Articles from Health & Wellness

POSITIVE ROLE MODEL

POSITIVE ROLE MODEL When we are young and growing up, there is always an elder person whom we admire and dote on for many reasons. Usually, it is a parent, teacher, sibling, cousin, or uncle/aunt, who is someone we look up to and copy. They are our role models and these role models keep changing as we grow up, according to the changes in our tastes and needs. Having role models in our life is very important. Most parents would like their children to grow up to be healthy, happy individuals who show respect and consideration for others. Many good character qualities cannot be taught, they need to be experienced, and that is why positive role models are extremely important.
A role model is a person whose behavior is imitated by other people. Role models show young people how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination, and compassion. They play an essential part in a child’s positive development. Role models come into young people’s lives in a variety of ways. They are educators, civic leaders, mothers, fathers, peers, and ordinary people encountered in everyday life. “A true role model is not the person with the best job title, the most responsibility, or the greatest fame to his or her name.” Anyone can inspire a child to achieve their potential in life.

The adult should show respect to others, whether it is in the grocery store or the boardroom. It is not enough to tell children that it is important to respect others. They POSITIVE ROLE MODEL need to see how it is done. When children see that their parents show interest and sometimes proficient in many things, they get the courage to get out of their comfort zone and explore other activities. The child will notice the positive attitude and get the message that making an effort is more important than perfection.

 

Tips for Effective Role-Modeling

  • Practice what you preach. Children notice when you don’t.
  • Work towards a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. Avoid making negative comments about your body – and other people’s too.
  • POSITIVE ROLE MODE Show that you enjoy education and learning. If you make it seem interesting and enjoyable rather than a chore, your child is more likely to have a positive attitude towards school.
  • Keep a positive attitude in your life – think, act, and talk in an optimistic way.
  • Take responsibility for yourself by admitting your own mistakes and talking about how you can correct them. Do not blame everything that goes wrong on other people or circumstances.
  • Use problem-solving skills to deal with challenges or conflicts in a calm and productive way. Getting upset or angry when a problem comes up teaches your child to respond in the same way.
  • Show kindness and respect to others in your words and your actions.

Message to Parents & Students – Why is it important to have a Role Model

Role models act as a guide to help you understand who you would like to become in the future. There are many things to learn from a role model, but here are 5 top benefits of having a role model:

Learn the characteristics of a successful person “Success” is a subjective term, but if someone is a role model they have done something to be successful in your eyes. Whether they are the senior class valedictorian, Olympic gold medalist, or stay-at-home mom, the person you look up to has valuable qualities you can learn from. For example, your mom might teach you how to be patient even in the most frustrating circumstances while the gold medalist could teach you about discipline & determination towards goals.

 Learn how to overcome obstacles Everyone has a story of a time they had to overcome adversity. Understanding how your role models overcame their obstacles will help you prepare to deal with future drawbacks.
Example: Dhirubhai Ambani, Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, an Indian Industrialist, widely known as Founder of Indian Conglomerate Multinational Reliance Industries, Dhirubhai Ambani is the first Indian entrepreneur who has listed his company under Forbes 500. Ambani was born into a middle-class family, his father was a school teacher, he was the third child of five, when Ambani was in school he used to sell “Bhajias” at the age of 16 he moved to Yemen and worked there as a gas station attendant and clerk in an oil company. After doing a lot of efforts and hard work Ambani has able to achieve the position where he is ruling now, he hasn’t achieved it just because of luck but because of his hard work too, as it says “hard work and efforts pays you very well”
Quote said by Dhirubhai Ambani: PURSUE YOUR GOALS EVEN IN THE FACE OF DIFFICULTIES AND CONVERT ADVERSITIES INTO OPPORTUNITIES.  Have someone to inspire you When you don’t have the motivation to get work done, it is nice to have someone to emulate. Think about their success, and feel inspired to work as hard they did reach the success of your own. Additionally, looking up to someone who has made a great change in the world will encourage you to do the same.

 Learn from mistakes Nobody is perfect, not even the person you look up to. At best, when your role model makes a mistake you will learn from it. At worst, you will at least get a reminder that everybody makes mistakes. An athlete might take steroids or a businessman might commit fraud but that does not necessarily make them bad people. Those were their reactions to pressure or adversity, and in the future, you will learn from their actions and react differently.

Conclusion

Role models are not superhuman, but they have a powerful impact on young children who are watching their every move. Positive actions by role models create POSITIVE ROLE MODE positive habits in children that cannot be learned in the classroom. Even though having a role model means looking up to another person, the end goal is to become the best version of yourself. Having someone to emulate gives you a guideline of values and actions to follow, but at the end of the day, you are also your own person. Learn from others’ actions and qualities and use them to improve your existing characteristics, and you will become someone else’s role model one day.

FAMILY CONSTELLATION

Birth Order and Child Personalities

Birth Order and Child Personalities The study of personality and its formation has interested researchers and scientists for centuries. Personality refers to an individual’s different patterns of thinking, behaving, and feeling. People’s personalities encompass nearly every aspect of their human experience. Studying personality usually falls into two categories:

Understanding differences in people’s personality characteristics like temperament, sociability, and motivation.
Discovering how various parts of a person come together as a whole.

There are many theories of how personality forms, adapts and is affected by the external environment. Birth order theory was developed by Alfred Adler in the twentieth century. It stated the order in which a child was born impacted his or her personality
The Family’s Role in Birth Order Personality Traits

Most researchers agree there are several influences shaping personality. Common factors include:

Biological: Children inherit many traits and features from their parents. These include intelligence, courage, and physical features.
Social: By interacting with others in an individual’s social circle, children learn behaviors and thought patterns from their experiences.
Cultural: A child growing up within a culture consciously or unconsciously adopts traits consistent with the culture’s beliefs and norms.
Physical Environment: An individual’s surroundings often impact the development of personality. For example, the personalities of those growing up in a rural area are often very different from those living in an urban environment.
Situational: As a child grows, they face different situations that help them adapt and change aspects of their personality. This could be meeting new friends, a traumatic life experience, or, of course, the birth of a new sibling.

When looking at these factors, we see family life could be involved with any or all of them. Since most children’s lives are, at first, shaped by everything going on in the family, it is no wonder birth order theory has remained relevant throughout the decades.

Birth Order Personality Traits
The following traits are general examples of how birth order and personality are related. Of course, many other factors could impact the development of a child’s personality.

Only Children

These children tend to get much more attention from adults than a child with siblings. This means many of their early interactions involve individuals significantly older than them. These interactions can make them feel like “tiny adults” and more mature than peers with siblings. Traits include: Birth Order and Child Personalities

  • Confidence
  • Mature for their age
  • Sensitive, Self-centered
  • Pampered and often spoiled
  • May refuse to cooperate with others
  • Desire to be more like adults, so may not relate well with peers
  • Can be manipulative to get their way

First Child

Since the firstborn child is used to being an only child until the little brother or sister comes along, he or she may exhibit some of the characteristics of an only child. In addition, the firstborn may have these birth order personality traits:

  • Achiever and leader
  • Feels must have superiority over other children
  • May have difficulty when the second child is born such as feeling unloved or neglected Can be controlling and focused on being correct
    Bossy or authoritarian
  • Strives to please others
  • Can be protective or helping others

Second Child

The second child and middle children began their lives sharing the attention of their parents with the firstborn. By having an older sibling as a role model, the second child often tries to catch up with them. Adler believes the second child is most likely to be better adjusted in life. A second child could be:

  • More competitive
  • Lacking the undivided attention of parents
  • A people pleaser
  • A peacemaker
  • Developing abilities the first child doesn’t exhibit to gain attention Independent

Middle Child

Many have heard of the “middle child syndrome” and the difficulties these children can present. Considering the significant changes they deal with early in life, it’s no wonder they could become frustrated or resentful. Not only do they lose their “youngest child” status, but they also have to share their attention with older and younger siblings. Middle children of bigger families often aren’t as competitive as a single middle child since parents’ attention is spread thinner.

