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This is How Bullying Could Affect Your Child’s Self-esteem

I was hurt, I was in pain, I was shattered.

What I had endured from the age of 10 to 14 years old had left deep emotional wounds that would not heal. It was easier to numb the pain by suppressing it and seeking other unhealthy ways of coping. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing. It controls our thoughts, feelings, and resulting behaviors. As much as I try to hide, ignore, or deny the pain of bullying, it is always there stored away in the subconscious part of my mind.

When it started I didn’t realize it really started.

bullying affect self-esteem

As a young child, I remember desperately wanting to be liked and accepted by my peers. At 10, I was at an impressionable age trying to discover who I was and where I fit in. The bullying I experienced was what many refer to as friendship bullying. Every friend I thought I had, at some point turned on me in a very vicious way through verbal, physical, and social bullying. They were the popular girls, and had a lot of social influence and power. As a result, when the bullying started, I had no one. When they turned on me, the entire school either participated in the bullying or stood by and did nothing.

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During the 80’s bullying was not taken seriously and was not even recognized as an issue that needed attention. It was considered a rite of passage and so, I had no support from the school or the teachers. I was alone. It was the single most painful experience of my life. The shame left me feeling unworthy of love and acceptance

My Self-esteem. My Thoughts. My Feelings. My Actions.

When we are bullied and continually beaten down with fists, words or through social humiliation, there is a cause and effect reaction that occurs. Our experience will begin to change the thoughts we consciously have about ourselves. Those thoughts then create feelings that are stored within our subconscious and ultimately determine our actions and behaviors. I’ll use my own experience to illustrate how Self-Esteem (thoughts about ourselves) trigger our feelings or emotions, that then result in our actions or behaviours.

The physical, verbal, and social bullying that I was subjected to for a period of over three years led to the following thoughts, feelings and actions.

My Thoughts

“No one likes me or cares about me.”

“Nothing good will ever happen to me.” 

“There’s something wrong with me.” 

“I’m not good enough.”

“I wish I was someone else.”

My Feelings 

Loneliness, hopelessness, anger, fear, self-consciousness, insecurity, and paranoia.

My Actions / Behaviors

I would criticise and gossip negatively about others to feel better about myself. I became outwardly aggressive towards others to feel powerful. I sought any form of attention that made me feel loved and accepted. I avoided social situations or new experiences so I wouldn’t feel inadequate or scared. I married and stayed with an alcoholic because I believed I didn’t deserve any better. I became a perfectionist at work because it gave me a false sense of worth and value. I always anticipated and thought the worst of every situation to protect myself from feeling disappointed or hurt. 

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The list goes on. Of course not everyone who is bullied will experience low self-esteem or have the same thoughts, feelings and behaviors. There are other factors that contribute to the severity of damage on ones sense of worth from bullying.  For example, support from schools and teachers, a child’s home environment, their resilience, and the duration of the abuse has a direct link to the severity of the effect.

In my case, I did not have the support of anyone and the duration was over a period of three years. My behaviours were clearly destructive and part of a cycle that created more feelings of guilt, resentment, fear, and sadness. In the process, I deprived myself of joy and happiness. I became someone I didn’t want to be, someone controlled by their emotions.

The longer we suffer from low self-esteem, the more habitual our thought patterns become and the more difficult it is to alter or change our behaviors. The good news is, we consciously choose our thoughts about ourselves. This is our “Self-Talk”.  We can choose to belittle and degrade ourselves, or we can be loving and accepting of who we are.

What can you do to help?

Do you know a child or an adult suffering from bullying? It is critical to understand a few factors if you want to help them.

1. Often it is the devastating shame they feel that keeps targets of bullying from talking about the emotional trauma.

2. Healing can only begin when we talk about the shame. To prevent possible long term mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, one must often relive the painful trauma and talk openly about how they are feeling. This should be done in a safe, trusting environment with a professional who understands the issue of bullying.

3. As parents and care givers we must have a heightened awareness of the bullying epidemic. Know the signs and if you suspect someone you care for is being bullied seek help.

4. We must never underestimate or minimize the profound effect bullying can have on one’s self-esteem and how that lack of self-esteem can drive unhealthy behaviours.

