Saturday, March 31, 2007

Asperger Syngrome

As someone with no previous experience of Autism or Asperger Syndrome, I wanted to share this book with you all, because now that I have an "honorary niece" who has been diagnosed with Asperger's, I was SO glad that Monicka recommended I read it.

The book is called "Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome", and is a very personal account by a wonderful young man called Luke Jackson.

In the book, Luke writes in detail about experiencing adolescence when you're a kid with Asperger's, and it is both fascinating and endearing.

If there is someone important in YOUR life who has Asperger Syndrome, I would urge you to read this book, especially if they are approaching teenager-hood!



Friday, March 30, 2007

Theme for April

April is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM)—an awareness initiative established in 1972 by the Autism Society of America (ASA)—and ASA’s national headquarters and its network of nearly 200 local chapters across the nation are preparing to increase autism awareness throughout the month.

In support of this great cause the theme for the blogs and newsletters for the month of April will be concerning Autism and Autism Spectrum disorders. Autism affects me on a personal level because my now fifteen-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with the Autism Spectrum Disorder,P.D.D./N.O.S / Asperger's, when she was 13.

Cassie and I would love to hear from any of the other Mom's or Dads out there whose children are affected by Autism or Autism Spectrum disorders.

All the best!!!

Happy Parenting

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Creativity and Problem Solving for Kids

Kids have such amazing imaginations, and an innate ability to think outside the box, that it's important to encourage these abilities - as all too often they are lost by the time a child grows up. Here are some ideas you can use to help your kids use their imagination to develop great problem solving skills:

1) Encourage them when they talk about their fantasies and make up stories - don't tell them they are being silly, instead get excited and ask questions. You can even encourage them to close their eyes and become aware of the fact that they can visualize things vividly inside.

2) Talk to your child about his different senses so that he becomes aware of what he already does with his imagination - creates pictures, sounds, feelings and even smells.

3) Play a game with your child where one of you chooses a simple every day object - the classic example is a paper-clip, but pretty much anything will do! - and then see who can think of the most possible uses for that object. This is a very powerful way of developing creativity and problem-solving, so play it with your child often!

Happy parenting,


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Exciting News!!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!
If you have been reading our blog on a regular basis or you subscribe to the kidsgoals newsletter; you are aware that Cassie and I are from different countries. I am from Canada and Cassie is from England. We have been the best of friends for over three years and actually met on the Internet.

Last year I met Cassie in person , when I flew to London in August. Now I am soooooo very happy to say that Cassie is coming to Canada!! On April 12th she is coming to stay with me for two whole weeks!!!! Only 15 more days to go.

Just a short blog today announcing my exciting news!!!

Happy Parenting


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Motivating your child

How do you motivate your child to, for instance, do his homework on time - and with enthusiasm?

We need to remember that a child's point of view can be very different to that of his parents'. He may think in terms of hours or days rather than months, terms or years.

When test results or reports come around, praise him plenty and that will help. But on a day to day basis you may need to take a much more short term view. For instance, help him to reward himself for completing his homework in a timely way by playing a favorite game with him afterwards, or by letting him help you in the kitchen.

Remember - the smaller the child, the more short-term mini-rewards are needed to keep him motivated!!

Happy parenting,


Monday, March 26, 2007

Take Some Me Time

Happy Monday Everyone

Spring break is finally over and my kids headed back to class today. I am actually doing the happy dance right now, not because I don't like my kids, but more like I can finally have some me time.

I think we all deserve some me time. A few minutes in your hectic day, where no one needs you and you are free to do whatever blows your hair back. I think it makes us better parents when we take a bit of time for ourselves. It may sound selfish but really it is the most unselfish thing that you can do to improve your ability to care for your family.

I know in this day and age it isn't always possible and it may take a bit reoroganizing your schedule but it is well worth the effort. Even if it is just 20 minutes of meditation or yoga or even a power nap; it will refresh, energize and make it easier to handle for you to handle the everyday stresses life throws at you, and even make you enjoy your kids that much more.

