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Personality development in children is a complex and dynamic process influenced by genetics, environment, and experiences. Each child is unique, displaying a variety of traits that shape their interactions with the world. This article explores several important personality traits in children, including aggressiveness, anger, anxiety, depression, extraversion, fear of uncertainty, hyperactivity, hyperthymic temperament, loneliness, neuroticism, optimism, novelty seeking, risk taking, and sentimentality.   Summary Aggressiveness  Essential Parenting Tips to Manage Aggression in Children Anger Effective Strategies for Managing Children's Anger Anxiety  Important Parenting Tips on Managing Children Anxiety  Depression Supporting Your Child Through Depression Extraversion  Practical Parenting Tips for Extroverted Children  Fear of Uncertainty  Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of Uncertainty Hyperactivity  Understanding and Managing Hyperactivity in Children Hyperthymic Temperament (High-spirited Temperament)  Guiding Children with a Hyperthymic Temperament Loneliness Helping Children Overcome Loneliness Neuroticism  Supporting Children with Neurotic Traits Optimism Fostering Optimism in Children Novelty Seeking (Adventure Seeking) Nurturing Healthy Curiosity Risk Taking (Thrill Seeking)  Encouraging Responsible Exploration Sentimentality (Heartfelt Emotion)  Cultivating Emotional Awareness   Aggressiveness Aggressiveness in children can manifest as physical or verbal behaviours intended to cause harm or assert dominance. It is often a response to frustration, fear, or a lack of coping skills. Addressing aggressiveness involves teaching emotional regulation, conflict resolution, and empathy. Interventions like positive reinforcement and behaviour modification can help manage aggressive behaviours and encourage more positive interactions.   Essential Parenting Tips to Manage Aggression in Children: Teach Emotional Regulation: Help your child identify and label their emotions. Encourage them to use words to express feelings rather than physical actions. Model Calm Behaviour: Demonstrate how to handle frustration and anger calmly. Positive Reinforcement: Reward non-aggressive behaviour to reinforce positive actions. Conflict Resolution Skills: Role-play conflict scenarios to practice peaceful problem-solving. Ensure Restful Sleep: Make sure your child is getting enough sleep based on the amount of sleep required according to age.  Lack of sleep is a significant factor that can contribute to aggressiveness in children. Sleep deprivation affects mood, cognitive abilities, and overall behaviour, making children more prone to irritability and anger. For more insights on how sleep affects behaviour and practical tips on identifying insomnia in children, click here to read more. This resource delves deeper into the science behind sleep and behaviour, offering guidance on how much sleep your child should get.    Anger Anger is a natural emotion that children experience when they feel threatened, frustrated, or powerless. However, how they express and manage anger is crucial. Teaching children to recognise triggers, use calming techniques, and express their feelings in constructive ways is essential. Supportive parenting and modelling healthy anger management can significantly influence a child's ability to handle anger.   Effective Strategies for Managing Children's Anger: 1. Recognise Triggers: Identify what situations or factors trigger your child's anger. 2. Teach Calming Techniques: Introduce deep breathing, counting to ten, or taking a time-out. 3. Provide an Outlet: Encourage physical activities or creative outlets like drawing to express anger. 4. Empathy Training: Teach empathy by discussing how others feel and the impact of their actions. Tantrums are often closely related to anger, particularly in young children who have limited means of expressing complex emotions. Overcoming tantrums can be challenging for parents and caregivers, but understanding effective strategies can make a significant difference. If you're seeking practical advice on managing tantrums, click here to read more. This resource offers insights into the causes of tantrums, techniques for prevention, and methods for handling them when they occur. You'll find tips on maintaining calm, setting clear boundaries, and fostering better communication with your child to minimise future outbursts.   Anxiety Anxiety in children can range from mild worry to severe, debilitating fear. Common triggers include new experiences, separation from parents, or academic pressures. Symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, and physical complaints. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness practices, and a supportive home environment can help children manage anxiety effectively.   Important Parenting Tips on Managing Children Anxiety: 1. Establish Routines: Provide a predictable daily schedule to reduce uncertainty. 2. Validate Feelings:  Acknowledge your child’s fears and anxieties without dismissing them. 3. Encourage Gradual Exposure: Slowly introduce them to anxiety-inducing situations to build tolerance. 4. Promote Relaxation Techniques: Teach mindfulness, meditation, or yoga. Parenting styles play a crucial role in shaping a child's emotional and psychological development. One particular style, known as helicopter parenting, involves closely monitoring and often over-involved approaches to parenting, which can lead to various emotional challenges in children, including increased anxiety. Helicopter parenting often prevents children from experiencing the minor setbacks and challenges necessary for developing resilience and self-confidence. When parents constantly hover and step in to resolve every problem, children may feel less capable of handling life's inevitable difficulties on their own. This can lead to heightened anxiety and dependency on parental intervention. To explore more about how helicopter parenting influences anxiety in children and to discover strategies for more balanced parenting approaches, click here to read more. This article provides insights into identifying helicopter parenting behaviours and offers guidance on fostering independence and resilience in children to better equip them for the challenges of life.   Depression Childhood depression, characterised by persistent sadness, irritability, and loss of interest in activities, can significantly impact a child’s development. Early intervention is crucial. Therapy, particularly CBT, and sometimes medication, combined with a nurturing and understanding environment, can help alleviate symptoms and support the child's emotional health.   Supporting Your Child Through Depression: 1. Open Communication: Encourage your child to talk about their feelings without fear of judgement. 2. Monitor for Symptoms: Be vigilant for signs of persistent sadness or withdrawal and seek professional help if needed. 3. Encourage Activities:  Promote involvement in hobbies and social activities to boost mood. 4. Create a Supportive Environment: Ensure a loving, stable home environment. Social media is a big part of many children's lives, but it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. For some kids, seeing the perfect moments of others' lives on these platforms can make them feel less confident or left out, which can lead to feelings of depression. It's also important to consider how things like cyberbullying and excessive time online can disrupt sleep, reduce physical activity, and limit real-life social interactions, all vital for a child's well-being. If you're a parent looking to understand more about how social media might be affecting your child's mental health, and what you can do to help, click here to read more. This guide offers easy-to-understand insights and practical tips for creating a healthier digital environment for your child.   Extraversion Extraversion refers to a child's tendency to seek social interaction and thrive in stimulating environments. Extraverted children are often energetic, talkative, and assertive. Encouraging their social skills and providing opportunities for group activities can help extraverted children channel their energy positively and develop strong interpersonal relationships.   Practical Parenting Tips for Extroverted Children: 1. Provide Social Opportunities: Facilitate playdates, team sports, and group activities. 2. Encourage Leadership: Support their interest in leading group activities or projects. 3. Balance Activity and Rest: Help them find a balance between social time and downtime to recharge. 4. Model Social Skills: Demonstrate positive social interactions and communication.   Fear of Uncertainty Children with a high fear of uncertainty may struggle with changes and unpredictability. This trait can lead to anxiety and avoidance behaviours. Helping children build resilience through gradual exposure to new situations, offering predictable routines, and fostering problem-solving skills can mitigate the negative impacts of this fear.   Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of Uncertainty: 1. Offer Predictability: Maintain a consistent routine and provide advance notice of changes. 2. Build Coping Skills: Teach problem-solving and coping strategies for dealing with new situations. 3. Gradual Exposure: Gradually expose your child to new experiences to build confidence. 4. Encourage Flexibility: Help your child understand that change can be positive and teach adaptability.   Hyperactivity Hyperactivity, often associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), involves excessive movement, fidgeting, and difficulty staying focused. Structured environments, clear expectations, and strategies like breaking tasks into smaller steps can help manage hyperactive behaviours. Behavioural therapy and, in some cases, medication may also be beneficial.   Understanding and Managing Hyperactivity in Children: 1. Structured Environment: Create a structured routine with clear expectations and limits. 2. Physical Activity: Provide plenty of opportunities for physical activity to channel energy. 3. Break Tasks into Steps: Divide larger tasks into manageable steps to maintain focus. 4. Positive Reinforcement: Reward efforts to stay focused and complete tasks.   Hyperthymic Temperament (High-spirited Temperament)  A hyperthymic temperament is characterised by an exceptionally positive mood, high energy levels, and a sociable disposition. While generally advantageous, it can sometimes lead to impulsivity or risk-taking behaviours. Balancing enthusiasm with self-control and teaching the importance of moderation can help children with this temperament navigate social interactions successfully.   Guiding Children with a Hyperthymic Temperament: 1. Channel Energy Positively: Encourage involvement in sports or creative projects. 2. Teach Self-Control: Help your child learn to regulate their enthusiasm and impulses. 3. Encourage Balanced Activities: Promote a balance between high-energy activities and quieter, reflective ones. 4. Model Emotional Regulation: Demonstrate how to stay calm and focused.   Loneliness Loneliness in children can stem from social isolation, lack of meaningful connections, or difficulties in social situations. Encouraging social skills, facilitating peer interactions, and providing emotional support are vital. Ensuring children feel understood and valued can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness.   Helping Children Overcome Loneliness: 1. Foster Connections: Facilitate opportunities for social interactions and friendships. 2. Develop Social Skills: Teach and model social skills like sharing, empathy, and communication. 3. Validate Feelings: Listen to your child's feelings of loneliness and validate their emotions. 4. Encourage Hobbies: Promote involvement in activities where they can meet peers with similar interests.   Neuroticism Neuroticism involves a predisposition to experience negative emotions like anxiety, anger, and depression. High levels of neuroticism in children can lead to emotional instability. Teaching coping mechanisms, fostering a supportive environment, and promoting positive thinking can help manage these tendencies.   Supporting Children with Neurotic Traits: 1. Promote Stability: Provide a stable and predictable home environment. 2. Teach Coping Mechanisms: Introduce relaxation techniques and stress management strategies. 3. Encourage Positive Thinking: Help your child reframe negative thoughts and focus on positive aspects. 4. Provide Support: Be emotionally available and supportive, helping them navigate their feelings.   Optimism Optimistic children tend to have a positive outlook on life and are more resilient in the face of challenges. Encouraging optimism involves modelling positive thinking, celebrating successes, and helping children reframe negative experiences. Optimism can enhance mental well-being and improve overall life satisfaction.   Fostering Optimism in Children: 1. Model Positive Thinking: Demonstrate an optimistic outlook in your daily life. 2. Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s successes and efforts. 3. Encourage Goal Setting: Help your child set and achieve realistic goals. 4. Teach Resilience: Prepare them to handle setbacks positively by discussing strategies for overcoming challenges.   Novelty Seeking (Adventure Seeking) Children with a high propensity for novelty seeking are eager to explore new experiences and take risks. While this can foster creativity and adaptability, it can also lead to impulsivity. Providing safe outlets for exploration and teaching risk assessment skills can help balance their adventurous spirit with caution.   Nurturing Healthy Curiosity: 1. Safe Exploration: Provide opportunities for safe exploration and new experiences. 2. Teach Risk Assessment: Help your child learn to evaluate risks and make informed decisions. 3. Encourage Creativity: Support creative activities and problem-solving exercises. 4. Set Boundaries: Establish clear rules to ensure safety while allowing exploration.   Risk Taking (Thrill Seeking)  Risk taking in children involves engaging in behaviours that involve uncertainty or potential negative consequences. This trait can be beneficial for developing independence and problem-solving skills. Guiding children to evaluate risks and make informed decisions can help them harness the positive aspects of this trait while minimising dangers.   Encouraging Responsible Exploration: 1. Teach Safe Risk-Taking: Encourage taking calculated risks within safe boundaries. 2. Model Decision Making: Demonstrate how to weigh pros and cons before making decisions. 3. Support Independence: Allow your child to make choices and learn from consequences in a controlled environment. 4. Discuss Consequences: Talk about potential outcomes of risky behaviours to foster understanding.   Sentimentality (Heartfelt Emotion)  Sentimentality involves a strong emotional response to situations and a deep appreciation for relationships and memories. Sentimental children may form strong attachments and show empathy and compassion. Encouraging emotional expression and validating their feelings can nurture their sentimental nature and support emotional development.   Cultivating Emotional Awareness: 1. Validate Emotions: Encourage your child to express their feelings and validate their emotions. 2. Create Memories: Engage in activities that create meaningful family memories. 3. Encourage Empathy: Foster empathy by discussing others' feelings and encouraging compassionate actions. 4. Support Emotional Expression: Provide outlets for expressing emotions, such as journaling or creative arts.   Conclusion Understanding and nurturing the diverse personality traits in children is crucial for their emotional and social development. By recognising and addressing these traits thoughtfully, parents and educators can help children build resilience, form healthy relationships, and achieve their full potential. Each trait offers unique strengths and challenges, and with the right support, children can learn to navigate their personalities effectively. As parents, we’re always on the lookout for ways to nurture our children's growth, and understanding their unique personalities is crucial. Imagine gaining insights into your child’s innate temperament and behavioural tendencies. With our Decode Talent DNA Test, you can discover fascinating DNA insights into aspects of your child's personality such as extroversion, hyperactivity, and more. By analysing their genetic markers, we provide personalised guidance tailored to your child’s specific personality traits, empowering you to support their emotional and social development more effectively. With this knowledge, you can enhance their strengths, address areas needing growth, and tailor their developmental experiences to suit their individual personalities. Join us in unlocking the full potential of your child’s personality and guiding them towards a fulfilling future! Head over to our website for more information.   
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Executive functioning encompasses many skills that combine our ability to integrate the cognitive, communication, sensory, and motor skills we develop over time to become successful adults. Executive function and self-regulation skills depend on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. These functions are highly interrelated, and the successful application of executive function skills requires them to operate in coordination with each other. Working memory: governs our ability to retain and manipulate amount of information over short periods of time. Mental flexibility: helps us to maintain or change our focus in response to various demands or to apply various rules in various contexts. Self-control: enables us to prioritise tasks and resist impulsive actions or responses.   Starting at a very young age, we learn these skills to conduct daily activities, from playing to socializing and learning. Executive function skills are used in almost every area of our daily life, but as we enter school, they become increasingly important.   Executive function skills develop as we age, as we continue to acquire more skills throughout our lives. According to the developmental model of executive functioning skills, which many psychologists and experts in child development support, everyone is born with some genetic propensity or natural capacity to develop behaviours related to executive functioning.   Some children may need more support than others to develop these skills. As children grow, they practice executive skill through social play. Parents and teachers can start giving children more responsibilities, depending on their age. Early on, assigning duties to kids can assist develop and exercise their executive functions. Children can practise the skills they need before putting them into practise on their own by being in a setting that supports their development. Adults can help children develop executive skills by establishing routines, modelling social behaviour, and establishing and maintaining supportive and reliable relationships.   We use these skills every day to learn, work, and manage daily life, therefore having trouble with executive function can make you to have difficulties in managing the daily activities which results to underwhelming and unsatisfying work. However, note that not all individuals develop executive functioning milestones in the same approach in their age. Some learners need more intense practice to build independence. Others may require targeted interventions focused on further developing executive function skills. And a small group of unique learners such as children with autism or ADHD may need long-term strategies and support in these areas as they transition to adulthood.    Through learning opportunities and challenges, children develop skills such as organization, time management, emotional control, and other important executive behaviours. This will prepare them for the future as they have a lot of experience shaping their skills in many of these areas.   Parents often expect the children to continue to use executive functioning skills independently. Children may still have confusion and pitfalls, but if they have mastered the fundamentals of executive functioning, they can live a holistic lifestyle. Parents shouldn't expect their children to be independent all the time and should make sure to be an assistance to them because, as was previously noted, most children start to acquire executive functioning skills during the early forms of play and grow upon those areas throughout time.   Executive function skills are enhanced through exposure. The more exposed your child is to handling various situations, the more abilities or skills they can develop and enhance. Learning through failure also creates opportunity, allowing children not only to discover what doesn't work, but to adapt their solutions for future attempts. Children will get to learn about themselves too in the process.    An example of executive function is when you observe that your child is able to plan a situation or for a situation. The ability to identify and manage tasks that are future-focused is referred to as planning. Action planning involves identifying future responsibilities and events, setting goals to achieve them, and analysing the steps required to complete tasks in advance. Skills begin to develop in infancy as we learn to focus on objects and make intentional body movements like grabbing and pointing. Up to the age of twelve, when children enter the early learning years, their planning abilities enable them to comprehend increasingly complicated instructions and follow actions to accomplish their goals. They can start to autonomously organise their steps toward bigger objectives by the time. As adults, we can create and maintain several different plans to achieve many different goals at the same time.   Children of age between the ages of 6 and 18, children learn skills such as working memory and impulse control, and then hone these skills through learning during the next 18 to 36 months. Indirectly, young children can develop language skills, which support the development of executive functions such as self-regulation. Through language and communication, young children are able to discern their thoughts and actions, ponder, and plan. Improving language skills also helps young children understand rules and regulate behaviour. For example, children in this age group develop the ability to understand simple information such as how to walk down stairs instead of running. The painting is on paper, not on the wall. As children grow, they develop more executive function skills. They can manage their time, discover when to start tasks, participate in problem solving, and exercise different types of control such as emotions, attention, and self-regulation. But what role do these executive learning skills play in time management and other controls?    Through time management, they will be able to understand how long tasks will take, and along the time, they’re also able to budget time effectively and complete routines with ease. Task initiation involves how children initiate and independently generate new ideas, solve problems, and respond to tasks. It’s considered one of the core executive function skills and can be difficult for many children such as children with autism or ADHD and other attention-related diagnoses. Task initiation can be developed at an early age through parents reminders and support. As children grow, they can independently start and complete tasks with longer durations without being distracted. For children, parents can start with giving them chores that require their focus, thinking, problem-solving and attention skills such as folding clothes, reading books and solving mathematics questions. Children typically develop problem-solving skills through games such as Lego and jigsaw puzzles. These games require you to understand how things work and come up with solutions to the identified problems. Through problem-solving, children are able to independently identify problems in a variety of situations, whether at home, school, work, or with friends. Children can sort out the conflicts and decide issues but parents must help to provide feedback and support in resolving conflicts or addressing issues. Problem-solving skills also ties in closely with many other executive functioning skills such as attentional control and working memory.   To improve executive function skills in children, parents can start with: Physical games and challenges Physical games and challenges for children teach them how to concentrate and help them realize that success may not always come immediately, but through practice and the use of strategies, they can succeed. For instance, start with giving children options they can choose from in order to try new skills such as throwing and catching balls or egg and spoon race. Simple rules around each kind of physical games, such as taking turns running to a ‘finish line’ and back or no holding the egg on spoon, will enhance their working memory. You could also include games that require self-control or inhibition, like Red Light Green Light or Simon Says games that require children to stop upon a certain word, hold the pose, then return to moving upon the next signal. And catchy songs such as “Head, Shoulder, Knee and Toes” that have word-specific dance moves to the words exercise children’s bodies as well as their attention, working memory, inhibitory control and self-control by requiring them to wait until certain parts of the song to do the dance. Conversations that involve lots of questions Regular conversation with your kids is the best approach to support their language development while also encouraging their openness and ease of communication. Your kids will need to recall their experiences to respond, which will improve their working memory as they strive to retain these memories. Talking about feelings will also improve your child's language development and inspire storytelling. Asking a toddler, "Are you happy?" is a perfect example of how important questions are while they are young. "Are you furious?" What outfit do you wish to wear today? Asking them, "How's your day at playschool?" will encourage kids to converse and become aware of their own emotions. Imaginary play This preschool range of age is also where children strive to mimic adult behaviour and can frequently be observed engaging in pretend play, such as playing restaurants and schools with friends. These behaviours are not only imitations; rather, they are indications of imaginary play plots that have to be supported. For instance, one friend might be the cook while the other might be the diner. Your child may "cook" in the pot, then place it on the table with the diner "pretending" to eat. Adults can ask kids questions about what they are doing, what else they could make, what they are eating, and why they are doing it while they are doing it.   It's important that you cooperate and let the children take the initiative because doing so will enable them to govern their own conduct as well as the behaviour of others. To better understand how kids learn through play, watch the following video below and visit our website at www.agtgenetics.com to find out your child’s executive skills!      
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“The best thing you can give your children is time.”  Quality time is the time spent together and giving undivided attention focusing only on your loved ones, your children. Nowadays, most parents do not have enough time to spend with their children as they are packed with their work schedules and children are busy with school activities too. However, today's generation of children requires extra attention on both physical and emotional care, thus parents need to allocate time to spend on the children to understand their child and create bonds. Family members are linked in significant ways throughout each stage of life. Each connection has a lasting impact and provides the support and reassurance that your child needs.  Additionally, quality time with children plays a role in making them have holistic development and growth. As children nowadays are exposed to numerous types of media, societal issues, and other environmental elements such as relationships and social influences, it is necessary for parents to connect with their children's sentiments, emotions, and ways of thinking. Children who receive emotional and physical support from their parents are less likely to have behavioural problems.    Connecting with your child and spending some quality time together brings many benefits to your children. Early childhood research has revealed that a child's familial environment has a critical role in their development of self (Harter, 2015). The following are some advantages of spending quality time: Building self-esteem Many external and internal aspects, including those related to education, friends, and relationships, can have an impact on one's self-esteem; nevertheless, the family seems to play a crucial part in this process. A child's sense of self, socializing, and cultural identity can all be influenced by the connections and social interactions among family members. Children who interact with their parents and engage in activities as a family develop a significant sense of self-worth. Children feel better about themselves when they sense their parents value them. Even the simplest family activities, like singing and cooking can be exciting. Strengthens family bonds Families that engage in activities or house chores together tend to develop solid, emotional relationships. Studies have also found that families who enjoy group activities together can adapt well to difficult situations too. It encourages communication and interaction By spending time with your children, you foster an environment conducive to active conversation. Communication is key when you want your kids to be transparent when talking to you about anything.  It can make a significant difference to just ask your child how their day has been. By example, kids learn! Thus, they are more likely to practice those behaviours in other relationships in their lives when you are setting a positive example for them through spending quality time together. They will learn more about communication and interaction with people indirectly, improving their social abilities. Simple activities like playing games together or sharing toys will teach them the value of sharing and kindness. It can help your child’s academic performance Krauss contends that parental involvement in a child's education may enhance the learning environment, boost academic performance, and boost the child's perception of competence. Helping your kids with their schooling or reading aloud to them will help create a culture that values education, especially in the early years. Your child is more likely to perform well in school when they are comfortable approaching you with their assignments. However, the lack of quality time leads to behavioural problems among the children. Let us take a look at some of the harmful effects of not spending quality time with children. Effects of lack of quality time are:   Lacking of familial relationship The absence of bonds and connections between parents and children causes the children to feel distant. When a child experiences these sorts of emotions, it makes them feel unappreciated and unloved, which can cause family values like love, care, empathy, support, and the list goes on to fade. Because they suppress their feelings as children, these kids will grow up to be people who are overwhelmed by unfavourable emotions. Additionally, perhaps it would turn them into a rebellious child. When there is no family time, these children completely rely on their friends for trust, which is not necessarily a negative thing, but it hinders them from understanding what a family entails. This could also result in a child developing confidence in strangers, who might take advantage of their vulnerability.   Emotional Distress A child who does not get enough quality time tends to feel lonely and empty.  A child's psyche is far more nuanced than it initially looks.   When there is no one to talk to, children have no other way to express their emotions. When no one is paying attention to them, these kids will feel hurt. These kids might no longer feel valued and loved by their parents, and they might also experience instability in their self-esteem, uncertainty, and lack of trust.   Negative Behaviour The last effect is negative behaviour. Even though these behaviours might not be apparent right away, the child may experience harm as a result of using aggressiveness as a way to express their feelings of loneliness and despair. Boys and girls may experience these issues at different ages, and they may be either direct or indirect. Behavioural problems are something that should not be taken lightly. Therefore, there are many ways to improve quality time:  1. When everyone's schedules are hectic, designate one day per week for family time. 2. Establish a routine that you and your kids can practice every day. Allowing your child to choose and read one book with you at bedtime is one example. 3. Express your feelings visibly.  Tell them how much you love them, how they make you feel and display what love looks like to them.  The feelings need to connect with the mind. 4. Reinforce positive behaviour. Praise them for their effort and encourage them for their good behaviour.   It's essential to have a special bond with your children and can be a simple priority to incorporate into your daily schedule. Doing so, they will enjoy long-lasting impacts as they grow into contributing adults in the future.