5. If you or someone you know is suffering from the residual effects of bullying please reach out for help.

Read 10 things every parent needs to know to protect their children from bullying to know more about how you can prevent, support and protect a child.

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

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About Angela Fryklund

Angela Fryklund is the founder of Beyond Bullying Recovery Services, Ontario, Canada. She works with people who want to recover from the emotional effects of bullying and to restore their self-worth. She is also a speaker and speaks to youth on the potential long-term mental health issues related to bullying by sharing her own personal story. Angela is a certified professional coach with the Certified Coaches Federation of Canada and also with the John Maxwell Team.

Digital Footprint: A Letter to My Children

To my wonderful Tweens,

When I was young, I have made several mistakes. But, I am lucky. None of those are googleable. My mistakes are safe with me. But, are you lucky like me? Unfortunately, the answer is NO.  If you make any mistakes in your adolescent years or later, the chances are that it could leave a mark here on the internet. As you are creating your digital footprint online, I would like you to be aware of these 10 tips for your safe riding online and offline.

1. To be online is like driving. 

Digital footprint for children

Half of the children of your age use social media. The internet makes your life easy in several ways… just like driving. But, just like driving, you need to be educated on how to do it and you need to be careful. At the same time, you also need to be beware of the dangers caused by other people’s carelessness and arrogance.

So when you drive online, drive safely and defensively.

2. Colleges and employers will check your online profiles and behavior.

digital footprint for children

A few years back, the respected educator Chris Betcher said,I can see a day in the not too distant future where your ‘digital footprint’ will carry far more weight than anything you might include in a resume or CV”. That day has come.

Soon you will start building your portfolios for higher studies. Keep in mind that your online behavior is also part of that portfolio. Build your online presence with the same sincerety with which you build your portfolio.

Your digital footprint is as important as your achievements.

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3. When you are in front of that screen, you may feel powerful. 

digital footprint for children

In reality, you are much more powerless than the powerful feeling you get. The freedom that the internet gives you to do anything online looks very powerful. The fact that you are away from other people does not give you the super power to share anything you want to say about others. It keeps records.

If you do anything illegal online, law enforcement agencies could come and get you. And yes, there is proof for everything you do. The search engines and other online platforms do provide it to the police and other law enforcement agencies.

The internet keeps records.

4. It is not just you, I should also be careful.

digital footprint for children

Be careful about what you post online. Your digital footprint will play a significant role in the opportunities you will get in the future. But, it is not just about you being careful. It is more applicable to be me as well. As a parent, I should be conscious of what information about you that I let the world see.

Parents are also responsible to keep a clean digital footprint of their children.

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5. There is no actual DELETE button online.

digital footprint for children

Pressing the DELETE button is not an actual ERASE online. Even if you go great lengths to hide or delete your online activities, there are ways to find it out.

There are many online social media platforms that claim your posts disappear forever. If they were so reliable, how can we find some pictures and posts by your favorite celebrities on those platforms even after it expires?

It is not just the internet that keeps track of your activities, it is also your online friends.

Remember, there are no secrets online. So, take control of  your digital footprint.

6. Internet is not the place where you throw your frustrations towards a person.

digital footprint for children

No matter how mean a person is, please do not show your frustration towards them online. Being mean or spreading rumors about a person online is cyber bullying.

The simple rule of thumb is, if it is not right to say or do something in the real world, do not say or do that online too.

7. Internet is for everyone.

digital footprint for children

That means, you will find all sorts of people out there. Some of them do things that you wouldn’t even be able to imagine. There are people who steal identities, steal valuables, bully others or harm others under the disguise of online friendships. There are people who could manipulate you to do things you wouldn’t be proud of. They could be sitting anywhere in the world, but could cause great damages to you and to your loved ones.

Do not trust any strangers you come across online, however beautiful, handsome or wise they may appear.

8. The internet is forever.

digital footprint for children

When you press that SEND button or PUBLISH button, it is ‘forever’. I am sure you know about that. It is you who should decide what legacy you want to leave behind.

Build a positive self image online. Who are you as a person? What are your qualities that make you yourself? Your online image should give the same or a better impression about yourself.

