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Equip your child for life

???????????????????The school session is gradually coming to an end and summer is just around the corner. Students are putting in their best efforts to make sure they do well to be rewarded with an exciting summer trip. While some children are on the top of their game when it comes to learning and academics, some others may just be struggling to catch up and are slow learners. It is important to understand each child’s needs and peculiarities when it comes to learning. There are different learning styles depending on how each brain learns. Some children are visual in that they quickly assimilate concepts demonstrated in a visual form using pictures, charts, graphs, tables, etc., while some are kinesthetic. This means that they would prefer to touch and feel what is being taught by way of practical classes to assimilate the new information efficiently.

Smart Brain

Regardless of each child’s learning style, there are basic processes involved in learning, reading, writing and any academic task.  The underlying processes responsible for any form of learning to take place are called cognitive processes. The strength of these processes are very critical for learning and academic excellence. These cognitive processes include: Attention, Working Memory, Thinking and reasoning, Sensory integration, Problem solving, Auditory processing, Visual processing, Cognitive flexibility, Processing speed, etc

Learning difficulties, thus, arise when either or some of these skills are weak.

Here’s the good news!

Cognitive Processes and skills can be improved upon!

Research has shown that cognitive or brain training has the capacity to strengthen neural connections in the brain. The neurons are brain cells necessary for processing information from the five senses and also responsible for the above mentioned cognitive processes. When the brain is being trained consistently, those aspects are fortified and efficient processing of information results, however, when they are left dormant, they are pruned. Yes pruned! Research shows that we lose the functionality of aspects of the brain that are not in use. The popular saying in this regard is “You either USE it or LOSE it”.


brainware safariYou can equip your child or student for life; by giving him/her access to cognitive enhancement software that will serve to train the brain for optimal performance and academic success.  One major brain training computer program that has garnered a lot of research and interest from education professionals in the United States is BrainWare Safari. Developed by Learning Enhancement Corporation in Chicago, BrainWare Safari is an interactive software that incorporates 35 years of scientific research and approaches to cognitive development into a video game format. Its comprises of 20 exercises and 168 progressively challenging levels that improve cognitive processes as attention, memory, thinking, visual and auditory processing, and sensory integration.  Some of the benefits of BrainWare Safari include:

  • Improved cognitive ability by an average of 4 years in just 12 weeks of CONSISTENT use
  • Boosts academic performance by an average of 1 year 
  • Equips with problem solving skills
  • Increased Confidence
  • Passion for learning and success
  • Striking a balance between learning and fun
  • Home and School Use
  • Parental monitoring of child’s progress.

Brainware use

For more information on purchasing BrainWare Safari and how it works to help children and students, or you, Please click HERE

….. Bringing out the best in children.

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Bringing Out the Best in Children

Preschoolers can be difficult to manage… The same may apply to all children. They have so much energy to throw around and getting them to sit still is much like a herculean task to not just parents but teachers as well. Children, especially the younger ones, use play as a medium to release tension  and ease as such when they feel anxious or uncomfortable, they try to engage in one form of playful activity or the other. However, you don’t want your child or pupils running about when you need their full attention.

So how can you get their attention?

How can you get them to sit still and learn?

How can you get them to be calm?

How can you help them regulate their emotions?

MINDFULNESS is the SOLUTION! 

child-meditation Mindfulness is being fully aware of this present moment, fully accepting it without judgment. It is paying full attention to your thoughts, feelings and emotions HERE and NOW. It involves deep breathing and calming techniques. These days, mindfulness has proved to be the answer to many questions. Enormous research has shown how mindfulness can help adults improve their brain function, reduce stress and enjoy better relationships. In recent times, researchers and practitioners have begun to focus on how this practice can be beneficial to children and adolescents in primary and secondary schools, children with cancer, learning disabilities, autism, etc. mindful childA number of schools in the United States are incorporating Mindfulness Programs into their school program- Mindful Program at Maryland High Schools. A recent research by University of Florida shows that stressful events in the environment can take a negative toll on a child’s mental and physical health which includes the onset of learning difficulties. As such mindfulness aims at reducing the effects of stress. Other benefits of Mindfulness include:

  • Building resiliencehappy child
  • Strengthening character development
  • Increasing focus and concentration
  • Improving  brain function
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Reducing stress levels and improving  coping ability
  • Inducing calmness and relaxation
  • Self regulation and control
  • Increasing their capacity for empathy and compassion

Mostly the same benefits that accrue to adults can be experienced by children ages 3 and above.

Mobile Health Consult is offering a Mindfulness program for students tagged “SMART MIND”. For more enquiries, consultation and procedure for enrollment, kindly log on to http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/smartmind/

The only way to know what mindfulness is, is to experience it! Sign up for a FREE Training now on: 

http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/therapy/mindfulness/

SPREAD the word! Be MINDFUL


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Conquering Bad Habits

A persons personality can be described as a collage of habits which the person expresses. We are our habits and our habits make us. The more good habits we have, the better people we tend to be. Bad habits, which are negative behaviour patterns, however, hold us back from reaching our full potentials. Bad habits, as we know, are detrimental to our well-being; they affect us physically (e.g smoking and its adverse effects on the lungs) and mentally (habitual lying, See our previous post The importance of being honest ). You can conquer your bad habits of procrastination, overspending, smoking or even nail-biting and picking your nose, but first you have to assess the origin of such habits and circumstances that trigger them.

Some bad habits, such as smoking and overspending, often start when a person is under a lot of stress. Gratification is often used in such circumstances to take our minds off the stressor. This may not sound so bad initially, but this is how most bad habits begin. The reason being that when we gratify ourselves, the pleasure we feel is initiated by the release of dopamine from from the limbic system to the  pleasure centers of our brain. Behaviours that trigger this release are then more readily reinforced as we naturally enjoy pleasure. The problem is it is more difficult to be moderate which such behaviours and they soon interfere with our lives and become bad habits.

Most of the time, bad habits tend to ease the ‘here and now’ and provide immediate satisfaction, not thoroughly thinking of the future consequences or effect they’d have on us. This is seen especially in procrastination, which most of us are often guilty of. So if you are serious about conquering your bad habits and you are ready to make a firm resolve, the following actions are necessary:

1. Increased Will power

can do!

You have to make a strong resolution that you are willing to stop whatever bad habit it is. You have to remind yourself of it’s adverse effects in your life and that you can indeed control this behaviour. This is something you do daily to increase your willpower and subjugate the habit. Remind yourself that you are in control of your actions and not vice versa. You can even write it down in a diary or somewhere you can see it each day as a reminder. Stop for a second now. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I am in control!”.

 


its-possible-to-rewire-your-brain-by-breaking-out-of-the-way-you-naturally-think2. Re-wire your brain

Some say we are creatures of habits and this is due to the way our brains are wired. The more we do an action, the stronger the neural connections relating to that action. This is how practice makes perfect. However, this is also how we automatically or subconsciously find ourselves indulging in our bad habits, the neural connection is usually strong. An environment or situation, that your brain has associated with you carrying out a certain action, could even trigger bad habits. Therefore, you have to re-wire your brain. Associate healthier actions with environments or situations you used to associate with bad habits. This is something you have to do daily for about a month (some say between 21 and 28 days before a bad habit is broken) in order for new neural connections associated with the situation to be established.

 

3. Reflect

Critical-and-Reflective-Thinking1a

Take time out to reflect on your actions and how they affect your body and well-being. Reflect on who you are now as a person due to this bad habit. Understand that at this moment you’re doing fine without it. Imagine the future consequences of your bad habits. The anxiety caused by too much procrastination or the disappointment you’d feel when you realize your broke again due to overspending. Whatever situation you can relate with. Stay relaxed and imagine how you’d feel if you finally got rid of this bad habit. Experience the momentary joy. Realize when your body begins to crave for this bad habit and what alerts your senses to it. Once you are able to do this, you’d find that you begin to know the initial physical and mental signs that often lead to you indulging in this habit again and can make a conscious decision to stop before you begin to consider it. (For a full mindfulness meditation experience go to  http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/?page_id=1008)

 

4. Have a support group

Confide with your friends and family if you can and tell them about the difficulty your having is stopping this bad habit. support-groupYou’d find that some of your friends may be going through something similar or even the exact same problem. They may have other ways of dealing with bad habits that they could share with you. Meet with a group maybe once a week to share ideas and to find support. This is one of the most effective methods of conquering bad habits. Find people you can relate with and vice versa and help each other.

Moderation is key

Remember to do all things in moderation. Not too little and definitely not too much. Especially things that bring us pleasure. Discipline is very important if we want to prevent ourselves from bad habits. Be moderate.

If you try or you’ve sincerely tried all these and you persist in relasping, it is advised that you seek a psychotherapist as you may not just have a bad habit but an addiction.


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10 Keys to Raising Resilient Kids

7 year old Yomi pushed aside his homework after one failed attempt as he gazed at the neighbors children playing outside, he simply believed that he couldn’t do it. His teacher had taught them the steps, but he found it a herculean task to perform. After all, he didn’t like numeracy. As soon as his mum spotted that he was leaving his numeracy home work for football, she immediately asked Yomi’s older sibling to fix the home work. 

Many children can be found in this same situation likewise many parents. They have this ” I can’t” mindset. Oh! its too tough, somebody help me! They complain the workload in school is enormous and their parents are quick to change schools. Such children who are easily provided a way of escape in the face of seemingly difficult tasks as a numeracy homework grow up to believe that life is a bed of roses  . They also give up easily and will not complete projects in the face of obstacles. They may grow up believing that their parents  have it all planned out for them. They become dependent on others and lack the ability to initiate projects or handle responsibility especially under pressure.  They may also be convenient to stay in their “comfort zone”, never venturing out to take risks.

Resilience can be defined as  an individual’s ability to cope and bounce back in the face of stress and adversity. Grit, a word associated with resilience can be regarded as  the ability to persevere when achieving long term goals.  Resilience determines a lot of things in life, school success, college success, and general success in life. According to Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., a psychologist who has researched on character skills that  may be responsible for success, she discovered that grit  matters more to a child’s ability to reach full potential than intelligence, skill, or even grades.

Children, as they grow to become adults may face financial hardships, sudden changes, loss of loved ones, hectic schedules, pressures at work, relationship difficulties, and so many other circumstances that may stand in the way of their success or happiness. If they haven’t developed resilience, these circumstances may overwhelm them and they could be at risk of developing psychological disorders as depression.
While some people are of the opinion that  resilient  is innate, research has shown that this “trait” can be taught ????????????????????????????????and learned.

So just how are we supposed to build grit or resilience in a child? Parents, may ask.

Here are a few keys of building this life quality:

  1. Help your  child see failure as an opportunity to learn.
  2. Encourage them to always try again
  3. Teach them problem solving skills e.g. STOP, THINK and ACT can be used in the face of challenges.
  4. Avoid criticism or harsh judgment
  5. Rewards in form of praise, Hi-5’s can be given positive behaviors are observed, when goals are achieved regardless of the obstacles.  
  6. Avoid focusing on failure or negative behavior
  7. Celebrate your children’s strength and cultivate their weaknesses
  8. Build a close, loving  and positive atmosphere in your home
  9. Don’t accommodate every need. This gives them a chance to develop problem solving skills
  10. Model Resilience

With these 10 keys used consistently, your child will be well able to face the hiccups that life brings.

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