3 Ways Kids Can Learn About Pumpkins
by Susie E Caron (c) 10/26/2014
As Halloween approaches, I thought you may like to read I an article I posted an earlier version in 2013. It seems more fitting for this time of year. Enjoy!
There are three ways children learn, at least for the purposes of this article, and they are all like these pumpkins...in a way. I am writing about how we all tend to learn something new. In this example, I explain how kids might learn what happens when a pumpkin is dropped from a very high building. This information may help you to understand your own children ( and maybe yourself too).
1st: A child may need only to HEAR or READ about the pumpkin.
The description would include things like the height of the building, the temperature, wind velocity, etc. that day. He or she could read about how the pumpkin was tossed, dropped or thrown down from the building, and about all the gore on impact. The messy pumpkin details might even include the width of splatter, how ground zero got cleaned up and the final disposal site. In other words, the first child learns about what happens to a pumpkin simply by being told or reading about it. This seems nice and is a lot less messy than the next two.
2nd: A child may need to WATCH what happens to the pumpkin.
These are he doubting Thomas' of the world. They have to see it with their own eyes. They learn best when they experience it through all their senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Such a child may even get involved in wanting to launch the pumpkin themselves. Certainly he or she will want to examine the pumpkin's demise on the ground, and perhaps take measurements of the weight and scope, smell it, taste it, and feel it in their fingers (and some with their toes). So the second child learns about what happens to a pumpkin by observing the event.
3rd: A child may need to BE the pumpkin!
These are the EXPERIENTIAL learners. There is only one response he or she can imagine to the question: "What happens when you drop a pumpkin from a ten story high building?
"I Must Be That Pumpkin!"
Many blessings to all parents who struggle to raise kids who learn in all sorts of ways.
Twee' Means You and Me
Remember to comment below and share on your favorite social sites.
Susie E. Caron
How to Help Kids Banish Monsters From The Bedroom.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 10-19-2014
I had them! You probably had them too! You know the monsters that show up as soon as the lights are out, when you were a child. Maybe you don’t remember. I do remember mine and what I did many years ago to appease them. What’s more important is that today I know what to do to help you with your child’s monsters.
Why do kids imagine monsters anyway?
The reason kids imagine monsters (whether they ‘see’ them under the bed, in the closet, or out in the hallway) is because of childhood anger and rage. The first emotion most kids experience shortly after birth is anger. After that we see their anger in crying and tantrums. At a certain point kids begin to realize parents don’t really want to deal with their anger. So they begin a process to try an ‘handle’ it. Unfortunately their little bodies do not contain anger and rage very well. They are physically just too small, and mentally unlearned in how to handle emotions. That’s why they ‘create’ monsters.
Without realizing what they are doing, and maybe with a little help from cartoon visuals, they cast their anger out onto creatures that roam in the dark – their monsters are the projected evidence of their anger. When kids are angry, who do they rely on to help them learn to self-soothe? They expect their parents to help them. Sometimes parents are successful, sometimes not so successful to teach self-soothing. Either way, kids can still cast their anger out onto ‘monster’ figures when the lights go out.
What parents have tried.
Parents have tried many ways to convince their children that they are safe. They often assure their kids there are no monsters and no such things as monsters. However, kids know better. They are pretty certain that their parents just can’t see them. The good news is that most kids grow out of this phase. But here’s better news. The plan I am about to reveal to you really works. It worked for my kids and it has helped many parents shorten the time of the monsters for their kids. Get ready!
Here is One Simple Solution
When your little one is tucked in tight and the lights go out be ready to go to her assistance. As soon as your child calls you because there is a monster, you show up in her bedroom. Be absolutely sincere and ask, “Where is the monster?” Your child will tell you the location, (even though she will fear a little bit that you will be eaten). Now, go to wherever the monster is located and look earnestly for it and FIND IT. That's right! Pretend you see it.
Now speak to the monster saying this, “What are YOU doing in (name your child)'s bedroom? You know you are never allowed in here. Monsters must stay outside!” Now with a flourish, chase this monster from its hiding place and to an open window in your child’s room (or even out of your child’s bedroom door, down the hall while you continue telling it to “Get out!” until you reach the door to the outside. Open the door (or window) and speaking in a loud, stern voice say “Now don’t you ever come back again.” Shut the door (or window) loudly. Next, come back to your child while brushing your hands together and say “There. I did it. That monster is gone will never come back. Silly monster, scaring you like that. How dare it!” Now comfort your child with a hug and kiss. Tuck her in and say good night. This usually works because kids believe you have the power! So be convincing.
