2018 dawned with the hope of a new year with new beginnings and breakthroughs, of peace and harmony and of good health and prosperity. Yet challenges do loom ahead in 2018, especially for children. The increasing onslaught of video games and internet on the children’s mind, the excessive burden of academics, unhealthy competition…all these prove to be major deterrents to the personality development of the child. so yes, raising kids is a challenge for parents in 2018.

Challenges for parents to raise kids in 2018

  1. Limiting internet and social media usage

The internet has become an inevitable part of your kid’s life. Even for school projects, he has to source the internet. But the internet can be intrusive and hazardous through its spam emails, junk pop-ups and random feeds. Censoring social media and internet usage is a major challenge for parents in 2018.

In 2018, the “Blue Whale challenge” claimed lives of many innocent kids. Unknowingly children became hapless victims by downloading this online game. This shocking incident made parents realize how dangerous internet and social media could get.

So parents must learn to censor the children’s social media usage, limit internet usage, block unwanted sites and have access to their online accounts always.

  1. Vetoing violence

Violence has spread like wildfire in the world today. In the US, gunning incidents at schools have become common while back home in India, assaults on female kids are prevalent. Teaching children to steer clear of violence is challenging in 2018 but parents have to take a firm stand.

Children must be made to understand that “violence cannot appease any angry soul, only love can.”  Kids must be taught to handle their tempers better and anger-management sessions must be taken in class to combat stress.

  1. Saying no to suicide

Academic stress and competitive exams like NEET are demoralizing children to a great extent. Suicides of children failing to clear such entrance tests have become quite common. Counselling children against such suicidal thoughts is a major challenge for parents in 2018.

Children must be made to understand that academics alone is not life. And also that failing once in an exam does not make you a zero. They must be taught that suicide is cowardice and it is brave to face failure and try again. Parents must give moral support to such children and guide them carefully towards repeat attempts to gain success.

  1. Overburdening academics

When your child comes to high school, he becomes a book-bearer. It is pathetic to see children struggle with books, guides, worksheets and what not. Plodding through scholastic studies take a toll on children and is a major challenge.

Parents must seek alternate ways like practised learning to make studies easier. They must also help the child indulge in sports activities and hobbies to refresh his mind.

  1. Perfection is painful

These days, there is an over-emphasis on perfection. Parents want their kids to study like an IITian, play football like Ronaldo, sing like Shankar Mahadevan and in short be a perfect possession. This is not challenging but stressful for a child.

After all, a child is a child. Let him be. It is his failings and eccentricities that make him lovable. Do not turn him into a robot by aiming at perfection.

How can practised learning help combat these challenges of 2018?

  1. Practised learning helps children gain confidence in studies. This helps in the overall personality development of the child.
  2. Through practised learning, the child combats stress and depression and bans suicidal thoughts.
  3. Practise learning makes your kid engrossed in studies leaving him no time for idling on social media.
  4. Practised learning sharpens the focus of your child towards his career and life.

Life is full of challenges. Help your child surmount each and every challenge by guiding him rightly and supporting him every step of the way. Connect with Letspractise to gain more useful insights on child development and academic excellence.

Every morning, the moment we wake up, the first thing we do, even before brushing our teeth, reaches for our mobile phones. Every person in the household, young or old is armed with a smartphone and so engrossed in it that it takes an effort to disengage them.

Children are no exception to this and are in fact the easiest preys as they simply imitate elders. Gone are the days of routine, discipline and exercise. Now, these are the days of Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram!

So what should we do? Dump all technology as trash?

Obviously not. Using technology in moderation and in the right way is the key to improving our life. Raising children in a world of technology is a challenge as Technology is a double-edged sword which we cannot do away with or do without. Here are 10 important tips for raising children in a world of technology.

  1. Encouraging the use of technology in the right way

We are in a world of incessant technological innovations. Every minute, technology is getting upgraded and outdated. If our kids don’t catch up, they will feel left behind in this rat race. To survive in this world, children should have the latest know-how of tech trends.

Encourage children to learn the use of the right kind of tech devices which are essential for their life. Children should be familiar with the use of email, internet, operation of home security systems etc. In the case of an emergency, technology can be a powerful weapon to have on hand.

  1. Using technology in moderation and by example

Forget cigarettes and alcohol. Smartphones are what a majority of children are addicted to nowadays.

