Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Well

Learning to Love: 9 Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Well

When the bank and local fast food joints hang hundreds of cutout hearts from the ceiling and you can’t watch a football game without being bombarded with jewelry commercials, you know it’s February. Valentine’s Day might seem like one more holiday that takes over store shelves with candy and demands your participation, but it’s also a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the most important value of them all: love.

From this one virtue stems countless others. When love flourishes, traits like patience, kindness, and gratefulness follow. Chances are, the word “love” is probably spoken in your home on a daily basis. But when was the last time you talked about the meaning of this simple word? It’s easy to think children must have an innate understanding of love. After all, you were speaking the words “I love you” to them long before they could say it back. However, it’s important that children understand that love is more than just something we say–it’s a way of life.

Explaining the Concept of “Love” to Children

Sure, most of us could say without hesitation that we know what love is. But how would you put it into words? Your definition of love will probably vary depending on who it’s directed at. For example, you might love your neighbor, Betty, and her delicious chocolate chip cookies, but that love is different from the love you have for your child. Even within the family, the love between parents and children is different from the love between spouses. This concept can be tricky for children to understand.

So, where do you begin?

First, try to help your child understand that “love” is different from “enjoy.” For example, they might say they “love” strawberry ice cream, but hopefully their feelings for strawberry ice cream are quite different from what they feel for their family members. Your child should understand that love as a virtue has nothing to do with personal preferences.

Explain to your child that at its core, loving others means desiring the best for them. You care about their wellbeing and safety. This applies across the board.

At our Christian private school in Atlanta, we use the Bible to help us define love. First Corinthians 13, often called the “love chapter,” paints a detailed picture of love in action: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, English Standard Version).

You can help your child remember what it means to love others by encouraging them to memorize verses like these. When they act in a way that is unloving towards someone else, recite the verses with them and talk about how they could better show love to those around them.

9 Practical Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Well

1. Model love in your home and relationships.

A child’s understanding of love comes from what they perceive and experience within their home. Just as it is important to encourage children to go above and beyond to show love to others, parents should strive for this, as well.

2. Discuss what it means to love others.

While the tips above are a great foundation for helping a child understand the concept of love, it’s so much more than a one-and-done discussion. Ask your child regularly what they think it means to love others. When an offense is made toward someone else, ask your child, “How could you have loved that person better?” When someone has wronged them, ask, “How could that person have treated you in a more loving manner?”

3. Read stories that paint a picture of love and friendship.

Helping kids read stories that feature valuable truths is an excellent way to impress those truths upon their hearts. Look for books that paint a vivid and accurate picture of love and friendship, then discuss the values found in the story when you’ve finished reading.

4. Put together a photo album.

Ask your child for a list of the people they love. Then, have photos of each person printed. Let your child pick out a photo album and fill it with pictures of their loved ones. While you fill the album, have your child explain what they love about each person.

5. Teach your child about love languages and discuss the things that make them feel loved.

You’ve probably heard of the Five Love Languages. People like to express and receive love in different ways. There’s Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Words of Affirmation (Chapman, The 5 Love Languages). While it can sometimes take children a while to develop their “love language,” you can begin to consider and discuss the things that make them feel most loved. You can also tell them about your “love language,” so that they can begin to think about how other people might like to receive love.

6. Come up with little ways to say, “I love you.”

You can never express love too much. As a family, come up with creative ways that you can communicate love to one another apart from simply saying, “I love you.” This might include sweet sayings, like, “I love you to the moon.” When you’re holding hands, three squeezes can be a secret way of saying, “I love you.” And when you’re waving goodbye to your child at school drop-off, try using the American Sign Language sign for “I love you.”

7. Make a card to tell someone they’re loved.

Help your children learn to go out of their way to show love by making and mailing (or giving) “just because” cards to people they care about. Taking the time to do something that will make another person feel loved is a great way to help children begin to shape an others-minded mentality.

8. Play “Loving Charades.”

Give your child various scenarios and situations, and have them act out ways that they could show love in that situation. You might say, “Your friend fell and scraped her knee. How could you show her love at that moment?” Then, let your child act out how they would respond.

9. Love your community.

Finally, find ways to serve your community as a family, and discuss ways that you can love your community well. Oftentimes, love means putting others first. Serving in this way can help children learn to shift their focus from themselves to loving and caring for others.

Advantages of Sending Your Child to a Christian School

Christ-Centered Learning: 9 Advantages of Sending Your Child to a Christian School

Determining where your child will spend so much of their formative years is no small decision. Chances are, you’ve been weighing your options since they were crawling around in diapers. In today’s cultural climate, the decision seems more crucial than ever. And it is. Parents want to know they can trust the values and influences their children are being exposed to on a daily basis.

When it comes down to it, most parents are faced with three options: home school, public school, or private school. The differences between these options are night and day, which means their outcomes could be, as well. While homeschooling gives you the ability to monitor and regulate what your child is being taught and the influences around them, this option simply isn’t feasible for many families, and some children don’t do well in this kind of learning environment.

If you made it to this article, that probably means you’ve narrowed it down to two choices: public or private. Now, we want to be clear: if you’ve come in search of an exhaustive list of everything wrong with public schools, you won’t find that here. While no school or system is without its flaws, there are so many professionals within the public sphere who are seeking to spread the love of Christ and make improvements wherever they can.

That said, we’ve also seen the incredible impact that a Christ-centered education can have on a child’s life. For that reason, we’d like to share with you 10 advantages of sending your child to a Christian school.

