How to Save Kids From the Dangerous Side of the Internet

The internet has revolutionized the way we think and behave nowadays. Apart from keeping us connected with people who are poles apart, it provides us with a great source of information. To be honest, neither I nor my kids can imagine our lives without the Internet, but I was worried sick about how to save them from the dark side it holds. The commonly prevailing theft, pornography, and fake news on the Internet can be a hell of a lot more dangerous for your kids than you think.

Some parents think engaging kids in outdoor play and banning the use of the internet for them is a solution. But, it’s not! You can’t save your kids from using the Internet as it is everywhere. If they don’t use it at home, they will use it at school or at a friend’s place. The only thing you can do is aware them with the negative aspects and increase their maturity in the following ways.

1. Place your Computer in the Lounge

When your kids are below 15, avoid placing the computer in their rooms or anywhere private. Do not allow them laptops and install a common computer for them in the lounge or any shade structure in your home. You, too, might have to sacrifice a bit for them as they get attracted to devices when they see adults using them. In their presence, try to keep your laptops and tablets inside and use the common computer only.

2. Look at What they are Looking at

You don’t need to do it once they have grown up, but you have to be a little investigative when they are below 18. I try to browse through histories and my kids’ social media accounts to know what they are into. Once I found them browsing an inappropriate website, so I counseled them on how it can harm them.

3. Teach them Not to Publicize their Personal Information

Personal information is the most powerful tool for thieves and sexual predators for blackmailing and negative use. I have always taught my kids not to use their personal information including phone number, email address, photograph, passwords, and even real names on social media websites. Furthermore, aware them to only talk to people they know.

4. Block Unnecessary Material

Your kids may get access to some websites unintentionally. For example, they may reach some harmful pornographic websites while looking for their biology queries. You have to keep an eye and block such websites to keep them protected. They don’t know what they are looking at and it’s better they don’t till they grow up.

5. Be Friendly and Empathetic

The only way you can protect your kids from the negative aspects of the Internet is to be friendly with them. Don’t be too strict or bossy that they fear telling you things they experience. For instance, be frank enough to them so that they may open up to you in case they go through cyberbullying. That’s the only way you can protect your kids!

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Science Experiments and Stem Activities for Kids

Science is an integral part of STEM learning that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic. STEM learning aims to promote a better understanding of these four disciplines in a more ‘Whole’-istic way. In fact, a simple task like using a wagon to move something from one place to another involves number of principles of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The children can be benefited by STEM learning especially if it is organized in form of science camps etc.

STEM learning aims to make science fun, enlightening and easy for kids. There are numerous hands on activities that can be done in the science camp that would follow the basic principles of STEM to make the learning impactful and long lasting. Researchers have proved that practicality helps learn faster. Going by that, STEM activities done in a science camp would be easily remembered and the principle behind those activities would be understood without difficulty.

As STEM activities are project based activities, it becomes easy for children to comprehend the principles of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an easy going manner, especially if it is done under the guidance of teachers or facilitators of a science camp. There are many activities that can be done to create a base for understanding key concepts that would be required later on in life as well. Such as:

Heavy And Light
In a science camp, kids would be able to learn basic concept of heavy and light through STEM activities. As STEM requires everyday item, using glass, water and couple of oranges the concept of floating could be explained. Why heavy things go down the bottom of the glass and why light things float can also be explained.

Natural Phenomenon
Kids are curious and everything fascinates them. There are number of natural phenomenon that can be practically explained to them through STEM activities in a science camp.

Rain can also be demonstrated through some shaving foam, water and colour. This activity would fascinate children and would also be a great learning experience for them. they can in fact learn the concept of how rain is formed, how clouds are formed and so much more, which is very fascinating.

Building From Scratch
As STEM activities require the kids to use concepts of all four disciplines, such activities in a science camp would be of extreme importance. Child would do measurements, procure things of which a particular thing can be constructed, and brain storm to decide about the size etc. all this would require considerable amount of knowledge of STEM concepts. Activities such as building a bridge from sticks or Lego blocks or straws or designing a race track would come under this.