  • Can feel life is unfair
  • Can be even-tempered
  • May feel unloved or left out
  • It doesn’t have the rights and responsibilities of the oldest sibling or the privileges of the youngest. Adaptable
    Impatient
  • Outgoing
  • Being dominant towards younger siblings
  • Feel “squeezed” in the family environment

Youngest Child

The last born child cannot be dethroned by a younger sibling. The “baby” of the family tends to get more attention from parents since the older siblings are developing and becoming more independent. Traits of the youngest child:

  • Charming and outgoing
  • Attention seeker
  • Can behave like the only child
  • Feels inferior-like everyone is bigger or more capable Expects others to make decisions and take responsibility

Other Factors Influencing Birth Order Personality

As we all know, each family is different and has unique dynamics. Birth order alone will not determine the complexities of one’s personality. As a child and family development and evolves, certain circumstances may impact the personality of a child.

Blended Or Step-Families
When two parents remarry, especially when children are in their formative years, the family unit goes through a period of disorientation and competition. For example, two firstborns or in the new family will search for their “place.”
Differences In Ages
When there are gaps of three or more years between siblings, it is common for the birth order to restart. In a family with many children, this could create birth order subgroups.
Health And Mental Issues
A child born with significant physical or neurodevelopmental disabilities can remain in the “youngest” position regardless of the birth order. This impacts the psychological birth order position of the other children.
Gender Of Siblings
The most psychological competition occurs between children of the same gender similar in ages.

Death Of A Sibling
The impacts of a child’s death are devastating for families. This includes the personalities of the surviving siblings. Some children may adapt by developing overindulgent tendencies. In addition, a glorification of the deceased child can occur where other siblings could never live up to the pristine image of the deceased sibling.
Adoption
An adopted child often has special circumstances in the family dynamic. For parents with difficulties conceiving, having an adopted child may be seen as a special gift. These parents have a greater tendency to spoil or overindulge the child. When an adopted child comes into an established family, he or she may find difficulties fitting into the dynamic. Emotional struggles of not being wanted by birth parents and not fitting in with biological siblings are common.

Birth Order and Child Personalities So yes, birth order impacts one’s personality, but so does the way their parents raise them.

Brain Development and Learning Styles

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn” Brain development is a complex event that begins during the third week of gestation
(period of developing inside the womb) and continues, well, certainly through adolescence, and quite arguably through the lifespan. Throughout the lifetime of the human brain, it continues to undergo changes.
Let’s review each of the five stages of human brain growth:
Stage 1: 0 to 10 months

  • Neurons and connections growing.
  • A pregnant woman should stay as stress-free as possible, take folic acid, B6 & B12, stimulate this young developing brain with sounds and sensations. The mother should avoid toxins, cigarettes, heavy metals, alcohol, and drugs.

Stage 2: birth to 6 years

  • Development of voluntary movement, reasoning, perception, frontal lobes active in the development of emotions, attachments, planning, working memory, and perception. A sense of self is developing and life experiences shape the emotional well-being.
  • By age six, the brain is 95% of its adult weight and peak of energy consumption. Caregivers need to provide a nurturing environment and daily individualized communication. Negative or harsh treatment may come with emotional consequences in the future.

Stage 3: 7 to 22 years

The neural connections or ‘grey’ matter is still pruning, wiring of the brain still in progress, the fatty tissues surrounding neurons or ‘white’ matter increase and assist with speeding up electrical impulses and stabilize connections. The prefrontal cortex is the last to mature and it involves the control of impulses and decision-making.
Therefore, teenagers need to learn to control reckless, irrational, and irritable behavior. Avoiding drugs, alcohol, smoking, unprotected sex, and substance abuse.

Stage 4: 23 to 65 years

  • Finally, the brain reaches its peak power around age 22 and lasts for 5 more years. Afterward, it’s a downhill pattern. Last to mature and the first to go is the brain functionality of executive control occurring in the prefrontal and temporal cortices. Memory for recalling episodes starts to decline, processing speed slows and working memory is storing less information.
  • The best approach is to stay mentally active, learn new things, stay physically active, and eat a very healthy diet. Avoid toxins, cigarettes, alcohol, and mind-altering drugs.

Stage 5: older than 65 years

  • Brain cells are lost in critical areas such as the hippocampus responsible for processing memories.
  • Learn new skills, practice mediation to promote neutral emotions, exercise to improve abstract reasoning and concentration.

Avoid stress or incorporate stress-reducing mediation and exercises.

  • Eat a healthy diet with foods to nourish one’s level of dopamine.

Brain Development also influences the learning styles as well, People learn many different kinds of things and use different learning strategies and brain processes in doing so. The term “learning styles” speaks to the understanding that every student learns differently. Technically, an individual’s learning style refers to the preferential way in which the student absorbs, processes, comprehends, and retains information.

Let us look at the illustration of different learning styles

Learning Styles

Learning styles are important since most people have a preferred way to learn. Some learn best by listening, some have to observe every step, while others have to do it to learn it. The fact is that individuals need all three modalities to truly commit information to memory: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Learning Styles

To Learn Things:

  • Use flashcards to learn new words.
  • Write down keywords, ideas, or instructions.
  • Colour code things.
  • Attractive,easy-to-read handouts.

Icon Auditory learners prefer listing to instructions and discussion and remember through verbal repetition. Aural learners best understand new content through listening and speaking in situations such as lectures and group discussions. Listen carefully when instructions are given to use your ears twice as much as you can.

To learn better, you can try the following: Icon

  • Variations in presentations of tone, pitch, and speed
  • Seat where you can hear.
  • Have your hearing check on a regular basis.
  • Study new material by reading it loudly.
  • Multimedia uses speech and sounds such as audio recordings.

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  • avid readers, and are able to translate abstract concepts into words and essays.
  • Write, write, and rewrite your words and notes.
  • Reword main ideas and principles to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Organize diagrams, chats, and graphic organizers into statements.

Kinesthetic students who are kinesthetic learners best understand information through tactile representations of information. These students are hand-on learners and learn best through involved in work and do as much as you can
Kinesthetic strategies

Use real-life examples, applications, and case studies in your summary to help with abstract concepts.
stories.

  • Trace words with your fingers to learn spellings.
  • Redo lab experiments or projects.
  • Utilize pictures and photographs that illustrate your idea
  • them stand by the side in the same row which they were not eligible to stand.

There are so many aids and methods which have helped to learn to a great extent It is because of the modern technology in this era which has made the impossible task possible by equating all the learners. The modern trends have removed the gap between learners with disabilities and made

“Teach them to Love Challenges, teach them to be intrigued by mistakes, teach them to enjoy
effort and most of all teach them to keep on Learning”.

PRAISE YOUR CHILD

The purpose of praise is to encourage children to continue to engage in positive behaviors that produce positive outcomes. What is the most common praise you hear parents (and teachers and coaches) giving kids at home, on the playground, in class, and on the sports fields? “Good job!”

Mother and Child

Praise should include this!

