Pretending to be sick to avoid school, to coming home with new bruises and refusing to do homework - may sound like your typical child, but these could also be signs of bullying. Many parents fear that their child could be a victim and it's not always easy to know when it's going on.
When I was studying for my Master's Degree I did a lot of research into bullying. Personally, the most devastating fact that I found was that teachers are usually the last to know that a child is being bullied. Thankfully this is not because we are incompetent, or we don't care but I still subsequently put my hand up to rewrite the bullying policy at the school I was working at to help the children to know what to do if they were bullied.
Bullying hurts. Children who are bullied can experience a range of negative outcomes including depression, anxiety, bedwetting, social withdrawal, lack of friends, loneliness, dislike or avoidance of school, poor academic performance and suicidal tendencies.
In that case it could be a good idea to start a conversation. Ask if there are any children who are being mean at school to the kids in his or her class? Tell them stories of some things that happened when you were at school. This could help them open up.
Because they are embarrassed or believe if they tell someone the situation will only get worse.
Remember that bullying is different to 'kids being mean'. Bullying is when one person or group targets another repeatedly.
Encourage them to be active bystanders. E.g. tell the bully to stop or they will report it. This is actually reportedly one of the best ways to stop another child being bullied.
|Posted in: being assertive bullying what to do if my child is being bullied What to do if my child is being a bully anxiety symptoms|
You probably purchase school supplies before the very first day of school, but there are other ways you and your child can prepare for the new school year. Be sure to attend the meet and greet so you can learn about classes, teachers, opportunities and the school and class expectations. Also, one of the best ways to prepare your child for school is to set goals for the first term. You can do this together, display your goals somewhere where you both will see them.
I wish you and your family a fantastic start to the school year.
|Posted in: Back to school anxiety growth and development|
Today I am sharing an article from a fantastic Brisbane organisation, Learning Connections,on preparing your child for Prep. Website at www.learningconnections.com.au
For your child to get the most from Prep, the first things they will need to be able to do is sit in a chair, listen and follow directions. Teachers report that unless a child has mastered these skills, they will find it difficult to learn. Children also need to have settled behaviour, the ability to socialise in groups with peers, mature language skills and the skills to engage with drawing and books.
These abilities are the precursors of the five domains of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) which measures early childhood development: (1) physical health and wellbeing; (2) social competence; (3) emotional maturity; (4) language and cognitive skills; and (5) communication skills and general knowledge. It is estimated that almost one third of children entering Prep are developmentally vulnerable on at least one of these domains. Children who arrive at school developmentally vulnerable are more likely to have trouble catching up, and face literacy and numeracy challenges in their primary school years.
Even bright children can have developmental immaturities. While bright children are often able to develop a range of coping strategies, these strategies frequently stop working as they progress through school and encounter harder work - typically around Year Three.
Here are five easy things you can do to assist your child's development and establish a strong foundation of motor, sensory-motor and language skills to get them ready for the classroom.
Swinging, spinning, rolling, tumbling and zigzag running are all movements that stimulate and develop the vestibular system.
These movements stimulate the vestibular system, the unifying system in our brain controlling our sense of movement and balance. The vestibular system helps our brain coordinate information from our sensory systems, in particular eyes and ears. A well-developed vestibular system assists concentration, language development and academic learning.
Games, puzzles, drawing, painting, dress-ups, story-telling are some of the many activities considered 'play'. Value and encourage the time your child spends playing.
Play assists a child's development by building a number of life skills. Depending on the activity, it can be a testing ground for language and reasoning skills, and as such a foundation for future challenges such as literacy, maths and science. Play develops a child's creativity, and can encourage a lifelong love of learning. Moreover, exposure to humour and playful attitudes assist social development.
Set and enforce limits on your child's 'screen-time'. 'Screen-time' is the total amount of time your child spends watching television or DVDs, or looking at/playing with devices such as computers, video games, iPads and smart phones. The Australian Government Department of Health's National Physical Activity Recommendations suggest limiting screen-time to one hour per day for primary school children, and no more than two hours per day for secondary school children. You may also choose to remove sources of screen-time from your child's bedroom.
Despite the increasing availability of child- and learning-focused apps, looking at pictures on a screen does little to assist speech and social skill development. While some apps and computer programs do have real merit, it is important to understand that the time young children spend on technology is time not spent on and forever lost to the play activities that develop skills for successful learning. Limiting and paying attention to your child's screen-time has many benefits to their health, enhancing quality of sleep, reducing the risk of obesity, improving cooperative behaviour and performance at school.
Avoid foods with artificial additives. If your great-grandmother didn't eat it, it probably isn't real food! Packaged foods (e.g. poppers, sweet yoghurts, snack bars, instant noodles) are often sources of artificial additives. Consider alternatives - for example, a piece of fruit and drink of water instead of a popper.
