Archive for Character traits

5 Tips on How to Help Kids Take Turns

One of the first milestones in a child’s social development is understanding how to take-turns and/or share with others.  This is a learned behavior children need for positive social interactions, and acquiring these skills is a process rather than a simple task.  Just as we teach young children the difference between healthy food and junk food, we also need to teach them how to take turns. These skills are best practiced with a parent or caregiver initially.  In the end, you will help to cultivate your child’s patience and consideration for others.

1)Picture Books- Using a picture book about taking turns is an easy method to initiate the topic. Picture books provide the perfect visual and auditory platform to stimulate discussion. Unlike videos, books let a parent or child pause as needed to discuss characters and emotions. Here are a few books to consider:

  • My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook (interrupting)
  • Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Willems (sharing)
  • Mine! Mine! Mine! by Shelly Becker (sharing)
  • Llama Lama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney (sharing)

2)Role Play/Drama- Role play is a powerful tool for children and parents to use in developing positive social skills. They have the opportunity to ‘act out’ the expected behavior without having emotions block their success. This practice helps to foster the behavior in real life. As the parent, you can choose the scenarios to act out that best suit your child. Write scenarios on strips of paper to perform. Be sure to play along, switching roles, modeling good and poor behavior.

3)Ball Toss- This is great introduction for those really little ones and those kinesthetic learners. Simply pass or roll a ball back and forth. Use this as an opportunity to expose them to vocabulary (your turn, now it’s my turn).

4)Music-Another great option to expose young children to the concept of turn taking is with music. Sing songs together with each participant taking different parts.

5)Board Games-Board games or any game that involves 2 or more players is an enjoyable technique for establishing an understanding of taking turns. Additionally, games provide exposure to the win/loss scenario. Losing often raises real emotions in young children. Before starting a game, consider having a pre-game chat about the possibility losing and how to react.

 

 

Kindness Matters!

Teaching children kindness is essential these days. By teaching our kids to be givers of kindness, rather than receivers, we contribute to their feelings of happiness, enrich their relationships, and create lifelong habits of showing compassion to others. Here are a few tips to begin today.

  1. Start early, by modeling kindness and respect to those around you. A simple greeting, compliment, or kind gesture goes a long way!
  2. Your turn-My turn dialogue helps to build turn-taking and listening skills. For example: “You can share your favorite winter activity with me, and then I’ll share my favorite activity with you.”
  3. At the dinner table, have each family member share an example from the day, where he/she showed kindness to another person. Be sure to discuss how the kindness made a person feel. This type of reflection will bring more meaning to every day actions.
  4. Create a habit of writing notes of kindness to friends and family. Get well cards, a message in dad’s lunch bag, or a sticky note on the bathroom mirror lets others know you are thinking about them.
  5. Create a kindness jar in your home, using coins or special “jewels”. Each time you witness your children use kind words, or show kindness, share how this made you feel, and place a coin or jewel in the jar. When the jar is full, your family can celebrate by doing something special together, like catch a movie together, or go to your favorite ice cream shop.
  6. Start a ‘Kindness Project’ as a family. Together, decide how you want to show kindness to others. Volunteer locally, shovel the drive of an elderly neighbor, or prepare meals for a family in need.

Empathy is “caught” by your daily actions and examples. Remember, no act is too small!

 

 

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