Posts Tagged ‘education’

From manners to respect to empathy

November 15th, 2012

Empathy is the ability to understand the world from another person’s point of view. Empathy can also create motivation to treat another kindly based on that understanding.

Feelings Flashcards: Make flash cards with a photo or drawing showing different emotions such as happy and sad or scared and mad. Even three and four year olds can identify a range of emotions. Point out the different feelings and talk about them.

Share stories and personal experiences: share stories about times when you had similar feelings and let the children share back.

Puppets: Children are drawn to puppets and many lessons can be taught by them. Have puppets display different emotions and talk with children about them.

Share how you have seen empathy impact children’s relationships and friendships.

bullying, education, friendship, positive parenting, social-emotional , , , , , , , ,

Navigating the world of children’s friendships

October 2nd, 2012

Parents want their children to have friends, but childhood friendships can be puzzling. One day a child is part of the “in group” and the next day he or she is on the outside. What’s a parent to do?

The good news is that parents can help children develop the skills they need to make and keep friends. Join us this month as we navigate through the world of children’s friendships.

Listen to a brief podcast on Children and Friendship:

education, family time, friendship, podcast, positive parenting, raising teens, social-emotional , , , , , , , , , ,

School Success…Let’s get started!

September 6th, 2012

This month we are focusing on how to get the school year started right!

The short podcast gives a few ideas on homework and we are having an evening webinar on Monday the 10th of September to add more ideas to create success!  Listen to the podcast and join us on the 10th!

Lori and Donna

education, homework, podcast, positive parenting, raising teens, social-emotional , , , , , , , , , ,

Family Fun Time – Make it happen!

July 7th, 2012

Welcome to our new format!

This month we will have a shorter podcast which we hope gives you more opportunities and ideas to blog!

Listen to the Family Fun Time podcast below and then share your ideas with us!

Lori Hayungs

education, podcast, positive parenting, raising teens, social-emotional , , , , , , ,

Episode 16: All about Learning

June 6th, 2012

When children learn something well the first time, even if they do forget, relearning is easier. This month’s Science of Parenting podcast from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach examines how children learn and how teachers and parents can adapt teaching to fit learning and memory. It’s the final long-form podcast in the series.

ISU Extension Publications


Related resources

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Mom I Need Some Cash…

April 5th, 2012

Yeah not really a catchy title… pretty boring because we’ve all heard it  (and probably even said it ourselves).

In listening to the podcast there is one thing that really really won’t leave my mind. “Consistency”.

Gosh isn’t that the pits. It’s the same word we use to talk about guidance and discipline with children. Huh… guess that means it’s a pretty important word.

But sometimes isn’t it soooooo hard? I know it is for me!!! Especially when it comes to money. I desperately want to teach my children good money management but making the time and being consistent is where I struggle.

I need your help on ideas on how I can be consistent!!!!  Yes this blog IS all about me!


education, money, positive parenting , , ,

Elementary my dear Watson….

March 8th, 2012

Sitting on my deck in the sun…listening to the neighborhood children running through the water puddles left by the melting snow. The sounds of their loud and intense squeals of laughter remind me that several of these kiddos are champion tantrum throwers as well. The emotions are just as strong when they are happy as when they are angry. Like Donna said last months temperament topic goes right along with this month’s temper tantrums topic.

In the heat of a good tantrum it’s so important to think about the cause behind the emotions. Getting wrapped up and wound up in the emotions along with the child will be like throwing gas on a fire. Finding a way to remain calm both physically and emotionally can help the child deescalate as well. What was the initial cause of the very first emotion? Was it frustration? Was it hurt? Was it fear? The intensity of the tantrum is the secondary emotion – something triggered.

We have to play Sherlock Holmes…. What was going on prior to the tantrum? Where was the child? Who was in the vicinity? When did the emotions start to show themselves?  Take a breath and see if you can find the clues before responding.

What were some clues you discovered when you search for reason behind your child’s tantrum?


education, language development, positive parenting, social-emotional, temperament , , , , , , , , ,

It’s still a Happy New Year!!

