Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Short Break

I'm in the process of packing so I can move at the end of the month. It will be a really busy month and I won't have time to post until after the move. See you in mid August. Until then be patient with your children, have fun, do lots of fun activities and love your children.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Don't Punish Your Children When You Are Under Stress

Punishing children when stress levels are high makes learning more difficult and behavior negative. This can cause effects into adulthood. For example, when a parent has had a hard day at work or the children have been more difficult than usual that day, if a parent punishes a child while feeling that stress, it can make it harder for a child to do homework or a parent to teach them what they may done wrong because the situation is full of emotion not logic.

It will cause negative behavior because the child will match the parents out of control behavior or the parent will match the child's out of control behavior and then the parent and child are feeding off of one another's emotions escalating the situation, instead of the parent bringing it under control.

Children need parents to be in control and is scares them when they're not. A child needs the parent to help them through whatever is going on and what they are feeling, not match their out of control behavior. It can continue into adulthood because as children they've learned to match the other person's level of emotion and become out of control instead of gaining control and handling the situation with logic not emotion.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

2 Traits of 5 Year Olds

Two traits appear in Kindergarten. The first one is the concept of fairness. Parents and teachers hear a lot of It's not fair at this age. To a kindergarten age child, fair means everything is equal and the dividing of any material is the same for everyone.

The second trait is tattling. During kindergarten children develop an understanding of the purpose, creation, and importance of rules. They become focused on being sure to follow the rules and focused on making sure other people follow the rules. From the viewpoint of a five year old, it becomes equally important to tell a parent or teacher of any error. Parents and teachers can head off this behavior by helping children learn to deal with situations on their own in socially acceptable ways.

For example, if a child isn't sharing, instead of the child telling the parent, the parent can teach the child to deal with the situation by telling the child to tell the child who isn't sharing that it's not nice not to share and it makes them sad when they don't. The child can tell the sibling or friend who isn't sharing it makes them mad when they don't share and to ask the child nicely, "Can I have a crayon please?" or whatever isn't being shared. This way the child learns how to take care of the situation themselves and the parent doesn't have to take care of every little situation that arises all day long.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Positive Approaches With Preschool Age Children

William Damon, a researcher who followed in Piaget's steps, noticed that preschool age children regularly justify their social choices based on what they want. A preschool aged child's understanding of leadership is based on physical attributes- meaning bigger people such as parents or older children- should be the ones in charge simply because of their size. Where preschool aged children are focused on physical attributes they have little understanding of psychological motives, emotions and attitudes as causes of behavior whether it be theirs or someone else's.

Parents and other adults may assume preschool children understand social and behavioral issues in the same way adults do because of how verbal they are, but this isn't true. Redirecting behavior when it's in appropriate rather than focusing on what's occurred that may be wrong, is as effective in this age range as it is at the toddler age. If a parent states expectations clearly and simply a preschool age child will more often than not follow the parent's request. It's important for parents to make sure their expectations are reasonable. For example, if a parent asks a four year old to go put their clean laundry away, the child will do it because the instruction to go put you clean clothes away is clear, simple and the expectation is reasonable. It's reasonable because the child is old enough to understand what go put your clothes away  means, because hopefully a parent around the age of two or three has already taught the child how to put their clean clothes away. If the instruction is make your own lunch, that's an unreasonable request for a parent to give a four year old because a four year old doesn't know what to do or how to do it and doesn't have the dexterity skills yet to make their own lunch. This is why it's important to keep expectations age appropriate.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Positive Approaches to Use With Toddlers

Positive approaches give toddlers support and safety. Positive approaches to use with toddlers include modeling appropriate behavior, stating exactly what the behavior is, helping toddlers resolve differences, patient redirection, avoid saying no unless for an important reason and recognizing when toddlers declare 'No' are all a part of developing a healthy autonomy.

Redirection and providing appropriate alternatives work in most situations. Erikson's philosophy was that although toddlers struggle for independence they also need to know parents will protect them when they go too far. Helping toddlers focus and pay attention includes letting children move throughout the day and learn how their bodies work. When parents allow toddlers to solve their own problems this helps them move toward adequate autonomy.

Toddlers change almost every day and as parents help them gain autonomy and independence by teaching them how to be competent and learn appropriate rules of behavior, toddlers will internalize the rules of what appropriate behavior is socially acceptable.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What Erikson Thought Was The Main Challenge For Toddlers

Erik Erikson has the opinion that the main challenge for children between eighteen months and three years is to gain autonomy and independence. This includes using words such as 'No' and 'Mine.' Erikson views this struggle for toddlers as a conflict between their individual need to be competent and social and their need to accept limits and learn behavioral rules. When toddlers are placed in a supportive, safe environment, Erikson believes this would increase the chances of fostering a healthy self-concept. He says this requires a parent's patience and a sense of humor. It requires patience and a sense of humor because toddlers are difficult to deal with. A toddler may be hungry and decide to get food on their own. When this happens it takes patience as the parent allows them to choose what they want and teaches them how to make what they want (for example toast). It requires humor because your two year old may have made a mess of the kitchen while trying to get them something to eat. The parent may walk into the kitchen to find it a mess and their child a mess from trying to get something to eat. The situation requires humor as the parent laughs at the mess in the kitchen and the mess their child is rather than getting mad at them.

