How to Avoid Excessive Praise

Praise and affirmation would impact children in their behavior or self-esteem. They are something which most children crave for from their parents, teachers, coaches and other authoritative figures in their lives. They are not flattery and should be direct, specific and sincere.

On the other hand, we should be carefully to avoid praising our children excessively. What is excessive praise? What kind of negative effects they would have on children?

Excessive praises are those repeatedly heaping on a child for the same success or good behavior. Things that he has already shown he is capable of excellence.

“Parenting kids and teens”

Unless the child is one who lacks confidence, to repetitively praise him for the same thing would only make him proud or develop a false illusion of his capabilities. The last thing we want is to raise a haughty child or one who is not motivated to progress any further.

So, how do we avoid excessive praise?

1. Suppress our carnal urge to repeatedly praise the child in front of others especially over the same thing.

2. Look out for new accomplishment or behavior progress to praise him about i.e. his improved penmanship or ability to take initiative.

At different growing-up stage, children would mature and develop more sophisticated skills, abilities and even attitude. It is the task of their authoritative figures to earmark their progress and affirm them with verbal praise besides physical rewards.

Ms Dorothy Law Nolte, a wise Librarian, had beautifully written these in Children Learn What They Live:

If children live with criticism, they learnt to condemn
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness

In the Bible, our tongue is described as a bit which can control a horse, a rudder which can steer a ship. Let us use it wisely to direct our children to good works and character-building.

The Things You Should Know About Parenting

Essentially, parenting is described as the art of raising a kid. Back then, many mothers and fathers have griped about the shortage of seminars to prep folks for one of the most important endeavours on Earth. Now, there are countless child-rearing seminars available for those who think that they need them in order to be a better mum or dad. This article provides a summary of child-rearing courses as well as the reasons why it’s a good idea for new and experienced parents to try them out.

Child-rearing programs are created to assist mothers and fathers in correcting their habits and also developing their parenting skills. Nearly all of these seminars are general in nature and offer instruction on the most common challenges that dads and mums confront in their everyday lives. But there’s also more specialised parenting workshops that discuss complications that pertain to babies, tots, children as well as teens. There are even courses for the ones who are considering being a dad or mom via biological means or adoption, along with programs for individuals who’re already expecting.

There are parenting courses that could be done on the Internet or call for their registrants to be in a schoolroom or a different venue for a couple of hours each week. Irrespective of the training method, these courses aim for creating an environment in which the entire family is comfortable in discussing their feelings, worries and concerns. Thus, the purpose of this type of interaction would be to limit the unfavorable behaviours of both dads and mums and children to a minimum. Moreover, through parenting courses, the understanding of a kid’s needs is increased through the knowledge that ignoring them will create a variety of issues.

Yet another advantage of signing up for child-rearing courses is that they alter the adults’ mindset with regard to the hardships of child rearing. As they move on in their selected program, they will learn of innovative ways to deal with sadness, rage and annoyance, three emotions that are always present in many parents’ lives. Child-rearing workshops could help mums and dads work on negative emotions by giving them clues on the ways to resolve the various difficulties that come with raising children.

The next characteristic of parenting classes is that they disprove the misconceptions which are linked to parenthood. For instance, virtually all dads and mums fantasize about bringing up flawless children who always listen to them as well as comply without protest. Children have a mind of their own and will become disobedient from time to time, and this is among the first truths that parenting programmes will give dads and mums.

Several programs have modules that teach parents to manage and also strengthen particular relationships within their families; an example would be their relationships with their wives or husbands, in-laws as well as their very own fathers and mothers. Child-rearing programmes also focus on subjects which include the ways to overcome the hurdles to having a happy home, like financial troubles along with other complications associated with wedded life.

Another illustration of a parenting workshop module subject is co-operation between spouses: the dad and mum should be able to concur, differ and bargain without permitting conflicts to fully deteriorate their bond. This would affect their offspring’s welfare in that their fathers and mothers should be consistent in enforcing rules pertaining to behaviour as well as arguments. Parenting programmes will tell husbands and wives that they ought to keep their lines of communication open and decide on their objectives jointly. If fathers and mothers display a cohesive front, their offspring would not be confused as to how they should act as well as think.