Children should be made to understand that technology is a bane if used in excess. Explain to them the health and lifestyle issues that a child may face by using technology 24×7 like sleeplessness, obesity, poor academics etc. Emphasize the importance of exercise, sports, academics and family time.

Lead by example and strictly practise what you preach. Do not sit up with your laptop or phone until late hours. Be the example for your child to emulate in using technology. Otherwise, their excuse will be “you do it, so why can’t I?”

Staring at computer, TV, and mobile screens for too long is unhealthy and often times the children get sucked into a fantasy world that isn’t real. Beware of this and use the net with caution.

  1. Use age restrictions for using social media

Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram earmark 13 years as the minimum age to use them. Others like Reddit, Tumblr, and Discord have content not suitable for children of all ages. Enforce the same at home. Strictly prohibit the use of social media below 15 and insist on total honesty and transparency in their usage. Do not entertain the use of social media through false accounts.

There are umpteen social sites out there such as Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Pinterest, etc. Not all of them restrict content to filter it accordingly. It is up to you as the parent to analyze what your child is watching and take the appropriate actions.

  1. Have schedules and control over what your child does

Clearly, mark the hours of technology usage. For instance, allot a single hour of 5 – 6 PM every day for TV for the child. If there are two kids, insist on sharing or taking turns. Install parental control in your TV and limit the programmes children can watch. Insist on you having access to their emails and social media accounts so that you can watch their cyber footprints.

Prohibit children from taking phones to school. Insist on knowing their passwords and frequently use their phones to check on their social media presence. The internet is not all sunshine and rainbows, so you need to block access to certain sites for a good reason. You can read our post on Keeping Your Child Safe Online for more.

  1. Highlight the demerit of technology as a distraction

Continuous surfing on the internet, talking on the phone, or Whatsapp chats will only cause delay to the school or office, leave homework or office work unfinished and diminish your self-repute. Explain to children that technology can be a major distraction and hence must be restricted.

Children use it so much to the point where grades and real life friendships suffer. This is unacceptable and needs to be stopped.

  1. Life does not run on likes or shares

Children these days are desperate for Facebook or Instagram likes. It is an unhealthy and sometimes dangerous obsession.

Counsel them saying that flattery and praise are fickle and the true realization should be from within. Getting depressed over poor social media following has become a trend for teenagers today.

You are not your Facebook likes or Twitter followers. You are you, and social media should not define you. Teach your kids the same and ask them to like themselves for what they are and not for what others see in them.

  1. All that is on the internet is not true

Children often do research on the internet for their school projects. Teach them to differentiate credible information from false. There are lies, falsehoods, and half-truths.

Teach your children that just because they read something on the internet, it doesn’t make it true. There is a lot of fake news floating around on Facebook, WhatsApp, and the like. It is important to be cautious and perform research instead of  just sharing everything you see.

Most of the content is opinionated and only some are backed by statistics. Teach children to look out for credible information from scholars like whitepapers and use them.

  1. Technology cannot replace personal relations

A smartphone can help you converse for hours but it cannot become your family.  Teach kids the value of family ties and relations and the importance of personal relations.

The online world may seem like a fun and exciting place where you can be anything. However, no matter what, real life is real life. Kids tend to use the online realm as an escape from real life problems. Sit down and talk to your child. Have

  1. Make technology the problem solver

Encourage kids to use technology to seek and solve problems in academics and in daily lives. Ask them to question what purpose technology serves each time they use it. This will help them be the right judge in using them.

You can find answers to almost everything on Google. All you need to do is look.

  1. Use technology for education

Sure, you can find games and fun content on the web. The internet is also an ocean of information if you use it rightly. It has videos and tutorials on building robots, coding, innovation, and basically anything else you can think of.

Apart from gaming or entertainment sites, your children can use sites to learn new stuff. Just search for it on Google and you will probably find the answer. Even YouTube has a lot of instructional and informative videos.

There are also websites such as Let’s Practise that are really resourceful in helping kids with their academics through practiced learning. We offer practice sheets and mock exam papers as well.

Technology is tied to our lives today. Let us make children use it judiciously through awareness, counselling and example. Contact Let’s Practise for more information.

A classroom is an assorted assembly of children. Children of all kinds mingle in the classroom- Fast learners, slow learners, active kids, lazy ones and of course the kids with attention issues.

Who are the kids with attention issues?

Some kids are restless, easily distracted and inattentive in class. They seem more fidgety than usual. Focussing on the class is a major challenge for such children.

