Archives for posts with tag: Parenting

Group of Teenage Friends in StudioAll parents worry about bullying. Societal awareness of the problem is high but bullying still seems discouragingly prevalent. We fear our kids will become victims and we are uncertain what to do about it.

It is easy to forget, however, that for every bullied child there is at least one bully. It is tough to hear, but when bullying occurs your child is just as likely to be the perpetrator as the victim.

Even kids who are polite, kind, considerate, well-raised and well-behaved can become the aggressor in their relationships with other children. Kids are still maturing and they don’t always know how to handle their stress, anger, frustration or envy, and they may take it out on other children because they’re not sure what else to do. Other times they may join in on the bullying just to fit in, or because they fear it might happen to them next if they don’t act tough.

It is a hard fact to accept but accept it you must. No matter how loving and supportive and encouraging you’ve been with your children, someday you may receive a phone call from a teacher, school administrator or outraged parent letting you know that your son or daughter has been implicated—as the perpetrator— in a bullying incident.

Difficult Conversations and Huge Responsibilities

Denial, rationalization and defensiveness are a common reaction among parents who’ve been told their children are bullies. This is unfortunate for everyone, because while it is understandable it only helps to enable behavior that needs to be dealt with before it gets much worse. You owe it to your kids to listen and to really hear what’s being said, so you can do something about it.

When you sit down to talk to your son or daughter about the reported incident, you should remain calm and receptive. Give your child a chance to explain his or her side of the story and don’t let your anger or disappointment cloud your judgment. You shouldn’t automatically believe everything you’re told, but you shouldn’t ignore it or accuse your kid of lying or making excuses, either.

As the details of the story unfold, try to get your child to see things from the other child’s point of view. Your kid undoubtedly has a capacity for empathy and you should do your best to make sure he or she really understands how the victim was affected.

Even though it is important to control your emotions, you still have to make it clear to your son or daughter that this type of behavior is unacceptable and if it happens again there will be real consequences, at home and likely at school as well.

If you can use the situation as a learning experience, for your child as well as for yourself, a favorable outcome for everyone is far more likely.

Preparation is the Key to Comprehension

You should not wait until something happens before you begin thinking about how to handle an episode of bullying. If such an incident ever occurs your child might be the perpetrator or the victim and you should be prepared for both. Bullying is a disturbing phenomenon and we all have a role to play in confronting it, combating it and helping our children realize how harmful and destructive it truly is.

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Many people wonder whether a Charter school or homeschool would be the best environment for their children. This can be a confusing area; however, it is helpful to take a look at some of the specifics and get a better understanding of the issues as they relate to homeschooling versus Charter schools.

Homeschool is a learning environment that takes place in the home under the guidance of one or both parents. Homeschooling is legal in all states, but requirements can vary widely. Many states do not require the parents to have a college degree, so education is not necessarily handled by a professional teacher.

Of course, there are some parents who are educators, but there are many who are not. Homeschooling has its benefits, especially given the fact that parents have an intimate knowledge of how to best reach their children. Parents can more easily work around problem areas and find solutions to meet the needs of their children.

A Charter school is an alternative type of traditional public schooling. However, there are some important differences. For example, not all states have Charter schools, and these schools tend to be located in or near large cities, so they may not be a realistic option for many students. Additionally, administration of the Charter school can either be through the local school district or through a separate entity, such as a chartering organization.

Charter schools have licensed teachers and professional staff. With the expertise that comes from a trained educator, some people feel that a Charter school is better able to meet the needs of their children.

A homeschool education is open to almost any family who meets the requirements for home education in their state. However, not all Charter schools will accept every child. Some Charter schools have specific admission requirements that must be met, so they are not always an available option.

Socialization is often a topic that comes up when comparing homeschool and Charter school. A Charter school offers students an opportunity to be around their peers in a classroom setting as well as through after school activities. Of course, homeschooled children socialize not only within their family, but also by taking part in activities outside the home.

There is no one solution that meets the needs of all students or families. Whether a family chooses homeschooling or a Charter school, it’s important to know what each has to offer.

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Children usually fear making major life changes just like anyone else. This may bring about difficulties in adapting to the new circumstances. If your child is about to join preschool, they may have preschool fears that need to be addressed. As a parent, your fear may be greater and this may make the preschool fears worse. So how should you deal with these fears?

