(708) 524-5425

Oak Park, IL

Discipline

Raising Tomorrow’s Leaders to Maintain High Morals & Integrity

October 31, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

building-character

 

It goes without saying that we live in a society that is known for having a blemished moral code. From general everyday crimes to large scale scandals and tales of corruption, ideals of honesty and integrity are usually just that-ideals; and often times fail to be enacted by most of society’s members. Considering this, adults in the role of nurturing and caring for young people should think seriously about how much emphasis they place on maintaining high standards of morality and integrity in the day to day lives of each child.

So much change can occur at the hands of these nurturers, and so much corruption as well.

If you find yourself in one of these roles and haven’t already set high moral standards in your home or school environment, now is the time. Below are a few simple tips on how to go about implanting seeds of fairness and honor in the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

 

Effortless intervention

If you’re a busy parent or overloaded school teacher, the idea of setting aside time for yet another objective may seem like a shot in the dark. But one of the great things about good character is that it isn’t rocket science. For most of us it comes naturally, its ingredients are simple, and it can easily be replicated by young people.

One way to effortless teach children to have good character is to simply exhibit it yourself. Being cautious of your statements and actions and living up to your expectations of others (practice what you preach), can do wonders for the nurturing and development of the children you’re in contact with.

 

General guidelines for successful teaching

When working to better children’s understanding of the importance of honesty and upright character it’s important to be mindful of a few ground rules.

 

  • Be crystal clear about your expectations

This, above all, is one of the most important points to cover. In order for children to work towards an objective they need to know what that objective is. This means being clear about your values with regards to fairness, trustworthiness, respect, empathy and other honorable characteristics.

Likewise, doubt and indecisiveness are detrimental to this campaign. Children can often sense a shaky foundation a mile away. This makes it even more crucial to clarify and reiterate moral goals and objectives over time, as well as to demonstrate and uphold them every time an opportunity arises.

 

praise

 

  • Explain the personal and societal benefits of uprightness and good character

Along with clarifying your expectations it’s also important to explain your reasons for demanding such morality in the first place. Use interactive activities or interesting examples to illustrate to children the outcome of a moral and just society as well as the immediate rewards for good behavior. This may include being well-liked by others, trusted by teachers and friends, as well as being happy and content with one’s self.

 

  • Be consistent with penalties or demerits for immoral behavior

Show children that you are serious about the limits that you put in place by following up misbehavior with age appropriate repercussions. This may include demerits or punishments for large scale offenses such as cheating, stealing, and lying as well as reprimanding them for more subtle acts such as an unwillingness to compromise, share or show empathy towards others.

 

  • Encourage academic success without going overboard

The pressure to succeed and do well academically is often what pushes many children to cheat on exams and engage in other dishonest or immoral behavior in exchange for a higher mark or score. In retrospect, parents as well as teachers should also bear some of the burden of such actions. This is due to the often heavy emphasis they place on academic achievement and secular success.

Teach children that doing well in school is important for a successful career as well as their own enlightenment but that it’s not the ‘end all’ to everything. There are other ways to demonstrate intelligence outside of academic achievement and other options besides college. And primarily that they should try to aim for a well-balanced life-with regards to school, family, work and leisure activities.

These are just a few issues to consider when working to instill high moral standards in children.

In addition to any workbooks or activities that you may find to assist you in this endeavor, remember that one of the easiest and most important first steps is to simply apply these values to your own life first and foremost.

——

This is a guest post by Martha Buckly, she is a blogger and writer since very long time. She loves to travel and to make new experiences. Martha is currently collaborating with few writing services because she wants to share her knowledge about writing with others.

6 Signs You’re Forgetting to Set a Good Example for Your Kids

October 27, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

fear-of-failure

 

Melanie Hargrave, guest contributor

Being a parent gives you an abundance of parenting components to think about and remember, so naturally many good practices may fall through the cracks. But one of the most important responsibilities that cannot be overlooked by a parent is to constantly set a good example. Here are some signs that you may need to change your habits to not only improve your child’s outlook, but also yourself as a person.

 

You’re Eating Badly

Your eating habits will leave an impression on your children, whether or not you eat the same foods together. Eating too late and eating sugary or fatty food will imply that children will be able to indulge in those habits when they are older. Be sure to eat foods that are wholesome for both of you. If you are the one protecting them from your own bad eating habits now, who will protect them in the future?

 

You Don’t Do Housework

Depending on what kind of household you live in, you might have a maid or other help come in to assist you with housework. If your children never see you working, they may get a skewed view of how life is supposed to work as an adult. Make sure you set a chore schedule for the family. Try to make the work fun by operating together as a group.

 

You’re Inactive

It’s not just your body and mental health you’re affecting by neglecting to exercise. Children have plenty of energy to put toward being active, but the less active you are with them the more that energy will dwindle away. Help your children find sports or hobbies to fall in love with now, so that they’ll start good habits and keep them throughout their lives.

