10 Dr. Seuss Books you’ve Never Heard of, by Crystal Ponti

Dr. Seuss is one of the most beloved children’s writers of all time. During his career, he wrote more than 60 playful and exuberant books – each with a deeper message about life, love, and humanity.

His most memorable titles, like “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Cat in the Hat”, are mainstays on children’s bookshelves. But he also penned many books that never quite made it into the spotlight.

Here are 10 Dr. Seuss books you might not have heard of (and if you have, you must be a super fan):

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“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” (1937)

The very first book Dr. Seuss ever published under his pen name, this lively tale about Marco and his vivid imagination predates his bestselling titles, but is still among his best. Travel down Mulberry Street, the most interesting place in town – a place where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Marco spins a wonderful story for his father, turning everyday sights into wild highlights of his journey home from school.

icanlick30tigers

“I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!” (1969)

Follow the Cat in the Hat’s son, daughter, and great-great-grandfather on three magnificent adventures, as told by Cat in the Hat himself. From battles with tigers to the unexpected consequences of a runaway imagination, this is the only book where children can thunk a Glunk and wrestle with King Looie Katz. The illustrations are a unique combination of gouache and brush strokes rather than the usual pen and ink, adding even more uniqueness to a timeless rarity.

wouldyouratherbeabullfrog

“Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog?” (1975)

“Would you rather be a clarinet, a trombone, or a drum? (How would you like to have someone going boom-boom on your tum?)” In traditional form, Dr. Seuss asks young readers fun, rhyming questions to make them think, ponder, and laugh. The book helps children understand there are so many things they can be, and that they have plenty of time to figure out who they are and where life might take them.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.parent.co/10-dr-seuss-books-youve-never-heard-of/?utm_source=newsletter_256&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pcodaily&utm_source=Parent+Co.+Daily&utm_campaign=83f735ef56-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_04_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3f341b94dd-83f735ef56-132097649

 

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20 Adorable And Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Projects For Kids, by Vanessa Beaty

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you have kids – or grandkids – and are looking for projects to keep them busy and help spread the love, I’ve found a great collection of adorable crafts that you can make together. All of these are so easy that even toddlers can help with them, and they are all so cute your kids will love them.

I love Valentine’s Day. From the candy and flowers to the wide array of crafts, there’s just so many ways that you can show someone how much they mean to you. I also love DIY, which is why this collection of Valentine’s Day projects is perfect. Whether you want to make cards for teachers or grandparents or you and your little ones love baking together, I promise there’s something in this collection that will thrill you and your kids.

From marshmallow pops to homemade heart ornaments that you can display all year long, these projects are as lovely as they are simple to complete. Looking to dress up your little one for the holiday? There’s a great homemade heart barrette, or you could do her nails with these gorgeous Valentine’s nail art designs.

Whatever you and your littles are planning for the day, you don’t want to miss these projects. Let your little one make a Valentine box to hold her special treasures or help them create butterflies from doilies. There is something in here for kids of all ages, and several that we parents will love, too.

1. Bee My Valentine Mailbox

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Remember making those great Valentine’s boxes when you were in school? This project is very in keeping with that tradition, and is really easy for kids of all ages. Kids will love putting their Valentines in their own little “Bee My Valentine” mailbox, and you can customize the cards that they pass out at school to match this great little box. I love the bee theme, and you only need a small handful of supplies to make it.Tutorial: momendeavors

2. Valentine’s Day Countdown

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I simply love this idea! It’s 14 small hearts that you use to countdown to Valentine’s Day. Just create the hearts with little messages of love on the backs and they look great displayed in a vase or mason jar atop lollipop sticks or straws. This gives kids a way to spread the love for two entire weeks before the big day, and they will adore decorating their hearts and choosing their messages

Tutorial: makeandtakes

To read more of this post, please follow the link below…

http://www.diyncrafts.com/22787/crafts/20-adorable-easy-diy-valentines-day-projects-kids

Also, check out this Valentine’s Day Post, which also has ways to teach kids about the history behind Valentine’s Day…

https://theforeveryears.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/valentines-day-celebrating-love-with-our-kids/

The Dunedin Study: The Vital Importance of “Self Control” in creating Positive Life Outcomes, by Kirsteen McLay-Knopp

Boy hugging toy, looking at bowl of marshmallowsgetty creative easy access

Continuing  our series of articles on findings discovered by the “Dunedin Longitudinal Study”…

Among the most important and hopeful findings of The Dunedin Study is that there is something unfixed, something we can teach any child, regardless of their personality type, which will increase their future health, wealth and happiness.  This important something is the quality of self control.

