Category Archives: Tidbits

Make your Child a Confident Public Speaker

yomqvngy“Public speaking invokes more fear than the fear of death, “ or so the research says. It also says that children who speak on public platforms, possess more critical and analytical thinking skills and generally acquire more success in life.

Makes sense, since communication and the art of persuasion are both soft skills that are essential to the making or breaking of any relationship, personal or professional.

The ability to speak is not enough, it’s speaking well that matters. I have not only experienced this personally, but seen it intimately in the students I have taught, right from primary to high school. No matter the age, children who are prompted to talk their mind in public, are generally more confident, more self-aware and are clearly set apart from the majority of kids who do not partake in this activity. Effective communication is integral to people skills and public speaking actually helps in developing not only IQ but EQ!

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Sadly, most public speaking forums are arranged by schools, and even if they do arrange such events, precious few kids are given the opportunity to present speeches, declamations or to participate in debates. Here are a few ways on how to develop these skills in your child in the confines of your home:

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The Dread of the Final Exams

Exam DreadIt’s that part of the year again, the final exams fast approach, the scariest scrap of paper, you know the one- with boxes and dates and page numbers and chapter names, is handed over to you. For a second you don’t want it. Your heart rate increases, your mood takes a nose dive and a sinking feeling in your gut suspends you in time. As your body recovers, in the next couple of minutes you hold it scanning for the gaps in the dates and especially focus on the date of the first exam and with more fervor, the date of the last one. It’s seems like a life time away.

In the next few moments you know what you have to do. This is serious business and not a moment can be lost. You go into super-mom mode, a checklist has neatly been imprinted in your mind- you are now the ‘man with a plan’.

Get kids to show books for work completion….. check (or not, give a couple of slaps, condemn the kid)

Is it corrected…… check (or not, well better make an appointment and take the teacher to task)

Hassle the tuition teacher to get her priorities right…. check

Unleash hell on the whole household- EXAMS ARE UPON THE KIDS…. check

Does this sound familiar? Yes… I thought so too. Let’s focus for just one minute and assess the situation. Let’s analyse exactly how our response is going to yield any positive results shall we?  And then let’s talk about what we can do to help our already stressed and burnt out kids with their exams in a way that is productive and not stressful.

After the discussion there is handout that you can download and keep for easy reference if you feel this post has helped you in anyway.

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I Am A Teacher

4ab766c21921df310245ad5ddeaf625fTo you, the parent, I am just a person who teaches your child the stuff in the books. But I am much much more than that. You, the parents need to know, that I call your child, my child. I love him/her, I care for him/her.

I do not understand why you so often treat me like some sub standard bystander with just a passing interest. I can not fathom, that while I tirelessly make carefully laid out lessons plans in the dead of the night and the corresponding teaching materials, be it PowerPoint Presentations, charts, flash cards, and the tonnes of other things, while I invest in so much of that on my own dime, while I painstakingly go beyond my physical comfort hardly getting a moment to grab a glass of water, I still get blamed if the child fails to get an A Grade.

Here is something else you need to know… Continue reading

How to Increase Emotional Quotient in Kids

eqiFor as long as I can remember, IQ (Intelligence Quotient) was the targeted skill that needed building up in children. There were tonnes of books and quizzes, coaches and classes, it was and still is crazy. People’s success was attributed to their IQ alone.

 

 

Turns out, IQ is not the only contributing factor to success later in life. Both professional and social successes can be linked to greater extent than previously believed, not to IQ but rather EQ. Consider:

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The above illustration is quite to the point and self explanatory.

The research says it all:

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Daniel Goleman (1998)

In this post I’ll generally outline how EQ can help children become highly successful and lead ‘meaningful lives’ and tips on how to develop this ability.

