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3/9/15

Teaching Kids To Think #Book Tour + #Giveaway

This is a new book that I will love to read! I love reading the excerpts and other media news about this book. Have you read it as yet? Come enter below for a chance to win a copy for yourself!


How Overscheduling Prevents Skill Development

Summary of Book Excerpt –page 61-62


The parents we encounter every day in our practices are caring, conscientious, and thoughtful. They want to protect their children from negative experiences and to provide all the resources available for them to be happy. These are admirable qualities. The challenge is knowing how much is enough, and how much is too much, particularly as this relates to the child’s social life. Most parents know when their kids’ schedules are too full, but there is a lot of pressure on parents to make sure their kids don’t miss out. The combination of the pressure to keep kids ahead of the pack and the abundance of programs available makes it so difficult to resist the pull to overschedule them.

We frequently see two consequences to the overscheduled phenomenon. First, children and teens regularly communicate to us that they are stressed out and need time off. They very often say that there are too many activities in their schedule and that they have no time to “just veg out.” They tell us that whenever they are trying to relax, their parents ask them about whether they should be doing homework or practicing music or a sport instead. This makes them feel guilty or defensive, which defeats the purpose of having some time off.

The second consequence of being overscheduled is that many kids and teens do not learn how to fill time on their own, so they expect their parents to continuously structure their schedule. If there is a day with some unstructured time, they may bombard their parents with questions about what they will do that day. Alternately, they turn to an electronic device and get lost in the time warp of YouTube and monitoring the activities of their peers on social media.



What many parents don’t realize is the essential and valuable experiences children get when they have electronics free unstructured time to themselves. When adults provide the structure for their schedule, children have no need to make decisions about how to plan their day, solve a problem, manage their time, prioritize activities, and so on. Furthermore, when adults are there to guide their daily activities, it takes away the opportunity for children to make the mistake of poorly managing their time and, therefore, their opportunity to figure out a solution and learn from it. When kids need to figure out what to do with unstructured time they also learn to tolerate unexpected changes in their plans, which is an invaluable lesson. They may have an idea about what they want to do with that time, but many times it won’t go exactly as planned. That requires flexibility, problem solving, and tolerance. When kids are overscheduled, they miss out on those valuable experiences

As psychologists, we have never worked with a young adult who was struggling because he or she didn’t play enough sports, learn enough musical pieces, or speak enough languages. However, we have worked with many who never learned how to tolerate unexpected challenges, develop the confidence to solve problems on their own, or communicate with people they disagree witth. Their parents wonder why they are not taking on more responsibility and being more independent. The answer is simple: they never learned how.

Parent Tips

1.  Listen to Your Kids 
First and foremost, listen to your kids. If you are hearing your child say things like, “I’m tired”, “I don’t want to go”, and “I’m burned out” there is a chance that they are overscheduled.

2.  Provide Electronics Free Unstructured Time
Make sure there is at least one consistent chunk of time per week where your kids have unstructured time that they need to figure out what to do with. Maybe this time is Fridays after school until bedtime or maybe it is on the weekend.  Many kids will use electronics as a form of relaxation, this is different. This time is free choice, without electronics. It may be done with others or alone, whatever the child wants (playing with friends, art, music, riding a bike, etc.). This may be difficult for some kids, but don’t give in. If they say they are bored, it lets you know they need more practice thinking of things to do.

3.  Don’t Say “Yes” to Everything
This is important for both parents and kids to know. There are many great things for children and teens to sign up for, but they can’t do them all. Prioritize the child’s favorite things and family commitments. Then add only as free time allows. Remember that kids don’t typically have the foresight to consider all of the activities they may be agreeing to do. Sign-ups are often several months ahead of time. Therefore, if you just ask if they would like to do something, they may say “Yes” because it sounds great, but not think of the other things they are already committed to at the time. Parents need to monitor that closely.

