Place frozen bananas into food processors and blend on high until bananas have broken up. Slowly add almond milk and blend until ice-cream texture starts to form. Add cardamom powder and blend for 5 seconds. Empty into bowl of choice and top with pecan nuts and/or maple syrup.
Recently I am hearing about extremely sad acts of bullying at schools which makes me sick to my stomach. I ask myself, ” Are we as parents doing enough to reduce the risk of our child becoming a bully”. Through this process I decided on one value to focus on without overwhelming our little girl’s development. After researching I chose the value of EMPATHY!
Luckily for us, we see characteristics of empathy from Mckenzie. Her sense of self-preservation was short-lived. I don’t believe that empathy is a characteristic that you are born with.I believe it’s encouraged to practice at an early age (opinion here…would love to hear your thoughts on nature vs. nurture)
These are the 3 strategies we have adopted in our household. We encourage these strategies to ensure it’s a part of Mckenzie’s daily routine.
Demonstrate empathetic behaviour
Mckenzie models our behavior even when we don’t think she is paying attention. She is constantly absorbing the world around her. I believe it our responsibility to show them how to act kind to others in our daily interactions.
A typical daily example of this is “If I have a stressful day at work, my husband asks if I need to talk about it while I drink a cup of tea he has made for me because he know it’s one of the things that helps sooth me after a long day at the office.”
Help your children through experiences of conflict, its part of life and to skill them with conflict handling tools at an early age is setting the foundation for surviving adulthood. Teach them to talk about differences and help them to see the situation from another person’s perspective. This will allow them to learn to compromise when possible. This shows that its ok to have differing views and we need to respect people for it. The vision is to equip them with the understanding that conflicting views is resolved without demeaning or belittling the other person.
Reward empathetic behaviour
Rewarding the desired behaviour is a great teaching tool. An explanation accompanying the reward will increase the likelihood of future empathetic acts as they know that we acknowledged the act of kindness and shows them that they responded in a manner that was helpful and sensitive to another person’s feelings. Keep praise concise by describing what you saw, name the emotions and praise the act of help. Example, Sarah looked sad when her lunch fell. I saw you smile at her and offer her a slice of your sandwich. It looked like you made her feel happy.
The likelihood of an empathetic child bullying other children is very low. They will also be more likely to stand up for another child who is teased, or even physically assaulted. Take every opportunity you can to show your child that they have the power to make someone’s day better by showing compassion and acts of kindness.
Teach them to help/volunteer
Allow your child circumstances that encourage empathy. Find ways to volunteer to do community service and donate clothes, books and toys. The more removed a child is from children’s socioeconomic status, the easier it is for them to look the other way. Helping those who live without homes, food, clothes and toys/books shows them that not everyone lives like them and they are not fortunate to have the basics. They learn the feeling of empathy and act of compassion to improve someone’s quality of life.
A while back I came across an article that spoke about “helicopter parenting”…parents that hover over their kids.This got my attention and I asked myself am I a helicopter parent?Do I want to be a helicopter parents? Based on the article, there were distinct signs that the answer was yes to the former question…so how do I answer the latter question?
I started researching more on the subject matter and this post will share some of my research.
How do I raise resilient kid/kids? A kid that can cope with challenges!
1.Teach your kid to talk about feelings
Make talking about feelings a daily topic of conversation.Ask your kid how they feel about different experiences in their life. For example:
When you meet people for the first time?
When you lose a game?
When a toy breaks?
When you are asked to do something you don’t want to do but need to do?
Adopt teachable moments to explore and discuss feelings. If you are reading a book or watching a movie with your child, ask them to think about how the characters feel.This will start helping them understand that feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger and frustration are completely normal;it teaches them that happiness is not possible every moment of every day.
2. Teach your kid healthy ways to cope with big emotions
Adopting these skills, empowers your kid to have some control over their emotions and that they can handle those emotions in a safe and healthy way.
Imagine a favorite place
Get a drink of water
Distraction by playing a game
Colour or draw
Build something with lego
Play soothing music
Take a break in a calming environment
3.Teach your kid to take deep breaths
A simple way you can teach them to take 5 deep breaths just using their hand. Position yourself so that you are at the same level with your child. Have them put up one hand, palm facing you and fingers spread. With your finger, start at the base of their thumb and breathe in while you move your hand up one side of their thumb. Move your finger down the other side of their thumb and breathe out. Do the same thing with the remaining four fingers, while both of you take deep breaths in and out. After you’ve reached the pinky finger, you’ll have done 5 complete deep breaths.(sourced and quoted from Janine Halloran)
This exercise aids in connecting with your child on their level.End the exercise with a hug or high five.
4. Create an environment for non scheduled activities.Play!
Allow some time outside of the routine of scheduled activities.Let your child simply play with open ended toys.Toys that are blocks, dolls, cars and icecream sticks.
Its a great stress reliever apart from it being activities nurturing a creative side.
Given your support and love, your child will learn how to enjoy the good times but weather the storm.