5 Valuable Life Skills that Children Learn Through Age Appropriate Chores

Following on from our recent blog “Age appropriate chores for children to help them learn valuable life skills,” we now wanted to focus on the valuable life skills that they learn through doing such chores.

No matter what age your children are, there are always tasks that you can assign them to not only help make family life run smoother but to help them grow up to be productive members of society too.

If you think giving children chores is mean or that your children wouldn’t help you put their toys away or wipe down the kitchen counters in a million years, here are 5 reasons why it actually does children a lot of good. Here are 5 valuable life skills that they will learn which are essential to surviving in the adult world.

5 skills that children learn

Skill 1: Responsibility

While picking up fallen toys or dirty laundry is a major part of every parent’s daily life, it shouldn’t just fall on you to do it. Help your children learn how to be responsible for themselves and their own belongings.

You can have dedicated spots for shoes, jackets, and backpacks as well as boxes for toys, and you can have dedicated clean up times or just form positive daily routines (i.e. as soon as they walk through the door, their jacket and shoes should be placed in their spot etc). As your children grow, they will be aware of their belongings and their responsibility to carry and not lose them.

Skill 2: Independence & Self-reliance

The idea of your little ones leaving home may seem like a long way away in the future yet and it is, but there are a lot of life skills to be learnt in that time. As adults, they will need to know at least the basics, such as cleaning, cooking, laundry, managing money etc, and it’s never too young to start.

Just make sure that you choose age-appropriate chores to help foster these skills (e.g. young children can help you load the washing machine or pair the socks whereas older children can learn how to use the machine). The more you can give your children responsibilities, no matter how small, the more independent and self-reliant they’ll become which is essential for the real world.

A child with a treasure map

Skill 3: Self-confidence

Being confident in our own abilities is something that we all struggle with at some point in our lives, but those with a positive attitude and mindset are able to not let this feeling bring them down. By fostering self-confidence when our children are young, this helps them create a strong foundation to build on.

By giving your children opportunities to help you around the house, you will see the pride and confidence that they feel after completing certain tasks from start to finish. Not only does this make them feel capable but it also gives them the confidence to work hard to accomplish the challenges that come their way.

Skill 4: Time management

Kids learn quickly that if they want to spend time doing the things that they love, they must first complete their chores in a timely manner before they can get back to fun. This is an essential skill that we could all improve on!

While it is important to let kids be kids when it comes to balancing fun and chores, it is also essential that children build solid time management skills from a young age as well as a strong work ethic. If they do, then balancing school, extracurricular activities, social commitments, and other duties won’t be as difficult or overwhelming for them.

A boy dressed as a superhero

Skill 5: Helpfulness & Contribution

As we said previously, chores not only help you with the workload at home, but they also help your children share responsibility and become contributing members of the household and in society.

Being a part of a family, working together and having your children play their essential role fosters a strong feeling of belonging and being needed and this does wonders for helping them feel good about themselves.

 

Chores make life easier

If you don’t like the thought of assigning chores to your children, try to think of all the benefits that it brings; not only does it make family life easier so that you can spend more quality time together, but it also teaches your children valuable life skills which will make their own lives easier in the future.

A family and dog in a forest

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

The Secret to Throwing a Kid’s Party on a Budget

As parents, we would do anything for our children, including but not limited to hosting big birthday parties. Have you ever transformed your whole house into a magical fairyland or pirates den? Have you ever had to coordinate taking a massive group of children out for a meal and then to the cinema? We’ve all been there and we’ve all done it, even when we’ve had to break the bank to do so.

When it comes to parties, costs add up fast. Our secret? They don’t have to! Here are 11 budget-savvy ways that you can throw a great kid’s party at a fraction of the price.

1. Keep the party small

It can be difficult inviting some friends and not inviting others, especially when your children are young, but the more people you invite the more you have to spend. Try to only invite the closest of friends or if you can’t do that, ask each parent to bring something with them to help with the food costs.

2. Personally invite your guests or send digital invitations

While physical invites can be fun to make, they do take time and supplies to make them. To host a party on a budget, you can start here. Personally invite friends while you’re picking the kid’s up from school or use a free email service to create digital invitations.

3. Choose an inexpensive or even free location

A big budget drain is location so consider other budget-friendly options. You can opt for inexpensive options such as a local community centre or if the weather is nice, host in your back garden, the beach or a nearby local park – they are free!

