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Successful Education Begins in the Home

Education Begins in the HomeChildren come to us with predetermine disposition, aptitude and fortitude. How well they function within these capabilities directly relate to their home. Education, without apologies, begins at home. Children learn how to respond to any facets of life in the home.

Consequently, prejudices concerning people, foods, clothing and live styles manifest from within the home. If a child is aggressive, know that, that behavior comes from observing a family member. Substitute any other behavior positive or negative with the before mentioned word “aggressive” and acknowledge that it connects with a family member that cares for the child. Children emulate what they see.

Teachers recognize this more than any other professional group because it is in their classroom that they experience the consequences, good or bad, of what children learn at home. Hence, teachers at every new school year establish classroom rules in an attempt to ensure a universal law of acceptable social conduct.

As a tenet, parents are responsible for whether or not children succeeds academic. Without ignoring a child’s predetermine abilities, they must project clear positive expectations concerning school. As these expectations take form, parents should remember that children mimic what they see and hear. Hence, they should avoid making negative comments concerning their children’s teacher and or school. Parents cannot demand that their children perform well academically when homework assignments are not completed, and social events are prioritized over establishing appropriate bedtime routine for school age children.

There is no denying that a child will act out, usually this begins at pre-K through kindergarten levels. When left unchecked by parents, acting out, becomes a norm for a child. When established as a habit, the disruptive behavior hinders the child’s academic success. Parents should not expect teachers to teach their children proper conduct and yet the burden of learning these skills sits heavily on the shoulders of many teachers.

When a child acts out and the parent ignores the behavior, the child learns to devalue the importance of the teacher, the school and ultimately learning. Parent who do not understand the value and importance of early prevention will have an uphill battle as the child attends secondary schools. Laying a strong education foundation consist of the child, parent, and teacher working together in a respectfully academic world of cooperation. Teachers cannot do it all.

Teachers can only affect a child’s learning aptitude when parents educate their children on good social skills, the importance of thriving for excellence and the determination to execute the desire.

Parents Children & Meditation

Parents ChildrenParents should meditate with their children, and adults, in general, together with young people. Kids, and I mean male and female, are able to meditate alone, but if they are led, they clearly find it more harmonious and are able to consciously integrate the dimension of meditation in their everyday work. It isn’t an unknown topic, many are bringing it forward, and even if in some countries it’s absolutely forbidden, in the rest of the world, these things are already happening.

In India, for example, meditation takes place in class when at school, and in kindergarten too; but above all it takes place at home. Being the homeland of meditation, India has a very high number of people who meditate daily, and children do it together with their parents. If we move, predominantly in Asia, and visit a Buddhist country, we also find people having meditation as one of their daily activities, both parents and children. Children are thus able to cultivate this state of inner silence, relaxation and peace of mind, and carry it out throughout the day and life itself, generating a small space every day to stop everything.

As we know, to meditate is to enter into a state of inner peace in which there is no mental activity; mental activity that is commonly coupled to an emotional one, which is consequently coupled to a physical one.

When we are consciously motionless inside us, we simply are in a dimension of being, we are merely turned on, and we just live without any crucial activity that is taking place. This makes sure that all the rest of our subsisting systems, and especially the physical, mental and emotional ones, relax and rest.

Teaching meditation to children is easy and fast. They are innately drawn to this state of being and do not need to sit for an hour, or more, as it is necessary for adults, to reach it. Children sit for ten minutes, recharge completely, and then take off as rockets to the next play. We adults, to be able to return to a level where we are once again quiet and stable – because at peace – need more time.

Those who meditate, you can talk to any practicing friends or acquaintances you may have, they’ll all tell you that such a state of inner peace, stillness and silence is extremely pleasant; perhaps even the most pleasant by far. That’s the absolute, and it is more pleasant than any other activity. That’s why they continue to practice it.

What Mothers Go Through When Daycare Is Their Only Option

DaycareWhen parents have to work and do not have an extended family to help pick up the slack, putting their children in a daycare becomes the only variable option. This rings particular true for single parents.

If you are the fortunate few and have parents that are retired and can care for your infant or toddler, you may never have to place you child in the any type of daycare, or home-care.

