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Solve Conflicts between Kids: A Top Strategy for Parents

 

Brother and Sister
Parents Can Teach Kids How to Solve Conflicts!

If your kids never have conflicts, don't bother reading about this excellent strategy. Our parenting expert and author, Dr. Michele Borba, who wrote The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, is here to share a top way for helping kids stand up for themselves and resolve fights. She'll use the acronym, STAND.

 

Helping Kids Solve Conflicts with STAND

Each letter of STAND has special meanings. If we aid kids in making this method a habit, they'll be wiser now and in the future, lessen their arguments, and enhance their chances for success.

S = Stop and Calm Down

   1. Call for a time out.

   2. Take a deep breath.

   3.  Get a drink of water.

   4. Leave for a minute and then come back.

When everyone has calmed down, then it's time for the next step. 

T = Take Turns Telling What the Problem Is

    Rules

    . No put-downs or criticisms

    . No interrupting

    1. Ask each child, "What happened?"

    2. Tell the children to summarize each other's view and to begin with the word "I" rather than "You."

    3. The goal is to help each child understand what it feels like to be in each other's shoes.

A = Alternatives, list different ways for resolving the conflict

    1. Brainstorm the first thing that comes to your mind.

    2. Avoid putting each other's ideas down.

    3. Try to come up with ideas that work for both sides.

  N = Narrow the Choices

    Rules

    1. Eliminate solutions that are unacceptable to either side.

    2. Eliminate solutions that aren't safe or wise.

D = Decide on the Best Choice and Do It!

    1. Think about the consequences for each possible choice by asking, "What might happen if you tried that?"

    2. What are the pros and cons of each choice?

    3. What is one last change that would make your choice even better?

    4. Once they agree on a choice, each child shakes hands and says, "I agree."

Dr. Michele cites research that says "children who were skilled in problem solving were less likely to be impulsive and aggressive when things don't go their way: tended to be more caring and less insensitive; were better able to make friends; and tended to achieve more academically." (From pages 51-52)

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Dr. Michele gives us this top problem solving strategy. It has such enormous benefits for our children. I especially like it because it's so simple. I suggest copying her method to keep handy when you need it. Then help your kids STAND up for themselves and make it a habit.

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Let's APPLAUD Dr. Michele for her expert advice in giving us a process for helping our children resolve their fights and standing up for themselves. If all children were taught this strategy, the outlook for world peace would be very bright.

Dr. Michele Borba
Dr. Michele Borba

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Pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions to find the answers you need.

Cover The Big Book of Parenting Solutions
Available at Amazon.com

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Sympathy: Are First Graders Too Young to Feel Compassion?

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Youngsters Discuss Compassion

Compassion is sympathy for someone's suffering, so says parenting expert, Michael Sabbath, author of the book, The Good, The Bad, and the Difference. Today he'll share a clever experiment exposing first graders to suffering. No, he didn't use violence or blood but he did help kids to choose between obedience and compassion. Let's find out what he did.

 Michael, a lawyer, routinely visited classrooms to prompt discussions about values. One day he went to the first grade classroom at Cherry Hills Village Elementary School.

The Compassion Experiment

He asked the teacher, Sandy, to instruct the children to "stay in their seats while she and I went to the principal's office."

Once outside the room he slammed a nearby door and yelled, "Help, help, help!" Right away half the students ran to his rescue. He told the students that he slipped and fell against the door. Some believed him.

This experiment grew into a great classroom conversation.

The Compassion Discussion

Stacey was one of the first students to run to help. Michael asked the class if Stacey was 'good' even though she got out of her seat. Here is what some of the kids said:

1. Katie said, "Stacey was both good and bad. She was bad when she disoberyed and got out of her seat but good when she tried to help you."

Michael interpreted Katie's answer as high level thinking. "Helping is more important than disobeying about sitting in a seat."

2. Little Stacey defended her disobedience by saying, "If you're dead, you can't come back to life."

Michael viewed Stacey's comment as valuing life over obedience.

