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Sometimes It’s Both: Helping Children Make Good Decisions

Father and Son Dancing TogetherHelping  your child to learn to make good decisions start earlier than we think. When we ask our toddler, “Fruit pop or jello” we limit the choices to only two things.We unconsciously give our children choices of either/or, rarely ever a choice of  both. Sometimes we should introduce the concept of having and doing both. How about do a little dance while you clean up your room or pick up your toys. Turn on the music and have fun while you are cleaning up. It doesn’t have to be all of the time, but it should be some of the time so that children learn that there are more choices than this or that.

I totally understand that as a parent you just don’t have a lot of time and you just need things done. Ditto that for teachers, you have even less time because there are so many other demands in the classroom. But what would happen if we could expand our thinking just a little bit to think about how we can teach children as well as ourselves to ask “How can I do both.” or ” Is it possible to do both.”  So we can give choices of would you like tuna salad and turkey salad, have a little of each. Or in the other example clean up the room and have fun while doing it.

The choices that we give children should grow up with them. They wont need to have either or choices forever. They can make decisions on having both. When my daughter was making a choice on her career, she initially felt that she had to choose between being a dancer or an attorney. I asked her why can’t you do both. You can be a professional dancer and find a way to practice law also. It doesn’t have to be either/or.  A light bulb went off in her head, she had never thought of that.

I am going to make a point of thinking in terms of both when making decisions and choices and be open to thinking about what else is possible.  Doing this will open up greater possibilities and choices to  choose from. Having greater choices and possibilities will result in experiencing a richer and fuller life.

Try this not only with your children but also when you have to make decisions yourself. Think in terms of how can I have both and see what opens up for you. Come back and let me know what happens. I’d love to hear from you. Please share this with family and friends if you find value. Also please feel free to leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you

Play With Your Child At The Park

fun in the sun

The park is a great place to play year round in any season. I’m in the Northeast and many people in this area think of the park as a thing to do in the Summer or in warm weather. But playing outdoors is great all times of the year. When I was coming up we played outside year round and rarely ever came indoors.

Only when it was frigid outside did we bother to come inside. Our fingers were numb and blue and we looked like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, which was some feat as I am caramel in color. We would come in and drink hot chocolate to warm up.

In the winter, Read more »

Fun Fitness With Your Kids

Two Young Men (16-20) at Soccer Training

You know you should exercise more and you also want to spend quality time with your kids, but, after a hard day of work you just want to crash. Here’s a fun activity that will require some energy but not as much as an entire workout. The thing you’ll love most about this activity is that it involves you watching television.

Really? I get to watch my favorite t.v. show. Almost, as I tell my students, actually you’re going to watch your child’s favorite kids show. The only requirement is that the show has to have commercials. Commercials are normally about two minutes in length. During the commercials you are going to chase your child around the sofa or general area until  the program comes back on.

I know you are like what, chase my child. Yes, I am saying to chase your child. I am recommending it because chasing and being chased is a lot of fun. You will be filled with joy as your child is screaming and laughing. It’s only for two minutes so this should be a piece of cake. The reason why I want you to run is because it is only two minutes and then you can sit down and catch your breath. Running will get your heart rate up and cause you to also use a lot of oxygen. You will notice you will feel much better and a little bit energized when you sit down.

Your child will love it and think it’s a fun game. Remember to give them a little head start first. Make sure the area is free of toys and safe to run in. Make sure all expensive items are safely out of the way. If you don’t want to run you can do things like marching in place, jumping in place, running in place, jumping jacks or pushups. You and your child can decide. You can even do this if you have more than one child.

If they complain and give you a hard time about doing it no problem. No exercise, no t.v or electronic gadgets, they will have to study their school work even if they have no homework, you will find something for them to do. I think they will chose to exercise. It’s up to you as the parent to really sell them on the idea though. So maybe don’t call it exercise may be call it playing chase, or whatever the two of you think of. Those famous words” You can’t catch me.” , should be enough to get them started.

Please try it and let me know how it works out. You can let me know by commenting below. You can also comment if you’d like to share what works for you. If you have a show that the entire family watches you can use that too. Please share this post with family and friends online or off. Have a great day! :-)

What Is Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool

Family reading.

Have you ever thought about what the most powerful parenting tool that you have in your parenting tool box? Let me assure you it is more powerful than you can ever imagine. I know you say, “It’s love.” Love is the driving force behind this powerful tool; think again. “The belt! or “The strap!” and still others might say it’s “My voice, I can yell and scream so loud that you can hear me on the other side of the world. That really gets things moving in my home.”

Here’s another hint: using this tool helps both you and your child to feel Read more »

Question: Do You Feel You Should Actively Encourage Your Child To Fail

Success Picture- Black woman getting high fived

I was watching an interview with the CEO and founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely. I was intrigued by her story where she said every day her father would ask her and her brother what they failed at  that day. I thought that was so interesting and enlightening. I understood why he was doing this immediately. He wanted to prepare his children for success by first having them get over their fear of failure. To them failure would not be anything bad or terrible, but something that happens in the process of learning and life.

Sara’s father wanted them to become resilient and confident and know that they can easily overcome failure. It was not something to take personally or that they were bad or a failure themselves. By doing this when the children were young they developed a positive perspective around failure. Failure didn’t mean the same thing to them that it means to the average person. To Blakely and her brother, failure just meant try again, try something different, maybe possibly even use your mind differently or look at things in a different way.

I feel  this was an excellent and crucial life skill that he taught his children. The skill he taught them will help them be successful in any venture they decide to undertake. They will know from experience that they can overcome failure. They understand that inside failure is a valuable opportunity and information. They now know what will work and what will not work. A base from which to create the desires of their heart is provided for them because of this valuable information.

Of course with your children you would give them age appropriate and developmentally appropriate challenges to conquer and succeed in and build from there. I recommend something physically challenging, as children build esteem by what they can do. Even if your child is not a physical child you can introduce them to games like catch, walking on a balance beam or ledge or trying to shoot something in a basket. Keep telling them to try again and that they can do it and soon they will.

What are your thoughts on this. I would love to hear about your experiences and what has and hasn’t worked for you. Please share them in a comment below. Also share this with your family and friends online and off.

Have a great day! :-)