SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 18

LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

Learning difficulties among children are quite common and also very complex to understand and very hard to pinpoint, therefore, make it difficult to offer children the needed clinical or professional help.

Children are always at the receiving end because of the fact that these learning difficulties with absolutely no understanding of its symptoms by both the parents and teachers tend to blame the children assuming, that they represent behavioral or academic problems.

Learning difficulties are categorized as

1. Input problems

2. Processing problems

3. Output problems.

Input problems interfere with getting information into the child’s brain – that is a problem with his hearing or vision

Processing problems come in the way when the child tries to perceive, organize and store information after it has entered his brain.

Output problems show up in the way the child expresses information – the problems with speaking and writing.

Input problems: Visual: Parents are not usually aware that children often suffer an inability to focus clearly.

A child who is ‘nearsighted’ could see things near to his face but objects in the distance he may see them blurry. The truth here is the child, perhaps, is not aware that he has an issue with his vision.

The child who is ‘nearsighted’ finds it a problem in the classroom not able to see the details on the blackboard. If the class-teacher does all the work standing near the blackboard, he may have trouble understanding the lessons. Parents should always check regularly if the child is suffering from any vision problems.

Hearing problems: Here we are not considering deaf or not deaf but besides there are several hearing problems a child encounters in a classroom. Some children are comfortable even the loudness is confusing but for some, they only can focus if they could find order in the classroom. With so many background noises, when the classroom is not properly maintained the child may find it very difficult to follow what a teacher is teaching. Most of the children prefer silent classrooms and equally quiet surrounding to concentrate on their classroom work.

Attention problems: In a classroom, the child has to simultaneously work with his eyes and his brain. When they are reading or listening to they usually find a thousand distractions that divert their attention. Some children have the ability to filter these distractions and focus on work at hand but for some children, this filtering system works little slowly and they may find it difficult in hearing and concentrating during the classroom tasks. This phenomenon is what the child psychologists term as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Memory Problems: Children who don’t practice memorization techniques will be less skilled in memory tasks. Children often struggle with the fundamentals that must be memorized – the additions, the multiplications tables. To a large extent English vocabulary has to be memorized too: so a child with low memory skills has a limited memory that allows poor reading abilities in a child. Children memorize things they find interesting: so parents and teachers need to introduce interesting memory-based activities in the classroom.

The child normally doesn’t know or recognize that he is having a sort of academic problem. If he doesn’t do well in the school, naturally he will be devastated. And the child doesn’t have a clue or any remedial measure to improve his scores in the class. At this juncture, the child will need a lot of reassurance, support, and unconditional love from his parents.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 17

LETTING OFF THE PRESSURE

Schools at the present day have turned practically into ‘exam gyms’ in which the children are expected to sweat every day. With exams, it looks like he is fastened to a treadmill repeatedly. Not a day would pass when our child announces that he had to prepare for an assignment or take a weekend test. Exams, tests, assignments; surely are sources of anxiety, stress, and pressure for our children so long as they stay in schools or colleges.

Exams of any description were likely to generate distressing pressure on children. Schooling requires taking various tests is a fact known to any school going kid. Teachers keep telling them. Their friends keep telling them. Notice boards in the corridors of the school keep announcing them. The question I pose to parents: at this point do we need put another strain of pressure on children reminding them about their tests, exams or whatever. Too much pressure on them during exams can become counter-productive.

So, what should be the parents stand on this very critical recurring topic is what I want to discuss. As parents, we need to think how the children are stressed out with the whole exam business. Even without our involvement, there are under steady pressure absorbed in preparation for one or other assignments. At this point, regular reminders by the parents would add an extra bit of distress that may work more distracting than providing any comfort and concentration. Parents need to have a wider perspective about the whole scenario of exam anxiety and how the child is wedged in it all by himself. Accordingly, I advise you to provide a relaxing blanket around them.

Parents are never to give an impression to their child that the whole life’s success hangs on their exam results. Your job is to reassure him that they are very many important things in life other than good exam results. You can site him many living examples of people raising to higher levels of success and leading happier lives despite, the failures they had faced in their school and college days. If you can repeat to them if they do well in the exams it will be wonderful, but a single failure doesn’t shatter their gifted future.

If the overstressed child is already under too much pressure, your kind reassuring words at the right moment should take pressure away from him. This gesture of yours would actually give your child a comfortable mindset to succeed rather than entertaining negative views. This gesture of parents reassuring him that it’s ok no matter what happens is the right therapeutic attitude to maintain when the child is under stressed situation whatever may be the cause.

