3 steps to build problem solving in children

Problem solving- its an act in which you define a problem, determine its causes then identify, select and prioritise the alternatives for solution and then apply that solution.
Children are learning on daily basis. They face lot of new situations everyday, it’s not easy for them to tackle with them. They feel powerless and get frustrated because of that.

“When you give children the tools they need to figure things out on their own, they will behave better because they’ll be better equipped to take care of themselves and won’t come screaming to you or act out every time they encounter a challenge,” says Dr. Brooks.
To encourage them solve their own problems and help them develop the skill of problem-solving, I am going to mention some tips:

Decision making:

When you feel that your children are now able to understand things, allow them to make decisions on their own.” What do you want for lunch today?”. Level them up slowly in problem solving. Gradually make them decide for themselves also. For example if your child had a fight instead of scolding him ask him how he could have handled it differently. There answers will let you know their abilities of solving a problem.

Put your children in different situations so that they explore them. They will try to find answers, for which they will have to think. Thinking will generate many ideas in their brain, many possible outcomes will come in their mind. Choosing a solution out of many solutions will help them develop decision making skill. Hence more you to exercise their brain by putting them in different situations for asking them different questions, the more their decision making power will get stronger.

Let them do it more than once:

Most of the times, kids ask one thing many times. It’s hard for them to solve a problem by just listening to you once. And even if they actually solve a problem, they might end up doing it wrong. Do not get frustrated let them try again. You can do it more quickly and more neatly but let your kid try again.
“Sure, it’s a lot quicker for you to do everything for them, but it’s important to let preschoolers practice and succeed without your intervention—whether it’s tying their shoes, putting away toys, or sorting socks in the laundry,” says Donna M. Genett, Ph.D., author of Help Your Kids Get It Done Right at Home and at School!

Let them get ready by their ownself. If you think they will get late, wake them up a little early but let them do it on their own. Naturally they will take much more time in the beginning. But as they will get practiced the time will decrease and outcome will become more acceptable. Start making them eat on their own. Don’t worry about them messing up with their clothes. As a parent always set priorities. You can always make them wear a bib or just have one shirt for them for when they eat. But trust me practice makes a man perfect. After a while they will also learn to eat on their own, without messing up with their clothes. Because they mess up with their clothes old take too much time to get ready, you intervene. They won’t be able to enjoy the learning and gradually, they will start depending on you. If they do it wrong tell them to do it again, also help them in the beginning. But slowly stop helping them and give them confidence that whatever they doing, they are doing it right.

Stretch their cognitive powers:

Let them think for the solutions of the problems that they are facing. Mostly, kids ask you how can they do a certain thing? Instead of answering them ask them what do they think about it. Give them hints, let them think out of the box. Your kids will become more confident they will find a solution.
Make them practice different exercises or riddles. You will have to invest a lot of time in the beginning, but after a certain time period they will start solving your problems too (on a lighter note).

Problem solving helps children develop confidence, think out of the box, deal with new situations, be more flexible and know their own worth. And these things will help them grow into a good human being.

3 steps to raise a well-behaved child

Raising a child is not an easy job but raising a well-behaved child is the toughest. However, there is one thing that will motivate you to put all your efforts in raising your child. That is, that you have to put effort in the starting years of your child. And you will get the fruit after that. On the other hand if you don’t put all tpur efforts in the beginning you will have to face the consequences for your whole life.
Before giving my tips, I would like to ask you what do you think is the reason that some people have very well mannered children? Everyone might have different experiences but there are some common things also.
Setting punishment for them? Rewarding them with candies, for behaving good? Etc

1. Set clear expectations:

From many researches, it has been proved that stating your expectations in front of your child helps them be disciplined. When you tell them what you expect out of them, even when they are toddlers. They start expecting the same things from their ownselves.
“When you make your expectations clear from the time your children are toddlers, they internalize those expectations and begin to expect the same thing from themselves,” Sharon K. Hall, Ph.D., author of Raising Kids in the 21st Century.
It seems daunting but the early you start training your child, the easier it becomes for him to meet your expectations. Children learn from you, if you want them to wash hands before eating start washing hands in front of them before eating.

