Feelings · Leadership

Another Setback? Oh no, not again!

Hi everyone! First let me start by wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s month! I hope you get to spend some awesome time together with your loved ones. Not only on February 14th, but year round! 

Now, onto my post for today. We all face setbacks. From the time we were kids, until the last days of our lives. They are inevitable. Whether it’s a toy parents refuse to get for their kids, failing a test, not making the team at school, not finding a job, loosing a loved one, a divorce, etc…. you name it. We all have seen them and experienced them.

Here is a list of synonyms according to Google:

Problem, difficulty, hitch, complication, upset, disappointment, misfortune, mishap, reversal; blow, stumbling block, hurdle, hindrance, impediment, obstruction, delay, holdup, informal glitch, hiccup.

All of these situations will have a negative effect on us when they happen. Some might last hours, and others might shadow us into a deep depression that we can’t get out of at all. Some of us might react with anger, and others might react with gluttony of food or drinks. And with some people, these reactions might have severe consequences.

But not everyone reacts that way. Some people rise victorious from a setback- to a better and higher level. So how do they do it??

The answer is within the will power of the person. A will power to succeed, a will power to achieve, and OVERCOME. Like the Phoenix in old Greek mythology, we should always regenerate and rise!

It’s important to explain to your kids that we will face setbacks in our lives. Life is a journey on a bumpy road, and not always an open smooth highway. We need to be like a rugged Jeep, not a delicate plastic car. Face hard situations with resolve to overcome them. Let us set the habit right. After absorbing the shock of the situation, let’s analyze it and obtain the lessons, implement changes, and do it differently next time. Other wise, we will run in a loop and end up at the same location every time!

Albert Einstein said, “the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. I regret the error. However, this is where the fun begins.”

So let’s cheer on our kids to be OVERCOMERS! 

Until next time, remember, our words and actions really do matter!

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Leadership · Technology

Should children be given technology freedom?

Hi everyone!

I hope you all been having a good January so far, it’s been freezing cold
in many places but we are still here!

Can we give our children freedom? And how much of it is right in this age
of social media and technology?

Technology changed the way we adults behave. We have become less connected in
real life at times. Many of us are constantly looking for the next buzz that comes from one of our apps to rush into our phone or tablet for that new alert. Many
times a day to the fact that it changed our way of conducting business
and our life in general. How about our kids?

We know our generation and the generations before us dealt with early stages of
technology. But we could still survive for days or maybe months without having
to touch a keyboard. Today, things have changed, and a lot. Kids learn to use
technology at school, at home, the store, in the car, and everywhere
else we can think of.

How much can we trust the anti-virus, cyber security and other parental
key words to keep our kids safe from predators out there, or from their
adventure exploring nature?

As everything else in life, we don’t have to be responding to things,
rather we can be doers. As leaders in our homes, we should always set the
standard at home and from an early age teach kids what is expected
from them and what the consequences are. Teaching kids to seek
wisdom from parents is not a simple yes and no answer. Disciplining
kids with teaching is always better than with punishment and aggravation.

Micro-managing children might create a rebellion reaction within the
kids. Yes, it’s the parent’s responsibility to know everything about their kids, but let’s also give them some freedom to choose for themselves when
possible. Asking them what color they like to wear might be a better
option than saying, “here wear this” right?
We might not ask them to give us their passwords just because we don’t
trust them, but rather because accountability would help them grow in a
more responsible fashion.

The first 18 to 20 years in children’s lives are about laying the
foundations for them to live in the outside world for the rest of their
lives. Dealing with home rules and consequences is simply the early
learning stage of dealing with the laws and its consequences. We are
free to some extent, but there is no absolute freedom by which we can do
whatever we want without consequences. Freedom is not chaos but its
responsibility and leadership is about doing the right thing when no one
cares. How about we give responsible freedom to the future leaders?

And as always, remember our words and actions really do mater!


New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone!

