Raising a child ain’t easy, but raising a teenager… that’s really tricky! Today, peer pressure, cyberbullying, alcohol consumption and other challenges seem increasingly more of an issue among teens. All of which makes it tougher than ever to maintain a close relationship with your teenagers. How do you remain a strong and compassionate parent and keep communication open as you face these challenges? What’s in your survival kit?
We’re aware that it can be hard to handle every challenge that arises, but it’s no easier for your teen! Not only is their body changing, but their brain is as well.
Understanding these changes and challenges, along with a large dose of patience and the tips we’re going to share with you, can make parenting a lot easier.
Let’s start with challenges and the survival kit.
Your teenager is pulling away
One of the first things parents notice is that they’re not as close to their child as they used to be. Teenagers are pulling away from their families and moving towards independence. In the process, they sometimes distance themselves and spend all their time with friends or alone in their room. Relationships that used to be warm and close become cold.
Even though you’re probably concerned about this, be aware it could just be a phase. However, there are things you can do to make your relationship stronger again. Our Coach, Milena Cuk, wrote an article where you can find 4 ideas to help you get closer to your teen.
Plus, try not to be overly critical. When I was a teenager (and I didn’t make life easy for my parents) they would instantly start to criticize me when I came home. So I found ways to spend less time at home. It took them some time to realize that. From then on, they started pointing out things I did well. And that motivated me to do more of those things! I began seeing them once more as a source of my emotional support.
Family relationships that are growing colder leave more room for peer pressure. Peers can make kids do something they wouldn’t do on their own. Drinking, fighting, bullying others, and skipping school are only some of those things.
Yet, what you need to know is that not every peer influence is bad. It’s comforting for your teens to face challenges with friends who are into the same things that they are. You’ve probably asked some of your friends who have a child the same age as yours for advice, right?
Getting closer to your teen is going to make them have more confidence in you. Consequently, they’ll tell you more about their routines, habits, and the relationships they’ve formed with their peers. The second important thing here is teaching your child to say no. Although it’s obviously easier for you if they always say yes at home, it’s important they understand that saying no is okay if it’s done with respect. Otherwise, they’ll find it hard to do so with their peers. Explain to them there’s no reason to feel guilty when they refuse to do something that might harm them (or somebody else). Sometimes it means they will lose their friends – but if they asked them to do something harmful they’re not really their friends, right?
Teens and alcohol don’t mix
Did you know that teenagers are at greater risk of alcohol-related harm than adults? To say nothing of driving under the influence of alcohol!
You assuredly know why teens and alcohol don’t mix, but maybe your teenager doesn’t. If you see that they’re willing to learn more, show them this article. At the end of the article there’s a suggestion that can be helpful in learning to say no.
When your teenager isn’t with their friends they spend their time glued to their screens, right? They could sit and scroll through social media for hours. They isolate themselves, spending time alone in their room and their grades are dropping.
Don’t panic right away! Not all screen time is created equal. Not every one of your fears is justified. It’s really hard for anyone today to socialize without screen time.
However, we agree that screen time should be limited. Talk to your child and make a compromise as to when and for how long screen time is allowed. For example, using a mobile while having lunch is not desirable. On the other hand, laughing together at memes can be a great chance to bond. You can send them funny messages or funny selfies when you’re at work, so it can also be a chance to stay in touch.
We hope this article helped you realize you’re not alone in this. Many parents face these same challenges. However, if you don’t see any improvement after some time and feel you need additional support, our Coaches are here for you. They not only work with teenagers but also with parents. They’ll help overcome the challenges you face so you can rebuild strong relationships.
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/eliott-reyna-5KrZ3UoDKC4-unsplash-scaled.jpg16282560Jelena N.https://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngJelena N.2020-01-19 13:44:192020-01-19 13:44:19Raising Teenagers: Challenges - And A Survival Kit
The best way to understand how people benefit from having developed a strong sense of self-confidence is to imagine the struggles of someone who hasn’t. You probably know someone who never reached their full potential due to chronic self-doubt.
At the most basic level, self-confidence reduces the fear of failure and being overwhelmed by negative thoughts. It allows children to focus on the task at hand and improve their performance.
Believing that you’re capable of doing something can also be a good motivator. Children with higher levels of self-confidence will be more likely to persevere in the face of frustration. If they’re less likely to quit, they’re more likely to develop their skills and gain valuable experience.
Another way children benefit from being self-confident is improvement in their social status. Even as adults, we view confident behavior as something positive and admirable. It’s also one of the key characteristics that we associate with leaders.
If you believe in your child’s capabilities, they’ll learn to do so as well. Praise is just one way, but also very effective in communicating these feelings. A couple of things you should keep in mind, though.
As a parent, you soon learn that a kind word of praise brings a smile to your child’s face. However, you should never rely on it as a way of cheering them up when they’re down. Kids aren’t impressed by false praise and can usually spot it pretty easily. If they can tell your praise is inappropriate, it can hurt their self-confidence and self-esteem. Or worse, they’ll start buying into it and create a false sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that will only burn them in the long run.
Secondly, make sure you direct your praise at their approach and effort, rather than at their result. Getting an A is already a form of positive reinforcement and something they can get from their teacher or their peers. But teaching them the value of putting in the effort is something that will help them throughout their life.
2. Give Them Space to Be Independent
“It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” – Oprah Winfrey
When trying to encourage independence in children, practice is a must. Still, it’s easy to get carried away with micromanaging every aspect of their chores, school assignments, or even playtime. The main motivation behind these interventions is simple – we’re hard-wired to want the best for our kids. We want them to do the best they can and we feel obligated to step in.
Learning by doing is the optimal way to learn. So if we’re constantly stepping in, we’re denying our children the opportunity to build self-confidence and self-reliance.
The key is being able to set up your child with tasks they can handle themselves with little-to-no guidance. This approach is largely based on Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. It’s about finding the optimal balance between their feeling challenged and not being turned off the task by frustration or stress.
3. Teach Them Realistic Goal-Setting
As we already noted, positive reinforcement that builds self-confidence comes naturally with results. It comes from setting a certain goal and then being able to achieve it. That’s why it’s important that children learn to set goals that are attainable and realistic.
Dealing with unrealistic goals leads to disappointment, frustration, and a distorted image of their capabilities. By teaching them realistic goal-setting, we’re giving them the ability to set themselves up for success.
Using positive self-talk to build confidence is indeed a clever technique, but it also has further benefits. It can do wonders for self-esteem and instill a more optimistic approach to life.
You and your child can practice together!
A Crucial Mistake to Avoid When Helping Children Build Self-Confidence
“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
We tend to fall into certain traps when we’re trying to help our children become more self-confident. Truth be told, we usually do so with the best of intentions. Still, the end result can be vastly different from the one we’re trying to encourage.
