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25 ideas for teaching your kids resiliency

25 ideas for teaching your kids resiliency | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

 “Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.” -Robert A. Heinlein

With the plethora of shopping opportunities, the ability to communicate across the world in an instant, and electronic entertainment coming from every direction, life in today’s world is fast-paced and full-on.  Anything seems possible.  And with so many options and devices at our disposal, parents can be tempted to make their kids’ lives very easy.

Want that $2 toy?  Okay, you got it.  (Better to avoid a melt down, right?)

However if we want our children to stand up to the inevitable challenges they will face in the future and keep going despite disappointment or frustration, we need to help our children develop resilience.  This means they need to practice coping skills, and therefore need some challenges to practice these skills with.

After all, life is not about figuring out how to turn off a thunderstorm or switch on the sun – no matter how much we would like this to be possible.

Our children will learn to be much happier, more resilient people, when they can enjoy the sunshine when it is around and dance in the rain when there is no other choice.
25 ideas for how you can teach your kids resilience:

The list below is not your typical “do and don’t” list but rather a set of prompts to begin reflecting on ways we can teach our children resilience through simple interactions every day.

* Give your child independence to try new things they initiate, such as climbing at the playground or opening a container, even if you think it is “too hard” for them.

* Encourage your child to serve others or let others go first when sharing food.

* Give your child the opportunity to wait patiently when it is required (such as in a restaurant or during a car ride); do not always provide entertainment.

* Show your child that it is worth making a good decision for the long run even if it’s not the easiest, such as choosing healthy foods over junk foods even if they take longer to prepare.

* Do not give your child every single physical thing they desire (toys, food, clothes, etc) even if “everyone else has it.”

* Enable your child to give toys and clothes away regularly to charity, and teach them that material possessions are simply tools and not answers to happiness.

* Give your child opportunities to help others younger than them, starting with simple ways such as showing the other child pictures in a book.

* Teach your child to identify struggles as challenges to overcome, not tests to avoid, and teach them phrases such as “this too shall pass” or “every challenge makes you stronger” to spark this outlook.

* Encourage your child to maintain a positive attitude about chores or homework by teaching them creative ways to find fun in work.

* If your child is older, give them the chance to wait for family meals instead of snacking any time they want.

* Remind your child to be patient with a younger sibling’s interference with their toys; teach them that relationships are more important than *things*.

* Help your child learn self control regarding electronic mediums and entertainment by demonstrating your own restraint.

* Allow your child to experience the extremes of temperature by dressing accordingly, not hiding away from the weather.

* Resist the urge to run to your child’s rescue immediately, such as when you see them having trouble putting on clothes or feeding themselves.

* Do not allow your child to interrupt when adults are speaking to one another; set up an age-appropriate method for them to practice taking their turn.

* Give your child many opportunities to share their belongings and their food, by inviting guests over and setting up ways they can be generous.

* Introduce new experiences to your child which will help them step outside their comfort zone, such as playing with children who speak another language and trying new foods.
Resist the urge to run to your child’s rescue immediately, such as when you see them having trouble putting on clothes or feeding themselves.

* Do not allow your child to interrupt when adults are speaking to one another; set up an age-appropriate method for them to practice taking their turn.

* Give your child many opportunities to share their belongings and their food, by inviting guests over and setting up ways they can be generous.

* Introduce new experiences to your child which will help them step outside their comfort zone, such as playing with children who speak another language and trying new foods.

* Do not give in when you have set a limit, such as an amount of TV they can watch or how much dessert they can have.

* When your child wants to find something, let them look for it.

* Teach your child how to be responsible for their own clothes as early as possible: to sort and wash and put them away – including washing clothes by hand and hanging them out to dry.

* Remind your children to do their best on school work, even if it means taking longer than they would like or staying up a bit later than normal.

* Require that responsibilities be completed even when your child does not feel like it, such as making beds, taking a bath, feeding the pets, and brushing teeth.

