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      Teaching Kids Responsibility

      Parents want to help their kids be successful, but often fear they’ll teach them the wrong things, or teach them in the wrong way. Luckily, responsibility is something that can be taught by example and explanation as much as by enforcement of rules.

       

      Learning Responsibility by Example

      Parents are the best models for their child’s behavior, especially in the earliest years of development. They should express earnest interest in chores and go about their business without whining or frowning. Seeing shows of good humor alongside chores will help children associate responsibility with positive rather than negative feelings.

      It is also beneficial to invite children to help with household chores and other responsibilities. This interaction helps them understand what to do, as well as reinforcing a positive aspect to the responsibility.

       

      Learning Responsibility by Explanation

      Kids want approval. They want to behave. They want to do well in the things their parents want them to do well in. If they act out or misbehave, there’s always a reason. Sometimes that reason is frustration born of the fact that they don’t know how to behave correctly.

      That’s why explanations are so important. Sometimes it’s not enough to just show kids how to behave responsibly. Many times they don’t understand why a task is important, or perhaps even how to do that task correctly. In either case, explanations are crucial.

      A child who not only understands how to do something, but why they should do it is a happy child. Children who misbehave, especially young ones, often don’t know why what they have done is wrong. If they learn how to correct their mistakes, they will most likely do so.

       

      Learning Responsibility by Enforcement

      Sometimes, of course, kids just won’t live up to the expectations placed upon them. At this point, parents must guide them to good behavior through enforcement of consequences for failures in responsibility.

      Of course, parents should also make sure to give positive reinforcement for success. However, they should be wary of providing rewards too early on in a child’s development. Responsibility must be seen as an end in itself, not as an avenue to ulterior benefits.

       

      In the End

      Responsibility is a matter of modeling good behavior for one’s children. It is also a matter of explaining that behavior, and enforcing the consequences of that behavior, for better or for worse.

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      Bullying: When to involve the police

      Hearing that your child is being bullied can be heartbreaking – especially when it’s severe. If the bullying your child is experiencing escalates to being threatened or physically assaulted,  you should involve the police to help resolve the situation.

       

      Taking threats seriously

      If a bully threatens your child, it should not be taken lightly. The bully may have said something threatening just to intimidate your child but it might also be a warning that they plan on carrying out that threat.

      Not only could it lead to physical harm, the act of making a threat is against the law.

       

      Act immediately to a physical attack

      No one ever has the right to attack your child. When bullying becomes physical, it is time to act quickly and decisively before it happens again. Contacting the police will allow them to handle the situation and can be a strong deterrent  for bullies to continue harming your child.

       

      Damaging property

      Vandalism, theft and destruction of property are all crimes, so don’t let it go unaddressed just because it was done by a bully. If your child is mysteriously losing or breaking personal belongings, ask them if it was caused by a bully.

       

      Next steps

      If you’ve determined that a bully has crossed the line and is committing crimes against your child, you should contact the school and make them aware of the situation. They may wish to contact the police on their own, or you may have to report the incident to the police yourself.

      You can simply call your local police department and explain that you wish to sign a complaint against a juvenile who has been bullying your child and has broken the law in doing so.

      It is important to act quickly so the bully does not get another chance to target your child. But most of all, your child will be looking to you for reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Let them know that the bully has been brought to the attention of the school and the police and that it will be taken care of.

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      Prioritizing online safety for your kids

      There’s no denying that the Internet has revolutionized the way we work, learn and interact. And with the recent 25th birthday of the Internet, it is a good time to look back and evaluate the online safety measures you take to protect your kids from potential dangers they could face every time they log on to play a game, do homework or chat with friends.

       

      Common online safety tipsinternet-safety

      Just like we teach our kids to be alert around people in public, it is important for your child to keep information guarded when interacting with people online. These are the most basic of internet don’ts that all kids should know:

      • Never give out personal information such as name, address, contact information or school schedules
      • Don’t send pictures of yourself to strangers – they may use them to help track you down
      • Tell a trusted adult if someone online makes you feel uncomfortable or threatens you
      • Never agree to meet a stranger in real life who you met online
      • Remember that not all people are who they claim to be online

       

      Good rules for online safety

      There are some general things you can do to help keep your child safe online. Here are just a few:

      • Watch them when they are online – this will keep them from viewing things they shouldn’t and you can see who they’re talking with
      • Use the safety filter options on your web browser to keep inappropriate search results and web pages from appearing
      • Keep anti-virus and malware protection current to avoid hackers stealing private information about you or your kids
      • Agree on what is okay to download – are music lyrics vulgar or pictures too graphic for kids their age?

