byLyn Lomasi,Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Tired of shouting up the stairs to a child who is watching TV instead of cleaning their room? There’s a better way. Learn why this scenario rarely gets positive results and how to get your kids to clean their rooms.
Yelling will likely not resolve too many problems. Sometimes, it can work for the moment, but it also can worsen the issue in the future. Instead, try a little creativity and consistency.
Creativity, in combination with consistency, can play an important role in getting kids to do tasks such cleaning their rooms. Who says chores have to be boring? Why not make them fun?
For preschoolers and toddlers, try having races to the toy box. If a toy grocery cart or wagon is available, the children can pick up more toys at once. Racing with the cart or wagon can be fun. With older kids you may have to try something else.
Often, the reason behind older kids not cleaning is because there is not an exact place for everything. Try taking the kids each on their own separate shopping trip. Allow them to pick out organizational items for their room. To make it more fun, allow them to personalize those items with paint or fabric.
Think about your child's favorite activity and try to incorporate that in cleaning the room. For instance, if your kids enjoy dancing, you can turn on the music. To get your kids to clean their rooms let them know they can dance while cleaning.
Creative ideas do not have to be limited to those above. They may even need to be updated periodically as your kids get bored. Sometimes all that is needed to motivate kids to clean their rooms is a fresh idea that hasn't been used before. Also, this could act as an opportunity for creative play with your child. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, creative play is essential.
If you have instructed your kids to clean their rooms, you must show them you are serious about it, even if it’s fun. Stay in close proximity to the rooms until they are clean and keep finding more fun ways to get the job done so they don’t get bored or lose sight of the task at hand.
It is possible to be fun and serious at the same time. When you are trying to get the kids to clean their rooms with fun and creativity, it should be evident that whether they choose to have fun with it or not, their rooms still need to be cleaned. But make sure it’s their choice. This teaches more responsibility. When combining creativity and consistency, the kids should easily understand that their room is going to get cleaned.
More On Cleaning With Kids:
Upstream Parenting: What To Do When Young Kids Won't Clean
Why is My Child's Room So Messy?
"Julie! I told you to pick up those toys an hour ago. Why are they still there?" If you have young kids and this sounds familiar, all you need is a bit of routine and a dose of fun. As a long-time parent, I know full well that not all kids enjoy cleaning. Some see cleaning as a source of enjoyment. But if that's not your child, you are not alone. When young kids won't clean, it may be time for a new plan. Here are some of the things I have found effective over the years.
Make a chore chart. This helps with organization and also serves as a good reminder and source of motivation. For young kids who can't read, use pictures to depict each chore, rather than words. This way, your child can translate the chart without assistance. Young kids often thrive on independence. At least, that's how all of my kids were when they were small. Therefore, a chore chart they can use without the help of a parent may yield the best results. It also sets the pattern for kids to become responsible for their own actions.
Offer incentive. It's not fair to expect the kids to complete tasks without some kind of incentive. While teaching kids to do some things without being compensated is good, when it comes to chores, I prefer to reward my kids when possible. I leave learning about being unselfish to things like helping others without being asked. We have an elaborate chore chart system that also combines allowance earnings. You may choose to develop another system. Good incentive for young kids could be anything from money to special healthy treats, stickers, and more.
Make it fun. Young kids may not always enjoy cleaning. But they may not think of it as a chore if you make it something fun. We like to dance while cleaning or have cleanup and put away races. Making games out of cleaning up can reduce the grueling effect cleaning up may have on some kids. There's no reason not to make it an enjoyable experience for them and it may set a life pattern of seeing the fun in everything.
Get organized. Sometimes young kids don't clean up because there is no exact place for each item. If there's nowhere obvious to store their items, young kids will be happy with them being on the floor. After all, they can see all their toys that way. Devising an organizational plan that still allows the kids to easily see and grab their items has always helped in our family.
Don't stress. It's easy to panic when your child has thrown everything she owns onto the floor and refuses to pick it up. But as the parent, you should be the calm voice of reason and understanding. Remember that while it can be frustrating, it can be turned around with a little effort. At the end of the day, it is just a mess and not the end of the world. It will get cleaned up when you instruct your child on cleaning and instill some sort of routine.
Be consistent. This is the most important part of any routine you decide to go with. As long as you stick to what is relayed to your child, it will get done. My kids have always been better at cleaning when I make sure they clearly follow my instructions and the routine I lay out. You can't tell them something one day and ignore it or say something else the next. Otherwise, all that happens is they get confused and the room doesn't get clean.
More from Lyn:
Why is My Child's Room so Messy?
Can a House with Kids Be Too Clean?
5 Must-Have Items for Organizing a Kid’s Bedroom
"But if we move, how can I see my friends?" "That's a really long way away from Granny's house. When do I get to see her?" These are some of the questions kids may ask when moving. They will likely be dealing with many difficult transitions. As a parent who has dealt with this type of scenario more than once, here are some of my best positive parenting methods for helping kids transition during a move.
Be quiet and listen. Before explaining a multitude of things about your move, listen to how your child is feeling. Take him for a walk or relax in the backyard and just let him say what he feels. Sometimes just letting everything out, knowing someone hears you, is helpful. This also gives you some insight into what is needed to help him feel better. It's easier for kids to transition when they know they are heard and that their concerns matter.