* When your child really wishes they had something, teach them to be grateful and find the best in whatever situation they are in.

* Let your child own their feelings, even if they are challenging, by not belittling the emotions but giving them a way to maintain perspective through phrases such as “Every challenge makes me stronger” or “A rainbow will come after the storm.”

* Enable your child to gain perspective about their reality by volunteering for charitable organizations that serve people who do not have the same life circumstances.


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Eight ways to practice more positivity in 2014

Eight ways to practice more positivity in 2014 | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

It's impossible to go an entire year without navigating through some challenges -- but despite any setbacks, many are approaching 2014 with an optimistic outlook. Almost 50 percent of Americans believe their fortunes will improve in the new year. Is 2014 going to be the year of positivity?

According to some experts, happiness is a choice that we can make -- not something that is entirely influenced by external circumstances. By simply deciding to be happy, we can adopt and live out a more positive life. So instead of making resolutions to accomplish specific things (be honest: is that gym membership going to be the only thing that will make you happy next year?), setting a goal to make 2014 your most positive year yet is more attainable than you think.

Below find eight ways to practice more positivity in 2014. Then tell us in the comments, what are some positive habits you're planning to adopt in the new year?

1. Go outside.
Research proves that going outside helps reduce stress, increases your levels of serotonin and elevates your mood.

2. Log some time with your nephews (or nieces, siblings or neighbor's kids).
Little kids can have the best outlooks on life.

3. Meditate
Plenty of research shows that meditation can help promote positivity and happiness. Bonus: It can even lower your blood pressure.

4. Play with your pet.
Pet ownership has been proven to boost happiness and banish stress. Thanks, Fido!

5. Unplug every once in a while.
Facebook, texting, Twitter, Snap Chat... we're bombarded with information daily -- and not all of it is good. Studies have shown that spending time on social media can actually make us feel lonely and bad about ourselves. Turn off that computer and let yourself be happy.

6. Say thank you.
Gratitude can help you focus on the positive aspects in your life. Send a thank you note to someone you care about, just because. You'll feel happier for it.

7. Read more books.
Aside from their unconventional health benefits, good books can put your mind in another place -- perhaps, even, a positive place.

8. Dance (or sing) it out.
Ever notice how when you're grooving to your favorite tune or screaming lyrics as you drive down the road, your mood elevates? Turns out that's no coincidence. Studies have shown that singing and dancing can be an instant, positive mood booster.

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Some good reminders! ~ V.B.

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Too cute!

Too cute! | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Happy Holidays! Pic courtesy of  FB page: Love, Sex, Intelligence. ~ V.B.

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Ten ways to help your child build self-esteem

Ten ways to help your child build self-esteem | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

Anyone who has kids knows that they are both a magical blessing and a constant source of stress. Raising children requires a lot of work—just feeding, cleaning and dressing them takes up a good chunk of a parent’s time, and that’s before we even begin to teach them about the world.  It is important to pass on good values to our little ones, but even more importantly, we want them to feel confident in their abilities and to have a realistic, yet positive self-image. If you want to help your child build self-esteem, try out some of these strategies.

1. Talk to your child and find out if there are any problems.

Effective communication is essential for building healthy and lasting relationships. Being a child is exiting, confusing and even scary at times, so your child may have a lot of questions about the world as well as fears and doubts. Other kids might be mean to your child, the child may feel inadequate in certain ways, and he or she may feel insecure about their body or intimidated by social interactions. It is important to establish trust and let the child tell you why it may feel unsure of itself, so you can work together on finding a solution.

2. Help your child find an activity he or she feels passionate about.

Some people are born with an incredible voice; some have a good ear for music; others have the bone structure and musculature that can make them a great athlete; and some have a vast imagination and a flare for story-telling. Find out what your child’s natural talents are and help them engage in activities they find the most fun.

