Phonemic Awareness

What is Phonemic Awareness?

First of all, Phonemic awareness is not phonics. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes–in spoken words. Before children learn to read print, they need to become more aware of how the sounds in words work. They must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes (the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that make a difference in a word’s meaning).

Why Phonemic Awareness Is Important

It improves students’ word reading and comprehension.

It helps students learn to spell.

Phonemic Awareness Can Be Developed Through Activities

Identify and categorize sounds

Blend sounds to form words

Delete or add sounds to form new words

Substitute sounds to make new words

Phonemic Awareness Instruction Is Most Effective When–

Students are taught to manipulate phonemes by using alphabet letters.

Instruction focuses on only one or two rather than several types of phoneme manipulation.Phonemic instruction is taught in Kindergarten or First Grade.

Phonemic Awareness Instruction Basics

Children who cannot hear and work with the phonemes of spoken words will have difficult time learning how to relate these phonemes to graphemes (A letter of an alphabet, or all of the letters and letter combinations that represent a phoneme, as f, ph, and gh for the phoneme-American Heritage Dictionary) when they see them in written words. Early readers can show they have phonemic awareness in several ways:

recognizing which words in a set of words start with the same sound

isolating and saying the first or last sound in a word

combining or blending the separate sounds in a word in order to say the word Examples of Phonemic Awareness Skills

Blending: What word am I trying to say? Nnnnn-oooo–t.

Segmentation (first sound isolation): What is the first sound in not?

Segmentation (last sound isolation): What is the last sound in not?

Segmentation (complete): What are all the sounds you hear in not?

Phonological awareness is an umbrella term that includes four developmental levels: 

Word awareness

Syllable awareness

Onset-rime awareness

Phonemic awareness

Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken language words can be broken into individual phonemes—the smallest unit of spoken language.

Phonemic awareness is not the same as phonics—phonemic awareness focuses on the individual sounds in spoken language. As students begin to transition to phonics, they learn the relationship between a phoneme (sound) and grapheme (the letter(s) that represent the sound) in written language.

To develop phonological awareness, kindergarten and first grade students must demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).Why Phonemic Awareness Is Important

First of all, phonemic awareness performance is a strong predictor of long-term reading and spelling success (Put Reading First, 1998). Students with strong phonological awareness are likely to become good readers, but students with weak phonological skills will likely become poor readers (Blachman, 2000). It is estimated that the vast majority—more than 90 percent—of students with significant reading problems have a core deficit in their ability to process phonological information (Blachman, 1995).

In fact, phonemic awareness performance can predict literacy performance more accurately than variables such as intelligence, vocabulary knowledge, and socioeconomic status (Gillon, 2004). The good news is that phonological awareness is one of the few factors that teachers are able to influence significantly through instruction—unlike intelligence, vocabulary, and socioeconomic status (Lane and Pullen, 2004).

Many students (75%) enter kindergarten with proficient phonemic awareness skills. The 25% of students who have not mastered these skills are from all socio-economic backgrounds and need explicit instruction in phonemic awareness. When instruction is engaging and developmentally appropriate, researchers recommend that all kindergarten students receive phonemic awareness instruction (Adams, 1990).

At a Glance

Phonological awareness is the foundation for learning to read.

It’s the ability to recognize and work with sounds in spoken language.

Some kids pick it up naturally, but others need more help with it. People often think that reading begins with learning to sound out letters. But most young kids are getting ready to read long before they understand that letters stand for sounds. Reading actually starts with kids tuning in to the sounds of spoken words. That’s where phonological awareness comes in.

What Phonological Awareness Is

Most of us remember doing the Hokey Pokey and clapping out the syllables to “that’s what it’s all about.” It seems like just a fun game, but the Hokey Pokey is also a tool that builds phonological awareness—a key skill that lays a foundation for success with reading.

Phonological awareness lets kids recognize and work with the sounds of spoken language. In preschoolers, it means being able to pick out rhyming words and count the number of syllables in a name. It also involves noticing alliteration (how sounds repeat themselves). For example, “Susie sold six salami sandwiches.” (Preschools usually include this type of language play, songs, rhymes, and stories in their daily activities.) 

Phonological awareness moves from noticing to doing. After kids recognize rhyming words, they start to come up with rhymes on their own. Once they can identify the number of syllables in a word, they begin to break words apart into syllables or single sounds by listening rather than clapping.

Phonological awareness is made up of a group of skills. The most sophisticated—and latest to develop—is called phonemic awareness. This skill lets kids tune in to phonemes (the individual sounds in a word).

Phonemic awareness includes the ability to separate a word into the sounds that make it up and blend single sounds into words. It also involves the ability to add, subtract, or substitute new sounds in words.How Phonological Awareness Relates to Decoding

Once kids can notice, understand, and work with single sounds in words, they’re ready for the next step in reading: decoding. It’s a skill that involves pairing sounds with the letters that make them. Decoding typically develops in kindergarten.

When kids have a strong foundation in phonemic awareness, it’s easier for them to understand that certain letters stand for specific sounds. That’s because they have experience blending sounds into words and taking words apart. And that gives them a head start when it’s time to decode letter sounds, hold them in memory, and blend them into words.

Signs Kids Struggle With Phonological Awareness

Kids develop these skills at different rates. Still, there are some flags that could suggest kids are having trouble and may need more support.

In preschool, these include:

Trouble learning nursery rhymes

Not enjoying listening to rhyming stories

Trouble counting out syllables in words

Difficulty noticing sound repetition or alliteration

In grade school, kids might have trouble:

Identifying the first sound they hear in words

Blending individual sounds into words

Coming up with rhyming words in word play

Confusing similar sounding words (like specific and pacific)

Kids who have bigger challenges with phonological awareness can also struggle with other aspects of language, like the ability to understand questions and directions. They might have trouble learning and remembering new words. Kids can also have trouble expressing themselves clearly.

Teaching Phonological Awareness

Most kids don’t need to be taught phonological awareness. They pick it up by being exposed to a rich language environment.

Reading a nursery rhyme or rhyming story with kids helps build the skill. So do rhyming songs, chants, and word and movement games.

But some kids don’t automatically develop phonological awareness even with that exposure. They need to learn the skill through explicit instruction and practice.

Many teachers teach phonemic awareness in kindergarten and early first grade. The best way to teach this is by using evidence-based literacy instruction (known as structured literacy) that helps kids learn in a structured, step-by-step way.

This type of systematic and sequential instruction teaches skills in a logical order. Kids start by rhyming and identifying beginning sounds in words.

Once they’ve mastered those skills, they move on to blending spoken sounds into words and dividing words into their individual sounds. The last step is learning to add, subtract, and substitute sounds to make new words.

Keep in mind that not all schools use a curriculum that teaches phonemic awareness. Many kindergarten and first-grade programs begin reading instruction with phonics. They focus on associating sounds with written letters right away.

This approach can be hard for some students. It can make the process of learning to read much more challenging. But even when the curriculum is phonics-based, teachers can also use strategies that include the elements of evidence-based literacy instruction.

How You Can Help

Strengthening kids’ phonological or phonemic awareness skills can happen in lots of ways, not just through direct teaching. Here are a few suggestions.

Make language play a part of the day. Read rhyming books, sing songs, and ask kids to come up with words that rhyme or start with the same sound. You can also play phonological awareness games online. Choose fun, enjoyable activities and keep them short—five minutes or so—in order to hold kids’ interest.