Haven’t I told you not to share your personal information with people you see on the streets? Please keep that in mind when you are on the streets of the internet too. Keep your private information private.

The internet is here to stay and hence your digital footprint too.

9. You get what you search. 

digital footprint for children

Do you always search about a particular topic? Do you always watch a particular genre on youtube? What sort of games you play or download? Social media and phishing sites are keeping track of all these online habits of yours. This also becomes part of your digital footprint.

If you observe you will realise that social media offers you contents based on your online habits. So, even if you want to curb some of those habits, you will continuously get tempted by those offers.

Curb your tendencies and temptations online to have a healthy digital footprint.

10. I am writing this now because this is the right time

Digital footprint for children

After a couple of years, it is possible that you might not feel like listening to me. You may feel that your friends make more sense than me. I won’t blame you for that because that is part of nature and growing up. So, before you reach that stage, it is my responsibility to make you independent to watch out for yourself. When I grew up, I didn’t have to face all this. I know I am also learning these things with you. But, we will do it together.

No matter what, I will be there for you.

If someone is troubling you online, please do not hide it from me. My approach might be different from yours when it comes to handling situations. But, we will discuss it and reach an approach you are comfortable with.

Even if you think you have made a mistake, come back and tell me. I might scold you, I might shout at you, I might cry for you. But, I will be there for you to support you, to love you and protect you.

You will understand the full meaning of many of the things I wrote here only when you get a little bit older. But, you will be able to figure that out by yourself if you start now with the basics of creating a clean digital footprint.

With all my love,

Mom.

Please visit Social Media & Online Etiquette Workshop for our workshop on safe digital footprint for children.

Share this article with your children, friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

Junior Public Speaking & Confidence Building Workshop

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

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You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.

7 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate your Child to Study

Do you think your child is able to achieve more than what they are currently getting? Many parents feel their children’s priorities are mixed up. They fear that because of this, their child’s potential to become a stellar student diminishes. This results in continuous arguments, punishments, disappointments and frustration in the home atmosphere. Have you found it hard to motivate your child to study?

You may find usual motivational phrases like “I know you have much more potential than this”, or “You can do it…” are not working anymore. What can you do in this situation? What if you give your child transformational experience using of some simple, but planned strategies?

1. It is easier to motivate your child to study if they know how learning works

motivate your child to study

Our brain continues to change over the course of our lives. For every new information, our nerve cells (neurons) in the brain form new connections with other cells or strengthen the existing connection. The more we learn, the neurons make more connections and that results in us becoming more intelligent. According to researchers, your task to motivate your child to study gets better response once your child gets to know this.

Your child needs to understand that their intelligence is not fixed at birth. Brain is similar to muscles in our body. The more we work it out, the stronger it gets. That means your child has the potential to go up from where they are. When they understand it, they are more likely to understand the importance of efforts and determination. They are more likely to take responsibility for their academic progress. With this growth mindset, they gain greater confidence in themselves. Based on the research by Stanford University psychology professor and writer Carol Dweck, even low achieving students started scoring better in exams after they got to know how learning works.

2. Homework ≠ Learning

 motivate your child to study

When you ask, “Did you finish studying?” does your child say, “Yes. I finished my homework”? Studying and doing homework are entirely separate tasks. Homework is a task designed to enforce the concepts introduced at school. Learning is following certain strategies to ensure that the child internalizes the information and will be able to remember and make use of it.

There are several studies with contradicting conclusions on the effectiveness of homework. Irrespective of that, your child anyway has to do their homework, if they get it.  In order for your child to internalize what they learned, follow a planned approach to learning.

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3. Encourage your child to RECALL the learning

motivate your child to study

When we read something, we feel we have understood and remember everything. How often has it happened that you checked the time many times and still you do not know what time it is? Similarly, when a person reads something, although they may feel they picked up everything, there will l still be some information that just does not stick. Ebbinghaus forgetting curve hypothesis establishes that we forget half of what we learn within 3 weeks and this memory deterioration continues over the period of time unless we take effective measures to keep the memory alive.

Let your child take intervals in between their reading and recollect what they learned.

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According to the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, the retrieving process during the recalling, helps to build stronger connections in the brain. These connections will lock information into memory.

