Thursday, November 18, 2010

Parenting Tip #59 Self esteem or Self worth?

What's the difference between self esteem and self worth? Karen Eddington, founder of Cauliflower Retreat(an outreach program designed to empower women and teens using positive messages of self-worth)says there is a big difference. She states "It’s time for a new message. We encourage you to think and act more positively about self-worth starting in the home." She offers self-worth support, skills, and techniques that you can teach to your children before they reach teenage years and while they are in them.

One suggestion Karen gives parents is to not label your child. It's so easy to say, "Josh is the athletic member in our family and Jordon is the intellectual one." That kind of statement puts a limit on what each son can accomplish.

My daughter-in-law is part of Cauliflower Retreat and it has been rewarding for me to see how deeply she cares and wants to help youth feel good about who they are.

Home should be the haven our children come home to where they can feel secure enough to grow and create their best self. We, as parents, can help them on their path. Visit Karen's website to get specific and easy suggestions that you can incorporate into your family's dialogue.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Music Tip #58 The Sol-Mi Pitches

At school this week I had to teach a parent class on integrating music with reading and math. One of the ideas I mentioned was to sing the words from the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? (see Oct 31 blog entry). One of the mothers mentioned that she didn’t know there was a song to the book. I replied, there wasn’t, I just made one up using the sol-mi pitches. After the class was over, I realized she probably didn’t know what the sol-mi pitches were, and I wished that I had taken time to explain them.

So…here we go. Anytime you want to make up a simple song use the sol-mi pitches. These two pitches are the basis for all early children singing games and songs. Think of the song “rain, rain go away, come again another day.” This song is just alternating between two pitches (sol and mi). At the end on you do sing one higher pitch (la) on the first syllable of “ another” [day].

If you play the piano or know some of the keys on the piano, the sol pitch is G, the mi pitch is E and the la pitch is A ( in the key of C). Most of the easy songs children sing have these 2 pitches with “la” thrown in every once in awhile. This is true in Ring Around the Rosie and Starlight Star Bright.

So don’t be afraid to make up a little tune to go along with a book, or to get your child’s attention. It’s fun and simple and adds a little pizzazz to your reading time.

Parenting Tip #58 Conversations 5 years in Advance?

I was listening to a speaker at a Church conference last month and she said something that caught my attention. The speaker was Rosemary Wixom, Primary General President for the LDS Church (Primary is for children age 18 months – 11 years of age). She said, “The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today.”,5232,23-1-1298-3,00.html

What an interesting thought. What things do we need to be talking to our children about?
We can’t expect our 13 year old daughter to understand our saying NO when she wants to wear a halter top if we haven't been teaching her what modesty and immodesty means. We can’t expect our son to play on a ball team or play during recess and not come home and swear if we haven’t taught him that there are some words we do not say. We can’t expect our daughter to not cheat in school if we haven’t taught her it is dishonest to look on another person’s test paper and copy the answers. We can’t expect our son to not want to get a tattoo or smoke or drink if we haven’t taught him that his body is a gift from God and should be treated with respect.

The world will teach our children if we do not…” Now that’s a scary thought! What should we be teaching? We need to be teaching our children about God, about how to be a good friend (starting with their siblings), about honesty, about listening and respecting their teachers, about the importance of voting, about dating and what age they should group date and single date. We need to teach them The Golden Rule, the 10 Commandments, the importance of serving others, and why they shouldn’t judge others.

Our conversations should be about how to find true happiness, how to follow Jesus, why we obey our parents and leaders. If we talk about these kinds of things, our children will be prepared for the future and can meet it with less difficulty. They’ll sail through their teen age years with a strong foundation of true principles.

My daughter was in the middle of making cookies with her 3 year old son. She asked, “what do we do now?” He matter of factly replied, “look in the scriptures.” I guess my daughter has been having good conversations with him. He knows where to look for answers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music Tip #57 Geometry loops (stretchy shape loops)

Here’s a fun idea I borrowed from this blog:

I bought the lycra and made 15 of the stretchy loops and took them to school. I had my students draw shapes on the whiteboard—triangle, square, rectangle, diamond, trapezoid, etc. Then I pointed to a shape on the board and they made the shape with their stretchy loops. For the older classes, (4th – 6th grade) I counted 8 beats for them to get their shape made by. With the younger classes, I just let them take the time they needed. Then I would call out another shape, or if it was a triangle, I would say to make another kind of triangle. Since I didn't have enough loops for every student, we took turns and students helped each other make the shape if they needed help.

After they had practiced making the shapes, we had a silent shape dance. I put on music and without talking, pointed to a shape on the board, which they would make, and then dance or sway to until I pointed to another shape. Surprisingly, the 6th graders had the most fun with this activity. Also, with the 5th and 6th graders, I asked them to make a cube, pyramid and 3D rectangle (involving 4 students). They loved it.

If my daughter or daughter-in-laws are reading this, don't make any stretchy loops--I'm making some for Christmas presents!

Parenting Tip #57 The Difficult Child

Do you have a difficult child? What is a difficult child? How do you deal with a difficult child?

I would say that a difficult child is one who is always getting into trouble, who doesn’t obey, gets into fights with siblings, won’t do his homework, doesn’t do his chores, talks back to parents, throws a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, ……you can fill in the rest, I’m sure.

So how do you deal with a difficult child? I thought back to my parenting days for examples of what I did, but then decided to check out the internet for what “the professionals” are saying. I was surprised and happy to see that how I parented was in line with what they were saying.

I especially liked the advice of Howard Glasser who has written several books, the newest being, Transforming the Difficult Child - The Nurtured Heart Approach He takes the approach that I like, ie give positive feedback and reward your child with your attention when they are doing good things instead of when they are behaving badly.

Our children want our attention. They need our love and approval. But life gets so hectic with LIFE, that often the only time they really get our full attention is when they are fighting with us. But because they need our time and love so much, subconsciously they go for the negative attention because that’s the most often way they get it.

Instead, parents need to give their children attention when they catch them doing what’s right. Reward them with your approval and time for the good things that they do. Sometimes you have to be really creative to “catch” them doing something good, but you’ll find it. When they disobey, give no emotional attention. State the family rule and follow through with the natural consequence. But be sure and give them love and positive words for little things you see them doing at other times. Soon the positive attention will outweigh the negative attention, and peace and harmony will reign in your home. Sounds great??? At least try it.


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