How To Teach Children Emotional Intelligence

Children are exceptionally bright and often think they know everything by the time they reach ten. In fact by this age they will have developed many of the life skills they need, with a little help from you that means the ability to talk to others, self-confidence and emotional intelligence.

Part of this can involve choosing an early learning center such as the Star Academy Kids which will really believe in your child and help their inquisitive minds engage with the world round them. Choosing the right early learning centre is an important part of boosting their emotional intelligence. Here are some of the other measures you can do to teach emotional intelligence:

Empathy

It is important to understand that there are times when your child simply can’t deal with what has happened. You might feel frustrated by their inability but you need to emphasize with them.

A good example of this is dealing with a child that doesn’t want to do what you’ve told them to. Instead of just telling them that’s the way it is accept that they have an opinion. Let them know that you know and understand their perspective but that they need to do it how you’ve asked.

You will be acknowledging their position which will make them feel good; even if they still have to do it your way.

Emotion

It’s important that your children are allowed to express their emotions. It doesn’t matter of they’re scared or angry or even upset, by allowing them to express themselves you’ll prevent them from repressing emotions throughout their life.

You can build on this by encouraging your child to communicate their feelings, even if you have to wait for them to calm down! You can also use this to bond with them. For example, if they are nervous about speaking in front of their class you can tell them you used to get nervous too and encourage them to talk about their feelings.

Listening

It doesn’t matter if you know your child is wrong. When they are angry let them vent and then acknowledge their feelings. What this will show them is that it’s acceptable and good to vent your emotions but that there is a time and place to do this.

In this process you’ll allow them to reach a calm and cooperative place and use healthy expression, this is good for your body and mental health.

Problem Solving

Everyone reacts strongly to certain issues in life. You can teach your child to handle this response from a young age. Allow them to vent and then talk to them regarding their emotions. You should discuss what they can do to deal with the issue in hand and allow them to take the appropriate action.

You’ll teach them that they need to work through their own emotions before dealing with the issue and finding an appropriate solution.

The idea of using emotion to change your approach is one that everything can apply in life; if your child witnesses you doing it then they will certainly copy!

It’s Never Too Late for a Little Self-Improvement!

When we reach a certain stage in our lives, it can be easy to slip into a routine. We get so used to our jobs, social circles and general lifestyle that we repeat the same things over and over again. Day in and day out. Week by week, month by month, year by year. It’s not surprising that things can quickly get dull. One of the main things that people tend to miss as they age is self-improvement. But it’s never too late to participate in this! Here are a couple of areas to consider that might suit you surprisingly well!

Higher Education

 

Higher education is a venture that people generally associate with individuals aged eighteen to twenty-five. We assume that anyone on a university campus over the age of thirty must be a lecturer, professor, or another member of staff. But you should always bear in mind that higher education is open to anyone. In fact, mature students tend to contribute significantly to the overall student population of any given institution. Now, individuals who are considering pursuing higher education at a later point in their life generally fall into one of two categories. There are those who simply want a qualification to add to their resume, and then there are those who want to continue their studies for the love of the subject. Either way, they are likely to immerse themselves in an experience that significantly expands their knowledge or understanding of their given area of study. So why not join their ranks? Not only will you leave with a certificate, but you will have a vast amount of knowledge that can be put to good use both in your day to day life and your chosen career. If you have concerns about fitting it around your lifestyle, don’t worry. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are plenty of online courses available, such as an online mba in accounting, which allow you to study around your job or other commitments. Alternatively, you could participate in a part-time course. Sure, it will take longer to graduate, but this is a less intense approach that you might like to consider!

Picking Up a Second Language

 

English is such a widely spoken language that many of us will think that there’s little use in picking up any other language. But there are so many benefits that come hand in hand with speaking languages besides your mother tongue. If you have an affinity with another culture or take trips to another non-English speaking country regularly, you really could immerse yourself in the experience by being able to communicate with others in their native language. There are plenty of options out there that can help you to achieve this. While face-to-face lessons may be the most effective, not all of us have the time to participate in them. Why not consider language learning apps and programmes such as Duolingo or Rosetta Stone?

