time.

Downsize your possessions. And of course the best tip when it comes to organizing is to own less! The less things you own, the easier it is to organize. It’s tempting to give in every time your child wants a new toy, gadget, or piece of sporting equipment, but you do need to show some balance. Wanting to give to your children is commendable, but not having limits is damaging to you and to them. Be selective, and teach your children to do the same.

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

Keeping Kids Stuff Organized by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by: Sandra Beck

Let’s face it, very few kids are organized by nature. Keeping their belongings neat and orderly just isn’t a priority to them – if they even know what those words mean in the first place!

As a parent, you probably understand the importance of keeping some order even when it comes to your belongings. Realizing that your kids’ rooms are cluttered and unorganized may give you the impulse to simply run in and purge old toys and toss together everything else, but resist this urge! Your children’s things are theirs, and just haphazardly tossing things away may be hurtful to them, even if they haven’t touched that particular toy or read that particular book in years.

So what to do? How to bring some order to the chaos? Here’s some tips:

Identify the important. The first step in de-cluttering is identifying which toys and other possessions are truly important to the kids. What do they play with, what do they love? Then get rid of as much of the rest as possible, keeping only those they use and love. But remember, you do need to get the kids involved in this process. It’s easy for you to think that a particular toy is no longer used, when in fact, it could be greatly missed.

Children of course are hesitant to toss out anything, not realizing that even if they got rid of half of their items they’d still be left with quite a bit! So be delicate in this process. Ask them to choose one thing they no longer want, then make it two. Have them choose between two toys so they feel as if they’re keeping something, not throwing something away.

You might also implement the rule that for every two new things they get, they need to get rid of one old thing.

Donate! Find a local charity that you can give some things to. This can also help with the child’s attitude of getting rid of things, if they know that their old doll or teddy bear won’t be thrown away but will go to another child that will really love and appreciate it. Older children especially can be taught this lesson of giving.

Leave space. When you put the important stuff back, don’t try to fill up each drawer, shelf or closet area. Allow there to be some space around the objects. It’s much nicer looking, and it leaves room for a couple of extra items later if necessary. Also, this lets the children get used to the idea of having some room, not of stuffing every corner with a “thing.”

www.motherhoodincorporated.com