Parental anxiety is a heavy burden but it shouldn’t be eased through helicopter parenting.Overprotective parenting can seriously stunt the emotional development of a child. We’re not talking about reasonable impulses to protect your child from harm and suffering. This is about an overbearing approach that involves removing your kids from situations that cause them even the slightest discomfort. By protecting them from all kinds of frustration, sadness, and disappointment, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to develop resilience. You’re also fostering a sense of dependence, which directly clashes with their ability to build self-confidence.
Although they’re different concepts, resilience and self-confidence complement each other splendidly. Together, they create a perfect foundation for your child’s growth and development. They’ll know how to endure setbacks while being able to keep a clear head when they try again.
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Confidence-NOBEL-Header.jpg8881200Predraghttps://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngPredrag2020-01-06 18:00:112021-01-13 22:58:59How to Help Kids Build Self-Confidence
“Peer pressure is pressure you put on yourself to fit in.” – Jeff Moore
What Is Peer Pressure?
Any type of direct influence that a peer group makes on a person is considered peer pressure. This influence can be established both verbally and through nonverbal communication. It can also be achieved through direct social interaction or digitally through social media, for example. The results of this influence are changes in behavior, values, and/or attitudes a person might make in order to conform and satisfy the expectations of their peers.
We’re all susceptible to peer pressure but children are particularly vulnerable to it. So it makes sense that this is a particularly burning issue for parents. Perhaps it might help if we explored this phenomenon from a little broader perspective.
We’re used to hearing about peer pressure in a negative sense because any kind of pressure is inherently negative. Still, peer influence can be positive in cases where it leads to improvements in behavior or reinforces good attitudes and values. Peers can affect each other positively in two ways – through encouraging or rewarding good forms of behavior:
Example 01 “Let’s organize a study group so we’re better prepared for the math quiz!”
Or by discouraging or punishing bad ones.
Example 02 “Pick up your candy wrapper! You shouldn’t litter, it’s bad for the environment.”
Peer pressure or influence can also be much more complex and can sometimes produce both positive and negative effects. Let’s say for instance your child wants to take up soccer because a couple of their friends are already on the team. Knowing about all the benefits that sports have for children and their development, you decide to support their decision. But youth athletes face a whole spectrum of unique challenges. So even though joining the school soccer team brings some positives, there’s also a chance it might have negative effects on other things. Such as if they start falling behind on their homework or feel more stressed due to their schedule filling up.
Bottom line is that peer influence is a normal aspect of social dynamics and it’s not inherently good or bad. Now that we have a better idea of what we should be looking out for, let’s consider what we can do to help kids become more resilient to negative forms of peer pressure.
What Makes Children Particularly Vulnerable to Peer Pressure?
As a parent, you are trying to instill a set of values in your child. You teach them good manners and try to help them develop useful habits. Essentially, what you’re really helping them build and internalize is a moral code – a sense of what they should or shouldn’t do. However, parents are not sole-contributors to a child’s upbringing. Turns out their friends and peers get a say as well!
Children, much like adults, want to fit in and be approved of by their peers. They’re scared of being rejected, isolated, and made fun of. What they don’t have are the necessary skills to cope, persevere, and not give in to pressure. This is where you come in.
Four Ways to Help Your Kids Cope with Peer Pressure
Now that we’ve narrowed down what we’re trying to do, let’s explore some of the best practices towards reaching our goal. These are the top four ways to help children become more resilient to peer pressure.
1. Talk to them About Peer Pressure
Teaching them about the concept of peer pressure should help them recognize it and make it easier for them to reject. You can use examples from your own life and not just from your childhood. Letting them know about your adult peer-pressure challenges will give them a new perspective. It will show them it’s not just a “kid” thing and it’s something that you can both relate to.
There’s a good chance your children understand the dynamics even though they don’t know about the concept. For most, conforming to peer pressure leaves you feeling powerless – that there wasn’t anything you could have done. That’s why role-playing can be an effective teaching tool, where you can allow them to practice different ways of taking a stand.
2. Help them Build Confidence
Saying “no” to people and risking disappointing or alienating them is not easy. It takes courage, and that’s usually drawn from being confident and believing in yourself. By helping your children develop self-confidence, you’re providing them with the tools to stand up for what they believe in and resist peer pressure.
In conclusion, positive reinforcement is important but should come from multiple sources. That’s why you should encourage your children to make decisions and do things by themselves. The goal is for them to learn to understand they can actively affect the world and the people around them. Surrendering to peer pressure is purely reactive.
3. Encourage them to Broaden their Network of Friends
The effects of peer pressure are stronger the more you think you have to lose. So let’s say that your child’s social network consists of friends from one single group. Maybe they’re all from the same class or they all learn karate at the same dojo. The amount of peer pressure the child will feel will be much greater because if they’re rejected, a lot is at stake. They’re actually risking having no friends at all.
That’s why you should always keep an open mind if your child wants to try out different things. Get behind their desire to take up dancing, or join the drama club, or even learn a new language! Having friends from different areas of life will make it easier for them to stand their ground.
4. Offer to Be their Lifeline
A lot of the time, children succumb to peer pressure because they don’t feel there’s anything else they can do. Let your child know that they can always count on you if they need a way out. If they’re ever in a situation where they just want to pick up and leave, they should be fully aware that you’ll be there to come and get them. You can also pre-agree on an excuse in case your child is worried about saving face.
Additional Tips on How to Approach the Topic
As you can see, there are lots of things that you can do as a parent. However, in order to really be successful, you need to have the right approach.
Acknowledge and reference your own worries, thoughts, and emotions. Don’t just hide behind such classic lines as, “If Jimmy jumped off a bridge, would you?” Children usually find parenting cliches particularly annoying and even insulting. You don’t want to alienate your kids when you’re actually trying to teach them something.
It’s also safe to say that you should balance your efforts and pick your battles. You shouldn’t be pressing them on everything because there’s only so much they can tolerate. And if you keep focusing on the little things, you’ll be diminishing the significance of the really important ones.
Lastly, try to keep an open mind. Don’t let anxiety cause you to overreact and refrain from making accusations or assumptions drawn from fear. Being able to put yourself in their shoes will give you a better chance of saying things that actually resonate with them. They need to really feel that it’s coming from a good place.
It’s not going to be easy, but you have to try. These types of conversations can be a solid foundation for your future relationship and it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Thumbnail-Peer-Pressure.jpg8001200Predraghttps://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngPredrag2019-12-14 18:00:512019-12-13 19:29:27How to Help Your Kids Cope with Peer Pressure
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent to all others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Can you remember a moment in your life when you felt really bad because you forgot to say thank you to someone? Or do you remember being really angry with someone because they didn’t seem to show any appreciation for your kind gesture or lending a helping hand?
The negative emotions that arise as a result of both of these situations are not always necessarily intense, but the fact that they are there indicates how much we actually value expressing and receiving gratitude.
“What Do We Say?”
