067: T.E.L.L. a child step by step

Every step in a child’s life journey is a step closer to adulthood. Have you thought about the baby steps that are necessary to develop more mature thoughts and skills?

What are the baby steps for developing traits such as responsibility and perseverance, for example? These traits are learned by experience, taking baby steps along the life journey. Just like the majority of children start by crawling before walking and running, baby steps are also relevant for developing a child’s thoughts and actions.

son crawling in her father's hands on green grass
Teach, encourage, listen and love a child step by step!

When you positively T.E.L.L. a child, you consider the baby steps. Your desire is to move the child one step closer to becoming a healthy resilient adult. You give the child an opportunity to comprehend the thought and skill, one step – or one experience – at a time.

T.E.L.L.ing a child to become responsible, you begin with a crawl. For example, give the child moments to be responsible for one action, one toy, etc., and then T.E.L.L. him or her how well the child took care of doing this one thing. Later, the child can learn to be responsible for cleaning up after playing or after eating. That is, the child can have an opportunity to be responsible for a bigger task and you T.E.L.L. them how well the child took care of doing this task. Eventually, the child will begin to step on his or her own and decide to be responsible on his or her own, and then you notice!

 

 

About the author of this post:  Denise Forrest, Ph.D.

Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students.  She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as an educational consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning. You can contact her by emailing denise@tellourchildren.org.

Focus: Teach, Encourage, Listen, LoveTags: #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #

066: To T.E.L.L. a child can be simple, or complex

T.E.L.L.ing a child can be as simple as asking yourself: “Do I…

Teach

Encourage

Listen

Love

when I interact with my child?”

 

Or it can be deeper by learning more about child development and communication. For example, you can read about research on the developing brain from an earlier post (TELL and help hard-wire a child’s brain for success).

You can also read, or re-read, the series on why interactions with children typically fail (Three reasons why interactions fail). This post is followed by six additional posts reflecting on these three reasons. Skim through the Show & T.E.L.L. archives and see if there isn’t a title that captures your interest.

The bottom line is, the more you think and learn about interacting with a younger mind, the better you can positively T.E.L.L. the child.

 

About the author of this post:  Denise Forrest, Ph.D.

Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students.  She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as an educational consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning. You can contact her by emailing denise@tellourchildren.org.

Focus: Teach, Encourage, Listen, LoveTags: #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #

065: T.E.L.L. our children to do and be better

It saddens me to hear adults sharing stories about how unsuccessful our youth are today. The other day I listened to an hour-long show where five adults discussed how unsuccessful our youth have become and they debated possible explanations. According to these adults (and many other adults, I may add), too many of our youth are undisciplined; disrespectful toward people and things; lack perseverance; are lazy; do not want to think; are impatient; need instant gratification; and lack good communication skills, meaning they can’t write or speak properly.

I’m not here to agree or disagree with these conversations. I am just wondering: How do our youth become so unsuccessful? Who has been there to T.E.L.L. them a better way? Aren’t these traits learned?

Below I compare the unsuccessful traits mentioned above with an opposite more desired (or successful) trait.

Limiting trait More desirable trait
Undisciplined Disciplined
Disrespectful Respectful
Lacks perseverance Willing to persevere
Lazy Hardworking
Does not want to think Problem solver
Impatient Has patience
Poor communicator Effective communicator

In more than two decades of studying adult-children interactions, I have never experienced a child, even a teenager or a 20-year-old, who thinks “I am disrespectful toward people and things,” “I lack perseverance, etc.” They may think: “Why should I show respect to someone who does not show it to me?”; “If I wait long enough, someone else will do it for me,” etc. From the child’s point of view, there are valid reasons for thinking and doing what they do, and much of it is based on the experiences they’ve accumulated so far in their lives.

If we want our youth to be disciplined, respectful, willing to persevere, hardworking, etc., we must T.E.L.L. them about these ideas throughout their lives.  The sooner, the better; however, I’ve learned it is never too late.

When you notice a limiting trait, the question becomes “What opportunity can I provide for this child to experience a more positive trait?” If my child is impatient, what can I do to help the child experience patience? Any moment the child is impatient, that is your opportunity to T.E.L.L. them better. Help your child develop a more favorable trait. For a young child, you can put him or her in your lap, do whatever it is together, show the child patience. For the older child, you can ask him or her to share what is causing the impatience, and together figure out a plan what to do next. Again, show the youth patience. Demonstrate it. Give the moment to T.E.L.L. the desired skill. How can a child learn something, anything, if not taught?

 

About the author of this post:  Denise Forrest, Ph.D.

Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students.  She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as an educational consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning. You can contact her by emailing denise@tellourchildren.org.

 

Focus: Teach, Encourage, Listen, LoveTags: #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #

064: Feeding a child unhealthy food? How about unhealthy thoughts?

Is it not true that our bodies grow weaker if we consistently feed it unhealthy foods? If we feed our bodies trash, aren’t the chances slim that we become stronger and healthier? Isn’t this also true in relationships? If you continuously speak unhealthy, or trashy, with someone, the relationship you have with that person cannot possibly heal and grow stronger.

