Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Great Mom Tool

This idea is one of the best Mom Tools we've seen in a while. I suggest it for all ages (perhaps husbands too :)although a Jeep might be difficult to fit in the box). Seriously though, a reward system with consequence is a valuable tool. In talking to a mother who had raised a son alone yesterday, we got into the discussion of what motivates girls versus boys. The thing to always keep in mind about the male psyche is ego. A reward that tells a boy how well he did something is as important as the reward itself. Ever notice how a woman does the dishes without a thought for acknowledgement but a male will want recognition for getting the job done? This is that ego that actually isn't a bad thing, especially if you learn to use it as a reward system to encourage right behavior. So as with this Toy Box Tool, you need to include a positive comment.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tablets replacing Toys

My wife is a nurse and often she comments how parents come into the office with two or three children all engrossed in their tablets. Question is, is this good or bad? I watch my nephew, who has two children ages 7 and 3, using tablets, and it becomes a very interesting question. The 7 year old is using the tablet for math homework, the math is like a game and often she asks if she can do just one more math problem. How can that be bad? I think we all have to admit; in that scenario, it certainly is not bad, but a positive. So why not let our children escape into the cyber world where they are entertained, educated and baby sat? I'm sure you have already made-up your own opinion, but we need to consider the pro's and con's. We've already talked about some of the Pro's; homework made into a game for education. So what are the Con's? A child's mind is learning at an amazing rate during this time of life. The synopsis nerves are forming quickly and the brain is very sensitive to input at this time. One element we are not considering is the one dimensionality of the video game or learning from the computer screen. As discussed in this article (5 facts about your child's brain), part of the learning process needs movement and interaction with a three dimensional world. The brain learns by repetition, this means the more time we spend in one activity, the better we get at it. So how much time we are spending on one or another item, as a child, is going to have a great effect on the rest of our lives. So the tablet as a tools is not a bad thing unless we allow it too much time. A time limit should always be set on any particular activity a child is doing, to encourage other forms of input. This includes Television and even those areas of play we consider positive elements such as exercise. Balancing time is an important part of our adult lives, that can be taught to a child, with the tools we have, including the use of tablets. Links on how the brain learns

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Teenager and Tweenager Behavior Tools

One of the best tools I've seen recently working is a Behavior Chart. This is a chart a mother and father use whenever the child is going out of check. When a child is reacting improperly or having a tantrum or arguing; instead of reacting to that with emotion on top of their emotion, the parent walks over and charts the behavior and states, "we will discuss this when you calm down." It is so powerful in that instead of feeding more into the argument, it deflates it. It also becomes a way of tracking that can be rewarded When good behavior, such as taking the trash out without having to be told, happens that too is charted. This is a testament that the child looks at every day. Something they can not really deny because it has been recorded. It is important that it is done in a way that does not create bitterness. The chart should be facts, not red ink type of punishment that the child feels they can never be forgiven of. The ability to erase the offense should be an option. Take time to really think about how you want to use the tool. If a tool is introduced and the rules are changed after the fact, you will take away the power of the tool and develop a child that doesn't believe you live up to your word. The other thing to consider is using a chart to track food behavior, in the teenagers case specifically, energy drinks. This and a lack of sleep are so often the real problem creating the outburst. If you track their sleeping habits and how they eat on a chart that you can point out one is effecting the other chart. You have will have a power tool to help them realize for life how food and sleep can affect their lives. I love good BAM Mom Tools and this is certainly one of them, here is a link to some pre-made charts.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Summer Job for Boys

My twelve year old nephews idea of what to do this summer is to play video games all day and hang in his room. You HAVE to inspire and encourage boys to work. Wanting and liking to work is a blessing or a curse depending on how a child is brought up in this world. You're responsible for that life long attitude right now at this very moldable teenage time. The farm of course had the chores and jobs to do that helped instill that work ethic which is so lost now in our society. But you do have a job they can do that has a visual reward and skills to learn they will use for a life time. Taking care of that yard. Now the boys first response will be to roll his eyes. In his mind this is not "real" work. But there are men making a living out there at this job and those are the very words you need to say to him. MEN, make sure you use the word MEN, make a lot of money at this job and he should be making some money of his own this year. Do you see the difference in how you presented that? If you said, "you need to go take care of the lawn," you just lost! But if you said, "you need to make some money this summer, do you think you're man enough to not just mow the lawn but take over the fertilizing and fixing the sprinklers and mowing? I can either pay a man to do it or you can take it over if you think you're man enough." See the difference.
Another trick here is to NOT teach him how to do it but tell him to get on line and study it, then come tell you how he will do the job and you'll decide if he knows enough to do it right. You've put an interest and a goal in his mind with a financial reward. Then it is very important to make comments about how good the yard looks if he does a good job.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Food as a tool

We have all done it; used food as a tool to get a child to do what we want. The ice cream reward system as to be as old as ice cream itself. However, as a "Mom Tool", should this really be used? The answer honestly has to be no, as we enter in such a era of obese boys. But what tool do you now substitute if that has been something you started when he was very young? Remember the video talking about male ego and the male's desire to be "grown up". You can reverse this very easily by using MOM TOOLS such as, "you're too grown up to need ice cream to do what you know is right". Never underestimate the power of that tool. They will respond with, "No I'm not." But the truth is you just put a new positive motivator that will grow in that young man's mind for the rest of his life. When he uses food as reward for himself a seed has been planted telling him that is for children and not a man. That is key to helping him get on a healthy path when it comes to food. Just because he argues doesn't mean you should give up. You can jokingly say, "Okay, if you're still a little boy I guess we can get that ice cream." Trust the tools, he'll eventually wean himself off that crutch.