4. CONNECT the learning to something your child already knows

motivate your child to study

Learning is all about making connections. Teach them to relate the new things they learned to something they already know. For example, if they are learning how to write a story, let them analyse the structure of their favorite story. If you say photosynthesis is like baking when they are learning about photosynthesis, they will try to associate every step of photosynthesis with steps of baking. Connecting new information with something they already know will help them in sticking the information and retrieving it later. When your child gets this technique, it will be easier for them to give a personal angle to every new information they learn.

5. Start the habit of WRITING the achievements of the day

motivate your child to study

As part a study by Harvard Business School, the researchers observed that individuals who were given time to reflect on a task improved their performance more than those who were given the same amount of time to practice with the same task.

Here is another study that highlights the benefits of writing life experiences in the physical, psychological and academic life of a child.

Your child will make efforts to make big improvements when they start noticing the small improvements they make on a daily basis.

6. Low achievers need to know they are NOT stupid

motivate your child to study

Your child needs to understand that it is okay to have setbacks. Setbacks are not failures. They need to identify themselves as learners, not score-seekers. A low score just means they need to work harder on the subject. You can help your child to figure out the tricks that will work better for them.

7. Discuss, set and enforce rules

motivate your child to study

As a parent, your interest is to see your child performing better. It is important for the parent to understand that both you and your child are in this together. The lesser the power struggle here, the more will be the likelihood of a better outcome.

Discuss and establish the basic rules of their learning process with your child. This will involve the duration of study, sticking to study timings, how you will assess the progress of their study, what is the new course of action, what will be the action if things do not go as planned and so on. Once your child gets involved in this, they are more likely to take the ownership to make it work.

When you motivate your child to study, please keep in mind that you should be giving your child more than motivational words. Give your child the “How to…” strategies when it comes to studying. They will be more open to incorporate that in their learning.

Are you interested in learning how you could help your child to learn the art of thinking? You might be interested in this.

Please visit ACE Minds^ Workshop for our workshop on study skills.

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

Junior Public Speaking & Confidence Building Workshop

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

public speaking for children Singapore

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.

5 Effective Ways To Build Your Child’s Vocabulary

A strong vocabulary paves the way for a child’s ability to learn, their ability to understand the world and their ability to communicate effectively with other people. The more words they know, the more they are able to make sense of what they learn. Now, what can you do to build your child’s vocabulary? Research shows that a child needs to see the usage of a word 5-7 times, before it is stored in their long-term memory. Here are some specific tips to make the vocabulary acquisition more fun.

1. Word games

5 Effective Ways To Build Your Child's Vocabulary

Children learn vocabulary the best with repeated exposure and opportunity to practice that in a non-threatening atmosphere. Games are best to enforce the words after you introduce it to them. You can do inexpensive ways to play games like synonym cross word puzzles, Word search, Scrabble. There are many online sites where you can play interesting and engaging vocabulary games with your child. If you need more, you can find some cool vocabulary games here.

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2. Peer reading

5 effective ways to build your child's vocabulary

Introduce your child to the vocabulary used by their peers. Reading literature by children is the best way to do that. This will give them the motivation and confidence to learn and use new words. Reading the works by peers will also inspire them to focus more on writing. You will be able to find a lot of such literature at Kidz Parade literature by children and The Kidz Parade.

3. Keep an idea book or a journal

5 effective ways to build your child's vocabulary

Does the word ‘journal’ put off your child? Introduce the concept of an ‘idea book’ to them instead. Let them write all their aspirations, imaginations and observations in that book.

Encourage them to write lists if they do not want to write long paragraphs, ask them to write only a couple of sentences every day when they start with, ask them to write about something close to their heart. You will see your child building vocabulary and writing skills gradually.

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Research shows that writing journals has both physical and psychological benefits while improving their writing skills and vocabulary.

You can find many writing prompts here.

4. Read aloud to your child (even if they are older)

Build your child's vocabulary

Jim Trelease, the author of Read-Aloud Handbook says, “Children have a reading level and a listening level and they are usually not the same. A 4th-grader may be reading on a 4th-grade level, but can listen to stories on a 6th-grade level.”

You can read aloud to older children, even to those who are upto 14 years. Reading aloud to teens helps them with finding the right vocabulary to express their emotions. This is a great bonding activity, while building your child’s vocabulary.

