Celebrate Your Child!


Mar 30, 2009

Why Children Should Also Set Goals

Ever thought about Goal Setting for Kids? Goal setting is one of the most important skills that a person can learn, and the earlier this skill is learned, the more chances there are for successful outcomes in a person’s life. Adults know that goal setting is all about planning, making progress with that plan and reaching final goals or achievements. Once a child learns how to do this, they can use this tool for more success in school and at home.


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Goal setting for kids will help your children to do well on their school tests and in activities such as sports, music programs or outside academic or arts programs - even at home, and with their personal finances. Teaching your child how to be a goal setter will give them a sense that they are capable of whatever they want to do. That’s valuable!

How to help your child be a goal setting child

Goal setting for children is basically the same as for adults, with a few caveats. Because they are young, and not as emotionally or cognitively developed, goals should be smaller and more tangible. The idea with goal setting for kids is to get them started in the life-long frame of mind for thinking, planning and taking action to achieve results. The basic premises of goal setting remain the same. You can help your child learn to set goals by working through these steps with him:

Ask, “What do you want to achieve?” – Help your child describe in specific terms something he would like to do that will take some work/planning (getting an A on his next math test, earning money to purchase a certain kind of bicycle).

Ask, “How will you get there?” – Help him plan out the steps to take and the mini-goals to reach on his way to the ultimate goal.

Establish accountability – Have your child write down what he wants to achieve and what his plan for getting there is. He can read it each day to help him with personal accountability, and he can share it with you, or another trusted adult to help him stay motivated, inspired and on-track.

Achieve – Achievement is not only for the final outcome, but also for the small goals that are met along the way.

Review plan/goals/outcomes – Throughout the process and at the end as well, review with your child the plan and how it is going. Do adjustments need to be made? How does he feel about his progress and where it is leading? How was the goal setting experience for him?

If your child does not reach his ultimate goal, talk to him about what he learned on the way. He still has learned valuable lessons about planning and goal setting, and he’s probably learned about himself. Encourage him to not give up on dreams that are important to him, but that if one plan doesn’t work, he has to revise the plan and try again.

Teaching your child to be a goal-setting child is one of the best things you can do.

You will be giving him or her, a valuable gift that they will use for their entire lives, empowering them to achieve wonderful things in every area of life. Goal setting for kids is a skill that will be built on throughout an entire lifetime. For a fantastic resource about Goal Setting for kids, Click HERE.

Author's Biography :

Winsome Coutts holds a teacher’s certificate in education and has written hundreds of articles on self-development. She has studied with Bob Proctor and John Demartini, popular teachers featured on “The Secret” DVD. She is the passion behind the www.4lifehappykids.com and is a parent and grandparent.

Winsome is author of “Go for Your Goals” for kids – a set of downloadable e-books that guide your child through the joyful steps of learning visualization, goal-setting and the Law of Attraction. Simple language enhanced with beautiful illustrations and worksheets make these books appealing and motivating. To learn more, visit www.4lifehappykids.com


Mar 28, 2009

My Shining Star

Rosemary Wells, acclaimed author of over 60 children's books, shares MY SHINING STAR. This charming story encourages parents to work with teachers to ensure bright futures for their precious little ones.





Mar 27, 2009

Playing with Your Child – How to Start It, Why It’s So Important

In these busy times, when parents and children have schedules packed to the max, family closeness can fall by the wayside. Most of us have to make an effort to guarantee that work, school, sports, and chores don’t swallow up the very relationships that make those things important.

When is the last time you played or goofed around with your child? Can you remember back that far? Many parents can’t. Life has made us so serious, so focused, that we’ve lost the joy of the simple things, and play was one of the first to go.

Kids Playing With A BinImage by lets.book via Flickr



But as any child instinctively knows, play is essential to life. It brightens the heart and lightens the spirit. For kids, who live closer than we do to nature, play is as spontaneous as breathing. Sadly, most grown-ups have lost that skill. Our children can be our refresher course.