Build phonological awareness (literally). Use LEGO blocks to build words and take them apart. Give kids two attached blocks to represent parts of the word. For older kids, start by using compound words like doghouse. Ask them to say the word. Then ask them to take away the first half: “Say the word doghouse. Now take away dog. What word is left?” Then have them take the LEGO blocks apart as they split the word apart.

Check out technology. For some kids, apps and software can help build reading skills. Kids can use them to learn and practice phonological or phonemic awareness skills. Teach your monster to read: The groundbreaking game that makes learning to read fun

• Covers everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences.

• Designed in collaboration with leading academics.

• Complements all synthetic phonics programmes used in schools. Check it out here https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/

Reading Awareness In Toddlers.

85% of brain development happens in the first five years. Reading to our children in general is super important. Exposing children to diversity in books will prepare them for life in a diverse world. Expose readers to a balanced menu of characters.

Encourage Children to express what they like about their books, and find more books like those. Your toddler connect books with the familiar beloved sound of your voice- and the physical closeness that reading together brings. Texturized books are especially good for your child’s textile experience.

If you want to raise a reader, be a reader. Everytime you read to your child they are introduced to new information, concepts, and phonemic awareness with every story.

Children with a large collection of reading resources in their homes score higher on standardized tests. Provoke a reading habit in your child by having a large array of interesting books at their reading level.

Reading , storytelling , talking and singing with your toddler helps them learn about sounds , words , and language. Your toddler might enjoy books with animals, stories about playtime, lift-the-flap and pop-up books. By reading to your child you are getting them familiar with sounds , words , language , print and eventually the value and joy of books.

This builds your child’s early literacy skills and helps your child read successfully later in childhood. Reading stories also stimulates your child’s imagination and helps your child learn about the world around them.

At this age and stage, reading with your child is all about having special time together and modeling a love of books. Toddlers enjoy rhyme, rhythm and repetition.

Make a routine and try to share atleast one book everyday. Talk with your child about sounds animals make. Ask your toddler to name what they see in the picture. Help your child choose a book , than ask them to hold the book and turn the pages.

If children are engaged and enjoying themselves they are learning. Let your child decide how much or (how little) time you spend reading. The more books are woven into children’s everyday lives, the more likely they will be to see reading as a pleasure and a gift.

What books are you currently reading to your kiddos?

5 BENEFITS OF READING AS LITTLE AS 20 PAGES PER DAY

From improving empathy and creativity to staving off dementia, there are countless benefits to reading. So do yourself a favour – pick up a book.

Key takeaways

  • Storytelling can improve feelings of connectedness and fellowship. Literary fiction, in particular, may help increase our empathy for others.
  • Writing that encourages readers to think deeply about the subject matter is said to improve mental flexibility.
  • Frequent readers of fiction have been found to accept more ambiguous thoughts. Accepting ambiguity is believed to be a key to creativity.  
  • The positive changes in the brain caused by reading seem to continue even once the reading has stopped, thus pointing to the long-term benefits of reading.
  • Activities that stimulate the brain – like reading – are thought to help prevent dementia.

For those of us who have spent many a day with our nose in a book, it’s little surprise that recent research shows that reading can be good for your mental health

 as well as your interpersonal relationships.

Here are five psychological benefits to reading, and the science to prove them:

1. Reading makes us more empathetic

Mirror neurons, neurons that fire in our brains when we perform an action ourselves or see an action performed by someone else, were discovered in the mid-90s. Their discovery led to a better understanding of the neuroscience of empathy.

One study found that literary fiction, which simulates our everyday lives, increases our ability to feel empathy for others. Participants were given either literary fiction or nonfiction reading material and, once done, they were given an empathy test. Those that read the literary fiction proved to have the most empathic response.

“The most important characteristic of being human is that our lives are social. Fiction can augment and help us understand our social experience,” says Keith Oatley, professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto. “A piece of fiction … [is] a piece of consciousness being passed from mind to mind. When you’re reading, you’re taking in a piece of consciousness that you make your own,” he explains.

2. Reading makes us more mentally flexible

The reading of poetry and other texts that require the reader to question meaning has shown to cause fascinating changes to patterns of brain activity. In one study, people were asked to rate texts on the basis of their “poeticness” and how much they had to rethink meaning while reading. When reading more complex texts, brain scans showed increased activity in key areas of the brain as well as heightened literary awareness.

“The research found that the sustained experience of reading poems might … increase mental flexibility through the process of the reappraisal of meaning and the acceptance of new meaning,” says one of the study’s authors, Professor Philip Davis, Director of the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society at the University of Liverpool.

According to Professor Davis, greater mental flexibility allows people to better adapt their thoughts and behaviours to evolving situations – people of greater mental flexibility are more likely to seek out new solutions rather than just being led by habit.

3. Reading improves rationality and creativity

Reading has repeatedly been linked to creativity. One study found that, after reading fiction, people have less of a “need for closure”.

Here participants were asked to read either an essay or a short story. Once finished their need for cognitive closure was assessed. The short story readers, when compared to the essay readers, illustrated a significant decrease in their need for cognitive closure. The effect was particularly strong for participants who were habitual readers.

“These findings suggest that reading fictional literature could lead to better procedures for processing information generally, including those of creativity,’ says one of the study’s authors, Professor Maja Djikic, a psychologist specialising in the field of personality development at the University of Toronto.

Professor Djikic explains that due to the ambiguous nature of fiction readers are forced to be more accepting of ambiguity, which is believed to be a key factor in creativity. “When you can entertain multiple perspectives, it is easier to see new possibilities,” she says.

4. Reading enhances brain connectivity and function

Research shows that stories impact the brain both psychologically and neurologically.

A study in which participants’ brains were scanned before, during, and five days after reading a novel found ongoing neurological changes. The results showed that there were changes in the brain’s resting state after participants had finished reading the novel.

The study’s lead, American neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns, explains: “Even though the participants were not actually reading the novel while they were in the scanner, they retained this heightened connectivity. We call that a ‘shadow activity’, almost like muscle memory. The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist. We already know that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

5. Reading can help stave off dementia

Brain stimulating activities, like reading, have been shown to ward off mental decline and conditions such as dementia and even Alzheimer’s.

One study found that people who read later in life have a 32% lower rate of declining mental abilities.

Reading has been shown to put our brains into a state similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.

If reading leads to us treating ourselves and others better and staves of mental decline, what more motivation does one need to pick up a good book?

Moms

For many of us, our mother is the most important woman in our lives. She has given us the ultimate gift, the gift of life, and will nurture us from infancy onwards.

When it comes to describing this woman, words simply fall short, but we can still try.

Here are 30 words to describe Mom, and why she will love it:

Best Words To Describe Mom That Every Mom Will Love

 
It is important to understand the message you convey, so that it comes across sincerely. We’ve included why Mom will love to hear you describe her with these words, and you can honestly bask in her appreciation.
 
Simply put, the meaning of the word is what will impress her. So, if the meaning fits how you feel about your mom, go ahead and use it!
 01Amazing

An amazing person is one who always surprises you with how incredible they are as a human being.

Eg: The way you have taken care of my brothers and me over the years proves that you are an amazing woman.

Photo by Nicholas Githiri under Pexels License02Accepting

A mother who is accepting will love her children no matter what. She will support their decisions and encourage them.

