Spring Tune-Up Time!
Mar 11th, 2015 by kidskonnections

Spring Tune-Up Time!

The adage “March roars in like a lion” can mean many things. It certainly can refer to the awful weather that has blanketed many parts of our country! It can also refer to the UNEXPECTED school reports parents receive from their child’s classroom teacher at this time of year.

By mid-March, many children are well settled into their routines and are happily learning many new things, preparing for the next school year. Some children, however can show signs of either learning difficulties or emotional distress even at this late date in the school year.

If you are one of these parents who have either noticed your child’s problem or were contacted by the teacher, you will need to take action. First, it’s a good idea to look for obvious reasons for the change in your child’s behavior. Look at how well and how long they are sleeping. Are they eating a healthy, well-balanced diet? Sleep deprivation and a poor diet can cause many unusual behaviors in children. Remember, children need more sleep than adults.

Sometimes, the level of new learning is the breaking point for children who need additional educational support. They often show this by struggling with reading and writing assignments, outbursts in school, reluctance to do their homework, crying, etc. If this is the case, check with your child’s classroom teacher and elicit the help of the school’s team of learning experts to observe and test your child. Then, be open to getting them the recommended help they might need.

Things like a child’s busy schedule, not being accepted by their peer group, parents arguing, etc. become overwhelming for a child and they begin to exhibit acting out behaviors or signs of sadness, etc. Whatever the unusual behaviors shown by your child, it is important to get to the bottom of things so that you can offer the appropriate help to support your child. If it does appear to be emotional in nature and you are not sure of what is going on at home or at school that might be causing the problem, seek out a mental health professional to take a look and help you figure it out.

Childhood is a time for children to grow and hopefully flourish into well educated, healthy adults who can lead independent, fulfilling lives. We, as parents, have the power to smooth the inevitable bumps in the road and ease their way to that goal.

Settling in to routines…
Sep 17th, 2014 by kidskonnections

Now that school has been in session for a few weeks, reality has set in! The excitement of a new teacher, meeting up with old and new friends, and new classrooms has now become a daily occurrence. For most children this means added homework and an after school routine that can be daunting! Sports, music lessons, religious training, dance, etc. are often part of today’s world. Setting up a daily schedule for your child (children) so that everything can be accomplished with the least amount of stress is essential. A weekly calendar where activities are written in plain view for all to see with time slots allotted for the daily essentials like homework, dinner, down-time, bath time, bedtime, etc. should be placed in a prominent family hang-out place (kitchen, family room, etc.). The more structure you have in place for your child (children), the less chaotic a busy family life will become. Providing a calmer, structured, more predictable environment generally makes children feel happier, and more in-control of their world. (And, their homework gets done, too!)

By the way, be sure to add time for play-dates on days that are possible to do so. Forging relationships one-on-one make playground life more fun at school.

“No more teachers, no more books…”
May 14th, 2014 by kidskonnections

As schools are coming to a close for the summer, some attention needs to be given to how those endings are handled. Children are acculturated to express happiness about the school year being over. “No more teachers, no more books…” is a chant often heard by elementary school children in late May and June. The truth is that many children will feel the loss that they are not expressing; the structure of the classroom, their teacher relationships, and seeing their classmates on a daily basis will most assuredly be missed. Acknowledging their feelings about these changes helps them to get through any sadness they may be camouflaging, and make the transition into summer activities smoother.

Ways to make this transition easier:

1. Be sure to send a note to their teacher asking if your child can communicate with them via e-email. Most teachers (also feeling the loss) are happy to hear from their former students and will happily comply.

2. Have your child draw a picture, write a note about the year, or make a recording of a song that expresses their gratitude to their teacher. Gifts, of course, are always nice, but something personal from your child is a meaningful momento for the teacher and your child. Saying thank you is a necessary social skill…and should be directly taught and reinforced at home.

3. Have your child bring in a small writing pad for the children in his/her class to write their home and e-mail addresses to keep in touch. This will help your child to have playdate opportunities over the summer and give them a sense of continuity.