When a parent uses a negative approach to a toddlers challenge to gain autonomy and independence it affects a child's behavior. When harsh punishment, ignoring disputes between children, humiliating them, becoming involved in power struggles with them or constantly correcting a toddler without giving them an alternative occurs, this affects a child's behavior in negative ways. This affects behavior in negative ways because when a child is disciplined using harsh punishment this affects their self-esteem and their self-worth. For example, if a parent gets mad at a child because of the mess they made in the kitchen and of themselves while getting them something to eat, this makes a child feel bad. They're trying to be grown up and get  food like mom and dad and when a parent gets mad at them for this it can destroy their self-esteem as they feel they did something wrong and destroy their self-worth as they feel they did something bad or wrong.

When a child is humiliated it shames a child and they may stop trying new things or trying all together. When a parent becomes involved in a power struggle with a child it's about the parent, what the parent wants and why and them controlling not only the child but the situation and its outcome. The parents own lack of security is showing and parenting becomes about the parent not the child. When a parent corrects a child without giving them an alternative the child begins to see themselves as bad and everything they do and are as bad. For example, if a child cleans the bathroom but leaves dirt on the sink and tub and the parent gets mad at them for it. If a parent corrects them by saying, "Look at all the dirt you left, clean it again and do it right this time, " a child may see themselves as a bad child  or that they did something that was bad. The child didn't do anything bad and isn't a bad person. A parent needs to teach them what it means to clean the bathroom and how to clean it. Children need to be taught everything!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Discipline vs Guidance

Discipline is a phrase that indicates enforcement of positive behavior through strict guidelines and control and is usually connected to punishment and rewards. Discipline is based on the expectation that children should have prior knowledge of acceptable behavior and punishment should occur if they don't follow the rules. Discipline, however, can be used in a different sense. Discipline can be used with a meaning that is more closely related to positive discipline which is guidance.

Guidance is probably the most common phrase defining what is expected of those who care for and teach children. When parents guide children, they show them how to behave appropriately through direction, suggestion, improvement and modeling. Ideas for appropriate guidance techniques are: observe when children are being good and express gladness when they've participated in appropriate behavior. For example, when a child is upset they had to come home from playing at a friends house because they were having fun, and the child come home anyway- a parent can express their gladness that the child came home anyway by saying, "I know you were having a lot of fun at your friends house. Thank you for coming home when I asked so I didn't have to get mad at you. I appreciate it.

A parent models acceptance, patience, courtesy, helpfulness and is sensitive  and supportive of children who are less experienced with emotional regulation or have specific behavior challenges. For example, when a child wants to pour the milk into their cereal bowl, accept that they want to try it and let them. Be patient with them while they try and help them by holding the bottom of if so the can turn it all the way over in order for it to pour out while maintaining control of the milk jug.

A third technique for appropriate guidance can be shown when children show pride in doing a task. A parent can join in with the child in being proud of them. A parent can use, use facial expressions and an acceptance voice to build a sense of acceptance and trust that they're there to support and understand a child's development of autonomy. Another technique parents can use to provide appropriate guidance is to tell children what you want them to do. "I want you to speak kindly to me please." A fifth technique is to physically hold a child who is out of control. This will help calm them and relax their bodies and allow them to give in to any emotion they may be feeling. An example of this is when a child is screaming and sometimes throwing things. Pick the child up, hold them close to your body and don't let go until they've exhausted all of the emotion they're feeling.

Holding a child when they're out of control works with most children, however, there are some children where it makes things worse. When dealing with a child whose upset but doesn't want to be touched respect that and stay where you can see what the child is doing so they don't cause harm to themselves or others and stay close enough to see what they're doing until they calm down. They will usually then come to you when they've calmed down and are ready for interaction again.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Balanced Approach

Two specific behaviors that develop between ages one and three are tantrums and biting. Children use them as a way to gain power and control. A parent needs to use sensitivity and warmly guide a child when these behaviors are shown. An approach that can be used to direct these behaviors is the balanced approach to guidance which helps young children become associated to the culture they live in. The balanced approach includes a parent showing respect for the child's emotional needs, respect for individual differences, respect for power of development and respect for self.

For example, if a child is mad because they didn't get ice cream while out running errands, a parent needs to show respect for the child's emotion of sadness and anger that they're feeling for not getting the ice cream and being angry at the parent for not getting the ice cream. A parent can say, "I understand it makes you sad that you can't have ice cream and I understand it makes you mad at mommy." The parent shows respect for the individual differences by saying, "I know you wanted ice cream but we have some at home you can have after dinner."

A parent shows respect for power of development by acknowledging the child is changing and growing. For example, a parent respects a child's power of development by letting them brush their teeth when they tell the parent they want to do it instead of insisting they as the parent do it. A parent helps a child have respect for self by showing the child unconditional love, listening to them and accepting their child's capabilities.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Nine Suggestions of How to Approach Conflict

Margaret Keyser works in conflict transformation and uses her experience to transform conflict in schools, churches and governments. Margaret calls conflict between family member's mutual conflicts because they take communication, participation and negotiation on the part of all family members to solve. Examples of conflicts could be a child wants to stay inside all day while the parent want the child to be outside or a child wants macaroni and cheese for dinner when spaghetti was made. Keyser mentions three areas conflicts fall under. Conflicting parent and child needs, differing views of how to do something or what to do, and poor communication.

Margaret Keyser gives nine suggestions of how to approach these conflicts. First, listen and ask open ended questions. Second, restate and reframe the child's ideas, third, find common ground, fourth state your position, ideas and feelings, fifth give appropriate information, sixth give the child time to respond, seventh outline the conflict as comprising  equally valid viewpoints, eighth invite, discuss and choose possible solutions, and ninth set up a time to check back in.