Dancing, painting, playing an instrument or something more pragmatic like math are all good options—just make sure that your child is motivated. As the child begins to develop a higher level of skill, his or her self-esteem will shoot through the roof.

3. Be forgiving to others and show your child that compassion is a great virtue.

Everyone makes mistakes; it’s a part of maturing and a necessary step in attaining wisdom. By practicing forgiveness, you let your child now that, although what they did was wrong for a number of reasons, it’s quite alright to make a mistake every now and then.

It also shows them that even though people sometimes argue and feelings get hurt, reconciliation is possible with a little bit of compromise and empathy. Your child will learn this lesson from you and start practicing forgiveness in their daily life.

4. Teach your child to focus on building meaningful relationships, look for happiness in small things and strive for success.

Many people attain a certain level of wealth, power and skill, yet they never conquer their fears and remain unsure of themselves. Teach your child about the value of true friendship and how others can help make you stronger. Teach them to turn to the hundreds of positive little things in life when looking for happiness and to be ambitious and persistent.

Failure is just an opportunity to come back even stronger and with good friends there to back you up, even your darkest moments can seem a bit brighter. There is no better way to help your child build high self-esteem than to show them the value of having others who believe in you.

5. Teach children to set attainable goals.

Wanting to be the first man on Mars, a world famous ballerina or a movie star are very ambitious goals and show just how creative your child can be, but they may be unattainable. It’s not a good idea to shower your child with praise all the time and give them an unrealistic image of themselves and their abilities. Let them give anything a shot, but if they clearly aren’t meant to be a singer, don’t hesitate to tell them that. Be easy on them and offer alternatives. Help them formulate some short-term goals that are easily attainable with some hard work and have these smaller goals build up to something more long-term but still within reach.

For example, if you sign them up for a dance class, their short-term goals could be to master certain moves and practice at least 2 hours every day, while a bigger goal might be to place high in a local dance competition. Eventually, they could strive to improve and win some larger competitions in a few years and perhaps become a dance instructor when they grow up. As they start achieving goal after goal, they will feel more confident and happier.

6. Teach your child how to be organized and how to study for best results.

Many people believe that studying is all about sitting down and staring at a book for hours. This can lead to a child feeling frustrated and believing that he or she isn’t smart enough to learn a subject. Being organized is a skill that can be learned. A child needs a good balance between studying, doing their chores and having fun—a balance that can only be achieved by organizing their time effectively. Some subjects can be more difficult for a child than others and they may have problems when they feel they are racing against a clock. Tests in particular can be stressful and take all the fun out of learning.

Luckily there are many online resources available for preparing your child for standardized exams so they can feel more relaxed and sure of themselves. You should also try to make learning somewhat fun—documentaries, movies, video games and practical examples can work wonders to get kids interested in a particular subject.

7. Enroll your child in classes that focus on physical activity.

A healthy mind in a healthy body, as the old saying goes. Getting a good deal of physical exercise during the day is not only beneficial to your child’s health, but can also help them develop strong and agile body that they can be proud of.

Looking good and feeling good will help your child build self-esteem, while playing a sport will enable them to be around like-minded kids and improve their social skills.

8. Play with your child whenever you get the chance.

Some emotional and physical contact with others on a daily basis is very important for a child. Devote some time to listening to their stories, engage in some creative activities and teach them some valuable skills in the process.

Anything can be made into a game, so you have plenty of opportunity to get your child used to teamwork, problem solving and expressing themselves freely.

9. Become a good role-model by practicing what you preach

Kids simply soak up information from their immediate surroundings and they will turn to you as their main source of information on acceptable behavior. Monkey see, monkey do is their main strategy. Be sure that you show your child how one should behave through actions; don’t just tell them what they should do and then do the very things you instructed them not to do.

If your child sees that their parents aren’t afraid to express themselves, that they try to be good to others and are very social and open with other people, the child will emulate this confident behavior in their lives.

