Tips for Parents & Teachers: How to Criticize Kids Constructively

Criticism is one word that raises your eyebrows and sulks you down. Arguably, it has no positive connotation for most of us. So, it is never received in a healthy way either. So the matter of concern is, when we as adults can’t handle criticism, what about the kids, who are subject to severe and regular criticism. Everybody who is somebody in their life, comments and takes the liberty to pass judgement on their each and every act, unfortunately most of which is in critical form.

So how to safeguard them or how to prepare them so that this unwarranted criticism does more good than harm to them.

Criticism, or if they can be called Feedback, are both constructive and destructive. Receiving feedback is a skill, and like most skills, it requires practice, and a willingness to change and improve. Most children get plenty of practice. Ironically, adults need to help them make that practice count – by giving them feedback on how they handle criticism.

Feedback – both positive and negative – is challenging because it hits us in the vulnerable soft spot between our desire to grow and our deep need to be accepted and respected. The key to take a feedback in a positive manner, is to adopt a “growth mindset.” People with a growth mindset believe that effort and challenge make us better, stronger and smarter, while those with a “fixed mindset” believe that our inherent assets are static no matter what we do.

But, not all of the criticism kids face is constructive. Some of it is born out of ulterior motives or dark intentions, but the good news is that a growth mindset can protect kids from this sort of feedback as well.

A growth mindset is the best gift we can give our children. Thus armed, they can be brave in the face of constructive criticism, believing it can make them better, stronger and smarter. They won’t need us to safeguard their interest because, given a growth mindset, kids can handle the truth all by themselves.

So, what to do?

Don’t hesitate to criticize:

Many kids have trouble hearing feedback because they don’t experience it often enough. While it’s natural to want to protect children from pain, when we protect our kids from criticism or focus excessively on praise, we push them toward a fixed mindset.

Stop constant praise:

An effusive praise may encourage a fixed mindset and consequently discourage children from taking on new challenges. Worse, it can deflate, rather than shore up, self-esteem in some kids. Children need to get used to hearing constructive feedback, and it’s our job to teach them how.

Mind your body language:

Non-verbal communication is part of delivering feedback, and can help kids hear it more effectively. Uncross your arms, get down on kids’ level, smile and keep your face relaxed. If you are tense when you hand out criticism, they will be tense when they receive it.

Switch up your pronouns:

Instead of framing feedback in terms of “I’m so proud of you”, turn the statement and anchor feedback in the pronoun “you,” as in, “You should be proud of yourself,” or “What did you feel best about?” or “What one thing would you like to change?”

Empower for change:

Lessen your control and hand power over to the children and help them adjust their efforts to use feedback effectively. Ask, “Is that how you’d hoped this would turn out?” or “What would you do differently the next time?” Help them see the way forward with comments like, “How do you think you could take this project from good to awesome?”

Set new goals after a big failure. Once they have picked themselves up, help them pick some new goals based on what they have learned from the situation at hand. Their goals should be their own, devised by them, based on their experience.

Criticism comes to everyone, eventually. It’s inescapable, and more relevantly, it’s a necessary part of growing up. As we can’t protect children from it, the best we can do is ensure that they are equipped with the emotional fortitude and strength of character they will need to forge ahead, stronger, smarter and braver for the experience.

10 Reading To Children Tips You Need To Learn Now

We are all aware that today, most children are so much more interested in watching television for hours, playing video games throughout the night, and gossiping on the Internet than they are in reading.

According to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Education, children are spending an average of four to six hours daily watching TV or movies; and that’s before the Coronavirus pandemic.

It has been proven, time and time again, that children who read achieve.

They do better in school and in life.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass

Children who read tend to accomplish higher test and exam scores more often than their peers who read less often. However, getting children to simply open a book can sometimes be very tricky for parents and teachers alike.

Realize this, it is never too soon to get your child on the path to reading.

The U.S. Department of Education recommend that parents begin to read to their baby when they are six months old. The reason being, that hearing words over and over, time and time again, help them become familiar with those words.

Reading to your baby is one of the best ways to help them learn.

You can start by simply spending some time talking to your infant and toddler thereby helping them to develop the vocabulary they will need to enter school and begin to read.

And, in due course, as you point to and name the objects around them, they will start to understand and associate the words with the objects. In a short while, they will eventually begin to add those words into her vocabulary.

If, after a while, after a few years, you come to the conclusion that your child is showing little to no interest in reading, relax, there is hope.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy

Sometimes parents have to be creative and get a little sneaky. You can still turn your reluctant child into a reader.

The following 10 tips can help parents get their most stubborn children to read year-round:

1. Make the words come alive

When you read to children, pick a book that has large print. Point at each word as you read it. This way your child will recognize and understand that the word being spoken is the word they see.

And to add to that, did you know that a child’s love for reading can grow when the words come to life? After reading, go out and share that experience as a family.

This can create a deeper family bond, and has the added power of putting the words into visual context.

What do I mean?

If you are reading to your child a book on bunny rabbits, go to a pet shop. Let your child see the rabbits, recite a few words from the book as you point to the rabbits.

