Don’t Make Your Child Say “I’m Sorry” – What to Do Instead

 

Something to remember is you should never force an apology from your child. By telling your child “Say you’re sorry,” there is no explanation for your child as to why their actions could have hurt someone. Or what they can do to change the way they acted. 
 
This type of “sorry,” in particular when, it’s said with no feeling or a lack of sincerity, will stay with kids into their adult life. 

Parents often urge children to immediately apologize. And although that is not out of bad intentions, it can be counterproductive. Other children see a lack of authenticity, and a child forced to apologize is learning to feign remorse. 

What to do instead? 

1)   Modeling.  If you are one to say “sorry” when you err, they will mimic you.  Trust me on this one. 

2)  Pause.  That’s right.  Give kids a moment to volunteer a genuine response to a situation before you jump in two guns ablazin’.  You may well discover that your children do say they are sorry, if given a moment to compose themselves. 

3)  Focus on the future:  Instead of forcing them to say sorry about the past, which they can’t change, put the focus on their commitment to do something differently in the future.  “Can you let your friend know that you won’t take his bike without asking again.” 

4)   Ask your child “what should happen now?” If they broke a neighbor’s window playing ball, letting the child think for themselves of how to right the situation helps build empathy, internalizes the lesson, and generates positive feelings about rectifying the situation. Replacing the window with their allowance and writing a letter stating it was an accident and promising to play in the park in the future feels restorative when they come up with the idea. 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

https://mrmizrahi.blog/2020/10/01/6-ways-to-show-faith-in-your-child/

The Importance of Chores for Your Kids

As a parent, do you feel strongly about the importance of chores for your kids, or do you think kids should be kids and not worry about responsibilities?   

Well, I would say that most of us feel like kids need opportunities to be kids, but they also need to learn about age-appropriate responsibilities. Here are the 5 Essential Skills Learned Through Chores. 

🔷 Independence 

As parents, it’s our job to teach our children these skills to create independent, autonomous adults. But the key is that we must model correct completion of the chore.  

🔷 Confidence 

Getting a chore done and doing it well can give your child a major sense of accomplishment. 

🔷 Initiative 

Initiative almost always follows confidence. By teaching our kids how to do new things, we are giving them confidence in themselves. That confidence will translate into a willingness to try new things and a whole lot of initiative. 

🔷 Perseverance 

If you want your children to acquire knowledge in life skills, like sweeping, washing dishes, mowing the yard, and laundry, they need to be shown, step by step, the correct technique for completing each task.  Then they need to be given ample opportunities to do it repeatedly! The repeated act of proper task completion teaches our kids persistence. 

🔷 Responsibility 

The only way we can effectively teach our kids how to become responsible is by giving them a task (chore) to complete on their own. If you have taught your kids how to complete specific tasks, but they consistently perform the task incorrectly, show them again.  

After showing them several times, they are responsible for completing the chore correctly. 

Ultimately, this is the only way they will understand the importance of chores, learn to take responsibility for their chores, and grow as a person. 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog 

Accept Your Child’s Emotions

There isn’t a single piece of research that shows that rejecting, ignoring, dismissing, invalidating, resisting, ridiculing, punishing or attempting to shut down children’s emotions is good for them or for the parent-child relationship. There is, however, decades of research showing just the opposite: that when we accept our children’s feelings and help them organize their emotions by offering our presence, connection, nurturance, understanding, and guidance, they develop into more secure, confident, and socially and academically competent adults who tend to be able to better regulate their emotions and respond with sensitivity to others’ emotions. 

For both kids and adults, having our emotions rejected or dismissed usually leads to the amplification of the intensity of emotion. In kids, “meltdowns” and “tantrums” (emotional dysregulation, stress, and overwhelm) are likely to be more intense and occur for longer when their emotions are rejected rather than accepted. Accepting your child’s emotion and responding with sensitivity, with presence, empathy, and nurturance, can help to soothe and contain your child’s emotion, and help them organize their emotional experience; this process is called ‘coregulation’ and is the foundation required for children to gradually learn to regulate their own emotions. 


‘Oh, but what about when they are engaging in undesirable behavior?’, I hear you say. ‘Should I set limits when they are expressing their emotion in bad behaviors?’ Children can’t effectively or consistently regulate their behavior before they have learnt to effectively regulate their emotion…and let’s be real here, many adults haven’t mastered this skill. Your child is much more likely to be able to regulate their behavior (engage in healthy, adaptive behavior) when they can effectively regulate their emotions, and, for them to be able to regulate their emotions, they need to have their emotions accepted and supported by their caregivers— on this the research is clear. 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

https://mrmizrahi.blog/2020/10/01/6-ways-to-show-faith-in-your-child/

Reasons why Listening is Important for Your Child’s Growth

 

Young children are inquisitive and curious, we all know that. This is because they are blank slates. The world is still an amazing place for them, and they want to know more about it, about everything. 

In these formative years, children are limited in mobility and other sources of communication, as well as gaining information. So, they turn to the easiest way of gaining new information, listening. 

Let us gain in-depth understanding of how listening is essential in the growth ages, years 1-5, of every child. 

1. Listening Improves Concentration and Memory 

Listening is one of the prime senses of our body. Although visual memories are stronger, our body also retains auditory memories or echoic memories. It helps stabilize the mind and improves concentration. 

2. Improves Vocabulary 

As children grow older, their need to speak and communicate grows rapidly. However, this development is strongly rooted in the initial phase of their childhood. During this phase, listening plays an important role in developing their vocabulary and language processing. 

3. Adds Clarity to Communication and Thought 

This allows them to express themselves more clearly and understand what they want. The ability to communicate clearly and understand the reason strengthens the bond between children and parents. 

4.  Builds Confidence 

One aspect of listening is that it builds confidence. While listening seems like an ordinary thing, most of us listen to reply than to understand. 

Conscious listening decreases speech errors or response errors, thus improving confidence levels. Clarity of thought and concise, but perfect communication allows children to speak their mind. 

5. Improves Relationships 

Communication is the foundation for any relationship. Children with good vocabulary can speak openly with their adults. Their ability to understand reason helps parents to understand their children better as well. 

6. Optimal Method for Growth 

The most important factor of listening is that children between ages 2-4 have limited sources of gaining information and since they cannot read, they prefer listening. 

7. Enables Experiential Thinking 

One of the most important aspects of listening is that it triggers experiential learning. 

Audio plays a primary role in the beginning growth in children. Long before visuals start taking effect, audio plays a key role in developing the early experiences of children. 

Listening is a key-factor in children’s growth and empowers children in multiple ways to process information and interact with their surroundings better. 

 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog 

 

 

How to Smooth Transitions and Avoid Meltdowns

Turning off the TV, leaving the playground, giving back the iPad, or ending a play date — any of these may provoke a tantrum. Why? Many children with autism and ADHD have difficulty moving from one task to another, especially when they must stop an enjoyable activity. Behavior intervention strategies can help smooth the transitions. 

  1. Define Expectations 

Clearly identifying your objectives and setting attainable short- and long-term goals are the first steps to any behavior change plan. 

Let’s take the LEGO example. The expectation may be: When the time comes to shift to another activity, my child will comply when he is asked, without resisting, crying, shouting, or throwing things. 

  1. Create a Schedule 

A written or a visual schedule can help your child follow the order of events for a specific time period. But posting a schedule does not automatically mean your child will follow it. Checking off the events in a schedule should be accompanied by positive reinforcement. 

  1. Reinforcement 

Once you have thought of possible reinforcers for your child (you can create a visual depicting the reinforcers for your child to see), try simultaneously presenting the reward as the transition time is occurring, before your child can resist. Besides offering tangible items, positive reinforcement should also include behavior-specific vocal praise. 

If your child already starts to fuss when the announcement is made to start a new activity, don’t promise the reinforcer. It is very important that the engagement in a challenging behavior never results in receiving a pleasurable item or activity. Reinforcers should only follow desired behaviors. As transitions are consistently paired with reinforcement, the new desired behavior can become more of the “norm.” 

  1. Plan 

Prepare in advance to reap the benefits from your intervention plans. Know how you will present the transition, what items or activities will be effective reinforcers to motivate a successful transition, and how you will respond if your child does not go along with the shift in activity. 

  1. Give Choices When Possible 

Offer options to help your child with transitions. You might say, “Do you want me to help you clean up, or do you want to do it by yourself? It is almost time to leave for baseball practice,” “We are ready to finish TV time and have lunch.” It also helps to see things from your child’s perspective. If a game is just about to end, or there are three minutes left on his TV show, be flexible when possible. 

When a parent’s emotion run high, the child’s emotion will, too. Demonstrate the behaviors you want your children to engage in. Urging a child to “Come on, hurry! We are going to be late,” can have a negative effect. Stay calm and steady. 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog 

Easy Ways to Boost Our Child’s Critical Thinking Skills

We use critical skills every single day to make good decisions, understand consequences of our actions, and solve problems. Now that technology has infiltrated our children’s lives, critical thinking skills are harder to achieve. However, our children still need to be able to think critically even with all the gadgets that they can rely on. If our children can’t think for themselves, how will they function in this complex world? We are all in big trouble if our children lose the ability to think critically. 

It’s up to us to help them develop a critical mindset throughout their childhood. By instilling critical thinking skills from an early age, we will teach our kids how to effectively analyze the world around them. Here are some ways that you can enhance your children’s critical thinking skills at home. 

🔹 Read books for fun 

You can shift this pattern by reading with your children daily and discussing the material with them in ways that will challenge them to think critically. See if they can make connections between the story and their own life. Ask them to use what they have read so far to predict what will happen next. All this practice with fun stories will help them analyze more challenging pieces of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, as they get older. 

🔹 Explore science 

Science experiments and other related activities are fantastic ways to teach children how to think critically because they need to make predictions, evaluate data, and then interpret the scientific facts and findings to relate them to the world around them. 

🔹 Show them how to answer their own questions and evaluate information 

Take advantage of their curiosity to teach them how to look for answers to their questions in a critical way. Provide opportunities for them to speak to people who can provide them direct answers. For example, if they want to know what a fireman does, schedule a trip to the local fire station so your child can learn firsthand how everything works. When your children are doing research online, sit with them and help them find reliable sources.  

Show them the difference between evidence-based information and opinions. Our goal is to give our children the critical thinking skills so that they can spot unreliable sources on their own. It is very important that they know how to question what they read and to evaluate its validity. 

🔹 Build problem-solving skills 

When dealing with conflicts, our children need to use critical thinking skills to understand the problem at hand and to come up with possible solutions. Use games, puzzles, riddles, mystery novels, physical challenges, and other activities to teach them problem solving skills. 

🔹 Force them to memorize basic information 

 In order to exercise your kid’s memory muscle, you can go a bit retro on them. Make sure they know some basic facts by heart like their address and important phone numbers. As they get older, continue to add more facts to this list like relatives’ birthdays, math equations, and state capitals. Also, see if they can give directions from home to school and other places you frequent. 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Why Kids Hit and What to Do About It?

We admit, it’s hard to see past a child’s behavior, especially when it comes to hitting. 
 
When we are physically hit, it can trigger wounds from our past that remind us of unmet needs we may have had as children. We may not have gotten hit, but the physical force can make our bodies travel back into time to unconsciously remember painful memories. 
 
A FEW IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER 
-Hitting is a developmental expectation for kids 1-5. 
-When a child hits, it means they are requiring your attention. 
-Hitting is not a personal attack on you. 
-You’re still a great parent if your child hits. 
 
THE KEY TO STOPPING HITTING 
-Be very consistent and predictable with how you respond. 
 
VALIDATE THEIR EMOTIONS OR THE NEED WE SEE 
“I see your body has a lot of wiggles it wants to express.” 
 
TEACH THEM WHAT TO DO INSTEAD 
“Our hands are not for hitting. We use gentle hands when we touch people’s faces. Here, show me gentle hands, please.” 
 
PRAISE THE GOOD 
“You did it! You just showed me gentle hands!” 
 
 
There are so many ways to support our children during their hitting moments. We hope these ideas help you. 

 
 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

https://mrmizrahi.blog/2020/10/01/6-ways-to-show-faith-in-your-child/

4 Ways to Make Holidays Better for Kids

It’s easy for children to be smitten with the magic of holidays. Fun presents. Extra sweets. A vacation from school – there’s a lot to like. But with the freedom and excess of the season, sometimes kids can get a little carried away. For most families, there will be a point when the kids get overtired and cranky, or greedy about presents, or would rather play a video game than talk to Grandma.  

Here are some tips to keep kids happy and ready to enjoy whatever the season brings. 

1. Gifts, gifts, gifts: Getting presents is a high point of the holidays for any kid, but they shouldn’t be the only focus. As adults we know that giving presents can be just as rewarding as getting them, and we shouldn’t wait to teach that lesson to our children. 

Even when kids are too young to buy a present, they can still make one, or help you pick out something. Some of my best holiday memories are of helping my father look for the perfect gift for Mom, or going to the mall to look for presents with my siblings as we got older. Volunteering, participating in a local toy drive, or giving each of your kids a little money to give to a charity of their choice are all great ideas for getting children in a more generous mood. 

Also, remember that the best gifts that you give your children probably won’t be the material ones. Taking time for the whole family to get together to play a game, watch a movie, or decorate sugar cookies—these are the things that kids remember as they get older. 

2. Let them help out: There’s a lot of extra work to do around the holidays — putting up decorations, cooking big dinners, throwing parties. The Martha Stewart in all of us can take over, but it’s important to take a step back and make sure our kids are included, too. 

Children can help set the table, decorate the house, and wrap presents. If they’re too young to wrap, they can help by holding down the paper or getting the tape ready — there’s always something kids can do. And at holiday time, the preparations are often as fun and as meaningful as the end product. Plus, this way kids won’t feel left out — or be glued to the iPad for hours. 

3. Keep routines: We love the holidays because they give us a break from the everyday, but that can also make them stressful, especially for kids who find routine comforting. Try to keep some things constant. Kids still need snack time, they still need special attention from you, and they still need a chance to unwind before bedtime. 

At family gatherings when they notice the kids are “getting antsy,” psychologist Rachel Busman says she and her sister give them their baths, get them into pajamas, and turn on a movie. “We know when they need to wind down, and no one judges us for excusing ourselves from the table to do these things,” she says. “In fact, my sister and I enjoy some great conversations during this time.” 

4. Remember they’re kids: Some holiday traditions depend on kids being on their best behavior: lengthy services, parties with lots of strangers, elaborate meals that may not appeal to picky eaters. Try to keep those to a minimum and customize festivities for your kids’ frustration level. Don’t schedule more than one demanding event in a day, and make sure to include physical activity and plenty of downtime. Your kids will be grateful — and so will you. 

Finding the balance between meeting your needs for creating a memorable holiday and your children’s needs to act like children can be tricky. By honoring the qualities that make your children special and understanding their unique approach to the holidays, you provide a gift that will help you and your family have a smoother and more enjoyable holiday season. 

Happy Holidays! 

Being Active Can Foster Children’s Ability To Concentrate

Many studies have demonstrated the fact that including more physical activity in children’s daily schedule may help them focus. I am sure you have heard the expression a healthy mind in a healthy body. The nature of this expression becomes clear when we read about all the benefits children reap from physical activity. Among other things, physical activity can be helpful for the development of strong bones and muscles, increase endurance, and improve self-esteem. Certain studies have also highlighted the fact that it is easier for children who are in better physical condition to make decisions, plan, and follow instructions.

Take a few minutes to examine your day. Do you think children have sufficient opportunities to be physically active? Can you compare the time children spend sitting down and the number of opportunities they have to run and jump for example? Like adults, children are all different. Some adults need to be more active while others are more sedentary. Personally, I have a strong need for physical activity. There’s nothing like a thirty-minute run to increase my productivity at work. The same is true for children. The more they move during the day, the easier it is for them to focus and remain seated, for example at lunch time or during story time.

I would like to act as a spokesperson and convince you to include more physical activity in your daily routine. I even encourage you to be active with your group. It will be a win-win, trust me. Here are a few simple ways to get children to move more.

  • Make sure children have time to play outside every day.
  • Add stretching exercises to your morning routine to help each child’s body wake up. Once their body has had the opportunity to be active, their brain will have the ability to concentrate on a more sedentary activity.
  • Encourage children to be active when they are moving from one area to another within your daycare. For example, have them imitate different animals, hop, etc.
  • Every day, especially when it’s raining, be sure to include one high-energy activity. The possibilities are endless.
  • Before sitting down for an activity for which children will need to focus, take a few minutes to stand up and perform a few stretching exercises. Afterwards, children will be able to concentrate on the task at hand.
  • If you have enough room within your daycare, set up an “active play” area. Add cushions, mats, balls, hula hoops, etc. Any equipment or material children can use to release their extra energy should be in this area.

1, 2, 3…move!

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