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Posts Tagged ‘child development’

My teenage daughter affectionately call me “Mom-ther”. My teenage son calls me “Momma”. When they were tiny humans, they called me “Mommy”. No matter your moniker or how you came to be raising another human, parenting can be both the most rewarding and joyous experience and also one of the hardest things you have ever done. Whether you are celebrating the joys or crying through the struggles, there are things as parents we can do each day to help ourselves (and our children).

There can be a lot of pressure as you raise another person to become an adult.  Each of us brings our own history (positive and negative) and our own strengths and weaknesses.  Please know that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  Each of us has a different parenting style. Each of our families has a different set of norms and expectations, so please do not compare your parenting to another.

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The United States Department of Education offers these tips for being an effective parent:

  • Show love. Say “I love you” in as many ways as you can: write notes, send a text, use one of their favorite communication apps.
  • Give support. Be present. Turn of the electronics. Talk and engage. Be a part of their lives.  Show interest in what they are interested in.
  • Set limits. Be clear and be consistent about your expectations. I have said many times “our house rules are not the same as others, but my job is to keep you safe and healthy.”
  • Be a role model. Be kind.   Don’t gossip.  Be strong.  Show empathy.  Our children are seeing how we interact with the world and will emulate whatever we do.
  • Teach responsibility. Give children the opportunity to learn this while they are still at home with you.
  • Provide new experiences. Step out of your comfort zone and try new activities, foods, and cultural events.
  • Show respect. Ask questions and listen for the answers. Valuing our children as humans with their own thought and desires can help them and us immensely.

Another important part of being an effective parent is for you to keep learning! The Center for Disease Control has compiled many resources to help you as you seek out information to be the best parent.

As you think about parenting for the win today, tomorrow, and as the years quickly fly by, remember to approach your parenting like you would anything else that you plan to succeed in.  Forgive yourself (and your children) when needed and celebrate the littlest of successes. This quote from Zig Ziglar sums it up, in parenting and for life: “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”

Written by: Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Hardin County

Reviewed by:  Kathy Green, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Clark County

Sources:

US Department of Education, “Being an Effective Parent — Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence”, 2003 https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/adolescence/part5.html

Mgbemere , B and , Telles, R. “Types of Parenting Styles and How to Identify Yours”, Developmental Psychology Department, Vanderbilt University https://my.vanderbilt.edu/developmentalpsychologyblog/2013/12/types-of-parenting-styles-and-how-to-identify-yours/

American Academy of Pediatrics, “A ‘Perfect’ Parent, 2015. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/Pages/A-Perfect-Parent.aspx

Center for Disease Control , “Positive Parenting Tips”, 2017  https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html   

Zig Ziglar,  https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/zig_ziglar_381983

Photo Credits

https://pixabay.com/en/stress-mother-baby-woman-parent-419085/

https://pixabay.com/en/parenthood-parenting-child-1832390/

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I can remember sitting with my twin daughters, trying to figure out how one could be so easy going, easy to please, and agreeable, while the other was on the opposite of spectrum. I spent countless hours trying to make sense of how two people so much alike could be so different. They were the same gender, same age, and same biologically, but the biggest difference between them was their temperament. Through the process of parenting, I learned that my responses and techniques would need to be different to address the uniqueness of both children. Understanding a child’s temperament can help reduce the stress of parenting.

When parents understand how their children react to certain situations, they can learn to anticipate issues that might present difficulties for their child.  They can prepare their child for the situation or in other cases they may be able to avoid a difficult situation altogether. Parents can learn to tailor their parenting strategies to the particular temperamental characteristics of the child.  Parents often feel more effective as thepouting childy more fully understand and appreciate their child’s unique personality.

Children are born with their own natural style of interacting with or reacting to people, places and things.  This is called their temperament.  In the late 1950’s, researchers identified nine temperament traits or characteristics.  They found that
these nine traits were present at birth and continued to influence development throughout the life cycle.  Temperament is different from personality, which is really a combination of temperament and life experiences.  Think of temperament as a set of in-born traits that help organize your child’s approach to the world.

There are nine recognized temperament traits.  Each temperament has a description and parents are encouraged to rate their child on a scale from 1-5.

  • Activity level.  How active is your child?  Are her movements quick or slow?
  • Adaptability.  How quickly does your child adjust to changes in life?  How quickly does he/she adapt to new people, places, foods or things?
  • Approach.  What is your child’s first reaction to new people, places, or experiences?  Is he/she eager for new experiences or reluctant?
  • Distractibility.  Is your child easily interrupted by things going on around him?  Does he continue to work or play when noise is present?
  • Intensity.  How much energy does your child use to express emotions?  Does he/she laugh or cry vigorously?  Or, does he/she smile and fuss mildly?
  • Mood.  What mood does your child usually display?  Do
    es your child see the world as a pleasant place?
  • Persistence.  How long does your child continue with a difficult activity?  Can he continue when frustrated?  Can he stop when asked?
  • Regularity.  Does your child have a predictable internal cl
    ock?  Does he/she generally get hungry, sleepy, or have bowel movements at the same time every day?
  • Sensory threshold.  How aware is your child of his/her physical world?  How sensitive is she/he to changes in sound, light, touch, pain, taste, and odor?

 Understanding that these inborn behavioral tendencies are not the result of bad parenting is perhaps one of the most important insights parents gain from learning more about temperament. I wish I had known about the importance of temperament when my children were growing up.  I can look back now and see why there were some struggles.

