After School Activities for Children!
After school activities and burnout!
For millions of parents around the world, the day does not end with the school bell. There are still pictures to be painted, songs to be sung and games to be played. This all adds up to keeping children happy, safe and out of trouble. But, parents have to steer away from going overboard.
After school is not baby-sitting:
After school activities thrive only if it is backed by sufficient parental involvement. What would a soccer match be without parents cheering their little heroes from the side lines?
Research and choose:
Instead of convenience being the decisive factor, find out things that will interest your child. Once you select a program, get the fine print and find out what you have to contribute.
Many children attend piano classes, followed by ballet and squeeze in some time for play dates in between just before they rush home in time for bed. This rigor is too much for a child. So, go slow.
When to quit:
Often, parents enrol their child in an activity to discover that he may not be the prodigy they thought he would be. This is the time to let go. Your child may not become the next wonder-kid. But, let him cultivate an interest that he enjoys. Remember, happiness and fulfilment are all that matter.
After school activities and relationship building!
After school activities are the rage of the day. With about $500 million invested in these programs and more than 10 million children attending them in America alone, the popularity of these activities cannot be overlooked. Everyone understands the need to develop new skills, gain more knowledge and keep the children safe when parents are working.
The most important factor in the success of any program is the relationship between the children participating in the program and the adult members who work with these children. Often, children may confide in an adult member who is not a teacher. This kind of emotional interaction is a must when children are struggling to make sense of the whirlpool of emotions that assail them.
Direct contact with professionals can be an inspiring experience. Children are very much impressed by the knowledge and experience of these adults. Young people gain a lot of knowledge and experience when they deal with experienced adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in these programs. These mentors are different from the teachers in the school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them.
After school activities that are managed professionally by people who are successful in their own fields of expertise will produce children who are more enthusiastic and successful. Meaningful interaction with adults is a learning experience in itself.
After school activities for the overweight!
Research and studies show that our children are growing fatter by the day. Many families all over America are struggling to keep the weight of their children within reasonable limits. As a parent, I know that it is nearly impossible for me to look into the tear-filled eyes of my son and refuse food.
So, what is the alternative? Studies show that the number one reason for obesity in children is not junk food and colas. It is actually TV. Children tend to plop themselves on the sofa and munch away happily when they are in front of the TV sets. But, once the set is off, their natural buoyancy will lead the children to do stuff and to move their body. They will then be diverted from eating.
Recreational after school activities are a must if you feel that your child is beginning to put on undesirable fat. It is better to begin these activities as early as possible. The more weight the child gains, the harder he has to work to shed it. Football, swimming, skating and Karate are just some activities he can participate in. Structured and disciplined exercise is possible only when one is put into a formal environment. That is why an overweight child simply HAS to be put into an after school program of this kind.
By the Smart eBook Shop team!
Everything About Parenting and Relationships. Check here!
Help your Child Learn about Teamwork!
Chores can help develop a sense of responsibility and self worth in your child. It should be understood by all family members they are expected and necessary to a household running successfully and efficiently. They can help create a sense of unity and family and is a great place for your child to learn about teamwork. Parents should take special care to handle the delegation of chores to children so they don’t become a source of frustration or create arguments.
Allow your child to have an active say in the delegation of chores. Give them choices. We all have household chores that we don’t like to do, but if it is a chore the child enjoys doing then there is less likelihood it will create a battle in the end. The child will most likely appreciate having the chance to be heard and having a choice.
It is imperative that you set parameters early on for the successful completion of a chore. They may not perform up to snuff when they first start performing the chore, but show them where improvement is needed and praise them for a strong effort. Also make sure the child understands there will be repercussions if they only put forth a minimal effort. Ensure the child understands the need for the chore’s effective and efficient completion. Set consequences for substandard completion as a team. Make sure they see that if they don’t perform their chores, it affects the other members of the team.
Spouses must work together and be a strong example for their children by completing their own chores each day. And don’t allow a child to undermine your authority by battling with you over a designated chore. Stand your ground and don’t give in, and emphasize the consequence and negative effect an uncompleted chore has on the family.
And keep an open mind when a child wants to discuss their thoughts or express their opinions about chores. Make sure the conversation stays positive and on target.
Chart your Child’s Accomplishments!
It can be very frustrating to ask your child over and over again to complete their chores without them ever getting done. If this describes your house to a tee, consider designing a chore chart. Chores might include taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning their room, yard work or putting laundry in the laundry room. Each chore has to be done just once or twice a week. Anything more is unrealistic. After your child completes each chore, they can put a check mark on the chore chart. At the end of each week, it is very inspiring for both parent and child to look at the chore chart and easily see that each designated job was completed. Just like our ‘to do’ lists, your child will find great satisfaction in being able to check off each chore as it is completed and take pride knowing they accomplished a set task or list of tasks.
Once you have sat down with your child and discussed and designed a chore chart, it is time to discuss the rewards for accomplishing each task listed. Perhaps at your home you decide you will give a set sum for each task accomplished. If you should decide to grant your child some sort of monetary allowance, make sure it is age appropriate and granted on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is 50 cents per year of age. So your 8 year old child would earn $4.00 per week if each chore on the list has been completed. If it has not been, they do not receive their allowance.
