How You can get Kids to Read (Happily/Willingly)

reading_is_fun_poster-r0aa7ab1d87a849189174a5aa2325fb94_wao_8byvr_324Let’s switch those adverbs the other way around shall we? Or not.

A while back I spoke about how parents are actually demotivating their kids on reading. Check that post here. This is the follow up of that article, how to actually encourage your child to read of his/her own free will.

So besides the usual lessons learnt from what I spoke about before i.e showing that you are an avid reader yourself, providing a comfy space, giving choice etc., there are other more interactive things you can do as well. Whereas the previous article showed how to improve the reading experience, this article will give tips on how to bring reading into your child’s practical life… the child won’t even know he’s doing it.

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How to Make Your Teen an Author

CapturepoMy usual focus has been to build writing skills in younger primary school children, but teens need this even more so, primarily because it helps with better grades, effective correspondence/communication and later to write college applications. A good essay can make or break your child’s potential career.

Read on for tips and guidelines on how to motivate and build up your teen’s writing potential

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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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Subtraction with Borrowing- The Struggle Ends Now

CaptureSome memories just stick like glue. I was sitting with a bunch of other girls on my group table. It was the second grade. The teacher had given us a piece of paper with some subtraction sums. As the girls around me fumbled and struggled with their fingers, I just subtracted the digits regardless of whether the lower ones were larger than the ones on top or not. I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself, having finished first in class. Which just made the blow even harder when the teacher’s red handiwork was presented to me on said piece of paper.

After that, I always struggled with borrowing. It was not until a couple of years later till I got somewhat proficient at it. Feeling deeply on this subject, I have made a presentation to help parents who are trying to get their kids to truly understand this concept, logically and thoroughly; especially since it is that time of the year!

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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.”