Gratitude is a fundamental aspect of human relationships, something that we inherited. Studies of animals that speak of reciprocal altruism, along with neurological and developmental studies of humans, suggest that gratitude is an inherent characteristic of our human experience.
It’s also moderated by society and we have very clear means of passing it on from generation to generation. It is usually instilled very early, primarily through our parents. You can probably remember a time from your childhood when you were firmly guided to say “thank you” when you received a gift or any other form of generosity. You can also probably recall how upset your parents would get if you forgot to say it.
And it’s not just about having good manners. Research suggests that positive reactions to receiving a benefit are not simple expressions of momentary happiness. Rather, they’re a means to spark the desire to give back to others, the community, and the world. Data from this research also shows that gratitude and social integration go hand in hand. Gratitude helps us fit in and build strong relationships.
Aside from conveying the value of being grateful through education and social interaction, we also rely on yearly group activities based on gratitude which strengthen its place in human culture.
Using Customs to Preserve a Culture of Gratitude
For centuries, humans have engaged in festivals based on expressing gratitude. They are popular all over the world and in different cultures, these customs take on different forms. In Germany, they celebrate Erntedankfest. The people of Japan celebrate Kinro Kansha no Hi or the Labor Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving is a monumental part of American culture. It’s a time when we do our best to bring out the good in ourselves and others. There’s a reason why Thanksgiving has remained such an important event in our society. Most likely, it’s because it resonates with something very deep and meaningful to all of us. The message goes far beyond its pilgrim origins and it help us remember the importance of appreciating what we have.
A Modern Day Thanksgiving: Taking the Good with the Bad
Today’s Thanksgiving is a rich blend of various traditions centered around a very simple idea – sharing a delicious feast with friends and family combined with the ritual of taking turns in talking about what we’re grateful for. And sometimes, that simple practice is all it takes to bring out the best in us. It’s not the parade, it’s not the football, it’s not the pardoning of the turkey. They’re all good fun but it’s the expression of gratitude that can give you that honest, warm and fuzzy feeling.
The spirit of Thanksgiving is a wonderful thing but getting into it isn’t easy for everyone. Some consider that planning a big dinner is too stressful, while others simply aren’t huge fans of family gatherings. Lots of us have a pretty hard time during the holidays and are dealing with issues like loneliness, anxiety, depression… It’s not easy to feel thankful or give thanks when you’re feeling down.
In the end, it might be just too much to ask from a holiday. This celebration of gratitude comes only once a year, but all the stuff that makes it hard to embrace the holiday spirit can happen any day of the year.
A Thanksgiving Gratitude Experiment from Nobel
This year, why not experiment with being grateful throughout the day? Way before you start stressing out on whether or not you have enough seating in the house or whether everyone will be able to make it. Hours before you start doubting your cranberry sauce or worry if you’re going to end up stuck in traffic. Before and in between these challenges, make time to actively show appreciation for the little things.
Being grateful takes effort. If you’re lacking inspiration just think about the folks who are working on Thanksgiving, helping everyone else enjoy their holiday to the fullest. Hey, wait a minute! You might be one of those people! If you are – please know that you’re awesome!
And think about all the people who might have contributed to your Thanksgiving dinner without expecting anything in return. People you’ve never met. Think about the sweet old lady from Wisconsin who was kind enough to share her family recipe with the world and helped you knock this year’s stuffing out of the park!
Thanksgiving is a reminder to take a step back and shift our attention to the things that mean the most to us. If we get caught up by small, irrelevant issues that distract us from the bigger picture it makes it no different than any other day of the year. Instead, we invite you to do the exact opposite and take a piece of that Thanksgiving Day spirit into the next day… And the day after that one… And the one after that…
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
Happy Thanksgiving from the Nobel Family!
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Thumbnail-Thanksgiving-FINAL.jpg7451200Predraghttps://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngPredrag2019-11-25 18:00:012019-11-25 14:48:33Gratitude Through the Ages: A Thanksgiving Story
You’ve probably already heard of the term Fall Blues – those feelings of sadness, tiredness, lack of energy, and the inability to enjoy the things we used to with the same passion, are common companions of short days and cold nights.
It’s no surprise that we feel better when we have ample sunlight, though – this is simply the more scientific way to explain it. But the good news is, as always, that there’s help for these seasonal blues!
Here’s some tips to make you feel better when the days are dark and gloomy.
Tip #1: Bring Light Into Your Life!
And we don’t just mean that figuratively! Even artificial light can do wonders for Fall Blues. Get the closest thing to natural light that you can – we recommend putting those sunlight-imitating light bulbs in every single room in your home and leave them turned on as long as possible during the day. This will help raise your serotonin levels, and that’s especially important in the mornings.
So if you wake up before daylight for work, school, or anything else, turn on the light as soon as you open your eyes!
That’s maybe a bit much.
Tip #2: Fill Up Your Calendar
Not like that!
When we’re feeling down, going out and hanging out with people, or doing anything that requires even the smallest amount of energy can be a real struggle. That’s why planning different activities in advance can help – it gives you a sense of responsibility towards other people, and even yourself.
Just don’t go overboard! Planning a gazillion things is neither doable nor helpful – you’re bound to end up feeling exhausted and skipping them. Start small and build up as you start feeling more energetic. Whether it’s dinner with friends, hitting the gym, or simply watching a movie by yourself, you should plan it all out to make sure your free time is spent somewhat actively.
Tip #3: Eat Well
You’d be surprised how much energy a balanced diet can give you. The first important thing is – never skip breakfast! If you do, you’ll be low on energy and start your day off the wrong way. With that being said, adding some sort of fruit for breakfast is a must – it has fructose, which is a healthy sugar, and it’s great for boosting your energy levels early in the morning!
There’s another neat trick – certain foods help increase your serotonin levels due to their natural components. Just make sure to vary your diet instead of switching to, say, cheese alone (yum)!
We know it’s tempting.
Tip #4: Exercise Daily!
You’ve probably heard a bunch of times how exercise helps boost your energy and feelings of well-being, but that’s easier said than done, right? The last thing you feel like doing when you’re down is those burning squats!
So if you feel you won’t be able to motivate yourself for this, include a friend. Arrange with them to go jogging three times a week, visit the gym, or even do yoga together! That way, much like our tip about filling up your calendar, you’ll be feeling a sense of responsibility towards it. Plus, your friend is bound to drag you out of the house even if you’re not feeling like a jogger on some days!
Tip #5: Become a Scandinavian!
Okay, we don’t mean that literally… Rather, adopt their attitude when it comes to dark days. Most places in Northern Europe only get four hours of sunlight a day when autumn/winter approach, so they’ve had to learn to deal with it (otherwise they would have probably gone mad!).
