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Teach Your Kids to Value Empathy Over Tenacity

If you watched Coco Gauff’s third round loss in the US Open on Saturday, chances are you won’t remember the score or many details about the match itself; you’ll mostly remember how Naomi Osaka consoled the 15-year-old after her defeat.

And if you’re Osaka’s parent, you should be more proud of the kindness and empathy she showed than the big win she earned. Just two days before the sweet moment between the athletes, writer Anna Nordberg wrote for the Washington Post that parents put too much focus on their kids developing tenacity or grit and not enough focus on developing conscientious characteristics.

Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour tells Nordberg that what actually makes adults happy barely correlates with academic or professional success:

What it does correlate with is quality of relationships, a sense of purpose and feeling that you are good at what you do. “If you walk that back to look at what you can do as a parent, it’s raising conscientious kids,” Damour says. “When you’re conscientious, you tend to have better relationships, you’re caring, you’re not dishonest and you pursue things that have meaning to you.”

Maybe it seems obvious. Of course we want our kids to be good people. Of course we want them to be empathetic and kind and caring. We want our kids to work hard at their goals—even when things get tough—but we don’t want them to be the type of people who are more focused on their personal success than the feelings of those around them.

But apparently we’re not doing a very good job of getting that point across to our kids, at least not according to a 2014 study detailed in The Atlantic:

While 96 percent of parents say they want to raise ethical, caring children, and cite the development of moral character as “very important, if not essential,” 80 percent of the youths surveyed reported that their parents “are more concerned about achievement or happiness than caring for others.” Approximately the same percentage reported that their teachers prioritize student achievement over caring. Surveyed students were three times as likely to agree as disagree with the statement “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my class than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

So how can we not only value empathy but also encourage it? Well, we start by modeling it. Kids are more likely to do as we do, not do as we say. Let them see you shoveling the sidewalk for your elderly neighbor, volunteering at the local food bank and buying gifts for families in need during the holidays. And when you catch them being kind—praise, praise, praise.

But Nordberg also writes that we should actually create opportunities that “encourage empathy, collaboration and kindness rather than waiting for them to spontaneously happen.” We should be empathy enablers.

Enlist older kids to help with younger kids, whether it’s at home with siblings or at school as mentors or tutors. Involve them in your own problem-solving brainstorms. Clear off the kitchen table and spread out the thank-you card supplies so they’ll actually write the thank-you notes. Seek out moments in which you can encourage them to be kind, and they’ll build those empathetic muscles while also recognizing the value you place on those characteristics.

And then, one day, your kid might be the tennis star who consoles their opponent while the world watches and admires.

 

By: Meghan Moravcik Walbert

Source: Teach Your Kids to Value Empathy Over Tenacity

Empathy is a skill that parents can work to teach their children through encouragement and emotional development activities. In this episode of Mom Docs, Dr. Dehra Harris shares a few tips for parents to ensure children develop healthy emotional habits and empathy skills. Visit Children’s MomDocs (a blog by mom physicians at St Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine):
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The Top Ride On Trains On The Market – Family Hype

The train has been a staple child’s toy for many years. When you think of a toy train, you tend to think about a small train set where the train goes about its journey, be it hand or battery powered. These trains are very small, usually too small for even your pet to catch a ride on.

Source: flickr.com

However, another type of train that kids, especially toddlers and younger children love is the ride-on train. With these, your little boy or girl can be the conductor as they take themselves on a one way ticket to fun. There are plenty of ride-on trains in the market. Which ones are the best? Let’s find out.

What To Look For In A Ride On Train

Tracks Or No Tracks?

There are some ride on trains that have their own tracks. These tracks can be built and your child can ride on them. Some trains don’t have tracks, and are just train-shaped carts they can ride on. Who needs tracks? Some kids will like the creativity that comes with building and riding on tracks, while others may like a train where they can ride everywhere that has a solid surface.  Some trains have the option for both. This may be good for a growing child. At first, a set track would be the safest, and as they grow, they can drive around outside the tracks.

Battery or No Battery?

Some trains are battery operated. They move on their own, with gear and braking systems. Then there are those that are powered by pushing or feet. Obviously, the battery powered means that it will be more expensive and can break down more, but it can be more fun. Of course, your budget matters at the end of the day.