1. A Christian private school can help give your child the foundation of a biblical worldview.

If you want your child to be able to stand firm in their faith as they enter into the real world, a biblical worldview is critical. Here at the Academy of Scholars, our faculty and teachers understand just how imperative it is to help students build a firm foundation of faith, grounded in biblical truth and principles. Society is going to bombard your children with a plethora of worldviews that stand against the truth of the gospel. A faith-based education will help equip your student to know what they believe and why they believe it.

2. Christian schools focus on holistic development.

While many public schools do an excellent job nurturing academic and even physical development, they miss a key element. At a Christian school, your child will also have the opportunity to grow spiritually. From there, every other aspect of your child’s wellbeing has a better opportunity to flourish. Spiritual health is a crucial ingredient for academic, social, emotional, and physical success.

3. A Christ-centered education embraces excellence without demanding perfection.

As believers, we understand that earthly perfection is unattainable. At the same time, the Bible calls us to excellence. As Colossians 3:23 reminds us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (English Standard Version). This means that while we don’t need to demand unattainable perfection, we can help students strive for excellence in everything they do, just as we strive to do in our own lives.

4. Christian schools teach values and principles you can trust.

One issue that many parents face with public schools is not knowing what kind of values are being taught and celebrated in the classroom. No parent wants to have to correct things their child might have learned from their teacher, but when values don’t align many feel compelled to do just that. When researching private Christian schools, be sure to take a look at their statements of faith, research their values, and carefully read through the handbook to make sure you feel confident in the principles they uphold.

5. Private Christian schools are family-oriented.

Educators in private Christian schools know that the classroom is a secondary place of learning. The first is the home and, more specifically, the family unit. Both must work together in order for the student to see optimal success. A good private school will partner with parents by fostering strong communication so that parents can reinforce what is being taught in the classroom, and vice versa.

6. At a Christian school, you’ll find a community you can depend on.

You’ve heard the term “it takes a village.” But not just any village will do. As a Christian parent, you want to know that your village–your community–shares your values and will not only encourage your child academically and socially, but spiritually, as well. When your child is part of a Christian school family, this sense of community can be experienced between parents, students, and educators.

7. Private schools provide a more individualized focus.

Another thing that makes private schools appealing to so many parents is that they generally offer smaller class sizes than their public school counterparts. A more intimate setting allows teachers to better assess and meet the individual needs of each student, creating a more optimal learning environment.

8. Safety is a top priority when you attend a private school.

In many cases, private schools are able to place a higher focus on student safety. These days, you can never be too cautious, and as a parent you crave the peace of mind found in knowing your child is protected while they’re outside of your care. Private schools typically boast more advanced security and undergo more rigorous safety training.

9. At a Christian school, you can have more confidence in your student’s peer influences.

Children of all ages long to fit in with their peers. In far too many cases, this can cause children to make unwise decisions in an attempt to be a part of the “in” crowd. Private Christian schools hold students to a higher standard and have stricter rules and guidelines than you’ll find in a public school. The result? Lower percentages of peer-related issues, such as substance abuse, and a healthier, more uplifting peer environment.

While any academic-driven school can shape a future CEO, a private Christian school can help your child become the kind of leader that the world really needs–one who is led by Christ’s love and by biblical values. A good Christian academy will nurture your student’s intellectual curiosity and spur them on to become a champion for the gospel and a Christ-like leader in the workplace, their community, and at home.

Ways to Help Your Children Develop a Godly Nature

Character Counts: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Develop a Godly Nature

These days, all you have to do is flip on the news to be reminded of the sad state of so much of the world. Even a trip to the grocery store can paint a picture of the impatient, self-serving, and uncaring turn that society has taken. Values and good character seem to be things of the past.

For Christ-followers, this should come as no surprise. Humanity is fallen, cursed by sin. And yet, God’s value system remains unchanged. As believers, we are called to exhibit Godly character. However, one look at the world around you might have you wondering how it’s even possible to raise children with Christian values in a culture that seems to defy and abhor those values.

Thankfully, we are not alone or left without a sense of direction when it comes to godly parenting. The Bible has a lot to say about how to raise children in the Lord, as well as plenty of examples of godly character.

What values define a Christ-like character?

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:12-15, English Standard Version).

Colossians gives us incredible insight into the values that define godly character. As believers, we are called to “put on” these characteristics. This implies effort on our part. It can be frustrating when we don’t always see evidence of these values in our childrens’ lives, but we should remember that learning to live with these values is a process. Parents can guide and equip their children to “put on” Christ-like characteristics by taking the time to teach them what the Bible has to say about them. Try using the verses below when discussing godly values with your children:

  • Love: Romans 12:10

    “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (ESV).

  • Honesty: Ephesians 4:25

    “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (ESV).

  • Compassion: Galatians 6:2

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (ESV).

  • Integrity: Proverbs 10:9

    “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out” (ESV).

  • Respect: 1 Peter 2:17

    “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (New International Version).

  • Courage: Joshua 1:9

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (ESV)

  • Endurance: Romans 5:3-4

    “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (ESV).

  • Purity: 2 Timothy 2:22

    “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (ESV).

  • Humility: Philippians 2:3

    “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (ESV).

  • Kindness: 1 Corinthians 13:4

    “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant” (ESV).

  • Others-mindedness: Philippians 2:4

    “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (ESV).

  • Forgiveness: Ephesians 4:32

    “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (ESV).

  • Thankfulness: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

    “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (ESV).

  • Generosity: 2 Corinthians 9:7

    “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (ESV).