  • Be precise – tell exactly what they should do in the future to get the same outcome
  • Tell why they did well so they can replicate that behavior in the future to get the same positive outcome
  • Avoid praising on which they have no control viz., any innate and unalterable ability such as intelligence, physical attractiveness, or athletic or artistic gifts
  • Direct your praise to areas over which your children have control — effort, attitude, responsibility, commitment, discipline, focus, decision making, compassion, generosity, respect, love, the list goes on
  • Look at why exactly your children did something well and specifically praise those areas
  • For example, “You worked so hard preparing for this test,” “You were so focused during the entire chess match,” and “You were so generous for sharing with your sister.”

father with kid

Particularly with young children

  • You don’t need to praise them at all
  • Simply highlight what they did

For example, if your toddler just climbed a playground ladder for the first time, just say, “You climbed that ladder by yourself.” Their smile of pride will tell you that they got the message you wanted them to get, namely, “I did it!” Nothing more needs to be said.

  • Ask your children questions- It helps to find out what your children thought and felt about their achievement

For example, “What did you enjoy most about your performance?” and “How do you feel about what you just did?”

  • Allow your children to decide for themselves how they feel about their accomplishments, enable them to reward themselves for their own good actions, and encourage them to internalize what they observed about their own achievement efforts
  • Kids know when they do well- let them come to this realization on their own, they learn to reinforce themselves and they don’t become praise junkies dependent on you for how they feel about their efforts and accomplishments

So if the right thinking is to moderate praise, how do you make your child feel valued? How do you build his self-confidence?

Parents

Paths to Effective Praise

With sweeping praise “out” here are praise approaches you can implement easily:

Encouragement:

You are praising the process, not the outcome. You are making her responsible

  • Select a characteristic or behavior you want to develop or foster in a positive and constructive way
  • Call attention to the process
  • You support the process and make progress in building your child’s confidence
  • When she/he comes home with a poor grade on a test, you might say: “I like the effort you put into studying. Maybe a bit more next time, you think?”

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Listening

Allowing your child to explain tells him you value his point of view and observations. Being heard is a powerful motivator

  • Take time to listen, and make sure your children know you’re listening
  • Listen to complaints and be empathetic
  • Don’t immediately take your child’s or the teacher’s side, for instance. Hear his point of view

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Rewarding

You are teaching your child to internalize her abilities and to eventually be able to evaluate herself accurately

  • Focus on the direction your child is moving in
  • You might say: “You improved so much since your last report card. Aren’t you proud of yourself? You should be.”

Reinforcement

Reliving bright moments reminds children of their “strong suits.” You are telling your child she has something worthwhile to offer and share with you. Showing a genuine interest allows a child to relive accomplishments—and this kind of response can cultivate diligence and determination

  • You might say: “I like the song you sang for grandma and grandpa. Would you sing it for me now?” Or, you might ask your child to retell a joke or ask for instruction: “The dog seems to respond so well to your training. Show me how you get him to do that, please.”

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Questioning :

Ask questions that might help them introspect their thoughts and actions

  • You might say: “How did you choose the colors for that picture? What did you use to make those lines? It’s so unusual, interesting, real, pretty, cheerful”

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Mirroring

Your undivided attention is worth more than platitudes shouted from another room. Showing an interest in what’s he’s interested packs more of a punch than simply saying

  • If you are consistently responsive, your child is more likely to be confident
  • Let her know that you see her and recognize her accomplishments, large and small
  • Observe and talk about how orderly it is; how well she’s protecting it. Or ask, “Where did you find all these things?”

Don’t praise your child like this!

“Good job” (and other variants such as “Way to go,” “Nice job,” and “That’s great”) have become knee-jerk reactions from parents whenever their kids do something worthy of acknowledgment

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What’s the problem with “Good job?”

Well, it’s lazy praise, it’s worthless praise, and it’s harmful praise. Now you can start to see the problems with “good job!”

  • First, it lacks specificity
  • Second, “good job!” focuses on the outcome rather than the process- Instead say “Good effort!” because it focuses them on what they did to do a good job

Don’t get misguided by the “self-esteem movement,”

A way to build their children’s self-esteem is to tell them how good they are at things. Unfortunately, trying to convince your children of their competence will likely fail because life has a way of telling them unequivocally how capable or incapable they really are through success and failure

  • “Praising children for intelligence makes them fear difficulty because they begin to equate failure with stupidity.”

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Too much praise of any sort can also be unhealthy

Children lavished with praise were more cautious in their responses to questions, had less confidence in their answers, were less persistent in difficult assignments, and less willing to share their ideas

Ending note

Children develop a sense of competence by seeing the consequences of their actions, not by being told about the consequences of their actions. Children who were praised for their effort showed more interest in learning, demonstrated greater persistence and more enjoyment, attributed their failure to lack of effort (which they believed they could change), and performed well in subsequent achievement activities. The rewarding effort also encouraged them to work harder and to seek new challenges. To conclude, “Parental encouragement of learning strategies helps children build a sense of personal responsibility for-and control over-their academic careers.”

SINGLE PARENTING

SINGLE PARENTINGRaising a child is like an ocean voyage – full of raging storms, rough waves, and occasional sunny tranquility. It’s hard enough with a partner, but when you’re doing it alone being a single parent, the difficulty rises to a whole new level. Single-parent families may be defined as “A family comprising of a single mother or father having their own dependent children”.

“Yes, being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride.” Just because you’re steering a one-person kayak rather than a two-person canoe doesn’t mean you can’t handily navigate the tumultuous waters of parenthood. Children raised by single parents can be just as happy and mentally healthy as children living with two biological parents. Whether a child has one parent or more, children do well when they have parenting that’s nurturing, warm, sensitive, responsive, and flexible.

SINGLE PARENTINGKeep in mind that there are millions of other single parents all in the same boat. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, make new friends, and explore new activities. The below ideas and tips can help smooth your journey

Single parents can raise happy, healthy children

Parents can give their children appropriate parenting when they: feel confident about parenting; they are concerned about being a good parent; understand that no-one’s perfect and seek support from family; friends or any community-level programs.

SINGLE PARENTING

1) Manage your expectations of yourself and others:

Be realistic and reasonable. Your kids will do well and turn out “good enough” when you calm down and allow yourself to be “fine enough” as a parent.

2)Try to maintain a mature relationship with your ex:

If you are separated or divorced, work at being civil with one another. Ongoing conflicts often have a negative effect on children and can leave them feeling bitter, frustrated, withdrawn and stressed.

3) Develop a support network for yourself:

I can’t state enough how important this one is. Work on building a network of caring individuals around you and your child.

4)Expect respect from your children:

Expect your children to treat you with respect, even when they grow bigger and stronger than you. Insist on day one that they respect you. Never put up with abuse. Do not allow yourself to get entangled in endless debates or arguments.

5)Be aware of your kids:

Get to know the important people in their lives such as their teachers, coaches, and friends.

6) Make Time to Play:

SINGLE PARENTINGNo matter how busy life gets, devote time on a regular basis to relaxing, and having fun with your kids. Focus your attention on enjoying each other’s company and tune out other distractions.

“I often recommend to families that they schedule a playtime — perhaps once a week — when they turn off the television and phone and spend a half-hour playing a game, taking a walk, or throwing a ball around,” says Barry G. Ginsberg, Ph.D., a child, and family psychologist in Doylestown, Pa., and author of 50 Wonderful Ways to Be a Single-Parent Family. “It helps reinforce your emotional connection.”

