Code 1.1

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tips on How to Handle Lying/ Dishonesty in Children

Had some difficulty in handling Marti when I found out he started lying about school projects. I solicited help from my sister, his Papa, his teacher including the guidance counselor. In the end, our concerted efforts paid off and I've seen a lot of improvement in my son when it comes to honesty.

Found this helpful article that advises on such a problem:

Parents - Are You Inadvertently Encouraging Your Child to Lie?

  • By age two, 20% of children will lie
  • By age four, 50% of children will lie
  • By age 12 lies peak and by age 16 there is a decrease to 70%
Reassuring news for parents came in that researchers found that there is no link between telling fibs in childhood and a tendency to cheat in exams or later in life. Healthy intelligent children tell more elaborate lies. By age 7 it is important to teach the basics of the importance of honest and the negatives of lies.
  • Yelling or screaming at children or washing their mouths out with soap or smacking them increases the likelihood of lies
  • The harsher the consequence the greater the motivation of the child to lie to avoid punishment
  • Long drawn out angry discussions, lectures and reprimands aimed at preventing lies increase them as a way to avoid
  • Remaining calm
  • Showing understanding
  • Finding out how your child feels about the lie
Pay attention to what your child lies about. This may give you a clue as to whether rules are overly strict and in need of some modification. Lies about money or possessions in older children might signal a need for a part-time job.
If your 5 year old gets a note from the teacher about being disruptive in class and doesn't bring the note home you will likely get a call from the teacher. Your child when asked is likely to deny any knowledge of the note.
At this point even though you may feel frustrated, angry and disappointed, it is best to stay calm. If you are calm and treat lies as a part of growing up, you will be able to say something neutral like, "I guess you didn't want me to see the note from your teacher." If you pass judgment and pressure your child, you are unlikely to learn what happened and why your child was disruptive.
The why is not important what is important is that you don't encourage your child to lie with by over reacting. Instead, you want to connect to your child, by saying, "Sometimes it is hard to sit still in class. Is it harder for you before recess or after recess to sit still and pay attention?"
What you will have done is connect to your child. You may learn what it is that your child is struggling with or feeling. Instead of becoming upset and overreacting, you will be inviting a discussion about what was behind the note and made yourself available as a resource, thereby enhancing your ability to have positive influence.
After a brief talk, natural consequences are best. A short note to the teacher by your child saying they did not give the note to you and a request for a new note is sufficient.
By taking a few moments and considering the unthinkable, that you are encouraging your child to lie when you are harsh or punitive, you will be able to shift your mindset. Parenting is filled with stresses but no matter how difficult the situation or how unbelievable the new research, you can avoid undesirable results by connecting, staying calm, listening, clear limits and fresh starts.
Parents, are you interested in additional powerful parenting information to free you from the daily frustration of unmet parenting expectations? You can discover other powerful resources to effective parenting at
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tips on How to Make the School Year Stress-Free

Making the School Year Successful and Stress Free, Parent's Guide to Ensure Their Children's Success