  • Obedience: Ephesians 6:1-3

    “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land”(ESV).

How can you help your children develop Godly character?

1. Lead by example.

Children learn from the examples set by those around them. As parents, it is crucial to model for your children the kinds of values you want to instill in them, even when they aren’t watching.

2. Don’t skip discipline.

Scripture reminds us that just as God disciplines those he loves, we must also discipline our children. However, it’s important that children not view discipline simply as a punishment or angry reaction, but as guidance. The root of the word “discipline” is “disciple.” This implies a relationship where one lovingly teaches and guides another, and gives us the framework for how we should discipline our children.

3. Give them responsibilities at home.

If you want your children to grow into hard-working adults with integrity, give them chores and responsibilities at home. Children should understand the importance of work and of sharing the load at home.

4. Consider their community.

1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us that “bad company ruins good morals” (ESV). The friends and adults in your child’s life are going to rub off on them. So, seek to fill your child’s life with like-minded people who can be an example of godly character.

5. Lead family devotions.

Make time in the Word a regular part of your family life. Develop a routine of having family devotions at dinner time or before bed.

6. Encourage scripture memorization.

Scripture memorization can be extremely useful when we are tempted to act in a way that goes against biblical values. In fact, Jesus himself fought temptation by quoting scripture. Try to commit to memorizing one verse together each week as a family.

7. Serve together.

When children serve others, they learn valuable lessons in compassion, love, kindness, and gratefulness. See if your church or your child’s Christian school has opportunities to serve, or partner with a local organization that will allow you to give back to your community.

8. Talk about it.

If you want your children to develop godly character, it’s important that they know what that looks like. The following verses can provide additional clarity on what the Bible has to say about Christ-like behavior:

  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Philippians 4:8
  • Romans 12:2
  • 2 Peter 1:5-7
  • Luke 6:31
  • 1 Timothy 6:11

Parents also have access to a wellspring of resources that can support them in instilling biblical character in their children. These include family devotional books, value-centered tv shows, and web resources from organizations such as Focus on the Family.

9. Pray for your children.

Prayer is a powerful tool and an incredible opportunity to go to the Lord on behalf of your children. Parents who want to grow Christian character in their children should pray that the Holy Spirit would work in their lives to produce Christ-like behavior and strengthen them against temptation. Additionally, pray for wisdom as you seek to model and teach godly character for your children.

Here at Academy of Scholars, a private Christian school in Atlanta, Georgia, we’re committed to partnering with parents to train up children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), and want to provide families with the resources they need to teach Christian values. We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher to discover more ways that you can teach your child godly principles at home.

Zarina Bahadur

How Can Parents and Teachers Manage School Tantrums Effectively?

Tantrums can be overwhelming and overstimulating for both the child experiencing the big emotions and everyone else within earshot of the tantrum. What are the best methods for handling tantrums? Some fellow parents, teachers, and child experts shared some tips on managing tantrums at or about school. Keep reading to find out how they recommend you handle these outbursts.

Zarina Bahadur

Zarina Bahadur

CEO & Founder of .

Be Patient

One of the most important things is to stay calm. It’s like being the eye of the storm. When a kiddo is throwing a tantrum, they’re like a little boat in choppy waters. Your calmness is their anchor. Deep breaths and a calm voice can work wonders.

Then, there’s the power of distraction. It’s like a magician’s sleight of hand. Shift their focus to something interesting or fun. Sometimes, all it takes is a new activity or a change of scenery to flip the script.

Also, empathy goes a long way. Get down to their level, literally and figuratively. It’s like trying to see the world through their tiny goggles. Understanding why they’re upset can help you address the root of the tantrum.

And remember, consistency is your friend. Set clear, understandable boundaries and stick to them. It’s like building a fence – it gives kids a sense of security and predictability.

But the most important tip? Patience, patience, and more patience. Handling tantrums is like tending a garden. It takes time, care, and a whole lot of love. So, chin up, deep breath, and remember, this too shall pass.

Anatolii Ulitovskyi

Anatolii Ulitovskyi

Founder of .

Empathy and Structure

Managing school tantrums effectively requires a blend of empathy and structure. It’s about understanding the child’s perspective and providing clear boundaries.

By maintaining calmness, showing empathy, and setting clear, consistent rules, you can guide a child through difficult moments. This approach has not only helped in immediate situations but also taught long-term self-regulation skills.

Brett Cotter

Brett Cotter

Author / Stress Expert at .

Help the Child Feel Heard

Make eye contact with the child and maintain body language and facial expressions of deep compassion and caring throughout the entire interaction.

See the child’s pain and not their disobedience. Say, “Oh my gosh, I see you are so upset. I am right here for you.”

Create a safe space so the child feels safe enough to express what’s wrong and how they feel to you. If you are emoting any stress reactivity this will not work. Compassionately ask simple open ended questions such as; “How can I help you?” “What is it that you want right now?” “Is there anything in the world I can get you?

Say, “Okay,” and repeat what the child says they want. After the child feels seen, heard, and expresses their feelings usually the tantrum stops within 30-seconds. Then you guide them by saying, “Okay, we’re gonna work on that right away, now let’s take a moment to breathe and relax over here,” and guide them back to their proper seat. After class you can follow-up by asking the child if they would like to talk about anything at all.

Leslie Randolph

Leslie Randolph

Chief Wisdom Officer at .

Model Calm and Gentleness

When a child is having a tantrum, it’s important to remember that they are feeling something that they don’t yet have the coping skills to handle. The tantrum is their way of expressing an emotion that probably feels bigger than them. The greatest gift we can give them at that moment is regulation and we (teachers and parents) can model it for them.

