Top five games that secretly teach life skills for kids (part 2)

3. Hide and Seek

If you want to teach your kids problem solving skill, Hide and Seek is a great game that you should choose. This game requires kids to stay as long as possible, so they have to assess their options in order to choose the best possible hiding spot. This results in helping them build spatial awareness since kids have to consider several factors such as picking the hiding places that can offer the most cover from the most vantage points. When they gain experience with the game, they will take an even deeper assessment approach, considering which spots are usually used during free play and most likely to be checked first.

4. Row Your Boat

Self-awareness is an important skill that parents should teach for their kids. That’s one of the reasons why you should introduce the game Row Your Boat to them. It is simple to play this game: you just need to pair kids up facing one another with knees bent up behind them and holding hands, then instruct them to rock back and forth in time to the song Row Your Boat. This game requires kids to work together and have a look at their own movements at all times. This game is played best with a CD or a YouTube song, so you can add a surprising element by stopping music abruptly to help your kids focus on auditory cues as well as match their physical movements to them.

5. Simon Says

Simon Says is a great game to teach your kids how to pay close attention to instructions, at the same time giving them the experience of leadership. In this game, one kid asks their peers to do silly actions by saying sentences such as “Simon Says jump like monkeys.” The other kids will do the action as long as the leader adds the terms “Simon says” to their instructions.

If kids don’t pay attention, they will be the only one doing the silly action wrongly. That motivates them to listen closely to the whole set of instructions before getting started.

A Guide on Employing Positive Discipline for Parents

Positive Discipline is a method in which parents clearly communicate with their children which behaviors are appropriate, which ones are inappropriate, and which rewards are for good behavior and which the consequences for bad behavior are.

In general, there are five key principles of Positive Discipline:

  1. It means to remain firm and kind at the same time.
  2. It teaches social and life skills for good character.
  3. It helps your children feel a sense of significance and belonging.
  4. It invites your children to use their personal power in constructive ways and to discover how capable they are.
  5. It is effective in long term.

Guide on How to Get Started with Positive Discipline?

  1. There are Certified Positive Discipline Trainers, who hold classes and workshops about how to employ Positive Discipline.
  2. Take stock of how your family deals with feelings. It is recommended you listen much more than you talk. When your child feels a sense of belonging and significance, he/she is much more likely to listen and cooperate and much less likely to misbehave. It is also helpful to know that your children are taught how to manage and regulate their emotions through witnessing how we manage and regulate our emotions. Therefore, it is important to model the very behavior that we want to see.
  3. Talk to the teachers in your lives since they commonly use Positive Discipline as a way of managing class behavior in the classroom. This means that teachers stay warm and firm, give their students clear expectations for what needs to be accomplished, provide them with clear guidelines for what behaviors are unacceptable, work with them to create solutions to their problems, as well as reward positive behaviors or discourage negative behaviors clearly and transparently. If a teacher can do it for a classroom including dozens of kids, you can do it at home, surely.
  4. Set up a goal for your whole family and discuss about a plan for how to achieve it. Don’t forget to offer a lot of options.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 5)

9. Keep Things In Perspective And Persuade Your Goal

If you are like most parents, you want your children to be good at school, be responsible, independent, productive, respectful, be caring and compassionate, enjoy meaningful relationships with you and others, and have a happy and healthy life.

But how much time do you spend on persuading those goals?

If you are like most parents, you may spend most of your time just trying to get through the day. You spend most of time just trying to survive, instead of helping your child thrive.

In order to not let the survival mode dominate your life, step back if you feel angry or exhausted. Find ways to turn a negative experience into a learning opportunity for your child. Remember that even epic tantrums can be turned into valuable brain-sculpting moments.

Doing that, you will remain a healthy perspective at the same time working on one of your top goals in parenting: building a good relationship with your child.

10. Take Shortcut to Utilize Findings In Latest Research

Taking shortcut here means taking advantage of what is already known by scientists. This can be a good parenting tip and parental advice.

Parenting is among the most researched fields in psychology. Many parenting practices, techniques, or even traditions have been researched, verified, refined, or refuted scientifically.

Using scientific knowledge is not a one-size-fits-all strategy since every child is different and there are many different effective parenting practices you can choose depending on your child’s temperament.

For example, instead of spanking, there are many better alternative methods such as redirection, removing privileges, reasoning, time-in, and more. You can pick up the non-punitive discipline method that can work best for your child.

The Diathsis-Stress Model concluded that those who have vulnerabilities to suffer from a psychological disorder seem to develop one when they experience stress.

Therefore, the importance of parenting cannot be underestimated.

Top five games that secretly teach life skills for kids (part 1)

Childhood may be a cruelly short period of a person’s life but the clan’s family tree is a big part of what makes things memorable. Playing games with kids is a fantastic opportunity to connect and create sweet moment with them. It is also an essential part of the learning process, teaching kids skills that will help them later in life. Let’s get started with these top six games to discover how they model real-life situations and helps kids learn how to act.

