Touchpoints For Summer PRESENCE

by Mary Ann on June 7, 2016

As much as we love summer and our kids both can challenge our patience and our energy. The upcoming book – Becoming a Present Parent: Maximizing Presence in Five Minutes or Less teaches you how to use touchpoints to connect with your kids. Let me share one touchpoint that will really sweeten the summer pie!

Maggie doing her family work.

Maggie doing her family work.

TOUCHPOINT 4 – Chores and Family Work

Thinking about the word WORK can make a parent groan inside because work is often a point of contention in a family. But work can be a place where we create a touchpoint rather than a point of contention if building relationships is our ultimate goal.

CHORES

Often we get so involved in the management portion of family life that it’s difficult to address the relationship portion. We’ll cover this topic in depth in chapter 9. For now, know that when we’re Present things work out better.

Everyone wants support when facing a tough job. No one wants to be isolated in a mess. We sometimes forget our kids feel the same way we do.

Moms have had the experience of walking into a disaster of a kitchen after a long day. Your family’s watching TV, and here you are, in this messy kitchen. Where do you start?

How does it feel when your husband abandons his show, comes in and begins helping you pick up? And how does it feel when he also asks you how your day went? It’s amazing!

This happens to dads in garages and backyards. How does it feel when your seventeen-year-old volunteers to help get the backyard in order? How about when your thirteen-year-old offers to spend time helping you organize the garage? It feels better doesn’t it?

When a child is faced with what seems like a daunting task, check on them. Put your hand on their back or rub a shoulder and say, “Let me give you a hand.” Help them for 2-3 minutes while having a mini-conversation. Then head off to the next child or to your own work. It makes all the difference in how chores feel and in how well they get done. It solidifies relationships. It allows you to be Present with your child for a few minutes. Chores can be a touchpoint!

FAMILY WORK

Family work is another time when you can create a touchpoint rather than a point of contention. When working as a family we need to keep in mind the objective isn’t just to get another item off the to-do list – we’re creating relationships and bonding our family.

I love gardening alone. I love the quiet and feeling the dirt in my fingers. But I understand it’s an opportunity for me to teach and connect with my grandchildren. Gardening can be transformed into an enduring memory for us all when I remember the garden isn’t what’s important, the relationship is.

Add fun to any work you do as a family – sing, dance as you clean, play great music, tell jokes, laugh, have mini-conversations and lots of random touches.

Things aren’t going to work out all of the time. You’ll have family work that turns into chaos or contention. We’re all imperfect, we get tired, and we have grouchy moments. It’s inevitable. But what if you could make family work more pleasant even one-quarter of the time?

If you can be Present as you work together even one-quarter of the time, your family members will feel supported and relationships will be built. You’ll experience GREAT results in the happiness level of your family.

Happy Summer,
Mary Ann

PS At the end of June I will be offering a webinar on using multiple touchpoints this summer to bond your family, have less points of contention and increase the fun. Watch for it!

Possibly Related Posts:


{ 0 comments }

Benny and meAs you know I have been writing a new book – Becoming a Present Parent: Maximizing Presence in Five Minutes or Less. I started in August 2015 and finished in January 2016. Since then I have been learning the dance of being an independent author. Whew, it has required a lot of dance lessons!!

However, the book is in the formatting and cover design stage and it is going to actually make it to press this summer. Woohoo. I will breathe a sigh of relief for sure.

While we wait for the books release I thought I would share a bit of the content with you.

ACTIVE LISTENING

When we’re Present, we listen to connect with the speaker and to understand how they feel about what they’re saying. It’s active and engaged and seeks to hear the words and, more importantly, to hear the heart.

Because this type of listening doesn’t come naturally, I’ve had to develop steps to make it happen more often. They may be helpful to you also.

A. STOP what you’re doing. Turn away from any technology, book or project. If you truly can’t stop, tell your child you can see this is important to them and you want to hear what they have to say. Set a specific time when you’ll be free and keep it. Saying “we’ll talk about it later” is not specific and sends the message you’re not available to them, that whatever else you’re doing is more interesting or more important. If at all possible STOP and listen now!

B. Make eye contact with your child. I remember reading that an infant can tell the difference between a face which is in order and one with the features jumbled.