This creates a powerful combination; the child can relate to what they’re hearing and seeing; making reading as fun as possible.

2. Read to open long-term dialogue

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your child will grow up reading well and loving to read is to read to them every day.

As we said earlier, reading together will create a special and strong bond between the two of you.

And this has an extremely important added benefit that will help them open the doors for a dialogue that will continue throughout the more trying years of adolescence.

The U. S. Department of Education suggests that, when parents read to children, it is important that they take the time to discuss new words.

Take the time to explain what each new word means and do your best to include as much sensory methods as you can; sight, hearing, touching.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller

3. Listen to your child

When parents spend time talking and reading to children, they should also take the time to listen to their children.

This will help their children get ready to read faster.

When you read and talk to your child use sounds, gestures, songs, and even words that rhyme to help your child learn about language and its many uses. Inspire your child to do the same and be attentive to them.

This is vital.

There’s nothing worse than a child feeling they are being ignored.

When you go out with your child to the supermarket, practice pointing out the printed words there; you can point to a fruit, and ask your child what that fruit is and ask them to spell it and talk about it for a minute.

4. Never leave home without it

Take some books with you wherever you go. You never know when your child gets excited to read, and when they do, cherish the moment, and take full advantage of it.

Of course, this can also be beneficial at times when you don’t wish to be disturbed, so by handing over a book to your child it gives them fun activities to do to entertain themselves with, and it keeps them occupied while you’re driving, chatting with friends, or running errands.

5. Keep the books within easy reach

A well as creating a quiet, special place in your home for your child to read, write, and draw, make it a point to keep the books and all other reading materials within easy reach of your child.

Perhaps you can provide your child with their own bookshelf or small bookcase. This will not only make them feel special, but it will also communicate to them that reading is special.

An added bonus could be you reaching out for a book on their shelf for you to read in front of the child. This way the child can see that you are also reading, and this will make them realize that reading is important.

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

6. Read a favorite book over and over again

Get into the habit of recognizing your child’s favorite books, and read them over and over again. Repetition has the power of making the words sink in further and further into the child’s mind.

Also, you can think of ways to make it more fun each time you read that favorite book.

Be creative.

Time and time again, read the stories that have rhyming words and lines that repeat, and have your child join in the fun.

7. Provide encouragement

Parents play a crucial role by reading to children, and this greatly affects the child’s education. Children whose parents encourage them to read are more likely to read far more books than those parents leave reading up to them.

Encourage your child to read as often as possible, without pressurizing them, as this may put them off reading. Reading to children requires tactical persuasion, and getting children to read by themselves requires creative encouragement.

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke

8. The early bedtime trick

Here’s a great coaxing approach that many successful parents have used in the past to read to children. Set your child’s bedtime to be 30 minutes before lights out.

Allow them time to perform all the before bedtime duties; such as brushing their teeth, getting into their pajamas, saying their good-nights to others, using the bathroom, and so on.

Once done, let them happily hop into bed, and then you open their favorite book, or book of their choice, and you read to them.

This is to be done before their official lights out bedtime.

After that, simply smile and say, “It’s time for bed, now. Would you like lights out, or would you like to stay up and read for a bit longer?”

More often than not, unless the child is particularly tired, they’ll choose to read awhile longer. This way they think it’s their idea (powerful, huh!).

Allow the child to choose whichever book they like to read until the time comes where you kiss them and bid them a goodnight and turn the lights out.

9. Summer reading enticement

Where possible, sign up for a local summer reading club at your local library, or arrange to read with your neighbors’ children out in the back garden. Have them take turns reading to children that are present (some love to show off their reading skills).

On a rainy summer’s day, with the advanced technology of these days, you can always have your child read to their grandmother and grandfather via the Internet.

If your local library is closed, or your child doesn’t want to be cooped indoors, you can always take them out to a close park, lay a blanket on the grass and read to each other.

Practice the art of parents reading to children, then children reading to parents.

Think of ways you and your child, and other children, can have fun with it.

“I believe we should spend less time worrying about the quantity of books children read and more time introducing them to quality books that will turn them on to the joy of reading and turn them into lifelong readers.” – James Patterson

10. Read the entire book before you see the movie

If your child is keen to see a particular movie, get the book and have the child read it first before you take them to the movie.

Make it a ‘rule’ that you do not take them to the movie until they’ve read the entire book.

This will encourage them to read, and the added bonus is that they may understand the movie more because they read the book with you, and you, more than likely, added life to it; explaining things the child didn’t understand.

There you have your 10 reading to children tips that you need to learn and implement now, or at least, as soon as possible.

Reading is very important for children. It prepares them for adulthood.

Reading is a prerequisite to success and perhaps everything in life.

If you think about it, in all areas of life, there is something to read: Road signs, food labels, newspapers, prescription labels, letters/emails from banks or work. We are all surrounded with things to read.

We cannot avoid reading… Period.

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” – Kate DiCamillo

Do your best, make it one of your life’s missions, to turn your children into avid readers.

The more methods that you can combine into your child’s reading experience, the more likely you are to help your child grow into a strong reader.

