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Your child does homework on time, helps you clear the table after dinner, and even helps with housework on the weekends. So can it be true that this same child is stealing?
Before you react, it helps to know a little about why kids steal and where to get help.
Why Kids and Teens Steal
Kids of all ages ??? from preschoolers to teens ??? can be tempted to steal for different reasons:
- Very young children sometimes take things they want without understanding that things cost money and that it’s wrong to take something without paying for it.
- School-age kids usually know they’re not supposed to take something without paying, but they might do so anyway because they lack enough self-control.
- Preteens and teens know they’re not supposed to steal, but might steal for the thrill of it or because their friends do. Some might believe they can get away with it. As they’re given more control over their lives, some teens steal as a way of rebelling.
And other complex reasons can be factors. Kids might be angry or want attention. Their behavior may reflect stress at home, school, or with friends. Some may steal as a cry for help because of emotional or physical abuse they’re enduring.
In other cases, kids and teens steal because they can’t afford to pay for what they need or want ??? for example, they may steal to get popular name-brand items. In some cases, they may take things to support drug habits.
Whatever the reason for stealing, parents need to find out the root of the behavior and address other underlying problems, like drug abuse, that may surface.
Ron Reacts: This is one of those “tough” parenting issues that go above the regular family issues. What have you done to deal with a child who steals? Tell us your story by clicking post reply…
For some time, people have known that using cannabis during adolescence increases the risk of developing cognitive impairment and mental illness (e.g. depression, anxiety or schizophrenia) later in life. Importantly however, the mechanisms responsible for this vulnerability are not well understood. A new study, published in Brain, shows that long-term cannabis use that starts during adolescence damages the neural pathways connecting brain regions, and that this may cause the later development of cognitive and emotional problems.
Ron’s Remarks: I think most parents get the fact that marijuana use is bad for teenagers. Unfortunately, I think some parents might consider it just “experimentation” and don’t take any action for this behavior. Each parent must decide for themselves how to deal with this but this research reiterates the realities of drug use on the brain. How have you dealt with teenager drug use/abuse?
5 Tips for Understanding Children???s Dreams
Do your children wake up and tell you about the wild dream they just had? Many parents may not realize it but their children???s dreams may have significant meanings. Most adults tell their kids to grow up when they share big dreams they had. But we really want to help our children to pay attention to their dreams. Dreams like flying without an airplane can show they have strong creative abilities.
Nightmares with children might be frightening but there is a good chance that they have a high destiny to fulfill in their life. Why else would something evil be trying to stop them from being big dreamers! After working with children???s dreams for over a decade, I found some simple ways to help children record, remember and understand the dreams they are having.
5 tips to help record and remember children???s dreams
1. Encourage you children to openly talk about their dreams, particularly in the morning when it???s easier to remember them more clearly. Make a habit of asking them what they dreamed at the breakfast table.
2. Keep a dream journal for your child if they???re not able to do so themselves. If they are not yet able to write, have them draw the dream or act it out. They might create a collage or another type of artwork to help them communicate a complicated or highly detailed dream. Then they can display it somewhere as a reminder of that dream.
3. Remember that your children???s dream language is going to be simpler than that of an adult. They may see things in cartoon form or associate cartoon or superhero characters with Angels or even God in their dreams.
4. Pay attention to the tone of the dream. Is it light and colorful or more dark and shadow-like? Oftentimes, darker color dreams reveal hidden fears or things that may be trying to stop them from advancing.
5.Ask your child if he or she knows what the dream meant. Sometimes they actually know the meaning.
Here???s a good example of a four-year-old child???s dream that the parent did not understand. The dream was actually quite prophetic.
I dreamed that me and daddy were driving in his car. There was a big bump and the car boom and daddy was scared but then Jesus came said, ???Don???t be scared daddy, it???s going to be all right.???
After asking more questions of Sam???s dad, we found out that he had just lost his job right around the time his son had the dream. Cars can represent our career, job or aspects of our life. Sam dreamed that his father had a car accident but it was symbolic of him losing his job. Seeing Jesus in the dream was reassuring that things would work out and, sure enough, they did. Sam has a prophetic dreaming gift, but most people would have missed the meaning of that dream because of Sam???s lack of language to describe it.