As a parent, it is good to realize that your child’s final success tally would depend on how he chooses to work hard on his own terms. No amount of parent’s pressure can bring about any remarkable result. The realization has to be the sole choice of the child himself. As a parent our job is to provide them a perspective beyond school or college teachings; guiding them to understand the significance of life skills – points like good communication, decision making, and emotional balance, gender equality; stuff like that. If you give them the confidence and skills they need when they face the competitive world they could turn any exam result, any adverse trouble into a better advantage that could bring happiness to them.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 16

TEACHING COURTESIES

Does your child has an impolite tone or raises his voice when giving a response to you? Do you find your child speak with disrespectful body language? Do you notice that your children’s discourtesy is causing friction in family relationships, disturbing the everyday harmony in the home? Are you receiving regular complaints from neighbors, teachers, friends, and relatives that your child is behaving discourteously most of the time?

For parents, these are some of the signs that indicate your child needs a thorough training in courtesies and gracious manners. Some fine tuning needed is these areas.

Dear Parents, it’s never too late to teach good manners. If you really want your child to be courteous you have to be serious enough, you have to be disciplined and fair enough in coaching courtesies to the children. Parent’s good intentions and the outcome in children’s attitudes are intimately correlated. Well-mannered children don’t happen by accident or an overnight development; it is the result of parent’s conscious efforts and investing a bit more energy into the mission – to watch them grow into civil, respectful, and courteous children.

Children learn new manners, skills and displaying them by seeing an example; how it is demonstrated by adults close to him. Parents, teachers have to be the example of what they want to see in their children. Many of the children learn new skills by imitating the adults or by observation. The more children are surrounded by responsible, courteous adults the more the children benefit from following them as examples of reference.

Parents have to support the child’s attempts to be polite by letting them know they are appreciated. They are aware of his good efforts.  Just make sure to point out what your child did that was polite so that it further encourages him to repeat the good manners again and again.

For parents, the best way to reinforce courteous skills is to take help of the teachers, caring adults, grandparents to assist in creating the courtesy improving ambiance at home and in school.

Some of the essential manners your child can learn from an early age are:

“Saying please, hello, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, you’re welcome, pleasant way of smiling, shaking hands with a firm grip, looking into person’s eye while speaking, listening without interruption, a pleasant tone of voice”

Parents need to see that the child follows the essential courtesies; if they are not quick to learn, slowly help them to cultivate them. The best practice is to encourage ‘a manner a week’; post the ‘manner to be followed’ on the refrigerator as a reminder so that everybody is practicing the same manner together.

Children learn any skill through repetition: give them as many opportunities to know and practice as many new manners he possibly can and provide him situations to apply them confidently.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 15

BUILDING LIFE SKILLS – CATCH THEM YOUNG

As children grow into teenagers and then into adults the type of environmental groundwork at home and the emotional support they get through communication is the foundation that has to be built by the parents from very early age on. The childhood is the preparation for the adolescence and rest of their adult lives.

As parents, we have about ten years to teach them all that is necessary: values, attitudes, confidence in them, and self-understanding of feelings of what they have and what they lack. This preparation and framework will help the children develop personalities robust with security, self-worth with which they can cope with any pressures and problems once they enter into the adulthood.

Children are used to confronting both at home and in schools, a host of damaging missiles: barbs of criticism attempts to control and manipulate, shaming humiliation and hatred in public, in front of friends and other adults. Further, they are let down by feelings of defeat, fewer marks, demeaning grades, negligence by teachers and curfew at home; unloved and uncared for:  The parent’s compassionate nurturing is demonstrated in being alert to these situations and promptly providing emotional protection to the children and rescue them from these abusive wicked webs.

As parents and educators, we need to teach the children when they are young the importance of responsibility: an important life skill. Making them involved in regular family duties allows them to see that their presence is acknowledged as a part of the family. It gives the needed lift in respect and individuality they look for and in turn, helps to build healthy self-esteem at a young age: giving them the confidence to face the bigger challenges. Parents can encourage them to participate in humble responsibilities like cleaning their rooms, helping the father to wash the car, mother in the kitchen, in schools the opportunities to take up respectable assignments are plenty for any age group.

