Archive for Joe

Teaching Children Conflict Resolution


Conflict can be uncomfortable for young children, causing anxiety or fear. This is true for many adults as well. However, it is natural, and occurs on a daily basis. It is typical for young children to experience conflict over toys, space, relationships, and power. As a parent, you are the biggest influence in your child’s life. They look to you for ways to manage and resolve conflict. Read more

5 Summertime Water Activities for Children

Beat the heat this summer with our essential list of water activities to blast away summer boredom. Just add water—and a little imagination—to get started.

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4 Helpful Ways to Teach Toddlers to Share

shutterstock_96856597Why is it so difficult for toddlers to share? To put it simply, their brains do not yet have the ability to comprehend the patience, compassion and planning that sharing requires. “Children under two often have difficulty sharing because they have not yet developed a sense of empathy,” says Bonnie Bonifield, education expert at Tutor Time. “They tend to be most comfortable with parallel play — playing alongside other children, but not with them.” Read more

Create Homemade Bubbles for Summer Fun!

shutterstock_116051632With five simple ingredients and four easy steps, you can create hours of summer fun for your family. All kids love bubbles, but yours will go gaga for these gigantic ones. Read more

How to Strengthen Your Child’s Sense of Empathy

shutterstock_127810658As adults, we’re compelled to think about other people’s perspectives before we act or speak. If we don’t consider how our words and actions will make others feel, we may end up seeming impolite or even thoughtless. When you’re able to imagine a situation from someone else’s perspective, or “put yourself in their shoes,” you gain a better understanding of their thoughts.

Empathy and perspective-taking are complex skills that involve a sense of self-awareness and the ability to separate one’s own feelings from the feelings of others. It’s a function of both compassion and of seeing from another person’s perspective. It typically begins to develop around age 1, and continues to progress into adulthood.

Children who have empathy are able to recognize how their behavior impacts other people.  Studies suggest that children are more likely to develop empathy and perspective-taking skills when their own emotional needs are consistently met.

Fortunately, it is possible to teach a child to take the perspective of others. You can start by playing imitative or reciprocal games with your infant. Use simple facial expressions, stick out your tongue, and play “peek-a-boo.” As your child gets older, continue to talk to them about their day. Ask open-ended questions and reflect on what they have said, with comments such as, “You must have been very disappointed.”

Here are additional things you can do to help strengthen your child’s sense of empathy.

  • Model caring behaviors. Talk about your feelings for others and how you may feel similar. Take opportunities to ask, “How would you feel if that were you?”
  • Name emotions. Introduce new words such as lonely, frustrated, content, and anxious. Use simple, clear explanations, such as, “It makes Erin feel lonely when you say you won’t play with her.”
  • Interpret emotions. When reading with your child, ask questions about the characters in the story:
    • “Why do you think the boy looks sad?”
    • “What could have happened to make the girl look so frustrated?”
  • Role-play helpful behaviors. Read books that deal with feelings. Engage in meaningful dialogue about how the character might be feeling. Children learn skills and gain insight into helping, as well as how to take a different perspective.
  • Be supportive. Provide a supportive environment and set realistic standards for your child.
  • Find ways for your child to show care for others. As they get older, help them find volunteer opportunities. Praise their acts of empathy. When your toddler shares with a younger sibling who’s crying, make sure they know you appreciate this thoughtful action.
  • Teach conflict resolution. When a child does something wrong to another child, demonstrate how to be empathetic to that child. Then point out how your child’s acts are related to the other child’s feelings. Make your child aware of the consequences of their actions. This helps with understanding the feelings of others.

Research has found that children who were unable to show empathy as toddlers were more likely to have increased behavior problems in first grade. Teaching empathy at a young age could be vital in preventing future behavior problems. Check out these resources for more information:

This post originally appeared on the Tutor Time Learning Together Blog

Helping Children to Communicate Effectively

shutterstock_137915420Communication is the sharing of information between two or more people. It takes both verbal and non-verbal forms. As one of the major developmental tasks in early childhood, learning to communicate is vital for children in order to interact with the people in their life and to have their social, emotional, and physical needs met. During early childhood years, both families and teachers are critical for stimulating children’s communication skills. Read more

Spring Cleaning With the Kiddos: Age-Appropriate Chores for Little Ones

Spring cleaning is a great time for children to learn about being responsible and taking care of themselves and others. Chores don’t have to be a chore—work together to figure out the best system for your family and in doing so, you’ll discover how helping can be fun! Read more

7 Ways Your Child Can Learn From Cooking

shutterstock_375178174When it comes to discovery and adventure at home, one room stands apart as an enticing and delicious wonderland where your child can contribute and feel grown up. Read more

5 Easy Ways to Eat Green for the Environment

shutterstock_141826564April is a month where we celebrate all things green: Earth Day (April 22nd)and National Garden Week (the second week of April). While it’s easy for parents to understand and honor the environment, there’s a simple way you can carry this theme throughout your kitchen and straight to your family: eat green! Eating greener, plant-based foods are not only good for the environment; they are good for our health, too. Here are 5 easy ways to eat green with your family all year round: Read more

Recipe: Winter Baked Barbecue Chicken

Sure, summer isn’t quite here yet, but who says you can’t indulge in some barbecue in the meantime? Today’s featured recipe from our Grow Fit menu is Winter Baked BBQ Chicken. Make this nutritious meal for your family tonight! Read more