From my experience, I know babies are interested their parent’s faces. They look at their parent’s faces constantly and reach out to touch them. Infants want us to look back at them. As we grow older, desire for eye contact with the people in our lives that matter to us remains.

Eye contact is looking directly into your child’s eyes and not looking away at other things or looking down. When we look at our children as we listen to them, it sends a powerful message that we care, that we hear them, that they matter.

C. Respond to what your child is feeling, not only what they’re saying. When you’re Present you’ll respond to feelings more quickly and more accurately. This helps your child feel heard. You can say things like, “Boy – how maddening!” or “You didn’t like that did you?” or “How did you feel?” This helps your child know that you view their feelings as valid and important.

D. Listen with patience and interest. Whatever you’re feeling, your child will know! They’re like energy magnets. If your energy is inwardly impatient, they’ll know. If you’re dying to get back to your stuff, they’ll feel it. If you’re bored out of your mind, it’s coming across loud and clear. It may all be on a subconscious level, but they know. Hold thoughts in your mind which will help you maintain interest and patience.

For example, you can think, “I sure love this kid. They’re so interesting, funny, kind, thoughtful,” whatever. Hold thoughts which allow you to embrace fully the moment you’re sharing with your child.

Avoid interrupting. Ask only those questions which help clarify. Your job at this moment is not to teach, reprimand or to fix. It’s to listen.

Being present with your child is an end in itself. It isn’t about resolution, teaching, making progress, none of that. It’s about connection, pure and simple. You can always teach later. Right now, be Present!

During a day, there are dozens of opportunities to stop and listen. We can’t actively listen in all of them. But if we can increase those times we do, it will have a big impact on our relationships.

Remember, being Present is a gift we give another person without thought of return. It means giving full attention, our whole self, nothing left on the table.

I do have something special in the works to add a bit of zing to your summer and to help you get a head start on Becoming a Present Parent. Watch for it. : )

Happy Summer,
Mary Ann

PS I do have something special in the works to add a bit of zing to your summer and to help you get a head start on Becoming a Present Parent. Watch for it. : )

Possibly Related Posts:


{ 0 comments }

Top 10 Educational Apps for Kids

by Rose Cabrera on May 9, 2016

Summer is almost here and that means lots of kids with lots of time on their hands. For the most part, we want our kids outside playing and having fun but there’s no getting around the fact that they will spend time on their digital devices. Here are some great apps that are safe, fun and can be educational.

Tons of educational apps are now available for download but this doesn’t mean that all of them are good for your kids. Bad educational apps can provide distractions instead of learning, and if you aren’t careful, there are even apps that shouldn’t be on your kid’s phone.

As a parent, you want to ensure your kids are learning from good sources and here are 10 of the best educational apps for your kids:

1. Kids ABC Letters Lite

This app will help your child become familiar with his ABCs. It includes fun games, such as creating letters through colorful puzzle pieces. This version, however, isn’t complete. As it’s a lite version, you may have to pay to get the complete app.

2. Marble Math Junior

Marble Math Junior mixes marble maze games with math problems. It’s best for children who are still learning to read as it includes a voice that reads the problems to your child.

3. Endless Alphabet

This is a monster-themed app that teaches kids how to spell. It doesn’t have a time limit and it doesn’t even keep scores. This helps assure that your child can work on spelling skills without feeling pressured or stressed out.

4. Superhero Comic Book Maker

If you want to enhance your child’s creativity, then this app is a must. It lets children write their own stories, just like a comic book. There are different scenes your child can choose from, and there’s also the option to move the character the way they want.

5. WriteReader Pro

WriterReader Pro is suitable for children age 5 and up. It allows kids to write their own stories while making sure their parents are able to monitor their progress.

6. Read Me Stories

Reading stories to your children is one of the precious moments you share with them. You can download this app which enables you to read a new book to your child every day or let them read a new story by themselves. It’s a good app for practicing, whether at the park or school.

7. Barefoot World Atlas

This app will familiarize your child with animals, people and everything about the world. It has a 3D rendition of the globe and children can zoom in or rotate the viewing angle to get a closer look at the descriptions and photos. It also has BBC presenter Nick Carter to guide your child. What’s great about the app is that it shows your child landmarks and distinct natural features from the comfort of their bedroom.