The measure of self control a child possesses has, through the findings of The Dunedin Studyand others, been shown to be a more important factor in predicting individual positive life outcomes than intelligence or IQ.

jay_belsky

Professor Belsky

“Are you in command of yourself or does your self control you?” asks Professor Jay Belsky, Professor of Human Development at the University of California, Davis.  “Lots of people will say, ‘I didn’t choose to explode, it just happened.’  However, we now know that self control measured at age three forecasts whether a person will be married/ in a stable relationship, whether they will have a good or bad job history and even whether they will have good or bad health in adulthood.”

The good new is that, unlike personality  (which is fairly fixed), self control is variable, as it is a quality we learn.  Following from this, self control can be developed in any child.

Self Control is not fixed and can be developed in anyone.

The classic psychological “self control” test is what has become known as “The Marshmallow Test”.  Young children are left alone in a room with a marshmallow on a plate in front of them.  If they manage not to eat the marshmallow before an adult returns, they are given a second marshmallow.  They are told clearly in advance that the reward for controlling their natural impulse to eat the first marshmallow will be to obtain a second one. The children were filmed while alone with the marshmallow.  Children who showed the most self control during these experiments used self distraction to avoid eating the marshmallow.

“Kids who have the ability to distract themselves in this way are those who have had early, clear boundaries put in place,” Professor Belsky says.  “By age three or four they know that if they are told not do do something, the best method of avoiding it is not to hang around it and to find something else to do.”  Children’s methods of avoiding the marshmallow (and controlling their impulses) vary: some sing, crawl under the table, put their heads down or shut or avert their eyes.  When put in pairs, children encouraged (or discouraged) self control in one another. (A video clip of children participating in “The Marshmallow Test”, from YouTube is below).

The results of The Dunedin Studyshow that in almost every measure of success, self control made a huge difference.  Moreover, participants who displayed low levels of self control during childhood presented with a raft of physical problems later on in life. These health issues included such things as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, gum disease and sexually transmitted diseases.  “Low self-control” children were also more likely to grow up addicted to tobacco, alcohol or drugs. All these represent an expensive cost to the individual, their community and society.

Self Control: a more important factor in predicting individual positive life outcomes than intelligence or IQ.

How, then, can self control be improved and developed in our children?  The best control measure in the The Dunedin Studycame when comparing children who were identified at age three as having an “Undercontrolled” personality (10% of participants) with one another.  Those who had firm, consistent and sensitive parenting with structure and routine developed self control habits which over-rode their “Undercontrolled” personality types.  “Enforced Norms”, such as those created in Early Childhood Education Centres, were also shown to be of benefit in helping children regulate their own behaviour and create their own  boundaries.  Furthermore, it was shown that intervention and work on developing self control at any age (even during adulthood) was beneficial.

As with other areas, however, The Dunedin Studyfindings showed that the greatest benefits were achieved the younger the age at which children learned these skills.

Professor Heckman

Professor Heckman

Professor James Heckman is Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economics and an expert in the economics of human development.  Heckman and his team have been using results from The Dunedin Study“ in the USA, advising the presidency to prioritize the teaching of Self Control in schools.  Professor Heckman believes this will result in huge, long term benefits to the US economy, as well as immense savings.

Once again, then, findings from The Dunedin Studyoffer hope and encouragement.  Nature at age three, thirty three or fifty three does not vary greatly.  However Nurture plays and enormous part in determining whether or not a young child has positive life outcomes as an adult.  Role modelling and teaching the vitally important quality of “Self Control”, as well as parenting consistently, with regular routines and boundaries, gives young children, particularly those with Undercontrolled or  Inhibited personality types, the best chance at becoming well-adjusted adults who are able to cope with what life throws their way.  The overall message then: with the right methods and resources at our disposal we can make a difference in the life trajectory of any child… something we can all feel positive about.

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Embracing our Kiwi culture, from “Me and my Child” NZ

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From a young age, we identify ourselves as a member of a family unit and in time the wider community and culture that supports us. Being a nation of multiple cultures, in New Zealand we are lucky to be exposed to a range of traditions and celebrations. Passing on your own cultural traditions, as well as teaching your toddler about others, helps them to learn about what it means to be a New Zealander. Check out our tips for introducing your little one to Kiwi culture:

It begins with tradition: We all have deep-set memories of growing up with traditions in our homes. Think about why they are important to you and how you can pass these traditions and celebrations on. Perhaps it’s a special ritual or song at meal times or family celebrations – these will build a path of memories for your toddler.