2. Help them attain problem solving:

When a child asks their parents about something, parents should answer him, but not solve the problem practically. For example if your child is stuck at 2 + 5 is equal to what? It’s your job to teach him how to add them together rather than telling them 7. It doesn’t matter how many times do they ask don’t solve their problem by telling them the answer. Once they learn to solve the problem and think out of the box, you will get the fruit of your patience.
Try to put them in situations where they have to to find the solution. For example ask them to open the lock. To choose a book for them. To choose your favourite pyjamas. All these situations will help them deal with many more. Even if they chose wrong, they will learn from it which is very important for their development.

3. Help them be more empathetic:

“Children are born believing that the world revolves around them,” Steven E. Curtis, Ph.D., author of Understanding Your Child’s Puzzling Behavior. “
As a parent it is your job to make and realise them that everybody is equally important. The sooner they understand this, the less annoying and hurtful will they become. For example if your child is not giving his food to his sister, ask him how would you feel if your sister won’t give you her food?
For making them more empathetic you should start praising their little acts of kindness.

Making your child well behaved or well- mannered isn’t a one night process. It will take time. Notice the changes in your children. Appreciate little positive changes in them. Continue practicing these tips. And sooner or later you will have your results. 
But again I believe moms have stronger instincts for their children than anyone. Follow your instincts and you might have a list of your tips that worked for you.

How to gain respect from your child

Although parents should be friends with their children, but the element of respect for parents cannot be ignored. In this modern era of Technology, if you are not friends with your children it can bring drastic results. Befriending your children doesn’t mean that they don’t respect you anymore. Maintaining respect with children benefits children more than parents. Here are a few tips to gain respect from your children:

1. Set rules:
Setting rules for telling your children what you expect out of them is a very effective technique for making your child well mannered. Children who know what their parents expect out of them from early age try to expect the same thing out of them. Hence they know which way to go from very early age.
“Children who understand that there are well-defined boundaries learn how to self-regulate and to respect limits,” says Hal Runkel, family therapist and author of ScreamFree Parenting.

2. Explain them the reason:
Parents do not have to give long explanations to their child for their behaviour. But if your children know that why have you set certain rules, they are more likely to adapt them.
For example “put your toys back into the toy box because next time when you will want to play with them you will find them easily.”
Do not prolong it into a lecture. A brief reason is enough for them to know the importance of the chore. If you will start explaining them children will lose attention and the main point will stay there.
Children will always give importance and respect to your point of view.

3. Praise them:
“Whether it’s making the bed, helping set the table, or letting his sister play with his blocks, make sure you reinforce rule-following by celebrating your child’s successes,” says Larry J. Koenig, PhD, author of Smart Discipline
Encouraging them on little things is very important. These little things are actually making their foundations, if you encourage them they will know that these are the things that we need to hold on to.Also, they will know that their parents praise them when they do something nice.
For example “You were sharing your toys with your sister, that was very nice of you.” Or ” it’s very nice that you have started making your bed on your own now, you are a big girl now.”

4. Conscience:
Consience is a very crucial part of brought up. For example your child didn’t put his toys back in their place. When you reminded them they felt guilty. Let them feel guilty for a while do not try to satisfy them. This will help them in identifying rights from wrong.
Do not try to minimise their feeling of guilt. Make them feel uncomfortable if they don’t follow a rule.
If they have hit someone and are feeling guilty. Let them feel that for a little while. It will help them develop empathy which is also another important part of their development.

If you follow these steps, there is a greater chance that your child will know the importance of your words and your rules. They will respect them and you. Which, in future, will help them become a good human being for society also.
Everything related to raising Up a child needs patience. It is not a one night process.

7 Steps to more effective parenting

Raising up a kid is not an easy task. Most of the time parenting is a very time consuming and patience required job. At the end of the day you are are tired the most but at the same time satisfied the most. Children are very sensitive, parents have to deal with them with extra care. But they also have to take care of the fact that they are not going tp extremes. Too much of attention, care,love, strictness, punishment or scolding can result in personality conflicts. Mediocracy is always the right way. Parents should be smart enough to know which emotion to use and when?
Here I am discussing seven tips, which  can play a great role in effective parenting.

Give time to your children:
Most of the times, it gets very difficult for parents to give proper time to their children. Do not feel guilty of yourself if you are working rather plan small things which will make memories for your children. For example doing a lesson together, playing a game, baking your child’s favourite cake etc.
Try to plan one dinner, at least , in a week with your children. Young children need more attention. If you will spend more time with your children it will become easy for you to know their friends and have an eye on them, without them knowing.