This begins with responding in a calm and gentle manner, so they can access calm and gentleness within themselves. We can model some deep breathing in the moments of heightened emotion or even say aloud, “I am going to take a deep breath before we talk. Can you take one with me?”

After a couple deep breaths, we can then ask what they are feeling and validate it. Validating the emotion is NOT the same as validating the tantrum, but we want them to feel seen and heard. Once we know how they are feeling, we can explore more effective ways to handle the emotion in the future.

Katheryn M. Bermann

Katheryn M. Bermann

Behavior Therapist.

Look for Patterns

For both parents and teachers, the biggest tip would be to look at what happens before the tantrum begins. Is the child being asked to do or not do something? Has the ambient noise level in the environment increased? If possible, ask the child for their opinion on what’s going on. Maybe they simply don’t understand what they’re expected to do or they need extra time to think it through.

A common thing that happens before a tantrum is a child getting told no. Imagine the last time you saw a parent give a treat to a crying child at a grocery store check-out line just to stop the child’s crying. The tantrum began once the child was told they couldn’t have or do something. To avoid this, maybe the parent could have a conversation with the child before they get to the checkout and explain that they can’t get a treat right now because of XYZ reasons.

The child could be reminded of this as many times as needed. If the child is very young, they might not know what to do with their anger and frustration when they hear no, and the only way they know how to express it is through physical actions like crying and shouting. That’s an opportunity to teach the child the skills they’re missing and reward them when they make positive changes.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

Ways to Foster Child Brain Development Through Music

9 Ways to Foster Child Brain Development Through Music

It’s no secret: music can have a profound effect on the mind. A light, joyful melody can change the course of a bad day. An upbeat tune can motivate us to go a little further on a morning jog. And an instrumental of a favorite love song can inspire tears when a bride walks down an aisle.

Music connects with our minds in a way that nothing else can. It carries with it a harmonic, mathematical complexity that can be heard as well as seen. In the brain, neurons respond to music by creating pathways in the corpus callosum which connects the left and right hemispheres. The pathways created by the processing of music allow messages to be transmitted through the brain in a faster and more effective way. Although it is often viewed as nothing more than a pastime or form of art, music has proven to be critical to healthy brain function and development.

Music has the unique ability to engage the visual, auditory, and motor cortices of the brain at the same time. When multiple cortices of the brain work together to process a stimulus, it engages in a robust exercise that promotes advanced development. When children actively participate in music-related learning and activities, they strengthen a variety of neural and physical functions which then contribute to the development of other cognitive and motor skills.

Here at Academy of Scholars, a private school in Atlanta, our teachers use music as a tool to enhance learning in every classroom. Whether at school or in the home, there are many ways that parents and teachers can utilize music to encourage brain development in children, such as through listening to music, clapping out rhythms, and by teaching students to read music.

So, if you’re wondering how you can help boost your child’s brain development through music at home, here are some important tips and tricks:

1. Expose Children to Music Early On

Did you know that the same neural connections forged by music in the brain of a child can also be developed before they’re born? Even babies in the womb can experience the positive effects of music. This means that it’s never too early to begin exposing children to melodies.

2. Expose Children to Music Frequently

Make sure music is part of your daily routine. Sing clean up songs, play some tunes on your way to school, and end the day with a lullaby. The more children are exposed to music, the more effectively their brains will learn to process it.

3. Expose Children to Diverse Genres and Styles of Music

Most of us have a favorite genre of music. Yours might be classic rock, modern pop, or country. However, it’s crucial to expose children to a wide variety of genres and styles. Because each style of music has its own distinct characteristics, children who listen to and learn to process a diverse range of music will see enhanced neural development.

4. Combine Music with Stories

If you want to add some excitement to story time, try making your own soundtrack. Choose a story and make a playlist, including an instrumental track for each section of the book. For example, you might play a light, simple tune in the beginning, when the character is enjoying daily life. Then, when a troublesome event takes place, switch the music to something more mysterious and dramatic. And when that “happily ever after” finally comes, play a finale that swells with joy and ends in an exciting resolution.

5. Encourage Musical Play

Provide young children with various music-making toys, such as maracas, tambourines, or miniature drums and pianos. Then turn on some fun, upbeat music, and encourage them to play along with their instrument. To make it a game, have them switch instruments each time you stop the music.

6. Clap and Tap Beat and Rhythm

Children who learn to hear and replicate beats and rhythms unlock distinct and diverse neurological functions. Even stopping to listen and find the beat is like a workout for the brain. Begin with songs that have simple beats in the 4/4 time signature that aren’t too fast or too slow. Then have your child clap or tap the beat. Once they’ve mastered this, move on to faster songs, different time signatures, and more advanced rhythms.

7. Play Musical Games

Kids love to play games that involve music. Games like musical chairs, freeze dance, or “name that tune” are a fun way to help your child listen to and process music in a way that encourages cognitive development.

8. Use Songs for Learning

Music can also be a great way to help children remember important information. Teach your child songs that help them learn the days of the week, abc’s, or counting by 2’s. You can even make up your own songs that will allow your child to memorize your phone number and home address.

9. Encourage them to Learn an Instrument

Children as young as kindergarten can begin taking lessons for various musical instruments. When your child learns to play an instrument, they’re taught music theory in a deeper way than what they might learn in school music classes. Understanding the mathematics of music theory is a great way to boost cognitive development, and some studies have even found a link between music reading and higher IQs.

