families

Random Acts of Kindness: Donating Books to the Library

Random Acts of Kindness: Donating Books to the Library

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for my family was to do some random acts of kindness. I want my kids to understand the importance of being kind and helping others. I also want them to learn to be contributing and thoughtful members of society. Throughout the year, we’re going to be doing some random acts of kindness to focus on these goals.

 

Size of Problems and Size of Reactions

Size of Problems and Size of Reactions

Inside: A quick and easy to set up lesson to teach kids about the size of different problems they face, and the size of their reactions to these problems.

Sometimes, my daughter can be a little dramatic. A small issue like breaking a pencil can lead to a big reaction. The last time it happened, it made me think of a lesson I’ve done with kids in groups or in individual therapy to help them identify the size of a problem and the size of their reaction.

The Best Ways to support kids in social situations

The Best Ways to support kids in social situations

I was invited to join a group of wonderful bloggers to write for the series Happy New Year, Healthy Kids. This series is focused on ways we can help our kids be happy and healthy in this new year. But what do social skills and friendship have to do with health?

Think for a minute about the positive friendships in your life. Healthy friendships provide support, make you feel connected with others, reduce your stress and increase your happiness. It’s so wonderful to have these people around you! In order for kids to start and maintain friendships so they can experience these benefits too, kids need to learn social skills and how to interact positively with others.

Playful New Year's Resolutions for Families

Playful New Year's Resolutions for Families

It’s that time of year when people are making New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been thinking about some of the basics (organize my house, clean up my eating habits, etc) but I’ve also been thinking about what I can do encourage playing and friendships in my own home. Here are some New Year’s Resolutions to make 2015 a great year!!

Kindness Wall with Free Printable!

Kindness Wall with Free Printable!

I originally posted this back in September. I created a free printable to make implementing a kindness wall easier, see below!!

Our kids tend to get along pretty well, and even when there’s an argument, they can get past it pretty quickly.  However, at the end of the summer and for the first week of the school year, our kids seemed to be more cranky and less patient with each other than normal. I’m not sure if it was because their bodies hadn’t adjusted to the new schedule or if they were just tired of going all day.  All I knew was that I wanted to change how they were acting toward one another.  I wanted them to focus on showing kindness to one another.  When I was a School Counselor, I helped start a Kindness Wall of Fame at my school.  Every time any adult saw a child do something kind, the adult could choose to give that child a star for being a kind member of our school.  I decided to implement our own Kindness Wall at home.

Chrysanthemum: Wrinkled Heart Activity

Chrysanthemum: Wrinkled Heart Activity

October is National Bullying Prevention Month so I thought it would be a great time to talk about kindness. Recently I posted about creating a kindness wall in my home to promote kind acts. Today’s activity helps kids think about how your words and actions impact other people. I did this activity with my own kids to help them understand the long lasting effect their words can have, even after they say sorry.

Four Reasons to Have a Family Game Night

Four Reasons to Have a Family Game Night

I’m a big proponent of having a family game night. I’ve even written two posts about great games for families - one focused on elementary school and one focused on preschool. But you might be wondering how game night can benefit your kids. It’s a great weekly habit that can promote a lot of positive behavioral growth.  Here are four reasons to fit it into your weekly schedule.

 

 

                                        

Kindness Wall

Kindness Wall

My kids tend to get along pretty well, and even when there’s an argument, they can get past it pretty quickly.  However, at the end of the summer and for the first week of the school year, our kids seemed to be more cranky and less patient with each other than normal. I’m not sure if it was because their bodies hadn’t adjusted to the new schedule or if they were just tired of going all day.  All I knew was that I wanted to change how they were acting toward one another.  I wanted them to focus on showing kindness to one another.  When I was a School Counselor, I helped start a Kindness Wall of Fame at my school.  Every time any adult saw a child do something kind, the adult could choose to give that child a star for being a kind member of our school.  I decided to implement our own Kindness Wall at home.

3 Steps to Start a Family Book Club

3 Steps to Start a Family Book Club

Sometimes parents will say they have a hard time getting their kids to open up or talk with them about things.  I think a great way to connect with your own children is to create a family book club. Reading a book together shows that you think reading is important and an enjoyable past time and, while you’re discussing the book, your child can practice conversation skills and potentially talk about things that are happening in their own lives.  Here are 3 strategies you can use to help start your own book club:

5 Fantastic Games for Families: PreK through Grade 2

5 Fantastic Games for Families: PreK through Grade 2

Spending time together as a family is such an important thing to do, especially in this day and age when family time can be so limited and fractured.  It’s a great way for families to connect, to get to know one another and for adults to model good social skills for the kids.  Kids who have a hard time connecting socially benefit from learning how to play games, how to set them up and how to manage winning and losing in a gracious way. Our family loves to play games whenever we get a chance (which is almost daily), and we’re really enjoying them, so I thought it would be a good idea to blog about 5 more family games.  I wrote this blog post a few months ago about family games for older kids, these games are aimed at preschool and early elementary school aged children.  

 

Book Review: Best Friends, Worst Enemies

Book Review: Best Friends, Worst Enemies

Book Review: Best Friends, Worst Enemies Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson, PhD and Catherine O’Neill Grace with Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD

 

This book is a thorough examination of children’s social lives, from infancy through dating.  The authors explore more specifics of how children develop friendships, manage and work through conflict, group dynamics, teasing and bullying. The only thing I think is missing in this book is that the authors do not delve too deeply into LGBT issues, and I think that adds a whole other dynamic to social lives, friendship and dating. Here are my highlights from the book:

5 Helpful hints for a play date at your home

5 Helpful hints for a play date at your home

Play dates are a popular way for kids to get together and hang out, but some kids struggle on play dates.  If you think your child may have difficulty on a play date, it may work best to have a first play date with a new friend at your own house.  Your child may feel more comfortable in a familiar environment. You’ll be able to keep an eye and ear out during the play date so you can  step in if things start to break down. Here are some helpful hints when setting up and hosting a play date at your home.

Book Review - The Unwritten Rules of Friendship

Book Review - The Unwritten Rules of Friendship

This book has a lot of great advice for parents who want to help their children make friends. It's broken down into 12 sections, with each section focusing on a particular personality trait or behavioral characteristic (e.g. “the shy child”, “the little adult”, “the sensitive soul”). You don't have to read the book cover to cover, just pick the sections that pertain to your child and dive in.

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