Creative Crayon Club: Family Activities for Natural Self-Esteem

June 6, 2008 at 9:55 pm | Posted in 1, attitudes, children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Family Time, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, How To, Mothers, parents, responsibilities, Self Esteem | 1 Comment
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Creative Crayon Club is one of my favorite times of the week.

At my house we use our Creative Crayon Club as a special time to be together.  We can have friends over, or be just ourselves. We have a special two-hour time that we devote to this family time.  And giving it a name means I can put it on my calendar.

We are back to younger children. (You can adapt these for teens or look to May CCC entries for teen activities.)

 

Castle Sock Puppets

What you need:

  • Old Socks
  • Permanent markers
  • Yarn
  • Bits of cloth
  • Googly eyes
  • Tin foil
  • Fabric quick glue
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

*  You must have at least the socks and markers.  The rest are suggestions that can be added on.

What you do:

You take the sock and use the toe section for the head.

Draw, glue and staple to make the head.  (Using a stapler means the puppet will be usable as you make it.)

Make two slits in the side of the sock for fingers to stick out.  These will be the arms.

That is it!

 

 Ants on a Log

What you need:

  • Celery
  • Peanut butter
  • Black raisins

Have your child spread peanut butter on the celery.  Put raisins on the peanut butter.

That’s how you get to eat Ants on a Log!

   

Castle Puppet Show

What you need:

  • Cereal boxes
  • Markers, crayons
  • Tape
  • Cleared off table or other place to set up puppet show

First you need to make a bit of scenery.  You can use old cereal boxes, or just “borrow” the ones that have cereal in them right now. 

Cover the boxes with paper.

Color the paper to look the way you want the castle to look.

Place these as sides for the puppet stage.  You may want to tape them down.

If you use a table, put a long draping thing- either a tablecloth or a towel in front to keep the “backstage” hidden.  Tape this in place as well.

What you do:

Each person has a time limit of one to two minutes to act out the puppet show.  This includes all children and all adults.

This is a fun interactive way to get you involved with the creative parts of your children’s lives.  When you involve yourself in their lives at their level this will teach them that you value them for who they are at this moment.

What is your favorite thing to do with your child?  Tell us in the comment area.

Most of all, enjoy the time you spend with your children!

 

Grace E. Mauzy, MA works with overwhelmed, stressed parents having difficulty comfortably cope with parenting. Parents learn positive intervention utilizing strategies and tactics to develop high self-esteem in children. Grace is the founder of GEM Parenting – an online community dedicated to parenting with passion, purpose, and integrity. (GEMParenting.com) Through Grace’s professional and personal life experiences, she has a unique ability to understand and empower parents to implement new parenting styles, allowing them to challenge themselves to break free of their destructive behaviors and attitudes.  And raise their children with confidence, peace, and harmony.  To learn more about her powerful speaking, coaching, and workshops, or to receive Grace’s motivating audio course “The 7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats – And How You Can Avoid Them!” visit http://www.7deadlymistakesparentsmake.com or visit http://www.GEMParenting.com.

Teriffic Tuesday: Promoting Genuine Self-Esteem in Your Child

May 13, 2008 at 6:49 am | Posted in 1, children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Family Time, Focused Fridays, GEM Parenting Secrets, Health, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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Promoting Genuine Self-Esteem In Your Child

 Promoting self-esteem in children is an ongoing process for parents. By adding just one word-genuine-the focus is sharpened and the process is more clearly defined. Genuine self-esteem is based on true worth and accomplishment, whereas ‘inflated’ self-esteem, the opposite, results from heaped on, baseless praise. Promoting inflated self-esteem is easy. Promoting genuine self-esteem requires a little more thought and planning. Here are three big steps parents can take to facilitate the process: Accept, Support and Respect. As the first two are closely related, we’ll discuss them together.

 ACCEPT and SUPPORT.

 Accept and support your child. As a parent, you are your child’s most important significant other. More than anyone else, you help to establish how your child feels about himself. School personnel, family, and peers have some influence on your child, but yours is the most important. So, how do you help him feel good about himself? By genuinely accepting and supporting your child for whom he is. Here’s how.

  •  DO let your child know you think he’s great. Self-esteem grows through your words and actions. Use language that will build his self-esteem: “What a great idea!” “I’m proud to be your mom/dad.” “I can depend on you.” And, be sure your actions support your message.

 Children use us as mirrors. If we think and convey to them that they are wonderful, they will think and believe that they are wonderful. If we think and tell them they are stupid, they will think and believe they are stupid. Our children internalize our words and actions.

