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7 Common Acts People Don’t Know Are Turning Kids Into Brats

7 Common Acts People Don’t Know Are Turning Kids Into Brats

What a better place to catch kids misbehaving than on an airplane that is waiting to take off. Here you’ll see a variety of kids showing different kinds of behaviors as a reaction to the small and tight space, fear of flying, strangers around them, and the unfamiliarity of the environment.

You’ll also see different parents doing their best to handle these situations. Sometimes appropriately, but sometimes just enabling the child to misbehave, which makes the viewers cringe. Many of us are guilty of contributing to these kinds of child misbehaviors. Here are some acts that we as adults tend to do, that make kids behave like brats:

1. Trying To Make Them Happy All The Time

Life is not a fairy tale. In reality, it is tough. What a better way to prepare kids for it than by letting them experience life as it is. Sure, we want them to have a fairy tale birthday, or give them candies every time they lose a game with their playmate, but this will make them feel that that there is no room for anything, but the good ones. And then, when they experience anything but happiness, they will act out.

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So just let them experience the ups and downs of their daily activities and interactions with others. From this, they will learn that feelings can get hurt, or that healing comes after getting their knee wounded from running and falling. These things will strengthen their character, which will definitely be of good use when they become adults.

2. Tolerating When Complaining About Authority

It’s understandable. You are a parent, an aunt, a grandma, or someone that has authority over a child. But when the child comes to you complaining about their teacher or another authority, if you immediately assume the role of a protector in shining armor before taking a few minutes to be objective and hear the whole story, then the kid will think that it is ok to question another authority.

Before talking to the teacher or the individual involved, have your kid explain first how he or she feels and what had happened. And then based on it, be objective and do your guardian responsibilities. This lets the child see that authorities are to be taken seriously and are to be respected.

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3. Showing Bad Temper When Dealing With Tantrums

A kid’s bad temper while getting reprimanded is bad enough, and if you double it with your bad temper, then that’s asking for mayhem. Also, you are just reinforcing bad behavior. Remember to be calm when reprimanding kids, and explain why they are getting reprimanded and what your expectations are.

If you don’t, they will keep acting out for the pleasure of watching you scramble and get upset. And they would love to see you in that same situation over and over again, as if it was an accomplishment.

4. Rewarding Everything

Kids can get used to routines. They may get up in the morning, eat breakfast, play with their lego and watch TV. If they refuse to eat breakfast and you give them a reward before or after they eat, they might not eat another meal again without that reward. If they don’t get that reward, they will act out.

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So make sure that when you give a reward, you explain that you are only doing it this time, and that you expect them to do the same task again the next time without the reward.

5. Offering Too Much Help

Offering too much help may breed lazy kids that might turn them into adults that lack motivation for success. We can’t always turn the TV on for them, or put toothpaste on their toothbrush, because if you are not around to do that anymore, then they will act out.

In real life, there will be situations where there can be no one else to depend on, but themselves. The earlier that we teach our kids that they are able to get up and fill that glass with water to quench their own thirst, the better because this translates into the real world they will face in their future.

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6. Letting Them Win All The Time

We can’t be around our kids all the time. If we always make it a point that they take the winning spot every time they are around us, they would think that the world is built like this. But it is not. When they get to the outside world and be with their playmates and experience losing, they will act out because they are not used to it.

In real life, there will be best and second best, and being second best is not necessarily a bad thing. We should teach our kids that defeat breeds resilience and hard work.

7. Having Them Avoiding Conflicts and Confrontations

Shielding kids from conflicts and confrontations can turn into a bad thing, if done too much. If we provide guidance, but ultimately let them deal with their own small conflicts and confrontations, then they become more self-aware and aware of other’s feelings. They will learn to share, play fairly and treat another human that is their equal with care and compassion. This helps them have a smoother relationship with their playmates, and ultimately with their peers as adults.