Now think about this…

Our youth are seeing, hearing, and experiencing a lot of trash these days. Think about some of the Hollywood movies, music, video games, television, social media, or Internet material children are fed on a daily basis. How can they grow stronger unless they see, hear, and experience healthier ideas? This is one of the fundamental reason why adults must begin noticing and practicing T.E.L.L.ing our youth better ideas. There is a lot of trash out there, much more than when many of us were growing up.

Now be honest with yourself: what and how do you speak and act around the children in your life? Do you talk trash or healthier ideas? Speaking trash is not just putting them down. It’s more about the quality of your interactions, the ideas and feelings you share with them. Are the feelings and ideas healthy? Do your interactions cause your relationship to grow stronger and heal internal wounds? Or, is it more trash for the child to process?

Are you T.E.L.L.ing your child better, healthier ideas? Think about what and how you

Teach

Encourage

Listen

Love

The time is now to begin feeding children healthier ideas. It is never too late. The unhealthy trash will always be there. We can either add to it or empower a child to see, hear, and experience stronger, better, and healthier ideas. Start today and T.E.L.L. a child healthier ideas.

If you see value in our Show & T.E.L.L. posts, if you think the message is worthwhile, please help us spread the T.E.L.L. message to more caregivers. Let others know about the Show & T.E.L.L. blog. Talk with others about the message. Help one another practice T.E.L.L.ing the children you see every day. Let us know how we can help. We are here to T.E.L.L. you.

 

About the author of this post:  Denise Forrest, Ph.D.

Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students.  She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as an educational consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning. You can contact her by emailing denise@tellourchildren.org.

Focus: Teach, Encourage, Listen, LoveTags: #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #

063: Many times we T.E.L.L. best by being quiet

The majority of our posts center on what adults can say and do to best T.E.L.L. a child. At times, saying and doing nothing — just being quiet — is really what is best.

There are several benefits of being quiet:

1.  If you have nothing worthwhile to say, why say anything?  Or similarly, if no one is listening, why speak? Instead, appreciate the silence.

2. Being quiet allows you the opportunity to listen and really learn from someone else. You need to be quiet to really listen.

3. By being quiet, you can gather more facts before you answer. The other person is sharing his or her thoughts and feelings.

4. Being quiet gives you an opportunity to think and reflect on your ideas. You can organize your own thoughts.

5. When we are quiet, it gives you and others a chance to notice other things, more than just the words being spoken.

When you really listen, you must be quiet. To comprehend and gain wisdom requires quiet moments. You T.E.L.L. a child by also being quiet.

 

Today, and over the next few days, try and focus on moments to be quiet. When you are with your child, be quiet and be a better listener so that when you do speak, you contribute to the conversation, you relate your ideas to what the child is saying. Try and be quiet, so you will have something to T.E.L.L. the child.

Also, give yourself a quiet moment to organize your thoughts. “How can I Teach better? How can I Encourage better? How can I Listen better? How can I Love better?”metacognition

 

About the author of this post:  Denise Forrest, Ph.D.

Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students.  She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as an educational consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning. You can contact her by emailing denise@tellourchildren.org.

Focus: Teach, Encourage, Listen, LoveTags: #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #

062: Do you practice T.E.L.L. principles?

As I write today, I can’t help but wonder if those of you reading the Show & T.E.L.L. blog have intentionally tried to do a better job T.E.L.L.ing the children in your life. Have you thought about how your words and actions impact the message you give a child in the moment? Do you think about giving a child an interaction that is positively Teaching, Encouraging, Listening, and Loving?

It’s one thing to believe your message can Teach, Encourage, Listen, and Love. But do you put these principles in action? Do you intentionally think about the principles of Teaching, Encouraging, Listening, and Loving a child when you are interacting? When you put the T.E.L.L. principles into action, you should begin to notice…

1) A positive impact on the child’s self-esteem. (Self-esteem describes the emotional evaluation of how a person views his or her worth.) You give the child an opportunity to know and do better. The child starts thinking and believing “I can do this.”

2) A stronger relationship with the child. By you T.E.L.L.ing the child, your message is “I care about you; I am here for you to help you do better.” You build trust, which builds a stronger, loving relationship. The loving relationship is not taken for granted.

3) Your words and actions impact the child’s mindset and skillset in the moment and in the future – you will notice the child trying to make sense of what you are T.E.L.L.ing him or her.

Finally, I often hear along the lines… “When I try and practice positively T.E.L.L.ing children, I almost feel like I benefit more than the child does!”

There is no magic formula. To T.E.L.L. a child is based on principles for interacting with children. Start today practicing how you:

Teach your child

Encourage your child

Listen to your child

Love your child

We are here to help your learning. Please send us any questions or comments. There is a place below for you to communicate with us. Now, go T.E.L.L. someone!

 

About the author of this post:  Denise Forrest, Ph.D.

Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students.  She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as an educational consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning. You can contact her by emailing denise@tellourchildren.org.

Focus: Teach, Encourage, Listen, LoveTags: #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #