Category: Parenting

7 Tips To Help Children Develop A Positive Attitude

Developing a Positive Attitude in Kids

Attitude is one important aspect to pay close attention to in child development. As they grow, children should learn to adopt a positive attitude towards life as a whole. A positive attitude will boost their ability to deal with stress. It will also play a big role in their level of perseverance and endurance when life gets tough.

Overall, kids with a positive attitude are better placed to face life’s challenges.  They will grow into people who are not afraid to take risks and always do their best.

Things That Create a Negative Attitude

Many factors can come into play for a child to develop a negative attitude. For instance, their temperament can make them naturally inclined towards negativity. In the traditional categorization of personality traits, melancholic kids tend to exhibit such traits. A child’s environment also plays a major role in the attitude they develop.

If they come from a home that models negativity, they will catch on. Basically, this negativity can be in terms of the parents’ response to life, the words they use around them, or how they treat them in general. Introducing kids to positive role models can have the opposite effect. Knowing this as an educator, you can either make the situation better or vice versa.

Here are some tips you can use to help children develop a positive attitude.

Encourage Them to Take Risks

Give children tasks above their current abilities. They may get scared at first, but with time they will realize that taking risks is not such a bad thing.

Be Realistic In Your Interactions With Them

Do not offer false praise. If a child messes up or performs below what you expected of them, say it. You will help them learn to take criticism positively and come up with new strategies to work on things. Plus, they will learn to be realistic too.

Offer Constructive Criticism

In line with expressing displeasure, do it wisely. Do not tear down a child just because they messed up. Find ways to give positive feedback and tell them they were wrong without making them feel like they’re a complete mess who can’t ever get anything right. This way they will learn that one mistake does not necessarily ruin everything.

Make Room For Vulnerability

If you allow the children to express their emotions freely, they learn that it is not a weakness. In turn, they grow into people who work through their feelings instead of bottling them up until they explode.

Appreciate Effort

Recognize every effort they make towards progress- as little as it may be. It will foster a desire to keep learning and growing because it is worth something.

Affirmations

You will be surprised at how much difference affirmations can make. Use positive affirmations for kids to help them replace the negative thoughts they have with good ones. Constantly speaking positivity will gradually help them “rewire” their minds.

Instill Responsibility

Give them tasks and quit hovering around to make sure they get things right. When you allow them to take matters on minus your supervision, they understand that they can be trusted. They will then learn to be good stewards of what’s entrusted to them.

To help you on this quest, you can get effective tools and resources such as journals, teaching guides, and printables for children of all ages from Big Life Journal.

Wrapping It Up

Life seems to be getting more complicated by the day. Hence, raising a society of people with a positive attitude will go a long way in making the world a better place.

How Do You Help a Teenager with Mental Illness?

how to help a teen with mential illness

Parenting is a challenging job and parenting teens is quite tricky. Teenagers face many changes as they approach adulthood and the struggles that come with it. Peer pressure, bullying, body shaming, and negative self-perception all fall under the list of teen issues. As a parent, you want to ensure your teen is mentally, emotionally, and physically active.

A teen can develop similar mental health conditions as an adult, yet their symptoms may be different. Mental illness in adolescents can be difficult for parents to notice. Therefore, many teens who can benefit from teen mental health treatment often don’t receive the help they need.

What are the signs of mental illness in teens? What can parents do to help?   We’ll seek to answer these questions.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental health is defined as the overall mental wellness of a individual and how they think, regulate their feelings and behavior. Mental illness or a mental health condition can be defined as patterns or changes in thinking, feeling, or behaving that result in distress in a person’s ability to function.

In teens, mental health disorders are delays or disruptions in developing age-related thinking, behavior, social skills, or managing emotions. These issues are distressing to teens and can disturb their ability to function at school, home, or other social conditions.

Common Mental Health Disorders in Teens:

Mental health issues in teens or developmental disorders that mental health professionals address can include the following;

  • Anxiety issues

Anxiety disorder in a teen involves feelings of endless fears and worries that disturb their ability to participate in school activities. Parents will notice anxiety when they see social stress, generalized anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

  • Attention- deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

When comparing most teens of the same age, teens with ADHD have difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.  They experience these issues at the same time in varying degrees.

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder is a sensory condition that appears in early childhood, generally before age three. The severity of ASD’s situation can vary.  A child with this disorder has difficulty interacting and communicating with others.

  • Depression and other mood disorders

Depression is a continued feeling of sadness and loss of interest that upsets an adolescent’s ability to perform and interact with others. Bipolar disorder additionally brings about outrageous emotional episodes, as well as rapid mood swings that can range from from melancholy to overly enthusiastic. The latter might be risky or even dangerous.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is extended emotional stress, nervousness, anxiety, upsetting memories, bad dreams, and problematic behaviors in response to traumatic events. These events may include past or present abuse, violence, and injury.

Reason Teen Can Develop Mental Health Problems:

Though there can be various reasons and circumstances contributing to a teen’s mental health condition, some of the primary causes can be the following;

  • Hormones

Changes in hormones and brain development can put your teen at risk of mental health problems. Research has shown that when all the parts of the neural system don’t develop at the correct ratio, a teen may experience changes in thinking, mood, and behavior.

  • Environmental issues

Environmental issues can also be a factor that can contribute to a teen’s state of mental health. Any traumatic incidents like the history of any abuse can also increase a teen’s risk.

  • Stress

Stress can be a common factor in bringing on mental illness in teenagers. If your teen is being threatened at school or is a victim of cyberbullying or he or she is undergoing a lot of pressure, they may be more prone to mental health issues.

Warning Signs to Look for Teenage Mental Illness:

Mental illness symptoms can be different in teens, but some common warning signs include these behaviors;

  • Changes in sleeping habits

Your teenager may say they are having trouble sleeping, or they begin taking multiple or daily short naps at school. In the event that your child feels the need to remain in bed the entire day or wants to stay up throughout the night, this can be a warning sign of mental illness advancing in the teens life.

  • Lost interest in regular activities

In the event that your teens wants to withdraw from their favorite activity or indicates they no longer want to hang out with family or friends, then they might be going through a mental issue.

  • A changes in school performance

Mental health conditions frequently lead to dramatic changes in motivation to start or finish school work.  A loss of interest in school overall or a sudden decrease in school grades could very well be an indication of mental issues.

  • Changes in appetite or weight

Skipping out on meals, hoarding food, and quick weight changes could be a sign of an eating disorder.

  • Extreme agitation

Unusual resentment, unexpected emotional responses such as crying, and high degrees of irritability can be a sign of mental illness.

  • Increased isolation

A strong desire to stay distant from others or being very secretive might be an indication of a problem.

How to Help Teen to Deal with Mental Illness?

 Parents can play a crucial part in supporting their teen’s mental treatment. Here are few vital points that can help a parent to support their teen’s mental health treatment;

  • Take time to research and learn about your teen’s mental illness.
  • Seek family counseling that includes all individuals as partners in the treatment plan.
  • Ask your teenager’s mental health professional for counsel on responding to your teen and dealing with their conduct.
  • Take part in parent training programs, particularly those created for parents of teenagers with mental issues.
  • Study stress management techniques to assist you in responding to situations calmly.
  • Engage in activities to unwind and have fun with your teen.
  • Express appreciation for your teens strengths and abilities.

Mental illness is like any other illness.  It takes professional attention to help the person who is mentally ill to improve and manage their health moving forward. Beware of the signs and be ready to learn and provide appropriate solutions.  Get to know your kids and learn how to make them mentally strong for the challenges they will face as they grow.

Do Babies Always Respond to Their Name?

Do Babies Repond to Their Name

As parents, we do get alarmed when our children fail to respond to their names. That’s because this could be a sign of autism and other developmental delays we don’t want our little ones going through. Needless to say, children also develop at their own pace, and what you might take as a sign of autism could simply be your youngster operating on their own timeline.

That said, remaining in the dark and hoping for the best is hardly a space that parents want to occupy when it comes to their children. And while we can never be one-hundred percent sure of the answer until we see understanding reflected in our child’s eyes, it does help when we know the signs are mostly pointing toward a positive outcome.

So, do babies recognize their names all the time? No, they don’t. But this shouldn’t be an immediate cause for concern unless your little one is way past this milestone. Besides, you can help speed things up on your end by employing the speech-enhancing tips we’ll be sharing today.

Getting Your Children To Respond To Their Name More Often

For some children, it takes a while to have full recognition of their name. Sometimes, they’ll respond to it right away; other times, they’ll ignore it completely. If an intellectual disability is not the reason behind this, you can get your child to acknowledge their name with the help of the following:

Response in Isolation

There’s no question that children get distracted easily. They might know you’re calling their name yet fail to respond because their attention is on something or someone else. That is why you should first teach name recognition in isolation.

Teach your child to recognize his or her name when there are little to no distractions. Your bedroom or the kitchen could be a good area to start since it doesn’t have any toys lying around or any fun things taking place.

Once in this isolated environment, sit your child down and start the name-recognition process. To do things correctly, you must prepare something your child likes as a reward. It could be their favorite food, toy, or gesture from you.

Wait for a specific time when they’re looking away before you call out their name. If they look your way, hand over a reward. If they don’t respond, call their name out again louder, accompanied by some sort of commotion, like clapping, waving, or tapping on the table.