Single parents & importance of your self needs

SINGLE PARENTING

Take care of yourself :

Self-care in the early days of parenting is more about paying attention to your basic needs. Incorporating small chunks of exercise into life whenever possible can be one strategy. “I had to pay attention to make sure I was even eating enough,” says Rachel Sarah, author of the book Single Mom Seeking. “I also learned the importance of getting enough sleep, which meant forgoing a lot of chores. My place was a mess, but I just had to let that go.”

Move past “couple envy”:

Constant envy can turn into resentment and bitterness, which is a drain on your energy. Focus instead on things in your life that you’re grateful for. “I used to feel envious of friends who had a kind, involved husband,” says one mom who prefers to remain anonymous. But as she learned, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the illusion that everything would be perfect if you just had a partner.

Plan ahead for urgent situations:

develop an “emergency list” of friends and family members you know you can call on. “Once, at 6 a.m., I was so sick that I couldn’t even feed my baby. I knew my friend Swathi would be up since she runs every morning, so I called her and she came right over,” says Purnima.

SINGLE PARENTING

Build a community:

A strong community can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging – the perfect antidote to the isolation brought on by solo parenting. Finding moms and dads in similar situations can be a lifesaver. Don’t just focus on other single parents. If you’re on the introverted side, building a community can be tough. You may need to push yourself into social situations.

SINGLE PARENTING

Give yourself breaks:

Recharge your batteries by arranging for your kids to be with a grandparent or babysitter for a few hours. Though it’s tempting, don’t use that time to clean your house or get caught up on laundry or work. “Do something fun with your friends, enjoy some solitude, or watch old movies all day,” says Anastasi. “Learn to enjoy life and to model that for your kids.”

SINGLE PARENTING

Form or Join a Childcare Co-Op

To be less stressed and to save money on babysitters, get to know other local families, consider joining or forming a babysitting co-op. “You can form a co-op with other parents you trust who have kids around the same age as yours,” says Jim Anastasi, LMFT, a marriage, and family therapist in Mason City, Iowa. “They can watch your kids one night a week and you can watch their kids the next night.”

Brief epilogue

Everyone has an opinion and most are eager to share them. But when it is you and your kids and your life, you have to trust your inner mom/dad and do what is right for you. Your inner mom/dad knows more than you give credit for. As you learn to deal with your children and the boundary-pushing, changing attitudes and the effects of friends, you are also learning that the best discipline comes from a confident, dedicated person who understands that correcting behaviors is truly for the good of the child.

Parenting Styles and Child Behavior

According to the American Psychological Association, parenting practices around the world share three major goals: ensuring children’s health and safety, preparing children for life as productive adults, and transmitting cultural values (APA, 2018).  Needless to say, these objectives are ambitious.  Being a successful parent is no small feat and whether children become competent, healthy, productive adults depend on a variety of environmental and biological factors.  The influences on child outcomes are numerous, but a wealth of literature indicates parenting practices are an important part of the equation. The extent to which parenting practices shape behavioral development in children is a complex question and, though we may not be able to answer it with certainty, we can be certain that parents are important factors in their children’s behavioral outcomes.

For instance, a mother’s parenting behaviors, including the extent to which she displays affection toward and exerts behavioral and psychological control over her child when that child is five years of age are linked to later child internalizing and externalizing behaviors (Aunola & Nurmi, 2005).

Internalizing, or emotional, behavior problems often refer to anxiety and depression (Akhter et al., 2011).  Externalizing, or disruptive, behavior problems commonly include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct problems (Akhter et al., 2011). These are just a few common behavioral problems that are, in part, shaped by particular styles of parenting.

A common way of addressing these complexities is to organize parenting behaviors into four distinct parenting styles: Authoritarian, Permissive, Uninvolved, and Authoritative (Maccoby & Martin, 1983).

These four parenting styles are based on two parental dimensions: parental warmth, which is related to parental affection toward and acceptance of the child, and parental control, which is related to the active role parents play in promoting respect for rules and social conventions (Maccoby and Martin, 1983).  There has been extensive research on the implications parenting styles have on behavioral outcomes in children.

Parenting Styles and Child Behavior

 

Authoritarian Parenting
Authoritarian parents are often thought of as disciplinarians.
⦁ They use a strict discipline style with little negotiation possible. Punishment is common.
⦁ Communication is mostly one way: from parent to child. Rules usually are not explained.
⦁ Parents with this style are typically less nurturing.
⦁ Expectations are high with limited flexibility.

Possible reactions by children who have Authoritarian parents:
⦁ The child usually does not want anything to do with his/her parents’ rules or values. S/he tends to reject the ideals of his/her parents.
⦁ These children are also likely to grow up unable to handle power and authority. They may tend to misuse it and therefore be unhappy.
⦁ The child may be attracted to children who rebel against their parents and the general rules of society.
⦁ The child may be loud and demanding of his/her rights. In a classroom setting, s/he may cause disruption in order to gain attention from others or be involved in bullying.

Permissive Parenting
Permissive or Indulgent parents mostly let their children do what they want, and offer limited guidance or direction. They are more like friends than parents.
⦁ Their discipline style is the opposite of strict. They have limited or no rules and mostly let children figure problems out on their own.
⦁ Communication is open but these parents let children decide for themselves rather than giving direction.
⦁ Parents in this category tend to be warm and nurturing.
⦁ Expectations are typically minimal or not set by these parents.

Possible reactions by children who have Permissive parents:
⦁ The child senses that s/he is in the driver’s seat and can play the parent accordingly.
⦁ S/he develops a feeling of insecurity, which is like leaning against a wall that appears to be firm but falls over.
⦁ The child may have little self- respect because s/he has not learned to control himself/herself and master certain personal disciplines.
⦁ S/he learns that because standards are not firm, s/he can manipulate around the rules.

Uninvolved Parenting
Uninvolved parents give children a lot of freedom and generally stay out of their way. Some parents may make a conscious decision to parent in this way, while others are less interested in parenting or unsure of what to do.
⦁ No particular discipline style is utilized. An uninvolved parent lets a child mostly do what he wants, probably out of a lack of information or care.
⦁ Communication is limited.
⦁ This group of parents offers little nurturing.
⦁ There are few or no expectations of children.

Possible reactions by children who have Uninvolved parents:
⦁ Are more impulsive.
⦁ Cannot self-regulate emotion.
⦁ Encounter more delinquency and addictions problems.
⦁ Have more mental issues.
⦁ Have self-esteem issues.
⦁ They tend to perform poorly in school.
⦁ Frequent behavior concerns and ranks low in happiness.

Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parents are reasonable and nurturing and set high, clear expectations. Children with parents who demonstrate this style tend to be self-disciplined and think for themselves. This style is thought to be most beneficial to children.
⦁ Disciplinary rules are clear and the reasons behind them are explained.
⦁ Communication is frequent and appropriate to the child’s level of understanding.
⦁ Authoritative parents are nurturing.
⦁ Expectations and goals are high but stated clearly. Children may have input into goals.

Possible reactions by children who have Authoritative parents:
⦁ Children raised with authoritative discipline tend to be happy and successful.
⦁ They’re also more likely to be good at making decisions and evaluating safety risks on their own.
⦁ Children are more independent, self-reliant, socially accepted, academically successful, and well-behaved.
⦁ Children are less likely to report depression and anxiety, and less likely to engage in antisocial behavior like delinquency.