3. Joan used her creative imagination by holding her chair to her bottom and opened the door to see if help was needed.

Michael viewed her actions as ingenious. She didn't disobey and she did go to help.

4. Other first graders who ran to help made comments like:

   . "I'd want someone to help me."

   . I'd feel bad if I didn't help the person."

   . "I'm happy when people helped me when I needed it so I wanted to help you."

Michael said Compassion posters hang on school walls. (Do kids always pay attention to them?)

By this experiment, Michael showed that first graders aren't too young to feel compassion. Even better, they chose compassion over obedience because of their moral judgments. (From pages 211-212.)

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Michael is ingenious with creating marvelous discussions that make kids think. If I were still a teacher, it would an honor to have him discuss ethics with my class. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, you too can have impressive discussions with your children.

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Pick up The Good The Bad & The Difference: How To Talk With Children About Values. You'll find discussions on courage, integrity, wisdom, justice, compassion, reason and more.

Cover The Good, The Bad,

Let's CONGRATULATE Michael Sabbath for his creative ways to get kids to think on higher levels and express their values.

Michael Sabbeth best
Michael Sabbath

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Teenagers: Our Blaming Mistakes and 4 Ways to Solve Them

 

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"No matter what, I love you."

It's easy to blame an out-of-control teen. Our parenting experts are sharing an excerpt from their book, The Whipped Parent. Marney Studaker-Cordner and her co-author Kimberly Abraham are social workers who have helped many teens.  They'll share advice on how we blame and how to change.

 

How We Blame Our Teens:

We keep mental tabs on their past wrongs like:

. The temper tantrums when she was young

. The time she stole money from my purse

. The time she set the house on fire from her cigarettes

. The times she stayed out past her curfew

. The times she got drunk when I was out

. The times she's called me the "B-word."

When we think about the mental list, it's easy to feel angry, resentful, and hurt. Our authors tell us that keeping a tab is like a credit card. "You're the one who ends up paying - with lots of interest tacked on." What's even worse, our kids learn to keep tabs on our mistakes too.

When we keep tabs, it's like lifting the back of a chair while our arms and back ache but we won't put it down. Try it and see how long it takes for your arms and back to tire. So how do we stop the credit card or put down the chair?

Marney and Kimberly tell us to accept our child unconditionally by:

1. Forgiving through letting go of the past (Get rid of the credit card.)

2. Loving your child as only a parent can.

3. Telling your child you love her.

4. Avoiding withdrawing yourself and your love from your child.

"Some of the saddest adolescents are those who feel hopeless because they believe their behavior has led to the loss of a parent's love."

If you have trouble feeling unconditional love for your child, "Fake it until you make it," advise our authors. If something happened to your child, you'd want the last words she heard from you to be, "I love you."

One telling question Marney and Kimberly ask is, "If a stranger asked your adolescent, 'Does your parent love you?'" what would she say? (From pages 122-126)

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You might respond, "This is tough to do." Our authors would heartily agree. They understand. I appreciate their view on unconditional love. It's important to focus on what is truly important even when we're hurt and angry.

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Let's HONOR our authors, Marney and Kimberly, for sharing their knowledge from working with difficult teenagers.

Authors Marney and Kim
Marney Studaker-Cordner, MSW, CSW

Kimberly Abraham, MSW, CSW

You can order their book The Whipped Parent: Hope for Parents Raising an Out-of-Control Teen


 The Whipped Parent

Available at Amazon.com

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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5 Parenting Tips: TV Time for Your Teenager

 

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Is Your Teenager Living His Life Through TV?
Does your teenager spend too much time watching TV? If you'd like some easy parenting tips about TV time in your house, consider the expert advice from our parenting author, Dr. Parnell Donahue. The following excerpt is from his book about adolescents, Messengers in Denim.

