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    What is communication?
    The goal of communication is to understand others and to be understood by others.
    Communication is a two way street.

    Everyone talks about teenagers and communication –
    Why don’t they talk to me?
    How can I get them to open up to me?
    Can I trust them?

    What about communication with babies and toddlers? Teenagers learn how to communicate from day one, they learn from you.

    It is never too early to think about communication and how important it is at any stage of development. We need to start communicating openly with our kids from day one.

    This may sound basic and some of you may be ready to stop reading now but I cannot emphasise enough the importance of communication with your kids/teens. These tips will most likely be things you already know, but being reminded of them will help you to check in to see if your communication skills are working.

    0 – 1 years of age;

    Babies tend to communicate through eye contact, your touch and the sound of your voice.

    Hold eye contact were possible.
    Use your touch to show emotion.
    Use your voice to communicate your feelings.

    Your communication with them will install a sense of love and security – their basic need at this age.

    2 -10 years of age;

    kid and granddad drawing dep pic

    Come down to their level (eye contact) when you are talking to them or when they are talking to you.
    When they come to you to tell you something, show them you are interested in what they have to say by concentrating on them and listening to them.

    If you are busy at the time, tell them you will talk to them in 10 minutes, at tea time (whatever suits you at the time) but you must come back to them.
    If you do not come back to them and tend to push them away because you may be on the phone, on the computer, making dinner, chatting to a friend – over time they may stop trying. How would you feel if you had something really important to say to your parent and they showed no interest whatsoever? Would you go back again and agin to try to get them to be interested? Does it hurt your feelings? Does it make you feel valued?
    Share stories about your childhood, good times and bad times – tell them how you managed mistakes, how you coped when you were upset, your experiences with friends (good and bad experiences).
    By sharing these experiences you will show them it is ok to make mistakes, it is ok to be upset, it is ok to have a problem with a friend. It is how they deal with these issues that is  important.
    Make sure there is a time in your day that you know you can communicate with them (give them your undivided attention if only for 10 minutes)e.g.
    bedtime * in the car * bath time * meal time – whatever suit your family.
    (Years later your 16 year old may still rely on this time to talk to you)
    Try not to use labels like ‘useless’, ‘hopeless’, ‘waste of space’ when talking to them or about them. This is hugely damaging to their self-esteem. You are the most important person in their lives – if they believe this is what you think of them, what will they think of themselves. Parents are only human, if you let a comment slip out and you know it was wrong/nasty/unnecessary – remember to say sorry. This is also a great lesson for your child – teach them the ability to take responsibility for their actions and be strong enough to say ‘sorry’.
    Try not to swear or curse at them – they will most likely copy you – at the most inappropriate times!
    Try not to make comments comparing them to their siblings or their peers.
    Tell them you love them. We tend to presume they ‘know’ we love them. They do need regular reminding. Helping them to understand we may not like their actions or their words but we will always love them is a great lesson for later on during their teenage years.

    Children need to feel loved, respected and valued if they are to grow into teenagers who feel loved, respected and valued. These feelings will build your child’s self-esteem and confidence and give them a strong sense of family, values and self into their teenage years.
    Sometimes, they may learn more from your actions than your words. They will watch how you react in different situations, how you treat other family members, how you treat friends and presume this is the way it is supposed to be.
    Communication is both words and actions.

    You are your child’s number one teacher and role model.

    “It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”

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    How can we help our kids to discover their Gifts & Talents?

    Using the 7 Types of Intelligences to Help Your Kids Discover Their Gifts & Talents

    Grades, “IQ” tests, and other standardised tests have caused major debates amongst parents and the education community because many believe they don’t measure the “whole child”.

    Although these tests might predict how a child will perform in school, they don’t predict which children will become powerful leaders, accomplished composers, unique artists, great musicians, creative inventors, professional athletes, top-ranked sales people, inspirational teachers, spiritual leaders, or great writers.

    In his ground breaking book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”, Harvard Psychology Professor Howard Gardner asked a different question. Instead of asking “How smart are you?” he asked the question “How are you smart?”

    What a powerful question for parents to explore with their kids!

    In his book Gartner outlines 7 different segments of intelligence. Although each person exhibits some level of ability in all areas, most people tend to shine in two or three areas. As parents and mentors we have an opportunity to help our kids explore each of these segments in more depth so they can discover and further develop their natural talents and abilities.

    The 7 intelligences are grouped into what Gardner calls three different “frames of mind”:
    Linguistic Intelligence and Logical-mathematical Intelligence which are categorised as “academic” and emphasised by public schools and IQ tests.
    Musical Intelligence, Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence, and Visual-spatial Intelligence which tend to be categorised as artistic abilities.
    Interpersonal Intelligence and Intrapersonal Intelligence which are categorised as “people skills”.

    Let’s understand each in more detail and look at how we can help our kids explore each area.

