5 strategies to help our kids succeed
Can I pour that juice for you? Are you sure that’s the right answer? We ask our kids lots of questions each day in the hopes of avoiding minor messes and stained shirts, and because we want to build up their confidence. But here’s one question we should be asking instead: should I let my kids fail?
It’s a scary concept. As parents, we want to see our kids succeed in everything they do, whether it’s acing their science homework, making the varsity softball team or simply making a sandwich without smearing peanut butter and jelly all over the kitchen. And often, we try to push our kids toward success with constant reminders and prodding, and we jump in to rescue them when we see a risk of failure. But is that more hurt than help?
As far as I know, no mom has ever tweeted: “Wet sheets again for Kyle. Whole family is exhausted. #Wish bedwetting would stop.”
Toileting problems aren’t openly discussed in our culture. But in my pediatric urology clinic, they’re what I talk about all day long — with distressed parents and with kids who miss out on sleepovers and feel crummy that they can’t stay dry.
Most of these families have been led to believe that a) accidents and bedwetting are a normal part of childhood and b) they need to wait it out. Both notions are wrong. Truly, most of what parents and even many pediatricians believe about toileting troubles is not based in fact.
Here’s the real poop.
How to Get Kids Into The Kitchen for Cooking and Quality Time
If you’re looking for a new way to connect with your kids – or for them to eat healthier – get out some kid-sized aprons. Cooking with your kids may take a bit longer and might not have the best presentation, but you’ll spend quality time as a family, and since little ones are more likely to eat things they’ve helped prepare, everyone wins!
Spending time with you in the kitchen provides kids the one-on-one attention they crave. And when they have the POSITIVE attention they need, they’re less likely to seek it out in NEGATIVE ways. It’s also a great time to work on following directions, reading by using a recipe, and measuring – not to mention a fun way to learn about fractions.
Sometimes, when tasks and schedules get overwhelming, it’s helpful to make a to-do list to make things feel more manageable and focused. If your children’s behavior problems have you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do first, start with these 10 tips for better behavior.
1. Invest in one-on-one time with kids daily. By far, the best thing you can do to improve your children’s behavior is spending time with them individually every day, giving them the positive attention and emotional connection they’re hard-wired to need. When they don’t have that positive attention, they will seek out attention in negative ways, and consequences and other discipline methods won’t work. Aim for 10-15 minutes a day per child and you’ll see measurable improvement almost immediately.
Half the fun of any trip is getting there, right? Well, maybe not if you envision mile after mile of whining, choruses of “are we there yet” or refereeing backseat battles. But it doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of long road trips with your family:
Plan Ahead of Time
1. Know your limits. If your kids haven’t made the two-hour trip to Grandma’s house yet without screaming the whole way, this may not be the best summer for that cross-country trip to Yellowstone.
2. Take a practice run. If you haven’t had a family excursion that’s more than a jaunt across town, take a short day or weekend trip to get your kids used to time in the car. It will also give them a chance to practice any special “car rules” for behavior.
We’ve all been afraid of being that table in a restaurant. Aidan is more interested in playing musical chairs than sitting still in his. Josie refuses to use her inside voice. Luke and Lauren keep exchanging mac and cheese torpedoes across the table. Eating out with young kids doesn’t have to be a stressful battle royale – with some planning and practice, your family can enjoy peaceful meals out.
1. Practice at home first. In calm moments at home, take time for training before you venture out to a restaurant. Practice proper dinner manners by inviting stuffed animals or friends to a tea party or snack. Role play good choices like sitting still, using utensils and waiting patiently. Don’t forget the importance of emphasizing manners at the dinner table every night – your kids will be better able to follow the rules when dining out when they know what’s expected of them at the table.