For example, if a child asks if they can go to a friends' house, the parent asks open ended questions such as, "what time are you going there, what time will you be home, how are you getting there and home?" To restate and reframe the situation the parent then says, "Okay, so you want to go to Sally's house and need me to take you to Sally's at two, but Sally's mom will drop you off at home when she takes Sally to tennis practice around 4." If this is okay you've found common ground, if not you need to find it by stating your position. "It's fine if you go over to Sally's house at two, but I need to pick you up at 3:30 because we have to pick up your sibling from friends house and get sibling to piano lessons and you to the library to volunteer at four." Give the child time to respond and invite their ideas and discuss any ideas they may have of how to get everyone where they need to be. They may have an idea that works better than yours. Sometimes children think of thing we haven't as we're hurrying around town trying to get our children everywhere they need to be.

To discuss problems and solve problems using these nine suggestions helps parents and children be able to solve problems without feelings being hurt. These suggestions also help find where common ground is in a situation and helps both perspectives be seen and heard. This will lead to parents and children having a healthy, warm relationship built on love and respect.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Busy Day

Busy day and more to do. Enjoy this video. More next week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-AjhXhk19U


Saturday, April 29, 2017

2 Goals To Solve When Conflict Occurs

Where families aren't without conflict, there are two goals to solve when it comes to problem solving. The first goal is to create  and environment where constructive  problem solving can take place and be able to constructively solve problems. For example, saying something similar to this when when a child isn't getting what they want. "I know it made you sad that you couldn't play in the pool today, but it was raining and if playing in the rain made you sick that would make me sad. When it's warm and sunny again you can play in the pool again."

The second goal is to help children know how to respond to the environment. This includes safety, and appropriate reactions to the environment and teaching children appropriate ways to respond  to their feelings. For example, teaching children not to touch the stove because it's hot, don't touch power sockets because it can hurt you, watch where you're walking so you don't run into furniture or a wall etc.

By implementing these two goals, conflict can lessen and be handled in a way that teaches children rules, appropriate behavior, and rules of home and society so that when conflict happens a child can better handle the situation with adult guidance.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Be Consistent With Rules and Expectations

Children get confused when rules and expectations clash with one another. The child starts to feel mixed emotions such as anger, aggression, sadness and withdrawal. For example, when a parent tells a child to go make their bed, then while on their way to do it the parent tells them to put their shoes on because they have to run to the bank this confuses the child. They don't know whether the parent wants them to make their bed or put their shoes on. The child will even say, "I thought you wanted me to  make my bed." The parent then snaps at the child to get their shoes on and gets frustrated with the child because they weren't listening.

If a rule in a house is that everyone cleans their room on Saturday, then Saturday is filled with errands, sports games and fun activities children get confused why the rule is that everyone needs to clean their room on Saturday. The children of these parents eventually start to do whatever they want because they learn that whatever the parent tells them to do will change before they even get across the room to do what was asked. The parents then wonder why their children don't listen to them and are clueless as to why they don't. Rules and expectations should be consistent and followed through with.

When expectations are consistent and followed through with it prevents problems from occurring. Problems  that can occur because expectations aren't consistent and followed through are: children are going to get frustrated and mad at the parent . The children are going to stop listening to and doing what the parents ask which will lead to the parent getting mad at the child for not listening and obeying. Often parents don't realize they're causing problems that can be avoided in the first place if they were consistent with expectations to begin with.

Parents need to address the conflicts and confusion the child is feeling and that is being given through word and action. Parents need to listen to their children about how it frustrates them that their actions and words don't match. Parents need to listen to their children about why they don't do what the parents ask. Parents are imperfect people who make mistakes and admitting that to your children will help them respect you.

When children feel appreciated by parents they have a positive sense of self-worth. When parents and children trust each other and have a relationship  that's built on trust, confusion and conflict are more easily and quickly resolved. Natural, warm interactions help build strong, respectful relationships. For example, if a parent shows a child love through saying, "I love you," hugging them and showing them respect by listening to them and taking their concerns  and worries seriously, it can build a strong, respectful relationship. Children need to feel like home is a place for them to be loved and cared for as well as accepted for who they are. Children shouldn't feel like they need to hide any part of themselves while at home. When they don't feel this, conflicts are higher because they don't feel safe, secure and wanted.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Qualities of A Good Relationship With Between Parent and Child

A good relationship between a parent and a child is respectful, reciprocal, and trusting. These qualities help build a solid relationship between a parent and child. A relationship with these qualities provides a positive outcome to the relationship in the following ways: parents are more likely to enjoy their child's progress, parent and child remember to share details of their day with one another, and parents remain connected to their child after they've moved off to college.

When there isn't a close, respectful relationship parents and/or children may feel uncomfortable and uneasy. This comes from the lack of trust that has developed between parent and child. The child has learned that what the parent says and does is inconsistent and therefore can't be trusted. If a parent is disrespectful to a child they eventually learn that they'll always be treated with disrespect and be uncomfortable around the parent because they've learned who they are isn't safe with that parent because whenever they show who they are, the parent shows that child disrespect and tells them who they are is wrong. There isn't anything wrong with the child, the parent is wrong to tell them that there is and for not loving and acceping the child for they are.

Strong relationships increase communication and enables conflict and disagreements to be resolved in a win-win manner. They are resolved in a win-win manner because both perspectives, ideas  and feelings  have been listened to, respected and a middle ground solution has been agreed upon or whoever may be wrong has admitted to it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

How An Active Parent Supports Problem Solving

The active parent finds a way to support the child, with the ability to listen compassionately to the child's concerns. For example, if a child finds out a friend is having a birthday party and they haven't been invited, a parent needs to listen to the child as they tell them that it hurt their feelings and are afraid the friend doesn't like them anymore. Too often a parent wants to fix the problem or make the child feel better, so as soon as the child starts to tell the parent how they're feeling they start talking. Don't. Just Listen. Let the child tell you everything they're feeling, then tell them how you know it makes them sad and afraid and offer a suggestion of having the friend over to have a play date just the two of them or some other reasonable solution to the problem.

An active parent should learn to take their child(ren) seriously without discounting how the child feels or their opinion. When a parent does this, the child will come to them for additional information because they know their perspective will be taken into account. For example, when a child gets angry because the parent cleaned up their room and put something where it didn't belong. Take this seriously. Don't discount the child's anger. If someone went into your room and moved everything, you as the adult would be mad too. The parent can explain why they put something away so that the child understands, but when the child tells the parent that they should have asked the child first- actually the child is right. When a parent tells their child they're right that they should have asked, they're valuing their opinion and feelings. The child learns that they can go to the parent if they feel overwhelmed, frustrated, confused, or have any other emotion or problem.

An active parent knows that being a parent isn't about playing favorites, but is about creating open, honest relationships and open channels of communication. When a parent or other adult plays favorites this hurts children's self-esteem and self-worth as they begin to wonder what's wrong with me. There isn't anything wrong with the child, however, there is something wrong with the adult who plays favorites and sends the message that there are people in the world who are more important than others. There is something wrong with sending the message that there are people in the world whose value is more than someone else's. I understand people like the President of the United States are more important than other people, but it's the position that's important, not the person holding it. When the person holding the office of President of the Unites States is no longer president, he goes back to being a citizen of the U.S. So please parents, be careful not to do damage to your relationship with your children you don't want.

Harm is done to those who are treated as a favorite too. These children begin to feel like they're untouchable and because they're taught that rules don't apply to them or that there are different rules that apply to them than others, these children become prideful. These children are full of unhealthy 'I' statements and their 'I' statements are compliments about themselves. Children who are treated as a favorite are rarely liked, but instead are tolerated. When children who have been treated as a favorite move away from home, they have a hard time adjusting because the world doesn't revolve around them anymore and people don't treat them like they're special. Where rules that didn't apply to them growing up all of a sudden apply to them, they don't know how to deal with it and overcompensate for their inability to not be treated special. When a parent treats their children with equality and understands that being a parent is about having an open, honest relationship with their children it opens the channels of communication. It does this because the child trusts the parent to tell them the same thing they would a sibling and treat them the same way they treat their siblings. The child knows what to expect because the parent is consistent in what they do and say. It doesn't change depending on what child they're talking to. This enables trust to be built and sustained between parent and child.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

3 Components of Problem Solving

Problem Solving skills help people adapt to challenging circumstances and learn to function effectively with others. Where children lack experience and knowledge of how to respond to daily challenges they engage in  more problem solving situations than adults do. It's important parent's help children solve problems and help them gain the knowledge they need to problem solve.

Problem solving includes making decisions, addressing a variety of feelings including anger, frustration and fear, and resolving issues between people such as parent and child, child and sibling, or child and friend. To problem solve is to address the ability  of two or more people to work out a solution to a problem or situation. The problem can be solved individually or with someone else. Problems cause strong emotions of everyone involved, even when they're individual decisions. For example, if a sibling says they're going to play games with a younger sibling, then a friend calls and wants the older sibling to go do something and the older sibling goes and does something with their friend instead of playing games with the younger sibling, the individual decision of the older sibling causes strong emotions in the younger sibling.

Robert S. Siegler who is a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in the cognitive development of problem solving and reasoning in children and Martha W. Ailbali who is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison came up with three components of problem solving. They are a goal- or in other words a problem to be solved, an obstacle to achieving the goal and a strategy to avoid the obstacle to achieve the goal. Young children use a trial-and-error approach to achieve their goals. They combine reasoning, understanding, strategies, content knowledge, other people, experiences and any other available resource to solve their problem. For example, if a child is building a fort using chairs and bed sheets and they run out of materials to make the fort as big as they're trying to make it, they'll go get more chairs and bed sheets to use to continue to make their fort. It doesn't matter that they're using mom's good sheets, to the child they just needed more material to make their fort and went and got some. Therefore they used their reasoning (need more materials), understanding (mom has more kept in closet), strategies ( they'll be put where they need to be to finish the fort), and other materials ( more sheets) to fix their problem.

Children don't think the same way adults do which is why this train of thought is common to a child and the way they would think through a problem.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Structured Activities and Socialization

When children enter elementary school they spend a lot of time in a structured environment. However, they also need time to be in structured activities such as playing a sport, music instrument etc. These structured activities are associated with positive development. These programs provide the background  for children to build strengths and capabilities and encourage children to learn and explore the rules associated the organization that convey expectations for caring, character building and moral identity (ex. boys and girls club). Organizations provide a setting for children to interact and build friendships while working toward common goals and providing the opportunity to influence their own development. This is done through building leadership skills and shaping their communities. The attitudes of organizations that anticipate positive outcomes include opportunities for planning, taking initiative and availability of positive peer and adult role models. These organizations also provide opportunities for children to volunteer which helps children, especially youth, think about and consider the lives of someone other than themselves. These types of programs also put children in different social situations which helps them develop the social skills for that particular social setting.

