jueves, 17 de marzo de 2016

Preschooler Emotional Development

Even at age 3 or 4, your child is very much her own person. She has distinct likes and dislikes, and her personality is developing more every day. She is getting better at using words to express how she's feeling, which means fewer tantrums. Her mood may still change drastically from one moment to the next, but she is more likely to talk about being angry or sad rather than having a meltdown.

Preschoolers: Ruled by Emotions

Though your 3-year-old is beginning to understand the emotions he's feeling, he still has very little control over them. If he finds something funny, he'll laugh hysterically. If something makes him feel sad or angry, he'll burst into tears.
At this age, your preschooler still hasn't developed much impulse control. If he feels something, he's likely to act on it. This may mean snatching a toy away from another child if he wants to play with it, or getting upset when he wants a snack after being told he has to wait until dinnertime. Delayed gratification means nothing to him -- he wants it, and he wants it now.
Three- and 4-year-old children may use hitting, biting, or pushing as a way to solve conflicts. They simply don't understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate interactions yet. It's your job to teach your child that there are right and wrong ways to express emotions and resolve problems with others.
As your child gets older, she'll begin to see a connection between emotional outbursts and negative
consequences. Throwing a tantrum may result in a "time out" or a favorite toy being taken away. These consequences are helping your 4-year-old understand a tantrum isn't an acceptable way to show emotion.
Your 4-year-old is also a budding comedian. He's starting to develop a sense of humor, and he loves being silly and making people laugh. Don't be surprised if you hear him calling his friend a "poo-poo head" and then laughing hysterically; 4-year-olds find potty talk highly entertaining.
Empathy also begins to emerge around age 4. Four-year-olds are starting to understand that others have feelings, too, and they can relate when a friend is feeling sad or hurt. They may want to give a crying friend a hug or kiss his boo boo.
By age 5, your child has made leaps and bounds in her emotional development. She's gotten much better at regulating her emotions, and she talks about her feelings easily. She has also gotten better at controlling her impulses. She patiently waits her turn, and she often asks first before taking something that isn't hers.
When something makes your 5-year-old mad, she's much more likely to express her anger using words instead of getting physical or throwing a tantrum. The downside to this is that she may begin to use mean words and name-calling when she's angry or upset.
Around this age, your preschooler may start to get interested in sexuality. He may ask questions about where babies come from. He is fascinated by his own body, and he may start to touch or play with his genitals. He may also be interested in exploring the genitals of others. All of this is totally normal, but it's important to let your 5-year-old know what is and isn't appropriate.
Make sure he understands that it's OK to be curious about "private parts," but it's not OK to play with or show them in public. Also make sure he understands that it's never OK for other people to touch his genitals, except mom or dad during bath time or if something hurts down there.

Preschoolers and Fantasy Play

Around age 3, children begin to develop a vivid imagination. At this age, your preschooler will begin to spend a great deal of time in a fantasy world of her own creation. Her dolls and stuffed animals all have names and personalities. She may chat with imaginary friends. Parents sometimes worry that imaginary friends are a sign of loneliness or isolation, but in fact they're just the opposite. Children use this type of fantasy play to learn how to interact with real people. It's practice for the "real world." At an age when your child has very little control over her own life, her fantasy world is her own creation. She's in charge.
Around the same time your preschooler begins to talk to an imaginary friend, he may also develop a fear of the monster living under his bed. These types of fears are common. They are also quite serious to him, so don't make a joke out of it. The best thing you can do is reassure your child that he's safe and nothing is going to hurt him.
As your child gets older, fantasy play will continue to be an important part of his life, but he'll get better at understanding the difference between fantasy and reality. His fantasies will get more elaborate and sophisticated, and don't be surprised if they sometimes involve violence. Don't let games of shoot-'em-up bother you; it's totally normal for children to be fascinated with weapons and violence at this age, and it's not a sign that they'll be violent when they're older.

Your Independent Preschooler

The older your preschooler gets, the more she'll crave independence. It may sound like a contradiction, but the best way to nurture your preschooler's independence and self-confidence is to keep her life fairly structured. Give her choices, but don't give her endless choices. Let her choose between two outfits to wear, or ask her if she wants a turkey sandwich or macaroni and cheese for lunch. When she asks to do something you know isn't a good idea, hold firm. Being allowed choices within a structured framework will help to boost her self-confidence while at the same time letting her know she's safe and secure.

