One of the most common problems that many children have is in focusing on particular tasks for long periods of time. Developing memory, focus, and attention spans when a child is between the ages of three and five is very important. As a parent or a pre-school teacher, one has to constantly monitor and observe a child, to deduce whether he or she is adequately developing these skills. Doing so will ensure that in the future, when a child is required to deal with large tasks and projects, he or she will be able to “apply” the mind for longer periods of time and yield greater results. Structured, enjoyable activities such as pre-school karate help children learn to focus on the task at hand.
Effects of Technology
Some experts have concluded that the reason why many children today have trouble focusing on tasks for long periods is due to a ‘glancing culture’ that has proliferated as technology has advanced. The ways in which they interact with digital media have by and large reduced their ability to focus on ordinary or repetitive tasks, and to persevere through less stimulating activities like studying. Video games and social media like Facebook and Twitter can be entertaining and educational, but aside from specific applications, they generally do not assist with cognitive development in a child. In the past, children were encouraged to play games that build cognition among other skills, but that trend has diminished across the United States.
The ability to focus on a particular task, project, or lesson has a direct bearing on the amount of information a growing child can retain and later apply. The capacity to filter out irrelevant distraction and tune oneself to a particular project helps develop self-control in a child as well.
(Good and Consistent) Practice Makes Perfect
Developing a child’s focus is like developing any kind of muscle in the body. More than anything, it takes a whole lot of practice! Parents and pre-school teachers are advised to schedule tasks and activities that help develop a child’s mental faculties. In certain cases, this may be as simple as scheduling time slots where children are required to play particular cognition-building games such as puzzles, riddles, brainteasers, and so on. Some experts believe that even a few moments of silent meditation can do wonders for developing a child’s ability to focus.
While it is extremely important to ensure that children are integrating skills that allow them to focus, one should also keep in mind that they may get exhausted from time to time as well. As a parent or a pre-school teacher, one should regularly schedule breaks where children can relax and rejuvenate both body and mind between tasks.
Among the challenges and joys of parenthood are raising, providing for, and taking care of a young child. Parents develop intensely strong bonds doing things for our children especially during the infant and toddler years, though it is important to know where to draw the line. Doing everything for a child could eventually result in his or her inability to develop particular life skills that will be needed later on in life. As a parent, it is important to strike a keen balance between taking care of your child and fostering a sense of independence and self-reliance.
Even from the youngest age, a child will naturally try to gain some form of independence. Independence traits in a child may be exhibited in small ways, such as insisting on choosing their own clothes, pouring their own beverages, or even going to the bathroom unaccompanied. As a parent, it is crucial that you encourage the choices that your child makes (when appropriate) rather than continually questioning or discouraging them.
Different kinds of independence
Developing self-reliant children can occur in a variety of ways. In many households, children are required to perform tasks on their own just as a matter of circumstance or style of living. In these cases, independence becomes quite a natural trait, leading to children becoming intrinsically motivated. Professionally-supervised activities that focus on self-improvement, such as karate training, are proven to give children a sense of independence and individual accomplishment.
In other cases, developing a child’s sense of independence may require parents to provide some kind of incentive or reward, like a trip to the park or arcade, an extra hour of TV time, or similar. Parents need to be careful in choosing the rewards, though: over-rewarding can be as detrimental to his or her developmental processes as neglecting to offer praise and feedback at all.
Balancing love and practicality
Ultimately, developing a sense of independence in your child means striking a keen balance between supporting them 100% and giving them the freedom to win or lose on their own occasionally. These two sides of the parenting coin are not mutually exclusive. Understanding the cognitive development level of your child at each age is also important, especially when it comes to choosing which tasks you would like your child to perform independently and which tasks he or she will still require some assistance with. As a child grows and becomes familiar with performing certain tasks on his or her own, you can then encourage them to get involved with more complex tasks to further build their independence quotient.
In life, everyone faces ups and downs all the time. Very rarely do things go exactly according to the plans that we have laid out for ourselves, and more often than not, we have to adapt to different situations as best we can. However, many people – adults included – find it extremely difficult to maintain a positive outlook in the face of an obstacle, change, or setback. One of the key traits of the most successful people in the world is the ability to remain optimistic and hopeful, committing to persevere in the face of adversity.
For a better future
Teaching children how to have a positive attitude for approaching life situations at the earliest ages will do wonders for their growth in the future. Fortunately there are some simple ways that parents can help their children realize the true worth of having a positive attitude – and sticking by it – especially when the chips are down.
Some experts have suggested that one of the best ways that children learn about positive attitudes is simply observing and discussing behaviors of positive people around them. As a parent, you may want to periodically encourage your child to to think about how certain ‘optimistic’ or ‘positive’ people in their lives are similar. In doing so, a child may come to realize a number of similarities and choose to develop those positive traits in themselves.
Another important technique that parents use is encouraging their children to keep track of their attitudes from day to day. Does a child behave differently on different days? Which attitude makes them happier? Moreover, when facing a difficulty, is there something a child can do to turn his or her attitude around? Can they influence the attitudes of their teammates or opponents? Over time, children will be able to better answer these questions to the point where the lessons become internalized. Taking up classes like music or karate will help boost the spirit, language, and environment of positivity in your child.
Finally, having a positive attitude also means taking responsibility for the particular situation that one is in. A parent should encourage his or her child to think about the ways in which an obstacle can be conquered, rather than just telling him or her what to do. Children must learn to view difficulties as challenges rather than anchors in their lives, and tackle them head on. It is the most gratifying thing to have conquered hardships on one’s own.
While crime rates have continued to decline across the country over the last decade, particularly when it comes to homicide, assault and burglary, there are still numerous instances of carjackings. Carjacking, if you are not already aware, occurs when a criminal steals an individual’s car either by threatening to harm or kill the driver, or simply by breaking into a vehicle when the individual is away.
As a resident in one of the many cities in the United States, it is unlikely that carjacking is something you think about on a daily basis. However, the reality is that like most crimes carjacking occurs quite frequently. Being prepared for a carjacking is absolutely crucial. Fortunately there are some simple ways to prepare yourself for such a frightening situation.
The first thing to remember during a potential carjacking scenario is to keep your wits about you. There are a number of techniques that carjackers use to lure you out and away from your vehicle. A carjacker might bump into the rear of your vehicle, encouraging you to get out. Alternatively, they might have accomplices who request you to leave your vehicle and provide them with help in the form of a small favor like carrying a heavy item.
These instincts for detecting criminal intent do not come naturally to most people. In such cases, it may be wise to undertake some degree of self-defense training to sharpen awareness and rehearse your response. Self-defense training and martial arts will help you keep track of your surroundings, and place yourself in positions where you cannot easily be taken advantage of. You will learn to evaluate your environment especially with regard to the people around you.
Knowing your objective
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember during a carjacking situation is not to be a hero. If you have identified a carjacking taking place, any self-defense trainer will explain to you that you should do as little as possible in the way of confrontation before making an escape. It is extremely difficult to predict what a criminal might do, especially if there are firearms or other weapons involved. If you do find yourself involved in a carjacking, assess the situation and determine whether you can perform a simple self-defense technique before escaping. Remember that your first priority should be the safety of you and your loved ones.