Eg: I was so scared to come out to you and Dad, but you were very accepting and that meant a lot to me and Mike.03Beautiful

Describing your mother as ‘beautiful’ means she in attractive both on the outside and inside. She is a lovely soul with the face of an angel.

Eg: My mom is the most beautiful woman in the world to me!04Brave

This is one of the best words to describe Mom that you can use if she has faced hardship, but overcame them while raising you. She is fearless and won’t give up when difficulties come her way.

Eg: Watching you be so brave through the years makes me proud to be your daughter.

Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) under Unsplash License05Caring

Using ‘caring’ as one of your words to describe Mom. It simply means that she is concerned about your well-being and is always kind to you and others.

Eg: Everyone who has met you immediately sees how caring you are towards Dad and me.

06Compassionate

A compassionate mom is one who will sympathize with you and show concern whenever you are going through something. She will also help you to find solutions.

Eg: Every singly quality you display shows that you are caring, compassionate and dedicated.07Cool

A cool mom is the kind of mom that all your friends wish they had. She is up-to-date with all the latest trends and is understanding when it comes to issues people your age face.

Eg: Mom, you are so cool! All my friends wish their moms were just like you!

Photo by VINICIUS COSTA under Pexels License08Distinguished

If you are looking for words to describe Mom that point to her strength of character, how she commands respect and is successful, refined and noble in all situations, distinguished is a great word.

Eg: I am so pleased to call such a distinguished woman my mother.09Exuberant

A person who is exuberant is one who is full of joy and energy. If your mom is always upbeat and positive, this is the perfect word to describe her.

Eg: You are cherished for your pleasantness and exuberance.10Fair

Using the word fair to describe your mom simply means that she treats everyone equally, without discriminating or choosing a favorite. She listens to both sides of an argument before deciding and does not allow anyone to influence her decisions.

Eg: Raising four children must have been hard for you, but you were always fair and loved us equally.

Photo by Berendey_Ivanov / Andrey_Kobysnyn under Pexels License11Fun

If your mom is someone who enjoys a good time and is entertaining and lighthearted, then ‘fun’ should be at the top of your list of words to describe Mom.

Eg: Spending time with you is always a blast because you are such a fun person

12Generous

A generous person gives from the heart and is willing to go the extra mile for people around them. Using this word to describe Mom will let her know her efforts are being recognized and appreciated.

Eg: No matter what you go through, you are always kind and generous to everyone you come in contact with.

Photo by Shitota Yuri under UNsplash License13Gracious

A mom who is gracious is always courteous, kind and pleasant to everyone she meets. She is a lovable person and both the young and the old enjoys her company.

Eg: Everyone enjoys coming to our house because you are such a gracious hostess.14Hardworking

If your mom is a single mom who works her butt off and is committed to providing for her family, then this is without a doubt one of the words to describe Mom she’d really appreciate.

Eg: Having a mom as hardworking as you, is one of the biggest inspirations in my life.

Photo by CoWomen under Pexels License15Humble

A mom who is humble is modest and not too prideful. She will not brag or boast about what she has or what she has done, especially to persons who have less.

Eg: What most people like about you is that you are very humble, despite having accomplished so much.16Honest

Honest moms are truthful and sincere. They are also genuine and straightforward.

Eg: I am very lucky to have had a mother who is honest and will let me know when I am wrong.

17Independent

Someone who is independent will not depend on anyone or anything to make things happen for them. If your mom is like this, she can also be described as free-thinking and individualistic.

Eg: Despite having Dad by your side, you were always independent and determined to accomplish things on your own.

Photo by Josh Willink under Pexels License18Inspirational

A mom who is inspirational is the best kind to have. She will always encourage you to do better and will give you hope even in your darkest times.

Eg: Not only are you driven and motivated, but you also find time to take care of, and spend time with, those you love. You are truly an inspirational woman.19Jovial

Jovial moms are cheerful and friendly and have a good heart. They have a great sense of humor and are very sociable.

Eg: Mom, you are one of the most fun-loving, jovial people I know!20Kind

Kind is one of the words to describe Mom, if she is gentle, good-natured, friendly, considerate and caring. A kind mom is also one who is selfless, genuine and helpful.

Eg: Watching you be kind to others all my life has made me a better person.

Photo by Zun Zun under Pexels License21Loving

A loving mom is one who shows great care and compassion towards her children and others around her. She is also devoted, adoring and affectionate.

Eg: Knowing that I have a loving mother by my side helped me to get through even the most difficult of times.22Nurturing

Nothing compares to having a nurturing mother. This simply means she is caring and protective and helps you to develop in the right way.

Eg: If you were not as nurturing of a mother as you were, I would not have become the person I am today.

Image from rawpixel.com under Pexels License23One-of-a-kind

Describing your mother as ‘One-of-a-kind’ simply means that she is special and irreplaceable. She is unique and no one could ever take her place.

Eg: No one would ever come between us, Mom. You are one-of-a-kind!

24Protective

A protective mom keeps you safe and prevents anything from hurting you. She usually makes sacrifices to keep you happy and always has your back.

Eg: Thanks for being so caring and protective all these years. It really means a lot to me.

Image from Pixabay undere CCO license25Reliable

Someone who is reliable is someone who you can always count on or trust. This person is dependable and always has your back.

Eg: No matter what, I know I can always count on you. You are one of the most reliable people in my life.26Sincere

Use this word to describe your mom if she is one who speaks from the heart, and never holds back her true feelings. She says what she really thinks and feels.

Eg: In a world full of fakes, you have to treasure sincere souls, like you.27Smart

A smart mom makes good, logical decisions. She is also very intelligent and can teach you a thing or two.

Eg: Of the many words I would use to describe you, I think ‘smart’ is the most fitting.

Photo by Lina Kivaka under Pexels License28Strong

Strong, in this case, does not necessarily mean physical strength. In this instance, it means that your mom is able to withstand anything that comes her way and come out on top.

Eg: A strong, independent woman is what I strive to be. After all, I’ve had the perfect example all my life.

29Understanding

An understanding mom is one who is sympathetic, tolerant and is willing to listen. She is aware of your feelings and tries her best to help you deal with them.

Eg: I enjoy our talks on the weekend, because you are always understanding and very insightful.30Wise

Wise moms have a lot of experience and knowledge on a number of topics. They also have good judgment and consider both logic and emotion.

Eg: If I were as wise as you, I’d make much better decisions.

What words to describe Mom did you find? Remember, the key to using these words correctly, is making sure they fit her personality, because otherwise, she will know you aren’t being sincere

Celebrate Others

“I don’t care how spiritual you are. How long you can melt in the sweat lodge. How many peyote journeys that have blown your mind, or how well you can hold crow pose. Honestly. I don’t. I don’t care what planets fall in what houses on your birth chart, how many crystals you have or how vegan your diet is.

I want to know how human you are. Can you sit at the feet of the dying despite the discomfort? Can you be with your grief, or mine, without trying to advise, fix or maintain it? I want to know that you can show up at the table no matter how shiny, chakra- aligned or complete you are- or not. Can you hold loving space for your beloved in the depths of your own healing without trying to be big?

It doesn’t flatter me how many online healing trainings you have, that you live in the desert or in a log cabin, or that you’ve mastered the art of tantra.

What turns me on is busy hands. Planting roots. That despite how tired you are, you make that phone call, you board that plane, you love your children, you feed your family.

I have no interest in how well you can ascend to 5D, astral travel or have out of body sex. I want to see how beautifully you integrate into ordinary reality with your unique magic, how you find beauty and gratitude in what’s surrounding you, and how present you can be in your relationships.

