Safety tip to teach your kids…

The world can sometimes be a scary place but we are able to prepare our kids to cope and make the best out of situations that might arise. Below are some handy things parents should focus on when teaching their kids about personal safety:

  • Tell your kids young: it is never to early to teach them about being safe.
  • Give clear guidelines such as “Never go home with anyone unless I have told you to first.”
  • Role play: Kid’s learn by doing so role play out some scenarios of how people may place your child in danger and how they can react.
  • Teach them to call for help from nearby adults.
  • Explain that “no one may touch their body in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.”
  • Kids may not be used from running away from an adult as they are taught to listen to them. But it is okay to teach them they can run from someone who makes them feel unsafe.

Written by: Warren Thompson, Sparrow Schools LSU manager.

Stimulating literacy during holidays

Help your child practice their reading and writing skills by using the play dough recipe below. Explain to your child that they will be helping you make play dough. Read the play dough recipe together with your child to help them practice their reading skills.

Try sounding out the letter sounds in words that they struggle with, e.g. “k” + “uh” + “p” for “cup”. Tell your child to write out their own play dough ingredients list to help them practice their spelling. You can help them by reading out the ingredients from the play dough recipe one line at a time.

At the grocery store, encourage your child to read out their ingredients list to you. At home, read out the directions of the recipe together. Then, let your child read out the instructions for you to follow. Lastly, invite some of their friends over and watch them enjoy playing with the play dough together.

Playdough recipe

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup cold water
  2. 1 cup salt
  3. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  4. food colouring
  5. 3 cups of flour
  6. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Directions: Pour wet ingredients and salt together in a bowl. Stir well. Gradually add flour and cornstarch. Knead until firm. Store in an airtight container.

Words by Candice Tu, she studied Speech Therapy at the University of Cape Town and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology with honours in 2013.

Tu forms part of the organisation’s Learner Support Unit. This is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation.

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups. Standardised and screening assessment is conducted to track the progress and development of learners.

To book an assessment for your child for 2017, contact 011 482 1015.

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Helping A Child With Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the way people see themselves. Children develop self-esteem very early in life and are shaped by their own expectations as well as the expectations of significant people in their life, such as parents, caregivers or peers.

Self-esteem is an important factor in a child’s motivations and achievements and can have an effect on their performance in school, sports, social relationships and the ability to recover from disappointment. A child’s self-esteem can change from day to day, however, their overall self-esteem plays a major role in their emotional development. Children with low self-esteem will tend to settle for modest accomplishments and may feel shame or inadequacy and are more likely to conform to their peer group and adopt their behaviours and values. Children with low-self esteem are often not able to deal with stress and failures.

To determine if a child has low self-esteem, look for the following signals:

  • A child who avoids a task or challenge without even trying or quitting at the first sign of frustration.
  • Cheating or lying when the child thinks they are going to lose.
  • Drop in school grades.
  • Social withdrawal or little contact with friends.
  • Makes self-critical comments like “nobody likes me”.
  • Overly sensitive about other people’s opinion of them.

How can you help a child with low self-esteem? In order for a child to develop a healthier self-esteem, they will need the following:

  1. Sense of security: Children must feel secure about themselves and their future.
  2. Sense of belonging: Children need to feel accepted and loved by others. This begins in the family and extends to friends, schoolmates, and other groups.
  3. Sense of purpose: Children should have goals that give them purpose and direction.
  4. Personal competence and pride: Children should feel confident in their ability to meet the challenges in their lives. This comes from having success in solving problems, being creative and seeing results from their efforts.
  5. Trust: Children need to feel like they are trusted by their parents, caregivers and other children. To help children feel trusted, you need to be sure to keep promises you make to them and give them chances to be trustworthy.
  6. Self-discipline and control: As children are gaining independence, they need to sense that they can make it on their own. Give them opportunities and guidelines for them to test themselves.
  7. Accepting mistakes and failure: Children need to know that when they make a mistake they are not defeated. When a child makes a mistakes or fails, explain that hurdles and setbacks are a normal part of life and the important thing is to always try their hardest and to ask for help when they need it. Support them with constructive criticism that is designed to help them improve, not to make them feel discouraged or humiliated.

Words by Marichen Klaver, she is a registered Counsellor/student Educational Psychologist at Sparrow Schools. She holds a B.Ed Senior & Fet phase in Mathematics and English. B.Ed honours in Educational Psychology. She is also currently completing her M.Ed in Educational Psychology.

Klaver forms part of the organisation’s Learner Support Unit. This is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation.

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups. Standardised and screening assessment is conducted to track the progress and development of learners.

