Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lots of Glue and Feelings Collages this weekend.

I have many issues of Parents magazine around my house - as I am sure some other mothers also do. The stack was getting big enough that I was going to throw them away (recycle them) - but decided to try to find an activity to do with them and my boys.

We are making Feelings collages - (to help with their emotional awareness.)

Dylan picked the feeling of suprise - it has been a little difficult to find photos -but he is doing a great job and enjoying writing on his collage and doing his own illustrations.

Keegan my wild child, picked the feeling of happiness - which is an easy one for him to do.

I just had to make sure I had enough glue sticks on hand - Keegan LOVES glue and thinks the more the better - it will take days for his collage to dry :)

Give it a try ****Pick a feeling and work with your child to make a collage that illustrates that feeling. Use pictures from magazines, family photos, drawings or words to illustrate what that feeling is like for your child. Paste the pictures onto one piece of paper. Post them on the wall. Consider making color photo copies of the "happy" collage and use it for greeting cards.

*I will try to post a photo of their collages when they are completed - please share yours.

Monday, January 11, 2010

When Frustration becomes an Issue.

I found this wonderful activity through Fishful Thinking which is making a positive difference with my children and myself. It is called the Shake Off the Frustration Dance. What a better way to destress and put things back in perspective - by being crazy for a few moments with your children.

I am currently using this activity with my five year old son who is a perfectionist. Many times he has difficulty focusing on and staying postive when a new activity doesn't come to him right away. He gets frustrated and can't move beyond it. So when something gets to the breaking point with him, I tell him it is time to shake all the bad thoughts out of his body. I have him stand up and we start wiggling and waggling all the bad thoughts out. We look so silly and quickly start laughing. After the laughter dies down he is able to re-focus on the task at hand and give it another try.

If the "shake off the frustration" dance doesn't appeal to your child, work with your child to find a ritual that helps him or her calm and refocus. Taking deep breaths, repeating a positive phrase such as "It's okay. I can calm down and get back to work. My frustration doesn't have to stop me." For younger kids, doing something physical to help release the pent up energy that sometimes comes with frustration is often helpful.

Keep in mind, that these techniques will require practice, so don't expect them to work the first time. The more you practice them, the more effective they will be.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ring in the New Year with Positive Parenting.

I am going to give the gift of time to my three boys in 2010. I don't believe there is a better or simpler gift I can give them (and is doesn't cost money). I have found three different ways to do this positive activity with children. I listed them below from Fishful Thinking website.

We are currently doing the Time Share method. My four year old is even enjoying this activity.

This is how he decided to design his gift of time for his five year old brother (who he drew out of a hat). He said he would let his brother use his Leapster while he watched and cheered him on. My five year old was so happy with the gift of time - and they did a great job sharing the Leapster and time together. It was great to see the Inspire an Attitude of Gratitude in action - they are praising each other with out even thinking about it - it is wonderful to see.

Family Time

Ask each family member to write on a note card one "Gift of Time" they would like to receive from the family: watching a DVD together, camping out in a fort in the living room, playing a board game. Put the cards in a box and pull one out each night to do together.

Time Share

Each member of the family picks a name out of a hat and has to design a "Gift of Time" to share with the person they chose.

Time Checks

Family members can give each other "blank checks" of time. Each check is good for a certain amount of time (e.g. 30 minutes, 3 hours) and can be cashed in whenever they would like to have some special time with that family member. Of course, everyone must understand that they may sometimes have to wait in order to get their check cashed.