Thursday, October 11, 2018

Music education helps improve children's ability to learn

Music education helps improve children's ability to learn

 What if a large number of scientific studies found there was one activity that could improve our cognitive function, help our memory systems work effectively, help us learn language, help us moderate our emotional states, help us solve complex problems and help our brains be healthier into later life? What if that activity was also enjoyable for everyone involved?

There is one such activity: music education.
I am a music educator who has become fascinated by the research done by neuroscientists and psychologists about the impact of music learning on brain development, especially in school-aged children.


A question I frequently get asked is: how can one activity have so many positive impacts on the brain? The list in my opening statement is just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the last four years, we have learned how music education improves working memory, phonemic awareness, development of complex spatial skills, impulse control development, auditory development that protects our brains from aging, and reading and comprehension skills. The list could go on and on.

Learning music is a full brain workout

What we now know is that learning a musical instrument and foundation music education skills – such as clapping in time, singing in tune and moving to music – are some of the most complex cognitive activities the brain can undertake. They involve the auditory, motor and visual cortices communicating at an astonishingly fast rate, while the cognitive, reward and sensory networks are sharing information, and the perception, emotion and cognition networks are making personal meaning from all the logical information the brain is processing.


 After doing something so complex, our brains look at other tasks like reading, problem solving and conceptualization and say: “Well, this is easy in comparison to music learning!”

The list of skills and abilities that music learning develops is still very long, but it has started to be sorted under three main areas: language development, executive skills and social skills development.
To give you an idea of how this happens, here is a crash course in music and the brain.

 How learning music improves brain development

The parts of the brain that are responsible for learning music and language are overlapping.
This means we hear music as language when we are babies and we use that understanding to the learn how to decode language and speak it.
This is why musically trained children tend to acquire language quicker, learn how to read earlier and develop comprehension skills earlier. This is the very foundation of all learning at school: the ability to use language.
The act of learning music requires children to use many different parts of their brains at once.


One of the areas that gets a great workout is the prefrontal cortex, where our executive functions live – the area where we very slowly, through our entire school career, learn how to manage ourselves.

Music learning requires the use of that system just a little bit every single time we pick up an instrument and do a musical activity. It is the slow, permanent and effective development of the most complex part of our brains.

Playing music in a group, whether keeping a beat or playing a symphony, requires subtle, nonverbal social skills. These are the manners and explicit behaviors we work so hard to teach our children, whether as parents or teachers. These are the subtle, deeply human social skills that employers seek when they interview someone.

These serve musically trained children well into adulthood as they develop solid relationships, manage their well being, and are empathic and compassionate towards others.

The big myth about music education

Very often I hear parents say: “My children aren’t going to a be concert pianists so why should they keep learning music?”
It's a fair question but one that's informed by old thinking and a lack of understanding of the new research.

Music is a wonderful art form and one that will enrich your children regardless of how proficient they become.
Learning music to pursue it as a profession is not the point of music education for every child in school.

Learning music provides children with the cognitive foundations for effective learning, which ultimately helps them become confident learners, ready to make the most of their education.

 Must Visit : handling emotions

 Reference : Dr Anita Collins

Monday, September 24, 2018

Helping Your Kids Understand Happiness

Helping Your Kids Understand Happiness

Whether or not you are generally happy, I believe you can master happiness by learning the following five steps and using them every day, so that happiness becomes part of the conversation. A real practice, a real topic, something that is practiced as a skill in how to best handle mental well-being.

Follow these steps and teach them to your children:

  • The Happiness Decision (empowerment)
  • Happiness Boosters (positive mood boost)
  • Happiness Challenges (resiliency)
  • Heart-Based M.A.P.S. (contentment/fulfillment)
  • Faith (bliss and joy)

 The Happiness Decision -- Empower Yourself:

Reinforce their empowerment over their own mental state by encouraging them to choose happiness whenever they want to feel good. Remind them that in any moment, barring mental health issues such as depression that should be treated by a doctor, they can choose to be happy. And if they allow other people places and things power over their happiness, then they are just giving it away -- and their happiness is so valuable they want to keep it themselves and under their own control.

