When should your child start playing a musical instrument? It depends. As parents of 10 kids playing musical instruments, we share tips about when and how to introduce your kids to music and a possible musical instrument.
We are so excited to have Shelly back from Australia. She spent the last 12 months living down under. Here how her experience changed her family and tips for every family–even those not as fortunate to have twelve months to live in Australia.
When traveling in your state, the nation, or the world, you can make history come alive for your kids so that when they study history in school. Learn the tips to help your kids connect with the places you are seeing and the history. It doesn’t matter where you are at, you can create connections that help your child understand the world.
TIP: Prep for the trip by having family night discussions that explain where you are going and the history of the place.
From Nancy’s Recent Trip, here are the historical places she and her kids visited and learned from:
- Churchill War Rooms gave us an incredible opportunity to see where Winston Churchill ran the British experience in WWII. The incredible Winston Churchill and his example was a great example for my kids.
- Greenwich is a great opportunity for sightseers interested in science since this is the location where modern clocks and other tools of travel were created. Heard of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)? This is the place that the whole world’s time is set.
- Tower of London is a great place to learn about the history of kings and queens of England and how quick the tide can turn on the leaders.
- British Museum includes pieces of history from many times and countries. In one museum, you can see Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and British history. From Mummys to Greek Gods, this place gives you a chance to discuss human history.
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theater provides an opportunity to understand the greatest writer in history. See a play while there. But remember to prep your kids either with a synopsis or by watching the play on a video before you go. If they understand the play before they get there, things will go better.
- The Medieval Banquet was a great way to experience and understand the medieval era in an enjoyable way. My kids LOVED this dinner and show It was one of the highlights of the trip for them.
- Stonehenge takes you back in time over 5000 years. Tours from Antiquity provided the most amazing tour with an archeologist who shared his findings in the area as well as those of others and the theories they currently hold about the culture that created Stonehenge as well as other henges and burial mounds in the area.
- In Copenhagen, taking the Bus Tour and River Cruise helped us get a feel for the city and the history. We also visited the Round Tower and the Changing of the Guard.
Even though Nancy’s trip was to one of the most important historical cities, you can create the same experience in local trips.
We talk with Lilly Yeh who started Little Loving Hands in hopes to provide an option for parents to start shifting a focus on teaching kids about empathy and giving back. Every month, they spotlight a different charity and send out all the materials needed for a child to learn about who they are helping and create a beautiful gift that is sent back to the charity using a pre-paid envelope. To date, kids all over the country have directly helped support sick children, the homeless, and the elderly.
Your child is born with inherent attitudes and traits (their CoreSelf). Nancy Rose, author of Raise the Child You Got Not the One You Want explains how understanding a child’s core traits can help us see our children for who they are and not what we want them to be. From this position of strength and leadership, we can help direct them to be productive and well-balanced adults.
We discuss how to mitigate conflicts when a parent and child have opposite CoreSelf traits and how to guide behavior when a CoreSelf trait may cause issues. Finally, we discuss how we can change our language and attitudes about our children’s CoreSelf traits so that we don’t describe their core traits as negative (inflexible vs. consistent; lazy vs. energy conservationist).
Co-host Nancy and her family used the CoreSelf checklist to understand each family member’s CoreSelf traits and this has helped family interactions and has led to better ways to deal with challenging behaviors (in both parents and children).
Check our our previous podcast on Understanding Your Child’s CoreSelf. Download the CoreSelf list for yourself at Nancy Rose’s website (you sign up for her email and the link is sent to you–just know you don’t get spammed or get too much email–I haven’t gotten any additional ones).
If you have older children, it is a great experience to have a family meeting and have each member mark their CoreSelf traits on their own paper and then discuss them together and how these traits help the family or can be improved.
Check out Nancy’s videos on her blog. These explain the 9 traits of the CoreSelf.
She was told her son had autism but today, he is in the top 4% of students across the country. Pilar’s son is brilliant, but he is introverted so he never spoke up in class and had a hard time socializing with kids. In our extrovert-oriented society, her son’s skills were not immediately valued. Now that he has won national prizes for a documentary and an app that he created, people are beginning to see her son’s talents shine (even if he is still the quietest kid in the class. Learn how to parent an introverted child and how to help them find their mojo.
Pilar recommends reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
And Check out the TED Talk on Introverts
As never before, our society focuses on a person’s looks and sexuality. From seemingly innocent ways to devastatingly manipulative ways, children are exposed to sexuality at younger and younger ages and in much more in-your-face ways. How do we equip our children to deal with everything coming at them? Dina Alexander, President of Educate and Empower Kids, explains what we need to do as parents and where we can get the resources we need to raise future adults who have a healthy understanding of sexuality and the amazing blessing it can be when approached appropriately.