I want to know that you can show up and do the hard and holy things on this gorgeously messy Earth. I want to see that you can be sincere, grounded and compassionate as equally as you are empowered, fiery and magnetic. I want to know that even during your achievements, you can step back and be humble enough to still be a student.

What’s beautiful and sexy and authentic is how well you can continue to celebrate others no matter how advanced you’ve become. What’s truly flattering is how much you can give despite how full you’ve made yourself. What’s honestly valuable is how fucking better of a human you can be, in a world that is high off of spiritual materialism and jumping the next escape goat for “freedom.”

At the end of the day I don’t care how brave you are. How productive, how popular, how enlightened you are. At the end of the day, I want to know that you were kind. That you were real. I want to know that you can step down from the pedestal from time to time to kiss the earth and let your hair get dirty and your feet get muddy, and join the dance with us all.”

-A modern day call to shifting from spiritual consumerism to returning to human kind… heart inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s, The Invitation.”

Teaching Young Children to Respect Differences As our society becomes more diverse, children are increasingly exposed to people from different backgrounds and cultures. group of young kids profile The ability to respect others is a skill that will benefit your child throughout his or her lifetime. It is important to teach your child about the value of diversity, and show them that differences in beliefs, cultures, and religions can enrich our lives and bring new ideas to our world. Expose your child to people who are different. Maurice Elias, director of Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, says that the more exposure that your child has to people who are different without any negative incidents, they will be more accepting of others. Elias adds that children of this age vary considerably in the extent to which they react to differences. Some children may be especially sensitive to children with medical or other disabilities, particularly if there is equipment involved. Others are uncomfortable by differences in loudness or activity level, while some may be curious about differences in skin color. However, there is no formula for what it takes for any given child to feel comfortable, so you will need to be patient. Keep in mind that your child may be listening to your adult conversations, and if you make derogatory statements about people who are different, your child will learn from you. Educational consultant Jennifer Miller suggests that you heighten your own awareness of how you discuss others, become intentional about what you are communicating, and be consistent with your messages. Ask your child to find similarities between them and their classmates. You may also want to talk to your child about the many ways that people are similar by asking them to get to know a new classmate or teammate and find out if they like the same food, books, games, or TV shows. New York City-based teacher Anne Harlam adds that children in her classrooms are already doing this on their own, as this is the age when they are beginning to identify with one another in terms of commonalities. For example, when children in her class open their lunchboxes, they get excited when someone else in class brings the same yogurt as they do, and it doesn’t matter who, or how “different,” that other person is. Discovering similarities can help your child learn more about others and make them realize that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. It can also help them to be more open-minded, respectful, and accepting of others. Author and education consultant Faye de Muyshondt recommends teaching your child about greetings around the world. In the United States, people say hello. In other cultures, like India, people bow and put hands together and say “namaste.” They also touch the feet of elders to show respect. In France, people kiss three times on the cheek. Showing your child the way people from different countries greet one another is a fun way to teach about cultural differences and traditions. You may also want to read books like What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss, Yoko by Rosemary Wells, or How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, which show examples of different people and traditions of the world. After reading these books, you can prepare a cultural dish together, and use this opportunity to talk about your family’s history as well


TEACHING OUR CHIlDREN, TO ESPECT DIFFERENCES AND DIVERSITY IS IMPORTANT IT IS WHAT MAKES EACH OF US RARE AND UNIQUE. I LOVE EVERYONE AND PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.


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For this one to work, you need to take a section of your fridge and dedicate it to lunches. Every Sunday night, make enough sandwiches for each kid for every day of the week. Place sandwiches in a Tupperware. Now grab a few more Tupperware containers and add in cut up fruit, veggies, chips, desserts, etc. in individual plastic baggies. Same goes for juice boxes or bottles of water. And guess what? Lunches are completely made for the week! Depending on the age of your kids, you can either go through each morning and easily “make” their lunch in about .02 seconds — but if your kids are old enough, then you’re really off the hook. It’s up to them!

Mini-Marshmallow Ouchie Pads.  Put some marshmallows in the freezer.  They are lightweight, don’t hold too much cold, and make the perfect ouchie pads

A Letter From Your Disease

Hello fellow addicts I am your disease,
I will never let you sleep or put your mind at ease,

I will always be here no matter where you go,
I am smarter than you and I am in control,

Family, friends, and loved ones they won’t matter anymore,
I’ll take everything you got and still want something more

I was there for you in the good times but mostly in the bad,
I’ve made you feel so happy but in the end you was always sad

You will lie to everyone and say that I ain’t real,
but if that’s the case why can’t you put down that pill

I come in many forms, and shapes, and size
Then following comes denial, deceit, and lies

I will turn you from everyone that tries to take you from me
Together we will spend all eternity

I’ll embrace you in my arms and I’ll never set you free,
Spend our life together won’t that make you happy,

Don’t let those people tell you what I am all about,
Cause then you’ll find a way; a way to kick me out

Well here I go now I’ll just be on my way
but not for to much longer cause I still have much to say

So when you think I’m gone and you can finally be at ease,
Just remember this I will always be your disease.


Wash Out And Re-Purpose Baby Food Jars To Store and organize your spice cupboard.

Free As A Bird

Give your kids an empty box and crayons and let their creativity take over.

Put pacifiers in little container’s to keep pacifiers clean.

Turn Any Paint Into Spray Paint by putting paint in a sprayer bottle.

Put a shoe organizer in your car to keep stuff in one place, and keeps your vehicle looking nice and organized

Fix dolls Tangled Hair Using A Bit Of Fabric Softener.

Use cupcake Foils to prevent your childs Frozen Pops from leaking

Combat Smelly Shoes With Tea Bags
This old trick never fails. To keep your pot from boiling over, put a wooden spoon over the top of it. If it starts to boil up too high, the spoon will pop the bubbles and keep it from overflowing quickly.
Having A Hard-time removing Tough to Remove Stickers our children all love. use a blow dryer it will cause the sticker to unpeel itself , Viola Problem Solved.

Eco-friendly Living

The importance of doing your part to reduce waste today goes without saying. But, you may be overwhelmed, or need some help getting started. These 12 home hacks will have you biking — and laughing — all the way to the bank.

Use reusable towels, not disposables

Paper waste reduction can help conserve trees and reduce the pollution produced in the bleaching process of paper towels. If you use disposable wipes, consider that 83,000 tons of disposable wipes wind up in North American landfills every year. Cloth alternatives are more absorbent than paper towels, and also catch and hold dust instead of scattering it.

Know your plastics

It’s no secret that plastics are made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource.  There are ways in which you personally can help reduce the amount of plastic sent to landfill by first checking the resin identification number #1-7 (located inside the triangle to be sure they’re recyclable).

To learn more about plastics, you’ll want to check out Healthy Child’s Know Your Plastics.

Use a rainwater catchment, not the garden hose

Rain barrel

MAKE A DIFFERENCE BY SETTING UP A RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEM TO COLLECT WATER OFF YOUR ROOF. IMAGE COURTESY OF CENTER FOR NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY.

While some people in the world can’t get enough water to drink or bathe, Americans pour about 8 billion gallons of water a day on their lawns and landscaping.

Reduce your water consumption by setting up a rainwater catchment system to collect water off your roof. The systems are easy to build and, depending where you live, may be enough to keep your yard watered without ever having to turn on the hose.Use a 55-gallon wine or food barrel or a simple 5-gallon bucket and a gutter connection with a leaf and mosquito screen. An optional charcoal filter can be used to remove rooftop contaminants. Check your city to verify if rebates are available.

