But, before we start, I have to tell you that tomorrow, August 12, is National Middle Child Day. No, I'm not kidding. Here's the link! And, for no additional charge, here is HuffPo's 25 most hilarious middle child tweets.
Because millennials think that two kids make the ideal family, the middle child is on her way out. Of course, she kinda expects it since no one pays attention to her anyway. Read some of HuffPo's tweets to fully appreciate that snarky comment!!
A grandma sent a question over the "Ask Me" button at DrClaudia.net because her son and daughter-in-law just had a baby and they named her Eagle. Amongst other "takes" on this situation, I told Grandma to slow her roll and support the kid regardless. Here's the link to "85 Free Spirited and Quirky, Hippie Baby Names for Boys and Girls" that were given to kids in the 60's which is likely Grandma's generation so she needs to own that...it started with you, Granny!
This kind of dynamic in a family really sets people's hair on fire. I wrote about this in a brief article called Naming the Baby or 'Let the Brawl Begin'.
Also, if you're looking to set some boundaries for when baby arrives, I recommend this..."The Kiss of Death".
Joe called from station WNKW in eastern Kentucky where the Dr. Claudia Show is on Saturday mornings. He is concerned about his 7-year old son who constantly chews his fingers and fingernails. I reviewed some of the reasons for this behavior including that he is seeking stimulation. This means he's doing whatever it takes to feed his need to chew. Some kids clap their hands, pull their hair, do whatever to discharge their tension through their sensory systems.
Here is an idea worth considering. These are dog-tag shaped "chewies" on a lanyard. They're safe for chewing and are offered by a company specializing in occupational therapy needs which is exactly what "sensory seeking" behavior comes from. Anyway, there are two "pendants" or "tags" on a break-away lanyard so he doesn't have to search for anything to chew. He can chew and work/play at the same time.
If chewing is a problem in the classroom, he can tuck these in his shirt and bring them out when he works and they're as unobtrusive ("code" for "not attention getting") as possible so that other kids are less likely to notice!
Want to learn a bit more about kids with sensory processing issues? Lots of them are out there as well as many adults.
You get a pre-paid sticker and Fed Ex comes and picks them up. Whoohoo!
For the Momma who sent a question via the "Ask Me" button at DrClaudia.net, here's the link to the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.
This Momma is in tough straits because the kid who tormented her now-5th grader last year has been placed in his class again. She made arrangements with the principal last year and it was agreed that the boys should be separated, but a new principal has been assigned to the school and is refusing to honor the agreement.
Momma may have a case for the school's failure to provide him with in loco parentis protection. In loco parentis basically means in lieu of parents. The school has the same responsibilities as parents and one of those is to keep kids safe.
First of all, Kindergarten is ever so much more demanding than it was even a decade ago, so get ready. Want to know what you child will learn in Kindergarten? Go to your state Department of Education and look at the curriculum (that's the body of knowledge being taught) and the skills they will be expected to master before moving on.
Second, be ready to pull your kid out and give them another year if you see they're stressed or just not ready. They've got a life expectancy of 80-85, so what's the rush?
Third, once the starter's pistol goes off, they're racing to high school graduation. A good start ensures the strongest finish.
A kid who has the following skills is off to that good start...
- Knows all of the letters of the alphabet and not just the song or the letters in order. They need to be able to say the "name of the letter" when you point to them randomly.
- They need to know the sounds of the consonants, called sound-symbol association. Look at an S and know that it says /s/ as in "snake". The vowels will come later.
- They need to be able to read their name.
- They need to know the numbers from 0 to 10. That's not "O" to 10, but "zero to ten". They need to be able to identify the numbers when you point to them at random.
- They need to read 3-4 word sentences. Take one of "their sentences" and write it down and read it to them and then have them read along and then, independently. Help them to make the connection between the spoken word and the written word. Critical!!
What are social-emotional development skills?
- They need to know how to share resources.
- They need to know how to take turns.
- They need to be able to delay gratification (not the "me first" kid)
- They need to be able to regulate their emotions. Steady, even keel. Not too impulsive or sluggish, not too aggressive or passive, not too quick to anger, easy to recover from upset.
One child in a classroom who is disruptive or not ready to be there can easily absorb the greatest portion of the teacher's attention which takes away from the rest of the kids.
Do not, do not, do not expect the teacher to teach the skills that parents should be teaching. Whereas we parents are our child's first teacher, teachers are not our kid's parents.
BUT, if your kid has asthma or other respiratory conditions, avoid this. Here's why. There are other dangers, as well. A quick read of the article will help you to answer your children's pleas to partake. Don't do it!!
1. Freedom of speech.
2. Freedom of religion.
3. Freedom of the press.
4. Freedom to peacefully assemble.
5. Right to freely petition the government.
Write these out. Put them up. Talk about them. Education in our country was established because an educated citizenry can meaningfully participate in the republic. If your schools aren't doing it, you do it. It's that important. We see what's happening. Take charge.
See you next week on the radio!
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At DrClaudia.net, click on the "Ask Me" button and send me a question.
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