Happiness Boosters -- Create Positive Mood Whenever You Want:
Teach them how to boost their mood with a happiness practice filled with daily routines of a gratitude, kindness and positive reflection. Encourage dialogue around “I am grateful for ------------------- because it adds--------------------- to my life.” Encourage acts of kindness as part of a family contest or even part of allowance or bargaining agreements. At night, ask “What are three good things that happened today and how did you contribute to them?” Gratitude, kindness, and positive reflection aid in mood boosting.


Happiness Challenges -- Tools for Resiliency:

Use acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion to overcome adversity. Teach your children to respond with kindness, love, optimism, gratitude, and zest when placed in an adversarial position. Show them how to see the good that may come from the “bad” in life. Offer multiple perspectives on how acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion are the best ways to respond.

Heart-Based MAPS -- Follow your Heart:

Encourage them to see the deeper meaning and purpose in life or things they are doing in the day-to-day. Encourage them to be true to themselves by having acceptance and confidence with who they are deep inside. Encourage them to use their strengths. or what comes naturally to them in activities and situations that support their strengths.

Faith -- Trust in the Unknown:

When faced with the unknown, encourage faith and trust. We often feel fear or easily project a negative future when it comes to the unknown. Create a sense of empowerment through positive thinking and realistic optimism. Realistic optimism is where you have a realistic goal with an achievable plan and the belief in yourself to achieve it.


 So when teaching your kids about happiness, encourage them to be empowered over their own mental state, create a happiness practice of mood-boosting techniques, use happiness tools to respond to adversity, connect with the deeper meaning and purpose in life, be true to themselves, use their strengths, and choose faith*. Then your children will be better equipped to understand happiness as a tangible skill and concept to be learned and mastered.

Must Visit : handling emotions
Reference :  Dr. Aymee  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mental Health Days -- What to do when your child just won't go to school

Mental Health Days -- What to do when your child just won't go to school

For many parents, the middle of August is the most wonderful time of the year. After hearing a thousand iterations of “I’m bored!” and waging a positional (often losing) arms race against excessive screen time, we are thrilled to cram our children’s backpacks full of shiny new school supplies and post those “milestone” first-day-of-school pics to Instagram.


But for some parents—and children—the first day of school is a source of dread. All children can experience anxiety about starting a new school year.  In many cases, with acknowledgment and reassurance, parents can alleviate those fears and help their children to navigate the transition successfully. But mental health conditions can exacerbate those common anxieties and fears, sometimes even making your child physically ill.

Try these ideas to alleviate the back-to-school battles

If you’re one of those parents, I know your pain. Those early morning battles were a pretty regular occurrence in my household. Here are a few ideas that worked for me as I tried to support Eric’s mental health while also meeting his educational goals.

1.Plan ahead. Change can be hard for children, especially when they have mental health conditions. Working with your child and the school ahead of time can help to alleviate some of the fear and anxiety your child may face. With Eric, we would schedule a time to meet with his new teacher and tour his classroom ahead of time so that he could acclimate to the environment. Many school districts build these before-school open house times into their regular schedules, but you can also reach out to your child’s teacher individually because sometimes the crowds can be overwhelming for children who have sensory issues or anxiety. Teachers want our children to feel safe in the learning environment.

Believe your child and acknowledge his or her fears. Why doesn’t your child want to go to school? Children need to feel heard. They need to know that they are safe. Ask questions about your child’s symptoms and concerns. Is there some specific environmental trigger that you and the school can address? Is your child worried about being bullied? Can you and your child work on an accommodation with the school that will help with your child’s concerns?


