Your Child's Secrets:
7 Steps to help your kids tell you what's on their minds.
by Susie E. Caron ( c) 7/28/2014
There are a few times during a day, when kids will open up about the confusing or difficult situations they encounter. These tend to be bed time, dinner time, or while traveling in the car. To take advantage of those times you will need to be ready and willing to listen, and at least momentarily undistracted.
It will take a minute for your child to begin to talk with you. However, it only takes a few seconds for you child to give up - if you appear too busy, annoyed or rushed. That's because children worry they will be judged "silly, or worse" for wanting to talk about their concerns. Being prepared for these encounters is important while your children are very small as well as later. If your children don't get a chance to tell you while they are little, about things that may be important or scary, they are less likely to tell you later, when they are in their teens. I am sure that you want your children to talk with you.
Here are seven steps to help you to prepare and respond to your child's concerns.
1. First be ready, willing and able to notice a change in your child's usual demeanor and tone. Children, like adults have a way of navigating their lives and a method of attack! When that changes to something a bit 'out of the ordinary', it's time to pay attention. Use all three of your eyes: the two in your head and the one on your instinctive self. Trust your instincts.
2. Approach gently, carefully when you ask "What would you like to talk with me about?" Try to sit beside rather than in front of your child. Kids are afraid to be thought wrong, stupid or foolish. Make sure, your child knows he or she can always talk with you about anything.
3. Listen patiently and carefully, without trying to 'fix anything'. Just listen and ask questions so you really get the whole picture.
4. Thank your child for trusting you enough to share this important information. Really be genuine about thanking your child. This is an important incentive for your child to share more, now and in the future.
5. Comfort your child by validating how he/she feels. Say things like, "Wow how did that make you feel? Then add something true such as "I wonder if you also felt mad or sad?" etc.
6. If your child has done something 'wrong', or has misbehaved, repeat #4 and #5 above, but add "because you told me instead of me finding out some other way, I ______________. Here you will pick an appropriate response and at the same time let your child know that the consequences are much less, because he/she told you him/herself.
7. If there is something you need to check on, (behavior on the bus) or someone you need to speak with, (the child's teacher) let your child know. Tell your child that it's your job to help them.
These 7 tips can help you to be ready when your child is hesitant but needs to tell you something. Remember, children don't know what information is important. However, they feel very different when something doesn't seem right to them. Be ready and open so they can come to you with anything.
If we listen, our children can teach us all a lot.
Remember Twee' Means You & Me
Susie E. Caron
Here's my cool UTube interview with
Best Selling Author Jo Linsdell...
by Susie E. Caron 7/27/14
...about her New Book, Twittertastic!
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview best selling author and self proclaimed social media junkie about her life and her latest book: How To Be Twittertastic: Writers & Authors Guide to Social Media Series. Book 1. Click HERE (my affiliate link) to buy it for your Kindle.(It will be out in print book soon.) Currently Jo is launching this book and sharing it on her virtual book tour. FYI, one year ago Jo published a book called Virtual Book Tours, which I also highly recommend. You can get it by clicking THIS (affiliate link).
Jo Linsdell is an absolute delight and fun to interview. Check out this amazing interview.
3 Safety Based Games You'll Want to Play With Your Children
by Susie E. Caron © 7/22/2014
Children need to play! Did you know that games also benefit their development?
Playing these 3 games with your young children may also help you keep them safe.
Everyone enjoys playing Peek-A-Boo with babies because it makes everyone laugh. This also helps to generate your baby's feelings of health and safety, but there are more reasons.
Peek-A-Boo builds your baby's awareness that objects continue to exist in their environment, even when they cannot see them. This includes YOU. This awareness is also the foundation for the next two safety-based games for young children. So go ahead! Play Peek-A-Boo with baby.
2. Quick! Run to Mommy (or Daddy) Game*
In this game you teach your child to quickly run to you! (Note: see * below for suggested titles to call this game with your child.)
If you make your child's "Run to Mommy" response automatic and the child is rewarded for running fast to you, your child will be more likely to respond quickly, in situations that could be dangerous. For example: You can use this when your child gets out of sight in the grocery store.