Source: maxpixel.net

Design

Does your kid want a train shaped like their favorite character, like Thomas the Tank Engine, or do they want a more realistic train? This can determine which train you buy. Some trains are cheaper and made from plastic, while others will have a steel look that you will love too.

Now, let’s look at some trains.

National 6V Talking

This is a train that can do a lot. It has a 19-foot track and can go up to a mile an hour. It’s not exactly a train that can take you across the country, but for a young child with an imagination, it might as well be. It makes noises too, just like a real train. Your child can shift it forwards or reverse, it has a braking system that activates automatically, and it’s an all-around decent buy. With that said, it does have some durability issues, so if your kid is a roughhouser, you may want to look elsewhere.

Step2 Up & Down Coaster

Step2 is always a good name when it comes to toys for tots. This coaster has the face of Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is a character who is beloved by generations of children. Odds are, you may have liked him when you were a kid.

It has a little ramp your kid can use, but it’s not as complex as the other ones. It’s great for young children, as its nonslip steps, handrails, and other safety features ensure a safe and fun ride, but it lacks features that older kids may want.

Source: flickr.com (Rizu14)

Kiddieland Minnie

Minnie Mouse is a great character for your little girl (or boy.) This is a plastic train that has its own track. It has music and sounds you may recognize and its caboose can fit the rest of the toy, making it great for travel. With that said, the toy is very slow, so it’s another one that’s great for little toddlers, but bigger kids may want more.

Morgan Cycle Santa Fe

This is a great steel train that is built for durability. It has a padded seat that’s comfortable, safe, and can be detached to clean. That’s always a plus, isn’t it? It’s non-electric, colorful, and quite fun to steer. It’s great if you want a toddler-powered train that can last, though some kids may want an electric one.

Source: flickr.com (Jason Mrachina)

Rollplay Steam

This is a quite advanced ride-on train. It makes real steam, allowing your kid to think they are really riding on a train. It’s battery powered and rechargeable and a full battery can have two hours of adventuring. Overall, it’s a great train with many uses, and we recommend trying it out. Oh yeah, and it has working headlights, so you may see your kid on it when you think they’re sleeping! All aboard.

Power Wheels Thomas & Friends

Again, who doesn’t love Thomas? This toy will make your child think they are really riding everyone’s favorite blue train. This toy can move forward, steer around, and stop. It comes with a track, and it can go outside its track as well, which is always a plus. It makes real sounds from the show as well, which is always a plus. You can easily assemble it too.

Source: airforcemedicine.af.mil

VTech Sit-to-Stand

This battery powered train not only is fun to ride on, but it can teach your kid about the ABCs. Oh yeah, and it has a piano your kid can play with as well. It has its own learning center to teach your toddler about all the basics. For a toddler, learning has never been more fun, and we know your little one is going to love what he sees. If you want to get your child to learn their alphabet, shapes, numbers, and more, then you should take them aboard the learning train.

Source: flickr.com (Penguino20)

Peg Perego Santa Fe

This is another cool train that can go on a track or off the track, too. The track itself is 12 pieces, and the train has a classic design that is aesthetically pleasing. It makes sounds that resemble a real train and no steering required. Your kid is going to love every bit of it.

 

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

Source: The Top Ride On Trains On The Market – Family Hype

Top 18 Virtual Reality Apps That Are Changing How Kids Learn

Technology progress influences the way kids learn, and it’s constantly changing. Internet, smartphones, and apps have connected people globally without caring about the distance. Within seconds you can communicate with anybody anywhere. Virtual reality has taken it a step further. Now it’s possible to visit these faraway places or go back in time without moving an inch. Technology, like virtual reality apps, has brought the real world into the classroom and once again, changing how kids learn…….

Source: Top 18 Virtual Reality Apps That Are Changing How Kids Learn

Play Brain Games to Help Your Child Learn to Read – Judy Willis

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Reading is not a natural process for the human brain.We are born with the brain architecture ready for development of successful verbal communication, but without any blueprint guiding recognition of the printed word. Neuroimaging scans show that multiple brain regions activate during the reading process without any one isolated reading center.

The human brain is a pattern-building and detecting mechanism. Seeking patterns is the brain’s way of making sense of new information and experiences. We identify new things based on their similarities and relationships to things we already know. The development of literacy takes place in the same way all memories are constructed in the brain – by relating the new to the known.

