Tag: Maturity

012: [Q&A] Raising Grateful Young People

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

Kids, by nature, often feel that they are entitled, which makes them less appreciative for the things that they have received, as well as for their experiences. It is the parents’ responsibility to enlighten their children about being grateful for what each has been given. And being able to raise grateful children would be the parents’ achievement. On this 12th episode of the Impressive podcast, Doctor Kimberley, in response to some of the questions from the listeners, will tell you how to instill the attribute of gratitude to the young ones.

Listen up as we explore:

  • The importance of promoting gratitude in young people
  • Child-friendly daily rituals for ages 2-14 year 12
  • Why we often forget to be grateful

Enjoy the Episode

Recommended Resources

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About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds a new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travellers and other hand-picked parents.

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Keeping Cool for School Camp

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

School camps, slumber parties and sleepovers are important steps to your child gaining their independence, but for some kids and their parents, this potentially positive experience can be riddled with anxiety. Thankfully, there are effective strategies which resolve some of the most common concerns around sleeping away from home or without the comfort of family.

For kids in later primary school, Term One here in Australia often includes the obligatory school camp. Similarly, the school holidays for tweens and teens often provide an exciting opportunity for children to engage in fun overnight holiday camp programs, or perhaps your child may be invited to their first sleepover at a friend’s house. Whether it is a slumber party, school trip or even an overseas camp, the emotions and concerns you and/or your children may have remain the same. Although it is not unusual to have apprehension around first-time sleepovers, the good news is that there are ways to manage these worries and make it the positive experience it should be for both parents and kids.

Read on for our top tips for successfully navigating this adventure together.

Why can Overnight School Camp seem scary?

Just like anything new, overnight trips present children with a series of unknowns. These can range from primal concerns around their safety, to social concerns about fitting in and getting along with peers, to practical concerns like whether they will remember everything or pack the right things. Knowing the main theme of your child’s concern will be the first step in assisting them to feel more confident.

Strategies for Parents of first-time School Campers

Overall, the main goal for parents is to focus on positives. Think about what your child has to gain from this experience. It is very likely to be a great opportunity to establish new friendships, participate in hands-on learning experiences and, importantly, gain a sense of independence outside of the family network. The following considerations and tips may be helpful for parents:

  • Are you yourself anxious? In preparation, it is important to check-in on how you are feeling yourself. What are you worried about as a parent? How are you addressing these concerns? In these times, if you are worried, you are more likely to present as flustered and somewhat erratic. This can heighten anxiety in young children, who could interpret camp as something to be concerned about. It is important to manage your own anxiety first!
  • Homesickness chat. This is a big one! You may have experienced some separation anxiety with your child in the early years when beginning preschool. This experience is quite relatable in that it is an unknown situation. If your child is worried they may miss home too much to enjoy themselves, an easy fix can be to have your child bring with them an important item from home that can easily be popped in their bag.
  • Pack together. Make it fun! Often camps will provide you with a list of required items.For a sleepover, you can call the other parent and jot down a list. Then turn packing into a game, such as collecting the required items as if on a scavenger hunt. Further to this, make sure you do not leave packing to the last minute! Think of the classic saying ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’; packing ahead of time will allow you to make any last trips to the shops if required.
  • Reduce the sense of the ‘unknown’. Talk about what to expect and perhaps see if you can get a rough schedule for the camp. Where possible, make a rooming request with teachers/staff if the child is not given the option.
  • Share your own positive experiences. Simply talking with your child about your good experiences on camp may help to further ease the fear of the unknown. It is okay to talk about experiences that also didn’t turn out too well, however it is important to emphasise the learning that came out of that experience!
  • Normalise that some anxiety is okay. It is always important to emphasise that all feelings we experience are normal, and good, and part of our body looking after us. Holding onto anxious feelings is not helpful in the long term, however. Help your children to recognise when they don’t feel good, and to challenge an unhelpful feeling with a helpful thought or saying to themselves, for instance, “I’m feeling nervous, but I know I’ll have a great time with my friends on camp”.
  • Account for any travel sickness or dietary needs in advance. As parents, you know what your child can and cannot handle. It is important to make staff aware of any accommodations that need to take place to help mitigate the likelihood of any predictable problems.