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What is parenting? Parenting is a process of raising children and providing them with protection, care and also support. Supporting children physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually ensures their healthy development and smooth transition into adulthood. The right parenting style such as positive parenting will develop a disciplined child. Positive parenting emphasizes positive discipline rather than harsh discipline and punishment for misbehavior. When a child misbehaves, parents should strive to concentrate on teaching the desired behavior rather than penalizing the child.  Our child learns to show tantrums or also known as the terrible twos when language skills are starting to develop at an early age. As toddlers cannot communicate their feelings or needs, a frustrating experience leads to tantrums. However, tantrums tend to lessen as language abilities increase. For most toddlers, tantrum is a way to express frustration but for older children, tantrums might be a learned behavior. Tantrums are more likely to worsen if parents follow their children’s wants and needs too much, or allow their children to get something by having a tantrum.    What are the strategies to overcome the terrible twos? There are many practices parents can do to encourage good behavior in their children. For example:  Be consistent. Being consistent in your schedule, routines, discipline patterns, and rules helps you connect with your child emotionally. Stability provides clear boundaries and structure for your child, helping them become organised and understand how the world works. Consistency allows your child to know what to expect, strengthening their sense of stability and understanding.  Allow your child to make choices. Instead of saying no to everything, give your child a sense of control by letting them make their own decisions. Teach your child to choose between orange juice and chocolate drinks or lego blocks and hotwheels cars, and so on. This will instill in him a sense of control and the ability to choose between two equally good options. Praise good behavior. Positive behavior includes when your child is playing nicely with other kids such as sharing and taking turns, or when they speak kindly to others, or simply when they are cleaning up toys after play and tidying their bedroom. Give your child a hug or tell your child how proud you are when they are behaving well. When parents praise and give this kind of acknowledgment, their child will learn a sense of security. Your child wants the attention and if you only give them the attention when they act out, they will learn to throw tantrums but if you give attention when they behave well, they will do more of that.  Avoid situations which can trigger tantrums. If your child begs for toys or treats when you shop, steer clear of areas with these temptations. If your toddler acts up in restaurants, choose places that offer quick service.   What is the best way to respond to a tantrum? Remaining calm is always the best response to a tantrum. Your child may imitate your behavior if you react with loud and angry outbursts. Trying to get a child to stay calm by yelling at them is only going to worsen the situation. Instead, being responsive to your child is another way to respond to tantrum. For example, if you have gotten your child to do something against their will, offer to assist. If your child refuses to follow your instructions, clarify why it is unacceptable. If your child starts kicking, striking, or throwing things during a tantrum, keep them in your arms to prevent them from continuing. Take your child to a safer place and calmly acknowledge the emotion they are showing by talking slowly and softly. By acknowledging your child's feelings and allowing them to communicate reasonably, you are allowing them to understand and deal with their emotions contextually, as well as a deep sense of being heard and understood. If they seek for touch or hugs, do offer it and do give them spaces or remain silent for a moment if they ever need it. However, parents must not give in to tantrums regarding unnecessary requests. This will teach them that tantrums do not help them to get what they want and they will learn from it. The terrible twos are a normal part of your child’s development, especially between the ages of 1 and 4 years old as they are learning how to express frustration and rage, parents must not disregard this behavior as this will influence your child’s emotional development. With a proper nurturing, it will establish positive relationships that are essential in promoting healthy social and emotional development.  As important as it is, nurturing isn't always easy. That is why at Absolute Genetic Technologies, we got you covered! We offer you a deep understanding of your child from a comprehensive Decode Talent DNA Test (DTDT) and a personalized parenting approach for you. Let's explore your child's genetic makeup and see how it influences your child's  talent, IQ, EQ, personality, and overall well-being. We got you covered when it comes to helping your child develop healthy emotional health. Do check out our website for more information on our Decode Talent DNA Test at https://www.agtgenetics.com/decode-talent-dna-test.html!
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Eight hypotheses of multiple intelligence were developed by Howard Gardner. One of the eight hypotheses we will be covering in today's article is verbal intelligence. We will be discussing what verbal-linguistic intelligence is and how we can develop it during the course of our lives.  Verbal intelligence is the ability to use language and have linguistic sensitivity. Verbal intelligence or linguistic intelligence gives an individual the ability to learn new things. Being able to verbally express oneself and use the written word to communicate is extremely important in making connections with others. Have you ever been surprised to see a child talking just like an adult or children that can talk about the book they have just read? Children who manage to impress adults around them with what they ask and say are an example that the child is verbally intelligent! Not everyone is born with the ability to speak and express themselves or the things that are going on around us. Some might face difficulties with expressing and speaking their ideas. However, linguistic skills are constantly evaluated in school where some schools have these “show and tell” lessons to allow children to speak and to be comfortable with expressing their thoughts and ideas. Yet, little do we know about the possibility of its stimulation and so its development.  The creation of language, including poetry, metaphors, similes, grammar, literature, tongue twisters, and abstract reasoning, is handled by verbal-linguistic intelligence. People with strong verbal intelligence are frequently curious, have great reading habits and are interested in language. These people enjoy using language to express themselves and have an easy time comprehending. They can also pick up new languages quickly. These individuals are frequently prolific poets, writers, or actors. Language is enjoyable, so games that incorporate wordplay are likely to be enjoyed by verbal-linguistic learners. Puns, language-based jokes, and word games like Scrabble and Boggle are frequently appealing to them too.   People with characteristics of linguistic intelligence are the people who: Think in words. People who have strong verbal-linguistic intelligence use language to communicate their ideas and make use of writing's structure, syntax, and visuals. They turn abstract thoughts into meaningful complete sentences. They use grammatical arrangements to organize their ideas. Enjoy reading and writing. People with excellent verbal intelligence are great readers and writers. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence read a lot of books, fragments of stories or tales, comic strips, and any other reading materials. These people will find it easy to express their thoughts with writing as they can write and show what they think, what they observe, and what they feel. Excellent speakers. People with verbal intelligence are also capable of being organized and maintaining objectivity. Excellent speakers can choose the right words to carry and deliver a message. With this intelligence, they possess strength of conviction and can lead groups because of their ability to handle words and give commands or orders. They are excellent interpreters of the language. Interpreting poems, works and other elements of literature comes easily to people with verbal intelligence. Playing with words and practising riddles, word games, and interpreting texts is an interesting activity for them. Metaphors and figurative language are among the things that persons with advanced verbal-linguistic intelligence can easily interpret. Like to learn new languages. People with verbal intelligence enjoy watching and listening to programs in other different languages. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence love being exposed to different ways of expression through language. They like to challenge themselves to pick up new languages.   Growing up, even if you are not born with this talent and face difficulties in speaking fluently, you can try to develop your verbal-linguistic intelligence by: Writing a diary. Writing a diary can start with writing about personal experiences, facts and stories of daily life events. Try to write as long and as detailed as you can. This will promote the acquisition of vocabulary and the development of expression through language. Reading story books. Reading develops understanding and encourages the use of new vocabulary. Through reading, you can develop the capacity for interpretation and imagination. Through reading, you will come across new words and their meanings which helps in expanding your vocabulary. Highlighting the new words or writing them in a notebook will help you to memorize and understand the usage of that particular word too. By looking up words in the dictionary, you not only learn meanings, but you can also work with the arrangement of words. Joining a book club. Book clubs encourage discussion, debate, and interpersonal relationships based on reading. It provides an opportunity to converse about one's interests. It is also an opportunity for you to polish your verbal intelligence as you communicate with the club members. Learning a new language. Learning a new language fosters the development of verbal-linguistic intelligence and interpersonal intelligence. Through the exchange of words, people can expose themselves to other cultures while travelling. However, it is best to master your native language before proceeding with a new language. Taking part in debates. Debates stimulate the organization of ideas and coherent expression. Through debates, it encourages the development of the ability to arrange the right words and to use language orally. thinking skills and also offers motivating contexts for learners to communicate with one another.   Every type of intelligence can be polished with the right learning approaches. To find out more about your Multiple Intelligence type of learning, check out our product!
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Introduction As parents, we all aspire to offer our children the best foundation for their future and fostering their intellect is a significant part of that endeavour. In this context, let's delve into how we can support our children's cognitive development in various domains such as memory, attention and literacy. It's worth noting that these different aspects of intelligence development are interconnected and by providing children with the necessary support and opportunities to grow in these areas, we can enhance their overall cognitive development. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine not only facilitates learning but also helps you spend quality time together, exploring, playing and discovering the world. So, let's make this journey of nurturing our kids' intelligence fun and engaging, every step of the way!    Summary  Intelligence Fun and Effective Strategies Linguistic Intelligence (Verbal Intelligence)  Ignite and Fuel Linguistic Fire Cognitive Abilities (Memory) Parenting Tips to Boost Cognitive Development Cognitive Skills (Working Memory & Executive Function) Parenting Tips to Nurture Cognitive Skills Attention Enhance your Child's Attentional Capacities Literacy Skills (Reading Skills) Making Reading Enjoyable  Word Spelling Guiding Your Young Spellers   Intelligence As parents, we're always looking for ways to help our kids thrive and succeed in life. But sometimes, it can feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to nurturing their intelligence. Luckily, there are some incredibly fun and effective strategies we can use to support our children's growth and development.   1. Talent Development  First up, let's talk about talent development. Did you know that every child has unique talents and interests just waiting to be discovered? From a young age, they might show a knack for maths, music, sports, or the arts. As parents, our job is to pay attention to these clues and provide opportunities for our kids to explore and develop their talents further. One incredibly powerful tool for talent development is Decode Talent DNA testing. This innovative approach uses cutting-edge technology to analyse a child's genetic makeup and identify their innate abilities and predispositions. By understanding our children's genetic strengths and weaknesses, we can tailor their learning experiences to suit their individual needs and interests. By understanding our children's genetic strengths and weaknesses, we can tailor their learning experiences to suit their individual needs and interests. For example, if a child shows a natural aptitude for music, we can encourage them to take piano lessons or join a school choir. If they have a knack for problem-solving, we can provide them with puzzles and brain teasers to challenge their minds.  Whether it's signing them up for piano lessons, enrolling them in a soccer league, or encouraging them to pursue their passion for drawing, nurturing their talents from an early age can set them up for success down the road. Ready to dive deeper into fostering your child's unique talents and intelligence? Check out this comprehensive article on Talent Development in Children.   2. Outdoor Play But talent development is just one piece of the puzzle. Outdoor play is another essential ingredient in fostering our children's intelligence. In today's screen-dominated world, it's more important than ever to get our kids outside and exploring the great outdoors. Not only does outdoor play keep them physically active and healthy, but it also stimulates their minds and imaginations in ways that indoor activities simply can't match. Whether they're building forts in the backyard, splashing in puddles at the park, or going on nature hikes with the family, outdoor play offers endless opportunities for learning, creativity, and social interaction. And if you're curious about the benefits of outdoor play and want to discover more ways to enrich your child's life through outdoor adventures, this insightful article is for you!   3. Video Games And here's a surprising one: video games. Yes, you heard that right! Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that video games can actually be beneficial for our kids' cognitive development when enjoyed in moderation. Games that require quick thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning can help sharpen their minds and teach valuable life skills like perseverance and resilience. Of course, it's essential to set limits on screen time and choose age-appropriate games, but when enjoyed responsibly, gaming can be a fun and effective way to support our children's intelligence. So, as parents, let's embrace these three pillars of intelligence: talent development, outdoor play, and yes, even video games, as we guide our kids on their journey of growth and discovery. By providing them with diverse opportunities for learning and exploration, we can help them unlock their full potential and set them up for a lifetime of success. After all, intelligence isn't just about how much our kids know, it's about how they apply their knowledge, adapt to new situations, and thrive in the world around them. Lastly, if you want to learn more about how video games can boost intelligence and creativity, don't miss out on this fascinating read. Trust us, you won't regret it!   Linguistic Intelligence (Verbal Intelligence)  Let's journey into the world of words with your child! Like planting seeds in a garden, nurturing your child's verbal intelligence can lead to amazing growth and discovery. But don't worry if helping your child with words feels overwhelming. We're here to make it fun and easy with simple tips and exciting activities. Picture your child confidently raising their hand in class, participating in discussions and acing presentations. Verbal intelligence lays the foundation for effective communication skills that will serve them well in school and beyond. But how can parents ignite and fuel this linguistic fire? It's simpler than you think!    1. Diary Encourage your child to keep a diary, where they can pour out their thoughts and experiences in vivid detail. Dive into the magical realm of storybooks together, where each page is a gateway to imagination and learning. Joining a book club isn't just for adults, it's a fantastic way for kids to engage in lively discussions and expand their linguistic horizons.   2. Learn A New Language  And why stop there? Learning a new language isn't just a skill; it's an adventure! Whether it's mastering their native tongue or delving into a foreign language, each word learned opens up new avenues of understanding and connection. And what better way to hone those verbal skills than through the art of debate? Encouraging your child to express their thoughts and ideas in a structured yet spirited manner not only sharpens their linguistic prowess but also boosts their confidence and critical thinking abilities. If you would like to know further about verbal intelligence, read this interesting article to discover more about unlocking your child's linguistic potential and fostering a love for language that will last a lifetime. So, dear parents, unleash the power of words and watch your child's linguistic intelligence soar to new heights! With a little encouragement and a lot of imagination, you'll be amazed at what they can achieve.   Cognitive Abilities Hey, parents! Do you know that your kids learn and remember things in their unique ways? Let's dive into the world of memory and learning styles, and uncover how verbal memory, visual memory, and visual-spatial learning shape their learning adventures!   1. Learning Styles First off, let's talk about learning styles. Just like grown-ups, kids have their own special ways of taking in and remembering information. Some children love to listen to stories and songs (verbal learners), while others prefer looking at pictures and exploring with their hands (visual learners). And then there are the adventure seekers who love to build, explore, and solve puzzles (visual-spatial learners). By understanding these styles, we can tailor activities to match how our kids learn best!   2. Verbal Memory Now, let’s dive further into verbal memory. Picture your child's face lighting up as they sing along to their favourite song or recite their favourite nursery rhyme. That's verbal memory in action! It's all about remembering words and sounds, like the lyrics to a song or the lines from a storybook. So, when your kiddo asks for another round of "Wheels on the Bus," or begs for one more bedtime story, remember that they're flexing their verbal memory muscles and having a blast while they're at it!    3. Visual Memory Next up, let's talk visual memory! Ever notice how your little one can spot their favourite toy in a sea of stuffed animals or remember exactly where they left their shoes? That's visual memory doing its thing! It's like a mental photo album, storing all the colours, shapes, and details they see. So, when you're flipping through picture books together or exploring nature, know that every image is adding to their memory bank and fuelling their curiosity about the world around them.    4. Visual-spatial Learning Last but not least, let's explore visual-spatial learning! Think of your kiddo building a towering block tower or solving a tricky puzzle. That's visual-spatial learning in action! It's all about using their eyes and hands to explore, create, and problem-solve in three dimensions. So, when you're setting up a scavenger hunt or building with blocks, know that you're not just having fun, you're also helping your child develop important spatial skills that will serve them well in school and beyond! Now that we know all about verbal memory, visual memory, and visual-spatial learning, let's put that knowledge into action! Whether it's singing songs, flipping through picture books, or going on a scavenger hunt, there are endless ways to make learning fun and engaging for every type of learner. So, let's embrace our kiddos' unique learning styles, celebrate their strengths, and watch as they embark on unforgettable learning adventures! If you're curious to unlock the secrets of how visual-spatial learning strategies can supercharge your child's memory and learning skills, dive into this enlightening article!   Cognitive Skills Working Memory  In the bustling world of a child’s development, two critical cognitive skills play a pivotal role: working memory and executive function. Together, these functions are the scaffolding that supports a child's ability to learn, manage daily activities, and grow into a successful adult. For parents looking to nurture these essential skills in their children, understanding and actively fostering them can lead to profound benefits in school performance and beyond. Think of working memory as the brain's "sticky note." It's a space where new information is temporarily held and processed. This cognitive function is crucial for following instructions, solving problems, and even reading. Children with robust working memory tend to excel in academics because they can hold and manipulate information effectively, be it recalling steps in a maths problem or following a series of instructions. The model developed by Baddeley and Hitch highlights that working memory isn’t just for quick recall but also organises new knowledge for long-term retention. However, when working memory struggles, it can affect a child's ability to learn and retain information across all subjects.    Executive Function Executive function is like the conductor of an orchestra, ensuring that various cognitive, communication, sensory, and motor skills work in harmony. This set of skills, including working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control, is crucial from an early age. It governs our capacity to juggle multiple tasks, switch focus between tasks, and control impulses. Developing strong executive functions can help children plan, monitor, and execute their tasks with better efficiency. Whether it’s socialising, learning, or playing, these skills are foundational for managing daily life and overcoming challenges. Children with well-developed working memory and executive function skills are better equipped to handle the complexities of school tasks, social relationships, and daily challenges. As these skills flourish, so does a child’s ability to think critically, solve problems independently, and manage their time and emotions effectively. Dive into our article to explore the power of executive functions in mastering thoughts, actions, and emotions.    Attention In a world buzzing with distractions, the role of attention in a child's development cannot be overstated. From achieving academic success to nurturing emotional intelligence, the ability to focus is a cornerstone of a child's growth and well-being. Understanding and cultivating this crucial skill can lead to profound benefits for our children. Here's how you can actively engage in enhancing your child's attentional capacities. Attention is more than just the ability to stick to a task; it forms the basis for all higher cognitive processing. A child's capacity to concentrate not only affects learning in the classroom but also their social interactions and problem-solving skills. From infancy, children show different levels of attentional control, which can be significantly developed through mindful parenting. It's important to recognise that developing attention is a gradual process influenced by each child's unique temperament and environment. However, the rewards of nurturing this skill are immense. Enhanced attention can lead to better academic performance, more fulfilling social relationships, and effective coping strategies. By paying attention to attention, we not only help our children achieve immediate goals but also equip them with a skill that is pivotal throughout their lives. Whether it's through structured play, thoughtful guidance, or by setting the right example, enhancing our children’s focus is an investment in their future, making them more resilient and attentive individuals. So, let’s embrace the challenge and help our children master the art of attention. Dive into this article to uncover exhilarating strategies and dynamic activities guaranteed to supercharge your child's focus and attention span!    Literacy Skills (Reading Skills) Getting children excited about reading can sometimes feel as tricky as getting them to eat their vegetables. But just like finding fun ways to serve broccoli, making reading enjoyable can really change how kids feel about books. When children are interested in reading and want to do it on their own, they learn and grow more from the experience.   Motivate Reading When kids find joy in reading, they don’t see it as a chore but as a fun activity. This love for reading helps them in many ways. They learn new words, understand more about the world, and even get better at other school subjects. When parents choose books that match their child's interests like stories about dragons, space, or fairy tales, it helps spark this love for reading.   The Importance of Motivation Motivation is what keeps children going even when reading gets tough. Learning to read can be hard. There are many new words and sometimes the stories can be complicated. But when kids really want to read, they keep trying even when it’s difficult. This effort makes them better readers because they practise more, try new words, and think more about what the stories mean. Ultimately, while it's important for kids to know how to read, it's even more important for them to enjoy reading. By focusing on making reading fun, parents and teachers help children not just become good readers, but lifelong learners who love to discover new things.    Word Spelling As parents, we all want to equip our children with the tools they need for academic success, and solid spelling skills are a fundamental part of this toolkit. However, English is notorious for its spelling challenges, with rules that often come with more exceptions than the rules themselves! But don't worry! Here's your playbook for guiding your young spellers through the twists and turns of English spelling, especially when it's not as straightforward as it seems. 1. Phonics Phonics is a powerful tool, teaching children how to connect sounds with letters. Think of phonics as the initial training wheels for spelling, it teaches kids to link sounds with letters and works like a charm for straightforward words. It works wonderfully with regular words, but English has many irregular words where standard phonics rules fall short. For these, memory and practice are key.  2. Context Teach your child to use context as a clue for spelling. The meaning of a word often hints at its spelling. Use context as your secret weapon. It’s like a treasure map where the meaning of a word points you to its correct spelling. For example, differentiate between "stationary" (not moving) and "stationery" (writing supplies) by associating the "ar" in "car" (something that stops) and the "e" in "pen" (something used to write). Clever, right? 3. Practice  Finally, regular practice remains key in mastering tricky spellings. Encourage writing as a habit, be it through journaling, writing stories, or sending thank you cards. Mistakes will happen, and that's okay. Each error provides a new learning opportunity. Remember, every child’s learning curve is different, and patience is your strongest ally. Celebrate small victories together and maintain a positive, encouraging environment. Your support and encouragement are powerful spells in the magical quest of mastering word spelling!   Conclusion By exploring these resources and integrating their insights into daily learning activities, you can effectively contribute to your child's cognitive development and overall intellectual growth. Each link provided offers detailed guidance and practical tips tailored to help parents and educators foster these critical skills in young learners.  As parents, we’re constantly seeking ways to support our children’s development and understanding their unique genetic makeup can provide invaluable insights. Imagine gaining a deeper understanding of your child’s innate talents and predispositions in various cognitive domains. With our Decode Talent DNA Test, you can uncover fascinating DNA insights on your child’s IQ across different domains such as verbal intelligence, memory, attention and more. By analysing their genetic markers, we can provide personalised guidance tailored to your child’s specific genetic makeup, empowering you to support their intellectual growth more effectively. With this knowledge, you can nurture their strengths, address potential areas of improvement and embark on a journey of learning that’s perfectly tailored to your child’s individual needs. Join us in unlocking the full potential of your kid’s intelligence and guiding them towards a brighter future! Head over to our website for more information: https://www.agtgenetics.com/our-dna-test   
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Introduction Parents are always interested in uncovering the potential hidden talents of their children, wondering if they possess a gift for math, music, sports, or the arts. This curiosity, whether conscious or subconscious, highlights the universal desire for our child to succeed in life. However, being talented is more than just having a natural knack for something—it requires identification and nurturing from the earliest stages of development. Benjamin Bloom, the renowned educational psychologist, emphasized the importance of mastering skills as the cornerstone of talent development in children. Through this mastery, both teachers and parents fulfill their fundamental roles in imparting essential skills and knowledge, ensuring that children are equipped with the tools needed to thrive. Discovering and cultivating these unique talents in kids from a young age sets the stage for a brighter future, where they can leverage their skills and strengths to achieve success in various endeavors. Witnessing the growth of these hidden talents is not only rewarding but also crucial for guiding children towards fulfilling their potential and realizing their dreams. Talent development, nurtured from a young age, lays the foundation for a lifetime of achievement and fulfillment.   Stages of development Children go through distinct periods of development as they grow from infants to young adults. During each of these stages, multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. What occurs and when approximately these developments transpire are genetically determined. According to David Henry Feldman, a college professor, who researches the growth and development of children, there are 4 stages of talent development through the ages.  4 to 10 years of age – During early childhood and development, children explore and observe the environment to expand their mind.   10 to 13 years of age – Talent development starts with the help and guidance of their teachers and role models. Competition and praise play an important role in their talent development.  13 to 18 years of age – Children learn that dedication and commitment are necessary for the development of their talent. They learn their responsibility and the needed sacrifice to grow.  18+ of their years – This stage marks the period where children decide to instill their talent as the choice of their career in the future.   Learn more with this link! Let’s go through different talents together!   Summary   Education (Academic Learning) Navigating Attention Challenges in Academic Learning Parenting Tips Creativity (Artistic Potential) Parenting Tips Entrepreneurship Skills (Entrepreneurship Potential) Parenting Tips Language Parenting Tips Leadership Parenting Tips Mathematics Parenting Tips Music (Musical Aptitude) Parenting Tips Long Distance Running (Endurance Sports) Parenting Tips Sprinting (Sprint Sports) Parenting Tips     Education Academic learning Education lays the cornerstone of intellectual or cognitive development in early childhood, equipping them with essential knowledge and skills for future endeavours. It fosters critical thinking, creativity, and social development, preparing children to tackle challenges and excel in an ever-changing world.   Navigating Attention Challenges in Academic Learning Do you find yourself struggling to capture your child's attention during learning sessions? Do they seem easily distracted or unable to focus on tasks for an extended period? Understanding how attention works and its importance in academic learning can help address these challenges. Attention is more than just focusing—it involves being alert, selecting what to pay attention to, avoiding distractions, and shifting focus when needed. As children grow, their attention spans develop, allowing them to sustain focus on tasks for longer periods. However, factors like motivation, sleep, and nutrition can impact their ability to concentrate. By recognizing these influences and implementing strategies to enhance attention, parents can support their children's academic success.   Parenting Tips  Engage and Enjoy: Encourage longer focus by introducing tasks in engaging and enjoyable ways. For example, instead of traditional methods, allow children to explore letters with chalk or Play-Doh. Notice and discuss interesting details in the environment to demonstrate the importance of paying attention. Clear Instructions: Provide clear and concise instructions while maintaining close physical proximity. Make eye contact, stand at the same eye level, or touch the child's shoulder to help them better focus on the task at hand. Reduce Distractions: Identify and minimise distractions that hinder attention. Ensure children are well-rested and nourished with healthy snacks to support concentration. Break tasks into smaller steps and offer short reminders rather than lengthy explanations. Encourage Physical Activity: Promote an active lifestyle to improve attention span, cognitive processing speed, and academic performance. Encourage participation in sports and physical activities to enhance concentration and overall well-being.   Creativity  Artistic potential Artistic potential is a beacon of creativity and expression in every child. It represents the uniqueness to perceive the world through a lens of imagination and innovation. Whether it's through painting, music, dance, or any other form of artistic endeavor, nurturing this potential is vital for fostering a child's creativity, self-expression, and emotional well-being. By recognizing and encouraging artistic talent from an early age, parents and educators can unlock a world of limitless possibilities for children to explore and create.   Parenting Tips Parents are able to help their children to reach their gifted potential. In order to explore their curiosity and stimulate their creative ability, the education team from Bright Horizons has suggested a few ways that can nurture their creativity. Encourage Outdoor Exploration: Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, and problem-solving. Spend some time at the beach, seaside, and the park; camping, lying on the ground and looking up at the sky. Being close to the natural world inspires children to think, question, do some guesswork, as well as develop creative minds. Promote Imaginative Play: Encourage your children to play house, doctor, farm, space station and etc. able to help him to organize his thoughts while developing social and verbal skills. Join your children and let your children lead your playtime together. Foster Creative Thinking: Asking questions that provoke imaginative and creative thinking is an effective way to invite your child to express his ideas and share his visions while giving him the message that his ideas are important. Limit electronic device usage: Since we are in the digital era, it would be tough parenting and nurturing imagination. Hence, it would be better if the use of electronic products is limited and engage the children in creative activities such as imaginative play, reading, drawing, etc. Support Independent Exploration: Let the children work through what they are doing on their own. Give chances for them to figure out what and how to do it in certain situations. Allow them the freedom and autonomy to explore their ideas in order to avoid the feeling of forcing. Entrepreneurship Skills  Entrepreneurship potential The idea of raising a child to become entrepreneurs, owning and leading his own projects, skills development, mastering the art of marketing, management and problem solving. Forming child entrepreneurs from kindergarten stage is important and contributes in forming global entrepreneurs in the future. It can be argued that successful entrepreneurs were born with attributes that made them successful like an open mind and competitive spirit, but not to forget, entrepreneurship also requires skills that can be developed over time such as courage, creativity and stress management.   Parenting Tips To cultivate entrepreneurial spirit in your children from young, parents are advised to:  Help children to set effective goals: Setting goals can help children develop grit. It also teaches them to take responsibility for their own actions and promotes a "can-do" attitude.  Let children solve their own problems: Resist the urge to fix all of your children's problems. Letting them solve their own problems encourages independent problem solving skills.  Foster creativity: Creativity is a key entrepreneurial trait. While your child's imagination is still developing, activities such as drama, music, dance, arts and crafts can foster their creativity.  Provide entrepreneurial education: Entrepreneurial training helps to develop entrepreneurs' minds and ability to identify opportunity.   Language Early language development plays an important role in child development. Early childhood language development is the process through which children learn to understand and communicate in a  language.  Children develop language at a quick rate from birth until the age of five. Learning language becomes substantially more difficult for most children after the age of five. Humans go through the same phases of language development. The age and rate at which a toddler accomplishes each milestone of language development, on the other hand, varies substantially for every child. The development of language is a reflection of the brain's growth and maturation.   Parenting Tips Gurgling to your baby: Foster early language development by engaging in vocal interactions with your baby, responding enthusiastically to their sounds and expressions. Talk to your kids more often: Encourage frequent conversations with your kids throughout the day, using simple language to describe activities and experiences. Read to your child more story books: Enhance language skills through regular storytime, reading age-appropriate books, and encouraging interactive discussions. Sing and play music to your baby: Stimulate language development by singing songs, playing music, and incorporating movement into your interactions with your child. Explain/narrate to your child what you are doing: Support language acquisition by narrating daily activities, describing actions and surroundings to help children learn new words and concepts.   Leadership Leadership in children is more than just a role—it's a valuable set of skills and qualities that shape their development and future success. From an early age, children exhibit leadership potential through their ability to influence, inspire, and collaborate with others. Cultivating leadership skills in children not only empowers them to take initiative and make positive contributions to their communities but also fosters confidence, resilience, and empathy. In today's dynamic and interconnected world, nurturing leadership abilities in children is essential for building a generation of capable and compassionate individuals who can thrive and lead with purpose.   Parenting Tips Experts suggested a few early environmental influences important for leadership development. Apply authoritative parenting style: Authoritative parents produce teenagers most likely for becoming effective leaders. These parents are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative. Teens with authoritative parents, who are given increasing independence as they mature, tend to be more socially competent and self-reliant than teens raised under other parenting styles. Encourage involvement in sports: Research has highlighted that many sports-related skills are transferable to leadership situations later in life. These include visioning, intellectualizing, cultivating self-efficacy, focus on winning, being self-interested, being competitive, being task and ego-oriented, and cultivating and enjoying the flow experience.   Mathematics Mathematics is more than just numbers and equations—it's a fundamental aspect of early childhood development that lays the groundwork for critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. From learning to count and recognize shapes to mastering complex mathematical concepts, children engage with mathematics in various ways as they grow and learn. Developing strong mathematical skills at a young age not only prepares children for academic success but also equips them with essential skills for navigating real-world challenges and opportunities.   Parenting Tips Encouraging your child's mathematical development starts with simple, everyday actions at home. Here are some practical tips for supporting your child's mathematical journey at every stage of development. Help children learn basic numeracy concepts: Introduce counting, shapes, and simple mathematical concepts through everyday activities and play. Use hands-on materials like blocks or toys to make learning fun and interactive. Engage in math learning activities at home: Encourage discussions about counting, quantities, and comparisons of values like more and less. Make counting purposeful by incorporating it into daily routines, such as counting snacks or toys. Involve children in activities like measuring ingredients while cooking or sorting items during household chores. Share positive attitudes about math: Model a positive attitude towards math by expressing enthusiasm and confidence in your own mathematical abilities. Encourage a growth mindset by emphasizing that everyone can learn and improve in math with effort and practice. Music  Musical aptitude Musical aptitude in children is a fascinating aspect of their development, encompassing their innate ability to perceive, understand, and create music. From an early age, children exhibit a range of musical behaviors, from singing and rhythmic movements to an affinity for specific instruments or styles. Nurturing this aptitude not only enhances their musical skills but also contributes to their overall cognitive, emotional, and social development.   Parenting Tips Unlocking the musical potential within children is a journey filled with discovery, joy, and growth. As parents, fostering their musical aptitude from an early age can lay the foundation for a lifelong passion and appreciation for music, these parenting tips will help cultivate their musical talents and nurture their love for music. Encourage professional musical training: By enrolling your child in programs like the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, which provides structured and professional musical instruction. Additionally, support their participation in ensemble groups or orchestras to further develop collaborative skills and gain valuable performance experience. Provide additional support and resources: Take your child to concerts and musical events to expose them to diverse styles of music and inspire their passion. Experiencing live performances can ignite their interest and deepen their appreciation for music.   Long Distance Running  Endurance sports Endurance sports are not just about speed; they're about determination, resilience, and pushing your limits. These activities challenge children to build stamina, improve their cardiovascular health, and develop mental toughness. From running and swimming to cycling and hiking, endurance sports offer a variety of opportunities for children to explore their physical strength and discover the thrill of going the distance.    Parenting Tips As guardians of their children's athletic journey, parents play a crucial role in providing guidance, support, and encouragement. Guide through Stages of Development: Early Years (age 6-12): Introduce your child to a variety of sports to explore their interests and abilities. Specializing Years (age 13-15): Provide support for their chosen sport by investing in coaching, equipment, and training facilities. Investment Years (age 16+): Transition to an advisory role as your child commits to higher levels of training and competition. Offer Emotional Support: Stay actively involved and interested in your child's sport, offering encouragement and emotional support. Help them navigate setbacks such as injuries or training pressure, fostering resilience and determination.   Sprinting  Sprint sports Sprint sports are all about speed, excitement, and pushing your limits to reach the finish line in record time. From dashing across the track to zooming through the water, sprint sports offer children the exhilarating thrill of rapid movement and intense competition.   Parenting Tips Here are some simple yet effective strategies to help children thrive in sprint sports, from fostering a love for running to promoting proper technique and fostering a positive mindset.  Encourage Regular Practice Sessions: Schedule regular practice sessions to help your child refine their sprinting technique and build speed and agility. Focus on short bursts of intense effort followed by adequate rest periods to maximize sprinting performance. Provide Proper Training Equipment: Ensure your child has access to appropriate footwear and attire suitable for sprinting activities to minimize the risk of injury and optimize performance. Invest in quality equipment such as starting blocks, timing devices, and resistance bands to enhance their training regimen. To better understand your child's talents and strengths, tools like the Decode Talent DNA Test can provide invaluable insights into their genetic and DNA towards various skills and strengths. This allows you to tailor your parenting approach, nurturing their talents and fostering their development in areas where they excel. The best part is, these skills are not limited to childhood but will benefit them throughout their lives, helping them succeed in various endeavors and pursue their passions with confidence. Check out our DNA Testing and start shaping a personalized parenting plan for your child's talent development today! To read more blogs, click here!