1. Duck, Duck, Goose

Duck, Duck, Goose is one of the most favorite games among kids. It is not only funny but also excellent for teaching kids strategic thinking. Players sit in a circle with one walking around, tapping each head in turn, and saying “duck.” They finally pick one kid to be the “goose” and run around to try to take that kid’s place before the “goose” can catch them. If they reach the end without getting tagged, the “goose” comes back to its own seat and the original player continues running around the circle.

Playing this game makes kids think about how to pick a player to be the “goose” who will help them have a better chance of getting back to their seats without being tagged. Therefore, the game teaches kids to make a plan and know the importance of their decisions.

2. Musical Chairs

Playing Musical Chairs teaches kids to deal with disappointment, resolve arguments peacefully, and practice patience. Place chairs in a circle, one fewer than the number of kids joining the game, and play music while kids walk around the circle. Once the music stops, kids must try to sit on a chair and the kid who don’t get a chair are out. Then remove a chair and start again.

This game teaches children how to deal with the frustration of being out of the game, so practicing patience and waiting graciously. They also learn to use their words to argue about who got the chair first or whose chair is whose. An adult should be there to make sure conflicts are settled peacefully as well as to help kids who have to be out of the game remain cheerful.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 4)

7. Pay Attention To Yourself

Parents need relief, too. So pay attention to your own well-being. Take good care of yourself is also good parenting skills.

When a child is born, things such as your own health or the health of your marriage are sometimes kept on the back burner. If you don’t pay attention to these things, they will become bigger problems in long-term run​​. Therefore, take time to strengthen your relationship with your spouse.

Ask for parenting help whenever you need. Having some “me time” for yourself is important to rejuvenate the mind.

How parents take care of themselves will make a big difference in their parenting, both physically and mentally. If these two areas fail, your child will also suffer.

8. Do Not Spank, No Matter What

It can be said with no doubt, spanking can bring to some parents short-term compliance which sometimes is a much-needed relief for them.

However, this method doesn’t teach their kids right from wrong. It only teaches the kids to fear external consequences and then they are motivated to avoid getting caught instead. Spanking your kids is modeling to them that they can resolve problems by using violence​​.

Children who are spanked, hit, or smacked are more prone to fighting with other children such as their friends or brothers/sisters. They are more likely to become bullies and to use verbal and physical aggression to solve disputes. In long term, they are also more likely to result in delinquency and antisocial behavior, mental health issues, worse parent-child relationships, and domestic violence victims or abusers​​.

There are many better alternatives to discipline that have been proven to be more effective, such as Positive Discipline (has been mentioned in Part 2) and positive reinforcement, which is adding a pleasant stimulus to enhance a behavior.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 3)

5. Talk With Your Children And Help Their Brains Integrate

Most of us have already known the importance of communication. So talk to your children and also listen to them carefully. Keeping an open line of communication helps you have a better relationship with your children and they will come to you when there is any problem. But there’s another reason for communication: by communicating, you help your children integrate different parts of their brain.

Integration is similar to our body in which various organs need to coordinate and work together in order to maintain a healthy body. Different parts of the brain can function harmoniously as a whole when they are integrated, meaning more cooperative behavior, more empathy, fewer tantrums, and better mental well-being.

In order to do that, talk through troubling experiences. Ask your kid to describe what has happened and how they felt to develop attuned communication​.

You don’t need to provide solutions and you don’t need to have all the answers to be a good parent. Just listening to them and asking clarifying questions will help them make sense of their own experiences and memories.

6. Reflect On Your Own Childhood

Many people want to parent differently from our parents. Even those who had a happy childhood and good upbringing may want to change some ways how they were brought up. But for many times, we speak just like our parents did when we open our mouths.

Reflecting on our own childhood is a step to understand why we parent the way we do. Make note of things you want to change and think of how you will do it differently in a real scenario. Try to be mindful and change your behavior the next time when those issues come up.

If you don’t succeed at first, don’t give up. It takes lots of practice to consciously change one’s child upbringing methods.

Four Tips for Teaching Sports to Kids

Although different sports require different skills, there are certain tips that parents should use when introducing the world of sports play to kids. These are four of the most useful tips.

Plan your sessions in advance. It is helpful to introduce kids to the sport slowly rather than immediately jumping into a game. For instance, if you are teaching kids to play baseball, you may want to start with learning the fundamentals of hitting, catching, and pitching before delving into all of the regulations and rules of the game. You should slowly introduce the skills and have short sessions for kids to practice fundamentals. Plan these sessions in advance so you know what information you want to impart and what activities you will be covering.

Get the necessary equipment. If you don’t want to spend too much money on equipment until you are certain that your kids will enjoy the sport, you should ensure that you have the basic equipment that is needed to play the sport. You can buy inexpensively used sporting equipment online, in local classifieds, or resale stores.