4. Be smart with timing

A budget-savvy tip that many parents don’t think of is the timing of the party. If you have a party over a meal time, you will have to provide this meal to your guests and that can be a big cost; if you host at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, however, providing light snacks and simple food will be more than enough!

Party food

5. Shop at home first

A lot of the time, we have many items that we may need for a party already at home. The challenge is to find them! Before you buy any decorations, games or activities, check what supplies you have first.

6. DIY as much as possible

Are you creative or do you have a friend that is? You can save a lot by making your own decorations and even baking your own desserts! Think about the things that need to be bought but then DIY the rest.

7. Stock up on supplies throughout the year

After Christmas and in January, many party supplies will go on sale so buy them when they are 75 or 80% off! Yes, you will have to store them and find them later but it will save you much more than you think.

8. Buy reusable supplies online

Party supplies such as plates, cups, napkins, and straws are only used once and then thrown away so look for supplies that you can re-use. Not only will opting for silicon, stainless steel and cloth napkins save you money but it will save the environment too!

9. The pound shop is your friend

When it comes to party favours, head to the pound shop. You can find some pretty great gifts for every guest there such as colouring books and still not break the bank.

10. Don’t forget the magic of simple games

Simple parties are often the best as children are happiest when playing with their friends, so don’t worry about elaborate entertainment. Bust out some of the old classics such as musical chairs, musical statues, the three-legged race or wheelbarrow race, Simon says, and stuck in the mud.

A little girl sitting among birthday balloons

11. Host a joint party

Is there a friend or family member around a similar age that has the same birthday as your child’s? Perhaps you could take it in turns throwing a joint party to double the fun and split the costs. There’s no better way to host a party on a budget!

 

The great thing about little children is that they have amazing imaginations. That means that you don’t have to spend too much on an elaborate, expensive birthday party for them to have fun, you just have to fuel their creativity and they’ll make unforgettable memories themselves.

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

9 Tell-tale Signs of a Tired Baby

A tired baby drops off right to sleep when you soothe them. An overtired baby fusses and fights sleep to the point where you feel physically exhausted when they finally close their eyes. If you’re like us, it’s safe to assume that you much prefer the first scenario! In this blog, we help you recognise when you’re baby is tired so that you can avoid the latter and make the former situation your norm.

Learn to read your baby’s signs

As babies can’t talk, their body language and cries are how they communicate.

It’s really important for parents to recognise the behavioural cues of their baby, especially when it comes to sleep as babies need a lot of it, particularly in the early days.

Only when you start to recognise when your baby is tired and ready for sleep can you respond to their needs and put them down for a nap before they get overtired.

Here are 9 signs of a tired baby:

  1. Yawning
  2. Fluttering eyelids
  3. Closed fists and rubbing eyes
  4. Pulling at ears
  5. Frowning
  6. Looking worried
  7. Rigid/tense hand and leg movements
  8. Arching backwards
  9. Staring off into space sleepily and turning their face away from any stimulation

A tired baby yawning

It can be difficult for parents to recognise the visual cues that babies make when they are tired, but like most things in life, we learn by trial and error.

Although these are very common signs of tiredness, your baby is unique so watch them regularly and learn to understand their own tired signs.

Is your baby crying, fussing and acting unsettled?

This behaviour is usually the last cue that your baby will give you when they’re tired and it usually means that they are now overtired.

At this point, your baby’s body is past the point of being ready to sleep and is so physically fatigued that their stress response has been activated. As stress hormones such as adrenaline enter their bloodstream, this is what results in a crying and seemingly inconsolable baby that won’t relax and calm down.

It’s important to remember in these moments that this is not your baby’s fault; being overtired makes it extremely hard for your baby to relax and fall asleep. The best thing to do in these moments is to first calm your baby down and then you can settle them to sleep.

A baby crying

Read: 12 Tips to Soothe Your Crying Baby

Develop a daily routine

The best solution for both you and your baby is to learn to recognise the visual cues of tiredness so that you can put your baby to sleep easily on time. That way you prevent your baby from becoming overtired and you also avoid the stress that comes with this for both of you.

As a general rule, it can be helpful to remember that babies need to sleep often:

  • A newborn can handle no more than 45-60 minutes of awake time.
  • A 3-6-month-old can handle no more than 1.5-3 hours of awake time.
  • A 6-month-old can handle no more than 2-3 hours of awake time.