If you are interested in how to understand your children???s dreams and your dreams too you can find out more and take a free online dream training course by visiting www.dreamcrashcourse.com
Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
by Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.
While there’s no perfect formula that determines when children are truly ready for kindergarten, you can use this checklist to see how well your child is doing in acquiring the skills found on most kindergarten checklists.
Young children change so fast — if they can’t do something this week, they may be able to do it a few weeks later.
- Listen to stories without interrupting
- Recognize rhyming sounds
- Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
- Understand actions have both causes and effects
- Show understanding of general times of day
- Cut with scissors
- Trace basic shapes
- Begin to share with others
- Start to follow rules
- Be able to recognize authority
- Manage bathroom needs
- Button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers
- Begin to control oneself
- Separate from parents without being upset
- Speak understandably
- Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
- Look at pictures and then tell stories
- Identify rhyming words
- Identify the beginning sound of some words
- Identify some alphabet letters
- Recognize some common sight words like “stop”
- Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
- Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
- Count to ten
- Bounce a ball
If your child has acquired most of the skills on this checklist and will be at least four years old at the start of the summer before he or she starts kindergarten, he or she is probably ready for kindergarten. What teachers want to see on the first day of school are children who are healthy, mature, capable, and eager to learn.
More on: Kindergarten
Let???s face it, when it comes to difficult jobs, parenting is as hard as it gets. It can be lonely, isolating and frustrating, while filled to the brim with love, laughter and blessings every day. Refresh your parenting skills by implementing these happy family habits right now.
According to clinical psychologist Pamela Dockstader-Ortiz, undistracted communication is a top strategy of happy families.
???We can start by practicing better self-awareness in the moment so that we can be truly present when interacting with our family,??? Dockstader-Ortiz says. ???This will convey to the other person that you are giving them 100 percent of your attention, that you are genuinely interested, and that they matter!???
She also recommends keeping a family notebook, where each member uses a different color pen, to keep communication lines open during the busiest of schedules.
I treasure the traditions my husband and I have established at home, and Dockstader-Ortiz agrees.
???Traditions are important because they offer a sense of identity, belonging and togetherness???. and are unique in each family.???
She adds that traditions need not be elaborate or complicated — eating a regular family meal counts as a tradition as well. Find small ways, like holiday baking or family walks, to create distinctive traditions for your family to cherish for years to come.
Boundaries define personal limits and promote self-reliance in children.
???One of our goals as parents is to help our children to differentiate, and become autonomous and separate individuals,??? says Dockstader-Ortiz. ???We can do this by promoting and supporting their individual thoughts and ideas, and likes and dislikes.???
Supporting kids in this way and celebrating their uniqueness fosters kids??? self-esteem.
In our home, learning and demonstrating respectful behavior is a family rule, but like most, it occasionally gets broken. Life comes into play and we lose our focus, but we shouldn???t, because respectful behavior is a cornerstone of happy family interactions.
???Each moment and situation in our day to day life offers opportunity to guide and teach our children life lessons about values, beliefs, as well as right from wrong,??? says Dockstader-Ortiz. ???We have the ability to model pro-social behavior for our children to learn ??? leading by example begins at home ??? and the earlier the better!???
Happy families understand that playtime is integral in family happiness.
???Playtime with our children is so important because there is a time to be a parent and then a time to level the playing ground, so to speak, by relating to our children and nurturing the relationship on a whole different level,??? says Dockstader-Ortiz.
She advises keeping family fun free of expectations, criticisms and judgments in order to foster independent thinking, imagination and creativity.
Molly Logan Anderson is a writer, wife and mom of three who lives in the Chicago suburbs. Intent on finding good in every day through her blog and website www.GrabTheGood.com, she hopes to help others do the same. From good family, to good advice, to good causes and good style, Molly is writing about it.
Ron Reflects: I know this is the time when families start getting ready for school again. Is this a time of rejoicing for mom and dad or did the summer go too quickly? Share by clicking the reply button.