Child Development Articles

How we Discipline our Children

We always talk about behaviors and discipline. Moms and Dads of small children are somewhat puzzled at times. Many parents lean too much in one direction or the other. Balance can be lost with a tendency to go overboard.

There are three types of discipline: authoritarian, permissive and authoritative. Authoritarian: even corporal punishment as the guide to conform to the rules. Permissive: child is allowed to do what they want with no boundaries. Authoritative: Natural consequences to behavior –good or bad.

Some parents feel that if you tell your child "no", it shows the child they aren't loved. Young children crave boundaries. They want to feel safe and that someone is guiding them in life. But rules and guidelines can be hard work, and keeping consistency in those guidelines can be exhausting.

Children need to feel that good strong adults are in charge. To a child, wise and fair rules mean they are loved. "Someone is watching out for me". There is one concept that is very important: Children will only do what you let them do.

Don't be afraid your child will think you are a little strict, it's a compliment. Be firm and friendly, and really listen to your child. At times, make them part of the process; ask them what they think. They are harder on themselves, more than you think. Let them be responsible for their own behaviors. "I'm really sorry you made that choice", then walk away.

Be clear, give one warning. The consequences need to be clear. Come back to it; negotiation: "Wow, I really wanted us to go to the park but I can't be sure you will use your good thinking." Walk away again. We spend so much time in the negotiation game.

Too many choices are confusing and the message gets lost. Children are designed to go the distance until they get what they want.

You can be firm and strict without using a heavy hand or a harsh tone. Discipline develops through the standards we have, our expectations and reasoning. We do it with the child in mind, to help them understand why society has laws and rules to follow. In my 60 years and 42 of those years being with children I have found that many people feel rules don't apply to them! They are the exception. Wow! What happened? Without saying a word, your standards, your ways and what you think filters into your child. They want to be just like you.

Some of the most important lessons in discipline occur through "quiet discipline" between parent and child. There are moments when we are not even aware we are disciplining, yet the child is learning how to act.

Parents who nag too much, who punish too much, on their child all the time... never really get the good behavior they want because they don't use enough "quiet discipline"

Remember to enjoy your children and laugh often. Use humor in a good way, not to make fun of them. All children want is your attention, good or bad! It takes a long time for children to learn good ways of behaving. What kind of parent are you? What kind do you want to be?

~Teacher Debby

Raising an Unspoiled Child

Who is an unspoiled child/unspoiled adult?
  • A child who takes responsibility for his choices (accountability)
  • A child who does not have a sense of entitlement.
  • A child who cares about others beyond himself.
  • A child who is resourceful and can entertain himself.
  • A child who always treats adults respectfully.

Goal of parenting: help a child THRIVE by his:
  • Growing a solid sense of self.
  • Becoming an emotionally and mentally healthy adult.
  • Being able to have and maintain nurturing relationships.
  • Having a life with purpose.
  • Feeling cherished and supported by you.

How to raise an unspoiled child:
  • Have a parent-centered family, not a child-centered family.
  • Allow for failure and disappointment.
  • Allow for and encourage mastery (theirs, not ours).
  • Model charity and kindness-more than talk-take actions.
  • Give all members of a family (12 months and up) family jobs.
  • Set boundaries-follow through with consequences and consistency.
  • Require respectfulness in discourse with adults.
  • Let them develop an attitude of gratitude.
  • Limit giving-so they can live the joy of anticipation-and not feel entitled.
  • Promote family participation, be it values-based, faith-based, family mission statement.
  • Supply needs daily; supply wants discriminately.

Working towards these goals will hopefully keep your child unspoiled and thriving.

Preschoolers can:
  • Make their beds
  • Fold towels and washcloths
  • Put away clothes in drawers
  • Pick up their toys
  • Wipe of front of large appliances using spray bottle of water and sponge.
  • Feed pets
  • Match clean socks
  • Scrub vegetables

Kindergartners can do all of the above, plus:
  • Vacuum small areas with a lightweight vacuum.
  • Sweep porches
  • Straighten plastic dishes in a lower cabinet.
  • Dust furniture
  • Wipe windows (That you have washed) with a clean blackboard eraser to keep them shining!

Younger elementary kids can do the above plus:
  • Take out garbage
  • Sweep stairs and walks
  • Clean out the car.
  • Vacuum their own room
  • Sort and straighten toys
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Sort clothes for washing
  • Clean off outdoor furniture
  • Water a garden
  • Set and clear the table

~Teacher Debby

Science Projects

Color Mixing!

Objective: Primary colors mix to make secondary colors

What you need:
  • Six clear containers with lids: test tubes, bottles or jars
  • Red, blue and yellow food coloring
  • Eyedropper
  • Water

To Do and Observe:
  • Fill six clear containers half way with water.
  • Put three drops of food coloring in each container making two red, two yellow, two blue solutions (three stock solutions and three mixing solutions)
  • Add a dropfull of the yellow water to the red. What color do you get? (orange)
  • Add a dropfull of red to the blue. What color do you get? (purple)
  • Add a dropfull of blue to the yellow. What color? (green).
  • What happens when you mix two secondary colors together? (brown)

What's going on?
Primary colors (red, yellow and blue) can be used to make secondary colors (green, orange and purple). In dyes, inks, paints and pigments.

Formation of a gas!
Objective: an acid and a base react to form a gas.

What you need:
  • Wine or soda bottle with narrow neck
  • Balloon
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

To Do and Observe:
  • Pour a cup of vinegar into the bottle
  • Stretch mouth of the balloon as wide as you can and fill the balloon with baking soda.
  • Keeping the balloon off to the side of the bottle, stretch over the top of the bottle to form a tight seal.
  • Dump the baking soda from the balloon into the bottle and watch it expand.
What's going on?
An acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) react to form a gas (carbon dioxide). When the gas forms it pushes the balloon up just like when you force the gas (air) from your lungs into a balloon to blow it up

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