Monday, July 26, 2010

Get Your Kids To Purchase TV Time By Reading

Photo From FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

You are probably noticing that your kids who were in school, are now around a lot more.  They may even be getting on your nerves.  You may even be wishing to do this:

However, there are some other things you can get your kids to do during the summer holidays, one that they may be doing very little of. Reading.

The benefits of reading are endless. Being successful at school to being independent in assignments and tasks.

Reading has been loosing ground to media.  You can watch an entire book in 90-120 minutes, instead of spending 90-120 days reading one.  Video games are much more enticing, and so is the internet.  There are a lot more distractions that are easier to chew up time.  So, as a parent you can encourage your children to read.

If your child wants to watch a two hour movie, and play video games for another two; have them read for four hours.  One hour of reading to one hour of TV time or computer time.  Or 30 minutes of reading for every hour.  Find a system that works best for you and your family.

Another way to motivate them to read so that they can watch TV, is to get them books that they like to read, or that you think they will like to read.  If they have read one part in a series of books and really liked it! Get them the other books.

Doing this may help decrease the amount of time spent in front of the TV and computer, or it may not.  But, if enforced, it will increase the amount of time your child spends reading books.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music & Your Toddler

Music can play an important role in your toddler’s life. Music can be used as a way to sooth your child before bed. It can also be used to dance to.

However, music that we play for our child is just our music being ‘forced’ onto the child. Some children will learn how to change a song on the iPod or CD player, but it is just from a playlist or CD that we have established. Whileit may be fun to dance to a song that you liked growing up, it is much more beneficial to let the child explore sounds.

The other concern, potentially, with the music that we listen to is the lyrics. Toddlers are in sponge mode, absorbing everything. So they may take in a word or two that you may not want them to know.

But also since they are in sponge mode, you can introduce a musical instrument to them! If you have a piano, or some child’s version of it, let them play with it. Watch how they discover sounds. Even pots and pans can prove to be very interesting.

There are lots of child simplified instruments that can be used by your child if they don’t take to something like the piano.

Playing music is a type of ‘therapy’, like art therapy, that can provide stress reduction. It is also a way for your child to express themselves.

Your child may not be the next Beethoven, but they can still explore and have fun playing an instrument. Plus, who knows, maybe your child will grow up to be a musician.

Picture from

How have you used music in your parenting?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Becoming Your Child’s Emotional Coach

There is one thing that men are usually not good with, emotions. We tend to not want to show, display, or express them in public. But we still feel them.

Our children however, have no problem showing, displaying, or expressing their emotions. As a father, we need to be a part of helping our children learn to recognize, label, and control their emotions.

Julie Hanks, of the Wasatch Family Therapy Center, gives us The 5 Steps To Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child.

  1. Be aware of your child’s emotions. Your child has emotions, which are inside, and they express them externally in their behaviours. You need to recognize, even though your child may be young, that they do have emotions.
  2. Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for teaching. You can empathize and teach your child about the emotion they are feeling. You can acknowledge and accept the emotion, even if it is negative. We can also teach our children how to control and manage their emotions.
  3. Listen, empathize, and validate your child’s emotions. Listen with your eyes, ears, mind, and heart to understand what your child is trying to say from their perspective. With your words you can reflect back what you feel your child is trying to say, and help label the emotions.
  4. Help your child label their emotions in words they understand. Make sure you label what the child IS feeling not what the SHOULD or OUGHT to be feeling. You can describe their behaviour and attach it to an emotion. Something simple like “When you are crying, I can tell that you are sad”.
  5. Help your child come up with ways to manage their emotions. Help your child come up with healthy solutions to help manage and control their emotions. Also to find ways to appropriately express their emotions.

As we become our child’s emotional coach, it will help our child discover and manage their emotions. It will also help us, as fathers, develop a closer relationship with our children.

How has helping your child with their emotions benefited your relationship? Did you parents coach you in your emotions?