Give importance to their self-esteem:
Parents are a mirror to their children. They look theirselves into you. The way you are dealing with them, you are treating  their ideas etc. Be conscious of yourself when you are talking to your child.
Let them taste independence in small tasks, appreciate their little achievements, and letting them know that mistakes can be made from anyone and you love them unconditionally.
In contrast to that comparing your child with another one, belittling them in front of others, not choosing words wisely will make them feel worthless and useless.
Note: Tell them that you don’t like their behaviour, not them, if they do something wrong.

● Catch them doing something good:
Notice yourself saying negative things to your children in a day. How many times do you criticize them? How many times do you tell them that they don’t know anything?  Or they don’t follow your instructions?
Now consider yourself in a place where your boss is continuously criticizing you? Even if he is right you won’t feel good about it. There is always a proper time and way of Criticism.
Best approach to change your child’s behaviour is Catching them doing something good. For example you can catch them doing homework and then tell them “I saw you doing your homework on your own, that’s a very good thing.” Or ” you were helping your brother in the playground, Very good!”

Maintain discipline:
Discipline is the key factor in raising your child. It will help them learn self- control.
Setting rules for your house can lead to less arguments and a positive environment. For example you can set a rule of sleeping at 9 p.m. you will have to struggle in the beginning, but once you stick to your rules they will accept them. Make sure the rules now set, must follow consequences. Do not ignore the consequences, otherwise you will lose the importance of your rules.
Consistency is the key to make your children disciplined. If you tell them that whoever doesn’t do his homework on time will lose the opportunity to play video game. Make sure if your child doesn’t do his homework, he doesn’t play video game.

Be a nice mentor:
Consciously and subconsciously your child is learning a lot from you. If you lose your temper at little things, there is a greater chance that he also does the same sooner or later. Children learn their fears from their parents. Young children tend to learn more from you. Be very cautious of your behaviour in front of your children, before doing anything just think is that what you want your child to grow up into?
Adapt the habits that you want your child to adapt. Be more honest, kind, humble, non judgmental, understanding, empathatic, respectful, careful and considerate.
Note: Actions matter more than words.

Be more flexible:
Set realistic goals for your child. Don’t think in ” shoulds”. For example he should always obey me. Or he should start eating meal on his own.
Consider the fact that every child is different, don’t compare your child with others.

Often you are saying no to your child because you don’t want them to get hurt. Instead of saying no change the environment, alter the situations. For example if your toddler is putting everything in his mouth. Take everything out of his reach before he wakes up. In this way you won’t have to say him “No, stop putting this in your mouth ” because he would not  have anything around  to put into his mouth.
If your child doesn’t achieve a goal, think of all the possibilities, why he didn’t attain it? Focus on changing the environment and provide him with the necessary changes. Don’t become harsh with them.

Be Consistent:
Consistency is the key to everything. If you want to be a successful person in your life you have to be consistent about certain things. In the same way, if you want to be a successful parent, set some rules and be consistent on them. For example you made a rule of brushing the teeth in the morning, after waking up. In the beginning your children will forget brushing their teeth. If you will ignore it they will eventually stop it. But if you make them face the consequences, like “You will not get breakfast until you brush.” They are more likely to adapt this habit for their lifetime.

Parenthood is not an easy job. It is always easier said than done. You are also a human being, nobody can be perfect. So, try to become happy parents or a Happy Family rather than a perfect one.

Toilet training: Night time

Toilet training is a huge step in your toddler’s life. So, do not panic if he is taking time to learn that. For some children it is a piece of cake while others might take their time. Parents should keep in mind a few things while toilet training their children:

Parents should keep in mind that toileting doesn’t depict how good of a parents are they? It is a time consuming process which requires patience. So, have a relaxed attitude while toilet training your child. Don’t make them “not wanting to go to toilet” by putting too much stress on the importance of going to toilet.

Just know that your child has spent his life wearing diaper. It is a new thing for him, let him take his time. As a parent you should be expecting accidents. Do not overreact on them, It is hard for your child to hold for too long. Don’t make them fearful, anxious and unhappy about going to toilet.

Even if your toddler is trained to go to toilet in the daytime, expect him to wet his bed in the night. Most of the children under the age of 5 cannot keep their bed dry at night, while in primary school children the ratio is 1 out of 10. So think of bed wetting as a separate thing from toilet training at day time.

