4 Tips to Foster a Love of Learning in Your Child

Many parents are concerned about getting their children to do homework, reading and writing and in general, enjoy school. Here are some tips you may want to use to foster a love of learning in your child (or teen). 1.Reading Foster reading by reading yourself. Read in front of your children, in a natural, non-imposing way. If they see you reading and enjoying it, they will most likely want to emulate you. The best way to encourage them to read is by not encouraging it at all, rather, role model the behaviour. 2. Electronic Devices Electronics are great, children love them, and at times they can be educational, or just plain entertaining. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful to your child. Monitor the amount of time your child spends playing with computer games, DS’s, PlayStation, XBOX etc… Give them a time range, for example, one hour playing time, with one hour intervals. It’s also important to monitor what games they are playing. Often, kids are left alone, playing or navigating the Internet. They may inadvertently download pornographic images, or even bugs (spyware) onto the computer. By periodically sitting by them and watching what they are doing, you show them that you care, and keeps them on track by playing only the games you approve.  3. Use Computers to Stimulate Encourage your child to interact with the computer for non-gaming purposes. Have them design their own birthday card, using a program such as Word or Publisher. Have them write a poem for a friend, or for you. Have them create their own calendar of events, or a calendar with their friend’s birthdays.  4. Pay Attention to Build Trust Some children may complain of feeling sick, without actually being ill, for example, say they’re having a stomach ache. Make time at night, around bed time to really talk to your children. Ask how they’re feeling; create open ended questions. Wait for an answer, without repeating yourself. Often children don’t answer these questions right away, or truthfully. Your silence and patience will indirectly encourage communication. If it doesn’t happen that night, don’t give up, keep trying. You may want to observe your child’s emotions by saying, “I think you’re feeling down.” Wait for a response, if your child begins to talk, listen carefully, don’t say too much. Let him or her find a solution to the problem. Having...
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Let’s Stop Bullying Our Children

Bullying is a real concern and increasingly a problem that most schools are addressing albeit, some more effectively than others. Bullying is affecting all levels of education, from public to private schools, from kindergarten to high school. Children or youth who are bullied say it’s because they are overweight, underweight, are short, or are extremely shy, a large percentage claim it’s because they are gay or lesbian or are perceived to be. Suicide rates among teens and even younger children are on the rise, much of the cause can be attributed to bullying related to the fear of homosexuality or simply, homophobia. Children and youth who bully are not secure individuals, to bully they must feel insecure in some way. Some children put themselves down on a regular basis, emulating what they see adults doing. Often it is at home within their families that they feel most insecure. When parents tease their kids, put them down by calling them “stupid”, or by saying “you can’t do anything right”, they are in fact putting that child down, and in a sense bullying their own children. They may take the position that they are the authority and therefore can use their power as they see fit. However, being a parent does not give anyone the right to mistreat a child. No one owns anyone else. Once a child is born, he or she becomes an autonomous individual, with a unique sense of self and self-expression. When children feel judged by their parents, they feel a sense of great injustice. As many children have no healthy outlet to express those feelings of injustice, they become angry and often take that anger to the school yard; either leading them to become bullies or to become the bullied. The teaching of morals and values in the home can also have a serious impact on children and youth. If the family’s values center on not accepting homosexuals, teasing overweight people, or talking negatively about people of different racial and cultural backgrounds, then in effect, that is educating the child, however prejudicially. Children are engrained with family values from a young age; they grow up and integrate these values into their psyche. When others don’t reflect the same values, these children can become angry and resentful. Negative messages, even when normalized in the home resonate injustice in a profound way to the child. The signs can be withdrawal...
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