WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW A MIDDLE CHILD – SIX TIPS

Recently, some were celebrating Middle Child Day. I am waiting to celebrate “The Youngest Child” day. Birth order matters. First a joke   for middle children.

middle-child-day

Thank you minidovecomics.wordpress.com for this cartoon.

Of course, stealing the car can get you in trouble, but often is what middle children think they need to do to get attention. Explains some bad behavior of good kids.

PARENTING tips

Parenting tip one: Visit some of the links to learn what the experts think about middle children.  If you are a middle child does the information ring a bell with you? If you are not a middle child, but the parent of one, does the information ring a bell with you?

Parenting tip two:  Remember, all research and all advice applies only to some people some of the time.  That means you have to tailor both and experiment to find our what works for you and your child.

Parenting tip three: Seek out the good parts of being a middle child and emphasize that. 

Parenting tip four: Know what is bad about sbout being a middle child;  acknowledge and  sympathize with that. 

Parenting tip five:  Give each child time alone with you and that child’ other parent. Strengthens both your love and emotional fitness.

Parenting tip six: Read the links.  

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

Daily Post Prompt as related to this post

DAILY PROMPT Just a Dream You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.

Obviously, today I picked the middle door.

Thinking more about parenthood, there are many nightmares, but mostly just that bad times that come and go like bad dreams, so stay strong. How? Wait the bad times out, enjoy the good ones, laugh and play as much as you can with all your children.

WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TEMPERMENT

Wonder at the differences between one child and another? One big way we all differ involves temperament – a genetic given.

Thank you

Thank you keithnicolas.files.wordpress.com for this.

Temperament varies from person to person and strongly influences how we relate to others. Temperament is combination of biologically determined traits. When trying to figure out someone’s temperament, the experts look at these nine traits:

  1. Activity level
  2. Regularity of bodily functions
  3. Sensitivity to stimuli—what some call pain threshold
  4. Response level
  5. Approach to other people
  6. Response to change
  7. Ability to persist
  8. Ability to stay focused
  9. Mood

Think about your child  and figure out where s/he ranks in terms of these traits using the following ratings. Five is always the mid-point between the two extremes.

  1. Low energy     1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9     High energy
  2. Regular and predictable bodily functions   1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9    Irregular
  3. Sensitive to stimuli   1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9    Not sensitive
  4. Quiet reactor   1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9    Loud reactor
  5. Cautious (Shy)       1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9    Bold
  6.  Does not like change   1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9     Eager for change
  7. Gives up easily    1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9    Doesn’t know when to quit
  8. Easily distracted      1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Highly Focused
  9. Sad or irritable most of the time       1   2   3  4  5  6  7  8  9   Mostly cheerful

This is just a way to give you a quick estimate of some of your child’s temperament traits and not at all evidenced based. Still many parents have found it helpful.

The experts see personality as a clustering of traits.

An easy-going personality would be someone who was a five or six in terms of energy; is regular in his or her bodily functions; the middle or above in terms of sensitivity, reactivity, approach to people; regarding change at a seven eight; as high as a nine in persistence and ability to stay focused: and finally, cheerful most of the time.

Challenging personalities generally fall into two types.  Some have low energy; are highly irregular in terms of bodily function; highly sensitive to stimuli; mixed reactors – meaning no outward reaction, but an occasional loud explosion; cautious; easily discouraged; gives up quickly, doen’t like change, and is often sad or irritable. These are often anxious children, need lots of support, and help learning to deal with life.

Some are the opposite in many ways—not sensitive; bold, and persistent. These are the children who are difficult to most difficult to control as they resist control. Some of these bold and persistent personalities are cheerful; some are sad or irritable.  The cheerful ones do better at life.

All children have strengths and weaknesses. Learning a child’s temperament helps you have more reasonable expectations.

Parenting tip

Figure out your temperament and how well yours fits with your child’s temperament..  Go back and apply the ratings to yourself and see how your ratings match or contradict your child’s ratings.  Also check out your child’s other parent’s temperament.

