Mary Ann Copson asked:
Copyright (c) 2007 Mary Ann Copson
Help your child be his or her best with these 10 simple success secrets that I used with my five children. Probably your mother told you some of these.
1. Make a choice for your child’s entire day by establishing a good morning routine. Wake up your child with a bang of the alarm, a blast of sugar on an empty stomach, rush him to get out the door while listening to sensational TV — and your child is set for tense energy, anger and frustration for the rest of the day.
On the other hand wake up and drag your child out of bed in slow motion in low lights and skip breakfast and she will go through the day in a near hibernation state, dreamy and lacking attention.
Learn how to create calm energy and pace your morning for low tension and high energy. Give your child enough time to wake up without rushing, Turn on the lights when your child gets up. Have a regular morning routine. Keep the TV turned off. Play upbeat music if you like. Talk about the plans for the day while sitting down for a good breakfast.
2. Start the day off right with a good breakfast. The first foods your child eats in the day are the ones that matter most throughout the day. Avoid high sugar breakfasts like doughnuts, cookies, candies and sugary cold cereals. Good choices for kid?s breakfasts include: oatmeal, pancakes, eggs, yogurt, waffles and cream of wheat. All with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk. Eating breakfast helps your child get going in the morning, be more alert and have a more positive attitude the whole day.
3. Get out in the light in the morning. Spending time in the morning daylight (even on cloudy days) helps your child stay healthy, learn better and be happier. Early morning sunlight stimulates better focus and energy production in the brain. Light sends a wake up call to your child?s brain. When the daylight floods your child?s eyes his energy and performance will grow and last throughout the day. Aim for 30 minutes of morning light and two hours total daylight throughout the day.
4. Get moving in the morning. Morning activity will give your child a boost. If your child is slow and sedate in the morning he or she will stay sluggish and tired and tense the rest of the day. Fifteen to thirty minutes of relaxed physical activity in the morning releases tension, activates your child?s focus, stimulates your child?s level of alertness and increases your child?s effectiveness throughout the day.
5. Make sure your child gets enough sleep and has a regular wake ?sleep time. The potential for your child being her best is provided every morning by having her get all the restful, rejuvenating sleep she requires the night before. Your child can be more in control of her own activity by meeting her own individual sleep requirements. Children need 10-12 hours of high quality sleep each night.
Just as important as the amount of sleep children get is the need for a regular wake- sleep time. Make it a priority to put your children to bed at the same time every night and have them wake up at the same time every morning (even weekends and days when they are not in school). Establishing a regular wake-sleep time is one of the most important things you can do to help your child pay attention, learn quickly and easily, have more calm energy and be happier and more cooperative.
6. Establish regular and simple routines for your child to follow. Keeping things simple, consistent and in the same routine reduces distraction and the negative effects of uncertainty. Regular routines increase your child’s performance, sense of security and provide your child with a chance to use his strengths. The right routines tell your child when it is time to do things, that he is ready to do these things, and that he can do these things. Given the right rituals for sleeping, eating, traveling, resting, thinking, planning, acting, exercising, playing and connecting with family and friends, your child can always be prepared to do his best.
7. Eat dinner together as a family. Children who eat dinner with their family in a relaxed, pleasant environment have a stronger connection with their family and do better in school. To be her best your child needs your time, attention, love and guidance. The key to successful parenting is to teach your children strong values and be there for them. Slow down, nourish your self and your child and make dinner time a special time for sharing and being together.
8. Help your child establish a healthy rhythm between work and rest. Pushing your child beyond his normal limits for his body and mind will mean poorer performance at home and at school. It is essential for your child to take high quality breaks and rest periods throughout the day. Encourage your child to take a break every hour and a half and rest for about 30 minutes. These rest times help your child get refreshed and gather his energy for the next wave of activity.
9. Encourage your child to share his day with you. By learning to talk about his responses to the world around him, your child can begin to manage his mind and emotions. Reflecting on his day, what he did and how he felt about it, will help him gain control of how he perceives and understands his world. Help him to care about what he does and how he does it. Support him in understanding himself. Every day at dinner or when your child goes to bed, spend a few minutes talking about his day. Choose a group of questions from below and talk about them with your child.
What were your victories today?
What were your challenges today?
What kind of support do you need?
What was your High point today?
What was your Low point today?
What did you see that you liked today?
What did you feel that you liked today?
What did you hear that you liked today?
What were your strengths today?
What did you like about yourself today?
What were your weaknesses today?
What can you do so that weakness does not get in your way any more?
Name Three things that you?
Felt grateful for.
Were happy about.
That were fun.
10. Read to your child every day. Reading to your child opens up new worlds of understanding and adventure. Children who are read to learn to read more easily and develop good thinking behavior. Reading encourages creativity and imagination. The time you spend reading with your child helps you and your child stay close to each other and develop a special bond with each other. Reading an interesting book before you start dinner is a good way for your child to slow down and become more focused.