4.  Support Your Child in Organizing Activities with Friends
Organizing activities with friends is a great way for children and teens to practice planning, communication, goal-setting, and organization. These are essential skills to develop. Therefore, parents should support them whenever possible.

Putting It All Together:  Parents feel pressure from very early on to provide their children with as many advantages as possible. They don’t want their kids to miss out on something they think will be “good” for them. However, as much as we fight it, theree is a limit to the number of hours in a week. When kids are overscheduled they miss out on practicing the essential skills of planning, organizing, prioritizing, decision making, and communication that are necessary when their parents are no longer there to manage their time.


Teaching Kids to Think: Raising Confident, Independent, and Thoughtful Children in an Age of Instant Gratification
Darlene Sweetland, Ph.D. and Ron Stolberg Ph.D.
Sourcebooks
March 3, 2015 ISBN: 9781492602750$14.99, Trade Paperback


Why Do Kids These Days Expect Everything to be Given to Them?

Today’s kids don’t know how to read a map. They can Google the answer to any question at lightning speed. If a teen forgets his homework, a quick call to mom or dad has it hand-delivered in minutes. Fueled by the rapid pace of technology, the Instant Gratification Generation not only expects immediate solutions to problems—they’re more dependent than ever on adults. Today’s kids are being denied opportunities to make mistakes, and more importantly, to learn from them. They are being taught not to think.

In Teaching Kids to Think, Dr. Darlene Sweetland and Dr. Ron Stolberg offer insight into the social, emotional, and neurological challenges unique to this generation. They identify the five parent traps that cause adults to unknowingly increase their children’s need for instant gratification, and offer practical tips and easy-to-implement solutions to address topics relevant to children of all ages.

A must-read for parents and educators, Teaching Kids to Think will help you understand where this sense of entitlement comes from—and how to turn it around in order to raise children who are confident, independent, and thoughtful.

Clinical psychologists and international speakers, DARLENE SWEETLAND and RON STOLBERG have decades of experience working with children and their families as well as consulting with teachers, counselors and administrators. They are married and facing similar challenges of raising children and teens of this generation.





Learn more and connect with Ron Stolberg and Darlene Sweetland

@Teaching__Kids
www.TeachingKidstoThink.com
http://youtu.be/mH3W0IgHFok
Teaching Kids To Think Facebook Page

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo



Win a copy of the book below! Enter the rafflecopter form. Giveaway begins 3/9 - 3/31

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Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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49 comments :

  1. I appreciate this good advice on this important issue, I will try to implement them!

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  2. It's about time we saw a book like this. Parent's have gone completely overboard in my opinion, and it's showing in the namby pamby adults that are entering the world.

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  3. Its funny. My kids think they can not live without electronics. When I take them away and tell them to play, they complain they are bored. Finally after awhile, they engage in free play and it is amazing what they can do.....I guess being the bad mom is really good for them!

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    1. You are being a good mom honey! A good one!

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  4. I totally agree: over scheduling will prevent skill development. I try to limit their eltectronics and encourage playing in their room

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    1. Thanks for sharing.
      This is what we have to do!

      Delete
  5. I totally agree, parents need not say YES to everything. You have to learn how to set boundaries and say NO. Our kids are very much involve to our decision making, we talk to them and ask them questions.

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    1. I love that!
      I try to involve them too so they understand how things work.

      Delete
  6. I always thought I would be a parent that would hate tv and electronics.... I'm not a tv person at all! But with my daughters speech delay... She responds best to electronics & educational tv shows... So we let her have more time with those kinda things.... This sounds like a great book though! Thanks for hosting a great giveaway

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    1. I totally understand Courtney.
      I think everything in moderation!

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  7. I'll try to follow these tips in the future. They are all worth noting... :)

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  8. Those are great parenting tips. Especially time away from electronics.