Happy Parenting


Sunday, March 25, 2007

A New Way to Look at Intelligence

Recently a friend of mine had a job interview where she was given tests to check her typing speed, computer proficiency and also math skills. She was upset because she had sailed through the first two but when it came to the math, was a bit stumped on a few of the algebraic questions she encountered. She said it had been quite awhile since she had been in math class and she could not remember how to solve them. I said that really wasn't a fair test of intelligence because there are many other ways to prove you have the so called "smarts" besides in a logical/mathematical way and besides all the years of experience on her resume should speak for itself. If anything she was more than qualified and a very bright woman to boot. It makes me wonder why the company chose to test intelligence with a math quiz especially when the position had little to do with math.

According to an article I read recently by psychologist Howard Gardner, there are actually nine intelligences: Linguistic, Logical/mathematical, visual/spacial, naturalist, existentialist, intrapersonal, musical, and bodily/kinesthetic. And according to Gardner intelligence is defined as “ability to find and solve problems and create products of value in one’s own culture”

So as I advised my friend, we all have are our own special strengths and skills despite what the people that devise the so called IQ tests, deems to be intelligence; and in fact we have a combination of the nine intelligences each in varying degrees.

Think about this when you are worried that your child is not doing so well in his math test or English report, instead of looking at what he can't do let him discover what he does well and help him build on those strengths.

Happy Parenting

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gratitude and Goal Setting for Kids

When we and our children set and work towards goals, having an attitude of thankfulness for the good things we already have is a great place to start.

Emphasize to your kids that goal-setting is for bringing MORE good things into their lives, while reminding them to appreciate, rejoice in, and have gratitude for all the blessings they already experience.

To take a very simple example, you could ask your young child at the dinner table or when you tuck him in every night "What was fun at school today?" Enjoy listening to whatever his reply is. You will find that, even without being aware of it, he subconsciously starts to look for more and more things to enjoy in his school day!

Happy goal setting with your kids!


Friday, March 23, 2007

It's OK to Ask For Help

I was having an especially busy day away from home today and was feeling a little stressed because, I had someone dropping by at 3PM and the house was in a bit of a mess. I was hoping I would have time to do a quick vacuum and put a few things away but all the chores seemed to be taking longer than necessary and I was running behind. When I finally got home my daughter was home but she had not attempted to do anything even though she knew full well that we were expecting company shortly. I started on a cleaning frenzy with only a few minutes to spare feeling very frustrated and thinking I would never get it done on time. No one seemed to be lifting a finger to help and I didn't have the time to start yelling. I was trying to do it all and I was at the breaking point,but too proud to ask for help, thinking my kids should see me slaving away and offer assistance. NO such luck!!!

Finally I got to the point where I was in another room and needed something and asked my son to get it. He came back with what I needed, no questions asked and amazingly enough asked me if there was anything else he could do? I tell you I would have fallen off my chair if I had been sitting on one. Could it be that easy? I decided to test the waters and asked him to clear the coffee table of newspapers and magazines and sure enough he did it. When he had finished he came back and asked if there was anything else I would like him to do? Could this really be that simple?? I decided to test my daughter and the same thing happened.

The moral of this blog is, it really is OK to ask. Sometimes we think just because we are running around like a chicken with its head cut off, that anyone in viewing distance should just want to give us a helping hand, but strangely enough it doesn't work that way for kids, or husbands for that matter. It is much more effective to ask, then to tell and a thank you goes a long way too.

Happy Parenting


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Can homework be a game?

Learning is so much more fun when it's made into a game. And the best time to start kids off on this track is - as young as possible.

If you have kids just starting school, you have a wonderful opportunity to teach them to regard their academic work as PLAY. And it's very simple to do - simply by your own attitude. Get excited to see your kids' homework, show plenty of enthusiasm, and they will pick up on your attitude themselves.

Have fun!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"The Right Way"

Happy Wednesday Everyone
The cleaning campaign has been put on hold for a bit because a very special project just fell into my lap that is going to take priority over everything else for the next few days. No worries, I found out that my kids are very capable of helping and I am going to make sure that they have a lot more responsibilities around the house. It seemed to be easier to just do it myself than try and get them to do things the way that I wanted them done. For instance my son offered to help me fold some towels and when he started folding I started to show him how to do it the way I would. I had to stop myself in mid explanation and say "No, I am going to let you fold them the way that you feel is best, and I am thankful that you want to help me" I think because I was brought up to believe that there was a right way to do certain things and nothing else would do. As Cassie would say BOLLOCKS!!!! How can we expect our children to ever have any confidence in themselves if they are constantly being shown the so-called "right way" to do things and who said it was the right way anyway? Maybe they would come up with a better way if given the chance, but we will never know unless we let them try.

