"I hate that vest! I’m not wearing it!” “I hate going to the grocery store!” “I hate you!” My kids, especially my five-year-old, utter the “H”-word more often than I’d like. When I hear it, my chest tightens, my jaw clenches, and I have to force myself to take deep breaths. If I know one thing as a parent, telling kids they aren’t allowed to use a certain word is an excellent way to ensure they use it as much as possible. Research shows that kids are 11 million times more likely to do the thing they’ve been expressly told not to do. And by ‘research,’ I mean my own informal studies performed totally unscientifically, using my own children as subjects.
Going to a silent retreat is on my bucket list. It seems like the ultimate way to reach a mindful, relaxed, and introspective state. Science indicates that silence can be beneficial to us in so many ways, as it impacts our physical, mental, and emotional health. Given our increasingly loud lives with technology constantly buzzing in our ears, how can we give our children the gift of silence to make them happier and healthier?
Every parent wants their children to be successful in life, but how can you ensure that happens? How can you be sure your children reach their full potential? Part of the equation is found in teaching basic behaviors and attitudes called executive function or more simply put, life skills.
We’ve all seen an older sibling hug the baby a little too hard. We’ve witnessed a weary parent’s unsuccessful attempts to referee yet another round of, “He stole my toy!” Like many parents, I wanted to avoid these scenarios when I became pregnant for the second time, so I took my oldest son to sibling classes and included him in baby preparations. Once we became a family of four, I attempted to divide my time and attention equally. I hoped that this strategy would encourage sibling harmony, but wondered if my efforts would matter. Thankfully, experts confirm that parents can significantly impact sibling relationships. “Parents can make a difference,” says Adele Faber, author of Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too. “Our attitude and words have power. We can lead rivals toward peace,” she says.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2020 Calgary’s Child