Archive for Creative writing

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

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

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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

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.

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

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.

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.