Giving your child boundaries can be a difficult experience. We love our children and can be difficult to tell our children no, especially when it is not received well, and tantrums are their response. It can be an emotional moment for all involved, but it is an important part of raising children to be independent and responsible adults. Having boundaries and sticking to them helps children to have stable and balanced relationships in the future. It teaches empathy and understanding of others. They also help to guide them in how to interact with their environment. For example, what is acceptable behavior in public settings such as school, an in the future at work. The best way to begin giving your children boundaries is to have a plan. The first thing to do is to give clear and precise expectations to include the explanation of consequences both positive and negative. For example, instead of saying “Can you clean up your room?” Say “You need to have your room cleaned before it is time or dinner (or 4:00) Phrasing it this way makes it a statement an not a question which gives the child a direct and simple direction of what they need to do. Then clearly state the consequence such as “Any thing not put away correctly is to e given away.” Keep your expectations clear and easy to understand. The next thing is to make sure that what you set is something that you can and will follow through with. One of the biggest mistakes made is giving a consequence that you are not going to do such as taking away an activity that has been planned, or a trip that has already been paid for. Never tell them that they will lose a trip to the movies if you can’t or won’t follow through with it. To be clear, say what you mean and do what you say! It is also especially important to be consistent. If the expectation is to sit at the table using table manners and talk as a family during meals on Monday, don’t turn on the television or allow the Ipad at the table on Tuesday. Being consistent erases any confusion on what you expect to happen. Children will rebel against expectations when they are confused and frustrated when the expectation is altered and not the same all the time. An important key to setting boundaries is to be a team with your parenting partner. You both need to be on the same page. Each of you need to be aware of the expectations and any consequences. You both need to agree on all the parameters in order to be a united team. Boundaries can also be a great lesson in negotiation and communication. Going back to the cleaning their room example. You and your child can negotiate on things such as where the blocks go, and which drawer is use for socks. Giving your child a chance to have responsibility for part of the expectation may give them a sense of ownership in it. Giving them a sense of control in the situation can help them follow through with a little less arguing. Just be careful as to make sure that they understand that their choices must it into your plan. You are the one untimely in charge. Setting and following through on boundaries can be difficult and emotional. The best thing you can do is not give in or give up. Keep in mind that teaching children limits will make your everyday routines go much smoother. Having boundaries, expectations, and consequences will help to teach your child how to respect themselves and others. It will help them to develop positive methods to interact with others and to formulate positive relationships.
Promoting good reading habits in the early years of your child’s life can benefit them in more ways than one. Not only will it give them a head start academically, but it will also allow them to develop a love for reading that can last a lifetime. Sadly, not all kids are born with a natural affinity for books. Some have to be taught early on that reading can be fun. If your child falls into this category, there are several things you can do to make reading more enjoyable for your early reader! Take a look at this list!
Start with books that are interesting to them
One of the best ways to make reading fun for your early reader is to encourage them to read books that pique their interest. If your child is interested in dinosaurs, find some books about dinosaurs. If they like cars, look for books about cars. Making the book’s content relatable to their interests will help them engage with it more.
Make it a game
You can turn reading into a fun game by incorporating some friendly competition. See who can read the most words in a minute or try to find all the words that start with a specific letter. Whoever wins should get a prize or a reward in any form. This will not only make reading more enjoyable for your child. It will also help them to develop their skills at a faster pace.
Another trick to make reading fun for early readers is to read with them. Not only will this give you some quality time together, but it will also model good reading habits for your child.
Make it a habit to carve out time each day to cuddle up with your little one and enjoy a book together. Find a schedule that fits your own and your child’s daily routine. For example, if bedtime is the best time for you, make reading a regular part of the bedtime ritual.
Let them choose their books
Giving your child the power to choose which books they want to read will promote a love of reading in them.
Take them to the library or bookstore and let them browse through the children’s section. They’re bound to find something that looks appealing to them. Once they’ve made their selection, sit down and read it with them.
Visit the library regularly
Visiting the library regularly is a great way to make reading fun for young readers. Not only will they have access to a wide variety of books, but they’ll also be able to take part in library programs specifically designed for kids.
These programs usually involve storytime, crafts, and other activities that make reading more enjoyable for kids.
Encourage them to read aloud
Reading aloud is a great way to improve your child’s reading skills and it’s also a lot of fun! Start by reading a few sentences or pages from a book, then have your early reader read the next few. Take turns like this until you’ve finished the book.
Give them time to read
Don’t try to rush your child through their books. Let them take their time so they can fully enjoy the experience. Let them know if they want to linger on a certain page or reread a favorite part. The more time they spend reading, the more fun they’ll have with it.
Let them reread their favorite books
Rereading books is an excellent way for early readers to build confidence and improve their reading skills. So, if your child wants to read the same book repeatedly, let them! It’s all part of the learning process.
Make it a family affair
Make reading a family activity by setting aside time each day for everyone to read. Not only will this create a love of reading in your little one, but it will also be a great bonding experience for the whole family.
Reward their efforts
Finally, be sure to praise and reward your early reader for their efforts. It will show them how proud you are of their efforts. Rewards and prizes could be in the form of a sticker chart where they get a sticker for every book they read. Once they’ve collected enough stickers, they can redeem them for a prize. It could also be in the form of a small toy or a special treat. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something your child will enjoy.
Aside from its cognitive benefits, reading is an excellent source of fun and entertainment for early readers. By following these simple tips, you can help your child develop a love of reading that will last them a lifetime.
At Young Scholars Academy, our philosophy is to be a vital extension of your family, sharing love and concerns for your child as we work together to build a foundation for their happiness and success. Visit us and learn more!
This is the age where reading is becoming more of what we would think of when we think of reading and teaching reading. All the tips I have previously shared about infants and toddlers is still relevant though. Just keep building upon the foundations you have created.