Take a step back in time: The local museum or marae is a perfect place to start when learning about the Māori culture and the history of New Zealand. Through images, carvings and items used from the past, your toddler will start to grow an awareness of where New Zealand began. Many visits also include a hands-on element where your toddler can learn about traditional Māori crafts.

(To read more of this post, please follow the link below…)

Māori Language Week

“What are you going to do with yourself?” On Answering that Curly Question, by Sarah Wilson

what-are-you-going-to-do-with-yourself

‘What are you going to do with yourself once all the kids are at school?’ – Sounds like an innocent enough question and one that I’ve been asked rather frequently in recent times. Sometimes it’s a statement rather than a question, such as ‘You won’t know what to do with yourself!.’ I put this question in the same basket with other curly questions that people often encounter, such as ‘Are you still single?’ ‘When you are going to have kids?’, ‘Are you going to have more kids?’ and ‘Have you lost weight?’ But ‘You won’t know what to do with yourself’ has been said to me a few times recently, and not wishing to sound too defensive, I usually say something along the lines of ‘There are always plenty of things to do.’ Because that’s what I’ve found – even though two of my children are school age now, it’s still really quite busy. It’s perhaps not quite as intense as when they were little. It’s a bit cruisier and I have a bit more down time, however mornings before 9 o’clock are frantic, and afternoons after 3 o’clock are full. Though we don’t do a whole lot of after school activities, the engagements increase as they get older, as does the homework. I have a preschooler at home on Mondays, Fridays and Wednesday afternoons and I have a little down time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But as it so happens, my preschooler is about to start school in September at the ridiculously young and tender age of four and a quarter. I’m not too happy about it. In fact I think I’ll go and have a good cry into my coffee when she starts school, but I know that she will be fine, and I’ve taken the approach of when in Rome, do what the Romans do. She herself, can’t wait to go to school! Thankfully the curriculum involves a large component of free play in the first year.

If you’ve been a stay-at-home mum with children reaching school age, how have you found that question? I know that it’s probably said in jest, but sometimes that question does feel like a pressure. And there is a lot of pressure for mothers to get back into the workforce. I feel like it’s acceptable to be at home with children when they are preschoolers, but society expects you to get a job once they are school age. Yes I’d like to get back into the workforce in a part-time capacity, and of course it will help the old bank balance, but there are weeks that I wonder how that is going to operate in practice. My husband works twelve hour days. Being in a new country, the children have come down with one illness after the another in the last few weeks, and I wonder how I would manage this if my husband and I were both employed. There are also twelve weeks of holidays a year to think about.

(Follow the link below to read more of this article…)

What are you going to do with yourself?: On answering that curly question.

An Introduction to Attachment Play By Marion Badenoch Rose

 When you dreamt of becoming a parent, did you imagine going on picnics with your child/ren, laughing in the sunshine, snuggling up to them, reading stories, and gazing into their eyes?
I imagine you didn’t visualise power struggles when they wouldn’t put their shoes on or brush their teeth, or feeling incredibly frustrated when they didn’t listen to you, jump up and down on the bed before sleep, or refuse to eat any vegetables?
Often the spark and joy of being a parent can leave us, and at moments we may feel intense frustration, anger, powerlessness, and despair.
All because our toddler won’t get into the car seat, or bites or hits us or another child, or asks incessant questions.
Is this you?
You’ve done all this incredibly gentle, compassionate, loving parenting when they were babies, and when they got older and don’t cooperate, you sometimes don’t know what to do?
You don’t want to get harsh, or threaten, or punish, or give rewards, or disconnect with your child, but how on earth can you help her to WANT to cooperate?

And what about those times when she doesn’t seem to want to be with Dad, and tells him to go away, or there’s a dentist visit looming, or suddenly she’s afraid of dogs, or is reluctant to start school.
It’s at times like these that we can be at our wits end.
How do we help our child, without just giving up and feeling hopeless that we’ll ever get out the door/ get them to sleep/ help them go to the dentist?
OR, perhaps you find yourself feeling so deeply frustrated that you use your bigger power over him, and force him into the car seat, or forcibly brush his teeth, or speak harshly when he doesn’t put his shoes on, and then you feel deeply uncomfortable afterwards, because this just wasn’t how you wanted to be when you became a parent?
Enter, Stage Left, attachment play.
Attachment play is an incredible resource, created by Aletha Solter, Ph.D., in her book of the same name, (www.attachmentplay.com).
Attachment play actually works at the ROOT CAUSE of why children do all those things that we find most challenging – the not cooperating, the running around, the swearing, the biting, the apparently not listening, the doing-something-they-know-we-don’t-want-them-to-do, the jumping on the bed before sleep, etc. etc. etc!