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Identifying and Tackling Stress Triggers in Young Children

We see kids running around the house, knocking over glasses, creating a wake of chaos wherever they go. Sometimes we just wish school hours would be longer so that we didn’t have to deal with all the ‘stuff’ that comes with having a child in the vicinity. They look so happy all the time, only just breaking up in tears if the elder sibling has pulled the younger one’s pony tail. Be that as it may be, children are no different than us adults and are prone to being deeply affected by stress.

Consider a little baby, it will cry when hungry or if it has a soiled nappy or if it is having pain or is uncomfortable. These are the basic stress triggers that are external in nature, and easily identifiable.

As a child gets older, the stress factors become more complex, often very difficult to identify. Children may not be very forth coming due to the fact they have not yet mastered the art of effective communication (but then not many adults have either). So the first thing to do is identify that your child is stressed. Here’s how:

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How Parents Kill The Joy of Reading for Kids

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At PTMs, parents constantly ask how they can inculcate the habit of reading in their kids. They complain that even though there are a ton of books at home, kids simply don’t bother with them.

Thinking back on my own experience with books growing up, and then the experience of my own kids on the relationship they had with books, I realized there is a lot parents themselves are doing to put kids off from reading.  Continue reading

A Message for you Mom and Dad- About Me Starting School

back_to_school_bannerSchool is starting soon. I know this because I have heard both of you talking about it, I often hear you say, “How many more days before school opens?” because apparently I drive you ‘crazy’. It hurts when you say this, but I don’t show it, you see, I am pretty good at not showing my true feelings.

I know I look all merry when picking out my new school bag and supplies, but seriously you look even more excited than I. Besides, you end up getting your choice and try to make it look as if it’s mine. It’s okay, I can understand that you feel joy in this. So I play along and pretend to love the bag that you have selected for me.

downloadThese books however are another matter. I see you standing and talking to the shop keeper, dad- you keep checking the receipt against the book list, just in case there aren’t any missing. Mom- how happy you look as you flip through these books; you look at me, giving me a smile, so proud that I will be studying for a bright future. But mom and dad, these shiny new books, they scare me, how will I ever be able to do this stuff? The writing is so small, the premise so unfamiliar. How will I make you proud? Mom, could please sit with me and help me get friendly with these instead of focusing on getting them bound and plastic coated before dumping them in my brand new bag? Dad- I know they were expensive, and I will try to keep them neat, but things happen at school. Please don’t get mad at me or start threatening me before the year has even begun. I know money does not grow on trees.

school-bussesMom and Dad, I’m anxious. Will the bus take me and bring me back safely? I mean there are so many of them… how will I find the right one? And those tires are so huge. Some kids are so mean on the bus. How do I deal with them when they tease me on my new bag (the one you thought was so nice- but really it’s so uncool)?

teacher_clipart_Silhouettes_3_by_JMA_47How about the school? How will I find the class? What if my teacher turns out to be mean also? What if she picks on me? Humiliates me? Mom I am scared to leave your side- you have always loved me so much and when you yell at me, I know you mean well. But my teacher, will she care? I won’t know the way to the bathroom. I always get confused about which books to take out. But will she care?

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Some children are such bullies. Dad you say to me to stay away from trouble makers. Do you think I like it when kids shove me or push me? I try to stay away, but I get picked on anyway. And I can handle it, but every now and then, I’d just like a tap on my shoulder from you to acknowledge how brave I am, but you seldom care to understand. It’s not easy. You are so strong and I want to be just like you, it would mean a lot if you sat with me and told me how you became such a superhero.

I know I will eventually settle down, I know I’ll make friends, get a grip on the timetable, learn to read the new words and solve the difficult math problems, I know I’ll accept whatever type of teacher is in my fate and adjust myself to her, I know I will find out where the bathroom, cafeteria and nurse’s office are. I’ll even develop tactics to avoid being bullied, who knows, I may even stand up for myself once in a while.

But mom and dad I’m scared. I am anxious. Though I feel a certain amount of excitement too, I wish you would really understand my fears. Mostly, I’ll just miss you at school. Will you miss me? Will you sit with me mom and dad and just say, “It’s all going to be okay.”