January 26th, 2012

Sometimes as I start these blogs my mind wanders… then I have to think about what I really wanted to say. I started out thinking I wanted to talk about winter activities for families. Then looked outside at the shining sun and melting icicles and my mind wandered. It wandered to New Years! I started thinking about an article I had read on the eXtension website and wondered “how many families are already frustrated and disheartened with their New Year’s Goals?” So I went back to the article and thought I would share it with you here.

I have excerpted it and added the full link at the bottom. My question to you is this…  Instead of getting frustrated about things that haven’t gone right or things you haven’t achieved… is there something that you and your family can do TODAY to start over with your goals and plans? Tell us here!!! We can help keep you accountable!!

By the way family goals can be a great way to create family togetherness!

Wishing You a Healthy & H-A-P-P-Y N-E-W Y-E-A-R

H – ealth Make health a priority this year. Health should be more than the absence of disease – read on for ideas.

A – ttitude A positive attitude may not cure a disease. However, thinking positive can help you deal with misfortune, make the most of your situation and enjoy life more.

P – hysical activity The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends for adults: “Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity. Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.”
For more information and for guidelines for children:

P – eople Numerous studies indicate social networks, whether formal (such as a church or social club) or informal (such as meeting with friends), make people less vulnerable to ill health and premature death. Be wary, however, of social support that drains you through people being too demanding or encouraging you to engage in harmful behaviors.

Y- our body Schedule physical checkups as needed: eyes, teeth, mammogram, colonoscopy, general physical, etc.

To find the rest of the article go to:

And just in case you think I don’t really want to know – I DO!!  Is there something that you and your family can do TODAY to start over with your goals and plans? Tell us here! It’s about family togetherness!

Lori Hayungs

education, nutrition, positive parenting, social-emotional , , , , , ,

Plugging In For Special Needs

January 12th, 2012

I’m texting my daughter wondering when she needs me to pick her up. I’m writing my blog on my laptop. And I listened to the podcast on an iPad. Technology is important to me.

I listened with interest to what Dr. Susan Walker and the guys had to say… I was curious. I wanted to know where I fit in. I was hoping they weren’t going to tell me I was too ‘plugged in’. They didn’t. They made me feel like I was using the technology in a way that really supported my parenting. How refreshing for once! Instead of being told it’s too much I was told…think about how you are using it to support your family life in a positive way.

I started to wonder how I would share with you positive impacts it has made on our family… I hesitated to share this particular story but then decided that maybe there was someone else who wants to know if they ‘fit in’….. Technology can help parents find that emotional and social support they need when they have a child with special needs.

My daughter as Aspergers. She has difficulty in social situations. She is disorganized and struggles with self-confidence. She has amazing in-depth thoughts and ideas but struggles to express them verbally. We got her a phone for her 12th birthday. We initially wondered if she would be able to utilize the phone because she is intimidated to talk typically. But we were ‘hopeful’ that she might take to texting.

The child amazed us in a matter of hours. Her texts were stunning. Long full thoughts with CAPITAL letters and EXCLAMATION points!!!! She was thrilled to be able finish her thoughts without losing her confidence like she does when speaking. We were thrilled! And admittedly annoyed when she would correct us or impatiently text again and again waiting for an answer.

Technology supported her in a way we never guessed. The iPad has given her big imagination and a place to listen to/read books, as well a place to create The cell phone has give her a voice. As parents we struggled with the idea of ‘plugging her in’ wondering what others might say because she is 12.

Technology supported our parenting. It supported our child. It’s boundaries are limitless so it is up to us to set boundaries and find boundaries. Make sure that technology does not ‘replace’ your child’s learning but supports it. Also that it is appropriate for your child’s current development. Support groups and websites for parents of children with special needs are a fabulous place to let technology build us up as parents and fill our parenting tool box.

What ways has technology supported you or your family?  How have you benefited from getting your family ‘plugged in?

Lori Hayungs

Aspergers, education, positive parenting, social-emotional, special needs , , , , , ,

Episode 11: Using Technology to Help with Parenting

January 1st, 2012

From podcasts to text messages and Skype, many parents are adding technology to their parenting toolkit. This month’s Science of Parenting podcast takes a closer look at how parents can use information and communications technology for parenting.

