How to Prevent Your Child From Growing Up to Be a Procrastinator
Procrastination is a widespread problem that never seems to go away. For many, this pesky habit began in childhood. Although we may look back on childhood as a carefree time, a child's life is structured around school. Parents and teachers rule, and children must obey.
Procrastination is all about dodging something unpleasant. Most of us want to escape from following the rules that are imposed by those in authority. Is your child starting to show signs of becoming a procrastinator? Does he postpone putting clothes away, doing homework, studying for tests, finishing projects, or being on time? Do you find yourself nagging, yelling or punishing to no avail? What's a parent to do?
These behaviors make sense if we look at them from a new point of view. Wouldn't you prefer to kick back, relax or play rather than go to work, do the laundry or mow the lawn? So would your children. Adults choose to go to work or do tasks while children have no choice. I call this type of delay tactic, "I don't wanna, and you can't make me!"
Did your parents call you lazy? Lazy is what they called you when you didn't do what they wanted. Do you tell your child that she is lazy? Negative labels can wound and continue to plague us years after we have left home. When you are confronted with the "I don't wanna" behavior try the STOP, LOOK and LISTEN Plan.
STOP nagging. Take some time to be alone and think about the problem. • What is your goal for your child? Be specific. • Are your expectations fair and reasonable for a child this age? If in doubt, check it out with an expert. • Remind yourself that most children don't want to do jobs they don't enjoy so why wouldn't they prefer to play? • What is your attitude about doing your chores?
LOOK inside yourself. What are you afraid will happen if your child doesn't do his homework, chores, etc? • Are you afraid that he will fail in school or in life? • Are you afraid of what people will think about your child or about you as a good parent? • Do you demand that your child do what you want because you want it that way? Why do you want it that way? • Put yourself in your child's place. Remember when your parents or teachers put unreasonable demands on you.
LISTEN to what your child's behavior is telling you. • Problem solve with your child and let her tell you what she would like to do. • If you have a toddler you might make a game of picking up toys and clothes. • You can discuss the problem with older children. Certain responsibilities are non-negotiable. Your son must do his homework, but let him decide whether he will do it before or after dinner. • Set a timer and let your child do something she enjoys until it goes off. Turn your monarchy into a democracy and give your child a vote. • Trust your children to tell you what they think and how they feel. Respect their ability to help find solutions.
When children are older have a family meeting and list the responsibilities and jobs that the adults think are appropriate. Let your youngster help with the list. Make a chart with three columns. Column one is the list of tasks. Column two denotes when or how often each item is to be completed. Column three lists a logical consequence that will occur if that particular assignment is not done. Allow your son or daughter to help decide what a fair consequence should be. Then, if you have to impose it, they will accept it more easily.
Criticism and punishment lead to fear of a harsh authority, which in turn leads the child to build up resentment and behave rebelliously toward authority figures in general. The outcome is procrastination. Use the Stop, Look and Listen Plan now and prevent your child from developing a lifelong habit that will lead to unhappiness and unpleasant consequences in the future.
For children, play is naturally enjoyable. And since it is their active engagement in things that interest them, play should be child-led, or at least child-inspired, for it to remain relevant and meaningful to them. Children at play are happily lost in themselves; they are in their own realm of wonder, exploration, and adventure, pulling parents in at times with a frequent “Let’s play, mom!” as an open invitation into that world.
As early as infancy, children immerse themselves in play activities with the purpose of making sense of the world around them. Play gives children the opportunity to learn and experience things themselves, which is vital for their development. Although peek-a-boo games seem pointless to adults, tots are awed by the surprise that awaits them as they see the suddenly emerging faces of people they love.
(Stages of Play)
During toddlerhood, children experience a motor-growth spurt that equips them to solitarily fiddle with anything they can get their hands on – be it a construction toy or the box from where it came.
Toddlers also love breaking into song, wiggling and jiggling to tunes, and imitating finger plays they are commonly exposed to.
Preschoolers begin extending their play to involve others, whether they bring others in at any stage of their game or they plan their game and its players’ way ahead. Their physical and motor skills allow them to widen their lay arena, from dramatic play to table games to outdoor pursuits.
School-age children start appreciating organized play – such as innovated songs and rhymes, games with rules, relays and other physical activities, sports and projects that they can accomplish over a certain time frame.
Why the big fuss about playing? Play benefits the child in ways that might be a tad difficult for adults to imagine.
1. Play brings pure and utter joy.
A toddler who jumps into an empty box and runs around the house ‘driving a car’ shows the sheer happiness that play brings him or her. When children are asked what they did in school and they answer ‘play,’ it is a clear sign that these kids remember a feeling of genuine joy that is captured in this four-letter word.
2. Play fosters socio-emotional learning.
What does a ten-month-old baby who shrieks at the sight of her stuffed toy have in common with a ten-year-old boy who plays basketball with his friends? They both deal with their confidence as they choose to embark on their play activities. At the same time, they are displaying their independence in the decisions that they make. These two children are also internalizing social rules in their respective play situations: the baby waits patiently for her stuffed toy to appear, while the school-age child has to contend with an impending loss in a ball game.
3. Play hones physical and motor development.
Play often involves the use of the senses, the body, and the extremities. When children play, they exercise their bodies for physical strength, fluidity of movement, balance and coordination.
Perceptual-motor ability, or the capacity to coordinate what you perceive with how you move, is an essential skill that preschoolers need to develop. A three-year-old who is engrossed in digging, scooping, and pouring sand into a container must match his or her perception of the space in front of him or her with actual hand movements, so that he or she can successfully fulfill the motor activity.
4. Play facilitates cognitive learning.
Play is vital to the intellectual development of a child. We live in a symbolic world in which people need to decode words, actions, and numbers.
