Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reading is Important

Reading is important

Did you read to your child when she was younger? Many parents begin reading bedtime stories to their babies at a very early age. Those same parents continue that activity as their young child is learning to read. Then at some point, we stop reading to our children. There are a lot of reasons for this. By fourth grade there are many after school activities, such as sports and music lessons. There are also more social obligations for fourth graders, including things such as birthday parties and getting together with friends for movies and things. Afternoons and evenings get eaten up with homework, and the mad rush to bedtime, so that we can begin the whole race again, bright and early tomorrow. Sometimes it is our children who think that being read to is for babies. At fourth grade, they may say that, but since they are not completely independent of parents, secretly they may still want the time together. Reading, and the bonding time that it allows is important. Let your child see you read, let them know that it means something to you. Encourage your child to read on their own, too. By fostering a love of books and reading early, we are encouraging our children to be lifelong learners and that is a good thing to be!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Peer pressure, part 2

Helping your fourth grader deal with peer pressure, part 2.

Last time we talked about things you could do to help your child deal with peer pressure. While you can speak to other parents, know your child’s friends, make your house a meeting place, and provide your child with group activities that are guided by morals you want your child to learn, ultimately your child is the one “in the trenches”. It is not the times that your child is right under your nose that he will have to deal with peer pressure. It is always the times when they are not under your direct influence that will be the most pressure inducing. The answer to this is to teach your child how to deal directly with peer pressure. You have heard the old adage that says, basically, to teach your child what is right, and they will remember it as they get older. If your child knows what you consider the right thing to do, and what is acceptable within the family, then it is easier for them to take that knowledge and use it as armor against those people who might lead them down a path that will get them in trouble. Teach your child to say , “No”. And let them know that it is always alright for them to use you as an excuse if they don’t want to do something, or feel uncomfortable with something. Let them know it is okay to say, “No, I am not going to do that, my Mom would have a fit!” Give your child an out, and let them know that you will come and get them from any and all situations that feel wrong or uncomfortable, no questions asked. Oh, and one other thing, be open to talk to your child, not just preach at them, or do all the teaching. Be willing to hear how they feel about things.