With the end of summer comes the inevitable stress of getting your children ready for another school year. This, of course, is stressful for parents, children, siblings, and even grandparents. We all hope that our kids will be safe, have great teachers, and perform well in school. Below are some things to consider in order to help your child have a successful school year.
1. Do not compare children to siblings. People perform better in different areas and it is difficult to live up to unrealistic expectations. Children are individuals and should only be encouraged to perform to the best of their ability. For some, that might be a 95 average, while for others, it might be a 75 average.
2. Celebrate each and every positive moment and downplay the negatives. Nothing puts a child in shut down mode more quickly than being scolded for bad grades or incomplete homework assignments. Understand that students who struggle are looking for an excuse to stop working altogether. Too often, parents provide that excuse by yelling, taking away privileges, and making the child feel worse than he or she already feels. You need to find out what the problem is before you can fix it. Are the assignments too difficult? Has your child gone for extra help? Have you contacted the teacher? Is a tutor necessary? You need to walk before you run and you must also investigate before you "fly off the handle". Catch your kids doing something RIGHT!
3. Set up a plan. Don't take privileges away; add MORE privileges into the mix. Not only does this help to motivate your child, but he will certainly think you have gone crazy and the shock alone will send him to the books! If your child wants free time of 20 minutes, say "NO, you can have 45 minutes but ONLY after your work is done." Students should take SHORT breaks from work every 20 minutes in order to re-energize. Breaks should be taken away from the study area. As the school year progresses, you can wean the rewards. Many people think this is bribery but it is not. Clearly you are going to give your child a choice while letting him or her know that whether they want the free time or not, the work must get done. Extra privileges are simply a bonus.
4. Don't OVERHELP! Of course there is no such word as overhelp, but so many parents fall into this trap that I decided to make it up. Enabling is a huge mistake. Students learn by figuring things out for themselves. They do NOT learn by writing down regurgitated facts that they quote from their parents. Don't tell, ASK. If your child asks for the capital of New York say, "What do you think it is? Where can you look up the answer to that question?"
5. Get them organized. Depending on the level, students work best in looseleaf notebooks. Spiral notebooks make it difficult to save work when it is returned. Spiral notebooks also force children to throw their work in a folder which gets very disorganized. All papers should have your child's name and date. The notebook should have different sections. Examples of appropriate sections are Classwork, Homework, Tests and Quizzes. Students need to learn that when studying for a unit test, they can review all relevant classwork, homework, and quizzes in order to review material that they have learned. Supply them with a holepuncher for teacher handouts so they can be placed CHRONOLOGICALLY in the proper section of the notebook.
6. Communicate. You should speak on the phone, via email or snail mail with your child's teacher as often as possible. Progress reports come out every five weeks and by then half the quarter is over and this is too late. Look at your child's grades and tests every so often WITH your child. Do NOT make negative comments. Your child should show you each page of his or her notebook and explain to YOU how the notebook is organized. Don't say, "This notebook is a mess." Instead, say, "This is a good start but what can you do to make this even better?" (Warning: If you touch your child's notebook you will get the cooties so stay away)
7. Don't compare. If your child's friend is getting a higher grade in a class than your child, that has no bearing on your child's performance. All children learn in different ways. There are a variety of modalities with which children learn and some children react better to certain teachers and perform differently in certain subjects.
8. Clean Learning Space. A child's desk should be neat, well lit, have a semi-comfortable chair. No studying should take place in bed. Pens, erasers, pencils, paper, paper clips, stapler...all should be within reach.
9. If you need to take your child's cell phone during study time then do it. You are paying the bill so you make the rules. If you need the computer off when your child is studying then do it. Otherwise text messages and instant messages will rule their universe. There are far too many distractions in our society and while you can't always limit those outside of your house, you can certainly control them inside your own home.
10. Team effort. If your child is to succeed, he or she needs you, the teacher, and personal commitment to work hard. You MUST set expectations high and except no less than 100% effort. You need to all work together with your child on a daily basis in order to succeed. If grades start to fall or problems arise, you must act swiftly and be in organized mode, not panic mode.
If possible, it is a good idea to visit colleges with your child NOW. If a child is only ten years old this is still a great time to let them see what hard work can accomplish. There is nothing like the look on a ten year old's face when he or she sees a college library, swimming pool or gymnasium.
Best of luck for a successful and stress free school year.
Keynote Speaker, Seminar Leader and Consultant, Marc Hoberman is the Director and Lead Facilitator of Grade Success, Inc. Marc is the staff writer for Canada Camps Magazine. He has trained students, teachers, and corporate executives nationally through a variety of Personal Improvement and Training Methods. Marc has been featured on both television and radio. He has also led workshops at the New Jersey and New York State Reading Conferences as well as the International YAI Conference. Marc was a featured speaker at the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Tri-State Camping Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey! From the classroom to the boardroom, Marc continues his mission to "help people realize their full potential." For more information on Marc and Grade Success's products, tutoring services, and various programs visit or call 1-914-329-0151
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's in a Name? You are!

Been  depressed recently, stressed with family issues and financial burdens. Last Sunday during our usual mother-and-son lunch date, was in a daze again thinking of ways to increase my passive income streams when Marti suddenly said, "our family sure has unique names, don't we Mama?" He probably noticed I was unusually quiet.

"Ah you mean Asti's name? Justice Freeman?" I replied.

"Yup, and your name. How did Mommy get your name again?"

"Well, I remembered that it was Daddylo (my Mom's father) who asked her to use Millicent since it means 'strength' in Hebrew. But Mom also told me she thought it was appropriate when the name seems to be an abbreviation for million cents. She said the first time she saw me she knew I was going to be rich!"

Marti and I laughed about the reminiscing but right there and then I realized my son unwittingly gave me the encouragement I desperately needed: and it was in my name!

Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed with worries when we hardly realize that God had already given us the gifts to overcome any and all of our problems. In my case, I was in despair and yet what I sought for was already given to me from birth.

Do you believe that God chose your name for you? He said "Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you each by name." So know the meaning of your name and love it!

My son's name was from my Dad and from Ricky Martin to whom I was obsessed with when I was pregnant. Later on we found it's true meaning:
Robert---means 'boss'
Martin---means 'warrior'
which Marti now prefers to tell especially when Ricky Martin has come out of the closet ;-D
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Number 2: Tough Choice for a Single Mom

My sister and I have been known to be baby-obsessed and as early as 8 years old we were already trusted to look after our infant cousins, mostly girls. That's why whenever I'm asked what was the happiest part of my life, I quickly answer that it was when I became a mom!

Having Marti was both planned and unplanned. Being a mom has always been in my plans but being a single parent was by choice. Either way, the journey has been nurturing and enriching emotionally and spiritually. 10 years later, something inside (biological clock?) has been ticking louder and louder everyday. And when my very first nephew Ă„sti was born and Marti was so ecstatic, it finally hit's time for Baby Number 2!

But for single parents, it's not that simple and the most obvious reason of course is the lack of a spouse/ partner. Haven't been in a serious relationship since Marti's Dad and although I have gone on several casual dates, none was even close to "boyfriend"-material (ugh that words seems so outdated for my age).  Adoption and artificial insemination did cross my mind but decided against them. Adoption looks more complicated than single parenthood and  a.i. seems...well...where's the fun in that? And with Marti's wit, I'm afraid my next child would be even sharper so how would I answer the inevitable question, "Mom, where's my Dad?"

So now I'm resetting my biological clock with an earlier alarm and keeping my fingers crossed: by 2012 I will have Baby Number 2. How to accomplish that is what I'll work on until then...
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