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Baby Brain Games: How to Connect with Your Child's Emotions

IStock_000006179100XChinese Boy Acting
Playing Baby Brain Games

Could baby brain games help your baby? Our parenting expert, Deborah McNelis, and author of BrainInsights Packets for young children is here to show us how. Read on to find out more.

Deborah writes as if your baby is speaking:

"Showing me how much you love me through fun interactions makes connections in the emotional part of my brain."

Perhaps you already delight your infant with "Peek-a-boo."  At first use your hands, then put an object like a book in front of your face then take it away and say, "Peek-a-boo." Smile the whole time. 

Maybe you blow bubbles and pop them. If this enchants your baby and makes her smile or giggle, then you're connecting with her brain's positive emotions.

Deborah's Game for Your Baby's Brain:

Put one of your child's stuffed animals in a container like an oatmeal box. Add the cover. Sing a little song. (You might know "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.") When you finish singing it, take off the lid and pull out the stuffed animal. Have a fun look on your face while you do it over and over.

If your baby could talk, according to Deborah, she would say, "I will learn to expect the animal to pop out when the song is over."

I like Deborah's technique for using games to promote brain development and emotions. It's easy, fun, and creates a loving bond with your baby.

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As an Early Brain Development Specialist and owner of Brain Insights, Deborah is the award winning author of, The Brain Development Series.

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Let's THANK Deborah McNelis for sharing another way to have fun increasing our baby's brain development. Her methods are simple. And she gives us the reasoning behind the game. This helps us  develop our own baby brain games. Would you like to share yours? Comment below.

Deborah McNelis Face
   Deborah McNelis

Pick up Braininsights: Love Your Baby~Making Connections in the First Year at her website, www.braininsightsonline.com

Cover BrainInsights

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Motivation: How to Promote a Winning Attitude in Your Child

 

Boy smiling
Motivation Helps Your Kids!

To motivate a winning attitude in your child, Carol Josel, parenting expert and author of the book, Other-Wise and School-Wise, is here to share some great advice. First, she'll tell us the signs of a winning attitude. Next she'll offer 6 motivation strategies for  kids and, finally, 5 tips for setting goals.

 

The Signs of Successful Attitudes in Children

How would you answer, "Who cares about your child's success more, you or your child?" If you didn't answer, "your child," you've got work to do. So many of us parents worry. We want our kids to succeed. We push them even when their feet stubbornly hold tight because they're not motivated.

The signs that your child is inspired depend on his view of himself. If you'd like to know, ask him these 3 questions:

1. Do you think you can succeed?

2. Do you want to succeed?

3. Why do you want to succeed?

If your child is focused on his own progress and is willing to take on challenges, don't worry. He is motivated. But if he isn't, let's listen to 6 of Carol's  20 suggestions for helping him move in the right direction.

1. Help your child get started on an assignment or project, if necessary, but then stand back.

2. Build on your child's strengths.

3. Believe in your child-and let him/her know it.

4. Acknowledge your youngster's hard work.

5. Encourage new experiences (sports, drama, painting, music).

6. Help your child set goals and find ways to achieve them. (From page 65.)

Advice for Setting Fun Goals:

Your child will feel motivated if she picks out a goal, works hard, and achieves that goal. Start with a goal your child wants to achieve. Hold a brainstorming session. Ask your child to set a fun goal for himself. Ask, "What is something you want?" "How will you help yourself achieve it?"

 Brainstorming Sample Goals:

!. Read a book on her favorite topic.

2. Play a sport she might like.

3. Learn to play a musical instrument.

Carol advises parents to encourage kids to break down big goals into small short-term goals with a due date.

Brainstorming Short-Term Goals:

Let's say your daughter loves books. You might help her by brainstorming this plan:

1. I will go to library

2. I will spend time finding a fun book.

3. I will check it out and bring it home.

4. I will pick a time to read it each day.

5. I will finish it in 2 weeks.

When she's completed her goal. Let her know you're impressed with her effort. Ask her, "How do you feel about accomplishing your goal?" Get her to talk about how she motivated herself. She'll love to share her thoughts with you. This could motivate her achieve even more goals. (From pages 64-69).