To book an assessment for your child for 2017, contact 011 482 1015.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

Bringing Occupational Therapy Into Your Home

 

As an Occupational Therapist, I constantly feel that the children who attend therapy with me at school would benefit enormously from therapy 3 times a week! However, with a child’s busy schedule this is just not possible!

As parents, you often feel helpless with your child’s learning, and as I can well imagine, you at times find yourself feeling lost as to how you will ever get your child to understand a particular concept.

OT

Occupational Therapy encompasses a child’s abilities as a whole and explores all the individual unique skills your child possesses. So what can you do at home to stimulate skill development? Try the following tips:

  • Encourage your child to practice and learn the different shapes and colours within their environment. When your child accompanies you on a shopping trip encourage them to identify the colours and shapes of objects.
  • Once they have learnt to identify letters and numbers encourage the exploration of the identification of these components within their environment.
  • Encourage gross motor play. This is a very important part of a child’s development, and hence, a child should be encouraged to run, climb, skip and make his/her way through an obstacle course.
  • Encourage your child to use their imaginations, and create stories or ideas from pictures or situations they are exposed to. For example, “look at the picture of the cow on the milk bottle, did you know that milk comes from cows?”

Warren Thompson is the Learner Support Unit Manager at the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

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LSU TIPS: SUPPORTING A CHILD WITH LOW SELF-ESTEEM

Self-esteem is the way people see themselves. Children develop self-esteem very early in life and are shaped by their own expectations as well as the expectations of significant people in their life, such as parents, caregivers or peers.

Self-esteem is an important factor in a child’s motivations and achievements and can have an effect on their performance in school, sports, social relationships and the ability to recover from disappointment. A child’s self-esteem can change from day to day, however, their overall self-esteem plays a major role in their emotional development. A child with low self-esteem will tend to settle for modest accomplishments and may feel shame or inadequacy and are more likely to conform to their peer group and adopt their behaviours and values. Children with low-self esteem are often not able to deal with stress and failures.

To determine if a child has low self-esteem, look for the following signals:

  • A child who avoids a task or challenge without even trying or quitting at the first sign of frustration
  • Cheating or lying when the child thinks they are going to lose
  • Drop in school grades
  • Social withdrawal or little contact with friends
  • Makes self-critical comments like “nobody likes me”
  • Overly sensitive about other people’s opinion of them

How can you help a child with low self-esteem? In order for a child to develop a healthier self-esteem, they will need the following:

  1. Sense of security: Children must feel secure about themselves and their future.
  2. Sense of belonging: Children need to feel accepted and loved by others. This begins in the family and extends to friends, schoolmates and other groups.
  3. Sense of purpose: Children should have goals that give them purpose and direction.
  4. Personal competence and pride: Children should feel confident in their ability to meet the challenges in their lives. This comes from having success in solving problems, being creative and seeing results from their efforts.
  5. Trust: Children need to feel like they are trusted by their parents, caregivers and other children. To help children feel trusted, you need to be sure to keep promises you make to them and give them chances to be trustworthy.
  6. Self-discipline and control: As children are gaining independence, they need to sense that they can make it on their own. Give them opportunities and guidelines for them to test themselves.
  7. Accepting mistakes and failure: Children need to know that when they make a mistake they are not defeated. When a child makes a mistakes or fails, explain that hurdles and setbacks are a normal part of life and the important thing is to always try their hardest and to ask for help when they need it. Support them with constructive criticism that is designed to help them improve, not to make them feel discouraged or humiliated.

Words by Marichen Klaver, a registered Counsellor / student Educational Psychologist at Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

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A Love for Reading Starts at Home

It is an exciting time for a child when they start learning to read, and this excitement needs to be nurtured at home. In school reading is involved in all subject areas, helping your child to read with fluency and comprehension is a vital skill that your child will need to cope well in the higher grades. Our Remedial Therapist, Samantha Bolton shares some tips to do at home:

1) Expose children to books and the wonder of stories from as young as possible.

2) Read daily with your child, reading should not only be confined to set school books they bring home but reading should also be for pleasure, reading can be a special bonding time between parents and their children.

3) Go to the library, this is a wonderful free activity and many libraries offer storytime and holiday programs.

4) Have books with you all the time, useful for keeping the little ones busy during while waiting for appointments, shopping,  eating a restaurant, and for those long drives.

5) Let your child read books to you at their level but also read books to them that are a bit more advanced so they can enjoy listening and using their imagination.

6) For older readers encourage them to get hooked on a book series so that they keep reading more.

7) Talk to your children about what they are reading, ask them questions, and at the end get them to summarise the book in a few sentences in their own words.

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