Recycle your electronics

In many states in the U.S., it’s illegal to throw out old electronics, and you can be fined. Look for community recycling events or local drop-off stations that will recycle and reuse salvageable materials. Find an electronics recycler near you.

Shop your way to waste reduction

If recycling seems like a hassle, then consider shopping at United By Blue. As of December 2019, the company has removed more than 2.1 million pounds of trash from oceans and rivers on behalf of their pledge to remove 1 pound of trash for each product sold. The company sells a wide collection of clothing and other goods made from sustainable materials.

Opt out of junk mail

Pile of mail

Did you know the average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year? Reduce and eliminate direct mail by opting out of receiving both junk mail and catalogs by using services such as:

Purchase minimally packaged goods, not over-packaged goods

Before you purchase something, consider the packaging that you’ll be bringing home to just dispose of. Choose the option with less packaging and close the recycling loop by supporting manufacturers who use recycled materials in their packaging or who eliminate packaging all together.

Recycle your own printer paper instead of using new paper

Keep a bin next to your printer for used paper that has only been printed on one side. Use this when printing documents that don’t need to be on pristine paper. When buying printer paper, look for post consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper.

Properly dispose of medication, not down the drain

Flushing pharmaceutical drugs down the toilet or pouring them down the drain creates and environmental hazard since wastewater treatment plants and cannot remove these chemicals and they end up back in our environment. Today, 46 million Americans are affected by trace concentrations of pharmaceutical drugs in their water. If you have unused medication you no longer need, connect with a pharmaceutical take back program. Many pharmacies offer locations for the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal or via medication mail-in programs. CVS stores, for example, offer a pharmaceutical disposal system, which provides customers envelopes to mail in their unused, expired, or unwanted drugs. Also, the DEA offers a search tool to help you find a disposal location near you.

Recycle your carpet, don’t fill up the dump

If you’re about to remove or replace your carpeting, think twice before you just have it hauled away to the landfill. It’s estimated that nearly 5 billion pounds of carpeting end up in the landfills each year. Instead, donate or sell any carpet or area rugs that are still in good condition. For carpeting that is not in good condition, visit our Recycling Search or Carpet Recovery to find a carpet recycling center near you.

Turn your old athletic shoes into surfaces, don’t throw ’em out

You can send your old stinky athletic shoes to Nike and they’llrecycle them. The shoes become “Nike Grind,” which is a material used for playgrounds, basketball courts, school tracks, and other play surfaces. The program is not restricted to Nike shoes—they’ll accept any brand as long as they don’t have cleats. You can bring up to 10 pairs of any brand of athletic shoe to a Nike Store near you. Please confirm that your local store is participating before you take in your shoes.

Use reusable cloth bags

It may seem like a given but one of the easiest ways to reduce your footprint when it comes to transporting goods is to use reusable cloth bags versus disposable bags.


TIP: After you’ve unloaded the bags, place them immediately back in your vehicle so you won’t forget them at the store the next trip. 

BULLYING Awareness & Prevention

Understanding the Bullying Trend and Discovering New Ways to Combat It

Bullying is not just a buzzword co-opted by the media to drive ratings from frightened school children and their worried parents. Bullying is a serious problem that has far-reaching implications for the person being bullied—and for the bully as well. In this guide, readers will find information on what bullying is, how it impacts people, and where victims can get help. In addition, there is information on the mental health industry’s response to bullying and why psychologists are uniquely equipped to handle this issue.CONTENT NAVIGATION

Bullying: What You Need To Know

School and workplace bullying can include publicly humiliating, isolating from others, excluding from meetings, discrediting, forcing unreasonable expectations, threatening, constant badgering, withholding information required to fulfill expectations and gossiping.

Sexual bullying usually starts with flirtation and become more aggressive depending on how the target responds.

Physical bullying is hurting someone or taking/destroying their possessions.

Verbal bullying includes making disparaging comments, taunting, threatening, writing cruel things, and intimidation.

Social bullying involves hurting someone’s relationships or reputation via rumor, gossip or exclusion.

Cyberbullying takes place using electronic technology and can involve cruel messages, rumors, embarrassing pictures or videos and threats.

Male bullies pick on kids who are smaller and weaker than they are and usually attack verbally, questioning maturity, intelligence, strength or gender presentation, or they assault them physically.

Female bullies more often resort to relational bullying. They spread rumors about the victim or isolate them.What makes someone turn into a bully? How do bullies choose who they will treat in this way?

Bullying in the workplace is usually about power and control.

In over 70 percent of the cases, the bullying is boss to subordinate.

Bullies bully because they can. They work in cultures that condone, accept, and in many cases, even expect managers to bully.

Bullies target those who are a threat to them and/or those they can intimidate.

There are a variety of risk factors and reasons, including violence in the home, previously being a victim, desire for attention or to attain/maintain social status.

Some bullies view aggression positively, show little empathy and have anti-social tendencies.

Bullying is about power, and the person bullying is trying to meet a need in a maladaptive way. Bullying requires a perceived power imbalance—whether it is physical, social, etc.

Dan Olweus, a Swedish psychologist identified five risk factors that contribute to a boy becoming a bully:
1. The parents did not bond well with the child when he or she was an infant.
2. Parents failed to inhibit the child’s aggression.
3. Parents modelled aggression and physical force as primary problem-solving strategies.
4. The child has an inborn penchant toward aggressive and impulsive behavior.
5. The child is larger and stronger than other children his age.

Children who become bullies have often been shamed by their families and are trying to manage their shame by displacing it on another child.What are some of the emotions that the victims of bullying experience?

Most people who are severely bullied suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Emotions targets experience include loneliness, loss of confidence, blame, low sense of self, anger, fear, depression, loss of control and confusion.

Being targeted becomes all-consuming and it is usually impossible to think about anything else while it is going on.

One of the most disturbing aspects is the inability for targets to find closure even after the bullying has stopped, because of the scars it leaves.

Some emotions victims experience include depression, anxiety, loneliness and decreased self-esteem.

Youth who bully are also at increased risk for depression and anxiety.

Targets are at increased risk for suicidality and substance abuse.

When the bully questions the victim’s maturity, intelligence, gender presentation, cleanliness, wealth or success, part of the victim believes the insults.

Victims may retreat into themselves, and becomes smaller and more fearful.

Targets create a low-status version of themselves, feeling shame.

Some victims, having been bullied over time, become depressed and anxious adults.Is there anything someone being bullied can do?

Do not deal with it alone, go to someone you trust and strategize on how to confront it.

Do not go to human resources unless you have total and absolute trust in their ability to remedy the situation, because in many cases, human resources offices are viewed as part of the problem versus part of the solution.

Bystander intervention has been shown successful.

Targets of bullying are encouraged to tell a trusted adult to obtain help, as adults have the authority and ability to address such behavior.

Friendship has been shown to be a protective factor from the consequences of bullying, and resilience a product of positive, caring relationships with adults.

Ignoring a problem does not make it go away.

It is not the victim’s responsibility to protect themselves in school; it is the duty of the school to create a non-hostile atmosphere where students do not have to worry about hurt or humiliation and can concentrate on their learning.How can bullying be prevented?

By creating psychologically healthy and safe work environments.