Find solutions for keeping in touch with friends and relatives. If you're only moving across town, it should still be relatively easy to keep up with friends and relatives that once lived nearby. But if your child will need to leave them in another state or country, alternative solutions will be needed. Email, Facebook, a cell phone, or messenger apps are just some of the ways to keep in touch. Be creative and figure out what works for your child, depending on age and preferences. It's easier to transition to a move when familiar people aren't out of reach.
Be sure the child knows the reasons for moving. Even if they don't express it, children might feel like a move is their fault. This can especially be true if the move is due to divorce or similar situations. Make the transition more smooth by explaining to your children the reasons for the move. Make sure they know that the move is not their fault.
Remain positive about the move. Regardless of the reason for moving, keep it positive. Represent the good aspects of moving to your child. It's alright to discuss some of the things the family doesn't like about moving. But don't forget to also talk about the good things. Are you closer to a nice, new school? Closer to family? Maybe there is an area attraction the kids would enjoy. It's easier to transition when the good things about it are made obvious.
Be understanding. Sometimes no matter what you say or do, a child is going to be unhappy about the move, at least at first. Lend an ear and an open mind and heart. Even if it isn't possible to go back to the way things were before, your child needs to know that you understand his feelings. You can tell him your concerns as well and how you are dealing with them. You can also just be a shoulder and source of comfort.
In time, your child will very likely transition to the move and before you know it, he'll have new friends to hang out with. The important thing is that you be there for him until he does.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Positive Parenting Tips: How to Show Kids They Matter
For whatever reason, kids can often feel as though they are the odd one out - that no one understands them. You know full well that your kids matter. Show them just how much with some positive parenting. Most parents do care and want their kids to know that, but some just aren't sure how to put feelings into action.
Give them choices. Although you may want everything to go a certain way, kids should be a part of family decisions, too. Sometimes - maybe many times - not everyone is going to agree on things. Let the kids decide what to do whenever possible. This shows them their thoughts matter to you. When kids know they matter, they may be more inclined to respect your wishes for decisions you must make.
Respect their opinions. Even when their opinions differ from yours - and they will sometimes - respect what your kids think. Things don't always have to go their way. But let them be individuals. Sooner or later your child is going to grow up. He needs to know his voice matters to be respected in the world outside your home. Even inside the home, your child's opinions and insight should count.
Give them freedom. There are limits to this for safety reasons, of course. But give your kids some freedom. They don't need to be right next to you at every moment. Trust them to do age-appropriate tasks without your assistance. It can be a parental instinct to be a mother hen or a father lion. That's part of being a parent, but if we don't let them do some things for themselves, they will never learn.
Let them teach you about their favorite things. You may be old and wise, but kids have so much to teach us adults. Listen. Let your child know that her interests are important to you. Sometimes what kids are interested in don't line up with those of their parents. Still, you need to be supportive of your child's individuality. Don't try to force your interests on him and don't attempt to keep him from his unless they are harmful in nature.
Show affection even when they misbehave. Even when kids misbehave, they still deserve your love. Discipline must take place. But that doesn't mean a hug isn't in order. In fact, that may be exactly what the doctor has ordered. Show your child his feelings matter to you by still showing affection, even in difficult times.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Positive Parenting Tips: Keeping Kids Motivated
Positive parenting is about looking for results that have a lasting positive effect on your child. Keeping a child motivated can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true when they start seeing evidence that not all things will work out as planned. As a parent, your job is to keep them motivated and inspired to do good things even when the outlook doesn't seem to match what they want.
Keep a goal chart. Make a goal chart so that kids can keep track of their goals, dreams, and accomplishments. These can be a good mix between small and large goals. Blending them together helps kids see that some things can be accomplished quickly and easily, while others may take more time and effort. If you only track large goals, that could discourage some kids when they see how long it's taking. On the flip side, if you only track smaller, simple goals, they may think everything in life is easy, which could backfire when there are certain things they cannot have or do right away.
Cheer them on. When watching your kids achieve goals, milestones, and achievements, don't forget to cheer them on. This is true with the items on the chart and just everyday achievements. It can be easy to just shirk off the simple things after a child tells you about the same or similar things every day. But, if your child is excited about something, big or small, cheer her on anyway.
Don't dwell on failures. It's only natural that your child will not succeed at everything. Don't focus on these things. It's alright to offer encouragement for your child to try again. But don't focus overly on the negative aspects of failure. Instead, find the positive things that occurred in the process of trying to obtain goals.
Let them know they motivate you. Most parents get inspired by their kids often. But how often do we let them know how they make us feel? We might tell them we love them. But when your kids inspire you to do something, do you tell them you are doing it because of them? Doing so lets them know they have the ability to do great things.
Foster what excites them. Does your child get especially excited over something in particular? Harbor that interest. If it's dance, get him in dance classes and offer gentle - not pushy - encouragement and guidance. If it's medicine, take her to medical museums, buy books, and register her for age-appropriate classes. Fostering and encouraging their natural interests, without pushing them or expecting too much, helps children develop self-confidence. This motivates them to be the best they can be as individuals.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Positive Parenting: Why Doesn't My Teen Trust Me?
As a veteran parent, I often get asked questions about raising children. Teenage years seem to be the toughest for many parents. This is in part due to the fact that kids start becoming independent. One question people ask often is "Why doesn't my teen trust me?" Is the parent at fault when teenagers don't trust them? Is there a deeper reason or is this just a part of the transition into adulthood?