Music is magical. It connects to the heart, the soul, and the mind in ways that nothing else can. Because of its ability to connect with multiple cortices of the brain, music is fundamental to fostering cognitive development in children of all ages.

Dhanvin Sriram

What Causes Exam Anxiety in Children?

When a teacher announces that everyone needs to put their pencils down because an exam is over, anyone can have an elevated heart rate. But exam anxiety is more than just regular jitters before a test. What can cause an elevated response to exams in children? What can parents do to help reduce it? Some kid-caring individuals shared their tips to reduce exam anxiety. Keep reading to find out what those tips are.

Dhanvin Sriram

Dhanvin Sriram

From .

Fear of Not Meeting Expectations

Exam anxiety in children often arises from multiple sources, including the fear of not meeting expectations, peer pressure, and concerns about the future. It’s crucial for parents to identify these stressors and create a supportive atmosphere where children feel comfortable discussing their concerns. By maintaining an open line of communication, parents can help children express their anxieties and work together to find solutions.

To reduce exam anxiety, parents can introduce relaxation techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness to help children manage stress during exams. Establishing a balanced daily routine that includes breaks, physical activity, and nutritious meals contributes to overall well-being, enhancing children’s capacity to handle stress.

Additionally, parents can guide their children in developing effective study habits, time management skills, and goal-setting techniques. By providing the right tools and emotional support, parents play a crucial role in boosting their children’s confidence and resilience, ultimately reducing exam anxiety and improving academic performance.

Jamal Farah

Jamal Farah

Senior Manager at .

Pressure To Perform Well

Exam anxiety in children can be caused by a number of factors. In my view, one of the main causes is the pressure to perform well, which can stem from parents, teachers, or the kids themselves. Children might also fear the consequences of not doing well, like disappointing their parents or falling behind their peers. So, how can parents help?

Firstly, I believe creating a supportive and stress-free environment can work wonders. Let your child know that an exam isn’t the end-all and be-all, and their worth isn’t defined by their grades. Encourage them to study, but also ensure they take breaks and have time for fun activities.

Additionally, teaching kids time management skills can help reduce last-minute cramming, which often leads to anxiety. Help them create a study schedule and stick to it.

Lastly, in my opinion, teaching kids relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or meditation, can be really beneficial. These can help them calm their nerves before and during the exam. And remember, a bit of humor can help lighten the mood. Maybe tell them about the time you completely blanked during an exam but still turned out okay!

Caroline Bogart

Caroline Bogart

Founder of .

Lack of Preparation

Exam anxiety in children often stems from fear of failure, lack of preparation, and high expectations, either self-imposed or from parents. To help mitigate this, parents can play a pivotal role. Encourage a healthy study routine rather than last-minute cramming, which often leads to stress. Open communication about their fears and concerns is also crucial, helping to dispel any misconceived expectations or fears. Remember to emphasize effort and understanding over grades, nurturing a growth mindset. Also ensure they are getting proper rest and nutrition.

Jed Macosko, Ph.D.

Jed Macosko, Ph.D.

President and Research Director of .

Unachievable Expectations

The biggest cause of exam anxiety is the feeling of unachievable, big expectations. Parents can reduce this cause by searching for where children perceive that the expectations are coming from and then addressing those sources. The number one perceived source of expectations is from the parents themselves, so parents need to be ready to find that X marks the spot on their own foreheads.

The way to address the perception of these unachievable, big expectations is not to tell a child that she or he is silly to perceive the situation in that manner. Instead, validate the child’s perception. This will be hard when the child perceives the expectations as coming from the parents since the parents’ first reaction will be to tell their child how they in no way have those kinds of expectations.

A better approach would be to say, “Yes, we have had an expectation that you will achieve (fill in the blank) on your next exam, but we realize that this was wrong of us and we are sorry. We realize now that the only thing we should expect and now expect is that you do your best to prepare for the exam.”

If the expectations turn out to be coming from peers or teachers or some other non-parental source, then the goal will be to show how the child doesn’t need the approval of these people and that the approval of the parents, God, and the child’s own internal spirit is sufficient. Parents can’t control whether one of these sources apologizes and changes their expectations, and they should demonstrate to their child that they would never break another person’s legitimate boundary by trying to force or manipulate someone else into apologizing and changing expectations. That said, parents can help children create their own healthy boundaries that keep unreasonable expectations from crowding into their hearts and increasing their anxiety.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Kids

How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Kids

Adults know emotions are an important, though highly challenging, part of life. They can take us by surprise. They can change the course of an entire day. They can build or destroy relationships. And if not given the proper care and attention, they can lead to serious problems.

Regulating emotions can be difficult even for the most even-keeled adult. For children, it can be incredibly confusing and often counter-intuitive. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a critical skill for children to learn, but doesn’t come naturally. They must work to learn, develop, and maintain it throughout their lives.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, emotional intelligence “involves the ability to process emotional information and use it in reasoning and other cognitive activities.”

Psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey believe that this skill requires four key abilities:

  • The ability “to perceive and appraise emotions accurately.”
  • The ability “to access and evoke emotions when they facilitate cognition.”
  • The ability “to comprehend emotional language and make use of emotional information.”
  • The ability “to regulate one’s own and others’ emotions to promote growth and well-being.”