Science Of Water
Water is kids’ favorite. Period. There are number of activities designed around water, to make them understand various concepts of science.

E.g. States of Water through science experiments kids’ would understand all three forms of water i.e. gas, liquid and solid. How much temperature is required for it to turn into solid or gas, what are its properties etc. can be clarified through the experiments in a science camp.

Concept of Density can also be explained to them by using various liquids as plain water, dishwashing liquid, sugar syrup etc. This will make them learn a complex concept in a more comprehensive and understandable way.

Science can be made fun and educational for kids by using STEM learning. There are a lot of things a child learns in a science camp that would propel them towards practical understanding of concepts.
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5 Tips to Encourage Self-Motivation in Your Little One

Do you find your little one less enthusiastic about playing with her friends? Does she seem aloof to you about everything else? Do you find that she is deteriorating in her studies as well? If you nodded in affirmation, then there are high chances that your little one lacks self-motivation.

Self-motivation is the key that leaves a great impression on how your little one is pacing in her daily life. From performing well in the curriculum to building some good habits, a self-motivated child can do wonders with her life. Motivation comes naturally until the age of seven, but up till reaching this age group a kid is observing her surroundings and always learning something new. However, after the age of seven, she must be able to motivate herself.

Although self-motivation is an inside process and varies from kid to kid, as a parent, you can always motivate and push your child to nurture her ability to do better and better. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Stay Positive

Even if she is failing at something, always dwell on the efforts she is putting in rather than nagging about the things she is not good at. If there is a problem, try to be compassionate and come up with a solution. You will soon see this positive outlook and behavior being reflected in your little princess.

2. Appreciate Efforts

Rather than just saying ‘good job’ for everything, take some time to rethink how you want to appreciate all the good things that she is doing. For example, if she shares her toys with her friends, you can acknowledge her good behavior by complementing, “Your friend must have enjoyed and felt immensely good when you shared your toys with her”. This will motivate your charming daughter to always behave well and do good in other aspects of her life.

3. Tackle Failures

Tell your little bundle of joy that it is okay to lose sometimes. What is important is the attempt and what she learns from failing at it in the first go. This trait of gracefully accepting the defeat and moving on from setbacks will prove immensely beneficial later in her life.

4. Adopt Learning Style

When a certain subject is hard to learn for your kid, then you can encourage the learning through fostering her interests. Suppose if she likes baking, you can teach her the measuring concepts by teaching her how to measure the ingredients. This will teach her about size, volume, and density without even making it appear like a burdensome math lesson.

5. Build Self-Esteem

When she believes in herself, any difficult mountain can be moved with ease. Building a positive self-esteem will open the ways towards building self-esteem. Help your little one to build self-esteem and believe in herself, then there won’t be even a single thing that she would think of as unattainable. You can always try to look out what she enjoys doing the most and how she interprets the right from the wrong.

Final Word

Like any other parent in the world, you would also want your little one to be successful in school and later in her life as an adult. Set your little one on the path of success by inculcating self-motivation. Always encourage your pretty princess to go beyond the boundaries and achieve big. It is a vital skill that is needed for whatever she chooses to do in her life!

Some Quranic Tips to Prevent Your Kids From Telling Lies

Have you ever faced a situation where you almost have to beg your young ones to tell you the truth because you believe his answer was not what you really hope to hear? You keep on begging and then, come the magic phrase, “it is sinful to lie!”

If you are smiling as you read this line, I am smiling at you too.I already know the answer. We all did that. Often times, after repeating the same phrase our words fall on deaf ears. The phrase, “it is sinful to lie” become too common on your lips and your child’s ears yet, you still want to instill the same values. What options are you left with? Not much, but there are a few hadiths (Prophetic words from The Prophet Muhammad PBUH) and verses from the Quran that you can gently instill into your child’s mind. Reading them with your loved ones each day may not only help you with your mission, but also is rewarding and beneficial for both you and the family members.