10. Teach your child about responsibilities and the value of hard work.

A child shouldn’t be held to the same high standards as adults, but they should understand that their actions affect others and that there are people who count on them. If the child understands why it’s necessary for them to do their chores and that it takes hard work to earn a living, he or she will have a different outlook on life. Children are often happy to help out their parents and feel proud when they contribute. Older kids can look after smaller kids during the day, a child can help their parents in the kitchen, they can help with home repairs (even if it just means handing tools to dad), and they can clean the house and help organize events like family reunions and Thanksgiving.

This way, they know that they are capable of a lot of things and that people rely on them, which builds character and helps your child build self-esteem.

When it comes to helping your kids build self-esteem, it’s important to remember to communicate, spend some time with your child and allow them to make their own choices, while at the same time nudging them in the right direction.

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Why you should let your child be frustrated | World of Psychology

Why you should let your child be frustrated | World of Psychology | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

As a new mom and a recent MSW graduate, I can’t help but analyze, question, and sometimes fear the ways in which my parenting choices will affect my son.

During the few months I was home with my baby, I joined a moms group. Now that the babies are three or four months old, the conversations sound like “my baby will not sleep in the crib,” “my baby wakes up every three hours,” “my baby needs to be held all day.”

From a recommendation, I read Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting when I was pregnant. The 2012 book is written by Pamela Druckerman, an American mom raising her baby in Paris.

At first glance, I thought the book was a witty tongue-in-cheek story about neurotic Americans and cool Parisians. On second glance (and a second reading after I birthed the child), I realized this book unlocked the secrets of raising a happy, resilient adult.

Ms. Druckerman charmingly explains the many ways in which French children differ from American children. On the surface, it appears that American children are less patient, less polite and throw more tantrums. American parents may think it’s cute and innocent; their kids will grow out of it. And it is true, the child may eventually stop the behavior, but the coping skills (or lack of) have been firmly set in stone.

I do not believe Druckerman was writing a book on human development, but to a social worker, it seems her observations directly relate to why so many American adults seek therapy. Therapists’ offices are filled with adults who suffer from anxiety, depression, anger management issues, eating disorders or marital problems. Any psychoanalyst would tell you that many of these issues are deeply rooted in childhood.

American parents seem overly worried that if their child hears “no” they will become angry and experience frustration and disappointment. On the contrary, the French believe that “no” saves children from the tyranny of their own desires. Caroline

Thompson, a family psychologist in Paris whom Druckerman interviewed, stated what seems to be the overall view in France: “making kids face up to limitations and deal with frustration turns them into happier, more resilient people.” Isn’t that what every parent wants for their child?

“French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can’t cope with frustration. They also treat coping with frustration as a core life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it. The parents would be remiss if they didn’t teach it.”

Druckerman interviewed pediatrician and founder of Tribeca Pediatrics, Michel Cohen, a French doctor practicing in New York City. “My first intervention is to say, when your baby is born, just don’t jump on your kid at night,” Cohen says.

“Give your baby a chance to self-soothe, don’t automatically respond, even from birth.” “Le pause,” as Druckerman coins it, is one of the main ways to gently induce frustration. The French believe “le pause” can start as early as two to three weeks old.

Although “le pause” may sound like tough love for a infant, most American parents end up surrendering to the “cry it out” method at three to four months because their baby never learned to self-soothe. “Le pause” worked for me, although I did not consciously subscribe to this method. I think it was a combination of sleep deprivation and C-section recovery that created “le pause,” but it worked! “Le pause” creates babies who are content to snuggle alone in their cribs, babies who at a very young age learn to soothe themselves.

And hopefully “le pause” creates adults who can cope with frustration, a skill that is extremely useful and necessary for success in work and relationships and dealing with the overall stressors of everyday life.

 

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Good read! ~  [Saying] “no” saves children from the tyranny of their own desires...“making kids face up to limitations and deal with frustration turns them into happier, more resilient people.”

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