Be Positive Toys

For a Positive Start in Life

Controlling Anger

angryEveryone gets angry at some point or another. How you act when you’re angry is what you need to focus on. How you act will either make the situation worse or make is better.

Here are some suggestions of things you can have your kids do when they are angry or in a bad mood. As always, children learn from how you act when you are angry, so be self-aware.

• Talk to a friend you can trust.
• Count to 10.
• Get or give a hug.
• Do jumping jacks or another exercise.
• Draw a picture of your anger.
• Go for a walk.
• Give yourself a ‘timeout’ and spend some time alone in your room.
• Play a video game.
• Run around the outside of the house five times as fast as you can.
• Sing along to songs on your i-pod, mp3 player or the radio.
• Think good thoughts (maybe about a fun time you had with your friends or family).
• Take a bike ride, go skateboarding, play basketball — do something active!

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Create positive mental habits in your children

child with parentsChildren are very responsive to guidance from adults. When children become sad, frustrated or angry, gently encouraging them to use positive affirmations will quickly change their mood and focus on what they want rather than what has happened or what they don’t want. Helping them to change their thoughts to positive, optimistic ones will create thought patterns and habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

The best way to teach positive affirmations for children to kids is by modeling them. Show them, demonstrate how to do it by the self-talk you generate. Encourage and affirm yourself when you’re busy around the house, when you are driving your car etc. They will follow suit.

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Laying the ground work for good Self Esteem

confidentParents are responsible for laying the ground work to raise children with strong self esteem. While there are many outside influences and our children themselves will develop their own self worth to a degree, parents have an important task of building a strong foundation.

The foundation begins when they are babies. Although very young babies don’t even see themselves as being their own person, how we treat them and react to them lets them know that they are loved. Self esteem is all about loving yourself and loving who you are. Having a loving, supporting family plays a big part.

By the time your child is a toddler, they will want to make more decisions on their own but they are still looking to you all the time for approval. Giving them the opportunity to make age appropriate decisions let’s teaches them that they have some control to make things happen. This adds to their self worth. Letting them say ‘no’ is also very important at building self confidence.

In the preschool age they will begin to see themselves as their own person. They will also notice others and compare their abilities. Although they may seem very self centered, they will often point out how they are better than others. This is a normal part of development. Of course most parents do want to think of their kids as the best, it is important to give balanced feedback at this age. Let them know that they may be very good at playing catch but their playmate is very good at coloring. This allows them to feel proud of who they are but also teaches them to value others.

School age children get the hardest hit to their growing self esteem. They will compare themselves to others with greater understanding and pick up on where their abilities lack. They will be exposed to children that like to openly point out their shortcomings. This can easily lead to bullying that can leave lasting damage to their self esteem. At this stage, parents need to support that important foundation. Extra attention is often needed whether its extra hugs and encouragement or extra time spent getting involved with school activities. Focus on your child’s strengths while giving them the opportunity to try new things that will lead to developing new strengths. Also important is allowing failure. They need to win some and lose some to know that they are strong enough to recover.

Never stop encouraging, loving and believing in your child. Everyone needs to know that they are valued in order to see goodness in themselves.

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Click on the link below and find the differences in the two pictures or just print and color if you like. Happy Holidays!

find_the_differences_snowmen

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Sharing

kids-sharing

Why is it that some kids are so willing to share and others are not? Age has a lot to do with it. Keep in mind that all kids develop at different rates but by about age 3 they will begin to take turns. Then, by about age 4, they will begin to cooperate with their playmates and begin to follow rules. So, parents, they are not trying to be difficult! They simply may  not have developed the social skills needed to understand sharing.

Certainly, there are some kids out there who are old enough to know better and still won’t share. They have formed another skill that is part of their development – defiance! However, we can teach them from an early age how we expect them to behave.

Encourage them to play collaborative games and activities with their siblings and playmates. Set up a “store” with household items. They can take turns being the store owner, the customer or they can both be the customers. It could also be a simple activity like having them build a tower of blocks together.

If they are old enough to understand time, have them take turns with toys while you use a timer to help them keep track of when it’s time to switch. This gives them a visual and audible signal they can keep track of.