If we don't have confidence in our children's abilities how are they ever supposed to have confidence in themselves? Think about that when you suggest that they do something the way that you would instead of letting them try to do it all on their own. It takes a bit of practice not to want to correct but it is so worth it when you see a child start to realize his potential.

I know I said in Monday's blog that I would explain how I made cleaning fun for my kids but that will be in a future blog or maybe even an article for the newsletter.

Happy Parenting


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Learning and Imagination

Monicka and I had a wonderful email from a father yesterday, who reminded us how important it is to encourage kids to use their imagination. We completely agree!

How can an active imagination help children learn? In so many ways! They can tell themselves - or you - fun stories about what they have been learning at school. They can imagine ways to USE the information they have learned. They can revise for exams by closing their eyes and visualising and imagining things in vivid color.

For more ideas on encouraging your kids to use their imagination, check out Your Child's Imagination

Happy parenting,


Monday, March 19, 2007

Chores Can Be Fun

Happy Monday Everyone

If you have been following our blog for the last few days you are aware that I have started a bit of an experiment with my two youngest. Since they are now on Spring Break it seemed like the perfect time to try to get them to help me with a bit of spring cleaning. They promised me two solid hours of hard work a day and I promised to make it as fun as possible. I was actually surprised to see how well the experiment is going. They both are still eager to continue with the cleaning for all of next week .

It got me thinking that you can probably get your kids to do pretty much anything if you make it fun enough. It may take a bit of thought on your part but really even something as mundane as doing chores can be made much more enjoyable with a little bit of ingenuity, take my word for it. ;-) I will tell you how I did that in Wednesday's blog.

Look for some great tips in the next kidsgoals newsletter about how to motivate your kids to do their homework by making it fun,fun,fun!

Happy Parenting

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Goal Setting for School

When encouraging your child to set goals for school work, it's important to remember:
  1. Start him off with goal setting as young as possible
  2. Encourage him to set his own goals rather than just taking your suggestions
I remember my very first experience of this, many years ago with an adorable young friend called Charlene. Although she was just at primary school, she loved the concept of setting goals and it was wonderful to see her come up with her very own ideas of how to use goal setting.

The plucky girl picked a subject that was hard for her - math - and figured out by herself (I merely explained goal setting to her and then asked her questions) how she wanted to measure her progress.

The two goals she identified were:
  1. To bring her "dreded" math book home (she often forgot to bring it and then couldn't do her homework)
  2. To reduce the number of "red rings" (wrong answers) that she got on her homework questions
I've never forgotten that experience, and how much it showed me that even tiny primary school kids can identify and pursue goals of their very own - if us adults give them a bit of encouragement and loving interest.

Happy goal setting with your kids,


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Breakfast before school

Shockingly, in the UK up to 20% of children go to school having had nothing to eat in the morning. Did you know that a child's nutritional breakfast is not only essential for bodily health but also gives him an academic edge over those kids that skip breakfast in the morning?

Many research studies have demonstrated that eating breakfast improves children’s problem solving abilities, memory, visual perception and creative thinking.

Here in the UK, many Welsh schools have implemented free breakfast clubs to encourage primary school children to get into the habit of eating breakfast.

If your kids aren't lucky enough to get a free breakfast at school, please make it a priority to ensure they get one before leaving the house!

Wishing you and your kids academic and goal-setting success!



Kleinman, et al (2002). Diet, breakfast and academic performance in children.

Pollitt and Matthews (1998). Breakfast and cognition: an integrative summary.

Powell et al (1998). Nutrition and education: a randomised trial of the effects of breakfast in rural primary school children.

Wesnes et al (2003). Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren.

Busch, C. (2002). The effects of breakfast composition on cognitive processes critical to learning in young children.

Waggoner, A. (2002). Breakfast consumption and student achievement prior to lunch.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Feng Shui For Kids

Happy Friday Everyone

Well, the great “get your kids to help you spring clean challenge” is well underway. For the last two days both kids have given me a solid effort working two hours a day to help me get the house in order. I am amazed that there has been absolutely no complaining and they seem to be enjoying it, go figure.