Consider signs that your child shows about being ready to sleep without nappies. ( to see the signs of being ready for potty training, go to previous article). These include:
If the diaper of your child just get wet before waking up, he is ready to sleep without nappies in the night. You can check it by checking the diaper. The diaper will be warm and soaked.
If your child wakes up, or gets disturbed during urinating at night, then he is ready.
If the Child tries to go to the toilet or asks for your help, he is showing another sign of being ready.
If you observe deeply, you will know it by yourself also. Moms know their children more than anyone.

Here is a to-do list for moms.
Encourage your child to go to the toilet before bed. Make it a habit.
Encourage them to pull their pyjamas up and down. This will help them manage going to the toilet on their own.
Start talking to your child about importance of going to toilet in the night time. Take a time and taken to the toilet and that time. You can also use a potty seat for that purpose.
Repeat the same topic i.e importance of going to the toilet at night. Make it easy for them. Ask them to wake you up, if they feel the urge to go to toilet.
Use a light or anything to make it easy for them to go to toilet
You can also use a waterproof cover for the mattress, in case of accidents.
Do not pressurise them but casually remind them to go to toilet before sleeping.
Praise your child for staying dry in the daytime. But don’t get angry on them for wetting their bed.
If your child is taking too much stress, you can stop the training for a while.

If all that does not help, and you feel any abnormality.  Consult your doctor.
These are not the thumb rules, as a mom no one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts.

Potty training: A combination of Timing and Patience

One of the major milestones in a child’s life is potty training. Not only for a child, but also for the parents, it is a big step. Parents should also remember that it is a very time consuming task which also requires lots and lots of patience.
Every child is different in showing the signs of being ready for potty training. One should remember that AGE is not the only factor to be seen in potty training but a child’s physical and behavioral developments play more crucial role. It’s always good that your child adapts a natural way of evacuation but there is no rush. Observe when your child starts giving signs of being ready for toilet training. Most of the children are ready inbetween ages of 18 to 24 months, while others take it to the age of 3 years.

Notice the signs in your child for example when your child:
Stops doing an activity for few moments.
grasps his diaper.
Stays dry for at least 2 hours.
Knows that he has got a wet or a dirty diaper.
Starts telling you that he is peeing.
Goes somewhere quiet to pee or to poo.
Starts telling you that they need to pee.
Start training your child when you can be consistent. Potty training is most effective when you maintain a proper routine. If your child is able to tell you before he needs to pee, or he can sit down and get up from the potty or he has started listening to your instructions , potty training will be quick and less tiring.

Start using words like potty. Tell them the difference between wee and poo while changing their diapers. Start taking them to bathroom for changing, and washing their hands after change is also a good idea. Start making them sit on potty on and off.

Make your child sit on potty everyday.
Urge them to sit on potty after meals. Give them a book or toy to make them sit on potty for a while.
If the child has a regular time for poo, take their diaper off at that time and encourage them to sit on potty.
Use the potty for wee initially, it will help them poo in it also.
If the child knows that he needs to pee, encourage them to sit on potty or use bathroom. Mop the floor if they don’t do it in the potty and wait for the next time.

Lets break it into simpler steps.

Pick out some words:
Choose and then stick to those words about your your child’s wee and poo. Avoid saying words like stinky, bad, dirty etc.

Make the potty seat ready:
Make it ready to use. Dump the poo in it or in the toilet from diaper, initially to make the child understand. You can also make him flush.

Make the child sit:
Make him sit on potty seat. Start some activity but make him sit a little longer. Get him up if he insists.

Bring it, fast:
When the child showsthe signs bring the potty chair fast to him. Praise him for telling.

Hygieneof your child is very important.  Parents should not neglect it while teaching their children. Tell them to wash the area properly and after that wash their hands.

Stop using diapers:
After a while, with some successful attempts you can now stop using diapers. Be ready for accidents but don’t get angry. Stay calm as this process it a very important milestone in your child’s life.

And as psychology says, your child’s toilet training can play a crucial part in making his personality.
If your child seems ready but is still having difficulties in toilet training. Seek help from yourchild’s doctor. They will guide you and will check if their is any problem.

In the next blog I will be covering the potty training for nights!

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