  • DO accept your child’s inherited physical endowments. Nobody, thank goodness, is physically perfect. So encourage your child to accept his or her physical appearance. Children are acutely self-conscious about their physical selves-a girl might be embarrassed by her large nose, a boy about his pimples. Your child might even hate the very qualities you find adorable-his big ears, or her curly hair-so convey your acceptance of his or her physical endowments. You might be quite proud of your child just the way he is. But does your child know this? He needs to, even when nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Remind him every day that you support him, and show him the same through your actions.
  • DO be open and available. Are you approachable? When you are working at home, watching television, or doing housework, is your body language telling your child that you don’t want to be bothered? Or are you showing her that you will listen if she has a problem? Of course, there are times when you are doing something important or taking care of your own needs. You can’t be accessible twenty-four hours a day, and you don’t have to be a problem-solver all the time, but you do need to be someone your child can count on to talk to when the need arises. It will help her just to know you’re there, ready to listen and not judge. If a child perceives that a parent is too busy, disinterested, or annoyed to hear her, then her problems, no matter how trivial they may seem to adults, may overwhelm her.
  • DO recognize and applaud effort. Did your child bungle an art project? Miss a ground ball in a baseball game? Spill a mixing bowl while trying to make cake batter? You know that the effort he puts into the activity is far more important than the success or failure of it, but he probably doesn’t know that. So tell him! Even better than saying, “That’s okay, it’s the effort that counts,” would be to say, “I’m proud of you for trying to make a cake; most kids your age would never tackle that. And you got the ingredients just right!” or “I can see that you threw away the art project you started. I’m sorry you didn’t like it. But I’m proud that you took on such a difficult task.”
  • DO be receptive and helpful with your child’s personal problems, and seek help from professionals when appropriate. It takes only a few minutes each day to ask how your child feels and then listen attentively to what he or she says. Instead of asking general questions about school activities, for example, you could try drawing out your child to see if there are any personal problems you are unaware of. So instead of asking, “How was school today?” you might ask, “Was school better today? Yesterday you said that your teacher kept you in during recess. Did you go out today?” If the answer is yes or no, try to ask more leading questions, such as “What changed today that made things better (or worse)?” and then continue from there. Or, instead of asking, “Did you do your homework?” try asking something like “You said last week that you had a history report due. How is it coming?” If it seems that things are not going well, you may want to offer help or suggest some alternative strategies such as after-school assistance or engaging the services of a capable teenager or professional tutor.
  • DO offer opportunities to pursue individual interests. Your child can’t find areas to explore her individuality if she is not exposed to different activities. When notices for clubs or sports leagues are posted or handed out in school, encourage your child to enroll if she shows an interest. And get her presents that suit her interests. If she is interested in building, why buy her dolls? Children are often scared to try new things. By encouraging (but not forcing) them to try out new activities, we can help them discover areas in which they may express their individuality.
  • DO encourage your child to evaluate the opinions and values of others instead of submissively adopting them. It’s a sign of low self-esteem when a child accepts without question other people’s ideas and values. Encourage your child to weigh each situation instead of mindlessly going along with the decisions or opinions of others. At the same time, encourage him to seek support for his own ideas. This way, your child will learn to determine whether or not a value or opinion is of worth to him, and thereby gain power over his own decisions. This will help his self-esteem as a child, and will serve him well when he is older, when more potentially damaging ideas (such as drug use, sex, or prejudice, for example) will be presented to him.

 RESPECT

 Let’s turn to the third step, respect. Respect your child and she will learn to respect you. This old tale, “The King and His Sons,” says it well.

One rainy day, the king took a walk with his two children. He held an umbrella in each hand to cover and protect each child. A bystander approached and said, “Why are you protecting your children from the rain? You are the king! They should be protecting you.” His highness sagely replied, “If I do not show them respect, how will they learn to respect me? How will they learn to respect others? How will they learn to respect themselves?”

When children are treated with respect, they learn to respect themselves and others. So treat your child as you expect to be treated. Respect that is genuine, and not simply permissive, promotes self-esteem. It satisfies your child’s esteem needs. It makes her feel important-that you hold her in high esteem, and that you value and respect her as a person.

There are many ways you can show your child respect through your actions and words. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