5. Talk, Talk and Talk: A very effective way to build your child’s vocabulary

5 effective ways to build your child's vocabulary

Learning words is helpful only if it is practiced. Have conversations with your child in various topics. This will give them the opportunity to listen to new vocabulary as well as to express their thoughts using the new vocabulary. Communicating with people with varied interests is also a great way to acquire new vocabulary.

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

Junior Public Speaking & Confidence Building Workshop

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

public speaking for children Singapore

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.

Science Says Your Child Should Start Writing Journals

In a 2003 study, cited in Royal College of Psychiatrists, Karen A. Baikie and Kay Wilhelm highligts the long-term and short-term positive effects of writing about life experiences. The study outlines why your child should start writing journals.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” –  William Wordsworth.

Expressive writing about emotional, traumatic and stressful events results in significantly better psychological and physical well being. Where can your child find these experiences? Of course, in their day to day lives.

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Why your child should start writing journals?

The study showed significant improvements in the following areas when you cultivate a habit of writing about life experiences.

  1. Higher grades for students
  2. Improved working memory
  3. Reduced depressive symptoms before examinations
  4. Improved social behaviour
  5. Improved sports performance
  6. Improved mood
  7. Greater psychological well being
  8. Improved lung function
  9. Improved liver function
  10. Fewer days in hospital

How your child should start writing journals?

You might be wondering how you can ensure your child is doing the expressive writing in the right conditions.

  1. Provide a correct statement of the facts of the situation your child is writing on.
  2. Ensure that the writing reveals the subsconscious thought processes. Let them include their deepest thoughts and feelings in their writing.
  3. Your child is able to discuss the writing with a person close to them.
  4. Your child is able to write freely about the topic
  5. Your child expresses the emotions verbally in their writing.

When and where your child should start writing journals?

It is also important to provide the right environment to your child so that your child will be able to function their best. We have some tips for that.

  • Set a particular time of the day for expressive writing
  • Do not write at bedtime. This helps especially if they are writing about an unpleasant experience.

This strategy of writing works for both children and adults. Cultivating expressive writing in children is probably a great strategy for improving the writing skills while enjoying all the physical and psychological benefits it offers.

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

Junior Public Speaking & Confidence Building Workshop

Public Speaking for children Singapore

The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

public speaking for children Singapore

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.

Learning Soft Skills Could Help Your Child To Be a Successful Adult

Academic learning is usually in the spotlight at school, but teaching elementary-age students “soft” skills like self-control and how to get along with others might help to keep at-risk kids out of criminal trouble in the future, a study finds. Several studies have underlined how learning soft skills could help your child to be successful as an adult.

Duke University researchers looked at a program called Fast Track, which was started in the early 1990s for children who were identified by their teachers and parents to be at high risk for developing aggressive behavioral problems.

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The students were randomized into two groups; half took part in the intervention, which included a teacher-led curriculum, parent training groups, academic tutoring and lessons in self-control and social skills. The program, which lasted from first grade through 10th grade, reduced delinquency, arrests and use of health and mental health services as the students aged through adolescence and young adulthood, as researchers explained in a separate study published earlier this year.

In the latest study, researchers looked at the “why” behind those previous findings. In looking at the data from nearly 900 students, the researchers found that about a third of the impact on future crime outcomes was due to the social and self-regulation skills the students learned from ages 6 to 11.

The academic skills that were taught as part of Fast Track turned out to have less of an impact on crime and delinquency rates than did the soft skills, which are associated with emotional intelligence. Soft skills might include teaching kids to work cooperatively in a group or teaching them how to think about the long-term consequences when they make a decision. Teaching physics is an example of a hard skill.

“The conclusion that we would make is that these [soft] skills should be emphasized even more in our education system and in our system of socializing children,” says Kenneth Dodge, a professor of public policy and of psychology and neuroscience at Duke who was a principal investigator in this study as well as in the original Fast Track project. Parents should do all they can to promote these skills with their children, Dodge says, as should education policymakers.

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“To the extent we can improve those skills, we can improve outcomes in delinquency and juvenile crime,” says Dodge, who is also director of Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy. The study was published in the journal Child Development.

