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5 Ways to Build a Child’s Emotional Literacy

Educare – Colin Gasamis

“Developing the ability to identify, describe, and understand a feeling is termed emotional literacy. Think of feelings words. Children who learn to describe their feelings as well as the feelings of others have better outcomes in school and other areas of life. These children also display less challenging behavior, get into fewer fights, and deal with frustration better. When adult caregivers take time to explicitly engage children in activities that build emotional literacy they ensure a brighter future. While we may have a vague understanding of what emotional literacy is, it can be difficult to know ways we can build this capacity in children. Here are 5 easy ways to build the emotional literacy of children…”(more)

Time management critical for success

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


“Learning to read, write, solve mathematics problems, apply scientific principles to real world situations, and speak a foreign language are not the only skills children need to acquire before they leave home.” ~Confucius

Many experts argue that time management abilities are equally important. Academically gifted people cannot survive in modern society if they are not able to deliver a high quality product, on time.

Most K-12 schools are struggling to teach time management skills, because parents are constantly pressuring them about grades. Many teachers are under so much pressure to issue high marks that they create extra opportunities for students to improve their final course grade.

Although “second chances” give the parents what they want, they have the unintended consequence of teaching kids that planning is irrelevant because there are always other opportunities to change the result.

When young people get to college and/or enter the workforce “second chances” are rare. Most college professors do not offer extra papers or problem sets at the end of the semester and employers take a dim view of late arrivals, shoddy work, and missed deadlines.

Since it has become impossible for most K-12 teachers to teach time management, parents must handle the task at home.

As a first step, kids need to learn how to plan ahead. There are many free computer-based scheduling applications that help in this area. Kids generally find it easy to enter homework day by day, but often need coaching on how to break future activities, like preparing for a test that is two weeks away, into daily tasks.

Then children need to learn how to make productive use of time. For example, it takes “forever” to finish math homework when kids chat online between problems. Learning to stay off social media during homework time can go a long way to improving efficiency.

Sleep is also important for time management. It takes less time to learn material and complete homework tasks when the brain is rested, so it is important to make sure your kids get enough sleep each night.

Multi-taking is not efficient. Teach your childred to finish one task before they begins another one.

Procrastination never pays. If something is due today, make sure it is finished. Otherwise, the next day will be overwhelming.

Prioritize homework first. This prevents late nights and productivity problems.

Learning to manage time is challenging. Start teaching your child early and reward progress often!


Kids need to fail

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” ~Confucius

Children need the wisdom and confidence to make good decisions, the work ethic to exceed expectations, the discipline to stay on task, and the fortitude to recover from setbacks.

The current economic situation in the U.S. makes parenting challenging. In most cases, both parents work. This means parenting is relegated to early mornings and late evenings during the week and weekends.

When a child runs into challenges with academic or extra-curricular activities, maxed out parents look for the most efficient way to solve the problem. In many cases they solve the problem for their child. Even though this approach is expedient, it means the child is deprived of a learning opportunity and is kept from experiencing failure.

We do not want kids to become so overwhelmed that they see success as impossible. On the other hand, we do not want a situation where children have been insulated from failure and leave home unprepared for the missteps that are a normal part of life.

Even though it takes more time and can be aggravating after a long day at the office, it is imperative that parents force their kids take responsibility for their actions. This means they have to allow their children to fail (accept the consequences for poor decisions) whether it is accepting an “F” for a plagiarized essay or sitting on the bench because of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Then it is imperative that parents support their children as they work to recover from poor decisions. For example, if a child submits a plagiarized essay, the parent needs to help the child figure out what to do next. Through a series of questions and answers, the child needs to figure out he/she needs to contact the teacher, schedule a time to meet with the teacher (without the parent present), prepare for the meeting, go to the meeting and apologize for the plagiarism, ask the teacher what needs to be done to correct the problem, and do what is asked.

Making a child accept responsibility might seem harsh and overwhelming, but is the best way for a young person to understand there are consequences for inappropriate behavior and to learn what to do after a mistake is made.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” ~Henry Ford


1 in 7 Young Kids Affected By Psychological Disorder, Report Says

Education News – Grace Smith

“Researchers reviewed information supplied by parents in the National Survey of Children’s Health for the years 2011-2012 and to analyze the data for reported language and speech problems, learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, and other psychological troubles — and what they found was surprising. It appeared that one in seven US children from 2- to 8-years-old were struggling with a behavioral, mental, or developmental issue, or what is commonly known as psychological disorders, reports Steven Reinberg for CBS News. What was also discovered, however, was that children who had these mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders were less likely to have access to medical care…Problems with child-care and parents with mental health issues were often linked to mental, developmental, and behavioral disorders in young boys and girls. The presence of these maladies was varied among the states, meaning there are certain things states can do to improve kids’ health.”(more)

Suppressing, Exaggerating Emotions May Be Harmful to Parents

Education News – Grace Smith

“When a parent holds negative emotions in and is overly effusive with their positive feelings, that can be damaging to his or her well-being, according to a new study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. University of Toronto psychology graduate student Bonnie Le and University of Toronto Mississauga assistant professor of psychology Emily Impett say their research shows that although raising children can be rewarding and fulfilling, it can also be stressful, frustrating, or mind-numbing. Because of this, parents are likely to be reticent to express their authentic emotions. Parents might keep negative emotions inside when in public with their children so their kids will not be embarrassed or develop low self-esteem. Or perhaps they will exaggerate their approval or pride to let their children feel supported, and so the family can share happy times together, says Pacific Standard Magazine’s Nathan Collins.”(more)

Early Behavioral Therapy May Increase Success With ADHD

Education News – Grace Smith

“Experts have found that children with attention deficit issues can improve more quickly if the first treatment they are given is behavioral in nature. An example of this would be instructing kids in fundamental social interaction. Researchers say this method, which proves to be less expensive over time, is more productive than starting young ones on medication immediately upon being diagnosed, writes Benedict Carey for The New York Times. A new study, if duplicated in further studies, could change the way physicians treat attention deficit disorders. Currently, Adderall and Ritalin are the first-line therapies for the over four million children and teenagers in the US who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”(more)