8. Poptropica

Poptropica is a role-playing app that adds a fun twist to mystery solving. It’s particularly geared towards children ages 6 to 15. In this app, kids create their own avatars which are used to conquer quests. They can change not only the avatars’ facial features but their attributes as well. The game can be saved for future gaming sessions.

9. The Robot Factory

The Robot Factory is created for school age children. It encourages kids to explore, design and create robots. After designing the robot, children can test their creation and then redesign the robot.

10. Duolingo

If you’re looking for a way to help your child learn more than one language, then Duolingo is one of the best educational language apps you can find. It’s great for visual learners and kids can earn badges every time they are successful with a new level.

Author Bio:

Rose Cabrera is the lead content writer for Top Security Review. She’s passionate about sharing security tips and tricks to help keep the whole family safe.

Possibly Related Posts:


{ 0 comments }

Homeschooling Students With Dyslexia

by Atif Qazi on April 22, 2016

help-with-dyslexic-son1

It is quite common for parents of children with dyslexia to feel confused and frustrated about the way forward. However, there is no need to worry about a lack of study materials or education opportunities for children with dyslexia. You will find a plethora of study guides and curriculum on the internet. In this article, we are going to learn about the steps you should take to homeschool a kid with dyslexia.

Get Started By Learning What Dyslexia Is:

Dyslexia is a commonly diagnosed disability of learning. It describes a learning condition where an individual finds it difficult to learn and read by following conventional learning instructions. Dyslexic children have a different way of thinking. These differences are prominent in the case of learning and language processing. Contrary to popular belief, dyslexic children are brilliant sometimes. They can be very creative and gifted when in a system that addresses their needs. Dyslexia can run in the families.

Dyslexics can give an impression of being moderate or low achievers when they follow conventional learning methods. With proper guidance, they regularly accomplish against instructive standard benchmarks at all levels. By and large, they can be considered “profoundly visual” learners who have extraordinary trouble with dialect handling of non-visualizable words, (for example, relational words) and with the dominance of phonics and interpreting aptitudes.

Dyslexia is not a malady. There is no cure. It is not behavioral, mental, or social. It is not a mental issue and regardless of normal conviction, dyslexics definitely don’t see in reverse. Dyslexics decipher things by visualising it.

Should You Be Worried?

No. almost 40% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Just because dyslexic children face learning difficulties doesn’t mean they are gone cases. Despite their struggle with reading, writing, and spelling aptitudes, they have a host of unique and significant talents. Learn more about dyslexia to give your child the best chance of progress.

Take Parent Education Classes:

It is quite unfortunate that some parents forget to learn about their child’s condition while homeschooling them. It’s very important to know everything about your childs dyslexia. It lets you teach your children in a method where they can have optimum learning and also help them realize what dyslexia is. If you and your children know about the strengths and weaknesses of dyslexia, your job will become so much easier. Dyslexia is actually one of the most researched disorders. Therefore, you won’t find any shortage of study materials.

Advantages to Homeschooling a Child With Dyslexia:

Homeschooling has some great benefits for kids with dyslexia. Home school programs designed specifically for dyslexic students takes into account the fundamentally distinct guideline in every branch of knowledge such as spelling, reading, comprehension and composition.

It also considers children’s areas of interests and concentrates on those areas while setting up lessons. Homeschooling protects your child from being compared with his/her peers, with more trouble free learning. Homeschooling lets your child work at their own pace utilizing assets that work best with their unique qualities. Homeschooling essentially keeps your child away from an inflexible system and state sanctioned testing that is required in government funded schools.

Although it can be difficult at times, homeschooling a child with dyslexia can be an immensely beneficial activity for both of you. Work to build an atmosphere of comfort. Trust your own abilities to make the best out your child’s potential.

About the Author

Atif Qazi is the owner of SchoolingSOS and an Engineer by profession. He is a former homeschooler who has teamed up with like-minded people to spread his knowledge of this topic. You can follow his topics on Twitter @Schooling_SOS

 

Possibly Related Posts:


{ 0 comments }