To understand the benefits of getting to know about their strong values and a belief in them: is the guidance to be provided by the parents and at schools. The supportive coaching must involve making them appreciate the opinion, “I don’t have to be the best, the brightest, I need not always be the first, and I need not be every time smart, charming, and I’m happy I have done my best and I’m content with I have achieved” this reflects the self-worth of any young one’s prominently. This is precisely what the parents have to focus to cultivate in their children.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think” – Margaret Mead.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 14

Emotional Abuse in Children

This is what I witnessed in a local mall two days back: This woman a heavily built personality with a three-year-old girl in tow. Irritation is visible in her every step and the tiny girl hardly able to keep pace with her mother. Suddenly, the towering mother turned back down towards her daughter, I didn’t know what prompted her but she menacingly raised her hand to try to hit the puny little girl. The girl instinctively ducked safely, had the girl taken the massive thrust of the hand she would have got hurtled a few feet away on the floor. The girl shivered with terror-ridden eyes.

I shuddered to make out how much physical and mental trauma the girl might have experiencing at the hands of her grossly insensitive mother- at home

Emotional abuse is an attitude of abusive verbal or behavioral actions and ill-treatment of a child. Mostly it is intentional. Continued for a long time there is every chance that the child would experience long-lasting negative, psychological and emotional development. This can be inflicted by parents at home or teachers at school level.

It is a general practice and common pattern among most of the parents and teachers to use abusive and insulting language that attacks the self-worth of a child.

Abusive treatment can be:

Continuous punishments and threat of punishments for slightest provocation

Constant criticism and manipulative language to control and to make submissive in behavior and actions

Creating a climate of fear and withholding affection and isolation

Constantly shaming them – privately and publicly: not allowing them to voice their anxieties and concerns

To physically or socially isolate a child and not allowing them to socialize with others

Withholding affection, communication, ignoring their presence

Behaviours and attitudes like these are habitually found among most of the parents and in schools. Children are constant victims of emotional abuse and physical threat.

As parents, we need to be sensitive and develop a keen observation to recognize the signs of abuse in a child. Like:

Fear, shame, and humiliation

Poor self- image, depression, and anxiety

Unusual rebellious behavior

Self-destructive impulses

They become passive, silent, vague and withdrawn

Preventing child abuse can be done by learning about the parenting techniques, discussing with reliable experts about being a nurturing parent.

Parents should know about:

How to develop becoming attached to their children and language expressive of intimacy, care:

Parents must have an understanding of the role and the extent of influence of their language and attitude to create healthy conditions at home. Working towards positive relationships, good communications, and observation and listening to what the children are expressing.

Parents with good social connections friends, relatives can expect a good support network to help deal with difficult and stressed times. And home can be a tension-free place both for parents and children.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 13

SIBLING RIVALRY

One mother complains, “Can’t I have peace, witnessing brawls and disagreements has become my main activity in the home. More than a mother I feel I work more like a referee trying to mediate a truce among my two kids” With all the effort to try to help them out, I’m accused of being not fair, by favoring the younger sibling. How can I help myself to see that the two siblings get along well and bring about sanity at home and calmness to my mind?

Looking after two kids living under the same roof calling them to be cooperative, approve each other, seeing them as equals: to a parent it sounds like an impossible feat. Yet, to attempt to do something to induce harmony among the two kids would be an unrealistic expectation that may likely to leave any parent drained and defeated. It is to be gathered that when two kids are there a few conflicts, mix-ups are typically unavoidable.

Under these hard put conditions, the parent’s competency lies in realizing that kids need not like each other or restrain from getting along every minute of the day. The closer the kids in age, the more frequency are the differences and conflicts that crop up. The main concern of the parents must be to see that the kids learn the importance of respecting the feelings of each other and learn to become considerate of each one’s needs.

HOW TO REDUCE THE SIBLING COMPETITION:

Don’t label them. Avoid labeling one kid as ‘dumb’, ‘stupid’, ‘dull’ and another with an appreciative, ‘smart’, ‘hard worker’. Unknowingly, we parents create an open competition among sibs, thus instilling in them a sense of hatred over the one who is favored much. These labeling can be self-fulfilling and kids may choose to believe them and tend to remain with them through adulthood.

Encourage teamwork. Parents have to avoid this self-esteem damaging, and rivalry encouraging contests among kids. Help them to understand the importance of being cooperative and interdependency. There are no winners or losers but family is to be considered as one happy unit.