We ask our kids “How was school today?” and hear “Fine.” End of discussion. Why do we ask it then every day hoping for more? Because we want to connect with our kids. Our intention is right, but the question is wrong. We discuss ways to ask your kids about their day at school without asking the wrong question that gets no response. The idea came from a post by Liz at Simple Simon and Company. Check out their two lists of questions to ask your children instead of “How Was School Today?”
We expect our children to practice their handwriting, their piano, and their jump shot to get good at them but we don’t often think that they have to learn and practice social skills to be successful at school. One blogger starts the conversation on what social skills we need to teach our kids and we continue the conversation.
Here is her list to get the conversation started:
- Make eye contact, smile and say hi.
- Learn to converse: don’t monopolize, ask questions, pay attention, listen (be a reporter).
- Learn people’s names.
- Include everyone.
- Be kind.
What do you think and what ways have you found to teach these skills to your children?
Mike McQueen, author of Getting Boys to Read, discusses his new book and tips on how to get your boys interested in reading. Do you know a boy who struggles with reading? Mike has great tips that come from his own personal experience as a struggling reader turned teacher-librarian. He knows what boys struggle with and how parents and teachers can help. This book is filled with practical tips as well as interviews with authors. With 114 tips, there is sure to be something that will help inspire you and get the boy in your life reading.
The book is divided into 7 main ideas:
- Create the right environment.
- Strengthen your relationship.
- Connect reading with his interests and needs.
- Lure him with the best materials.
- Make reading interactive.
- Make reading fun.
- Try different techniques.
Some of my favorite tips included in the book include:
- read aloud daily
- recruit male role models
- set up a book club for boys (we podcasted about this 4 years ago–listen here)
- never criticize what he reads
- use Amazon’s related titles
- take him to the library
- allow him to read comic books
- introduce him to non-fiction
We discuss these and SO many more ideas. For even more great ideas, check out the Getting Boys to Read website.
Stop Summer Brain Drain with some simple math programs and websites you can use to keep your kids doing math all summer.
Nancy’s favorite is Khan Academy.
Check out math and other school programs at Costco as well.
When your child has to have surgery, how can you prepare them so it is less stressful for them and YOU! We talk about what to do before the day of surgery and what not to do as well as how to make the transition easier.
Additional Information: Here is an article Shelly found about how one doctor helps children deal with pain during surgery. It shows what doctors can do when they approach children with pain management techniques. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/09/doctor-says-it-wont-hurt
Makes me sad for the experiences that many of us had with doctors when we were children. Our kids can have a much better experience than we did.
Think it is too late to learn an instrument? Lindsay is living proof that it isn’t. She takes lessons from Tricia. Nancy and Shelly learned to play guitar as adults (Shelly much better than Nancy). We discuss what it takes to learn an instrument as an adult and what it can give to your soul to take on the challenge.
Karen Reno shares her tips and ideas for how to get products and services for your child’s school. If they need technology or even landscaping, there is probably a grant or a program to help. Big businesses like Target and Lowes are ready to help and so are smaller companies in your community. Learn how Karen was able to get donations for many things from shade trees to electronic classroom survey systems donated for very little effort.
High school guidance counselor *** explains what our kids really need to be doing to make it to college including what extra-curricular activities pay off and what your child might be doing already that looks good on a college application. She also explains why more activities don’t always lead to a better application and why some kids need to relax a bit.
Your kids learn a lot in school, but some very important lessons are not taught in school. Listen as we discuss several lessons that are not taught and how you as a mom can teach them to your children.
For more ideas about what should be taught in school, check out this article on 27 Things They Don’t Teach in School
Kathy Irving shares the end of her 2 year journey of signing with her hearing daughter. Because she works with hearing impaired children, Kathy is uniquely qualified to explain what happened during this time. Their journey of signing is coming to an end with her daughter’s use of verbal language. Kathy shares how the experience helped her daughter gain a master vocabulary more than 20 times larger than what normal 2 year-olds can speak.
Katie McClain shares with us how to tame our thought monster and how to help our kids tame theirs to help them have a stronger sense of self and a more positive outlook. Learn how to conquer those negative thoughts you might be having and ban them from your mind. Your thoughts are not YOU and you can change your thoughts to change your life.
Check Out Nancy’s Thought Monster!
What is a 504 and do you need one for your child to make sure that she is getting a fair shot at learning in schools.