Dialogue is a major step in understanding the fears your child is facing. In some situations, getting your child to talk about their fears presents an avenue where viable solutions can be identified. For example, if your child fears making new friends, you should encourage him or her and let them understand that it may not be easy but it can be achieved. In other cases, the child may not even be aware of the cause of their fears. You should not scold them for this but help them in overcoming these fears.

Help your child in overcoming these preschool fears by helping him in coming with the solutions to his fears. For example, instead of offering the solution, give him clues and let him come up with the solution. Solutions that are dictated to them may not be implemented but when the child comes up with the decision himself, he will have the drive to put it into practice. You can help him by playing games that give clues to possible solutions.

Great care should be taken by both teachers and parents when children are joining preschool. You should speak to the teachers to ensure that they understand your child well. This will minimize conflict that may make their fears worse off. In addition, you may also speak to other parents in the school so that the children may enjoy an environment free of unnecessary negative energy. If your child for example is afraid of using the playground in the school, help them understand that it is safe, that their teachers will keep them safe and that it is fine to play with the other children.

Do not build up on the fears by scolding then unnecessarily, threatening them or making them feel inferior to other children. You may also start preparing him or her for preschool an year before they join. Help him in understanding the importance of school and help them to learn how to cope with change effectively. For example, you may take him or her on several tours of the preschool long before he or she joins to familiarize with the area.

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453970051Everyone, adult and child, experiences anxiety. What is important is how we deal with the stressor that makes us anxious. Kids with anxiety look to their parents for verbal as well as behavioral cues. This can either help them manage their stress more effectively or cement it further.

The Key Word is Management

As a parent you want to see your child happy and secure. When you see her anxious and scared you may go into a protective mode and be tempted to remove her from situations that will make her anxious. Do resist this temptation. While it may be difficult for you as a mom or a dad, we truly believe that by allowing your child to face the stressor you will make it possible for her to deal with it effectively. Children learn coping mechanisms. You want to ensure that hers are proactive and do not strengthen her anxiety.

It is Good to Talk

Encourage your kid to speak her mind freely, and without interruptions. Do phrase your questions well. You do not want to end up asking her, “Are you worried about your math test?” Instead you could phrase the question to simply ask her how she feels about it. Let her know that it is alright to feel a bit concerned, and then focus on how she well has been prepared for it. You could also ask her to share her ideas on how she could formulate a plan to deal with her anxiety. For instance, if she is worried about a stranger coming to pick her up after school, then you could decide on a ‘safe’ password, that will reassure her.

It is important to tell children that everyone feels anxious or stressed at some time or the other. What is important is how well one deals with the situation. This will also encourage her to tolerate the stress instead of avoiding it.

Parents are important role models for children. Kids with anxiety are known to observe how their parents deal with stress, and reflect a similar attitude. You can talk to your child about things that worry you but also talk to her about how you work through your anxiety.

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Ever since your child was born you’ve been thinking of this day. You’ve scrimped, saved, and sacrificed so that you could give them a great opportunity, an advantage, and an education. Going to college is a proud moment for both child and parent, but now that the house is empty, you can’t help but wish they were still within arms reach.

Before you start to feel sorry for yourself, you need to remember that:

Lack of Communication Doesn’t Equal Loss of Love

Just because you child doesn’t call you as much as you’d like, there is no reason to be offended. Do you remember what you were like when you were their age? When you are finally on your own, things are exciting, schedules are busy, and a social life is ever present. Once they’ve adjusted to their new life, they’ll likely call and give you the lowdown on what’s what. And besides, not calling you all of the time is a good thing, because it means they are adjusting well to college life.

Don’t Be Nosy About College

When you do get the opportunity to speak with your son or daughter, don’t always steer the conversation about their studies. Remember, they are experiencing so many new things now, including freedom, responsibility, and maturity, let them bring up their classes when they want to. They may be calling because they miss you and want to hear your voice. Relax, and enjoy the moment.

You Have the Rest of Your Life Ahead of You

Not only does your child get to experience a new life, but you do too. Get out and enjoy yourself. You no longer have to be home at a certain time, drive them places, or need to do their laundry. You have so many new experiences waiting for you. Why not take this opportunity to explore all of the things that you had planned before you had kids? Your new life is waiting for you. You’re still parents, but now you have much more freedom.

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