Recognise and encourage their special strengths and gifts. Each kid is special having his own way of demonstrating his identity while showing his eagerness to reveal his competency may also feel an urge to prove his advantage over the other sibling. To avoid this delicate situation parent have to acknowledge each child’s special talent that sets him apart from other siblings. For example, if one kid is good at art to see that he is provided with material and encouragement to take art classes. The feat of the parents lies in to identify and encourage each kid’s natural talent and see that the siblings don’t fight for recognition that they expect from the parents.

Encourage cooperation. As parents when you notice your kids working cooperatively sharing their duties and displaying a sense of understanding among themselves let them know that you are proud of their behavior. If the kids realize that their behavior is appreciated they are bound to repeat the same.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES-12

IMPORTANCE OF HANDWRITING

1. Good handwriting is a habit for which seeds of its intentions are to be sown as early as when a child attempts to hold a pencil. Good Handwriting and its practice, implementation in the classrooms are gradually losing its academic importance and later in life its emotional and intellectual benefits.

2. Copywriting books recommended according to grades is today no longer a practice followed by school administrators. Jotting down in the notebooks with facts and information, taking the dictated notes allotted by the teachers are disappearing as significant learning tools from the classrooms and teachers today are no longer given any refresher training to upgrade their own understanding of the writing skills and thus taking an informed position to give prompt guidance and feedback to the children – related to handwriting culture.

3. Writing by hand has a beneficial correlation to the healthiness of the brain functioning. Writing by hand engages both body and mind and thus make writing a disciplined worthy activity. A practical disciplined focus on maintaining a neat well-formed handwriting helps align the mind and body that allows multiple advantages to the child both in academic performance and self-controlled personality. Parents have to know the clear advantages of better handwriting skills.

4. Bad handwriting is linked to low confidence levels, less academic focus and lack of interest in accomplishing anything well. Children with poor handwriting will find hard to proofread their own written notes. And during the examinations, this situation causes to score poorly in examinations. Good handwriting leads to better grades. It is a standard tendency for the examiners to form an initial impression by examining the handwriting first and content next.

5. In classrooms handwriting is crucial for writing notes; note taking important aspects clarified by the class teachers. Taking notes by hand in a legible, well-formed handwriting improves attention, comprehension, and grades.

6. A good handwriting skill helps the students in their job opportunities. Good writing skill speaks about the personality of an individual and makes it more noticeable to a prospective employer. It assures the employer indirectly to decipher the personality traits by one look at a handwritten resume. Parents if you wish your child to succeed keep a tag on how he is maintaining his handwriting well into his adulthood.

7. Good handwriting is one skill that assures you achievement at wherever you work and also discipline and self-assurance in life.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES -11

HOW TO GUIDE THE CHILD WHEN THEY FACE A PROBLEM

  1. As parents with a mind to care for our child’s health or physical and mental well-being we expect our children to be totally under our control and to do exactly what we instruct them to do. As parents, we want to present ourselves an ‘I know all’ status and seemingly powerful and appear strong in the eyes of our children. As parents what we must understand is we must not provide assistance or service to our children that they can manage on their own.
  2. So long as we as parents provide protective initiatives whenever we find them in mild distress we are attempting a discouraging push denying the child the right to learn on his own and develop his own coping methods when faced with an unavoidable challenge. As parents, we can never think of standing behind our children and controlling their lives throughout. And we have our bothering problems we are overwhelmed with.
  3. Parents should not fall into this trap of always ‘at a rescue mode’ to our children. We have to provide useful guidance in the manner, that we have to instruct, teach, speak, and show them the ways and methods by which they can cope with their daily problems. Children have very active brains and a built-in coping mechanism. As parents, we have to train them to use them. This creates trust and confidence in their individual abilities.
  4. Children in their lives will have to face many challenges and once they enter the adolescence it would be a discouraging aspect to them to always depend on the parents and this may also frustratingly lead to some undesirable consequences. Therefore, we as parents need to train our children, from an early age the courage and strength to face the life’s adventures.
  5. It should be known that at later stages children have to learn to deal with their problems in their smart ways and means. It is advisable for parents to assume a casual attitude in the early stages so that it will help the child to develop a healthy attitude of his own. To encourage developing this sense of personal belief in his own abilities, the child needs help and inspiration. The best encouragement is to assure him and let him know that he has parents support and he is given a chance to deal with it on his own.
  6. We as parents have to move away from our false impression that it is our responsibility to provide all the help and assistance in solving all his problems. It’s like showing our children that we are strong and you are weak. This is not our motive with which we want to raise our children in future. By observing them and questioning for ourselves, ‘what can I do to guide him’ is a practical method to demonstrate the trust and confidence in their abilities. We have to watch them as responsible parents but step back and allow them to enjoy the good and bad of his own experiences and derive his strength and optimism from them.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES-10

THE CHARACTER OF A GOOD SCHOOL

1.The Schools need to be homes for happiness and a healthy launch pad for learning. A guiding place where, children can sustain their inquisitiveness; and enrich themselves to enter the spirited world with a versatile mindset.

