Posted in Guest Author, Health

Please Welcome Jodi Desautels As she Talks About “Emotional Literacy”

Hello everyone!  My name is Jodi Desautels and I will be guest blogging today.  Not long ago, Lisa guest posted for me.  She did so well, I posted it on two different blogs.  I hope you caught it on at least one of my blogs:  DUO Education Learning Blog and Little Chatter Box.  If not feel free to check them out.  Anyway, now it is my turn to post.  I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I’d like to discuss something I find very important:  teaching children to identify and express their feelings.  The term for this is “Emotional Literacy.”

I believe that Emotional Literacy is one of the most overlooked skills in childhood.

Some schools have guidance programs that teach children to identify and express feelings, but not all schools.  Also, according to Parenting.com, emotional literacy can be taught as early as 18 months.  This will cut down on behavior issues that form, because children do not have the skills to identify and express what they are feeling.  (Think, “fewer temper tantrums.”)

As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state that the ability of children being able to express feelings is linked to a decrease in child abuse and neglect.  Parents, especially at risk parents, are less likely to lose patience and ignore or strike out at a child who is behaving well.

Teaching a child about feelings and how to express those feelings may even decrease the chance that he or she may get abused, bullied, or violated as an adult as well.  People, who are assertive, know their feelings, speak their mind, and have high self-esteem make poor targets for violence.

With that in mind, the question becomes, “how do you teach your child to identify and express his or her feelings clearly?”  Parenting.com has some strategies that parents may use to teach Emotional Literacy.   Options may include discussing feelings and emotions with a child, practice making faces to fit various emotions, play games which require stating feelings or showing emotions, and reading books that depict various feelings.

    I wrote a wonderful concept book titled, “Clarinda Cloud,” for ages 2-6 that targets both feelings and colors.  This is a fabulous book to use while discussing feelings with your child.  Clarinda Cloud expresses various feelings with a face to match the emotion.  While reading and looking through the book, you could say things such as, “here is Clarinda Cloud’s shy face, what does your shy face look like?  Can you show me your shy face?”

“Clarinda Cloud” can be found at:

*Barnesandnoble.com

*Amazon.com

*Kindle

Lisa, I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to guest post and also to tell everyone about one of my children’s book, “Clarinda Cloud.”  I hope you and your readers will come visit me some time at DUO Education and SmallReads Book Corner.  I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, feel free to email me at duo_dynamics@yahoo.com.

Thanks for being here today Jodi and sharing your thoughts with us on Emotional Literacy! Your book sounds like an excellent way for parents to introduce this to their children!

Posted in Children's Event

The Last Question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Everyone! I hope everything is going well with you! Today is the last question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event and the last question is…..

Why do you think Children should be encouraged to read? And what is the importance of reading for Young Children?

Okay, here is the answer to why do you think Children should be encouraged to read?

I love this question because it allows me to get up on my soap box and preach about the importance of reading. J First of all, reading with your child is a great bonding experience between parent and child. I read to both my boys before bed and it was such a wonderful experience to have their tiny bodies snuggle up to me and listen to me read. They both are wonderful cuddlers now and I believe it’s because we used to snuggle when we read.  Now, they read to me and it’s great to see their confidence grow in their reading ability.

Studies have shown that reading improves social and analytical skills, and builds self-esteem.  Let’s think about this for a second, the ten to twenty minutes that you spend with your child reading each night could be the answer to some of those emotional issues that all kids experience in their teen years. Now, I don’t have any statistics on that and I’m probably oversimplifying the situation, but I really feel that the conclusion I’m drawing has a grain of truth to it. So, when you’re reading with your kids and you’re reading the same story over, and over, and over again. Just think of it as a way of saving money on future therapy bills.  🙂

Just take a look at what the New York Times has to say about reading fiction in this article “Your brain on Fiction” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Now, the second question…what is the importance of reading for Young Children?

Well…I feel I’ve answered this in the above question, but I’ll say it again. Reading builds social and analytical skills and improves self –esteem. But there are other benefits as well. Avid readers tend to do better in school and reading also reduces stress.

So there you have it, the last question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event. And if you haven’t entered any of her giveaways stop on by her blog and enter…you could win!  http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment and tell me how you feel about reading. 🙂

Posted in Children's Event

Another Question from Megan McDade for her Children’s Book Event

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’m still participating in Megan McDade’s Children’s Book Event. You can find it at her blog at http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/ . So take a moment and stop by and check out all the giveaways and fun stuff that’s going on over there.  🙂

The next question that I have to answer is:  What was your favorite fairy tale or classic book and why?

Well…the answer to this question is a toss-up between “Cinderella” and “Snow White”. And the reason for this is very simple.

I enjoy stories where the underdog wins. 🙂 In both of these fairy tales I identify with Cinderella and Snow White. Let’s analyze this a little bit. Both women are targeted by stronger females who are in a position of power. In Cinderella, she’s victimized by her evil stepmother, and in Snow White she’s persecuted by the wicked Queen.

I love it that these two innocent victims win in the end. They win by not being manipulative or conniving. I think that’s great! What a great example to set for our children. A person can win by just being themselves! What an awesome message!

So, there you have it. My answer to Megan’s question for this third week in September, so let’s help Megan in her quest to encourage children to read! Stop by her blog and enter one of her giveaways http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/.

And if you have a tween/teen who you want to turn on to reading, check out the Super Spies! I’ve been told readers have turned off the TV to read these books!

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Is Your Teen in an Abusive Relationship?

