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Encouraging Play Encourages a Child’s Development

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We’ve all heard the term, “Oh, that’s child’s play.” It implies something is easy, frivolous and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  But to a child, child’s play is essential to their mental, social, emotional, and physical development.

We all know that children like to play. But what we may not know is the importance of play in a child’s life. Play is essential to every area of a child’s growth and development.

Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play.

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Play is significant to physical development in that without it the body could not grow and develop normally.

Children possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child.

monica-gozalo-138999-unsplashPlay enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play.

Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them.  They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings.

So encourage your child’s play.  Color pictures, make finger paintings, build buildings and imaginary cities with blocks, and built a tent in the middle of the living room and go camping! And as we all know, childhood is fleeting, so let them enjoy being a kid while they are one!


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The “Hows” of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 1)

The two previous posts on positive parenting dealt with the whats and the whys… Now let us jump into the hows or the techniques by which we can effectively implement the approach. After all, what is theory without practice, right?

Here are some of the proven tips in raising happy and successful children using the theoretical and practical foundations of positive parenting:

1. Manage Behaviour with Clarity

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What does it mean to enforce behavior management with clarity? This is basically about being able to let your child understand the reason for certain rules and the expected consequences from breaking such rules.

Toddlers and young children are inquisitive creatures. They do not simply do what they are told without knowing the underlying reasons for it.

For example, if you want to prevent your child from going outdoors in the rainy season because of the health dangers associated it, then you could set a mini meeting with her. Be creative in your explanation so that she can easily understand.

2. Implement Rules with Transition

Are you strict with mealtimes? Most parents would have difficulty following a strict mealtime most especially when their children are so hooked into playing. An effective way to get children easily co-operate is by considering the transition from playtime to mealtime. How do you do this? Give reminder signals.

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Reminder signals are a good way to remind your child of the need to cooperate to certain rules. Know that your child hasn’t fully developed her mental capacities yet. Rules can easily be forgotten when faced with enjoyable circumstances. A positive method of enforcing rules without risking the development of tension is by providing reminder signals.

3. Frame Your Instructions in a Positive Manner

How often do you find yourself saying the word don’t? Millions of parents across the globe have made it a habit to frame their rules using negative words without realizing that these could actually be confusing to the developing minds of young children. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to say what your child should do instead of what she must not?

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For example, instead of saying “Don’t mess up your room,” you could actually reframe the instruction into, “Put back your toys on the shelf after playing.” By doing this, you have clearly set the instructions to your child without causing confusion about what is expected of her.

4. Work on Your Own Mood & Transform Your Perspectives

623429-PNWEZC-168If you are really serious about positive parenting, then you should expect to be doing a lot of work on yourself. Positive parenting heavily relies on the ability of the parent to see the world in a positive light and to be able to control negativity in both thought and action.

Your child won’t always have a great day. There are times when she would get upset by a friend who may not share toys with her or be afraid of new events such as her first day in school. The way she reacts to these circumstances can be significantly influenced by your very own views of adversities and challenges.

Remember, light can easily radiate outside. So if you see the world positively, then you can also share the same perspective with your child.

If you want to know more check out the Learning through Fun and Play Masterclass:


 

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Getting into the Basics: The “Whats” of Positive Parenting

You all know that I am an advocate of positive parenting. But not all parents would actually understand what positive parenting is, while some would even have a misconception about it. That’s why I have decided to dedicated a series of posts that answer some of the most important questions regarding the topic.

For this article, I would like to delve deeper into the real meaning of positive parenting. What is it really?

1.What is the simple explanation for positive parenting?

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Positive parenting is basically a concept of child-rearing or the way that we bring up kids. It is an idea with the premise that our children are inherently good with the intention to act righteously. It is a method of child-rearing that builds mutual trust between parents and children, respects the unique individuality of kids, and reinforces the love and connection in the family.

2. What are the keywords in positive parenting?

  • pexels-photo-936120Individuality – This is basically the acknowledgment that your child is a unique human being with her own talents, skills, and capabilities.
  • Goodness – It is the expectation that your child has a good heart with pure intentions and a desire to always do what is good and right.
  • Communication – This is an essential part of positive parenting that emphasizes the need for connection through verbal communication and physical contact. It is the ability to be able to explain and not simply state your rules and consequences to your child. Communication is also the ability to listen to your child intently so as to understand the reasons for her actions and behavior.
  • Respect – This concept shall apply to both parents and children. One of the very foundations and beautiful results of positive parenting is the establishment of mutual respect between parent and child. It can never be one directional because respect always has to be earned and never just demanded.
  • Discipline – For every rule and consequence, there has to be a corresponding explanation of why they have to set and implemented. Also, the discipline has to be consistent, firm, and appropriate to your child’s age.

3. What are the challenges in positive parenting?

The main challenge in the successful implementation of a positive parenting approach is yourself. If you are serious about positive parenting, you have to be determined in various aspects such as in changing your perspective, setting aside your own personal issues, managing your expectations, and calming your emotional storms.