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Let's PRAISE Carol Josel, a true educator and learning specialist. Her Guide is filled with activities that you can use like a fun workbook. Or better yet, use it for family dinner discussions to keep your kids mentally alert and happily motivated.

Author Carol Josel

   Carol Josel

Pick up a copy of Other-Wise and School-Wise: A Parent Guidebook    You'll have fun reinforcing your kids' thought processes even when they're not in school.

Cover Other-Wise

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Anger Help for Teenagers: 9 Steps for Parents

 

Boy angry teen
Solutions for Kids with Anger Problems

 If your teenager has an anger problem and you're looking for solutions, keep reading. Our parenting expert, Annie Fox, and author of the book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People, is here to share some valuable ideas. First she'll share a mother's concern and then she'll offer her professional advice.

The Anger Problem

A worried mother wondered if the youth minister could help her son or should she involve the authorities. This was after she wrote:

"When my 14-year-old son doesn't get his way, he starts yelling and cursing. He started getting physical with his father, my ex, and came to live with my second husband and me. Same problem." (page 77)

The mother went on to say her son got physical with her the night before. Later and in tears he apologized.

Annie's Parenting Solutions:

Annie acknowledged the situation was dangerous because the son didn't know how to deal with his out of control anger. She told the mom, "This must be addressed immediately." Annie commended the fact that the boy apologized because it showed he knew what he did was wrong.

Here's Annie's 9-Step Advice ~

1. Find out if the youth minister has a counseling background. If your son has a good relationship with him, the youth minister could be a good resource.

2. Get a referral to a licensed family therapist if the youth minister lacks the skills needed.

3. Talk to your son when he's calm and can listen.

4. Tell your son, "I love you and know you are a good person."

5. Assure him that you know he's not proud of himself for his temper.

6. Explain that you are still very upset with what happened.

7. Make sure he knows you are on his side and you want to help him grow up and become a good man.

8. Share your hope that he'll learn to treat everyone with respect even when he's angry.

9. Tell him you want him to get professional help.

Annie then advised that the boy's problem is a family problem and should include the boy's dad, herself, and her present husband with the counselor. Why? The process needs to address the boy's needs and the well-being of the family.

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Annie Fox is a true professional. She gives the mother step-by-step advice with the best mental outlook in handling her son. Many parents are likely to blow up and escalate a bad situation when their teen gets violent. This gives the teenager an excuse to blame the parent. The parent ends up feeling guilty until the next blow up. The cycle of anger keeps blazing.

If your child gets too angry, consider Annie's advice. One more thing, deal with it immediately. Don't let it get out of hand.

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Let's APPLAUD Annie for her excellent work with teens. Her background as an internationally respected character educator with 30+ years of experience is clearly visible.

Author Annie Fox
Annie Fox, M.Ed.

Pick up your copy of Teaching Kids To Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century

Cover Teaching Kids To Be Good People

Available on Amazon.com

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Shame: How to Change the Beliefs that Hurt Your Child

If shame has hurt your child, keep  reading. Our parenting skills expert, Katherine Gordy Levine, and author of the book, Parents Are People Too, is here to help. First, we'll check out Katherine's own story. Second, well look at some shameful  words you may have experienced as a child. Then we'll share what you can do to lessen the resulting feelings in yourself and in your child.

Katherine's Story of Shame:

Today's author was six-years-old when she was in a near car accident with her family. She heard her brother yell out, "We're going to crash!" Katherine sprawled out in a relaxed position because she had heard this was the best thing to do. When the car stopped, her family saw her and laughed. One brother shamed her by calling her "Stupid."  She never forgot.

The point is, Katherine carried that shaming event throughout a large portion of her life. It even influenced her explosion at her son's teacher when the teacher implied he was "stupid."

Your Past Shameful Events

Perhaps you have stories from your childhood that are still powerfully raw. Naming calling words may still affect you like:

  1. You're ugly.
  2. You're a dummy.
  3. You're such a turkey.
  4. You knucklehead!
  5. Why are you such an Idiot?

Remembering those names can bring back sense memories. Like Katherine, you might find yourself reacting in anger. If you take your hurt feelings back through your life on the wings of time, you might find the exact situation where they started. You  might say, "Aha, that's where they came from." If you understand the old situation better, you might release the feelings and feel better.

