12/09/2019…SOCIAL SKILLS TIPS BY BARBARA…December is a month of holidays for most of us. Those are usually family times. Start early in the month to plan for activities, shopping, special meals, etc. Kids enjoy being a part of the planning, so include them and ask what they would like to do. Encourage them to think of ways that they can help those less fortunate. If you haven’t already, set up traditions that your kids will look forward to, like getting a tree, or providing food to a shelter. If family members or guests are coming that the kids don’t normally see, remind them who is coming, and show them pictures if you have them. Try your best to keep everything as stress-free as possible. 

12/16/2019…SOCIAL SKILLS TIPS BY BARBARA…To keep this month as stress-free as possible, enlist your kids to help more than normally. There are so many ways that they can help that will take the pressure off the parents. If they like to eat cookies, train them that eating them involves the baking and clean-up first. They can help wrap presents or pick out cute gift bags and stuff them with tissue. Even the youngest ones will want to be included in the preparations and be a part of the family togetherness. This is not the time for perfection; its more important to get everyone involved and having a good time. 

12/23/2019…SOCIAL SKILLS TIPS BY BARBARA…With friends and family visiting over the holidays, what a perfect time to show off your children’s great manners and social skills. They can greet people at the door, offer to take their coats, and introduce themselves. Practice ahead of time so they know to stand to meet or greet someone, look them in the eye, speak clearly, no mumbling, and give them space, don’t be in their face. A simple, “Hi I’m Susie. It’s so nice to see you,” will get your kids and you brownie points. If great aunt Matilda is the type who loves to give slobbery kisses and hugs, just let your kids know its okay to excuse themselves and attend to another new arrival.

12/30/2019…SOCIAL SKILLS TIPS BY BARBARA…Holiday time is gift giving [and receiving] time. Let your kids know ahead of time that you expect to hear the Magic Word, “thank-you” every time they receive a gift. They still need to thank the person who gave them a gift they don’t like or already have. In this case, they can thank the giver for their effort. It’s not cool to say, “Yuk, I don’t like that!” For gifts coming from those you don’t see in person, a thank-you is in order either by phone, text, or email. Training children to write thank-you notes and send by snail mail may be a skill that gets them a job they want later in life. Even a young child can draw a picture; you write the message and mail to grandma. 

01/06/2020…ANTI-BULLYING TIPS BY BARBARA…HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s hard to believe it is 2020 already. Today’s the day we all make resolutions to be better people in the new year. Sadly, though many of those resolutions fall by the wayside within a few months. This is a good time to teach your kids to be kind and polite to everyone. You can offer them gentle reminders throughout the year so they don’t forget. Help them understand the concept of empathy; walking in someone else’s shoes. Show them ways they can serve others. Sometimes all it takes for us to remember to be better people, is to be reminded that our children are watching and we are their first and best role models. 

01/13/2020…ANTI-BULLYING TIPS BY BARBARA…Let’s start this new year off with a pledge to treat everyone the same way that we want to be treated. Get your friends on board and challenge them to think about what they are going to say or post. Ask if they would want someone to say or post the same thing about them. Get all your friends to take the Cool Kind Kid Challenge!  Ask them, “Are you TOUGH enough to be KIND?” “Are you COOL enough to be KIND?” 

01/20/2020…ANTI-BULLYING TIPS BY BARBARA…When my grandson, Tanner was nine, he asked me why kids were so mean and rude to each other, and why they couldn’t be kind and polite to each other. He also wanted to know why some kids think that being mean and bullying was cool. He asked, “Shouldn’t being kind and caring be cool?” That was how Cool Kind Kid got started. Tanner was the first character I created. Tanner’s Tuesday Tips, posted on Tuesdays, have tips for kids on how to be both kind and cool, just as Tanner and his friends are learning. Kids can learn how to have fun, be kind, caring, and say “no” to bullying by following Tanner.