Kids can be tough and a lot of work to deal with, but we can make it easier. By being mindful of the simple acts that we show them, we can prevent future misbehaviors so they turn out to be good kids, and hopefully become adults that are ready for the real world.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Published on May 7, 2021

20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

From coaching martial arts to children as young as four years old, I very quickly came to the understanding that if I wanted to help kids progress their skills, I needed to find a way to help them focus more consistently in my class.

There are two key ways I found when it came to improving my students’ level of focus:

  1. Make what we’re doing more interesting. Nothing is off the table here—from having ninja clowns on the rampage in a lesson to including popular games with a martial arts theme, tapping into the student’s love of fun to help them focus.
  2. Introduce brain breaks.

Brain breaks are small mental breaks that help the kids stay more focused. Think of the brain as a fuel gauge that shows the information you can consciously hold in your mind at any given moment. When the kids are focused and working hard on their tasks, the meter is usually full. They can easily concentrate and pass experiences into their long-term memory.

But when the needle starts to drop, you may observe that your kids are feeling anxious or looking restless. New information, experiences, and knowledge are not getting processed from the staging area or working memory into the long-term memory.[1]

It’s here that brain breaks make the most difference, as they allow us to “top-up the tank” or reset the gauge so that we can continue to learn and focus and at a higher level.

If you’ve been home tutoring, you’ll appreciate that brain breaks can help kids in many ways. They can reduce stress and frustration. Think of those times when you’re helping your kids solve a difficult problem. It’s taxing for you both and when compounded with the energy loss after a day at school or watching TV. The stress effect can be compounded, and it’s here that brain breaks can be a lifesaver.[2]

The following is a selection of brain break ideas for kids. You’ll see that some are physical activities while others are more relaxing. It’s always great to test them out to see which ones connect the best with your children.

It’s okay to repeat the same brain breaks. Having a clear name and mission to a break can help keep your child excited, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to take part in a future round of the activity.

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Active Brain Breaks

Here are some active brain breaks for kids that you can try out.

1. Swapsies

Have the participants stand behind a chair. Call out a character trait, like “everyone with brown eyes.” You then swap places with someone else who has the same characteristic. If you have nothing that matches, you stay put!

Examples: “Everyone with trainers on.” “Everyone who is left-handed.” “Everyone who is wearing yellow.”

2. Dance Party

Put five or six different types of songs on Spotify, including a classic like “baby shark or the hamster dance.” Dim the lights if possible and have the kids dance to the tunes. Then, change the tunes and change the dance style. It’s silly and fun.

3. Freeze Dance

Similar to Dance Party except that when the music stops, students have to stay perfectly still until the music restarts. You can make this even more fun by trying to make the students smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

4. Keep It Up

Students must keep a balloon from touching the floor. You can add multiple balloons. You can make it more competitive by having different balloons of two different colors and split people into teams. Whoever keeps the balloons up the longest or the team with the most balloons in the air with a timer of 60 seconds wins.

5. Simon Says

This brain break for kids is an old favorite. You can also mix it up with martial arts moves, Fortnite dances, superhero moves, etc.

6. Animal Movement

Move like different animals. It’s fun for younger children. We use Flamingo where you stand on one leg, crawl like a bear, stand like a meerkat, run like a cheetah, and walk like a penguin.

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7. Find It Fast

“Find It Fast” is a scavenger hunt variation. Call an item out in the room and kids have to stand by it. For example, find a clock, find something with a face, find something smelly, find some money, find a phone, etc.

8. The Frog

Physical Challenges can be excellent fun. We have one in the martial arts class called “The Frog” where you squat like a frog, then lean forward so your head and feet are off the floor. These are all old yoga poses, so have a look through a booklet or website for some safe ideas. Other examples are grabbing your nose with your left hand and touching your knee with your right elbow.

9. Pizza Delivery Time

Give the students paper plates and tell them to hold the plates above their head on a flat hand. They then run around the room and try to keep the plate in their hand. You can make it more challenging by having other students try to knock others’ plates off. There’s usually a 3-star jump penalty if your plate touches the floor.