 

You Shirk Obligations

We’ve all had that party we were planning on going to, but decided not to at the last minute because we were too tired. If your child witnesses this kind of flakiness, it will permanently skew the way they view commitments to others. The next time you or your child feels the desire to shirk an obligation, verbalize your thought process. “Well, I’m tired, and I’d rather stay at home and play. But I made a promise and I can’t break promises.”

 

Bad-Date

 

You’re in a Bad Relationship

This is a controversial topic, but it depends on what you want for your children. Most feel that the foundation of a family is most important for child development, but to others the relationship between mother and father must be positive for it to do any good. Make sure you are being treated well if you want your children to succeed in their future relationships. If you are stuck in a toxic relationship, consider whether your children’s futures are at stake if you can’t end the relationship for yourself.

 

You Choose Not to Be Happy

Children are happy creatures, but they also learn quickly. Life as an adult is much harder than it is as a child, but you may want to reevaluate the way you approach it. Happiness is so much about attitude that you should ensure you’re looking at life as positively as possible — if not for yourself, for the sake of your child. Have conversations with them, talk about everything that is going well, and teach them to look for the beauty in life. You will prepare them with valuable tools for the rest of their lives, and you will learn a valuable lesson yourself in the meantime.

——

Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others. She is an advocate for women’s rights, and supports Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoefflin and his services for women.

5 Reasons to Put Your Child in Music Lessons

October 10, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

kids play music

 

Leslie Mason, guest contributor

When searching for an extra-curricular activity for your child, it can sometimes be difficult to decide how you want your child spending their time. Music lessons, however, are an activity that will continue to pay off well into your child’s adult years. Here are just some of the benefits your child will gain from learning a musical instrument.

 

1. Music Enhances Fine Motor Skills

When young children learn to play a musical instrument—from the piano to the violin—it increases their fine motor skills. Those skills are important for accomplishing a variety of tasks, from tying their shoes to reading and writing.

As they grow older, those skills will continue developing, particularly if they keep playing the instrument, and those finely-tuned skills will benefit them into their adulthood, especially with activities that require very precise movements of the hand, like drawing.

 

2. Music Creates a Haven for Self-Expression

Healthy children need to be able to express themselves, and music gives them an outlet to do so. As they get better at playing their chosen instrument, they will be able to play the music they want, or create music of their own. That outlet of self-expression becomes even more important as children get older: children who have a place to express themselves have a higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life than children who do not.

 

adhd

 

3. Music Facilitates Academic Growth

Music facilitates academic growth by improving comprehension and grades. Learning to play a musical instrument and read and play sheet music teaches a child the same skills they need to do mathematics like division. By the time they need these mathematics skills in school, they will already be adept at using them, and can learn math easier than most other students.

Moreover, music improves memory. Learning and playing an instrument stimulates brain function, including the areas controlling memory. Therefore, the more children play an instrument, the better their memory and overall cognitive function.

 

4. Music Encourages Hard Work and Perseverance

Learning a musical instrument requires perseverance and patience. Most people don’t sit down at a piano and immediately play Beethoven or the Star Wars Main Theme. You have to start out easy and build up to the proficiency required to play more difficult and complex music. This kind of musical prowess requires long hours of practice and hard work. Discipline and focus are necessary to learn a musical instrument well and play the songs of your choosing. These traits—perseverance, patience, hard work, discipline, focus—are all traits children will acquire as they learn a musical instrument.

 

5. Music Introduces Children to Other Cultures

Music comes from all over the world, from all kinds of cultures. Different instruments have multiple styles of music associated with them, and each style has famed composers. Children learning to play instruments could play a variety of different songs, originating anywhere from Austria to Zimbabwe. Music will familiarize children with many cultures, and that will help them be more open-minded when dealing with people of different beliefs and behaviors.

Music is an important part of the world, and putting children into musical lessons can have a huge impact on the mental, physical, and emotional growth of those children. No matter what instrument your child learns to play, the benefits are immeasurable. You couldn’t ask for a better activity for your child.

——

Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert, always on the lookout for programs to help her children and grandchildren, like nutrition for athletic performance. Leslie also enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house.

Building Discipline Through Music

August 7, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Contributed anonymously

 

With so many varying types of activities, lessons, and sports available, how do you know which one is best for your child? If you are looking for something that enhances learning styles, encourages emotional growth, develops confidence and discipline and most importantly is fun, music lessons may be the answer. Music has the power to positively influence your baby while he or she is still in the womb; just imagine how it can influence your child when you put it in his or her hands.

 

Musical Brain PowerThe true cognitive and emotional benefits from music come from learning a musical instrument in depth and developing musical skill.

Children (any most of us adults) are naturally drawn to music. More than that, it has an incredible effect on your child’s brain. According to the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, learning a musical instrument advances cognitive development in children, especially in the areas of vocabulary, fine motor skills, auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills. Learning music also improves your child’s attention span, listening skills, reasoning, and ability to learn languages. Studies also have shown that children with musical training also tend to have higher academic achievements and go further in post-secondary education.

