How to Be an Effective Leader for Children

There’s a lot of talk these days about leadership, and the need for children to have strong leaders. Whether you are working with children who are yours or you’re a teacher/mentor/leader for others’ children, learning how to lead them effectively is important. Whether you’re wanting to lead your children to practice a healthy lifestyle, increase communication, or something else, good leadership is a way to reach your goals with the children in your care.

But how do you become a good leader for kids? It can be hard to know if you’re not accustomed to it, or if you didn’t have strong leaders when you were a child. Here are some tips.

Set an Example

You’ve probably heard “lead by example,” but that means more than just doing something and hoping your kids will notice and copy your behavior. It also means being deliberate in setting an example, and you’ll need to refrain from certain behaviors and watch what you say.

For instance, if you want your children to be patient with others – a key leadership attribute – then take care that you’re patient with them. If you want your children to be able to make decisions like a leader, then make sure you’re not making all of their decisions for them. To lead by example, you need to think about more than just living out healthy, positive lifestyle choices (although that’s important, too). It’s also a matter of setting an example of how to treat others.

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Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (EPI) (Extroversion/Introversion)

The Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) measures two pervasive, independent dimensions of personality, Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism-Stability, which account for most of the variance in the personality domain. Each form contains 57 “Yes-No” items with no repetition of items. The inclusion of a falsification scale provides for the detection of response distortion. The traits measured are Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism.

11 Traits of a Great Parent

It’s not easy to be a great parent. Some of you didn’t have the best examples to follow, and it’s not a skill taught in school. You either have to educate yourself or learn on the job.

While there are many parenting styles, successful parents share attributes that give their children the best chance for success and happiness.

Most parents have a few of these attributes but must develop the others.

Great parents share many attributes:

  1. Patience. You knew this would be at the top of the list. Children are messy, noisy, don’t listen well, and exasperating. They can be pretty wonderful, too. But patience is essential. Learning to take a deep breath and relax can help more than just your parenting skills.
  2. Multi-tasking skills. Dealing with the house, work, and children require a great ability to multitask. Children constantly pull your attention away from whatever you’re doing. It’s not easy to regain your focus.
  3. Encouraging. Children quickly learn to doubt themselves and worry about the opinions of others. One of the best ways to combat this is to encourage your kids. With enough encouragement, a child can become their best self.
  4. Supportive. Encouragement and support go hand-in-hand. Children with support grow up to be relaxed and comfortable. Without support, the world can be a scary place. Teach your child there’s little to fear.
  5. Intelligence. One of the hallmarks of intelligence is problem-solving. Children provide a unique set of challenges that have to be solved. A little brain power can help you to navigate the minefield that parenting can entail.
  6. Flexibility. Many of your parenting attempts will fail. You must be flexible enough to have multiple solutions up your sleeve. When one doesn’t work, you can always try something else. Plans are always changing, too. It helps if you can go with the flow.
  7. Good leadership skills. You might be able to boss your kids around, but they’ll resent it, and they never forget. It’s more effective to have good leadership skills and only throw your parental weight around when necessary.

  8. Dependability. Kids feel safe when they have reliable and dependable parents. They have to know that you’re there for them. How much can your kids trust your word? How reliable do your friends consider you to be?

  9. Compassion. Children need to develop and experience compassion. Kids need understanding and comforting. Can you provide those two things?

  10. Sense of humor. Your children will give you plenty of opportunities to laugh. It would be a shame to allow those moments to go to waste. You’ll keep your sanity if you have a great sense of humor.
  11. Self-awareness. Children aren’t sure how to act. It’s up to you to be a role model. You’ll find that kids react to situations in ways that mimic your reactions. They don’t know any other way. It’s important to be self-aware enough to know whether you’re being a good role model.

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6 Ways To Keep The Critic Inside You At Bay

Have you heard the adage, “Everyone is a critic?” It’s true. And, the biggest critic of all is staring right back at you through the mirror. No one has to come down hard on you because you are already putting yourself into a vicious head lock as it is. Keep reading to find out six ways that you can send that cynical noisemaker packing.

They say that you can talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer back. If you don’t answer back, however, the potentially negative thoughts will continue unchallenged. This is more detrimental than being thought of as crazy. We often follow the patterns created in our minds by our thoughts. Allowing negative self-talk to dominate your mind can lead to low self-esteem, bad habits, depression and other unhealthy results.

6 Ways to Get Over Yourself

Don’t let the pressure get to you. Be proactive. Attack those thoughts as soon as they start to speak. Get creative.

Box up your negativity – This can be literal or figurative. In the grand scheme of our life, each problem holds a small place overall. Seeing it as small minimizes its power over you. Try this. Create a small box or purchase one. Whenever you are plagued by a negative thought about yourself for the way you handled a problem or because you made a mistake, write it down on a piece of paper. Put it away in that small box. See your issue diminishing in size. Those thoughts do not define who you are.

