Archives For kids

kiss Find the best times to really interact with your kids, to get into their headspace and to see what has shown up in their day or see what has been building up to an "event" in their life.

It can serve as a way to download whatever has been troubling them and to sort things out. Otherwise the chances are they will try to sort it out in their head when the lights go out and they may lie awake or pay you a visit in the erly hours saying they had a bad dream or can't sleep.

Sometimes reading stories can trigger something in a child that reminds them of an unresolved issue, or it may relax them enough that they thoughts come out in their own good time.

Even if things are okay, it is good to incorporate the following into your time with your child.

1. Tell them they are in a safe place where they will come to no harm. Some kids find it hard to switch off at night. Something may have happened and they feel threatened or unsure of themselves. Reminding them they are in a safe protected space is very important.

2. Tell them they are loved and that will never change except grow. Feeling loved does not come from the amount of material things you give to a child but comes from the presence of being their unconditionally for them and from forming a deep bond or connection with them. Sometimes you may use tough love but whatever lesson that a child will learn once it comes in a loving nurturing way, will ultimately have the desired effect.

3. Tell them that you are there for them no matter what happens, even if they are at fault or have done something they shouldn't have done. We all mess up and kids do test boundaries and push them every now and then. Its one way how they learn to interact with the world around them and see where and how they fit in. They are not at the stage where they can rationalize like adults and they do not have our experience to know what will most likely cause problems or more importantly the consequences of these problems. So it is important to help first before allocating blame! Solve the problem first then dissect and review afterwards. Easier said than done, I know!

10288799_838885396126226_7886228772885837026_n4. Tell them it is okay to ask for help or report something serious because that is the right thing to do. It is important to keep the channels of communication open no matter what happens so children feel they can approach with any troubes they are having. Imagine if the fear of punishment was worse than them confiding  their worries. They would feel helpless, trapped, isolated and alone. No-one wants this and no-one benefits either.

5. Tell them different things they did to make you proud and explain why. This is a great way to end the night,but can and should be done anytime, filling their thoughts with positivity, not bloated ego just positivity, there is a difference. Explaining what they did that was so wonderful, even small things is a good way of re-inforcing positive behaviours and outcomes and helps prioritize in a childs mind, more positive events to model. Orla Kelly

As a mum, I am always looking for ways to make parenting easier for myself. There are so many lessons I want to teach my kids, but of course they are not always willing to listen, or they think they know it all already, which can make my job as parent quite difficult at times. Finding books with moral stories for my kids is one way I can help reinforce any positive ideas and life skills in my kids, without them thinking I am being overbearing or suffocating.

Buying books with moral stories for kids or borrowing books with a positive content for children, is a good way of ensuring that, while they are reading, or while you are reading to them, they are being introduced to the right messages you want them to receive.

There are different themed books for different morals you would like for your child or some books have a number of morals and positive life skills for your kids. A child may not pick up the message the first time, or some messages may sink in a little or not at all, but don't get discouraged.

Reading with or to your child is a real positive use of your time together, and if your child is at an age where they will read the book for themselves, then they can take it in and process the content of the book in their own time.

kids imaginationIt is always good to check at some stage for understanding of the content. an example would be, "I wonder why the others thought that Victor Vulture was one of the bad guys" or how about "how did the magic medicine tree help the forest animals?" or "what did they learn from the magic medicine tree?" or "why do you think Owly wanted Cloud to make a list?" or "why did Cloud put all those things on her list?"

It is a good idea to read the book yourself also, so you know what messages are clearer and which are more subtle in the book, and often by asking the right question, you will get the right answer.

Depending on your childs age, they may not always understand your question or what you are trying to ask of them, so you may need to explain to them about what the story also teaches. An example would be "look how all the animals worked together and helped make the enchanted forest" or "see how much the animals care about the magic medicine tree, they made him well again" or "the spirit of the forest always seems to be around when the animals and the forest needs her help, yet they have never seen her".

They will then begin to look out for parts of the book that highlight what you said to them and it will all make sense. Do this for any book with a good moral story but even if you can't find one that addresses morals as such, just go for a book that is positive, inspiring and uplifting for your child. There are so many books that will have the opposite effect on your child and you will spend time trying to undo any harm caused.
As children grow, we want to instil positive qualities and life skills, but it does start with us and by introducing them to the right reading material at an early age, will help them in so many ways and in making the right decisions for them.- Orla Kelly