 

Your Child’s Social-Emotional Development through Music

Music also impacts your child’s social-emotional development. From toddlers to teens, it can be difficult for your son or daughter to express feelings through words. Music acts as a bridge in helping children to feel, recognize, and express emotions, and then put a name to them. Playing an instrument teaches children to regulate their feelings, manage their impulses, and is a great way to relieve stress. Learning how to incorporate emotion into song dynamics helps to instil compassion and empathy. Any tool you can give your child to prepare them for dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of their childhood or teen years is a definite plus. Research shows that university students with musical training have less anxiety, fewer emotional problems and fewer problems with alcohol compared to their non-musical peers.

 

Building Confidence One Note at a Time

Excelling academically and emotionally will positively affect your child’s self-esteem. Add that to the confidence your child will gain from becoming skilled at an instrument, and you have a foundation for happiness and success. There is a strong connection between involvement in music and positive self-perception, feelings of success, and leadership skills. Music improves a child’s self-image and helps to encourage positive attitudes. Playing music in band or orchestra also helps children learn how to be good team players and work well with others.

 

Strings, Keys, and Mouthpieces: Which Instrument to Pick?

After seeing some of the incredible benefits of music lessons, you might be wondering which instrument is best for your child. While piano is the most challenging instrument to learn after violin, it greatly helps kids learn how to sight-read music and grasp the fundamentals of music theory. Knowing how to play piano also can make it easier to learn a secondary instrument. For outgoing children, louder instruments such as drums or trumpet can work best, while shyer children might want to stick to a stringed instrument, or woodwind.  Other things to consider include noise level, space, and your budget. Click here to find affordable musical instruments like electronic drum sets, keyboards, recorders and more, allowing you to gauge your child’s interest level before investing in a pricier piece. Remember that there is no ‘easy instrument,’ as everything takes time and practice to learn.

Music is everywhere. Simply listening to music has a powerful effect on your mind and body, and think of how empowering it can be if you are the one creating it. There are many ways to introduce your child to music; through classes like Kindermusik, small groups, individual lessons, or playing around with instruments at home. The true cognitive and emotional benefits from music come from learning a musical instrument in depth and developing musical skill, so practice, practice, practice! Even if your kid doesn’t become the next Mozart, learning music can’t hurt. Start exploring with instruments now and see where music can take you and your child.

 

Seven Ways How to Teach Our Children to Be Tolerant

August 5, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Jessica Conars, guest contributor

All people dream of living in a free country where there is freedom of speech, equal rights for everyone and having the right to choose our own religion. That is the reason why it is important to teach our children be tolerant towards other people while they are little. Teaching our children tolerance contributes to making our society better and more responsible to the common moral values.

 

1. Teach your children how to get along with other people1

The first and most important way of teaching your children how to be more tolerant is teaching them how to get along with other people, even if they are different. Your kids should realize that every day of their lives they will be constantly surrounded by people they may not like but who they must be patient and understanding with. If you feel that your child does not like someone just because of the way they look or their skin colour, you should explain that there are some things we can’t really choose in our lives. Another important thing is to show your own tolerance towards the others, because children always copy the behaviour of their parents, especially when they are little.

 

 

2. Teach your children that they should treat the others the way they want to be treated

“You must treat the other people the way you want to be treated by them” – this universal concept is one if the most important ones that you must teach your children, because our whole society is based on it as well as on people’s ability to respect each other. No one likes to be treated unfairly, indifferently or aggressively and that is the reason why our children must be taught not to hurt other people in any way.

 

3. Teach your children how to celebrate the differences people have

Usually, children do what their parents say. So, make sure your child really respects the differences between people. Find the best way to show them that people who live in different parts of the world are different by skin colour, traditions, foods, clothes and habits but this doesn’t mean that they are not similar at the same time. If your children realize how important differences are, they will learn how to be tolerant.

 

4. How to treat negative emotions2

If you find out that your child is not tolerant towards people who are different, you must act carefully. First try to learn what the source of their negative emotions are and then start neutralizing their prejudice.

 

5. Teach them not to judge people

One of the key concepts that you must teach your child to is not to think that all people are the same and not to judge them by their own criteria. Your children must know that if someone has been mean to them, that doesn’t mean that all people are mean.

 

6. Teach your children compassion

It is clear that children can’t really understand some emotions if they haven’t felt them yet. That is the reason why parents should explain what compassion is. Try to make your child look at the world that surrounds us from a different point of view. This will help them understand why people are different.

 

7. Make a variety of acquaintances for your children

If your son or daughter is little, then now is the right time to teach them tolerance. Help them make friends with a person they don’t know, no matter what this person’s gender, ethnicity or religion is. Make them play with other children. This way your child will start communicating easily and will become more tolerant.

——

Author Bio: Jessica Conars’ big love is her family. She works for Maida Vale tenancy cleaning and she finds free time to write articles.