If you bear this in mind and learn to recognise the subtle tired signs as they arise, then you should be able to develop a sleep routine that results in a well-rested, happy and healthy baby.

Remember, early signs of tiredness can be easy to miss so don’t be too hard on yourself. Watch your baby over time and trust your instincts, you’ll soon be very tuned to what they are trying to tell you.

A mother kissing her baby

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

Essential Easter Egg Hunt Tips for Parents

It’s that time of year again where traditions are made and the kids are excited (even without the chocolate!). If you’re a family that partakes in the annual Easter Egg Hunt, we’d love to share with you our best tips for parents. Not only do they make hunting a lot more fun but they make them a lot easier for you too! Start making a unique annual tradition for your family with these egg hunting tips.

Tip 1: Use different coloured eggs

If you have more than one child, it’s a good idea to colour-code which eggs they have to find. Not only does this avoid any arguments but it also gives the younger ones an equal chance of finding which is what makes the hunt fun!

Tip 2: Make it age-appropriate

Depending on the age of your little ones, some may need more help in finding the eggs than others. Get creative with how you can help them while still making it a fun game. Here are some suggestions from younger children to older.

  • Leave tell-tale bunny prints – you can make little bunny footprints out of plain paper or by making some in talcum powder or flour to guide your children to the eggs. If they are a little older, you can just have the prints near each hidden Easter egg as a hint.
  • Draw a map – you can draw a map of the house or garden, wherever you have hidden the eggs, and make it into a treasure hunt. For younger children, you can make pictures of where eggs might be hidden (such as a chair for the dining room).
  • Turn it into a scavenger hunt – so much more fun than just finding eggs! Depending on the age of your children, you can make this as easy or as difficult as you like. Hide a clue with each egg to help your child find the next one; each clue can be a riddle, a rhyme, a song or a quote or even something that is specific to your family such as “where Dad spends most of his time.” Each clue should indicate the location and send your children all around the house. A game like this really encourages teamwork!

A child with a treasure map

Tip 3: Always keep track of the eggs

There’s nothing worse than finding a melted chocolate egg under the couch cushion a few months after Easter, so keep track of them to avoid any nasty surprises! This can be simply noting down where you’ve hidden them and ticking them off as your children find them or you can number them, just make sure you have a way of knowing that they have all been found.

Tip 4: You can still do an Easter Egg hunt without the chocolate

If you don’t want to overload your children with chocolate, get creative and come up with some alternative ways to have fun. There are so many ways that you can mix it up but these are our favourites:

  • Hunt for rewards – buy some plastic Easter eggs and fill them with slips of paper that reward your children for finding them. Things like ‘stay up for an extra 15 minutes,’ ‘ride in the front of the car to school’ or ‘choose what we watch on movie night.’ Your children will be just as excited when they get to redeem their rewards whenever they want.
  • Word game – there are two ways that you can make a game out of words but for both, you need to buy some alphabet stickers or write a letter on the outside of each egg first. The first game is to let your children hunt for the eggs and then they have to make the longest word that they can out of their egg stash to get a prize. The second game is that they have to work together to form a word that you have spelt which could be a clue to a surprise or a certain treat or what you’re going to do on the weekend.

Tip 5: Extend Easter beyond the egg hunt

If you don’t want to do an Easter Egg hunt or you feel like it is over too quickly, use the rest of the Easter weekend to engage in other fun Easter-themed activities. Here are a couple of quirky ideas to give some inspiration:

Easter egg hunt preparations

  • Egg and spoon race – a classic game which is fun for all the family! You can keep it simple or make it into an obstacle course. For older children, you can even split into teams and blindfold one player while the other directs them through the course (just be careful!).
  • Magic planting – plant some jelly beans in the garden with your children and say that they will magically transform into their favourite sweets by morning. While they sleep or in the morning, replace these with lollypops or their favourite sweets and say that they are a gift from the Easter Bunny.
  • Gift baskets – arts and crafts, a homemade card, and some rice krispie Easter eggs that you baked – fun and a nice gift for family or friends!

Have fun as a family this Easter and start making memories that you will never forget!

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

The Importance of Using Positive Language Around Your Children

Negative language can greatly impact children and you as parents in a bad way, so this article aims to address why it’s important to use positive language and how to do it.