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A parent’s parenting style influences everything from a child's weight to their self-esteem and many more. The way parents communicate with their child and how they discipline them will have an impact on them for the rest of their life. As a parent, it is important to make sure your parenting style supports balanced growth and development. The combination of parenting strategies you use to raise your children is referred to as your parenting style.  In the 1960s, Diane Baumrind, a developmental psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, developed a widely used classification of parenting types. According to Baumrind, there are four different parenting types, each with its own distinct behaviour characteristics:AuthoritarianAuthoritativePermissiveUninvolvedAuthoritarian ParentingAuthoritarian parents often say things like “ Do what I say!”, “ Because I said so!” or “ If you do not listen, I will punish you!”. Those examples are not exhaustive and may not be expressed word for word, nonetheless, if those statements apply to you, you could be an authoritarian parent. Authoritarian parents have high demands and low responsiveness. They often insist that children should always obey the rules given without questioning. They are inclined to prevent children from participating in problem-solving challenges. Instead, they make up rules and apply them without respect for the views of their children. Instead of discipline, authoritarian parents resort to using punishments. Rather than teaching a child how to make better decisions, they spend their time making children feel guilty for their errors. Since their children’s views are not heard, children with authoritarian parents are more likely to have self-esteem issues. They can even become enraged or violent. Consequently, when faced with issues, rather than seeking ways to improve things in the future, these children tend to concentrate on their feelings of rage toward their parents. Since authoritarian parents are strict, their children may grow up to be/have:Good liars to please them and to avoid punishment.Low self-esteem. Poorer social skills.Working in a stressful environment. Less independent.Good academic achievers.  Authoritative ParentingAuthoritative parenting is characterized by having high demands and high responsiveness. This means parents set rules and impose boundaries by holding constructive discussions with their children and giving them direction and guidance. They have high standards for their children’s success and competence, but they are still warm and attentive. These parents offer rationale and explanations for their behaviour to their children. Explanations include a sense of understanding to children to educate them about beliefs, principles, and aspirations.Authoritative parents are warm and encouraging. They give their kids individuality and empower them to be independent. Authoritative parents devote time and effort to avoiding behavioural issues when they arise. Strong discipline techniques, such as praise and incentive programmes, are often used to promote healthy behaviour. Children who have been brought under strict authority are more likely to be/have:Happy and content.More independent.Good social skills​.Good academic success. Develop good self-esteem. Permissive parenting Permissive parenting is a type of parenting style characterized by low demands while maintaining high responsiveness.  Do you give a lot of freedom to your kids, rarely set household rules and always get your kid whatever they want? If you recognize yourself in those statements, you might be a permissive parent. Parents who adopt this parenting style place few demands on their children. Discipline is rare since these parents have poor standards for self-control and maturity.Parents who are permissive are forgiving, and more often than not, too forgiving. They usually only intervene when a serious issue arises. Permissive parents often play the role of the “Cool Parent” because permissive parents are more likely to play the part of a friend. They often allow their children to discuss their issues with them. While that is positive, they rarely discourage poor decisions or bad behaviour. When they do use ‘consequences’ as a means to correct their children’s behaviour, it is possible for children not to adhere to them. In other words, their children are let off the hook for their mistakes easily. If a child asks, parents may provide privileges or allow the child to exit time-out early if he or she agrees to be nice.Children who are raised by permissive parents tend to be/have:Low achievement in many areas.More aggressive behaviour. Low emotional intelligence. High risk of health problems.Low self-esteem. Uninvolved ParentingUninvolved parenting is characterized by having low demands and low responsiveness towards children. Uninvolved parents are oftentimes unaware of their children's activities. There aren't many rules established for the well-being of their children. Children’s don't get enough instruction, nurturing, or parental attention. Uninvolved parents expect their children to raise themselves. They may not devote much time or effort to meeting the basic needs of children. Uninvolved parenting can also be known as negligent parenting. A parent with mental health or substance abuse issues are likely to fall under this category, thus not being able to consistently meet a child's physical and emotional needs. With that being said, uninvolved parents’ negligence may not necessarily be on purpose. Parents without the stated issues may also be uninvolved towards their children’s holistic developmental needs. Uninvolved parents are unaware of their children's growth and they are often distracted by other issues such as their jobs, expenses and household management matters.Children who are raised by uninvolved parents may face issues like: Self-esteem problems.Anxiety or/and loneliness due to the lack of family support. Have an increased risk of substance abuse.Trust issues. Higher tendency to exhibit delinquency during adolescence.Decision making According to Baumrind, the best parenting style is authoritative parenting. Researchers and psychologists have discovered that authoritative parenting is consistently linked to the best outcomes in children based on decades of research. However, there are still inaccuracies and exceptions in some areas.Sometimes parents do not just fit into one category, so do not despair if there are times or areas where you tend to be permissive or authoritarian. Nonetheless, the key thing to take note of is a child requires high demand and high responsiveness to develop holistically and to pick up good qualities.However, parenting styles may change depending on the situation and time. Here are so factors to take into consideration when deciding:a) Culture Differences According to some studies, the authoritative style is not always associated with the best outcome. For example, in one study, researchers discovered that African American students with authoritative parents but no peer support performed poorly in academic. In another research, Asian-American students performed best in school when they had authoritarian parents and peer support.b) Child Temperament Children's behaviour can influence both the parent's decision and the outcome. Children with a sensitive temperament, for example, may be perceived as difficult, prompting parents to adopt a more authoritarian parenting style.According to a study, some aspects of child behaviour, such as sociable and aggressive behaviours, are better related to the child's temperament than with their parents' parenting style. This demonstrates that parenting style isn't the only factor that influences a child's development. To date, no study has conclusively disproved the benefits of authoritative parenting, because many others have consistently demonstrated its benefits.c) Parenting Style and PracticeThe distinction between parenting style and parenting practice is another factor many people get confused about.Parenting style is the emotional environment and influence under which parents raise their children. Parenting practices are specific actions that are implied in their parenting.While both parenting style and practices are intertwined, they are distinct. Two groups of parents may adopt the same parenting style but they may differ in how they use different parenting strategies, which may influence the degree of results. While both parents are authoritative, they have their own set of activities and rules for their children. Overall, we all know that one size does not fit all when it comes to parenting styles. As a responsible parent, you have the responsibility to maintain a good relationship with your child while also healthily maintaining your authority to ensure your child develops competence and abides by healthy standards. It is also critical to note that a child’s healthy development is multifactorial and complex, parents need to be knowledgeable and wise, while being flexible in how they adopt the right parenting style for their child’s personal needs, according to their inborn qualities and personality. ​References Baumrind. D. (1967). Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behaviour. Genet Psychol Monogr. 1967;75(1):43-88. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6032134Steinberg. L. and Dornbusch. S. (1992). Ethnic differences in adolescent achievement: An ecological perspective. American Psychologist. 1992;47(6):723-729.
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“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler YeatsDo today's parents think the same, or have parents kept their children in a bubble, keeping them away from any form of risks in their learning experiences? Parenting styles and parenting behaviours play an important role in strengthening and nurturing the style of child-rearing on various aspects that range from physical, social, and psychological well being [5]. There has been an uprising phenomena amongst modern day parents known as helicopter parenting. While this parenting style sprouts from good intentions, it has become the cause of many of the flaws in younger generations [4,6]. In point of fact, helicopter parenting is said to have increased the stress of 35% of college students and has negatively impacted their academic performance [13]. What is Helicopter Parenting? Helicopter parenting is also termed "lawnmower parenting," "cosseting parent," or "bulldoze parenting."[1]. In general, helicopter parenting refers to a parenting style by parents who pay extremely close attention to their kids to prevent any harm, physically and psychologically, to the extent of entanglement [3]. In other words, helicopter parenting usually manifests the sign of over controlling, overprotecting, and over perfecting their child's lives in a way that is a surfeit of responsible parenting [1], with the key characteristic of Helicopter parenting being "over".The term "helicopter parent" was first coined in Dr Haim Ginott's 1969 book "Between Parents and Teenager", the term where he described how parents would hover over their kids hovering them like helicopters [1,2].Such parents want their children to be secure, happy, successful and well-educated. Out of their protective parenting nature, they make significant emotional and financial investments in their children [9] to the point of making sure their children never face any challenges of any kind. One common example of helicopter parenting is exerting control over a child’s friendships by helping them decide whom a child should befriend or end a friendship. This may sound absurd to some parents, but many cannot help but intervene in every aspect of their children's life, including their social circle. Some other examples of helicopter parenting might include compelling a child to practice certain musical instruments that he or she might not be interested in. It may also include giving significant extra schoolwork to improve their child's academic learning and/or taking control of your child's activities or hobbies [4].For example, when a child wants to go skateboarding, they may be prevented from doing so because skateboarding is dangerous from the parent's perspective.This behaviour from excessive and paranoia-like cautiousness parents will restrict the child's performance and limit their neurological development. Hence, it is worthwhile to dive deeper into exploring the question of why parents act this way? What are the common factors that contribute to Helicopter Parenting?There are several plausible reasons to helicopter parenting. Some of the common factors that trigger helicopter parenting include:1. Feelings of anxietyParents may be anxious about their child's safety and success, resulting in them taking unrestrained control over their child’s life to protect them [4]. Also, due to the highly competitive world economy, job market, social norms and the competitive world in general, parents may feel compelled to make all attempts to safeguard their children from harm and help them succeed in life [4,7]. Out of their virtue of being responsible for their children's future wellbeing, parents may feel anxious that they cannot safeguard their future livelihood, causing them to overdeliver. 2. Competitive environment and an achievement-derived identityParents who send their children to attend competitive schools or who live in environments that demand high accomplishment might endeavour to assist their kids with prevailing through an intrusive parenting style. Some parents might overfocus to push their children to excel in every aspect, including academics, sports, music, etc. This competitive environment may cause parents to derive a sense of identity from their children’s achievements [4] and this in turn would contribute to parents being more competitive. 3. Pressure from peersOccasionally, parents may feel pressured to adjust to the parenting styles of their peers. Therefore, when parents surround themselves with over-parenting or helicopter parents it can pressure parents to adopt a similar parenting style. This is because parents may have a conscience and guilt that they think they are not a "good enough" parent if they do not live of to the "high standards" of their peers [1,8]. 4. Social backgroundDifferent parents from different backgrounds, regions, religions and other cultural milieus have different parenting norms. Some cultures encourage a highly participatory parenting style. 5. Fearing FailureParents might worry that their children have a low grade in academics, rejection from the eminent school or extracurricular team or a botched job interview. That concern is only normal for parents who wish the best for their children. Like all parents, helicopter parents want their children to be successful and excel in life, but they take a step too far by preventing their children from any exposure to harm and failures [10]. What are the long-term consequences of Helicopter Parenting?Most parents do not have the awareness of their own helicopter parenting, what more its consequences.Children raised by over-parenting or helicopter parents may suffer detrimental effects in the long run.According to Jessica Lachey, a teacher and author of the Atlantic and the New York Times, quote "today’s overprotective, failure-avoidant parenting style has undermined the competence, independence, and academic potential of an entire generation."So, what are the long-term consequences on children from helicopter parenting?1. Reduce self-esteem and confidence.Dr Anne Dunnewold, a PhD holder and licensed psychologist, said that “The main problem with helicopter parenting is that it backfires." [1] The over-involvement of the parent may cause the child to believe that, when they do something independently, their parents will not trust them. In turn, it may lead to decreased self-esteem and confidence in the child [1,3]. To a certain extent, this parenting style may denude the children to be creative, think divergently, build resilience, problem solve and have coping skills [3]. Ironically, the more parents get involved, it does more harm than good as these children perceive their parent's involvement as a testimony to their own lack of capabilities. Constant unrestrained involvement will only reinforce the child's lack of confidence. 2. Children lack coping skills and frustration toleranceA study highlighted that children raised by over-involved or over-controlling parents may feel less competent and less able to deal with life and its stressors [11]. When parents intervene to make decisions or help to prevent the problem, children can never have the opportunity to learn from failure, disappointment or loss. Parents may perceive their intervention as care, but little do they know they are robbing their children's opportunity to learn from experiences, including failures. Life lessons are critical to improve children's emotional intelligence. As children grow into a younger adult, they must be able to handle the disagreement, uncertainty, frustration, or the difficult decision-making process that are inevitable in the world. Hence, without these important psychological attributes, it will be arduous for them to enter school and/or the workplace in the future [3]. As the saying goes "Failure is the mother of success" and contrary to our beliefs, failure is an important element for a child to learn character like grit and perseverance. To put it in another way, without early childhood experiences of falling, children won't learn how to pick themselves up when they grow into their adulthood. 3. Depression and AnxietyA research study done in 2014 proposed that college students raised by helicopter parents tend to be anxious or depressed [9]. This is because when children are always provided with parental guidance, they are “programmed” to simply make decisions upon approval from their parents; and without parental guidance, they end up becoming too nervous and anxious to make decisions. Additionally, the low self-confidence and fear of failure caused by helicopter parenting can lead to depression and anxiety, as these children are less open to new ideas and activities and are more vulnerable, anxious and self-conscious [3]. The protective bubble that helicopter parents built around their children in their childhood and teenage years has prevented them to learn how to cope with difficulties in the real world, making them very susceptible to mental breakdowns when they face an obstacle in their adulthood. 4. Less autonomous and dependenceHelicopter parents who tend to overprotect their children can cause them harm indirectly by withholding their autonomy and dependence. For example, parents who always help children clean their plates, tie shoes, monitor school progress and launder clothes, may prevent them from mastering these skills themselves and in turn, they become less autonomous and dependent [12]. Hence, it is vital for parents to exploit adaptive control techniques and appropriate independent parenting approaches to allow their children to be more autonomous and dependent as they grow up.5. Sense of entitlement complexChildren who always have their parents accustomed to their social, academic, hobby or sports activities can also develop a sense of entitlement by getting used to always doing things their parent's way. As a result, this can lead to them demanding their parents because they may think it is their right to have what they want [1,3]. This may cause an eventual strain in the family relationship in the long run. In brief, parenting style plays an important role in the growth and development of children. It is crucial to take note of how the parenting style adopted on your child affect them now and in the future.Lady Bird Johnson, an American socialite who served as the first lady of the United States said that “Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.”. Indeed, “support” may be more beneficial to help children reach their potential as compared to “over-protection”.ReferencesBayless, K. (2019, December 5). What Is Helicopter Parenting? Parents. https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/what-is-helicopter-parenting/ Helicopter Parenting. Touchstone Counselling Group. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://tchstone.ca/blog/helicopter-parenting/Gilbert, N. (2021, November 30). Helicopter Parenting: The Consequences. International School Parent. https://www.internationalschoolparent.com/articles/helicopter-parenting-the-consequences/Helicopter Parenting. (2018, August 23). GoodTherapy.Org Therapy Blog.https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/helicopter-parenting#:%7E:text=Some%20examples%20of%20helicopter%20parenting,child%20should%20end%20a%20friendship. Srivastav, D., & Mathur, M. L. (2020). Helicopter parenting and adolescent development: from the perspective of mental health. In Parenting-Studies by an Ecocultural and Transactional Perspective. IntechOpen. LeMoyne, T., & Buchanan, T. (2011). Does “hovering” matter? Helicopter parenting and its effect on well-being. Sociological Spectrum, 31(4), 399-418.Li, M. P. S. (2022, March 10). Causes, Signs and Effects of Overprotective Parents. Parenting For Brain. https://www.parentingforbrain.com/overprotective-parents/#:%7E:text=Some%20parents%20are%20overprotective%20because,to%20improve%20their%20child’s%20outcome. Higuera, V. (2019, September 12). What Is Helicopter Parenting? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/helicopter-parenting#benefitsUlutas, I., & Aksoy, A. B. (2014). The impact of helicopter parenting on the social connectedness and anxiety level of university students. In International Academic Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities.Battles, M. (2017, August 2). Why Do Parents Become Helicopter Parents. Lifehack. https://www.lifehack.org/615506/why-do-parents-become-helicopter-parents Schiffrin, H. H., Liss, M., Miles-McLean, H., Geary, K. A., Erchull, M. J., & Tashner, T. (2014). Helping or hovering? The effects of helicopter parenting on college students’ well-being. Journal of child and family studies, 23(3), 548-557.Hodgekiss, A. (2013, February 14). Children with controlling “helicopter parents” are more likely to be depressed. Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2278596/Children-controlling-helicopter-parents-likely-depressed.htmlBahr, K., & Fanning, A. (2018). Stop Hovering Over Me! The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on the Millennial Generation. 
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Who are the Gen Zers?According to the Pew Research Centre, generation Z refers to the people who were born between 1997 to 2012 [1]. In America alone, they have become the largest generation, constituting 27% of the US population [2]. The Gen Zers are often stereotyped as tech-savvy, anti-social, “influencers”, “Tik Tokers”, and “social justice warrior” given that they were raised in the digital era of the internet and social media [2]. Several influential Gen Zers include iconic quirky goth-meets-rave Billie Eilish as well as environmental activist Greta Thunberg and many more [3].Generation Z has emerged as a population worthy of attention and many people have expressed interest in understanding Gen Zers as they are now entering adulthood and in the recent years, they are making a debut into the workforce. According to Sue Bhatia in her article “Make Way for Generation Z”, it was noted that by 2020, the Gen Zers makes up 20% of the workforce and the upcoming generation is expected to bring about a sea-change in the workforce landscape due to their values and culture [4]. Various social science researchers are observing the trend and gaining insights on the differences that the Gen Zers have in comparison to the other generations in terms of their demographics as well as their characteristics and their implications at the workplace.Similarly like the other workers from generations X and Y, they also face certain struggles at their workplace. Their difficulties might also be heightened due to the fact that they had to brave through a period of financial insecurity in life and complete tertiary education during unprecedented times of pandemic as well as encounter uncertain future expectations of their employability after they have started working amid the endemic.​Jason Wingard from Forbes wrote in his article, “‘The Great Resignation’: Why Gen Z is Leaving The Workforce In Droves…And What To Do About It” noted that from 56% of those ages 18-24 among 5500 workers wrote in Adobe survey that they are planning to switch jobs in the following year [5]. Not only that, according to the research conducted by Microsoft and Bankrate, it was reported that 54% and 77% of the Gen Zers, respectively are thinking about quitting [5].What is causing this phenomenon called “The Great Resignation”?According to the same survey by Adobe, 53% of them had expressed that they would like to spend more time at work pursuing their passions [5]. In addition, the remote workers had noted that they have been experiencing burnout due to their employers’ expectation to “look busy” which then leads to 44% working longer hours and 37% skipping lunch breaks, as well as one-third of their workweek, was spent on mundane, repetitive tasks, with 86% stating that the tasks got in the way of doing their jobs productively [5]. For that reason, the patterns in the workplace cause burnout which consequently leads to disengagement and reduction in the number of employees [5].In another survey conducted by the Workforce Confidence survey, it was noted that 65% of the Gen Zers have either switched industries or are considering doing so [6]. This workplace exodus is happening as they are seeking greener pastures. There are several reasons which are factored in when looking for better career prospects such as better compensation, better alignment with interests or values, more opportunities to move or increase responsibilities, better benefits, better job stability, and more flexible working hour [6]. However, some of them stay in their current industries due to some of them actually enjoying their work nature and some would like to build their industry expertise as well as they would like to continue to apply, hone and grow the skills that they possess [6].Furthermore, The Great Resignation might occur due to the Gen Zers’ choice to work based on their cultural fit rather than based on the job description [4]. Usually, what Gen Zers look for in their future employer is whether the company’s values align with theirs [4]. Last but not least, several Gen Zers stated that they are more likely to start their own company when they think that a business or company is not providing the work culture that they wanted [4]. Hence, as a result of their difficulties in finding the suitable industries or the right career match in their next workplace which they will set foot in, they are often left in the dark about what kind of helpful framework that they can draw from that is able to assist them in making well-informed decisions about their career pathways.Are you a Gen Z who is clueless about your own career potential and inborn skills that you can apply at your workplace? Are you curious about what kind of work culture that you could fit in your next workplace?Check out our newly launched Career Development DNA Test which analyses 105 single nucleotide polymorphisms in your genes that are associated with your inborn personality traits and aptitude. A stringent process is conducted in carrying out the DNA testing and it also involves the application of the most widely recognized and utilized model of personality used by human resource experts which is the Big Five personality. Understanding your natural aptitudes through the Career Development DNA Test would not only help to provide insightful perspectives on your personalities, talents, and other capabilities, it would also assist you to make a well-informed decision to identify the career type that is a good match for you. Also, knowing your genetic potential would help you to foster a good relationship with your colleagues which could then boost your productivity at your workplace.For more updates on our products and offers, follow us on​ Facebook and Instagram!