Parenting seminars will assist dads and mums who need help in bringing up their kids and also those who seek more wisdom on parenting. The details and coping skills that are passed on in these classes are important in the formation and maintenance of a happy and stable home, which will then enable kids to grow up with the skill sets needed in their grownup lives.

About Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements

The Pennsylvania custody laws are found in Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. These are the guidelines and the rules that parents in Pennsylvania must follow as they create their parenting plans. Here is a brief overview of some of the laws that parents should consider as they make a custody agreement or plan for their custody situation.

1. Pennsylvania parents should make a plan that is in the best interest of the child. In Part 5 of Title 23 in the Statutes, parents are advised that all of the decisions about child custody should be done based on what is best for the child. As a mother and father make a custody agreement, they should determine physical and legal custody based on what will best fulfill the child’s needs. The courts in Pennsylvania rigidly adhere to this standard.

2. Part 5 of the Pennsylvania Statutes contain the factors that the court considers when deciding what is in the child’s best interest. These factors include: the character of the parents, the current living situation of the child, the parenting abilities, if the parents allow the child to have access to the other parents, and if there has been any history of abuse or violence. Parents need to think about these factors when making a parenting plan. For example, it is unlikely that the court will approve a plan where a parent suggests that no time is given to the other parent. This isn’t in the child’s best interest and reflects poorly on the parenting abilities.

3. The Pennsylvania court has the final say in custody matters. If parents are able to agree on their parenting plan or custody agreement, they can simply submit it to the court for approval. If they are not able to agree, the court will determine the plan. Once a judge accepts a plan, the parents must follow it or they can be held in contempt of court.

How to Turn Your Four Year Old Child Into a Fine Hitter

Hitting a moving round object with a cylinder is one of the most difficult tasks in all of sports.

There are a lot of theories and strategies on how to best teach a young child the fundamental skills which are required to master this particular athletic challenge.

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Here are a few simple tips and a simple method to help young hitters, their parents and their coaches:

Sport psychologists, coaches and learning experts like to break athletic tasks down into steps. While there are some kids who can learn simply by imitating what they see on television and their video games, many children will better learn the basics of hitting if it is taught to them in small steps.

Age four is a good time to start this kind of instruction. The first thing to determine is if your child is more comfortable batting right handed or left handed. You can sort this out by watching which hand they throw with, eat with and write with. You can also have them hold a bat both ways and ask them which is more comfortable.

My son and I are ambidextrous, so this was a little confusing at first, since he initially felt equally comfortable on both sides of the plate. He is now a switch hitter, but seems to hit the ball harder as lefty, even though he throws right handed.

Second, hand your kid a whiffle ball bat and a few whiffle balls and simply let them smack the balls around on the ground at a park or in your back yard. Don’t give them any instruction yet. Just watch them and see if they are at all interested. If they are, you can move on to the next step.

Third, teach your child to bunt the ball from a waist high tee. This will help your youngster to learn to watch the bat making contact with the ball. It will also start to build his or her confidence as most kids can do this.

If your child can not do this after some practice, you may need to have a consultation with his or her pediatrician. Don’t panic, however, kids learn many things at different paces and different ages.

Next, teach your child how to hold the bat and how to hit the ball with a short swing of about six inches in length. Emphasize contact not distance or power.

Gradually lengthen his or her swing. Encourage your child to keep his or head still. The head is the heaviest part of the body. If it moves, a lot kids will lose their balance and also lose sight of the ball.

Also, start to teach them the idea of stepping toward the ball in the strike zone.

Help your child to master the proper grip and not hold the bat too tightly. If the bat is held tightly the hitter can not learn to generate the centrifugal force he needs to hit through the ball. Also, he or she is apt to tense up at the plate when they begin to face pitching. (By the way, if the youngster likes it, choking up on the bat is fine at this age.)

Once your child has mastered the abbreviated swing described above, you can teach them to use the full swing off the tee. Emphasize balance, weight transfer and what a ball in their strike zone feels like. You can move the tee around so your child gets a feeling for what he can reach and what he can not reach comfortably.

Once your youngster can hit ten balls off the tee in a row, it is time to start pitching to him underhanded from a short distance. Begin with the bunting exercise described above and progress in steps the same way you did when teaching your kid to hit off the tee. Don’t go to the longer swing until they can bunt the ball comfortably and consistently.

