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Personal Best Karate

The Gossip Test

Posted: May 17, 2019

As a facilitator of Anti Bully education in 29 public and private schools covering grades Pre –K through 12th grade, I am frequently asked about gossip. It seems that it is everywhere and in all walks of life. The examples change based on age, but it always comes back to speaking of others not present in an unflattering way. One of the stories I have shared many times over the years to help others understand the destructive power of rumors and gossip is the following. Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you hear or find yourself ready to repeat a something told to you.

In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three."

7 Steps to Raising Your Child’s Self Esteem

Posted: May 17, 2019

1. Keep a Victory List: Refrigerators were made for this! Keep reminding your child of all the things, both large and small, they should be proud of. Many times children (and adults) do not give themselves full credit for their achievements.

A parent I know took the idea of a victory list and not only kept the refrigerator full, but also took the time to make a scrapbook of the improvements a child made each year. Yearly, the parent also wrote a two-page paper summarizing all of the positive changes and challenges the child overcame. On the child’s eighteenth birthday she will receive the scrapbook full of accomplishments from each year of life as well as the two-page narrative that goes along with each year.

2. Catch Them in the Act…of Doing Things Right: Having to wear the hat of being the disciplinarian can sometimes lead to only noticing or making a big deal over the things that go wrong. Nothing is wrong with correcting negative behavior as long as you are equally as passionate about drawing attention to accomplishments.

What is the Difference Between Tattling/Snitching and Reporting?

Posted: May 17, 2019

We are about one month into the 2013 school year. How is it going so far? I hope it is off to a good start. Regardless of a good or bad start or what school your child attends, there will likely come a point when you are going to need to coach your child through a tough decision. As many parents know, children and teens often times use the word “tattling” or “snitching to describe anyone telling an authority figure about any type of situation that occurred. Since they fear being made fun of or looked down on, instead of going to an adult they simply keep what has happened a secret. The challenge is, without an interruption in the pattern of the bullying and the intervention from someone in a position of power, more than likely, it will continue.

To encourage children and teens to report bullying behavior when it happens it is important to help them see clearly the difference between the two words.

Tattling / snitching is when a child sees another child doing something that has nothing to do with him or another classmate and decides to tell a teacher for the personal enjoyment of watching the child get in trouble. It is actually a subtle form of bullying.

How Can I Teach My Child Gratitude?

Posted: May 17, 2019

If you value raising children with a heart filled with gratitude, as I am sure you do, how do you ensure you hit your mark? One answer may be through the utilization of “experiential learning”. What do I mean? Observation has shown that frustration often sets in with parents when their children make an insensitive or selfish comment. Parents think, “If only my child knew how lucky they are!”

Well, for better or worse, all a child knows is their OWN experience. As it is for adults, it is difficult to see tragedy in other parts of the world and bring the grateful experience back into your everyday consciousness. After all, it took Scrooge, a trip back in time and a trip to the future to really appreciate the opportunities he had before him.

And while as parents we don’t want to create painful experiences for our children, I have found the closer we can get to a challenging circumstance the better. Here are some examples:

How to Teach Your Child to Stay Motivated

Posted: May 17, 2019

Have you ever had the experience of listening to a parent talk about their child’s attitude regarding an activity like dance, gymnastics, baseball, theater, karate, etc. and hear them say something like, "Jimmy loves his classes once he's at them. After class he's talking about how great it was and he always leaves with big smile on his face. But sometimes, I have a hard time getting him to his classes. Jimmy's watching TV or a friend asks him to play or he's in the middle of a game and he gives me a hassle about going to the activity. Has this ever happened to you?”

Child psychologists call this being "Present Oriented" and it's typical in young children, but certainly extends to teens. They don't want to break away from what they are doing now, no matter what! They have not learned the concept we like to call "stacking." If this happens to you or to a parent you are in conversation with here is a script that you may find very helpful.

Sit down with your child and ask, "Jimmy, can you build a nice castle or high tower if I give you a bunch of blocks?"

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