They are still not ready to read more than likely and that is absolutely okay. Moving your finger across words as you read them is now more important. They are starting to grasp that letters make up words. Each time you point to a word they will start to distinguish how words are made up and spaced. When they are ready to start reading, they can then easily follow along with their finger and find each individual word.
This age group will ask the most questions. They want to know every ‘why’ and ‘what’ that is happening with the illustrations and the story line. They want to know things that aren’t even brought up in the book. This is awesome because they are expanding their minds and thinking beyond just what they are being told or shown. They can start thinking more abstractly as they get older. Books are a great kick off point for this type of thinking. These are great ages to also ask them lots of questions throughout the story and see how much they can recall.
Going on a picture walk with a new book is awesome. They will get to tell you their version of the story from illustrations alone. Then after you read you can compare how much of the story lined up with their version. Here at YSA we do this in depth weekly. We pick one book to really focus on. This has really changed our student’s way of looking at books. They now have deeper understanding of how much a book can really provide them beyond a short story time. By the end of each week our children are now able to tell us book titles, author names, parts of a book, story lines, character names, settings, and they can compare and contrast with similar books or authors.
Opening up this kind of reading at your house is simple. Make an adorable book nook for your house. It could be as simple as pillows and stuffed animals in the corner of your child’s room surrounded by their books. Or it could be as elaborate as you creating a space in your home and refurbishing furniture into reading chairs. I have seen some very cute things made from old furniture with some sanding, paint, and a cushion.
Keep on reading to those babies! And one day soon you will experience them reading to you!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
One thing that I have learned as a parent and a teacher is how important it is to give your child language. And by that I mean the words to say, the knowledge of when to speak, the tones to use, and the confidence to express what they want to say. Speaking up is an art that needs to be learned and sharpened as they grow so it becomes a useful and helpful tool in their belt. It all starts by setting the example and modeling the listening and speaking action to your children. A great age to start….is as soon as possible!
When children are infants it is so important to talk to them. Read to them and emerge them in language. Give them the basics by showing expression when you talk and teaching about tone of voice. Toddlers is great time to continue with tone and introducing how to express emotions and their needs through language. Talk to them about what you need and expect and they will learn to express what they need and expect in that manner. Children learn language and expression of language through repetition and copying what they see and hear from you. With preschoolers you can start teaching about eye contact and taking turns in a conversation.
Improving listening skills and beginning to relate and be empathetic to others through conversation. The best way to teach this is to actually sit down and converse with your child. Ask about their day. Tell them about yours. Share feelings, ideas, and thoughts. Talk about mistakes you both have made and how to correct them. Talk about the successes you had during the day and how all of it makes you feel. Don’t be afraid of big words. Sometimes that is the only way to explain what you are talking about and you will be surprised how easy it becomes for them to understand and expand on their vocabulary. As school-age children, it is just as important to continue these conversations. In doing so it will build their confidence and their sense of worth. Giving them the opportunity to talk about things with you where they are safe and can trust in your support and truth will get the whole family through any situation.
The most important thing about giving children the ability to communicate is that it gives them a platform to advocate for themselves. They can express feelings and needs in a manner so that others can listen and participate with them to find solutions to problems, and find mutual understanding. Starting young gives them the confidence to speak up for themselves and others when they are adults. They learn quickly that their feelings and ideas are just as important as everyone else’s. They learn how to debate, how to argue, how to understand others, and best of all how to communicate in a positive and effective way.
It is so difficult to adjust and learn communication skills when you are an adult. Communication becomes an instinctual skill that you do without thinking about so it is so important that you teach and practice it every day with your children as they grow. As a parent of grown-up children, I feel that it was the best gift I have given them. So are so much better than I and I have seen them succeed in so much because they know how to speak up for themselves and for others.
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
You may have noticed that this year we’re celebrating autism a little bit differently, and maybe you’re wondering why! There has been a big push recently to switch up the way autism is viewed, and for good reason. When Autism Awareness month started back in the 1970’s, its intention was to do just that; raise awareness. Autism Speaks was founded in 2005 and became the frontrunner for all advocacy and the official color and symbol of autism became blue and a puzzle piece.
The shift from awareness to acceptance comes from acknowledging that autism is a natural condition. Accepting the beautiful differences, capabilities and ways of thinking is far more important than simply becoming aware of the condition and acknowledging that it exists, or even researching treatments and cures. While autistic children and adults can face some severe challenges, it’s important to note that just because their brains operate in a different way, there isn’t anything “wrong” that needs to be fixed. Highlighting the strengths and amazing qualities that come with neurodivergence of this kind is far more supportive.
The color and symbols surrounding autism have become quite controversial. Depending upon who you connect with, you may get a different opinion about red versus blue and infinity symbol versus puzzle piece. This comes from overall trauma caused by organizations aiming toward curing autism and harmful therapies and thought process that came with it.
In an effort to overshadow the negativity, the Light It Up Red Instead campaign was created. Red was chosen because it represents love, ambition, and respect.
The switch from puzzle pieces to an infinity symbol moves away from the negative campaigns labeling autism as a disease and a burden. The infinity symbol represents all neurodivergence and the entire spectrum, viewing the autism spectrum as a result of natural variations in the human brain rather than a “disease” to be cured.
While not all autistic children and adults feel strongly either way, it’s important to listen to those that are a part of the autistic community. The goals of autism acceptance are a greater acceptance of autistic behaviors, improving quality of life rather than masking behaviors or mimicking neurological individuals to fit in, equal employment opportunities, access to resources and support, and a shift away from trying treat or cure autism. Moving away from the negativity from the past helps get one step closer.
Parent Connection Coordinator
Infant Nursery Supervisor