    Linguistic Intelligence
    Children with strong linguistic intelligence tend to think in words. They love to read, write, play word games, study foreign languages, etc. Professions include areas such as writers, journalists, interpreters, and attorneys. If you think your child has talent in this area, he can explore it further by participating in a journalism club or debate club, by writing, or by studying a foreign language.

    Logical-mathematical Intelligence
    Children with strong logical-mathematical intelligence tend to think conceptually. They love numbers, patterns, mathematics, and science. Professions include areas such as engineering, computer science, research science, medicine, and accounting. Schools provide a lot of opportunities for children to explore this area of intelligence.

    Visual-spatial Intelligence
    Children with strong spatial intelligence are strong at working in three dimensions. They tend to love maps, models, and building things. Professions include areas such as architecture and interior design, photography, engineering, and mechanics. You can help your child develop in this area by giving her models to build (including Legos!), having her create maps, or by taking a photography class.

    Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence
    Children with strong Kinesthetic Intelligence tend to process knowledge through physical touch. They will learn more by doing an activity versus reading about the activity. Professions include areas such as sports, dancing, theatre, firefighter, and any work that requires them to be good with their hands. If you think your child has a natural intelligence in this area encourage her to explore many avenues of physical expression – sports, dance, acting, sewing, woodworking, etc.

    Musical Intelligence
    Children with strong musical intelligence tend to think in terms of sounds and rhythms. Professions include areas such as performing and/or composing music. Encourage your child to study a musical instrument, participate in a choir, and explore a wide variety of music genres.

    Interpersonal Intelligence
    Children with strong interpersonal intelligence understand people – they are good with communication, relationships, and getting along with others. Professions include areas such as teaching, counselling, marketing and sales, management, non-profits, medicine, and politics. Provide opportunities for your child to work with and lead others. Examples include participating in Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, mentoring programs, volunteer organisations, and other clubs.

    Intra personal Intelligence
    Children with strong intra personal intelligence really understand themselves. They are deep thinkers and tend to be self-motivated. Professions include writing, philosophy, psychology, clergy, and art. If your child exhibits strengths in this area, give her time to be alone to think and create.

    So why is understanding these areas of intelligence so important?

    First, if your child tends to struggle in the traditional classroom finding other areas where he can excel can greatly enhance his self-esteem and joy in life. Whenever kids feel they are good at something it enhances their self-esteem and self-confidence.

    Second, when kids understand more about “how they are smart”, it enables them to choose extracurricular activities, classes, and careers that leverage their strengths and natural abilities.

    And finally, even if your child does well in school, exploring all areas of intelligence will empower your kids to find their passion and purpose in life. When people create lives based on a passion and a sense of purpose they tend to live happy fulfilling lives. They also excel at whatever profession they choose because they are passionate about it and believe they can make a difference.
    It is so important to help our kids learn to understand their own talents and believe in them. If we, their parents cannot believe in them – who will?
    How many of us ended up in careers for the wrong reasons?
    How many of us would have made different choices if we had someone behind us who believed in us, whatever our strengths were?

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    Does Your Child Have Yo-Yo Self-Esteem? Part 2


    In the last article we asked the question, does your child have yo-yo self-esteem? Recall that Yo-yo self-esteem occurs when children’s self esteem rises and falls with the ups and downs of their lives (i.e. how they did in school, played in their soccer game, etc.).
    We talked about how important it is for children to base their self-esteem on who they are and not on what is happening outside of them so that their self-esteem remains intact no matter what is going on in their lives.

    Today we’ll learn three additional tips for supporting your kids in developing solid self-esteem that doesn’t rise and fall with the ups and downs of life:

    The fourth tip is to encourage your kids to identify and honour their own uniqueness. We are all unique in our own special way. Have your kids really think about what they love about themselves – from their values, to their character, to their gifts and talents. Have them make an “I love me!” poster which illustrates what they love about themselves. When kids focus on what they love about themselves, their self-esteem will soar.

    Fifth, talk with them about the power of positive self-talk. What they say to themselves is more important than what anyone else says to them. When kids learn to talk to themselves with love, compassion, and support, their self-esteem will soar.

    Finally, teach your children how to handle the “downs” in life. Teach them how to manage mistakes and failure so that they don’t define themselves by these events. Teach them how to manage fear so that fear doesn’t keep them from their dreams. Teach them how to manage change so they feel powerful in their lives and see themselves as capable and worthy.

    Learning to handle the “downs” in life as events, not only enhances self-esteem, but also leads to strong self-confidence as kids learn that they can handle anything that comes their way.

    Kids Coaching covers all of the areas listed above through stories and activities . If anyone has any questions regarding Kids Confidence Coaching please call me on 0868112110 or comment here. thanks
    As we mentioned in the last article no matter how much we love our kids or how much time we spend with them, we can’t give them self-esteem, but what we can do is help them develop it in themselves. Start this week by sharing the six tips from these two articles.

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