Peer interactions become more complex as children grow and can serve as a vital function to promote pro-social skills. For example, when my child was in high school she had a friend that thought they had to do everything together. They had to like the same things and she started to tell my daughter who she should be. This friend didn't realize my daughter was  a completely different person from this friend. They had to be in constant communication with one another when they weren't together telling each other everything. They had to like the same things, feel the same way about teachers and parents etc. My daughter got tired of being told who to be and this friendship became an unhealthy one for her to be in. She finally ended the friendship when the friend told her what a horrible friend she was because my daughter wouldn't tell her everything that was going on in her life and therefore tell her everything. This peer interaction helped my daughter grow and promote pro-social skills as she told this friend they were no longer friends and why.


Without the opportunity for routine contact with peers in formal and informal settings, the formation of friendships isn't possible. Child care, playgroups, and community programs  provide instruments for promoting children's interactions and socialization skills. The attitudes and beliefs of a child's parents play an important role in managing a child's experiences. Parents initiate pathways by selecting  environments for children in their early years. Depending on the environments parents choose to put their children in and what resources are available in those environments the opportunities for social interaction and friendships may differ for children depending on geographic region.

Socialization is a process. It's a process that requires many avenues and children need guidance from family, community, and friends to help them learn the  rules of socialization. Guiding and teaching a child to learn socialization skills is when the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," is very true.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bullying Prevention

Parents play a role in bullying prevention by observing patterns in children's behavior and paying attention to any changes. It's important for parents to talk to their children on a daily basis about what happened before, during and after school to identify any problems that occurred. Children in middle school would rather talk with friends than parents, so parents can consider talking to their children during meal times or having routine communication times about what happened during the child's day.

A warning sign that a child is being bullied, is changes in their behavior such as a change of interest in school. If a child usually enjoys school and likes to participate in school activities but all of a sudden wants to stay home, that's a sign to a parent that something might be happening at school. Something a parent can do is talk to the teachers and staff at school and they can provide information about how a child is interacting with other children. What will be frustrating to parents who may have a child who may be being bullied, is that the school may be reluctant to help in anyway. Look for signs of physical abuse such as bruises or other scars and scratches. It's important for parents to intervene before the situation becomes out of control. Sometimes victims feel embarrassed to admit they're being harassed, so pay attention to signs. Know what your child is doing online and whether or not they're being victims this way. Know what websites they're going to in order to know if they're showing signs of violence. Evidence of bullying, highlights the importance of appropriate supervision by parents, teachers, administration, and other adults.

 To bring bullying under control it's important to be aware that bullying is occurring in the classrooms and hallways of a school. Children should be encouraged to report bullying and be made aware of school policies on bullying and what will be done to deal with bullying behavior. It's important for children to participate in bullying prevention and to recognize the warning signs of bullying and  learn strategies to cope with it. Bullying isn't a normal part of growing up or a normal part of childhood. Bullying has gotten worse over the decades and children have become more violent in what they do to each other. Bullying isn't a normal part of growing up, it's a child acting in inappropriate ways and treating another child in hurtful ways that may even cause harm. Some parents may not want to become involved because of fear that their child will get mad at them. However, there is a difference between being nosy and educated or informed. Webster's dictionary defines nosy as too curious about others affairs, prying. It defines inform as give facts to, get information. A parent who is nosy wants to know what's going on in their child's life in order to control and direct their child's life. A parent that is educated and informed of what's going on in their child's life and what is going on in their child's school is informed.

An approach to the intervention of bullying is social skills training. This is the process of when a teacher or therapist works with a child after the incident occurs and away from the context it happened. The basis of the approach is to help children understand the nature of social interactions and help them apply what they've learned. For example, a parent can teach a child is all right to feel anger but it's not okay to act on that anger through forms of abuse.

Social skills training teaches children the unwritten rules of social interactions that most children learn unconsciously. It's a method that teaches a child something intuitively. The steps to social skills training are: knowledge, action, and application. Knowledge- for example, does the child know they're more likely to be accepted into an ongoing group activity if they wait quietly for a few minutes before trying to enter. Action- is the child able to apply knowledge and behave accordingly to what the child knows. For example, does a child know they don't throw tantrums in the grocery store and behave using acceptable social behavior in the grocery store? Application- is the child able to generalize the new found knowledge to similar settings. For example, does the child understand not throwing tantrums in all public spaces is what is socially acceptable, not just the grocery store? Social skills training doesn't always work because pro-social behavior is complicated and a person's personality, temperament, disposition and culture all relate to social behavior.

If social skills training doesn't work it would be wise to have the child speak to a therapist.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bullying

It's during the middle school year's children become either a part of the in-group or out-group. The in-group are peer group's children feel they belong to and are insiders of. The out-group are groups of children who feel they they don't belong and are outsiders and known as 'them.' Children who share common attributes and interests would be an in-group, whereas children who are viewed as different are the out group. Children who are part of the out-group are more likely to be targeted by bullying and may become bullies themselves. The concept of these groups relates to the concept of how peer pressure influences peer relationships. Cultural values dictate which attributes are desirable in friends as well as other common interests.

Bullying during the  middle school years takes on different forms including direct and indirect bullying. Types of bullying include physical and verbal bullying. Direct bullying involves a plan to attack and carry out that plan against the victim such as physical and verbal bullying. Physical bullying includes physical aggression such as hitting, kicking, pushing, stealing and using weapons. Verbal bullying includes hurting with words such as name calling, teasing or making racial slurs.

Indirect bullying is also known as relational bullying and involves tactics that may be hidden in order to target and due damage to the victim's social relationships. Relational bullying involves using relationships to hurt, manipulate others, such as spreading rumors and intentionally excluding someone from a group or influencing friends to do certain behaviors. For example, making sure someone's friends turn against them by lying, scheming, and manipulating others into believing and doing things against the person. It can also include the bully threatening something if they don't help the person carry out their plans.

Cyber bullying happens when a child is threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or targeted in some other way by another person when using the internet, mobile device or other digital technology. There are two types of cyber bullying: direct attacks and cyber bullying. Direct attacks are messages sent to a child directly, for example, through a message on Facebook. Cyber bullying is bullying that happens by proxy. This is bullying that uses other people to bully the victim either with or without the victim's knowledge. Children who lack protective systems such as family and friends can by overly trusting and find deception and harassment on the internet. Mobile devices also create problems with bullying. Text bullying is when people send hurtful or embarrassing text messages to people on their phones. People who want to bully others this way have access to their phones twenty-four hours a day. The victim may not recognize the number that's sending the text which makes text bullying more anonymous and is on the rise.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Socialization During the Middle School Years

Parents still influence a child's peer group on middle school. Children who have positive and close relationships with their parents are more likely to participate in pro-social activities. Parents who are supportive of their children are more likely to get them involved in activities at school.

Siblings expose one another to new people and activities. Depending on how close they are in age they may share some of the same friends. Siblings introduce children to social norms and values by teaching them what behaviors are appropriate in particular settings.

Peer interactions in middle school are shaped by cultural norms and values in a child's community and society as a whole. Children who are shy are likely to be viewed as lacking social competence and receive pressure to modify behavior. However, it's important to recognize the difference between being shy and quiet. Some people are naturally quiet people but it's seen as being shy. There's a difference. Shy means timid, easily frightened, not at ease with other people and cautious. Quiet means not noisy, not talking, silent, still or calm, not easily excited or upset, gently, bright or showy. The pressure children receive to modify their behavior, is how peers shape the process throughout cultural values and influence individual development.

Cultural in  middle school encourages children to maintain, adopt and transform existing values in their community. It either promotes or weakens the active role of a child's development as they learn and decide for themselves what their values will be. By emphasizing particular features of peer relationships, cultural beliefs and values heighten children's sensitivity to socially valued characteristics and influence peer interactions. For example, is a child in a 'popular' group or known as part of the 'band club.' These social norms and values will help shape the types of activities that children are encouraged to pursue in middle childhood.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Socialization During Elementary School

During the elementary school years children depend on each other for companionship, advice, and self-validation. Friends provide a context for self-understanding and learning of how to relate to others. Friends are a source of help and self-revelation. Children learn to negotiate, share, comprise, and defend each other and themselves through interactions with friends. For example, my daughter as a teen was at a dance when she saw a boy ask a girl to dance. The girl looked him up and down, made a dislike face and walked away. As she was walking away my daughter said loud enough for her to hear, "That was rude." She defended  the guy and called the girl on her behavior. A certain amount of aggression and reconciliation is expected in friend relationships as children work out conflicts with each other and learn how to comprise.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Socialization Process For Infants and Toddlers

Peer relationships provide opportunities for children to learn cooperation and develop interpersonal skills. Adults help infants and toddlers experience social experiences with friends through their interactions of the people in their inner circle., Adults set the stage for promoting peer interactions and providing settings for infants and toddlers to interact with one another and offer suggestions to guide them through the process. For example, parents can take their children to playgroups or playgrounds to give them interaction with other children. This gives them the chance to learn to share, take turns and how to get along with other children. Parents can guide children through the process by saying things like, "It's (friends name) turn right now." Then give their child something else to play with. This will still cause them to cry and possibly throw a tantrum, but learning to wait for their turn is an important concept to learn. It's also helpful to have more than one of a specific toy when possible if it's a popular toy.




Saturday, February 11, 2017

4 Motivations For Becoming A Parent

Parent's beliefs are influential in the socialization process. A key area of research explored parenting beliefs such as a parent's motivation for parenthood. There are four motivations for becoming a parent. They were developed by Al Rabin and Robert J. Greene who were pioneers in research in the area of motivations for parenthood. They assessed the major reasons for becoming a parent and classified the motivations into four categories. They are: fatalistic, altruistic, narcissistic, and instrumental.

With the fatalistic motivation for parenthood procreation is the primary reason for our existence. This motivation displays strong cultural values for becoming a parent and has implicit value in many religious affiliations to procreate.

The altruistic motivation for parenthood reflects an unselfish desire to express affection and concern for children.

The narcissistic motivation for parenthood reflects the notion that children will reflect on the goodness of the person.

The instrumental motivation for parenthood is driven by specific goals that parents have for children.
These goals include helping children reach the educational level of college, saving own relationships, recreating own childhood, appeasing relatives or carrying on the family name. The instrumental motivation influences cultural beliefs and socioeconomic status. It illustrates the impact of expectations from family members and close friends.

Reasons for becoming parents are different for everyone and a person may have more than one of these reasons for becoming a parent. All  motivations of being a parent reflect the impact  of cultural, religious beliefs, values and society expectations. Parents have specific ideas for achievement in raising children and they differ in the types of strategies they use to teach their children.

Where everyone's motivation for being a parent is different and everyone's style of parenthood is different the strategies they use to teach their children will be different. As parents encounter other parents and find out what motivated them to become a parent and what their strategy is to raise their children it's important not to judge them. It's important  to understand their motivation and strategies are just different from yours-not wrong.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

5 Other Agents of Socialization

Where the family is the most important agent to socialization, there are five other groups that are agents of socialization that teach our children about socialization and how to socialize in different situations.

The community a child grows up in plays a role in the socialization of a child. A child's community includes neighbors, public library, transportation, and public activities offered. The community also includes crime, pollution and noise. A child's neighborhood and community reflects multiple households where friends and neighbors interact. A neighborhood could include families of different faiths and cultures and these elements affects a child's experience in socialization.

Culture is a set of beliefs and institutions of a particular group or nation. Culture is also physical objects that represent a culture such as clothing. Culture is a force that reacts to social, political and economic events that shape the meaning of events. For example, if a child grows up going to country clubs and resources are unlimited, that culture will shape who that child socializes with, how a recession affects them etc. Culture provides ways for children to see the world  and helps shapes beliefs, goals and practices. Cultures can  have similar goals and methods but the way they're implemented will be different. For example, every parent wants their children to have nice manners. In the western part of the U.S., a parent refers to a child not having nice manners as a child doing something wrong. In in the southern part of the U.S., a child not having nice manners as a child is referred to as a child being ugly- ugly meaning in their behavior, not outward appearance.

Religion is an important agent of socialization. It covers most of a child's culture. Parents instill religious values and promote the importance  of core values such as fairness and honesty. Children raised in a religious household participate in rituals of the family's religion such as going to church on Sunday and celebrating holidays of their faith.

The type of child care parents put their child in is a socialization agent for many children. Child care is the nurturing care of a child by an adult other than a parent. The needs of a child are met by two major types of child care: center based and family child care. Center based care includes part-time or full day preschools, pre-kindergarten programs and federal programs for low-income children such as Head Start. Family care providers care for children in their home for a fee, such as nanny. It can also be people who've become licensed to run a child car in their home by the state they live in.

When children become school age, the school they attend becomes a social agent. Children spend time with teachers, classmates, and less time with siblings and parents. Children learn social skills at school as they find friends and have to work with people they may not like or get along with. School teaches about the values of society and their community. Classmates and friends influence and teach beliefs and values such as what to think, wear and how to talk. Children learn social behaviors such as turn-taking and friends support and express the positive social behaviors that promote social competence. Before and after school programs affect a child's socialization as children of different ages are placed together. This gives older ones a chance to help the younger ones to find and advocate in the older ones as well as a role model.

Each of these agents of socialization is important and teaches children different skills and rules about socialization and the rules that society expects children to follow.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Family-The Most Important Agent of Socialization

Agents (or people who go between two people when a situation is difficult) of socialization include individuals and institutions that help children learn attitudes, beliefs, values, skills and behaviors that society considers desirable. For example, it isn't desirable for a person to yell or bite someone when they don't get their way. The people who teach children about what kinds of behavior is appropriate or inappropriate teaches children appropriate ways to react to not getting their own way. Such as explaining to a child they need to ask to use a toy or other material when the child who is using it is done instead of biting them or grabbing it from them in order to get it or yell at them to give them the toy.

There are five agents of socialization but today we're going to talk about only one of them which is the family. The family is the most important agent of socialization. The family has been viewed as the major vehicle for socialization. Parents provide physical and social conditions in which children learn social skills. For example, if a parent asks a child if they want to unload the dishwasher or sweep the floors the children learn an important social skill is to ask people what task they want to do instead of just demanding a person do what someone else wants or has decided for them they do. Parents are critical agents of intentional socialization by teaching children specific beliefs and values that are part of the family's culture and religious beliefs. For example, parents teach children in their family everyone clears their own plate at the end of dinner and puts it in the sink. Parents teach children at what age they begin to participate in boy scouts or volunteering somewhere. Research has found that parents who have a positive relationship with their children, who are authoritative but not strict and use legitimate reasons and explain reasons for why or why not something can happen rather than power and control, are more likely to have positive outcomes such as internalization of the rules of society.

Roles parents play in socializing children are: providing a secure base in infancy that is a foundation for trust later in childhood, teaching basic self-help skills, teaching social skills, how to get along with siblings and other children and promoting core beliefs and values including religion. Siblings also play a role in socialization. They live with the other children in the home and learn beliefs and  values from siblings. They learn to share, handle disagreements, how to negotiate, teach other siblings the rules of the home, how to respect their parents and they learn from the consequences and rewards of older siblings behavior.

As a child grows and develops, the parents expectations for the child's behavior changes. Parents expectations shape the development of the child and their socialization. The parents expectations form a support for an equal pattern of socialization. For example, if a parent expects a child to respect adults, they're going to support and form that equal pattern of socialization by respecting the child and showing respect to people/friends whom they come in contact with. Understanding a parent's motivation for parenthood is important because it sets the change for understanding the beliefs and value system of the family that guides the parents as they socialize their children. Guided by a parents beliefs and values, parents have specific motivations for parenthood and parents try to promote specific developmental goals for their children.