Playing with your child brings you back to the present, reminds you of what matters, and slows you down long enough to smell the roses. It also connects you emotionally with your child, rebuilding the closeness that the fast-paced, boring routines of life are all too quick to strip away.

Playing together is even more important for your child than it is for you, because she needs to feel close to you to feel loved and happy. If you’ve neglected time together for long enough, it may appear that your child isn’t interested in your attentions. She may even tell you as much. But that’s just bluster, hiding the fear that you will disappoint her again if she lets herself wish for time alone with you. If you initiate playing together, and do it at frequent intervals, even the most aloof pre-teen will start to look forward to it and, in time, throw herself into the fun.

What kind of playing should you do? Pay attention to the activities your child engages in: his idea of enjoyment. If these things seem boring to you, try hanging out nearby, observing as he does them, with words that express your curiosity. You just may find you actually develop a genuine interest. If your child is a couch potato, take up your perch on the couch beside him, but after you’re allowed “in,” initiate some play that might be more pleasant than TV.


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Think back to what you did as a child that was memorable, especially activities you did with your parents that stay with you still. Think about things that are free or cost little, that involve experiencing life together.

Start a list of ideas as they come, and add any of the following that you resonate with :

* Raking stacks of autumn leaves, then jumping or rolling in them
* Taking a hike through the forest preserve
* Skating at the roller rink together
* Walking the dog, taking turns with the rope
* Reading comics or joke books together (or books of poetry or stories)
* Making cookies, pizza or a cake
* Building a fort out of snow or chairs and blankets
* Playing hide and seek, hide the thimble, cards or board games
* Lying on a blanket looking up at the stars
* Sitting in front of the wood stove in a dark room, telling stories
* Making shadow figures on the wall with your hands and a flashlight
* Having a treasure hunt
* Roasting marshmallows over a fire
* Watching a parade
* Going to the aquarium, zoo or museum
* Flying kites together
* Building something
* Making a scrapbook
* Making up a silly poem or song
* Watching a movie, with popcorn and no interruptions
* Playing a memory game, like “I’m going to Grandma’s house,
and in my suitcase I’m going to pack …”
* Getting up early to watch the sunrise from a hill
* Playing games of pretend
* Going somewhere special, like the beach
* Having a pancake picnic in the snow

Playing together is different than finding entertaining activities for your child. Play involves you, while entertainment excuses you from the picture. If you find yourself saying, “But my schedule is too busy for any of the things on that list,” consider whether your schedule needs some pruning. After all, who’s going to remember in 20 years if you stay late at work or not next Tuesday? But will your child ever forget the Tuesday you ride the rollercoaster together?

Closeness with a child cannot be taken for granted. Like any other relationship, it will slip away unless it’s made a priority. Nothing builds trust and bonding with a child like sharing a moment of silliness and laughter. Come together for light-hearted play, and you just may find your child opens up about serious subjects. The relaxed atmosphere of play helps us let our guard down and reveal more of ourselves.

When you play together, let your child feel like the most important person in your world. Give him your undivided attention: no cell phones, no interruptions, no slipping into your own private thoughts. Be present – body, mind and spirit. Then let yourself do whatever comes naturally, with the abandon you felt when you yourself were a child. Your instincts will be your guide.

Growing closer through play is easy. It just takes dedicated moments, given on a fairly regular basis, so your child begins to count on having time with you.

Let your child re-teach you the wonderful secrets of play. You both will feel more secure and peaceful – and a whole lot happier, as the reason you do it all for, starts to come back to you.

Author's Biography :

Winsome Coutts holds a teacher’s certificate in education and has written hundreds of articles on self-development. She has studied with Bob Proctor and John Demartini, popular teachers featured on “The Secret” DVD. She is the passion behind the www.4lifehappykids.com and is a parent and grandparent.

Winsome is author of “Go for Your Goals” for kids – a set of downloadable e-books that guide your child through the joyful steps of learning visualization, goal-setting and the Law of Attraction. Simple language enhanced with beautiful illustrations and worksheets make these books appealing and motivating. To learn more, visit www.4lifehappykids.com


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Mar 23, 2009

What is Home-schooling ?

Consider the following paragraphs and compare what you know to the latest info on children.

The term 'homeschooling' basically refers to the process in which one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. The laws that define homeschooling vary from State to State. The legal requirements for establishing a homeschool also vary with the State.

For most children, the actual process of learning begins much before school. Many children already know their alphabets, the names of animals, colors and other more complicated stuff before they reach school. This is mostly due to the hard work of a member of the family who has taken the time to teach the child. Homeschooling is just a natural progression from here. Instead of sending their children to a public school, parents make their own curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.

Before you decide to go in for homeschooling, there are certain important matters for consideration.

First off, meet with parents of other homeschoolers. Find out the pros and cons of homeschooling. Then ask yourself why you would want to adopt this method. This is a very important aspect, as the success of the program depends on the clarity and sincerity of your purpose.

Next, it is time to consider the expenses of homeschooling. It may cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand every year. More importantly, you are also effectively shutting out any job opportunity for one of the parents. It is only obvious that one parent will have to stay at home full time to manage the homeschool. A home-based business however is a great alternative.

Are you qualified to take on homeschooling for your children?

Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process. With the advent of the internet, information is aplenty. There are various books and resources for those interested in homeschooling. Go through the various methods of homeschooling and choose one that is most suited to you. It helps if you know what kind of learning style your child has. Also, find out what your child feels about homeschooling before you start.

Every state has its own laws regarding homeschooling. For instance, in North Carolina, you must first file a 'Notice of Intent' to start a home school. In this you have to mention if the school is a 'Private church' school or a 'qualified non-public school'. The persons providing the education are required to have at least a high school diploma. You have to maintain an annual record of the child's attendance and disease immunization. Every year, the child is required to undergo a standardized test. Each student attending the eleventh grade has to take a nationally
standardized test. These are the requirements in North Carolina, but it is enough to give you a good idea of what homeschooling entails.

Homeschooling may seem like a lot of fun and freedom from the outside. However, things are seldom as simple as they seem. Homeschooling is a lot of added responsibility and hard work. But, if successful, it will forge a strong bond of love and respect between parent and child, while providing your child with the best form of education he needs.



Mar 21, 2009

Tips to Raising Happy Kids

As a grandmother and self-help writer, I’m often asked by readers, “How do you raise happy kids?” This is a question near and dear to every loving parent’s heart. No matter what we teach them, if we haven’t taught them how to be happy, or can’t parent in a way that makes them feel happy, it’s rather all for naught, isn’t it? So it’s a very pertinent question.

I’ve been blessed with having two happy children and two happy grandchildren. I applied certain principles in raising my kids, and see my son and daughter-in-law apply the same in raising their adorable daughters, Klara and Stina. In this article, I’ll share two tips I’ve learned along the way.

The first is the importance of modeling happiness. You can’t give something you don’t have. How can you teach kids happiness if you don’t have it yourself? Some parents think loving their family means living only for them, driving them everywhere, cleaning up after them, and putting their kids’ needs and desires way ahead of their own. Parenting shouldn’t turn us into a short-order restaurant or a cleaning or taxi service. It does for some parents. That teaches kids a bad lesson.

A child who perceives his parent as a servant, someone whose life has meaning only through catering to his whims, learns to be selfish. He comes to believe others exist to do his bidding. I have a friend who was raised like that, and she tells me when she grew up, she kept having the strange feeling, “Where are all the servants?” Being catered to was such an ingrained part of her childhood that adjusting to adulthood was difficult for her, because “the servants” were missing.

Kids who are raised this way tend to feel the world owes them a living. So breaking out of the “doormat” mode, if you’re in one, is pretty central to giving your kid a chance at a smooth transition to happy adulthood.