  • DO NOT berate. Berating a child models negative behavior; it does not help her to learn, and it shows her total disrespect. For example, a parent who is helping a child to study for a test might make such berating comments as, “We just did this! What are you, stupid? You’re just not paying attention. Now pay attention!” By the end of the session, usually the child is crying and the parent is screaming. And the child may be heard the next day yelling at her classmate, “What are you, stupid?”
  • DO NOT be sarcastic. Sarcastic remarks are transparent ways of putting someone down, and if directed toward your child, she’ll know it. Many parents don’t realize that the processes of growth and change take time, and their own frustration causes them to resort to sarcasm. But if you show a lack of respect for your child, she will feel unworthy and less motivated to succeed.
  • DO ask your child to do grown-up tasks. There are many opportunities to do so. Asking him to do one at a critical time in his development may be a memorable gift you can give to him. At that moment, he has your respect and trust; he is someone. For example, when the need arises, ask him to answer the phone for you. Even if he forgets to write the person’s name next to the number, let him know that you appreciate his help. Next time the situation arises simply remind him to write down both the name and number. This way, he’ll learn the same lesson without feeling like a failure.
  • DO control your anger. Whether over homework or other issues, many parents become so angry with their children that they end up physically or verbally abusing them. When you get angry at your child, keep this in mind: If you respect someone, do you hit him? Do you curse at him? Do you insult him? Whenever you use physical force or verbal attacks against your child, you show a blatant disregard for his rights and teach him that this is the proper way to express anger and settle disputes. You teach him that it is okay to act on his feelings, when in fact it should be your goal to teach him to think first, and think clearly, before he acts.
  • DO be sure your child is being treated respectfully at school. Not only is it important for you to treat your child with respect; it is also important to be sure that your child is being treated respectfully at school.

As your child’s number-one advocate, be sure she is treated respectfully, both at home and at school. For the most part, teachers and other school personnel are wonderful, hard-working people who care about education and children. But sometimes they too need to be informed. If you see that your child is not being treated with the respect she deserves, call her teacher. Chances are he or she is unaware of your child’s problem and will appreciate your call.

  • DO respect one another. Within a family, parents and children need to strive to develop a mutual respect, which in time extends beyond the family. This is an ongoing process which involves parental role modeling (and usually an endless supply of parental patience and self-control).

Respect is often tested when children slip-up. How parents deal with these slip-ups delivers long lasting messages. Better than flying off the handle on the one hand, or merely shrugging the incidents off on the other, is for parents to deal with each situation, and those involved, in a respectful manner. This involves looking into the causes behind each situation, exploring options, and discussing alternative actions the child could have taken-in other words, maintaining respect. Therefore, when your child experiences some trouble in school, before you begin yelling or punishing, think about what you want to teach her.

In conclusion, in that you as a parent are your child’s most important significant other, you more than anyone else help to establish how your child feels about himself. If you genuinely accept, support and respect your child, and show it through your words and actions, then you are sowing the seeds of genuine self-esteem.

Copyright © 2008 Linda Silbert, Ph.D., and Alvin J. Silbert, Ed.D., all rights reserved.

Why Bad Grades Happen to Good Kids (Beaufort Books, NY, August 2007) came out to rave reviews by parents, teachers, physicians, and other professionals. The book introduces the “groundbreaking” STRONG method, a proven approach that empowers parents and teachers to help struggling students. By focusing on the six areas of the acronym STRONG — Self-esteem, Trust, Responsibility, Options, Needs, Goals — the reader learns how to identify the actual causes of a myriad of school problems and learn proven techniques to resolve them. This little book will surely make school days and home nights “a whole lot better.” The Silberts are founders/directors of STRONG Learning Centers® in New York. They’ve written over 40 books and 20 phonics games for children of all ages. To learn more about their STRONG method and their books and learning centers, visit their web site at www.oureducationalbooks.com. To subscribe to their free e-zine, send a blank email to: subscribe@stronglearning.com

Creative Crayon Club: Spring Sports and Children’s Morals

May 2, 2008 at 11:05 pm | Posted in children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Family Time, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, sports, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Welcome | Leave a comment
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Creative Crayon Club

This week take time to be unorganized with your child’s sport. If your child plays soccer be a little early for a practice and just kick the ball around for fun. Try going for a walk with a soccer ball that you and your child pass.

Don’t worry if you are not good. The point is to have fun.

Other fun slightly organized games for multiple ages and abilities:

Kick the Can

This is my own all time favorite and it is my family’s fave as well!

What you need:

And old coffee can

(Nowadays you should put duct tape around the top edge, but in my day we just kicked the can till it fell apart)

Space with hiding spots

Jail

Players- about 5 at least – 10 is a great number

What you do:

One person is the can kicker

One person is “It”

The others are hiders

It covers eyes.

Can kicker kicks can. Warn kicker to kick it away from It and other children

It counts to twenty (or appropriate number for your group)

Can kicker and other children hide during counting.

It gets can and puts it near jail.

It looks for children.

When It finds someone he/she yells his or her name and races for the can.

The found child races for the can as well.

If It gets to can first found child goes to jail.

If found child gets to can first, he/she kicks can-away from children/jail

and all children in jail go free.

It puts can back and starts again.

If one child is It for too long, then have a drink/snack break, rather than just switching things around.

Enjoy your weekend with the kids!