 3.Address the attendance issues proactively in your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. When Eric completed his sophomore year of high school, his illness was so well managed that he no longer met the criteria for a Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) IEP. This was both a blessing and a source of anxiety for both of us. While I certainly celebrated Eric’s success in managing his behaviors and triggers, I was also nervous about a relapse. On his psychiatrist’s advice, we requested that unlimited mental health absences be written into his Section 504 Plan, which replaced the IEP.

4.Consider a non traditional school environment. In seventh grade, Eric struggled at a large junior high school and ultimately had to be transferred to an alternative program that provided safety but could not meet his educational needs. In ninth grade, he was able to transfer into a small public charter school, and that change made a significant difference in his academic performance. The charter school environment was much easier to navigate—the staff, teachers, and students felt like family.

Must visit : handling emotions
Read more : info.1in5minds.org

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

How to Respond When Your Child Acts Out in Public

How to Respond When Your Child Acts Out in Public

As you push your cart through the store you hear a wail from the next aisle. The cry starts low and rises sharply, followed by,

“I need it! But I NEED IT!!!”

You turn into the aisle and see a mom trying to get her 6-year-old to stop shouting. His cries are getting louder and louder. This is turning into a full-fledged tantrum.


 As a bystander, many of us feel sympathy for parents in these situations. We know how hard it is; we silently wish them luck and good vibes as we navigate around the tantrum. You might hear someone muttering, “Get that child under control,” or “I would never allow my child to act that way!” or something else that is equally unhelpful to the situation.

As a parent, how do you respond when your child acts out in public?

Know your Child’s Limits. 

Having a meltdown doesn’t always mean that a child is deliberately being naughty. Toddlers are still developing their ability to control their emotions. When they get overstimulated or tired, tantrums and meltdowns are common. Even older children can have trouble controlling their emotions — especially when they are overtired or hungry. You know your child best. How much are they able to handle? A quick run to the grocery store is different than an afternoon at the mall. Shopping earlier in the day might go better than a trip right before dinner time. Can you get some of your errands done without bringing your child? As much as you can, recognize your child’s limits and plan accordingly.


When the Tantrum is Happening.

Take a deep breath and acknowledge that this is very hard. Parents feel pressure to make the tantrum stop immediately and when that doesn’t work, they often feel embarrassed and out-of-control. The main thing to remember is that tantrums and acting-out behavior should not result in a child getting their way. You don’t want your child to start bullying you into getting what they want with the threat of embarrassing you with bad behavior. As hard as it is, do your best to stay calm and firm with your limits. Try to ignore everyone else around you and focus on what your child needs from you right now. If your child is really upset, you might need to give them some direction to help them calm down. Try saying, “I can hear you are really upset, but yelling at me is not going to help. Try taking some deep breaths.”

VISIT  : handling emotions
REFERENCE : Empowering Parents Online Parent Coaching Team

Monday, August 20, 2018

6 Ways Parents Can Keep Their Emotions in Check When Dealing With Children

6 Ways Parents Can Keep Their Emotions in Check When Dealing With Children

Some parents resort to tough punishments, even turning violent at times, which affects the children negatively and instill fear in their minds. The aftermath is that of guilt and emotional turmoil, which makes parents feel they have been too hard on their kids. Parents are often caught up in this struggle when they get any complaint about their kids behavior , like a fight with a friend, or when their children resort to bad habits.

There are several ways you as a parent can help to lead your tiny preschooler on the right path, but how can you keep a check on your emotions? Read the pointers below to know more.
1. Set a Good Example
Kids idolize their parents. The way we behave with them, the same they often replicate. If you realize this fact, your approach to controlling your emotions and temper would be much easier than otherwise. Always adapt courteous tone when addressing your child, be it generally speaking or rebuking him/her softly.
Your child will learn two things out of it- firstly, he/she will learn how to address other in a courteous manner, and secondly, the child will realize his/her mistake and adopt the will to rectify, which is very important.
2. Become a “Star” for Your Kid
Children are rightly said to be a reflection of God. They are purest beings, with innocence intact. If you tell them to believe in something, and they trust you, they will rightly believe you with no questions asked. Take this opportunity and become a role model to your kids. This starts with teaching your child how to be friendly and respectful towards others. If your child goes to one of the best preschools in your locality, half of your worries are over, because the teachers will take care of your children and impart them with virtuous values.
However, how can you be the “star” to your preschooler? Ask them about their daily activities in the day-care. They may be too young to understand much but every communication of love and care you have with them will bring you both closer and help you to calm down as well, and thus, you will be able to control your emotions when teaching kids how to become better human beings.

