Being an optimist can mean many things. Bert Jacobs in the book “Life is Good” describes optimism as, “A powerful and pragmatic strategy for accomplishing goals and living a meaningful life.” Optimism is broad in the sense that it means to be positive, cheerful, strong-willed, believable, and open-minded. Being an optimist means you are experiencing the world around you with open arms and an eye towards growth and progress. Pessimism is corrosive, realism lacks creativity, and optimism is boundless. Below I list the 2nd and 3rd superpowers to be an optimist:
Superpower #2 Courage: The first thing you need to decide starting at the beginning of the day is if you are going to believe in yourself. You don’t think you can do a lot of things until you are faced with choices. What are my choices today, smile or frown? Why would you choose to frown and not smile? Is smiling easy? Hardly. Courageous? For sure.
Courageous people have an extra reservoir of optimism within them. When things are crazy, and a tough day only seems to get tougher, courageous people have the ability to dig down and find a little positivity.
Every day, we can choose to define our day with Discouraging or Encouraging frames. Are we building people up or tearing them down? Are we contributing positively or are we a negative influence? It takes more effort to be encouraging, which is also why it is harder. How do you want to reflect on your day? The courageous thing is to always try because you either succeed or you learn. Both scenarios you win. If you don’t try you cant learn, and if you don’t learn, you can grow.
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is admitting your licked for the day and it got the best of you – only for the day. Because tomorrow is a new day, and you need to believe it will be better.
Lastly, making the courageous choices isn’t always the easy choice, however it opens doors for new opportunity. There will be moments of self-doubt, skeptics in our path, and external forces inviting us to focus on what is wrong with the world. But we need to be courageous and open the doors of opportunity.
Superpower #3 Simplicity: Make life and work simple. Not to be confused with a work – life balance. Which there is no such thing as work – life balance because what you are saying is your work and life are working against each other, when really your work should just be a subcategory of your life. However, I digress. Making complex things simple is the highest form of sophistication. Why work harder, and not smarter?
When we are “too busy” we don’t do anything well. Our relationships suffer, our performance at work suffers, and we don’t enjoy our lives. Yet, being “Crazy Busy” is a badge of honor for some people. The adrenaline rush of multi-tasking and trying to speed through a million things at once can reinforce an illusion that we are in high demand and moving towards something grand. When really multi-tasking to me just seems like another phrase for not doing anything well. When you are multi-tasking it means part of your attention is in one spot, and in another, and another. If you focus all your attention on one thing, the finished product should be completed faster and in higher quality.
How can we make things simple then? Well by being selective in what we focus on. If your focus is to do laundry right when you get home, then do it right when you get home. Don’t first take the garbage out, then change, then exercise, etc.
Unplug. Yes, the 23-year-old millennial is telling you to unplug from your phones, and social media, and email, and games, etc. There is one simple question to ask yourself, what do you give it and what does it give back to you? Is it worth it? Do you get some type of intrinsic value by using it? I'm not saying to completely stop using it, I still use it. However, I have cut completely down on it by setting time limits on it and deleting different applications. You have to figure out what feeds your good wolf.
Each of us have a “Good Wolf” and a “Bad Wolf” Fighting inside of us. The question is, “Which wolf will win?” Well, the wolf you feed. You feed your good wolf by living life with good intention and focusing on the important things. You feed your bad wolf by focusing on extraneous stuff and external distractions. Feed your good wolf.
Optimism Superpowers: 1 of 10
Being an optimist can mean many things. Bert Jacobs in the book “Life is Good” describes optimism as, “A powerful and pragmatic strategy for accomplishing goals and living a meaningful life.” Optimism is broad in the sense that it means to be positive, cheerful, strong-willed, believable, and open-minded. Being an optimist means you are experiencing the world around you with open arms and an eye towards growth and progress. Pessimism is corrosive, realism lacks creativity, and optimism is boundless. Below I list the first superpower to be an optimist:
Superpower #1: Openness
Kids are the worlds strongest optimists. Always questioning and looking for answers. Instead of steering a conversation, activity, or lesson with a child, let them tell you what they think. Do not shut down an idea with a phrase like “that’s not possible”, “We can’t do that”, “No.” Ask “Why?” about their ideas and perceptions. The more we ask why to children, the more they can bring out the kid in us.
“Yes, and…” is a common phrase comedians use in improv to build off of the ideas of others. “Yes, and…” provides endless opportunities and an open door to new ideas. There is plenty of time later to be analytical, and sift through discussion, however, if we don’t let the ideas flow, we may never know the potential ideas we have missed.
Try to change up your routine and your surroundings. How can we expect to have new ideas, grow, progress, etc. if we are stagnant in the same place, doing the same activities, and never changing up our lives? Try a new activity, watch a movie from a different genre, try a new restaurant, get yourself out there to experiencing different things. Be open!
Most of our coping mechanisms are starting to develop in the childhood period. So, as a parent, you can help your child manage his emotions. You can help him recognize the emotions he or she feels and how to control them. You can help him learn how to understand the emotions he is experiencing. Below are some tips to help your child manage their emotions!
When you have the ability to cope with your emotions and understand why you feel a certain way, you can learn a lot more about yourself. Identifying things that bother you, excite you, etc. can help you understand your responses in the future.
At our childcare programs, the kids are constantly learning, growing, and having tons of fun! It is no surprise that even when Mom and Dad arrive for pick-up, the children are reluctant to leave! In this blog, we will be discussing some tips for smoothing over the stressful time of picking up your child from daycare!
Tips for pick-up:
Social groups are everywhere in society. Social groups are two or more people that see and interact with each other regularly and share a sense of unity or common identity. We can be a part of many different social groups such as a sports team, church group, workplace, classroom and more! There are two different types of social groups, primary and secondary groups. No two groups are created equally. Each group has its own purpose, culture, norms, etc.
A Primary Group is a group that is extremely close-knit. These groups are usually smaller and much more intimate. These groups are usually very long lasting, and the members of the group share a strong personal identity with the group. Family members, and close friends usually make up primary groups. These are small groups and the relationships are close-knit and enduring. Primary is used with these groups because they are the primary form of relationships and socialization. We learn our values and norms from these relationships that stay with us for most, if not, all of our lives.
A Secondary Group is a group that can be small or large and are mostly impersonal and usually short term. These groups are typically found at work and school. An example of a secondary group is a team organized to run a fundraiser. Members of the team meet infrequently and for only a short period of time. Although team members may have some similar interests, the purpose of the group is about the task instead of the relationships. Sometimes, secondary groups become pretty informal, and the members get to know each other fairly well. Even so, their friendships exist in a limited context; they won't necessarily remain close beyond the fundraiser.
Both types of social groups are necessary to have in today’s society. For your children at daycare, they are beginning to form strong friendships with each other. These can be the foundation of primary groups they may share for years. Seeing each other each day, learning the same concepts, growing up at the same time, sharing similar experiences, etc.
When adults think of exercising, they imagine working out at a gym, running on a treadmill, or lifting weights. However, for kids, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they have gym class at school, during recess, at dance class or soccer practice, while riding bikes, or when playing tag. I don’t think I have ever heard a 5 year old say, “Mom, I will be back in an hour, I’m heading to the gym to lift weights!”
Kids who exercise will have:
Aerobic exercise can be fun for both adults and kids. Aerobic activities include biking, baseball, soccer, skating, running, hiking, swimming, etc.
Improving strength doesn't have to mean lifting weights. Instead, kids can do push-ups, stomach crunches, pull-ups, and other exercises to help tone and strengthen muscles. They also improve their strength when they climb, do a handstand, or wrestle.
Stretching exercises help improve flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to bend and move easily through their full range of motion. Kids get chances every day to stretch when they reach for a toy, practice a split, or do a cartwheel.
The problem is kids being sedentary. Sitting around, watching TV, playing with an iPad, playing videogames, etc. They are not being active enough. Try some of these activities to help in the growth and development of your kids!
Well, we are into that 3-5-week period in Wisconsin where the warm weather finally comes out to greet us. Some may say that it gets so hot that when you go to buy vegetables, it is vegetable soup before you can even make it home. Everyone is always looking for ways to stay cool on a hot Summer’s day. As a parent, you are trying to find ways to keep your children cool! Here are 5 refreshing snacks that will surely peak your child’s interest:
1)Watermelon: Watermelons and Summer go hand in hand, don’t they? There’s just something so refreshing about biting into the juicy fruit on a hot day. It can be difficult to keep little people hydrated and cool when all they want to do is play in the sun. Watermelons make fantastic snacks for kids as they quickly replace lost water and electrolytes. It has an incredible 92% average water content! It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium and lycopene.
2)Homemade Fruit Popsicles: When you make popsicles, it is important to use the whole fruit, rather than just the juice, so kids get 100% of the nutrients in the fruit (juicing removes the fiber and some water-soluble vitamins). And if it gets kids eating fruit that they ordinarily wouldn’t touch, well that’s a massive bonus too.
3)Peanut Butter and Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip: This dip would go perfectly with your fruit kabobs, apples, or simply any other fresh fruit. Kids love to dip their food!. This is also very low hassle, and a quick snack for your children even if you are on the go in the Summer.
4)Veggies with Ranch Dip: Finding a “clean” Ranch at the grocery store can be tricky, but Bolthouse Farms makes one that is as healthy as they come. Fresh veggies including celery, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, etc. are all very refreshing to have with everyone’s favorite dip. This is also an easy snack to prepare or bring with you traveling.
5)Greek Yogurt with (fresh or frozen) Berries: Plain Greek yogurt is used to avoid added sugar in. To sweeten, either add raw honey or a tiny bit of stevia to a handful frozen berries, and it’s a treat the kiddos won’t want to put down. Frozen berries are also usually less expensive than fresh ones and are great for smoothies too.