This is a great opportunity for you to teach your children the value of both earning and saving money, and also giving back. Perhaps the child can divide their allowance into thirds: 1/3 to spend, 1/3 to save, and 1/3 to use to help those less fortunate than themselves. You might also want to consider designing a ‘bank book’ for each portion of the allowance and tuck each into three separate coffee cans or money jars, and that way you and your child will be able to keep track of how much has been saved, how much has been spent, and how much of their allowance has gone to help someone else.
Should you decide to use non-monetary incentives as chores payment, be sure you set clear parameters for your child. Be sure they understand that two hours each weekend of their favourite video game or going to see a movie with mom or dad is only earned by completing the chore list successfully each week. You might want to consider writing these on a slip of paper as ‘currency’ for the child to keep in their ‘privilege bank’ and they can cash it in with you when they would like.
Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind this can be a valuable tool for both you and your child.
Your Children Are Unique!
Just like a snowflake or a fingerprint, every child is unique in their own special way. Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing; some are active, while others are calm; some are fretful, while others are easy-going. As a loving and nurturing parent, it is your job to encourage them to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their individual qualities.
Allow your child to express themselves through their interests. They may find a creative outlet in theatre, dancing or art, or they may be exceptionally talented in the sciences. Encourage them to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy. Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being ‘like everyone else.’
Teach your child to make positive choices, and praise them for good deeds, behaviors and positive traits they possess. Encourage them to become actively involved in their community, and introduce them to activities that promote a sense of cooperation and accomplishment. Be firm yet fair when handing down discipline for misdeeds or misbehaviours, and make certain the rules and consequences for breaking the rules are clearly defined. Show a cooperative, loving and united front with your spouse when it comes to discipline.
Accept and celebrate your child’s uniqueness. Remember that your child is an individual. Allow your child to have his or her own personal preferences and feelings, which may be different from your own.
And finally, encourage your child to be true to themselves by doing the same. Show your child how to make positive choices with the choices you make, and that nobody is perfect and you too make mistakes. Show your child that mistakes can be a great learning experience, and that they should not be ashamed or embarrassed about making them.
It is often been said that children learn what they live. So if you are looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem. Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it is okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.
Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise. Find something about them to praise each day. You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they are finished. Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise.
When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing. They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what is needed to help them sort through a difficult situation. Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they are feeling.
Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task. Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning. Ensure that it is an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex. Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.
Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact. When they have behaved badly, remind yourself that it is not them you don’t like, only their behavior. Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail. Soon, they will learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.
Children are inquisitive by nature. When they are younger, it is usually because they want to better understand something. When they are older, it is because they want to better understand why you think something is important and why they should also feel the same way. Regardless of their age, it is imperative that when setting forth the rules and expectations in your home, your child understands there is no room for questioning the rules you set forth and the consequences of breaking the rules.
Younger children usually do not understand a lengthy explanation of why it is important that they be home from their friend’s home at a certain time or why they are not allowed to play ball in the house. But the one thing they do strive to do most of the time is to make their parents proud and happy. So when a young child asks “Why?” or “Why not?” when they are told they cannot play with something or someone or why they have to obey a rule you have set forth, simply explain to them that “because it makes me happy when you follow the house rules and do what I have asked of you.” You should avoid using the term, “Because I said so,” as that only adds to the child’s frustration and confusion.
Older children, adolescents and teenagers alike will probably require more from your explanation. When they question “Why?” or “Why not?” it is best to directly, honestly and clearly state your reasoning. “I asked you to be home by 10 p.m. because we have to be at the dentist’s office first thing in the morning for your check-up and we cannot be late.” It is also a great opportunity for you to reiterate the consequences of breaking the rule. “If you are not home by 10 p.m., you will be grounded from going to your friend’s house for a week.” Be consistent, be firm, and be clear.
Though your child may challenge you by asking your reasoning why a rule has been put in place, it also shows their growth as an individual thinker. So try not to get angry or frustrated when they do so; realize it’s their way of understanding their world around them.
Brought to you by SmarteBookShop.com
Nurture Your Child!
Communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times. We feel like they are not listening to us; they feel like we are not listening to them. Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting. Your child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.
It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond. We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences. However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us. By reacting, we send our child the message that their feelings and opinions are invalid.
But by responding and asking questions about why the child feels that way, it opens a dialog that allows them to discuss their feelings further, and allows you a better understanding of where they are coming from. Responding also gives you an opportunity to work out a solution or a plan of action with your child that perhaps they would not have come up with on their own. Your child will also appreciate the fact that maybe you do indeed understand how they feel.
It is crucial in these situations to give your child your full and undivided attention. Put down your newspaper, stop doing dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the full situation and make eye contact with your child. Keep calm, be inquisitive, and afterwards offer potential solutions to the problem.
Do not discourage your child from feeling upset, angry, or frustrated. Our initial instinct may be to say or do something to steer our child away from it, but this can be a detrimental tactic. Again, listen to your child, ask questions to find out why they are feeling that way, and then offer potential solutions to alleviate the bad feeling.
Just as we do, our children have feelings and experience difficult situations. By actively listening and participating with our child as they talk about it, it demonstrates to them that we do care, we want to help and we have similar experiences of our own that they can draw from. Remember, respond – don’t react.
Grab a copy of this eBook today, and you will be glad you did!