Replace negativity with positive self-talk – When a negative thought is removed something needs to fill its place in your mind. Exchange a negative (“I am worthless because I am not married.”) for a positive thought (“I am a unique and worthwhile person that any man would be lucky to have for a wife.”). If the negative thoughts can keep you down, then surely the positive ones can lift you up.

Talk to a trusted friend – Explain the situation that made you feel so bad. Allow your friend to console you, counsel you and challenge that negative thought pattern that is condemning you.

Get realistic – Was the situation as bad as you imagined it was? Maybe you are embellishing the story because of the negatives swirling in your mind? Take a realistic look at you and put things into perspective.

Accept your imperfections – Don’t “agree to disagree” with certain attributes but embrace them as old friends. They are a part of you – the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar. Love who you are and then move on to making changes in your life.

Count your positives – It’s similar to counting your blessings. What is good about you? What have you done that is positive? Before you know it, you don’t feel bad anymore.

Don’t let that voice in your head overshadow your actual voice. Speak the truth and change your circumstances.

Teaching Your Child to Be Tactful

Tactfulness is the art of using discretion and sensitivity when speaking and relating to those around you. It is a great quality that helps one avoid awkward situations, and become a better friend to everyone. Children are born quite the opposite of this trait, but it is easier for them to understand as they grow older.

If your child can learn to be tactful as a young person, it will save them from a lot of misunderstanding. Here is how you can help your child to become a tactful individual who is comfortable in their conversations both with friends and strangers.

Teaching Your Child about Telling the Truth

Our children need to know that honesty is important, and must be taught to tell the truth. Give them a foundation in what being honest is all about, and what it isn’t. Some people mistakenly believe that being honest means they can say whatever they want, whenever they want to. This is not true, and it can be hurtful and harmful to the people around them. Truthfulness and tact are excellent partners, as they balance each other.

Educating about the Need for Tact

Talk to your child about how necessary tact is. Explain that when we fail to use tact, people’s feelings can be hurt, and the health of our relationships can be put at risk. Tell your child about situations where tact is essential and that it can be necessary for the safety of others. For example, in the relationships that world leaders hold with each other, tactful speech is crucial. There are also many others times where there is a necessity for using soft words rather than being completely blunt in a person’s speech.

Give Examples of Where Tact Was Not Used

Talk to your children about situations where tact was not used. Discuss the consequences to the individual who did not use tact, and to the one who was on the receiving end. Explain that Aunt Deidra probably felt bad when cousin Jamal told her that her dress was ugly, and how cousin Jamal may have then been viewed as an uncaring individual. Talk about what could have been done differently in the situation.

Give Examples of Where Tact Was Used

Point out situations where tact was used well, and the positive consequences that came from it. Speak about how a friend may have held off an argument through the use of tact and kind words, instead of letting all his anger out. Talk about any world leaders who are known for their peaceful acceptance of others, and how this trait has far-reaching positive effects. Point out all those people who excel in this area, and discuss what you can learn from each of them.

Becoming a tactful person is a journey. Sometimes we hurt people with our words and we don’t even realize it. Make a point of helping your child grow in this area, and everyone your child comes in contact with will benefit from your effort.

Model Appropriate Behavior for Your Children

When it comes to children, you are their role model. Parents are their first teachers. It is important to let them know how to deal with various situations as they age. Appropriate responses lead to positive outcomes. Never is this more important than dealing with defiant children. Model appropriate behavior. It will make things easier on you and on your children.

What Makes Defiant Children Different

Defiant children may suffer from a condition called ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This is more complex than just being stubborn. These children are disagreeable in the extreme and the behaviors occur almost daily. Parents often feel responsible or guilty for their children’s behavior anyway, so this just makes the situation that much more intense. The children may break the rules, talk disrespectfully, and repeat annoying behaviors on a regular basis. Traditional types of discipline only fuel the children’s anger and irritability. Parents often find themselves on a perpetual search for new ways of handling the situation.

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Show and Tell Me Two: An Afterschool Review Strategy

Just before your little sweetie tosses that bookbag across the floor when they get home ask them to grab a sheet of paper and pencil as soon as they get home. You want to ask them to show and tell you two. 

We’re going to use this strategy as a quick way for your child to review, recall, and retell you what they learned today . Either you can choose two subjects or they can but they need to show you two things that they learned today academically and tell you two things that they learned (any lesson will do). 

There’s so much that happens within a school day and mini-lessons can be lost if they don’t realize that they were lessons. Maybe your child will show you a reading strategy, how to multiply fractions, don’t share secrets with a friend after a disappointing event in the lunch room and don’t EVER try to whisper answers during a test because two classmates got detention.

Doing this allows you to share in a bit of your child’s day as well as get a glimpse into how attentive they are in their school environment. It will also let you know what’s challenging for them if they can’t reteach it to you and where they may need some additional support academically. It’s also a nice segway into some deeper conversations without feeling like you’re preaching to your kids but participating in some real-life experiences that are important to them. 