How to Gauge Emotional Intelligence in Children

Emotional intelligence will look much different in children than it will in adults. An emotionally intelligent child should be able to:

  • Recognize and name emotions
  • Express emotions verbally
  • Listen well to others
  • Perceive inciting incidents that might have led to their emotions
  • Consider the feelings of others and exhibit empathy
  • Self-regulate emotions

On the flip side, children who have not yet developed emotional intelligence might:

  • Have difficulty identifying emotions
  • Avoid talking about emotions
  • Struggle with impulse control
  • Display explosive or violent responses
  • Struggle to understand why their reaction wasn’t appropriate

How to Nurture Emotional Intelligence in Children

Emotional intelligence is crucial to helping children function and thrive. You can help your child develop EI by integrating these creative techniques into your family culture:

1. Teach by Modeling

First and foremost, children learn through observation. This can put a lot of pressure on parents. And it’s true, it’s a weighty responsibility. However, parenting provides the perfect opportunity and reason to learn to regulate your own emotions in a healthier way. If you struggle with modeling healthy and acceptable emotional responses, consider speaking with a licensed professional who can give you the tools you need to help you and your child.

2. Label Emotions

Children should be able to recognize and differentiate the emotions they feel. One resource that some of our pre-k Atlanta private school teachers have found helpful is a mood chart. These printable charts feature simple faces or emojis labeled with the emotions they reflect. When your child struggles to verbally communicate their feelings, bring out the mood chart and have them point to the emotion or emotions they’re feeling.

3. Discuss Appropriate Reactions

Recognizing emotions is only half the battle. Emotions lead to reactions, and not all responses are appropriate. For example, a child who throws food across the table because they don’t like what is being served for dinner is responding inappropriately to their emotions of anger and disappointment. Be sure to praise your child when they respond appropriately to difficult emotions, and ask them how they could have responded better if they acted inappropriately.

Here at our Christian private school, we believe the Bible can be an excellent resource for teaching children wisdom in handling emotions and reactions. The book of Proverbs, in particular, has many practical things to say about appropriately regulating emotions.

4. Practice Active Listening

When children don’t feel that they’re being heard, it can cause their emotions to snowball. If your child tries to express their feelings, ensure they have your full and undivided attention. In the same way, children should learn to actively listen to others to understand someone else’s feelings better.

5. Allow Children to Learn through Trial and Error

As adults, we won’t always respond ideally to emotions. So, it’s understandable that children will also struggle to react appropriately to every big emotion. When an inappropriate response is given, try to show your child patience and understanding rather than blaming them. Children should never feel that their feelings are wrong. Instead, they require a safe environment where they can learn to regulate their emotions through trial and error with gentle guidance.

6. Teach Self-Regulating Techniques

Children must learn to self-soothe and self-regulate their emotions to respond appropriately. Self-regulating techniques for children could include:

  • Taking three deep breaths
  • Counting to ten
  • Asking for some time alone to cool down
  • Verbalizing their emotions

7. Tell Stories

Stories provide excellent opportunities for children to learn about emotions and responses. Give your child real-life examples of when you responded appropriately or inappropriately to a situation. Talk about the feelings you experienced and what caused you to feel that way. In addition, look for books that show characters handling emotions. After a character makes a choice, ask your child to consider if it was an appropriate or inappropriate response.

8. Encourage Pretend Play

Imaginative play allows children to react to challenging emotions and practice interpersonal skills such as communication, regulation, and empathy. This kind of play often comes naturally for children, especially as they interact with their peers. Parents can also encourage this kind of play by giving children an imaginary scenario and asking them to act out a response to it. However, unlike charades, their act should include verbal responses.

9. Emphasize Conflict Resolution

Empathy is crucial to emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution is one of the best ways for children to develop it. When your child responds inappropriately, discuss how their choice affected those around them and encourage them to make things right. Similarly, when you display an inappropriate emotional response in front of your child (which we all do), model conflict resolution by apologizing and discussing what you could have done better.

Emotional intelligence will shape how your child responds to life’s most complex situations. It will determine their choices, relationships, and play a significant role in their mental health. Parents who nurture healthy emotional awareness and regulation in the home give their children the tools needed to thrive in a life full of emotional highs and lows. We hope these tips and tricks will help you empower your child to grow their emotional intelligence in a healthy and lasting way.

Ways to Make Teaching Early Math Skills as Easy as 1, 2, 3

9 Ways to Make Teaching Early Math Skills as Easy as 1, 2, 3

You probably don’t remember the day you realized what the number “6” looked like. At some point, you simply went from not knowing what it looked like to knowing, right? Whether you learned it through preschool worksheets or from Count von Count on Sesame Street, something must have aided you in recognizing numbers. As parents, it can be easy to overlook the importance of teaching our children early math skills, even ones as simple as recognizing the number “6.” After all, isn’t that what school is for?

Integrating these early skills into everyday life both before and during a child’s formal education is crucial to giving them the skills they need for math success. Here at our private school in Atlanta, our teachers have seen the difference this kind of intentionality makes in a child’s education. Children who begin to grasp even the most basic number-oriented skills at an early age often experience greater mathematical confidence throughout their schooling than those who do not.

The preschool teachers here at Academy of Scholars have found that teaching kids early math skills can be fun. The possibilities are nearly endless. Here are ten creative ways that you can help your child develop early number skills:

1. Count with Everyday Objects

Everyday life provides ample opportunity for counting. Children can count the remaining Cheerios in their cereal bowl, the number of building blocks in a pile, or line up their stuffed animals and count them one by one. As kids improve their counting skills, try incorporating simple addition and subtraction:

  • “If you have five pennies and I give you one more, how many do you have now?”
  • “If your tower has six blocks and you add three more, how many blocks will your tower have?”
  • “If there are ten Cheerios in your bowl and you eat two, how many are left?”

