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.

“Parents kids with challenges”

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 – 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.

Parents, Kids, Road Rage

Wake up and hit the floor running. Quickly wake the kids. Get them moving to the restroom. Inspect their outfits. Slop some food on the table and call it breakfast. Sprint to the car. Hook in the seatbelts and throw the car in reverse. And, hope that the world gets out of the way while you race the kids to school and dash to the office. Sound familiar?

What happens when you get the numbskull on the road that drives slow in the fast lane, doesn’t bother to use their turn signal, or races to pass you only to slow down when they get in front of you? Oh, you will show them! You might yell profanities, ride their tail too close, send them the universal hand gesture, or worse, really get mad!

True enough, showing our anger feels so much better, at that particular moment, but, truthfully, did it make anything better? Did we really get to work any faster/slower? Did we bother to actually speak to the kids while we had a perfect opportunity? Did we notice how beautiful the day was? Did we listen to the music on the radio that speaks to our hearts? Or did we let some inconsiderate driver control our actions and emotions?

No matter how hard we try, at times other drivers will make our blood boil! What we need though is to keep it into perspective. True enough, there are people behind the wheels of vehicles that shouldn’t be allowed to ride a tricycle. But, we can’t change that. What we can change is how we respond.

First and foremost, display patience when the children are in the car. We certainly don’t want them to learn our bad habits. It will be hard enough dealing with the bad habits they will pick up on their own without giving them ours. Even when you are alone, chill! Very rarely is a few extra minutes going to be earth shattering.

When you are on the road and selected drivers have seemed to have left their brains behind, let it roll off of you. Sometimes, just for the pure fun of it, smile knowing you remembered your brain today and how embarrassed that person will be when they realize theirs is still home soaking in the sink with the breakfast dishes.

Don’t get mad. Don’t react. Just let the moment pass. Why let them influence the start of your delightful day?

Parenting Kids With Challenges

It is advisable to have yearly check-ups from a certified physician. Some parents don’t even know that their child has disabilities until their negative behavior has intensified to the point where it can’t be dealt with anymore. Children with challenges such as learning disabilities, neurological impairments or those who’ve been traumatized are very fragile and require special care and attention. These children need support for them to achieve their potential and personal development.

One thing to keep in mind is to not treat them as challenges or make them feel at fault. It is our responsibility as parents to understand and support our child all the way. Accepting children for who they are is a key component in changing their behavior. Negative behavior is not a part of their character but rather a way of compensating from being misunderstood by others. Failing to understand their character can definitely develop severe social and emotional problems as well. It could also affect how they deal with others when they become adults.

Learned helplessness shouldn’t be tolerated. Imagine that James is a precocious 6 year old who was diagnosed with mental retardation. He lets his mother do all his homework because of his disability. This practice is quite common among families with handicapped kids. Escaping responsibility just because of a disability is not the solution. A child must learn to face responsibilities given to him so can learn the needed problem solving skills. It he is not taught well then he can only rely upon others, which can affect his living conditions. Complete avoidance of responsibilities can not only affect his mental and social development but also personal growth and self-perception.

Having developmental problems is not an excuse to do improper behavior. Just because a child has ADD does not mean he can vandalize the walls, kick the cat or bully other kids. They still need to be disciplined just as any other “normal” kid would be. Failing to learn the right skills to cope with problems can have lifelong consequences. Children must learn how to handle stress, respect authority and function normally in society as anyone else. Handicapped kids aren’t exempted from the law and as they grow up and become independent they must also abide by the regulations and rules set upon by society. Disabilities are not an excuse to act out in public or do things that can harm others. Parents must teach them to face responsibilities and help them understand what behavior is acceptable.

Parenting Kids on Myspace

So, you have a responsible teen and you/they would like for them to be able to keep their MySpace account. Alright, we have put together a guide on how to let your kids enjoy MySpace safely and responsibly. I believe it can be done, but, it will require parental supervision and for both parties to come to an agreement.

Let’s get sta

#1 Establish clear cut rules. Sign a Parent child internet contract like the one found

#2 Install a filtering and logging software package. The filtering is to stop the basic inappropriate images and sites, set time limits, and to verify, if necessary, where someone has been online, etc. The logging software or “key logger” will be used to track conversations online at whatever intervals the parent decides. With the key logger, nothing gets typed without your knowledge. With the filtering, most porn is kept away and you have control of the computer.

#3 The single most important factor for your children to have a safe internet environment is parental involvement. I cannot say enough about how important this is. Even with all the tools listed here, if parents do not get involved then it’s completely pointless. Parents, you will have to spend a little of your time each day to check out the site and review the logs. The intervals at which your check their internet usage are up to you. But, logging onto their MySpace account and reviewing it will give you a good idea about how things are going.

*note: I am assuming you already have virus protection installed. If not, you need to add that to the list, even if you don’t allow MySpace usage.

Richard French is a father of 5 and his site TheParentsEdge is dedicated to help parents keeps their kids safe while online. With how to’s, step by step guides,news,safe surfing rules and more TheParentsEdge is designed to give parents the “edge” in todays tech savvy teen world. Free step by step guide How to block websites with IE

Parents, Kids and Time Alone

“What are some of the ways in which you explain to kids that mom and
dad need time alone, without feeling guilty about it?”

A journalist, writing an article on having time alone and couple time
when you have kids, asked me this question.

Parents will feel guilty only when they believe that they are doing
something wrong by spending time alone and couple time without their

This is a false belief.

The truth is that children grow up far healthier emotionally when their
parents are happy and fulfilled, even if it means that their parents spend
less time with them. When parents understand that they are being good
parents by talking loving care of themselves and their relationship, their
children will understand this.

One way of helping children understand this is to introduce the concept
of “time alone” very early in a child’s life. By the time a child is three, he
or she can easily understand the concept of time alone. If, each time you
spend time alone with your child, you say, “This is our time alone,” your
child will begin to understand the concept. When you have time to
yourself, you can say, “This is my time alone with myself.” When you
spend time with your partner, you can say, “This is Mom and Dad’s time
alone together.” Parents can tell their children, as soon as they are
capable of understanding the words, “We need time alone with you, with
each other, and with ourselves. All of us need to respect this about each

Our three children fully understood the concept of “time alone” because
we spent time alone with each them. They came to understand and
respect at a very young age the need for time alone.

If you put yourself aside and don’t spend time with yourself and with
your partner, you are giving your children unhealthy role modeling. You
are teaching them that others are always responsible for meeting their
needs. You are teaching them to feel entitled to your time and attention
rather than helping them learn to respect others’ time. You are teaching
them that it is okay to demand that others put themselves aside for them,
which may create narcissistic behavior.

Healthy parenting means finding a balance between being with your
children, being with your partner, and being with yourself. For your
children to grow up taking responsibility for their own needs and
feelings, they need to see you taking responsibility for your needs and
feelings. Constantly sacrificing yourself for your children does not role
model personal responsibility.

Children need to experience you and your spouse enjoying your time
with each other, as well as with yourselves. They need to see you
pursuing your work, hobbies, creativity and passions in order to
understand that they also need to find their passions. If you are always
there to meet your children’s needs, how can they discover who they are
and what brings them joy? Always being there to meet your children’s
needs for entertainment creates a dependency on others rather than
finding these resources within themselves.

Many people grow up not knowing how to be alone with themselves.
Because they were either always in front of a TV or being entertained by
their parents, they never discovered how to “play by themselves.”

Of course it is very important to have enough time alone with your
children. But it is equally important to have enough time alone with your
spouse and with yourself. When you understand this, you will stop
feeling guilty about taking your time alone. When you no longer feel
guilty, your children will learn to stop guilting you and respect your

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