These are just two areas of self-improvement that you could consider. The options available to you out there are limitless! So find something that you’re interested in and dive in head first!

Tips for Making Music Part of Everyday Life

Making Music a Part of Daily Life

I grew up surrounded by music – between my time learning to play the piano, my developing love of singing, and the music my tone-deaf-but-enthusiastic mother played around the house, my life was built as much note by note, as it was day by day. You may have heard that involving a child in music on a regular basis helps a child improve their mental abilities, and those musical habits can reach far beyond just a weekly lesson. Here are some ideas for using the bonus listening tracks provided by Hoffman Academy for making music a part of your daily life.

Waking Up with Upbeat and Uptempo Selections

Use an upbeat, cheerful, or rhythmic selection to help your child gear up for facing the day. Spinning Song, Yankee Doodle, and When the Saints Go Marching In are great options from the Listening Tracks. You can also find selections on YouTube or Spotify-type apps such as Sousa marches, Wagner Ride of the Valkyries, or Mars from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. These songs will get you moving, up and at ‘em, and out the door with a hopeful attitude.

Build Music Skills AND Togetherness With Sing-Alongs

Singing is one of the best ways for children to begin to train their ears and develop musical skills that will carry them through the challenges of learning an instrument. And singing TOGETHER can build some fun feelings – especially when doing other chores or household tasks. Grinding Corn, Love Somebody, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Row Row Row Your Boat are some favorites with all ages!

Focused Homework or Concentration Time

Many parents are learning that music studies impact the brain in positive ways. But additional studies show that even listening to instrumental music during homework and studying time can help improve test scores and retention. One helpful way to create a musical day for your child can be to add music in the background during study times. Avoid jarring, dissonant, or vocal songs in favor of instrumental music that will do well as background music.

Start with something that will relax and calm such as Debussy Claire de Lune, Saint-Saen’s Carnival of the Animals ‘The Swan’, or a Mozart string quartet such as String Quartet No. 17. Once you and your child are feeling less anxious, some songs that will encourage learning and retention will be appreciated. Consider slightly bolder (but still not jarring) songs like Tchaikovsky’s Concerto no. 1, Beethoven Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, and Vivaldi Five Concertos for Flute and Chamber Orchestra.

Music for Nighttime Routine and Sleep Assistance

A fun way to begin a bedtime routine is with a sing-along song from the listening tracks, Are You Sleeping Brother John. Tracks such as this can be a great addition to a bedtime routine as a child changes into pajamas and prepares for bed. Once your child is in bed, studies show that classical music with slower tempos can help a child fall asleep, and stay asleep compared to those without music. Try songs that have a regular tempo and dynamic throughout such as Enya’s Watermark, Mozart’s Canzonetta Sull’aria, and Bach: Goldberg Variations.

Making Music a Part of Daily Life

As you experiment and begin to add music to your life on a regular basis, you’ll develop a list of your favorites beyond the recommendation here. This is a great sign that your child’s musical skills and ear are beginning to grow. As their musical skills develop through their lessons, it’s only natural that music will become a larger part of their life as well. Learn more about the other resources available at Hoffman Academy and enjoy a musically rich life.

 

**Disclosure** This post is not sponsored. All text, thoughts, and opinions are always my own.

Back-To-School Ready With Understood.Org

The back to school season can be a trying time for both parents and children. You have to get your child re-accustomed to waking up at a certain time, picking out their clothes the night before and then there is the dreaded new school year paperwork that seems to never end. But the beginning of a new school year can be an even more challenging time for families with children who struggle with reading and writing, math, focus, and organization.

Understood

One in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia. Children with these types of challenges can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers, and schools. Together the Ad Council and Understood.org have partnered together to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. Understood.org is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully navigate back-to-school transitions and manage challenges with academic, organization and social skills. Below you will find some tips from the guide.

Every child has a different story – some may love school, some may dread the thought of going back, and for some, it may scare them enough to cause real issues for them. Starting school can be an exciting, confusing and even scary time for kids with learning and attention issues, and for their parents. New teachers and classmates, new schedules and demands—these changes can be a lot to prepare for and absorb.

