Failure is the Platform to Success


Failure is the platform to success for many who have risen to the top. As parents it’s important to give your child the freedom to try and the freedom to fail. “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” Robert H. Schuller. Give your child freedom to fail. You never know how that can help him succeed later on!

New Life and New Beginnings


As springtime is budding and new life is bursting forth, it’s also a symbolic time for new life and new beginnings. What a great time to give another a “new life and a new beginning”. At The Family Learning Center we are all about this. Invest in a child this spring, or sponsor a child for our summer programs and help create a new life and beginning for one. Visit our website at www.flcboulder.org  to make this happen.

Are rewards effective in trying to motivate my child?

There has been a debate as to whether rewards should be used when motivating a child. Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, addresses the topic in a brief quoted summary.

“It is unfortunate, however, that one of our most effective teaching tools is often rejected because of what I would consider to be a misunderstanding of terms. Our entire society is established on a system of rewards, yet we don’t want to apply them where they are needed most: with young children. As adults, we go to work each day and receive a paycheck every other Friday. Getting out of bed each morning and meeting the requirements of a job are thereby rewarded. Medals are given to brave soldiers, plaques are awarded to a successful business people, and watches are presented to retiring employees. Rewards make responsible effort worthwhile.

The main reason for the overwhelming success of capitalism is that hard work and personal discipline are rewarded materially. The great weakness of socialism is the absence of reinforcement; why should a person struggle to achieve if there is nothing special to be gained? This system is a destroyer of motivation, yet some parents seem to feel it is the only way to approach children. They expect little Marvin to carry responsibility simply because it is noble for him to do so. They want him to work and learn and sweat for the sheer joy of personal accomplishment. He isn’t going to buy it!”
Do you agree or disagree?

Children and Stress


Stress is typically seen as an adult battle. After all we’re the ones paying the bills, working the job, and putting food on the table. However, even the smallest child can experience stress and the negative side effects. Stress can interfere with life and school performance. Read more to identify sources of stress, signs and symptoms, and how to help your child cope at http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/stress.html#

Teaching Resiliency in Children


We have often heard it takes a village to raise a child. That’s true to a certain extent. It takes input from many in order to help a child start his life and get on a path of success. Life is hard and as parents sometimes we have a tendency to shelter our children from disappointments and failures. I know I have done that with my children at times. One thing I have learned though, is children need to learn how to deal with disappointments. Life is full of them! In fact, it’s a rarity that things always go as dreamed or planned. Teaching children to be resilient is a lifelong skill that will carry them far. In fact, I almost think it’s more important to teach resiliency than winning as so much can be learned from disappointments. Here are a few pointers in which you can embed resiliency in your children:

Offer your unconditional love and support. Let them know you will always be there for them. When a child feels the scaffolding of acceptance, love and support they are more likely to attempt to learn, grow and develop.

Empower them with an ability to solve many of their own problems. Many children today aren’t really taught to think for themselves. People make decisions for them. As a result many children are like robots not even knowing how to think critically. If they aren’t allowed to use their own brain, even if it’s not the decision you would make, they won’t be able to handle life as if happens. Decision making and becoming more “thoughtful” is a skill that is developed and is a critical throughout life to exercise.

Give them the freedom to fail. If they are always afraid of failing or making mistakes they won’t ever attempt anything. Failure or making mistakes is actually a platform to success and should be conveyed that is something that happens to everyone. Help them to see the golden nuggets or lesson learned from the failing.

Display empathy for your child. Remember that you were a child once and try to see their situation through their eyes. The see, felt, but here’s what I did approach works well. Saying something like, “I see how you feel, I have felt the same way, but here’s what I found.” Putting yourself in their shoes lowers the wall and they are more likely to follow wise advice.

Accentuate their strengths. Emphasizing the positive is always more motivating than criticizing. Build them up instead of tearing them down. Let them know they have what it takes if they set their mind to it. These are the bricks that are necessary to build a great structure.

It’s important to win in life but it’s also equally important to be resilient and to know how to effectively deal with failures, mistakes and setbacks. Resiliency developed within children will help increase motivation and performance in school and life. What works for you? More information can be found at http://mentalhealth.vermont.gov/cafu/resiliency .

How to Finish the School Year Strong!

After spring break, sometimes it’s difficult to get into the swing of things. However, it’s important to finish the school year strong. It’s like running in a race. Although it’s important to start strong, it’s almost more important to finish strong. Now is the time to kick it into gear. Here are some tips that can help make this happen. Finish the semester strong! Click here to find out how to do that http://www.wsusignpost.com/2012/03/31/viewpoint-finishing-the-semester-strong/ . How do you finish strong?