Does your teen have reason not to trust you? Take a look at how you interact with your teen. Do you break promises to him? Do you do more talking than listening? Perhaps your teen is afraid you will want him to do things just like you and his beliefs differ from yours. Examine your relationship to see what you can do to build upon trust. It is not always the parent's fault when this happens. There also may be a simpler explanation. But don't automatically assume the problem can't lie with you.
Your teen may simply be looking for a friend, not a parent. Let her trust in her friends rather than you when she needs to. It is not necessary for her to tell you everything about her life. While it is hard to realize that our children are growing up, we need to give them their own space. Just because she isn't trusting in you, does not mean you are a bad parent. She may simply need a close friend to lean on. This is perfectly healthy and normal.
Listen, but don't talk. Sometimes a teen just wants to vent. Don't analyze the situation. Just sit there and hear what she has to say. It can be difficult to listen without trying to solve the problem. But be confident in your parenting skills. Ask questions instead of providing solutions. Your teen can and should think for himself. This not only helps him learn to trust you, but also teaches invaluable problem-solving skills. You can offer advice later. But when your teen is opening up, it is best to be minimal with your words and let her express her concerns.
Discuss issues you faced as a teen. This is one of the most important things you can do for your child. While you may not think so, teens do listen to their parents. They may protest and say things like "It was different when you were a kid, Mom" or "You don't understand!" But trust me, they hear you. When difficult situations arise, they will think back to many of the things you have discussed over the years. Remember those days when your parents gave you advice? You may not have been too happy to hear it. But chances are, you have applied some or all of it over the years. Give your teen the chance to make her own decisions and learn from doing, just like you did.
Keep a parent to child journal. A journal where you each write notes to each other can help bring you closer together. When your teen is frustrated, it may be easier to write things out on paper than tell you to your face. You can write back after reading each note written to you. That way, your teen can read the responses when she is more comfortable. The journal can be used both for fun and lighthearted discussions, as well as more serious ones.
Some trust issues may be cause for deeper concern, such as bullying, mental health issues, and more. This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Always seek appropriately licensed health care specialists for advice specific to your child.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Positive Parenting: Encouraging Educational Responsibility in Kids
Many times successes and failures in school can be traced to educational responsibility. Is your child in charge of his success – or failure when it comes to learning? If you find yourself helping too much or taking the blame for his achievements (or lack thereof), you may not be giving your child enough educational responsibility.
Provide access to a variety of study materials. When children have ready access to books and other educational materials, it's easier for them to become naturally in tune to learning. You don't have to spend large sums of money if you don't have it, but try to have things around that are helpful to their education. Manipulatives, educational videos, and hands-on science kits are great tools, in addition to books. Some libraries will loan out these items if you cannot afford to purchase them or would just prefer to be able to return them when finished.
Never do their work for them. When your child is seemingly having a nervous breakdown, it's easy for some to just give the answers. Do not do this. Instead, give your child some time to calm down and encourage him to try again. You can help for explanation purposes. But allow the child to complete the work on his own. Educational responsibility is easier to come by when it is a natural habit in the household.
Incorporate independent study. In addition to any homework, kids need to study things on their own as well. This could be additional information for what they are working on in required studies. But it may also be a free topic the child is interested in. Encourage your kids to learn new things, be it the history of a fad or more knowledge in required subjects. You may need to make the suggestion or first steps. But in time you will see your child start to automatically do this on his own. The desire for independent study is a good sign your child has some educational responsibility.
Allow room for mistakes. Remember that your child is not perfect. Remind him of this as well. Mistakes are okay. They give him a chance to learn and grow, and are a huge part of educational responsibility. When kids can recognize when they are wrong and need some extra work, this is a sign of responsibility. Let them discover those things within themselves.
Encourage your child's interests. When your child has an interest in something, encourage him by providing study materials for that subject. Take him on field trips or play games related to the interest. If your child wants to be a fireman, take him to a firehouse. If she wants to be a doctor, take a hospital tour and buy medical books at her comprehension level. Whatever your child is interested in, encourage (without forcing) him to learn more about it. Let your child tell you what he learns and also what he already knows as well.
Let them take responsibility for accomplishments and mistakes. When your child fails a test, do you blame yourself for not pushing him or do you point out to your child what he may have done to receive better results? The answer should be the latter, but many parents will take the blame for the mistakes of their kids, which can lead to them being irresponsible.
Do not force learning or use education as a punishment. Never say to your child things like “If you don't clean your room, I'm going to make you do algebra!” This teaches the child education is a bad thing. She is not going to be responsible when it comes to learning if her thoughts about it are negative. Always make learning a positive experience and offer it freely, rather than forcing the child to participate.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Tired of your kids not listening to you? Are you expecting too much of them? As a seasoned parent, I know how frustrating it can be when kids just don't want to listen. Perhaps you are treating them like property rather than team members. Kids are more likely to listen when they feel they are a part of something. Always remember your kids are team members, not property.
Be the boss without being condescending. Just because you are in charge does not mean you should take advantage of this position. Yes, children should be taught to listen to their parents and respect their elders. But there is a big difference between expecting good behavior and demanding perfection. There is no need to make children feel scared or unworthy to get them to behave. In fact, doing so is likely to create the opposite effect you are looking for.