CONCLUSION:

Parenting is very important. Effective parenting plays a vital role in whether a child becomes a productive member of society or not. When children receive proper love and support, it helps the child develop properly and helps them to have the right mindset about life and its challenges. Proper parenting lets the child know what to expect out of life and how to deal with them as well. No parent should want their child to have to look to anyone else other than for guidance and support. Parenting styles do not always have to be strict. As long as the parent is consistent with the rules given I believe children will follow them more with any problems. When parents try to be demanding that is when the child simply rebels and ends up

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VALUES AND CHARACTER FORMATION

 

When I was in primary school, we received letter grades for character, such as “Kindness,” “Helpfulness,” and “Behaviour.”
On the bus ride home one day, the girl next to me took one look at her report card and burst into tears. She had received a low grade for Mathematics.
“But look,” I said. “You aced your Character Report!”
If I thought that would console her, I was wrong.
Who cares? My mom doesn’t even look at those,” the girl said.
Apparently, her parents were only impressed when she scored straight A‘s in academic courses.

According to a recent study by Harvard University, even though parents talk about being caring and considerate, a majority of kids appear to value academic achievement over helping others.
About 80% of the youth in the survey believe that their parents prioritize success and happiness over empathy. I’m sure that the girl on the bus believed the same about her parents.

Raising kids today in a fast-paced and ever-changing society is a daunting challenge for parents. Kids are born in the lap of technology and the proliferation of tech gadgets has influenced our cultural landscape. Therefore, in the current techno-digital era, instilling values in kids at a young age must be done with a sense of urgency.
Usually, the parents are the first people to have an influence on a child and their values. A well-mannered person is always loved, respected, and welcomed everywhere by everybody. Good manners are acquired more by observation than by formal teaching. Right from childhood, a toddler will imitate his/her parents. It is, therefore, necessary that parents are alert, because the children, like monkeys, imitate what their parents do.

Some of the guidelines which the parents must keep in mind

Good behavior: A child’s behavior is the basis of all good manners. He/she should be polite and respectful to the elders. He/she should learn to say the words “thanks”, ‟sorry‟, ‟ welcome‟ and beg your pardon‟.
⦁ Children learn a lot while on the playground. The qualities of giving and taking, sportsmanship, friendship, and concern for others are acquired during sports.
⦁ The children must be benevolent and kind not only towards their elders but also towards those who are younger in age.
⦁ The parents must respect the feelings and individuality of their children. They should never belittle their child in front of his friends or outsiders.

Ways to inculcate good values:

It takes time to acquire a habit and the parents need to be patient with their children. Keep repeating these habits every day so the child inculcates it more promptly. Sometimes, parents are not aware of what habits they should teach their children. So to make things easy, here is a list of good habits you can teach your child daily.
Keep Things Positive: Having a positive frame of mind is extremely essential for a parent during a child’s initial years. Everything that teaches to the child now will leave a mark on his thought pattern. The last thing a parent would want is to see the kid take the route of pessimism and depression as a teen or an adult. Adopt a positive frame of mind, and make sure the environment at home is happy and comfortable.
Be Realistic With Your Expectations: One of the most important factors to remember while bringing up the child is to keep our expectations realistic. The kid is bound to make mistakes at some point in time, and a parent needs to deal with it patiently and gracefully. Remember that kid is still small and inexperienced, and he will most likely emulate what he observes around him. Children will learn to do what you expect from them if your expectations as a parent are realistic. As parents, you have to realize that children don’t learn at the same rate and within the same time frame and with the same ease. Nor can they reach a uniform level of achievement even when they grow up to be adults. Even though, parents are aware of this still they have high expectations from their children. Naturally, there will be some expectations but they shouldn’t be rosy expectations.
Set Strong Ground Rules: As a parent, it is extremely important for you to set down rules for your kid, especially after he has started school. Now is the time to make a routine time table for a kid. Set out fixed hours for playtime, homework, and screen time. Give him 15 minutes every day to clean his room and an hour to relax out in the garden. Try to make a flexible routine and don’t be too strict while allocating time for study and play. Keep adequate time for playing as sports help in both physical and mental development.
Reward a Child: It is a great idea to reward a child for his good behavior. This will keep him motivated and will help him stick to being at his best behavior always. However, a key point to note here is to avoid rewarding your kid with materialistic things like chocolates, an hour of TV, and the like. Make the rewards intangible – a hug, a word of appreciation, etc. Reward a child with good experiences- this way; he will learn that happiness lies in enriching experiences rather than worldly pleasures.
Show Respect: Respecting elders is something that would want a kid to build as his etiquette. If a parent hasn’t done that already, it’s now time to encourage him to do the same. Readout bedtime stories that talk about kids seeking blessings from the elders and helping them out with their activities. It is also a great way to help a kid connect with his grandparents.
Say No and YES at the correct time: Your child should know that when you say „No‟ to something, it’s a final call! The last thing you need is your kid turning into an arrogant and ruthless personality who always gets away with his excuses. Remind him that you in authority and you will be the one making decisions on his behalf till he grows older. Of course, make him realize the fact that he can always get a chance to voice his opinion and explain his side; but of course, the end verdict will be yours. As much as saying „No‟ matters, you must know when to say „Yes‟ as well. If your child has to attend a birthday party, let him go ahead and actively participate, even if it means changes in the schedule. The little things that enhance your kid’s social skills are completely acceptable.
Be a Role Model: One of the best ways to develop good habits for kids is by setting a good example yourselves. Your child learns most of the things watching your everyday behavior and habits. Hence it becomes important for you to exhibit the best so that he imbibes the same.

Conclusion:
Parenting is nothing short of a challenging experience and it isn’t a smooth road. Expect a lot of bumps on the way. Rest assured that you’ll be able to handle everything wonderfully if you just keep calm and deal with your kid in the right way. Always be mindful of the fact that being too strict or too easy isn’t going to help. Finding a balance is the best way to handle any situation.


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MANAGE EXAM STRESS

Being successful in exams is a simple two-step process: Believe in yourself and back it up with plain old hard work.

For many students, the biggest problem with exams is lack of confidence, or what some people might call “test anxiety”.

Strategies:

1. Good Preparation:
There is no substitute for good preparation. Students have to study, read the materials, and engage with what they have learned. The best way to study is not to cram it all in hours or minutes before an exam. In fact, research has proven that a person who studies and then gets some rest does better on a test than someone who crams for twice as long and then goes straight to the exam. This means that it is better to study for one hour, five days in a row then to study five hours just before the test.

2. It is all about Attitude:

Both when studying and when actually sitting for an exam, attitude matters. A positive attitude keeps one’s mind open, it keeps the body relaxed, and it makes it easier to concentrate and recall what they have learned.
Sometimes, though, staying positive can be difficult, particularly if the test is very important if they are experiencing other life challenges at the time, if the exam is in a subject that is particularly difficult for them, or if they really had a bad test anxiety issue. In such situations simply trying to keep a good mood may not be easy. With a lot of support and positive motivation, they can overcome their unhappy state of mind and work to stay happy and handle the exam stress.

3. Diet:

Drink More Water and Eat Healthy Foods
Of course, drinking ample water (6-8 glasses a day, for most people), and eating healthy food including, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, is an important part of giving your body energy and your mind the power it needs.
And remember, if the stress and rush of exams have kept them away from eating not quite as well as they should, supplement with multivitamin tablets to keep their body balanced and stay focused. Allow them to take a walk around the block, because exercise and fresh air are good for stress relief as well as processing their thoughts.

4. Encourage them to Avoid Talking About their Studies Just before the Exam and Trust their Preparation:

Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to not talk about the topic but, instead, just take a break and let their mind relax. This is particularly true of test anxiety; it is important that they get their mind off studies in the hour or so just before the exam. Rather than cramming in those last-minute facts, encourage them to trust their preparation which they did with due diligence, studied what needed to study.

5. Include a Small Fun Break in their Schedule to Relax their Body:

The best way to do this is to schedule them into their study time. If you take impromptu breaks you are more likely to abuse them, letting your attention wander too far from your task at hand. Instead, schedule your study time and build-in breaks. For example, you might say that you are going to start studying at 4 pm, then take a break for a snack at 5 pm. Then, they plan to study from 6 until 7 pm. Every hour a short break is suggested to help them to get back on their track of learning.

6. Meditation:

Continuing the schedule from the previous tip, let’s remember that they also need to rest their mind and open it up for more learning. So, some of those breaks might be relaxing, taking a nap, eating, and otherwise taking care of their body. But some should include taking care of their mind, perhaps through meditation. Inculcating a habit to do a bit of yoga or meditation is suggested, then, doing a final hour of studying before getting a good night’s sleep.

Common Mistakes during Exams:

1. Not answering the question

There are two main reasons for this:
Not reading the question properly, or
Wanting to answer a slightly different question.
The first is easier to manage: Always ask them to read the question fully. Then go back and read it again to check that they have understood. Only then they should start to answer it, once they are sure they have understood it fully.
The second often arises from a mistake in preparation or revision. Some students prepare set answers, either because they are doing practice questions, or because they have panicked and not left enough time to revise fully. If they have done this, there is a tendency to use their prepared answer and hope that they will get enough marks for doing so. Examiners are looking for evidence that they can think and work under pressure, not that they can learn an essay off by heart. The real answer to this mistake is to ensure that they have learned your subject well, and read around it. By all means, let them do practice answers, and draw on these in their exam, but make sure that they answer the question that has been asked and not the question they want.

2. Not looking at the mark scheme or the space provided.

Both the mark scheme and the space provided (if there is one) will provide clues about how much the examiners are expecting to see. A one-word answer is not going to be enough for a 15-mark question. Check the marks available, and make sure that their answer fits.

3. Panicking

Faced with an exam paper, it is easy to panic, especially if their first reaction is that they are unable to answer any of the questions. Ask them to take a deep breath and count to ten, slowly. That will help them to calm down.
It sounds obvious, but it is important to provide some answers, even if they are not very good. Even if they are really struggling, they should be able to find one question that they can answer, or make a reasonable attempt to answer. Start with that, and when they have finished it, go through the same process again.

4. Failing to plan their time

Before they start writing, check the number of questions, and the amount of time they have. This will tell them roughly how long they have for each question. Try to spend no more than that much time on each question. They can always go back later if they have time leftover, but it is better to make at least some attempt at each question. For example, in a three-hour exam, if they have to write three essays, they should plan to spend an hour on each. As they get to around 55 minutes in, start to draw their first essay to a conclusion, and then start their next one. Do the same after another 55 minutes. The same goes for multiple choice exams. Try to be aware of the time, and the number of questions completed, and ensure that they have left enough time to complete the paper.

5. Over-generalizing

It is best to be as specific as possible in whatever they write. They should show that they understand the limits of their statement.

In Conclusion…

Most of these errors stem from either insufficient or incorrect preparation or getting stressed under exam pressure. Equally, if they have done their revision, there is no need to get stressed in an exam. Relaxing, though difficult, will help them to answer the questions better.

Supporting Children through Exams:

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to let go. There is a natural tendency to want to keep supporting your children, and helping them through life.

Some parents take this to extremes, and may even try to do everything for their children.

Setting aside whether you think that is healthy for either child or parent, there is one area where you really cannot do it for them: exams. At some point, your child will have to go into an exam room, and sit and do an exam for themselves. So what can you do to help them to prepare for this moment?

Strategies:

It’s not about you
It is important to remember that your child’s performance in exams is not about you. It does not reflect on you in any way. If they choose not to work, that is their problem, not yours.
One of our key jobs as parents is to help our children to develop their own intrinsic motivation. This means the capacity to want to do things because they are worth doing, and not because someone else is standing over them telling them that they must.
Standing over your child telling them to revise, and how to do it, does NOT help them to develop their own intrinsic motivation.
It is, however, perfectly reasonable to help your child to think through the consequences of failure, which might include.
Remember: you want your child to develop the motivation to work for themselves.

Developing Habits of Studying

First of all, it is vital to remember that studying does not start at the point of taking major exams. Like developing independence, it is an ongoing process. It starts when your children first have spellings to learn or homework to do, and continues throughout their school life.
The approach that you take to homework will help to determine how your child develops study skills.
Nobody expects a six-year-old to manage to remember to do their homework and do it entirely alone. Equally, their homework is for them, not for you. Your support and encouragement are important, but if you do it for them, the school will not know if they are struggling. It is important to find a balance and to maintain it throughout their school career.
It is important to develop a strategy for supporting studying that works for you and your child, but at the very least it needs, to help your child to develop habits of studying effectively on their own.
Remember…

{Support and encouragement = good.
Doing it for them = bad}

Helping Your Child to Revise

Let us then assume that your child has developed good habits of independent study, and generally lets you know if and when he or she has any problems.

It may be helpful to ask your child what support, if any, they would like from you during exams.

For example, would they like you to be available for discussions, or to ferry them to school for some extra classes, or provide any additional resources, or even to help them draw up a realistic revision plan?
It is a good idea to choose your moment for this discussion, and make sure that they do not see it as you nagging them to revise, but rather an opportunity for them to say what they need from you.

You need to make sure that you provide a suitable environment for study.

You may, however, need to make sure that noisy and disruptive younger siblings are out of the way, or at least kept busy and quiet for most of the day. Organizing playdates at other houses might be a good option, as it also could be using grandparents or other childcare options. Taking younger siblings out for a treat may make the older one feel a bit left out, so it may be better to avoid this if possible.

Make sure that they are looking after themselves.

It is all too easy when they are studying, they tend to forget to eat. With parents working, many teenagers may be accustomed to feeding themselves, but revision periods may be the time to break this habit. Try to make sure that your child has a well-cooked meal each day, and that they are eating a healthy, balanced diet.
It is also important to make sure that your child is getting enough sleep and plenty of exercises. You may need to lead by example here, and take them out for a walk or a bike ride, or to the swimming pool, to give them a break from studying.

What Happens if it All Goes Wrong?

The million-dollar question: what if your child has failed one or more of their exams, despite all their (and your) efforts?
They then have to work out what to do next.
There are likely to be some fairly straightforward options, depending on the timing of their failure:
They may be able to retake the year, either at the same school or at another;
They may be able to move onto the next stage while continuing to study one or more subjects with a view to retaking at the end of the year;
They may simply be able to move onto the next stage, depending on the subject(s) they have failed.
These options will depend on the school, and you should encourage your child to go and talk to their teacher(s) about options as early as possible.
If necessary, you may want to go too, but encourage your child to be actively involved in the conversation: after all, it’s their life for the next year or more that you are discussing.
Remember: it is very easy for a child or young person to focus on what is in front of them, without thinking about whether it suits them. Failing exams is a chance to re-evaluate what they want to do.
Rather than assuming that your child has simply failed to work hard enough, it may be worth discussing what problems and issues they have found during the year: have they, for example, struggled to get through reading lists or found it difficult to understand some of the concepts for no obvious reason?
If so, they may need additional help, and you should discuss this with the school or college.

Tips for Students:

1. Intake of Healthy food

You should aim to avoid or reduce your intake of refined sugars – they are contained in many manufactured foods (even in savory foods such as salad dressings and bread) and can cause energy crashes which may lead you to feel tired and irritable. In general, try to eat a healthy, well-balanced, and nutritious diet.

2. Indulge in Physical Activity

Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. These are the “fight or flight” hormones that evolution has hard-wired into our brains and which are designed to protect us from immediate bodily harm when we are under threat. However, the stress in the modern age is rarely remedied by a fight or flight response, and so physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.

When you feel stressed and tense, go for a brisk walk in the fresh air. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work or at lunchtime. Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.
Laughter Therapy can help to reduce stress hormones.

3. Get More Sleep

A lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress. Unfortunately, though, stress also interrupts our sleep as thoughts keep whirling through our heads, stopping us from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
Rather than relying on medication, your aim should be to maximize your relaxation before going to sleep. Make sure that your bedroom is a tranquil oasis with no reminders of the things that cause you stress. Stop doing any mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed so that you give your brain time to calm down. Try taking a warm bath or reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes, and help you forget about the things that worry you. You should also aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day so that your mind and body get used to a predictable bedtime routine.

4. Try Relaxation Techniques

Each day, try to relax with a stress-reduction technique. There are many tried and tested ways to reduce stress so try a few and see what works best for you.

For example, try self-hypnosis which is very easy and can be done anywhere, even at your desk or in the car. One very simple technique is to focus on a word or phrase that has a positive meaning to you. Words such as “calm” “peace” work well, or you could think of a self-affirming mantra such as “I deserve calm in my life” or “Grant me serenity”. Focus on your chosen word or phrase; if you find your mind has wandered or you become aware of intrusive thoughts entering your mind, simply disregard them and return your focus to the chosen word or phrase. If you find yourself becoming tense again later, simply silently repeat your word or phrase.
Don’t worry if you find it difficult to relax at first. Relaxation is a skill that needs to be learned and will improve with practice.

5. Talk to Someone

Just talking to someone about how you feel can be helpful. Talking can work by either distracting you from your stressful thoughts or releasing some of the built-up tension by discussing it.
Stress can cloud your judgment and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.

6. Keep a Stress Diary

Keeping a stress diary for a few weeks is an effective stress management tool as it will help you become more aware of the situations which cause you to become stressed.
Note down the date, time, and place of each stressful episode, and note what you were doing, who you were with, and how you felt both physically and emotionally. Give each stressful episode a stress rating (on, say, a 1-10 scale) and use the diary to understand what triggers your stress and how effective you are in stressful situations. This will enable you to avoid stressful situations and develop better coping mechanisms.

7. Take Control

Stress can be triggered by a problem that may on the surface seem impossible to solve. Learning how to find solutions to your problems will help you feel more in control thereby lowering your level of stress.
One problem-solving technique involves writing down the problem and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can. Decide on the good and bad points of each one and select the best solution. Write down each step that you need to take as part of the solution: what will be done, how will it be done, when will it be done, who is involved and where will it take place.

8. Manage Your Time

At times, we all feel overburdened by our ‘To Do’ list and this is a common cause of stress. Accept that you cannot do everything at once and start to prioritize and diarize your tasks.

Make a list of all the things that you need to do and list them in order of genuine priority. Note what tasks you need to do personally and what can be delegated to others to do. Record which tasks need to be done immediately, in the next week, in the next month, or when time allows.
By editing what might have started out as an overwhelming and unmanageable task list, you can break it down into a series of smaller, more manageable tasks spread out over a longer time frame, with some tasks removed from the list entirely through delegation. Remember as well to create buffer times to deal with unexpected and emergency tasks, and to include time for your own relaxation and well-being.

9. Learn to Say ‘No’

A common cause of stress is having too much to do and too little time in which to do it. And yet in this situation, many people will still agree to take on additional responsibility. Learning to say “No” to additional or unimportant requests will help to reduce your level of stress, and may also help you develop more self-confidence.
To learn to say “No”, you need to understand why you find it difficult. Many people find it hard to say “No” because they want to help and are trying to be nice and to be liked. For others, it is a fear of conflict, rejection, or missed opportunities. Remember that these barriers to saying “No” are all self-created.
You might feel reluctant to respond to a request with a straight “No”, at least at first. Instead, think of some pre-prepared phrases to let other people down more gently. Practice saying phrases such as:
“I am sorry but I can’t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.”
“Now is not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. Why don’t you ask me again at….?”
“I’d love to do this, but …”

10. Rest If You Are Ill

If you are feeling unwell, do not feel that you have to carry on regardless. A short spell of rest will enable the body to recover faster.

All the Best!!