Negative language creates stress for both you and your children

After a long day at work when you’re making dinner and your children are full of energy, it can be really tempting to use words such as ‘stop doing that’ or ‘don’t say that’ or ‘leave your brother/sister alone’ but what this is doing is actually creating more stress.

For your children, negative language like this creates confusion for them. They don’t know why you want them to stop doing what they are doing and what to do instead. As well as confusion, this can also make them feel discouraged that they can’t do anything right, leading to internal resistance where they continue to behave badly or low self-esteem as they develop. Ultimately, this can lead them to feeling like there is no point in even trying to do ‘right’ at all.

For you as the parent, feeling like your children aren’t listening can be very frustrating. It can lead to you becoming angry as you keep repeating what you don’t want them to do, especially if they seem unphased by your stern voice and they return to the same behaviour, and this leads to a stressful house environment.

Children respond to any form of attention, so the fact that they are getting attention when they are behaving negatively can create the need to continue to behave in this way.

A little girl hiding under pillows

Read: How to Build a Positive Parenting Connection

Use positive language as much as possible

If you want less stress and better behaviour, you can avoid most back-talk, tantrums, and daily power struggles just by using positive language. Positive language clearly shows your children what you want them to stop doing and what you’d like for them to do instead.

This can be difficult to master, especially on those bad days where you are stressed and overworked yourself, but take a deep breath and put more thought into your reactions.

Here are a few ways that you can reframe typical negative phrases into positive ones:

  • Stop running in the house  –>  Please walk in the house, I wouldn’t want you to have an accident. If you want to run, let’s go in the garden.
  • Don’t take your sister’s toys  –> Can you please find something else to play with until she’s done?
  • Stop yelling  –> Please use your inside voice, there’s no need to shout.
  • No throwing balls in the house  –> You can take the ball outside to play if you’d like.
  • No hitting  –> Be gentle please, use your gentle hands.
  • Stop Whining  –> Please use your words so I can hear you.
  • Don’t throw sand -> Would you like to fill this bucket with sand?
  • Don’t even think about running, I’m watching you!  –> I’m so glad to see you remembering to walk safely down the hall, well done.

Do you see the difference?

It can be very hard to get used to at first but as soon as speaking in a more positive way becomes a habit, you’ll soon see that your children will behave better and they will start to talk to each other positively too.

Two little girls hugging and laughing outside

Try it. Write down a list of phrases that you say regularly, and find new ways of phrasing ‘no,’ ‘stop’ and ‘don’t’ in a positive way.

Create a stress-free home

Positive reinforcement creates a positive culture within the house environment. Pre-empt situations by planning ahead and giving your children things to do when you know you will be busy doing other things.

Using positive language around your children gives them clear guidance about what good behaviour means to you without making them feel confused or bad about themselves. It may be difficult to master but it will also mean a much easier and stress-free time for you too as they grow into the fantastic adults that you know they can be!

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

Age Appropriate Chores for Children to Help Them Learn Valuable Life Skills

No matter how young or old your children are, they love to help around the house. Not only do they feel a sense of pride from their accomplishments but they also feel a great deal of satisfaction from being a contributing member of the family.

Next time something needs to be done around the house, think about whether it’s a task that your little ones would like to help you with. Here is a list of age-appropriate chores that you can ask your children to assist with and it will help them learn valuable life skills too!

Ages 2-3

Although it might seem quite young to start chores with toddlers, teaching them simple tasks can help them learn independence and responsibility from the get-go. This will help them grow up to be capable, motivated, and determined. Consider encouraging your toddler to:

  • Put toys away
  • Put shoes away
  • Put dirty clothes in the washing basket
  • Place books on bookshelf
  • Fetch nappies/wipes
  • Help set the table

Ages 4-5

When your children start to grow, they will relish being independent and feeling like a ‘grown-up’ so encourage this as much as possible and praise them for a job well done. Help them learn responsibility by teaching them to:

  • Make the bed
  • Put away clean clothes
  • Match socks
  • Clear the kitchen table
  • Wipe up spills
  • Water the plants
  • Feed pets

A little boy reaching into a toy box

Ages 6-7

It’s important to teach our children valuable life skills that will help them become a contributing member of the household but also a productive member of society. This starts with small chores at home that help build their confidence, tasks such as:

  • Help prepare dinner
  • Help put light groceries away
  • Replace toilet paper roll
  • Wipe down bathroom/kitchen sinks and counters
  • Sweep or rake
  • Use a handheld vacuum

Ages 8-9

Your children will be moving up to big school very soon, so they will need to start becoming even more independent. They also need to learn that certain things need to be done every day before they can go out to play, so time management becomes a skill that’s learnt quickly!