2.Children are natural learners. Schools along with their devoted teachers should everyday fire their imagination with expressive teaching and create inspiring learning situations. An amicable school environment must provide all new experiences allowing them to explore their inherent talents and tap their curiosity.

3.The evolving of a good school involves consensus among three inclusive participants. The classroom: secure, safe and salubrious. The teacher: friendly, forgiving, approachable and above all an intense learner. The parent: cooperative, fair-minded towards the child and the teacher; willing to make adjustments in line with the nature and needs of the child. The child can reap the best blessings and stay emotionally strong within the confluence of these three powerful parties.

4.If the schools are to be places of good learning but not a stagnant pool of out-dated systems the interdependency of the three participants, the classroom, the teacher, and the parents play an enormous influence act in the learning process for the children. If any effort were to make to improve the school systems and suggest friendly learning practices in the classrooms the schools need to coach, train, and guide at all three levels – equally and periodically.  The progress and development of a child are possible only when the school invites and involves the continual improvement of the teachers and regular enrichment and guidance to parents.

5.Schools have to recognize that the parents are highly committed partners in educating their children. Schools have to remember that if a lively child has to sit the classroom with a healthy acceptance: It has to be a consequential result of encouraging better parenting habits among the parent community. A much-needed responsibility of a school administration.

6.Two other adults whom the schools have to nurture and promote are the principal and the teachers who wield major influence on the children during their stay in the school. It is chiefly the principal’s efficiency that has to measure in bringing together the three champions – the children, the teachers and the parents to one coherent awareness outlook. So that the child is always at an advantageous end. And there is more likelihood that the schools would survive as prominent centers of learning in a society.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 9

CHILDREN AND LYING

  1. Parents understand intuitively, other adults including, that truth-telling is the key to building and nurturing a trusting relationship. We also learn that without it, we quickly lose trust. The habit of lying puts up hurdles to believe one another and difficult to rely upon. The tendency to lie, as a habitual act, gets in the way of closeness, intimacy, and connection.
  2. Children tend to lie for a number of reasons, but parents’ need to be cautious not to let the children resort to lying as a solution to his problems or an easy way to escape.
  3. It is an obvious fact that the parents know that nearly all children – from tots to teens resort to lying for all sorts of reasons: to avoid punishment, to make themselves feel better, to get out of a troubled situation, to keep their friend out of trouble, and chiefly, out of fear. Lying comes to them as an inbuilt armory to protect them and their friends from hordes of checking situations they come across every day – from teachers and parents.
  4. Majority of children tend to lie to their parents but a few are open enough, to be honest with their parents. Here, I believe, children enjoy good vibes with their parents. We need to learn that too much permissiveness; or a harsh and stiff authoritarian attitude may not encourage the children to be more open with their parents. And willing to confess their fears and confidences.
  5. A half-way solution may be like treating them more with consistency in dealing with lying issues, explaining with a reason the importance of honesty, and ensuring the child feels comfortable in our presence to open up as frequently as they can, without fearing any reprisals from the parents. This is the authoritative way available to parents.
  6. If parents find the children fibbing, the way out is: do not overreact, do not fantasize a horrible forecast for the child. Stay calm, overreacting may scare the child away and he may probably, would never approach you again to tell you the truth. The very reason a child tends to lie is out of fear of parents and expecting a harsh treatment and humiliation. Children are more likely, to be honest in their acts only when they are certain that the parent doesn’t lose their temper.
  7. Many children learn their best habits by imitating their parents. The urgency is that the parents have to model honesty. We have to be cautious in our actions and words because our children are watching us and they are good copycats. They copy more of parents’ daily actions and habits than what they repeatedly asked to do.
  8. Parents have to; at home create an honest mantra. Children learn many habits mostly by observation and repetition. Good habits have to be taught to the children until they are internalized and they learn to appreciate the honesty and truthfulness in his deeds and as well as in his parents. And parents have to recognize and reinforce their honest efforts in the chores they participate.