Bullying is a problem that occurs well beyond the school years and prevention will take a comprehensive societal approach. There are evidenced-based bullying prevention programs and social-emotional learning programs for schools that have been shown to be effective in reducing bullying.

We can’t prevent bullying any more than we can prevent interpersonal aggression, but we can reduce the incidence and the viciousness of bullying by moving our school communities away from retributive behavior.

“Restorative processes,” such as making affirmative statements, leading proactive circle conferences, using reintegrative shame management, and a restorative approach in family conferences can help build more civil school societies.

Physical Bullying/Violence

What is physical bullying?

Physical bullying is when a bully uses bodily acts to get power over someone else. This type of bullying can be more readily identified compared to other forms.

Where does physical bullying happen?

Physical bullying most often takes place at schools. It can also occur where students gather together outside of school hours, such as at bus stops.

How can physical bullying be reported?

Children should be encouraged to tell an adult when they have been physically bullied, or threatened with physical harm. They can go to their parents or their school to get help. If a physical assault has occurred, victims can also go to the police.

What are examples of physical bullying?

Physical bullying can take several forms, including:

  • Hitting
  • Tripping
  • Spitting
  • Destruction of property
  • Kicking
  • Slapping
  • Sexual harassment or assault

How can physical bullying be prevented?

School interventions can go a long way toward preventing bullying. School districts can educate parents, children, and teachers about bullying, and create anti-bullying policies to protect victims and stop bullies. In addition, administrators can study the bullying that goes on in their school to determine how much it is taking place and whether or not education efforts are working.

Parents can also contribute to bullying prevention by instilling certain values in their children, such as kindness and empathy. Creating the right mindset in children can help to prevent a child from becoming a bully.

Other Types of Bullying

Verbal

Verbal bullying is the use of words to gain power over someone or to torment them. This can include teasing or insulting someone, as well as using racist, sexist and homophobic language. Making hurtful comments about someone’s religion or disability is also a form of verbal bullying.Covert

As the name suggests, covert bullying is subtle and not easy to detect. It is often done specifically to damage the victim’s self-esteem, relationships or social standing. This kind of bullying can include behaviors such as threatening hand gestures and looks, spreading gossip and rumors, blackmail and attempts to make someone a social pariah.Sexual

Sexual bullying can include gestures and statements of a sexual nature that are made to intimidate, hurt or offend someone. This bullying focuses on sexual activity or orientation, as well as body parts.Reactive

This type of bullying is created by the complicated relationship between bullies and their victims. It occurs when people who have been mistreated for a long time finally lash out at their bullies. As a result, the victim and bully appear to switch roles, with the victim in that moment becoming the aggressor and the bully becoming the victim.Relational

Relational bullying is done specifically to impact someone’s social life, often ostracizing the victim from friends. This can include gossip, being intentionally excluded from activities, neglect and intimidation.Special Circumstances/Specific Types of Bullying

Some bullying takes place because of a specific reason that the bully perceives the victim is inferior. In these cases, the reason for bullying can be because of someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or disability status. This can include activities like racial slurs; stealing icons related to someone’s faith, such as Muslim hijabs or Jewish yarmulkes; homophobic language; and making fun of someone’s disability.

Communities can often combat this kind of bullying through education and promoting tolerance. By teaching students about different groups of people, and stressing their similarities rather than their differences, this can help reduce the perception of “the other” and encourage an appreciation for those from different backgrounds.

Bullying Spotlight: Cyberbullying

In 2006, an adult named Lori Drew created a false profile on MySpace to target her 13-year-old neighbor Megan Meier. Drew pretended to be a boy named Josh to lure Meier into a romantic relationship, only to become abusive toward her later. The distraught teenager committed suicide.

In 2008, 18-year-old Jessica Logan committed suicide after a campaign of cyberbullying from an ex-boyfriend. While they were dating, Logan sent the boy a nude photograph of herself. When they broke up, he proceeded to distribute the photo to hundreds of students at area high schools, as well as disseminate it through social networking sites.

In 2010, Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi committed suicide after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, surreptitiously videotaped the 18-year-old student kissing another man. Ravi streamed the footage over the Internet, making Clementi the target of harassment.

What is cyberbullying?

As more people rely on technology to communicate with others, it’s not surprising that bullying has gone from the schoolyard to cyberspace. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying behavior that takes place through electronic means. It can occur in many ways, including posting hurtful messages about someone, impersonating the victim, or disseminating personal information about someone digitally for the world to see.

Although all forms of bullying can be detrimental to the victims, cyberbullying ratchets up the terror for numerous reasons.

  • Unlike bullying that occurs at school, cyberbullying can be even more pervasive and difficult to avoid.
  • It can occur at any time during the day or night, seven days a week.
  • In addition, given the nature of the Internet, it can be witnessed by many more people, whether they actually attend the victim’s school or they’re a stranger on the other side of the world.
  • Cyberspace affords a bully the anonymity to cause a great deal of damage with little or no repercussions.
  • The evidence of the bullying can be long lasting because once a harassing message is posted, it can spread like wildfire around the net. Even if the original message is deleted, it may be reproduced many times over, making it impossible to reign in the damage.

Where does cyberbullying happen?

Cyberbullying can occur wherever people congregate on the Internet—chat rooms, social networking sites, and message boards can be a prime breeding ground for bullying. Similarly, cyberbullying can also be experienced through instant messages, texts, and emails.

How can cyberbullying be reported?

When someone is the victim of cyberbullying, for their own peace of mind, they should not respond to the messages. However, it’s important to collect evidence of the harassment in order to prove it. Taking screenshots and printing out emails, text messages, and the like, can help victims with any efforts they make in reporting it.

It can also be helpful to block the person who is committing cyberbullying. However, a persistent bully will find other means to continue their campaign of harassment.CYBERBULLYING CAN BE REPORTED IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS:School

Talking to a teacher, school counselor, or principal can help to end cyberbullying committed by another classmate. In fact, some states mandate that schools maintain a cyberbullying policy in order to help students who are being victimized.Online Service Providers

Cyberbullying is a violation of online providers’ terms of service agreements. Victims should review the terms of service to pinpoint what specific behaviors violate which clauses of the agreement. In addition, social media sites have safety centers that allow users to report cyberbullies and learn how to control who can contact them.Law Enforcement

In most cases, people can report cyberbullying to law enforcement—particularly if it involves taking photos or videos that invade someone’s privacy, stalking, hate crimes, child pornography and threats of violence. In some states, other cyberbullying behaviors can also be reported to the police

How can cyberbullying be prevented?

Parental involvement can go a long way toward preventing bullying. Some things parents can do to keep their children safe from cyberbullies include monitoring what children are doing online and what sites they visit, asking for their passwords to check their activity, and encouraging them to talk about it if someone harasses them online. Also, parents can have a trusted adult follow their child’s social media pages to keep up with what’s going on.

What are some examples of cyberbullying?

There are many behaviors that fall under the umbrella of cyberbullying. The following table illustrates how bullying can manifest itself through technology.TYPE OF CYBERBULLYINGWHAT IT ENTAILSImpersonation

When a bully takes on the identity of the victim in order to act out and make that person look bad. Impersonation can also occur when a bully pretends to be someone else for the purpose of bullying victims.Cyberstalking

When a cyberbully sends a barrage of threatening or frightening messages to the victim. Cyberstalking can cause someone to worry about their safety.Flaming

Flaming is the use of abusive and vulgar messages to instigate a fight with someone.Password theft

When a bully obtains the victim’s password in order to lock them out of a social networking site and use the victim’s profile to harass others.Proxy attacks

Some cyberbullies do not work alone. In some cases, they will get other people to band together and harass a victim online.

