Monday, June 18, 2007

What If Your Child is The Bully


If you have just found out your child is bullying other children your first reaction might be disbelief or anger. But there are calmer and more effective ways to stop your child bullying.

Reasons for bullying:

If your child is bullying, they could be copying the behaviour of other people in the family; or perhaps they haven't learned better ways of mixing with their friends. Friends may be encouraging bullying, or your child may be going through a difficult time and acting out aggressive feelings.

To stop your child bullying:

Explain to your child that what they are doing is unacceptable and making other children unhappy

Discourage other members of your family from using aggression or force to get what they want

Show your child how they can join in without bullying

See your child's teacher to talk about how you can work together to stop your child bullying

Check regularly with your child about how things are going at school

Give your child lots of praise when they are co-operative and kind to other people

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fire Safety Advice For Parents and Child Carers


The best way to teach children about fire safety is by example. Let your children see you being sensible and careful about cooking, candles, smoking and other potential fire risks.
Make your home safe for children
Here are some measures you can take in your home to make sure your children stay out of harm's way:
don't leave children on their own in a room where there's a fire risk
keep matches, lighters, candles and tea lights in a place where children cannot see or reach them
put a child-proof fireguard in front of an open fire or heater
don't let children play or leave toys near a fire or heater
put child locks on cupboards containing anything that could be used to start a fire (for example, matches, candles and flammable liquids)
keep portable heaters in a safe place where they can't be knocked over when they are being used or stored
keep your fire escape route clear of toys and other obstructions
never leave children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking and never let them play near the oven and hob
put plug guards into sockets so children can't stick anything into the holes
For more information on fire safety in the home, click on the links below.
Fire safety in the home (home and community section)
Talking to your children about fire
Children are naturally drawn to the warmth and light of fire, but without the proper guidance this can turn into a dangerous fascination. The Fire Kills website has plenty of advice for parents on ways to teach children about the dangers of fire, and how to stay safe
Advice on teaching children about the dangers of fire (opens new window)
Teaching your child what to do if there is a fire (opens new window)
In this section...
Bullying: getting support
Dealing with bullying
If your child is bullying others
Keeping your child safe from abuse
Keeping your children safe from crime
Protecting older children who are leaving home

Monday, June 11, 2007

Myspace Safety Tips For Kids

For teens, MySpace is a popular online hangout because the site makes it easy for them to express themselves and keep in touch with their friends.

As a parent, please consider the following guidelines to help your children make safe decisions about using online communities.

Talk to your kids about why they use MySpace, how they communicate with others and how they represent themselves on MySpace.
Kids shouldn't lie about how old they are. MySpace members must be 14 years of age or older. We take extra precautions to protect our younger members and we are not able to do so if they do not identify themselves as such. MySpace will delete users whom we find to be younger than 14, or those misrepresenting their age.
MySpace is a public space. Members shouldn't post anything they wouldn't want the world to know (e.g., phone number, address, IM screen name, or specific whereabouts). Tell your children they should avoid posting anything that would make it easy for a stranger to find them, such as their local hangouts.
Remind them not to post anything that could embarrass them later or expose them to danger. Although MySpace is public, teens sometimes think that adults can't see what they post. Tell them that they shouldn't post photos or info they wouldn't want adults to see.
People aren't always who they say they are. Ask your children to be careful about adding strangers to their friends list. It's fun to connect with new MySpace friends from all over the world, but members should be cautious when communicating with people they don't know. They should talk to you if they want to meet an online friend in person, and if you think it's safe, any meeting should take place in public and with friends or a trusted adult present.
Harassment, hate speech and inappropriate content should be reported. If your kids encounter inappropriate behavior, let them know that they can let you know, or they should report it to MySpace or the authorities.

Now it's your turn. Let me know what you do to keep your child safe on the internet.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Helping Your Kid Make Friends

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Having friends is an important way for children to learn social skills. We all want our children to develop lasting friendships but if your child is a bit shy and seems reluctant to make friends sometimes a little help from Mom or Dad is in order.

If your child is on the shy side try helping them by providing positive social interactions without making them feel awkward or pushed. Play dates or other social interactions should be encouraged. This will give your child a chance to hone his social skills and increase his/her confidence.

We can't choose our children's friends so ask your child who he/she likes spending time with at school and contact the child's parents to suggest a get- together. Start by inviting one child over and keep the time short to start with. One or two hours is enough time to get to know each other. Any longer and they may start to squabble.

Make sure to provide games and activities for your child that he enjoys and is good at. This will help ensure that your child is comfortable and confident. Make a few suggestions but let your child pick the activity before the play date. It is a good idea to stay involved with your child and his potential pal. Don't just leave them alone and hope it all works out. You can supervise a cooking or craft project but allow the children to do as much on their own as possible. If your child is uncomfortable with you always being underfoot respect his/her wishes but be available if there are any conflicts or they become bored and want to change the activity.

Try to arrange regular play dates with the same children. If things go really well you can suggest an outing such as going to a movie or some other activity. When your child is comfortable you can suggest that he or she has a play date at his/her friends house. Let your child know that you are only a phone call away and they can come home anytime.

It also helps to play with your child on a regular basis. It will give you an idea where your child's strengths are and where he or she may struggle. Your child may we awesome at video games but may have a hard time playing checkers or doing puzzles. These activities may frustrate your child and should not be included in a play date.

Try to find out what the flavour of the month is. Most children are often into some kind of fads such as certain trading cards or a special video game that everyone must have. The latest trend may not thrill you but it offers great bonding material and gives them something in common to talk about while they are forming a friendship.

It is also very important to talk to your child's teacher about any concerns you may have and have and work together on strategies to help your child make friends. Offer to volunteer in the classroom to get a good idea how your child interacts with his/her peers.

Most importantly try not to expect too much from your child. Never make your child feel like they are being forced to make friends. When a child is shy too much pressure can make a child feel even more insecure. Try not to focus on it and allow friendships to develop naturally. In most cases shyness and problems making friends for children is normal. But If your child constantly avoids eye contact, seems withdrawn or avoids children all together it is time to talk to your family Doctor.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Making Parent–Teacher Conferences Work for Your Child

Parent teacher conferences are very important. Whether your student is doing well or needs to improve, sitting down with your student(s) teachers is vital to their education.

It demonstrates that you are paying attention to them and what they are involved in. Do not fall into the "You don't have too," or "I'm fine, don't worry about going," or even "conferences are dumb and the teacher hates me" trap. It's the tendency for most teens to down play conferences and especially if they're struggling.

Getting to know teachers is important. Asking them questions, even if it's "why does my son think you hate him?" Or, "she's getting an A but do you feel she understands the work." Any question is good and setting up a dialog about your student(s) education is important.

I stay in close contact with my son's teachers. I also volunteer on Monday and Friday to help out with lunch. This keeps me involved in school and my son's grades and behavior reflect my involvement.

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