A bold, high activity parent or caregiver might find a shy and low energy child challenging.  A sensitive child, might become more fearful living with a bold, energetic parent or caregiver. Highly active children have a difficult time managing school.

Temperament Rating Scales help anyone caring for or about a child think more clearly about the child’s needs and how well his/her needs fit with an adult.  When we don’t understand temperament, we often feel the child is being difficult on purpose, then you are expecting him/her to control what s/he cannot control.

 LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

Picking the right heroes and heroines for your child

Hero and heroines shape children’s ideals about how to behave, so picking the right ones matter.  Here are two – Queen Esther and and her Uncle Mordichai. The good guys and gals of Purim

As a Jew I do look to Torah to find heroes and heroines. Purim which is celebrated The story of Purim is told in the book of Esther.  This is the short version of the story  as told by the Chabad.

The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.

The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. In a speech that is all too familiar to Jews, Haman told the king, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other people’s, and they do not observe the king’s laws; therefore it is not befitting the king to tolerate them.” Esther 3:8.

The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, to do as he pleased to them. Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews.

Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people. This was a dangerous thing for Esther to do, because anyone who came into the king’s presence without being summoned could be put to death, and she had not been summoned. Esther fasted for three days to prepare herself, then went into the king. He welcomed her. Later, she told him of Haman’s plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved, and Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai.

The book of Esther is unusual in that it is the only book of the Bible that does not contain the name of G-d. In fact, it includes virtually no reference to G-d. Mordecai makes a vague reference to the fact that the Jews will be saved by someone else, if not by Esther, but that is the closest the book comes to mentioning G-d. Thus, one important message that can be gained from the story is that G-d often works in ways that are not apparent, in ways that appear to be chance, coincidence or ordinary good luck.

This would be, of course, too long and complicated a story for the pre-schooler and probably only good for talking about more fully when middle school is reached. Then the questions can become even more complicated when the child enters the teen years.

Religious Jews celebrate Purim with a kind of costume party where many little girls are dressed up as Queen Esther, but so are the women; boys and men dress up as the King or Mordecai. The main message is celebrating the survival of the Jews.

The media and the Disney media support lots of heros and heroines, and makae every girl a princess and every boy a prince.  Video games also promote different types of hero and heroine worship — some good and some bad. What is a parent to do.

Parenting tip one: Accept that your children will seek and identify with one or another charactor in the stories they are told about heroes and heroines.

Parenting tip two:  Give some thought to the ones you want to promote.

Parenting tip three: Promote the qualities that the child can share with the hero or heroine.

Parenting tip four:  Talk about the hero or heroine at the level the child can understand. With Esther for example “She was brave and didn’t want her family hurt.” is what preschoolers can understand. With Moridecai, teens can be asked to ponder the fact that he gave his niece to the king’s harem. Good or bad?

Parenting tip five:  Kids do sometimes pick “bad” heroes or heroines,  video games seem to encourage that. Sports heroes are sometimes so intent on winning they become vicious.  Handle such choices by finding out what appeals to the child, and trying to find replacement heroes with better values.  Support that but at the same time promote the values of caring as being those that lead to the good life.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

 

 

TIPS TO IMPROVE A CHILD’S EI- EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Pre-schoolers’ feelings control their thinking. A wish feels real; and is assumed to be real. Not so.  Intelligence is based on reality not wishes.

The younger the child, the more wishes and dreams seem real - a good example of tunnel vision.

This cartoon is  an example of wishful thinking. IMAGE BY abeerfortheshower.com

Wishing is fun, but also means being in a tunnel and not seeing all there is or could be. That can mean as the above cartoon suggests not understanding enough to choose the career that will work for you. But it also is a form of tunnel vision and tunnel vision limits options. 