Plan early – A few weeks in advance, make checklists and calendars, and start settling into the school year routine with earlier bedtimes and wake-ups. If your child is starting a new school, schedule a walk-through to learn the lay of the land and help your child feel more comfortable finding their way around

Connect with teachers ASAP – If possible, reach out before school begins to discuss your child’s needs or learning style. You can fill in this card in advance to help guide that conversation If you can’t meet with the teacher in person, send your child to school with an introduction letter that can help your student speak up about his challenges.

Get support – Many parents and students are going through the same experience. Ask around at your school to make connections and build your support network. You can also follow Understood’s Facebook page to connect with parents across the country to share information and learn from each other.

So, no matter your child’s age or needs, make this Back-to-School season a seamless transition and positive experience!  If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, Understood.org is a great place to start. 

All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.

 

Taking Savings to a Whole New Level: Yesterday’s Tomorrow

It happens to everyone sooner or later – the big financial emergency that makes you feel like your life may crumble and fall. But if you have a good financial plan from the start, great big one time bills or financial emergencies aren’t as life altering as you might expect.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

Saving money is critically important in today’s society. Unfortunately, a majority of young adults are still struggling with high levels of debt and lack of a personal budget to help save for the future. For the past decade, Ad Council and AICPA’s Feed the Pig campaign has been working to improve financial literacy among Americans by encouraging them to make savings part of their daily lives.

The action you take today could change your life, really. But how do you know what financial decisions are the right ones? There are tons of resources and articles out there on what people think you should do with your finances, but not everyone could possibly understand where you come from, where you are going, and what your future financial goals are.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

Thankfully FeedThePig.org has great resources to help you figure out how and where to save more and spend wisely, including a new game called Yesterday’s Tomorrow. The game is like a “choose-your-own-adventure” in the form of a digital photo album! You get to develop a relationship with a future version of yourself – how incredibly cool is that? You get to jump through key life stages and instantly see the outcomes of those choices you make from teenage years through retirement. As you think through some life decisions like school, job, and awesome vacations, you’ll see how your choices may save, or lose money. No one wants to blow their money needlessly, right?

With kids and young adults today being so involved in gaming, what better way to teach them important life skills than with a game, something they can really relate to. And if my kids are going to be playing “video games” I would much prefer that they be learning something along the way. The new Yesterday’s Tomorrow game lets you not only have a little fun, but also see that financial literacy is important. I love that you can virtually see how adopting healthy financial habits can pay off!

Yesterday's Tomorrow

After using Feed the Pig’s resources, I realized that just by switching up how I spent my money, I could really begin to save. It felt impossible before, but playing through Yesterday’s Tomorrow helped me to focus more on my future self and realize the different ways to reach those goals for where I want to be financially. It is also a great game to show tweens and teens the importance and impact of specific financial decisions. At that stage in life, all they can think about is the fun stuff. This shows them how great the fun stuff can be, and how to get to a point where you can do the fun stuff without losing out on the important stuff too.

The game and FeedThePig.org helped us a lot. A majority of millennials (65%) attributed their lack of saving to impulse buying and not establishing a personal budget (62%), so I’m not the only one who has done this (and immediately regretted it!).

Yesterday’s Tomorrow helps young adults realize the importance of making positive financial decisions early in life, and shows the long-term benefits of being financially savvy. This unconventional approach to financial literacy is a win/win in my book – no matter what your age.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

What are your financial goals? Make sure to play Feed the Pig’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow and figure out how you can make them happen!

For more information and to play the game, visit FeedthePig.org!

Great Tips for Traveling While Studying

Many of us dream of seeing the world. In truth, there is no better time to do it than while you are at college. You’re young enough to enjoy it, experience everything, and have no responsibilities at home, but old enough to appreciate all the world has to offer and be safe while you travel. Unfortunately, however, many students are put off traveling due to the rising costs of both travel and tuition, as well as the worries that they won’t be able to commit to their studies while they travel. This doesn’t have to be the case; if you want to travel while you are at school, you can. Here are some great tips to help you.

Study Online

There are some great options when it comes to online study. With so many courses now available, there is bound to be something that suits you. Degrees available include addiction studies online from the University of South Dakota. Courses such as this in growing industries could offer you a fantastic future career, but studying online gives you the opportunity to study flexibly, and on the move, while you travel.