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Health issues are one of the most concerning issues in Malaysia, owing primarily to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). According to the World Health Organization, NCDs kill 41 million people each year, accounting for 71% of all deaths worldwide.But first, what exactly is a non-communicable disease? Non-communicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are long-term illnesses caused by a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioural factors. Non-communicable diseases affect people of all ages and countries. There are over 50 examples of NCDs, but the most common NCDs are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. These diseases are responsible for nearly 70% of all deaths worldwide (Cirino, 2018)NCDs are mainly caused by unhealthy diets, the excessive use of alcohol and tobacco, smoking and second-hand smoke, as well as the lack of physical activities. Healthy living can prevent diseases. This is due to the fact that each of these chronic diseases has common conditions or risk factors that are associated with your daily choices and personal health habits. For example, an unhealthy diet can result in obesity, which may be a risk factor for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes; and smoking may be a major reason behind lung cancer, additionally as putting you at high risk for heart condition and certain cancers.To fight NCDs, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of these diseases. Some healthy lifestyle include:Regular exercise Exercising keeps your body healthy and improves your brain and muscle strength by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and assisting your cardiovascular system in working more efficiently.Stop smokingSmoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Second-hand smoke has an impact on those around the smoker. Quitting smoking can reduce risks and save lives of many. Eat healthy foodA healthy and balanced diet is important in reducing the risk of NCDs. Too much sugar causes diabetes, and too much salt causes hypertension. It is important to consume food in moderation and to ensure adequate nutrition in the diet.Limit your alcohol consumptionConsuming excessive amount of alcohol can cause a variety of cancers as it causes cell damage in the body. Drinking in moderation is the best option.Be screened or tested regularlyGetting annual medical check-ups is important to be aware of your health risks because prevention is better than cure.“Understanding health risks is key to making your own health care decisions,” says Dr. William Elwood, a psychologist and behavioural scientist at National Institutes of Health. It gives the perspective on potential harms and benefits, so you can make smart choices based on facts and not fears.Health risks are often puzzling, but they're important to know.  Knowing the risks that you may simply encounter can aid you in avoiding health problems. A health risk is the possibility or likelihood that something will harm or negatively impact your health. Risk does not imply that something bad will undoubtedly occur. It is only a possibility. Several factors, referred to as risk factors influence whether your health risks are high or low.Making a lifestyle change is not easy. It takes time to create new habits. You can learn to make healthier choices and lower your risk of chronic diseases by understanding the stages of change, starting small, and setting goals. Check out Absolute Genetic Technologies, Decode Health DNA Test to learn more on your genetic health risks!REFERENCES:Cirino, E. (2018, June 14). Noncommunicable diseases list: 50 noninfectious diseases. Healthline. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/non-communicable-diseases-list Tamese, M. (2019, May 17). October 2016 issue of NIH News in health now available!: Newsbits. NewsBits | News for the NNLM Pacific Southwest Region. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://news.nnlm.gov/psr-newsbits/october-2016-issue-of-nih-news-in-health-now-available/ Wein, H. (2017, September 8). Understanding health risks. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/10/understanding-health-risks World Health Organization. (2021, April 13). Non communicable diseases. World Health Organization. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases
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According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is defined by both the process and outcome of adapting successfully to setbacks, difficulties or challenges in life. Resilience also means that you are mentally, emotionally and have the behavioral flexibility to adapt and adjust to encounter adversities.In easier words, resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back up when things are not going as planned. Resilient people will not dwell and be constantly sad about the failures they are facing, instead, they acknowledge the situation, analyze their mistakes, and move forward.How we perceive adversity hugely affects our success, hence, having a resilient attitude and mindset is important. Dr. Cal Crow from Centre for Learning Connections have identified some attributes that are commonly seen in resilient people:Resilient people have a positive outlook of the future.Resilient people have solid, well-grounded goals and the will to achieve the goals.Resilient people never blame themselves and dwell for a long time, but they focus on their strategies to bounce back up.However, it should be noted that it takes skills and efforts to be a resilient person. Building yourself to be resilient requires time, strength and assistance from people around you, and of course, it requires your positive mindset and will. In addition, being resilient also does not mean that they do not experience any adversities such as stress or emotional upheaval. They will definitely face setbacks along the way. In fact, facing those sufferings are part of displaying resilience. It all depends on how well you handle them while continuing to move forward.On top of that, resilience is not a fixed or constant trait. You might see that you demonstrate different resilience levels when dealing with different kinds of challenges. You may be resilient when facing with one challenge but struggle a lot more to be resilient in another challenge.By changing certain thoughts and behaviours, people can tap into their resilience through flexibility, adaptability, and perseverance. According to research, when students believe that they can develop both intellectual abilities and social skills, they increase their own resilience, resulting in a lower stress response to adversity and improved performance.Susan Kobasa, in her research, mentioned that there are three elements that appear to be essentially effective for instilling resilience in a person:1. Challenge – People with high resilience view adversities as challenges and learn from their mistakes to grow and improve. They do not reflect them as negative outcomes or what more downgrading themselves.2. Commitment – Resilient people have goals, and they have the desire to be committed to achieve the goals. Having goals, is one of the biggest reasons that made them to be resilient, because it makes them feel that they have purpose to accomplish in life. No matter how hard the obstacles are, they will constantly commit to find solutions, alternatives and apply problem-solving approach in life to work towards their goals.3. Personal Control – Resilient people tend to not look back and have very high focus on the things ahead of them that they have control over. They believe, dwelling over failures will not bring any benefits to them. People enter adulthood with varying levels of emotional resilience, however, those who want to improve their resilience can do so by becoming more proactive and taking a committed approach in their lives. Additionally, developing emotional resilience entails learning to interpret and face adversity as a personal challenge to be overcome. Reconstructing your goals and purpose are also some other alternatives to stand up in resilience. Perhaps by repurposing your goals, you can be more inspired to work on them and could also possibly lead you to a more productive direction. Resilience is one of the traits that exists in your genes, and it can be decoded so you are able to know your resilience level. If you are curious about your resilience or  someone who would like to get to know more about the trait and improve on it, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test! Not just the trait for resilience, you will also get to know more about your other traits that can help in your self-growth! Visit our website (https://www.agtgenetics.com/our-tests.html) to know more about our tests! REFERENCES: American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Resilience. American Psychological Association. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/topics/resilienceDeveloping resilience: Overcoming and growing from setbacks. MindTools.com. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/resilience.htmHurley, K., Sood, A., Mooney, K., Ellin, A., Kilroy, D. S., Kraft, A., Rauf, D., & DiGiulio, S. (n.d.). What is resilience? definition, types, building resiliency, benefits, and resources. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/resilience/Newman, K. (n.d.). Five science-backed strategies to build resilience. Five Science-backed Strategies to Build Resilience. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_science_backed_strategies_to_build_resilienceResilience: Hardiness. Mental Help Resilience Hardiness. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.mentalhelp.net/emotional-resilience/hardiness/
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“Change is The Only Constant in Life”The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus provided an accurate description of life. It's a fact that not everything in life goes according to plan. Unexpected events, such as moving to a new place, changing careers, or going through tough times, can happen to anyone. Uncertainty is a natural part of life, whether it arises from significant changes in our lives, or from dealing with a global crisis like a pandemic.It's difficult to live in uncertainty. Just like our basic need for food and shelter, we also require information about the future. When things feel uncertain, our brains kick in with a stress response, in an effort to protect us. Our minds wouldn’t be at rest until things are back to being certain and clear. However, as we learn to navigate through uncertainty, we also build resilience and adaptability, making us stronger for whatever lies ahead. As a parent, you may have noticed that your child can sometimes struggle with uncertainty. Whether it's starting at a new school, making new friends, or dealing with changes in the family, they are on their own unique journey that can be full of uncertainty. Helping your child understand and cope with these life surprises can provide them with a steady guide to growing up and make it an exciting adventure rather than a bumpy ride. In this article, we aim to provide you with some insights into your child's fear of uncertainty and give you the tools you need to help them navigate the unpredictability of life more effectively.Identifying Fear of Uncertainty in Your ChildTo start off, it's important to recognize when your child is feeling uncertain. Studies show that even little ones can sense when things are uncertain, even if they can't quite put it into words. Instead of directly saying they feel worried or unsure, kids might show it in more subtle ways. You might observe them expressing their feelings of uncertainty through:Physical ResponsesTantrums, meltdowns, hitting, throwing or breaking items.Emotional ResponsesCrying, withdrawing, feelings of anger, frustration, fear or anxiety.Behavioral ResponsesAvoiding situations, hesitating, not following instructions or not listening to parents or teachers.The Neuroscience of Fear of UncertaintyNow let's look inside your child's brain, where the fear of uncertainty takes center stage and uncover how gene influences this intricate dance. There is a region of the brain that is responsible for controlling anxiety called the ‘Amygdala’. Imagine the brain as a bustling city, with the Amygdala as the guardian on high alert. In times of uncertainty, the Amygdala signals danger, releasing stress chemicals. This old protection system, which is essential for survival, has been a constant companion for thousands of years.Now picture the brain as having two friendly neighbors: the logical left brain and the emotional right brain. The left brain prefers order and language, whereas the right brain is more concerned with emotions and the big picture. During anxiety, the right brain tends to take over, resulting in a whirlpool of feelings that may be overwhelming and not make sense straight away.Now, enter the COMT gene, the genetic architect influencing how the brain handles stress. There are two variants: the ‘Worrier’ and the ‘Warrior’. The Worrier variant break down stress chemicals slower causing individuals with the ‘Worrier’ gene to perform well in low-stress conditions but struggle with uncertainty, being prone to worry and anxiety. On the other hand, the ‘Warrior’ variant breaks down stress chemicals faster causing individuals with the ‘Warrior’ variant to thrive under pressure, benefiting from stress as the motivation. When children with the ‘Worrier’ gene variant face uncertainty, the Amygdala's alarm ring louder. Their emotional side of the brain (right brain), guided by the COMT gene, can take the lead, making feelings more intense.  The logical left brain may find it a bit challenging to make sense of this emotional whirlwind.For Children with the ‘Worrier’ gene variant, focusing on school projects and focused tasks can be a strength, thanks to their excellent attention and memory skills. Yet, they might struggle with worries and anxiety during stressful situations, like navigating social dynamics or facing constant academic pressure. On the other hand, children with the ‘Warrior’ gene variant excels in handling pressure, thriving in sports events and time-sensitive tasks. However, it's crucial to help them strike a balance. Even though they handle stress well, ensuring they don't overlook the long-term impact is essential for their emotional well-being.It is noteworthy to recognise that there is no superior or inferior gene variant. Each variant has its own unique advantages. As parents, our responsibility is to support our child's genetic potential by providing an environment that meets their specific needs. To help your child thrive, here are some tips for creating the best possible environment for children with ‘Worrier’ and ‘Warrior’ gene variants:Best Environment for Children with the ‘WORRIER’ Gene Variant:Best EnvironmentExplanationSuggestion1. Stability and RoutineChildren with the ‘Worrier’ variant often thrive in stable environments with predictable routines. This predictability can reduce anxiety triggered by uncertainty.Establish a consistent daily schedule for activities like meals, homework and bedtime. This structure can provide a sense of security and reduce stress.2. Gentle EncouragementEncourage new experiences and challenges in a gentle, supportive manner, without pushing too hard.If your child is anxious about joining a sports team, start with attending games as a spectator, gradually moving to participating in practice sessions before joining the team.3. Emotional SupportOffer plenty of emotional support and validation. Acknowledge their feelings and teach them coping mechanisms for anxiety.Practice deep breathing or mindfulness exercises together when they feel overwhelmed, showing them practical ways to manage anxiety.Best Environment for Children with the ‘WARRIOR’ Gene Variant:Best EnvironmentExplanationSuggestion1. Challenge and Physical ActivityChildren with the ‘Warrior’ variant often benefit from environments that offer physical challenges and opportunities for exploration.Encourage participation in sports, outdoor adventures, or other physical activities that channel their energy and resilience positively.2. Intellectual StimulationProvide opportunities for problem-solving and critical thinking to engage their minds and satisfy their curiosity.Introduce them to strategic games, science projects, or debate clubs that stimulate their intellectual engagement.3. Autonomy and ResponsibilityAllow them some autonomy to make decisions and take on responsibilities, fostering their natural leadership qualities and confidence.Let them choose extracurricular activities or lead a small household project, giving them a sense of control and accomplishment.Calming the Emotional & Logical Side of BrainAs parents, guiding your children to stay calm while managing their big emotions is vital. We can achieve this by helping them balance the logical left side and emotional right side of the brain. Let's explore a practical way to calm the Amygdala for each side of the brain:Right Side - EmotionalLeft Side - LogicalExplanation:The Right side of the brain is non-verbal and emotional, where your child experiences and processes emotions.The Left side of the brain is logical and analytical, helping your child make sense of their experiences.How to Calm: Empathy and ValidationIdentification and Labelling of EmotionPractical Demonstration:When they express anxiety, listen empathetically, and validate their feelings. "I understand that uncertainty can be challenging for you. Your feelings are valid."Encourage them to identify and label their emotions. "Let's figure out what you're feeling. Are you more worried, excited, or a mix of both?"It's crucial to understand that when a child is experiencing an emotional outburst such as crying or throwing a tantrum, their emotional brain takes over. Trying to reason with them using their logical brain will likely be ineffective because their emotional brain is in control. For example, if your child is having a tantrum because they don’t want to go to school on the first day, saying things like "Get up! Stand up now! People are watching. I'm leaving you here." is actually an attempt to engage their logical brain and make them consider the consequences of their actions. However, this approach is unlikely to calm them down but might rather even aggravate the tantrum. Instead, it's best to show empathy and validation first (calm the emotional brain), and once they have calmed down, you can help them identify and label their emotions (engage the logical brain). In response to the child's school-related tantrum, you could say, "I understand it might be scary to go to a new place. It's okay to feel nervous. Let's talk about it together" (Empathy and Validation). After the child has calmed down, you might say, "It seemed like you were feeling really anxious about the first day of school. It's okay to feel that way. What specific thoughts or feelings were on your mind?" (Identification and Labelling of Emotion). It's really important to help our kids handle the ups and downs that come with uncertainty. Finding a balance between their logical thinking and emotional feelings is a big part of making sure they can deal with uncertainties in a good way. Offering a listening ear and understanding when they're upset, along with helping them put a name to their feelings creates a nice balance for them. It's all about making sure their hearts and minds work together smoothly! How To Teach Children to Effectively Deal with UncertaintyNo matter how much we try to protect our children, they'll still face uncertainties in their everyday life. Here are some recommendations on how to teach your child to deal with the uncertainties of life: Encourage Your Child to Embrace Uncertainty & Reflect on Past Wins Tell your child that change may be beneficial, but we must work for it to make it so. Ask your child to recall a moment when they were unsure about a change, but it turned out to be good. Life is filled with uncertainties, and at one point of another, everyone has successfully conquered them. When your child realises that they've conquered uncertainties before, it can empower them to tackle each day with optimism. Share stories of past uncertainties they've overcome to boost their confidence and resilience.For instance, if it's the first day at a new school, tears and fears won't change the fact they need to go. Remind them that their first day in kindergarten was uncertain too, but they still managed to thrive and made friends. A positive and calm attitude can help them quickly make new friends and adapt. Acknowledge Their FeelingsYour aim is to listen, try to understand and let them know it's okay to feel that way, even if you don't see a reason for them to be anxious. Here are some helpful phrases to use and harmful phrases to avoid in making sure your child feels acknowledged:HarmfulHelpful“Don’t be scared.”Reason: Dismisses feeling.It implies that their fear is not valid or reasonable."I can see you're a bit anxious about meeting new people. It's normal to feel that way, and I'm here to support you as you navigate social situations." “You’ll be fine.”Reason: Promises of safety.You can't promise your child will never be injured riding a bike or they will never fail a test or they will never be in an embarrassing social situation.“I notice you might be a little uneasy about taking on the challenge of riding your bike, but don't worry, I'll be right there beside you, offering guidance and support as you learn.”“Are you worried about winning your upcoming public speaking competition?”Reason: Leads to anxiety.It directly suggests a potential source of stress."How are you feeling about your upcoming public speaking competition?"Keep Moving ForwardGuide your child to avoid dwelling on things beyond their control. Worrying will not change the outcome and focusing on the bad will only increase anxiety. Encourage them to face uncertainties head-on and move forward. It's worth mentioning that avoiding situations that make us anxious or nervous actually makes anxiety stronger. Confronting our fears safely weakens anxiety. “Do it scared” is a great mindset to live by. The anxiety may not vanish completely, but facing tasks despite fear is the most effective way to cope. Here are some ways to encourage your child to do it even when they’re feeling scared:Break down daunting tasks into smaller manageable steps.Practice activities that cause anxiety in a safe environment.Challenge them to do one thing even when they feel afraid this week.Show confidence in your ability to support them through any challenge, reassuring them that nervousness lessens with practice.Teach them to assess evidence. Our fears often stem from our thoughts about ourselves and the world. Help your child consider evidence for and against their anxious thoughts. Use past experiences of overcoming worries as examples.Find the Hidden TreasureHelp your child see uncertainty as a thrilling treasure hunt where surprises await. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, encourage them to come up with three to five positive outcomes that they can look forward to. Let's say your child is uncertain about starting a new school. Help them envision positive outcomes such as:Making new friends.Discovering exciting subjects to learn.Creating fond memories with teachers and friends.Life is a journey full of changes and surprises, just like Heraclitus said so long ago. Whether it’s big changes happening around the world or the little challenges our kids face, uncertainty can always feel so daunting. But as parents, we're like guides helping our kids navigate through it all. By tuning into how their brains work and being there for them with love and support, we're giving them the superpowers to handle uncertainties like the little champions they are!  Equip yourself with the knowledge to empower your child on their journey through life. Discover their unique strengths and tendencies with our Decode Talent DNA Test (DTDT). Understanding is the first step to empowering your child against the challenges of uncertainty. Do visit us at www.agtgenetics.com for more information.References:Kim, S., Sodian, B., & Proust, J. (2020). 12- and 24-Month-Old Infants’ Search Behavior Under Informational Uncertainty. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00566Parent Toolkit: Managing Uncertainty in Children | Psychology and Counselling. | Psychology and Counselling. https://emotion-focused.com.au/parent-toolkit-managing-uncertainty-in-children/Davis, M. (1992). The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Anxiety. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 15(1), 353–375. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ne.15.030192.002033FeldmanHall, O., Glimcher, P., Baker, A. L., & Phelps, E. A. (2019). The Functional Roles of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex in Processing Uncertainty. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 31(11), 1742–1754. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01443 ‌Fox, A. S., Oler, J. A., Tromp, D. P. M., Fudge, J. L., & Kalin, N. H. (2015). Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing. Trends in Neurosciences, 38(5), 319–329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2015.03.002Hellige, J. B. (1993). Hemispheric Asymmetry: What’s Right and What’s Left. Harvard University Press.Hobeika, L., Capucine Diard-Detoeuf, Garcin, B., Levy, R. H., & Volle, E. (2016). General and specialized brain correlates for analogical reasoning: A meta-analysis of functional imaging studies. 37(5), 1953–1969. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.23149Borod, J. C., Cicero, B. A., Obler, L. K., Welkowitz, J., Erhan, H. M., Santschi, C., Grunwald, I. S., Agosti, R. M., & Whalen, J. R. (1998). Right hemisphere emotional perception: Evidence across multiple channels. Neuropsychology, 12(3), 446–458. https://doi.org/10.1037/0894-4105.12.3.446Borod, J. C. (2000). The neuropsychology of emotion. Oxford University Press.Armbruster, D., Mueller, A., Strobel, A., Lesch, K.-P., Brocke, B., & Kirschbaum, C. (2012). Children under stress – COMT genotype and stressful life events predict cortisol increase in an acute social stress paradigm. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 15(9), 1229–1239. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145711001763Dixon, T. (2023, July 11). The Warrior / Worrier Hypothesis. IB Psychology. https://www.themantic-education.com/ibpsych/2023/07/12/the-warrior-worrier-hypothesis/Porta-Casteràs, D., Fullana, M., Tinoco, D., Martínez-Zalacaín, I., Pujol, J., Palao, D., Soriano-Mas, C., Harrison, B., Via, E., & Cardoner, N. (2020). Prefrontal-amygdala connectivity in trait anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder: Testing the boundaries between healthy and pathological worries. Journal of Affective Disorders, 267, 211–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.02.029Francis, A. (2023, September 20). The left brain and right brain: Help your child regulate their emotions. Sonshine. https://sonshine.com.au/the-left-brain-and-right-brain-help-your-child-regulate-their-emotions/
