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Archive for March, 2013

My Gifted Child is a Challenge

March 26th, 2013 - Category: Behavior Advice

 

Many characteristics of your gifted child may be causing difficulty at home and at school.  Do any of these instances sound familiar?

 

They are bored with routine tasks, and refuse to do their homework because it’s boring.

They have difficulty moving into another topic because they get so involved in what they are doing.

They are self-critical and are impatient with their failures.

They are also critical of others, even you, their parent, and their teachers.

They often disagree vocally with others including adults.

They make jokes at inappropriate times.

They show intense emotional sensitivity.

They may overreact, get angry easily, or be quick to cry if things go wrong.

They may seem not to be interested in the little details of things.

They don’t like to get their hands messy.

They refuse to accept authority, are nonconforming and stubborn.

They tend to dominate others.

 

As you can see, sometimes a gifted child is thinking so far above and beyond the mundane that they miss the mark when it comes to common courtesy.  Many times they suffer from plain old boredom.  Your bright child may be exhibiting these traits if they are bored.

 

They may have a poor attention span.

They may daydream frequently.

They may have a tendency to begin many activities but the inability to follow them through to completion.

Their judgmental development may lag behind their intellectual growth level.

They have an intensity that may lead to power struggles with authorities.

They have a high activity level; they may seem to need less sleep.

They have difficulty restraining their desire to talk and they may be disruptive.

They seem to question rules, customs, routines, and traditions.

They lose their work or forget to do their work because of disorganization.

They may seem to be careless.

They have a high sensitivity to criticism.

 

Keeping your gifted child “entertained” with appropriate activities will help them focus and use their abilities for good rather than disruptive or difficult attitudes or behaviors.

Service is a great way to encourage your gifted child to “look outside the box” and help someone besides themselves.

Having them help you out with chores and jobs around the house will also give them a purpose and a sense of accomplishment.  Be sure to make sure that the chores don’t become “boring” by switching them up often, or adding something a little different.

Click here to read a related article:  Your Children Crave Responsibility – Give It to Them

Gifted children can bring challenges into your life, but if you look for the good and steer them in the right direction, you’ll find that the rewards far outweigh the tough times.

Technology and How It Affects Our Kids

March 19th, 2013 - Category: Video Games

In January, I shared with you my feelings about a book I had recently read, “The Demise of Guys”.  There has been an overwhelming response from people just like you that have similar feelings.

Traci, at http://www.beneathmyheart.net/shared this:

As a parent, I am so torn with how to raise my boys (that’s a picture of them above) in this day and age of technology-everything!

I feel the pressures of trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Many of Jonathan’s friends in middle school have iphones, ipods, kindles, etc.  Jonathan doesn’t.  He totally deserves them, but my heart tells me not to give them to him yet.

{*NOTE:  I am NOT judging any parents of children with iphones and ipods.  I know many wonderful parents with wonderful children that have iphones, ipods, etc.  The most important thing to consider is how much we let our children use these items.}

I think the main reason I resist is because I see how technology has affected me.  When I started blogging 4 years ago, I never in a million years thought my blog would become my business.  Now that it is my “job,”  I have to spend many hours on my computer… tweeting, facebooking, pinning, writing, sharing, editing, etc.  It never ends.

I’ve started realizing something.  I’m having trouble letting my mind “rest.”

When I do get a little quiet time, I find my mind is filled with “Oh I need to tweet that!”, “Should I text her?”, “Did I take those pictures for that post?”, “Wonder if my facebook group is talking about something important?”

I have such a hard time “resting” my mind before God, and it bothers me.  I truly believe that it is because I saturate my mind with technology all day long, and I can’t turn it off.

So here are my thoughts….if I struggle with that as a 42 year old adult that has only been submerged in technology for the past 5 years, how is that going to effect my boys who have been saturated with it since birth?  Literally.

Are they going to be able to “rest”?   Are they going to be able to turn their mind away from their iphones and ipads long enough to develop real and meaningful relationships with people in their everyday lives?

Those are the questions I ask myself.  I don’t have the complete answer, but I believe that studies are starting to show how technology can negatively affect our children.

As the mother of 4 boys as well, I worry about the purity of their minds.  I know that I cannot protect them from every harmful thing in life, and I don’t want to.  It is through those difficulties that we can grow.

But as far as pornography goes, I will do everything I can to protect them from the life-wrecking effects of it.  There’s no question about it…it can destroy a man’s life.  It’s black and white.  No discussion.  Not a choice.

And here’s another comment from Lauren:

I know you will probably get tons of emails about your post today, but I had to chime in to say THANK YOU for writing this post!!!  As a mother of a 16 year old boy, I am all too aware of what technology can and is doing to our youth.  I struggle daily with his gaming and how much time he spends doing it, which in turn creates many “discussions” with him regarding the dangers of it.  He doesn’t understand and sadly, I really feel like it has negatively impacted my relationship with him.

My solution has been to set boundaries.  He is only allowed to play games for certain time periods and has to turn off (or turn in to us) his ipad and phone by 9pm.  I can only hope that he realizes in time that we did the right thing by setting these boundaries.

Thank you again for writing this post and bringing more awareness to this subject.

 

It’s all up to the parents to realize it is our responsibility to set limits and understand just how important this issue is if we want our children to become healthy well adjusted adults.

I hope that as parents we can wake up to the fact that we have an influence on our children, for good or for bad.   And it doesn’t take force.  We can lovingly guide and lead and direct them for good.

The statistics prove that times are changing.  Let’s make sure they change for the better.

Click here to view my first article, “Alarming Trends About Guys and Technology“.

 

And thank you Traci and Lauren, for caring and sharing your thoughts on the subject.

The Job of Organizing

March 12th, 2013 - Category: Organization

In last weeks blog we talked about the strategy behind getting your kids room organized.  Today lets discuss what it takes to get it done.

 

Plan Your Zones

There are several “zones” in a child’s bedroom.  Areas where they sleep, do school work, play, and dress.  Arrange the furniture and layout the bedroom to better accommodate each of these zones.

For example, instead of lining furniture against the walls, use them as room dividers by turning a dresser, bookshelf, or even bed perpendicular to the wall.

 

Sort

Group items according to how your child relates each item to each other.  This will make it easier for them to find and put away their things later.

 

Purge

When you come across items that they have outgrown, broken, or never use, get rid of them.  Your child may get wrapped up in the memories and have a hard time letting go.  If so, maybe you can create a childhood memory box or book for these things.

 

Assign A Home

First of all, remember that if you want your child to be responsible for their belongings and put them up, then they have to be stored in places that they can reach, not just you.  Designate certain shelves or drawers for certain things.

 

Containerize

Here’s my favorite part.  Find tough, easy to handle, coordinating containers for all of their stuff.  There are so many to choose from.  Find ones that are not only practical for what you are storing and the space you have to put it in, but make them cute as well.

 

Label

Label those containers, shelves and drawers with words and pictures.  Not only will it help them know what’s inside, but they’ll learn to read as well!  I bet they would love to make their own labels too.

 

Now, sit back and relax as you enjoy your child’s cleaner room and they enjoy the new found floor to play on.

Remember, to keep it maintained will take time as well.  New habits are not established overnight.  Create an easy, realistic maintenance plan that you and your child can live with.

And periodically give it a “tune-up”.  Your kids are constantly growing and their room and all of their stuff is growing too.  Go back through the above steps every now and then to make sure that your system stays in order and their room stays organized.

 

 To read, Organizing 101, (Part 1) click here.

Organizing 101

March 5th, 2013 - Category: Organization

 

For this week and next, we are going to be talking about helping your kids organize their room.  Today we’ll discuss the strategy behind it and next week we’ll discuss the specifics of getting it done.

The key to successfully organizing a kids room is to involve the child as much as possible in the process.  As much as you may be tempted to just haul in a dumpster, long range success can only come by allowing your child to participate in the design, transformation, and maintenance of their own room.

Kids love to solve problems – which is what organizing is all about.  Provided you stay calm and supportive rather than judgmental and critical, you and your child will enjoy the individual attention and time you get to spend together as you make the transformation.

Just think, through the process you will also get a unique opportunity to observe your child’s emerging and evolving personality.  As you help your child make decisions about what to keep and what to toss or how to rearrange their furniture, you can gain insight into how their minds work and where their values lie.  You can also learn about any new interests they may have.  And together you can create a room that is a true reflection of who they are and what is important to them.

First, with your child, discuss what is working in their bedroom.  Maybe the cars are easy to put up because the big bin is in the corner, or they love the bookshelf for their stuffed animals because they can see all of them.

Second, ask your child what they dislike about their room. Create a list based on their frustrations, not yours.  Carefully pose questions that speak to your child’s concerns and needs so that your child will have their own reasons for tackling this problem.  For example, take a look at the following lists and notice some of the differences between what your concerns may be and what their concerns may be.

Parents Frustrations

Messy room upsets you

You are tired of cleaning up after them

Someone may trip or get hurt walking through their bedroom

You spend too much money on lost or broken things

Their messy room is embarrassing to you

 

Child’s Frustrations

Their favorite toy got broken because it got stepped on

They can’t play their favorite game because the pieces are lost

They got in trouble at school for losing their homework

There is no room to play with their friends

Cleaning up is too hard and takes too long

They don’t know where to put things

Third, determine what items are most important to them.  It may be their art and craft supplies or their dinosaurs, maybe their video games or their coin collection.  Everyone has things that are special to them.

Fourth, discuss what could be causing the lack of organization.  Here are some reasons that may be discussed.

Organizing is boring.

If it’s not fun to clean up, then they won’t want to do it.  Yet kids love fitting things into all kinds of spaces.  Creative containers may be a help.

Items have no home.

Kids seem to accumulate new belongings faster than they can keep up with them.  Naturally, if an item doesn’t have a home, you can’t expect them to put it up.

Inconvenient storage.

Frequently storage in a child’s room is impractical or difficult to reach which can impede even the best organizing intentions.

The system is too complex.

Usually a kids room is set up according to their parents idea of logic and placement which may not make sense to the child.

In the end, remember:  The goal is to get your child to buy into the organizing process – not force them into cleaning up their room because you can’t stand it anymore.  This requires the ultimate in diplomacy and tact.  In working with your child, become the organizing consultant.  Help your “client” by asking them questions.  You may need to offer suggestions to help them put a voice to their concerns, but respect them and their opinions.  This may be an overwhelming project for them as well, so be considerate of their feelings.  Your job is to guide, motivate, and stay supportive – not just be critical.

Now that we’ve discussed the strategy behind getting your children organized, next week, we’ll talk about the specifics of actually getting it done.