Travel Out of Season

Avoiding the main holiday seasons is the easiest way to save money. You might be surprised to learn just how much you could save by moving your vacation dates by just a week or two. Traveling out of season also allows you a more relaxing time, and a better chance to experience local life.

Avoid Tourist Spots

Another way to save money on your travels is to avoid tourist hotspots. Traveling to quieter destinations will save you money, allow you to relax, and give you a more authentic view of local life. Eating away from touristy restaurants and instead opting for local, family run eateries is another excellent way to save money.

Plan Ahead

Think about when you should travel. If you’ve got big exams or assignments coming up, either avoid travel completely, or head out for a relaxing week away. Save the exciting adventure breaks for after exams. Use it as a way to celebrate and unwind after all your hard work.

Technology

Technology can be exceptionally helpful when it comes to traveling while you study. Especially if you are intending to travel for long periods of time and study while you are away. A lightweight laptop means you can study from anywhere, without losing any ease of use or connectivity. An eReader is also incredibly useful, as it allows you to take all your course books away with you, without worrying about the weight or baggage.

There are also some great smartphone apps, which can help you to study and aid your travels. These include maps, translators, budgeting tools and itinerary creators.

Traveling while you study isn’t just possible; it can also be incredibly rewarding. Travel can help you relax and blow off steam, both of which can improve your focus, making you more likely to succeed at school. You may even gain experiences on your travels, which will help you secure a great job upon graduation.

WIN Set of Kids National Geographic Books

National Geographic Kids Books is featuring SIX new titles that are perfect year round or for giving as gifts.  They are big, bold and beautiful hardcovers; cater to book enthusiasts and reluctant readers alike; and are fun, inspiring AND educational (but don’t tell your kids that last part!).

How Things Work (ages 7-10, $19.99) – Discover the secrets and science behind bounce houses, hovercraft, robotics and everything in between in this book that provides both the quick answers AND complete explanations for all things high tech, low tech and no tech (how DOES glue work???). Detailed diagrams, revealing photos, hands-on activities and and fascinating facts all help to demystify many common items — like how a microwave works, how an eraser makes pencil marks disappear and how an iPad or tablet can do so much —  and also delves into the more futuristic — but very real — inventions like bionics, invisible cloaks and  tractor beams.  “Tales from the Lab” and profiles of talented engineers, inventors and scientists provide plenty of inspiration.  How Things Work is perfect for the kid who thinks “just because” isn’t a REAL answer.  Several spreads from How Things Work can be found by clicking here.

Ultimate Oceanpedia (ages 7-10, $24.99) – Perfect for the ocean-obsessed, this book is the most complete ocean reference ever! Ultimate Oceanpedia is overflowing with amazing facts, photos, art and diagrams that take the reader on a journey through the ocean. Whales, dolphins, porpoises, turtles, sharks, fish, crustaceans, sponges — from the weird to the wonderful — they are all featured in breathtaking photographs with easy to read captions. Wild weather, underwater exploration and tips and pointers on how to help keep our oceans thriving round out this thick, keepsake volume.

Tales from the Arabian Nights: Stories of Adventure, Magic, Love and Betrayal by Donna Jo Napoli (ages 8-12, $24.99) — “A brilliant tapestry woven not of yarn but of stories, both fresh and faithful to its historical routes” — starred review, Kirkus

Do you have a child who loves magical stories about far away places? Classic stories and dazzling illustrations of princesses, kings, sailors and genies come to life in a stunning retelling of the Arabian folk tales from One Thousand and One Nights and other collections, including those of Alladin, Sinbad the Sailor, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. In this beautiful, gift-worthy book, beloved author Donna Jo Napoli not only brings timeless tales of royalty, adventure and love to life but also includes sidebars that connect the stories to history, culture and geography.  A perfect story time selection for bedtime or anytime.