Teachers who observe children acutely in class are able to identify such kids with attention issues. Children may be affected by this types of attention issues

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common attention issue affecting children between ages 3-17. For these kids, the attention-controlling area of the brain takes time to develop. So they exhibit the following symptoms.

  • Inability to focus on small details in a big picture
  • Be attentive without getting distracted
  • Continue a thought process even after getting interrupted
  • Require instructions to be repeated several times
  • Concentrate on one task at a time
  • Follow spoken instructions and process them
  • Continue a conversation without changing the topic

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness is a life skill that enables a child to understand his

  • Thoughts and emotions
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Outward impression on others

Self-awareness is crucial in helping a child to optimize his potential and direct it towards his self-improvement.

Why self-awareness is critical for children with attention issues?

  • A child with attention issues knows his weaknesses, but he can realize what his strengths  are only through self awareness.
  • Self-awareness makes an attention-deficit child realize that how he perceives himself is very different from how others perceive him.
  • Being self-aware helps children with attention issues mingle normally and relate to others.
  • Self-awareness is the key for attention-deficit kids to identify unique opportunities for self-growth.

Tips to improve self-awareness of kids with attention issues.

  1.     Help them to acknowledge their attention issues

Children may be too young to understand the full implication of ADHD. But still, you can try to clarify to them that they might find certain things difficult – like retaining what have learnt or writing down what they have read. If a child understands that he has these difficulties, he may cope with it and work harder.

  1.     Bring in the big picture

Make the child understand that attention issues are not going to be the deciding factor that would rule his life. Celebrate his other strengths and guide him towards opportunities where he can excel. Children with attention issues might excel in sports like swimming, karate etc.

  1.     Make him feel comfortable with his shortcomings

Do not feel shy to discuss the weaknesses of the child. Rather make it seem as if they are minor issues. Relate his shortcomings to those close to him in a fun way- ” Look, I am good at Maths but I can’t swim like you even for a minute!”

  1.     Come up with smart solutions

Having explained his failings to the kid, now give him some smart solutions to overcome them. For instance, explain to the kid that “You might find it difficult to recall what you learnt at class. So try revising it 2-3 times instead”.

  1.     Motivate him to pursue his passion

Identify his passions and motivate the child to pursue them. “Your art teacher was pretty impressed with your work the other day. Why don’t you try a sketch right now?”

  1.     Explore new avenues

Induce your child to explore new avenues. Get him to overcome his fear of failing. Make him try his hand at boating, horse riding, art or music to build his self esteem.

 

Most children suffer attention issues in their growing years. But these attention issues can easily be surmounted by identification of alternate learning methods and with adequate practice. Practiced learning helps children with attention issues cope better with academics and excel in scholastics too.

 

Childhood is a golden age of exploration, learning and adventure. Every child has an inborn curiosity to learn things and this spirit of childhood learning must be nurtured carefully to develop his/her personality.  And this can be done only with learning and practice.

What is the childhood spirit?

The childhood spirit symbolizes enjoying life in its every moment with endless enthusiasm and an incessant desire to learn new things. In childhood, the curiosity to learn of learning is alive and pulsating as the mind is free and open to new ideas. But with age come prejudices and judgements and our mind gets blinkered, not willing to learn or accept new ideas.

It is very important to keep the childhood spirit of learning alive throughout to stay healthy and happy.

How to nurture the childhood spirit by learning?

  1. New avenues of knowledge

It is a wide world out there. Introduce your child to new subjects which are right for his age. Take the field of science, for instance. It has several branches like botany, zoology, anatomy, physiology etc. Let your child know that the ocean of knowledge is vast and endless. This will make him find his areas of interest by self-exploration.

  1. Off the beaten track

Develop the ability of lateral thinking in your child by making him look at a Math problem or English essay in different ways. This will enhance his thinking skills and help him to build independent thought leadership.

  1. Analyze

Life presents a new challenge everyday. Gear up your child to meet it by developing his analytical skills. This can be done by exposing him to new problems in not only school-based subjects but real life situations as well and seeking his opinions. Analytical ability is a very important aspect of childhood learning.

How to nurture the childhood spirit by practice?

  1. Make reading a habit

Train your child to read daily- anything from comics, storybooks to newspapers. This practice of reading will widen his horizons of knowledge and keep the spirit of learning alive.

  1. Solving problems

Math is an integral part of daily life. Right from the time we wake to the food we eat, everything has to be calculated. Make your child strong in math by getting him to solve simple problems on a daily basis. Use the play-way method to get your child to do simple calculations. Let math become a joy to practise and not a boring chore.

  1. Seeking answers

Encourage your child to ask questions on everything that interests him. This will make him seek answers by himself. This practice of seeking answers is the spirit of exploration in learning and will keep his childhood spirit active.

   4.Trying by practice

Have you seen small kids? If they climb a jungle-gym and fall, they get up and try again till they get it right. This process of trying, is slowly lost as the child grows up. Never let this spirit wane die in your child. Make him understand that practice makes a man perfect. Asking him to practise his school work inculcates this trying habit.

  1. Practice papers

Let your child know that there is so much beyond the book. Introduce him to practice papers where different kinds of questions are posted on the same lesson. This will improve his confidence and make him ready to face any question, problem and situation.

Every child must continue to learn new things in life and not consider learning a tedious task. Nurturing the childhood spirit is vital to transform the child into a confident individual and this can be done only by learning and practice.

It is D-day. The day of the exams. Your child has read, revised and recapped all his lessons and knows them by rote. Yet when he returns from school, he looks crestfallen. The answer is “I forgot!”. All you can do is watch in dismay while hours of preparation evaporate into thin air. Is your child suffering from forgetfulness? How to increase his memory power? Learn from Letspractise.com.

Ways to increase your child’s memory power

1. Create a picture

Ask your child to visualize and create an image or picture of what he studied. This can be in the form of snapshots or moving sequences. A history lesson can be imagined as a film sequence while lab experiments can be visualized step by step. You can even ask your kid to draw or doodle these images. Visual representation has great retention and boosts memory power.

2. Let your child teach you

Perform a role-play with your child as the teacher and you as the student. As your child teaches you, he will mentally recall all the information he acquired and when he recites, he revises. So this double-recall really helps in making him remember what he learnt.

3. Use the play-way method

Create interesting memory games for quick recall. Since the game is full of fun, your child will never forget those lively moments nor the lessons they contained. Ask your child to say a word, follow it up with next 2 or 3 more, then question him on what came first? Games like these strengthen memory and recall.

4. Use Flash Cards

Make a dozen flash cards of the lesson. Let each card have a picture and a word. Show them in succession quickly holding each for only half a minute. Then hold the card in reverse and show them only the picture. Ask them the word and what they know about it. This Flash Card exercise is effective for even very small kids.

5. Use songs and music

Sometimes even tough topics to remember can be made simple by the use of songs, rhymes or music. Compose a song for the topic’s main points.

For instance, the Periodic table in Chemistry is a tough thing to memorize. Using this song, children can easily learn the periodic elements in sequence by rote.

6. Use mnemonics

Mnemonics are small phrases coined using the starting letters of each word. They are highly effective in committing large content to memory. Usually, mnemonics come handy for memorizing long passages and are especially useful for languages, science and social studies.

For instance, the list of intransitive verbs in French can be easily remembered using the mnemonic – “Dr. Mrs. Vandertramp”. This is coined using the first letter of each verb and makes it easy to remember the long list of verbs.

7. Use patterns

Try to decipher patterns and relationships in the subject matter.  Outlining patterns can be an easy way to remember facts. The “compare and contrast”  methodology also gives concrete results in helping your child retain concepts and facts.

8. Mind-Mapping

A Mind Map is a diagram that helps children to understand concepts easily by focussing on a central concept and associating it with other information shown as branches.

Mind Maps are very useful to enforce memory as they are pictorial and hence easily remembered. They are also hierarchical and hence the child is bound to know what comes next.

Help your child create Mind-Maps on topics that require in-depth understanding and watch him recollect with ease.

9. Keywords

Keywords are the best memory-masters. For each topic, coin attractive keywords that help your child remember the topic easily. A list of keywords helps to summarize the lengthy subject and recollect the topic effectively. Use the keyword chain to help your child learn the topic by heart and teach him to form keywords too.

10. Divide information using graphic organizers

A lesson as a whole is difficult to remember. But divide it into small segments and you can remember it all. Use graphic organizers like the Hamburger Organizer, Spider Map organizer or the Sequence Chart organizer to help your children remember topics and write better.

11. Perfect memory with practice

Practice makes a man perfect and that is true for memory too. Practise lessons with your child using online forums like Letspractise.com that provide you with worksheets and question papers for testing and revision which help to strengthen memory.

Fortify the memory skills of your child with valued inputs from Letspractise.com for best results.