Teach safety first. One of the first lessons that you should teach your kids is how to take part in a sport safely. Explain the basic rules of the sport and the fundamentals of safety when participating in sports as well as explain the importance of any safety equipment or pads that might need to be warn during play.

Start teaching the basics. At each session, you can spend a little time on the basics of the game. If you want your kids to have a good time and do not get bored by mundane practice drills, you may want to have some different activities at each session, focusing on a different aspect of the game play. Don’t forget to explain how to do the essential tasks of the game and illustrate the necessary skills by showing your kids what they need to do. Then, give them enough time to practice each skill, gently providing suggestions on how to improve their technique.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 2)

3: Practice Kind and Firm Positive Parenting

We are born with about 100 billion brain cells (or neurons) with relative connections, which together drive our actions, create our thoughts, shape our personalities, and determine basically who we are. They are created, strengthened, and sculpted through experiences throughout our lives.

If you give your children positive experiences, they will be able to experience positive experiences themselves as well as offer them to the other​s.

If you give your children negative experiences, they won’t have the development necessary for them to thrive.

Always keep that in your mind. Play indoor games. Go to the park. Have a fun bike riding. Laugh with your kids. Ride through their emotional tantrum. Together solve a problem with a positive attitude.

Doing these positive experiences will create good connections in your children’s brain as well as form the memories of you that your children carry for life.

In terms of discipline, although it seems hard to remain positive, parents can practice Positive Discipline to avoid punitive measures.

Being a good parent means you need to teach your kids the moral in what is right and what is wrong. Setting limits and being consistent are the main keys to good discipline. Be firm and kind when enforcing those rules. Focus on the reason behind your kids’ behavior and make it a change to learn for the future, instead of punishing for the past.

4. Be A Safe Haven For Your Kids

Let your kids know that you will always be there for them by being responsive to the kids’ signals and sensitive to their needs. Support and accept your kids as an individual. Be a safe and warm haven for them to explore from.

Kids raised by parents who are consistently responsive tend to have better social development, emotional development, and mental health outcomes.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 1)

Parenting is not easy.

Good parenting is hard work.

Good parents don’t need to be perfect.

No one is perfect.

No parent is perfect.

No child is perfect either.

Keep this always in mind when you set your expectations.

However, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work towards that goal.

Firstly, set high standards for ourselves and then for our children.

Here are some of the best tips on learning effective parenting skills.

1. Be A Good Role Model

Instead of just telling your children what you want them to do, show them by action.

Human is a special species on the planet since we can learn by imitating. We are programmed to copy other’s actions in order to understand them as well as to incorporate them into our own. Particularly, children carefully watch everything their parents do.

Therefore, be the person that you want your children to be. Respect your children, show them a positive attitude and behavior, have empathy towards your children’s emotions, and your children will follow suit.

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2. Love Them And Show Them Your Love Through Action

Show your love. Loving them can’t spoil them​​.

There are many types of what people can choose to do in the name of love – things such as leniency, low expectation, over-protection, and material-indulgence. If these things are given in place of real love, you will have a spoiled child.

Loving your children might be as simple as spending time with them, giving them hugs, and seriously listening to their issues.

Showing these acts of love for your children can trigger the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin, prolactin, and opioids. These neurochemicals can bring us and your children emotional warmth, a deep sense of calm, and contentment, which can help your children develop resilience, not to mention a closer relationship with you​​.

How to Teach Your Children about Gender and Sexuality (part 2)

Sexual education for children is extremely necessary and difficult responsibility of parents. How to tell children to understand their own physiological changes but not cause them to have misleading thoughts and exceed the limits. This is definitely what causes many parents a headache. Let’s find out 2 more rules in this part 2!

Show your child physical changes

In order for children not to panic when they reach puberty, parents need to tell their children how the changes in the body will take place. The rule is not to use stories that make up or avoid words that are too far away from the original meaning.

Boys will experience “wet dreams” (dream dreams), armpit hair that grows with the hair of the genitalia. Parents need to care when children should wear underwear as well as why they should wear. For boys who are about to enter puberty, such knowledge is very important for them.

Moreover, many mothers still let their children touch their breasts even when they enter primary school. According to experts, this is not recommended. You should avoid or tell your child about such habits when in a crowded place.

Teach children to care for sensitive areas of the body

In addition to protecting yourself, paying attention to changes in the body, parents should also teach children to care for sensitive areas, especially the genitals. This is vitally important for girls when the menstrual period, genitalia will have significant changes. Because your children will be confused. They do not know how to handle without the help and advice of parents.

If parents do not know how to teach their children, consult some experts in the field of health counseling. Thus, parents can talk with their child’s teacher to develop an effective, age-appropriate sex education plan and monitor children’s relationships at school.