Category Archives: Parenting Advice

Why Children get Frustrated at School

Life can often be difficult for children growing up, as they are constantly experiencing new things. One major stressor for children is often school, it can be frustrating in many ways, through an academic aspect, a social aspect, as well as a mental aspect.

School is work in itself and nearly everyday a child will come home with additional homework. While homework particularly isn’t too stressful, when they are assigned a heavy amount of it they begin to become distressed that they can not perform activities they wish to perform after they get out of school. The average time spent in school each day is 6 hours, which is not including cases where children may need to be tutored. This doesn’t leave much time for play and relaxation time for the children. They begin to learn as parents learn; there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything we want, including having a bit of fun. As important as school is it is still critical for children to have some fun. Support your child and encourage them to make good use of their time, to work hard and play harder.

Children may also begin to become frustrated due to a social aspect. Elementary school as well as Intermediate school both are tough times for a child socially. Children are often get separated by will into different cliques, and each will tend to judge each other based on looks, judgments, smarts or rumors. They often get separated into what they refer to as popular, and non-popular. Children deemed un-popular tend to be more frustrated in life due to the fact that they are not socially accepted by other students, and this leaves them to become quite distressed with school in general.

In turn, this may cause their grades to drop abnormally, as well as the fact that the child will become aggravated and stressed more easily. Unfortunately parents can not always control a child’s social life, so you must raise them in the right direction and hope they choose a stress free and fun social path. All of these things happen daily in a child’s life, and it may take a huge toll on them mentally. This frustrates them a lot because it is hard to control people’s actions other than their own. The best thing to do is spend time with your child and talk to them about their day, this way they can vent out their problems and confide in someone to hopefully relieve some of the frustration they have.

Father Forgets

By: W. Livingston Larned

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

These are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders
back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bed-side in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!
It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when
impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

Parenting Techniques for Difficult Children

Being a single parent is often challenging enough in and of itself, but raising difficult children can be especially trying. A difficult child is one who is slow to adapt to new situations, has odd sleeping and eating schedules and is more emotional and often more defiant than a typical child. Many parents, especially younger single parents, can be at a loss for how to care for such a child, but as long as they remain calm and remember these basic parenting techniques for difficult children it is possible to weather even the most difficult parenting situations that can and probably will arise.

Be Aware of your Own Emotions

The first thing that you should always do when faced with a difficult parenting situation is to be aware of your own emotional tendencies. Children are always quick to pick up behaviors and emotions from their parents, so you should do your best to remain calm and try not to show your frustration. You should be doing your best to allow your emotions and personality to mesh with that of your children, which will help you with the next important parenting technique.

Communicate

One of the most important things that a parent can do with a child is communicate. Communicate often and make all of your intentions very clear. Difficult children often have trouble adjusting to change, so they will need plenty of advance warning before any major changes are to be made.

Set Limits

This ties in perfectly with the importance of communication. Parents need to set strict limits with children, even those who are usually well-behaved. Make it clear what those limits and your own expectations are and listen to feedback.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Many studies have proven time after time that children respond better to positive reinforcement than they do to punishments. Instead of constantly punishing bad behavior, offer to reward good behavior. Punishments shouldn’t be discounted entirely, but offering to reward good behavior is one of the more useful parenting techniques for difficult children. This can be as simple as cooking a special dinner if a child completed all of his chores, or it can be a new toy for a child who maintains good behavior over time.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when raising children is to respect them. You may be the one in charge, but children are people with their own opinions and personalities. Respect the differences in personality that you may have. That alone goes a long way in earning a child’s respect and trust.

Parenting Shy Children

Parenting shy children can be painful for any parent. Your child may be the sweetest, kindest child at home, but he freezes when faced with public situations. If your child exhibits shy behaviors, accept his behavior and take time to prepare him for new situations.

Observe his behavior for patterns. Perhaps certain situations, people or times of day prove to be socially challenging for your child. With your observations, plan a course of action to help your child learn confidence and social skills.

At home, encourage him to make eye contact and speak clearly. Enlist a person with whom your child chats easily to meet you at a familiar location to chat with your child.

Introduce your child to one new person or situation at a time. Consider allowing his best friend to tag along to new places like camp or a party.

Before exposing your child to new people, discuss in detail what he can expect. Talk about the room’s layout, people who will be there, what your child will do and actions he can take to ensure he has an enjoyable time.

Encourage him to at least say hello to new people. If he refuses further attempts at conversation, accept his reluctance to talk. Rather than make excuses for him, affirm that it is okay to not talk right now because maybe next time he will feel like talking.