Children can learn to comprehend the concepts of mathematical functions long before their first math class. Helping them think through simple equations in their everyday life will give them a crucial advantage in the classroom.

2. Tell a Story

Once your child can work with concrete, hands-on equations like those listed above, you can begin to introduce abstract equations. Stories are a great way to sneak in some learning. A mathematical story might go something like this:

“Once, there was a pirate named Pete who loved parrots. In fact, he had seven pet parrots. Every day, Pete and his parrots would sail the seas, hunting for treasure. One day, one of Pete’s parrots, Polly, decided to go off on an adventure of her own. Pete was sad to see one of his beloved birds go but knew it was time for Polly to set sail on her own adventure. So, Polly said goodbye to her pirate friend and set off into the sunset. If there were seven parrots before Polly left, how many parrots remained?”

3. Make it Sensory

Give your child opportunities to play with numbers in a way that appeals to their senses. Drawing numbers in sand, rice, or finger paint or forming them with playdough or clay are fun ways for children to solidify their number recognition.

4. Make it Musical

The internet is an excellent source for finding number songs and chants that children can memorize easily. Look for songs that help children master the basics, like counting from one to ten, or more advanced songs that help children learn to count two by two, three by three, and so on.

5. Go on a Math Scavenger Hunt or Discovery Walk

Kids love a good scavenger hunt. Pick a number and search the house, grocery store, or even road signs on a car ride to see how many of that number your child can spot. An outdoor hunt in the backyard or at the park is also an excellent way for children to engage their brains with the natural world while learning about numbers. When kids interact with nature, their brains often retain information more easily. On your walk, choose one thing to count. For example, you might see how many different colored flowers you can find or how many leaves you can crunch.

6. Read Counting Books

Books provide visual opportunities for children to develop their number recognition and sequencing skills. Many board books focus on simple counting and can be introduced to children even before they learn to walk and talk.

7. Use Sidewalk Chalk

Sidewalk chalk has been and probably always will be a favorite childhood pastime. You can integrate math by helping your child trace numbers or drawing a game of hopscotch and encouraging them to shout out each number as they land on it.

8. Let Them Help in the Kitchen

You may not realize it, but baking and cooking can provide excellent opportunities for children to work on their counting skills. Help them measure out three cups of flour and two teaspoons of vanilla extract, or put ten minutes on a timer.

9. Play Number Games

In addition to these creative activities, you can play many games with your children to encourage their mathematical thinking. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Bean bag toss: label a few buckets with numbers and give your child a target number each time they throw the bean bag.
  • Number bingo: Create your own version of bingo using numbers!
  • Number puzzles: From foam to board puzzles, these are a great way to engage your child’s brain as they learn their numbers.
  • Card games: Games like “Go Fish” or “Crazy Eights” are a fun way for kids to recognize numbers.

Sometimes, children learn best when they don’t realize they’re learning. Teaching them essential math skills outside of the classroom is crucial to their learning experience, and employing creative tricks like these above will help your child become a mini-mathematician in no time.

Giving Thanks: 11 Creative Ways to Instill Gratitude in Your Child

Giving Thanks: 11 Creative Ways to Instill Gratitude in Your Child

It’s November. Leaves are crunching underfoot. Temperatures are dropping, sweater season is in full swing, and hot cider is on the stove. The trick-or-treaters have come and gone, and the store shelves are lined with ornaments, garlands, and gifts. It’s the time of year that we remind ourselves to step back and take a look at everything we have to be grateful for. It’s a season of thankfulness.

This time of year reminds us that practicing gratefulness deserves more than one month on the calendar. It’s a trait we want to carry past the holidays and into our busy, everyday lives. Similarly, parents recognize the value of instilling gratitude in their children. But how can you help your child grow this trait that sometimes seems to go against our very nature, and how can you keep it flourishing once the Thanksgiving leftovers have disappeared?

Here at our private school in Atlanta, we’re grateful for teachers who value this essential character trait and have a heart for passing it on to their students. They know that fostering attitudes of gratitude requires more than a go around the dinner table every year on Thanksgiving. Lik1e all good habits, gratefulness requires consistency and practice, and sometimes, it means you’ve got to think out of the box to help your child truly grasp its importance.

So, if you’re looking for simple and creative ways to help your child learn gratitude, here are some of our favorites:

1. Introduce It into Vocabulary Early On

“Thank you” should be one of the first things every child learns to say. But before they can speak it, they need to hear it spoken. Often. Encourage your child to practice saying “thank you” for meals when someone helps them with a task and at every other opportunity that presents itself. Thankfulness should be so ingrained in everyday vocabulary that it becomes a habit from a young age.

2. Mirror Gratitude

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Monkey see, monkey do,” and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to children. Children are like mirrors. They reflect what is shown to them. So, try to be intentional about modeling gratitude in your home as much as possible. Not only does this mean saying “thank you,” but it can also look like pointing out things you appreciate in your family members or bringing attention to little things they do.

3. Start a Gratitude Journal

Who says you can’t give gifts on Thanksgiving? This year, try giving your child a gratitude journal. Encourage them to write down one thing they’re grateful for each day. When envy, jealousy, or discontentment creep in, they can look through their journal and be reminded of everything they have to be thankful for.

