Category Archives for "Teaching Your Children"

7 Tips For Teaching Kids Positive Thinking

Having positive thoughts and thinking positively about themselves helps kids have a good sense of self worth and feel safe in the world. It will also help them lead fulfilling lives and have a brighter future. Thoughts are powerful, and the younger kids learn to have a positive mindset, the better chance they have to have a happy and fulfilling life now and in the future. 

Here are 7 tips for teaching kids positive thinking. 

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1) Teach Them About Thoughts and How Their Brain Works

When kids understand how the brain works and about their thoughts, it makes a world of difference. This is the first step to teaching your kids positive thinking. Once kids understand how important it is to think positively and speak positively, they will be more likely to use empowerment tools by working on increasing the amount of positive thoughts they have and decreasing the negative ones.

You can teach your kids simple empowerment tools to help them increase the positive thoughts they have. Our Thoughts Are Like Seeds Program Manual is a great place to start. 

2) Be An Example

The very best way to teach kids is by example. They might not always be listening, but they are always watching you. Kids are likely to mimic your behavior whether you intentionally taught it to them or not. If you say negative things about yourself, your kids are going to say negative things about themselves. If you gossip, your kids will be more likely to gossip. 

You go first. Work on thinking positively yourself. Use the empowerment tools you are teaching your kids. Take care of yourself the way you want your kids to take care of themselves. Your example will teach your kids more than anything else you do. 

3) Be Encouraging and Positive

As a parent, you have a lot of power over how your child sees themselves and the world. The things you say to them make a difference. It is much easier to see the negative things they do and correct them than it is to notice the positive. Try being encouraging and pointing out the positive things they do that you want them to continue doing. Notice when they are doing something good. Positive reinforcement is much more effective than negative reinforcement. 

Some examples:

  • I notice you are walking down the halls. Thanks for following the rules.
  • You are focusing on that homework so well.
  • I appreciate that you used your words.

4) Help Them Understand Their Emotions and How to Manage Them

There is such a wide range of the emotions you can feel, and sometimes that is confusing and overwhelming to kids. It is important that they understand that emotions aren't 'good' and 'bad'. It isn't bad to feel sad, angry, or frustrated. It is normal and healthy. There are emotions that feel positive and emotions that feel negative. We don't necessarily want to feel the negative emotions, but it is important to understand that it is okay to feel them, and to have some strategies for managing them in an appropriate way.

5) Give Them Freedom

We all want freedom. The freedom to choose is very important to our sense of safety in this world. Giving children the ability to choose as many things in their lives as possible will help them build a sense of self and worth. Try letting them choose even when it makes you cringe a little bit. Of course, there are times it is best to guide them away from choices that will hurt them.

Some things you can give your kids choices about:

  • Their clothing
  • What they eat
  • How they do their hair
  • Extracurricular activities
  • How they use their free time
  • Pursuing their interests and passions, even if they are different than what you want for them.

6) Encourage Them to Talk About the Good and the Bad Things That Happen Each Day

Sometimes kids will have one negative experience during their day, and only remember that. It is easy to let the negative overshadow the positive. Helping kids recognize the negative AND positive things that happen to them is very healthy. It is important that kids can see that even though they had something they see as 'bad' happen to them, some good things happened too.

A game we enjoy in our family is what we call "Peaches and Pits". At dinner time, we go around the table and everyone takes turns telling one "pit", or negative event followed by 2 "peaches", or positive events. It is important to highlight more positive events than negative. This helps our brains see the positive more easily.

7) Expose Them to Good Literature and Media

Have you ever heard the saying, "you are what you eat"? The same is true for the literature, media, and other things you expose yourself to. You are what you consume. Kids are especially vulnerable to the influences of the media around them. They are bombarded everyday by messages from TV shows, video games, the internet, and literature. It is very important that the things they are exposed to are good. Here are some guidelines we use in our house to decide if the media we consume is 'good'. 

  • It has positive messages about family and education.
  • Morals and values are taught.
  • There is no unnecessary violence.
  • It does not have swearing or other negative language.

Yes, this does eliminate a lot of things we could possibly consume, but it is worth it when we have positive and uplifting messages in our brains instead of unnecessary and damaging garbage.

What are some of the ways you help your kids think positively? Share in the comments below!

Neuroplasticity

Neuro.....what?!

Neuroplasticity is a huge word! It might be a little intimidating to say,  and you may wonder if you really want to teach your kids about it. I promise you do! It will make a big difference if your kids can understand this superpower our brains have.

The other day my 3 year old did not want to go to karate. He usually LOVES karate, so this was confusing! When I asked him why he didn't want to go, he said, "Because I don't know how to do karate." These feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy start young! In times like this, it's important to understand neuroplasticity and how our brains can change with repetition.

The Brain's Ability To Make New Connections

Neuroplasticity is your brain's ability to make new connections. Your brain is built with billions of neurons. Neurons are cells that transmit information to other neurons, muscle, and glands. As you perform certain things over and over again, you build neuropathways in your brain. The more you do the same thing, the easier it will become. Practice makes perfect (or at least progress)! When you do or think a new thing, your actions and thoughts activate neurons. Then, these neurons build a new pathway so it is easier for your brain to do and think the same things again. At first the pathway is small. The more you practice the new thing or think the new thought, the bigger and faster your path gets. The more you repeat the action or thought, the easier it is to perform it. 

Have you ever driven home from somewhere, and when you got home wondered how you got there? Do you have to think too hard about how to brush your teeth, get dressed, or ride a bike? You have done some of these things thousands of times. As a result, your brain knows exactly what to do, and you can do it on autopilot. These are examples of how neuroplasticity works. 

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Everybody's Brain is Plastic!