Related resources

Additional links to be posted with the news release

media and kids, podcast , , ,

Brain Farmers……

November 3rd, 2011

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast this month make sure you do. I laughed out loud as I was listening to the gang talked about parents being Brain Farmers -as in growing the brains of young children. Living in rural Iowa it certainly created an interesting picture in my head. My children are 14, 12 and 7 and I guess I’d like to think I’ve done a lot of brain growing over the years.

One thing that really struck me was how each and every experience my children have with me makes a difference in how their brains become connected. That means that all of their experiences good, bad and otherwise have helped to wire the connections in their brains. That’s a lot of responsibility !

Rather than focus on moments I may not be proud of as a parent, I thought about the positive things that has helped to grow their brains. Spending time talking, laughing and playing together grows brains. Ensuring our children get proper sleep, nutrition and physical activity grows and wires their brains.

So really, all of it is important. Each and every little thing makes an impact on their brain. How very cool that just plain ‘doing things’ with our children – that active involvement in their lives- builds their brains. Or like Doug says in the podcast, “ No More Fads Needed”. My kids don’t need the next best gizmo and gadget this Christmas – they just need me!

What are some ways that you have grown your kids’ brains by just being with them? What are some ideas that you could give other parents about how to be ‘with’ their child while growing their brain?

education, positive parenting , , , ,

Grover vs ….?

October 6th, 2011

I am a product of Sesame Street. Yep, I counted with the Count and ate cookies with Cookie. And deep down I’m probably still in enamored with loveable furry ‘ole Grover!

According to this month’s podcast there are 34 years of research that shows I very likely went to kindergarten having ‘learned’ from Sesame Street! Knowing that tv truly is ‘teaching’ our children can be both exciting and frightening at the same time.  This month’s podcast addresses how we can sift through what our children should and shouldn’t watch on television.

As I think about what my children might be learning from tv, I think most about all of the different channels available. I only had three options. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the different programming options available. My girls and I enjoy several of the nature and real life types of shows on various channels, but have also watched the cartoon-y children’s programs. We like the options!

Do I limit what they watch – yes I try my best. Are there times that they may be watching something less than stellar in my opinion? Absolutely. As I was listening to the podcast I appreciated the recognition that different channels may have both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ programming. That one channel may not be all ‘bad’ or all ‘good’. The bottom line was that I needed to pay attention to the different programs, watch them for myself and then determine whether it would be something I should let my girls watch.

What types of characteristics do you look at when you determine whether or not your children should watch something? 

Lori L Hayungs

education, media and kids, positive parenting , , , , ,

Did You Get Your Homework Done?

September 29th, 2011

Did you get your homework done? That’s a question heard in many homes as parents and kids settle in for the evening. Part of the anxiety for kids at the beginning of each school year is adjusting to homework expectations. There can be a big difference from year to year in terms of quantity and difficulty.

Research shows that effective homework assignments do more than supplement the classroom lesson. They also teach children to be independent learners. Homework gives children experience in following directions, making judgments, raising additional questions for study, and developing responsibility and self-discipline.

Okay, that all sounds positive. But as a parent the question becomes how involved do you get in helping with homework. Following are my thoughts on the “what and how.”

  • Give praise for things your child does well in school. Look at the pictures, ask how the spelling test went, read the essay. Know what is being studied.
  • Discuss school with your child, both positive and negative. When there is a problem at school it is hard for most children to figure out what they can do to deal with it. They need your help.
  • Meet with teachers – face-to-face, phone, electronically. Have a conversation at the beginning of the school year about homework expectations.  
  • Have a special place for homework where there aren’t distractions. Select a place that you can easily monitor. If the homework is done on the computer, check to be sure your child is doing homework and not chatting with Facebook friends or playing games.
  • Set clear rules about when homework is to be done. Evenings can be hectic with supper, music and dance lessons, sports practices and games, church activities, etc. Sit down as a family and decide where homework fits in.
  • Give consequences if homework is not done. Most children will not change habits unless there is a consequence for poor behavior or not following the rules.
  • Stay calm when there is a school problem. Your child’s teacher will have information about what aspects of his work are creating a problem. Then you can work towards a solution.

Your child is going to be in school for many years. Even though she may not have lots of homework right now, you are setting the stage for how this part of her school experience will go. If you can help her develop good study habits now, the payoff will be substantial in the years ahead.

What specific things are you doing to help your child be successful in school?

Donna Donald

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Still trying to convince him preschool is FUN!!!!!

September 22nd, 2011


Preschool. End of September. We are all comfortable and happy when we start off to preschool right? The transition is now complete.

Umm not really. There is still fussing over shoes, whining over show-n-tell and dragging feet at the car door. You think to yourself, “Am I the only parent still struggling to get my child comfortable with starting preschool?” or “Why does everyone else’s child bound happily in the front door while I have to carry mine in?”

Guess what? You are not alone! Every child transitions or has a comfort level for beginnings, at a different rate. In fact, it is likely that by the time your child gets comfortable, there may still be others that haven’t completed the process. Children adjust to new situations (like starting preschool) based on their own individual temperament. And, if you really think about it, you may even recognize some of your own uncomfortable apprehensions in the face of your child (they got their temperament from you!). 

As we think about trying to help our children through new situations it is most important to continually think about how it seems from their point of view. They have never been to preschool before, and each DAY is literally a NEW day to them. Yes, they may have been there for 2-3 weeks already but now it’s colder, they have more things to pack in their back pack, more items to remember, the building looks different when it is surrounded by brown & not green, their friends may be louder as they have become comfortable, it’s ALWAYS a NEW DAY. And with newness comes apprehension and uncomfortable feelings. Real feelings we can’t ignore.

Each time we remember to appreciate or acknowledge the apprehension our child feels,  instead of becoming frustrated by it we are able to show our child that we ‘understand’. We may not be able to help our child alleviate the apprehension to newness but we can ‘acknowledge it’ and try to ‘understand’. Those two things alone may help increase your child’s comfort level.

What are some ways that you have shown appreciation for or acknowledged your child’s apprehension? What happened when you did? What are some techniques that you have done to help your child feel more comfortable in uncertain situations? Share your ideas with us!

Lori Hayungs

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Project Marco

September 8th, 2011

This month’s podcast is all about engaging our children’s minds – creating opportunities for children to get involved in what they are learning with all parts of their body and mind. We have project based learning all around us – inside our home and outside our home. The podcast was an opportunity for me to learn something new. As I listened I enjoyed recalling a time with my own children where we unknowingly used project based learning!

Enter Marco. I have 3 girls. We like bugs. And spiders. We found Marco in a warehouse and created a lovely terrarium for Marco to live in. Marco was a large Wolf Spider. Marco seemed happy with us. We spent hours together researching what Marco ate and drank, what other Marco’s may look like, just researching everything we could about Wolf Spiders.

Within days Marco created an ‘egg sac’. We pondered renaming Marco, Martha, but decided that in the spider world Marco could have an egg sac. We also “hypothesized” when that egg sac would open and how fast I would need to get that terrarium OUTSIDE when it did. We were so engrossed in our project that we even took Marco on a weekend trip to grandpa and grandma’s house.

Luckily we did because the egg sac opened that weekend and hundreds of the cutest little spiders scampered out of the egg sac while the terrarium was perched on the back steps (whew!). We spent several moments watching them scurry & race about. Then one of the girls remembered something we discovered during our research. Once the egg sac opens the adult spider dies. Sure enough there was Marco snuggled in the leaves at the bottom of the terrarium, lifeless. Our project was complete. Or was it? Our Marco project was over 5 years ago, and it still creates lively conversations and sharing of memories. It continues to be a hands-on experience my children can relate to as they learn about scientific theory and life cycles in school.

What are some ‘projects’ that your family has done? How has your families involvement in those projects shaped your child’s learning (or even yours!)?

Lori Hayungs

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