Develop Children’s Empathy Skills

It’s important for us to foster empathy skills in our children so that they can learn to care about other people’s viewpoints. The best way to teach your children empathy is for you to model empathy towards them. Be open to the range of emotions they express, and don’t try to shut them down. Some feelings may be more comfortable than others—for us and our children. But, if we can normalize our children’s emotions and teach them how to recognize and value their own emotions, they can learn to be more sensitive to others’ feelings. 

We can show our kids how important it is to ask questions and to listen carefully to someone’s answers in order to understand their situation better. Being empathic is recognizing that and trying to respond in a way that will be helpful or meaningful to another—something that kids, even from a young age, can do. 

Here are a few suggestions to encourage empathy in you and your child: 

🌷 Discuss a time someone knew how either of you were feeling without being told. How do you think they knew? Can you describe what they did or said? How did that make you feel? What are clues you can look for to understand how another person is feeling? 

🌷 When you’re watching a movie or TV show with your child, talk about how one of the characters might be feeling and how you would feel in that situation. 

🌷 If you’re taking time to talk with a friend about a challenging situation, explain to your child what you’re doing and why. You don’t have to share the details but do let your child know that you’re listening to your friend and trying to help. Or, if your child talks about a conversation with a friend, highlight ways in which they were showing empathy. 

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

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The Benefits of Play

Play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and young people. Through play, children learn about the world and themselves. They also learn skills they need for study, work and relationships such as: 

⭐ Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.  

⭐ Play is important to healthy brain development.  

⭐ It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact with the world around them. 

⭐ Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers.  

⭐ As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges.  

⭐ Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.  

⭐ When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. 

When parents observe their children at play or join with them in child-driven play, they are given a unique opportunity to see the world from their child’s vantage point as the child navigates a world perfectly created just to fit his or her needs. The interactions that occur through play tell children that parents are fully paying attention to them and help to build enduring relationships. 

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

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The Best Way to Compliment Your Kids

Too many compliments or the wrong kind of praise can do more harm than good. When a child is branded as being “great” at something, he or she puts less effort into the assignment and may even dodge more difficult tasks that include that skill in the future, to continue receiving praise later. 

So, what compliments and praises are good for your children to hear? These three praising strategies will boost children’s self-esteem while still allowing them to challenge themselves at various tasks. 

🟡 Be specific. Generalities don’t make for great compliments, so make sure to point out exactly what they did well or what you liked. This will come across as more genuine. It will also show your child that you’re really paying attention by offering them clear and specific praise. 

🟡 Focus on effort, not outcome. Most compliments refer to the outcome rather than what it took for the child to reach it. But that makes praise ineffective unless the outcome is stellar. Praise your child no matter the outcome by speaking about their effort. This works better because a child can’t always control the outcome, but they can control their effort. 

🟡 Remark on good strategy. Good praise is not person-oriented, but process-oriented. In addition to praising your child’s effort, another helpful method is to speak highly about the strategy they used. 

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

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Positive Affirmation for Kids

There are many benefits of teaching our children words of affirmation. As they grow and learn different behaviors, words of affirmation can be hardwired into their brains to create a nurturing self-belief in what is happening to themselves. 

Using affirmations is a great way for kids to start the day or to deal with challenging situations that come up during the day. Repetition of affirmations can help kids to interrupt negative or anxious thinking patterns that come with worry in order to refocus attention and change outlooks.   

🔸 Using affirmations to practice positive thinking can turn your day around 

The more positive thoughts your child has, the better they’ll feel, and the better their day will go. 

🔸 Affirmations for kids strengthen the ‘control center’ of the brain 

When your child uses affirmations for kids, they are literally disengaging their ’emotion brain’ and re-activating the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving, impulse control and emotional regulation. 

🔸 Affirmations with kids builds lifelong resilience 

The more your child practices intentional positive thought, the easier time their neurons will have traveling this path in the future. Essentially, you’re helping your child build a neurological on-ramp to resilience on the ‘highway’ of their future challenges. 

