Raising a Compassionate Child

The world can be a rough place, and so can the people in it. Parents have a natural tendency to want to shield their children from the things that might hurt them, but it is important that kids are informed and that they are compassionate people as well. You can’t control what happens in the world on a major scale, but as a parent you can help shape an empathetic and caring individual who can help make it a better place. In this day and age, raising a caring child can be difficult. Shielding children can help save them from some things, but it can also lead to ignorance and arrogance.

As a parent, there are some ways in which you can help make sure that your child becomes a caring individual and who truthfully cares about others as well. Children have an inborn capacity for compassion, which is why it is not uncommon for kids to empathize with other children, animals, and even stuffed toys. It’s important that parents encourage this kind of thinking and behavior, especially when the world can be so harsh, and promoting lovingkindness and other nice sentiments can help.

Showing not Telling
When trying to express softness, some kids can be a bit rough without meaning to. If a young toddler is trying to pet an animal or pick up a baby, their motor skills may not allow them to do so carefully. Instead of telling them not to show affection, show them how to do so in a way that is harmless and thoughtful. Simply telling children “no” can teach them to suppress the desire to express these feelings in the future. Instead of simply telling them “no” if you see them approaching a situation clumsily, commend their thoughtful behavior and show them how to act on those thoughts properly and carefully.

Speaking Softly
Sometimes, showing basic manners can go a long way. Speaking softly and showing kindness can help, especially if you act as an example for your children. Whether you’re talking to your kids or others in front of your kids, it is important that you set a good example and show compassion, thoughtfulness and understanding yourself. Kids learn by observing, so setting a precedent can certainly leave a lasting impression.

Encourage Helping
Whether you’re asking your children to help out with chores or pointing out ways in which they can generally be helpful, encouraging kids to get involved can be influential too. If kids are used to pitching in, especially if it is part of their daily routine, offering help to others when they see that they are struggling can come more naturally to them. You can also point situations where people may need help or could use a hand, and ask your kids how they can help and why they should. Inspiring this kind of discourse can help kids think critically and compassionately as they get older and develop thoughts and opinions on their own.

The Power of Stories
Sharing stories can be incredibly influential, and there are plenty of books that kids can pick up about people who have helped others in history. Aside from reading, share stories and anecdotes of your own as well. If you witnessed a kind act, share it with your child. If you notice someone doing something nice for someone else while you’re at the park or out shopping, point it out and ask your child what they think about it.

Helping Out Beyond the House
Volunteering is a great way to introduce kids to a larger world and the things that people can do to help make it a better place. Whether you’re helping collect food, toys for children, or picking up litter, giving kids a physical example of helping others can show them the benefits of kindness, compassion and taking action as well.

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Tips for Reading to Children with Speech and Language Problems

Communication may be difficult for children with speech and language problems, and this can be a frustrating process. For children, speech and language issues can manifest in a variety of different ways, affecting the way that children express themselves and understand others. It is important to have concerns like these addressed as soon as possible so that your child can get the proper care, which will provide them with the tools they need in order to cope with these issues and overcome them. It also helps for parents to pitch in as well, and one of the best ways you can help is to read to and with your child regularly.

Speech and language is more than just talking. It is about the way in which we express ourselves, understand one another, and how we relate to others. Speech and language also employ skills pertaining to listening, storytelling and our ability to understand abstract concepts. Reading with your child can help to engage these other aspects of language while also helping you build memorable moments with your child as well.

Build a Relationship with Books
Developing a love for books and reading can help open up doors. It leads to a healthy relationship with learning, curiosity and creativity. One of the best ways to help foster this sort of relationship is to have books available, whether they be for kids, for adults, magazines, or anything else, and it also helps to read to and with your child as well. Doing so can help you spend time together, bond, and have fun. These moments will help paint reading in a positive light, even if children have difficulty interacting with books on their own. With the right encouragement and determination, kids can still associate books with something good and continue to benefit from them regardless of their problems with speech and language.

Reading in a Whole New Way
For parents with children who have speech and language disabilities or other problems, you may feel as if your child may not be getting the most out of reading due to these particular issues. This may be true for some children, but there are ways in which you can make reading a more personalized experience. Children with speech and language problems may benefit from unique tips and tricks that can help them learn how to listen attentively, pick up on words and phrases, and overcome whatever problems they have. Try repeating stories – sometimes kids need a little extra time to listen to learn. Also, try singing, rhyming or acting out stories, too. Reading does not have to be a singular experience, and since people learn in different ways, it helps to remember that reading with a different approach can have a positive impact on your child and may help them learn more about language and communication while also improving their skills.

