Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Bad Kid Behavior Issues That You Need to Break Early - All Pro Dad : All Pro Dad

5 Bad Kid Behavior Issues That You Need to Break Early - All Pro Dad : All Pro Dad

I hate going to the dentist. I know it’s necessary, but I always put it off. It is the last thing I want to spend money on. After several years of avoiding it, I was forced to make an appointment because of intense tooth pain. The result was exactly what I expected. Small cavities had grown into larger decay which eventually led to infection. Ultimately, smaller and cheaper cavity fixes turned into an expensive double root canal with two crowns. Routine checkups and maintenance would have prevented all of it.

In the same way, kids can develop bad habits early. Engaging those habits with consistent correction and guidance can be tiring. It can take thought and energy that can wear parents out. However, if left unchecked, they can grow into major problems down the line. It is important to engage the problem now in order to save us and them from more intense pain in the future. Here are some bad kid behavior issues that you need to break early.

1. Lying

This leads to a life of secrecy. Growth and maturity come when we deal honestly with our mistakes and shortcomings. We learn responsibility by owning it. Others see us as dependable, faithful, and authentic. Trust is built leading to healthy relationships. Lying has the opposite effect. Distrust and immaturity take root. On a personal level, in our house, my kids know that this is offense receives the steepest consequence because it, more than anything, causes relational separation in the family.

2. Disrespectful to Authority

We are all people under authority in some way or another. Parents, teachers, government officials, elders, bosses, and police officers are some of the authorities in our lives. An attitude of disrespecting authority creates a dangerous habit in a child. It will lead to an attitude of entitlement and a lack of proper humility. They will end up suffering for it as their options are limited. Children need to learn a respectful disposition to those in authority over them. This doesn’t mean they can’t disagree with that authority or challenge it, particularly when the authority abuses its power. However, it is important to teach children to always submit to or challenge authority with grace and respect.

3. Unkind Words

Words are important. Clearly, the words we choose affect those they are directed towards. Unkind words cause deep wounds in people. However, they can also lead our general attitude or our feelings about someone. I once made a decision to go an entire year saying only positive things about someone I had a hard time getting along with. After the year, I felt completely different about that person. There may be time to disagree, argue, or even fight, but there is never a reason to be unkind. The earlier our kids develop a vocabulary of kind words the better.

4. Aggressive Behavior

Intervene as soon as possible to prevent other children or animals from being hurt. There are many reasons for a child exhibiting aggressive behavior. It is important to find out the reason by observing and listening. Many times, it is a coping mechanism in dealing with stress or feelings of insecurity. If the behavior is allowed or reinforced, it will continue. It is best to stop it immediately when it happens, remain calm, listen to the child, and enforce consistent nonphysical consequences.

5. Laziness

Children need to be taught to take responsibility for themselves early. [Tweet This] Otherwise, they can come to expect that their parents will do everything for them. Instilling a good work ethic starts by giving them chores to do around the house at a young age. Start by teaching them to make their bed and clean up their toys daily. When they develop a habit of taking care of their things, add a chore pertaining to a common area. Encourage and reward their work only when it deserves it. This will teach them to value and strive for good work. Starting as early as possible will make all the difference.

Monday, May 25, 2015

On This Memorial Day, I Agree With The Veteran Who Said "I'm a veteran, and I hate 'Happy Memorial Day'"

George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ
I open this post in concurrence with the following quotes from Jennie Haskamp, a Marine Corps veteran who continued to work for the Corps as a civilian after leaving active duty in 2006. They are taken from a recent Commentary in the Chicago Tribune.

