When I was in elementary school, I was made fun of quite a bit because I looked and dressed differently. Thankfully it never went any further than name calling.
But even with just that, those childhood memories are still ingrained in me. And I’m not the only one. It seems more and more that we’re hearing about people who were bullied in much the same way as children.
Kids can be so mean and hurtful and the bad part is, they may not even realize they are doing it. They either haven’t had someone to teach them that the behavior is unacceptable, or they haven’t learned exactly how to behave properly.
One thing I knew for sure about having kids of my own was that I was going to make sure they knew how to stand up for themselves and even more important, that they aren’t the ones being the bully.
Some things I emphasize with my kids on an ongoing basis about bullying:
Utilize teachable moments (i.e. tv/movie bullying scenes, real life examples). This is a great way to engage them in a conversation about what their thoughts are when watching these scenes and how it should have been handled.
Ignore the kids that aren’t being nice. Most of the time, bullies will only continue to bother you if they know they can get a reaction from you. If you ignore them, they will move on and leave you alone.
Engage your kids in activities that boosts their confidence and self-esteem. This can include sports and other extra-curriculars that help give them confidence. But it can also be from giving them tasks and jobs around the house, helping them get that boost of accomplishment.
On the other hand, what’s even more important is that my kids know it’s never ok to treat others badly. With that in mind, I ask them to remember that they should always:
Stand up for others
Not say anything if they don’t have any nice to say
Put yourself in the shoes of others and ask yourself if you would want that to happen to you
For more information, check out these bullying resources:
Would you agree that kids tend to give up too easily?
My kids sure do.
Take my daughter and her homework for example. When she gets stuck on a problem, she gets really frustrated and whines about how she cannot figure it out.
She ends up sitting there, pouting…which leads to no homework being done.
So, what does mommy or daddy do? We come over and tell her how to do it. Which is all fine and dandy because we do want her to know that we’re there for her when she needs help.
The problem was in how we, as her parents, were helping her.
Instead of guiding her into figuring out the solution to the problem herself, we were essentially giving her the answers.
Instead of having her attempt to talk out loud her thought process to figure out where she is actually getting stuck and what exactly she doesn’t understand, we tend to jump in a little too early.
Anyone else guilty of jumping in too soon to help their kids?
She was not thinking for herself. What kids these days are missing is that critical thinking component.
Here are a few ways we take away from our kids’ independence:
Tell them the answer right away
Do it for them
Tell them how we think the task should be done
Ways we let kids think for themselevs and become more independent:
Ask your kids to explain what they’re stuck on
Give kids questions to think about as a way to guide them on what they need to ask themselves next to figure the problem out
One thing I’m working on with my kids is how to manage their time, especially in the morning.
Now this didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve gotten them on a morning routine that they are now used to.
They wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, make their beds, come downstairs, get their backpacks ready to go, unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast.
My daughter does not like being tardy but she’s probably the one that drags her feet the most.
Most days she is good about getting her list done. Some days, like today, we’re twenty minutes from needing to leave the house and she has barely walked down the stairs.
Normally, I would jump in and remind them of the time and how they’ll be late if they don’t hurry up.
This time, I just let them be.
Eventually one of them noticed what time it was, and they got their act together.
We made it to school with 1 minute to spare but the entire time during the car ride there, they were quite nervous. Especially when we had to stop at each red light.
But the lesson here is that if I don’t let them figure things out for themselves and learn things the hard way, then I am not doing them any favors.
The quicker I let them fail and learn from their mistakes, the better it is for them in the long run.
An excellent example I got from another mom that I’m starting to implement with my own kids now is what I call, the Power of 3.
If they have a problem, they need to figure out for themselves three different ways they can solve that problem before coming to an adult to get help.
This could be anything. The key is that when they come asking for help, they need to list out the three things they did to figure it out for themselves.
This promotes independence, self-reliance, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and confidence while preventing co-dependency, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And who doesn’t want that for our kids?
Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!
At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom, we all face similar challenges each and every day.
Ultimately, all moms have the same goal — to ensure our kids are safe by creating an optimal learning and growing environment as best we can. It can seem crushing at times. Between juggling school work, extra-curricular activities, household chores, and events with family and friends, it feels like every single minute of the day is booked up.