At this age, consider chores such as:

  • Help put groceries away
  • Load and unload the dishwasher
  • Mop floors
  • Dust the furniture
  • Help bake cookies or scramble eggs
  • Walk the dogs

Find out why Why Routines are Important for Your Child’s Well Being and How to Create a Daily Routine that Works for Your Family.

A family and dog in a forest

Ages 10-11

Older children need to learn to become self-reliant and confident in their own abilities, so start letting them carry out tasks by themselves. Entrusting them with certain tasks every day not only teaches them responsibility but it also helps them build a strong work ethic that will stay with them as they grow into adulthood.

Teach them to:

  • Make simple meals
  • Take out the rubbish
  • Wash clothes and move to the dryer
  • Clean toilets, bath/shower, sinks
  • Deep clean the kitchen
  • Clean up after pets

Ages 12+

When your children are in big school, you can help build on the valuable life skills that they are already learning such as independence, responsibility, confidence, time-management, and prioritisation. Now that they are older, you can let them:

  • Shop for groceries with supervision and a list
  • Make full meals
  • Bake cake/bread on own
  • Wash windows
  • Clean the car
  • Iron clothes
  • Supervise younger children

With these age-appropriate chores, you can give your children the opportunity to learn valuable life skills. Not only does helping around the house help your little ones grow into productive and self-sufficient adults, but it also makes family life run smoother too!

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

How to Teach Your Children about Love and Kindness

Understanding love can be challenging for children, not to mention for us as parents, so how can we teach it if we don’t really understand it ourselves? The trick is to not focus on the quality of love itself as it can encompass so many things; kindness, empathy, friendship, and generosity just to name a few.

The best way we can ‘teach’ our children about love is to model it ourselves and to nurture these qualities as the opportunities arise. Here are a few ways that you can indirectly teach your children about love and kindness every day.

Be a role model

Our children learn from us so the best way to teach our children about what love and kindness is and how we show it is to put our money where our mouth is. Simple things like showing your affection with hugs and kisses and saying please and thank you around the house will make a huge impact on your children. What’s even better is if you explain why you do these things. It’s never too early to talk about kindness and generosity with your children.

Help them understand

All parents are bombarded with the question “why?” multiple times a day when they have small children as they are curious and want to understand the people around them. When the opportunity arises where they should be kind, explain to them why they should act this way and what they should do.

For example, if one of your children isn’t sharing with the other, ask them how they would feel if their brother or sister wasn’t sharing with them. Explain to them how important it is to share and include people, otherwise, you will make them sad and no one wants to feel that way. You can even read books on kindness and sharing and friendships and role play with your children’s toys to really help their understanding. This will help them become very empathetic individuals.

a little boy holding his mother's face

Help them see the impact

Studies have shown that toddlers enjoy giving treats (such as Goldfish crackers) more than receiving one themselves when they get to see the recipient of their generosity enjoy it, so it goes to show that children even as young as this are capable of learning that giving is good.

When teaching your children about love, compassion, and kindness, always try to involve them in activities where they can see the impact that they are making. Activities such as not only writing thank you cards but delivering them and not only donating to a charity but making a list of food, shopping for it and taking it to a food bank will make a much bigger impression on them.

Give them a choice

When children are forced to be kind to others or are given some sort of reward for doing something, they either don’t feel good about that action or it’s not entirely genuine. This is where giving them a choice makes it into a positive. If you’re teaching your young child to share with a friend, instead of ordering them to do it, ask them “do you want to give them the giraffe to play with or the elephant?”

A little boy giving a little girl a flower

By giving your child the choice, it puts them in control of the situation and increases the likelihood that they will feel good about their generosity. Not only that, but it makes them more likely to be generous in the future too. For older children, you could ask them to help you pick a charity to donate to, you’ll soon find that they will be a lot more enthusiastic when they get to decide.

Make time for quality family time

The best way that we can teach our little ones to love one another and to be kind and generous is to spend quality time together. Whether that’s all reading a bedtime story together, having a weekly movie night or going out on Saturday’s for ‘family day,’ regular time together is the best way to bond.

