Monthly Archives: May 2010

Stay at Home Summer Camp

Happy  Memorial Day!  Now that the unofficial start of summer is here, it’s time to start making those summer plans.  Check out my latest post on Arizona Mama  to see how I use one of my favorite tools, the Summer Bridge workbooks, to help keep the kids busy, having fun and using their brains! 

Now I’m off to make Memorial Day special and share my gratitude to those who sacrificed so much for our countries freedom. 

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Saturday Sentament

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave” – Elmer Davis

Thanks to all the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom and those who continue to do so!

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The Power of Praise

I went to a class about parenting “gifted” children a few months ago.  It was a very interesting and informative class.  I wish I would have had a notepad to write down everything I hoped to remember!  The one thing that caught me off guard and seemed to contradict what I had previously been taught about parenting was the discussion on praise.  When I was a teenager, teachers would occasionally praise students work.  Parents rarely did, it was like thanking someone for something they were supposed to do anyway – unnecessary.  By the time I had kids, the parenting gurus talked about catching your kids (or your husband) doing something good so you could praise them for it.

In this parenting gifted children class, the coordinator of the district’s gifted program shared the results of a new study.  Some kids playing on a soccer team were told they were good players; they were satisfied and often didn’t want to continue playing soccer the next season.  Other players  were praised for specific things, like their hustle or a good block.  Those kids were more likely to continue playing soccer.  The same held true with academics.  When students were told they were smart after a test, and then turned down the chance to take another similar test.  Other students were given specific praise on things like their effort; they were more likely to volunteer to take another similar test.  The study showed that children are more motivated when their efforts are praised, instead of when the results are praised.  They often feel that they’ve met the goal when the results are praised.  Conversely, they are motivated to keep improving when they are praised for the process.

Vague praise often feels insincere and patronizing. Children and adults are motivated when we feel truly appreciated and noticed.  I try to keep that in mind when praising and encouraging my children.  I love them because I love them, but I appreciate them for specific reasons; a compliment from a teacher for good participation, finishing a book, or being thoughtful.  Try your own experiment for a week and let me know your results!

Posted in Education, family, Motherhood | 3 Comments

Retail Therapy

Do you ever find yourself in a funk that you can’t seem to shake?  I think it happens to most of us.  The real trick is getting back to our normal selves!  I know I’m most likely to get the blues when I’m overwhelmed with too much to do.  What I need most is the thing that is hardest to do – some retail therapy. Nothing seems to turn me around like some girl time cruising the mall.  I know it’s more the girl time, time without any pressing responsibilities, that does the trick than the actual shopping.  The mall just provides all those “shiny” things that are great for distracting me from life’s challenges, I’m sure the walking around helps too.  So does the food – there’s got to be a little food somewhere along the way!  

My favorite therapy companion is my mom, even when I was in high school I liked shopping with her best (except when she would tell random boys at the mall I thought they were cute).  It was a lot easier then to find a day to spend at the mall, and we would spend the whole day shopping.  Now we try to get a big chunk of the day, but the end usually comes too soon.  On the rare occasion we do get a whole day, I’ve noticed our stamina has dropped off.  Not enough training, I say!
While finding a screaming deal or two is a nice bonus, the day isn’t really about buying.  We’ve had several “successful” shopping trips where the only thing we bought was lunch or a cookie.

Who is your favorite therapy partner?  Where do you like to escape to when you need a little retail therapy?

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