"That's when it hit me. I'm angry. I've come to realize people think Memorial Day is the official start of summer. It's grilled meat, super-duper discounts, a day (or two) off work, beer, potato salad and porches draped in bunting."
 "I'm frustrated by people all over the country who view the day as anything but a day to remember our WAR DEAD. I hate hearing "Happy Memorial Day."
"It's not Veteran's Day. It's not military appreciation day. Don't thank me for my service. Please don't thank me for my service. It's take the time to pay homage to the men and women who died while wearing the cloth of this nation you're so freely enjoying today, day."
"It's the one day on the American calendar meant to exemplify what it costs to be American and to be free. . . and we've turned it into a day off work, a tent sale and a keg of beer."
"I hope you enjoy your weekend — but I hope you pause to remember, too."
I totally agree with Ms. Haskamp, for when we look to the authority of definitions, Merriam-Webster, for the definition of the word memorial, it says serving to preserve remembrance. In other words Memorial Day is a day that is set aside for us to remember our military men and women who paid the ultimate price with the voluntary giving of their lives while representing the United States of America in battle/war. Sadly, Memorial Day, like too many of our holidays (The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg (hālig "holy" + dæg "day") has become reduced to gimmicky marketing and sales days with their true meanings never being truly recognized.  

For me, I personally believe that we ought to pause from time to time to remember all of our loved ones who have passed away or transitioned from this life, as each of them have contributed in one way or another to those of us who are still alive. I often visit the grave sites of family members, friends and national heroes just to remember them and to say "Thank You" for their contribution to the world and to my life. I've been to the burial sites of notables such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Joe Louis, Malcolm X, and Paul Robeson, just to name a few and not to mention the final resting places of my many family and friends. While I more than realize that the burial grounds represent the physical earthly remains minus the spirit (the true being of the person), by visiting the sites, it is my way of preserving remembrance. In fact, depending on the design of the cemetery, I have no issue with breaking out my portable chair and sitting for a little while. I do this from time to time at my father's grave which is in the George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, NJ, a cemetery that truly is more like a park where all of the markers are flat bronzed plaques in the ground compared with the traditional image of being surrounded by large above ground stone monuments. The experience really is like it's tag line describes as A Haven of Tranquility in a Turbulent World and a wonderful place to reflect and remember. Many find this practice strange, causing me to often question, why is it that cemeteries can draw in some people, yet repel others? Death is a part of life.

So on this Memorial Day, I too ask that you move beyond the marketing, hoopla and sound bites and seriously remember a fallen soldier or soldiers and then take it a step further and reflect upon the contribution of all of your family and friends who have passed away. Mentally and/or verbally thank them aloud for having been in your life and for their historical significance in it. Whether it was on the world-wide level such as a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or on a local level such as an immediate family member, thank them or say a prayer for their spirits and wish them continued peace in their rest. "Ashay." Something to critically think about.

You are invited to join me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. EDT, world-wide on gobrave.org and locally in the Northern N.J. area on WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01 and visit my website at www.thereadingcircle01.com.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

What Is This Thing Called "Fair?"

Not everyone receiving the same thing, but what each needs
"That's not fair!" "He's/she's not fair!"  As an educator, I hear this lament a lot and I am sure if you are like me, you have heard it as well and perhaps even have thought it yourself. In fact, what prompted this post was a student who came to me complaining that his being admonished for playing around in class was unfair, since some of his classmates were also playing around. He felt it was unfair of his teacher to correct him and was more concerned about the others who did not get caught doing the wrong thing, which was playing in a class that they were not supposed to have been playing in. I listened as he emotionally plead his case as to why he should not have been chastised and have been able to keep on doing the wrong thing simply because the others were not chastised. Now, mind you, the others had not been seen/caught, and he had. For that moment, the others had gotten away with their wrongdoing and he had not; so therefore, he felt that it was "not fair" that he had to be spoken to. Not fair that he had to receive consequences.

I listened quietly until he was through and then I responded with a paraphrase from the first line in the book The Road Less Traveled by M.Scott Peck, M.D. where he opens with these three words. "Life is Difficult." Dr. Peck goes on to say in the first paragraph:

"This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult -- once we truly understand and accept it -- then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."

I explained this concept to my student inserting the word "fair" where Dr. Peck used the word "difficult." In other words, I shared with the young man, that life is not fair and once he learned to accept that, the fact that life is not fair no longer matters and that he would stop looking for it to be. With all of that said, it caused me to reflect upon this notion of fair;what it is and what it is not because I believe once we get a better understanding of what fair is and what fair is not, it will no longer matter and we will be able to move on.