How to Change Shaming Beliefs in Yourself to Help Your Child

Hurtful thoughts must be challenged. As you practice helping yourself, teach your son or daughter to do the same.

Say to your son, "You're looking a little sad, today. What happened?"

Be gentle in your approach. If he tells you his sister yelled, "You stink!" and he believes it, help him debate the truth of it.

  1. Who said so?
  2. What makes her the authority?
  3. Was she mad?
  4. Why do you think she said it?
  5. Do you really think you stink?

Perhaps your son will realize she was trying to upset him because he played with her toys without asking.

Tell him that you're using your brain to overcome your own hurt feelings. Share self-statements you've been using and encourage him to say them too:

1. Nothing is awful and terrible.

2. It's just inconvenient.

3. I can take it.

4. Things don't have to go my way.

5. Life isn't fair.

You might even post these statements on the fridge. Every time your son uses one of the sentences to soothe his pain, give him a high five with a true compliment like, "You used your brain and overcame!"

By teaching your child these truths, you're helping him face reality, overcome painful feelings, and leave the hurt behind.

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Let's THANK Katherine for sharing her story, teaching us to challenge negative thoughts and using our brains to overcome pain and shame.

Katherine Gordy Levine

Katherine Gordy Levine

Pick up a copy of her book, Parents Are People Too and find out how to challenge and change negative thoughts (Chapter 8). You'll love her emotional fitness program too.

Cover Parents Are People Too_

Available at Amazon.com

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Parenting: 2 Powerful Thought Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids

Bigstock-girl thinking1990241
Power Thoughts with Power Scripts

If you're a parent who wants to raise resilient kids, use these power thoughts! Our parenting expert and author of The Resilience Formula, is Dr. Donna Volpitta. She is here to share 2 practical ways to help your kids with scripts and triggerscripts. Keep reading and start using these amazing tools today.

 

Definition and Goal of Scripting

"Scripting is the process of providing the exact language we want and having someone repeat it back. The goal of scripting in this book is to provide kids with strategies to handle everyday challenges." (page 77)

Dr. Volpitta describes the process for parents with 2 steps:

1. Create the script or sentence.

2. Tell your child to repeat the script exactly.

Here's an example many parents say and it's not the best because it doesn't get the child to repeat exactly.

"Mom can I have a cookie?"

"What do you say?"

"Please."

The best script that becomes a brain pathway to other requests like a doll or a bike:

"Mom, may I have a cookie please?"

Dr. Donna's Golden Rule for Raising a Polite Kid

Have them say the whole phrase-don't let them separate out the "please!" (page 80)

The Triggerscripts - A Definition:

If you're a parent who repeats positive mottos and quotes often when guiding your kids, then you're halfway there to helping your kids develop strategies for handling the challenges of life.

"A triggerscript is a short script that can trigger a brain pathway to set in motion specific actions." (page 86)

Of course, triggers and triggerscripts need to be explained to kids beforehand so your kids know what you want them to say. These sayings then become power thoughts to help them throughout life.

I remember my mother often repeating, "A stitch in time saves nine."  It was her way of telling me not to put things off.

But Dr. Donna would take that quote one step further. If my mother had said, "A stitch in time..." and had me fill it in either out loud or silently, it would have made an even greater pathway.

Why is this important? Remember, "The goal of a triggerscript is to create a pathway that is automatic, one that triggers a behavior without having to think about it." (page 87)

Dr. Donna's Guidelines for Generating Your Own Triggerscripts:

1. Use words that tell your children what to do.

2. Give any script a rhythmic beat.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

4. Be consistent. (pages 91 - 92)

"The ultimate goal of triggerscripts is self-regulation - teaching kids the tools to control their own behavior. Ideally, we arm them with triggerscripts so that they can act appropriately and safely when we are not around." (pages 92-93)

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I love the ideas of using scripts and triggerscripts when raising children. Having children repeat the exact script of what to say is very important.

There are many great mottos and quotes to use as triggerscripts. If we can't think up our own we can repeat ones that are short and to the point. Ones that rhyme are especially effective like, "A stitch in time saves nine."

Scripts and triggerscripts help children know what to do when we aren't there. They help kids regulate themselves because they become power thoughts with automatic pathways in their brains.