Here are some prophetic words & Quran verses to replace your, “it is sinful to lie” phrase.

The first one is this, from surah Al-Baqarah verse 42, in which Allah say in a very subtle way, “And do not mix truth with falsehood, and do not conceal the truth while you know.(2:42)”It is a good reminder to instill into your child about speaking the truth especially on serious matters where truth is the objective we seek. When using the Quran verse, not only you are doing an ibadah for enlightening the family with Quranic values, but also leave your child with very little room to go continue exaggerating his lies.

Secondly, there is also a whole lot of a chapter from the Quran named Munafiqoon which means The Hypocrites. Here, the munafiqoon are given 3 characteristics one of which is the liars. I will not advice you to use this verse towards your child as it is quite harsh to call someone a munafiq (a hypocrite). Instead, inculcate to them the danger and Allah’s restriction for being a liar.

Not only the Quran teach us the characteristics of a hypocrite, but it also teaches us what it takes to be forgiven. In the chapter, Al-Ghafir, verse 28, Allah said that, “If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. God does not guide the extravagant imposter (40:28).” This verse can be the best one to replace your judgmental, “it is sinful to lie” phrase. It is good sometimes to teach the young ones the consequences of their own action so that they are more watchful of what they want to utter every time they speak.

Beside all the verses from the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH also once said, that those who tell lies are not among his followers (Riwayat Muslim). As a Muslim, we take our Prophet as our leader, hence, whatever that he forbid us to do must also be followed. Again, it is so noble to be able to teach your child this value rather than nagging. Ibnu Qayyim also once quoted that the tongue will show you what’s in his heart whether he likes it or not.

Lastly, I would also love to share this verse from the Quran as a reminder for us, especially parents that in the Holy Quran, Allah said in surah Al-Taghabun (64:15),”your possessions and your children are a test, but with God is a splendid reward.” In another chapter, Allah mentioned in surah Munafiqoon, verse 9: “O you who believe! Let neither your possessions nor your children distract you from the remembrance of God. Whoever does that-these are the losers (63:9)”. We should all take our time to ponder upon these verses from time to time as we grow our children. Most of all, why don’t we remind ourselves about these verses first before we share them with others? Despite being adults, we too need to correct ourselves from time to time, insyaAllah.

How to Help Your Kids Become Self-Confident, Happy and Passionate

Thinking back to our school days, we were taught various subjects, given a bit of guidance about what career we should follow and that’s about it. There weren’t, and still aren’t, any excellent coaching programmes in school unless you’re an athlete.

Furthermore, with recent UK government policy suggesting that all young people should have a coach or mentor, it’s difficult to see how this would work in practical terms.

This situation continues to be of concern since the education sector continues to cut budgets and careers services.

During my teaching career I’ve never seen or experienced how schools, colleges and universities and, for that matter, workplaces tap into the root passions that we are all born with.

Imagine if the education system tapped into our core passions and promoted educational subjects around those passions instead of trying to pigeonhole everyone?

Having worked with thousands of young people, my purpose in life is to inspire and support parents, guardians and those who meet young people to coach them towards a life and career filled with purpose and have fun doing it. That is the reason why I’ve written this article.

I love what I do because of the results I get working with both adults and young people. I see people’s eyes light up when they realize what’s possible and they see a future for themselves. This is particularly important for what we describe as the lost generation of children.

With young people I love to see them discover what they want to do in life as this helps them focus on their choice of studies. What’s your story going to be?

So, let’s get down to it.

I’d like to help you to discover your child’s purpose in life and potentially your own – are you ready? Remember that these exercises are best done with young people age 14+ as this is the time when the family unit starts to think about further education at college and university. In addition, this exercise is equally valuable for your older children age 18+, with or without help.