Take in turns choosing what you read or watch or what you do, involve everyone by assigning special tasks, and play games and laugh and spend real time together. You’ll soon find that everyone will be more kind and caring for it.

Two little girls hugging and laughing outside

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

How to Build a Positive Parenting Connection

It’s incredibly hard being a parent. Even when actual parents are telling you how difficult it is before you have your own children, it’s easy to brush this off thinking that it can’t be that bad. Flash forward to a day where everything seems to have gone wrong – work has been stressful, you pick your children up from school and they are miserable, you spend time making dinner that they don’t eat it, and then they are screaming, refusing to go to bed – all of a sudden, you know exactly what those parents were warning you about and you wonder how you’re going to deal with all this chaos.

It’s tough but it is possible. It’s all about building a positive parenting connection with your children.

What is a positive parenting connection?

Put simply, it’s just thinking about things in a different way to make you approach hard days positively and in turn, your children positively. This is important to staying happy in parenthood and also for your children’s happiness too.

For example, on a really bad day as we talked about above, what is your mindset on this day?

Negative – is your mindset, “it’s been a rotten day, the kids were awful. Everything has gone wrong and I can’t wait for this day to end. Why does everything have to be so hard?”

A little girl hiding under pillows

Or is it Positive?today was an awful day but that’s okay, it makes us appreciate the good days. Yes, the kids were miserable and didn’t eat their dinner but they are allowed to have bad days too and they were good in school and ate all of their lunch so maybe they just weren’t hungry. Although the day didn’t go as planned, it doesn’t mean the whole day was a write-off. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all.”

It might sound silly, saying that being positive is all you need to get through these hard times without pulling your hair out, but you’ll be surprised. Turning things into a positive makes you acknowledge the good and transfer this gratefulness onto your children. It also makes you happier thinking about the positives and your children too.

Wouldn’t you rather end the day with a family story than just putting everyone to bed?

How you view your child during hard times matters

So, thinking positively and noting the things that you are grateful for may help you stay positive and sane, but what about your children? How do they get through these hard days? Here is why it’s important to transfer this positive mindset onto your children and how to do it to build a positive parenting connection with them.

A father kissing his daughter on the cheek

Don’t think of your child as HARD or DIFFICULT

Almost every parent has been guiltily when it comes to thinking of one of your children as hard. Some of us may even communicate our frustrations to other parents, sometimes within earshot of our children. Without realising it, we are creating a negative mindset both for ourselves (it will affect the way you see them, treat them, and respond to them) and for our child (this way of thinking turns into a label of how they see themselves).

Labelling your child makes them limit themselves, so encourage a ‘Growth Mindset.’ Read more about why this is essential and how to do it in our blog here.

RESPOND to your child, don’t REACT

If you think of your child or their behaviour in a negative way, you are much more likely to react to them in a negative way (such as snapping at their tone or shouting at them when you’re the one who is frustrated). This is why you need to have a positive mindset, it allows you to respond to them instead of reacting. It allows you to take a step back and emphasise with them, allowing you to think “why are they acting this way? Are they acting from a place of pain or sadness or fear?” By thinking of their behaviour in this way, you may choose to respond differently like talking to them about how they are feeling. You might find that your child is anxious or worried about something else and that’s making them act out rather than their behaviour just being ‘the way that they are.’

 

Foster empathy and kindness in your household

We are not saying that thinking in a positive way every day is easy, but it will make everyone in your household happier for it. More importantly, this way of thinking will allow you to look at the core of your children’s behaviour and respond to them from a place of kindness.

Think of ‘reacting’ as a roadblock to your parenting-child connection. When you don’t assign a label to your children and you think positively, this allows you to take a deep breath and sit back in difficult situations so that you can work through this roadblock and grow closer to your children.

a little boy holding his mother's face

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

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Why it is Essential to Encourage a Growth Mindset in Your Children

We all know about mindset. As adults, we hear about how important mindset is in both daily life and business, especially when it comes to getting through the hard times, but we tend to struggle with it. Why? Because it’s hard to change your mindset when you’ve thought a certain way for many years, it’s hard to change habit. This is why we need to teach our children about positive mindsets from a young age, so we can help them grow into stronger people in the future. Here is why this is so essential and how you can encourage a positive mindset in your children.

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset

There are two types of mindsets – a fixed mindset or a growth mindset – we learn one or the other when we are young and develop these thoughts until they become beliefs and habit when we are older.