The brain stores our learned information in long-term memory neural circuits based on commonalities or relationships. If a child had never seen a hat of any kind on a person (real or in pictures) and she is given a doll with various items of clothing, she would not know to place the hat on the doll’s head.

Memory patterns of stored related information become stronger the more frequently information they hold is recalled, used, or reviewed in a way that reinforces the relationships among the data in the memory circuit. For memory of letters and words to build, the brain must continue to link new information with related patterns that already exist in memory storage. For reading to become an acquired skill, there must be a gradual buildup of memories where new information is experienced together with related existing knowledge.

This is why children need skills of patterning and pattern recognition to develop literacy. Their patterning skills are what will allow their brains to connect letters with sounds and words with meanings. Helping young children build their patterning skills supports their future ability to recognize and remember the patterns found in letters, words, and sentence structures.

Here are some brain games you can play with your child to help boost his reading ability through recognizing, playing with, and creating patterns:

  1. Draw attention to patterns in art, nature, and daily recurrent occurrences. You can help your child build pattern recognition skills by playing “color detective” as you are out together. Have your child say “red” each time he sees a red car. Then ask him to be on the lookout for another color. You can also play “shape hunt” together, and ask your child to lead you around the house and point to all things that are circle-shaped (or square, etc.).
  2. Ask your child to categorize and sort items. The patterning skills needed for reading are further extended when your child’s brain can associate the unknown with a pattern into which it could fit. This pattern matching is what takes place when the brain predicts (based on existing memory patterns) the sound of an unfamiliar letter or the meaning of an unknown word. To work on this skill with your child, get her to sort objects into obvious categories, such as a collection of pictures or small plastic animals or vehicles, and give names to each group. (Verbalizing the name she selects for a category increases the brain’s awareness of the pattern. Ask your child why she chose the category name or what information she used when sorting items the way she did.) When she is pro?cient with this, she can move on to more subtle items to categorize. For example, make a map of the rooms of the house and place it on a table or the floor, and ask her to bring items specific to each room, and place each item in the appropriate room on the map.
  3. Look for similarities and differences between objects and photos. When your child has mastered large pattern similarities and differences such as red toys and black toys, try engaging in the following activity. While driving in the car or taking a walk together, ask him to point to cars that have four doors and those that have two or houses with flat roofs and pointy roofs. Or if you are at home, find two photographs of your child taken about a year apart and have him tell you about all the details he finds in each of them. Ask him which picture was taken when he was older and how he can tell. This game becomes more complex and expands comparison-and-contrast aspects of pattern recognition when you encourage your child to tell you other similarities and differences he notices: between two cars, houses, leaves, dogs, family photos, or photos of him at different ages.
  4. Play games of “What doesn’t belong?” This will prepare your child to identify how words and letters have shared characteristics that can be used to identify new words by seeking commonalities. Group together three items, like coins, and include one that does not belong, and ask your child to guess which one is not the same as the others. Once she masters this, create increasingly complex groupings where the “different” item is subtler in its differences (pennies with all heads up except one with tail side up). You can then move on to identification of the patterns of sequences. Line up a penny-penny-dime, penny-penny-dime, and penny-penny-dime sequence. Ask your child to choose the next coin that would fit with the pattern you set up. This builds both patterning skills for reading and sequencing skills for number sense, the basis for learning arithmetic.
  5. Try pattern matching. Pattern matching is how children connect specific letters and groups of letters with associated sounds. An example is by seeing the letter “m” and based on past experiences associating that letter with the “mmm” sound, your child is able to retrieve the memory of that sound. This “phonemic awareness” requires the brain to repeatedly experience the sound and letter together. The more frequently children are aware of this relationship between sound and letter, the more easily their brains will retrieve the correct sound to match with the letter in new words – until it becomes automatic. Children who have trouble with written symbols may learn more readily from hearing patterns emphasized in speech. You can help build these memory pathways to recognize patterns by emphasizing repeating letters, words, and sentences with changes in your voice pitch, speed, or volume emphasis as you read together with your child. If the word in the book is “hibernate” you would read and point to the “hi” and “bern” the point to the “ate”. Then have him do the same and find words with the familiar letter combinations.

Learning to read is critical for all academic success, but it is often an intimidating struggle for children. As your children’s patterning partner, you’ll be their guide to the wonderful worlds they can reach through books traveling over the rainbow and deep into the center of the earth. Your guidance will light the way and the books they enjoy when young will ignite their joy as lifelong readers.

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