In Denmark and Norway, for example, they have something called hygge – simply said, it’s a mood of coziness. Although fall and winter may not be the best time in the world to go sunbathing, these seasons come with other great qualities that we tend to overlook. For example, you can’t exactly slip into thick, soft, comfortable, warm sweaters in the middle of summer! Nor can you curl up in front of the fireplace with a book and some hot chocolate (if you can, we applaud you – and urge you to check your body temperature!).
The point is, if you keep on thinking of this time and weather as just something to be endured, you won’t have any chance of enjoying it. But if you look at it as a time of year with its own unique possibilities, we promise you’ll find a lot of hygge in it!
Tip #6: Don’t Idealize #Holidays!
You know how it goes. It’s not even October yet, and they start popping up – the #FallVibes instagram posts. You’re suddenly being bombarded with pumpkins, lattes, decorations, sweaters, comfy socks, couples on romantic getaways…
And you start thinking – why don’t I have/feel like that?
Here’s an uncomfortable truth:most of them probably don’t, either – at least not all the time. It’s all for show, for likes, and for the aesthetic of it. As we mentioned before, you can definitely embrace the comfy feels and make the most of them; but if you’re feeling pressured to do so because the internet (or your sister, or neighbor) is telling you to – it’s not going to work.
After all, the holidays are just like any other time of the year – all that matters is how you feel and how you want to enjoy them.
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/annie-spratt-MtBsjmC4RT0-unsplash-scaled.jpg17082560Jelena J.https://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngJelena J.2019-11-18 11:07:072019-12-17 12:41:596 Steps to Getting Rid of Fall Blues (+Examples!)
Being a parent of an aspiring young athlete is a very peculiar situation. Your child is going through similar phases to the rest of the kids, but they’re also facing a whole different set of challenges on a day-to-day basis. If you’ve never played sports professionally, you’re probably lacking insight into unique situations, experiences, and issues. Sports parents who were pro athletes themselves are better informed, but even they are liable to make mistakes just like any other parent would.
Why Do Sports Parents Make Mistakes?
Whether you’re dealing with the burden of knowing or with the fear of not knowing, being a sports parent is not an easy role. There are lots of different sports out there and plenty of reasons why your child’s situation is unique.
Yet, sports parents often tend to err in similar ways and some patterns can be spotted. Normally, as parents, we have the best of intentions at heart. But we’re also dealing with things like inexperience, lack of information, biases, fears, and all kinds of factors that impair our judgment.
All of this can potentially lead to our inadvertently doing more harm to our child’s potential career than good. These are the ten most common mistakes sports parents make trying to raise a talented young athlete.
1. Pressuring Your Child Athlete to Succeed
Some sports parents are supporters of the “pressure makes diamonds” school of thought and tend to draw from it when deciding on parenting techniques. It’s an attitude somewhat based on the notion that mental toughness is a crucial characteristic of top-level athletes. While this is true, parental pressure is far from a good way of teaching your child athlete how to be mentally tough.
One study in 2006 showed that young athletes who are feeling pressure from both their coaches and their parents are more likely to develop maladaptive forms of achievement striving, to experience overconcern for mistakes, have doubts about their decisions and actions, and lowered perception of their own competence.
Another cause of parental pressure is parents believing their child might slack off or show lack of discipline if they don’t step in and tighten the screws. Parental involvement in itself is very useful for child development but you need to be careful.
If it’s too much or not the right kind of involvement, it can become a source of frustration, pressure, and stress for the child and you will inevitably be caught in the middle of it. There are much safer, more effective ways of motivating your child than simply giving them heat every chance you get.
2. Not Teaching Young Athletes There’s an Alternative
Actually becoming a professional athlete is extremely difficult. The stats presented in the table below are sourced from the NCAA database and show, on average, the chances of high school athletes making it to the pros.
As you can see, the competition is very high and the data tell a harsh story – only a small minority of young athletes ever actually makes a professional career in sports.
Your child’s chances are determined by a range of factors and neither you nor your child will have complete control over some of them. Even if your child has all the essential characteristics such as technical skills, soft skills, talent, resilience, or a good work ethic, circumstances such as chronic or traumatic injury may abruptly end their career.
Some take these numbers as a sign that only those who are truly committed to the cause will prosper. But what about those who went all in and still didn’t make the cut? They’ll surely be devastated that their dreams didn’t come true. What happens when what they’re best at just isn’t good enough?
Giving up on your dream career is difficult for everyone, let alone young people who have their whole lives ahead of them. Having an alternative will go a long way to keep them from spiraling down and something they’ll be grateful for later in life. It’s your job as a parent to make sure they’re keeping their options open.
Sports-related activities are a great context for developing important management and teamwork skills that they can use at any job. You need to point out these opportunities, because that way, they’re boosting their athletic career while gaining something to rely on in the future.
Our coach, Tiana, is a sports psychologist experienced in working with sports parents and an expert on the topics of motivating child athletes, making them more confident, and teaching them how to build mental toughness.
3. Failing to Establish a Good Sports Parent-Coach Relationship
The roles of sports parents and coaches have an innately different perspective. The coach has to put the team first, while the parents are usually concerned with the needs and success of their own child.
In order to complement their efforts, both the parents and the coach need to build a good relationship so that they can provide the young athletes with the best possible, coherent support. That means that parents need to make an effort to understand the coach’s vision and consider their way of thinking before taking any action.
Your child will benefit from the fact they’re not getting mixed messages. If parents keep undermining the coaches and vice-versa, the child won’t know what to think and who to listen to.
4. Teaching Your Children the Win-at-All-Cost Mentality
Playing to win is a crucial aspect of sports. Nobody plays to lose and if they did, it wouldn’t be sports. Those who win stand to gain a lot. Personal satisfaction, social recognition, rewards, praise… Winning is valuable, enjoyable – and definitely not the only thing that’s important.
There are many top-level athletes who would disagree with this statement. And while romanticizing the desire to win does have a certain appeal, you don’t have to dig a lot in order to realize that winning isn’t the most important thing. At least not when considered in the context of life.
If your child places winning at the very top of their system of values, it could have a very negative effect on their judgment. It might make them more determined or motivated, but at what price?
Having a “win-at-all-cost” mindset provides a person with the conditions to rationalize unacceptable behavior. Things like poor sportsmanship, not playing by the rules, cheating, doping… They might learn to value winning over being a good teammate or simply doing the right thing. Winning is important, but if you prioritize it in terms of values, you need to consider what you’ll be losing in the trade-off.
5. Getting Too Emotionally Invested (ie. Angry Sports-Parent Syndrome)
You’ve probably heard stories about sports parents behaving inappropriately to the point where they’ve ended up on the local 9 o’clock news. New clips of parents brawling, screaming, and cursing at each other, coaches, referees, and even children, are being uploaded each week. These examples of toxic behavior leave a mark on everyone involved, including the very ones these parents are trying to help – their own children.
