Archive | July, 2013

Assess your Parenting Skills for the New School Year

25 Jul

Give Loving Attention to your Children as the New School Year Begins!

As the new school year approaches, parents need to assess their parenting skills to make sure they are doing everything necessary to ensure their children’s success in an academic and social environment.Often too much of a burden is put on the teachers and school administration to “take care of” that aspect of a child’s life.
Parents forget that often the most important lessons are at least partially learned at home. We at Beyond the Horizons Consulting know that you have busy lives, most often with both parents working. You have finances to attend to, household chores, shopping, meals, and maybe overseeing your child’s homework.
How to make time to really observe your child’s behavior and encourage the positive aspects while giving constructive criticism on those areas which need improvement???
Here are some thoughts:
1. Make time for your child to share how his/her day at school went. Pay attention if the child tends to withdraw or is angry. See if you can talk it out, and get in contact with the teacher or school counselor. Remember that your child’s school day is comparable to your work day, and you know that a bad day at work can affect your own mood.
2. If your child needs more guidance on how to do homework or a project OR if s/he needs guidance on respectful behavior, talk with him/her about the issue. Explain what the rewards of improving behavior might be and what the consequences will be if there is no improvement.
Intrinsic rewards are always better than offering your child an I-phone or a new game console. An intrinsic reward might be “having more friends,” “getting an ‘exceeds’ on a report card,” “having more sleepovers.” These types of things result naturally from being a more cooperative family member or student.
3. Read with your child! Reading out loud before bedtime is an extremely important part of the bedtime ritual and one which a child will normally look forward to. After all the self-care activities have been accomplished, the two of you can sit down and read a short story or a chapter of a book you started earlier. Your child will at first enjoy your reading to him/her, but later may enjoy reading to you!
4. VERY IMPORTANT: Try your best not to let your child see conflict between yourself and your partner, whether the conflict is about the child (the worst kind for the child to overhear or experience) or whether it is about something else. It’s OK to let your kids know that you and your partner don’t always agree. That’s normal and healthy. BUT they need to see you work out compromises or at a minimum agree to disagree for the time being.
5. Enrich your child’s life with plenty of cultural experiences: books, educational videos, trips to museums, parks, educational events and so on.
6. ALWAYS SET A POSITIVE EXAMPLE. Show your child what you want from them by being the person they can emulate.
Take a look at my website, http://www.softskillsfortoughissues.com or e-mail me at jeaneva@comcast.net for further tips on parenting skills!

Are You De-Stressed?

24 Jul

Dear Reader:

We at Beyond the Horizons Consulting hope you are enjoying some relaxation this summer — perhaps camping, hiking, fishing or visiting a new state or country which you’ve always wanted to see. A change of scene or even a family reunion can charge your batteries with new energy, as you get to learn something new from a Park Ranger, a city guide, or a family member.
This month we’re adding a few more ways to de-stress your life. See if you can’t incorporate one of them into your life! At your leisure, take a look at our website, www.softskillsfortoughissues.com for more information!
1. Establish routine: Routine decreases stress by eliminating tiresome decisions about what to do and how to do it. Become aware of your priorities — at home, at work, and in your social life. Once you have established your priorities and a workable routine, you will find that you have precious minutes and hours for relaxing activities.
2. Seek spiritual nourishment: To counter the mundane stress of everyday life, we need to become aware of a transcendent Higher Power, or better yet, a Spiritual Being whom we can experience within ourselves. As Dante counseled in The Divine Comedy, “In His will is our peace.”
3. Choose friends carefully: Choosing the right person as friend or partner, as well as choosing the right employee/employer, reduces our stress. The wrong friend can contribute to our stress by overtly hostile behavior or by exhibiting apathy when we need to know that someone cares. The right friend, partner or employee/er is able to share our burden, complement our strengths with his/her own, and help catalyze creative solutions to life’s inevitable stressors. We can all tolerate more stress in life when the right people are there to let us know that the burden is not uniquely our own!