The best definition for fair that I have learned during my travels says:
"Fair isn't about everybody getting the same thing.....fair is everybody getting what they need in order to be successful." 
Hence the young man's and probably most of our source of confusion and frustration. He felt that since he was being chastised, that either all of his comrades should have also been chastised or none of them should have been chastised, meaning everyone should have gotten the same thing. He didn't realize that the teacher was giving him what he needed to be successful and that maybe the others may have received some other consequence if they were indeed caught. I further shared with the young man that if his little buddies that he was playing with did not get caught this time, that if they were to continue that behavior, it would just be a matter of time before their consequences would catch up with them. In short, I shared with him that maybe this was his time to get caught and the next time if the same scenario arose, it might be one of this friends who would be admonished instead of him.

Just like that sixth grader, many of us adults bemoan the same thing. We often say "that's not fair" just like the young man in this story. We bewail it to our employers, our co-workers, our spouses, our children, to law enforcement, our parents and even to God.......'THAT'S NOT FAIR!" usually followed by "Why me?"

As Dr. Peck would suggest and I agree with, if we were to understand that life is not meant to be fair, the better off we would all be. If we were to truly understand the definition above, we would be better parents, children, employees, citizens, students, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, supervisors, etc. etc.etc. In my opinion, the definition says it best when it articulates the difference between everyone getting the same thing and everyone getting what they need. There is a difference. I'll leave you with that, as that difference is something to critically think about. Let us transcend this notion of fair.

You are invited to join me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. EDT on gobrave.org and locally in northern NJ on WP88.7 FM, follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01. "Like" my Facebook page 'Reading Circle' and visit my website www.thereadingcircle01.com.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Is Integrity a Thing of the Past?

Educators were convicted April 1 of racketeering and other lesser crimes related to inflating test scores of children from struggling schools. One teacher was acquitted.  CNN
Pacquiao faces possible sanctions for shoulder injury. Boxer, who lost to Mayweather, failed to disclose an 'old' shoulder injury. Aljazeera

Tom Brady likely knew of 'inappropriate activities,' Deflategate report says  CNN

These are just three recent examples that caused me to ask the question, Is integrity a thing of the past? I ask that because it seems that in no arena do we find anything to be what it's supposed to be. People are telling us one thing and doing another. I often hear the question is chivalry dead?, but I think the more important question is the one I am asking here in this post. Where has our integrity gone? Think about the tainted records of Bobby Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemons, Mark McGuire, Bernie Madoff, Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and the list could go on and on, enough to fill this entire post with just names alone. All who have broken the trust of the public......our trust.

Integrity is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as (1) the quality of being honest and fair (2) the state of being complete or whole. Where has this quality gone? Do we want to win so bad that we are willing to do anything? Do we want to be rich so bad that we are willing to do anything? Do we want to be famous so bad that we are willing to do anything? Apparently so.

In Atlanta, educators were so consumed with a system that required students to be proficient, they were driven to alter test results in order to what they thought, keep their jobs or obtain their increment/raise. As a fellow educator, I can understand their desperation; however, as that old adage goes, "Two wrongs don't make a right."  Is an educational system that focuses so much on test scores wrong? In my view, yes. Is altering the results of student test scores wrong. In my view yes. Whether it is education, sports, business, law enforcement, government, politics, religion, or whatever, where has our integrity gone? Integrity has become like "Where's Waldo?"  Where's Integrity? Unlike Where's Waldo, integrity is far more important and if we've lost that, we've lost close to everything.

I don't have the answer, but I do know this, we have got to do better than this because if we don't, we are going to fall just like the Roman Empire and any other empire that fell due to the lack of morals. integrity, and compassion. I often hear that chivalry is not dead and I pray to God that integrity is not dead either. Something to critically think about.

Hear me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. EDT on gobrave.org and locally on WP88.7 FM. You are invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and readingcircle01. Like my fan page on Facebook at Reading Circle and visit my website at thereadingcircle01.com