Keep the instruction to no more than ten or fifteen minutes at this young age. If you proceed in small steps and provide lots of support, encouragement and enthusiasm, your child will may discover that your he or she loves baseball. Also, many of these skills will be useful in tennis, golf, lacrosse and other sports.

Who knows? Maybe the next Derek Jeter or Mickey Mantle is running around your yard right now.

When your child gets older, the two of you might enjoy two program available at stayinthezone.com – Bedtime Stories For Young Athletes and 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump.

Who’s Killing All The Parents

Joseph is 26 years old and lives in Windhoek, Namibia. At the age of 21, he has unexpectedly become the father and mother of his 4 young brothers and 2 sisters, when his most loving mother, Hileni, a school teacher and city councilwoman, the only provider of the family, unexpectedly died from the HIV disease.

Their father, Samuels had died a year before. The youngest child at the time was just less than 4 years old. Fortunately, when Hileni passed away, Joseph has already graduated from high school, and he was planning on going to college, but he could never go, as he had to find a job to support his young brothers and sisters. Joseph has a brother, Fritz, who is 23 years old and is defying the gravity of their hardship by going to college. He wants to go to Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, and then transfer to UCLA to complete his degree education, so he can one day find a good paying job to help his brothers and sisters.

And by the time Fritz completes his degree education, Joseph would be in his 30s, but Joseph also plans on going to college as soon as Fritz finishes and gets a job to help take over the family load. However for Fritz to find the money he needs to pay for his tuition and fees at SMC is another dream that needs to come true for him, which is almost impossible, his mother and father have died and they have no relatives who can afford to send them to college. With stringent bureaucracy, who and how can anyone even ask the government to help fund their education?

In Columbus, Ohio, Timothy is 20 years old and a second year student at the Ohio State University majoring in Computer Science Engineering. His mother was gunned down in a drug related accident when Timothy was just three years old. His father has had unfortunately fallen a victim of drugs and alcohol since Timothy was little, so he has never been in any place to help raise Timothy and his young brother.

Luckily, Timothy has an aunt who helped raise him and his young brother. And at the age of 14, Timothy was forced to find a job in Richmond, Virginia, at a local McDonald’s restaurant, but because he was just too young to work, he had to lie on his job application that he was in fact 16 years old. He had to work in order to support himself and his young brother. Timothy calls himself the ‘definition’, the definition of overcoming hardship, struggle, and growing up without any proper supervision and parental love. His favorite word is ‘focus’.

Whenever you talk to Timothy, you would hear that word ‘focus’ lamenting in his tone more than a dozen times. It’s his vocabulary and his reminder to staying focus on what he has always wanted to do, reaching his goal and realizing his potential. He has already defied that by finishing high school no matter what he had faced in his early years of life and by enrolling in college to achieving his dream.

Timothy works more hours each week, more than the hours he needs to study. He has to work in order to pay for his rent and housing expenses, for him and his young brother. However, he’s at least fortunate that he has financial aid and student loans from the U.S. Department of Education to pay for his tuition and fees at the Ohio State University.

Zanelle is a 16 years old from Soweto, South Africa. She has three sisters and one brother. Her father died of AIDS when she was just 12 years old and her mother died of the same disease when she was 14 years old. At 16, Zanelle is the mother and father, provider and bread-winner of her siblings. She dropped out of school in order to work as a brick layer in order to earn money to help and support her brother and sisters.

Her relatives, aunts and uncles have also died of AIDS and the few remaining relatives are also HIV positive. Her 79 years old grandmother is the only one left to help out at home, but what can she really do at her age, except to look after the kids when Zanelle goes to work?

In the rural areas of India, there’s a place well known as Destiny Village, with children, mostly orphanage, some of whom were abandoned by their families. This same Destiny Village has also been setup in Haiti to help house the same type of children. These two houses have been generously setup and sponsored by members of The Potter’s House Church of God in Columbus, Ohio, under the leadership of the anointed, Pastor Tim Oldfield.

Some or all of the children in the Destiny Village housing projects, if it was not for the Potter’s House initiatives to help them by providing them with adequate housing, food, and education, God only knows where these kids would be today, most of them would probably be dead, or staying homeless as they once were prior to the Potter’s House initiatives to help them.

Lundazi is one of the largest Districts in the Eastern part of Zambia, with a total population of 296,560, of which the majority live in the Lundazi rural area, while only a small part of the population lives in the city district.

Most of the population of the Lundazi area is HIV positive for those who are still living, while the majority of the parents have died of HIV and only the grandparents are left to raise and look after the orphanage kids.

When only the grandparents, most of them are in their late 70s and 80s, they cannot really provide the children with the care they need and cannot also help them with their educational work, as what normal parents would do. Because most of the grandparents were born during the colonialism and did not have opportunity to get an education. Thus now, the cycle of illiteracy continuous to repeat itself.

“There are a number of policies that have been put in place and slowly being implemented by the Zambian government, though the challenge is that, most of these policies are really only effective in urban areas and trickle at a snail rate into rural areas” said Zimba.

Among some of the notable policies in place by the Zambian government include:

Education Policy – free education for all at Basic Education. However the challenge is that despite being a policy, school authorities still charge a fee ‘user fee’ for students to pay.

“This money is used for operational costs for the school to cover the deficit they have from their lean budgets. Now, in rural areas, where on earth can a family with almost no income meet these costs? The end solution is that in rural areas, some children, particularly girls are left out from school and are forced into early marriages and so forth” said Mr. Zimba.

Healthcare Policy – free HIV/AIDS drugs to people infected with the disease. Zimba said that this is a wonderful policy to allow people who are HIV positive to have access to life saving drugs.

“The challenge is that most of the rural area clinics are centralized near the urban areas and sick people need to walk by foot almost 120 km (about 75 miles) to access the help they desperately need. There is no reliable transportation, despite the community efforts to put up good feeder roads and in the end; people are just dying in the rural areas” said Mr. Zimba.

“What are the consequences? HIV is increasingly being spread throughout the country and grandmothers are now taking over, looking after their grandchildren as due to the death of their own children” Said Zimba.

Agricultural Policy – a good policy has been put in place relating to marketing of farm produce to allow local farmers to sell their produce through a liberalized system in order to earn a few monies to support their families.

“The challenge is that despite all of these wonderful policies for Agriculture, in rural areas, we are only seeing a few “unscrupulous” traders who come and rip off poor farmers and buy their produce at extremely low prices” states Zimba.

“Our main goal really is to help children and women in these areas of Zambia to have a future and fulfill their dreams. But to do that, we need advocacy on our work so that people who have power and resources can help us meet our objectives. We need to help children to have food on the table, medical, clothes and most importantly, a good health system” cries Zimba.

The Best Parenting Secret I Ever Discovered

Parenting has it’s challenges, but last week I stumbled upon a surprising secret. I was under a lot of stress with a project I was working on. My daughter was involved in it too so it was important to me to keep my cool and do a good job since I knew she was watching how I handled it. What I discovered was that through this stressful event, we were able to discuss some very important and “deep” subjects. I had some of my best parenting moments through that stress. I got to thinking about this afterwards and realized that I’d accidentally stumbled upon an extremely important lesson:

Real parenting is done in the little moments.

I never would have been able to have had such good conversations with her and pass on my beliefs and values on these topics if I’d just sat down and brought up the subjects we were discussing. It was in the course of going through that event that the opportunities arose naturally. Because they fell into the context of the situation they weren’t awkward, uncomfortable and ineffective. No! Instead, she was interested, and able to see real life examples based on what we were going through.

I realized this is the key to those difficult discussions that parent fret over. You know the ones I mean – “birds and the bees”, puberty, choosing good friends, faith, having the right priorities. These conversations about your morals and values don’t occur by sitting your child down and saying, “Today I want to talk to you about ____.” Absolutely not! They occur in the context of everyday life. You drop little snippets of information here and there. Your kids will pick these up! I guarantee it. And when they are at a point where they want to know more, they’ll feel comfortable asking you while you’re doing this because you’ve already laid the foundation for being willing to talk about these subjects. They aren’t seen as taboo.

So begin looking for those little moments whether it be in something going on in your life, something you see on TV together, or something going on in the lives of those around you. Those are the teachable moments. That’s when you can really connect with your kids.