Archive for June 13th, 2010

How to Avoid Sibling Rivalry When Kids Compete in the Same Sports and Activities

Sibling Rivalry and sibling jealousy are a natural part of family life, particularly when children are close in age. Throw into the mix siblings competing in the same sports or participating in the same activities, and the result is going to be an even stronger propensity for sibling rivalry. What many parents don’t realize, though, is that they have the ability to influence the amount of jealousy their children feel toward each other simply through their own words and actions.

Parents inadvertently have a tendency to make comparisons between their children. It’s just a fact of life, especially when children are involved in the same activities. Parents notice if one child seems more talented, is a better sport, or plays with more enthusiasm than her sibling. How could they not? However, they should avoid verbalizing those comparisons, even when they think their kids aren’t paying attention. Kids are already comparing themselves with their siblings every day, so even the slightest mention can solidify insecurities they might be feeling about not being asgood as their brother or sister. Parents should never say words that set one child as the standard, such as, “Someday you’ll be as good a pitcher as your brother,” because it can set unrealistic expectations and foster sibling jealousy.

Parents also hold power over sibling rivalry in the way they act toward each of their children. Treating all activities equally and not giving more weight to one child’s over another’s is key. Make it a point to attend as many events as possible, and take turns attending games if they are held at the same time. Encourage both children equally, and offer the same amount of time helping each with his or her activities. Even though one might be more competitive and athletic than the other, it’s important to allow the other child to enjoy the sport as well if they so choose. And do your best to spend the same amount of money (as far as the children can tell) on each of your kids’ activities.

And last but not least in the fight against sibling rivalry is to never allow others to compare your children either. For example, if one child is better at baseball, don’t allow family and friends to only come see the better child play. Have a strict “no labeling” policy amongst your family and friends to prevent anyone else from using labels to pigeonhole your children into roles that he or she may not want to be in.

Always remember that your children have unique personalities and abilities. Encourage their individual talents, and show them through actions, as well as words, that you think of them as equals, no matter what their skill level.

Tips to Help you Choose the Right Books on Parenting

Parenting is raising an infant to becoming an adult. Most of the negative or positive traits of a person are rooted in childhood. Due to this parenting is a very delicate issue not just for parents but also for child psychologists, social workers, pediatricians and educators. A child must learn the right thing at an early age. If your reaction to the child’s behavior is wrong, it could lead to drastic effects in the child’s personality. There are several books on parenting that will give you tips and experiences on a larger number of parenting topics. Then, there will be plenty of advice on parenting given to you by your parents and relatives.

There are several patterns and theories supported for parenting. In addition, equally large numbers of books written on this subject are many. You must choose the appropriate book that will give you pointers on how to deal with children at different stages of their childhood. When you must compliment kids, encourage them. When you have to put your foot down and make yourself heard are topics you want to read. It is not easy dealing with children as they grow. There could be situations that make you wonder how to get over them.

Traditional methods of parenting were more of the ‘preaching’ kind where the child would learn behavioral manners and discipline. Mostly the principle of punishment for wrongdoing and reward for the right act was a norm. Even today, some of these tactics are a custom coupled with modern ideas.

There are several approaches to parenting like the strict model, the facilitator model, holistic teaching and attachment, building confidence and trust, and teaching various Biblical principals. To determine which theory is ideal for your child, you must research. You must target your research to the benefit of your child.

The next question to deal with is deciding on the parenting book you will follow. There are books written by subject experts and by experienced parents. Everyone has a different say on this. Books written by subject experts who are mostly child psychologists and pediatricians might have little or no parenting experience. Books written by experienced parents should relate on their personal experience and expertise. Such authors might have no scientific knowledge on parenting.

With advancement in science, many parenting myths are inaccurate now. With changing times, there are changes in life styles and thinking patterns as well. Without forgetting, the generation gap will always stay irrespective of time. It is a fact that certain traditional styles of parenting have turned out to be harmful for the child’s personality. Books on parenting that are written by experts will give you modern day solutions to deal will issues of parenting. Their approach might be different from the one followed traditionally but they are more apt for the present times.

Many books on parenting documented by parents are also selling a lot. I would suggest a book that is a combination of practical, scientific and logical information. Authentic parenting experiences are also important.

Safe Websites-Protecting Your Kids

As a parent, have you ever thought about family safe websites? Anyone can post whatever they want on the internet. In some ways this freedom of speech is a good thing. In other cases, it isn’t so good, especially when mentally disturbed people can post images and messages online that are disturbing and not appropriate for adults or kids to see. Luckily, there are plenty of family friendly internet sites out there that keep you and your family entertained. It is fairly simple to set up your home computer so that family can only access these good and safe websites.

You should teach your children from the time they are very young that the internet is not a safe place and they are only allowed to visit sites that you approve of. When selecting these safe websites, you should visit them yourself to make sure they teach the values that you are teaching your kids at home. Your younger kids may be more than willing to abide by your rules. However, once they get older and more curious about what they can get into, then they’ll look for ways to pull up unsavory websites.

Kids will be kids after all, and you can’t rely upon them to willingly stay on family friendly sites. Sometimes they can follow links and wind up in bad neighborhoods and not even know how they got there. That’s why you need to take action and make sure your computer is childproof. You can block some sites by setting up filters on the Google search engine. You can also go into the computer’s administrative account and set parental filters on the accounts of your children.

The best bet is to buy and install software that blocks all bad sites and only leaving family safe websites. There are several different types of filtering software available. You can read reviews of them online to help you decide which one to buy. You can buy some of them locally from an electronics store or download them from the internet. Software is not difficult to install but if you don’t know how, then you can have a friend help or take your computer into the shop and have it done.

Never underestimate the abilities of your older kids. Frequently check the “history” button on your browser to see what sites your kids have been looking at. If your child clears the history after using the computer, then that could be a sign he has been on sites he doesn’t want you to know about. You can even leave the computer in a busy room like the family room or kitchen so that you can always keep one eye on what your kids are doing. Be upfront about monitoring your child’s online activities. Tell him you know what sites he has looked at and if he does stray off of family safe websites, then he loses his internet privileges.