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

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Tips for Preventing a Victim Mentality

When children take on a victim mentality, it becomes a form of defiance, used to avoid taking appropriate responsibility and being held accountable. If left unchanged, the victim mentality can eventually impact your child’s ability to have healthy relationships and to adequately function as an adult. 

It is vital that your child learns new skills in order to manage responsibility in the real world. Here are seven steps you can take to empower your child: 

🟡 Create Gratitude Rituals 

Spend time talking about what you’re grateful for every day. Even when you encounter difficult circumstances, role model a grateful attitude. 

🟡 Silence Negative Thinking 

Help your child silence their negative thinking by looking for exceptions to the rule. If they say, “No one ever likes me,” point out people who do. 

🟡 Face Uncomfortable Emotions 

Let them know that emotions are OK but that it’s important to handle those emotions in a socially appropriate manner. Teach them healthy ways to express their feelings and prevent them from hosting their own pity party every time they get upset. 

🟡 Teach Problem-Solving Skills 

Teach your child how to problem-solve. A child who takes action when they face hardship is much less likely to see themself as a helpless victim. Kids with good problem-solving skills can prevent small stumbling blocks from turning into major obstacles. 

🟡 Help Other People 

Helping other people can show your child that no matter how young they are, or no matter what problems they’ve experienced, they have the ability to help someone else. 

🟡 Teach Assertiveness Skills 

Kids with assertiveness skills can speak up and say, “Don’t do that,” or “I don’t like it when you do that.” Empower your child to use their words and you’ll reduce the likelihood that they’ll become a victim. 

🟡 Role Play Tough Situations 

Help your child learn to avoid a victim mentality by showing them how to proactively deal with tough situations. When they realize their choices in responding to tough situations, they’ll be more likely to take positive action.  

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

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Importance of Praise and Encouragement

Praise and encouragement help parents to be more positive, it reduces conflict, promotes cooperation and reduces the likelihood that young people will engage in risky behavior. A compliment, a gesture, a facial expression, a simple hug, or a high-five can generate self-worth and pride in children.  

As children grow older, gaining approval from a parent or guardian becomes very important in their lives. Here are the benefits for children if they receive praise and encouragement: 

• Children learn who they are and the things that they do are pleasing to their parents and caregivers. 

• Children develop a personal sense of self-worth and self-esteem. 

• Children who believe they have self-worth go on to treat themselves and others positively. 

• Children with positive self-worth tend to get better grades in school, do not get discouraged easily, and have more productive lives overall.  

• Giving compliments strengthen your bond with them and enhance your relationship. 

Make your own positive phrases by saying what you feel in your heart each time your child makes you proud. You can adapt your praises depending upon the age of your child and their own level of understanding. 

Even if your child does something badly, always try to look for the positives in any situation. There is nearly always a bright side to focus on, and children and parents alike will all benefit from taking the positives, rather than the negatives, from any situation. 

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

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Why Phonemic Awareness so Important?

The stronger the Phonemic awareness, the stronger the mapping. Just a few repetitions are needed for permanent mapping. Once a word is mapped, the recollection never fades, and students will have the capacity to decode any word containing the same graphemes. 

Phonemic awareness is important well beyond the primary grades. In middle school, phonemic manipulation gaps are COMMON! This deficit comes to light in students’ decoding and encoding of multisyllabic words. It indicates that phoneme-grapheme relationships have not been mapped/anchored for permanent retrieval. 

Knowledge of phonemes is critical to learn a language, but language learning is an unconscious process that only requires immersion in an active linguistic environment; explicit instruction is not necessary. In accomplishing this remarkable feat, the child’s language learning system responds to information at the phonemic level without the need for conscious awareness of that level. Learning to read that language, if it is represented alphabetically, does require explicit knowledge of the phoneme since, unlike learning language, learning to read is a process that requires more 


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

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6 Ways to Show Faith in Your Child



Improving Kids Social Skills

Feeling alone and disconnected from peers is a distressing thing for a child to experience. And it’s not only the children who suffer. As parents, we also feel frustrated and hopeless about not knowing how to help your children make the friends they so strongly desire. Developing social skills and interacting with the world around them will be a critical part of their success and happiness, even more important than their academic results. 

Kids with ADHD often struggle to stay tuned in to their environments; they frequently misread social signals.  Misinterpretations may lead to overreacting to ambiguous social situations or can also lead to under-reacting. The kids who don’t see these signals may be insensitive to the feedback cues others are giving them, leading to anger from peers who feel that their ‘social hints’ are being ignored. 

  • Talk to your child about the need for social skills. Discuss the importance of making friends and getting along with others. 
  • Set a social goal with your child. 
  • Carefully arrange a supervised, time-limited playdate for your child to spend with other children to practice newly learned social skills.  
  • Choose play activities that are simple and enticing. 
  • Record your child at home. Review these videos with your child to increase self-observation and awareness. 
  • Help your child understand the motivations and feelings of others by observing out loud what others’ faces and bodies are telling us.  

You already help your child to develop social skills by modeling good social skills yourself and by creating situations in which your child can practice. 

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

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Encourage Your Child to Identify and Communicate their Needs

Learning to identify and express feelings in a positive way helps kids develop the skills they need to manage them effectively. 

Being a parent means you’ve got a really important role to play in helping kids understand their feelings and behaviors. Kids need to be shown how to manage their feelings in positive and constructive ways. 

When kids learn to manage their emotions in childhood, it leads to positive attitudes and behaviors later in life. 

But as your child begins to grow and mature, how can you CONTINUE to encourage them to identify and communicate their needs?  
It can sound something like this: 

“I’m thinking you want some attention right now. Do you know what type of attention you want? Maybe to talk a little…? Or to sit next to me?”   
“I can tell this is hard… and frustrating, I get that. Do you know how you can help yourself start to feel a little better? If you need my help, I’m right here. You can let me know what type of help you need from me when you’re ready.”  
And yes, once you start this you will probably hear a lot of… “I don’t know.”   
That’s ok… keep at it… 

You can say: “That’s ok, sometimes it takes time to know what to do.” or “Hmm… let’s think together. I’ll tell you my ideas and you can tell me yours.”  
You’re planting the seed that it’s up to your child to advocate for what they want.  


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

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Ways to Teach and Encourage Respect

Figuring out how to explain respect to a child is no easy task. To truly teach children empathy and respect, you will have to start with yourself. Every time you talk to your child, they are learning about respect or disrespect in relationships. Your job as a parent is to be aware of your actions and be a role model of respectful behavior and good manners for your children when reacting to them.  

The following are some ways to teach and encourage respect: 

  1. Model Respect. By modeling respectful behavior for your child, you are not only teaching respect for others but also teaching your child to respect themselves. 
  1. Discuss Respect. Talk about the way we treat others. Focus on the words we use and the attitudes we portray.  Explain the expectation of respect for others demonstrated in both attitude and behavior. 
  1. Teach Turn-Taking. Helping children to patiently wait for a turn to speak encourages respectful listening.  Encouraging children to wait develops an attitude of patience and respect. 
  1. Teach Polite Responses. As children begin vocalizing, adding phrases to their vocabulary like, “excuse me,” “no, thank you,” and “yes, ma’am/sir” continues to encourage an attitude of respect. 
  1. Praise Respectful Behavior. When children demonstrate good manners and respect to others, give specific praise for the positive choices they are making. 

Time and consistency together with our intentional teaching efforts will teach children this valuable character trait. 

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

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How to Raise Well Mannered Children

Tip #1:  Have Clear Expectations 

Children thrive if parents can have clear expectations for behavior and enforce those standards consistently. Determine what your expectations for your kids are on everything from how they perform at school to curfews, household chores and even things like using profanity and what their bedtime is during the school year. Be specific and then make the consequences equally as clear.  

