Put Down Your Phone and Pay Attention to Your Kids

It’s not enough to just be around your kids. You must be present, that means putting away your phone. Your children deserve phone-free time from you. 

The fact that no matter what we do, our children will follow. Parenting techniques have evolved from spending high-quality time with our kids; talking with them and playing with them, into distracting them with a screen as soon as they show the first sign of distress.  

As we struggle with the high demands of today’s fast-paced life, we as parents often find ourselves too overwhelmed to be completely capable of catering to our children’s needs.  

Because of this, we often resort to the convenience of a phone or tablet to occupy their ceaseless imaginations. Though sometimes useful, our choice to introduce our young ones to technology so early on could be hurting them far more than it helps us. Every time we put a phone screen in front of our child, we push them a step further into developing a dependency on an external source for “happiness” and “contentment.”  

So, try to limit your dependence on your smartphone as much as possible. Make up some rules that give you phone-free time—that give your kids phone. And make sure that when you’re with them, you are grateful for the moment you’re getting with them. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

The Benefits of Play for Children 

Play is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. Playing together brings joy, vitality, and resilience to relationships. Play can also heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Through regular play, we learn to trust one another and feel safe. 

Play helps children develop all kinds of skills 

Children’s minds are like little sponges. They soak up everything around them. As they interact with parents and others, they learn how people behave in social settings. They also learn what’s acceptable by taking their cues from you. Playing with adults in their lives widens children’s imaginations. 

Play helps build strong relationships 

Play and laughter perform an essential role in building strong, healthy parent-child relationships by bringing you closer together, creating a positive bond, and resolving conflict. 

Parents who use play to help their children report seeing: 

  • A happier, more confident child. 
  • Longer interactive attention spans. 
  • More spontaneous social communication use. 
  • Increased eye contact and social referencing. 
  • And more communication development. 

While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Using Positive Language to Encourage and Empower Children 

Our words and tone of voice have a profound effect on children. Positive language is the professional use of words and tone of voice to enable children to learn in an engaged, active way. This includes learning social skills.  

Learning to use positive language with children takes time. But you don’t have to do it all at once. Any enhancements you make in your language will do so much to help children choose positive behaviors. 

🔸 Replace “don’t” with “do”. Tell your child what she can do! It is more likely that your child will make an appropriate choice when you help her to understand exactly what appropriate options are available. 

🔸 Offer a choice. When you provide your child with a choice of things that he can do, wear or go, he is more likely to select one of the options you have offered because it makes him feel like he is in control.  

 🔸 Tell your child “When.” When your child asks to do something, rather than saying no, acknowledge her wish and tell her when she might be able to do it. This answer feels more like a “yes” to a child.  

🔸 Use “first-then” language. Another way to tell a child when he can do something in a positive way is to use a “first-then” statement. For example, you could say “First, pick up your toys and then you may watch a TV show.” 

🔸 Give your child time to think. Remember that your child is learning a language. She needs time to think about what you said and how she is going to respond. If you remain calm and patiently repeat the statement again, you will see fewer challenging behaviors and enjoy more quality time with your child 

🔸 Help your child to remember. Children are easily distracted. Sometimes your child may need you to help him remember what you asked him to do in order to do it. Stating the information as a simple fact, rather than a command, gives him the information he needs to make the right choice on his own without blaming him or making him feel like he has failed. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

How to Avoid Gaslighting Children 

Gaslighting is a psychological term used to describe the process of grooming someone into believing that they are losing it or going crazy. Gaslighting parents do it to maintain dominance over the child. They will, for example, talk down to the child and attribute every claim and complaint to his or her imagination. 

Understand the importance of avoiding behaviors that could deny, withhold, or trivialize a child’s thoughts or feelings. Evaluate the ways that you respond to what your child says and does. Focus on providing a more nurturing environment for them. 

  1. Denying the child’s feelings or needs. Do you ever ignore, deny, or trivialize what they say as incorrect or unimportant? Even if you don’t realize it, this can hurt your child’s self-esteem and trust in you. 
  1. Respond with understanding rather than anger. Try to become more aware of your emotions as well to avoid letting them get the best of you. If you notice that you are feeling stressed, take a few minutes for yourself to calm down. 
  1. Focus on reinforcing the child’s positive behavior. Even if the child is fearful of something, do not criticize them for it. Make sure to encourage them to find healthy ways to overcome their fears and build confidence. 
  1. Don’t expect a child to act like an adult. Make sure to allow children to be children. When they are upset, focus on addressing their most common concerns. Pay attention to the possible reasons behind their behavior. 
  1. Label and honor their feelings, be empathetic if you don’t understand. It helps to acknowledge, label, and talk about what your child is experiencing. You can validate their feelings even while you set the rules. Offer compassion and reassurance, even if you have no idea what the problem is. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

How to Help Kids Learn from Mistakes

Learning from mistakes and errors is an important part of child and adolescent development. Most adults understand this concept. Yet, we have failed to teach our children that there is a positive side to getting things wrong. 

