SAPS 186 – Find Disciplining Your Children Difficult? Check Out Sue’s Behaviour Blog Series – from ‘Tuff Luff’ to ‘Best Buddies’

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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In This Episode :

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Sue Chats about the Behaviour Blog Series 

9 blogs bursting with practical tips


The Milestones That Matter Most: Teaching Kids to CARE about Each Other

Tuppence Worth

I’m a fan of Christine Gross-Loh’s books and articles – & I’ve been reading ‘Parenting Without Borders’.

It’s natural to compare our children and fret over their development. We are encouraged to look at a child’s expected milestones and make sure they are meeting them on time. It wasn’t until I started researching global parenting that I discovered how many of a baby’s and child’s stages and milestones actually aren’t universal.

What we expect of a child at any given age is influenced and shaped by the culture they grow up in.

Viewed through the different lens of culture some ideas of what we think of as “normal” look totally different:

Babies from parts of Africa, the Caribbean or India whose bodies are constantly jostled and robustly handled by their mothers reach motor milestones earlier than babies in Western cultures, who spend a lot of time on their backs.

Babies in some indigenous cultures who are rarely put down skip the crawling stage entirely!

Vietnamese toddlers don’t go through potty training as we know it because they’ve been more or less nappy-free all their lives.

 

In other cultures, babies are never expected to learn to sleep through the night on their own, the terrible twos don’t exist and teenagers are not expected to be in conflict with their parents (and they aren’t)

Every society values its own skill sets for its own reasons.

Values are different depending where your kids are growing up.

Thinking about others, not just themselves:

Learning to get along with others is top priority in other cultures. Spanish parents stimulate their babies with people, not educational toys.

They take them out into public early, welcoming the in-your-face interaction with strangers that most British people find intrusive.

Japanese mums call their babies’ attention to relationships more than objects the way we tend to.

In one study, when Japanese and American children aged 9-10 were asked why they shouldn’t hit, gossip or fight with other kids, 92% of the American kids answered “because they’d get caught or get in trouble.”

90% of the Japanese kids asked the same question responded, “because it would be hurtful to someone else.”

Research indicates that in cultures which promote collective values – where children watch people help each other farm, build homes etc — sharing comes more easily to kids than in more individualistic, competitive cultures like our own.

Taking Responsibility

Around the world, kids run errands, do chores, take buses and trains by themselves, keep track of their own belongings, use knives and cook at an age when we British parents are still putting on our kids’ socks, picking their coats, toys and mess up off the floor, doing up their zips and monitoring what they can watch on TV.

Caring for their siblings:

One Swedish boy I read about has been bringing his little sister home from school on the bus since he was in primary school, making her a snack and supervising her homework.

In Japan, helping out was so valued that homework includes doing chores like watching or feeding a baby sister. In our country, we worry that asking siblings to care for each other puts an undue burden on their individual potential.

The opposite is true: when we ask our kids to care for one another, it unleashes their potential as nurturing, socially responsible human beings.

We focus on our kids’ ability to read when they are at an age when we should be focusing on their kindness and character.

We worry about overburdening them with chores because they have to do their homework, when we should be cultivating self-help skills that will make them self-reliant, and sending them a clear, unambiguous message: yes, academic achievement is important, but becoming kind and responsible is, too.

These are all milestones we don’t want to miss.

Parenting during a Pandemic: The Opportunity for Change?

Perhaps it’s time to give ourselves permission to focus less on Maths lessons and  Mandarin and to focus on what really matters – self-confidence through feeling capable and competent, a sense of independence through feeling responsible for themselves and their brothers and sisters in small, kind ways that are age and stage appropriate, helping them to feel resilient and able to handle change and whatever life throws at them by small challenges which teach them perseverance.

What do you think?

 


How to Set Up a Virtual Learning Space at Home for Kids

It’s still a time of transition and change so boost learning at home by setting up a brand new space for your child that will help them feel focused and comfortable with these organisational tips and home-school room /back to school ideas.

It’s still summer, yes but ut now is prime time to slowly start to plan for what may be the most important back-to-school season your child will ever face. While you may not know what the exact situation will be in terms of schools reopening in your borough, you can rest assured there will be some level of distance e-learning still going on.

The best way to prepare for it?

Upgrade your home-learning environment.

Here are some of my best tips for creating a comfortable, functional workstation for your child.

Consider multiple work zones.

Many experts recommend having different places for learning in your home— a desk for focused work, the dining table for projects, and a quiet nook or cranny for reading. Like adults, children fare better if they take breaks, switch positions, and have a change of scenery now and then.

My guest this week is an expert in the damage screens can do to your kids – so take a listen to her full interview HERE ->

Manage distractions.

Your house is full of them, starting with your child’s little brother or sister. If siblings are having trouble sharing a space, separate their desks with a tall bookshelf.

If they’re seated at the same table, prop up trifold boards, tabletop screens you can buy, or make some DIY ones out of a cardboard box.

If their brother or sister is a wandering toddler, it may be best to keep them behind a baby gate.

Noise-cancelling headphones are effective too, especially since some kids enjoy studying to music. Stick to instrumental because research shows that songs with lyrics negatively affect concentration.

For a child with attention difficulties, orient their workspace so that they face a wall rather than into a room or out a window.

Create good habits early on

Your child may seem comfy sprawled on their bed, but an ergonomic setup is crucial for posture to instil good habits and to support writing skills, & concentration

Don’t let your kids study in the room where they sleep as they should associate bedrooms with sleep

Sort it out.

We all know how quickly any children’s area can get messy.

But the more cluttered their desktop, the harder it will be for your child to focus. Store papers and art supplies in bins in a nearby cabinet or on a shelf.

Use labels or clear containers so kids can keep up the sorting system. Create places for pencils to folders. Put up a corkboard as it provides a place for reminders and can act as a calendar.

Concentration Helpers

Fill a bowl with fidget toys that your child can fiddle with when they’re feeling restless. Add things like a smooth stone, rubber erasers, a stress ball, or a few LEGO pieces to help them.

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Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A

Q. My child, who is 8, has been recommended time with a counsellor for certain issues that she is facing emotionally. The problem is that on account of the lockdown we have not been able to visit the counsellor. Now, although it is the same counsellor that my child has been seeing for some months now, the same comfort level is not there online. My child just does not want to sit in front of the computer and talk to the counsellor. What can be done? – Worried mother, Pune, India
A.

Answer :

I think these are very challenging times for children. Talk, listen and ask what your child feels about speaking to her counsellor.

Does she like her, trust her, feel comfortable generally speaking with her as it may not be due to being online.

However, also ask whether the technology is scary, confusing or complicated for her. Is she alone in the room with her counsellor or are you there as that may be inhibiting her freedom to speak openly and honestly to her counsellor? Dig a little deeper by asking what she doesn’t like or feel comfortable with and then work out some solutions together with your daughter and her counsellor.

I hope this helps,

Sue

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