Other social agents are extended family, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. All of these family members provide three types of support. They provide financial support, emotional support, and practical support. These agents play an important role in providing positive outcomes for children in single parent homes. Single parents have a big load they're carrying and are trying to do what is done by two. Extended family provides financial support as they give the single parent money to pay bills or offer to take care of bills for them. They provide emotional support as they provide the single parent with a place to discuss their adult problems. They also provide emotional support to the children as they provide a place for the children to discuss things with someone other than the parent and help the children of single parents work through their emotional challenges. Extended family provides practical support as they provide back up for the parent when a child doesn't want to listen or the parent needs help getting a child to or from school, piano lessons etc. To ask for this kind of help can be difficult for a single parent so be respectful to them an ask them how they need help and ask them if it's all right that you do something for them. Single parenthood  faces challenges such as housing affordability, unemployment, low income and lack of health insurance. Research confirms resiliency in single parent homes being related to social support received from family and friends.  Lack of support such as living in isolation with few resources, is associated with a higher risk of maltreatment. Parents who have limited resources for help or resources that may be insufficient are overwhelmed and need a support system to help them.

A family regardless of it being two family, a single parent home or it's the grandparents raising the grandchildren need support, kindness and love. They're are lots of people who help children and teach them how to socialize and behave. The family is the most important and the one most children spend the most time in and being affected by.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Social Learning- A Process of Socialization

Last week I mentioned there are two learning perspectives that apply to the process of socialization. I mentioned they are behaviorism and social learning and discussed behaviorism. Today lets talk about the second process of socialization-social learning.

Social learning addresses the concerns of a child's culture, values and social influences that behaviorism doesn't. Albert Bandura a psychologist at Stanford University places a big emphasis on the role of cognition in the socialization process. He believes it's so important he changed his theory to a social-cognitive approach instead of a social learning approach. Bandura believes the cognitive processes are at work as people observe models, learn pieces of behavior and mentally put those pieces together to form behavior patterns. He believes children become particular in behaviors that they choose to initiate which develops an internal guideline for behavior as well as becoming one of the main factors of the social learning theory which is self-efficacy.

Children's socialization can be defined as the processes where individuals are taught skills, behavior patterns, values and motivations needed for sufficient roles in the culture they grow up in. Socialization occurs over time and through interactions with others. It's attained by communication in effective, convincing situations. During socialization a child learns how to communicate and interact with others. The relationship between socialization and a child's development is progressive. It's a continual process and changes throughout a person's life. During the early childhood years is when children begin to acquire language and learn how to interact with other people. As they grow they learn how to socialize at a party and how to socialize at school. Children learn how you socialize in these situations is different and what's acceptable in each situation.

Social conflicts require negotiation in a give and take manner. Success negotiation involves children being able to guess what will appeal to others and being able to work out an agreement where all children's needs are met. Children can benefit from help in negotiation and comprise. For example, if one child wants to do a project one way and another child has a different idea of how to do the project it can help them to talk it out with an adult. The adult can help one child listen while the other explains why the project should be done with their ideas and then reverse it. The adult can then give suggestions they hadn't thought about or because the adult gave them the time to listen to one another they came to a comprise on their own that may include ideas from the way both children wanted to do the project.

It's important in teaching social skills and using the behaviorism theory or the social learning theory not to accept a child's negative cycles. Accepting negative cycles and not teaching a child to defend themselves can lead to Stockholm syndrome which is when victims begin to identify with and defend their abuser. I've discussed negative cycles in earlier posts if anyone wants to read or reread those posts. Those posts are dated September 3 and 10, 2016.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Behaviorism- A Learning Perspective to the Process of Socialization

Two learning perspectives that apply to socialization are behaviorism and social learning. This post we'll just discuss behaviorism.

Diane Papalia who has a bachelors in psychology, Ruth Feldman who has a bachelors in gifted children and Sally Olds who has a bachelors in psychology defined behaviorism as a learning theory that emphasizes  the predictable role of the environment in causing observable behavior.

There are four approaches to behaviorism. The first one is classical conditioning which is when learning takes place on an association of a stimulus but doesn't ordinarily elicit a response with another stimulus that does elicit the response. For example, a bell in school will cause children to either move to their next class or settle down and be quiet for the one that's starting. However, a bell at a church after a wedding won't cause this response but instead will cause people to stand and express joy for the couple who got married.

The second approach to  behaviorism is operant conditioning.  Operant conditioning was made popular by B.F. Skinner who was an American psychologist. Operant conditioning is defined as a process in which a response is gradually learned via reinforcement or punishment. For example, if a parent tells a child not to touch a hot stove but the child touches the hot stove and burns themselves anyway, the behavior of not touching a hot stove has been reinforced by the child getting burnt.

The third approach to behaviorism is reinforcement. There are two kinds of reinforcement-positive and negative. A positive reinforcement  is when something pleasant is added and with a negative reinforcement it is when something unpleasant is taken away.

The fourth approach is punishment. Punishment decreases  the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated. Positive punishment is when something unpleasant is added and negative punishment occurs when something pleasant is taken away. For example, a child can't borrow the car for a specific amount of time because the last time they had it, they didn't fill it with gas or got a parking ticket.

A drawback to behaviorism is that it doesn't take into account a child's culture, values, and social influences, such as a special relationship with a parent or friend.

Sunday, January 1, 2017