There are so many benefits to this strategy and it only takes five minutes or less to make a huge impact in your child’s day. Keep these sheets in a composition notebook for some sweet memories to look back on later. 

11 Easy Relaxation Practices to Share With Your Children and Teens

If you have relaxation practices that work for you, you might wonder how you can encourage your children to join you. Even if you haven’t been the best role model. After all, their lives can be stressful too when they’re trying to get good grades, make friends, and adapt to the changes that are part of growing up.

Sure, it would be tough to train a toddler to meditate for a half hour when they can barely sit still long enough to eat. However, there are age-appropriate activities suitable for any stage of development, from preschoolers to teens.

Find out more about how to help your children develop greater mindfulness and relieve stress.

Sharing Relaxation Practices with Younger Children

Even small children can relax and focus if you use movement and sound to make it interesting. It also helps if you provide an inspiring role model by managing stress constructively yourself.

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Accelerate Your Learning With These 9 Tips

Life is long enough that you can learn to do some amazing things. You might have to learn a new skill for work or some information for a test. Maybe you just want to learn a new language, to play an instrument, or how to cook a new dish. Learning is the fundamental for a fabulous life!

You won’t experience much that’s new if you don’t learn something new. Since time is often at a premium, learning quickly is important.

Try these ideas to speed up your learning process:

1. Learn over time. It’s much more effective to learn something for one hour each day for a week than to attempt to cram it all into your head over seven hours in one day. Consider breaking up your learning even further and give the subject your attention multiple times each day.

● One study showed that it was significantly more effective for beginners to practice piano five times each day for five minutes than it was to practice once for 25 minutes.

2. Create the right environment. You’ll accomplish more if you learn in an environment free of distractions. Imagine trying to learn how to swing a golf club next to a construction site on a sweltering day. How well could you learn Japanese with someone talking on the phone beside you?

● It’s not always possible to control your environment 100% but do the best you can. Remove as many distractions and be as comfortable as possible.

3. Get a good coach. Coaches know what matters. You might think you know the most important aspect of learning a particular task, but you might be wrong. Coaches can also spot mistakes and correct them instantly. Coaches are also good at holding you accountable. Why not get an expert on your side?

4. Get some exercise first. Just 15 minutes of exercise can improve your memory and ability to process new information. Hop on a treadmill or do some calisthenics for 15 minutes or more before tackling a new learning project.

5. Get some sleep. Inadequate sleep has been demonstrated to result in decreased reaction times, memory, learning ability, and even your use of proper grammar. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep.

6. Avoid studying the things you already know. Imagine that you’re reviewing facts or vocabulary words on flashcards. Avoid reviewing information you know by heart. If you’re learning a new piece of piano music, avoid practicing the parts you can already play. It’s a very inefficient way to learn.

7. Use a variety of media and senses to learn the information. Reading information can be effective, but it’s even more effective if you read it to yourself, recite it aloud, listen to a podcast, and watch a video on the topic. On top that, writing information down can be the best way to learn and remember.

8. Set a deadline. It’s common knowledge that tasks will expand to fill the time available. By setting a deadline, you can force yourself to work more consistently on learning the topic or skill. Without a deadline, it’s much easier to wait until “tomorrow” to get serious.

9. Be optimistic. In turns out that pessimists are more accurate at determining their current level of skill, but optimists ultimately learn things at a higher level. Have confidence and high expectations for yourself. You’ll ultimately learn more.

Learning is a huge component of life. Some learning is mandatory, especially in school or work environments. But, most learning is optional. You can learn about anything you want. One thing is for certain: the faster you can learn, the more you’ll be able to learn.

Like I always say “Knowledge is power!” Make a plan to learn something new today.

Question: What new skill or subject are you learning about now?

#1 Writing Tool for Education

Grammarly has been such a blessing to this quick typing mompreneur and writer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten inspiration to write, went to type a post on Facebook or Instagram and right when I went to click share my phone did a quick autocorrect.

Just last month I wrote something on Facebook from a device that didn’t have Grammarly installed. I wrote “Check out these podcasts and add them to your collection” but my the post autocorrected said, “Check out these podcasts and ass them to your collection!” Talk about embarrassing. I heard about Grammarly when I was in my MBA program but I never downloaded it. When I saw a commercial again on tv I downloaded it and it’s been a Godsend!

Correct all grammar errors with Grammarly!

I have the app on my iPhone and the program on my laptop and anytime I type that little green G in the corner is scanning my document for errors that will prevent me from looking like a fool. (Thanks Grammarly!)

As a doctoral student, author, and freelance writer, the way my words come across a screen is very important to me. Yes, my writing is pretty laid back but I still want it to be grammatically correct.

If you’re a writer, blogger, grad student, or have kids who are writing papers for school or starting their own businesses/blogs it’s a wonderful resource to have to allow you to type what you mean to say and shine. Even if grammar is your “thing” it’s wonderful to have the reassurance that you’re giving your absolute best in your writing.

I highly recommend it to all of my tutoring clients and the same to you.

Question: Are you going to give Grammarly a try?