Summer is a great time to enjoy some new snack options, especially when the fruit is in season here in Wisconsin! Enjoy it while it lasts, and embrace the warm weather, because we know all too well that the cold will be back before we know it!
Have a wonderful Summer!
One sheep… Two sheep…. 3 sheep…
Putting your child to sleep can definitely add some much-needed quiet time, however, obviously the concept of a child getting rest isn’t to benefit the parents. Sleep can help children fight obesity, avoid colds, and aide in having success in school. There is an ongoing public health goal to get more sleep both for children and adults. When kids get the sleep they need, they may have a lower risk of becoming overweight and developing diabetes as well as fewer learning problems and attention issues. Sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. It's when the body repackages neurotransmitters, chemicals that enable brain cells to communicate. And experts have recently been able to demonstrate that sleep allows brain cells to "take out the trash" each night, flushing out disease-causing toxins.
1)Sleep Promotes Growth
a. I am sure there are mornings where you wake up, and you strongly believe your child has gotten bigger. Well that is because it is true. Growth hormone is most strongly secreted during deep sleep. By our own human nature, babies spend about 50% of the time in this deep sleep, which is considered to be essential for adequate growth.
2)Sleep Affects Weight
a. Getting too little of sleep can cause obesity as early as infancy. By parents understanding the difference between children eating because they’re hungry, rather than using it as a soothing tool, swaddling and swinging can put a baby to sleep. Thus, the baby will not gain unnecessary weight. Worn out children eat differently then well-rested children. They crave more carbs, or higher-fat foods.
3)Sleep Fights Germs
a. During sleep, children (and adults) also produce proteins known as cytokines, which the body relies on to fight infection, illness, and stress. Therefore, the less sleep you get, the less cytokines you produce. It's been found that adults who sleep fewer than seven hours per night are almost three times more likely to develop a cold when exposed to that virus than those who sleep eight or more hours.
4)Sleep Increases Attention Span
a. Children who consistently sleep fewer than ten hours a night before age 3 are three times more likely to have hyperactivity and impulsivity problems by age 6. Research has shown that adding as little as 27 minutes of extra sleep per night makes it easier for them to manage their moods and impulses so they can focus on schoolwork. It is a pretty easy concept that the more rested you are, the easier it is for you to stay focused on a task.
5)Sleep Boosts Learning
a. Newborn babies are constantly learning, even when they are sleeping. Although they look so peaceful and cozy, their brain is making millions of connections all while sleeping. Sleep aids learning in kids of all ages, and education experts are finding that naps have a particular magic. Neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst taught a group of 40 preschoolers a game similar to Memory. Then the kids took a nap (averaging 77 minutes) one week and stayed awake the other week. When they stayed awake, they forgot 15 percent of what they'd learned, but when they napped they retained everything. The kids scored better on the game not only after they'd just woken up but the next day too.
Develop a routine and a time that children need to go to sleep. For example, bath, brush teeth, read a story, then lights out. Then you can set the stage, things like temperature, fan, night light, etc. Do all this, so that your child knows it is time to recharge the batteries and get some sleep!
I can remember it just like Yesterday. Playing soccer with my friends in the front yard as the sun begins to set. The warm air is cooled by a light breeze and the tree branches shimmer ever so slightly. The sprinklers turn on, but that doesn’t stop us from playing… it only made the competition that much more intense. After each goal a belly slide through the sprinkler sufficed as an appropriate and jubilant celebration. Oh Summer days… how we love you.
The best activities for children I can think of for Summer:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air."
Summer Program is so much more than a place for children to play and have fun with friends. It is a place to have new experiences, develop new interests and skills, and to establish the confidence to be independent and empowered.
Our Summer Program offers a ton of different activities, including but not limited to: Light Speed Indoor Go-Carts, swimming at Country Springs, Discovery World, Miller Park Tour, Milwaukee Zoo, Uihlein Soccer Complex, Water Town Aquatics, and more! With this wide variety of activities, your child can experience new things, and find new interests outside of traditional sports and school activities. Our intentionally planned activities are meant to evoke imagination and creativity.
Summer Program allows kids the opportunities to form new friendships with others they have yet to meet or interact with. Learning and growing with new people is always an important skill in child development. Also working as a group or team can teach skills and foster friendships that will prosper long after Summer Program concludes. These potential life-long friendships could all be rooted in the similar interests that they found they share at Summer Program.
With activity and growth comes success and failure. Whether it is basketball or chalk drawing on the pavement, each activity comes with its own set of mini milestones and tests. Some of these activities might be brand new to your child, while others could be extensions of what they already know. Maybe they’ve never played basketball before, or perhaps they’ve played basketball but have never attempted a certain type of dribble. By getting out on the court and learning to play basketball, or even putting together some form of a through the legs dribble, an increase in confidence will result. The willingness to try something new, regardless of their impending success or failure will result in a newfound confidence, and a more resilient child.
In the end, Summer Program is FUN. There will be loads of good times and plenty of learning. But that is what Summer Program is, it is a learning experience. This summer can be a very important in learning new skills, having new experiences, and developing new friendships.