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March 2020 Elementary Parents Magazine

Four ways to strengthen your child’s character

Teachers help their students learn important skills and facts. But when it comes to teaching values, parents are the best teachers.

And, like any teacher, you need a lesson plan. Here are four strategies for building your child’s character:

  1. Think about the values that are important to you and your family. Talk about them openly with your child.
  2. Teach by example. A parent’s example is the most powerful teacher of all. Ask yourself, “If my child could watch my behavior all day, what lessons would she learn?”
  3. Set high standards. Expect your child to act responsibly, to be kind to others and to tell the truth. Some families make it a point of family pride. “In the Smith family, we tell the truth.”
  4. Teach the Golden Rule. Teaching your child to treat others as she would like to be treated will help her make good choices. She should ask herself, “Would I want someone to talk to me that way?”

Reprinted with permission from the March 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

Are you helping your child deal with frustration?

Today’s students don’t always have the skills to cope with life’s minor hassles. Are you helping your child learn to deal with frustration? Respond yes or no to each statement:

  1. I understand that it isn’t my job to protect my child from all of life’s ups and downs.
  2. I encourage my child to keep trying when she gets stuck on a homework problem. I ask questions to help her find solutions.
  3. I help my child link her effort to success. Sometimes I say, “It isn’t supposed to be easy. But you’ll get it if you stick with it.”
  4. I point out real-life stories of successful people who have overcome challenges.
  5. I put my child’s feelings into words. “You’re frustrated that learning this science concept is taking longer than you hoped. You’ll get there.”

 

How well are you doing?

 

If most of your responses are yes, you are giving your child opportunities to work through her frustration. For each no, try that idea in the quiz.

Reprinted with permission from the March 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

A peaceful home environment promotes a sense of well-being

It’s nearly impossible to lead a stress-free life these days, but you can work to make home a haven away from the daily grind.

To help your entire family feel mentally and emotionally well:

  • Encourage laughter. Laughter should be a part of each day. Have everyone share favorite funny shows, movies, jokes and stories.
  • Share stress-relief strategies. Teach your child to take deep breaths, go for a walk or turn on some relaxing music whenever she feels stressed.
  • Remember the big three: good nutrition, adequate sleep and exercise. These are the keys to wellness.
  • Share good things. Every day, have each family member report at least one good thing (no matter how small) that happened. Try to do this during a family meal. You could even write down the responses in a family gratitude journal.
  • Stay organized. An organized, clutter-free home creates a more peaceful environment for everyone. It also teaches your child how to take care of her belongings.
  • Pitch in. Chores go so much more quickly when everyone works together. Have a family chore time and then reward yourselves by doing something fun as a family.

Reprinted with permission from the March 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: A. Marks, M.D. and B. Rothbart, M.S.W., Healthy Teens, Body and Soul: A Parent’s Complete Guide, Fireside.

Reduce your child’s test anxiety with four proven strategies

It’s normal to get a little nervous before a big test, but many children suffer from excessive test anxiety. They worry so much about taking the test that their performance suffers.

To help your child relieve those pre-test jitters:

  1. Focus on preparation. Make sure he spreads studying out over time. True learning requires time to review and think about the content. And knowing the material is the best way to reduce anxiety and stress.
  2. Discourage cramming, which can increase anxiety and interfere with clear thinking. The most important things your child can do the day before a test are to review and then get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Encourage a positive outlook. Build your child’s confidence by reminding him of his strengths. Have him envision himself doing well on the test.
  4. Maintain perspective. Remind him that test scores aren’t everything. Make sure your child knows that, while you want him to do his best, he doesn’t have to be the best.

Reprinted with permission from the March 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.