So the holidays are over now and we are all back to reality. It might not sound fun, but it can be!

Kids are going back to their classrooms and the parents back to their work.

I hope your kids invested their vacation time well.

I also hope this will be a new beginning for our kids.

New beginnings bring new challenges. And one challenge is to know and understand our children’s limits. But the good news is that we don’t have to stop at these limits.

With a healthy dose of encouragement and support from parents and us educators, we potentially can elevate these limits and help our kids excel.

I would like to wish everyone a productive, and successful new year!

And as always, remember, our words and actions really do matter!

Photo credit: Designed by Freepik

Leadership · Routines

Holiday Advice for Parents

Hey everyone!

 Guess what? It’s that time of the year again, yay!

The weather is getting colder, but our homes are warmer I hope. Season’s decorations are up at most places and shopping bags & orders are rolling through the conveyors coming our way. It’s a great time of year for most of us.

Even though it’s a great time of year, we can’t ignore the fact that students will be out of school for couple of weeks. They will have time to sleep in and no school schedule to follow. Should we just let them fall out of a routine during this season, or keep them on  track with a schedule?

As a teacher, my advice is to maintain a schedule. Let your kids follow a semi-school schedule and activities. Don’t let them abandon their school books and notes. Encourage them to use this time to review what they have learned in school in the last few months. Maybe review those coming chapters that they will cover after the holidays. Adding some reading materials to the kids could be a good option too- if they don’t want to deal with their school work. History books or reading materials to do with the holidays would fit the theme of the holidays, but also should be within the kid’s age and reading abilities.

This season is also about delicious food and family gatherings. Here I want to go into two directions. Consider something healthy as an alternative to all the sweets, or encourage the kids to move more in order to burn the extra calories. Also, let us not forget about social skills. This season is all about socializing, so let the kids broaden their skills in communications and critical thinking when they get to meet with other kids or family members.

Lastly, since we will offer the kids some gifts, let’s think about gifts with purpose. Gifts that will develop their learning abilities or encourage a hobby they have. We all love the new electronic gadgets out there, but let us get them something that helps them rather than another distracter.

Let us always lead by example. If we want them to read, then let us read in front of them. If we want them to give up their gadgets to move more, let us get away from ours too and move, and so on.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you all for your support to our blog in 2017 🙂

Until next time, remember our words and actions do matter!

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Feelings · Leadership

Children and Gratitude, is that possible?

Hello everyone!

With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday in the United States, now is a good time to talk about gratitude and giving thanks!

Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thanks. (Source: Webster’s dictionary.)

The question we face as adults is, how do we develop the feeling of gratitude with our kids so that it becomes a habit?

Feelings are at the core of gratitude and being thankful. The question is: what is the key to open up these feelings? One of the answers is within the leadership role of the parents. They should help kids recognize the value of the things they have received or have already achieved. To reach to the inner core of the child is to ask them and open a conversation with him or her. Ask your child how he/she felt when someone did something nice for them. Help him/her express his/her feelings. An important way to develop learning is by using examples. You can give your child an example and ask them how they feel about that situation. “I made you pancakes for breakfast today and you really liked them, right? Did that make you feel happy, good, or excited?” In response to that feeling, let your child know that it’s nice that they respond to that situation by expressing their thanks.

We should teach kids being thankful shouldn’t only be in exciting situations. For example, Uncle John visited us and brought you a gift, what do you tell Uncle John after you received the gift? The child should learn to respond with: “Thank you Uncle John for the gift,” regardless if he/she liked the gift or not. You need to explain to your child that we thank Uncle John because he thought about us ahead of time and invested some time and money in buying the gift.

You might teach your children that it’s good to be specific about what they are saying thank you for, or what they liked or appreciated.

Examples- “I love pancakes, I’m so glad you made them for breakfast today!”

“Thanks for the snack, I was hungry.” “Thanks for the hug, it makes me feel happy!”