How to teach Danger! - Run to Mommy!
I learned this game from a friend. She taught her toddler that when she said certain words,
"Poo Bear", he was to respond, "Tigger too!" and he would immediately run to her to be safe.
As you practice at home, with a toddler, it's best to offer a treat, like stickers, or a small cracker, for running back to you. This makes the game more fun and rewarding for the toddler to play correctly and to run fast!
Consistently using key words in this game can help keep your child safe. Your child's words help you to locate him/her. Your child's words also triggers action: running to you quickly.
*NOTE: If you don't like the words my friend used, you and your child can come up with your own words and responses. Pergaps you could select words from your child's favorite Twee' book. You could say "Twee' Means" and the child says "You and Me!" and returns to you immediately. [I couldn't help myself.]
3. Automatic - Hide and Go Seek
In this game you must find your hidden child.
Note: Play this game ONLY AFTER your toddler has a rapid response to Run to Mommy (or Daddy etc.). Then play Automatic - Hide and Go Seek often.
Reasons to play:
When children actually become lost, they FREEZE while they LISTEN for you to come and find them. The result is they don't know to call out to you, even if they hear you searching nearby. You child doesn't realize that you cannot see him all the time. He also doesn't realize that if you cannot see him, you won't be able to find him unless he calls out to you.
How to teach Automatic - Hide and Go Seek.
Tell you child, " I can see you most of the time. However, when you hide behind a couch, chair or in another room, I cannot see you.You are very important to me, so I always want to find you. So when I can't easily see you, I will say "Where Are You?" then I want you to call out "Here I am." Practice this in the house at first. Remember to reward your child as soon as you find him/her.
After you've practiced for a few minutes a day, over a few days, then tell your child, "Now that I know you will say 'Here I am!' to help me find you, I will let you hide longer. Remember when I say "Where are you?" I want you to yell out nice and loud "Here I am!"
Play these games with you children to instill some safety skills, for a little peace of mind and always share some fun!
I want to read your comments about this post, so please leave me a note below.
Remember Twee' means You and Me.
Susie E Caron
Three Steps and Tips to Build
a Cool Kids Summer Schedule.
by Susie E. Caron 7/13/2014
Summer is here and it can be full of fun for you and your children. However, to help the fun along, it is a good idea to develop a weekly schedule together.
Good reasons to build a summer schedule include:
1. Kids like to know what's going to happen, just like you do.
2. A schedule, that everyone can refer to, also provides a place to communicate
events, discussions, and generate excitement about things planned.
3. Schedules give adults and children focal points and things to look forward to.
4. A schedule, that addresses each family member's needs, also helps everyone
to feel cared about.
Here are three steps to get your summer schedule off to a good start:
First, get a large paper calendar, or dry erase calendar for you and the children to write on. Gather some markers and maybe some stickers to make it really fun.
You can click HERE (affiliate link) to find a magnetic, dry-erase calendar I like a lot.
Second: Plan some weekly events. Here are some ideas that cost little or nothing.
1. Visit the library to return books and obtain more.
2. Plan a trip to the local beach or park.
3. Picnic somewhere new.
4. On hot days, set up water stations all over the back yard. Use plastic containers
of all sizes and have a water battle.
5. Schedule an hour to go to the playground. Kids love it when you watch them play.
Better yet, why not play with them. You will have the added benefit of free exercise
and they will love you for it. Play basketball, or swing on the swings. Engage
them in tag, hide and seek, capture the flag or dodge ball.
Third: Always have plan B - To plan for rainy days. Here are some ideas.
1. Finger paint together.
2. Get a good family movie, like The Princess Bride or Harry & The Hendersons
(two of my favorites). Make popcorn and curl up together to watch.
3. Go bowling together one afternoon.
4. Plan a family game night. Make sure to give each member a turn to put
their favorite game on the schedule.
5. Bake cookies or make modeling dough together and make shapes, or letters,
a zoo, an amusement park or creatures from outer space.
There are no limits to the imagination, and you can ask your children for more ideas!