Tip #2:  Model Appropriate Behavior 

Remember that you always have an audience when your kids are in your presence. We’re human so we’re going to get irritated and speak harshly or display a temper now and then, but just as soon as it happens and you catch yourself, stop and apologize in front of your kids. By explaining why you’re sorry to your kids, you demonstrate that we need to be held accountable for our action.  

Tip #3: Be Affectionate Often 

When a child hears phrases like “I love you,” or “How’s it going?” or notices that you stopped what you’re doing when she enters the room and is greeted with a loving smile, it means the world to a child.  When you display affection to your kids and other family members, you’re validating to them how important they are to you, which sends the best positive message you could ever deliver.  

Tip #4: Teach Problem Solving 

When kids are exposed to problems that allow them to be part of the solution, it builds important skills that will carry over into their adult life including how to manage their behaviors. 

Although kids crave structure and boundaries, they also love and need to exert their independence. As they grow, obviously they’ll have more opportunities to make more involved decisions, which in turn will aid in their problem-solving abilities. 

Tip #5:  Teach Behavior During Play Time 

Forbid name calling. Compassion starts with what’s acceptable and what’s not. Let him know that being kind to others is the rule and hurtful words are not allowed.  If you get involved right away, you are sending an important message that kindness trumps everything and that name calling is not going to happen. 

Tip #6: Request Respect 

If your kids are taught how to respect themselves and others, they will learn good coping skills for dealing with anger and frustration in appropriate ways that are not verbally or physically abusive to others.  


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

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How to break the “Be Careful!” cycle? 

Toddlers love to take the most mundane things and turn them into the most anxiety provoking things ever for us parents. Real talk? How many times a day do you find yourself saying, “BE CAREFUL!!”🚨 
Here’s the deal, when it’s a nonstop barrage of “be careful!”, your kid either a) paralyzes in fear b) completely ignores you c) gives you a puzzled look and doesn’t ACTUALLY learn what is dangerous. 🙈 
When we verbalize OUR worry and anxiety to them, they internalize it. What does this mean? Their little fight-or-flight response gets triggered. 😧 
This is GREAT if in real danger. But, if they’re actually safe in that moment, hovering and constantly telling them to 🚨”be careful!” can signal “the world isn’t safe” and “don’t take risks!” “be hyper vigilant and on guard at all moments!” Basically, our anxieties become their anxiety. 
Risky play is crucial for healthy growth and development. Research shows that “parents who… encourage[d] their kids to push their limits to a greater extent had children who were less at risk of exhibiting anxiety disorder symptoms…” 
So, how can we break the “Be Careful” cycle? 
✨Pause, take a deep breath 
✨Does this situation present serious harm? 
✨Why does this make me uncomfortable? 
✨Is my child learning skills right now? 
Some situations require you to do nothing and other situations require you to help your child foster awareness or problem solve. So, we’ve now reserved the 🚨”BE CAREFUL!”🚨 for when they truly SHOULD completely stop in their tracks with fear – dangerous things like running into the road, about to burn themselves, etc. 
So, instead TRY THIS. Guide their awareness + problem solving skills: 
✨Bring awareness to their bodies 
“Woah! You’re practicing your balance! You’re really listening to your body! Way to go!” 
✨Notice how? 
“Notice how the water under your feet makes the rocks slippery.” 
✨Do you see? 
“Do you see that big branch up ahead?” 
✨Do you feel? 
“Do you feel how wobbly that branch is when you climb over it?” 
✨Problem solving 
“That branch up ahead is in the way, what should we do?” 

It’s important that we let our kids engage in risky or challenging play because it’s a great way for them to practice problem solving skills. Let the children know to proceed with caution, but don’t make them be afraid to fall. They need to learn how to get back up, dust themselves off, and move forward. 

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

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6 Ways to Show Faith in Your Child