Kids are people, not robots. They are living, breathing beings with their own thoughts and opinions. While it may not be what you'd like, children will speak their minds and should be allowed to. This doesn't mean they should run amok. But they also should have a say in some things. They are not robots who can just be ordered to do something and it's done. There is a learning and growing process and there will be bumps along the way. The goal of a parent is not to create a robot, but someone who knows how to make wise choices.
Listen to your kid's choices. They might have a good point you didn't think of. Just because your child does not agree with you does not mean he is wrong. Listen to what he has to say. Perhaps he has a valid point. Speaking one's mind is not the same thing as misbehaving. It doesn't mean he wants to go against you. It just means he wants you to listen to his viewpoint.
Be understanding, even if you don't choose their option every time. Whether your child's view is one you agree with or not, just listen. If you never hear him out, he will think you don't care what his thoughts are and he will have a valid point. Understand and respect your child's opinions. Being understanding does not always mean being in agreement. But it does mean considering more options than your original one. There are times you will need to form a compromise.
Your goal is not to create your clone. It is to teach your child to be a productive member of society in their own unique way. A good parent/child relationship is one where both parties are working together as a team. Remember that your child is not property. You have responsibility to raise him, but ultimately each person is in charge of himself.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Is your baby in need of some discipline? If your baby is crying frequently and it's been determined that it isn't a medical issue, you might need these easy discipline tricks for babies. As an experienced mother and former nanny, I have cared for many babies. Disciplining babies is not as difficult as it may seem. With babies, discipline is more about consistency and routine. Babies are not actually misbehaving when whining or crying. That is the way they know how to communicate. Easy discipline tricks for babies should be gentle and offer love, consistency, and guidance.
Love is a Simple, Effective Discipline Trick
A happy baby is generally a well-behaved baby, in my experience. What makes babies happier than love? I'm not talking just hugs and kisses either, but those are good too. Love also involves taking care of all of baby's basic needs such as feeding, burping, diapering, clothing, playing, and soothing. Keeping baby happy with basic care, love, and entertainment may be all that is required for some babies.
Routine as Discipline is Easy
Forming a routine schedule for feedings, naps, playtime, and bedtime is one of the most simple discipline tricks for babies. If the schedule is followed consistently, most babies automatically become accustomed to it. Therefore, this can help avoid instances where the baby wants to get up and play at one or two in the morning. The baby who does this is not misbehaving because during the baby stage it is up to the parent to establish a routine. Changing the routine even once can form unwanted habits.
Parental Limits Make for Easy Discipline
As a parent, I fully understand wanting to do so many things for your baby. However, we must set limits. Do not give in to every single demand. Of course babies need to have basic needs met and also need to have some fun. However, it can hinder them later if you always give them every single thing they want. For some parents, this may not belong under easy discipline tricks for babies because it can be difficult at times not to give in. But trust me, it will pay off as they become toddlers and start moving into the "Terrible Two's" stage.
Toy Purposing Simplifies Discipline
Toy purposing is another of my favorite easy discipline tricks for babies. Keep different toys in different areas and for different purposes. Many times when babies get cranky, they actually are just bored. Pulling out different toys can help solve that issue. Have a special set of toys for doctor visits, another for car rides, one for park outings, etc. This way, babies don't bore with the toys as easily. Plus, when they get cranky, it can seem like you are giving them a new toy. If they don't see the same toys all the time, the toys can be a welcome distraction.
Positive Redirection Makes Disciplining Babies Easy
Some babies can be a little feistier and may need to be gently redirected into a different activity or situation. If a baby is getting frustrated over something, simply remove them from the situation. If two babies are fighting over a toy, remove both babies and give them each a different toy. If a baby is getting frustrated at trying to reach a mobile toy, place the baby away from the mobile for a while. Positive redirection is simply a way to let the baby know that the behavior is not acceptable without even having to say so. You are showing this to the baby with the easy discipline trick of removing the situation.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
Carry your children; not just physically, but spiritually (this may or may not be in a religious way).
A parent is the strongest motivation for a child.
Encourage your children to reach full potential.
When they are discouraged, lift that burden so they can soar.
Carry them like the wind.
*This tip was derived from a series I previously published via Yahoo Contributor Network that was compiled into a book and eventually inspired my latest method, Upstream Parenting.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Whenever I venture outside, especially during the summer, I expect to hear objectifying comments from a few directions before I reach my destination. Sad, but nonetheless true. I don't like it but I generally shake it off, except one of those I heard today. It wasn't what was said but who it came from.
A young child , probably not more than eight (my own son is this age), was yelling comments at me like “D***, you're hot”, “Hey lady, come here”, and the obligatory whistle. Wow, really? Where did he pick that up from? He had to have heard it somewhere.
I don't want to immediately judge and say it came from the parents because it may not have. Perhaps he saw someone else do it. I don't know where this kid got the lesson on objectifying women in that way, but wow is that dangerous or what? It's also not the way a young child should be looking at a woman or even a girl (or boy).
First off, it's simply a disrespectful act and if he is already doing it this young, it could become a habit. But what terrified me more is that this kid could do that to the wrong person – a pedophile . And where were the parents? You tell me. Him and presumably his siblings or friends were outside an apartment building in a group with no adults around at all.
