Rough Play for Kids Teaches Respect, Ethics and Boundaries

My two sons love to rough play and when they first started out with rough play, let me tell you what, I cringed! I really had to get used to the idea that rough play was fun for these too rough n tumble boys, and figure out ways to supervise that allowed them the fun with rough play. Through watching my two sons play rough, I have seen what it is that rough play actually teaches these boys and I am now an avid promoter of rough playing.

What Life Lessons Kids Learn from Rough Play

Many parents who come around, that are not parent to boys cringe at the idea that I allow my boys to play so rough. I have to explain this same scenario out to everyone who hasn’t had this experience; with rough and tumble kids. I want to be clear, girls can be just as rough and tumble as boys, they can learn the same skills that boys learn from this rough and tumble play so please be aware that this post may be focused on my sons, this pertains to girls as well.

What Kids learn from Rough Play With Supervision

Many nights a week my sons wish to wrestle before we start our end of night bedtime routine. If both boys are game, I allow them to wrestle which really involves some major rough housing. Take note: this is not hyper rough play, it’s calculated rough play where they each work to win the other. The goal, I believe, is usually for one of them to be pinned down over and over again. Poor Aj who lacks some fine motor skills, ends up on the ground more often than not. One rule to rough play for me, as the parent supervising, is I want to see that each have a smile on their face – meaning they look as if they are enjoying it. Rough play is for enjoyable fun, not for one to have a blast beating the other one up.

My little man started off these rough play adventures with a very arrogant side, he is my most self absorbed child which I feel is somewhat normal for his age group. I have had to work really hard to teach my little man to respect the boundaries of Aj and to really learn the cues Aj puts out there when he is genuinely hurt or simply not having fun anymore. Little man has come so far in learning his brothers cues and 99% of the time he does respect those boundaries. Each listen to ensure that they are not physically harming the other but boy do they take a beating.

Each love to grab and throw the other around, karate chop each other and simply run in a circle giggling a lot. They get rather rough to a point where I have to shut my mouth, the Mom in me will probably never be used to this rough play stuff, but it’s so important because it teaches some important life lessons and helps the boys learn how to handle testosterone boosts they will experience most of their lives.

Kids Learn life lessons with Rough Play

What Kids Learn From Rough Play

Sportsmanship - If supervised properly your children will learn sportsmanship through rough play. Each allowing the other to take turns, each respecting the other winning and being happy the other one. Each attempting to compete in a healthy way with each other.

Boundaries of Other People – If supervised properly your children will learn the boundaries of the sibling they are rough housing with. For example, the boys know when to be rougher with each other and when to be a bit more careful as they have learned to read each other as well as their sister when rough playing.

How to Handle Frustration – If supervised properly your children will learn how to healthily take out frustrations and testosterone boosts, your sons will have boosts of testosterone and frustration being of the male species, rough play has actually been researched and proven to help teen boys handle testosterone fluctuations better as well as learn to handle conflict properly.

Friendship, Bonds and Sibling Love – If supervised properly your children will learn to have a sibling bond of love and friendship with their rough playing partner, each having learned the three skills and lessons above, will eventually have a larger level of trust for each other, as well as the outside world.

Do you have rough and tumble kids? Do you feel they are learning some important lessons through this play? What lessons do you think they learn?

School-to-home communication: Taking the stress out of everyday life

If your home is anything like mine, the mornings are definitely the most stressful part of the day. Trying to get everyone out of the house on time is always a challenge. It doesn’t help that my young son suffers from selective hearing, when it comes to subjects such as showering or cleaning his teeth. It often feels as if the only way I can get him to move quickly is by saying the same thing again and again and again or screaming like a banshee!

Life for us busy working mums can be a real juggling act and I am sure I am not alone in thanking God for the wonders of modern technology. How would we cope in a world without microwaves, dishwashers and automatic washing machines? Fortunately for us, new inventions come along all the time to help make our lives easier. One of the best examples, I have come across recently, is ParentMail, a school-to-home communication system.

In the past, schools relied on letters being sent home in book bags to communicate with parents – but this only worked if parents remembered to check their child’s bag regularly or, even less likely, the child remembered to hand the note over to whoever picked them up from school.

Thanks to ParentMail however, schools can now communicate with their pupils’ parents via a range of Apps.

As well as sending out emails about school news and events, ParentMail also allows schools to text more urgent messages to parents. E.g. my son’s afterschool football club was cancelled the other day, due to a teacher’s illness. I was sent a text from the school in the morning, which then gave me plenty of time to arrange for someone else to pick him up.