There are mothers who, three months after giving birth return to work to non-standard hours. They do not work a 9 to 5, which means they must place their children in a 24-hour day-care. Placing their infant in the care of strangers devastates most mothers. The guilt and fear with having to work and consequently having to place their infant in a childcare facility gnaws at their hearts. They observe events and people in their lives, see, and hear of at home mothers and in the back of their minds, they long for the privilege of staying at home with their children. However, life’s reality pushes them on to their daily jobs and thrusts their infant straight into the care of others.

Toddlers in daycare get potty trained take their first steps and learn to feed themselves as their mothers trek off to work. These mothers, who miss so much, often ponder of ways to make millionaires so that they can be home with their child to experience the first steps, to do the training that the day-cares in an unwritten contractual agreement do for their children. This reality can be harsh but what can a mother do when daycare is her only option.

While they work, many parents try to get friends and distant family members to care for their children. Some mothers try home-care in hopes that their children can have as close to home environment as possible. But friends at times go on vacation or just get tired of caring for an infant, a toddler, a pre-schooler and suggest that other arrangements be made. Distant families often make unwanted suggestions on the care of the child. They ignore the mothers’ restrictions and disregard their established personal hygiene. Consequently, disagreements arise, resentment sets in and quietly mothers begin to make other arrangement s for the caring of their children. At home-care can be just as unsettling, due to poor hygiene, unsafe and unreliable care. Your only option is daycare. How can mothers make the most of this unwelcome care?

Is Your Kid Being Bullied? Arm Him With These 5 Techniques

Kid Being BulliedIs your child being bullied at school? As a parent, it can be really hard to know what to tell your child to do about that. Teachers and administrators will do what they can, but most bullies are sneaky, so at the end of the day, it is your kid alone against the bully. The biggest difference you can make is in teaching your child concrete skills for how to respond when bullied.

For conflicts at school, I find using children’s picture books a great place for ideas. One of my favorites is Simon’s Hook; A Story About Teases and Put-downs by Karen Gedig Burnett, illustrated by Laurie Barrows. In Simon’s Hook, Simon’s grandmother tells him a tale about a bunch of fish who learn to “Swim Free” rather than “taking the bait,” ie the insults, being thrown at them. Armed with his new skills, Simon is able to rejoin the kids at the playground who have been making fun of his bad haircut.

Simon learns five “Rules for Being a FREE Fish” from his grandmother’s story.

Rule 1: DO little or nothing! Don’t react!

Interestingly, when I have taught these rules in class, this is the one the kids choose the most. We practice having kids give a blank stare back. Practice this one with your kids over and over. Start by having them insult you and you showing them no reaction. With little kids, you are likely to hear something like, “You’re a poopy face!” Don’t laugh at them. Just look at them as if you didn’t even hear them. Then ask permission to tease them. Ask them for examples of what kinds of hurtful things they have heard and then repeat those things in an exaggeratedly bratty voice, coaching them to do little or nothing. Praise them for how neutral they can keep their face. Have them practice in front of the mirror. You pretend to insult them; they practice staring right through you.

Rule 2: Agree with the hook!

What? Agree with what a bully says? Yes! This one actually works surprisingly well as it completely disarms the kid who is being mean or insensitive. Let’s look at some examples:

Juan: You can’t be my friend!

Rogelio: Okay! I’ll go play with someone else then.

Do you see how Juan was gearing up for a fight and Rogelio just took the wind right out of his sails? If Rogelio really does want to be friends with Juan, he might add, “Maybe we can be friends tomorrow.” Often-even though they don’t say it out loud-younger kids don’t mean, “You can’t be my friend EVER.” They just don’t know how to say that they are mad or that they want to play with someone else that day. Help your kids understand that sometimes other kids don’t mean to be hurtful. They just don’t know how to express their emotions and their needs.

Here’s another example of agreeing with the hook:

Britta: You’re shoes are ugly!

Michelle: I know! I told my mom they are so ugly they should win an ugly prize.

How can you argue with someone who is cheerfully agreeing with you? Note how reference to a disagreement with Mom subtly puts Britta and Michelle on the same team of Kids Whose Moms Just Don’t Get It. Very disarming indeed! Invite your kids to use you as an excuse.

Rule 3: Distract or Change the Subject.

What’s funny about this technique is that it is often kids who might otherwise be socially challenged who are the best at it. Distraction works by just pointing out something that is going on in the environment like, “Hey, wasn’t that the bell?” or “Isn’t that Mr. Jones in the Giant’s hat over there? I wonder if the Giants won their game last night.”

Changing the subject works like this:

Rakesh: Your writing is terrible!

Hiren: Did you know that the heaviest dinosaur was the Brachiosaurus? It weighted around 80 tons. That’s like 17 Elephants. And it was as tall as an 8-story building! That’s way higher than my apartment. My building is only five floors high. I live on the third floor, though. Did you know that…

You can see how by the time Hiren runs out of steam, Rakesh is going to wish he had never said anything!

Kids like the idea of this technique but I have found they actually need to brainstorm a list of possible topics for what to talk about. Here are some ideas a recent class came up with. Help your own kids add to this list:

• the weather

• what happened on a favorite t.v. show this week

• a book they have read recently

• anything that involves a list (kinds of cars, kinds of cereal, what they ate for breakfast this morning, the state capitals, etc.)

• a question (Do you think Mr. Jones is going to give us a pop quiz today?)

• what they did over break or on their last vacation

• anything they happen be obsessed with at the time

The trick to Changing the Subject is to add enough detail that the kid doing the insulting totally forgets what he said in the first place.

Rule 4: Laugh at the hook or make a joke!

Most kids can just laugh. Again, practice it with your kid. First demonstrate: Have them insult you and then just laugh at what they have said. I had one kid who was really good at laughing and then following up with a blank stare. It left the other kids completely nonplussed. They really had no idea how to proceed from there.

Making a joke can be hard because it requires kids to think on their feet, but if you have a very verbal or punny kid, it could be just the tool:

Maria: You’re not a good dancer!

Mira: How did you know Ms. Kltuz was my middle name?

Or

Kevin: You can’t play with us. Go away.

Howard: I can’t? Really? Oh, that’s right! I put on two left feet this morning. That’s okay. Just put me on the left side of the field and I’ll be fine.

This works because kids don’t know how to deal with this kind of answer, and they will let the joker play rather than try to outwit him.

Rule 5: Stay away! Swim in another part of the sea!

Stay away or swim away works well in two circumstances.

One, the kid being mean is truly physical or out of control. Some kids are just not safe. They arrive at school with behavior challenges that are too big for our kids to deal with (chances are the school is struggling, too, to find enough manpower to help that kid). It may mean not getting to do what you want that day, but recess is too short to try to argue with that kind of kid. Help your children to brainstorm a variety of fun things to do so that they have some choices away from the bully. If the bully has picked them as a target, help your kid find some space away-maybe the library or a lunchtime club or helping a teacher out in her classroom.

Yes, I recognize that this is not fair. Your child should be able to play whatever he wants at recess. I am sorry to say, though, that teachers’ eyes cannot be everywhere and yard duty help is usually spread way too thin. Usually the out of sight, out of mind principle comes into play, here: Disappear for a few days, and the bully will direct his attention elsewhere.

Two, sometimes kids just need a break from each other! Help your child understand that we all go through rhythms of how much closeness and how much distance we need at any given time. Often the person being insulting is really just looking for some space. So give it to them! They’ll come around another day. If you have the kind of child who forms very intense, deep attachments to one person, spend some time explaining that that is not everyone’s friendship style. Some people like being friends with a lot of different people. One day they will want to play with you, and another day, they will want to play with someone else. This is not personal: It is just a different personality. Reassure your child that if they can just walk away today, chances are the other child will seek them out again soon.

Kids like these techniques. Having tools in their tool belt, empowers them and allows them to deal with situations quickly and to move on. Furthermore, it very often allows the kid being mean to move on, too, so the whole day gets better for everyone.

Just learning about the skills will not be enough. You will need to provide lots of support and suggestions. You can practice them after the fact, helping your child to imagine the conversation he might have had. If he climbs into the car complaining that So and So did something mean today, ask him if he took the bait. If he did, help him figure out how he might have used each of these techniques to redirect the bully or defuse the situation.

It might feel unfair that your child has to “not take the bait.” No one should be baiting him in the first place, right? But you know and I know the world does not work that way. Surely, you have listened to a friend tell a story about someone being annoying or mean and have counseled, “That’s the kind of person you just have to ignore” or “Why do you let him rile you so?” What you are saying is Why take the bait? Children will feel more in control if they know it is in their power to not take the bait.

If your child is worried about going to school, ask what he thinks might happen and practice over and over lots of different ways he might handle it. Emphasize that deflecting conflict is a skill. He will get better and better and it and it will be easier and easier to know what to do in the moment.

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