Morality and Ethics + Drilling for Manood + Overcoming Perfectionism

[amazon asin=157912948X&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Michael Parker, author of Talk with Your Kids.
Conversations about ethics and more.
Issues: Where do kids get their values? Why learning to think consciously about ethics is at least important to our children as academic learning; Conversation starters about honesty, friendships, sensitivity, fairness, dedication, and more; ground rules for conversations with your kids.

[amazon asin=1433680718&template=thumbleft&chan=default]John Croyle, author of The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood.
A proven game plan for raising sons.
Issues: The seven actionable principles of M-A-N-H-O-O-D: Master, Ask and listen; Never compromise; Handle your business; One purpose; One body; Don’t ever give up.

[amazon asin=B00ERNVY88&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Ann W. Smith, author of Overcoming Perfectionism.
Finding the key to balance and self-acceptance.
Issues: The key differences between overt and covert perfectionism; the role early attachment temperament, sibling relationships, and life circumstances play in develping patterns of perfectionism; how to create change and a more fulfilling life.

Planning for Uncomfortable-but-Important Conversations

[amazon asin=1615190783&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Sue Sanders, author of Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore.
Navigating 25 inevitable conversations that arrive before you know it.
Issues: How not to be blindsided by your child’s pre-teen years; tough conversations like, “You and Dad do that?” “Did you ever smoke marijuana?” “Can I get American Eagle jeans?” and “Do these shorts make my butt look big?”

Inevitable Conversations + Getting Twins to Sleep + Launching Adult Children

[amazon asin=1615190783&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Sue Sanders, author of Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore.
Navigating 25 inevitable conversations that arrive before you know it.
Issues: How not to be blindsided by your child’s pre-teen years; tough conversations like, “You and Dad do that?” “Did you ever smoke marijuana?” “Can I get American Eagle jeans?” and “Do these shorts make my butt look big?”

[amazon asin=0345497791&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins.
Topic: Sleep training your multiples.
Issues: The difference between healthy sleep and junk sleep; why it’s important for babies to learn to fall asleep unassisted; tips for synchronizing twins’ sleep schedules; recognizing early drowsiness clues so you can catch the sleep wave before it’s too late…

Ellen Gibran-Hesse, author of Failure to Launch.
Topic: How to get teens and young adults to independence.
Issues: Guide your teen to the life and job skills needed to be independent; helping a college student structure their college experience so they’re employable after graduation; helping teens and young adults develop money management skills; how to do all that and still maintain close relationships.

Picture books can boost your child’s vocabulary

Interesting story reported by the Indo-Asian News Service. A study has claimed books having photographs but no words prove ideal for building children’s language skills. And, the parents can help their kids the best if they used such books for the bedtime story.

According to experts, parents turning to wordless storybooks end up spending time discussing the pictures and answering their toddler’s questions — exposing them to complicated words, Daily Mail reported.

Psychologists from the University of Waterloo, Canada, looked at 25 mothers as they read their children a set of bedtime stories.

They found the mothers used more advanced language when they picked up a picture book compared to a book with words.

Study author Daniela O’Neill said: “Too often parents will dismiss picture storybooks, especially when they are wordless, as not real reading or just for fun.

“But these findings show that reading picture storybooks with kids exposes them to the kind of talk that is really important for children to hear.”

O’Neill said while reading the picture story, “we would hear mums say things such as ‘where do you think the squirrel is going to go?’ or ‘we saw a squirrel this morning in the backyard’.”
“But we didn’t hear this kind of complex talk as often with vocabulary books, where mentioning just the name of the animal, for example, was more common.”
However, O’Neill also said books of all kinds could build children’s language and literacy skills, “but they do so perhaps in different ways”.

The article originally appeared here.

I’m Only Going to Say This 100 More Times…

Dear Mr. Dad: We’ve tried to stress the importance of study habits to our 12-year-old son. But no matter what we do or say, he seems to end up playing video games instead of doing his homework. What can we do to make him start taking studying seriously?

A: Whoa. Before we get to the homework thing, we need to talk about the real issue: What can you do to get your son to start taking YOU seriously? The simplest approach (although, I admit that it’s not going to be easy) is to take away the video games. Whether it’s confiscating his DS or tablet, locking up his game controllers, or activating the parental controls on his computer, you need to take some firm steps right now. Your son is still young, but if he doesn’t start taking schoolwork more seriously soon, his grades may interfere with his post-high-school education and, eventually, his choice of career.

If possible, get your son involved in the discussion—have him suggest ways he can earn back his gaming time. The more the rules come from him, the greater the chance that he’ll follow them. But make sure he’s got things in the right order. Schoolwork first, then games. No exceptions.

Okay, back to homework—but again, we have to start with a different question: When did this behavior start? If he’s never had any interest in studying, that’s one thing (and we’ll get to that in a minute). But if this is a relatively new development, you need to figure out what’s going on.

Has anything in your son’s life changed recently? Did you just move to a new neighborhood? Could he be having a problem with a teacher? Is there any possibility that he’s being bullied at school? Have you and your spouse been fighting a lot or are you getting divorced? Any of these can cause significant—but usually temporary—changes in study habits.

Your assignment is to get answers to these and other similar questions that could be influencing your son’s schoolwork. This is going to involve spending more one-on-one time with your son and learning about his life and how he feels about things.

The temptation is to sit him down and start grilling him, face to face. Don’t. It’s hard for a teen to interpret that kind of approach as anything but hostile. Instead, start by asking him general questions about school, friends, music and other non-explosive topics. And do this while you’re driving. There’s something about not having to look at each other that can remove some of the barrier to communication. If you listen carefully and resist the urge to lecture, you may get the answers to your questions without actually having to come right out and ask them. And in the process, you’ll be strengthening your relationship with each other.

Now, what if he’s ever been interested in studying? Is it possible that he’s not getting enough intellectual stimulation? This is big. A child who finds schoolwork to be boring may simply tune out.

If it’s not that, communicating with your son will still be the goal, but there’s a twist. In this case, you’ll try to find ways to build on his natural interests. For example, if he loves sports or mechanics or cooking or whatever, start there. And then find ways to introduce math or science or language arts principles through those interests. Showing him that what he’s learning has some actual real-world applications will make it a lot more interesting—and worth working on.