Always, constantly think of ways to infuse into your child that reading is fun. And, for you as a parent, remember that you can never be too old, too wacky, or too wild to pick up a book and read it with your child.

Reading to children is a must in every household.

“Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”

How to Become a Great Baker – Useful Tips for Aspiring Bakers

Bakers bake an assortment of goodies including cakes, breads, cookies, pies, and pastries. The most common places of their work are, of course, bakeries and specialty pastry shops. They can also be found working in the bakery section of supermarkets and facilities that serve large quantities of baked goods like hotels, cafes, and restaurants. Usually, their creations are produced in bulk – particularly the breads and pastries.

To be a qualified baker, formal education is a must. Hands-on training is the largest part of the training and actually takes place while at work, but classes that prepare you to read recipes correctly, understand the chemistry in baking, and use the tools necessary to make a baker succeed cannot be discounted. Finally, bakers have to be really talented and creative in order to satisfy the demands of their customers.

If becoming a professional baker is your dream career, then the first step to reaching your dream is to check out baking & pastry schools and then pick one, which you think will offer you the best education. Enroll and take your lessons seriously because everything will be useful to you once you start working.

On the other hand, you can make it in the world of baking by working hard and keeping these few tips in mind. These may be simple advice but these will really help you to become a good baker.

Basic requirement

Make sure to finish high school because you will not be able to enroll in any baking schools without it. It is also a good idea to focus on your math subjects since you need this when pursuing a baking career. Remember, bakers do a lot of measuring which involves fractions, division, addition, subtraction, and equivalents.

Apprenticeship

Work with a professional baker as an apprentice. The reason for this is experience in the real world helps you to gain more ideas and techniques that you can apply when you start working. You can also observe the baker while they are doing their work and get lots of pointers that will help shape your own career. Furthermore, working alongside a very experienced baker offers you a kind of learning that you can’t gain in school.

Practice

It is true that practice makes perfect so keep on practicing and try your hand on different recipes. In this manner, you can hone your skills until your baking gets refined. Become familiar with the tools and how to use them and why. Coming into a position with confidence from doing things numerous times makes you a desirable candidate.

Build up your career from your experiences

Successful bakers have worked for many years. Their experience (gained from years of working) has contributed on how good they are today. They have perfected their skills and baking doesn’t feel like a chore anymore, but more of a pleasure. Build your career from your experiences and you will reach the top just like your mentors.

Know-how/Learning

Another thing that you must pay attention to in order to succeed in baking is knowledge. Expand your knowledge in baking by researching and being up to date with the latest trends in pastry, cake, cookies, and bread-making. Read books, magazines, and websites that publish anything about food and baking. With extensive knowledge, you will be fully equipped and can readily deal with any issues relating to your profession.

Education/Degree

Lastly, students who want to be bakers must understand that baking is a program that requires proper education and training. Thus, the completion of the appropriate culinary program is the key that will open the way to a winning career. Get a culinary arts degree. You will learn a lot about the many sides of the culinary world, including baking – which you want to focus on. Your diploma serves as your certification that proves you are qualified to become a baker. This document will make it easier for you to get a job in big companies, as most of them prefer people who have completed some formal education.

You can be one of the most sought after bakers in the future; start your career as a baker by searching for a recognized culinary or baking school and earn your diploma today.

6 Useful Tips for Buying Cheap Textbooks

When it comes to sourcing the latest textbooks for your education, there are generally several practical options, such as renting, buying used or buying new. With a little planning, it is possible to save a significant amount of money on the many different college textbooks needed. Let’s take a look at a few useful tips to save money on sourcing textbooks:

Plan ahead – a simple strategy to get the best prices is to plan ahead and buy the textbooks well in advance of classes starting. The cost of textbooks often increases just before classes begin because the stock is typically lower at this time. If you plan ahead, you will be able to buy the relevant textbooks at a far more attractive price because there are greater numbers available.

Also, in order to buy early, you want to make sure to get your reading lists from your professors as soon as possible. A further benefit of buying early is the option to use a slow, low-cost shipping method if buying online.

Buy used – the option to buy secondhand is likely to be the best course of action to find what you need at cheap and affordable prices. Even with books that have seen little use, there is the potential to save a significant amount on the original list price.

Older editions – textbooks in certain subjects such as history, chemistry and biology see minimal updates from one publication to the next. If you are able to buy a slightly older edition you are likely to benefit from massive savings. However, it is worth checking with your course tutor to make sure a slightly out of date textbook is acceptable.

International editions – one of the less used options is to look at an international edition of a particular textbook. While these books are likely to be slightly different in appearance and generally paperback, they are able to give the desired information.

Price comparison tools – using one of the many price comparison websites that is entirely dedicated to finding the best deals on textbooks can help to speed up the process of finding what you need.

Free shipping – look for independent bookstores that sell used and new textbooks. They are often competitively priced and may offer free shipping. Also, there may be discounts on ordering multiple textbooks at the same time.

Overall, with a little careful planning and following these tips there shouldn’t be any reason not to save a lot of money on the different textbooks.