SO, WHY DO THEY DO ALL THOSE CHALLENGING THINGS?
Is it like the behaviourists said, in the 1950’s?
Is it because children are inherently ‘bad’ and need to ‘learn’ how to be cooperative, compassionate, connected human beings?
Do they need to be told, over and over again, that hitting hurts, or that we don’t want them to play with the lamp, and that we really do need to go to the shops so we can get some food?
When they do those things, are they doing it deliberately, to ‘wind us up’ or ‘make us feel mad?’
I know that sometimes, those are the thoughts that can come up for us when we are incredibly frustrated,because those are often the paradigms that we were brought up with, and at times of stress our conditioning can return.
In comparison, attachment play is based on a very different set of beliefs about children, and all human beings.

From an attachment play perspective, which comes from Aware Parenting (www.awareparenting.com), when children do things that we find most challenging, it is usually because of one of three reasons:
  1. They have unmet needs (in particular, for connection and choice);
  2. They have a need for information;
  3. They have pent up uncomfortable feelings which need to be released.
As adults, we tend to think that the main cause for challenging behaviour is number two.
If our son keeps pulling the cat’s tail, or our daughter keeps being rough with her baby sister, we may find ourselves saying, “gentle, gentle” over and over again, and being surprised that they are STILL not being gentle, and may actually be getting rougher over time!
And that’s when we might feel perplexed or flummoxed, and be thinking;
“Why DOES she keep doing it?”
And that’s when we might start getting frustrated, and trying to make her stop, or getting fed up and just giving up and letting it continue.
But IF we remember the other two reasons, we can solve the issue at the ROOT CAUSE.
HOW CAN WE SOLVE THE ISSUE AT THE ROOT CAUSE?
We can use attachment play to meet unmet needs AND help our child release uncomfortable feelings.
How do we do that?

ROOT CAUSE ONE –  MEETING UNMET NEEDS

One of the most magical things that we can do is to give them what I call Present Time, and which Aletha Solter calls non directive child-centred play.
 
PRESENT TIME
What is it?
It’s a set period of time, where we offer deep presence and connection with our child.
At this point, you might be saying, “But I already give my child lots of connection.”
And I know you do, but there is something magical that happens with Present Time.
 
Why is that?
Because it is set up to meet a child’s need for connection and choice, which are two of their main core needs.
(Remember that one of the three main reasons for challenging behaviours is unmet needs!?)
And because it meets those needs, it can dramatically reduce those challenging behaviours.

What precisely do we do?
  1. We check in with ourselves first and see if we really can give our child connection and choice. (Ideally, we give ourselves PT first, so that we’ve done something that we choose to do);
  2. We tell our child what it is. (parents often give it their own name, like “Sam’s time”);
  3. We set up the parameters. (eg. no hurting anyone, no screens, no sweets)
  4. We set the timer. (This is part of the magic. It means that we know that we are only being fully present for that length of time, which makes it easier for us.)
  5. We give them choice about what happens;
  6. We follow their lead, we offer our full presence, our exuberant love, our adoration, and our full engagement;
  7. We let them know when the time is coming to an end;
  8. We stay present with them when the timer finishes, and either help them with what happens next, or if they feel upset, we stay with them and give them empathy for their feelings, eg. “You feel really upset that PT has finished, sweetheart? I’m here, and I’m listening.”
 
When can we use it?
The beauty of Present Time is that we can use it preventatively, strategically, and in the moment, when things get challenging.
For example:
If your child is showing some challenging behaviours in general, you could offer Present Time every day, for 20 or 30 minutes, and notice whether this changes the challenging behaviour;
If your child has something new coming up, like a new sibling arriving, then daily Present Time can help him have reassurance that he’s still loved and cared about, and keeps his connection cup more full.
If there are separations, such as for daycare or playgroup or nursery school or kindergarten or school, the doing some Present Time before and afterwards can help with the separation and reconnection. Even 5 or 10 minutes of PT can make a real difference.
If your child is starting to get a bit antsy, or showing the signs that you’ve noticed lead to biting/hitting/doing things you don’t enjoy, you could put in some Present Time right then. Again, even 5 or 10 minutes can make a big difference.
 