4. Start a Family Tradition

One way to make gratitude a part of your family culture is to start a new tradition. Try going around the table each evening during dinner so that each person can say something they were thankful for that day. Or, make a gratitude jar and encourage each family member to jot down something they’re grateful for each day. At the end of the week, go through the jar as a family to reflect and finish the week positively.

5. Read Books About Gratitude

Although your child likely spends a lot of time reading for school, reading together at home is a great way to pass along your family’s values. Visit your local library and look for books with themes of gratitude, or poll fellow parents to find out which books they recommend.

6. Spend Time in Nature

Getting outside is a great way to relax and refocus. Go on a nature walk with your child and encourage them to point out what they love about nature. Watch a sunset just to take in the colors. Visit the beach or the river and pause to listen to the melody of crashing waves or flowing currents. Sometimes, all it takes to feel thankful is stepping out the front door.

7. Practice Sharing

Being thankful for what we have should make us want to share with those around us. Help your child to practice sharing their favorite toy with friends or siblings. Take some time together to sort through toys that no longer get played with, and take them to the local thrift store so other children can enjoy them, too.

8. Make Gratitude Crafts

Gratitude crafts are quite popular this time of year. You could trace your child’s hand, turn it into a turkey, and write something your child is thankful for on each finger, or turn fall-hued construction paper into a pile of “thankful” leaves. The internet may be lacking in gratitude crafts for the rest of the year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Consider crafts that could incorporate thankfulness during winter, spring, and summer so that every season is a season of gratefulness.

9. Write Thank You Cards

Teach your children to go the extra mile in showing gratefulness by writing and mailing thank you cards. When friends have showered them with gifts on their birthday or relatives send Christmas presents, encourage your child to write specific, individual thank you notes to practice expressing gratitude.

10. Address Envy

Envy is an easy trap to fall into, and it can rob us of the ability to feel and show gratitude. When the jealous, green-eyed monster threatens to rear its ugly head, talk to your child about their feelings and help them focus on what they have instead of what they don’t.

11. Give Back

Giving back is one of the best ways we can help our children grow their gratitude. When we realize how much we’ve been blessed, it should make us want to bless others so they can feel the same way. Find a community program to volunteer with, spend an afternoon picking up trash in your neighborhood, or donate toys or food to a local organization.

Before the season of thanksgiving disappears as quickly as grandma’s pumpkin pie, take a moment to reflect on how you can integrate these strategies into your daily life. With a bit of creativity and mindful intentionality, you and your family can enjoy attitudes of gratitude that last all year long.

Kathryn Starke

How Can Parents Address Factors Impacting Their Child’s Reading and Understanding Skills?

Reading is the foundation of our education. Reading and comprehension are critical skills that children develop at a young age. What can parents do to help their children address any factors that are impacting their ability to read and comprehend? Keep reading to find out what some literacy advocates recommend parents do to help set up these children for success.

Kathryn Starke

Kathryn Starke

Ask Teachers About Your Child’s Reading Behaviors

It is so important for parents to ask teachers about their child’s reading behaviors (both strengths and challenges) to determine how to best address these issues at home. When it comes to a child’s understanding, it’s all about comprehension and whether a child can understand what they are reading when they are independently reading a story or listening to someone reading a story to them. Ask questions before, during, and after reading.

When it comes to vocabulary, introduce new words through text and conversation. Fluency happens when children are reading and re-reading texts.

Finally, phonemic awareness and phonics (letter/sound relationship) activities and games will help children decode or figure out any unknown word on the page. When parents understand these 5 components are essential to help their child achieve reading success, they can find out how their students perform in each component and support them accordingly at home.

Nathan Clark

Nathan Clark

Co-Founder.

Ask Questions About What They Read

Pose them inquiries regarding what you read in class. In addition to helping youngsters gauge their comprehension of a material, asking them questions encourages them to reflect more deeply on what they are reading (or listening to).

At this age, students spend a lot of time in class studying words. They are learning to distinguish between the various sounds that make up words and to combine those sounds to create new words. The meanings of unknown words can be understood by using base (root) words, prefixes, and suffixes, that they are learning. To aid in their understanding of the relationships between sounds and letters, you can play rhyming games. They can analyze words to determine their component elements and corresponding meanings.

Young children get the physical stamina and motor abilities necessary to eventually write words, phrases, and paragraphs through sketching and painting. Help your child develop the neural pathways necessary to later link sounds to letters and letter patterns while they are starting to read by having them practice drawing individual letters.

Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy

Editor at .

Accompany Children to the Library

Accompanying your children to the library regularly will help your kids to develop their reading and comprehension skills. This is an effective strategy if you do not have many books at home or cannot afford the books for your kids which is one of the factors impacting their reading skills of kids.

Kids are intrinsically curious, and once they are habituated to seeing books all around, they will inevitably pick up a book. The most pivotal aspect is how much time you are spending with your kids to read with them. Since kids learn more by observing than listening, you, as a parent, need to read too. Borrow the books from the library and read the sentences aloud to your children.

Richard Campbell

Richard Campbell

Owner of .

Creating a Literacy-Rich Environment at Home

Parents can significantly enhance their child’s reading and understanding skills by creating a literacy-rich environment at home, which includes providing access to a variety of age-appropriate books, newspapers, and magazines. Engaging in daily reading sessions together and discussing the content critically can foster comprehension and analytical skills.

Additionally, establishing a consistent dialogue with their child’s teachers to align on reading strategies, and participating in community reading groups or library programs, can offer a broader socio-cultural context to their learning experience. These traditional, screen-free methods not only promote a deeper understanding and appreciation for reading but also nurture a lifelong love for literacy.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.