With a little planning these weekly and spur of the moment events, can make summer more pleasant, and fun for you and your children. So what are you waiting for?
So - Get ready. Get set. Go!
Add your comments and additional ideas below. If you liked this article, share it on social media too! Thank You!
Twee' means you and me.
Susie E. Caron
Book Review, by Susie E. Caron, 7/10/2014
Twittertastic is a new ebook available on Kindle. It is written by my good friend and author
Jo Linsdell. This is a clear concise, must read if you want to understand Twitter, the how to's, and the do's and do not's of Tweeting. [There are rules folks!] ..read more of my review below this banner...
If you are trying to navigate marketing your books, or you are a newbie to Twitter, or you tweet for any reason, this is the book you want to read. If you are well into tweeting, this clear, step by step beneficial guide will help you too. Don't skip reading this one. I wish I had this book two years ago. Thankfully, it's never too late to learn something new, and Jo's book helped me to fill in some of the gaps in my use of Twitter. I appreciate Jo Linsdell for writing this easy to use, clear, wonderful guide. This is great work and a timely, helpful book.
You can find out more about best selling author - Jo Linsdell and her many books at www.JoLinsdell.com
To purchase a copy of Twittertastic click a link below. [Different links for purchasing location.]
Thank you for stopping by. Click to get your copy of Twittertastic! You will be happy you did!
Twee' Means You and Me
Susie E. Caron
How To Help Your Kids Act Their Age.
by Susie E. Caron 7/7/2014
All children fall into regressive behaviors from time to time, and behave like a younger version of themselves. These include behaviors the child had outgrown such as baby talk, wanting to be diapered, bottle fed, held, or rocked. Sometimes regression includes whining, and throwing tantrums. In school aged kids regression presents more as clinging, insecurity, and fears.
Sometimes, adults hardly notice, or perhaps the behaviors don’t last long enough to become problematic. However, parents become concerned when regression in their preschool or elementary aged kid becomes annoying or persistent.
This Does NOT Help.
While it may seem natural to scold or even necessary to say to the child, “Please act your age," and add, you are a big girl/boy now.” That is actually the opposite of what you should do if you want the behaviors to stop.
There is an underlying reason that kids fall back to younger behavior patterns, but actual causes for regression vary. Sometimes, it is due to the introduction of a new baby sister or brother. Often regression shows up right before children are scheduled to go to school, or move into the next grade. Regression can accompany family transitions, holidays, and stressors, when adults are pre-occupied with decision making. The actual cause doesn't matter. Here's the underlying reason for regression in childhood.
"Children only regress because they NEED to regress for a while."
That’s right! Regression is actually important for children’s sense of well-being and feelings of safety and security. In effect,
"They fall back to jump forward developmentally."
Here's how parents can reduce regression in children.
So, what should a parent do when children regress? I understand that regression can be concerning, annoying and embarrassing sometimes and in some environments for the parents. The following suggestion usually helps reduce the duration of the regressive behaviors by quite a lot.
If you want to shorten the time in regression, or possibly stop the behaviors do this:
"Move into the regression’ with the child."
That's correct: You need to agree with your child. In effect, if the child acts younger, respectfully agree to treat them younger. That means, if the child talks baby talk, say in sincerity, “Oh do you want to be my baby for a while? OK, let me rock you.” If there whines or tantrums, do whatever you did when your child was younger. If your child is acting younger prior to going to school, offer more nurturing, cuddling, reading together times, etc. If your child makes an unreasonable request, like a previously well potty trained 5 year old wanting to be diapered, you could respond by saying something like this: “I hear you saying you want a diaper too, but that’s not something I want you to do. Instead you can pick another way to be like my baby again.”
The main point is that your child is seeking reassurance and nurturing whenever he/she regresses into younger behavior. Being kind and reassuring usually takes care of the issue. If, however this does not help within a couple weeks, you may want to speak with a therapist, your doctor or pastor for more assistance.
Did you find this article helpful? I'd love to hear from you.
What do you do to help your child?
Why not take a second and leave me a comment below. Thank you!
Twee' Means You and Me
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!