I did what should be done in response to that kind of behavior – and because adults shouldn't be speaking too much to kids they don't know. I ignored it. But not everyone would respond in that way.
I have no idea of where this little boy may have learned this behavior. However, it did prompt me to warn parents to watch what their kids are exposed to. Parents, please supervise your kids – and please don't teach them to objectify people. Teach them to respect them instead.
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
Spanking does more harm than good. I know that I will upset some people with that statement. But due to my long-term experience with kids, there's no way I can come to any other conclusion. Not only am I parent to many, but I also have nannied and babysat many children.
We all want our kids to be respectful, upstanding citizens. But is spanking really the best way to do that?
While kids may listen to an order after being spanked, that doesn't mean this is the best method of discipline. Short-term effectiveness means nothing, as far as long-term lessons and damage. There are several reasons I've come to the same conclusions time and again. In fact, in all of my years of being around children, in every single case where spanking is used as a form of discipline, every one of the following reasons I won't spank comes into play.
Spanking can cause a dangerous fear.
In my observance of those who have been spanked, they listen only because they are afraid -- and only when they know someone is around that will deliver that form of punishment. The behavior is often repeated when the child no longer has a fear of receiving that punishment. This can cause the child to misbehave for others.
These children often fear not only the punishment, but the deliverer of said punishment. In many of these instances, if a child needs to confide in someone (even about dangerous issues like bullying), they often will not do so out of fear. This is very dangerous territory for a parent. A child cannot fear the person they should be able to come to for help and advice.
Spanking can cause misconceptions regarding hitting.
Another issue that is very common among spanked children is the resolution of problems through violence. Time and time again, I see children who are spanked hitting friends, siblings, and sometimes authority figures when things don't go the way they'd like.
By hitting a child as a means of solving a problem, you are teaching that child to hit other people if they don't do what they want them to. That is not the way to lead a productive citizenship among society. Imagine if your boss at work slapped you every time he/she wasn't happy with the way you handled something. Spanking your child is exactly the same thing.
Spanking can lead to bullying.
An extensive study found that kids who were spanked were twice as likely to participate in aggressive behaviors, such as bullying, fighting, and otherwise being mean to other kids. Children who were spanked by the age of three were highly likely to bully by the age of five.
This goes back to the previous point that when you teach a child they will be hit when they don't do what they are told, they learn that this is the way to treat others as well. You can't go around hitting everyone that doesn't do what you tell them.
Children are not robots.
Why do some parents feel that children are supposed to do each and every thing we order them to do? Some things make sense, especially when you are teaching safety and responsibility. However, as parents, we should be raising our children to think for themselves so that they know how when they go out on their own in the world.
They can't go out into the streets and just say yes to everything other people tell them. Also, everything will not be handled by others. They need to know how to do things for themselves and figure out how to make it.
Zero Spanking Does Not Mean Zero Discipline.
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone made statements implying that just because I don't spank my children, they wouldn't learn a lesson or be well-behaved. Many of these same people are dealing with kids who have been in trouble for fighting, bearing weapons, and other violent or destructive behavior.
Positive Parenting Does Not Mean Zero Discipline. Discipline should not be done to prove a point or come out of frustration. Appropriate disciplinary techniques should be unique to the specific situation and produce a positive and productive result.
Just because someone does not spank does not mean their children don't have consequences. In fact, children who aren't spanked but are given alternative consequences have always learned the lesson faster, in my experience. This is because when you give a child a consequence that is related to the situation, it causes them to actually think of the situation itself, rather than the punishment.
The above said, I am a firm believer that there is more than one way to parent a child and I don't look down on those who choose to use methods other than those I use with my own children.
It simply is nature that mistakes come with parenting. Part of being a good parent is learning from those mistakes, so the same ones don't happen over and over. It can come in handy to keep a written record of those mistakes that can easily be referenced if need be. As a seasoned parent, I have come up with many parenting ideas. Some have been successful and some have not. That's just par for the course. The Parenting Mistake Journal is one of my favorite ideas that I've had over the years and I'd love for other parents to be able to utilize this one as well.
When Should I Write In My Parenting Mistake Journal?
Anytime a parenting strategy does not have the expected results is a great time to use the parenting mistake journal. When doing so, remember also to write down ideas on why you feel the strategy may not have worked out, as well as how it may have been more successful.
Should I Share My Parenting Mistake Journal?
The answer to this question depends on the circumstance, as well as how comfortable you may feel doing so. In some instances, it can be good to admit to your kids that you've made a mistake, as well as let it be known how you intend to solve it. This can foster acceptance of mistakes in the kids, as well as the desire to resolve them. Sharing your parenting mistake journal can be a great way to open up discussion in some situations. As the parent, it is your responsibility to decide what is and is not a good situation in which to share your parenting mistake journal.
Will Some People Be Offended By My Parenting Mistake Journal?
It is possible that some may be offended by what you write in your parenting mistake journal. If you feel this is a possibility with your family, either keep your parenting mistake journal private or word it in such a way that will still allow you to learn and grow, but is more attentive to the feelings of others.
How Can I Make My Parenting Mistake Journal a Keepsake?