Effects of Bullying

The impact of bullying can have long-term consequences for everyone related to the activity. The table below explains some of the common effects of bullying.EFFECT OF BULLYINGIMPLICATIONSSubstance Abuse

Those who are the victims of bullies are significantly more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than those who have not been bullied. Similarly, there is a strong correlation between adult drug and alcohol abuse and engaging in bullying behaviors as children. Even the bystanders of bullying are reported to self-medicate by abusing tobacco, illicit drugs, and alcohol.Mental Health

According to studies published in periodicals like the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Medical Association: Psychiatry, being the victim of bullying poses an elevated risk of developing depression and becoming suicidal. And these risks do not tend to subside after graduation. In fact, bullying victims may feel the mental health effects well into adulthood.

In addition, bullying victims may experience low self-esteem and experience feelings of anger and bitterness. They may also become preoccupied with revenge fantasies.

Those who are bystanders of bullying may also develop depression. In addition, they may have a heightened sense of fear because they feel powerless to defend the victim and worried that they may be bullied themselves. Bystanders may also feel guilty about their inaction.Relationships

One of the long-lasting effects of bullying can be seen in how victims handle interpersonal relationships. They can be extremely reluctant to get close to other people and have difficulty with trust.

Similarly, bullies experience long-term relationship problems. They are more likely to engage in sexual activity at a young age and contract sexually transmitted diseases. As adults, they tend to be abusive towards their romantic partners and children.Academic Performance

The stress of attending school can have an impact on bullying victims’ academic performance and their grades tend to slip. Increased absenteeism, low GPA scores, and dropping out of school are common.

Similarly, bullies have high dropout rates, and those who witness bullying may also skip school in order to avoid exposure to this activity.Physical Health

Those who are bullied may experience an increase in migraines, stomach aches, sleepless nights, and other physical challenges associated with stress and anxiety.

Bullying Prevention and Coping Strategies


What can people do if they are the victims of bullying?

Children who are the victims of bullying can get help from their school. They should talk to a teacher, principal, or school counselor. In addition, someone who has been the victim of a crime should alert the authorities, while those who are feeling hopeless and suicidal can get help through a suicide hotline.

There are also ways that people who have been bullied can help themselves. By finding strategies for dealing with their stress, getting therapy, and making strides to maintain a positive self-image, bullying victims can counteract some of the negative effects. Also, when dealing with the person doing the bullying, if possible, victims should try to remove themselves from the situation to protect themselves.

What can parents
do to help their children who are being bullied?

The way parents respond to bullying can go a long way toward helping a child get through the experience. First, it’s important for parents to understand what the warning signs of bullying are, so they can recognize it. Then it is vital to have open and honest communication, ensuring that the child feels comfortable talking about the experiences.

It is also important for parents to educate themselves about what the school can do to help, and inform a teacher about the bullying behaviors their child is experiencing. They also may be able to get help from programs in the community.

How can someone who witnesses bullying respond?

Someone who witnesses acts of bullying should report them to an adult, such as a school counselor or teacher. Also, it can be helpful for bystanders to reach out to the person being bullied. Bullying victims can feel isolated, so communicating with them can help them feel better.

What can teachers do to help?

When bullying occurs, teachers can use intervention techniques that can help both the victims and the bullies. For example, they can establish classroom activities that give students an understanding of the issue, and help to prevent bullying among classmates. Also, teachers can speak to the bullies and their victims separately and privately in order to mediate the situation. They may also refer both children to counseling so that they get the help they need for their respective problems.

Dealing with a Bully

What are the warning signs that a child is bullying?

Just as there are warning signs that a child is being bullied, there are also signs that parents can look for that their child is a bully. Some of those signs include:

  • Failure to take responsibility for their own actions
  • Frequently getting into verbal and physical altercations
  • Being disciplined at school on a regular basis
  • Increased concern about their reputation or being a part of the in crowd
  • Having extra money or new belongings without being able to explain how they got them

Why do people bully?

There are a variety of reasons why someone adopts bullying behaviors. People can become bullies to fit in with a crowd of high-status people who are bullies or to feel better about themselves. It can also be a preemptive way to avoid becoming a victim. Sometimes bullies are also modeling the behaviors they have seen or experienced at home.

What are the risk factors for becoming a bully?

Some risk factors of becoming a bully include:

  • Witnessing abuse at home
  • Being the victim of abuse or neglect
  • Having parents who don’t think bullying is a big deal
  • Having siblings who are bullies
  • Having permissive parents

How can a bully be stopped?

Schools can stop bullying by creating a culture of tolerance and making it clear that bullying behaviors are unacceptable. Schools can implement rules that stress treating peers and adults with respect, and establish consequences for those who engage in bullying. Also, setting up a system for reporting bullying makes it easier for victims and witnesses to do something about the bullies in their school.

Bullying policies

The federal government has not passed legislation about bullying, however, all states have some form of anti-bullying laws. These laws differ from state to state in how they define bullying and the legal recourses available to victims

Suicide Is Preventable. Help Save a Life

Winter Sun Catcher

Winter Sun Catcher

Make a Winter Sun Catcher

Try using cupcake tins and shorter ribbon (6 inches) to make several small sun catchers.

Age: Preschool and up
Time: An hour (plus overnight to dry)
Type of activity: Arts and Crafts

Materials Needed:
· Ribbon or yarn (at least 12 inches long)
· Water
· Aluminum pie plate, or other metal dish
· Food coloring or crayon shavings
· Flower petals, berries, leaves, or other materials

What to do:

Step One: Make a loop with the ribbon and place it in the pie plate. Leave at least 5 inches of the looped end hanging over the edge

Step Two: Fill the plate with water.

Step Three: If you’d like your sun catcher to be colored, add a few drops of food coloring to the water and mix it around.

Step Four: Add the crayon shavings, berries, or other materials for your sun catcher to the water.

Step Five: Let the materials fall into place, or arrange them in a design. (Keep in mind that the materials may move around on their own.)

Step Six: Put the plate in the freezer, or if it’s cold enough, leave it outside to freeze.

Step Seven: Let the plate sit for at least one day. If it’s outside, you may need to let it sit longer.

Step Eight: When the water is completely frozen, carefully remove the ice from the tin.

Now your project is ready to catch some rays! Hang your sun catcher outside from a tree or windowsill for friends and neighbors to admire.

A Parent’s Guide to Conscious Discipline

What is Conscious Discipline?

As parents, we want to provide our children with the tools that they need to have a happy and healthy life. Parenting has changed since the time of our own childhoods, and we have access to more resources and information about parenting than our own parents ever did. One parenting philosophy and resource that is having a tremendously positive impact, both on children and the adults that support them, is called Conscious Discipline

How does Conscious Discipline differ from the way that discipline was used in our own childhoods?

Conscious Discipline takes a very different approach to discipline from the way we might have experienced it in our own childhoods. Conscious Discipline is all about connection rather than punishment. When we think back to how parents have traditionally responded to big emotions felt and displayed by children, we may recall reactions that ranged from being dismissive to responding with anger to minimizing feelings and concerns. 

Conscious Discipline teaches adults to control their own emotional responses to children so they can stay present at the moment, connect with the child, and then work through the feelings the child is having together.