To Neil Bernstein, a psychologist in Washington, D.C., who specializes in child and adolescent behavior disorders, the researchers’ findings seem consistent with what he’s seen on the ground in working with children for more than 30 years. And while he says he agrees with the importance of teaching self-control and social skills, he would add empathy to the list, too.

“Empathy is what makes us aware of the feelings of others, and when you’re empathic, you’re much less likely to hurt someone else’s feelings,” says Bernstein, who serves on the advisory board for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and is the author of multiple books, including How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do if You Can’t.

Being in tune with how someone else feels might also make adolescents steer clear of bullying and other “behaviors of concern,” Bernstein says.

Empathy was not one of the skills that was directly measured in this study, according to Lucy Sorensen, a Ph.D. student at Duke and lead author of the study. But there were several measures of “prosocial behavior,” Sorensen says, defined as voluntary behavior intended to benefit others.

While Bernstein thinks the study’s findings are meaningful and could potentially serve as a model for schools, he says that collectively getting a school system, teachers, parents and students all motivated enough to take part in an intervention like Fast Track is challenging.

Several parts of the Fast Track study have been picked up successfully in other school settings, Sorensen says, such as a social-emotional learning curriculum called Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, or PATHS. Programs like Fast Track need buy-in from school systems, teachers and parents, she says, and that can be a tough sell. But she adds that it’s a strength of Fast Track that the students get support both at school and at home.

“There’s a growing and new understanding of what it takes to be successful as an adolescent and an adult,” Dodge says. “It used to be that what we thought all it took was academic skills. Reading and math are very important for tasks that require reading and math. Self-control is important for life tasks that require self-control — that’s what avoiding arrest and violent crime is all about.”

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Source: NPR

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

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Who will Stop the Bullying?

Many people ask, “How can I stop the bullying when I am a bystander to bullying?”

UPTV did a social experiment to understand the behaviour of bystanders. They placed three teenage girls to enact a bullying scenario at a public place.

The two bullies in the video start with “Do you have any friends at all?” and go on to act mean by verbally abusing the third girl like, “Did you audition for the musical? People told me you sounded like a dying pig.”

Slowly passers-by intervene. One man showed a kind gesture of playing a harmonica to the victim.

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One of the bullies tell the victim in the video, “You definitely do need make up”. A woman replies, “No, she do not”.

The girls go on to say, “Everyone at school think you are a freak because you read all the time”. A security guard waiting for the bus tells the girls, “Don’t mess with her” and goes on to tell the victim, “You keep reading”.

Many people tried to help her by inviting her to go and sit next to her and to offer to sit next to her in the bus.

One in three children get bullied

That is an alarming number. Should the bystanders remain silent? Who will stop the bullying? It is all of us. By taking small, seemingly insignificant actions, we can collectively make a difference in the lives of today’s children and tomorrow’s adults. Are you ready for that?

Do you want to make others also a part of the fight against bullying? You can do a lot to stop the bullying. 

Share this post with your friends, colleagues and loved ones.

Do you have any tip on how to curb bullying? Send us a comment below.

 

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

public speaking for children Singapore

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.

Creative Problem Solving: 3 tips to boost your child’s creative problem solving skills

The boy was bright-eyed and eager as he listened in rapt attention. “…And who here can tell me the difference between tuition and enrichment?” I asked, hoping to elicit a discussion and end the News Analysis segment in my class. Everyone kept mum, seemingly deep in thought save for that boy. He took out a pair of highlighters and, using the pen caps, demonstrated visually the crucial difference, even if he could not articulate his ideas as well. Are we really investing time to teach creative problem solving skills to our children?

Going back to the scene in the class, was that a creative expression by that boy? It certainly was to me! I teach English and Literature. As part of the curriculum, I make it a point to discuss news and current affairs with the Primary School children in my class. Often, academia emphasizes rote learning and over time, we unwittingly penalise or even punish our children for expressing themselves in ways that do not conform to some preconceived standards. From my experience, there are three ways in which we can help our children think creatively and critically and help them learn creative problem solving.

