Category Archives: Social & Emotional

How to raise emotionally intelligent children

Can you remember the last time you felt really frustrated or sad? What techniques or skills did you use to manage your emotions?

Just like adults, children need to develop strategies for managing their emotions. Many times, toddlers and young children will bite or hit out of frustration or have a hard time calming down after an exciting day. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach them the skills needed to identify and express their feelings. Although aggressive behaviors in young children may be challenging for parents, these situations are a great learning opportunity for them to identify and express their emotions!

Research has shown the benefits that result from teaching emotional intelligence from a very young age. According to various studies, young children who participate in social-emotional skills programs show less aggression and anxiety, and become better at solving social problems. Not only do these outcomes provide a more peaceful environment for everyone, but also the benefits endure through the years! In fact, regulating emotions and not reacting in impulsive or hurtful ways is now recognized as a critical factor in children’s psychological health.

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Why being a mom is completely awesome!

As a mom, you probably know about all the kind of struggles new parents face, but the truth is that after all the chaos that the day brings, being a mom is the best thing that has happened to you! You never thought that you could love someone that much and even become a better person for him or her. Being a mom is simply AWESOME!

Here at Kinedu we came up with some great reasons why motherhood is amazing, check them out and let us know what you think.

  1. You are more empathic. Probably every time you see a mom with her newborn crying you remember those good old (scary) days! Rather than feeling annoyed because the baby won’t stop crying, you empathize with the mom. Motherhood has given you the ability to step into other parents’ shoes, and appreciate the giant job they undertake with their own kids. Becoming a mom has given you a new, essential life perspective, and your compassionate side has blossomed.
  1. You are super productive. Can you even remember those days that you didn’t have anything to do? Now you probably have a million things to do… but don’t worry, motherhood has made an efficiency expert out of you! You probably had a routine planned out for today… a week ago. Those daily naps are glory and you make them count every time! With this new ability now nothing is impossible!
  1. Being a mom helps you make great friends. You probably thought that after college making that kind of good friends would be really hard. Now, as a mom you meet new friends everywhere! From birthing class to your son’s school. You may not have the same background but you share one key element: motherhood, and it’s really easy to bond and learn new things from each other because of it.

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Why parents need to let their children experience failure

Once a baby comes into the world, it becomes a parent’s innate desire to protect and support him as he grows. Life has completely changed – now someone’s life depends on you to grow and develop happily. This new responsibility is not a burden; it is something you are willing to do out of love. However, this inherent vow to protect your baby from any harm does not mean you should go over the top and guard him from any possibility of a setback or failure. It means letting them fail safely.Nevertheless, letting children fail safely is easier said than done. As time goes by, many parents have started to believe that “more” is better- for example: giving “more” praise, helping out “more” so they don’t feel stressed, and the list goes on. Although they have the best intentions, these actions actually backfire. Many parents have a difficult time watching their children “fail.” And who could blame them? All you want to do is see your children succeed, so how could you stand seeing your child struggle? How can you not intervene when you see your child stressed out, sad or anxious by not being able to complete a task? Where are parents supposed to draw the line?

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Preparing your child for a new sibling: A few tips

Welcoming a new baby to the family can be tough on siblings. Rivalry usually begins right after the arrival of the second child, or often times even before it. Most of the time, the older child acts out by becoming aggressive or regressing by acting more like a baby (wanting a bottle, peeing in their pants, etc.). It’s essential to prepare your older child when you know you are expecting a new baby because kids need to know what to expect to feel secure and they need time to adjust to changes.

There are tons of things you can do to make the adjustment process easier for everyone. Here are just a few:

  • Tell your older child about your pregnancy when you tell your friends. It’s important that he/she hears this from you, and not someone else!
  • If any (other) big changes are coming up in your toddler’s life, like moving to a new bed or bedroom, toilet training, or starting preschool, plan to get through them before the baby arrives.
  • Constantly talk to your baby about the baby arriving, giving him or her a realistic idea of what to expect. For example, let him or her know that the baby will take up a lot of your time and that the baby will not be able to do much at first!
  • Sit down with your toddler and look at pictures and videos of his or her birth and baby days. This will give a better picture of what to expect.
  • If it’s possible, visit friends with a new baby.
  • Let your older child participate in the preparations as much as possible. For example, you can let him or her decide the new baby’s first outfit between two choices.

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6 tips to help your little one love learning

We all want to raise self-motivated children. Not only because it might lead to good grades in school, but because it’s an important factor for success later in life. Helping children have a passion to develop their knowledge is a great virtue. When a child has a desire to learn, they understand more and remember the information for a longer period of time, and not only that, they are more persistent and eager to do challenging work! Ideally, we’d all want our kids to be that way, focusing on learning, not grades; on improving and not just proving he is smart; enjoying the journey of learning.