Do not ridicule or criticize your child. Everyone feels nervous and shy sometimes. Share ways you handle new situations. Additionally, do not allow him to become a hermit. Invite new friends over to play, and purposely visit new locations. Be sure to balance new experiences and people with plenty of opportunities for your child to be comfortable at home with friends.

Parenting shy children can cause anxiety for both the parent and the child. Accept your child’s emotional preferences and provide opportunities for him to reach out of his comfort zone, try new activities and meet new people. No matter what, love him just as he is and encourage him to see himself in a positive light.

I’m Right, You’re Wrong

Children can be bossy enough as it is so don’t add fuel to the fire by always having to be right. They just may pick up the habit and be exactly the same way.

Ego has a way of getting in the way especially when it comes to parenting. There is something about a child questioning what a parent has to say. Children have a tendency to question almost anything, whether it is fact or opinion creating tense situations.

Some people are obsessed about being right; they argue with their neighbors, co-workers, family members and anyone else who shares an opinion that isn’t the same as their own. In their pursuit to be validated and agreed with it creates frustration and disappointment when people don’t fall in line and agree. The problem is most of the controversy deals with opinion and everyone has one. Our opinions are based upon life’s experiences and it varies from person to person. When we start arguing about the right route to take, how to do the dishes, how to fold the towels, whom the best writer of all time is, the best way to manage money and the list on and on; we close ourselves off from a world of possibilities. In essence we cease growing because we no longer value input from outside sources; we think we know it all.

As parents we want our children to listen but we also want them to grow up making their own decisions, developing their own opinions. If we alienate the people around us our relationships will suffer and this includes family.

Being right all the time means others need to be wrong and when we do this we come off looking self-righteous, close-minded, presumptuous, judgmental, argumentative, stuck up and unloving. There is much we can still learn from the people in our lives, in fact that is why people are in our lives; to challenge us, teach us and help us be better today than yesterday.

We have a lot to teach our children and one of those things is to think for themselves and they can’t do that if they are constantly being told they are wrong. Eventually, they will stop voicing their opinion, they will feel stupid and they will develop low self-esteem.

We don’t always mean to develop a “I’m right , you’re wrong” mindset but it happens and the good news is it can be broken, just like a bad habit. Take the time to slow down and consider what others have to say. Open your mind to new ideas, ways of doing things and begin to grow. Let go of your ego and the need to be right; when you do life is much more enjoyable for you and your family.

Train Your Children Early

Teaching provides your child with new facts. Training enables your child to make use of the knowledge he possess.

Training versus teaching your children, which is more important? Life is full of learning opportunities, missed opportunities and even wasted opportunities. Even though teaching is very important, training is more so. Children should be more than taught what is right, they should be trained to do right.

Every child will receive some kind of training and every parent should be very mindful of this. During every waking moment every child is being trained. Every sense is reaching out for knowledge, all of which helps determine his training. The goal should be to make sure the training is the right kind – the kind that teaches children to do what is right rather than what is easy or what feels good.

One mistake many parents make is that they don’t start training their children as early as they should. How often have you heard a parent say (when asked why their child was permitted to do a certain action), “Why, he’s only a baby.” Waiting to train your child or leave it up to others such as the school system, church or peers can have severely negative effects. It is far easier to train a child early than to break their bad habits and retrain them later in life. For some it will be too late.

There are many that will argue that a child’s future depends almost entirely upon what they inherit. However, this is not the case, children have a tendency to act as their parents act which doesn’t have to do with heredity. With proper care and instruction a child can be trained in spite of adverse tendencies. A child may inherit impulses but they will not inherit habits. He may inherit certain tastes, but he does not inherit temptations. He may come into this world with tendencies, but he does not bring with him prejudices. A child’s character will be determined by his environment, rather than by inherited tendencies so it is important to start training them early in life, even as babies.

The Blessing of a Child

Not everyone may agree that the greatest thing on earth is a little child; that is unless you, yourself are a parent. When a child is born it is an amazing experience that even winning the lottery cannot replace. The helpless little child awakens the hardest of hearts, melting them like ice; the most selfish soul is warmed into new life by the contemplation of a new little child. Gaze upon the innocent face, not yet touched by the hand of time, contemplate the helpless body which must develop powers that will enable it to fight life’s battles. There is no doubt that a child is a blessing!

With a child comes great responsibility, learning, fear and uncertainty. The world itself is full of dangers and pitfalls that must be avoided at every turn. Even the best of parents don’t know all it takes to raise and protect their child. The paths their little feet will tread, places they will go and what they will grow into are all unknown but that is how it was for all of us and as a child is the greatest blessing to a parent; a loving parent is the greatest blessing to a child.

As a parent you want to see your child grow up into a healthy-good person, not one that has gone astray. The best we can do is learn what it takes to be a good parent, combine that with a safe and loving home the odds are you will be a great parent and raise an outstanding child. From the day a child is born the journey starts for both child and parent, the road winds and turns, lessons are learned, mistakes are made and life seems to be a constant warfare. The result of the battle will largely depend upon the character of the training the parents provide their child.

As you train your child you will do much more than teach them; you will instill in them healthy habits that will stick with them all their lives. Teaching gives the child facts; training enables your child to make use of the knowledge he possesses. Children should not be merely taught to know what is right but they should be trained to be good and to do right and this all starts with being a positive role model.

Learn How to Teach Your Children Healthy Habits and Goals Early in Life.

Parenting: How to Cultivate Your Child

Raising children is the most important task that parents have been bestowed and we cannot do it in ignorance. To correctly parent we need to better understand what it entails and learn about the development of children. Your child may inherit instincts, his peculiar temperament and certain tastes but he won’t inherit habits, temptations or prejudices; those are learned. Children are products of their mothers, fathers and their environment; they will have similar characteristics and pick up on many things, good and bad.

Environment Teaches

The environment has a powerful influence in developing our children’s character. The power of the environment combined with appropriate training can fashion a child. For example; pick out any trait you want in your child, be it honesty, purity, lovableness, fairness, integrity, etc. By surrounding this child with sunshine from the sky, by feeding this child well-balanced, nutritious food, by giving it all that is implied in a healthful environment influences, and by doing all in love, you can cultivate in the child the desired traits. However, if you were to give the child foul air to breathe, keep him in an unwholesome school-room, take away the music, laughter and happy faces, cram his mind with so-called knowledge and so forth it is likely by the age of 10 you will have the opposite traits.

Good Habits Help Children to Grow

Building positive life-long habits in our children is key to their success. A habit is the tendency to make certain actions automatic. It is a great time saver and forms the basis for training and the acquirement of skill. Any activity whatsoever when reduced to an automatic state is termed as a habit. Habits are formed when an activity begins; the tendency is to persist until satisfaction is reached. If the movement results in pain or even discomfort, or if the end reached is not satisfactory then the child will likely discontinue trying. Whenever the end reached gives satisfaction, the activity is sure to be repeated and these later attempts, efforts will be made to reach the end more quickly and with less effort. This is done by eliminating the unnecessary movements and combining the right ones until the complete process is performed with ease and skill.

Habits dominate us throughout our lives and they should be our most helpful and reliable servants, but they are often our enemies that hold us back, that bind us hand and foot, and prevent the realization of our highest possibilities.

Parenting is never easy but it is rewarding, especially when we reap the benefits of watching our children grow into the healthy successful adults we hoped for. Providing a healthy environment, nourishing meals, fresh air, laughter, positive habits and good role models helps children grow and succeed in life.

The Changing Roles of Parenthood

From the agrarian age to the technological age parenting roles have changed considerably but is it for the better or are the children slipping through the cracks?

Over the decades parenting roles have changed significantly, some may say for the better others may disagree. As it stands today, beliefs sway towards the mother being the primary nurturer, provider and role model for the children. However, that is significantly different than the agrarian age (rural life based on farming). During that time fathers played a very different role. In the traditional model of fatherhood, fathers played a dominant role in the lives of their children, assuming a broad range of responsibilities defining and supervising the children’s development (Tanfer, Mott, 1997). Mothers actually looked to their husbands for insight on matters of childrearing.

As we moved into the industrial age things began to significantly change as parenting roles shifted. Fathers were forced to look for other ways to support their families and entered the marketplace, finding jobs away from home and having to be gone much of the day thus giving mothers a more dominant role in raising the children. The father now derived his status from the outside world. His occupational standing, his economic power established not only his authority in the home, but his worthiness as a husband and father as well (Tanfer, Mott, 1997).

To change things even further we entered an era of technology, gadgets, toys and the pursuit of living a life of luxury. The role of a father as “good providers” changed again. Instead of being measured by his ability to nurture, care for, and ability to be a good role model he had new challenges when it came to providing. “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality begins to take hold and now he is considered to be a good provider if there are enough toys to play with, multiple cars, big house and an abundance of insignificant material possessions. The pressure on fathers to be this kind of provider takes away even more from their parenting role.

Obviously many men have risen to the challenge and have been involved in their children’s lives; changing diapers, feeding, nurturing, reading bed-time stories, or throwing the ball back and forth all while bringing home a paycheck. However, others haven’t faired as well and the pressure drives them to be absent and not take part in their children’s lives. They shirk their responsibilities and provide no or little support for their child, which introduces a new term, “dead beat dads.”

Obviously, the children suffer when their fathers aren’t around to guide them and teach them about life but what about the mother’s role? Is it possible that society has shifted the parenting roles for women also, affecting the balance? The past several decades women have found new opportunities with education and work outside the home. No longer devoting themselves to full-time motherhood. They too are looking to help fill the gap of paying the mortgage, insurance, and the acquisition of even more material possessions. Many are forced to work because they are a single parent without sufficient support. Again it is quite obvious that the children are affected as they are raised by society rather than their parents.

Research has shown with this shift, women pursuing careers and such that fathers are actually reducing the time they spend at work, opting for more home activities. However, this is not filling the gap and still falls short of meeting the needs of the children. In this day and age it is hard to imagine a scenario that would restore the form of family that was common a couple generations ago. Nevertheless it is important that parents understand that there used to be a time where things were simpler, life was better, and children were a priority. Whether it is the mother or father that is the primary parent it is important that both parents participate in their children’s lives each being a positive role model and influence. In a society where instant gratification prevails and the need for the latest gadgets drives us to push farther into our careers we need to not let our children slip through the cracks. Society has lessons to teach them but they shouldn’t be the ones they learn from you. Take the time, slow down and the next time you have an extra hour on your agenda fill it with quality time with your children.

How to Stop Toddler Whining

Just like with finger nails scratching their way down a chalk board, whining can have the same affect on a parent. The funny thing is – no matter a person’s age whining can occur and some people are really good at it.

How to stop toddler whining is a fairly simple process but you first must know why they are whining and one of the best ways to discover this is look at the reasons you may whine.

As a single father I can find myself being stretched rather thin at times and when things begin to get to me or I forget to eat lunch I can get a bit fussy. Toddlers are the same; if they are hungry, tired, uncomfortable, and needing attention they may whine in order to resolve the problem they are having.

Steps on How to Stop Toddler Whining

  1. Figure out why they are whining. If they are tired then they need to be given a nap, hungry fed, or if they are cold give them a blankey.
  2. When your child whines don’t over react to it. Calmly tell them that you don’t understand them when they are whining and need to use their normal voice.
  3. Pay attention when your child is talking and let them know they have been heard and understood.
  4. Set limits and expectations and be consistent. Eventually the whining will get less and less.
  5. Remember that your child has limits and you need to prepare for exceeding those limits. If you know you are going to be busy and lunch may be a bit late then make sure you bring a snack for your child.
  6. Sometimes you just have to ignore it.
  7. Parenting by example; if you find yourself whining at times then you need to work on stopping it as well.

When correcting your child it is important to keep your response simple, calm and neutral. If you get excited or mad then they may react to it making things much worse then they really are. Praise them when conveying information to you without whining, especially if you know they are really hungry or tired and they tell you in their normal voice. Whining can become a bad habit but if you stay on top of it you can easily teach your child effective forms of communicating with you.

Do As I Do

Have you ever had one of those moments where you look over at your precious little toddler only to witness them doing something you wish they wouldn’t and realized that they got it from you?

Children learn to imitate from a very young age and you can darn well bet that they are keeping a close eye on you as they learn. Children imitate their parents, what they see on TV, friends and family; it is how they learn to act, develop new skills, care for themselves, and communicate with others.

With this in mind is there anything that you would like to change about some of the things you do in front of your children. Every parent out there probably wish they could have at least a thousand “do overs”. Before you can teach your children the difference between right and wrong you need to know the difference yourself. Obviously most already know this, however over the years people may get conditioned with patterns of behavior or beliefs that may not be healthy for your children to pick up. Parenting by example doesn’t always mean you are going to be passing along only the good about you. Your examples become permanent images, which will shape and define your child’s attitudes and actions for the rest of their lives.

It is important to be responsible, consistent and loving with your child. The same is true for other relationships in your life such as spouse, family and friends. Relationships with others make up a big part of our lives and we should model what it is like to have different kinds of loving and healthy relationships. We all make mistakes and if we can show our children how to learn from them, apply corrective action and be a better person they will have a more joy filled life.

Your child must also be taught how to take care of themselves at times. Again they learn this by watching you. When you take time out to take care of your needs they see that you not only care for them but you care for yourself as well.

So the next time you look over at your little angel wondering why they said what they said or do what they do, think about the things that you say and do around your child. You’ll soon see your child patterning many of their own behaviors after your own. So make sure that what you say and do around your child is positive and will build a strong sense of security and self-esteem.