Shared from http://www.webmd.com

viernes, 4 de marzo de 2016

Helping Your Child Succeed in School—and Life

by Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman
November 20, 2012

PROVIDENCE, RI— For almost a dozen years, WKCD has gathered the voices and stories of middle and high school age students nationwide. These youth have told us about their desire to do well in school, go to college, improve their community. They want to raise a loving family, right the wrongs they see around them, and much more.
When asked what keeps them going, so many of these youth point to a parent (and to mothers most of all) as their rock and inspiration.
“Everybody needs one person in their life who thinks they’re great, no matter what,” Alice, then 16, told us years ago.
The parents we've met and talked with express the same hopes: that their children will be good students, find a decent job, enjoy and support a family of their own, and stand up as citizens.
When educators think about how parents can help their kids succeed in school, they often speak of "parent involvement." They hope parents will participate in school events—parent-teacher conferences, special nights like "Family Math," volunteering in the classroom, chaperoning class trips, fund raising, serving on advisory committees. They always mention supervising homework. Schools that engage parents in these ways see positive results, according to three decades of research. Student attendance, homework completion, and persistence increase; disruptive classroom behavior decreases,
School is important and education matters. When the parents of middle and high school students make these same commitments, the message, ironically, can be stronger. As one tenth grader told us: "In high school, you kinda want your parents to butt out of school. The less they know, the better. When they hang in there you may not like it, but you see how much they care. It like rubs off."
How we can all better help parents in their role as their child's first teacher—and later, as a ballast and guide? In addition to encouraging parent involvement in school, how can we help parents nurture in their children habits that will last a lifetime, shaping their success in school, at work, and in the community?
Which are the most important of the many skills they will need? And how can families help children practice those things, with everything else they have to do?
WKCD's new "Advice for Parents" handbook and workshop (two videos and accompanying handouts) sketch out some answers—a contribution we hope to build on in the future. In keeping with WKCD's mission, we target the parents of middle and high school age students, especially parents whose circumstances cut short their own education or hindered their own parents’ ability to serve as guides.
Here's what we've learned so far.
“Monitor your child’s homework” typically tops the advice for parents. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Getting homework “done” requires more than mastering math facts or punctuation. Students need to organize their tasks, stick to them, and manage their time. They need to listen and ask questions when teachers assign the work. Parents can help their children develop these skills.
The advice continues: “Make sure your child has enough sleep, a nutritious diet, and exercise.” We parents try to do that, even though it’s hard as children grow older. We care about our children’s health, in and out of school.
But good study habits and hygiene are not enough to get ahead. Young people must also develop “character strengths” like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, even optimism. Our children need to learn self-control and how to manage stress. They will have to learn from their failures. The more curious and resourceful children are, the better. They need self-confidence—the belief that they can succeed in spite of obstacles.
Educators often call this “social-emotional learning the skills that don’t show up on standardized tests.
And here are our guiding principles, drawn from the latest research on the science of learning.
Our potential is not fixed at birth
“Maria is a quick learner.” “Sean is poor at math.” “Aravis is well organized.” “TJ is lazy like his brother.” We speak of these traits as if they were fixed at birth. But scientists who study the brain and how we learn have reached a different conclusion. In fact, all of us can grow strong and meet challenges if we work hard and stick with it. Inborn talent and predispositions (like laziness or shyness) are just the starting point.
Effective practice makes the difference
What is the secret to developing our abilities, no matter what level we start at? Not surprisingly, the answer lies in practice. Getting good at a particular sport, we all know, takes hours of practice. Ditto for playing a musical instrument—or cooking or dancing or public speaking. Developing the skills to succeed in school, work, and life is no different: it takes practice, one step at a time. How we practice makes all the difference in learning to do something well, the scientists also say.
Habits, like abilities, are also developed through practice
Managing stress. Developing self-control. Keeping at it. Being curious and resourceful. Feeling self-confident. Getting a handle in these areas—these habits (like keeping anger under wrap)—challenges all of us, regardless of our age. The latest research suggests that these social and emotional skills are as important as academic skills in laying the foundation for student success—and can be taught and learned. Parents can help their child develop both strong abilities and lasting habits.
Success builds on success
The more we achieve, the more we will want to achieve. Parents can help set up a circle: when their children work hard and get good results, they’ll want to work harder still.
So let's get started! Please see the boxes on the right.
Shared from http://www.whatkidscando.org/