Some parents may choose to make a keepsake of their parenting mistake journal. When the children are grown, this can be a unique and interesting way to share parenting lessons and memories. It also could be great for grown children to use as a reference when they have their own ideas. There are scrapbooks that are designed in three-ring binder style, but can be beautifully decorated. These would make for a lovely parenting mistake journal that would double as a keepsake. Remember that decorations can be added later, after you have written the parenting mistake journal. Pages can be taken out of the original journal and placed in a new one for decoration. There are many ways to do this. Be creative.
LAST UPDATED 8/27/2022
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
As parents, we all want our kids to succeed. In Upstream Parenting, success is not defined by the material, but rather internal balance. Having a healthy state of mind can definitely contribute to success in life goals as well. But in Upstream Parenting, the overall goal is to help your child F.L.O.W. upstream on the inside, which then radiates to the outside as well.
There are four steps to help your child achieve this success with each obstacle that comes up. In Upstream Parenting, the parent is simply there as someone who helps guide kids to make sure they go on their own self journey. The child is the one who takes actions, based on self discoveries.
Focus -- The very first step in overcoming an obstacle is to focus on it. If your child is old enough, ask them these questions. If not, ask yourself and present your findings in a way the child will understand you, be it vocally or through play. What is the obstacle? Why is it there? How can your child make it go away (your child needs to do this, not you)? Why was any prior action wrong or right? Does that need to change and if so, how or why? Ask your child these questions and encourage them to ask them of themselves. Meditation can help some children find their inner focus.
Love -- Once a child has focused and discovered some answers, love is the next step. This means self love (such as a child indulging in a favorite activity or focusing on good qualities about herself), as well as love from family and friends. Sometimes when people get upset at others for what they perceive as wrongdoings, the initial response is to push that person away. But oftentimes, that is exactly the opposite of what's needed. I'm not saying that you should reward your child when they are out of line. But understand that sometimes it can be a cry for much needed attention. Because you are giving the love and attention after the child has focused on the issue, you are not reacting to any behaviors or obstacles, but simply giving your child love.
Open Up -- Offer kids the chance to tell their side of the story in both "negative" and "positive" circumstances. This is not the same as focus. Instead, during this time, kids should freely express what has been going on and then do what it takes to let it go. Be sure that your child is the one setting the problems free. It does no good if they cannot do so themselves. Refrain from disciplinary action, especially during these times. Disciplinary punishments only lead to instilling fear and covering up the real issue in that moment only. Problems can come back or worsen when kids are made to feel ashamed or repressed, due to discipline. They will internalize the pain instead of opening up and being able to release their issues.
Work -- Don't be afraid of this word. I am not talking about putting your kids to work in a sweat shop. In fact, I am more relaxed than some about how much work kids should be doing vs play. However, in order to learn how to balance and succeed in life, kids need to know how to work for what they want and need. In Upstream Parenting, work may refer to any actions that the child must take to solve a problem. In order to get things done, there must be some type of action toward that ultimate goal. Your child -- not you -- must do the work it takes to get there.
Practicing F.L.O.W. in all parenting situations can help pave the way to successful Upstream Parenting. Subscribe for more specific insight on a regular basis. The email form and the RSS feed are both in the right sidebar.
Who doesn't love a good family karaoke session? But how do you know which songs to sing? My kids and I enjoy karaoke often. Here are some tips and some of the songs we feel are the best for a family karaoke night.
Choosing good family songs
Good songs for family karaoke night will run the gamut, as far as style and artist. Be sure to choose songs appropriate for the ages of all family members. It's also good to have a variety of different styles of music. This way no one is left out. Don't forget to account for both male and female vocals and remember that males can sing female solos and vice versa. Just let everyone choose whatever they like.
Family karaoke night activities
When kids are involved, it's good to mix things up and have different activities surrounding the karaoke. This keeps them interested for longer than a few minutes. One idea is “Musical Karaoke”. Play it just like “Musical Chairs” except instead of stopping and starting a radio, the person singing karaoke stops and starts at random.
Best songs for family karaoke night
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
“A Whole New World” from Disney's Aladdin movie
“I'll Stand by You” by Carrie Underwood
“Flying Without Wings” by Ruben Studdard
“Part of Your World” from Disney's “The Little Mermaid” movie
“Wild, Wild West” by Will Smith
“I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack
“Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield
“You are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson
“Just a Girl” by No Doubt
“The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
“Something More” by Sugarland
“Hakuna Matata" from Disney's “The Lion King”
Free Ways For Kids to Have Fun
Are your kids bored out of their minds? Just need something free to pass the time? Maybe you're broke but still want to have fun. Either way, these five free ways to have fun with kids are sure to entertain.
Sing Silly Songs Together
Yeah, yeah I know this may sound old-fashioned. But try it. It's great for laughter and helps bring families closer together. This is especially good after a really long day. A family karaoke night is always fun as well.
Play Tag In the Rain
If it's raining outside, no need to stay inside unless there is severe weather. Play a free, fun game of tag in the rain with the kids. It adds a fun element and also teaches kids to appreciate the beauty of mother nature.
Explore the Neighborhood
Do you know what your neighborhood looks like? The full details - not from a car window. Take a stroll around and explore things with the kids. You might be surprised at the nature and landmarks you can discover without being contained by four doors.
Weed Out and Donate
This may seem an odd thing to put on a list of fun things to do. But kids really enjoy knowing their unused items can help others. Go through clothing, books, toys, etc and see what can be given to the less fortunate. Keeps the kids busy and it also helps someone out.