 

Strategies to Enhance your Child’s Confidence during School Camp

While there is a lot you can do to put your child at ease, it is important that they know how to be present and manage their anxiety while they are at camp without you. Teach your child to:

  • Ease physical tension. When we are anxious, our body responds physically. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline can linger and perpetuate negative feelings. Practicing relaxation techniques at home will help your child to self-soothe while away. Examples include deep breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
  • Worry diary. If something is bothering your child, encourage them to write it down in a journal, and leave the thoughts there until they are at home again.
  • For the night-owls. If there is a certain item at home that helps your child get to sleep, let them take it to camp to help put them at ease. If your child seems embarrassed about having a comfort toy at camp, you could find a small precious object to pop under their pillow instead. A drawing/portrait of the toy or letter (perhaps even written in the voice of their special toy) are also good substitutes.
  • Practice talking to staff. If your child does require assistance, often they may feel too anxious to tell someone about it because they do not want to get into trouble or bother anyone. Practice at home ways to approach and engage with staff or get their attention. This can be practiced with regards to how to complete activities, if a peer is unkind, when feeling homesick, or where to get their special dietary food from.

Some anxiety around first camps and overnight stays is normal and an important part of your child’s emotional development. If this distress is persistent, however, and detrimentally affecting your child’s overall functioning in other areas of life, it may be a warning sign of an ongoing issue. If you feel that you and/or your child require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly reception on (02) 9362 9297.

For more on understanding children: Why Don’t Kids Like Chores?

References

NSW Government (2019). Preparing for School Camp. Retrieved from, https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/practical-help-for-parents-and-carers/family-wellbeing/getting-ready-for-school-camp

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Sibling Rivalry

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Sibling Rivalry, or Fighting Between Siblings

Image from the 'Just Like When Cards' by Quirky Kid

Fighting between siblings, or sibling rivalry,  is a common concern among parents. A certain amount of arguing between children in families is normal, and is one of the ways that children learn the importance of sorting out problems independently, respecting people’s feelings and belongings. Additionally, learning how to fight fairly without hurting each other, within the home environment, may assist children in their ability to sort out issues in future relationships.

A degree of sibling rivalry is normal as learning to live together can be difficult when dealing with the different ages, needs and personalities involved. As children reach different stages of development, their evolving needs can significantly impact on the way they interact and relate with each other.

What are the Common Causes of Sibling Rivalry?

Jealousy and competition are the main causes for sibling rivalry and fighting.

A child may feel that their sibling is receiving more love or attention from a parent, and in response may try to ‘take it out’ on their sibling. Rates of sibling rivalry are lower in families where children feel they are treated equally by their parents.

Other factors that may influence how often sibling rivalry occurs include:

  • Gender and age – sibling rivalry is most likely to occur when the children are of the same gender and close together in age.
  • Toddlers – tend to be possessive of their toys and are learning to assert their will. If a brother or sister attempts to pick up one of their toys, the toddler may react aggressively. This often contributes to sibling rivalry among toddlers.
  • School-aged children – have a strong concept of fairness and equality and may not understand why a younger sibling is receiving additional attention.
  • Teenagers – are developing a sense of individuality and independence and may resent having to spend time looking after younger siblings or helping with house work contributing to sibling rivalry.
  • Individual personalities and temperaments – For instance, if one child tends to cling and be drawn to parents for their love and affection, this can be resented by siblings who don’t seek out or don’t receive the same treatment by their parents.
  • Sibling with special needs – a child may pick up on the amount of time and energy their sibling receives, and act out on this disparity for attention due to lack of understanding of the situation.
  • Examples parents set – the way in which parents resolve conflicts and problems has a significant impact on the way that children interact and resolve their own conflicts. For instance, when parents resolve their issues in a respectful and productive manner, the likelihood that the children of such parents will adopt these techniques is increased. As a parent it is important to manage sibling rivalry.

What can parents do to prevent sibling rivalry?

  • Spend special time with each child on a regular basis to avoid sibling rivalry.
  • Together, set ground rules for acceptable behaviour, such as no name calling, no yelling or hitting.
  • Provide children with their own space and time to do their own thing. For example to play with toys by themselves or to own something special that they don’t have to share. This will help to reduce sibling rivalry.
  • Try not to compare children with each other.
  • Be generous with affection.
  • Have fun together as a family. This will establish a peaceful way for children to spend time together. Playing board games, throwing a ball or watching a movie together are some good ways to do this.