1. Stop your internal critic. Problem solving skills flourish in an open environment.

Problem solving skills in children

As adults, thinking and rationalising comes easily for us and hence it is easy to forget that the same do not apply to children. While it might appear to us that the child is saying something nonsensical, this may not be the case from the child’s point of view. For example, you might have asked a child to come up with an idea to solve the issue of animal abuse. Technically, it isn’t wrong if the child said, “Well, let’s just hang everyone who abuses animals, then!”

2. Encourage your child to consider different angles of the problem

Problem solving skills in children

Certainly, I am not asking you to applaud and congratulate the child for his brilliance. However, one important aspect of getting to a creative solution is to think about the limitations of the real world. Faced with such an answer, I might probe further and ask, “That is a start, but why isn’t this the case in the real world? What do you think stops the government from hanging just about everyone who abuses an animal?”

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This gets them relating your initial question to the real world, and encourages them to think about various angles to a problem without being unduly discouraged. You are giving a nod to your child to expand his problem solving skills.

3. Don’t be afraid to reframe your question in ways that cater to your child’s strengths.

Problem solving skills in children

Are your children more physical and active? Or do they prefer the comforts of solitary introspection? Do they like Math more than English? Depending on your child’s strengths, you could re-frame the same question in a variety of ways and get them to answer it as a problem sum, an awareness campaign, a poem or an essay.

When teaching some of my students Cloze Passages, I find that I have to teach them some of the fundamental strategies in dealing with these components. I knew that one of them was a Maths genius who had represented his school in various Olympiad competitions. I also knew that just a verbatim presentation of tips and tricks would not help him to assimilate these strategies.

Instead of a cloze passage, I turned into a Maths teacher and gave him an Olympiad question on geometry. His whole body tensed up and he demanded writing paper, eager to work out the answer. Once he was finished, I asked him about the method he used to derive that answer. He could tell me the exact method as well as the question types for which the method would be applicable.

“Great!” I said, “And that’s exactly the same principle behind the techniques for dealing with cloze passages that I’m about to show you.” Did it take more time? Yes. However, learning is not about how fast you can absorb a concept, but whether you have fully absorbed it. When a teacher adopts creative problem solving skills in dealing with a classroom challenge, the students too get introduced to dealing with a challenging situation in intuitive ways.  That student went on to score very well for his Paper 2 components in the mid-year examinations.

As parents and educators, we know that every child is different. However, are we adapting to their needs and giving them space to be creative and to express themselves in diverse ways? Are we giving them enough space to expand their problem solving skills? Through these three tips, I hope I have given you a good start to encouraging your children to become better and more creative thinkers!

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

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Public Speaking for children

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About AMM Research

As Many Minds Research Team www.AsManyMinds.com

Critical Thinking: One thing you must do to cultivate critical thinking in your child

A survey by World Economic Forum lists Critical Thinking as one of the top two skills required to thrive. Critical Thinking Skills has found its rank going up in that list over the years. Unfortunately, schools are not providing much opportunities to develop critical thinking skills. What about you? Are you providing enough opportunities for your child to develop and cultivate this skill?

Universities look out for students with critical thinking skills and corporates are giving more importance to creative problem solving skills when they hire new employees. During the teenage years, it is the critical thinking skills that help children to figure out the kind of people they want to hang out with, the kind of habits they want to avoid and the kind of pursuits they want to undertake. That shows how important critical thinking is in every aspect of our lives. The good news is, it is a skill that can be developed.

Where are the Opportunities available to improve critical thinking skills?

Improve critical thinking in children

Education leader Ellen Galinsky lists Critical thinking as one of the 7 essential life skills every child needs in her book Mind the making. The good news is that critical thinking is a life skill that can be cultivated.

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Everyday, your child comes across various opportunities to challenge themselves as well as to figure out how this world works. These are opportunities that present themselves to them to cultivate their critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.

Understand your child’s critical thinking skills

Improve critical thinking in children

Does your child think everything they watch on the TV is true? Does your child blindly believe everything their friends say or do they make judgments and conclusions after thinking through it? Whether your child is a kindergartner or a high school student, there are many things you can do to cultivate and support their creative thinking skills. 

