Self Improvement


Just because we think that young people should tolerate stress, failure, misery and challenges so that they benefit from it, does not mean all of them will.

Many cultures in the east promote handling tough situations as a way to make people strong, but the fact is that future resilience is based on many factors, not just tough circumstances.

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Self Improvement

Many parents have a life-long belief that kids should be ‘hardened up’ and go to great lengths to ensure that things are not easy for their children. Contrary to popular belief, exposure to unpleasant situations does not help cope with the difficulties that young people will face in the future. Instead of adjusting the person, a better way is to address the factors that create such situations in the first place.

On the flip side of 'Grit Parents' are the Helicopter Parents who coddle their children whenever they have time and spend money to ensure their kids are not deprived of anything. This ensures that the kids are either spoiled or are not able to function properly when they are out in the real world on their own.

Performing Under Pressure

It is often said that moderate pressure makes people perform better. The Yerkes-Dodson Law of psychology states that a given task needs an ideal level of motivation or arousal.

Too much or too little psychological activation can hinder the implementation of the task. Any challenge would also appear stressful and a burden on us if it is imposed without our consent or intrinsic interest.

Temper Tantrums

Throwing temper tantrums are a part of normal childhood development and through this they are also able to communicate their feelings to their parents or guardians, in socially acceptable ways.

These usually start when they are a year old and continue until they are toddlers.

  • The child is either hungry, tired, upset, or worried.
  • They want to be on their own and they will throw a tantrum if they can't do what they want.
  • They are trying to catch your attention to test your rules.
  • They are not able to articulate exactly what they need, feel, want to which upsets them.
  • They do not understand what you want them to do.
  • Temper tantrums are severe and can last long, and may happen often
  • Your child is not able to fully articulate their needs yet so it's best to be understanding
  • When they reach 3 and up, the tantrums will continue or get worse
  • Some kids when throwing temper tantrums will hold their breaths in order to cause fainting
  • The possibility of your child hurting themselves or others during tantrums is likely
  1. Keep a calm state of mind
  2. Don't give the child attention until they're calmer
  3. Never in any scenario should you spank or hit your child
  4. Don't give in to their tantrums or bribe them to stop their tantrums. The child will learn that they will be given what they want or reward for using inappropriate behavior
  5. Remove potentially dangerous objects from your child and their path
  6. Use time-outs to allow the child to get back in control
  • Stick to routines for meal and sleep times.
  • Give your child a toy to distract themselves.
  • No child is perfect. Learn to manage your expectations.
  • Help your child prevent frustration by preparing them beforehand for any events or changes that may happen.
  • Let your child know the rules and stick to them. You are your child's first role model.

Prophet Mohammad specified that Muslims feed the poor towards the end of Ramadan.

A portion of dates or barley was given directly into the poor's hands. Over time, the bartering system translated into a monetary one. Now Muslims give a minimum of £5 to mosques or charities.

Ramadan means 'intense heat', indicating the scorching summer month to which it was first ascribed. Muslims embrace Ramadan as the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

In 610AD, Muhammad retreated to a cave on Mount Hira on the outskirts of Mecca. During this time occurred the first revelation of the Quran. The Quran was revealed to Muhammad over 23 years, and the verses instructing Muslims to fast the entire month of Ramadan came in the latter half of that period.

  • The early Muslims would awake for the pre-dawn meal - known as suhoor, then refrain from eating, drinking and marital relations until sunset, when they broke their fast with dates. Fasting placed a strong focus on improving behaviour.
  • Congregational night prayers (taraweh) is a defining feature of Ramadan, where the entire Quaran is recited.
  • Coffee helps the worshippers stay alert and perform the night prayers.
  • The core rituals of Ramadan have remained unchanged since 622AD.
  • In Ottoman times, drummers in Turkey woke people for the pre-dawn meal. In Morocco, a nafar (town crier) roamed the streets waking people to an instrument's sound, like a horn.
  • In Egypt, a Ramadan lantern became a symbol of the sacred month. Today, intricate lanterns light up homes, shops and lining the streets.
  • Egypt also instituted the 'iftar cannon,' where a cannon was fired to announce the time for breaking the fast.
Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting

Ramadan has been observed and celebrated by Muslims for over 14 centuries.

In the seventh century, Prophet Muhammad said that Islam is built upon five pillars and that fasting in Ramadan was one of them.

The festival, known as Eid ul-Fitr, marks the close of Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad appointed it as a day of community and celebration. It started with a special communal prayer.

Breakfast consisted of something sweet, known as 'Sweet Eid'. In the Prophet's time, Eid morning started with a simple breakfast of dates, but as Islam spread through different lands, various sweet dishes were used like sheer-kurma, a milky dessert of vermicelli, nuts and dates.

Laughter as a method of bonding

Laughter is a form of social bonding because it is contagious and allows us to show that we are non-threatening.

We laugh when we see or hear something funny. We laugh to show that we are being silly.

From a historical perspective it is ironic that tickling in the modern era is considered to be a way to bond for parents and their children because a few centuries back tickling was a form of punishment.

Thanks to evolution laughter became a way for people to enjoy each other's company without any danger or injuries.

Many anthropologists believe that language existed and evolved in the past few thousand years, but there is evidence suggesting that laughter arose from millions of years ago because we share the same structure of laughter with the great apes.

Parents and others go to great lengths to overwhelm children with evidence about Santa.

  • 84% of parents report taking their child to visit at least two Santa impersonators during Christmas season.
  • The Elf on the Shelf is now a multi-million-dollar franchise.
  • The United States Postal Service promotes "Letters from Santa" programs which provides personal replies to children's letters.

Some philosophers and bloggers claim that engaging in the Santa myth can lead to permanent distrust of parents. However, there is no evidence that it affects parental trust in any significant way.

As children's understanding becomes sophisticated, they can engage with the absurdities of Santa, such as how an overweight man can fit through a small chimney.

Children are prone to believing in just about anything. A sceptical child has less chance of surviving than the child who unthinkingly listens to his parent's advice.

However, research shows that children are rational and thoughtful consumers of information. Children use many of the same tools as adults to decide what to believe.

The Santa Claus story

Studies state that 83 percent of five-year-olds think Santa Claus is real.

Many children are told that Santa Claus is a man who lives forever, lives at the North Pole, knows what every child in the world wants, drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, and climbs through the chimney to get inside your house.

Adults use three tools to decide what to believe:

  • The context in which you are introduced to new information will guide your judgment to accept it.
  • The tendency to measure new information against existing knowledge.
  • The ability to evaluate the expertise of other people.

Children use the same tools to decide what to believe. When children hear about something in a fantastical context, they are less likely to think it is real than if they heard about it in a scientific context or from a knowledgeable person.

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