It’s understandable that being a bystander in an adrenaline-inducing situation can be difficult but you need to have control over your emotions and keep calm. Sports parents who lose it are usually ridiculed and mocked, but the negative effects this type of behavior can have on a developing child can’t be emphasized enough.
It takes all the fun out of sports and the children are left feeling embarrassed. It sets a bad example on how to deal with losing and not playing well. It is ethically wrong for a whole cluster of reasons. If you find that attending your child’s games, matches, and sporting events is making you angry or over-excited, then please, for your child’s sake as well as your own, consult a sports psychologist.
6. Overlooking the Development of Soft Skills
Technical skill is fundamental to athletic performance. That being said, a career in sports doesn’t happen in a vacuum and athletes need to be able to work with others as well. Even athletes competing in individual sports need to have good people-skills so they can, for example, make the most out of their relationship with the coaching staff. There are also lots of management skills that can be beneficial to an athlete such as time management or judgment and decision-making.
In team sports, teamwork and management skills can be the difference between going pro or not. Those who are exceptionally talented might be able to wiggle their way through to a career even though they’re very poor team players. But in the vast majority of cases, if they’re unable to cooperate and work well within a group, their chances of success will be incredibly slim.
Project-based learning in international teams can be an amazing opportunity for young athletes to effectively develop management and teamwork skills. They can transfer what they’ve learned to their career in sports!
Nobel Explorers teaches children valuable management and teamwork skills through working on STEM-related projects as part of an international team.
Online STEM projects can be a great way for young athletes to effectively develop communication skills, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking in a pressure-free environment.
In order to learn how to win, you first need to learn how to deal with losing. Each failure, each mistake we make is simply feedback telling us that we need to do better or maybe try something different. By taking the time to analyze what we did wrong, we can gain valuable insights into what we need to do in order to improve.
But before we can do that, we need to be able to handle the frustration of defeat and failure, also referred to as building resilience or mental toughness.
Studies show that athletes who are constantly being criticized for what they’re doing wrong will have a greater chance of developing a fear of failure. This can have a crippling effect on their development because it will make the sensation of playing less fun, reduce their game to the use of the most basic actions, and stunt their creativity.
“The child is so focused on the outcome and fearful of the possibility of failure, that they get frozen and stuck and can’t perform at their best at that moment.”
Young athletes need to be able to explore their sport and step outside their comfort zone in order to diversify their skill set and add new dimensions to their game. They need to understand that it’s OK to make mistakes. You as a parent should help them build a mindset where they’re not indifferent to failure, but also not devastated by it.
8. Showering Your Children with False Praise
Praising your children in order to reinforce good behavior is one of the foundations of good parenting. However, you need to make sure your praise is adequate, highlighting the right things, and delivered in alignment with how your child is feeling. You may think of false praise as a way to cheer your child up after a bad game, but there are a couple of reasons why you should never do this.
When your child buys into your false praise, they’ll think that they’ve done well when in fact they haven’t. If these scenarios repeat often, they’ll slowly develop a false sense about their abilities and skills. This means that they’ll be going into every next challenge poorly prepared, more likely to repeat the same mistakes and perpetuating the cycle until they’re faced with an obstacle that can’t be praised away.
Another issue arises if your child is able to see through your false praise. In those cases, praise can actually make them feel worse because they think they don’t deserve it. Aside from that, you’ll come across as if you either don’t really understand what happened or don’t really care about how they’ve played.
9. Neglecting Other Aspects of Parenting
Young athletes will face unique challenges on their road to a professional career in sports but they’ll also have to deal with issues common to any other kid their age. Friendship struggles, school challenges, puberty… It’s easy to get carried away, especially if your child is really invested in a sport and loves what they do.
Your child will need guidance for a life beyond the context of sporting events and the training ground. The issues they’ll face either at school or with friends are not less important than the things happening on the court or field. You’re raising a person first and an athlete second.
10. Disregard for Health and Safety (Both Physical and Mental)
In the culture of “all in” and “leaving your heart on the field”, toughness, hard work, and commitment come first. Unfortunately, this usually means that the health and safety of athletes are being placed somewhere lower down the list. This type of ranking can lead from innocuous situations such as, “It’s just a knock, I’ll walk it off.” to the more dangerous, “So what if it’s swollen? I can still run!”
The fact that they “only have one shot” doesn’t mean they should “risk it all”. The fact that they need to “work hard” doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be “working smart” first.
The importance of health for a sports career is intuitive to us but we don’t always act like it is. Surely we’ve all heard more than enough stories about people from our neighborhood who “could’ve gone pro if their knee hadn’t given out”. Injuries are unpredictable but aside from luck, great results can be achieved through injury-prevention exercises and procedures, along with having the right attitude.
Most sports parents would agree on the importance of being physically healthy, even if they sometimes encourage behaviors that go against that notion. But the topic of mental health is not that well-acknowledged in the world of sports and dealing with those issues carries a huge amount of stigma. Anxiety and depression are portrayed as signs of weakness and can be debilitating for the player’s social rating. The good news is, each year, more players are speaking out about their struggles with maintaining mental health.
“Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing.”
As a parent, you need to be a health advocate for your children because the athlete mindset will pull them in the opposite direction. Your kids need to understand how their body works, listen to what it’s telling them, and be educated on what it means to be healthy both physically and mentally.
What Can Sports Parents Learn From These Mistakes?
“Parents, listen and look to your child. Hear your child out. What are his or her interests?… One very important role a parent has is to help their child just select and decide what’s important and what’s not important. But… together with them and not for them.”
It’s funny how easy it is to get caught up in wanting to help your child any way you can. But good intentions are not a guarantee of the success of your actions. We love our children so much that it sometimes clouds our judgment. But just as our children can learn from their mistakes made on the court or field, we need to be able to learn from our own mistakes to be better parents.
Sports parenting, like all types of parenting, is a partnership. Our parental role burdens us with a greater sense of responsibility but we shouldn’t take on things that are not on us. We’re not helping anyone if we’re overstepping our boundaries and either contributing to our child’s feeling of being pressured, or robbing them of an opportunity to build their character and grow.
Finally, your child’s wishes are one of the most important factors that should be considered when making big decisions about their career in sports. In the end, they’re the ones that will have to live the life you’re helping them build and they should actively partake in the decision-making process as much as possible.
“Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete who is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient, and tries their best, is a direct reflection of your parenting.”
– John A. Casadia (Swimming Coach)
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Maryke K. is a Nobel Tutor. She knows a lot about Chemistry, Physics, English Language, and Statistics, but one of her greatest loves is Math! She makes math fun (yes, it’s possible!) and finds the best way for students to learn it. Here she answers common questions about math and shares her personal experience in learning it.
Question: Let’s begin with fun stuff. What is the best math joke you’ve ever heard?
Maryke: What do you get when you cross a mosquito with a mountain climber?
You can’t cross a vector and a scalar… (laugh).
Q: Can you tell us how did you end up falling in love with mathematics? How did you become the math tutor?
M:From an early age, math has been fascinating to me. Because of that, I focused on it and worked hard. As I began sharing my knowledge with others, I discovered that mathematics was a path to helping people, and that’s what I love to do! And that’s why I became a tutor.
Q: Even though some people, like you, enjoy mathematics, there are others who find it hard. Based on your experience, why do some students fall behind in math?
M: Some people have a natural aptitude for mathematics, but that’s not the reason why others fall behind. I think the reason they do fall behind is they need it explained in a different way and there isn’t always time to do this in a classroom setting.
That’s why math tutoring exists! Not because you don’t have the ability to do math, but because a tutor is usually a few years older than you and they were in your shoes a few years before. So it’s easy to relate and find a great way to explain the unexplainable.
Q: Is there anything you’d recommend to those students? How should they study math?
M:If you don’t get math, just like anything else you don’t like, you’re going to have to motivate yourself.
Still, what I used to do is play. When I was younger, up to 6th grade, I would use computer games. I played educational games which meant I had to constantly do math in my head. Because of that, and by really putting thought into it, I made math fun, linking it to games.
So how you should study math? You find the fun in math and keep practicing. If you’re not good at it, practice is the only way to fix that.
Q: You’ve already mentioned teachers. Do you think that if you don’t understand math, maybe you have the wrong teacher?
M: It’s not about the teacher all the time, it’s usually about their workload. You can’t put a workload of 40 students on a teacher and expect every one of them is going to be catered to.
I think that everybody should be able to get tutoring. But since not everybody can afford a tutor, perhaps ask a friend who’s good at math to help you with the things you’re having difficulty with. You just need to have the additional help.
I come from a very humble background. I begged my parents to get me tutoring because despite having good grades, I needed even better grades to enroll in this program I wanted to get into. But we couldn’t afford it. The only help I had was reading math books and learning it by myself. That still wasn’t enough. I feel that if I had been in a smaller class, if my teachers could have catered to me specifically, then I would’ve had even better marks.. But it just wasn’t in the cards.
So I worked with a friend who was good at math and we made sure we helped each other. I did that my whole university career – we’d teach each other those concepts that we mightn’t otherwise understand.. We’d just work together and help each other. I feel everybody should do that because there’s always something that you don’t understand. So let the students be the teachers, as well.
Q: Some people believe that being good at math is a natural ability. What do you think about that? Can anybody be good at math?
M: I don’t think everybody can be good at math. However, I think everybody can do it. You just need the right way, the fun way to approach it.
There’s always going to be someone who gets 100% no matter what – someone with the natural aptitude. It may seem like you’ll never be as good as that person, but you can do it! You just need to accept that you have to practice a lot more than they do.
So, you can be good, but you have to practice. Practice as much as you can and eventually results will come.
Q: Natural talent vs. hard work. Do you think that people who aren’t naturally good at math but practice a lot eventually can become better at it than people who are naturally good but don’t practice?
M: Yes, that was me! I fell behind in my first year of engineering because I was like, This is going to be so easy! And all those people who were a little bit weaker than me in high school, were surpassing me. They were doing so much better than I was!
That’s because at some point math catches up with you. You might think it’s easy now, but there will be a time when you don’t understand anything. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way, so you don’t need to.
Q: What is your approach to teaching math?
M:Making it fun. I’m a very outgoing person and I always try to make people think of a fun way to go about something. I use visuals, I use tricks, I use anything that might make something entertaining and interesting!
No matter what your learning challenge is, what your skill is, it has to be fun!
Q: How do you choose between being an authority figure and a friend?
M: I think balance is the key. You need to be both an authority figure and a friend. I do believe my students respect me, but I also believe I open this door into letting them talk to me about their personal problems, not just focusing on math.
You need to listen to the challenges they have as that can affect their learning as well. For example, if their dog dies and they just don’t feel like doing math today, take things easier.
Being their teacher doesn’t mean you can’t be their friend. You just need to evaluate when that is appropriate. They’ll learn to trust you, and then they will respect you.
Q: Does fun make math easy? Do you find mathematics easy overall?
M: Math is never easy. I have an engineering degree and when I was doing models I failed the math model. Yes, that thing destroyed me (laugh).
Now I’m doing a mathematics degree. I’m in my final year now and I’m realizing that math is always difficult. If you’re in that spot, it’s going to be hard. Right now, final-year math is unbelievably difficult, but first-year math was also unbelievably difficult. Math will always be difficult. It’s up to you to practice and find a way to understand it. So practice, practice, practice.
Q: Do you have any advice for parents to help their students with math?
M:Don’t start too late. I wish my parents had started earlier in letting me have fun with mathematics. I did start early, earlier than most people. But if they’d started even earlier, I feel that I would’ve been further ahead right now.
You need to make sure your kids are exposed to this environment. Let them play puzzles, let them play logic games when they’re very young. Because it opens a door for problem-solving skills and so on.
Make it fun and start early. But don’t overdo it. so that they start to hate it. Like anything, if you push your child too much, they’re going to resent it. Make sure you strike a balance between giving them constant stimulation and not overworking them. A great tutor would know how to help in that area, for sure.
Q: And if I’m a parent of a student with learning challenges (ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia…), what approach would you recommend for me to help my students with math? What should I do?
M: We all have those times when we’re faced with difficulty that causes anxiety. So did I. I know it’s not the same as ADHD, but it does pose a challenge when it comes to learning. One way to deal with it is to learn how to study despite the difficulty. Wishing it away won’t help, but finding a way to figure things out will.
What I would actually do was enjoy some free time but thendedicate 10 minutes to somemath homework. It forced me to think about it, but not overwhelm myself. Of course, if you have a lot of homework you might need to up that to 15, 20 minutes. Some people will go up to 30 minutes or more, but if you constantly push a child they’re just going to completely resist.
If you’re helping your child with math, you need to make sure they’re not overwhelmed and that you are making it, again, fun. They need to have that feeling of I really want to solve these logic puzzles.
Also, I’ve always told my mom she needs to reward my brother, because my brother was a very, lazy boy when it came to math.The way she got him to finish his math was by giving him rewards. He has ADHD, and the reward for finishing was time playing computer games. And he would be so excited! Because that’s what children like to do, including me (laugh).
So,give them rewards, make it fun, and don’t make it too intensive!
Q: Why do we need math? Do we really need to know algebra, geometry, integers..? Why does math matters in the real world?
M: The things you’ll use depend on the field in which you’ll work. I don’t think you’ll need all the complex formulae and stuff.
But the basic reason everybody needs math is for logical reasoning. If you know math, you build a certain skill when it comes to reasoning with people, when it comes to logical thinking, solving problems at work in the future… So even though you don’t need quadratic equations, you still need to build these skills to be able to function in life and today’s world.
Long answer short, reasoning in real life and problem-solving skills.
Q: What are the uses of math? Are there any benefits to knowing math for a future career? What are applied-mathematics jobs?
M: As I’ve said, reasoning and problem-solving but not just that. For example, you’ll use it if you’re an animator. You’ll need math to put things together in a program and work through possible problems you might encounter when you animate different things. The same would apply to working as a game designer, It doesn’t mean that if you’re not good in math you can’t go into these areas. However, knowing math can be helpful.
Additionally, think about engineering, architecture, law… each requires logical reasoning, (especially law) and a background in mathematics. Computer science, astronautics, the visual arts (such as painting).
Q: What message would you like to leave with our young readers?
M:Mathematics is always useful, so practice it and study it. You’ll use it in any career you choose. You’ll use it in the future just by practicing reasoning and in everyday activities that you need to think about.
However, if you’re not good at math, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be successful. If math is not going to be your career, you just need to find someone who can help you with logical reasoning so you can have a foundation to build on in your future life.
Math can be very useful and if you can’t figure it out on your own, there are great tutors to help!
IF YOU NEED ADDITIONAL HELP WITH MATHEMATICS OR ANY OTHER SUBJECT, OUR EXPERT TUTORS ARE HERE FOR YOU
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Sibling rivalry is a tale as old as time itself. Just remember one of the oldest stories from the Bible – Cain was jealous that God would accept Abel’s sacrifice, but not his! Nowadays, luckily, sibling conflicts are resolved in a much calmer way, but they can still cause problems, for both siblings and their parents.
The first lesson is: even if you had perfect children, you wouldn’t get out of it without some tension and rivalry – and here’s why.
The Causes of Sibling Rivalry
Perhaps the biggest reason siblings see each other as rivals is because they are in a constant fight for your attention. And since people aren’t exact machines, we aren’t able to dedicate exactly the same amount of attention to each child, much as we might want to. No matter how similar the children may be – even if they’re twins! – there will always be differences between them that require us to treat them if only a bit differently. We’re often unaware of this, but children tend to notice it.
Gender and age differences alone more often than not cause parents to treat their children in very different ways. Dads might be more gentle with their daughters than their sons, but sons may be granted more freedom and a later curfew. The tricky thing is, no daughter will focus on the extra attention, nor son on the extra permission: they’ll tend to focus on the negatives and see themselves as less loved and less worthy.
Also, the closer the siblings are in age, the more reason they’ll have to fight. They’ll want to play with same toys, have the same relationship with you, play the same video games… But on the other hand, if there’s a wider age difference, the older one may get angry if the younger one makes them feel embarrassed in front of their friends. It seems like there’s no escape!
Is There No Way Out?
So far, it seems like whatever you do, fights are inevitable! That is true to some extent, and we’ll talk later on about the positive sides of sibling rivalry. However, certain things are in your control and can be prevented.
Even Spiderman and Captain America found a way to overcome their issues.
Try to treat them the same when it comes to granting permission
New parents, given their inexperience and natural anxiety, often overprotect their first child. When the second one comes along, you feel more confident and trust yourself more, so you’ll probably end up granting that child more latitude. But as understandable as this is, think of how it’s affecting the older child. They’ll probably end up thinking, “They don’t love me and care as much” or “They don’t really trust me”. What you can do is adapt your responses to meet the situation. Now that your younger one has a curfew until 10, give the older one a slightly longer one – 11 or 12. Treating them the same even though they’re four years apart is not exactly equal, so as hard as it is to see them grow up – let them know they’ve earned your confidence.
Let them solve it on their own
If their fight is about something else – whose toy it is, whose turn it is to walk the dog, etc. – give them time to come up with a solution among themselves. However, if you notice that’s not going anywhere, offer mediation, but without taking sides. Try to look at it objectively. Ask them to give you the arguments for why they each think the other one should be walking the dog. You can even have them write their arguments down. Let them present their reasons one by one, and once you have all the facts, ask them if it’s now clear to them who should be doing the task. If they’re still unwilling to find a solution, you can offer one, but not without providing them with an explanation why.
Skip the labels
Does your family have the smart one? The athletic one? The artistic one? If it does, try not to call them that. Of course you’re allowed to think of them that way, but the minute you say, “Oh, my Josh is the smart one”, the other child will, without a doubt, be thinking, “That must mean I’m the dumb one”. You should be nurturing their strengths – by all means! – but in such a way that they don’t feel that being a “geek” or a “football player” is all they can ever be. We talked about the self-fulfilling prophecy before – the way you talk about your children could become who they are. Using a language free of labels works wonders in giving them more options.
Accept that you will be treating them differently…
…which doesn’t have to be a negative thing. If you, say, have a gifted child, treating both of them the same could lead to the gifted one not reaching their full potential. In the end, they might be resentful of both you and their sibling – “If only Mary weren’t so dumb, I could have been at MIT right now!” Instead, nurture their strengths. If you see they’re gifted, enroll them in different programs that could help them develop even further.
As for their sibling, inspire them to try out different things as well, and make sure to be open about everything. Explain that just because John is a straight A student and making apps at 17, doesn’t mean that you love Mary any less. They’re both equally valuable, and the important thing is to have each follow their passion and do whatever makes them happy. In short, give the gifted child what they need, but don’t concentrate all of your love and pride on them only.
Can Sibling Rivalry be Beneficial?
Absolutely! Children’s first conflicts happen between them and their siblings. In the warm, nurturing, safe atmosphere of their own home, they’ll have plenty of chances to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to disagreements with others. If handled well, they’ll learn the values of negotiation and teamwork.
Another important thing conflict will teach them is resilience. If you’re always stepping in to protect the younger one and keep them from any hardships, they’ll be left without the skills necessary to stand up for themselves. They’ll always be expecting others to swoop in and save them. It’s much better if they get to practice this with their brother/sister first, even if it ends in tears from time to time, than for them to be left helpless later on.
Just remember that treating two very different individuals differently is completely normal and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Do your best to be just and to catch yourself in showing signs of favoritism, and there’ll be no reason to worry about sibling rivalry too much.
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Kaver.jpg15372305Jelena J.https://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngJelena J.2019-04-12 01:40:162019-04-12 02:40:02Sibling Rivalry: How Can Parents Deal with It?
Dyslexia is a disability that impairs language learning – spelling, pronunciation, reading, and reading comprehension – despite normal intelligence.
Seeing an otherwise bright kid struggle with something “as simple as a reading task” is likely to take most people aback. The inability to relate to the issues kids with dyslexia face can result in both parents and teachers overlooking the importance of effectively overcoming them.
I tutor middle-schoolers with dyslexia in Language Arts. I found that implementing games as exercises can yield outstanding results. Dissecting the workings of two of my favorites will help you understand core problems and give you the ability to tailor your approach to your child.