Any other ideas you might have to ameliorate the break in your child’s routine and give them a sense of “keeping-in-touch” should be put into motion.

You may want to share your suggestions on the Parent Reactions’ section for other parents to see.

Good luck! Have a great summer and Stay Safe! <3

Getting Ready for Summer!
Apr 23rd, 2014 by kidskonnections

First, a big thank you to all of our web site viewers, many of whom have visited us more than once. Kids’ Konnections® LLC sincerely hopes that your visit was of great value to you and your child. We love hearing from you, either on the site, in person, or on the phone. Any suggestions you have for how we can better meet your needs and expectations are greatly appreciated. Hot weather will be here before we know it and several of you have already requested some suggestions for how to enhance your child’s social skills for the summer. I have addressed that below.

Planning ahead so that your child is included in the more popular summer programs is always a good strategy. In addition to day camp and sleep-away camp programs for children, many parents are looking for local recreation, city pool, and spontaneous play opportunities to keep their children occupied. If that includes you, make a phone call to your local recreation department or go to their web site to see what may be offered in your area. Then, the fun begins. You may want to consider the following criteria when signing your child up for new programs, sleep-away or local:

  1. Check with the parents of your child’s friends to see what they might be doing.
  2. Know the age of other children in the group with whom your child will be placed.
  3. Make sure your child has interest in the activity(ies) you are considering.
  4. The ability level of your child vis a vis the other group members should also be considered.
  5. Consider the maturity level and the attention span of your child relative to the needs of the activity. (Children who have attention deficits or social skill issues don’t always succeed in team activities where frequent periods of waiting is required. They may do better with activities like swimming, horseback riding, tennis, fencing, etc. The more structure the activity has, usually the better it is for your child.)
  6. Be sure to consider how long the activity lasts into the summer, leaving time for family fun.
  7. Look at the ratio of adult supervision to the number of children enrolled. Make sure your child’s specific needs will be supported by trained staff members.
  8. Determine whether parent visits are encouraged or not.

Summer time is also a great time for your child to have play dates to practice some of his/her newly learned social skills. Be sure to review skills like: taking turns, considering his playmate’s preferences (Lesson #2), how to keep his/her cool in difficult situations (Lesson #5), listening more than talking (Lesson #1), reacting appropriately (Lesson #4), joining in rather than barging-in (Lesson #6), and how to deal with a demanding friend (Lesson #3). Remember that the closer to the play-date that you review the web site video and role play with your child, the better the chances your child will remember to use the skill(s).

Remember, social skills can be learned, if they are taught. Every friendship skill your child learns here is a skill learned for a lifetime!

Keep checking for new and updated lessons each week.


Welcome to Kids’ Konnections™ Online!
Sep 25th, 2013 by kidskonnections

This is the place where you will find the answers to help your child with social issues.  All children struggle from time to time with social problems, some more than others.  Six of the top issues that we have found children to struggle with the most can be found on our web-site.  As you can see there are a variety of ways that these lessons can be purchased.  Try out the one that affects your child the most to start with, and then add subsequent ones as needed.  More will be added as time goes on.

The Kids’ Konnections™ techniques have been successfully teaching children the “unwritten rules” for over three decades!  We have seen children literally evolve before our very eyes.  Once they understand the rules, practice them by role-playing with you, they are off and running.  Each child’s confidence level will improve as they add to their social tool box to interact more successfully.

Since this is early in the school year, be sure you help your child to choose the after school activities that interest them.  Involving them in extra curricular activities will give them social opportunities that are activity based around things that interest them and where they can find other children with similar interests. Mostly, it will give them the proving ground to practice those newly learned Kids’ Konnections™ skills.

I hope this is the beginning of many more interactions with you about your child’s social and emotional health.  Welcome aboard.  I know that together we will bring about the change that will make for happier social experiences.

Natalie Madorsky Elman

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