 

Dr. Parnell loves to tell stories, like the one about Darrel and his dad. Darrel's dad, an UPS driver, brought his boy into see Dr. Parnell, a pediatrician, for a check-up. They began arguing about who watched more TV. It turns out the father watched 3-4 hours a night when he could have spent more time enjoying his family.

Dr. Parnell sees TV as an addiction because many children, as well as, adults spend too much time watching and not enough time living their own lives. He researched the American Academy of Pediatrics and presented their recommendations:

Here are 5 of 9 suggestions you can start today:

1. Keep TV sets out of your child's bedroom.

2. Record high quality TV programs to watch after homework is completed.

3. View programs with your child and discuss their thoughts during the commercials.

4. Allow no more than 1-2 hours of TV per day.

5. Encourage children to play, read, practice sports, and develop hobbies. (From page 184)

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I appreciate the wisdom Dr. Parnell offers. His stories are real and insightful. You almost feel like you're sitting in on his conversations with teens. He also backs up his advice with research which gives you confidence that his ideas are valuable.

Let's THANK Dr. Parnell Donahue for his tireless work in helping parents understand their teenagers and his practical parenting advise.

Blog Optimistic Dr. Parnell Donahue
Dr. Parnell Donahue

Pick up Messengers in Denim

Cover Messengers in Denim

Available at Amazon.com  

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What Are SAT Results Telling Us About Our Kids?

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Passing SAT and Doing Well


It’s become a rite of passage for high school seniors— gathering together in big groups on a Saturday morning and taking the SAT test. For students who wish to go on to college, how they score can often have a big impact on which schools will accept them.

Unfortunately, as CBS News reported, the scores that were released by the College Board for the class of 2012 were not particularly outstanding. In fact, last year’s high school graduates had the lowest SAT reading scores since 1972, as well as the poorest scoring ever for the essay portion, which was introduced in 1996.

The Facts

According to the College Board, the average reading score was 496, math was 514 and writing was 488. These were all out of a possible 800 points. Since the College Board estimates that 1,550 points total is the average amount needed to be ready for college, it seems like current high school seniors have a bit of work to do to help boost these numbers.

As for why these numbers are so low, an article from the Marietta Daily Journal included several theories from educators. For example, a record number of students (1.66 million) took the test in 2012. Of these, 27 percent reported being from low-income families, and 28 percent indicated that English was not their first language. In addition, around 33 percent of the high school seniors were from parents who had not gone to college.

The Reasons

Of these proposed reasons, household income seemed to correlate the most to low SAT scores. In general, students from households with an average income of $20,000 or less had the lowest scores. Interestingly, as the income amounts rise, so do the scores. Once the average income reached close to $100,000, students were more likely to achieve the magic number of 1,550.

Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. Some high school students from lower-income families probably achieved high scores on the SAT, just like seniors from wealthier families may have scored quite low. Plenty of students do well in school, but perform poorly on exams due to test anxiety or other issues.

Although students will often say “when am I even going to use this stuff?” in relation to their schoolwork, the fact remains that basic literacy skills are extremely important. Everyone— from the mechanic who consults a manual to fix an engine, the accountant who is reading up on tax laws and the attorney who needs to read a law brief— needs to be able to read well. The same goes for basic mathematical skills.

What Can We Do?

Parents who wish to help their children succeed at the SATs can try some different approaches. Some have had great success hiring SAT tutors to work with their high school student. Others have purchased practice testing booklets or downloaded tests online that can give seniors the chance to take sample tests at home. Sometimes, just knowing in advance what the test will be like can make taking the real thing a bit easier. And of course, the age-old advice about getting enough rest and eating a good breakfast on test day is still as true as ever.

Another way that high schoolers can do well on their SAT scores is to be enrolled in a school that uses the Common Core curriculum. As an article on EducationNews.org pointed out, the College Board noted a strong link between this intensive.

Let's THANK Susan Moore for this instructive article. Susan is a teacher and freelance writer who lives in California.

Please support today's author and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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