In general, there are two types of goal orientations people adopt: mastery and performance. Mastery orientation centers on learning and improvement, while performance orientation focuses on showing competence against others. Psychologists have found that having a mastery orientation carries the most benefits – some of its positive qualities include: persistence, a desire to learn, and seeking out challenges to further improve.

But how can children have this type of mindset – one that focuses on high commitment and eagerness in learning as well as resilience when they fail?

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Coping with tantrums and anger through books

It’s quite common for toddlers to throw tantrums – we can all agree with that! From kicking and screaming to breath holding, they are common from ages 1 to 3 and equally common with girls and boys. What we need to understand is that tantrums are a way for babies to express their feelings and frustration because they are not able to communicate with words yet! The most important thing is that you, the adult, set a good example and remain calm during those stressful moments.Along with tantrums, come other tough behaviors like biting, scratching or hitting. They are all a way for toddlers to get attention or express their strong emotions like anger, fear and frustration. Lacking the language skills needed to deal with them, they resort to those behaviors as a way of saying “Pay attention to me!” or “I don’t like that!” Here are a few things you can do when faced with these situations: Continue reading

How-to: Enhance your baby’s social skills

From the moment your baby was born, he started to learn to respond and adapt to the people around him. He eventually starts to enjoy seeing other people, but of course he will still always prefer his parents’ company. Research has shown that babies thrive on the relationships they establish with their parents and others, and that these relationships are the building blocks of healthy human development.

It is important to acknowledge that each baby is born with his own social style. Some may be more outgoing or extrovert, while others may be a bit shy and quiet. Generally, when a toddler turns two years old he begins to enjoy playing with children his age, and by three, he’ll be on his way to making real friends. But like any other skill, he will need to learn how to socialize by trial and error.

Here are some tips that will help you enhance your baby’s social skills. Continue reading

Separation Anxiety: Get through it in a fun and insightful way

Just around their first birthday, most kids develop separation anxiety. It’s different for every kid, but in a general manner, it means they get upset when a parent wants to leave them with someone else. This is a completely natural part of early childhood – but it doesn’t make it any less troubling!If their needs are being met, most babies younger than six months have no problem being around other people. But between four and seven months, babies develop a sense of object permanence. Therefore, they begin to understand that things and people exist even when they are out of sight. So that’s when your baby begins to realize that when he or she can’t see you, it means you have decided to go away. Since babies don’t understand the concept of time, they don’t know if or when you’ll return and it makes them rather uneasy.

Understanding what your child is going through and having a strategy to deal with it can help both of you. Here are some tips to help you and your baby get through separation anxiety. Continue reading

Can early experiences impact whether genes are turned on or off?

In the recent years, scientific research has taught us that early life experiences can have a powerful influence on the developing brain. The brain is particularly responsive and malleable to both experiences and the environment we live in during the early years; this in turn affects how well our brain architecture develops and functions. Every experience, whether it is seeing a puppy for the first time, going to the park, or being in a car accident – impacts the neural connections of the brain. In other words, every experience can cause the brain to develop in different ways. Interestingly, scientists have discovered that early experiences don’t only impact brain architecture, they can actually determine how genes are turned on and off and even whether some are expressed at all!

This means that positive and nurturing early experiences can help the brain to develop well and negative experiences of neglect and abuse can cause some genetically-normal children to generate certain abnormalities. The lack of information about the critical role a child’s first experiences play in shaping his or her brain, led to a lack of focus on this particular stage of development. Most people used to think that a child wouldn’t remember those first experiences, but now we know they can actually impact a child physiologically, on a genetic level. Continue reading

Teach self-control through books!

Reading to your child for a few minutes everyday is extremely beneficial for his or her brain development, language skills and social skills! Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged pediatricians to constantly remind their patients about this!Books can become useful tools that help your child identify and make sense of feelings, and they help parents teach children how to deal with difficult emotions and situations. Many times books simply offer an easy and productive way to teach children about things like friendship, diversity, and self-control – a fundamental ability.

It is well known that self-control is very important for a child to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Self-control is the ability to stop and think before acting – maintaining composure in challenging situations. Therefore, to have self-control you must be aware of your own thoughts and emotions. For parents, teaching self-control becomes a priority, and it is an ability that requires practice to be learned. However, you should keep in mind that babies’ and toddlers’ prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with self-regulation and control) is not fully developed; therefore, it is not reasonable to expect a kid to have self-control like an adult does. If your child is very young, he or she will have trouble effectively controlling emotions, thoughts, and actions – and that’s completely normal! The limits you establish should be according to his or her developmental stage.

Books can be a great way to talk to your little one about self-control! Your child will learn through the different characters and situations in the stories, and talking about it afterwards can help him or her compare and relate them to real life. Have you been introduced to Leslie Patricelli’s books? They are a must – very fun, light, and great for learning about self-control! Look out for these: Continue reading