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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tips to Turn your Child into A Reader

1. The Early Bedtime trick.
One of my favorite ways to get my kids to read is something they hopefully will not figure out until they have kids of their own. Two words “Early Bedtime”.

You might be wondering how an increase in sleep can help your child to spend more time reading. Well, here’s the trick. Set their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before they need their lights out.

Here’s how our bedtime routine goes. The kids brush teeth and use the bathroom. Then I read them their stories. This is all done before their official bedtime. Then, I simply give them an option. I say “It’s time for bed, now. Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?”

Unless they are really tired, they’ll always choose to read awhile. I do not have to beg nor manipulate them into reading. In fact, they think it’s their idea and they have grown to love their chance for a ‘late’ bedtime. Then, I back off. I don’t try to instruct them in any way, nor help them choose books. This is their time. They can choose whichever book they like and look at it however they like until I come in to kiss them goodnight and turn their lights out. Of course, if they want me to stay and listen to them read, I’m more than happy to comply. Try it. It works.

2. Summer reading incentives.
You can sign up for a summer reading program at pretty much any library in the country. If your local library does not have a summer reading program, then create one at home, with rewards for reading books. You can use a Monopoly (or Life) board and allow your child to move one space for each book he reads. Or if you want to have more fun, let him roll the dice each time he reads a book and have prizes available for passing certain points.

Make sure the rewards are something very desirable. If your child values time with you more than toys, then set a date together doing his favorite thing. If he values a certain toy, let him earn it. Or let him earn a chance to get out of his regular chores. Take him to his favorite restaurant. Just have fun with it and he will, too.

3. Read the book before you can see the movie.
This is a standard in our home. We won’t go see any movie until we’ve read the book. Whether my husband and I read the book to the kids or they read it alone, each member of the family can go see the movie after the book is read. So, if your child is looking forward to seeing the next Chronicles of Narnia movie, the next Harry Potter movie or the next Lemony Snicket movie, they’ll have to read the book first.


Things You can Do to Make Safer to Let Your Kids Play Outside

1). If several kids on your street that play together, you can get together as adults and assign on a rotating basis who will keep an eye on all the kids while the others are getting important things done. But do this job with great care. You have precious little future adults that still look to you for safety.

2). Better still, play games with them. Someone who is looking to annoy, tease or do harm, is less likely to do so if active adults are on the scene.

3). Prepare for possible emergency. A family plan firmly in place and understood by all and *drilled*, may be more successful then not having a plan at all. An example of something you can do, is hang a whistle on a string. Every time the kids go out they put the whistle around their necks. They are taught that they blow the whistle hard in an emergency situation only! Tell them the cry wolf story and let them know what the consequences are for blowing the whistle in a non emergency situation. Can you imagine if all parents in your area are grooved in on this and you hear a whistle go off, you may have half a dozen people or more flying out the door instantly to investigate.

4). Last year on the Oprah Winfrey show there was a family that had an emergency plan in place that was quite ingenious. In a prior family meeting they developed a code and I believe it was a number code, but any simple code would suffice. They were told never ever reveal the code to anyone for any reason. It paid off because a man approached their younger daughter and told her, that her parents wanted him to bring her home. She asked him for the code. He could not produce one and instantly she ran and averted a potential disaster. On the show, Oprah tried to get the girl to reveal the code but the little girl remained true and would not reveal it. She was highly praised by Oprah and I thought this was a fantastic plan the parents had come up with. It worked for them and could possibly work for you.

5). Adults are obviously much stronger than children but that doesn’t mean that a child cannot hurt an adult. Karate or Tae Kwan Do classes can be of benefit to boys and girls. It can not only build character and strength, but it can also teach them how to get out of certain grips and holds and where to hit in an emergency situation. It may be enough to get away. Also, it’s a great way to keep them fit and healthy.

6). I think that the best thing you can do is teach your child to be aware. If children learn early on basic safety precautions, it becomes a life long habit. Do you remember as a kid walking down the street, staring at the sidewalk as you were walking? Teach your children not to do that. Have them scan ahead and all around. This will do two things; a) they can spot potential trouble ahead of time and b) it gets you out of your head and seeing the world around you. This is good for you to do as well.

Kids need to play and be social and it’s ok to get dirty sometimes. I see it all the time with my grandchildren that they are the most happy and energetic when they are outside. They actually fight less and work more as a team with each other and their friends when they can safely play outside. Make yourself and your children more aware and for peat sake, have some fun!


Teen Problems

Teen problems are growing. If you think that being a teen today is the same as it was when you were in their shoes, you are probably mistaken. Now, listen to yourself say how strict and how hard life was when you were young. But, you need to realize that teens today face huge, life threatening decisions just about ever day. What they face has a lot to do with where they grow up. Yet do not be fooled into thinking that your child is safe.

In the normal course of your teen’s day, he or she may face any of these things; one or more of them.

Drugs. Think that drugs are simple like they used to be? They are not. Kids today are not just smoking the easy stuff. They are into crack or other strong and deadly drugs.

Sex. Not only are they exposed to it on the television, but they are encouraged by others. They may be engaging in sexual acts that you have never heard of. They may be doing it unprotected as well. At school, after school, on the car ride home – there are many opportunities you do not realize. Teens get pregnant and have babies.

Violence. Today’s teen problems often revolve around violence. They see friends with guns at school or after school. They witness huge fights. They hear threats. They see anger and deal with it daily.

Depression. With all that they see and do, teens face depression today at an alarming rate as compared to just a decade ago. Depression is not something that just goes away, but can cause them harm and threaten their lives.

Driving. Teens drive drunk. Teens drive under the influence of drugs. Teens get in cars that others are driving under the influence. Teens may also be responsible drivers, but share the road with those that are not.

Teen problems that are at a lower level can be just as deadly. They face lying, cheating, emotional trauma, learning disabilities and divorce. All of these things a child will face daily in some cases. In those cases, it is no wonder that they have low self esteems, high drop out rates and some of the students will break under the pressure. Teen problems should be addressed and noticed by their parents first.