The Book of Heroines and The Book of Heroes (ages 8-12, $14.99) – All kids are heroes in waiting and these two titles are sure to inspire.  In The Book of Heroines it’s all about Girl Power!  Looking for a leading lady? How about more than 100 of them?  True stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, ladies in lab coats ad everyday people who all have two things in common — they were girls and they changed the world.  From Michelle Obama, Jane Goodall and Wonder Woman to Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem and Katie Ledecky, The Book of Heroines not only highlights how girls are just as tough as boys, but also challenges the reader to be a heroine herself and provides tips on how to unleash her inner heroine. Sample pages of Heroines can be found here.  The Book of Heroes highlights 100 guys who had the boldness, bravery and brains to meet the challenges of their day. Featuring a very diverse array of amazing minds, heroes from history, sports stars and even action heroes — like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking and Steve Irwin  — boys will be sure to find more than just a few role models in the pages of this book and also perhaps inspire them that they, too, are capable of extraordinary things.

5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) 3 (ages 8-12, $19.99) – Did you know that one-third of the earth is a desert, that beets are sometimes used to give red velvet cake its color or that there are more caribou than people in Alaska?  Well, that’s only the beginning……5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) 3 features gross facts about toilets and edible insects, gravity defying facts about things that fly, awesome new dino-discoveries and even facts about newborn octopi and how many oranges it takes to make one glass of o.j. — to name just a few!  This book is the ultimate boredom buster and is perfect for curious kids who love to learn about the weird, wild and wacky!

Make sure you

* Follow National Geographic Kids Books on twitter – @NGKidsBks

* Friend National Geographic Kids on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/NationalGeographicKid

to keep in touch with all the fun.

One of you will be able to win a set of National Geographic Kids Books Gift Pack Giveaway of the six books listed above (ARV $120.00).  US only please, sorry international readers!

Please feel free to enter to win by using the RC form below. Good luck! Ends March 15, 2017.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Attention and Learning Issues Need to #BeUnderstood

Attention and Learning Issues Need to #BeUnderstood

Raising a child with learning and attention issues is a journey. And it’s one that’s full of ups and downs, successes and challenges, questions and decisions. It can be very hard on parents and equally as hard on children – especially because they are the ones who are struggling to be understood. But what if your child is struggling and you do not even realize it IS a learning or attention issue?

In the U.S., 1 in 5 children struggles with brain-based learning and attention issues that affect reading, writing, math, focus and organization. These issues are a lot more common than most people think, and while learning and attention issues may not be as visible as other health issues, they’re just as real. Unfortunately, many kids go undiagnosed because parents to think that their children are just being lazy, need to work harder, or that they are in a phase that they will grow out of.

Understood.org has launched the new #BeUnderstood campaign to generate awareness about learning and attention issues and encourage people who are seeing or experiencing signs of learning and attention issues to visit Understood.org, learn about these issues, and take that crucial first step in getting their kids the help they need to thrive in school, at home and in life.

Attention and Learning Issues Need to #BeUnderstood

If you are sitting there reading this, stressed out and feeling alone, don’t be. You are definitely not alone. Understood is an organization that was created by a coalition of 15 nonprofits, and its content and tools were informed by a survey of more than 2,200 parents of children with learning and attention issues. Understood offers free daily access to experts through chats and webinars, a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools.

Only 68% of students with learning issues graduate with a regular high school diploma. 55% of students with learning and attention issues have had some type of involvement with the criminal justice system within eight years of leaving high school. But contrary to what many people believe, there is no correlation between learning and attention issues and IQ. With the right strategies and support, these children can succeed in the classroom—and outside of it too. Understood.org has the information, strategies and expert insights you need at every stage of your unique journey.

  • Understand what you’re seeing – It’s hard to see your child struggle and not know why. Without understanding the reasons for his behavior, you may even come to some wrong conclusions.
  • Understand what your child experiences – You may know about your child’s specific learning and attention issues. But what do they experience on a daily basis?
  • Understand what you can do – Whether you’re new to this journey or have been on it for a while, you want to help your child make progress and find success.

Attention and Learning Issues Need to #BeUnderstood

Whether you have worked with your child on dealing with this struggle for years or this is something new for you, Understood has resources for everyone to learn how to help these kiddos with whatever challenges they face. The You & Your Family section helps families with practical solutions and advice for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.

If you think your child might have a challenge with learning, please do not wait. Every second counts.