That doesn’t leave room for personal time for yourself. We do our best, but most days it all boils down to being able to do whatever we can to survive. Even though a lot of us are glad when the kids go back to school in the fall, that’s when the real business of being a mom kicks into high gear with all of the activities.
So, how’s a mom to keep from losing her sanity when school starts back?
One of the best ways you can gain order in your house is to set routines early. I know that a lot of people hate routines and talk about how stifling they are. Trust me when I say that routines will be your saving grace and will help you keep your sanity most days.
And the earlier you can do this, the better off you will be. Sure, there will be a lot of days when the routine may be thrown off track. Add flexibility to your routine as deviations in routines can cause upset otherwise. You need to be able to roll with the changes.
Why have a routine in the first place?
Because it will be that pattern of stability you can go back to when you need it. If the routine is already ingrained, it will be a lot easier to adhere to overall.
One of the biggest issues with scheduling time is from sports or extra-curricular activities. As parents who did not have these opportunities growing up, we work very hard to make sure our kids have the chance to take part in them. As they grow up, these activities allow them to explore what’s around them so they can figure out for themselves what they do and don’t enjoy.
Providing Stable Routines Help Children Grow in Their Independence
Besides expanding the boundaries of their world to include school, sports, and clubs, this is also the time when they are really settling into their own opinions and personalities. They’re not only looking outwardly, but also inwardly to assert their independence. Establishing a stable routine helps children confidently begin the process of taking on and increasing responsibilities.
It’s important to establish rules, boundaries, responsibilities, and discuss good and bad choices early on. We do this with the understanding they’ll take these life lessons to heart later on when their decisions will have greater consequences. We let them do as much for themselves as possible. I’m a firm believer in promoting their independence as a life skill so they don’t need to rely on others as they get older.
Of course, things aren’t always going to be perfect because nothing goes as planned every single day. Some days will be better than others, but one thing is certain—different challenges will come and go. All that we can really do if we want to be successful parents is to give our kids tools so they can tackle the challenges that will come their way in the next phase of their lives.
When your little darling has an accident that results in an X ray and a confirmed fracture or break, you’re most likely worried about their pain. But then, the doctor says, “He needs to rest and be still for three weeks.” And you think, “Oh crap!” What about all the activities you’ve scheduled (and paid for?), what about school, what about your job? We break it down for you.
Depending on which little part they busted, mom and dad are going to have to dive in, facilitating with teeth brushing, getting dressed, hair combing, and possibly toilet time. The age of your child is also a factor. Some kids may regress or get frustrated when you have to help them, others may like the help because at least they don’t have you nagging them if they did it properly.
Dealing with a Non-Waterproof Cast
Not all kids get a hard, waterproof cast, so bathing and showering may become less relaxing than it used to be. After bathing, you may want to turn a hair dryer on cool and blow it through the openings of the cast, just to zap any unwanted moisture which may result in itching.
Something to look forward to, the cast is really going to be rancid when it comes off. And the skin underneath is going to look pale and wrinkly and feel squishy.
Adjusting After the Cast is Removed
Even when you make it to the finish line and it’s time to buzz the cast off, be prepared for an adjustment period when your child’s muscles and tendons need to regain strength and flexibility. Or you may have a rocket launch who looks like they never missed a beat.
The Fluff Stuff
Pillows are your kid’s friends. Prop till you drop. Maybe dig out your maternity sleeping pillow from storage. Keeping your kid comfy round-the-clock is key to whomever is caring for him/her.
Bust out the Sharpies! Why not stick some googly eyes on the cast and make it look like a pet? Decorating casts is a thing on Pinterest. You can get creative with crutches and arm slings, too. Some parents have gone uber cute and made little casts for their child’s stuffed animals. Misery loves company!
Communicate with Caregivers
Make sure you communicate with school and caregivers about what your child can and cannot do. If she can walk around and get fresh air at recess that’s better than sitting in the lunch room reading.
If your patient is home-bound, it’s time to line up some playdates. Who’s going to be good at playing cards, coloring, Legos, Mad Libs and board games? Who’s better at chilling in front of a good movie? Thankfully, your child’s brain doesn’t have to go to mush while they’re looking part-mummy. Reading, audio books and educational apps can keep your child and their company feeling enlightened.