Why does it work?
The power of Present Time is that, as a concise yet deep connection, it helps our child feel connected with us. 
It’s when they feel disconnected, that challenging behaviours often occur – because a sense of disconnection feels really uncomfortable and agitating for a child.

It also helps give them a deep sense of choice.
Remember that it’s a lack of sense of choice, as well as feelings of powerlessness, that feel incredibly uncomfortable for children (and adults), and is often the cause of those challenging behaviours.
It’s that double-whammy of connection and choice which creates the magic.
And there are often wonderful side-effects too!
Many parents come to me saying, “I did it to help my child, but I found that I fell in love with my child all over again, and I love it!”
Other parents say, “At the end of the day, I know that I have given my child Present Time, and that helps me celebrate myself and what I’ve done.”
 
Present Time also helps children feel closer to us, which helps them express other feelings to us more too.
You may find that your child more easily cries or has a tantrum when you start doing more Present Time.
It’s just like us – when we feel closer to someone, we often want to tell them about our deeper feelings and experiences.
So, if after Present Time your child cries when there is none of her favourite cereal left, you might choose to simply be with her and listen to her feelings and tell her that you are there with her, listening to her, loving her.
Her feelings are unlikely to be about the cereal, and more likely to be about something else that she wants to share her feelings about with you.
What if you want to learn more about Present Time?
I have a free 4 day online course called Powerful Present Time Practice.

You can sign up for it here:
To recap, Present Time is a practice, a preventative, and a problem-solver!
So, that was all about meeting unmet needs.
ALL of the types of attachment play meet children’s needs for connection, but they ALSO do what we talked about above – they help children release pent-up feelings that are often the cause of challenging behaviours.

 
ROOT CAUSE TWO – RELEASING PENT-UP FEELINGS
What pent-up feelings do children have?
Well, even if we are the most aware, conscious parents, and we do everything we can to meet our child’s needs, ALL children feel uncomfortable feelings.
They might feel overwhelmed, scared, sad, confused, powerless, disappointed, or frustrated. 
As adults, we often talk about our feelings.
But children need to express their feelings, and have those feelings heard, in order for those feelings to be released from their bodies.
How does that happen?
Well, with light fears, powerlessness, confusion and frustration, the feelings are released through laughter.
Laughter and play release feelings.
 

Have you noticed that yourself? That you might laugh in a social situation where you feel a bit uncomfortable?
Or that when you laugh a lot at a comedian, it’s about something that you fear, or feel worried about?
(I’ve been loving James Corden, especially one show where he and another talk show host play “Send to All” –  They post a rude text message on each other’s phones, to all their contacts, and then read the replies. I found myself laughing a lot. Obviously, sending a text to someone I didn’t mean to is a bit of a concern for me!)
Children are exactly the same!
Laughter is an incredibly powerful release mechanism!
 

And also a misunderstood one.
Has your child ever laughed when you got frustrated or angry, and you thought they were ‘winding you up’ or ‘laughing at you’? And if so, did you then feel even more frustrated or angry?
 

How would it be to learn that they were actually afraid, and releasing that fear through laughter?
Would knowing that help you think differently, feel differently, and respond differently?

Laughter and play are things that we can again use strategically, preventatively, and in the moment when things start getting challenging.
How wonderful is that, to know that with attachment play, we can prevent, and respond to, challenging behaviours, effectively and compassionately, without resorting to punishments or awards!?
 

What are the other release mechanisms? Shaking, sweating, crying, tantrumming, and yawning all release different feelings from the body.
What exactly is attachment play, and how can we use it to prevent and respond to challenging behaviours?
There are nine types of attachment play, and each type can be used for numerous challenges.
Obviously I don’t have space here to go into all 9 types in depth, but if you want to go deeper, you can find out about Aletha Solter’s book Attachment Play at http://www.attachmentplay.com/
and my online course based on the book, which is at http://www.attachmentplaycourses.com/join-in
What I’m going to do here is talk about a few things that parents often come to me wanting help with, and let you know what type of attachment play I would suggest.
With ALL types of parenting challenges, I would ALWAYS suggest putting in regular Present Time.
Even 20 or 30 minutes of regular PT can make a huge difference to a child’s sense of connection and choice and can really make a difference!
******
Challenge: Hitting
Your child hits, bites, or is rough with you, their sibling, other children, or the pet.
(Even though you have always brought him up with the most gentle of parenting, responding to his needs, and he hasn’t experienced roughness himself.)
Cause: Feelings of powerlessness, frustration, agitation, and fear.
(You might be thinking; “But he doesn’t look scared.” But if you reflect back on a time where you got harsh or angry with your partner, child or friend – underneath the loudness, were you feeling scared or frustrated or powerless or sad?)