Wisdom Wednesday: Spring Sports and Good Moral

April 30, 2008 at 6:21 am | Posted in 1, children, dads, Families, Family Time, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, Health, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, sports, teens, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom, Welcome | 2 Comments
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Spring Sports and Moral

Sports are such a major part of our lives these days. Parents sign kids up months in advance. They take them to tryouts at younger and younger ages. The practices are anywhere from twice a week to every afternoon. And the competitions take at least one weekend day, with tournaments taking both days. Why in the world do we have our kids “free” time filled with sports? What is the draw? And the bottom line, is it healthy for our children’s self esteem? If it is not healthy, what do we do?

Human beings are by nature group-oriented. We live in societies. We engage in interactions with others. Human beings, also by nature, relish in being challenged, and part of all the stress we create for ourselves comes from this need of ours. Finally, children love to be active and physical and voila, sports for children seem to fit the bill perfectly.

However, why do we have sports for children when thirty years ago, sports played by children was predominantly part of school or ad-hoc empty field games? Why do we have tryouts for young children and organized sports now?

This change comes from some whole culture changes. In the past (50+ years), most children actually had lots of necessary physical activities. Walking was the main mode of transportation. Children would easily walk four to ten miles a day, just getting around without cars. Life was obviously structured without all the conveniences we have, thus physical activity just existed. There was no need to implant it in our lives.

The other major cultural change is electronic entertainment. Again in the past, children had to create their own entertainment. This was often a challenge. It took mental strength and ability. The most popular kids were not the ones with the gadgets, but the ones who had the best imaginations. You can still find these kids, but our media has taught us to look for gadget owners as being the ones to follow.

Our children now need to be entertained rather than create their own challenges. With these two major changes in our society, a huge hole was left for kids. They do not have enough physical activity and they look to be entertained rather than create and challenge themselves. These two cultural changes and our innate human tendencies to need physical activity and challenges makes children’s sports the perfect answer to accommodate our needs.

Given the perfect situation: parents, coaches, teammates, and child all filling roles with enthusiasm, respect, enough challenge, physical activity, freedom to create and play outside the actual regulated sport, then you will have a wonderful time with sports for your children. But perfection is not always the case and as children get older parts of the picture get skewed. That is when sports can and does diminish moral and self-esteem.

So what are your choices? Pull your kid out? Stick it out? Find another team? Make changes where you are? All of these have merit, except stick it out. To make changes first look to yourself. Ask yourself these questions: How am I contributing to the negative aspects of this sport? Check that you communicate respect, enthusiasm, and appropriate disappointment. Be sure to express yourself as your child’s advocate. Your next place to look is how the coach handles the team. If the coach is constantly belittling the players, having too many drills, treating young children as if they were teenagers, forcing players to feel guilty, then you need to talk with the coach. Rather than tell the coach how to be different, find an article, suggest a speaker for the team/parents/coaches. In other words don’t attack the coach. If you are unable to get any change with the coach find another team. If what is happening to your child is seriously detrimental, then pull your kid out right now.

When the parents as a whole are overly aggressive and demanding perfection from their kids, again get some articles that give new ideas, or get a speaker to come. Try not to challenge or attack these parents. Generally if you do, they will shut down to change. As the parent you have both the responsibility and the privilege to help your child grow into the most illuminating gem. Sports can and does bring out wonderful parts of our children. Use that side of sports to guide you in your path of youth sports.

Grace E. Mauzy, M.A.
Founder of GEM Parenting
http://www.GEMParenting.com
Copyright © 2008 ♥ GEM Parenting ♥ http://www.GEMParenting.com

Saturday – Creative Crayon Club

April 18, 2008 at 11:55 pm | Posted in 1, children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Family Time, Focused Fridays, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, Health, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | 1 Comment
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Huge flowers

 

What you need:

  • Large cheap white paper plates
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils
  • Tacky glue, stapler, tape
  • Dowel about two feet long or a straight stick from outside

 What you do:

  • Cut the ridges off a plate to make a flat disk
  • Cut petal shapes from other plates (You need to have one end pointed and the other wider, like a leaf)
  • Color petals and disk
  • Attach the petals to the disk (You can tape, staple, or tacky glue them).  It is best to have the disk in front.  If you have a rod you can color it green
  • Attach the flower to the rod
Again with any method you choose.  For a twist find a stick outside to use.  If you want, make leaves from the plates and attach them to the dowel.

Now you have a giant flower!

 Sugar Cookie Flowers

 What you need:

  • Sugar cookie dough.  Either store bought or homemade
  • Cookie sticks (sold at craft stores)
  • White frosting
  • Small bowls
  • Food coloring
  • Helpful to have: Plastic placemats

What you do:

  • Put plastic placemats down to help with clean up
  • Roll cookie dough out
  • Either use flower shaped cookie cutter or a large glass and cut scalloped edges
  • Bake according to directions
  • When cool, decorate with frosting.  Put frosting in bowls, mix in food coloring-using separate utensils for each color
  • Decorate the cookies

 Enjoy on any spring day!         

  

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