If parents have to get involved….

  • Separate kids until they are calm. This will stop the fight from escalating and will provide an opportunity for emotions to die down. Later the fight can be revisited as a learning experience.
  • Parents should be aware of their own feelings, and to remain fair, even when feeling more frustration towards one child.
  • Try not to take sides, anyone who is involved is partly responsible.
  • Set up a “win-win” situation so that each child gains something. For example, if both children wanted to play with the same toy, suggest playing a game together.
  • Reminding children of the ground rules  will reduce sibling rivalry.
  • Help them listen to each other’s feelings. If required, assist them to work out ways to solve the problem and reduce sibling rivalry.

When possible don’t get involved in the fight. As children learn to cope with disputes, they learn important skills, such as valuing another person’s perspective, how to compromise and negotiate and how to control aggressive impulses.

However, if it is evident that a child is feeling upset, help them find ways to express their feelings before a fight starts. Such as playing with playdough or water for younger children or going for a run or listening to music for older children.

Sometimes, the sibling rivalry becomes so severe that it disrupts daily functioning and can significantly affect children emotionally.

How can the Quirky Kid Clinic help?

There are many ways we can help you to manage sibling rivalry. If you believe your family would benefit from some assistance with sibling rivalry, please contact the Quirky Kid Clinic on (02) 9362 9297 to discuss the following options:

Recommended Resources:

image of ticktes behaviour tool

 

 

—–
References:

This post was developed by Corina Vogler, Provisional Psychologist, employed by the Quirky Kid Clinic.

Information for this fact sheet was taken from Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist, kidshealth.org, and the Raising Children Network.

Fighting between siblings, or sibling rivalry,  is a common concern among parents. A certain amount of arguing between children in families is normal, and is one of the ways that children learn the importance of respecting other peoples feelings, belongings and to sort out problems independently. Additionally, Learning how to fight fairly and without hurting each other within the home environment may assist children in their ability to sort out issues in future relationships.

A degree of sibling rivalry is normal as learning to live together can be difficult when dealing with the different ages, needs and personalities involved. As children reach different stages of development, their evolving needs can significantly impact on the way they interact and relate with each other.

What are the Common Causes of Sibling Rivalry?

Jealousy and Competition are the main causes for siblings to fight and sibling rivalry.

A child may feel that their sibling is receiving more love or attention from a parent, and in response may try to ‘take it out’ on their sibling. Rates of sibling rivalry are lower in families where children feel they are treated equally by their parents.

Other factors that may influence how often sibling rivalry occur include:

  • Gender and age – sibling rivalry is most likely to occur when the children are of the same gender and close together in age
  • Toddlers – tend to be possessive of their toys and are learning to assert their will. If a brother or sister attempt to pick up one of their toys the toddler may react aggressively.
  • School-aged children – have a strong concept of fairness and equality and may not understand why a younger sibling is receiving additional attention.
  • Teenagers – are developing a sense of individuality and independence and may resent having to spend time looking after younger siblings or helping with house work.
  • Individual personalities and temperaments – For instance, if one child tends to be clingy and drawn to parents for their love and affection, this can be resented by siblings who don’t seek out or don’t receive the same treatment by their parents.
  • Sibling with special needs – a child may pick up on the amount of time and energy their sibling receives, and act out on this disparity for attention or due to lack of understanding of the situation.
  • Examples parents’ set – the way in which parents resolve conflict and problems has a significant impact on the way that children interact and resolve their own conflict. For instance, when parents resolve their issues in a respectful and productive manner, the likelihood that the children of such parents will adopt these techniques is increased.

What parents can do to prevent fights

  • Spend special time with each child on a regular basis.
  • Together set ground rules for acceptable behaviour, such as no name calling, no yelling or hitting.
  • Provide children with their own space and time to do their own thing. For example to play with toys by themselves or to own something special that they don’t have to share.
  • Try not to compare children with each other.
  • Be generous with affection.
  • Have fun together as a family. This will establish a peaceful way for children to spend time together. Playing board games, throwing a ball or watching a movie together are some good ways to do this.

