Category Archives: Child Development

Child Development – Fostering / Instilling Honesty in our Children

Originally posted January 2, 2011

I just returned from a waiting room and overheard a parent on her cell phone speaking to her child along with a facilitator from her child’s school.  The conversation went on at least 20 minutes.  The parent asked her child where he or she got the “IPOD” from? I assume from observing the conversation, that the child must have stated that it was given to them, because the parent said, “why would somebody just give you an IPOD?” The parent then transferred her conversation to the school representative, who must have stated that it wasstolen from a fellow student. The parent then went back and forth with both parties, while arguing with the child who had changed stories at least twice during the conversation, based on the questions posed to them by the parent; agitated, the parent told the child that she would deal with them at home, and further told the school provider that there must have been a mistake because her child wouldn’t lie…

My thought today is: How can parents foster honesty in children?

From an early age, our children learn to “bend” the truth, for what ever reason; be it to avoid punishment, or simply out of habit.  Suffice it to say that all children will at some point learn dishonesty. Whether it is learned on their own or through watching others.

I believe as parents, we should stay in tune with our children and learn to recognize the signs, and instinctively take the appropriate actions to correct this behavior, before it gets out of hand.  As with the parent I observed today, because at this point (when our children are young pre-teens or young adults), this habit is well-formed and the activity that the lie is covering up, becomes more serious. Needless to say the punishment will be considerably more severe.

Do’s and Don’ts

– When a 5 year old lies to a parent, it is more than likely because they are afraid of punishment or they are afraid of disappointing us. However, it is not too early to promote truth telling.  We need to first create an atmosphere where the child feels safe telling the truth.

– Don’t put labels on your kids by calling them a liar. Just let them know that not telling the truth is wrong.  You can say something like, “that doesn’t sound like the truth to me…” It will give them a chance to explain.  At times, they could more than likely have a change of heart and tell the truth.

– Don’t ask questions when you already know the answer, like “did you clean your room?” by doing this, you will be inviting them to tell a lie. Instead say, “I see you haven’t cleaned your room yet…” This will let them know that you are paying attention to everything and will in turn promote them to always do the right thing, including telling you the truth.  You can also say, you know you won’t get into trouble with me by telling the truth..afterwards praise the for telling the truth.

Lastly, always try to set a good example, your child is watching you.

As always I would love to know your thoughts…

Child Development – Study your kids

Originally posted December 6, 2011

Earlier last month I spoke regarding the importance of nurturing our children with respect to their development.

In raising our children, it is our responsibility as parents to study them daily. In addition, studying child development as a discipline, or formal course of study, can help parents better understand how to communicate with children who have very different personalities.

Studying and understanding your child’s growth and development is extremely important in teaching young children, because we all know that there are no two children alike.  Children differ in so many ways, physically, cognitively, socially, and even their emotional growth.

Think about your children, or even some of the children you know from your neighborhood.  Each and every one is different.  Some will be extremely happy each time you see them and others, not so much.  Some children are always on the move and others are typically quiet and withdrawn.  With these different personalities in children, you may even feel that some children are just a bit easier to like than others…basically, some are a lot easier going than others, which makes your task in caring for them a bit easier; however, this is not all conclusive, you will encounter all kinds of personalities in children, so it is best to learn howto learn from our kids by simple observation and teach them accordingly.

In order to help each child, it is imperative that we understand their development which is basic to guiding them from a very young age.  Suffice it to say that healthy child development, begins with healthy human contact. It is so extremely important for a child to have a loving, caring, nurturing caregiver.  As they need to know they can depend on you. They need trusting relationships, and will thrive in an environment that is structured, predictable and AGAIN nurturing.

Until next time…I would love to know your thoughts.

Child Development – Nature Vs. Nurture

Originally posted on November 4, 2011

As parents, we are concerned about our child’s interests, abilities and well-being; from the moment our children are born we wonder how they will ultimately develop. Will they be creative, have adequate social skills, and problem solving abilities? What types of character traits have they inherited?…but mainly, we might wonder how they will develop, educationally. Will their reading comprehension be sufficient? How about mathematical skills (geometry, and calculous)?

There is one thing that we may or may not have considered:

We as parents are the key to our child’s developmental energy and their intellectual development. Even if our children have learning disabilities, it is up to us as parents to cultivate and nourish that development to its fullest potential.

How can we cultivate our child’s learning ability?

One way is to be very active in their education, as there is a direct link between our involvement, and our child’s development.  Research has shown that by the age of two, a good portion of our children’s intellectual foundation has already been established to support a life time of learning.

I stated in my book, “What I want my Child to Know…” that I began reading to my son at birth, and by the time he became two-years old, he could recite his books from memory (without knowing how to fully read them yet).

Did you know that there is no learning program which concentrates on any one single aspect of development, that has proved to have lasting benefits?

It is true. A child’s intellect is actually developed through his or her experiences over time, and it starts when they are very young.

While working at a child development center when my child was just four years old, I learned that children learn through their play, which is the reason that so many of our children’s toys are geared toward learning and development.

Nurturing a child will have a huge effect on their intelligence. We have all heard the widely publicized and critically acclaimed debate regarding Nature Vs. Nurture.  In my opinion, both play a significant role in child development. Biology remains a factor in child development; however, nurturing our children is equally as important; as their intelligence is either developed and shaped negatively or positively, based on their everyday experiences, associated with those around them, to include objects (T.V., radio, internet etc).

It is up the responsible parent to monitor, curtail and or adjust the foundation our child is will develop.  To put it simply, Nature is a given (something we can’t readily control), but exposing our kids to “good things” (nurturing) will yield “good” results, this we can control.

~ D. Linn Whorley

I would love to know your thoughts.