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Agreeableness is one of the many brilliant colors that shine brilliantly in the rainbow of personality qualities that distinguish each child. In their contacts with the outside world, agreeable children have a special charm that promotes harmony, generosity, and cooperation. In this blog, we'll explore the wonders of agreeableness traits in children, delving into their significance, impact on personal development, and strategies for nurturing these qualities. The Allure of AgreeablenessAgreeableness, one of the five personality traits in the Five-Factor Model, encompasses qualities such as compassion, empathy, cooperation, and a genuine concern for others. Agreeableness is the personality trait responsible for communal and pro-social behavior, or behavior that benefits others. Agreeableness children who exhibit high levels of agreeableness tend to be warm-hearted, understanding, and adept at forming positive connections with their peers, making them a joy to be around. Why Agreeableness Matters?It's interesting to note the relationship between agreeableness and success in careers demanding a lot of interpersonal interaction. According to Mount et al. (1998), agreeableness becomes a crucial predictor, especially when the interaction involves supporting, fostering, and assisting others in a group environment.This realization highlights the value of developing agreeableness attributes from an early age by drawing comparisons to children. Children who acquire these traits may find themselves better prepared for social harmony, cooperation, and good interactions throughout their lives, much as adults benefit from agreeableness in team-based job contexts. Here's how the findings in the workplace can be related to children's development:Teamwork in ChildhoodEncouraging teamwork among children becomes crucial. Group activities and collaborative projects provide opportunities for them to practice and develop agreeable traits such as cooperation and helpfulness. Positive CommunicationAgreeableness in the workplace often hinges on effective communication. Teaching children to express themselves respectfully, actively listen, and communicate their needs fosters positive interactions, mirroring the communication skills seen in agreeable adults. Counteracting Negative BehaviorsThe study suggests that individuals low in agreeableness may engage in counterproductive behaviors. In a child's context, addressing and redirecting disagreeable behaviors early on can be crucial for their social and emotional development. Promoting ToleranceTolerance is a key facet of agreeableness. Teaching children to be open-minded, accepting of differences, and respectful of others' opinions contributes to the development of this trait. Nurturing Agreeableness in ChildrenIn the development of agreeableness in individuals, the interplay between innate personality traits and external circumstances is crucial. To foster agreeableness in children, three key elements have been identified:Exposure to positive role modelsProviding children with opportunities to interact with positive role models who exemplify highly agreeable qualities can significantly impact the development of their own agreeable traits. Situations emphasizing agreeablenessPlacing children in environments where agreeableness is emphasized, such as collaborative settings like group projects or team-based activities, can contribute to the cultivation of this trait. Opportunities for altruistic behaviorCreating an environment that offers easy access to opportunities for altruistic actions allows children to engage in behaviors that promote empathy, kindness, and consideration for others.The learning process over time underscores the importance of building trusting relationships. This awareness arises from the realization that most people are more likely to accommodate requests when rooted in a foundation of mutual trust. Effectively nurturing agreeableness in children involves a multifaceted approach, integrating positive role models, supportive environments, and opportunities for altruistic behavior.In the symphony of personality, agreeableness traits in children create a beautiful melody of kindness, empathy, and cooperation. As parents, educators, and caregivers, we play a crucial role in nurturing these qualities, sowing the seeds for a future where our children contribute positively to the world. Let's embrace and celebrate the magic of agreeableness, as we guide the next generation toward a brighter, more harmonious future.To find out more about your child’s emotional intelligence traits, Decode Talent DNA Test will get you covered! You may visit www.agtgenetics.com for more information! References:Baardstu, S., Karevold, E. B., & von Soest, T. (2017). Childhood antecedents of Agreeableness: A longitudinal study from preschool to late adolescence. Journal of Research in Personality, 67, 202–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2016.10.007Barrick, M. R. (2005). Yes, personality matters: Moving on to more important matters. Human Performance, 18(4), 359–372. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327043hup1804_3Butrus, N., & Witenberg, R. T. (2013). Some personality predictors of tolerance to human diversity: The roles of openness, agreeableness, and empathy. Australian Psychologist, 48(4), 290–298. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-9544.2012.00081.xFraser-Thill, R. (2011, February 8). Agreeableness in the big 5 theory of personality. Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/agreeable-personality-3287986
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Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language, and our personal appearance. Through social interaction, we develop social abilities. Communication, interpersonal, and listening abilities are all part of social skills and these skills are an essential aspect of interactions. Struggling with sociability will have a significant impact on one’s social life and profession. Thus it is crucial for everyone to counter the nervousness and awkwardness in daily life, especially at a social event.Being sociable can start with giving a smile. “A sociable smile is nothing but a mouth full of teeth,” says Jack Kerouac. When you genuinely smile at people they feel more comfortable engaging you in a conversation. Smiling makes you appear more approachable and friendly. It also signifies that you're interested in speaking with others. Give complimentsGiving compliments is one of the best ways to appear sociable after a smile. Giving compliments can help to break the ice and reduce the awkwardness.Commit names to memoryCalling people by name is a great way to set yourself apart in a conversation. It makes them feel acknowledged when you remember their names. Start small by going to gatherings, birthday parties, weddings, or joining a club. Talking with familiar faces is easier as it makes you more comfortable to engage with rather than having a new friend. However, enrolling in a club teaches you to be vocal and more confident in interacting.Ask open-ended questions.Open-ended questions are question that requires no prolonged conversation. It can be as easy as a “yes or no” questions or What are your plans for the weekend?Do you play any sports?Where are you working at?When you are comfortable enough, be interactive and create a conversation with others tooChoose general conversation topics.It is best to have a general conversation topic as heavy topics can lead to an awkward conversation. General conversation can be about the weather or making an observation about what’s going on around you. Look for opportunities.When speaking in a group, look for opportunities. You should know when to interrupt but do not cut other people when they are talking. This also includes you to excuse yourself if the conversation gets heavier.Pay attention to your body languageBody language plays the biggest role when engaging with others. Eye contact and hand movement will make people focus on what you are speaking. Avoid looking down when presenting or when speaking as that will make you appear less attentive. Most importantly, be confident when you are having a conversation and relaxed. Good postures help you to look interested and engaged.Develop listening skill To be sociable, you must be able to listen to others. Listening to people around you and understanding what they are talking about will make you look interested.Read books and blogs related to social skillsReading books and blogs related to social skills will help you discover the methods and benefits of being sociable. Not just for sociable, for any other tips and recommendations can be found on the internet. The more you learn, the more you gain, the more you practice, the better it gets therefore, we should never stop learning.Having good social skills is all about keeping things light and going with the flow. Chris Sergin stated that "when people become lonely and isolated, whatever social abilities they have tend to atrophy from misuse” which implies that even when you are born with a sociability skill, you will lose the skill when it is not used as it limits the capacity to normally communicate with others. Being social and interactive is crucial, therefore even if you lack these traits naturally, there are ways to cultivate and improve them.When you have good social skills, it brings many benefits and opens many opportunities. Therefore, parents should unleash their child's inborn talent from an early age. Check out our Decode Talent DNA Test and its linked traits to sociability like empathy, extraversion, verbal intelligence, and many other traits to learn more about your EQ strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your genetic traits can assist you and your parents in determining the best approach to improve these traits.REFERENCES:Miller, K. (2022, February 20). 12 ways to improve social skills. wikiHow. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Social-Skills Morin, A., & Morin, A. (2020, February 5). 12 ways to improve social skills and make you sociable anytime. Lifehack. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/12-ways-improve-social-skills-and-make-you-sociable-anytime.html What are social skills? SkillsYouNeed. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/social-skills.html
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Mistakes are the portals of discovery says James Joyce. The road to success is frequently bumpy, full of blunders and unexpected obstacles. It is common to make mistakes or come up short of the goals children set for themselves, but how they handle their mistakes is more important. Children must learn to reflect on their own behaviours, manage their emotions, use problem-solving skills, accept different perspectives, and compromise regardless of whether they make new or repeated mistakes. If parents intervene to solve these problems, children will miss out on the essential skill development that comes from making mistakes or failing. Over the course of a lifetime, learning from mistakes helps in developing wisdom and good judgement.Avoidance of error is a person’s response to errors and the tendency to make rewarded choices while avoiding those that receive negative feedback. Since many children grow up in a society that expects them to be perfect, how can we teach them that making mistakes is part of the learning process? Providing opportunities for kids to learn from their mistakes has a major impact on their development. The benefits of children's learning from their errors, they can become more attentive when carrying out tasks in hand in order to prevent making new ones in the future. After all, not every child is perfect therefore, it’s common for children to make mistakes and these could be seen as wonderful opportunities to grow.Children ought to learn from their own mistakes and it brings positive impacts on them. Some of the positive impacts are: They will be more experienced and well-prepared in the future. Every decision we make in the real world has a consequence, whether good or bad. By creating mistake-driven learning experiences in your child’s schoolwork or household tasks or chores, you may allow your children to analyze the repercussions of their actions without having to incur any actual risks.Making mistakes provides them with self-assurance and confidence. This is because they are encouraged to find their own answers, and learners gain confidence and self-esteem through making errors. This empowers students to take charge of their own learning experience and to confront and be brave enough to overcome any obstacle. They now have the tools, skills, and information they need to make confident judgments and complete assignments.Making mistakes helps children to develop their problem-solving skills and critical-thinking abilities. They must utilize these skills to come up with realistic and effective actions for each work or challenge they are given. They learn how to make well-informed decisions and can identify how each option route leads to different results.Making mistakes boosts knowledge, memory, and comprehension. When learners formulate a solution on their own, they are more likely to absorb that information and commit it to their long-term memory. As children learn through problem-solving, they would remember better.  When they have to strive for the solution and search their knowledge base for the proper answer, this may provide them with a better understanding and be more aware of this when carrying out a similar task in the future.    Making mistakes allows children to take chances that contribute to personal development. Making errors in their learning settings allows them to take chances they would not have taken otherwise. They would probably not be as imaginative or creative in the actual world when tackling an issue because they are worried of the consequences.When you make the same errors again and over, it is natural to become upset and self-critical. You may believe your child is the only one who does it, but you are not alone. Although each child's patterns are unique, we can all connect to the fundamental notion. The advice in this article applies to a wide range of recurring errors. Mistakes can always be improved by:Pointing out all the mistake that is being madeUnderstanding what the problem is in the first place is crucial to fixing it. It is better to think about a recent failure or a mistake that your child has made and write it at the top of a piece of paper.  After that formulate and express a specific concept of the error made since this will allow them to go backwards from the mistake to discover how they got there.Accepting apologies for making the error. People's perceptions of failure are not realistic reflections of what failure truly entails. The truth is that the vast majority of initiatives fail, and they fail for a variety of reasons. Failure is not a derogatory term. Failure simply implies that your child has attempted something and it failed. Yes, the repercussions of failure might be severe and even life-altering, but they still need to forgive themselves for making the mistake.Determine what constitutes a successful resolution.The best way to find out the best solution is to write down what your child believes would constitute a successful settlement on my piece of paper. What exactly are they striving for? What exactly are they looking for? What are their objectives? What do you want your child to accomplish? Ask them to write that down, but keep in mind that success may not look precisely as they imagined so that they don't get too caught up in the notion of what success will look like.Look at different options for achieving the effective outcome they desire. The benefit of technological advancement is that children can learn and benefit from access to the internet for extra knowledge. Spend some time with your kids and teach them to find reliable information about what is their objective and the steps required in achieving it. This will give them a greater pool of knowledge to draw from in trying to plan out their new course of action.Be willing to attempt your new and unusual method once more.The willingness to accept failure and try again is the most crucial step in achieving success.  Your new strategy may fail. That's how things go sometimes. You may need to alter your plan and try again, depending on what you're doing.References: Beasley, R. (2016). Dissonance and decision-making mistakes in the age of risk. Journal of European public policy, 23(5), 771-787. Borucka, K. (2021, March 29). How To Avoid Careless Mistakes At Work? Timecamp. Https://www.timecamp.com/blog/2017/11/how-to-avoid-mistakes-at-work/ Learning from mistakes: How to motivate your child to see the good side of making mistakes. The Learning Lab Asia. (2022, March 1). Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.thelearninglab.asia/child-development/learning-from-mistakes-how-to-motivate-your-child-to-see-the-good-side-of-making-mistakes/ Pappas, C. (2021, May 12). 7 Benefits Of Mistake-Driven Learning. Elearning Industry. Https://elearningindustry.com/7-benefits-of-mistake-driven-learningWillis, J., & Willis, D. (2013). Doing task-based teaching-Oxford handbooks for language teachers. Oxford University Press.  This will feel very daunting if your child concentrates solely on removing all mistakes from your life. If you strive with them to improve, there are a plethora of practical solutions you can try, and you'll almost certainly have a lot more success. If you take a non-judgmental problem-solving approach to address their patterns, it will help your child in coping with the mistakes and present better. These problem-solving skills can go a long way in your child’s growth, as the more ideas your child has in solving certain issues, the less likely he or she will commit the same lapses in judgment in the future. To understand more about this avoidance of error trait, head to our website on the Decode Talent DNA Test to find out!
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Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is an illness that affects a person's brain and behavior, causing them to lose control over the use of legal or illegal drugs or medications. Drugs include substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. Drug abusers tend to continue using the substance despite the harm it causes once they are addicted as addictions grow over time.Addiction vs. DependenceIt is important to understand the difference between dependency and addiction. Dependence is usually referred to as a physical dependence on a substance. Physical dependence can occur as a consequence of long-term drug usage, even when it is guided by a prescription. Physical dependency on a drug is not the same as addiction but it often presents with addiction . Addiction is defined as a behavior change caused by the biochemical changes in the brain as a result of continued drug abuse. One of the outcomes of behavior change is that it increases the desire to engage in dangerous acts, such as when a drug addict will go to any extent to obtain money for drugs. Furthermore, drug addicts have poor anger management skills. When they are not under the influence of drugs, people like this may rage, scream, or even lash out with physical violence. An addiction causes people to act erratically when they do not have the  drug in their system. While it is possible to have a physical dependence without being addicted, addiction can always happen. When people become dependent on the drug, they develop drug tolerance.Drug tolerance means that the body has adapted to the presence of the drug. It is a reduced response to the drug when it is used frequently and the body adapts to its continued presence. As a result, more of the drug is needed to attain the same euphoric effects, leading them to become delusional.Why do some people become addicted to drugs, while others do not?As with other diseases and disorders, the likelihood of developing an addiction differs from person to person, and no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person possesses, the greater the likelihood of drug use and addiction. Protective factors on the other hand, reduce a person's risk. Some example of risk factors and protective factors are as below:Risk FactorsProtective FactorsAggressive behavior in childhoodSelf-efficacy (belief in self-control)Lack of parental supervisionParental monitoring and supportNegative social interactionsPositive relationshipsDrug experimentationGood gradesAvailability of drugs at schoolSchool anti-drug policies What environmental factors increase the risk of addiction?Environmental factors play the most important role in addiction. Environmental factors are related to relationships between the family, in school, and neighborhood. Factors that can increase a person's risk include the following:Home and Family- A home environment is a very important factor, especially in childhood. Parents and older families who abuse drugs and alcohol or violate the law may increase their children's risk of future drug problems.Peer and School- Friends and other peers can become very influential during their teens. Teens who use drugs for the first time can sway even those without risk factors. Academics struggles and poor social skills can further increase a child's risk of drug use and addiction.What happens to the brain when a person takes drugs?Most drugs interfere with the brain's “reward circuit”, causing euphoria and flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat those behaviors repeatedly.As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the “reward circuit” to react to the drugs. This lowers the person's high compared to when they initially started using the drug, an effect known as tolerance. To attain the same high level, they would take more of the drug. These brain adaptations make it more difficult for a person to experience previously enjoyable activities such as food, sex, or social activities.Prolonged use can cause changes in other chemical systems and circuits of the brain, affecting function that includes:·         learning·         judgment·         decision-making·         stress tolerance·         memory·         behaviorDespite being aware of these negative consequences, many drug users continue using them. This is the nature of addiction.Tucker Woods, DO, an Addiction Medicine Specialist and Chief Medical Officer of Restorative Management Corp says “Addiction signs and symptoms differ from person to person, but if you're asking yourself if you need help, the chances are you do". Therefore, if you have some of the signs of drug dependence or addiction, it is best for you to get yourself examined for a treatment.TreatmentAddiction can be treated, but there are distinct approaches to recovery. Since relapses are common, the process may take some time. There are a range of services to which you can be referred for addiction treatment, depending on your condition. Listed  are some of the most frequent treatment approaches: Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to address cognitive and behavior patterns that lead to addiction. Contingency management, family therapy, psychological treatment, counseling and group therapy are some of the other therapies that are beneficial too.Medications: Medications help with addictions and withdrawal symptoms, as well as other treatments to address underlying mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, may be included. Methadone, buprenorphine, nicotine replacement therapy, and naltrexone are among the medications that may be prescribed.Hospitalization: In some cases, people may need to be hospitalized  to treat potentially serious complications for detoxifying of the substance.Support groups and self-help: As people discover new ways to deal with recovery, direct and online support groups can be a helpful source of knowledge and social support.Anyone struggling with an addiction should discover how to gain independence from the substance. Fortunately, addiction is treatable and there are measures that can be taken to help oneself. While quitting is a tough process and understanding how to overcome addictions is key, it is an important first step toward recovery.  For additional information and to learn about your personal traits and behaviors, search up to agtgenetics.com.References:Felman, A. (2018, October 26). Addiction: Complications and consequences. Medical News Today. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323461 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2017, October 26). Drug addiction (substance use disorder). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20365113McGuire, J., & Pham, L. (n.d.). Dependence vs addiction: What's the difference? WebMD. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/dependence-versus-addiction NIDA. 2020, July 13. Drug Misuse and Addiction. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-misuse-addiction on 2022, May 19NIDA. 2018, June 6. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction on 2022, May 19
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Learning styles are the ways in which an individual approaches a range of styles according to Howard Gardner. Visual-spatial learning style, or visual-spatial intelligence, refers to a person's ability to perceive, analyze, and understand visual information in the world around them. Spatial relations are also correlated to our visual perceptual skills as our eyes help us to determine the distance and directionality between objects. Essentially, they are able to mentally visualise ideas.When we visualise something or recall something by creating an image in our minds, we are typically using visual-spatial learning. When trying to recall information, creating a mental picture provides us with another cue. For example, we visualize how different items can fit together to maximize the storage capacity when we are packing our luggage or when organizing a piece of furniture as we visualize if it fits and suits the place. Besides that, visual-spatial learning is very useful in education too, especially in STEM learning related. This demonstrates how important the visual spatial skill is for daily functioning and how strengthening this visual learning can have a positive impact on academic performance.Early education in visual-spatial skills can begin as early as 18 months of age. At this age, the child begins to learn about its surroundings and becomes conscious of its abilities. Early education plays a large role in preparing our children for later success.  Parents can begin teaching your children the fundamentals of spatial thinking as you are your children's first teachers. It's never too early to introduce your child to visual-spatial thinking and get them familiar with it. You can start by using flashcards to teach your child about animals, fruits, and body parts. Spatial reasoning skills are cumulative and durable which mean that with practice, you will improve. So the earlier the education, the larger and longer lasting the improvement.In terms of education, visual-spatial learning is particularly important to STEM learning which includes Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics. A mathematician uses visual-spatial thinking to enhance number sense, quantity comparison, and arithmetic. Studies have found that high visual-spatial ability is linked to better math performance. Children who are more adept at visualizing spatial relationships in preschool have more advanced arithmetic skills in primary school (Zhang et al., 2013 & Gilligan et al., 2017). Middle school students who are good at mental rotation are more likely to achieve in science subjects (Ganley et al., 2014). Therefore, those who master the skills in early childhood will have more opportunities to use it to acquire and organize additional information throughout their learning process. To improve your children visual-spatial intelligence and skills, there are many types of approaches and activities that can enhance their ability such as: By using spatial language in everyday interactions. Spatial language consists of words that help people explain or describe where objects are in space. Spatial language is the key to describing locations of objects such as by using the term “on, under, above, below, inside, beside” and other similar expressions.Teach using gestures and encourage children to gesture.Gesture is a powerful communicating and teaching tool especially for children with visual-spatial type of learning who learn best with using gestures as it helps in remembering and understanding concepts better.  Playing charades or teaching using gestures with your children can be an effective way to encourage children to gesture.Promote visualization.Teaching visualization can be as simple as visualizing a cupcake design before piping and designing it. Playing the matching game.Playing matching games can improve visual-spatial learning as it challenges the mind in remembering the similar card placement.Build objects in a storytelling context.Playing with building objects such as Lego and wooden blocks can significantly increase a child’s spatial thinking ability because it presents them with challenges. Also, by allowing your child to story tell on what they are building, this can indirectly improve their communication skills.There are many other activities that can be carry-out, depending on your child's interest. Visual-spatial intelligence is not a fixed ability and it can be possessed with adequate practice and learning. Although some people are better at spatial thinking than others, they too can improve substantially if they keep practicing even if they start out with a lower score.Through training and practice, spatial reasoning for STEM learning can be boosted and holistic development can be maximized.Heads out to our website to understand more about your child’s learning type with our DNA testing! Knowing your child's learning type early can save time by focusing on your child’ learning type and indirectly help children to have fun and exciting learning and allow parents to know what’s the best approach. References:12 easy activities to boost kids' visual spatial intelligence. JOYLEE ᴗ Grow up with joy. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.joylee.co/blogs/parenting-education/12-easy-activities-to-boost-kids-visual-spatial-intelligence-infographicGanley CM, Vasilyeva M, Dulaney A. Spatial ability mediates the gender difference in middle school students' science performance. Child Dev. 2014 Jul-Aug;85(4):1419-32. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12230. Epub 2014 Feb 22. PMID: 24673201.Gilligan KA, Flouri E, Farran EK. The contribution of spatial ability to mathematics achievement in middle childhood. J Exp Child Psychol. 2017 Nov;163:107-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.04.016. Epub 2017 Jul 26. PMID: 28753435.Logsdon, A. (2020, May 7). How children with a visual-spatial intelligence learn. Verywell Family. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/understanding-visual-spatial-learning-styles-2162778The benefits of visual-spatial learning (with activities and tips). Indeed Career Guide. (2021). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/what-is-visual-spatial-learning#:~:text=What%20is%20visual%2Dspatial%20learning,learn%20holistically%20rather%20than%20sequentially.Zhang X, Koponen T, Räsänen P, Aunola K, Lerkkanen MK, Nurmi JE. Linguistic and spatial skills predict early arithmetic development via counting sequence knowledge. Child Dev. 2014 May-Jun;85(3):1091-1107. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12173. Epub 2013 Oct 21. PMID: 24148144.