I let them each pick ten songs that they like and we have all been taking turns with different aspects of the clean up. Yesterday was the laundry room and today it was cupboards and a few closets. Now the weekend is upon us and it is going to be all about getting the recycling together to take to the depot and dropping off clothes that no longer fit but are still in good shape for Goodwill. You talk about "Feng Shui" I can feel the good chi coming into the house as I write this.

I think it helped that we all participated and if it were just the two of them it would have felt a bit overwhelming. Because I was willing to pitch in I think they are finding it quite doable and so far no slacking off, expecting me to do the majority of the work.

So far so good....

Happy Parenting

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Motivating a Teenager to Study

At the weekend I was at the house of friends and they were discussing at length their dilemma regarding their 15 year old grandson, Louis. A bright child, he is more interested in socialising with his friends, playing on the computer and playing golf (at which he is extremely good, and has been picked for his county team) then his schoolwork.

The extended family are all now worrying about how to help Louis get sufficient grades at school to be able to go on to university. They have even gone to the rather extreme length of promising him money to do well - a straight bribe!

I listened intently but didn't participate in the conversation, until I was asked my opinion. Unfortunately it wasn't a very helpful opinion. I pointed out that first of all, if Louis' parents were not actively encouraging his efforts at school and spending plenty of time talking with him about his studies and encouraging him to set goals, there is a limited amount of difference that the extended family can make. And secondly, I suggested that the child that it might be more effective to focus on is their 5-year-old grandson, Cameron, who is young enough to really absorb and be excited by the whole goal setting process when it comes to school.

If it is important to you to see your child succeeding academically, I urge you to start as early as you can in showing active interest in his schoolwork and teaching him to set goals for studying!

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Joy of Cleaning????

Happy Wednesday Everyone

Yesterday was my birthday and my children being the loving little souls that they are, decided that they would do a few chores for Mom without grumbling as part of my birthday gift. I watched as they eagerly walked the dog without being asked, and a few other household duties that they would normally do if asked three or four times; but there would always be a lot of complaining and they would take their sweet time completing them. Funny how when they did it out of love it was a whole different story.

How then do we get our children to be responsible? Chores are something that all children need to learn to do in order to become well-rounded adults. It is unthinkable to send them off into the world when they don't even know how to do their own laundry or cook a simple meal. So by not teaching them and doing it for them, we are doing them a great disservice.

Today I am going to try a new tactic. Both my children are on spring break for the next week and since they will be home all day it is the perfect time for a bit of a shake up in the Gregory household. I know they are very capable individuals; they just sometimes need a little bit of gentle persuasion. ;-)

I truly believe that if you make chores fun children are more apt to want to do them. With that in mind, I am going to show my children just how much fun cleaning can be. I will keep you posted on how my little experiment goes. Until then….

Happy Parenting

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Relaxation and learning

Does your child get enough "time out" to relax, so that his brain is in good shape for learning?

I am just back from a very relaxing 4-day break in Scotland doing absolutely nothing, which was perfect. And I realised that I had not even known how stressed I was up to then. Just with going to work every day!

Kids are more and more prone to stress - what with school, extra-curricular activities and socialising. In order for them to perform at their best, please remember to make sure they get plenty of unstructured time to just relax and do nothing - or play in solitude and peace at their own pace.

Check out this article on the site for more ideas on helping your child relax!



Monday, March 12, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

Happy Monday Everyone

My youngest son has been waiting for a certain video game I ordered for him as a surprise. I probably should have kept my mouth shut and let it be a surprise; but he was having a bad day and I thought it would cheer him up. It did put a smile on his face momentarily but now he is upset because it has not arrived yet. I advised him it will take a few weeks and I asked him to be patient.

Funny that I should ask my son to be patient when patience is definitely not something I possess myself. It made me think that if children lead by example what kind of example am I setting when I rant and rave when my husband is late or a certain phone call or email I am expecting is taking a bit too long to show up. I also find myself sometimes hurrying the kids in the morning fearing that they are going to be late and sometimes I am impatient if they are not moving quite as fast as I would like them to.

If we want our children to learn patience than we need to model patience. I am going to add another goal to my growing list and try and be much more tolerant and patient when it comes to my children and other people.