Parents’ actions influence the way children feel about themselves. When a parent holds a child, the child can feel how important he or she is. Parents should talk to their kids, listen to what they have to say and show them that their opinions count. 

Here are ten ways to help children learn from mistakes: 

  1. Acknowledge that you don’t expect them to be perfect. 
  1. Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment. 
  1. Don’t rescue kids from their mistakes. Instead, focus on the solution. 
  1. Provide examples of your own mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them. 
  1. Encourage children to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others. 
  1. Avoid pointing out your child’s past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand. 
  1. Praise children for their ability to admit their mistakes. 
  1. Praise children for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks. 
  1. Mentor your child on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others. 
  1. Help kids look at the good side of getting things wrong! 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Ways to Become a More Patient Parent 

Managing kids can be a challenge. Some days keeping the peace while keeping your cool seems impossible. While your own patience may be frayed by angry outbursts, opposition, defiance, arguing, and talking back, it’s during these episodes that you need your patience most. Of course, you feel angry, but what counts is how you handle that. 

Your interactions with your child can either be patient, reflective and responsive driven by your goals and values, or reactive, driven by your feelings in the present moment. What will you model for your child? 

Here are 6 things to help with having patience in moments of struggle 

  1. Don’t take behavior issues personally. Look at misbehaviors as opportunities to help your child develop. 
  1. Consider your limits and boundaries. Set limits BEFORE you get angry and prevent the situation from escalating and your anger from erupting. 
  1. Be aware of your anger rising. Stop what you are doing and take a deep breath. That breath is your pause button. It’s at this moment you can make the conscious choice to keep calm and remain reflective and responsive and be there for your child. 
  1. Have a mantra. Having a mantra, you can repeat to yourself during trying times can help restore your calm. Choose a mantra that’s meaningful to you and calming for you. 
  1. Wait before discipline. Rather than giving in to your strong feelings and becoming reactive and punitive toward your child, take a ten-minute time out of your own to calm yourself down. Come back when you can have a constructive response to your child and their behavior. 
  1. Practice empathy. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

APPROPRIATE CHORES BY AGE 

We should teach our children a sense of responsibility from an early age. This is a life skill that will allow the child to flourish in their respective communities and carry on throughout their life. House chores are simple exercises that are beneficial to both their home and the child. Though tiring, these teach the child to contribute to their respective community and to be responsible with their duties. 

Toddlers 

  • Put toys back into their containers 
  • Put books back on their shelves 
  • Place clothes in the laundry bin 
  • Clean up after their mess 
  • Help make the bed 

Preschoolers 

  • Make the bed 
  • Set the table 
  • Feed the pets 
  • Water the plants 
  • Dust the shelves 

Elementary 

  • Do the dishes 
  • Clean the floor 
  • Fold the laundry 
  • Take out the trash 

Pre-Adolescents 

  • Do the laundry 
  • Clean their rooms and toilet 
  • Clean the house 
  • Wash the car 
  • Make simple meals 

Teenagers 

  • Look after their younger siblings 
  • Plan and prepare meals 
  • Go to the grocery store 
  • Mow the lawn 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Foster Your Child’s Emotional Safety

Children don’t get traumatized because they get hurt. They become traumatized when left alone with their hurt. 
 
At a young age, children need guidance and support to process and deal with their big feelings, otherwise they will either suppress them or act out. For example, contrary to what we’ve been told, anger is not a bad emotion. Children just need support in releasing it in a healthy way. 

As adults, we need to provide them with this safe space to do so. Talking and journaling with them daily is a great way of doing this.

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Putting Too Much Pressure on Kids 

Many parents want to help their children be the best they can be. However, some parents put their children under too much pressure to perform. Being under such intense pressure can have serious consequences for kids. 

Kids who feel that they are under enormous pressure to do well from parents and adults can experience consequences in multiple areas of their life, from their mental health to their sleep. Here are just a few of the consequences of putting kids under too much pressure to perform. 

  • Higher rates of mental illness. 
  • Higher risk of injuries. 
  • Increased likelihood of cheating.  
  • Refusing to participate. 
  • Self-esteem problems. 

There are some things that you can do as a parent to help your child without placing too much pressure on them. 