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Let's HONOR Dr. Donna Volpitta for sharing these two brilliant ways of raising kids with power thoughts for guiding them toward a meaningful life.

Donna V
Dr. Donna Volpitta

Pick up your copy of The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting.

Cover Donna

Available on Amazon.com

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How Kids Help Parents and Adults Be Loving and Creative

Bigstock_Father_Thumbs_Up_83765
Listen and Hear to Wipe Out Fear

Would you like to be more creative with your kids? Our parenting expert, Rick Ackerly, and author of the book The Genius In Every Child, tells us to overcome our fears. He tells us that both parents and teachers can be trapped by fearing for their children's future. We want them to pass tests to get into college and beyond. But there's more to a child's complexity than passing tests. Let's listen to the story of Sofia and how Rick helped her become his ally.

Rick's Question and Answer:

Will I act out of fear or out of love?

Rick, the headmaster of a school, noticed a little girl crying. It was the second day of school. He sat down on a bench beside little Sofia and asked her, "What's wrong?" Sofia wanted her mommy and daddy.

Some of us might feel fearful and want her to stop crying and stay at school. Rick wanted this too but he came at it a different way. He asked, "What's your mommy's name?" She had to stop crying to answer. She told him her mommy's name, her daddy's name, and that she knew Rick's name too. Soon she was showing him how she could climb the play structure and zip down the slide.

How Rick Acted Out of Love:

  1. He sat beside her.
  2. He asked her what was wrong.
  3. He asked her more questions.
  4. He got her to talk.
  5. He listened well.
  6. She showed him what she could do on the play equipment.
  7. She stayed at school and after that was happy to be there every day.

Rick's point is, "Seeing your child as your ally, rather than as a problem to be solved, can help you find the right words to say." Rick viewed Sofia's situation as an opportunity to be creative. "As soon as I started enjoying her, she cheered up and went off to play."

Rick's Parenting Advice:

  1. Give yourself the freedom to develop a loving interaction.
  2. Create the opportunity for your child to respond likewise.
  3. Experience the infinite complexity of your child as an ally.
  4. Believe in her inner resources.
  5. Allow the conditions for your child to make her own creative choices.
  6. Act out of love not fear. (From pages 119-123)

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 Sofia gave Rick an opportunity to be loving and creative. Your child gives you the same opportunities in different ways. I suggest following Rick's advice. He is a nationally recognized educator and speaker with forty-five years of experience. He understands how to help kids grow.

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Let's THANK Rick Ackerly for sharing his own genius and experience with us.

Blog Potential Rick Ackerly educator

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Pick up Rick's book, The Genius In Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity in Children

Cover - Genius

Available at Amazon.com

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Homework and Angry Parents: 6 Ways to Be "Under Control"

 

Teenage boy stubborn
Defiance and Independence versus Success

If you're angry because your child is not doing his homework, getting bad grades, and acting defiant, you have problems. Our parenting expert and author of the book, Homework: A Parents Guide, Neil McNernery, is here to share 6 ways to solve them. Let's hear a typical story and Neil's advice.

 

Neil knows you want your kids to be successful. He knows you can't be "in control" too. Why?

Here Are 3 Questions to Think about:

1. Does your attitude reveal your belief that your child doesn't want to succeed?

2. Is your negative relationship with your child coloring his attitude toward your advice?

3. If "yes" is the answer to either question, then try to be "under control" rather than, "in control."

In Neil's chapter 'The Mistakes We Make as Parents,' he tells the story of Jordan and his dad. Jordan earned a "D" in science. In front of Neil, his dad demanded, "What else should I take away from you to get you to get a better grade?" Their argument escalated.

Jordan's dad believed his son didn't want to achieve and his negative relationship with his son increased Jordan's defiance.

Neil's Take on the Problem:

1. Jordan's dad wanted to be "in control" of Jordan's efforts toward good grades.

2. Jordan pushed back because he valued his independence by saying, "The point is that the more you try to control me, the more I will do it my way, even if it means getting worse grades." Jordan treasured independence over his dad's desire for his success.

Neil's Advice for Angry Parents Who Want Their Child to Succeed:

1. Calm down and be "under control" of your attitude, emotions, and behavior.

2. Change your attitude. Believe your child wants to succeed.

3. Create a positive relationship with your child.

4. Speak in conversational tones.

5. Make your goal to get your child to "buy in" by being a consultant.

6. Deliver your message in such a way that it will be heard, accepted, and used. (From pages 72-73 and 109-111)

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I like Neil's advice because it makes sense.