Revisit Stories and Ask Them Questions
In order to help encourage your children to interact and think critically, you can ask them questions about the story. This doesn’t have to be like homework – after certain pages or chapters, ask your child what they think will happen next. Ask them who their favorite character is and why. It also helps when it comes to building their language skills. Thinking and answering questions can help them communicate, but make sure to help them sound out words, read along with you and even play sound games to help their speaking skills.

There are plenty of things that you can do to help your child if they happen to have speech and language problems, but it is also important that children develop a healthy relationship with books and learning, in order to benefit their academic and intelligent lives. Kids with issues that deal with speech, language, and communication, and even children with learning disabilities like dyslexia, may not begin to interact with books until they are in school or otherwise because they (and their parents) might feel that it is something that should wait until after they get treatment or that it is something that will come in time. It is never too early to have fun reading, whether kids are being read to or reading on their own, and it can help kids develop essential skills, learn to love stories, and develop a sense of self confidence in their ability to learn as well.

8 Ways to Help Your Struggling Reader

Struggling Readers

Reading is an essential skill, and it is important that it is taught early on. In order for children to do well in school, it is imperative that their literacy skills are adequate or at least measured before they begin any academic training or instruction. It is common for children to struggle when it comes to learning new things, but some struggles are more significant than others. Some children may be reluctant readers and may simply need encouragement, whereas other children may have other problems that prevent them from reading at the level that they should – and it is vital that parents figure out why their children are struggling with reading as soon as they possibly can.

Did you know that about 40% of children struggle with reading? Luckily, with early help most issues can be addressed and overcome, but unfortunately many parents wait a year or more before getting help. This is usually because parents may not be fully aware of why their children are struggling with reading or they believe that their kids simply just don’t want to read. Whether your child does not wish to read and needs to be nudged in the right direction, or whether your child has dyslexia or other related reading disorders, it is important that it is addressed early. In either case, your child may suffer as a result and fall behind. The longer a reading issues goes unchecked, the more difficult it will be to reverse and correct. There are some ways you can help struggling readers.

1. Acknowledge Your Child’s Successes. As a parent, it may be difficult to look at anything other than your child’s reading skills especially when they factor in so much when it comes to other skills and abilities. But by focusing on your child’s other strengths, you can help instill a powerful sense of self-esteem that will help them develop the confidence to get better at reading and any other skills they may need to learn along the way.

2. Set realistic goals. If your child has problems reading, they are not going to overcome the difficulties overnight. It is important to set realistic goals and milestones and to celebrate each one as they come.

3. Don’t limit your child. Poor reading skills can affect other skills as well, namely spelling, but even if your child is a bad speller do not let this setback keep them mute. It is important that children learn to express themselves and communicate, and it is an important skill that they need to learn early on. Waiting around for their reading or spelling to get better will not change things, so it is important that you help them write in any way that they can. You can use a dictionary, practice self spell-check and other skills that they can apply to their writing afterwards. It is important that kids learn to get their thoughts on paper and that they understand how to properly express how they feel.

4. Share your own difficulties with your kids. If your child is feeling down on themselves for their reading problems or disabilities, it can be discouraging, even if you keep encouraging them to improve or if you congratulate achievements in other areas. They want to hear how you overcame your difficulty, make it real for them so they can associate with the problem.

5. Read aloud. Even if your child has issues reading on their own, reading along with them or to them can be incredibly beneficial. Reading aloud can help bolster their language skills and it could also help spark interest and creativity as well.

6. Take care in the small strides. Having a struggling reader is not easy and the journey may be a long one. Kids who have trouble reading do not usually get better all of a sudden, but they can develop skills slowly over time. Help your child with these smaller steps, help them go over the alphabet, help them sound out words, play games with them including the labeling of your groceries to the signs on the road.

7. Remember that it is okay to read slowly. Kids who have a hard time reading, especially those with disorders, may be especially slow readers, but slow reading is not a bad thing. Remember that your child is working at their own pace, and that the way in which their brains process and understand information is what is best for them. If your child needs a little more time to read or get through a sentence, it’s okay.

8. Make sure that you’re a team. Reading problems and other learning disabilities don’t have to be private affairs. By letting family members and teachers in on the struggle, they can help form a supportive team for your child. By working at home and at school, your child can make huge improvements and can feel better about themselves and motivated to improve.

SPECIAL NOTE: With struggling readers let them choose the books they want to read to entice them to read more and help with the situation.  Books personalized for kids can boost their motivation and even forget that they have a problem to begin with since they will be so engulfed in reading about themselves.  It always helps to take their mind off their problem while still working on it without them really noticing.  Get creative!