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’ve had a pretty hectic week. My son’s birthday is Saturday and I’ve been shopping for that as well as trying to get the kids ready for school. J

As I focused on the new school year I wondered what kind of social situations my boys will experience this year. Last year in my oldest son’s class they discussed bullying and bullying behaviors. I was excited to see this because it illustrated that our school system was taking a big stand against bullying.

Then I wondered about their teen years. I wondered what kind of relationships would they find themselves in. I hope healthy ones, but how does a parent know? I remember my teen years and I didn’t share a lot of things with my parents, I turned to my friends. Luckily, I had awesome friends. But what happens to the teen that doesn’t? How does a parent know?

So, I started researching and found that there are signs when a teen is in an abusive relationship. For example, if they stop hanging around their friends and stop doing things that they enjoy. The young teen is basically withdrawing and could even be depressed. This is a huge sign.

When I’m talking about abuse, I’m including emotional abuse as well. Emotional abuse is just as debilitating as physical, or sexual abuse. The problem is that it’s hard to see because there is no evidence left on the abused teen. What is emotional abuse and what are the signs? Below is a list of signs to look for in your teen.

Has your teen…

  • Showed a loss of concentration?
  • Shown signs of being afraid to upset their partner?
  • Spent excessive amounts of time in contact with their partner?
  • Lost contact with other friends?
  • Been constantly fighting with their partner?
  • Changed their behavior and/or appearance?
  • Had unexplained injuries?
  • Not been enjoying activities that he/she used to enjoy?
  • Become more aggravated and/or less independent?
  • Seemed persistent to be home at certain times to receive/make phone calls?
  • Seemed withdrawn from what is going on around him or her?
  • Told you about or have you been a witness to their partner calling them names, embarrassing them, or putting them down in front of others?

If  your teen answers yes to two or more of these questions they could be in an abusive relationship.

If you suspect your teen is in this type of relationship ask them these questions. If they answer yes to three or more of the questions they need your help.

Does your partner….

  • Have a short temper?
  • Act very jealous?
  • Exaggerate fights?
  • Tell or suggest what you should wear?
  • Try to limit who you talk to?
  • Make you tell him/her where you are going and who you are with?
  • Tell you when you have to be home?
  • Put you down?
  • Take up most of your time?
  • Hurt you physically or throw things at you?
  • Get angry when you disagree with them?
  • Pressure you to engage in sexual activity that you feel uncomfortable with?
  • Make you feel like you can’t say no to sexual activity?
  • Embarrass you in front of others?

If your teen is in this type of relationship a parent needs to intervene. But how? How do you intervene without alienating your child?

One step is to look into T.E.A.R. acronym for Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships. You can find them here http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php.

This is a great organization that can help teens and parents.  This is where I got the information for this post. J

Here’s some solid advice from T.E.A.R.

  1. Keep all lines of communication open. Sit down with your child and talk about the differences between a good relationship and a bad one.  Ask questions but don’t grill them. Also don’t yell at them or blame them for the abuse that you suspect they are dealing with.
  2. Always validate their feelings. When a parent validates a child’s feelings they realize that you really do want to help and that you value them.
  3. And the most important thing to do, in my opinion, is strengthen your relationship with your child. Encourage them to develop an aspect of their life without the abuser. Maybe join a church group or a club. Then join with them and spend more time with them. Instead of lecturing and giving advice, give them options. J

I hope this post has been helpful! For more information please check out this website http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php. They also have an abuse hotline. Here’s the number 1-866-331-9474.

*** I would like to thank T.E.A.R. for providing the information for this post. J

Posted in Uncategorized

What the Olympics taught my Kids

Hello! I hope everyone has been enjoying his or her summer. It has been a busy one with vacations and family outings. I took the boys to the zoo last week and they had a blast! It’s fun to watch them learn, they are so curious about everything.

When we have some down time we’ve been turning on the Olympic Games. I’m truly amazed by the talent and drive of the athletes. Many of them are much younger than myself. (I’m not going to say how much younger! Just younger! LOL! )

As I watched the Olympics with my boys I wondered what message they were receiving from watching these athletes. Was the message, “the only things that matter are the results?” I certainly hope not. I want my boys to enjoy the journey to their goals as well as the “destination”. In my humble opinion this is the definition of happiness.

I feel very strongly that we, as parents, need to stress to our kids the qualities that these athletes possess, such as perseverance and determination, not the fact that they win or lose.

My five-year-old asked when we were watching gymnastics. “How does he do that?”
“He practices a lot,” I said as I gave him a hug. “Remember we get better with practice.”

I was so glad he asked that question so that I could explain that perseverance and determination were good qualities to have and that everyone needs to practice, even Olympic athletes.

Later when we were watching the men’s 400m race. We witnessed Oscar Pistorius running with able-bodied men even though he was handicapped. What an incredible lesson for my kids to learn!

They learned that obstacles can be overcome. Not only did Oscar have to deal with his handicap; he had to fight a legal battle to run in the Olympics. He didn’t let his handicap stop him or the Olympic officials themselves.

It would have been incredible if Oscar would have won. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Kirani James from Grenada won the gold medal. But in a great act of sportsmanship he traded his nametag for Oscar’s. What an incredible show of admiration to the handicapped athlete!

My boys watched this and they asked so many questions, mostly about Oscar’s running blades. But…I was able to sneak into the conversation a few points about overcoming adversity and the great show of sportsmanship that Kirani illustrated.

It was a great night and watching Oscar made me realize that everyone runs into obstacles, just different ones. So, don’t let obstacles get you down most of them aren’t permanent. And if they are permanent there are ways around them.

I hope everyone has a great day! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!