      With a little care and the proper coaching, your kids can experience all the great things there are to see and do online without falling victim to predators or being taken in by scams.

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      Managing bullying and ADHD

      Raising children is one of the most difficult and rewarding things a person will ever do. Being the parent of a child with ADHD can be overwhelming, but with some adjustments, a family can come together and make life easier for the child.

      One of the problems children with ADHD face is bullying from others, especially at school. Even though ADHD is rather common among school-aged children, any child who is different faces the possibility of being singled out.

       

      What parents can do to stop bullyingkids-on-track

      When bullying occurs for any reason, whether due to a disability or simply because kids are still learning how to treat others, the best way to combat it is to be proactive. Parents should stay in contact with teachers and find out if there are any problems in the classroom.

      Also, parents need to make it clear to their kids that if anyone picks on them, they can come to them and talk about it. Keeping dialogue open is the best way to earn a child’s trust.

      The parents of bullies also have to be proactive. Generally, the first notification a parent may get about their child exhibiting bullying behavior should come from a teacher.

      However, it’s possible to spot bullying behavior before being notified of it. If the child is withdrawn, sullen, acting aggressive or out of character, the parent may be able to discuss concerns with the child’s teacher and learn what he or she can do to help those involved.

       

      Who is a bullying victim?

      Bullying is a big problem in American schools, but awareness is being raised both in and out of the classroom to identify and understand bullying behavior.

      Often, the victims are “different” from their peers; either they’re too smart or not smart enough, like “weird” hobbies or have a disability of some kind. Maybe they’re a different race than everyone else in class, or they have an unusual appearance. Sometimes, a child is bullied for no apparent reason at all.

      Whatever the reason, many schools are taking a zero-tolerance stance on bullying, and with good reason. Bullying has led to older children and teenagers committing suicide, and it can make many aspects of a child’s life difficult.

      Fortunately, schools and parents can work together to stop bullying behavior before it gets out of hand. Children do not have to like each other, but they should not be permitted to treat each other unkindly or with disrespect.

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      Impact of bullying increases as exposure rises

      A new study indicates that not only does bullying affect a target in the near term, the longer the bullying persists the more of a toll it takes.

      bullying_1The study, called Healthy Passages, tracked Alabama students in fifth, seventh and tenth grade students by reviewing the results of surveys given to over 4,000 children about the amount of bulling they endured and then evaluated their physical and mental health.

      It concluded that students who were bullied in the past scored better on the health measurements than those who were currently being bullied. Those who had been bullied throughout their school career scored lowest.

      Researchers determined physical health by assessing abilities such as distance a student can walk and the ability to lift heavy objects. Mental health was determined by feelings of sadness, anger and fear.

      “I think this is overwhelming support for early interventions and immediate interventions and really advancing the science about interventions,” said Laura Bogart, the lead author of the study.

      The study highlights just how critical it is for good physical and mental health to address and end bullying situations for students as early as possible.

       

       

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      Kids with diabetes

      kids with diabetes

       

      In the United States alone, there are over 200,000 kids with diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control. If not well managed, diabetes can cause a lot of health problems, but if you and your child are good about keeping their symptoms in check, your child can live a healthy and normal life.

      Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar isn’t being absorbed into the cells of the body because either the body isn’t making a chemical called insulin, or it is being produced but the body is unable to use it.

      Adults and kids with diabetes need to monitor what they eat and the amount of exercise they get because if the blood sugar levels get too high it can cause serious illness and even death.

      Although diabetes is a serious condition, there are a few things that kids can do to keep their symptoms in check.

      • check blood sugar levels often
      • give themselves insulin shots as needed
      • eat healthy
      • exercise daily
      • regularly check in with their doctor to monitor any changes in health

      With a little discipline and guidance from a doctor, kids with diabetes can enjoy their childhood happy and healthy.

       

       

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      Bullying and the cognitively disabled

      shy-child

       

      Bullying shouldn’t happen to anyone, but sadly, those with physical or cognitive disabilities are at an especially high risk of being targeted by bullies.

      The observable differences between the target and the bully make for easy insults and little chance of reprisal by the targeted child. It is heartbreaking and could do serious damage to the self-esteem of your child.

      Below is a great article that any parent, guardian or educator who deals with students who have learning disabilities or ADHD should read.

      Understanding Bullying and Its Impact on Kids With Learning Disabilities or ADHD

      When we understand the problem – why it happens, what can be done to stop it – and learn to recognize the warning signs, what we learn are the tools we need to put a stop to the problem. Armed with the right tools, we can help put an end to bullying of all students.

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