It also sounds like a great topic for one of our newsletters so look for that in a future issue.

Happy Parenting


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Reason Season and Lifetime Friends

I found this today and wanted to share it with our readers. (Cassie you came into my life for a reason, you are staying for much much more than just a season and I will love you for many lifetimes. I miss you Peanut!! )

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need
you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part
or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered
and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON,
it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
those things you must build upon
in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson,
love the person/people (anyway);
and put what you have learned to use in all
other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

~Author Unknown

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Homework, and Living in the Moment

Children often tend to be happier than adults - often because it comes naturally to a young person to live in the moment rather than regreting the past or dreading the future so often.
Encourage this natural trait and capitalize on how it can help your child succeed academically by helping to make homework and study fun for your child.

When you have time, and your child is young enough to appreciate it, keep him company while he does his homework from time to time, showing a genuine interest, demonstrating a bit of excitement at the topics, and offering lots of praise and hugs when he does well.

When your child is older, ask about their homework with real interest, remember still to praise them. A child is never too old for praise!

Some older kids study well if they are allowed to listen to music while doing their homework. If it helps your child work well, that's a good thing - if it would be a distraction for you it doesn't necessarily mean your child would feel the same - we're all different.

Happy Parenting,


Friday, March 09, 2007


Happy Friday Everyone

We as parents and caregivers play a huge part in how our children learn but there are also other people that play a large role also. I am talking about teachers. How your child feels about his teacher can be the deciding factor in how much your child likes school. I can remember having teachers that I will never forget. They actually made learning fun and I really enjoyed the subjects they taught. I also had teachers that were not so great; such as my grade seven socials studies teacher who used to write notes on the blackboard and the students had to copy them down and then we were tested on the notes at the end of the week. We never discussed anything; it was basically a note taking class….BORING!!!

If your child is having problems at school it could be because of the relationship he has with his teacher. Talk to your children about how they feel about their teacher and it is a really good idea to get to know your child’s teacher. If your school allows it, try to spend some time in your child’s class as an observer. This way you will get a really good impression of their teaching style and if there is any problem with how your child interacts with his teacher.

If you see any problems you can ask to meet with the teacher and try to communicate how your child is feeling but may not have the courage to say on his own. The teacher may not even be aware that there is a problem. Your child may feel like his teacher doesn't like him, or if he is called on to answer questions more often than other children he could feel like he is being picked on. This may all be in your child’s head but by being an advocate for your child you can get the teacher to reassess the relationship they are having with your child and what steps they may need to take to improve it.

Happy Parenting

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Appreciating your child's learning style

We all have a different learning style. Some of us are very logical thinkers, and thrive on lists and numbered tables - I'm a bit like that myself. Others are more artistically inclined and might naturally like to use lots of color when learning.

To help your child learn, encourage him to incorporate as many different senses into his study as possible. If he naturally makes lists, suggest colored pens to make the lists brighter and more welcoming.

Encourage humor! Laughing and enjoying learning help things sink into the brain.

Some kids are great listeners - if so, tell your child a story about what you want to teach him.

Other kids learn better visually and will want to see you draw something or point at pictures in a book when you are showing them.

Appreciate your child's learning style and marvel at your wonderful little person and his amazing brain!

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Anyone see my woo hoo???

Happy Wednesday Everyone

Funny how we may not realize how we are feeling inside until someone else points it out to us. We may think we are greeting the world every day with a happy face when our body language is actually speaking volumes to the contrary. Case in point; my son asked me yesterday where my woo hoo went? I have been dealing with a few stressful things, and being a firm believer in not laying my troubles on my children, I was going around thinking that they were unaware of my internal turmoil. My son's comment just made me really look at how I needed to deal with what was happening so I could once again, as my son put it so succinctly, get my woo hoo back.

Our children are more intuitive than we give them credit for. They know when something is wrong and it is OK to say "I am sad but it is not going to last forever and before you know it Mommy will be back to her old self." It will make them feel soooo much better knowing that this too shall pass and they are not the cause of your sadness.

Happy Parenting


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Positive Affirmations

Hello Everyone

Cassie and I are so thrilled about the launch of our "Loving Affirmations CD for children." It is filled with positive messages that your child can listen to before bed along with the soothing sound of ocean waves. I have used this with my 10- year- old son and I have noticed positive changes in him within a few weeks. He just seemed to be a happier kid overall.