3. Note down the Right Words, Strike out the Wrong Ones
Take out a diary and note down all the words you generally use when losing temper on your child or being good to him/her. You will certainly have a set of positive words and some negative words. Read both the positive and negative words and make a conscious effort to not use the negative words again when helping your child overcome his/her bad habits or wrong activities. Whenever you feel, you are about to admonish your child harshly; stop yourself, and remember the positive words you had noted down in your diary, and use those instead.
4. Be Gentle While Correcting Your Child
One way to stop yourself from being excessively hard on your children, is to question yourself- Would I like to be told something politely or rude? Of course, most of us would choose the former. Similarly, kids would learn things faster and understand their wrongdoing if they are spoken politely with, yet firmly to drive the point across.

5. Check Your Stream of Thoughts
Certain times, we plan ahead when speaking to our child and not every confrontation is an outcome of an instant outburst. When you have such an opportunity, then prepare ahead. Remain calm and composed, try some breathing exercises and make a mental note of things that have to be spoken about. Search out ways you can mildly put things across to your child and how to make amends or better, help your child in finding a way out of the problems he/she must be in.
6. Trust Yourself on Being the Right Parent
While you need to be soft with your kids, however, drawing a line is crucial. Sometimes, you have to be firmer with them, and that time if you feel that your emotions are stopping you from doing the need then just trust your gut instincts. If they have been repeating mistakes or certain inappropriate activities or behaviour, then you may have to take a further step and trust us, you are doing the right thing as long as any of the corrective measures taken are not abusive.

Follow the above-mentioned steps, and notice how it will change you as a parent to becoming a better-controlled person, emotionally, when dealing with your children in preschool.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Kindness Activities for Elementary Students, Preschoolers, & Middle Schoolers

Kindness Activities for Elementary Students, Preschoolers, & Middle Schoolers

A few of these activities are listed and described below.

Temperature Check

This is one of the simplest activities described in this article, but its potential to encourage a positive emotional state should not be underestimated.
The Temperature Check is as easy as asking a single question at the beginning of class:

“How are you feeling today?”

Not only will this let the students know that someone cares about how they are feeling, it also signals that sometimes they will be feeling something negative – and that’s okay.

We can all use this reminder that we are human, which means that we are all occasionally subject to emotions and feelings that we’d rather not have; however, this reminder can be especially helpful for teenagers, who are likely dealing with more intense and varied emotions than anyone else.
After asking this question, you can instruct students to turn and talk to their neighbor, share with the whole class, or both.

Starting the day with this activity can get students in the right frame of mind to be more kind and empathetic towards one another, and it can alert you to any potential problems with specific students.
 Community Circle

Another good activity to encourage good listening skills and empathy is the Community Circle.

Before beginning this activity, choose a “talking piece” – this is an object that will be passed around the group, and signals that the holder has exclusive speaking rights. You can use a stuffed animal, a small beach ball, or any object with special significance to the classroom that is easy to hold and pass around.


If you can, remove the desks or tables from the classroom. If this is not possible, either push them to the outer perimeter of the room. Arrange the chairs in a circle or sit on the floor with the whole class.

Tell your students that in the Community Circle, only one person may talk at a time and everyone must listen quietly and respectfully to whoever is speaking. Show the class the talking piece you have chosen, and explain that only the individual holding the talking piece may speak.