Throughout my experience, I’ve noticed that kids with dyslexia largely benefit from kinaesthetic ways of learning when it comes to Language Arts. Merely listening or observing isn’t enough to build correlations between letters and sounds. When a multitude of their senses are engaged, words begin to gain meaning.
So, how do games fit into this narrative? First off, games force you to implement a variety of skills (like waiting for your turn, which is connected to executive functions – inhibition) – often without you even noticing. Secondly, although they demand your full attention, they provide fun in return. This means a boost in motivation, making distractions less likely to occur.
The interactive aspect of playing games keeps us from getting bored. We make mistakes, we learn to lose. The feedback we get from other players pushes us to do more. We begin to understand the importance and value of doing our due diligence. Working together, regardless if as a team or as opponents, will form a bond and establish trust between you and your child.
You’ve created an environment where making mistakes is part of the process and help is always around the corner. This is particularly useful when you encounter more complex tasks – more specifically, school assignments.
Hangman is one of my top picks for working with kids who struggle with dyslexia. It incorporates all the crucial benefits of learning through games – focus, patterns, interactivity, and creativity.
In a world of distractions, we struggle with focusing on what truly matters. Facing an abundance of information is intimidating, especially when you’re not yet ready to tackle it. Hangman takes things back to basics. The game focuses on one word alone, meaning all attention is fixed to a single point. It allows the opportunity to build a relationship with words devoid of pressure.
Playing the game, patterns start to appear: the frequency of vowels or how ‘q’ is always followed with by a ‘u’. We begin noticing these patterns outside of play time – in the texts we read or words we spell for the first time. These connections testify that there’s a method to the madness that is spelling. Over time, a database is generated in our heads, enabling us to become skilled at guessing how a word might be spelled – accurately!
Don’t be afraid of not covering enough material. Easing into the idea of spelling takes time, but has a great impact on how we feel about language and language learning. Once we’ve mastered some basic skills, learning becomes quicker – and more efficient. Taking the edge off doesn’t just make the exercise less intimidating, but promises greater results.
Moreover, the game’s interactive aspect allows a varied approach. You can choose to collaborate or compete (you don’t even have to stick to just one or the other!). This way, you begin forming a more dynamic and complex relationship with your child when learning.
Lastly, you can get creative. Incorporate the child’s interests (e.g. basketball) when choosing words or creating your Hangman stick figures. By customizing your Hangman character, the game becomes more fun. With something so basic, possibilities are endless. Give your child the freedom to express themselves.
The concept of this game is very simple: guess the person, place, or thing in 20 questions or less. You probably know this game for its vocabulary-building quality, but what if I told you it can help a child master storytelling?
A good storyteller knows how to engage their audience. They set the scene – providing all the information needed to get their point across. We often don’t realize how much we have to factor in to tell a good story: go into enough detail for the audience to understand, but not overdo it to the point that they’re bored. This is where 20 Questions comes in.
We’ll need to master the game in its original form first. As we play, we’ll start to notice patterns that help us identify the word faster: where we can find this thing, what it’s made out of, in which situation are likely to use it. Certain questions have priority in the more general sense – to set the scene, while details are what helps us pin the word down.
Through this process, we become more aware of the importance of having enough information. Moreover, we begin noticing that adding unnecessary details is just that – unnecessary – it doesn’t do much to contribute to the story, distracting us while we try to identify the word. Now let’s take it to the next level to incorporate the game into storytelling.
Before you begin, help your child map out the events in chronological order. A timeline will make it easier to follow the story. Then guide the child by asking them appropriate questions. I would recommend using wh- questions. Ask WHERE the story took place, details about the scene; WHO was involved, and the background of the characters. Then move on to WHAT actually happened and WHY. Additional questions may be prompted by something they mention or when they get stuck.
With time, you’ll notice the child no longer needs assistance. They have actually memorized the questions themselves and can now determine the necessary information on their own!
Gaming done right!
I hope the examples given inspire you to incorporate games into learning. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm with your child in order to make the games even better! Children love to come up with their own rules – and there is a lot to gain from that. Since the way we learn isn’t universal, small tweaks can make a huge difference in how we interpret and memorize information. Moreover, the experience you gain from this will form a strong bond between you, preparing you for future endeavours.
As Vince Gowmon once said:
Author: Tutor Olivera
https://www.nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/image4.png6001200Nobel Coachinghttps://nobelcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nobel-coaching-and-tutoring-logo.pngNobel Coaching2019-02-12 05:52:582021-01-13 23:04:24Exercises to Help Boost the Dyslexic Mind
The Pygmalion effect describes how a teacher’s higher expectations lead to the student’s higher performance. If a teacher believes that certain students are late bloomers, there’s a good chance that they will become exactly that.
Pygmalion effects in the classroom
This effect can be found in different settings, but here we’ll focus on the classroom and the discovery by two American psychologists, Rosenthal and Jacobson, who conducted a study to test if children could be brighter when expected to be by their teachers. In another words, whether changes in teacher expectations produce changes in student achievement .
In their study, at the beginning of the school year, all of the children in the study were given an intelligence test, which was disguised as a test that would predict intellectual “blooming”. About 20% of the children were chosen at random and the teachers of these children were told that their scores on that test indicated they would show surprising gains in intellectual competence during the next few months of school. The important thing to remember is that the only difference between those children was in the minds of their teachers.
At the end of the school year, all the children were re-tested with the same test. The children from whom the teachers had been led to expect greater intellectual gain showed a greater gain than did the other children.
How to use these effects to achieve better performance among students?
Teachers, but also parents, influence whether children will have higher or lower achievement. So, now when we are aware of the power of our expectations, one question arises – how can we help our children?
Look for the good and positive things in each child. Find something to like or appreciate about every child, even if it’s their independence and tenacity. The teacher’s behavior is important. However, there’s more to it than that – it’s about the way you think about the child.
Be aware of your effect. Teachers should always bear in mind that their behavior can affect a student’s performance. Although it’s impossible to like all students equally, it is imperative that they are all treated equally.
Reconsider your treatment. Think about how you treat students you find smart/charming and compare that treatment to the way you approach those you find uninteresting/annoying. Who do you criticize more? Who receives more attention?
More positive treatment. Try to give more attention to students you neglected before. Also, reinforce them if you see them struggling or feeling unsure. This way they’ll be more motivated to raise their hands and ask questions. Consequently, they’ll work harder at your subject and do much better in it.
We, at Nobel Coaching and Tutoring, believe in your student! Achieving better performance demands hard work, but with our help it is much easier and faster. Therefore, there’s one more way to help – you can schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our Coaches HERE.
 Babad, E. Y., Inbar, J., & Rosenthal, R. (1982). Pygmalion, Galatea, and the Golem: Investigations of biased and unbiased teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology,74(4), 459-474. doi:10.1037/0022-0618.104.22.1689
 Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1968). Pygmalion in the classroom. The urban review, 3(1), 16-20.