Cassie and I are firm believers in positive affirmations and use them ourselves on a daily basis.

Happy Parenting

Monday, March 05, 2007

5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party

Hello all!

Today Monicka and I have something very exciting to share with you - a Blog Party! It's hosted by a wonderful blog called "5 minutes for Mom" (but EVERYONE is welcome to the party) - just click on the cool logo on your right to visit the party.

We're looking forward to mingling with lots of other bloggers (Moms and others) so please join in the fun.

We also thought it would be a great opportunity to launch our new "Affirmations for Kids" CD, and give away 10 copies as part of the party. Watch out for more details about this awesome CD, Monicka's little boy Justin has been using it and it has given him a great boost to his self-esteem and confidence at school. We'll post more about that tomorrow!



Sunday, March 04, 2007

Elmo Competition

A big thank you to all who entered the Elmo "What Makes You Happy" competition.

The competition is now closed, and if you are a winner, you will be notified by email very shortly!



Saturday, March 03, 2007

Helping your child learn

Take a look at your child’s homework books and what do you see? Nicely written neat paragraphs? Tidy lists of facts and figures? If so, your child’s teacher no doubt has much praise! Teachers like to see neat handwriting – after all, it makes their job a lot easier.

The problem with this common or garden note taking is that, in a word, it’s boring! Yes, there is the occasional diagram or graph, but mostly it’s a good old bland sea of sentences. The important key words are buried in fluff and wordy paragraphs with little to stimulate the imagination.

Might it be better to help our children learn a way of studying that capitalizes on how our brains work?

Our brains process and remember information by linking. We tend to think that our thoughts are linear, similar to speech or written text. But learning within the brain is done by linking ideas, questions, words and pictures in huge inter-connecting branches and webs.

Your child can therefore revise much more easily and effectively by using visual learning diagrams like webs, maps, trees and timelines to incorporate the key words and important facts that he needs to remember, rather than copying out paragraphs of text. This may sound trivial but it makes a very, very big difference to understanding, memory and recall!

Watch out for the next kids goals parenting newsletter with lots of ideas to help your child learn effectively and be successful at school!



Friday, March 02, 2007

For the love of reading

Happy Friday Everyone

Well it is the start of the weekend and we are into a brand new month. Cassie and I decided that the theme for the March blogs and newsletters is going to be about learning and specifically how we can help our children to love all types of learning.

More than having them practice their spelling words or doing their math drills, learning involves getting your children to question who they are and the part that they will play in the big world they live in. You as the parent are the greatest teacher of all and whether you realize it or not your children are learning by your example. One wonderful gift that you can give to your children is to help them develop a love of reading, as reading will help ensure academic success later in life.

Here are some tried and true ways to help your child learn to love to read:

---- Read to your child at an early age, the younger the better. Even little babies love to be read to and you can start with picture books for the wee ones describing the pictures and pointing to them such as look at the big yellow bus or the big juicy red apple. In this way your children will develop a love of words.

·---- Read to your child every day even if they already know how to read well; and try to develop a daily family reading schedule where everyone reads together for a minimum of 15 minutes. Make sure it is in a quiet area of the house, away from the distraction of the television or other noises.

·---- When you read out loud to your children make it fun by singing the words such as when you are reading rhymes or poetry and try changing your voice for the different characters and emphasizing certain words and phrases.

Finally let your children see you read as much as possible and show them how much you truly enjoy reading.

Happy Reading


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Are your children secure enough to challenge you?

Little kids are designed to take what their parents say on face value. Some parents make out to their kids that they are ALWAYS right.

I think it is healthier to encourage children to question and challenge, and form their own opinions.

There are lots of reasons. Here's one. Young children will often take what you say literally, and this can give rise to all kinds of misunderstandings, especially if they are lacking the confidence to turn round to you and question what you have said.

For instance, you might one evening tell your child he has to do his chores before his homework for some perfectly valid reason. And an insecure child could interpret it to mean he's never supposed to do his homework before finishing his household chores.

Encouraging your kids to question and challenge what you say helps avoid these kind of misunderstandings, which can cause distress to sensitive children!

Happy parenting,