Whenever you present a reward, make sure your little one knows what it’s for. Do this repeatedly, using just their first name and only use waving and clapping when they fail to respond the first time.

Response in a Structured Setting

Now, it’s time to dial up the distraction levels and see how your child fares. After all, distractions are a reality your youngster eventually has to deal with. Your child should learn to recognize their name with distractions present.

To do this, take your child to a room where an appliance or two is running. It could be the television or radio or some toys lying on the floor. Repeat what you did in the previous method and call out your child’s name to see if they respond. If they do, reward them. If not, say their name again louder, accompanied by some tapping and clapping.

Of course, the presence of distractions means it might be a bit harder for your little one to focus on what you’re actually saying. Thus, give them a little more time to respond. You just have to keep calling out their name until they eventually look your way. Keep on practicing this method until you’re satisfied with your child’s level of response.

Response in an Unstructured Setting

You could be feeling a little bit better about the situation once your child nails the second method. However, things aren’t quite done just yet.

The third lesson involves getting your child to react to their name with any or all distractions present. So, in this case, you might want to bring them to a room that has all their favorite toys, people, and things to do.

Unleash them into the room before you call their name out. Make sure to stand close to them when you do and wait a moment for a response. If they recognize their name, proceed to hand over the reward and let them know what it’s for.

Though keep in mind that your child might not look your way all the time. What’s important is that he or she responds enough times for you to know that he or she absolutely recognizes the name you gave them.

Children and Their Unique Timelines

While a child has milestones you expect them to reach at a certain age, delays can often happen. Your child might not talk, respond, or act like their peers, and that could be perfectly okay and normal. Your child might simply be biding their time and will catch up eventually.

Though we also understand how this might keep you from getting some sleep. And in that event, you’d do well to get in touch with a speech language pathologist to help address the situation you suspect your child is in.

How to Instill Love of Travel in Your Kids Through Family Trips

Instilling a Love of Travel in Your Kids

Few families have not traveled together. Families gel and become one unit in part because of their ability to travel together. It is one of the foundations of human civilization. As families migrated countless millennia ago, they bonded together as cohesive units that in time, becaming what we are today.

A typical family trip is one of the best ways to make your kids fall in love with traveling.  If you want your kids to get bitten with the travel bug, follow these points:

  • Take Them to Different Places

If you keep going to the same town or lakeside townhouse year after year, it is an axiomatic assumption that your kids are going to get bored after the first few trips. After all, there are only so many places you can go sightseeing, and only so many times you can fish from the same river. Eventually, they are going to end up getting severely bored. When that happens, they will try to avoid your travel plans. And come up with weird excuses.

If your kids start complaining of tummy aches and the like, on the eve of your annual sojourn to your favorite mountain cabin, maybe it is time to rethink your priorities. It would be a great idea to allow them to decide on your next vacation spot. This way, they will be fully involved in the whole process and they will do their level best to find the best places for everyone.

  • Explain Things Beforehand

Always remember that a confused child is an unhappy child. In addition, if they are first-time travelers, you must explain everything to them beforehand, as clearly and as concisely as possible. If there are excessive stimuli, they might become uncomfortable

Here, it would be a good idea to go over an outline of the entire trip. You should explain what they would see and experience so that they will be able to understand the whole point of the trip. If they are aware of what is going to happen in advance, they will be full of anticipation, rather than apprehension.

  • Don’t Overpack

Many traveling families tend to pack just about everything including the kitchen sink. They believe that having familiar items around will make their routines more consistent and they will always have what they need, right at hand. Unfortunately, this is not a good idea at all. You will likely be carrying all that extra luggage along with your kid/s from destination to destination. You don’t want to do that. On the other hand, it is a far better idea to pack as little as possible. This way, you will be able to travel light and also be comfortable at the same time. Not only will you remain safe from sore arms and an aching back, but you won’t have to take care of everything all the time. You can always buy whatever you need from elsewhere. And your kids will love all the new things you get them.

  • Take a Road Trip

There are few bonding opportunities as exciting as a road trip. This holds particularly true if you have an international driving permit and can opt for road trips abroad. This is a great way to teach them about the local culture and traditions. Best of all when you have your transport, and you will not be dependent on flight schedules, bus and train timings, and the like. You can take all kinds of healthy snacks with you and make sure your kids do not go hungry. If the trip were to be a very long one, with little scenery along the road, it would be a wise plan to pack a few games with you, at least until you get to a more scenic part of your route.

  • Conclusion

If you want your family to bond together, it is a really good idea to take a trip, specifically a road trip. If you handle it right, your kids will just simply love traveling with you, whenever and wherever you want to go!