Hands-On Learning: Best 4 Ways to Find Time to Work With Your Child

You know you need to spend time working with your child.

You’ve even gone so far as to schedule it into your calendar. Somehow, though, life steps in, and by the time you’ve cleaned up the Cheerios on the rug and the mess made by the 3 year old in the bathroom (who couldn’t read the “we aim to please-please aim too please” sign), the day is over, and you’re dead tired.

Another day has passed, and you feel like kicking yourself: how are you supposed to teach your child and deal with life too?

Fortunately, with a bit of planning, you don’t have to make the choice between working with your child, and tackling the never-ending stack of laundry. By following these 4 tips, you’ll have plenty of time to work with your child, and keep up with the rest of life’s demands.

1) Think of every moment as a teachable opportunity.

A lot of parents assume teaching your child means sitting at the table with a basketful of materials. That’s a big mistake. Sure, learning can and does take place during these sessions, but why ignore the literally hundreds of opportunities a day your child has to practice his skills?

A pile of laundry is a great chance for your child to practice numerous skills.

  • Sorting: Have your child dig out her clothing from the pile. Then have her sort out the socks, pants, shirts, etc. into baskets or piles on her bed.
  • Fine Motor Skills: Letting your child practice folding towels and pants will not only help improve his fine motor coordination, but will strengthen his motor memory as well.
  • Listening Skills: When you tell your child where to put the clothing away, she must interpret and carefully execute what you say. Use one step directions in the beginning, gradually building up to 2 step and then 3 step instructions.

2) Know what your child’s goals are.

If you keep track of what skills you want your child to accomplish, you’ll have an easier time incorporating learning time into your daily routine.

Write down 2 or 3 simple goals in a place where you are likely to see them several times a day, and keep looking at them. Doing this will make it easier for you to remember what you’re doing, so that you can stick it into your day to day activities.

3.) Involve the whole family.

When I was teaching my foster daughter colors, I wrote the names of the colors on index cards, and put them up on the refrigerator. I also colored a section of the index card with the appropriate color.

Then I told everyone-husband, kids, and friends, that we were working on the colors red and blue. When my oldest daughter made a strawberry jelly sandwich for lunch for my foster daughter, she pointed out the color.

When we chose clothing in the morning, she pointed to all the clothing that had blue in it. When my 7 year old supervised toy clean up, he told her to pick up only the red clicks.

4. Be proud of what you accomplish. I sometimes have to remind myself to be happy with whatever I accomplish that day. Moms have a tendency to feel guilty about the fact that they could have accomplished so much more, if x,y, and z hadn’t occurred.

Don’t do this. It’s not only not counter-productive, it’s simply not true. Just tell yourself out loud that you did the best you could today, and pat yourself on the back for what you did accomplish. And if you didn’t do anything, don’t let that stop you from trying again tomorrow.

Care of the Physically Abused Child

An abused child is hurting physically and emotionally and so needs care which may be interdisciplinary in scope to obtain relief. Appropriate care is given to physical injuries detected such as plaster of Paris casting for fractures of long bones, dressing and antibiotic cover for wounds and burns. Children who suffered very violent shaking from their care giver may present with central nervous system injuries such as subdural hematoma. This will require a Neurosurgeon’s intervention to drain the collection of blood. Different specialists may be consulted in the severely abused child; eye specialist may be consulted to diagnose or exclude retinal hemorrhage.

The emotional wounds are typically more devastating because they attack the very essence of the child and can set in motion a cycle of self-destructive behaviors. Not every abused child turns out to be an emotional wreck; it all depends on what coping strategies the child adopts. An abused child out of desperation is prone to adopting coping strategies that could be injurious to him/her and so must be counseled against such habits. Habits like social withdrawal as a result of low self-esteem, resorting to violence as a means of settling issues, delinquency, skipping school, use of drugs to overcome depression, early indulgence in sex as a means of getting back at the parents or as a means of escape from reality, getting involved in gangs as a means of getting back at perceived enemies. The physically abused child may also indulge in stealing, lying, gambling and other deviant behaviors in order to survive. Depression is a common problem in physically abused children and it arises from unexpressed anger. Some could get so depressed as to attempt suicide or run away from home.

For psychosocial care, child protective services agency in the community should be contacted if medical evaluation had established a case of child abuse. The agency does its investigations in assessing the caregiver’s background, care giving abilities and potential, environmental safety, risk for repeat abuse and risk to other siblings. The services rendered by the agency may range from periodic contact with the child and family to see that the home situation is improving to removal of the child from home either temporarily or permanently with termination of parental rights. For mild cases of child abuse, the child returns home with care givers with or without services. For moderately severe cases, the child is removed from the home and family with care givers consent. The family is then offered services to assist them in working towards reuniting with the child. In severe cases, the child is removed from the home and family without care giver’s consent usually with a court’s approval as well as commencement of legal steps and processes to determine the ultimate plan for the child.