Solution: Power-Reversal Games
What are power-reversal games? These are where you play being the less powerful, less competent, more scared one, and you let your child play the more powerful, more competent, scary one.

There are SO many ways that you can play this.
~ They can chase you round the house, and you can keep running away, pretending to be scared, and then letting them catch you, falling over in a big pile, and being mock-surprised at how fast they are;
~ They can be on a swing, and you are in front of them, and each time they come towards you, you pretend that they have knocked you backwards and you go flying backwards in mock surprise about how strong they are;
~ You can have a pillow fight, and each time they hit you with the pillow, you pretend to go flying and again be mock surprised or scared.

Like all attachment play, you are probably doing these kinds of things lots anyway.
The difference with attachment play is now that you know what it is doing, and can use it strategically to help your child.

As with all challenges, I’d always suggest extra Present Time, which increases feelings of connection and choice and reassurance.
Tip: Go with the giggles
If your child is laughing, then keep doing what you are doing!
IMPORTANT NOTE: we do not recommend tickling.
Even though a child may laugh when he is being tickled, the sensations are often overwhelming and can actually lead to more powerlessness.
If you were ticked as a child or teen, you will probably remember that for yourself!
******
Challenge: Feelings around separation 1 – being with Dad
Your child has feelings around being with Dad.
Cause: Feelings of sadness or loss if he goes out to work or is away a lot, or other pent-up feelings that don’t get to be expressed with Mum.
Solution 1: Power-Reversal Games.
Similar to above, only in this case, Dad pretends to be the one who doesn’t get to choose the level of closeness.
He could say, “PLEEEEEEEEEEASE let me play with you? Please? Can I look at you? Could I even just touch your toe? How about your ear?” And in a mock-silly voice, try out all these silly ways of connecting, and perhaps mock-crying about not getting to do any of these things.
Solution 2: Separation Games.
(see next section)
******
Challenge: Feelings around separation 2 – being with other people
Your child has big feelings about going to daycare, pre-school, kinder, nursery school or school.
Cause: Past feelings of loss or past separations that are coming up now, or fear, or powerlessness.
Solution: Separation Games
Separation games play with the edge of connecting, separating and reconnecting.
With babies, peek-a-boo is one of the earliest forms.
As children get older, we can play forms of peek-a-boo, like the “where is he” game – such as when he is on your back and you wonder where he is, and then you suddenly see him and say, “Oh THERE you are!” with joy and delight!
Hide-and-seek type games are also separation games. With younger children, they will need to hide with someone, otherwise there’s too much separation. Every time you get found, or find them, you could jump in the air with mock surprise.
Again, follow the fun!

******
Challenging behaviour: Not cooperating
Cause: Feelings of powerlessness, frustration, and other pent-up feelings that create disconnection
Solution: Nonsense Games, Power-Reversal Games, Present Time.

Nonsense games are all about feelings of competence.
Feelings around ‘rules’, ‘not getting it right’, and ‘not being able to do things’ can all cause a lack of cooperation, such as not doing school work.
When we play a goofy game of being the one who is incompetent, silly and goofy, our child can laugh and release their feelings around these things.
The “No puppies on the couch” is a lovely example of a combination between nonsense play and power-reversal games.