Family Talent Show
Everyone has something special they can do. One kid might be able to sing. Another may be an artist. Maybe another is into fashion. No matter everyone's interests, they can all be combined to create a fun family talent show. You can charge admission with play money for effect.
Boosting the Self-Esteem of Children: What the Errors of the Self-Esteem Movement Have Taught the Next Generation of Parents
by Kel McCollum, Health News Expert
For the past couple of decades, an erroneous psychological theory has dominated the way that not only schools and teachers, but also parents and family members, approach children. The “Self-Esteem Movement” dates back to 1969, but it wasn’t until 1999 that psychologists and researchers began to realize one critical flaw in the kind of thinking perpetuated by the movement itself: it did not work.
While self-esteem has always been a crucial element of the success of any child, the movement that sought to increase self-esteem in the next generation of adults by showering them with praise and telling them that they were “little princesses,” “geniuses,” and “winners” did little to nothing in terms of making children feel more comfortable and confident about themselves. In fact, this kind of excessive outward praise proved to be more debilitating for many students than the lack of self-esteem itself.
2010 Ohio State University study found that today’s college students crave this kind of praise above all else, even more than sex or money. The study was published in the Journal of Personality, and the results indicated that many of today’s young adults have a greater sense of entitlement than ever before. Jean Twenge, a fellow psychologist at San Diego State University, expands upon the results of similar studies and what it means to society in the book “Generation Me.” "What you really see is . . . it's this kind of empty self-esteem where you're supposed to feel special just for being you, that everyone's a winner and we should all feel good about ourselves all the time, which kind of ignores that self-esteem is usually based on something,” Twenge says.
All of this information begs the question of exactly how parents can actually help boost their child’s self-esteem. While praise does not actually help add to a child’s sense of self-worth, accomplishing things and achieving personal goals does. Achievement and goals are defined differently for each child, and for each age group, but there are two main things that parents can do to help: finding activities that offer the opportunity for achievement, and providing guidance and encouragement.
For younger kids, a sense of accomplishment could be derived from the completion of a craft, a coloring page, or even a board game. Sports offer greater self-confidence for children of all ages, and self-esteem is could also be derived from a good grade or exceptional performance in school for school-aged children. But goals should not all be centered around one type of activity. Psychologists emphasize that social activities, settling disagreements, and making friends are equally important. Children must learn effective social and relationship skills as well as intellectual and athletic skills.
Roy F. Baumeister, “Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?” Journal of the Association for Psychological Science. http://psi.sagepub.com/content/4/1/1.abstract
Maureen Salamon, “For College Students, Praise May Trump Sex and Money,” Business Week.
Richard Lee Colvin, “Losing Faith in the Self-Esteem Movement,” Los Angeles Times.
Michael Hurd, “The Error of the Self-Esteem Movement,” Capitalism Magazine.
Kel McCollum is a full-time freelance writer with over five years of experience in writing for the web and search engine optimization best practices. She also has extensive experience as a working journalist and has produced numerous articles for print publications in the area of health, travel, self-improvement, and business topics.
Ms. McCollum works to help small business owners and internet marketers make the most of the Internet by using keyword-optimized content that drives traffic and increases conversions. She also provides information, resources, and mentoring to other freelancers and aspiring writers through the Writer Reality website.
5 Ways to Advance Your Child's Reading
A Parent's Guide to Raising Voracious Readers
by Sandra Lynn Robinov (aka AskSan); Contributing Writer
My daughter spends time during the summer months with her dad (something she's done since our divorce); and I always worry that she will lose what she's learned the past school year (and from me) while she's living it up with him. That is not to say I think he will "dumb her down" but...well, maybe its my Type A personality scooting to the front during the summer months; on top of just plain missing my little girl, of course.
This summer there were no worries. During many of our long (girl-talk) conversations I was treated to a good read (chapter book or short story) from my 7 year old genius. Proud mom? Without a doubt!
I am always amazed with how smart my Maggie is; and do credit all of her influences -- not just me -- however, I can absolutely take pride in how well she reads, her inflection and comprehension, and her ability to pronounce, define, and use big words; as well as small ones.
The following 5 tips do not even take much conscious thought on my part. At least at the time of implementation. As with most other things, I try to parent in a sensible way with respect to what I was taught as a child and what I learned as I got older.
With that in mind I would like to share what I consider five key ways for turning your child into a lover of the written word. With a healthy appetite for reading anyone can do anything they put their mind to.
5 Ways to Advance Your Child's Reading:
(1) Be a reader and share your love with your child: All kids like to copy what they see others doing and if your child sees you reading often, he or she will want to as well.
(2) Read to your child daily: I've been reading to Maggie since she was but a blob in my belly. Spend 10-15-20 minutes or more a day sharing a story with your child.
(3) Encourage your child to help you read the story you've chosen: Once your child is old enough to start recognizing certain words, let him or her become an active part of telling the story.
(4) Seek outside help (workbooks and/or tutoring): Don't be afraid to admit that you wish your child was a better reader. If the situation reaches a point where you need outside tutoring, there are plenty of ways to get it. Check out your local libraries, bookstores, and research on-line for great tools to help get your child to enjoy reading.
