Schools and Education: Are We Encouraging Lateral Thinking and Creative Thinking?

For a long time, I have been wringing my hands and fretting about sending Aristotle to school rather than homeschooling him. He is a very sensitive child who can be quite challenging to deal with when he doesn’t want to do something. Thankfully, he has had great teachers who have managed to handle him wellContinue reading “Schools and Education: Are We Encouraging Lateral Thinking and Creative Thinking?”

Learning Through Experience: How do you Teach Your Child to Put Others Before Himself?

Some time back, I wrote about wanting to raise children who are happy, confident and successful. On theĀ Figur8 home page, this brief statement was extrapolated to express what we hope to achieve in raising our children. Since reading “The Parents We Mean to Be” by Richard Weissbourd, I have realised that there needs to beContinue reading “Learning Through Experience: How do you Teach Your Child to Put Others Before Himself?”

Parenting: How Do You Overcome the Negative Influence of Social Conformity

There was an interesting experiment done in the 1950s by psychologist Solomon Asch on social conformity. A group of seven people was handed a slip of paper with several lines of differing lengths on it and asked each in turn to describe what they saw. Unbeknownst to the last person, the first 6 individuals areContinue reading “Parenting: How Do You Overcome the Negative Influence of Social Conformity”

Arlo the Elephant Introduces Life’s New Experiences to Young Children

Life’s full of new experiences when you’re a child – a visit to the dentist, a flight on an airplane, these are all new experiences that can seem strange and scary to a child. It makes it easier if parents can help prepare their children for what’s coming and sometimes it’s helpful to have simpleContinue reading “Arlo the Elephant Introduces Life’s New Experiences to Young Children”

Education of the Heart – on Raising “Good” Kids

“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” – Dalai Lama After devoting much time and attention to the growth and development of my boys, I confess that it still feels like a punch in the gut whenever I see them behaving poorly. Probably worst still is whenContinue reading “Education of the Heart – on Raising “Good” Kids”

Developing Self-Control for Young Children: Play Hide and Seek

In Nurture Shock, Bronson and Merryman reported that self-control was one of the most accurate predictors of future success. Self-control is defined as the ability to restrain one’s emotions, behaviour, and desires in order to obtain some reward. To determine the level of self-control children had, the famous marshmallow test was employed. 4-6 year oldContinue reading “Developing Self-Control for Young Children: Play Hide and Seek”

Life Skills: Take on Challenges

There is one area of weakness that Aristotle has constantly demonstrated to me that I have been concerned about. Whenever I present him with a challenge, he often declines to pick up the gauntlet. I have been concerned that his fear of failure is crippling his willingness to give things a go and it’s havingContinue reading “Life Skills: Take on Challenges”

Social Graces: Teaching Manners and Etiquette to Kids

I never went to finishing school and I was never given formal lessons on social grace, but when I was growing up, it was impolite to call anyone before 8am in the morning and after 9pm at night unless it was an emergency. Of course back then mobile phones hadn’t been invented and a ringingContinue reading “Social Graces: Teaching Manners and Etiquette to Kids”

Mindset Lessons from Star Wars

Star Wars is one of Aristotle’s favourite shows. I love it because the “way of the Jedi” offers so many terrific teaching opportunities on developing the growth mindset and character development. Take, for example, the following dialogue between Luke Skywalker (our hero) and Yoda (his master)… Luke Skywalker: Master, moving stones around is one thing.Continue reading “Mindset Lessons from Star Wars”

How Do You Teach Your Child that it is Okay to be Wrong?

I am perturbed… Recently, Daddy suggested I give Hercules a canvas and let him create something with it. Aristotle’s early abstract piecesĀ adorn our walls but Hercules has yet to have a canvas with his name on it. So it was time to correct this oversight… Unfortunately, I had one canvas and one easel but twoContinue reading “How Do You Teach Your Child that it is Okay to be Wrong?”