In this game, they pretend to be puppies, and we pretend that there are to be “no puppies on the couch!”
We say something like, “I’m going to turn away, and when I turn around again, I HOPE I am not going to see any puppies on the couch!” with a huge smile on our face and in a mock silly voice.
(Younger children may need some help to understand that we are actually happy for them to be on the couch!)
Then we turn away, and when we turn back, we pretend to be shocked and horrified that they are on the couch, “Noooooo! I said no puppies on the couch!” in a silly, over-the-top, voice!
Tip: Change the games to suit your child, and create your own versions together
******
 
Challenging behaviour: Not cooperating with teeth or hair brushing
 
Cause: Feelings of powerlessness, disconnection, or general pent-up feelings
 
Solution: Nonsense Play

There are lots of different versions of these games that you can use!
You can play the “Silly Toothbrush” game, where you pretend that you don’t know where their teeth are, and you say something like, “Oh I know where your teeth are!” and try to brush their arm, and they keep trying to show you where their teeth are and you keep on getting confused about where their teeth are.
You can do the same with brushing hair.
******
Challenging behaviour: Gun play and swearing
 
Causes: Feelings of fear, confusion, discomfort.
Most often, children have seen other children playing with guns or swords or swearing and they need to understand what was going on, and release feelings about being the recipient.
Solution: Nonsense Play and Power-Reversal games.

We can again combine these two types of play, for example:
they pretend to shoot us and we pretend to be scared, or we pretend to die all over them whilst kissing them,
or we pretend that the gun is broken and is just making us love them more (this is from the Love Gun Game by Lawrence Cohen).
With swearing, we can pretend to be shocked every time she says the word, and jump in the air, or fall over.
We can run around the garden or trampoline together, saying the words over and over again (as long as you aren’t worried about what the neighbours will think!)
There is deep power in CONNECTING with our child when she is trying to understand something and release feelings about it.
Home then becomes this safe and healing zone where your child can bring her challenges because she knows that you will help her with them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember the cause of these challenging behaviours?
The cause IS NOT because they need to learn to be warm and compassionate, nor is it because they are deliberately trying to be annoying.
It’s because they need connection, they need to understand what happens to them, and they need to release uncomfortable feelings and heal from painful experiences.
If we try to stop the behaviours, such as hitting or biting or swearing or gun play, without dealing with the actual cause, then we are likely to find that those behaviours keep happening, or other more challenging behaviours occur.
******
Challenge: Upcoming dentist or doctor visit, or previous trauma around medical procedures, including during and after birth.
 
Causes: Feelings of fear, powerlessness and confusion
 
Solution: Role Play, Power-Reversal games and Nonsense Play

Again, we ask them to play the dentist or the doctor, and we do mock silly things, like show them our hand and say it is our teeth, or if they give us medicine, we pretend to be disgusted and vomit it all up, and other silly things.
Tip: Again, watch your child. If she is close to tears, stop the attachment play and listen to the feelings.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your child is already crying, it is important NOT to try to get her to laugh.Tears are releasing other feelings than those released by laughter, and she needs you to be present and listen to hear tears, not to distract her from the feelings.
******
Attachment play can be used to prevent, or respond to, pretty much every challenging behaviour in children, from not eating vegetables, to not doing homework, to jumping on the bed before bedtime, to not getting in the car seat, and so on and so on!
These examples are just a small proportion of the game types and game examples.
And the beautiful thing is, once you understand the philosophy, you and your child can make up your own, tailor-made attachment play games.
If you want to find out more, I recommend reading Aletha Solter’s book Attachment Play (www.attachmentplay.com)

(this is a picture of me and my son on the cover!)
And my four week online course, the Attachment Play Course, is at http://www.attachmentplaycourses.com/join-in

And the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing about attachment play is that it brings back the connection, joy, fun, laughter and wonderment of family life, which is probably what you envisioned when you thought of becoming a parent!

Here’s to more fun, more connection, and more cooperation!!

Marion Rose
Ph.D. Dip.Couns. Dip.Psych. Level Two Aware Parenting Instructor
I’m a Mum of two (they are now 14 and 9), and they have two siblings, twins who are 4.
I’ve been researching, studying and generally fascinated in learning about babies and children and how our early experiences affect our lives, for 28 years now.
I’ve trained in lots of things over the years, like  developmental psychology, Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy, HypnoBirthing, Private Subconscious-mind Healing, Calm Birth, Aware Parenting, NVC and Field Training.
I’m a Level Two Aware Parenting Instructor and you can find out more about my gazillions of online courses at http://www.marionrose.net

Pictures © copyright Marion Rose 2016

Kids can help, by Brenda in Canada, from her blog “I’m Confident”

broomIsn’t it crazy that when kids are very small they want to help you with everything, but when they are old enough to actually be some help, they don’t want to anymore?   This is probably because we have trained them NOT to want to help.   What?  Yes, we often train our children to avoid helping by not taking the time to teach them responsibility.