Take a look at the difference between the two. Which mindset would you like your children to have?

Fixed Mindsetpeople believe that their abilities are unchanging and predetermined.

This means that they either believe that they are born smart or with a talent or they aren’t. When challenges arise or things don’t go their way (e.g. they don’t get the job that they want), they believe it is because they aren’t good enough and that alone, is reason enough to give up. They believe that no matter how hard they work, they won’t be successful because it’s not part of their DNA and this way of thinking is very limiting to their development as a person, their happiness, and their success.

A young boy pulling a hat over his face

Growth Mindsetpeople believe that everyone has the ability to be whoever and whatever they want to be.

Having a growth mindset means that even if someone doesn’t have a natural talent or genetics that make them intelligent, with hard work and dedication, they know that they can learn enough to be on the same level or even better than the people who are naturally good at something. They believe that they can learn and achieve anything as long as they put their mind to it and this positive outlook fuels their determination and persistence with something even if it’s difficult or they may fail. This way of thinking means that they are more likely to keep trying when things are hard rather than giving up.

 

9 Ways to Foster a Growth Mindset in Your Children

We’ve established the importance of having a growth mindset, so here is how you can make sure that your children are developing one from a young age:

  1. Model a growth mindset yourself – children copy you, so actively try and have a growth mindset yourself. This means no self-defeating talk only positive self-statements and affirmations.
  2. Make goals togethershow your children how to have this type of mindset by setting goals together and tracking your progress. It can be something as simple as wanting to read every day. Hang up a calendar and everyone who completed their daily goal gets a star or a treat on the weekend. (Read: How to Build a Positive Parenting Connection)
  3. Don’t tell your children they are ‘smart,’ ‘gifted’ or ‘talented’ – this may seem crazy but doing this encourages a fixed mindset (that children are born this way) and discourages them from giving additional effort to be better.
  4. Praise a growth mindset – if your child has demonstrated a growth mindset by not giving up with learning to do something or doing something new, praise them for it. They will soon learn that effort and commitment is something positive.
  5. Praise hard work (not results) – while grades are important and winning a competition or sports event would have been the best result, help your child celebrate any result because they did their best. Teach them that you should only be disappointed if you didn’t do your best because that is all you can do. Also, you can use this as a learning opportunity to think of ways that they can improve next time.A mother and her son looking at eachother
  6. Encourage and support passions – while art or dance might not be the career path that you want your child to take, it’s really important that you give them the chance to explore their passions and give them the support that they need. Being passionate about something gives your child the potential to be great so encourage them to be curious and follow their instincts.
  7. Resist the urge to prevent failures, encourage them to persevere – it’s very tempting to help your children not make mistakes but mistakes and failing is how they learn to be better. Resist this urge to fix their problem and give them space to work through the process. By doing this, they learn that working hard is how they fix problems not turning to you for help.
  8. Give your children responsibilities – children love to accomplish tasks on their own, they feel proud and this builds their confidence. Help your children feel capable by giving them tasks that they can help you with. This encourages them to embrace their curiosity as they grow older and gives them the confidence to explore new challenges.
  9. Use positive language – encourage your child not to give up, tell them to trust themselves, encourage challenges, and always tell them to try their best. There really is power in positivity and they will grow up with these phrases as a mantra that they live by.

Encouraging a growth mindset in your children is essential to their happiness as they grow older as their mindset can be the difference between them being confident enough to go for what they are passionate about and to keep trying even when things get tough. It’s so essential that our children believe in themselves and their abilities, so use these 9 things in your daily life and you will also soon feel capable, curious and confident in everything that you do.

A father kissing his daughter on the cheek

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

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How to Conquer the 5 Biggest Potty Predicaments

Following on from our previous blog “12 Common Potty Training Problems (and Solutions!),” we are going to look into the top 5 most common potty training problems to delve a little deeper. Why are these the most common problems and what can I do to help my toddler overcome them? Here is everything you need to know to conquer the 5 biggest predicaments when it comes to potty training.

#1 They will not go in the potty

Why it’s a problem: children can typically be physically ready to use the potty, meaning that they recognise when they need to use the potty, but they may not be emotionally ready. Your child may have no desire to use the potty or completely resist it. This in itself is not a problem but starting before they are ready can be.