 The ad people of today are playing up children’s wisdom, but children only seem wiser than adults, particular when script writers put words in their mouths. And yes, children do sometimes seem wiser than wise.  Most parents have moments when a child makes them stop and  marvel at something poetic the child says.

Reality check:  Young children do have poetic moments, but thinking that makes great thinkers could get them killed.  Why we make our small children hold our hands crossing the street or in parking lots and discourage playing with matches.

All humans start their lives caught in tunnel vision. As we age hopefully we see wider vistas. However, Thomas Phenlon, a parenting guru I admire, notes that one of the biggest ways parents harm children is by treating them like miniature adults. That means thinking children are critical thinkers.  Not true, critical thinking, what some call intelligent thinking develops as children age.

Here is some good news for all. Intelligence is limited by our genes.  Not a politically correct notion, but wishing won’t change that we are not all equally endowed with intelligence.  Part of intelligence is Emotional Intelligence meaning thinking about what your feelings are suggesting and knowing when to act on those suggestions and when not to.

The good news? Emotional Intelligence is learned, not gifted and can always be improved.

More good news: Studies show that Emotional Intelligence is more important in living the good life than intelligence in general and is more important than money, education or social class in getting ahead.

Parenting tips

Pre-school aged children cannot think beyond  the feeling of the moment; school aged child cannot think beyond what can be seen, heard, or touched; starting with the preteens,  teens and adults become more and more able to think broadly and to see many options,  an essential  when it comes to solving many of life’s problems.  The ability to think about what might allows you to experiment and think about many possibilities, not just one or two.

Parenting tip one: Stay aware of age and stage.

Parenting tip two: Do not worry  about a pre-preschooler’s fantasies; at the same time, point out the make-believe stuff. Label play and make-believe as pretending or imaging. Do so in a calm matter of fact way.

Parenting tip three:  Keep the fun in fantasy.  Saying “It is fun to believe in make-believe” when hanging up the Christmas stockings will not in any way diminish the child’s pleasure, but does pave the way for when s/he begins to understand what is real and what is not.

Parenting tip four: Allow as much choice as possible, but label choices  “You have two choices” works well when  you can let the child pick one or the other. A good choice? Note, “A wise choice.” Not so good a choice label it”Not the best choice.”  Also hold to safety and other major rules as “Not a choice.”

Parenting tip five: Once the child stops believing in the Santa Claus or similar myths, start asking as you movies or media together “What’s real about that?” or “What’s fantasy about that?”

Parenting tip six:  As the preteen or teens are entered continue the discussions suggested above, but go deeper.  When easy way to encourage deeper thought is to say “And” when the child or teen seems to have reached a limit in his thoughts.

Also, see this post on sneaky hypnotism for other ideas.

iMPROVE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

I do lots of puzzles to improve mine – I enjoy them.  But having fun is not enough to keeping my critical thinking abilities  improving.  The experts say, such puzzles only improve you thinking skills if they are challenging, so push yourself. I always do those that are above my level and cheat by getting help from the answers, only I do not call it cheating, but learning.

Another way I work on this one, is by visiting Word Press’ Daily Prompt and thinking about how the prompt applies to what I am posting

How does this post relates to this  Word Press Daily Post PromptFirst Light – Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

The first thing I wrote this morning was on Facebook, trying to find out why my  friends  had not liked my first effort to put my 12 Emotional Fitness Exercises in a video format.  Only three had liked it. So I reposted the video and wrote “Only three of you liked my first video effort.  Hoping some will tell me what you did not like, so I can improve it.”

Last time I checked I was getting lots more likes. I had hoped people had just not seen the post; they do slip by.  However, I would also be happy to see some criticism.

Do you see how this opened my mind to other possibilities?

 BROWSE FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches used in a blog post are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.  As I am a Jill of All and have family life, some things take longer than others to get posted.  If a poster  isn’t up  yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises.

Following my Emotional Fitness Training blog provides support and  provides information about human development, mental distress and illness, counseling, and therapy.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine