Tag Archive for Children

Developing your children’s talent

Your Children’s Talent

I have just read the most fantastic book;The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genes, Talent and Intelligence is Wrong: The New Science of Genes, Talent and Human Potential by David Shenk

Basically, this book turns on its head everthing we think we know about genius and talent. It reminds me of another great book called The Outliers, but this to me is much more practical. The premise of the book is that it is not our genetics that make us smart, but our genetics multiplied by our environment. What I love most about this book is that you read it, thinking thay you could do anything if only you could put your mind to it. It is a book that makes you feel you can rather than you can’t.

The book introuduces the concept of what it call Dynamic Development, stating that we do not develop just as our genes predict we should, but we develop in relation to our environment, including how we are parented, what we eat and what is expected of us.

The book clearly states that talent is the outcome of persistence and uses many example to explain this using the fabled 10,000 hour rule. The author suggests that persitence is the difference between medioracy and enourmous success. He suggests that developing a talent is a dynamic system and a process which is affected by our state, the intensity to which we train our mindset, how we respond to failure, the strategies we adopt and more importantly, the time we put in. He explains in the book how our development has plasticity and is not set in stone, which I believe is a message we all need to hear.

So, what is his advice to parents in supporting their children’s talent development?

1. Speak to your children and speak often. Talking, as the Hart and Risley study shows, can improve academic performance.

2. Have a stimulating environment – children that grow in stimulating environments are most likely to become more intelligent.

3. Nurture and encourage. By the time a child in a professional family is five years old it has heard 560,000 encouraging words. In comparison, a child from a working class family has only heard 100,000, while a child from a welfare family has received 100,000 words of discouragement.

4. Set high expectations that stretch your child

5. Embrace failure

6. Encouarge a growth mindset.

There is also a whole piece in this book on how to help children with delayed gratifcation, but I will save that for another post.

Just get this book, it is great!

Need help talking to your children why not get a pack of our Family Conversation Cards.

Our goal posts are a great support for you and your family when setting new year resolutions.

Fink Goal Posts

Learn more about our Goal Posts…

Kids Under Pressure

Are we driving our Kids to despair with unprecedented stress?

how to improve communication skillsThe Tonight’s programme on ITV painted a bleak picture of modern day childhood with stressed out children growing into depressed teenagers.

The show highlighted issues such as a lack of time to play, lack of time spent with working parents, pressure to grow up too quickly, sexualised clothing etc. It also pointed out that we need to give our children the tools to deal with modern pressures. Read more

New Year Resolutions – Fink Style!

Setting new year resolutions with your family.

 how to improve communication skills and effective communication with childrenFor the past couple of years we have done something on New Year’s Day that has developed into a somewhat of a ritual. At the table, after we have devoured the roast dinner and pudding dishes are cleared way we make room for a big sheet of paper in the centre of the table.

The responsibility and honour of writing THINGS WE WANT TO DO THIS YEAR is bestowed on one of the children – and then the fun begins! Read more

Parenting Teens at Christmas, Tip Ten – Teach Good Manners

Welcome to the last in this series Tip Ten Parenting Teens at Christmas, Tip Ten – Teach Good Manners! To read Parenting Teens Christmas, Tip Nine –Giving And Receiving.

Teach Teens Good Manners

It is my pleasure today to welcome a guest blog from Etiquette Diva Marjorie Janczak.

It is interesting how you sometimes read or listen or hear something and ignore the real meaning until you go back to it again or ponder over it and you then get the real meaning.

I have always been a fan of Robbie Williams and I listen a lot to his music but recently, I was listening to “feel”, as he performed quite recently in Berlin. Just as a reminder, “feel” is one of his popular hits and I got a whole new meaning to it. In that song he says “I just want to feel real love in the home that I live in…”

Unfortunately, many teenagers today do not FEEL REAL LOVE in the home they live in.

Real love that makes them feel a sense of belonging. Real love that makes them believe and trust their parents. Real love that makes them see their parents as parents and not another “teacher” in the house. Real love that makes them feel and show confidence wherever they go.

One of the ultimate aims of etiquette is to allow others to feel comfortable in your company and vise versa. Ironically, that is not the case in many homes today where parents are very much concerned about making a living to help the family survive.

Charity, they say begins at home. For that reason, etiquette, which is often associated with experiences away from home cannot be well administered if it is not first practiced well at home. And there could not be a better place for teenagers to practice good manners than in the home.

Research has prooved over and over again that children learn best by watching and modeling their parents and what they see. After all, if this wasn’t right the saying “the apple does not fall far from the tree” would not hold any water.

Ironically, many parents lovingly spend more time teaching their children skills for future success instead of making it easier and more effective by just walking their talk.

What I mean is that as a parent you just need to set the good examples and your child will automatically fall into place.

All the misbehavior of teenagers is their own way of saying just what Robbie Williams again says in his song “there’s a whole in my soul…”

It is just not enough to give instructions and keep talking while you do otherwise. Show your child the way and he or she will FEEL THE REAL LOVE naturally! In this way they will grow to become responsible and confident adults with a purpose.

Below are some ways you can modify your behavior to raise well mannered children who FEEL REAL LOVE in the home they live in.

You can print it out and stick it on your refrigerator to make it a part of your new year resolution in your home.

1. Every family member deserves a “please” and a “thank you”. Don’t forget “Sorry” when required!

2. Take responsibility for your actions and words

3. Respect yourself and others

4. Treat yourself and others with kindness.

5. Practice patience.

6. Answer the telephone politely

7. Keep your rooms tidy

8. Do not leave your dirty dishes for other members of the family to clean up.

9. Leave things nicer than they way you found them

10. Family chores is everyone’s obligation

11. Learn proper table manners and use them everyday.

12. Television must be turned off at mealtime and when there are visitors around.

13. Agree to disagree courteously.

14. Criticize constructively.

15. Think before you speak.

16. No need to shout, speak!

17. Make sharing a welcoming act.

18. Become a good listener

19. Praise whatever good thing anybody does.

20. Knock on the door before you open.

21. Show respect to other people’s privacy

22. No eavesdrop, snooping, or reading of other people’s mail

23. Treat other people’s property with respect

24. Ask permission before you take something that does not belong to you

25. Leave the toilet seat down.

Remember, your child watches YOU and “JUST WANT TO FEEL REAL LOVE!”. If you lead by example, you will gradually cover the whole in your child’s soul!

Good Luck!!!

Fink Loves Relax Kids

If you are stuck for that present that is a little different, will help your child and makes them scream with delight than we suggest you head on over to Relax Kids. Not only are Marneta and Stuart lovely people their products rock and their shop is very very cool (near Oxford). Read more

Listening – Parent what your Teenagers want

How to Listen so children will talk

Here at Fink we talk a lot about talking, but listening is just as important. If you want your teen to talk to you then you need to listen. And as you become a model for great listening your child will learn some great tips from you and start listening better too.

This month I asked sixty teens,, what were the qualities that they looked for in a great listener.

They said,

• We want them to be funny and cheer us up, and not be too serious.

• People who we spend more time with appear to listen to us more.

• We want them to express themselves and not just agree with everything we say.

• We want them to give an opinion but not tell us what to do.

• We want them to share ideas.

• We want them to understand and we can tell by their actions if they do.

• We want them to be someone we can look up to like a role model.

• Have good body language and eye contact.

• Most of all we want them to listen with their mouth shut.

• We want them to care if we are talking to them and stop what they are doing.

As a professional or parent how do you measure up to, being a great listener to a teen?


Literacy news

A day without words…

To launch their new campaign The Literacy Trust‘s Director Jonathan Douglas has agreed to a day without words. On 5 November Jonathan will not be allowed to speak a word during the whole of the working day in order to emphasise the importance of speaking as a vital literacy skill.

As you know at Fink we are passionate about talking and the power of words so we will certainly be sponsoring him to keep quiet to help spread the word that talking matters.

Sponsor Jonathan via his just giving page and help him to raise much needed funds so that the literacy trust can try to ensure that everyone in the UK gets the literacy support they need.

Join us in our love of words by getting yourself some conversation cards.

Parent as Slave

Are you doing too much for your children?

I was recently on the phone with a client and trying to get my point across, the point being that sometimes we have to let go and allow our children to make mistakes, as that is the only way they will learn. I was getting nowhere, so I came up with a distinction that I want to share with you. It was the distinction between parent as slave and parent as leader.

Read more

Children and mobiles

When is the right age to get your child a mobile phone?

I get asked this question a lot and to me it is so emotive and difficult to answer as each child and each family is different. And my opinion may differ from yours. There are so many things to consider.

1. Why does she want one or why do you want her to have one? Most girls will start asking for a phone when they move up to secondary school ( 11 years old) the phone becomes a social thing and a status symbol to them. Boys tends to ask  a bit later when they want to communicate with girls:-) Any requests before this time will simply be just because they like the look of them and can generally be disregarded. Most parents will buy their children one before this so they can know where they are – if this is the case there are other devices out there that can do that for you.

2. What sort of phone does she want and what features has that phone got? If she is a teen or nearly teen she will want the best pink one she can find and it will have a camera and she will want access to the Internet. Girls love phones with cameras and take some very sultry and sometimes private pictures on them. They also want all the features so make sure that you call the mobile provider and ask how to turn the phone from adult to child mode.. All phones are set to adult so porn and other  unsavoury things are likely to appear on them.

3. The networks do not know how old your child is so when she signs up for the latest ring tone and suddenly her credit disappears as they take money out weekly, you can have very little to fall back on as the phone is always in an adults name.

4. The bill –get pay as you go and/or a deal with unlimited texts – the only person she is ever likely to speak to is you; the rest will be texts and lots of them, so don’t fall short by assuming your child will use the phone in the same way you do. You will need to make very clear guidelines with your child about the bill and who pays for what and how much. Phone bills can run away with you. For those of you who have been around me for a while, you will remember my horror when Bronte’s dad bought her a phone at 8 years old. To me, having a phone is a responsibility issue; if they have showed they can be responsible in the past, then it may be a good idea. If they have not, then it may not, so there is not one “correct” answer.

Personally, if someone had not bought my daughter one (without my permission), she would have only got one when she could take full responsibility for the bill. We believe that we give them phones for their own safety, but is that really true? Did we not survive without them? Who, like me, can remember the mobile of the 1980’s? It was very uncool (and expensive) to have one. Anyway, it is a personal choice for you and your family. Make sure you are making that choice from your own values and parenting purpose, not from pressure from the outside world.

Oh, and get the boundaries very clear up front; what is and is not acceptable. Here are the boundaries around my daughters phone.

* She takes full responsibility for the money and topping up. We never give her money for her phone and after four years of having it, she has never asked. When we go out the phone is on silent.

* She talks to no-one for more than 20 minutes.

* She only gives her number to people she knows.

So there you are, make sure a phone is in line with your family and how you want to parent. If it is and you get one, set some clear boundaries. Oh, and my 8-year-old has several phones..my old Blackberry, my old Nokia, my old Samsung…. She seems to care not that they have no credit; she still talks away and texts me!

Get talking about things like this in your home with our Teen Cards.

Travelling with Children

Keeping Kids occupied on journeys

Travelling with children can be really frustrating the constant ” are we there yet” . Occupying children on long journeys is not the easiest thing in the world to do.

I just found this great post which I thought I would share:

10 Things Kids say during Trips Read more

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