How you can conquer it: all you can do is wait until they are ready but in the meantime, you can make the potty a very positive and engaging experience. Here are a few tips:

  • Read potty books to them so they understand what potty training is all about.
  • Let them play with a drink and wet doll.
  • Bring them into the bathroom when you use the toilet.
  • Look out for signs that they are ready (when they show interest, if they stop playing and hide when they fill their nappy or when they ask you for a clean one).
  • When they are ready, start potty training! Read our blog “How to Master Potty Training: the Ultimate Guide‘ if you need help.

A young boy pulling a hat over his face

#2 They will use the potty but only when I place them on it

Why it’s a problem: toddlers who need you to remind them or physically place them on the potty are more likely to have accidents when you transition to underwear. This is normal in the early stages of potty training as your child needs to learn to recognise their body signals and recognise them in time to get to the potty. This, however, can become a problem as they get older as it might just be laziness.

How you can conquer it: it’s normal to have a few accidents but if it happens regularly, try these potty training tips:

  • Ask them regularly if they need to use the potty.
  • Take them to the potty when they wake up, before starting activities, before nap time and before bedtime to get them into a routine.
  • If they need to go, walk them to the potty but start waiting outside.
  • Encourage them to be a big boy or girl and go to the potty themselves.
  • Introduce a reward system if they go by themselves, such as a sticker, a new toy, or a benefit that they only get for special occasions.

#3 They will pee in the potty but not poo

Why it’s a problem: some children resist pooing in the potty or toilet as they are terrified of the feeling. To them, it can feel like they are losing part of their body and when they do it in the toilet, the sound of it falling into the water, the water splashing on their bottom or the fear of falling in is enough to make them hold it in. This can lead to constipation and that will lead to further complications.

How you can conquer it: 

  • If they are not pooing in their nappy either, check with the doctor that they are not constipated.
  • If they are pooing in their nappy, but not the potty, be patient and wait until they are ready.
  • Help them relax by talking, singing songs, and bringing toys into the bathroom to distract them.
  • Let them poo in their nappy but explain to them that eventually, they will need to do it in the potty.
  • Encourage them to try, even if you have to sit them on the potty wearing a nappy the first couple of times.
  • If they don’t naturally transition, cut a hole in their nappy and let them wear it when they use the potty before training with underwear.

A shy little girl burying her face in her mum's dress

#4 They will only use the potty at home

Why it’s a problem: children don’t like using the potty or toilet in someone else’s home or in public bathrooms as the situation is totally unfamiliar. They are used to their surroundings at home and they know the routine but a new environment can make them resist going altogether. Children may get attached to their own potty or toilet at home so this can make travelling difficult during potty training.

How you can conquer it: 

  • Keep the routine as similar as you can wherever you are. If you sing a song, sing it, it will make them relax.
  • Start to bring them into new bathrooms that are somewhat familiar to them such as in a grandparents house, as they will feel safe.
  • Take the potty with you to public bathrooms the first couple of times.
  • Be as calm and positive as possible and don’t force them to go. Try to distract them by talking to them.
  • Be patient as this just takes time and the more they are exposed to different situations, the easier they will find it.

#5 They use the potty all day but still wet the bed

Why it’s a problem: nighttime dryness doesn’t go hand-in-hand with daytime dryness, in fact, many toddlers and even preschoolers simply aren’t capable of staying dry throughout the whole night. This is because children have a small bladder and they haven’t developed the internal processes yet that wake them up when they need to go to the toilet. Put simply, it is a habit that they need to learn and some take longer than others.

How you can conquer it: there’s isn’t much that you can do about this unfortunately other than encourage positive habits. Here are some tips:

  • Put them in a nappy or absorbent underwear under their pj’s in the early days.
  • Encourage them to use the potty or the toilet right before they go to sleep and as soon as they get up.
  • Explain to them that if they wake up in the night, they can use the potty by themselves or they should wake you up to take them.
  • When they have accidents, don’t get mad or punish them. Be positive and make it clear that it isn’t their fault. Explain to them that it will take time for their bodies to learn not to do it.

a toddler asleep face down on the bed

Patience, perseverance, and a positive attitude will conquer everything!

Potty training is difficult but remember that it is even more difficult for your child. Every child is different and it will take time, so be patient, persevere and always approach problems and setbacks with a positive attitude. 80% of children experience setbacks during potty training so they will need you to help them through it. Use these tips above and you’ll make this milestone one to remember!

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

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