Health and wellness

                      Every time a new year rolls around, people set out to better themselves. A new year is a really good time to start afresh, to think about what you have done well in the last year, and what you would like to change or do better in the new one. January is it – prime time to envision a new-and-improved you. Time to make some determined proclamations about how things are going to be different from here on out.
                                        Most of us have a long and somewhat undignified personal history with resolutions – a history that goes something like this: “Set goal. Faltered. Failed. Forgot about it. Repeated 12 months later.” Somehow, although the majority of us define (and subsequently ditch) at least one goal or resolution annually, we just don’t appear to learn much in between.
                                         When this occurs, we assume there is something lacking in our character or willpower. Or we figure out that the timing and circumstances just aren’t right. Whatever the reason, we certainly don’t have the energy to keep throwing at a goal that isn’t working out, so after a few days or weeks of struggle and disappointment, a lot of us simply take our lumps, give up and wait for the next New Year to try again and again.
But it doesn’t have to be that way
If you plan to go into resolution/goal mode at any time in the near future, here are three key concepts:
1) Resolutions don’t just give us an opportunity to achieve specific goals. They give us an opportunity to build our integrity – to cease doing the things that damage or limit us, and to begin to do the things we know will serve us. Thinking of resolutions as character-building exercises can help shift the emphasis from outcome to process, from external results to intrinsic motivations.
2) Although we tend to think of resolutions as acts of sheer willpower, at their best they are acts of self-exploration, self-mastery, and self-acceptance. Resolutions are not about a fight against the worst parts of yourself. Rather, they are about convincing “Team You” to pull together. Understanding this can help you soften rigid, self-punishing attitudes and fears of failure.
3) Resolutions are not a one-time, change-all proposition. On the contrary, they are a cyclical, continuous process of assessment, commitment, feedback, and follow-through. These four basic phases are universal and necessary for any resolution to have lasting power and effect. So even though you may endure repeated setbacks and “re-dos” in your resolution action plan, remember: You haven’t failed until you’ve bailed on this larger process.
Resolutions are not a one-size-fits-all commodity. Each of us is rigged differently, and the approach that lands one person on the solid ground may leave another idling upstream without a paddle. So, while the basic principles and steps of goal setting are pretty straightforward, the best way for you to carry them out will depend largely on your own personality and preferences. 
1) Develop desire: Desire is the motivational force that counters fear and inertia – two of the worst resolution-shredding culprits known to man. According to Tracy, every decision you make is motivated either by fear or desire and whichever you dwell upon will tend to grow and gain power. So developing your desire – feeling it intensely and giving it maximum attention – is the best way to make it come to life. Whenever you lose touch with your root desire and get demoralized or distracted by something else, get into the habit of reconnecting with your first choice by asking yourself, “What do I really want here, and how much do I want it?” Weaken distraction, fear, and inertia simply by getting back in touch with the desire in your gut.
2) Develop belief: For your whole body and mind (including your superconscious abilities) to get on board with your goal, you need faith and conviction that it is possible. You must also have complete faith that you deserve the goal, “Because belief is the catalyst that activates your mental powers, it is important that your goals be realistic, especially at first.”  If you set a goal that’s too far beyond your conception, and your superconscious mind won’t take you seriously. So, while you are initially building your belief in yourself, set smaller, short-term goals.
3) Write it down: Until you write it down, a goal is just a wish, “One of the most powerful of all methods for implanting a goal into your subconscious mind”- is to write it out clearly, vividly, in detail, exactly as you would like to see it in reality. In this stage, don’t worry about how the goal will be achieved. Just focus on getting the description of what you want exactly right. Make it specific. Describe how the achieved goal looks, feels, and refine it until you have created is complete and accurate.
4) Make a list:  of all the ways that you will benefit from achieving your goal. Your motivation is fueled by your motives, try to focus on intrinsic motivators – the factors that line up with your own internal compass, and not the values and priorities of others. How will achieving your goal serve you and the things that matter most to you? What pleasures and opportunities will it bring? How will it remove roadblocks to success, enhance your life, and further your purpose? “If your reasons are big enough, your belief solid enough and your desire intense enough “nothing can stop you.”
5) Analyze your position: Now that you’re totally clear about where you’re going, take a moment and get oriented to where you’re at. Document your starting point with some tangible evidence. “That the clearer you are about where you are coming from and where you are going, the more likely it is that you will end up where you want to be.”
6) Set a deadline: Break long-term goals into 90-, 60- and 30-day sub-goals. To do this, you’ll need to think through the process by which your goal will be achieved and also what a realistic rate of change might look like. Using “back from the future” thinking: “Project yourself forward in your mind to your complete goal, and then look back to where you are today. Imagine the steps that you would have taken to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.” Make the steps measurable and actionable.
7) Make a list of all the obstacles: that stand between you and the accomplishment of your goal. Getting honest about major and minor obstacles also helps you take ownership of factors in your life that you might prefer to ignore – factors that may well be holding you back in multiple areas. organizing your list of obstacles in order of importance and then identifying the single biggest obstacle or “rock” in your way.
8) Identify the additional information: you will need to achieve your goal. Many of the mistakes people make in pursuing their goals, result from having insufficient or incorrect information. “One of your responsibilities,”- “is to learn what you need to know so you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.” If you suspect you might not have all the necessary knowledge or information yourself, ask yourself where you can get it. “Make a list of all the information, talents, skills, abilities, and experience that you will need,” “and then make a plan to learn, or borrow this information or skill as quickly as you can.”
9) Make a plan: This is your list of activities organized by time and priority. Look at the other lists you developed in previous steps and begin to prioritize and organize the action items in order of their value to the completed goal. Determine which steps, arrangements, and alliances you will need to complete first, which tasks require preparatory steps or additional learning, which can be done simultaneously, etc. Do not get stuck obsessing over every little thing. Accept that your initial plan will have flaws. As you progress, you will get feedback and make course corrections. Be sure to build in periodic checkpoints where you can evaluate your progress and determine whether adjustments are necessary.
10) Make the decision: To never, ever give up. Recognize from the beginning that your goal will require persistence, and remember that you have a whole cadre of tools (your plans, your support network, your capacity for self-examination) to get you through the rough times. Remember, too, that unexpected setbacks and encounters with obstacles are just forms of feedback that allow you to reinforce your plan with new information and energy!
The real key to successful resolutions: ‘the key is awareness. Awareness of the subtle forces at work in our own minds and bodies. Awareness of our own tendencies to go unconscious in certain situations.
Cultivating awareness is the most important prerequisite for successful personal development and the most under-taught skill.
Despite our best intentions and initial burst of enthusiasm, old habits die hard. Motivation wanes after a week or two and before long we’ve slipped back into our old ways.

But why is it so difficult to nail these goals?

When it comes to big, bold, and brave transformations, we’re often fighting against a lifetime of ingrained behaviors that conspire against us.
We tend to underestimate how difficult the process of change can be. So we’re not ready to do the hard work that’s needed and; therefore, aren’t as ready to change as we thought.

Ways to Help Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for adults, here are simple and practical ways to help your growing kids make New Year’s resolutions.
Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, on helping kids develop happiness habits. “They’re old enough to think about what a New Year’s resolution is and to make their own — yet parents can still help guide them.
“They’re beginning to be mindful and to understand others’ perspectives. They’re doing more independently, and they’re starting to open up to broader goals of how to become their best selves.”
Making resolutions with your children can be fun and exciting, a time for growth and change, and an opportunity for family bonding.
Eight tips on how to make New Year’s resolutions a positive experience for kids and to help them keep in touch with their goals all year long.

Be Resolution Role Models

As parents, it’s important to practice what you preach. “Do you believe in, make, and keep resolutions?  “You have to walk the walk and talk the talk to be most effective.”  Instilling a sense of responsibility. “We talk about being responsible and doing well in school.”
Keep a Positive Approach to Resolutions
There’s a celebratory feeling to setting goals on New Year’s that doesn’t exist at other times of the year.
“Present it optimistically: Every day’s a new day, and you have a chance to reinvent yourself. A lot comes from your tone. If you’re putting it in a punishing, preachy way, they’ll be turned off.” Start by going over the positive things your kids accomplished last year. “Instead of pointing out shortcomings, be the historian of their previous successes, “Point to the bright spot where they’re doing something well.” Remind him how far that little bit of extra effort took him. You’ve set the stage. Next, look ahead and ask, “What are some of the great things you want to do this year? What do you want to improve? What will make your life better and happier?”
Suggest—Don’t Dictate Resolutions
You can guide and suggest general categories for change, help your child clarify goals, and make sure they’re age-appropriate, but kids should come up with resolutions themselves. This is how they take ownership of their goals and learn to plan.
Narrow Down the Resolutions List
Help your child narrow them down to a couple of things to focus on.”  Help your child make them realistic and age-appropriate.    Like “I’m going to keep my room neater,” “I’m going to be a better friend,” “I’m going to read more,” or “I’m going to get better at tennis.”
Take Turtle Steps toward Big Resolutions
Turning a good intention into a habit is “one of the most important skills. we can teach our kids. Parents help kids break their resolutions down into “ridiculously easy turtle steps.” “Self-discipline is like a muscle that grows slowly,” “If you do too much at first, you will get fatigued and not be successful.”
Breaking down broad resolutions into specific, easy-to-do steps.  Like
I will help more around the house … by setting the table for dinner.
I will improve my reading … by reading 15 minutes before I go to bed.
I will eat more healthful foods … by eating one fruit at breakfast and one vegetable at dinner.
Follow Up but Don’t Nag About Resolutions
Check-in periodically with kids on how they’re doing. “Don’t worry about lapses. Expect them. A lapse is forgetting for a day or two or having a week in which a turtle step didn’t work. Or maybe you went on vacation and couldn’t practice. That’s not failure; that’s just trying. To avoid parental nagging, frame the resolutions on a wall as a reminder.
The beauty of letting kids choose their own goal is that they want it for themselves.”
Make Family Resolutions Together
Resolutions also bring families closer, especially when you decide to set goals together. When you’re sitting down and sharing resolutions with each other, it makes the family closer.  Everyone to make two personal New Year’s resolutions and two collective family resolutions such as, “Let’s visit Grandma more often” or “Let’s plan a trip to a holiday spot.”
“Families these days tend to have isolated lives”. “When you are talking about what matters to each other, that’s a bonding experience.” So turn off the electronic devices — no texting—and pay attention to one another.
The resolution doesn’t just mean making a New Year’s Resolution.
A resolution is something you can do at any time of the year.

It means to make up your mind and to decide to do something important to you please send your valuable feedback to healthandwellness@dpssecunderabad.in