You may find that’s all it takes to stop all the monsters. You might get called a second or third night but just chase the monster away again, firmly, and soon your child will sleep without any monsters in her room.
One more way to help kids banish monsters.
Alternatively, or following the above, you may also offer your child a ‘monster extinguishing flashlight’ to keep by the bed. That helps some children to make the monsters vanish on contact! Happy monster hunting!
Thank you for reading my blog.
Twee' means you and me, because we can work together to raise great kids.
Please tell me what you like about this solution, or what has worked for you, in the comments below. Let's get a dialogue going.
Hugs and Blessings
Susie E. Caron
Two simple steps to stop kids from saying, "That's Not Fair!."
by Susie E. Caron (c) 10/12/14
Do you frequently hear your child exclaim, That's not fair!"? If you have more than one child, you've probably heard it often, and this article is for you.
I practically erased the complaint with my own two children. I've helped many parents to remove it in their homes as well. With the two easy steps I share below, you can succeed too. (Note: Kids may still attempt to complain, but don't worry, if you follow this plan, they won't find it effective.)
First: From time to time you may need this verbal response.
Whenever you hear "That's not fair," for whatever the reason, you can simply reply (in a tone that carries all the kindness and respect in your heart) "Well, Life isn't fair, so get over it." You can substitute your own words. For example: "I never claimed to be fair. I only claim to be honest, so move on." You are not being 'mean spirited' here. You are simply telling them the truth.
What are the real reasons that kids say, "That's not fair!"
Here is a review:
1. Children try to get their way. (Surprise!)
2. Children try to get you upset and into a power struggle (which some kids seem to enjoy even though it gets everyone upset).
3.Children try to gain some other reward or privilege when they cannot get what they are complaining about. (This happens if you begin to feel unnecessary guilt and 'halfway give in' in order to appease them. I don't recommend this!)
Second: Take this concrete step to prevent kids from saying "That's not fair!"
Get a calendar with squares you can write on. Here's one I like: a Melissa & Doug Calendar, * but any paper calendar will do. Now, if you have two kids, simply write their initials, for alternating days throughout the month. This works just as well for 3 kids, 4 kids, or more kids. You can even put your own and your spouse's initials in the rotation if you choose. However, to keep it simple, we will just use the kids initials on an alternating basis for each date. Their initialed days became their guide for 'fairness.'
Here's how it works.
I started this when my kids fought over who could sit in the front passenger seat of our car. (This was back in the day when even preschoolers could sit in the front. It is just my example and I am not advocating kids sit in the front seat.) Anyway, I bought a calendar and wrote their initials on it. So on K day, Kim got to sit in the front. On the N day Ned got to sit in the front. But that's not all! I discovered that this worked so well that it not only eliminated their complaint about the car, it also meant I could branch out to other privileges and....ta da....chores!
So on a 'K' day, Kim unloaded the dishwasher and set the table for dinner. On an 'N' day Ned did these two chores, but Kim cleared the table and loaded the dishwasher. The next day they simply switched.They alternated, so neither child ended up doing the same chore every day. But, that's not all! I discovered I could use the calender for more peace.
As children do, they sometimes complained about the dinners I served, which I expected them to eat. (I was not about to make more than one dinner per night!) Kim liked some foods, and Ned liked other foods and they claimed it wasn't fair when they didn't like dinner. So, I suggested Ned and Kim each select one of their initialed days every week and we'd plan to have their choice for dinner on that night. It worked with an added bonus! To my surprise, I also discovered each child was more willing to eat what the other had planned, because they knew on their night their sibling would eat their choice without complaint.
There can be a lot of variation in this plan with chores and privileges. Some kids prefer certain 'chores', like feeding a special pet. This can be worked out with a chores list under each child's name, separate from the alternating chores. The calendar plan just really helps with those things they don't like to do. Privileges can also be added. Some parents told me that the child's initials helped their kids decide who got to go on the computer first at computer time. (To read more about schedules that work, click to see my blog: How to build an after school routine for less stress and more fun. )
More Benefits for Initiating This Calendar Plan.
The calendar eliminates many arguments between the siblings. In fact the calendar eliminates a lot of sibling rivalry, power struggles and policing for the parents. Parents discovered, as I did, when they use this plan, that the kids end up monitoring it themselves, with very little parental interference. In fact, once the calendar is established the children seem to run with the plan themselves.