It might not be trendy these days, but another way kids can show they are thankful is to respond by writing a thank you card. Whenever your children receive a gift, make sure they make a thank you card for the person that gave them the gift. The youngest kids might not be able to write words yet, but they could draw a picture and dictate to you what they want it to say. Even toddlers can draw a few lines or scribbles with crayons. If you have some finger paint, having them make their hand print would be a fun way to say thanks too. As they get older, they can write in more detail what they liked about their gift. The gift giver and your child will both feel good. Writing the card can create a tangible connection between the sender and the receiver.

Remember not to give in to your child on everything. It’s ok to say no. It really is! This is important! If you give your children every single thing they want, it leaves them little to no room to appreciate anything. They will come to expect everything will be handed to them. Children need to understand that when their parents say no, there’s a good reason for it. This will help them at school also. (Yes, teachers will have to tell your kids no on occasion!)  When you are able to say yes to an extra treat or toy they will be much more excited and appreciative. Let your kids earn those special things they want through doing chores. This is what my father had my brother and I do. At the time I thought this wasn’t fair because all my friends had what they wanted, and they didn’t have to earn it themselves in most cases. But now as an adult, I really appreciate the responsibility my Dad taught us. (Thanks Dad!)

Helping kids to realize the value of the things they own ( received as gift or bought for them ) is an important factor that will last with them towards adulthood.

Have them give to others. Your children will feel good by helping others in need. Have them go through their closet to find clothes that they don’t wear or that don’t fit them anymore. They could find a few toys they don’t use anymore as well. Donate them to a local charity, such as the Salvation Army. Talk to them about people less fortunate than them.  This will help them to see how fortunate they are to have the things that they have.

Before I end this post, I want to emphasize on the things that have no monetary value to the kids directly ( even though it might have value to the parents ) such as the home, furniture, clothes, the family, school, good health, and the value of life itself. We can’t put a price tag on the value of family. These things that some take for granted in life, others might wish they had. We should appreciate having these things in front of the kids. This will be a major factor in shaping their personality when they move towards being independent adults. As I have mentioned in one of my preivious posts, our kids are watching us! (Click here to read more.) We need to be role models for our children. So it’s important to make sure you are doing some of the above mentioned things to show your gratitude too.

I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

And until next time, remember, our words really do matter!!

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How to Stay Healthy this Cold and Flu Season

Before you know it, Cold and flu season will be upon us…not fun right? Maybe we can enjoy more fun this winter and less discomfort!

For those of us that are around young children frequently, it feels almost impossible to avoid getting sick at times. But I have some good news! In my experience working with kids for many years now, I found out that this shouldn’t be the norm. I have some tips to help you stay healthy. I hope they will come in handy and be of great help to you. So let’s be healthy…

Several years ago I started going to my Allergy/Asthma doctor at a major hospital system in the nation. Yep, we have one in my “small town” of Rochester, MN!

He taught me a very specific way to blow my nose and gave me some other great tips to help stay healthy.

Believe me, they work! I rarely ever get sick. I had only 2 or 3 colds last school year. I can’t even remember the last time I had the flu- over ten years ago for sure.

During the school year, children can get an average of  “8 to 12 colds or cases of the flu” according to a CNN report*. That puts us educators and parents especially at a higher risk since we deal with multiple children at once. We have to think of our families and the kids’ families too.

The following tips are from my Doctor.

  1. Do not use the first tissue hanging out of the tissue box, it has been exposed to the air and potentially has germs on it. Take the first one out, throw it away and use the next one.
  2. Only hold the edges of the tissue. Do not touch the middle part where you are going to be putting your nose.
  3. Only blow your nose into a tissue 1 time. Do not fold it over and use it again. You already touched that part. If you need to blow more, get another tissue.
  4. Always use a fresh tissue from the box. Don’t put tissues in your pocket or up your sleeve for later. The tissue in your pocket or up your sleeve will become contaminated.
  5. Keep your hands off your nose and eyes as much as possible. These are 2 entry points for germs.
  6. Do not use a handkerchief. Too many germs.
  7. Wash your hands often.
  8. Get a flu shot every year.

