How to Balance Your Decision to Raise Thinking Kids With Schools Requesting Over-Involved Parents

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When my child was in the 2nd grade, and her teacher asked me why I didn’t sign her “homework” notebook, I told her it was because I was raising a “thinking” child.

It’s the same reason I didn’t:

  • Go through my kids backpacks every day
  • Pick out my child’s clothes
  • Decide if they would bring lunch or buy lunch
  • Make their lunch if they decided to bring it
  • Sit in the classroom and “observe”
  • Make a special trip to school to drop off a forgotten instrument, pair of cleats or science project
  • Talk to the teacher about my child’s “performance” without my child present
  • And 100 other decisions I made about my role in my child’s educational experience

I believed my primary job was to prepare my kids to leave home at 18 with the confidence necessary to make hundreds of decisions each day, the ability to overcome whatever challenge or obstacle they encounter and to do so with a sense of courage, curiosity and enthusiasm. That is how I defined my job as a mother. I made that decision when my first child came home from Kindergarten with a list of “expectations” the teacher had of me.

Truth be told, when I sat down with my children’s teachers and explained my philosophy, they were, for the most part, supportive. So I have nothing to complain about.

But recently, some of my closest and smartest friends have been struggling with balancing their decision to raise thinking kids and with the school expectations that parents play an “active” role in their child’s educational experience.

Here are a few tips on how to balance your decision to raise thinking kids (who are often, late, messy and leave their stuff behind in the car) with the schools request for over-involved parents.

Talk to the teacher. Yes, I know it can be scary, but most teachers I know really do love kids, want to work with parents AND are often times so overwhelmed with “stuff” they have to do, that their warm and caring side gets covered up. I encourage every parent to talk with their child’s teacher at the beginning of the year if possible, when they are fresh and rested and exited and they are open to creating an exceptional educational experience for your child. And if it’s March when you’re ready to have that conversation with the teacher, do it anyway.

Have your child present at the meeting so you set the tone for the year and the teacher knows that your child is part of this important conversation and that they will take responsibility for the decisions they make. This helps establish a logical balance of power between all the parties. If the teacher deals with homework that isn’t turned in by having kids stay after for an hour, you can smile and support the teacher from the get go. Imagine how far this goes in establishing a respectful and open relationship. One, by the way, your child … READ MORE ...


Kids, Media And The 5 Most Recommended Cartoons

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Media can do two items to your child, great or bad. If managed effectively, media can educate our kids in their most vulnerable age as they are growing. All the things they understand in their younger years can and may perhaps stay till they grow old. Often, these factors dictate their behaviors and how they handle their parents.

What do you think is the reason why there are children who are so violent when they undergo tantrums? They tend to hurt everyone they see, especially their weaker peers. It’s in media. What they see on TV, for instance violence can make them think that it’s a good thing. And without anybody teaching them about it, it will affect their lives. Sometimes it will show on their later years.

So where do parents start their job to preempt these impending danger? It all begins in controlling media in the household. May it be TV, radio, comic books and even computers; we have to get hold of them. It’s only the first step. Next, parents should also choose the right shows for their kids. We parents should become some kind of a filtering machine and regulate the stuff our children lay their eyes into.

Now, for the second part of this article, here are the five most recommended cartoon shows that can and may help our children’s growing years. Instead of allowing them to watch nonsense, we should get hold of that remote and give them what they should have.

First in the list is Little Einstein’s by Disney. Aside from the classical music that accompanies the entire show, it boosts our kids’ imagination. The characters are on the space ship travelling around the world while the soothing music plays. And with this, they solve common dilemmas, saving animals and exploring a lot of places. It’s fun from beginning to end.

Second could be the ever popular Dora the Explorer. This really is entertaining for kids about two years old. Join Dora when she travels with her back backpack, stopping Swiper from swiping and solving mysteries. Assistance Dora go to her location although possessing entertaining in the method.

Third would be Higglytown Heroes. This is one is very good in teaching kids about community. There are four main characters in this show together with their pet squirrel. In each episode they encounter a certain problem. In the process, they go to a specific person in the community; they tell what their job is and then solve the problem. It’s cool in teaching kids the kind of persons they will meet in the real life.

Fourth in the list is Wonder Pets. If we are talking about teamwork, this is the perfect cartoon to watch. Join the main characters (obviously they are animals) as they join forces to save the day. It’s fun and pretty colorful, thus an attractive tool to teach our kids about the values of teamwork.

And last is a personal favorite, Blue’s Clues. Blue is a dog … READ MORE ...