While it's important to eat both fruit and vegetables, veggies have less sugar than fruit, and a broader range of nutrients. A veggie to fruit ratio of 5:2 is recommended.
Children can have treats, but these should be occasional.
The types of food your child consumes affect their concentration, learning, behaviour and sleep.
Take the emotion out of mealtimes by planning a weekly menu and putting it on display so there are no surprises! Allowing a child to say 'no' increases their control over the menu, so be clear on the rules: parents, along with some input from the child, decide what the family eats. Remember that you may need to expose a child to a food thirty times or more before they attempt to try it!
Sit at the dinner table as a family and talk. You may like to talk about different tastes and textures as you share your meal, as a way to educate your child about nutrition.
The dinner table is a great place to practice many of the basic skills needed for Prep and school - for example, sitting still in a chair, listening and taking turns with conversation.
|Posted in: my child can't sit still healthy eating and behaviour Prep ready|
1. Computers, video games and T.V are great, they can be educational and can teach hand-eye co-ordination, but there is a down side. They are actually passive activities that limit creativity. Have you noticed your children will misbehave straight after they finish watching TV or playing on the computer? This is often because their brains are having trouble transitioning from passive to active. They might not be bored; their brain just needs a re-boot. Get your children into the routine of jumping on the trampoline, running around the yard, doing star jumps etc for a few minutes after a passive activity. They will be more likely to be able to think of something to do themselves then.2. In the mornings or at the beginning of each week, brainstorm activities together that they can do when they are bored. Get them to write a list or draw pictures illustrating the ideas. When they come to you to say they are bored, get them to check the list and choose something from there.
3. Listen, and acknowledge that you have heard what they are saying, without trying to fix it for them. Say, 'I'm sorry that you are bored. Let me know what you come up with to do.' Or ' I understand that, I feel bored sometimes myself.
5. Say that you would be very happy to show them how to vacuum, clean the car, wipe the ledges etc. Maybe they will want to, or maybe they will get as far away as possible and find something much more attractive to do.6. Be realistic, nobody is suggesting that children should be left to their own devices the entire holidays, have a routine, one that balances:
Time for household jobs
Time for spending with you when you need to get things done, such as grocery shopping
Time for playing together (spending quality time)
Time for organized activities/ time with friends that they can become engaged in
Time to be independent (but not Bored!).
|Posted in: Saying no to children Children not listening to instructions parenting tips dealing with disappointments activities for kids what to do with bored children grumpy children getting along|
Every-one looks forward to the holidays but the idea of keeping the kids busy and out of trouble can be extremely daunting, and stressful on the purse strings! Following, is an idea to help you maintain some structure, which most kids need, as well as some activity ideas and sites to help you enjoy your time at home with the kids without having to strain your brain every day.
Each day at breakfast (or the night before, whatever suits your family) take the time to plan your day. It might take a while the first day, but once you get into the habit, it shouldn't take long at all.
1. Write a list of all the things you need to do each day, such as eating times, jobs, visits to the shops/ family/friends houses, baths, feeding the dog. Remember to include the things you need to do as well.2. Organise the day into parts. Include the things you do each day, time for active activities, time for passive, or quiet activities, and time for activities that you do together. Try to have a quiet activity follow active or physical activities so that your children do not get over stimulated (and vice versa).
3. Discuss, or write down the activities that you could do in each part of the day. This way, you won't feel pressure to try and think up something amazing that is the answer to everybody's dreams on the spot, when they ask 'what can I do now?' You might want to cut up your list, throw it in a jar and get the kids to pick out an activity each.
Unstructured and quite time encourage boredom inspired resourcefulness.
While many parents are quite fearful of child directed play these days, because they worry it equals children getting up to mischief, it is extremely important for learning how to apply rules, learn what is 'fair' and discover how others might see things differently. Those loud arguments about whether an out of bounds ball was actually out of bounds actually serve a purpose.
If you let your children know that a part of the day is going to be set aside for independent play and quiet time then you are setting up the expectation that they can do it with-out getting themselves into trouble, or coming to you whinging about being bored. Allotting the time, and letting them know what it is for, does two things.
1. It stops children from thinking this is a 'nothing to do' time and that just because nothing has been organised for them, they must be bored.
2. It puts some responsibility back on to them to entertain themselves. Children actually thrive on a bit of responsibility. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.
This is the time where they can organise their own activities, invent games, play in the sandpit / toy room, draw pictures, play with the dog, read, think and dream.