Children naturally want to be involved with everything their parents and siblings are doing.  They are curious and they want to learn.  If we are cleaning or cooking, they will try to get right in there and help.  Even though they aren’t physically or mentally ready to do most things, they still want to try.   This is a necessary and important part of their learning process.

However, when  children get in our way, especially when they are small, we tend to push them aside and tell them they can’t help.  We say things like, “You are too small, you will get hurt, you can’t do this, you don’t know how, go and play, leave mommy (or daddy) alone.”  When my children were small, I didn’t often allow them to help out when they showed an interest, because it took too long and I wanted things done quickly and properly.  Then I wondered why they didn’t help around the house when they got older.

When children are small, of course they are unable to help very much, but this is the perfect time to start teaching them.  If you push a child aside, they will feel that you aren’t interested in them and that they have no value.  This can have a huge effect on their confidence and esteem and when they get older, they won’t want to bother helping because they don’t know how, they feel it is a waste of their time or they just expect you to do everything for them.

Read more at the following link…

https://imconfident.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/kids-can-help/

What does “Vestibular” mean? By Claire Heffron

vestibular-pinnable.jpg

The vestibular sense has to do with balance and movement and is centered in the inner ear.  Each of us has vestibular organs located deep inside our ears. When we move our heads, the fluid in these organs moves and shifts, constantly providing us with information about the position of our heads and bodies in space (spatial awareness). This sense allows us to maintain our balance and to experience gravitational security: confidence that we can maintain a position without falling.  The vestibular system allows us to move smoothly and efficiently. It also works right alongside all of our other sensory systems, helping us use our eyes effectively and process sounds in our environment. Overall, vestibular processing helps us feel confident moving and interacting with our surroundings.

A HEALTHY VESTIBULAR SYSTEM
When our vestibular sense is fully functioning, we are secure and organized enough in our bodies to be able to attend and respond to all of the other senses we encounter daily.  A child with a well-developed vestibular sense feels confident and safe during movement activities, even if his feet are off the ground.  He is able to start and stop movement activities calmly and with control.  He is comfortable with climbing, swinging, somersaulting, and jumping – knowing that his body will adapt and that he will be able to maintain his balance and keep himself from falling or getting hurt.

PROBLEMS WITH VESTIBULAR PROCESSING
A healthy vestibular system is central to the integration of the other sensory systems.  When a child’s vestibular system is not functioning correctly, he may be under responsive or overly sensitive to movement. He may either need to move constantly to feel satisfied or he may be fearful of movement, because it makes him feel insecure and unbalanced. He may move in an uncoordinated, clumsy manner, bumping into things, falling, and never fully walking or sitting in an upright manner. This is the child that slouches at his desk or is constantly being directed to “stand up straight” or “quit leaning on the wall!”  He may appear weak or “floppy.” As a result, he might have difficulty coordinating and planning motor tasks such as jumping jacks, skipping, catching a ball with two hands, or reaching across the center of his body (crossing midline), or even coordinating movements of the mouth, resulting in difficulty with speech production.  Vision is closely related to the vestibular system. When we feel balanced and centered, our eyes can move smoothly and steadily and are able to focus, track, and discriminate between objects in our environment. Difficulty with tasks that require the eyes to move left to right (e.g. reading) or up and down repeatedly (e.g. copying information from the board) may be signs of a disrupted vestibular system.

 

Read more at:

http://theinspiredtreehouse.com/vestibular/   (Continues this article on a great blog, The Inspired Tree House).

http://lemonlimeadventures.com/vestibular-input-sensory-processing/    (An article by Dayna, a preschool educator and mother whose son has SPD, Sensory Processing Disorder, on her wonderful blog, Lemon Lime Adventures).

10 Tips for Attracting Girls to the Block Area

 

tips girls block play

Have you ever had the experience in your classroom where the boys, either through words or actions or sheer number, establish the block corner as “boys only” territory?
Here are 10 tried and true strategies you can use to make the block corner irresistible (and accessible) to girls:

1. Add Fabric Pieces 

Provide lengths of brightly coloured fabric in different textures and/or a basket of two of small fabric pieces.

Children use them with their block creations to make tents and houses, to decorate or as picnic blankets, as costumes, as a way to hide, and many other things.

2. Accessorise.

Include a basket or two of adornments and natural elements such as beads, shells, coloured tiles, seed pods or silk flowers.


Stand back and watch what happens.

 

To Read more follow this link:

http://www.letthechildrenplay.net/2010/02/10-ways-to-attract-girls-to-block.html