Without a purpose in life, it’s easy to get sidetracked or lost. It’s therefore easy to wander and drift and accomplish little in life. I’ve known hundreds of students like this who have attended college and university without any idea of why they are there or what they want to accomplish in life.

To start with try to chat with young people in an informal environment – don’t sit them down and start grilling them because they’ll just walk off – usually!

As a career coach I use The Jack Canfield Success Principles and one of the most important places to start is to ask the young people in your household this question.

Ask them “What do you want?” The first thing that will happen is that the young person will either a) start talking or writing things down or 2) say “I don’t know and shrug their shoulders”.

So the next question if they get stuck is to ask them what they don’t want e.g. to poor, homeless and jobless and just three examples.

Then ask “So if you don’t want to be poor, homeless and jobless what would you like instead”?

At this point either you or they can be writing a list. The list will usually contain ‘things’ like cars and holidays as well as more spiritual things like to be happy and content. It doesn’t matter what the answers are right now.

Once there is a list ask your young person to search on the Internet for pictures of what they want and print them out. The pictures can then be put on the wall to remind them every day what they are aiming for. Some people just like a list and that’s fine as well.

This is the first of many questions you can ask them. To work through the entire course you might want to buy a book I’ve written for parents and career advisers.

These Kindergarten Activities Will Teach Children Lots of Things

Kindergarten is the place a child gets introduced to the world. This is the place where they learn everything. There are so many things a child can learn in the kindergarten like cooking, painting, writing, playing, etc. to give them an idea of all the things they have to do in their lives. If you are a kindergarten teacher and are at a loss at new productive activities to teach kids then you should give these a shot.

Eraser Activity – Not the plain boring ones, but the mini one with cute and funny pictures on it. You can ask kids to decorate something. You can write a name on a sheet and the kids had to trace the line with it. You can also get erasers in different shapes and sizes like erasers in the shape of alphabets. Kids will not only find this cute, but also they will be able to tell the difference between shapes by this practical experience.

Festival Teaching – When a festival is approaching, then you can tell stories about the festivals and then ask kids to make cards for it. And not only cards, kids can indulge their time in making lots of things related to the festival. For example – for the upcoming Christmas children could draw Santa, make Christmas trees out of cardboard and decorate it with colors. This way kids will learn about the festival and will also practice art and craft.

Teach to Complete Sentences – Here is another idea. To teach kids complete sentences you can write small and easy words of a sentence on plastic cups and ask them to arrange it in the correct order. Apart from that, you can teach them to fill in the blanks. Write down sentences on the board, but with words missing in it. Make a few chits of the missing words along with few extra and ask them to pick the correct word.

Cooking – when it comes to cooking you can teach the kids, lots of things that do not require a gas stove like drinks, batter making, cotton candies.

If you teach kids to plant trees and make them understand how important plants are for us then it will be a good life lesson for them. They will understand the importance of greenery and will take an interest in plant roping. In this process, they will also understand the difference between types of trees. So, all in all, it will be a great experience of environment for them.

Teach Them to Draw Shadow Art – Many of the kids find shadows very interesting as they do not understand the concept of it. You must have seen some kid running away from the shadow as it is something bad. You can use this interest of kids to draw their attention to shadow art. Teach them a little physics knowledge about light and how shadow appears and the kid is set to go.

You can learn a lot about many such kindergarten activities and preschool curriculum which can play an important role in the physical, emotional and mental development of kids.

Let Us Protect and Preserve the Good Instinct of Our Children

In its premier state, our instinct holds on to only one principle: this innate principle of our instinct, the ‘principle of conservation of our physical well-being’, is in perfect conformity with (as well as complementary to) the principle of our conscience (the moral principle). Another principle as an integral part of human instinct is the ‘pleasure principle’, which emerges latter and, in its premier state, is also in perfect conformity with (as well as complementary to) both the ‘principle of conservation of our physical well-being’ and principle of our conscience (the moral principle).