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  9. Loved your article - and fortunately for me and my son (as I was a single mom for many years) I had him in karate or similar and no extra money or time for more - BUT --- we did spend a lot of time on puzzles and games like checker and chess - a bit of thinking going on :) He still had his game boy and Nintendo tho

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    1. Thank you Donna.
      You are a great mom! Never think anyless!

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  10. Great tips! I agree. We don't say yes to too much. We have 6 kids, and put them in soccer for the boys and gymnastics/dance for the girls and the rest of the time we just do things together, and we have no complaints. If I said yes to everything they'd be out of the house 24/7 doing things and we'd be broke!

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    1. Thank you Jeanine.
      That would be so true!
      Glad all is well with your family.

      Delete
  11. Listening is SO important. There were so many times I felt burnt out as a kiddo because they kept pushing extra work on me to try to give me an "edge" and I was just so tired of doing work book after work book!

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    Replies
    1. I agree. We do have to listen to be able to show care.

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  12. This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot! Whenever we use to do free time, my kiddos went straight to electronics. I've learned you definitely need electronic-free free time!

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    Replies
    1. So glad this backed up your thoughts Tara.
      Thank you!

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  13. Ugh, my kids always want to go to video games and tv. So I turned into one of those moms that limits that stuff pretty severely. Best decision I've ever made!

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    1. Right on Erin!
      My little ones are outside playing right now!

      Delete
  14. These are good tips to remember. I think we strive for these most days. The electronics are always a battle really. I find that they do sometimes push it with electronics. Even if I remind them no you can't watch your iPod for hours on end because it isn't a good choice.

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    Replies
    1. It sure can b a fight.
      We just have to make the boundaries and sometimes just allow them to be bored.

      Delete
  15. My youngest is only 7 and he already tells me he doesn't want to do things after school, he just wants to come home and relax. He makes me laugh. I do have him in one thing at a time... sometimes, rarely...two (swimming and Cub Scouts right now).

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    Replies
    1. School really takes it out of them! Especially these military like schools these days!

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  16. A-freakin-men to number 3 that cant be anymore true! This is a great list. I always try to tell the kids these things, I say, "trust me.. I was once your age.." lol

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    Replies
    1. I know right! They seem to think we were never young once!

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  17. I can't believe how many kids just play with ipads nowadays instead of books. So sad really!

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  18. This sounds like a very good book and will have to look into getting it. It's so important that kids learn how to think for themselves rather than just repeat the information that is expected from them.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. And also learn to be bored!

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  19. I love how fun and education this would be. It is so good to incorporate books on the kids.

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    Replies
    1. I agree!
      I wish I owned a bookstore!

      Delete
  20. This is a great post. With all the technology available to kids, sometimes books are forgotten. It's so important for them to have a love and respect of books.

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    1. That is true, but parents have to spend the time introducing books or the kids will feel like they are punishments.

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  21. These are definitely great tips and I couldn't agree more. My son is so into playing apps on his iPod but I'll try my best to implement the free unstructured time. :)

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    1. Awesome! I"m so glad this is helpful to you Lynndee!

      Delete
  22. This is quite interesting. My kids drove their own schedules though. They often had to choose between one activity they wanted to do and another, because the schedules overlapped.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Cher.
      I try not to get the schedules to overlap also.

      Delete
  23. I don't remember having a schedule or being so busy as a kid back then. But it's a different time now and children are so techy savy it's scary. iPads are being introduced to this generation as early as 1st grade!

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    Replies
    1. I've seen the schools now implementing these in the kindergarten classes!

      So crazy!

      Delete
  24. We are not perfect parents, we don't usually get it right, if we do at all. As parents my husband and I have always made sure not to ever overschedule our kids. Many times the kids grew out of things, like sports or music and it was fine with us.

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    1. I love when they make their own choices too! That way, they will love what it is they do for activities!

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  25. I think that my parents did a good job finding a balance. We were allowed to do one activity at a time, and we lived out in the country, so there was a lot of time spent playing in the yard and running around finding adventures.

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