Tara Kennedy-Kline
Every child has an opinion and should be allowed to express it without fear of rejection or punishment ~ TKK

Ask yourself "What messages am I sending my child about communicating with me?"

For years, if my husband and I were having a conversation in our home, or just bantering back and forth, if either of our kids tried to interject or ask us a question, we wouldn't let them talk. We would usually stop them and say "This is an adult conversation!"

Eventually, my children began to yell and cry and carry on and become dramatic and my husband and I would get angry. Then they started to make up stories or lies to "tattle" on their friends...and my husband and I would scold them.

Then, one day, as my youngest son threw a fit in his room...I got quiet, got down on his level and just listened to him. At first he stopped yelling and asked "What are you doing!?"

"I'm just listening to you." I replied.

"Why are you listening to me?" he yelled

"Why wouldn't I listen to you Alex?"

..."Because no one ever listens to me..."

My heart was broken, but not because I was offended or hurt, but because I realized that I was raising a child who believed he was not worth listening to.
In a moment I understood why my kids were yelling and dramatic and needy and tattling and lying. Because they needed to use any or all of those things if they were going to be heard.

That day, I realized that if I was going to change the craziness that I had created in my home...I would have to start listening to my kids.

Today's Journaling: "What was my greatest accomplishment today?

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family." ~! Matthew 5:19
Tara Kennedy-Kline
"Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population." ~ Albert Einstein

This week we will focus on "Respectful Communication"...listen without interruption, judgement, defense or critique. When engaging in conversation, make it a rule in your home that each person who is NOT talking, will count to three in their head after the speaker has said their last word. Only then will it be a good time for the next person to take "the talking stick" and begin speaking.

Journal prompt Day #1:
What was the best thing about my day?

Ask your child(ren) to answer the same question and REALLY LISTEN TO THEIR may be amazed at what they consider to be "best".

To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with. ~ Mark Twain
Tara Kennedy-Kline
I love this concept as it ties directly to "Self forgiveness" which is paramount in teaching self love/respect. This is exactly why I include "do overs' in my journaling for families.

One of the questions we ask of each other is "What did I experience or create today that I would do over if I could?" and Then we ask: "What could I do differently next time to be happy about it?" from these questions, we open the door to talk about "what did I learn from it?"

Having these types of conversations with our kids not only shows them that "mistakes happen", but by going first as the adult, we let them see that mom and dad (and their teachers and their coaches) make mistakes too. It's important to model for children that we do not need to beat ourselves up over those mistakes...instead, we should look at them as an opportunity to learn, grow, and plan for the "do overs", even if they are only in our head.

The concept of visualizing corrective actions teaches our children to forgive, prepare and problem solve which are invaluable life skills to carry them through and over the obstacles life will throw in their path as teens and adults.
A baby isn’t born with a fully developed brain. As it develops, its neurons make up to 15000complex connections with each other. This wiring of pathways readies the brain for all future tasks, and is most vigorous in the first six years of life. Pathways used often are strengthened; those not used gradually aliminated.this’use it or lose it’ principle of brain development is the key argument for preschools, as formal schooling begins only at age four or so.

Choosing a preschool for your child can be a tough decision! Friends and neighbors can be a good source of information, but it's important to do your own research too. Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. This is particularly true if you have a preschooler with special learning or behavior needs. The following checklist can help you get a head start on finding the right setting for your preschooler.

Preschool provides a wonderful opportunity for your child to make new friends, socialize, and learn from an adult. Starting preschool is an exciting (and sometimes nervous!) time for little ones and parents.

Here are the Preschool Tips that help you and your child :

1.Take advantage of opportunities to get to know your child’s teacher and his classroom before the first day of preschool.
2.If they’re offered, attend the orientation meeting, the Open House, or the Welcome Back Picnic.
3.Use those times to meet your child’s classmates and families. It might also be helpful to set up a playdate with a child or two from your child’s new class.
In the weeks before preschool starts, share your excitement about school with your child.
4.Focus on the fun things he’ll learn during the year, and all the different things he’ll get to do. If possible, visit the playground at preschool. If you’re excited, your child will be too!
5.Clear away a special area in your house for your child’s bookbag and jacket. Establish a routine that puts your child in charge of clearing out and hanging up the backpack each day. This will make the morning rush a little less hectic.
6.Find some quiet time at the end of each day to share two or three books. Ask your local librarian to share books about school feelings and the first day.
7.Take a few minutes to talk about her feelings and her day at school. You’ll both sleep better!

Preschool checklist: ten must have :

1.Teacher child ratio 1: 20
2.children or less per room
3.Adequate ventilation, natural light and space: ideally a garden with swings and a sand pit.
4.Proximately to home so the child needn't travel long distance and can be easily picked up if unwell.
5.Trained teachers who are not just competent but loving too.
6.Low teacher’s turnover, so your child is in experienced hands.
7.Clean and hygienic environment
8.Direct teacher parent communication with regular feedback
9.Books,toys,aids actually used by children, not just displayed
10.Completion free environment where children aren’t pressured or compared with others.
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