10. Limbo

We use martial arts belts and the students take turns going underneath the belts. Fun music creates an awesome atmosphere here.

11. Human Knot

Split the group of people and have everyone link hands under and over. That’s making knots between everyone in the group. Have the other students try to untangle them and return everyone back into a circle.

12. Feather Balance

This brain break for kids works well with gentle music, and you can use a balloon or a straw if you don’t have a feather handy.

13. Stack them high

The students should have plastic cups and paper squares. The goal is to make a tower as high as possible, or it could be to make a triangle or even a pyramid.

Relaxing Brain Breaks

We talked about brain breaks for kids that are being used to energize the students. But they can also be used to calm and relax them. We’re more familiar with the term mindfulness, but it’s the same idea. These are brain breaks for kids that reduce stress and anxiety.

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14. Meditation

Meditation

is a popular way to reduce anxiety. There are lots of great examples already pre-recorded on YouTube that you can follow along with. Below is a useful classroom meditation example.

15. Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscopes are fun ways to relax. They are mesmerizing and like a peaceful vortex that sucks you into them. Below is a great example of a visual online one you can use.

16. Reading/Listening to a Story

When I surveyed the members of our martial arts club about how their kids employ brain breaks at home, there was a clear winner among the families—listening to a story or reading a story. The feedback was that the process of daydreaming a little helps the kids to recharge. But it goes without saying that the story needs to be engaging.

17. Doodling

My personal favorite way to brain break as a kid was to doodle. Doodling gives your child a few minutes to draw anything they want. It can be calming for them, and it’s a lot more fun if you have different types of pens or crayons available to use. Add some soft music, and you have a simple way to take some time to relax.

18. Coloring Sheets

Coloring sheets are another way to relax the mind. There’s lots of great coloring in pads available, but here are some links to public resources shared on the internet that are great examples.

19. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing

is an epic way to help your child slow down. It is a quick way to relieve anxiety so that they feel more ready for the next task ahead.

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Try this: put your hands on your tummy, breathe in through the nose, and feel your belly expand like a balloon. Hold it here, then slowly breathe out through the mouth while feeling your stomach get smaller. Repeat this 10 times. Use the following counts: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breath out for 4 seconds.

20. Going Outside

Go outside was the second most popular response from our parent’s survey about brain breaks for kids at home. Fresh air always feels nice. You can combine this with a treasure hunt, looking for different colored cars, types of birds, or even types of trees, if you’re familiar with these.

My personal favorite is using a mushroom spotting app on our phones and finding a mushroom or toadstool, then using the app to identify its name. This is surprisingly engaging for children. But a few safety rules about not touching them is important. It gives kids a change of scenery and helps revitalize the senses, providing a welcome break from their homework.

How Often Should You Introduce Brain Breaks?

The key to brain breaks is their timing. If you can introduce them before you notice that your kids are entering deep fatigue or their loss of focus has set in. You’ll find a great balance between breaks and effort.

I’ve observed from my martial arts coaching that younger students have a smaller amount of working memory than older kids. My formula is for five minutes of technical training, we provide five minutes of brain breaks for students under seven years old. Plus, we coach to 15 minutes of training to five minutes of brain breaks for children under 12 years.

Final Thoughts

Implementing calming brain breaks for kids is a really efficient way of introducing brain breaks. You have a quick way to allow your students to learn about regulating themselves. Balancing their mind and energy is a useful skill, and you can take this with you everywhere you go.

Our martial arts center revolutionized our approach to coaching by using brain breaks for kids. We found that although we were teaching less technical skills, there was now consistent progress from the students. Plus, everyone was less anxious, happier, and are having more fun. This is a win overall.

If you’ve been having challenges with your kids focusing at home, maybe try a mixture of the calming and active breaks to see which types work best for your kids.

Featured photo credit: Robert Collins via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] SimplyPsychology: Working Memory Model
[2] BrainFacts.org: Kids Need Brain Breaks — And So Do Adults

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