The tips below are from me. Some may seem like common sense, but, how many times have we done some of these things without giving them a second thought because it was easier or faster?

A. Allow children to blow their own noses as much as possible.  They can do it. I teach 3 year olds and they wipe their own noses just fine. The may need help now and then, but for the most part they do the whole process on their own. They just need to be reminded when to wipe their nose. If your kids try to refuse doing it themselves, try handing them a tissue and that may help. Even older 2 year olds can do it. After some practice, they will get better at it. If you must help a child, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you are done helping them. Better yet- if you have access to latex gloves, put some on before you help. Again, wash your hands when you’re done.

B. Teach your children when they cough or sneeze, to do so into the crook of their arm. If a child near you coughs or sneezes, turn your head away as fast as you can to avoid being “sprayed” on.

C. Don’t pick your child’s nose or wipe it with your fingers…get a tissue if they need help.

D. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated is an important part of staying healthy. Eat healthy, drink healthy beverages, and move more. This will help your body fight this winter.

E. Children that are sick should stay home. Consider letting them stay at home till the contingency period is over. Check about that with your health care provider too.

F. First thing when you get home from anywhere, wash your hands thoroughly with plenty of soap and warm water. Make sure your kids do too. In my classroom, we also have the children wash hands upon arrival.

G. Teach children not to stick their mouth to the water fountain, let some water run before taking a sip from the stream flow of the water. Parents should consider sending a water bottle with their children.

H. We love to teach our kids to share things right? Well that’s a partial yes, but we need to teach them not to share their drinking cups, water bottles, food, or tissues, etc… Personal items should mean personal even for the young ones. I know it’s easier said than done, but we can keep on trying.

I. Clean the door knobs, desk surfaces, key boards more often with sanitizing wipes.
I hope these simple tips help you stay healthier this year! If you have any additional tips to share, please write to me in the comments section!


Always remember our words and actions matter, even in winter time!



Our Kids Are Watching

We’ve all heard the saying “actions speak louder than words.” How true!!

Parents, teachers, and care givers- we need to remember this. The kids are watching. They are very observant and pick up on what we’re saying by our body language, our actions, and our words. It’s important for us to set a good example in what we say, and what we do.

Our words are important, but our actions are just as important in communicating a message.

What message are we communicating today?

Here are some points to think about.

1) Hand gestures and facial expressions communicate a message. Make sure your face and gestures match the message you are trying to send out.

2) The the things we do in front of our kids are essential. Set a good example for them. Be kind to people. Show them it’s good to help others when you’re out in public. Show them how to be kind. For example, hold the door for someone on their way into a store, or pick up something for a person when they drop something.

3) Say what you mean, and mean what you say, and then do it. For example, if we tell kids it’s bad to smoke, but then smoke in front of them, what message are we sending them? You guessed it, you’re saying it’s ok to smoke, even though you verbally said it wasn’t. If you must smoke, do it away from the kids in privacy. Do you want your kids to spend less time on electronics? Then put your phone or tablet away too.

They’re watching you!

4) It’s good to show affection for your significant other in front of the kids. Hold hands, give hugs, and give the occasional kiss with the kids around. This will help them to understand that Mom and Dad love each other, and that this is a positive way to send a reinforced message of love and stability in the home.

Kids are very perceptive and will remember what they see adults doing. We have to remeber to set the standard high and lead the way. Have you ever heard “do as I say but not as I do?” This is wrong thinking. If it’s not ok for the kids to do something, then the adults should not be doing those very things in front of them! That’s sending a mixed message. We need to build their critical thinking skills with a striaght message and not mix them up with confusing messages!

If you think my post above gave you some good ideas, please let know in the comments section.

Until next time, remember- Our words and actions really do matter!

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