(5) Take time to hear a story and interact with your child: Once your child can read on his or her own, encourage private time -- for them to read on their own -- and time with them to hear their story. Help with big words -- pronouncing and defining, teach proper inflection (e.g., reading questions, character conversations, etc.), and make this a fun part of your day.
The Bottom Line?Again, the above is working for us and I am consistently amazed by my smart girl. I believe in nature and nurture when raising a child and this is one area where I can honestly say I had something to do with her reading success. Oh, and don't forget to praise your child when he or she blows you away with this awesome reading ability! Good luck raising voracious readers!!!
* Sandra Lynn Robinov is an expert reader and mother to a wonderful daughter who reads at two grade levels above her age.
Keep a Child From Screaming Or Overreacting About Cuts, Scrapes, and Minor Injuries
As a mom to many (who is also experienced at babysitting and nannying), I have dealt with many bumps and scrapes along the way. Some children will scream for a small nick and some will not even flinch or give any injury a second thought. I have learned over the years that much of the child's reaction has to do with the parent or care-giver's reaction. Learn how to keep a child screaming or overreacting about small cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries.
Check Yourself First
If the adult drops everything and runs screaming in panic for every small cut, then so will the child. That is no way to keep a child from screaming about cuts, scrapes, and other injuries. As the adult, it is your responsibility to calm and soothe a child in a stressful or painful situation, not to make it ten times worse. Even if you are scared, worried, or nervous, the best thing you can do for the child is to never allow the child to see how you feel.
Soothe Without Alarming
A better thing to do is to aid the child with whatever first aid is needed, all the while acting like and verbalizing that everything is okay. Let the child know that he or she will be just fine, even in an emergency situation. Take all the precautionary steps necessary, but without upsetting the child about their cut, scrape, or other minor injury. Do not let on that something might be wrong.
Get Help And Stay Calm
You can call 911, if needed, obviously, but still reassure the child. Do not ever let the child see you panic. If it is an emergency situation, sometimes stress can worsen certain conditions. It is always best to keep the child calm. If you cannot keep calm during the minor situations, such as cuts and scrapes, neither will the child. Children learn from what they observe. If a child gets worked up over a minor situation, imagine how panicked the same child could be over a big incident.
End The Drama And Be The Mama (Or Dad) Instead
When I was maybe around 18 years old, I knew a girl that always panicked for minor cuts. She would act as if she were going to die. No matter how many times someone would attempt to soothe her, it never worked. It would take her over an hour to calm down. I always worried that if she ever had anything serious happen to her, she would put herself into shock. I'm not sure if that's possible, but I know she would likely get a nervous breakdown. I'm not sure if anything bad happened to her, but I sure hope it didn't.
The reason for bringing up that girl is that I remember her mom doing the same. If she tripped lightly, her mom would rush to her and say, "Oh, honey, are you okay?" Even if she said she was, her mom would still continue asking again and again and offering her band-aids and ice for something that wasn't even there. She would scream and panic. This mother's behavior likely led to the child's behavior. As I said before, children learn from observing those around them, especially their parents.
Gentle Guidance Toward Knowing When Situations Are Minor
This is how I suggest handling minor situations. If the child just trips, a quick "Uh-Oh" and a laugh is really all that is necessary, especially if the child isn't hurt. If the child is hurt, still do the same and examine the child in a fun way, like mentioning that you want to search for Elmo or some other funny thing. Look at the child's injury and determine what needs to be done. Then, do it, but make it fun and say things like "Oh, that doesn't look bad at all. Let's just put a band-aid (or whatever other treatment is necessary) on here in case. " Doing it in a fun way not only helps the child forget what is going on, but it also reassures the child everything is okay. After all, it must be okay if the adult is laughing, smiling, and playing.
Does your child overreact about minor injuries or laught it off or something in between? What behaviors of yours are affecting the outcome and do any need changing? Drop us a comment with your experience below.
Last updated 12/7/2020
Upstream Parenting - Welcome
Welcome to the Upstream Parenting blog! Frequent readers of my work may be familiar with my "Positive Parenting" method. This is based on that method. However, it has grown up a bit and needed a more appropriate name to separate it from similar methods and better describe what it truly is.
The Upstream Parenting blog will contain tips based on this parenting method invented and made popular by yours truly. Follow along to watch how "Positive Parenting" follows the tides of life into its new moniker of Upstream Parenting.
My step-by-step book based on the method is also coming soon. So subscribe to the blog to get new tips often and be one of the first to know when the book is available.
Instant Download On Order
About the Book:
The FLOW-Key Parenting Book provides tips from Lyn Lomasi's practical method for parents to help their children F.L.O.W. and thrive. Focus on issues with love, expression, and your child's self-mastery. At the same time, be an authority that prepares your child with lessons that equip them for the real world.
The FLOW-Key Parenting method will help you learn how to connect with your children, teach them respect and discipline, raise them to be independent thinkers, and help you guide them to succeed on their self-chosen path.
FLOW-Key Parenting is a proven child and growth-focused method that has been put to use with all seven of my children, as well as with countless kids I've nannied over the years.
Find helpful tips for specific situations, reflective thoughts for all situations, fun activities to help your child grow, great activities to connect with your child, and more! Not only that, but learn how to put them into action easily and right away!
With this extensive eBook, you can help your child connect with you and the world around them in their own unique way, as well as learn to communicate with and respect all people in a positive and productive manner.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
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