For young children, symbols do not naturally mean anything because they are just arbitrary representations of actual objects. The role of play is for the child to understand better cognitive concepts in ways that are enjoyable, real, concrete, and meaningful to them. For instance, through play, a child is able to comprehend that the equation 3 + 2 = 5 means ‘putting together’ his toy cars by lining them up in his makeshift parking lot. When he combines 2 triangles to make a square during block play, or writes down his score is a bowling game, the child is displaying what he knows about shapes and numbers.
Through play, the child is constructing his or her worldview by constantly working and reworking his understanding of concepts.
5. Play enhances language development.
Toddlers who are still grappling with words need to be immersed in oral language so they can imitate what they hear. They benefit from songs and rhymes that provide the basis for understanding how language works.
When these tots are playing with toys, adults model to them how language is used to label objects or describe an event. At play, preschoolers use language to interact, communicate ideas, and likewise learn from dialogues with more mature members of society.
6. Play encourages creativity.
Barney the dinosaur was right about using imagination to make things happen. A lump of Play-Doh suddenly turns into spaghetti with meat sauce and cheese; a small towel transforms into a cape that completes a superhero’s wardrobe; and a tin can serves as a drum that accompanies an aspiring rock artist. Play opens an entire avenue for children to express themselves, show what they know and how they feel, and to create their own masterpieces.
7. Play provides bonding opportunities.
Play is an important factor in child development. It provides for interaction, experimentation, and moral development. Here are some ways by which parents can encourage and support their children’s playtime.
- Let your child be the player-leader. Let children initiate their activity, set their own theme, choose the parameters where the play will take place. Play becomes a venue for children to express their feelings and be in control.
- Help them help themselves. When your 5-year-old asks for help, say, figuring out how to piece a puzzle together, stop yourself from coming to her rescue and first ask your child questions that allow him or her to help himself or herself. Say, “Where do you think this piece should go?” Afterward, commend his or her success.
- Play attention. Once you make a commitment to play with your child, watch for the following signals: Does he or she want you to actively play a part in the activity? Does he or she need encouragement? Is he or she tired or hungry? Does he or she need to take a break?
- Have a play plan. If you seem to have little time for playing with your child, consider using self-care chores to have fun with him or her. Also, get support from other people in your household, like older siblings, household help, or the child’s grandparents, so that they understand why play is important and how they should continue to encourage it.
Family Vacations - What If? - Preparing for the Unexpected
Excitement is at an all time high because the announcement has been made.The family is going on vacation to a theme park. Children become more hyper then if they had eaten 10 pounds of sugar. Parents become stressed as they book flights, reserve hotels and plan for traveling. So much exhilaration and exhaustion and you haven't even left yet. Now is the time to plan for the "What If".
Theme parks offer so many fun and exciting thing for a family vacation. And as many parents can confirm, children become super hyper during these trips. With so many exhilarating things to see and do in theme parks, it only takes a moment for children to become separated from their parents. We all hope that it doesn't happen, but the key is to prepare for it ahead of time just in case."
Here are some tips for parents:
* Map out the park: Many theme parks have downloadable park maps that you can review as a family and become familiar with the layout before you go. You could also identify designated relocation points on the maps if you become separated.
* Plan your wardrobe: Consider purchasing matching shirts that all family members will wear during the trip. If you become separated it will be easier to recognize each other if your all dress similarly.
* Know what to do if it happens: Instruct your child to find the closest security guard or working employee of the park. Instruct them not to ask other visitors of the park for help. While many people may be willing to help, your child should only seek the help from a trusted adult who works at the theme park.
* Time for that tantrum: If someone tries to abduct your children, tell them to scream out as loud as they can, "Your not my Mommy/Daddy!!! HELP!" Drop to the ground kicking and screaming, and to throw the biggest tantrum ever.
* ID cards for the Children: Make sure your children have up to date ID cards that contain a current phone, statistical information, and family travel contact information.
While these tips can not prevent a separation from happening on your next vacation, your family will be much better prepared to deal with the situation and will be quickly reunited so that you can enjoy the rest of your vacation experience.
# 10 Parenting Tips To Help Your Kids Perform Better in Life
Want your children to perform better in life and enjoy more success?
Here are ten tips that will help you to motivate your children to perform better...
1. Shower praise and encouragement on them. This is a great way to inspire your children to perform better.
2. Provide safe and supportive environment to your children. Laugh and Play with them. Do things together. Talk with them. Let them express their opinion and feelings.
3. Allow your children to explore and build their natural abilities and interest. For example, if your son is interested in painting, let him paint. Encourage him to participate in painting competitions.
4. Appreciate and praise whatever abilities and qualities your children have. Never compare your children with others and criticize them.
5. Don't just ask about tests and grades. Frequently ask your children what new things they are learning in school. What fun they had. This helps to create a positive impression in your children's mind that school is also about learning and fun, not just exams.
6. Celebrate your children's every achievement, even if it's small. Hang your children's craftwork or schoolwork on a wall or refrigerator.
7. Talk with your children regularly to make sure they are not feeling overwhelmed with study work, extracurricular activities and other work. If they are, help them prioritize their work. Ask them to do the most important work first and leave the less important work to the last.
8. Try to remove your children's fear and weaknesses. The best way to do it is to encourage your children to focus on their strength and good qualities.
9. Make sure your children eat healthy, nutritious food. Also, never allow your children to go to school without a good breakfast in the morning. As research shows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and influences mental performance.
10. Encourage your children to exercise for 30 minutes a day. This keeps the body fit and healthy. Also, make sure your children sleep for at least 7 or 8 hours. Good sleep provides adequate rest to brain which helps to learn better and remember more.
All the above tips are simple. If you use them regularly, you will see immense improvement in your children's confidence and success.