Buddy Up

This fun and easy activity will encourage your students to help one another.
It’s as simple as assigning each student a buddy – you can let the students pick their own buddy, you can partner them up yourself, or you can alternate between the two methods of pairing up .

 If you have any cliquey students in your class, assigning a buddy rather than letting them choose may be more effective.

To make sure students get a chance to work on their relationship skills with a wide range of people and personalities, have them switch buddies regularly. They can find a new buddy each week, every other week, every month, or any other period of time that works for your class.

This activity will give your students ample opportunity to build their communication skills, practice accountability, and be kind to one another.

 How to Teach Empathy

There are also many ways to teach empathy to children, a very similar but distinct construct from kindness.

While kindness involves acts of goodwill, smiles, and positive words, empathy is about earnest listening, relating to one another, and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

You could also take some concrete steps to inject your classroom with a culture of empathy,like :

  • Reading stores from the perspective of characters similar to your students.
  • Following a student schedule for a day.
  • Surveying students frequently to help students understand what is in the minds of their peers

Visit : handling emotions

Reference : positive psychology program

Be a fit child

Be a fit  child

Here square measure 5 rules to measure by, if you are a child United Nations agency desires to be match. The trick is to follow these rules most of the time, knowing that some days (like your birthday) may demand cake and frozen dessert.


1. Eat a spread of Foods

You may have a favorite food, however the simplest alternative is to eat a spread. If you eat totally different foods, you are a lot of possible to induce the nutrients your body desires. style new foods and previous ones you haven't tried for a short while. Some foods, like inexperienced veggies, could style higher the older you get. plan a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day — 2 fruits and 3 vegetables.

Here's one combination that may work for you:

at breakfast: ½ cup (about four large) strawberries on your cereal
with lunch: six baby carrots
for a snack: associate apple
with dinner: ½ cup broccoli (about two massive spears) and one cup of dish

2. Drink Water & Milk

When you are very thirsty, cold water is that the best thirst-quencher. and there is a reason your faculty restaurant offers cartons of milk. youngsters want metal to create sturdy bones, and milk may be a nice supply of this mineral. what quantity do youngsters need? If you're four to eight years previous, drink 2½ cups of milk each day, or its equivalent. If you are nine or older, aim for three cups of milk per day, or its equivalent. you'll be able to combine it up by having milk and a few alternative calcium-rich dairy farm foods. Here's one combination:

2 cups (about [*fr1] a liter) of low-fat or fat less milk
1 slice cheddar
½ cup (small container) of yogurt
If you would like one thing apart from milk or water once in a very whereas, it's okay to have 100 percent juice. however try and limit juice to no quite one serving (6 to eight ounces) each day. Avoid syrupy drinks, like sodas, juice cocktails, and fruit punches. They contain plenty of another sugar. Sugar simply adds calories, not vital nutrients.

3. hear Your Body

What will it want to be full? once you are intake, notice however your body feels and once your abdomen  feels well full. Sometimes, individuals eat an excessive amount of as a result of they do not notice after they ought to stop intake. intake an excessive amount of will cause you to feel uncomfortable and might cause unhealthy weight gain.

4. Limit Screen Time

What's screen time? it is the quantity of your time you pay looking TV or DVDs, taking part in video games (console systems or hand-held games), and employing a good phone, tablet, or PC. The longer you pay on these sitting-down activities, the less time you've got for active stuff, like basketball, bike riding, and swimming. try and pay no quite two hours each day on screen time, not investigating PC use associated with faculty and academic activities.

5. Be Active

One job you've got as a child — and it is a fun one — is that you just get to work out that activities you wish best. Not everybody loves baseball or football. perhaps your passion is martial art, or kickball, or dancing. raise your oldsters to assist you are doing your favorite activities frequently. realize ways that to move a day. you would possibly even write down an inventory of fun stuff to try to to, therefore you'll be able to use it once your mommy or papa says it is time to prevent looking TV or taking part in PC games!

visit : handling emotions