Writer: Kathy Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, Top of Ohio EERA

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

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The term Nature Deficit Disorder was coined by author Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” to describe the phenomena of children and youth becoming disconnected from nature. Adults can certainly suffer from nature deficit disorder, but chances are, most adults spent more time outside as children than our kids do today. Research is linking nature deficit with some disturbing child outcomes, such as increases in obesity, attention disorders and depression as well as diminished use of one’s senses.

Some of the reasons for this disconnect with nature in recent decades include urbanization and disappearing green spaces, spending more time indoors, and increased use of technology and electronic communications. These trends contribute to a devaluing of independent play and what health experts are calling the “epidemic of inactivity.” The time kids spend outdoors is increasingly spent in structured play or organized sports, instead of ‘playing in nature.’ Unstructured play in nature allows for developing problem-solving, creativity and emotional development, according Dr. Stephen Kellert of Yale University. In his book “Building for Life: Designing and Understanding Human-Nature Connection,” Kellert urges community leaders and urban designers to consider green space and creating opportunities for children to have positive interactions with nature on a daily basis.

nature unpluggedWe can reverse this nature deficit disorder for ourselves and our children. Connecting with nature can have physical, mental and social health benefits for adults and children alike. Research results found that spending time in nature can help prevent cancer cell development, strengthen the immune system and aid in stress reduction. The Children and Nature Network is dedicated to connecting children, families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources, and collaborative efforts. The Children and Nature Network’s Toolkits offer these ideas to get your family connected:

Nature is everywhere. You can find nature by planting seeds in a pot on the front porch or sketching a tree as well as by venturing into a wild preserve.
Be prepared. In order to get the most from your time outdoors, bring along snacks, water, sunscreen, and even a change of clothes in case your kids get wet or cold.
Embrace the elements. Dress for the weather, stomp in a puddle, enjoy a rainy or snowy walk in the park.
Model curiosity. If you see plants or animals or holes or nests you can’t identify, show your curiosity. Kids have a natural sense of wonder and this can lead to some awesome discoveries. You can look things up together when you get home.
Bring friends. Your family can bond in the company of other families; in fact, you might have even more fun!
Create stories. At the end of the day, have each family member talk about their favorite part of the time spent outdoors. These will become part of your family lore. You can revisit those places and support the wonderful connections you’ve built together outdoors in nature.

Make it a goal to spend an hour outside each week, connecting with nature and with others. See this PBS article for more ideas on how to help your kids get plugged into nature. You can also check out your local parks for nature education programs. Richard Louv offers a Resource Guide full of ideas for connecting with nature.

Get outside.   Get connected.   Get into nature.

WRITTEN BY: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

REVIEWED BY: Candace Heer, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County

PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Photo taken and edited by Shannon Carter; original idea for text on picture taken from popular press

SOURCES:

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back to school

Many parents want the best for their children. This includes school success. Every child has the power to succeed in school and every parent, can help. What parents say and do can help children develop positive attitudes toward school and learning and build confidence in themselves as learners. Showing children that education is valued and useful provides them with powerful models and contributes greatly to their success in school. In addition it is shown that when parents and families are involved in their children’s schools, the children do better and have better feelings about going to school.

The U.S. Department of Health has compiled resources for parents. Here are some suggestions to help your child succeed in school:

  •  Encourage Your Child to Read-Helping your child become a reader is the single most important thing that you can do to help the child to succeed in school, and in life. The importance of reading simply can’t be overstated. Reading helps children in all school subjects.
  •  Talk with Your Child-Talking and listening play major roles in children’s school success. It’s through hearing parents and family members talk and responding to that talk that young children begin to pick up the language skills they will need if they are to do well. For example, children who haven’t learned to listen carefully often have trouble following directions and paying attention in class.
  • Monitor Homework-Have a special place for your child to study. The area should have good lighting and it should be fairly quiet. Provide supplies such as pencils, pens, erasers, writing paper, and a dictionary.
  • Set a regular time for homework-Remove distractions. Turn off the TV, cell phones, and discourage your child from making and receiving social telephone calls, and using social media sites during homework time.
  • Monitor TV Viewing and Video Game Playing-Limit the time that you let your child watch TV and play video games. Too much television cuts into important activities in a child’s life, such as reading, playing with friends and talking with family members.
  •  Helping Your Child with Test-Taking-Talk to your child about testing. It’s helpful for children to understand why schools give tests. Don’t get upset because of a single test score. Many things can influence how your child does on a test.
  •  Meet with your child’s teacher as often as possible. Ask the teacher to suggest activities for you and your child to do at home to help prepare for tests and to improve your child’s understanding of schoolwork.
  • Make sure that your child attends school regularly. The more effort and energy your child puts into learning, the more likely it is that he will do well on tests.

As our children’s first and most important teacher, it’s important that all parents build and keep strong ties to our children’s schools.

Please visit Ohio State University Extensions Backpack Buddies Fact Sheet at http://ohioline.osu.edu/bb-fact/ for more information,

 

Resources

Canter, Lee. (1995). What to Do When Your Child Needs to Study: Helping Your Child toMaster Test-taking and Study Skills. Los Angeles: Canter & Associates.

Clark, Rosemary, Hawkins, Donna and Vachon, Beth. (1999). The School-Savvy Parent: 365 Insider Tips to Help You Help Your Child. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.

Ramey, Sharon L. and Ramey, Craig T. (1999). Going to School: How to Help Your

Child Succeed: A Handbook for Parents of Children 3 to 8. New York: Goddard Press.

U.S. Department of Education. (2002). Helping Your Child with Homework. Washington, DC. (available online at http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov)

Written by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, green.1405@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu.

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