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Intelligence? What exactly is intelligence?When you hear the word intelligence, you might immediately thought of your intelligence level. Everyone is born with measurable natural intelligence, and changing it requires difficult capability. Intelligence is dynamic, which means it can be improved based on your exposure to society, environment and education in terms of the ability to learn.However, new perspectives on intelligence have emerged in the recent years. Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, developed the Multiple Intelligences theory. The theory proposes that people learn and acquire information in various ways, and according to Howard Gardner's hypothesis, individuals do not have all their potential intelligence at birth, but rather will benefit from a variety of opportunities by interacting with the content and exposure to the world.Gardner identified eight types of intelligence to broaden the concept of intelligence which is linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist intelligence. Every individual has a different learning style. Knowing which types of intelligence one possesses can be extremely beneficial, especially in studies. When parents give their children a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, they will perform better in school. Have you heard of the saying "if a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn"? The multiple intelligence theory is best described by this phrase. Teachers can adjust the learning style to the child's preferences if they are aware of the type of intelligence they possesses. Indirectly, knowing the child's learning style allows the teacher to provide the appropriate approach to cater to their learning style. This will help them in their future careers too. Adults may see failure as an opportunity to try again, but for children, failure can be a disappointment, which can lead to them failing to pay attention or disrupting class. The multiple intelligence theory has the potential to re-engage students in learning. Using multiple intelligences to teach a concept gives each of your diverse learners a chance to succeed. Learners who excel at visual-spatial intelligence will excel at drawing and puzzles. Students with high linguistic intelligence would have better abilities to comprehend a written report to a reading assignment, whereas those with high interpersonal intelligence excel at classroom discussions. Teaching with the awareness of a student's strengths improves learning and decreases classroom behaviour problem as they experience success in their learning.Characteristics of the 8 types of Multiple IntelligencesSpatial intelligenceMeanings: People who are strong in visual-spatial intelligence are good at visualizing things. These individuals are often good with directions as well as maps, charts, videos, and pictures.Characteristics: Read and write for enjoymentAre good at putting puzzles togetherInterpret pictures, graphs, and charts wellEnjoy drawing, painting, and the visual artsRecognize patterns easilyLinguistic IntelligenceMeaning: People who are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well, both when writing and speaking. These individuals are typically very good at writing stories, memorizing information, and reading.Characteristics: Remember written and spoken informationEnjoy reading and writingDebate or give persuasive speechesAre able to explain things wellUse humour when telling storiesLogical-Mathematical IntelligenceMeanings: People who are strong in logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analysing problems. These individuals tend to think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.Characteristics:Have excellent problem-solving skillsEnjoy thinking about abstract ideasLike conducting scientific experimentsCan solve complex computationsBodily-Kinesthetic IntelligenceMeanings: Those who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are said to be good at body movement, performing actions, and physical control. People who are strong in this area tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterityCharacteristics: Are skilled at dancing and sportsEnjoy creating things with his or her handsHave excellent physical coordinationRemember by doing, rather than hearing or seeingMusical IntelligenceMeanings: People who have strong musical intelligence are good at thinking in patterns, rhythms, and sounds. They have a strong appreciation for music and are often good at musical composition and performanceCharacteristics: Enjoy singing and playing musical instrumentsRecognize musical patterns and tones easilyRemember songs and melodiesHave a rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notesInterpersonal IntelligenceMeanings: Those who have strong interpersonal intelligence are good at understanding and interacting with other people. These individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around themCharacteristics: Communicate well verballyAre skilled at nonverbal communicationSee situations from different perspectivesCreate positive relationships with othersResolve conflicts in group settingsIntrapersonal IntelligenceMeanings: Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing their personal strengthsCharacteristics: Analyze their strengths and weaknesses wellEnjoy analyzing theories and ideasHave excellent self-awarenessUnderstand the basis for his or her own motivations and feelingsNaturalist IntelligenceMeanings: Individuals who are strong in this type of intelligence are more in tune with nature and are often interested in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species. These individuals are said to be highly aware of even subtle changes to their environmentsCharacteristics: Are interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoologyCategorize and catalogue information easilyEnjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoorsDislikes learning unfamiliar topics that have no connection to natureThe theory does not claim that a person possesses only one of the eight intelligences, but rather that some are stronger than others. It is a good approach to be learning about these various types of intelligences because the MI theory helps parents, teachers, and children understand their children's strengths and how these can be used to help them learn and solve problems. References:Cherry, K. (2021, July 28). Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Verywell Mind. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/gardners-theory-of-multiple-intelligences-2795161 Hatoum, L. (2021, November 5). Multiple intelligences definition and meaning. Top Hat. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://tophat.com/glossary/m/multiple-intelligences/ Jackson, J. E. (2017, November 21). How does the multiple intelligence theory help students? Education Seattlepi. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://education.seattlepi.com/multiple-intelligence-theory-students-2149.html 
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According to World Health Organization (WHO), forty-one million children under the age of five were either overweight or obese in 2016. Overweight and obesity have increased dramatically among children and adolescents aged 5 to 19, from 4% in 1975 to just 18% in 2016. Despite the amount of data available, it can be difficult to sort through and decipher what a balanced diet and healthy eating habits would look like for your child. To enforce a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for your child, you must first understand what good nutrition consists of, how it affects childhood development, and what steps you can take to ensure your child adopts a healthy eating habits. What Exactly is Good Nutrition for Children and Young Children?Children’s nutrition is based on the same basic principles as adult nutrition. A healthy and appropriate balance of diet and exercise, as well as a valuable lifestyle, are the keys to proper nutrition. Grains, dairy, protein, vegetables, and fruit are the five main food groups and are a good starting point for any child’s diet. The proportions of each food group will be heavily influenced by age, genetic makeup, and physical activity. Understanding each food group is essential for developing a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your child. GrainGrains are classified into two types: whole grains and refined grains. Because they use the entire grain kernel, whole grains are more nutritious. Oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, and brown rice are examples of whole-grain products. Refined grains have generally been milled and processed several times to improve shelf life and texture. Many valuable nutritional benefits are lost during the refining process, so whole grains are a better option. Cereal, tortillas, white bread, and white rice are all examples of refined grains. VegetablesThe vegetable group includes any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice. Vegetables are classified as raw, cooked, dehydrated, canned, whole, juiced or mashed. It is also divided into five subcategories: dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and other vegetables. Because some vegetables are denser and nutrient-packed than others, the portion size of each will depend on which subcategory it belongs to. Organic, non-organic, and non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) vegetables are some of the subcategories of vegetables. FruitThe fruit category includes any fresh fruit or 100% fruit juice. Canned, frozen, dried, pureed, or juiced fruits are all options. The fruit has a high sugar content, so it is best to build a dietary balance based on age, activity level, time of day, and gender. Same to vegetables, fresh fruit can be further categorized into organic, non-organic, and non-GMO. Protein & DairyMeat, poultry, beans, peas, eggs, seafood, and nuts are examples of foods that fall into the protein food group. It is best if your child’s meat and poultry sources are lean and low in fat. The dairy food group includes all fluid milk products and products made primarily from milk. Milk, yoghurt, and cheese are examples of dairy products. Dairy has been a controversial food group in recent years, and as a result, many nutritionally comparable dairy alternatives have been provided with higher nutritional value. As a result, this category includes fortified dairy alternatives such as soy, almond, and cashew milk, as well as nut cheeses. Your child’s diet and lifestyle may differ depending on their age and unique genetic makeup, with a focus on certain nutritional guidelines during one age range and many different guidelines during another. The Good Nutrition for ToddlersToddlers (ages 1-3) can be a pretty challenging age group to feed a nutritious diet to. Many developmental changes occur during this period, which has an impact on their food or supplement intake. Toddlers are in a stage of development and growth that slows significantly, affecting hunger and diet. In addition to a decrease in appetite, toddlers are exploring independence and control. This can lead to quarrels over specific foods, mealtimes, and portion sizes. It is recommended that toddlers consume 3-5 ounces of grains per day, depending on their age, activity level, and gender. One ounce is roughly equivalent to one slice of bread. 12 cup rice or oatmeal, or one small (4-inch) pancake. In terms of vegetables, toddlers should consume 1-2 cups of vegetables from each of the five subcategories per day. Given that some toddlers are just beginning to accept table foods, it is best to offer soft, cooked vegetables cut into very small pieces. This not only helps toddlers chew and swallow vegetables, but it also reduces the risk of choking. Toddlers should also eat 1 cup of fruit per day. This could break down into half of a banana for breakfast, half of an apple for snacks, 8 sliced grapes, half a cup of cooked broccoli, and half a cup of peas and carrots. To gain the full range of nutritional benefits, it is critical to introduce variety within the five food groups. Most toddlers should consume around 13 grammes of protein per day.A general rule of thumb for determining how much protein your child should consume daily is to base it on their weight. Protein-recommended dietary allowances are calculated using the guideline of 0.5 grammes of protein per pound of body weight. As a result, a 2-year-old weighing 30 pounds would require approximately 15 grammes of protein per day. This could be equivalent to half an egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or a quarter cup of beans. Toddlers should consume calcium-fortified juices, milk, and cheeses in much smaller amounts, such as 1 cup of milk or 60 grammes of cheese. The Good Nutrition for Pre-schoolers The preschool years (ages 3-5) are an important time for children to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Because pre-schoolers grow in spurts, their appetites can be inconsistent. This is normal, and if parents provide a healthy variety, their children will be provided with flexible options. The proportions of grains, protein, vegetables, fruits, and dairy vary according to size, age, and gender. Calcium intake is a critical component for young developing preschool children. Calcium is also required for the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. Contrary to popular belief, traditional dairy milk is not the best source of calcium. This is due to the fact that the calcium in dairy milk is less bioavailable (a substance entering the circulation when introduced into the body and so able to have an active effect) to developing bodies. Calcium is best obtained from dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, and bok choy. With a 40% absorption rate, about half of cooked leafy greens can proved around 300mg of calcium. Fibre is another important supplement to consider. Fibre promotes bowel movements, which helps digestion and prevents constipation. Most whole grain products, as well as fruits and vegetables, contain fibre. Though it may be difficult at times to persuade your child to eat vegetables instead of starchy processed foods like macaroni and cheese and chicken nugget, it will make a world of difference. What Impact Does Nutrition Have on Young Children?A proper nutritional diet and a healthy lifestyle can have long-term effects on young children. Children are highly impressionable during their early development and begin to implement routines and tools that they will carry with them into adulthood. Aside from developing habits and routines, children who do not receive adequate nutrition as they grow up can suffer from physical illness. Obesity, osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, changes in hair volume and texture, fatigue, irritability, and type 2 diabetes are some of the most common issues for malnourished children. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat within the 95th percentile of one’s BMI, or Body Mass Index. Obesity is also more likely in children who do not eat a well-balanced diet and consume excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and processed carbohydrates. Obesity also can cause a number of long-term health issues in children, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and emotional issues. Young children are highly impressionable and can experience body shame and emotional issues as a result of the food they eat. When children consume sugary, processed, and high-fat foods, their digestive system and gut flora suffer. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can be caused by a lack of calcium absorption that causes porous, weak, and brittle bones.  Early nutrition and lifestyle decisions made by children and their parents can have long-term consequences for children. Because most people reach their peak bone mass at the age of 20, it is critical to building muscle and bone mass during childhood. Overweight children experience fatigue and irritability, which can lead to depression. Furthermore, overweight children may struggle with physical activity and are frequently unable to participate in physical activities with their peers. This can lead to emotional isolation, poor social interactions and low self-esteem. A well-balanced and healthy nutritional diet is more important than counting calories in developing children. How to Make Sure Your Child Eats Healthily and Exercises Without support, guidance, education, and routine, it can be difficult to ensure your child is eating healthy and staying fit. As children grow older, they begin to form opinions about what tastes good to them and what does not. Most of the time, this does not correspond to what is nutritionally best for them.The Stanford Children’s Health Hospital recommends avoiding fights over food and meal and providing regular snacks and meals. Children can be picky, avoidant, or hard at times. If your toddler or pre-schooler is a picky eater who refuses to eat certain foods, it is best to give up and try again later. They will be most likely to begin to warm up to the healthy options provided. As previously stated, young children are developing their independence and opinions, and as a result, they vary. It can also be beneficial to establish a regular feeding time and spot for your child. Positive connections can be formed by promoting healthy food choices, regular eating habits, nutrition education, and personal interaction during mealtimes. Given that children are highly perceptive human beings, it is advantageous to create positive and healthy experiences for them. Involving children in food preparation and selection can also be a valuable learning tool. When in the grocery store or even in your refrigerator, it can be helpful to engage with your child to help select foods based on nutritional value and explain how they can help developing bodies. Parents are also encouraged to use specific serving sizes and demonstrate the equivalents to them. This nutrition education can help children understand and implement appropriate serving sizes as they grow older, as well as maintain healthy eating habits. It can also be beneficial for parents to pack a homemade snack or lunch for their children to bring to school. Instead of packing processed foods or junk food, choose food high in healthy fats and nutrients. This ensures that a well-balanced and nutritious meal is always available. Physical activity, as always, is just as important as proper nutrition. Most days of the week, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Parents can encourage physical activity by limiting their child’s time spent watching television and playing video games and encouraging more physically active routines such as walking, running, and playing ball. Because children learn primarily through direct observation, it is critical for parents to actively participate in their children's life regarding nutrition and exercise. You are modelling a positive, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle for your child by leading by example. To find out more about your child’s nutrition needs, Decode Nutrition DNA Test will get you covered! You may visit www.agtgenetics.com for more information!
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Are you struggling to discipline your child? We know it can be a challenge, but it's important to learn how to discipline them in a smart and healthy way. Firstly, it is important to understand that discipline is not just about punishment. It is about teaching children how to make good choices and develop self-control.  “Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.” ― L.R. Knost, the author of ‘The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline’.    The way in which discipline is carried out has an impact on a child's emotional and mental well-being. Hence, parents need to understand the importance of having healthy ways to discipline your child. And here are some tips for parents to do that: 1. Positive reinforcement Positive reinforcement means rewarding good behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior. It is important to acknowledge and praise your child when they do something positive. This can include anything from saying "thank you" when they share or showing excitement when they complete a task. Research by Hardy & McLeod (2020) shows that kids are more likely to behave in a desired way when they get praised for doing something right, whether it's following a rule or sharing a toy. The best way to reinforce positive behavior is to praise the behavior, not the kid's character. You can point out positive things about your child's concern for others – such as asking if their friend is all right – by mentioning how much the recipient appreciated their kindness.  2. Set clear expectation Children need structure and predictability in their lives. When parents provide clear rules and expectations, children are more likely to follow them. It is important to communicate these expectations clearly and consistently so that children know what is expected of them.  Professor Cluver, the Professor of Child and Family Social Work stressed that telling your child what to do is more effective than telling them what not to do. When you ask a child to not make a mess, they may not understand what you're asking. Clear instructions like “Please put all your toys in the box” set a clear expectation and make it more likely for them to comply.  3. Modelling good behaviour Children are highly observant and tend to imitate the behaviours they see in their parents. Children would pick up your emotions and vibes as they grow up. Thus, it is important for you to set a positive example for your children. This means consistently demonstrating desirable behaviours such as respect, kindness, honesty, responsibility, and empathy to your children. If you model healthy behaviors, children are more likely to follow suit. For example, if you want your child to speak respectfully to others, it is important to speak respectfully to your child and others around you.  “Parents who discipline their child by discussing the consequences of their actions produce children who have better moral development, compared to children whose parents use authoritarian methods and punishment.” ― Simon Baron-Cohen, British clinical psychologist 4. Maintain a strong connection with your child Always have a connection before correction. Yelling at children when they behave badly cuts off your connection with your children. Discipline should not be a punitive or isolating experience. Instead, it should be a way to help children learn and grow while maintaining a strong connection with their parents. Instead of yelling or scolding, try to listen to your child and understand the root cause of their misbehaviour. Communicate with your child throughout the disciplinary process, listen to their feelings and concerns. This helps them develop the skills and tools they need to make positive choices.  Finally, it is important to recognize that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every child is different and may respond differently to different disciplinary techniques. Thus, it is important to understand the underlying causes of misbehavior, so that parents can address the root of the problem and help their child learn to manage their emotions and behavior more effectively.  Each child possesses innate personality traits that are reflected in their behavior, and it is important for parents to understand these traits to effectively interact with them. To learn more on your child's personality traits, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn personality!   References Hardy, J. K., & McLeod, R. H. (2020). Using positive reinforcement with young children. Beyond Behavior, 29(2), 95-107. doi:10.1177/1074295620915724.  Morin, A. (2021, June 20). 5 Positive Discipline Techniques to Try. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/examples-of-positive-discipline-1095049#citation-4  UNICEF. (2022, December 12). How to discipline your child the smart and healthy way. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.unicef.org/romania/stories/how-discipline-your-child-smart-and-healthy-way Rupali, A. (2021, January 6). 4 Effective ways to Discipline Children in a Smart & Healthy Way. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.alphamontessoridfw.com/blog/discipline-child-without-punishment/ 
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Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to a child’s health. A recent Netflix’s Thai movie regarding sleep deprivation called “Deep” depicts this well. The psychological thriller portrayed [...]the journey of four university students who were involved in a neuroscience experiment that had gone haywire. Due to lack of sleep, their body experienced foreign and unusual body sensations which in turn led to more severe outcomes like hallucinations and inability to make sound judgments and decisions in their daily life. ​While the movie is largely fiction, the symptoms of sleep deprivation are fairly presented. If that many effects can occur in a young adult, what more for a child who is still in their growing phase? What happens when your child are sleep-deprived?The benefits of sufficient sleep for a child are many and widely known. Consistently, there are many severe and long-lasting consequences for the lack of it. (1) Mood DysregulationOne of the effects of sleep deprivation is mood dysregulation. According to Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the author of Sleeping Through the Night, "Kids who do not get enough sleep have trouble regulating their emotions." [1]. A sleep-deprived child may appear to be more aggressive and easily irritated. It may also result in mood swings, being restless, hyperactive and impatient. If their sleep deprivation persists, they would also manifest certain behaviours such as fighting with others, yelling, making threats, and causing harm to themselves in severe cases [8]. Not getting sufficient sleep could result in a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in teens over time [1]. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania on the influence of partial sleep deprivation on mood, participants who were restricted to only 4.5 hours of sleep per night for a week were reported to feel more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. However, as the participants resumed a normal sleep pattern with 8 hours of sleep, they observed a significant change and improvement in the mood [2]. Some improvements which were reported include being more alert, mentally sharp, physically energetic, calm, happy, and healthy [2].(2) Impaired Metabolism Besides, another effect of insufficient sleep is impairment in body metabolism. Metabolism is known as the whole range of biochemical processes in the body and it involves the processes of anabolism (the building up of bigger structures from smaller units like nutrients from our food) and catabolism (the breakdown of larger units to smaller ones, such as the the breakdown of fat as an energy source) [3]. In short, metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) the body burns to maintain itself [3]. In a research conducted at the University of Chicago it was evident that sleep deprivation leads to a  decreased rate of glucose clearance by 40% [3]. The research involved 11 healthy young men where they were subjected to only 4 hours in bed for 6 nights followed by 12 hours for 7 nights to recover from the sleep debt. After that, their glucose tolerance was measured. [3]. A glucose tolerance test can indicate the ability to dispose glucose from the blood. Glucose intolerance could result in high blood glucose levels in the body which increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. A similar effect can also be seen in infants, children, and adolescents whereby lack of sleep is associated with impaired function in glucose metabolism. Hence, sleep deprivation can alter metabolic function and lead to a myriad of illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension [10]. (3) Poor Academic PerformanceIn addition, sleep deficit can result in poorer academic performance which includes a decline in cognitive functions such as follows [4]:Decreased attentionWeakened memorySlowed mental processingWorsened sequential thinkingReduced creative thinkingExcessive daytime sleepinessPoor decision-makingHeightened risk of aggressive behaviorTherefore, failure in getting sufficient sleep with high quality and optimum duration would cause a decline in academic performance at school in the long term. How much sleep should your child get?According to Griffin from WebMD, the amount of sleep required varies according to their age groups [1, 5].A helpful guideline is as follows:Infants (4 to 12 months) need 12 to 16 hours of sleep.Toddlers (1 to 2 years) need 12 to 14 hours of sleep.Pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) need 11 to 13 hours of sleep.School-aged children (6 to 12 years) need 10 to 11 hours of sleep.Pre-teens and teens (13 to 18 years) need around 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep. Hence, any amount of sleep less than the amount above indicates that your child is not getting adequate sleep that is essential for their health and development. Is your child getting enough sleep? Children may encounter difficulty falling asleep. If your child is one of them, they could be having pediatric insomnia. This insomnia is a sleep disorder that leads to an inability to fall and stay asleep. Children with this condition may be seen to wake up too early in the morning as well [6].This childhood insomnia can be seen in 3 kinds of manifestations such as:chronic insomnia: ongoing and happens 3 times a week for a month or longer. cyclical insomnia: issues balancing wake-and-sleep cycles which can come and go throughout life. transient insomnia: typically lasts less than three weeks. Not only that, according to a sleep survey conducted by The Nielsen Company in 2019, 9 out of 10 Malaysians suffer from sleep problems with 63% of the respondents between ages 25 and 49 reported taking over 30 minutes to fall asleep in which portrays the prevalence of sleeping deficiencies among adults [7].From these statistics, parents must now be mindful that sleep disorders such as insomnia must be prevented at an early age. Children need to be educated with proper sleep hygiene and a fixed bedtime routine so that they can maintain their health as a result of quality sleep and rest.What is the tendency for my child to develop insomnia?​Find out your child’s likelihood to develop insomnia with the Decode Talent DNA Test  and ensure better sleep quality and overall wellness for them. Prevention is better than cure. Safeguard your child’s health and holistic wellbeing and growth by understanding their genetics.For more updates on our products and offers, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!References[1] R. M. Griffin, "This Is Your Kid’s Brain Without Sleep," WedMD, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/recharge/features/brain-without-sleep.[2] D. F. Dinges, F. Pack, K. Williams, K. A. Gillen, J. W. Powell, G. E. Ott, C. Aptowicz and A. I. Pack, "Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbance, and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 4-5 hours per night," Sleep, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 267-277, 1997. [3] S. Sharma and M. Kavuru, "Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview," International Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 2010, p. 270832, 2010. [4] N. Vyas and E. Suni, "Improve Your Child’s School Performance With a Good Night’s Sleep," Sleep Foundation, 15 January 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/children-and-sleep/sleep-and-school-performance.[5] Children's Health, "Pediatric Insomnia," Children's Health, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.childrens.com/specialties-services/conditions/difficulty-in-falling-asleep-or-staying-asleep.[6] Children's Hospital Colorado, "Insufficient Sleep in Children," Children's Hospital Colorado, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/conditions/sleep-deprivation/.[7] M. Murugesan, "Counting Sheep," New Straits Times, 25 April 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/heal/2019/04/482768/counting-sheep.[8] American Academy of Sleep Medicine, "For children, poor sleep can lead to emotional and behavioral problems," Sleep Education, 22 April 2008. [Online]. Available: https://sleepeducation.org/poor-sleep-children-emotional-behavioral-problems/.[9] "Anabolism vs. Catabolism: The Role They Play in Your Metabolism," Cleveland Clinic, 13 July 2021. [Online]. Available: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/anabolism-vs-catabolism/.[10] M. A. Miller, M. Kruisbrink, J. Wallace, C. Ji and F. P. Cappuccio, "Sleep duration and incidence of obesity in infants, children, and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies," Sleep, vol. 41, no. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy018, 2018.
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Should parents reward their children for helping with house chores? What about rewarding them after they have completed their homework and assigned tasks on time? ​You probably thought about this before but perhaps have not arrived at a conclusion. If you hope that your kids reach their behavioural milestones, you can attempt a tactic that many parents nowadays swear by: The Reward Systems. The idea of reward systems can be a productive disciplinary way of educating children. However on the other side of the argument, parents have always been told that rewarding their children will destroy their inherent motivation as they may become increasingly materialistic. Well, do you think this is true? What you need to know about rewarding your children?Difference between a reward and a bribeTheir differences are subtle, which is why many parents fail to reward their children correctly, which often results in further behavioural problems down the road. A reward is given after children show good behaviour. “If you complete the assigned tasks well today, I will give you a treat,” is a reward. A bribe, in contrast, is when parents offer their misbehaving children a favor or treat as an exchange for their promise of being well-behaved. “I will buy you chocolate candy if you stop crying and yelling,” is a bribe. Due to this, parents should understand that rewards are usually pre-planned and should target specific behaviour. It’s important for parents to set certain rules about rewards. In any case, do not allow your children to receive a reward when they blackmail you by saying, “I won’t clean up the room unless you buy me a chocolate bar.”. Rewards can be a healthy and positive way to reinforce good behaviour for kids if parents manage it well. Children may learn to behave well or do the right things for which they receive positive feedback and avoid negative behaviours that gain no rewards.On the other hand, bribes educate children to use their behaviour as a method to manipulate others. Although bribes can be tempting at times as it motivates kids to change their behaviour immediately, it does not educate proper skills over the long haul. Similarly in reality, you won’t be receiving your paycheck until you have done the assigned task. Likewise, don’t give in to the easy alternative to nurture your children. Reward systems do not spoil kidsContrary to the many skeptics out there, rewarding your children sparingly does not spoil kids. It helps children develop small routines and ritual practices important to everyday life. Positive results and comments motivate people regardless of age. Most working adults have the motivation to go to work as they will eventually receive their reward in the form of a paycheck. This applies the same to children as they will come to understand that they can gain their  reward or more privileges from being well-behaved. Linking privileges to positive behaviour educate children to earn things prior to reward. In that sense, reward systems can prevent children from becoming spoiled because they will have to learn the value and importance of things in life in order to gain rewards. Parents do not have to give rewards that require any costsThere are many rewards that do not cost money. Children do not have to gain lavish rewards everyday. In fact, younger kids can earn from a simple sticker chart that allows them to accumulate for a larger reward. Allowing them to choose a special or favourite meal, earn a later bedtime for extra gaming or activity time, or pick a game that inspires them to play can be the reward option. Be creative with your rewards and you won’t have to spend money for the rewards. Do ask your kids for their input on what sort of rewards they would like to earn too. Rewarding creates a positive environmentPositive parent-child relationships at home can influence children's behaviour. It also creates an enjoyable and pleasant environment for both parents and children. A home filled with positive education and reinforcement for good behaviour, rather than one that is directed by constant punishing for bad behaviour, is a place that provides them with an emotionally positive and secure environment. This is a crucial tool in parenting as it gives happiness and motivations to children in their ongoing learning. What you can do to reward your childrenGet the timing rightThere is evidence showing that the value of rewards will be lost if parents reward their children with a delay. In other words, in order for rewards to work successfully for children, it has to be fresh in their mind when parents request them to complete tasks or adjust their behaviour. Or else, they might start to misbehave when they cannot receive the promised rewards or begin to think that they cannot do things correctly.  Giving the right and meaningful rewardsA reward does not have to be luxurious and complicated but it should meet some basic criteria. Rewards for kids should be inexpensive or of no cost.  The rewards should also be things that your children care about to work effectively. You must also be willing to dole it out regularly. Remember not to make a promise you cannot keep. Be sure to be specific about the goals that you want your children to achieve so that they will know exactly what they need to do to get the reward. They need not be confusing, so make sure to communicate concisely and clearly to them. For younger kids, goals should be easy enough for them to achieve without much effort in order to let them experience a taste of success. As the practice becomes a routine that is more normalized, you may extend the goals and tasks to make it more challenging but always take note that the reward system should not be too complicated. Make sure to focus on a selected few of your children’s behaviours and not a dozen at a time. Give plenty of encouragement and praise to your childrenYou can encourage your children before they do something. For instance, “The test is over, you don’t have to worry much about it as you have studied hard. No matter how the results turn out, you have done your best”. Some kids who are less confident than others need such encouragement compared to others. When you focus your praise on effort, they are more likely to see trying hard as a positive thing in itself and be more optimistic when challenges are in place. At the same time, you are showing them how to react, think and talk positively.With all these said, do not overuse rewards. Rewards are undeniably helpful tools to communicate and teach good behaviours among children, but parents need to readjust the rewards that they are giving so that children do not take it for granted. Always ask yourself whether the rewards you gave works to encourage your children’s behaviour that you want or not. Take note to also adjust the reward systems according to your children’s age. As they grow older into their adolescent years, they should have learnt that good behaviour is a reward in and of itself, as opposed to still having an expectation to be rewarded by the people around them. A reminder to all the parents here: Do keep the reward systems as simple as possible so that both parents and children are clear about how it works. As a final note to our fellow parents readers, make sure to be mindful of your long term behavioural goals for your children as you contemplate on the right rewards system to adopt for your children. Remember that your parenting goals must not be limited to controlling the outcome of a specific event only, but your responsibility is for the long-term healthy upbringing of your children. So, use rewards wisely. ReferencesMorin, A. (January 2020). Common concerns about giving kids rewards. Verywell Family. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/concerns-about-giving-kids-rewards-1094886‘Praise, encouragement and rewards’ (August 2020). Raising Children Network. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/connecting-communicating/connecting/praiseEdNavigator. (n.d.). What parents need to know about rewarding hard work and good behavior. Retrieved from https://www.ednavigator.com/resources/what-parents-need-to-know-about-rewarding-hard-work-and-good-behavior
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Is your child's favorite hobby scrolling through social media? From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to TikTok, there are numerous platforms that children can use to communicate and connect with their peers. As parents, it’s important for you to understand the impact of these digital platforms on your children and take steps to protect them. In this article, we will explore the potential risk of children using social media and offer useful advice on how to assist your child in developing positive online behaviors.   Social media is associated with several potential risks: 1. Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is a serious form of online abuse. In the online world, cyberbullying can be difficult for children to avoid due to the speed at which information can spread and the ease with which bully and victim roles can interchange. Cyberbullying leads to mental issues and cause children to feel isolated, depressed and even lead to suicidal thoughts. 2. Sleep difficulties Study found that both daytime and bedtime use of electronic devices increases the risk of sleep problems (Reid Chassiakos et al., 2016). Using electronic devices before bedtime or having them in the bedroom can lead to disrupted sleep, which affects daytime performance. Besides, the emission of blue light from screens hinders the production of melatonin, which can result in sleep difficulties. 3. Self-esteem Social media frequently exposes children to images of seemingly flawless lives, which can make children have a misperception of body image, feel inadequate and unworthy. Continuous comparisons to others on social media can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, potentially causing lasting impacts on a child's mental well-being.   Is social media completely bad for a child? Certainly No! While overuse of social media poses risk to children, there are potential benefits too, such as providing a platform for their self-expression and creativity. What’s more important is, parents and caregivers should help to balance the benefits and harms of social media use in kids. Hence, here are some tips for you: 1. Setting limits on screen time Encourage children to take breaks from social media and engage in other activities, such as physical exercise or spending time with friends and family. 2. Monitoring social media use Monitor your child’s online activity and screen for the media exposure to prevent them from being bullied or engaging in risky behavior. 3. Encouraging positive social interactions Educate children to use social media to connect with friends and family in an active way, such as engaging with their posts through liking, commenting, and creating and sharing their own content. This is because study shows that passive use of social media, such as scrolling through content, has been linked to depression (Karim et al., 2020). Thus, what matters most is not how long a child scrolls through social media, but how they actively engage with it.   Are certain children more prone to the risk of social media? According to research, infants and toddlers who have a "difficult" temperament or self-regulation issues are more prone to excessive media use (Reid Chassiakos et al., 2016). Study has shown that those with high levels of neuroticism were more likely to develop social media addiction (Marciano et al., 2022). This is because individuals with high levels of neuroticism typically experience more negative emotions, such as stress and anxiety. To cope with these emotions, they may spend more time using their phones and the internet as a means of relief. As the online environment can provide a sense of security, they can easily express themselves and share their concerns without fear of criticism or rejection. This makes them rely more on online social networking to connect with others and reduce their emotional pain. Genetic testing helps you to discover whether your child has a genetic predisposition towards neuroticism and other personality traits. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your parenting style to better support your child's emotional and mental well-being from a young age. To learn more on your child's genetic predisposition, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn traits!   References Bozzola, E., Spina, G., Agostiniani, R., Barni, S., Russo, R., Scarpato, E., ... & Staiano, A. (2022). The use of social media in children and adolescents: Scoping review on the potential risks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(16), 9960. Chen, W., Wang, X., Sun, S., Liu, Q., & Guo, Z. (2022). The relationship between neuroticism and mobile phone use among college students in love: The masking effect of self-emotional assessment. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. Karim, F., Oyewande, A. A., Abdalla, L. F., Ehsanullah, R. C., & Khan, S. (2020). Social media use and its connection to mental health: a systematic review. Cureus, 12(6). Marciano, L., Camerini, A. L., & Schulz, P. J. (2022). Neuroticism and internet addiction: What is next? A systematic conceptual review. Personality and individual differences, 185, 111260. Moreno, M. A., & Radesky, J. (2023, March 20). Social Media & Your Child’s Mental Health: What the Research Says. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/social-media-and-your-childs-mental-health-what-research-says.aspx Reid Chassiakos, Y. L., Radesky, J., Christakis, D., Moreno, M. A., Cross, C., Hill, D., ... & Swanson, W. S. (2016). Children and adolescents and digital media. Pediatrics, 138(5).