Expert Heather Wallace further explains:

Dr. Becky Bailey, author, educator, and creator of Conscious Discipline, discusses how us parents need to rethink discipline and control ourselves first before dealing with our child’s behavior. It takes a shift in mindset from how we were raised to think about discipline as punishment, to thinking of discipline as an opportunity to teach missing skills. Parents use the tools to gain control of their emotions and upset, and in turn, download that calm to their child. The skills that Conscious Discipline teaches will ensure that the child stays connected to the parent as the parent teaches and guides the child.”

Based on research on both the human brain and child development, Conscious Discipline was designed to make changes in the lives of the supporting adult first. Therefore, this approach can be truly beneficial to the entire family.

Why should parents consider using a Conscious Discipline approach?

The Conscious Discipline approach can be helpful in so many of the most frustrating experiences in parenting that often leave us feeling out of control or with a recurring thought that we are failing as parents. If you have experienced any of the following, Conscious Discipline can help: 

  • Power struggles
  • Defiance
  • Verbal attacks
  • Bullying 
  • Physical aggression
  • Difficulty keeping your child on task

Conscious Discipline can take the frustration and feelings of powerlessness out of these every day parenting moments and turn them into teachable moments instead.

What are the Seven Skills of Discipline?

According to the Conscious Discipline website, the Seven Skills of Discipline have evolved from the Seven Powers for Conscious Adults. The skills are:

  • Composure
  • Encouragement
  • Assertiveness
  • Choices
  • Empathy
  • Positive Intent
  • Consequences

Yes, there are consequences in the Conscious Discipline approach. Instead of jumping right to consequences as often happens with the traditional disciplinary approach, Conscious Discipline first provides the child with a sense of safety, compassion, and connection. When we as adults stay in control of our emotions and utilize these seven skills, we model the skills we hope to teach.

Not only can both adults and children feel better and learn from each other in these teachable moments, but we can also provide our children with a foundation to learn and grow as a person on a different level. As Expert, Heather Wallace states, “My opinion is that a child with social-emotional skills can learn anything! So using the Conscious Discipline tools will not only help your child gain emotional intelligence, but set them up for success in a school setting.”

How do I create a Safe Place for my child?

Creating a Safe Place for your child is a key component of Conscious Discipline. A Safe Place is NOT a time-out. Instead, this is a designated space that you go to with your child to help them change their inner state from upset to composed. This space can be something like a cozy corner, a beanbag chair, or a soft mat. Here you encourage your child to breathe or use a calming tool. This is a place to practice getting outside of the big emotions, and it’s a space that you can encourage your child to visit when they feel sad, angry, or frustrated.

What are some Conscious Discipline strategies that parents can try right away?

  1. Model the behavior you would like to see by displaying self-control during difficult moments and when you feel triggered by children’s behavior.
  2. Take the time to understand the developmental stage that your child is in so you can consider how things feel from her perspective.
  3. Tell children what they should do in a clear way rather than focusing on what they should not do. (For example, refrain from giving directions that start with Don’t, Stop, or No.)
  4. When children are acting bossy or unkind to others, always give your attention to the victim first to empower them to learn how to deal with the situation. Then turn to the child who is acting unkindly and help her practice clear limits and how to communicate in a more helpful way.
  5. When children appear to not be listening to you, instead of yelling at them to get their attention, go to them instead and make eye contact to form a connection.

By helping your child develop social-emotional skills, you are equipping them with tools that can help them thrive and learn. You are also bettering your personal social-emotional skills through the Conscious Discipline approach. As a whole, your family environment can feel stronger, calmer, and more connected by implementing Conscious Discipline in your home.

Prevent Slammed Doors And Infants Locking Themselves inside with this hack. Simply attach a rubber band in between each doorknob and this will prevent that door issue we all have.

Teaching Young Children to Respect Differences

As our society becomes more diverse, children are increasingly exposed to people from different backgrounds and cultures.

The ability to respect others is a skill that will benefit your child throughout his or her lifetime. It is important to teach your child about the value of diversity, and show them that differences in beliefs, cultures, and religions can enrich our lives and bring new ideas to our world.

Expose your child to people who are different. Maurice Elias, director of Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, says that the more exposure that your child has to people who are different without any negative incidents, they will be more accepting of others. Elias adds that children of this age vary considerably in the extent to which they react to differences. Some children may be especially sensitive to children with medical or other disabilities, particularly if there is equipment involved. Others are uncomfortable by differences in loudness or activity level, while some may be curious about differences in skin color. However, there is no formula for what it takes for any given child to feel comfortable, so you will need to be patient. Keep in mind that your child may be listening to your adult conversations, and if you make derogatory statements about people who are different, your child will learn from you. Educational consultant Jennifer Miller suggests that you heighten your own awareness of how you discuss others, become intentional about what you are communicating, and be consistent with your messages.

Ask your child to find similarities between them and their classmates. You may also want to talk to your child about the many ways that people are similar by asking them to get to know a new classmate or teammate and find out if they like the same food, books, games, or TV shows. New York City-based teacher Anne Harlam adds that children in her classrooms are already doing this on their own, as this is the age when they are beginning to identify with one another in terms of commonalities. For example, when children in her class open their lunchboxes, they get excited when someone else in class brings the same yogurt as they do, and it doesn’t matter who, or how “different,” that other person is. Discovering similarities can help your child learn more about others and make them realize that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. It can also help them to be more open-minded, respectful, and accepting of others.

Author and education consultant Faye de Muyshondt recommends teaching your child about greetings around the world. In the United States, people say hello. In other cultures, like India, people bow and put hands together and say “namaste.” They also touch the feet of elders to show respect. In France, people kiss three times on the cheek. Showing your child the way people from different countries greet one another is a fun way to teach about cultural differences and traditions. You may also want to read books like What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss, Yoko by Rosemary Wells, or How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, which show examples of different people and traditions of the world. After reading these books, you can prepare a cultural dish together, and use this opportunity to talk about your family’s history as well


Use A Clothes Hanger For Accessories

Maximize the use of any spare hangers by using them to hang up your children’s accessories as well as your own. Watches, necklaces, eyewear, and even wired gadgets like earphones can be hung onto them for easier access and less hassle. Have your kids put a spare carabiner as well and they’ll be able to hang up smaller stuff like ponytail bands and rings.

Pick Up Shards Of Glass With A Slice Of Bread

Kids are clumsy. For some reason, they always tend to break things around them. Help them clean up the broken glassware by mopping up the shards with a piece of bread. The shards will cling easily to it, helping you and your kids clean up any little pieces. Of course, safety for your kids should always be a primary concern, so don’t forget to put some gloves on your kids’ hands when helping them clean up a mess like this.

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Welcome to my site, I am happy that you are here. My blog is dedicated to helping parents old & new just like you through the messiness of babies , toddlerhood all the way through childhood. Here you will find advice on eco-friendly living, frugality, DIY’S, crafts literacy and reading tips and much more. My name is Nicole Randall, I am a disabled autistic mom of three daughters. Who turned nap times into writing time. My daughters names are Kaleeah Reign age 8, Elliana Jewel age 7 on January 28th 2020, & my new addition Harmony Delaney whom turns one 03-03-2020. I wanted to connect with other moms and parents and maintain my sense of idenity. I started this blog with the idea of connecting with new moms and parents, and share my experience & offer tips & advice. I want to be able to provide assistance & support for the struggling parent & moms. As my children grow so will my blog.


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