When you make your plan, it becomes obvious to everyone how much time you spend together, involved in activities. It is really good for children to be able to see this, as they often take for granted the times that you are spending with them, but they sure notice if you are doing your own thing and they can certainly let you know that this is not to their liking! This is not because children are selfish, they just need things pointed out to them sometimes because they just don't know any better. Don't let them 'guilt' you into giving up all your time to play with them. Using your daily plan, you can now say to them, 'When you have finished your play time, then it is time for us to play a game/ do some cooking'. Remember, if they pester you, the 'together time' can always be reduced. Alternatively, if you can see they are making a big effort to 'stick to the plan' the together time can be made to seem more exciting and special.
1. Plan your days, it helps you stay on track with the things you have to do as well.
2. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to entertain your children all day, especially with expensive trips, encourage resourcefulness.
3. Do try to allow time for physical activity each day. Taming children with excess stored energy can be stressful!
4. Break up quiet activities and active activities so that your children do not get over or under stimulated.
5. Don't feel as though you have to stick to the structure and the allotted times rigidly, think of the plan as something that is there as support, if you need it.
http://www.toddlertricks.com - TODDLER TRICKS gives the parents of toddlers a whole box of on-line tricks that they can use to have happy, healthy fun-times with their toddler every day. They all cost nothing, or next to nothing and have been tried and tested on real live toddlers! Toddler Tricks is delivered by a weekly blog which you can subscribe to through Facebook, by email or Twitter. If you know the parent of a toddler, or are one yourself, then you are going to love Toddler Tricks. COME CHECK OUR TRICKS OUT!
(If you have any other favourites, please let me know and I'll add them to the list)
1. Make play dough.
2. Learn magic tricks together and put on a show.
3. Create awards at awardwinner.com
4. Make bubbles.
5. Have a photo taking contest. Share cameras.
6. Sign up for a walk or run for a cause.
7. Write letters to soldiers.
8. Go to the library and take out books, rent books on tape and movies.
9. Have colouring contests.
10. Plan a picnic indoors.
11. Have breakfast food for dinner.
12. Hold cooking classes in your own kitchen, invite friends.
13. Share favourite birthday and holiday stories.
14. Rent dance videos and hold a dance contest.
15. Create books using pictures from magazines.
16. Visit nursing homes, bring musical instruments and put on a show.
17. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
18. Make cupcakes and have a decorating party.
19. Download free e-books.
20. Hold a family game night.
21. Visit the zoo.
22. Design a family website.
23. Fill with family pictures and stories.
24. Go rollerblading.
25. Attend free festivals.
26. Attend free concerts.
27. Press flowers and make cards.
28. Decorate thank-you notes, write messages inside, put stamps on envelopes
they will be ready to go as needed.
29. Decorate placemats on construction paper and cover with contact paper.
30. Play charades.
31. Decorate small notebooks and begin a daily journal.
32. Organize dresser drawers.
33. Clean bedrooms.
34. Draw pictures and mail to other family members.
35. Finger paint with shaving foam.
36. Collect rocks and paint them.
37. Tie dye T-shirts and matching socks
38. Share daydreams.
39. Rent a yoga video for kids.
40. Rent dance videos and have a contest after practicing.
41. Make a bird feeder.
42. Wash the family cars together.
43. Make macaroni jewellery and art.
44. Visit playgrounds and local parks.
45. Visit a working farm.
46. Take nature walks.
47. Go fishing.
48. Arrange photo albums.
49. Play torch tag.
50. Practice musical instruments.
51. Do brain teasers.
52. Trace cookie cutters, decorate and cut out.
53. Write stories about past family events you have in photo albums.
54. Play card games.
55. Decorate clay pots.
56. Plant flowers in the decorated pots.
57. Do jigsaw puzzles.
58. Sleep outside under the stars.
59. Research a new hobby at the library.
60. Play a family memory game. ie What are the name of your great-grandparents?
61. Make a collage of what you are thankful for.
62. Make paper bag puppets.
63. Write love and appreciation letters to each other.
64. Cut out coupons together.
65. Read to each other from joke books.
66. Make friendship pins.
67. Make potato stamp art.
68. Play scrabble.
69. Do science experiments.
70. Create a secret family code.
71. Plan next summer's holiday
72. Play indoor golf.
73. Play broom ball.
74. Practice and become good at hackey sack.
75. Each child collects things they don't use anymore. Play bingo and choose things for prizes.
76. Have a fashion show.
77. Study a topic and hold a debate.
78. Visit a farmer's market.
79. Visit a flea market.
80. Visit an auction.
81. Watch a sporting event you've never seen before.
82. Learn how to use a compass and practice your skills.
83. Try to break a world record.
84. Play Frisbee
85. Go on a scavenger hunt.
|Posted in: parenting tips activities for kids getting along|