  • Encourage your child to do their best. Focus on the process, rather than the result. 
  • If you find yourself placing too much pressure on your child, ask yourself why their performance, test score, or success matters to you. 
  • Talk to your child about the sport/assignment/performance they are working on. Set aside your feelings to make room for your child to express theirs. Giving your child the space to be seen and heard will encourage them rather than make them feel they have disappointed you. 

Good parenting requires parents to nurture their child’s strengths and help with their weaknesses instead of forcing attributes upon them. 
 
Make sure your child is happy with what they are pursuing. 
 
Just like adults, children need a ‘check-out’ time to alleviate tension and reduce stress. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

 Promoting Healthy Attachments with Children 

Attachment is a crucial element for our child’s early development and is an important predictor of their later social adjustment. A secure attachment to their closest caregivers helps your baby deal with distressing situations, strange environments, and perceived threats. It will help her grow to be a curious, confident, and cooperative child. She will also be more likely to manage her social behavior, impulses, and emotions appropriately as she grows.  

Let’s look at some ideas below. 

1. Be Involved 

Attachment is largely dependent upon what parents do. Therefore, while your little one is an infant, it is especially important that you are present, interactive, and positively engaged with him. Hold him, read to him, smile at him, sing to him. You are his favorite person in the whole world. Your very presence is what he craves and being with you helps him learn that he has a “safe place.” 

2. Be Sensitive 

Responding to her cries and being sensitive to her signals shows her that she can trust you to meet her needs. She needs to know that she can count on you to comfort her, feed her, and soothe her. When she is secure, knowing she has someone who will meet her needs, she is free to explore other areas that are key for healthy development. 

3. Be Appropriate 

Parenting an infant can be exhausting. But it is critical for his social and emotional development that your responses to him be appropriate. Even when you are tired, it’s important to be positive and encouraging. He is learning from every interaction with you; remember that you are modeling for him how to be in control of your behavior and emotions. 

4. Be Affectionate 

Smile at your baby from across the room. When you interact with her, let her see how much you enjoy her. Hug, giggle, snuggle, coo with her. Show her that you notice when she makes a face or tries to talk. Developing this sense of attachment and security frees her to be curious about the world around her, confident that she can return to you, her “safe place”, if she needs to. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

The Power of a 4-Second Pause 

The act of pausing, repeating back what we hear in a positive way, and letting go of any agenda is known as reflecting. By actively choosing to do this, we encourage our kids to not just recall information but to be aware of what they learned — what was interesting, how they feel about it, and what they can do to build on the experience. When we pause, we’re telling our kids that we’re open to hearing anything else they have to say. 

The simple technique of pausing makes our job as parents easier. Because when we can take the time to enact a four-beat pause, we: 

  • don’t need to have all the answers 
  • don’t have to be perfect 
  • don’t jump to conclusions 
  • don’t answer the question we think our kids are asking 
  • answer only the question he or she is asking 
  • give our preschooler time to gather his or her thoughts and verbalize them. 

One of the greatest benefits of the pause is that it gives the child a chance to process new, confusing, or difficult information, and fully understand it. When we pause, we also give ourselves a chance to process the situation and formulate thoughtful responses. 

The pause is the tool, but it’s how we use the tool that makes all the difference. We need to be conscious of our body language and what we say when we interact. Being intentional with the pause brings positive outcomes for our kids and ourselves. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Proactive vs. Reactive 

Have you recently faced some challenging behavior which caused you to act more reactive than proactive? What was the behavior and what did you try (or could you try) to get back to a more positive, proactive place? 

As parents we all spend some of our time operating from each of the reactive and proactive ends of the parenting spectrum. 

Being proactive is the more positive place to operate from for both ourselves and our children. But sometimes we fall into the trap of becoming more reactive when we are tired, distracted, frustrated or we fall into a pattern of negative interactions. And this is when we most often begin to feel frustrated, powerless or disillusioned at our parenting ability. 

When faced with an upset child, stay neutral and trust that you are helping your child take over his own problem-solving process by slowly building these skills until they become internalized and adopted. Here are positive parenting techniques: 

  1. Empathize: A child needs to know that her parents understand what she’s feeling and stand with her. By empathizing, you open a parent-child dialog that may stem a shut down. 
  1. Get Neutral: Understandably, your first reaction to your child’s bad behavior might be, “Seriously? Again?” Instead, try to read this incoming information neutrally, and remember to listen. 
  1. Narrow: After a child has shared everything on his mind, focus the conversation by asking a question like, “So, tell me what is bothering you the most about this situation.” 
  1. Optimize: Receive the information your child has shared without argument; instead look for ways to work cooperatively on solutions by asking, “What kinds of things can you do about it?” 
  1. Get Moving: Remember your ultimate goal: Help your child become more independent and solve her own problems. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog