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  

Ideas to Help Improve Executive Functioning in Kids

If a child has Executive Functioning Disorder or delays, it does not mean that all the skills and tasks are negatively impacted. A child may be delayed in one skill or all skills. 

Since there are many other diagnoses associated with EF skills, such as, ADD, ADHD, ASD, and Traumatic Brain Injury, many tend to look at the larger diagnosis and not look through the EF lens. This can lead to missed opportunities to assist a child with gaining independence and confidence. Often a child may be called “lazy”, when in fact they have EF difficulties and are unable to plan out how to do something. 

Here are some great tools to help a child that may be experiencing EF difficulties: 

1. Rationale: When a child learns new skills, provide the rationale behind them or things like planning for the task might feel like a waste of time. 

2. Outline steps: Support the child by defining the steps involved in tasks ahead of time to make a task less daunting and more achievable. 

3. Use aids: Use tools like timers, computers, iPad, or watches with alarms. 

4. Visuals: Prepare visual schedules and review them several times a day. 

5. Provide 2 types of information: Provide the child with written (or visual) instructions as well as oral instructions. 

6. Create checklists and “to do” lists, estimating how long tasks will take. Use checklists for getting through assignments. For example, a student’s checklist could include items such as: get out pencil and paper; put name on paper; put due date on paper; read directions. 

7. Use calendars to keep track of long-term assignments, due dates, chores, and activities. 

8. Improve working environment: Assist the child to organize their workspace and minimize clutter and distractions. 

9. Establish routines to try to consolidate skills and memory of what needs to be done. 

10. Cut and paste projects requiring multiple steps in which they must complete tasks in a sequential manner. 

11. Mind mapping to assist the child to get ideas down on paper strategically. 

12. Games: Planning and problem-solving games such as puzzles or games like ‘Go Getter’ (River & Road game). 

13. Lotus diagrams: Use lotus diagrams with the child to help with structuring thoughts on paper whilst creating clear expectations as to how much to write. 

14. Block building: Get the child to copy block designs from a picture or a 3D model. 

15. Drawing: Draw a picture as a model. Then draw an incomplete version of the same picture and ask the child to finish the picture to make it look like the model. 

16. Practice goal setting with the child (e.g., Help the child to set attainable goals that are well-defined). Break goals down into smaller steps and talk about alternative approaches with the child. 

17. Recall games that require the child to recall information such as Memory: “I went to the shops and bought a…” 

18. Multi-tasking: Practice doing several activities at once (it may be helpful to number the activities) to encourage the child to learn to shift from one activity to another. 

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

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog