Success stories and tips for teaching and parenting

Teachers: Three Quick Tips to Energize Your Classroom Today

1. Fearlessly Positive

Before your students arrive, think specifically about the character trait you value most in yourself (kindness, diligence, hard work, teamwork, and so forth). Make it a point to draw your attention to those qualities when they are demonstrated by your students. Get excited about it! Strive to give your energy and voice to those traits, and enjoy your students when they are displaying them. Refuse to let problems in the class distract you.

2. Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Rather than resetting your students, only talk about resets when they reset themselves. For example, if a student is talking without permission, don’t reset them.Wait until they stop – then recognize them for resetting themselves without needing you to point it out. Try this for a day. If you are feeling really fearless, try it for the whole week!

3. Secret Agent

Get your students involved in noticing when things go right. At the beginning of the school day, confidentially assign each student to one of their classmates. Instruct each child to watch their classmate throughout the day and notice what they did well. Have a class discussion at the end of the day and have each student share what their secret partner did well that day.

This helps the students focus, throughout the day, on finding the goodness in each other. It also teaches accountability and responsibility. When students know others are on the lookout for their success they will naturally behave better.

Teacher Tip: “De-energize the negative and energize the positive!”

A Fearless Mom Confronts her Teenage Son’s Videogame Habit – With Unexpected Results!

Many parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend playing video games, as well as about the content of the games. Too much screen time cuts into time spent on homework and physical activity. Many parents, myself included, are concerned that our children are learning how to socialize through face to screen time and missing out on the importance of face-to-face relationships.

As children age, and their interest in technology grows, parents attempt to limit the amount of time their child spends in front of the screen. This soon becomes a source of tension between the parent and the child, with negative results.

This was certainly the case for one parent I coached. She reported an ever-growing tension between her and her son as she tried to manage his video game time. The more she talked to him about this, the angrier he became and the more frustrated and defeated she felt.

I asked her to articulate values that were important to her, as well as the values she wanted to develop in her son. I also asked her what she wanted her relationship to look like with her son in 3-6 months. Instead of expending time and energy trying to limit her son’s screen time, I taught her how to redirect her energy towards developing the values and traits she wanted him to have.

She asked her son what family meant to him. She was pleasantly surprised when she found his desires to be similar to hers. However, when she asked him what his favorite thing to do was, he said, “video games.” Discouraged by his response, she asked, “Besides that… what is your second favorite thing?” Noticeably frustrated with her question, he rattled off something without much thought, and went on his way.

This could have ended the conversation, with typical, negative results. However, at that moment, this mom had an epiphany. She realized she was not communicating acceptance to her son, one of her core values… a value she was trying very hard to teach him.

Instead of putting her energy into limiting his gaming time, she did some research regarding the characteristics of gamers. What she found was powerful and inspiring. She found that gamers are multi-taskers, who can play many different roles, such as leaders, participants and teammates. She also found gamers to have very good social skills which enabled them to effectively communicate with other online gamers.

She discovered other qualities as well, like perseverance, creativity, problem-solving, and diligence. These were all qualities that her son had, and was using every time he played. She invested time in her son, which enabled her to build him up from the inside – by recognizing his strengths – rather than investing more energy in conflict. She then took it a step further. She helped him see that those characteristics and skills he was using in gaming could help him overcome obstacles at school and at home. By re-directing her energy, this mom achieved a better parent-child relationship, less conflict, and a happier and more peaceful home.