Neuroplasticity at any age

Have you ever heard the saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"? It's not true! Scientists used to think that only children have neuroplastic brains. Children's brains are  more neuroplastic than adult brains, but scientists are finding that everyone's brains are neuroplastic at every age.

This is really good news. It means that if you want to learn a new skill, you can. Have you ever had the thought that because you don't have experience in something you can't learn it? Have you ever thought it was too late for you because you didn't learn something when you were a kid? TI know I have! he only thing stopping you is yourself. Because of neuroplasticity, your brain is perfectly capable of learning a new skill, and even excelling at something new. 

How Knowing About Neuroplasticity Can Help You Train Your Brain

Neurons making connections

How is knowing about neuroplasticity helpful for empowering yourself and your children? It's the same as with any skill. The more you practice thinking positive thoughts, the more you will have them.

As you and your children use the empowerment tools taught in the Our Thoughts Are Like Seeds Program you will start to build new neuropathways in your brains. The key to taking advantage of neuroplasticity is consistency. If you are consistent about doing these simple activities, thinking positive thoughts will become automatic with time. It really is amazing what taking just a few minutes each day can do for both you and your kids. 

Neuroplasticity is Like Building A Road

Neuroplasticity is lesson 2 in the Our Thoughts are Like Seeds Program . We learn that it is like building roads. When you first try something new, the pathway is bumpy, but if you practice enough you can build a super highway that is fast and smooth. The Neuroplasticity lesson is filled with fun activities, analogies, and stories that make learning and applying the information easy and fun. 

These lessons can be given in just 5-10 minutes a day with little preparation. All you need to do is make sure you have the supplies needed. Usually the lessons provide everything you need, but every once in awhile you will need a simple household item. The rest is done for you!

What’s Different About Our Kids Empowered?

There are a few other businesses out there that focus on teaching kids empowerment tools.  What makes Our Kids Empowered different? There are 4 main things that make us unique: we make it simple, we give you options, we want YOU to be your child's main teacher, and we love to give you things for free. 

1) We Make it Simple

What's Different About Our Kids Empowered 1

Parenting isn't simple. As a mom of 6 kids, I know this is true with all my heart! I am one to get big ambitions that aren't realistic and try to implement them. I have done this time and time again and it NEVER works! When I decided to start Our Kids Empowered, I knew it had to be simple. There is no other way for a busy parent. So I got to work brainstorming how it could be simple.

It Only Takes 5-10 Minutes Each Day

Your time is precious, and you have so many things to do. Cramming One. More. Thing. in doesn't sound fun. I know this feeling all too well. That's why I decided to make it possible to only spend 5-10 minutes per day. I know even  5-10 minutes seems like a lot on a consistent basis, but it's about priorities. Do you want your kids to have a positive mindset that will help them for the rest of their lives? Do you want your kids to have tools that will help them through hard times? Of course the answer is yes! Spending 5-10 minutes will be so worth it in the end. I promise. 

Little To No Preparation

Our lesson plans add another dimension of simple in the fact that there is little preparation involved. You don't have to know the lesson content before you teach it to your kids. All you have to do is make sure you have the items needed. Everything is usually included in the lesson plans, but every once in awhile you will need a simple item. Other than making sure you have everything you need on hand, all you have to do is open to the lesson and go. You can even read the lesson word for word if you want!

2) We Give You Options

What's Different About Our Kids Empowered 3

I am an options person. Options are powerful, and it's always nice to know there is another way to do things if one way isn't working. When I decided to make our lesson plans simple and only 5-10 minutes/day, I got some feedback that some may prefer a more traditional style lesson plan. That is why I created 2 versions of each lesson: The Daily Version and the Full Version.

The Daily Version

The Daily Version contains lesson plans broken down into 5-10 minutes each day. This is a great option for us busy moms who aren't sure where to find the time. It does require consistency, but once you get a routine down, it's really easy and rewarding. This is also a great option because it gives a little bit of information each day, which is just what we need to create lasting change and learning. 

The Full Version 

 The Full Version takes one week of lesson plans and puts it into one lesson. These lessons usually take about 45 minutes. The Full Version is meant to given once/week to give your children time to process the information and practice the tools. If you have a set time each week to work on empowerment, this might be a great option for you.

3) We Want YOU To Be Your Child's Main Teacher

What's Different About Our Kids Empowered 2

The idea of being your child's main teacher might be a scary thought for some of us. That's a lot of pressure! You don't have to be your child's ONLY teacher, but you are definitely his first and main teacher whether you know it or not. You are his main influence and example, and because of this you can be a very powerful teacher for him. 

It's important for you to learn and use the empowerment tools along with your child. As you learn along with him, you will grow as well. Since you are familiar with the tools and concepts, it will be easy for you to help guide him as he needs direction. I promise this will be life changing for you as well as your child. It is an amazing, incredible adventure!

4) We Love Giving You Things for FREE!

Our first goal isn't to sell you stuff. It is to help you make a difference for your child, your family, and yourself. We have a free resource library that we are always adding to! Here you will find free resources, printables, tips, and lesson plans to get you started and introduce you to some of our tools and concepts. 

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Summary: 

Our Kids Empowered has a few key differences from other child empowerment companies. 

  • We make it simple. 
    • We do our best to make teaching your kids realistic by making our lesson plans require no preparation from you. The lessons only take 5-10 minutes a day. It is very possible!
  • We give you options
    • We know that no everyone is the same, so we give you 2 versions of each lesson: a full version, which takes 45 minutes once/week and a daily version which takes 5-10 minutes each day. 
  • We want YOU to be your child's main teacher. 
    • You are the most important influence in your child's life, and you can teach them best. 
  • We love to give you things for free!
    • Make sure to sign up for our free resource library to gain access!

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