In the blog I referred to above, I explained why it is important to sandwich the things kids really want to do in between the things they must do. Thus if you plan 1/2 hour each day for chores, and the kids get them done properly, in 15 minutes, you may wonder: "Can I give them more chores?" I advise against that, because the reason kids drag their feet through their chores is because of their main fear - They are afraid you will give them more chores! Instead, plan out chores with your kids, tell them this is the list for this school year, and it will be revisited for the summer. Tell them that when their chores are completed each day they may move onto doing something you allow and which they like to do.
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I hope you enjoyed and benefited from reading this article. If so, please write a comment or tip about how you stop kids from complaining below. Also please share this information on your favorite social media. To make it easy, you can click on the links at the top of this page.
Remember Twee' Means You and Me
Susie E. Caron
How To Get Your Young Child To Do What You Ask Without A Fight.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 10/5/2014
Parents, are you are struggling with children who delay, argue, break down, or whine, every time you ask them to do something? This article can help you to reach your child and get more cooperation.
Young children live in the moment. In order to easily get your child to do something, without opposition, you must take the time to first connect. It only takes a few minutes to get on the child’s level, to win him/her, and to insure a greater likelihood of agreement between you both. In fact, the best way to teach your child anything is to greet the child on his/her operating level at the moment.
What happens when you don't connect with your child first?
Kids live in their thoughts and emotions. When you don't recognize and validate whatever state your child is in, you will not be likely to get him or her to do what you are asking. Here is an example of that:
You want your child to put away the nice clean socks you just finished sorting for him. So with a smile on your face, you say, "Jimmy, please put away your socks." You found Jimmy playing the floor of his bed room, so you figure this is a reasonable request and it will only take a minute. To your surprise, Jimmy falls on the floor yelling something not easily translatable, and in a tantrum fit! It is likely that this makes you upset and you will get into a power struggle with Jimmy to try to get him to comply. Does this sound familiar?
I want to describe a bit more about the scene you entered.
When you walked into his room, Jimmy was smack dab in the middle of a very important offensive against the T-Rex. He was deep in thought about how to vanquish his enemies with his army of turtles when you strolled in and interrupted him. This is important. He was totally ready to accomplish his plan and you spoiled it! No wonder he erupted. With a little forethought you could have avoided interrupting him, prevented the tantrum and he would have put away his socks.
What happens when you do meet him 'in the moment'?
This time you walk into his room with the laundry and pause before speaking. Jimmy becomes curious, so after he finishes his thought , he looks up. You then say something like "Wow. This looks like very important play you are doing." He nods yes." (Note: This is a well-known sales technique: By getting a tiny ‘yes’ you increase the likely hood that the next answer will also be ‘yes.’ ) Next you say, "I am going to put these clothes away. Then I’ll come back to see you, so you can tell me what is happening in your play. After that, I'd like you to put away your socks." (Note: That's how you plant the seed for your request.) Jimmy nods ok, or shrugs and goes back to playing. (Notice that you just got a 2nd ‘yes’ because you validated that both he and his playing are important to you.) The whole exchange may take less than 1 minute.
What if you are in a rush?
Maybe you are thinking, "I cannot do that. I'm always in a rush." Let me ask you this: How long will it take for Jimmy to get through his tantrum? How much of a struggle will ensue, as you continue to try to get him to put his socks away? In fact, unless you connect with him, is it likely that the socks will never get put away by Jimmy, at all that day? If that happens, you and Jimmy have begun a pattern, which will look much the same throughout his teens, as well. However, by your respectful recognition of Jimmy and the importance of his play, you make the whole encounter go more smoothly and Jimmy becomes more willing to agree with you and do as you ask.
Here are some more benefits, when you take the time to connect with your child:
You are also establishing your right to expect that he/she does as you ask.
You are establishing respect as a way the two of you interact.
You are teaching him/her how to accomplish certain tasks and habits that will last a life time.
You are not setting up patterns of power struggles that do not benefit you or your child.
Additionally, when you set up encounters this way in early childhood, each encounter will actually take less time as your child grows older.
I hope you liked this article and will work to connect with your young child, so you can also experience more respect and cooperation. Please take a minute to comment below and share this information on your favorite social media sites. To make it easy you can click the icons at the top of this page.
Remember – Twee’ Means You & Me.
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!