As educators, we teach so much more than algebra and spelling to our students. Crucial life skills, such as self-regulation, repairing harm, and setting healthy boundaries to prevent harm, are just a few of the life lessons we can provide for our students. Teaching the importance of boundaries, how to communicate your needs, and how to receive boundary setting are all foundational building blocks for healthy interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, many of us did not have a blueprint in our childhood about boundary setting and repair conversations. Here are some tips for integrating preventative interpersonal relationship skills into your classroom culture. [...]
In the milieu in which our children live – social media, the internet, television and movies – it is often hard to sort fact from fiction. Our children get mixed messages about honesty. While they are told it is an important value, they are surrounded by messaging that implies you can say anything you want, and as long as someone believes you, it is okay. In the era of “fake news” it is important to hold up the value of honesty and the importance of telling the truth. Beyond learning to be honest themselves the ability to detect falsehoods in [...]
Children experience the world through a different lens than adults and are learning to tell the difference between what is “real” in their imagination, and what is real in the world. Often children lie for very similar reasons as adults – they feel trapped, are afraid of being punished or rejected, or sometimes just because it seems easier. As adults, most of us also aren’t always accurate truth tellers either. Sometimes to help someone feel better we omit information or tell what we call “white lies to protect ourselves or others. Sometimes, like children we distort the truth to avoid [...]
It's pretty hard to learn about money if you don't have any. Consider using an allowance to teach your kids about financial responsibility. And if what you really want is to teach about money - do not tie that allowance to chores it will distract from the lessons of money.
The real question for all of us is: What invites us to respond in drastic ways to our childrens’ misbehavior and mistakes? My hunch is that is fear. Many of the parents I work with are afraid when their children lie, steal, are mean to their siblings, swear, wear sexually provocative clothing, investigate pornography online, start cutting, text or sext at all hours of day or night, smoke pot…etc.
Imagine that your daughter and her friends are sitting hanging out in the family room – talking and texting and you hear, “Oh that is so gay!” Do you feel uncomfortable but remain silent because you don't want to embarrass your daughter? Do you wait and talk about it in private afterwards? What do you do when you hear Uncle Alfred make a derogatory comment about women or children or people of a different race or sexual orientation? Do you just say to yourself or your children, "That's Alfred, he is a little off color?" What do you think that is teaching our children about how to be an effective bystander? What could do you do instead?
As the parent it doesn’t always feel so great when all of your positions get shaved away by your budding courtroom lawyer. It is exhausting. Setting limits firmly and still honoring the dignity of your child isn’t really hard, but it takes practice.
The idea that a grumpy child is going to go sit somewhere and calmly think about what they “should have done” is quite preposterous. Did you? I didn’t. When I was sent to my room I spent the whole time thinking about how unfair the situation was or plotting how I was either going to make that particular parent “pay.” Just guessing, but I don’t think that was what my parents were aiming for.
Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD When I grew up everyone in our family had jobs to do. Many of them were centered around our family dinners (setting the table, clearing the table, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor). Other family jobs included feeding pets and taking care of the garbage (this was in the days before recycling.) I don’t remember “loving” these “chores” but I do remember that they were part of what each of us did to contribute to the family. Having children routinely contribute to the family helps them understand what it takes to make things happen in [...]
We might THINK we are saying no, but our bodies might be giving a different message.