1. I suggest taking a walk by yourself  and think out how you'll calm down and get "under control." Perhaps you'll visualize seeing yourself handling the problem better. You might repeat often while breathing on the inhale, "I'm" and on the exhale "under control."

2. Ask yourself, "How can I get my point across so it can be heard, accepted, and used?" Practice saying your message in conversational tones.

3. Consider asking questions that focus on what your child thinks about his grades and any advice he'd like to give himself. You also might ask, "Is there anything you'd like me to do to help you?"

4. It's important to keep in mind your child wants to be independent and in control of his choices. You can promote that by following Neil's advice.

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Let's THANK Neil McNerney for writing such a helpful book for parents based on his wealth of experiences as a school counselor.

Neil McNerney
Neil McNerney, M.Ed., LPC

Pick up Homework: A Parents Guide to Helping Out without Freaking Out

Cover Homework
Available on Amazon.com

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5 Top Strategies to Help Kids Cope with Divorce

 CB 3 bigstock-Thinking-Boy-41101774

Jason's Story, "I Can't Concentrate."


Looking for strategies to help your kids cope with divorce? If so, my brand new kindle book, Character Building: Divorce Stories and Strategies to Help Your Child Heal is yours for

FREE tomorrow Tuesday, June 4, 2013, and Wednesday.

With high divorce rates come numerous children in single parent homes. Research tells us ninety percent of these children experience a decline in school performance. Many children experience physical problems like headaches, stomach aches, sleep problems, and fatigue. Many also go through social problems loosing interest in friends or letting anger infect their lives. Parents grieve over their child's pain. What to do?


As a former teacher and family counselor, I've looked for good ways to help children cope with divorce. These stories can help children heal.

Healing-is-a-matter-of

 

Adapting to divorce takes time plus opportunity. Stories can offer that opportunity. Children relate to stories, especially cartoon stories. In this book the characters present a typical problem to solve with strategies that heal.

 

 

You'll find 23 stories with themes like:

. Tina, who's upset over her mother's dating

. Jesse, who worries over his mother's money problems

. Bethany, who's trying to adjust to different rules in each household

. Danny, who's been waiting at the window for his dad to pick him up for a visit.

. Molly, whose parents still fight and many more story dilemmas.

5 Top Strategies to Help Your Child Heal

1. The Story

The cartoon stories bring each dilemma out in the open making it easier for your child to talk about his or her own feelings. Besides the regular format, embedded in each tale is a special healing technique to guide your child.

Within Each Story You'll Find ~

2. Choosing the Best Statement

For instance in the story entitled, "I Can't Concentrate," (about Jason who daydreams in school), your child is given 3 statements and is asked to choose the best:

. Will dad ever come back?

. I can't stop worrying about dad.

. My thoughts are clear and I am here.

These statements can turn into a conversation to relieve your child's worries.

3. Discussion Time

Each story includes four key questions to jumpstart thoughts, feelings, and actions. Your child is encouraged to give the cartoon character his best advice.

4. Saying

To help the character's thoughts and feelings, your child is asked to create a positive self-talk saying that rhymes. (Of course, your youngster can use the saying to repeat often too.) There is a suggested rhyme in each story for convenience.

5. The Binder Drawings

Each story suggests your child draw a picture of the problem scene and then the solution scene. Their drawings can be saved in a 3-hole binder. They become a keepsake for your child on how he solved each of the divorce story's dilemmas.

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You'll find a bonus collection of all 23 special healing strategies for you to download at the end of the book. Use them whenever you need them.

Pick up Character Building: Divorce Stories and Strategies to Help Your Child Heal

CB 3 Cover Divorce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available at Amazon.com

As you probably know, many people look at the reviews on Amazon before they decide to purchase a book.

If you liked this kindle book, would you please take a minute to leave a review? Don't forget to give it 'stars' and a 'like.' 

PS You don't need to own a kindle to enjoy kindle books. Just download the app below.

Kindle App

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS


****** If you liked this article, please write a comment and send it to your social media sites below.

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