This lets our will to alternately lend itself to the impulses of our instinct and conscience without having to sacrifice its wholesomeness which, in turn, depends upon the absence of any inner conflict of the will. Thereby, in its primal and natural state our will is, fundamentally, one and the same. At the premier state of human instinct, the will continues to be one and the same. For, in the absence of any conflict between the instinct and conscience there exists no inner conflict of the will that can, supposedly, result in the destruction of its wholesomeness. We are all born with this Natural Will.

Serious problem arises when the ‘pleasure principle’ and the premier ‘principle of conservation of physical well-being’ are no longer in conformity with and complementary to each other whereby the instinct is in conflict with itself, owing to the conflict between its two contending principles. Nevertheless, the instinct continues to maintain these two distinct and separate principles as before, – only with this change (and this is a significant change) that the instinct doesn’t have the wholesomeness (i.e. integrity) that it has been characterized by at the time when these principles have been complementary rather than conflicting.

As this process of deformity continues, human instinct is eventually and ultimately split into two distinct and separate entities, one of which (the premier principle of conservation of physical well-being) would like to perform in accordance with the supreme principle of our conscience, while the other (the pleasure principle) is ceaselessly striving against it.

As a result of this ongoing process, the heart of our instinct is, eventually, destroyed as the innate principle of our instinct – the premier ‘principle of conservation of physical well-being’ – ultimately gives in to (and, in turn, is engulfed by) the ‘pleasure principle’ as the final outcome of this process of degradation. This is what ultimately happens to the instinct of children when they persistently see people engaged in pleasurable activities that are harmful to their physical well-being: eventually, the former internalize such practices as a social norm, and are conditioned by it; and as young adults, they (in turn) get involved in pleasurable activities as such.

The will of these children is ultimately torn asunder owing to the persistent conflict between the instinct and the conscience and is no longer capable of maintaining its characteristic wholesomeness (i.e. integrity). This post-natural state of will as such is the key to all social injustices and inequality. For, when the will of the individuals, or most of the individuals, within any society lacks integrity, the very basis for social justice and equality is lost.

Is it possible to preserve and protect our good instinct so that when we seek pleasure in our lives we don’t end up compromising our physical well-being or that of others? One way to accomplish this would be providing our children with moral, ethical, and religious teaching and appropriate guidance within a peaceful, loving, caring, and, above all, a natural environment. Within such environment and under such teaching and guidance, purity and natural state of their instinct could possibly be ensured against aforementioned deformity and be protected and preserved in years to come; perhaps, through their lifetime.

The key is to give the children: a marvelous childhood. And this would never be: until and unless we let them grow within a natural environment with the minimum of protection, safeguard, and care, letting the nature take care of the child – most of the time, if not all the time. We need to let the children know the marvels of nature; and, thus, be entertained by the nature. In consequence, they will stay natural, their instinct will also stay natural and pure. With instinct as such, they will care for and be mindful of physical well-being of people around them, as they care for and mindful of their own physical well-being.

Tools for Developing Learning Skills in Children

The natural way for a child to learn is through play. For children play and learning goes hand in hand; they will benefit from learning situations that are enjoyable. By using building blocks, working with jigsaws and threading toys, and matching colors, textures, and shapes, children acquire essential skills, which enable them to learn to read, write and count.

Children will invent their own games and toys, but well-designed toys can provide stimuli for exploring and discovering new things. Toys need not be expensive or complicated. The best toys are ones that fascinate a child and to which he will return again and again. Often a household item will provide your child with the kind of playthings he needs to ensure future intellectual achievement, it is not necessary to buy even one educational toy.