If parents have to get involved

  • Separate kids until they are calm. This will stop the fight from escalating and will provide an opportunity for emotions to die down. Later the fight can be revisited as a learning experience.
  • Parents should be aware of their own feelings, and to remain fair, even when feeling more frustration towards one child.
  • Try not to take sides, anyone who is involved is partly responsible.
  • Set up a “win-win” situation so that each child gains something. For example, if both children wanted to play with the same toy, suggest playing a game together.
  • Remind children of ground rules.
  • Help them listen to each others feelings. If required, assist them to work out ways to solve the problem.

When possible don’t get involved in the fight. As children learn to cope with dispute, they learn important skills, such as valuing another person’s perspective, how to compromise and negotiate and how to control aggressive impulses.
However, if it is evident that a child is feeling upset, help them find ways to express their feelings before a fight starts. Such as playing with playdough or water for younger children or going for a run or listening to music for older children.

Sometimes, the conflict between siblings becomes so sever that it disrupts daily functioning and can significantly effect children emotionally.
How the Quirky Kid Clinic can help
If you believe your family would benefit from some assistance with sibling rivalry. Please contact the Quirky Kid Clinic on (02) 9362 9297 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (02) 9362 9297      end_of_the_skype_highlighting to discuss the following options:

  • Individual counselling and therapy with one of our experienced Child Psychologists.
  • Family counselling with one of our experienced Child Psychologists.
  • “Raised on Praise” workshops for parents.

Information for this fact sheet was taken from Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist, kidshealth.org, and the Raising Children Network.

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Children and Money

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Giving children pocket money is an important way to teach children about money and how to manage it. Furthermore, it helps children develop independence and attitudes towards both saving and spending money.

When to introduce pocket money and how much to give:

  • While there is no right or wrong time to start giving your child pocket money, most Australian children are usually given pocket money from the age of six.
  • Research has also determined that on average, children between six and ten receive an ‘income’ of $20-25 per month.
  • It is important for parents to consider an amount that they themselves are comfortable with. Factors to consider when choosing this amount should be based upon the family’s financial situation, and the child’s spending needs.

Important concepts for parents to teach children:

  • the value of money: the relative price of things
  • spending: accepting that money is gone once it’s spent
  • earning: understanding that earning money can be hard work, but usually that’s the only way to get it
  • saving: using short-term and long-term goals
  • borrowing: understanding the importance of repaying borrowed money.

Tips for Parents:

  • Let your children make mistakes when it comes to saving and spending their money.
  • You may want to restrict your child from spending their money inappropriately, for example, on excessive amounts of junk food, or on dangerous toys/items.
  • Children often mimic the spending and saving habits of their parents.  Parents can teach their children such habits by modelling appropriate spending and saving techniques, and by discussing their methods with their child.
  • It is also recommended that parents pay their children on a set day in order to develop a routine. This means trying to avoid giving your child advanced payments or supplementing their usual budget with additional funds.
  • Some parents choose to link daily chores or additional chores with pocket money, while others view family contributions and pocket money as separate issues.  There is no set rule when it comes to handling this, so each family must determine what is best for them.

*Information for this article was gathered from the Raising Children Network  and Kids Money and Kimberley O’Brien

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Children and the Media

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

In today’s society children are becoming more connected to the media than ever before. With so many entertainment mediums available, children are continuously being bombarded with both advertisements and messages, some of which are positive, however many of which are negative. Many of these messages have led children to wrongly believe that being rich, famous and beautiful is most important. Find out more about how the media influences children below.

In order to help combat the negative effects of the media, parents can help their children in a number of ways:

  • Talk to your children about what they see on the computer or television. By encouraging them to think critically and be skeptical about what they see, they may become more inclined to think critically about other aspects of their lives in the future.
  • Resist putting a computer or television in your child’s bedroom. Instead, place such items in more public areas of your home. This way, your child will not watch indiscriminately, and you will know exactly what is being watched.
  • Ask your children to tell you what they like best about the people in their lives. By having your children make a list of these qualities, you can compare them to the most commonly liked qualities of celebrities (e.g. rich, famous), and demonstrate that most people are not liked purely for superficial reasons.
  • Make sure you remain informed about the types of media that your children are viewing. By staying current, you will be able to have intelligent conversations with your children about the messages and content that they are being exposed to.
  • Use one of our resources to create a positive home and environment where conversation and communication is nurtured. The Tell me story cards are the perfect conversation starter.
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