Monthly Archives: February 2016

Giving Praise When It’s Appropriate

Giving Praise When It's Appropriate. Episode #9 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #9 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

When children demonstrate the skills they are learning, we can reinforce it by noticing and praising them.  As busy as we are, we can’t let ourselves become too distracted to notice or take their achievements for granted.

Genuine praise goes a long way in reinforcing positive behaviors. To do so, praise should be specific. For example, “It was thoughtful of you to help Grandma with her shopping.” is more specific than saying, “You’re so wonderful.” The first comment shows noticing and appreciation. The second comment sounds vague and canned.

Sometimes as adults we get caught up in heaping enormous amounts of praise with statements such as “you are the kindest, the most wonderful, the most perfect” and it is difficult for a child to live on that pedestal. When they experience anger, frustration, or failure, it is harder to bounce back because perfect people don’t fail.

Look for one or two things every day that your child has done where you can bestow genuine and specific praise.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Ginsburg, K.R. & Jablow, M.M. (2011) Building Resilience in Children and Teens, Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ending the Lectures to Get to the Real Learning

Ending the Lectures to Get to the Real Learning. Episode #8 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #8 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

As adults, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on when talking with young people. It can be tempting to lecture children about what we have learned. However, research tells us that the most effective way to learn is through personal experience.

Though we want to steer children away from negative experiences when we can, if we use a few key strategies to talk to young people, we can help them learn how to think for themselves and solve their own problems. In doing so, we prepare them for the times when we can’t be there to help them know what to do.

Consider using television as a way to start conversations, such as, “How would you have handled that character’s situation?” or “What would you have done if you were in that character’s shoes?” Keep your tone relaxed and be prepared to really listen to their responses. A good follow-up question might be, “If you did that, what do you think would happen next?” It’s a great way to begin talking about natural consequences. When you ask open-ended questions and allow the young person to think through the imagined scenario, they become better prepared to face a real situation on their own.

The more you listen and ask questions the more likely they are to take part in future conversations where you can help them improve their critical thinking skills for making healthy choices for themselves.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Ginsburg, K. R. (2011). Building Resiliency in Children and Teens. Grove Village IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Calling out the Problem, Not the Person

Calling Out the Problem Not the Person. Episode #7 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #7 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

Did you know that the word discipline means “to teach” not “to punish”? Children will make mistakes from time to time. One of the responsibilities of being a parent is teaching children how to navigate through life. What we want to avoid doing is calling a child a “bad girl” or “bad boy” or tell them that “only naughty boys or girls do that”. This does not address the problem behavior or let the child know what an appropriate alternative would be. As parents we want to teach our children, not call them names. Telling a boy or girl they are a bad child hurts their self-esteem and confuses them if they don’t know that what they did was wrong.

Also, calling a child names when they misbehave can have a reverse effect on your child. Children crave attention from their parents.  If a child is getting most of your attention when they are a “bad boy” or “naughty girl”, then they are going to repeat those inappropriate behaviors more often to continue to receive attention, even if is negative attention..

When a child misbehaves it is important to let him or her know that what they did that was wrong, why the behavior is inappropriate and what behavior you want them to do instead. Showing a child the appropriate way to behave rather than inappropriate behavior is important because children are learning and don’t know how to act in certain situations. Children learn what is right when parents teach and guide them. When a child behaves correctly, it is very important to give him or her praise immediately and tell them that what they did was right.  This will reinforce the appropriate behavior in the child.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Ginsburg, K. R. (2011). Building Resiliency in Children and Teens. Grove Village IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Holding a Family Meeting

Holding a Family Meeting. Episode #6 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #6 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

Holding family meetings will strengthen your family and help children become more helpful and capable, as well as allowing them to build important communication and problem solving skills.

A good way to start having family meetings is to propose a regular, weekly meeting time.  You can use your first meeting to discuss structure of future meetings, as well as the decision-making process.  It may be helpful to have an agenda.  Taping a blank piece of paper to your refrigerator door, where family members can write down items they would like to discuss during the meeting that week, will get you started.  Of course, calling an emergency family meeting will mean there will be no agenda.

There are several reasons to host a family meeting in your home.  Family Meetings increase family unity and cooperation, decrease family conflict, increase love and mutual respect, increase family organization and build skills and competency.

The long-term effects of family meetings are numerous, but learning good communication and building healthy self-esteem are things that will turn children into confident teens and responsible adults.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Fleming, E., Kumpfer, K., Molgaard, V. (2007) Strengthening Families Program. Ames, IA: Iowa State University University Extension.

Solter, A. (2003) Family Meetings for Conflict Resolution. Aware Parenting Institute, 118. Retrieved from http://www.awareparenting.com/familymeetings.htm

Reflecting Emotions

Reflecting Emotions. Episode #5 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #5 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

When we as adults pay attention to children’s emotions, we are letting them know that their experiences and perspectives are important. Children need to be heard and understood on their terms. At the early toddler stage, your child does not have the words to tell you what he is feeling as your child experiences the world around him.  Children deserve empathy to feel listened to and respected. As a parent, you can watch and listen to what the actions of your child is telling you.

Parents can project to children that it is OK to feel angry, frustrated, confused, disappointed as well as happy, excited, and surprised. You help your child build resilience, gain confidence, and feel competent when you help her learn to manage those emotions in healthy ways.

When we are empathetic toward children and their emotions, we create an emotional safety net. They feel secure in coming to us with problems and children will feel confident in learning and listening to their emotions.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Ginsburg, K.R. & Jablow, M.M. (2011) Building Resilience in Children and Teens. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/Pages/default.aspx