When you take care of yourself, make time for yourself, and do things that make you happy, your child learns those behaviors from you. If she sees you going for your dreams and making decisions based on your inner truth, she learns that doing those things is good. On the other hand, if you model dropping everything to fulfill her latest dictate, she learns that parenting means self-denial and victimization. She may then become a self-effacing parent herself or go the other extreme and forego parenting entirely because it looks like such a sacrifice.

So to raise happy kids, be good to yourself. Treat yourself with respect and dignity the same as you treat your child. Don’t allow disrespect toward you any more than you’d allow someone to be rude to your kids. Make time for your creative desires and dreams. Plan in some scheduled personal time each week (or day), and make sure that you take it.

Let your kids see you’re doing this, and tell them the reason: “Mommy needs to have some fun, too,” or “Moms need time every day to relax.” This shows your child that you value yourself, and that personal time is important to everyone’s happiness.

The second tip I’ve learned for raising happy kids is the tremendous value of focused attention. The best form this can take is uninterrupted, one-on-one personal time with your child. Think back to your own childhood and some of your happiest memories. Chances are they include that hike you took with Dad, or the time you and Mom went to the restaurant for a dessert.

When we set aside an hour or two to be with our child, away from distractions and interruptions, we tell him he is important and loved. Giving focused attention is much more powerful than the diffused attention kids get while we cook dinner, drive them somewhere, or break up conversations to take calls on our cell phone.

Children thrive on loving, focused, personal attention the way plants thrive on sunshine. Structure in some focused attention every day, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. Look at your child when he talks to you, so he knows you’re completely with him. In love, it’s the subtle things that count.

Giving focused attention teaches self-worth: your child knows she’s valuable because you value her, enough to carve out time for you and her, uninterrupted by the world, for those moments. That spells love, and when she knows you love her, by your actions not your words, that brings security and heart fulfillment, essential foundations of happiness.

In this busy world where parents work two jobs and where kids’ social calendars can rival those of debutants, it isn’t easy to make time to take care of yourself and uninterrupted time for you and your child. But for happiness, nothing could be more important. Think about your schedule, what is nonessential that you can cut out, or wasted moments that you can eliminate. Use that harvested time to be good to you and your kid. Your child’s happiness, and yours, depend on it.


Click here for Go for Your Goals


Author Biography :

Winsome Coutts holds a teacher’s certificate in education and has written hundreds of articles on self-development. She has studied with Bob Proctor and John Demartini, popular teachers featured on “The Secret” DVD. She is the passion behind the www.4lifehappykids.com and is a parent and grandparent.

Winsome is author of “Go for Your Goals” for kids – a set of downloadable e-books that guide your child through the joyful steps of learning visualization, goal-setting and the Law of Attraction. Simple language enhanced with beautiful illustrations and worksheets make these books appealing and motivating. To learn more, visit www.4lifehappykids.com


Mar 20, 2009

Kids' Reading Activities

In a world that is slowly but surely turning away from books and getting glued to monitors or television screens, the importance of developing a passion for reading cannot be overlooked. Reading is a habit and should be established when the child is relatively young.

What can you do to foster this habit?

1. Enroll your child for reading classes

There are many well structured after school reading classes that aim to draw the children to books. They help kids with diction, idioms and phrases. For young children, these classes can be fun with animated characters and pictures. Illustrated picture books, rhymes, silly songs and pretend stories all attract the young child. Use creativity to capture the child's vivid imagination.

The best time to learn about Kids is before you're in the thick of things. Wise readers will keep reading to earn some valuable Kids experience while it's still free.

2. Pique your child's interest

If your child has a favorite character, pick a series of books that features this character. For my son, it was Spiderman. Thanks to friendly neighborhood spidey, my son latched on to comics fairly early in his childhood.

3. Build a home-library

A skill like reading cannot be learnt in isolation. Do not leave all the hard work to the after school program. Pick up books that you think your child will like. The Internet is also a rich resource of reading games that will attract little children to the fine art of reading.


Suitable for children ages 4 months and up, you can use Little Reader to teach your child to read basic words, phrases, and even complete stories.

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