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January 24th, 2018

A New Kind of TLC to Help Your Child Thrive

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Welcome guest author, Abbie Morris, a Canadian mom with some excellent tips to help your child thrive in academics and everywhere else!

When it comes to your child’s academics, is it time for a new mind set or simply a new approach?

Help Your Child Thrive

Most of us know that every child needs a little TLC in his or her life. Of course, we know this acronym refers to tender loving care, but I am referring to a different TLC to help your child thrive:

  • Tips to Learn By
  • Laughs for the Good and Tough Times
  • Characteristics to Last a Lifetime

Let us take some time to explore how each of these headings can have a transformative effect on your child’s social, emotional, and academic well-being. All it takes are a few important tweaks!

 

Tips to Learn By

There are countless times that we get caught up in the time crunch of life. Before you know it, work, school, sports and even playdates  become a chore. Ultimately, we all just wish that we could take a moment to breathe, while knowing that we will eventually complete life’s tasks.

“Just sit down and get it done!” Sound familiar? Often that is easier said than done.

TIP: Teaching is a gift and learning is a joy, so turn the negative to a positive always!

Even though it seems impossible to do sometimes. Even if it takes longer than expected, know that you will complete the task. Do not be afraid to reach out to those closest to you for help.

My child finds math a joy to do.   Unfortunately, as a child I could not necessarily say the same! I struggled, as I could not stand math! My dad, who might as well have carried the title of Math Wizard, would always say, “Why are you struggling? Look! It’s so easy.” I would get so frustrated, as I would have no choice but to turn to tears. Now, he wasn’t being harsh or mean, it was just easy for him. I had hit the mental block of all time . It was hopeless, so I thought.

Then he said to me,”Ok, you will need to know this to go shopping.” ( yes that caught my attention) “If your favorite item is on sale and you want to now how much it costs, if you know the percentage off, you multiply. If you don’t, then you divide, and you will get the sale price!”

Yes I know laugh it up !  I have to tell you that my father’s words never failed me. All students I have taught through the years,including my children, have heard that story. Why? Because it makes me relatable, and well, it’s funny. They get a good laugh and are more open minded.

In other words, be relatable. Try to not talk at them but with them. Make it a conversation, rather than an inaccessible or dense lesson.  Put the subject-at-hand in terms of things they love, such as sports, video games, activities, motorcycles, or shopping. Think in terms of what will get their attention. Then proceed to apply the question in terms they understand.

 

Laughs for the Good and Tough Times

LAUGH: When you fail you may believe that the only option is to yell, cry or scream. Instead, try and laugh!

Find the best way your child learns. My children are very hands on, and interactive with the materials. Reading – oh boy! Now that’s a struggle. So instead of site words out of a book that make us crazy, we put a twist on it . They have their own special, sticky notes and pens. Ultimately, the more involved they can be the more interested they are.

Select objects around the house or use the words straight out of the book. Try and make sure some of them are fun and a little silly, not just the word chair, but maybe something like hootenanny or agog. Then mix them up and ready, set, go! It’s a race! I have 2 kiddos under the age of 8, and each have their own colored, sticky notes. They like to  work together to race the timer, and if they finish before the timer goes off, then they celebrate! We have an award bucket filled with stickers, stamps, pencils, etc.

If they don’t finish and the timer goes off, then that’s not a problem, but an excuse for more practice (and more fun!). Collect the stickies and start again – save the sticky notes in a baggie and play again and again!

When it’s least expected, that is the making of the best memories.  It’s bath time and the usual nightly routine begins. Instead of getting ready for a story, I decided to open my phone. This time I showed them the pictures and read the questions off of the testing moms e-mail of the night. I did grade-appropriate work, while we also worked on the higher levels just to see what we knew. They had a good laugh, and they were surprised at what they learned during bath time ! After our practice session, we proceeded to read our bedtime story.

 

Characteristics to Last a Lifetime

Save the best for last as they say. Knowledge builds character. How many times have we heard … children are sponges and mold your child?

Character: It is critical to impress upon your child the importance of learning. Show him or her how to teach others, as well as sharing their gifts and the joy it brings.

Start by setting reachable goals. Make your own chart, and let your children place stars up for the things that they accomplish (like doing homework without complaining ). Once the chart is filled with stars, then it’s time for a treat. I always have things on hand such as stickers or erasers. Still, our favorite treat is a family bicycle ride to the park. It’s not always what they did, but how they did it. It’s not always what you get, but how you spent the time together.

Encourage them through their many struggles and accomplishments! Teach them to have patience and perseverance This is the key for those subjects that may not come so easy. What great characteristics to process at any age.

These are my daily reminders. I hope you find this helpful and that it brings joy to your day!

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