The one thing you must do to cultivate critical thinking skills in your child

Improve critical thinking in children

The most important factor that helps creative problem solving is powerful questioning.  It is the questions that define the path of our thinking. What do you ask your child when they come back from school? Do you ask them “How was the school?” or “Did you eat your lunch?” or “What did you learn today?” From today onwards, why don’t you ask them “What questions did you ask today?”

This simple question could prompt your child to understand the importance of asking questions. It will provide inspiration to be not just a learner, but also a thinker and a communicator. Isidor I. Rabi, the Nobel laureate physicist gives credit to this very question by his parents as the reason he had become a scientist. With the ever-increasing population and limited natural resources we have today, critical thinking is not a nice to have skill anymore, it is an essential skill. Your child’s success in their future jobs will depend on how creatively they solve problems.

Do you want to know how you can make thinking more visible to your child? You might be interested in this.

So, what did you ask today?

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

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The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

public speaking for children Singapore

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.

As your child develop their communication skills, their influencing skills also develop. Effective communication is a great way to develop their social skills. Whatever the age of your child is, encouraging effective communication skills can help prepare them for a successful adulthood.

1. Talk about their interests

Boost communication skills and confidence in Children

Discussing about your child’s interests is the best way to keep them talking. It does not matter whether their interest is in online games, computers, sports or cartoons. When you show your enthusiasm to know more about their interests, they get encouraged to communicate more. This also has an added adavantage of them sharing more about their lives with you.

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2. A pat in the back

Boost communication skills and confidence in Children

Kids pay attention to their small achievements. My 11 year old comes to me for affirmation of every single event he considers as his achievement. Most of the time, their achievements may not look like milestones to us. But, this is an opportunity where you could encourage them to speak more about their achievement. Ask them how they achieved that task, conquered that fear or solved that problem. This will not only help them to articulate better, but also help them to improve their self awareness.

3. Talk about current affairs

Boost communication skills and confidence in Children

Current affairs and news are not directly related to us on a personal level in most cases. Discussions around current affairs will help your child to express their viewpoints without any inhibition. This is especially beneficial when you are talking to a timid child.

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Recently, I had a discussion with my kids regarding drug abuse. The starting point was an article that carried photos of people before and after they started using drugs. This not only helped them express their viewpoints, but also created awareness and general knowledge.

4. Involve your child in decision making

Boost communication skills and confidence in Children

The joy of of being valued can stir up confidence from unknown corners. Involve your child when you make decisions, they will feel empowered to contribute more. Their first lessons of brainstorming start here. As part of this, they will also learn how to consider varying viewpoints while making decisions.

5. Share a meal

Boost communication skills and confidence in Children

Don’t we meet people over a meal to have nice conversations, both on a personal and professional level? Dinner tables are great places to make people loosen up and share their views. This is also an inexpensive way to get your kids talk without inhibitions. Many studies have also proved that eating together helps children to form better relationships with their parents. Do you use the ‘Non-judgemental dinner table rule’? That is, you don’t ask challenging questions like “Why did you do that?” for any topic that is brought on to the dinner table. This will encourage your child to open up more. Do you have a dinner table rule?

You can also introduce them to public speaking when they are ready. Once they get to know more about public speaking and the myths surrounding it, they will be more open to pick up and learn that skill.

Public speaking for children Singapore

Share this article with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of this amidst their busy schedules. 

Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!

Junior Public Speaking & Confidence Building Workshop

Public Speaking for children Singapore

The Kidz Parade Magazine 

Are you looking for a special present for an adorable child? Why don’t you give a present that will leave a lifetime positive impact? When you give The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine as a present, you are opening the door to a world of Creativity and Communication. NEW POSTER 6 copy

Public Speaking Camp

public speaking for children Singapore

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Junior Champs Leadership Camp

 Junior Champs Leadership Camp

Public Speaking for children

You might also be interested in Testimonials Confidence Hub Public Speaking Camp

About Sindu Sreebhavan

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of As Many Minds Minds Pte Ltd and the chief editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, Asia's premium publication for cultivating creativity and creative writing in children. “The best gift you can give a child is the power of Confidence, Creativity and Communication” is her tagline. She speaks and consults on creativity, communication, innovation and leadership in children. She is passionate about educating parents and kids about bullying. She supports children, parents, schools and several organisations in these areas.