Praise them! Whether the sharing was suggested by you or they did it on their own, giving them praise for sharing will go a long way in them wanting to share again. Whether it be encouraging words, hugs, high fives or simply a big smile, kids love doing the right thing.

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Developing a Positive Attitude

thumbs upChildren learn easily when they are younger and they are more open to accepting ideas. It is so important to encourage our kids to think and be positive when they are at their most impressionable – between 3 – 10 years old. Once they get beyond that age, it is more difficult (but not impossible) to change their way of thinking.

When kids have negative thoughts, they usually pass quickly. When kids have positive thoughts, they are more energetic, excited and enthusiastic and that fuels those positive thoughts making them think and behave that way even more. While we want to soothe our children when they are feeling down, don’t give it too much attention. Every situation has an upside so focus on that instead. By doing that, you are pushing the positive feelings to the surface and also teaching them to see the positive angle of situations in the future.

We’ve all heard the saying “Practice what you preach”. This is so important! What we expose our kids to when they are at those impressionable ages, often stays with them forever. Listen to your kids and how they talk. If you hear them saying things like – I can’t – I won’t – I’m stupid – it is usually a reflection of how you talk. Speak positive language and correct your kids when they talk negatively.

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School Success

 

schoolSuccess at school starts with support at home. Having good communication at home, healthy eating habits and routines all lead to higher success at school. It’s not all up to parents though. Kids must also put in effort and have a desire to succeed. Support from teachers is imperative as well.

At home, set the stage for success by doing the following:

Create a space for your child to do school work. It doesn’t have to be a fancy desk, simply provide a space where they can spread out their work and have a container of school supplies readily available.
Show interest in what they are doing and be available to listen and talk to them. This shows them that their work is important and that you care about what they are doing.
Stick to a routine so that your kids know what to expect. Make sure there is time in your routine everyday for school work or reading.

At school, there are things you can do to help your child succeed:

Be supportive to the teacher. If they send you a note about an overdue assignment, ensure you hold your child accountable. Stay in touch with them to keep up on how your child is doing.
Volunteer your time at the school if you can. This is a great insight into what happens there everyday and it will show your child and their teacher how committed you are to your childs education.

Last but not least – expect success from your child! Let your child know that you expect them to always do their best. Set a clear guide of your expectations and celebrate with them when they succeed.

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It’s how they Learn

pots and pansIt’s all too common, kids of all ages watching hours of tv, playing hours of video games and not knowing how to amuse themselves without them. Don’t forget that unstructured activities play a very important part of developing minds, particularly in young children. Too much time plugged in prevents them from learning core lessons.

For young kids, play is how they learn. Playing with sand or water teaches them logic. Playing with blocks teaches them problem solving skills. When a child makes their stuffed animal “talk”, they are practicing language skills. Caring for their dolls teaches them compassion and caring.

Ensure there is time in everyday when the tv is off and there are plenty of choices for play for your child. Provide things that encourage imagination. Simple is best – pots & pans, play dough, paper and crayons, dolls, stuffed animals and outdoors items like sticks, sand and grass. Play with your child too. Ask them questions like “What are your animals doing?”. Also point out things you notice like “You made that pile of sand really high!”.

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes as parents we get so wrapped up in how we want our kids to behave that we forget that it all starts with us. We are constantly telling them to say thank you or correcting bad language or enforcing punishments for some form of misbehavior.

Do we always say thank you? Are we aware of our own language? Do we always act in a manner that is acceptable? Actions do speak louder than words.

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Being Grateful

“I don’t want that for supper!”
“But I want both of them!”
“All my friends have it, why can’t you buy it for me?”

It’s enough to drive any parent into the overplayed “when I was your age…” Admit it! You know that speech so well you probably say it in your sleep. Research shows that grateful people report higher levels of happiness so how can we teach our kids to appreciate what they have? Try these tips:

– Monkey see, monkey do. Take a look at your own behavior. Are you showing gratitude for all you have?
– Teach your kids to say thank you. It seems obvious but teach them this from a young age and continue to remind to say thank you as they get older.
– Give to others however you can. Dropping off clothes that no longer fit or toys nobody plays with anymore to organizations that help families in need acknowledges that there are others that have less than you.
– Kids that get everything they want are rarely grateful because they develop an attitude of entitlement. It’s okay to say no.

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