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It is normal for all parents to experience meltdown at times most especially when their children misbehave. To be able to successfully carry out a positive parenting approach, you need to work on yourself first. Be ready to take the challenge and embrace the exciting journey.

4. What are the benefits of the positive parenting approach? 

  • Strong relationships between parents and children
  • Healthy development of children’s mental, emotional, and social capacities
  • Better behavior among children in different settings
  • Children’s confidence and their ability to value their own unique individuality
  • More accepting, more peaceful, and happier relationships within the family\

 


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Get Involved in your Child’s Activities, Hobbies and School

It’s probably no secret that children who have involved parents are more happy, healthy, and well-adjusted and excel at their educational and extracurricular pursuits.  It can increase their cognitive development, keeps them motivated, strengthens the parent-child relationship, and has a direct positive influence on their overall academic achievement.  In turn, it can also help parents achieve a positive outlook on their parenting, increase their own self confidence and self esteem, and will most likely feel more satisfied with their child’s educational experience at school.

But where do you get involved?  

With today’s busy schedules between home, work, and school, it may feel that the average family has very little quality time to offer.  However, different options and levels of commitment are available to fit every parent’s availability, and with some careful planning and dedication, you can make it a positive experience for both yourself and your child.

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First of all, discover what your child is most passionate about.  Maybe you’ve thought about volunteering for the school bake sale to raise money, but your child is actually more actively involved in her local Girl Scouts troop.   If that’s the case, then get together with the other Girl Scout parents and see what you can contribute to help the troop.  Maybe you could organize a bake sale to benefit their next summer outing.

It’s also important to consider what skills, talents and abilities you can bring to the table.  Maybe your child’s school is in desperate need of your help organizing a fundraiser, but your skills in sewing and designing might better serve the school if you were to help in making the costumes for the school play.  Remember, you want this to be a positive experience for both of you, and if your child senses that you’re not happy with what you’ve chosen to become involved in, then they likely will not be happy as well.

But the bottom line is get involved and stay involved.  Children of involved parents are less likely to get into mischief, have emotional problems, or have problems in school. 

You benefit by connecting with and staying connected to your child.  It’s a win-win situation for you both.

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Why Toddlers Bite & How to Stop Them

Has it ever crossed your mind whether or not you have vampire blood? Kidding aside, have you ever wondered why your toddler can’t seemingly stop from biting anyone around her? Well, there’s no need to actually worry because biting is normal among toddlers. Yup, it’s perfectly normal, but we cannot just stand in the corner and let them bite anyone they want to!

Since biting can be disturbing, annoying, and embarrassing, we need to be proactive in dealing with such circumstances. In order to stop our children from doing it, let us first understand the reasons why toddlers frequently bite almost anything and anyone then discuss the possible solutions:

1.Teething Pains

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One of the most common reasons why infants and toddlers bite is because of teething pains. Growing new teeth can be really painful for babies who have not yet developed maximum tolerance for physical pain. Once new teeth form, our babies would usually seek comfort by biting anything around them.

What can you do?

Make sure that you have the right tools to relieve them of teething pains. The most convenient thing that you can have to prevent her from biting random things and people is a teething ring. You can have a couple of teething rings stored in your fridge so that you can easily grab a cool ring whenever your child starts to become uncomfortable and fidgety from pain.

2. Too Much Interest in the Environment

When your child was born, you surely have noticed that one of the basic exploratory movements that she has done was sucking, right? Your child explores the world through her senses. She may be biting and putting objects in her mouth in order to know more about the world.

What can you do?

Talk to your toddler, and tell her about the need to stop biting random stuff. Unlike infants, toddlers can be much more receptive to our words. They can now make sense of conversations, thus it is best to explain to her that biting should not be done.

3. Excitement for Reactions

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From 1 to 10, would you be able to gauge the level of curiosity of your little child? For most parents, they would even exaggerate the answer and say that it’s over a hundred! Biting is actually one of the means by which our children express their curiosity. They could excitingly bite you and eagerly wait for your reaction. Once you scream “ouch,” then you might see them giggle with an intention to repeat biting. Don’t get mad at them. They are just curious little souls who are excited to see varying reactions.

What can you do?

Again, speak with your child about the way that biting hurts you or other people. Even if she seems unable to comprehend, be patient in explaining to her. Do not attempt to bite back thinking that it would make her feel the pain and start realizing the consequences of her actions. Remember that children love to mimic the people around them. If your biting back becomes a practice in your family, then your toddler would most likely continue doing it.

4. Longing for Attention

Most toddlers can be very clingy. They would always want to have you by their side. Some of them turn to negative behavior such as biting just to get the attention of their parents.

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What can you do?

If your child loves to bite, that’s not because she is a bad person. Toddlers still have not developed their moral compass to understand what’s good or bad. You have the responsibility to prevent her from biting by giving her enough attention. Set aside bonding times with your child like story-telling and playing. It would also be nice to make an effort to know whether she is feeling sad or irritated to effectively address the problem.


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