Providing a Stimulating Environment

One of the ways to encourage your child’s development is to foster creative play with an inviting environment. The way you display your child’s toys to a large extent determines whether they will be played with or not. Toys that are piled high are not inviting, whereas toys arranged into little scenes, stimulate him to sometimes even make other creative arrangements

It helps if there are spaces to play in, particularly activity areas, like a painting table and somewhere he can splash about with water. An interesting environment should not only be confined just to indoors. If you have a garden, fill it with suitable equipment, like swing, a slide, and even a little play hill-all of which stimulates your child’s imagination

Choosing Toys

Parents sometimes feel frustrated when they spend hours choosing the safest, most colorful, most fun, and even educational toy for their child, only to learn that he will be clinging to his old toy. It is almost impossible to choose a ‘best toy’ for your child. The one that is best for his is the one that fascinates him endlessly, and to which he will return gaining more and more stimulation and enjoyment and will provide him the greatest learning experience.

The less formed ad more basic a toy, the more possibility it leaves for a child’s imagination and may help his creativity, more than a very expensively dressed doll which can only be one character.

One of the most important things to remember is that children change very rapidly, especially in the first 3 years and that a toy which entertains a two-month-old, will not entertain a two-year-old. As they develop they need different stimuli and the choice of toys must reflect these needs. The toy chosen must be appropriate for his age. If it is too good advanced then he will not know to play with it in the proper manner, and will not gain enjoyment. If on the other hand, it is too primitive, he will get bored easily. Toys must stimulate all the 5 senses-vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

Having decided upon the appropriate type of toy for him, you must also consider a few more things. Is it completely safe? Is it stimulating? Does it have play value? Is it fun? For example, a bag of bricks is a ‘good’ toy to buy because it can be enjoyed at different ages with pleasure and will stimulate imaginative and active play. Toys that fit together or snap together teach children that they can change the appearance with dexterity.

Safety is also a very important consideration when choosing or making a toy. You must not only check for dangerous design faults when purchasing them but also at check for defects at regular intervals. It is impossible to provide a child with a totally safe environment. However, you must take sensible safety precautions and satisfy his inquisitiveness with safe indoor toys. Your children must always be properly supervised and never left to play alone outdoors.

Using Household Items to Make Toys

You do not have to spend a lot of money to provide him with the best toy money can buy. A quick look around the kitchen can provide your child with hours of fascinating fun.

Containers

Plastic food containers are the most versatile household toys. Plastic containers of different sizes can be used for putting in-taking out games. Put a few dried pulses in a firmly closed container and you have a rattle saucepans with wooden spoons create drum sets.

Food

Dried pulses can be stuck on pieces of card to make kitchen collages. Vegetables like potatoes and carrots can be made into printing blocks.

Paper Goods

Toilet rolls with a little decoration make finger puppets. Hand puppets can also be made from paper bags. Empty cotton reels when threaded together makes a good pull toy, especially if painted to resemble a caterpillar.

Avoid T.V. in Young Kids

TV has the mesmerizing and numbing effect on children and cuts them off from the direct experiences of their own world which are needed in order to develop. TV cuts down on the amount of social contact with the parent which is important for social and linguistic development.

Books and Reading

A single way, in which a parent could enrich a child’s environment, is by having books in the house. Words are crucial to the way our brains function. Books provide children with words to express feelings, ideas, and thoughts. They explain the world he lives in. They provide the tool for imaginative play, introduce ideas and are fun.

Try to read to your child every day, or even several times a week and preferably at the same time. Choose books that are visually appealing with illustrations. Children like photos of people, places, and events, with which they are familiar.

Fairy tales are fascinating to children, and they will learn to distinguish between real and unreal. They also encourage abstract thoughts and creative thinking.

The vocabulary should be easy to understand and the print big. Run your finger along the print, but do not force him to follow your finger. Make him notice things in the pictures. Re-read books for your child, especially if he asks you to. Don’t stop reading to him even though he starts to read by himself. Teach him to take care of books. Store books on low bookshelves in his room as this will encourage browsing, and always have a variety on hand.