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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

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! :-)


Children’s Health: Start Healthy Habits Early

Starting healthy habits early will help to cut down on the amount of illnesses a child may encounter. Besides eating a healthy diet from every food group, getting proper rest and hydration and getting plenty of exercise, there is one other thing that you can start doing to keep your child healthy. Teaching your child when to wash their hands is a very important aspect to keeping them healthy.

Many people under estimate the power and effectiveness of hand washing. They don’t take into consideration that germs are not seen, they are hidden and just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there. Since most germs are spread through touching, which involves the hands, keeping the hands clean goes a long way in helping children to stay healthy. Listed below are times when a both adults or children should wash their hands.

  • After tioleting
  • After playing outside
  • Before or after eating, handling food or feeding a child. This includes babies, even if they are only taking a bottle. You want to wash their hands and explain to them,” We are washing our hands now before we eat.” and ” Now that we’ve finished we are washing our hands after eating.  You want to start now so that when they are older the pattern will be already established.
  • Before and after giving medicine.
  • After removing gloves.
  • After playing in water used by more than one person
  • At the end of the day.

I hope you’ve realized the importance of washing your hands and your children’s hands as well how if effects the quality of our health. It is a simple step that we can do that will provide a lot of benefit. So start now and here’s to a healthier you. Please share this information with your family and friends both on and off social media and online.

Three Bedtime Building Blocks For Your Child

The use of building blocks is a great teaching tool in helping bedtime become easier for both you and your child. Just like a step stool helps the little ones reach the sink or a scaffold helps a construction worker reach higher heights, building blocks help your child to learn to sleep on their own. It is a great esteem building tool also as children feel great when they can do something on their own.

The building blocks you will use are sleep cues. The big fancy term used in the medical field is “sleep onset associations”. The great thing about these sleep cues is that when they are used consistently they tell the brain that it’s time to slow down and rest. This is great for both you and your child because once these are set in place your child’s brain will automatically respond to these cues.

Children learn about associations between events and objects and can relate that to falling asleep at the age of six months. If you will recall in my post on when you should start teaching them this skill it’s  at around 4 months. I also mentioned that you don’t expect them to have this skilled mastered but that you can introduce them to it at that age. Young children and babies begin to learn that certain things done in a certain order will lead them  to sleep. The cues I’m about to share with you are scientifically proven  to help children as well as adults begin to wind down and begin to feel sleepy.

Cue 1: Create an atmosphere that’s conducive to sleep by turning off all excess lights. You will want to close the curtains and pull down the shades. Light stimulates the body to stay awake  while darkness signals sleep to the body. This also tells the brain to produce melatonin, a hormone in the body that regulates the body’s rhythms and also helps us to feel sleepy. This is also true for any television, computer or electronic toy light or lighted clocks. Read more »