Thanks to ParentMail, keeping on top of all aspects of my child’s education has never been easier. There is also an App, which allows me to fill out and return permission slips online and even book a slot at a parents evening.  Just this week, I did exactly that. All I had to do was open a link to an online booking form, fill out my name, email address and telephone number and then my son’s name and class. This then gave me access to a list of all the slots my son’s teacher still had free. I ticked the time that was most convenient for my husband and I, and within a few seconds received an email confirming the date and time of the appointment – brilliant and so simple!

And, as if this isn’t enough, ParentMail can also help schools collect, track and bank parent payments via its +Pay App. This is an absolute godsend in my house, as I rarely have any cash on me and can never find my chequebook. With +Pay, schools inform parents by email and/or text about items they need to pay for, be it for school lunches, tickets and events, school trips or fees and other subscriptions. Parents then log into their school’s ParentMail account and settle bills online by transferring money straight into the school bank account.

With internet and mobile communications technologies now very much a part of our everyday life, ParentMail provides a service which helps make everyone’s life run more smoothly – I for one am a fan.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84

Squam Lakes Science Center Field Trip #NH #science #nature

Last week I went on a field trip with my middle child’s class to Squam Lakes Science Center in Holderness, NH where we were able to walk on trails and learn a bit about the nature around us. We saw bears, river otters, foxes, a skunk, a mountain lion and much more.

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Each chaperone was given a group of children to “watch” and run the trails with, rather walk the trails with. I was with my son and four of his classmates alongside his teacher. Our group, as well as the other groups we ran into during the trip, were a well behaved group of children who were so inspired by what they were seeing and learning. That’s the key to places like Squam Lakes Science Center; they teach children by allowing them to have fun so they don’t even realize that they are learning.

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We spent the day at Squam Lakes Science Center and ended with a bagged lunch at their picnic table area before heading back home for the hour and a half bus ride.

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The day was so much fun and I am thankful that I was able to take part in being a chaperone for this fun field trip. I highly recommend taking your family to Squam Lakes Science Center if you can, because it was just such a fun time!

Examination Grades on the Decline

Throughout education there is a large amount of pressure on students to perform, to reflect the things that they have learnt and to earn the grades that secure their futures and will look good on the establishment where they have undertaken their learning. Every year, students are subjected to examinations to test the knowledge they have gained throughout the educational year. It is important for students to listen, learn and revise in order for them to perform well during exams which will not only allow them to pass their courses and schooling but will eventually shape their futures.

The recent GCSE examinations have shown a significant drop in results with maths and science grades falling to an all time low. Students seem to be having great difficulty earning passable grades in these subjects, areas that have always been slightly more difficult than subjects such as English and History. They are core subjects and the fall in grades means the level of teaching and understanding is a concern.

The need for additional educational help is now more prominent than ever and the UK needs to take a leaf from the USA’s book and encourage its students to receive more help in certain areas in order to pass the subjects they have spent so long learning. America place a larger amount of emphasis on examinations and the need to pass, students is under more pressure but also have more opportunity for extra help. A math tutor in Fremont is one of the most commonly used sources of aid that helps American students to excel or simply pass the courses that plight their education and have a greater impact on graduation and acceptance into college courses.

The number of A* to C grades in the UK has fallen by 2% in comparison to the results achieved in 2012. One of the reasons behind this could be due to the increased specifications that the Science examinations call for, they are now far more challenging and students are expected to show a greater knowledge to simply pass the test. Maths have multiple entry systems which reduces the overall success of the subject as students no longer can excel in one mathematical area to weigh out the problems they may have with others. Instead, they are expected to have a reasonable understanding of each area in order to pass the subject as a whole.

A fall in results can have a negative impact on the school or college, if 40% of pupils do not achieve at least 5 GCSE’s, then educational bodies and inspectors such as Ofsted are called in to monitor and asses the school and the standard of education and learning that it offers.

The Government and educational bodies are now calling for reviews on the way students learn and the way examinations are structured to not only determine the reasoning behind the poor results but to ensure there is not a repeat of this issue in the future. Although exams are designed to test the knowledge of a student, they are not supposed to be designed to encourage students to fail, they need to be realistic and passable for some.

Sweet Summertime

Due to the fact that this is Summer and I firmly believe Summer is the best time to focus on family fun, my blog does not have as many updates. You see, I started to feel bad because after all this is my income, but on the other hand, I remembered that this is the last Summer I have before all three of my kids are in school full time. Yes, my “baby” is headed off to full day Kindergarten this year and how that makes me sad in some ways.

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On another hand, I am happy to have the Summer time to enjoy him some more before I only see him during the no school hours and school vacation times. Once school starts I get to ramp up my blogs, get them organized and running strong. Once school starts, that will be MY time for the first time in like near 11 years that I will be able to work from home near full time hours and make more progress, be more productive and have the ability to do customer service call center type jobs from home!

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While I am sad that my baby is off to full day school this Fall, I am happy to say we have been enjoying our summer together, every single one of us … as a family!

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