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 Cultivating Empathy                 “Provide opportunities for children practice empathy”                          Empathy is one of the few traits that holds human beings together.                    The ability to understand and share the feelings of others, putting oneself in someone else’s shoes, and responding with care and concern. When people are empathetic, there is more peace, kindness, and understanding. Some may believe that empathy is inborn trait, rather that something that can be learned. Children are born with capacity for empathy, but it needs to be nurture throughout their lives.  5 ways to practicing empathy in children:Model Empathetic Behavior: Continuously model empathy in your own interactions with others. Children learn by observing, so your behavior will influence their own practices.Role-playing Scenarios: Set up role-playing scenarios where children can take on different roles and experience situations from various perspectives. This helps them practice responding empathetically.Sharing Circles: During family or classroom discussions, create a sharing circle where can openly talk about their feelings, experiences, and challenges, Encourage active listening and thoughtful responses.Encourage Acts Of Kindness: Prompt children to perform small acts of kindness for others, such as sharing toys, helping with chores, or making cards for friends or family members.Conflict Resolution: When conflict arises, guide children through resolving them empathetically.  Help them understand the feelings and perspectives of everyone involved and find common ground.
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Friendship conflicts are a natural part of growing up. Kids will inevitably experience conflicts with their friends, such as disagreements over sharing toys, conflicting interests or opinions, misunderstandings, or even hurtful words exchanged in the heat of the moment. These conflicts can range from small squabbles to more significant challenges that test the strength of their friendships. While it may seem daunting, these conflicts are actually a natural part of friendship and provide valuable opportunities for growth and learning, as the saying goes:   “Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.”  – M. Esther Harding, British-American psychoanalyst.   As parents, we can play a crucial role in teaching our children how to effectively navigate these conflicts, fostering healthier and more resilient friendships. Let’s explore these tips to help you guide your kids in managing conflicts with their friends:   1. Helping Kids to identify and manage their emotions Teach them to recognize and understand emotions like anger and frustration. Encourage them to express their feelings in healthy ways and provide them with techniques to remain calm during heated moments. By developing emotional awareness, children can better understand their own reactions and make more thoughtful choices in conflict situations.   2. Identifying the Root of the Conflict To resolve conflicts effectively, it's essential to identify the underlying cause. Encourage your child to explore the original source of the conflict and dig deeper to understand the root issue. By helping them pinpoint the core problem, they can work towards finding more meaningful solutions rather than merely addressing surface-level disagreements.   3. Brainstorming Solutions Empower your child to develop problem-solving skills by engaging them in brainstorming sessions. Encourage them to generate a variety of potential solutions without judgment. Guide them in evaluating the pros and cons of each option. This process helps foster creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, allowing them to find mutually beneficial resolutions with their friends.   4. Practicing Effective Communication Effective communication is vital for resolving conflicts. Teach your child the value of using words to express themselves respectfully and honestly. Encourage active listening, which involves understanding and acknowledging the perspectives of others. Encourage your child to ask questions, reflect back on what they hear, and practice open and honest communication with their friends. Journaling can also be a helpful tool for children to explore and express their thoughts and feelings.   5. Encouraging Perspective Shift and Empathy: Sometimes, conflicts persist despite best efforts. If that happens, then it's best for you to encourage your child to take a mental step back and gain a new perspective. Help them understand that one behavior doesn't define an entire person. Teach them empathy by encouraging them to put themselves in their friend's shoes. Additionally, teach them that it's okay to walk away from toxic friendships when necessary, emphasizing that true friendship is based on mutual respect and shared values.   Building stronger Friendships with children  Studies have shown that children with high emotional intelligence have an easier time adjusting to and maintaining stronger friendships (Galloway et al., 2006). To better understand your child's emotional intelligence, tools like the Decode Talent DNA Test can provide invaluable insights into their genetic tendencies toward various emotional traits. This allows you to tailor your parenting approach, nurturing their emotional intelligence and skills to navigate conflicts and foster stronger friendships. The best part is, these skills are not limited to childhood but will benefit them throughout their lives in building positive and fulfilling relationships.   Check out our Decode Talent DNA Test and start shaping a personalized parenting plan for your child's development today.    References   Garey, J. (2023, March 28). Teaching Kids How to Deal With Conflict. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://childmind.org/article/teaching-kids-how-to-deal-with-conflict/   Pruett-Hornbaker, L. (2022, May 17). 5 Ways to Help Kids Handle Disagreements With Friends. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/ways-to-help-kids-handle-disagreements-with-friends   Galloway, S. H., Groves, M., & Devonport, T. (2006). Emotional Intelligence and friendship patterns among Sport Studies Students, School of Sport. Performing Arts and Leisure. CELT Learning and Teaching Projects 2005/2006.   
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In these modern days, most children spend their time on screens. Unlike in the old days, when children were eagerly waiting for 6 pm every evening so that they could go to the playground. These days, children may not be spending time outside due to many reasons. The most obvious reason has to be the domination of gadgets in children. Parents may not see this as an issue for them, in fact, they may feel relieved that they do not need to spend their time outside guarding their children playing. As simple as they may think, letting children play and spend time outside comes with a lot of benefits. Some are:Physical and Health DevelopmentDecrease the risk of MyopiaMyopia, sometimes known as short-sightedness, is becoming more prevalent worldwide. By 2050, this vision impairment will impact roughly 4.8 billion people, 2.8 billion more than in 2010. Myopia is a condition where light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina rather than directly on it, causing blurred distant vision. This distant vision issue typically arises when the axial length of the eyes grows excessively long from the front to the rear and most commonly occurs when the eyes are still developing in childhood.Myopia can be inherited or caused by specific lifestyle choices, such as spending too much time in front of a screen or performing other close-up jobs. Although people commonly blame this on genetics, genetics by themselves cannot account for this rapidly developing issue. Instead, specialists claim that we have been underestimating how the environment, and the outdoors, affects our eyesight.The eye muscles also require relaxation after long hours of constant use, just like other muscles in the body. Eye muscles relax when you are outside and concentrating on distant objects, especially after spending all day staring at a device or in a classroom. A number of studies have suggested that letting kids play outside can reduce their risk of myopia. One study by Wu encouraged young Taiwanese children to spend more time outside and after a year, students who spent at least 11 hours a week outside had much less axial elongation and myopic shift than those who stayed indoors. Exposure to sunlightWhen children play outside during the day, they will be exposed to the natural sunlight. Safe play in the sun can supply good nutrients like vitamin D to children. Additionally, the human brain can tune its ‘biological clock’ by using light cues. So, this can also ensure that children can maintain a healthy sleeping rhythm. A healthy sleeping rhythm is crucial for children to have a good rest and are always energetic and ready to learn, explore, or simply get through their day.However, we still need to take note of not exposing children to excessive amounts of sunlight, as this can lead to skin cancer and other skin problems.Improve motor skillsChildren develop 2 types of motor skills: 'fine' motor skills and 'gross' motor skills. Fine motor skills engage with smaller muscles of the body such as fingers. Gross motor skills, on the other hand, engage with the larger muscles of the body to coordinate and make larger movements.Fine motor skills let your child make use of small muscles as in their hands or fingers to do activities like holding, grasping, or pinching. They will learn how to use their hands which eventually will help them in bigger daily activities as they grow up such as holding a pencil to write. Gross motor abilities refer to activities like crawling, running, jumping, and throwing that require the use of the bigger muscles in the arms, legs, and torso. You might have noticed that children do not like to remain still, right? This is normal as your child grows up because they are developing their gross motor abilities by constantly making movements and exploring what their muscles can do.It is proven that children who play outside develop and improve their motor skills such as coordination, balance, and agility at a higher level than their "indoor" peers. Outdoor play encourages children to move in ways that strengthen their bones, muscles, and physical strength when they do activities that trigger their motor skills such as playing catch and run, kicking a ball, or climbing the stairs to go down on a slide.Help children stay fit and prevent diseasesNot just adults, children also need cardiovascular exercise to maintain good health. Your child usually has more room and freedom to make large actions like running, jumping, kicking, and throwing when they are outside. These kinds of physical activities are beneficial for your child's physical growth and fitness. This can also prevent children from suffering from obesity since the prevalence of obesity among children is worrying. Children who spend more time outside being active are less likely to become obese since they are being energetic getting rid of the calories. Obesity has many awaiting health complications in the long run. Some of these complications are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or asthma.Children exposed to outdoor play from an early age are more likely to have the awareness to take care of their health and fitness when they grow up. Besides being fit to efficiently carry out daily activities, this may also develop their interest in participating in sports. In fact, Children are advised to exercise at least an hour every day. Of course, they can exercise indoors but getting them to play outside will certainly encourage and excite them to actively play, which can also be a form of exercise for them.Intellectual DevelopmentImproving children’s five sensesChildren who spend time indoors watching TV or playing mobile games usually use only two out of five of their senses which are hearing and sight senses. On the contrary, children who spend time playing outside have more chances to utilize more of their senses. While playing, they see, hear, touch, smell, and perhaps, even taste. This can enhance their ability to respond to and process the sensory stimuli they encounter.Helps children in learning new words and conceptHands-on learning is one type of learning that can help children in understanding new words. Especially words related to the things that they can experience physically such as words related to movements or textures. A study revealed that it is much easier to understand what is meant by “squish” if you experience and feel mud squishing through your fingers. Children are more likely to learn and understand the concept of certain words by experiencing it on their own. Therefore, going outdoors can broaden their sensory experience and develop an intuitive knowledge of how things work.Social DevelopmentContribute to social and communication skillsA study shows that children who spend their time mostly outdoors are more socially expressive, which means they are able to verbalize their ideas and desires. They will also have a low tendency to have any problems fitting in and playing with others. Playing together requires teamwork which helps contribute to a positive peer-to-peer relationship. In addition, interacting with other children while they are having fun outdoors indirectly contributes to the development of their social skills. While playing, of course, they will be talking to each other, this also helps to hone their communication skills as well.Instill good behaviorWhen children play outside, they might also encounter other children’s parents and other individuals as well. This can introduce them to valuable social lessons. Some grown-ups may display good behavior, for example, turn-taking and being compromised towards others. Children, with their nature of imitating what they see or hear around them, will be influenced and eventually follow the good behaviors modeled.Furthermore, children who play outdoors have more self-awareness and compassion toward others. Studies showed that children who play outdoors have less tendency to be a bully.Boost self-confidenceBeing used to having interactions and socializing with other people from a young age will benefit children in the future. As they grow up, they will be familiar with the situation with crowds and strangers and will always be confident to communicate and socialize. Crowded situations and meeting new people can be overwhelming for some people and make them become socially awkward. However, this is not the case for children who have been exposed to such situations from young.So dear readers, by now it is clear that letting children play outside brings benefits to them in not just one aspect, but holistically. It covers and prepares them for their growing years. So, it is important for you to let your child explore, discover and experience new things during their outdoor playing activities, which can contribute to nourishing and nurturing their potential talents and abilities. To find out more about your child’s talents and abilities, the Decode Talent DNA Test will get you covered! Please visit www.agtgenetics.com for more information.
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Intelligence. This is a word that I'm sure everyone has heard of. But what does it actually imply and how does it affect an individual? Researchers developed an IQ test to measure how well someone can use information and reasoning to answer questions or make predictions. IQ tests measure short-term and long-term memory and how quickly one can solve puzzles and recall information. It helps researchers check whether they are testing for the same “kind” of intelligence or different. In short, intelligence is the ability to derive knowledge, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, comprehend, and correctly apply cognition and reason in a psychological context. However, it does not encapsulate the complexity of the mind.​Folks often believe that video games rot a kid's mind, making them passive resulting in poor social skills, but a new study argues that the opposite could be true. Children actually might get a brain boost from playing video games. Many people claim that video games make you smarter. However, intelligence is a broad concept, and we don’t know what effect video games have on it. Even then, lots of research have shown that video games can have a tangible impact on cognition,  particularly "action" video games and it improves cognitive performance in a wide range of ways (Green & Seitz, 2015).Video games are commonly believed as a time-killing activity, but you will be amazed to realize that they have favorable advantages.Do you know that video games can help you enhance your manual dexterity, increase your brain's grey matter, and strengthen your problem-solving skills? Video games can improve manual dexterity Manual dexterity or fine motor ability is the coordination of small muscles in movement with the eyes, hands, and fingers. The neurological system is linked to the various levels of manual dexterity that individuals possess. Fine motor abilities contribute to the development of intelligence and continue to develop throughout the stages of human development. In a study involving a group of surgeons, researchers found that those who played video games were faster at performing advanced procedures and made 37 percent fewer mistakes than those who didn’t (Dobnik, 2004). This proves that controller-based games can be great for your hands. Video games can boost and improve hand-eye coordination and reaction times.Video games can increase your brain’s grey matterMuscle control, memories, perception, and spatial navigation are all associated with gray matter. Gaming enables the brain to be more responsive when it comes to reporting new data. Gaming is primarily mental training that is disguised as entertainment. Smarter people are more likely to become addicted to video games because they may not be challenged enough at school or work, and video games fill that void. According to studies from Nature and Science Alert, playing video games on a daily basis may increase grey matter in the brain, and improves brain connectivity, which aids memory development. As a result, it improves players' memory capacity.Games can teach you to be a better problem-solver and decision makerChildren who played strategy-based games improved their problem-solving skills and consequently tended to obtain better marks the next school year, according to a long-term study published in 2013, proving that gaming has an impact on intelligence. The majority of video games necessitate a significant amount of problem-solving. Various games, on the other hand, necessitate different types of problem-solving. Video games, particularly action games, necessitate immediate, on-the-fly decision-making. Gamers with a lot of experience can make quick judgments under pressure. Since video games boost critical thinking and reflective learning capacity, they also improve communication skills, resourcefulness, and flexibility. Not only do video games provide many benefits but they also give positive effects on attention, determination, and mental health.Below are some examples of the positive effects of playing video games:Effect of video games on attentionGreen and Bavelier discovered that action video games improve attention control. Most action games demand that the player maintains a laser-like focus on specific elements or characters. As a result, action games significantly improve selective attention, or the ability to focus on a single stimulus. This appears to provide the greatest perceptual and attentional benefits.Effects of video games on the determination It motivates you to be more persistent because, in video games, you either win or keep trying until you attain your objective, learning from your mistakes as you go. As a result, some researchers and academics say that video games could teach people to be more self-assured and to work toward their goals, treating each failure as an opportunity to learn.Effect of video games on mental healthSome video games have been proven in studies to improve mood and heart rhythms, indicating that they may also effectively relieve stress. Numerous unrelated research has shown a link between video games and stress, which is why video games have been utilized in therapies for over a decade.However, with the good comes the bad.Although the benefits and positive effects of video games on the intellect have been covered, playing video games for long periods of time can also have negative consequences. Too much screen time can affect sleep, well-being, and academic performance. Therefore, gaming and other physical activities must be managed accordingly by parents. Gaming should always be done in moderation. Intelligence is a broad topic to be discussed. But in this write-up, we can come to an agreement that video games make you smarter in the aspects of cognition, memory, and problem-solving skill and how video games have positive effects on them. This is evident when gamers tend to rank higher for these cognitive abilities than the rest of the population.To learn more about your child's potential and abilities, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn potential! ​ ReferencesAnish Dube, MD, MPH, associate professor, psychiatry, Charles R. Drew University of  Medicine and Science, Los Angeles; Karolinska Institute, news release, May 12, 2022; Damon Korb, MD, director, Center for Developing Minds, Los Gatos, Ca.; Scientific Reports, May 12, 2022Crew, B. (2018, December 8). Gamers have more grey matter and better brain connectivity, research suggests. ScienceAlert. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.sciencealert.com/gamers-have-more-grey-matter-and-better-brain-connectivity-st    udy-suggests-2018Dobnik, V. (2004, April 7). Surgeons may err less by playing video games. NBCNews. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna4685909 Editor. (2022, February 1). Benefits of video games for Kids & Adults. GEICO Living. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.geico.com/living/home/technology/9-reasons-to-give-video-games-a-try/ Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2012). Learning, attentional control, and action video games. Current biology: CB, 22(6), R197–R206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.012Green, C. S., & Seitz, A. R. (2015). The Impacts of Video Games on Cognition (and How the Government Can Guide the Industry). Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2(1), 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1177/2372732215601121Kabir, L. (n.d.). Video games make you smarter: Backed up by research. Healthy Gamer. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.healthygamer.gg/blog/video-games-make-you-smarter-backed-up-by-research#:~:text=Video%20games%20increase%20your%20attention,cognitive%20abilities%20that%20society%20values. Kühn, S., Gleich, T., Lorenz, R. et al. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game. Mol Psychiatry 19, 265–271 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2013.120​Thompson, D. (2022, May 19). Could video games boost A child's intelligence? WebMD. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20220519/could-video-games-boost-a-childs-intelligence
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Parents are always on the lookout for their child's gifts. "Is my child gifted in math, music, sports, or arts?" is a common thought, be it consciously or subconsciously. Most parents, if not all, would wish for their child to have a special talent. While that may be the case, what's more to know about the talents of children?  Talent can be defined as a natural ability that one is an expert in. It is extremely important that we identify and nurture it from the very beginning.  “Creativity follows mastery, so mastery of skills is the first priority for young talent.” This is believed by Benjamín Bloom who was an American educational psychologist who made contributions to the classification of educational and Co-curriculum objectives. According to Benjamín Bloom, if a child’s talent is achieved successfully, teachers’ and parents’ fundamental duties of teaching basic skills and subject matter can be immensely rewarding. Discovering and cultivating unique talents in children and young people, and watching those students and their talents grow are among the great joys of teaching.Stages of Talents Development Children go through distinct periods of development as they grow from infants to young adults. During each of these stages, multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. What occurs and when approximately these developments transpire are genetically determined. According to David Henry Feldman, a college professor, who researches the growth and development of children, there are 4 stages of talent development through the ages. 4 to 10 years of age – During this stage, children explore and observe the environment to expand their mind.  10 to 13 years of age – Their talents begin to develop with the help and guidance of their teachers and role models. Competition and praise play an important role in their talent development. 13 to 18 years of age – Children learn that dedication and commitment are necessary for the development of their talent. They learn their responsibility and the needed sacrifice to grow. 18+ of their years – This stage marks the period where children decide to instill their talent as the choice of their career in the future.  Discovering the Talents of a ChildHowever, despite the Talent Development Stages that demonstrate how children develop their talents as time passes by, not many children reach their full potential. Even if a child has high potential or talents, they may not reach their full potential unless full support is offered from their parents and teachers who can teach, shape and guide them. Parents and teachers are tremendous role models that help shape the behavior of the child. Children especially in their early ages are dependent on parents and teachers to help set their goals and cultivate diligence to achieve them.  The first thing that parents should take note of is to identify what talents they have.  Typically, identifying a child’s interests can start as early as 3 to 4 years of age.  There are several ways to identify a child’s special talent to help children be better prepared in the near future according to Dwight Bain, an executive coach and mental health counselor.Ways to Identify a Child’s Special Talent1. Observation of their lifestyle: Parents ought to pay attention and observe what their children are doing in their free time and what type of activities they are interested in. Parents should also join in and engage with what their children are doing to have a better understanding.2. Academic achievement: Academic performance can help show which subjects a child is good in so that parents can have a rough idea of  the field of interest the child has. 3. The media children consume: Observing what children like to watch on television or online can help identify your child’s interest. 4. Consult children’s teachers: Teachers spend a lot of time with children, so they ought to possess a vast awareness of your child's skills, abilities, advantages, and disadvantages, especially with regard to their academic performance. Having timely conversations with children’s teachers can certainly help identify their unique talents.5. Listen to what your child is curious about Take ample time to listen to children. If there are any topics your child is interested in, he or she will ask these questions more often than usual. It is important for parents to engage with them and provide the answers to these questions to expand their knowledge and cultivate their interest. This process of interest goes on throughout their childhood when they develop and gain more experience in their field of interest. Children cannot ignite and develop their talent over time on their own. Only when parents are aware of their child’s interest, the right support, be it financial, time, and advice can be provided. Tips for Development Progress1. Start early. Children should be exposed to a variety of activities as early as the age of 3 to 4 years old. Parents are responsible to encourage their children to engage in the activities they have an interest in. Parents can be great mentors or coaches themselves when they join their kids in the activities they enjoy. 2. Practice makes perfectHaving talents is tremendously useful, but it is not enough to succeed. It takes effort, time, emotional, well-being, and strength to tap into the gifts your child has in order to succeed. 3. Setting a TargetSetting up a future goal and target that the child wants to achieve can help motivate them to achieve bigger goals in the near future. It also keeps them focused on their passion. 4. Cultivate a growing mindset. When a child has achieved their goals, they have to understand that they are not perfect, thus the need to continue striving to be better. Likewise, when a goal is not achieved, children need to be trained to have grit and a mindset of determination and perseverance. To succeed, one must meet many hardships and failures, just as ice hockey player Wayne Gretzkyp puts it, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take’. Regardless of the myriad of fields out there, it is important for children to be exposed to them to enable them to see where their interest falls into. Talent development starts with its identification, and talent identification starts first and foremost with parents. ReferencesArmstrong, P. (2016). Bloom’s taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.Bain, D. (2009). Destination Success. Revell.Gagne, F. (1991). “Toward a Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent.” In Handbook of Gifted Education, edited by N. Colangelo and G. A. Davis, pp. 65-80. Boston:                   Allyn and Bacon.
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Early life experiences can exert a huge effect on both of the brain development and behavioural development; while the latter experience also plays an important role in maintaining and elaborating, which is important in establishing a solid foundation for development after early stages (Fox, Levitt & Nelson, 2010). For example, the learning experience of a child will shape a child’s behaviour and personality as well as how the child’s brain grows and develops. ​These are the three major theories explained how children learn: Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, and Observational learning. These theories deal only with observable behaviours and purely focus on how experience shapes who we are instead of considering internal thoughts or feelings (Cherry, 2020).Classical Conditioning: Type of learning that automatic conditioned response is paired with a specific stimulus, in order to produce a behavioural response known as a conditioned response (Jamie, 2020). To make this a bit more concrete, let’s use a classic experiment as an example. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist discovered over time that, dogs were salivating not only when their food was presented to them, but when the people who fed them arrived. In order to test his theory that the dogs were salivating because they were associating the people with being fed, he began ringing a bell and then presenting the food so they’d associate the sound with food. These dogs learned to associate the bell ringing with food, causing their mouths to salivate whenever the bell rang, not just when they encountered the food (Clark, 2004). Children learn in much the same way, developing associations between things in their environment and potential consequences. For example, an infant might quickly start to associate the sight of a baby bottle with being fed. Or when a child sees needle, he or she will immediately associate the needle with pain and cry at the sight of it.Operant Conditioning: Type of learning that when a behaviour is rewarded, the chances that the same behaviour is likely to occur again. When a behaviour is punished, the chance of the same behaviour is less likely to occur again. In other words, it is a set of learning techniques that utilizes reinforcement and punishment to either increase or decrease a behaviour (Grant, 2014). For example, whenever a child goes to bed on time, his parent reads him a bedtime story. The story reading is a positive reinforcement used to increase his child’s behaviour which is going to bed on time.Observational Learning: A process of learning through watching others, retaining the information, and then later replicating the behaviours that were observed. It can take place at any point in life, but it tends to be the most common during childhood as children learn from the authority figures and peers in their lives. For example, a child watches his mother folding the laundry. He later picks up some clothing and imitates folding the clothes.It also plays an important role in the socialization process, as children learn how to behave and respond to others by observing how their parents and other caregivers interact with other people. Therefore, it is important to ensure that children are observing the right kind of behaviour, and parents have to be sure that their children are learning how to act responsibly by modelling good behaviours and appropriate responses. In addition to the types of learning that happen in a day-to-day basis, there are also other experiences that play a role in shaping a child’s development such as their peers like kids at the playground, neighbourhood and school. Children are very influenced by their peers, and these social experiences help shape a child's values and personality (Blazevic, 2016).Besides that, teachers and classmates play a major role in making up a child's experiences, and academics and learning also leave their mark on development (Osher, Kendiziora, Spier, and Garibaldi, 2014). Because genetics and the environment are always interacting in a dynamic way. A child's genetic background will influence his ability to learn, hence, good educational experiences can enhance these abilities. Other than that, the culture that a child grows up and lives in has also played a role in how a child develops. For example, a child who raised in individualistic cultures might help on developing the autonomy and self-esteem; in the opposite, a child who raised in collectivist cultures tend to express higher levels of sadness, fear and discomfort (Putnam & Gartstein, 2019).Thus, we can see how genetics, environmental influences, and parenting styles are interacting in a child’s development. Each part of our life plays an important role in shaping our behaviour and personality as well as determining what kind of person will be in the future.ReferencesBlazevic, I. (2016). Family, peer and school influence on children's social development. World J Educ. 6(2), 42-49. http://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v6n2p42Cherry, K. (2020). Child Development Theories and Examples. Verywellmind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/child-development-theories-2795068Clark, R. E. (2004). The classical origins of Pavlov’s conditioning. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science. 39, 279-294. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02734167Fox, S. E., Levitt, P., Nelson, C. A. (2010). How the timing and quality of early experiences influence the development of brain architecture. Child Dev. 81(1):28–40. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01380.xGrant, D. A. (2014). Classical and Operant Conditioning. In: Categories of Human Learning. Elsevier. 1-31. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1016/B978-1-4832-3145-7.50006-6Jamie, E. (2020). Classical Conditioning and How It Relates to Pavlov’s Dog. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/classical-conditioningOsher, D., Kendiziora, K., Spier, E., Garibaldi, M. L. (2014). School influences on child and youth development. In: Sloboda Z, Petras H, eds., Defining Prevention science. New York, NY: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7424-2_7Putnam, S. & Gartstein, M. A. (2019). How different cultures shape children’s personalities in different ways. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-different-cultures-shape-childrens-personalities-in-different-ways/2019/01/11/1c059a92-f7de-11e8-8d64-4e79db33382f_story.html
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As we all know, the inherited genes from our parents influence everything from height, eyes colour, hair colour and other physical characteristics, to intelligence, behavioural patterns and personality traits. Who we are today is shaped by our genetic background as well as environmental influences. Most researchers agree that a complex interaction of both nature and nurture is involved in a child's development (Levitt, 2013). The complex interaction of both nature and nurture does not just occur at a particular moment or throughout periods of time, rather it is a persistent and a lifelong process (Cherry, 2020). ​Therefore, it is important for parents, caregivers, and even educators to understand the science behind our children’s genetics in order to nurture them to their full potential, healthiest and happiest selves.  ​The very beginning of a child's development starts when the male reproductive cell, a sperm, combines with the female reproductive cell, an ovum. Each sperm and ovum contains chromosomes that act as a blueprint for human life (Ludlow & Gutierrez, 2014). These chromosomes contain genes that are made up of a chemical structure known as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) which consist of genetic codes that make up all of life. All cells in the body consist of 46 chromosomes, while the sperm and ovum each consists only 23 chromosomes (Ludlow & Gutierrez, 2014). This is to ensure that the new organism has the correct 46 chromosomes when both the cells fuse.  The genes that a person have inherited are referred to as a genotype; while a phenotype refers to how the genes are actually expressed. For instances, phenotypes include physical traits like height and eyes colour, as well as non-physical traits like personality traits, such as extroversion (Ludlow & Gutierrez, 2014). ​There are two types of interactions that determine how a gene is expressed, which are Genetic Interaction and Gene-Environment Interaction. Genetic Interaction refers to a phenomenon where two or more genes affects the expression of each other in various ways in the development of a single character of an organism (Shinde, 2015). In other words, genes can sometimes contain conflicting information, and in most cases, one gene will win the battle for dominance (Cherry, 2020). The eye colour is one example of dominant-recessive genes pattern. If one parent inherits a dominant brown eye gene while the other parent inherits a recessive blue eye gene, the dominant gene will win out and the child will have brown eyes (Cherry, 2020). Gene-Environment Interaction is referred to as the environment that a child is exposed to since young. Even in the uterus of the mother, the genes expressed will be impacted. For example, height is a good example of how genetic traits are influenced by environmental factors. While a genetic code of a child may indicate height, if the child has poor nutrition or chronic illness, those factors might affect him in growing tall (Jelenkovic, 2016). Genetic code might also go off course sometimes. The genetic abnormalities occur when the zygote have an uneven number of chromosomes. For example, the number of chromosomes might divide unevenly and caused the organism to have more or less than the normal 23 chromosomes, when the sperm and the ovum is combined. ​ ​Evidently, genetic influences have a huge impact on child development. Nevertheless, genes are not the only determinant of a child’s future, environmental factors like parenting, education, culture as well as social relationships also play an important role.  References Cherry, K. (2020). How Genes Influence Child Development. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/genes-and-development-2795114 Jelenkovic A., Sund, R., Hur, Y. M., et al. (2016). Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts. Sci Rep 6:28496. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1038/srep28496 Levitt, M. (2013). Perceptions of nature, nurture and behaviour. Life Sci Soc Policy. 9:13. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1186/2195-7819-9-13 Ludlow, A. & Gutierrez, R. (2014). Developmental Psychology. 52. Lynch, M. (2019). The Impact of Genetics on Child Development. Retrieved from https://www.theedadvocate.org/the-impact-of-genetics-on-child-development/ Shinde, H. S. (2015). Gene Interaction. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/harshrajshinde1/gene-interaction              
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Do you think you are giving the best to your children? Wanting the best for our children is the motivation to parents’ day to day relentless and hard work. Years and decades spent in earning money, not just to raise a child up, but to raise a child well. Parents send children to the best schools, the best tuition centres, the best enrichment programmes, the best holiday camps, the best one-to-one personal tutor et cetera. Apart from educational or developmental avenues, a lot of money is spent in the process such as learning resources like books, musical instruments, uniforms, events or trips, transportation and the list goes on. Parents no doubt want the best for their children. We want them to be the best they can ever be, and take up the heavy burden willingly and unconditionally to pave the way of security, success and happiness for our children. But is this really the best?​If the above description sounds like you, it is time to pause and think and ask yourselves “What is really the best for my children?”. It is common to hear parents say “I want my child to be happy ultimately”, “I want them to enjoy doing what they like” or “I want them to pursue their dreams”, but the question is how do we as parents get there? The problem is we assume that we know what is best for our child. We think the solution is to give them everything we can get our hands on. Endless hours of tuition, art classes, interpersonal skills development, sports activities, you name it! No doubt these are good for some children, but are they necessarily good for your children?Your child does not need everything.Everything is too much for your child. Realistically speaking, there is no way a child can excel in anything and everything. We know that, yet out of our loving concern for them, we send them to all the classes to hone every aspect of their lives. As a result, instead of achieving our good intentions, children may be impacted negatively. Though this may not be the case for everybody, studies have shown that high expectations from parents, educators and students themselves to perform excellently in their academics can be a source of heighten stress among students (Tan and Yates, 2011).By putting too much pressure on children, their mental health is negatively affected. Mental health relates to major issues such as depression, anxiety and stress which are growing in prevalence (Lee and Syaid, 2017). Reports from the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2012 and 2017 reported a rise of suicidal ideation, plan and actual attempts among Malaysian youths as young as 13 to 17 years old (Institute for Public Health, 2017; Institute for Public Health, 2012).It was also discovered that 1 in 5 adolescents are depressed, 2 in 5 are anxious and 1 in 10 are stressed (Institute for Public Health, 2017). One underlying cause for mental health issues are academic and environmental factors, which consequently impair one’s development, productivity and poor achievement in learning. With your child’s mental health affected, it becomes difficult for your child to develop his or her potential (Lee and Syaid, 2017).Your child needs a push into the right direction.Every child is unique. Rather than helping your child excel in everything which is obviously not feasible, what they really need is proper guidance to what they are naturally good at. Instead of aiming blindly and diverting your attention and theirs, parents should devote and dedicate all resources into areas that they have potential in. By doing this, parents can save plenty of time and money in the long run. At the meantime, you take the heavy stressful workload off your children’s shoulders and provide much room for them to enjoy their passions.Research has shown that children learn better in a positive environment whereby both their developmental and social needs are met (Willis, 2007; Smith, et al., 2016). Enjoyment in a learning institution also reinforces their academic aspiration, which subsequently improve their health and academic performance (Smith, et al., 2016).Joy in learning also leads to improved information processing and long-term memory storage. A pleasurable learning experience releases a neurotransmitter known as dopamine which stimulates the brain’s memory centre to release acetylcholine which aids in prolonging attention span. On the other hand, stress, boredom, lack of motivation, confusion ​and anxiety hinders your child’s learning experience (Willis, 2007).But the question remains: “How do we know our children’s interest as early as their infant years?”.Giving them the best by knowing your children.Children development starts as early as their infant years. The first few years are a critical developmental period for the optimal growth. Yet, knowing your children takes time, it takes years as they grow and learn.  Conventionally, parents use old-fashioned trial and error methods to find what works best with their children.  When early stage of life is so critical that we cannot afford losing the opportunity, how then can we know our children since young? The answer lies in their DNA.​DNA are genetic molecules that everybody inherits from their parents and it functions to code for proteins and cells in your body, in other words, it makes up who you are as a fully functional and amazing person! Your hair is a certain colour because your DNA “instructs” it so, your body creates enzymes in your stomach because your DNA determines so, and the applications are endless. Needless to say, your child’s DNA can inform you about their developmental traits in as many as 5 key areas such as their talents, Intelligence quotient (IQ), Emotional quotient (EQ), Personality and Overall Wellness. These “hidden” information stored in their DNA allows you to make focused decisions in building him or her up, by navigating their learning processes or choices wisely. By knowing their strengths and weaknesses, you can take early measures to curb the foreseen challenges they will face, while enhancing their potential, all these being done in a positive stress-free environment.A deep understanding about your child’s nature empowers you to make parenting decision tailored for their needs, enable you to nurture them well and truly give them the best that they deserved. Understand your child’s DNA today with Absolute Genetic Technologies’ Decode Talent DNA Test (DTDT) today!
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Personality development in children is a complex and dynamic process influenced by genetics, environment, and experiences. Each child is unique, displaying a variety of traits that shape their interactions with the world. This article explores several important personality traits in children, including aggressiveness, anger, anxiety, depression, extraversion, fear of uncertainty, hyperactivity, hyperthymic temperament, loneliness, neuroticism, optimism, novelty seeking, risk taking, and sentimentality.   Summary Aggressiveness  Essential Parenting Tips to Manage Aggression in Children Anger Effective Strategies for Managing Children's Anger Anxiety  Important Parenting Tips on Managing Children Anxiety  Depression Supporting Your Child Through Depression Extraversion  Practical Parenting Tips for Extroverted Children  Fear of Uncertainty  Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of Uncertainty Hyperactivity  Understanding and Managing Hyperactivity in Children Hyperthymic Temperament (High-spirited Temperament)  Guiding Children with a Hyperthymic Temperament Loneliness Helping Children Overcome Loneliness Neuroticism  Supporting Children with Neurotic Traits Optimism Fostering Optimism in Children Novelty Seeking (Adventure Seeking) Nurturing Healthy Curiosity Risk Taking (Thrill Seeking)  Encouraging Responsible Exploration Sentimentality (Heartfelt Emotion)  Cultivating Emotional Awareness   Aggressiveness Aggressiveness in children can manifest as physical or verbal behaviours intended to cause harm or assert dominance. It is often a response to frustration, fear, or a lack of coping skills. Addressing aggressiveness involves teaching emotional regulation, conflict resolution, and empathy. Interventions like positive reinforcement and behaviour modification can help manage aggressive behaviours and encourage more positive interactions.   Essential Parenting Tips to Manage Aggression in Children: Teach Emotional Regulation: Help your child identify and label their emotions. Encourage them to use words to express feelings rather than physical actions. Model Calm Behaviour: Demonstrate how to handle frustration and anger calmly. Positive Reinforcement: Reward non-aggressive behaviour to reinforce positive actions. Conflict Resolution Skills: Role-play conflict scenarios to practice peaceful problem-solving. Ensure Restful Sleep: Make sure your child is getting enough sleep based on the amount of sleep required according to age.  Lack of sleep is a significant factor that can contribute to aggressiveness in children. Sleep deprivation affects mood, cognitive abilities, and overall behaviour, making children more prone to irritability and anger. For more insights on how sleep affects behaviour and practical tips on identifying insomnia in children, click here to read more. This resource delves deeper into the science behind sleep and behaviour, offering guidance on how much sleep your child should get.    Anger Anger is a natural emotion that children experience when they feel threatened, frustrated, or powerless. However, how they express and manage anger is crucial. Teaching children to recognise triggers, use calming techniques, and express their feelings in constructive ways is essential. Supportive parenting and modelling healthy anger management can significantly influence a child's ability to handle anger.   Effective Strategies for Managing Children's Anger: 1. Recognise Triggers: Identify what situations or factors trigger your child's anger. 2. Teach Calming Techniques: Introduce deep breathing, counting to ten, or taking a time-out. 3. Provide an Outlet: Encourage physical activities or creative outlets like drawing to express anger. 4. Empathy Training: Teach empathy by discussing how others feel and the impact of their actions. Tantrums are often closely related to anger, particularly in young children who have limited means of expressing complex emotions. Overcoming tantrums can be challenging for parents and caregivers, but understanding effective strategies can make a significant difference. If you're seeking practical advice on managing tantrums, click here to read more. This resource offers insights into the causes of tantrums, techniques for prevention, and methods for handling them when they occur. You'll find tips on maintaining calm, setting clear boundaries, and fostering better communication with your child to minimise future outbursts.   Anxiety Anxiety in children can range from mild worry to severe, debilitating fear. Common triggers include new experiences, separation from parents, or academic pressures. Symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, and physical complaints. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness practices, and a supportive home environment can help children manage anxiety effectively.   Important Parenting Tips on Managing Children Anxiety: 1. Establish Routines: Provide a predictable daily schedule to reduce uncertainty. 2. Validate Feelings:  Acknowledge your child’s fears and anxieties without dismissing them. 3. Encourage Gradual Exposure: Slowly introduce them to anxiety-inducing situations to build tolerance. 4. Promote Relaxation Techniques: Teach mindfulness, meditation, or yoga. Parenting styles play a crucial role in shaping a child's emotional and psychological development. One particular style, known as helicopter parenting, involves closely monitoring and often over-involved approaches to parenting, which can lead to various emotional challenges in children, including increased anxiety. Helicopter parenting often prevents children from experiencing the minor setbacks and challenges necessary for developing resilience and self-confidence. When parents constantly hover and step in to resolve every problem, children may feel less capable of handling life's inevitable difficulties on their own. This can lead to heightened anxiety and dependency on parental intervention. To explore more about how helicopter parenting influences anxiety in children and to discover strategies for more balanced parenting approaches, click here to read more. This article provides insights into identifying helicopter parenting behaviours and offers guidance on fostering independence and resilience in children to better equip them for the challenges of life.   Depression Childhood depression, characterised by persistent sadness, irritability, and loss of interest in activities, can significantly impact a child’s development. Early intervention is crucial. Therapy, particularly CBT, and sometimes medication, combined with a nurturing and understanding environment, can help alleviate symptoms and support the child's emotional health.   Supporting Your Child Through Depression: 1. Open Communication: Encourage your child to talk about their feelings without fear of judgement. 2. Monitor for Symptoms: Be vigilant for signs of persistent sadness or withdrawal and seek professional help if needed. 3. Encourage Activities:  Promote involvement in hobbies and social activities to boost mood. 4. Create a Supportive Environment: Ensure a loving, stable home environment. Social media is a big part of many children's lives, but it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. For some kids, seeing the perfect moments of others' lives on these platforms can make them feel less confident or left out, which can lead to feelings of depression. It's also important to consider how things like cyberbullying and excessive time online can disrupt sleep, reduce physical activity, and limit real-life social interactions, all vital for a child's well-being. If you're a parent looking to understand more about how social media might be affecting your child's mental health, and what you can do to help, click here to read more. This guide offers easy-to-understand insights and practical tips for creating a healthier digital environment for your child.   Extraversion Extraversion refers to a child's tendency to seek social interaction and thrive in stimulating environments. Extraverted children are often energetic, talkative, and assertive. Encouraging their social skills and providing opportunities for group activities can help extraverted children channel their energy positively and develop strong interpersonal relationships.   Practical Parenting Tips for Extroverted Children: 1. Provide Social Opportunities: Facilitate playdates, team sports, and group activities. 2. Encourage Leadership: Support their interest in leading group activities or projects. 3. Balance Activity and Rest: Help them find a balance between social time and downtime to recharge. 4. Model Social Skills: Demonstrate positive social interactions and communication.   Fear of Uncertainty Children with a high fear of uncertainty may struggle with changes and unpredictability. This trait can lead to anxiety and avoidance behaviours. Helping children build resilience through gradual exposure to new situations, offering predictable routines, and fostering problem-solving skills can mitigate the negative impacts of this fear.   Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of Uncertainty: 1. Offer Predictability: Maintain a consistent routine and provide advance notice of changes. 2. Build Coping Skills: Teach problem-solving and coping strategies for dealing with new situations. 3. Gradual Exposure: Gradually expose your child to new experiences to build confidence. 4. Encourage Flexibility: Help your child understand that change can be positive and teach adaptability.   Hyperactivity Hyperactivity, often associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), involves excessive movement, fidgeting, and difficulty staying focused. Structured environments, clear expectations, and strategies like breaking tasks into smaller steps can help manage hyperactive behaviours. Behavioural therapy and, in some cases, medication may also be beneficial.   Understanding and Managing Hyperactivity in Children: 1. Structured Environment: Create a structured routine with clear expectations and limits. 2. Physical Activity: Provide plenty of opportunities for physical activity to channel energy. 3. Break Tasks into Steps: Divide larger tasks into manageable steps to maintain focus. 4. Positive Reinforcement: Reward efforts to stay focused and complete tasks.   Hyperthymic Temperament (High-spirited Temperament)  A hyperthymic temperament is characterised by an exceptionally positive mood, high energy levels, and a sociable disposition. While generally advantageous, it can sometimes lead to impulsivity or risk-taking behaviours. Balancing enthusiasm with self-control and teaching the importance of moderation can help children with this temperament navigate social interactions successfully.   Guiding Children with a Hyperthymic Temperament: 1. Channel Energy Positively: Encourage involvement in sports or creative projects. 2. Teach Self-Control: Help your child learn to regulate their enthusiasm and impulses. 3. Encourage Balanced Activities: Promote a balance between high-energy activities and quieter, reflective ones. 4. Model Emotional Regulation: Demonstrate how to stay calm and focused.   Loneliness Loneliness in children can stem from social isolation, lack of meaningful connections, or difficulties in social situations. Encouraging social skills, facilitating peer interactions, and providing emotional support are vital. Ensuring children feel understood and valued can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness.   Helping Children Overcome Loneliness: 1. Foster Connections: Facilitate opportunities for social interactions and friendships. 2. Develop Social Skills: Teach and model social skills like sharing, empathy, and communication. 3. Validate Feelings: Listen to your child's feelings of loneliness and validate their emotions. 4. Encourage Hobbies: Promote involvement in activities where they can meet peers with similar interests.   Neuroticism Neuroticism involves a predisposition to experience negative emotions like anxiety, anger, and depression. High levels of neuroticism in children can lead to emotional instability. Teaching coping mechanisms, fostering a supportive environment, and promoting positive thinking can help manage these tendencies.   Supporting Children with Neurotic Traits: 1. Promote Stability: Provide a stable and predictable home environment. 2. Teach Coping Mechanisms: Introduce relaxation techniques and stress management strategies. 3. Encourage Positive Thinking: Help your child reframe negative thoughts and focus on positive aspects. 4. Provide Support: Be emotionally available and supportive, helping them navigate their feelings.   Optimism Optimistic children tend to have a positive outlook on life and are more resilient in the face of challenges. Encouraging optimism involves modelling positive thinking, celebrating successes, and helping children reframe negative experiences. Optimism can enhance mental well-being and improve overall life satisfaction.   Fostering Optimism in Children: 1. Model Positive Thinking: Demonstrate an optimistic outlook in your daily life. 2. Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s successes and efforts. 3. Encourage Goal Setting: Help your child set and achieve realistic goals. 4. Teach Resilience: Prepare them to handle setbacks positively by discussing strategies for overcoming challenges.   Novelty Seeking (Adventure Seeking) Children with a high propensity for novelty seeking are eager to explore new experiences and take risks. While this can foster creativity and adaptability, it can also lead to impulsivity. Providing safe outlets for exploration and teaching risk assessment skills can help balance their adventurous spirit with caution.   Nurturing Healthy Curiosity: 1. Safe Exploration: Provide opportunities for safe exploration and new experiences. 2. Teach Risk Assessment: Help your child learn to evaluate risks and make informed decisions. 3. Encourage Creativity: Support creative activities and problem-solving exercises. 4. Set Boundaries: Establish clear rules to ensure safety while allowing exploration.   Risk Taking (Thrill Seeking)  Risk taking in children involves engaging in behaviours that involve uncertainty or potential negative consequences. This trait can be beneficial for developing independence and problem-solving skills. Guiding children to evaluate risks and make informed decisions can help them harness the positive aspects of this trait while minimising dangers.   Encouraging Responsible Exploration: 1. Teach Safe Risk-Taking: Encourage taking calculated risks within safe boundaries. 2. Model Decision Making: Demonstrate how to weigh pros and cons before making decisions. 3. Support Independence: Allow your child to make choices and learn from consequences in a controlled environment. 4. Discuss Consequences: Talk about potential outcomes of risky behaviours to foster understanding.   Sentimentality (Heartfelt Emotion)  Sentimentality involves a strong emotional response to situations and a deep appreciation for relationships and memories. Sentimental children may form strong attachments and show empathy and compassion. Encouraging emotional expression and validating their feelings can nurture their sentimental nature and support emotional development.   Cultivating Emotional Awareness: 1. Validate Emotions: Encourage your child to express their feelings and validate their emotions. 2. Create Memories: Engage in activities that create meaningful family memories. 3. Encourage Empathy: Foster empathy by discussing others' feelings and encouraging compassionate actions. 4. Support Emotional Expression: Provide outlets for expressing emotions, such as journaling or creative arts.   Conclusion Understanding and nurturing the diverse personality traits in children is crucial for their emotional and social development. By recognising and addressing these traits thoughtfully, parents and educators can help children build resilience, form healthy relationships, and achieve their full potential. Each trait offers unique strengths and challenges, and with the right support, children can learn to navigate their personalities effectively. As parents, we’re always on the lookout for ways to nurture our children's growth, and understanding their unique personalities is crucial. Imagine gaining insights into your child’s innate temperament and behavioural tendencies. With our Decode Talent DNA Test, you can discover fascinating DNA insights into aspects of your child's personality such as extroversion, hyperactivity, and more. By analysing their genetic markers, we provide personalised guidance tailored to your child’s specific personality traits, empowering you to support their emotional and social development more effectively. With this knowledge, you can enhance their strengths, address areas needing growth, and tailor their developmental experiences to suit their individual personalities. Join us in unlocking the full potential of your child’s personality and guiding them towards a fulfilling future! Head over to our website for more information.   
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Executive functioning encompasses many skills that combine our ability to integrate the cognitive, communication, sensory, and motor skills we develop over time to become successful adults. Executive function and self-regulation skills depend on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. These functions are highly interrelated, and the successful application of executive function skills requires them to operate in coordination with each other. Working memory: governs our ability to retain and manipulate amount of information over short periods of time. Mental flexibility: helps us to maintain or change our focus in response to various demands or to apply various rules in various contexts. Self-control: enables us to prioritise tasks and resist impulsive actions or responses.   Starting at a very young age, we learn these skills to conduct daily activities, from playing to socializing and learning. Executive function skills are used in almost every area of our daily life, but as we enter school, they become increasingly important.   Executive function skills develop as we age, as we continue to acquire more skills throughout our lives. According to the developmental model of executive functioning skills, which many psychologists and experts in child development support, everyone is born with some genetic propensity or natural capacity to develop behaviours related to executive functioning.   Some children may need more support than others to develop these skills. As children grow, they practice executive skill through social play. Parents and teachers can start giving children more responsibilities, depending on their age. Early on, assigning duties to kids can assist develop and exercise their executive functions. Children can practise the skills they need before putting them into practise on their own by being in a setting that supports their development. Adults can help children develop executive skills by establishing routines, modelling social behaviour, and establishing and maintaining supportive and reliable relationships.   We use these skills every day to learn, work, and manage daily life, therefore having trouble with executive function can make you to have difficulties in managing the daily activities which results to underwhelming and unsatisfying work. However, note that not all individuals develop executive functioning milestones in the same approach in their age. Some learners need more intense practice to build independence. Others may require targeted interventions focused on further developing executive function skills. And a small group of unique learners such as children with autism or ADHD may need long-term strategies and support in these areas as they transition to adulthood.    Through learning opportunities and challenges, children develop skills such as organization, time management, emotional control, and other important executive behaviours. This will prepare them for the future as they have a lot of experience shaping their skills in many of these areas.   Parents often expect the children to continue to use executive functioning skills independently. Children may still have confusion and pitfalls, but if they have mastered the fundamentals of executive functioning, they can live a holistic lifestyle. Parents shouldn't expect their children to be independent all the time and should make sure to be an assistance to them because, as was previously noted, most children start to acquire executive functioning skills during the early forms of play and grow upon those areas throughout time.   Executive function skills are enhanced through exposure. The more exposed your child is to handling various situations, the more abilities or skills they can develop and enhance. Learning through failure also creates opportunity, allowing children not only to discover what doesn't work, but to adapt their solutions for future attempts. Children will get to learn about themselves too in the process.    An example of executive function is when you observe that your child is able to plan a situation or for a situation. The ability to identify and manage tasks that are future-focused is referred to as planning. Action planning involves identifying future responsibilities and events, setting goals to achieve them, and analysing the steps required to complete tasks in advance. Skills begin to develop in infancy as we learn to focus on objects and make intentional body movements like grabbing and pointing. Up to the age of twelve, when children enter the early learning years, their planning abilities enable them to comprehend increasingly complicated instructions and follow actions to accomplish their goals. They can start to autonomously organise their steps toward bigger objectives by the time. As adults, we can create and maintain several different plans to achieve many different goals at the same time.   Children of age between the ages of 6 and 18, children learn skills such as working memory and impulse control, and then hone these skills through learning during the next 18 to 36 months. Indirectly, young children can develop language skills, which support the development of executive functions such as self-regulation. Through language and communication, young children are able to discern their thoughts and actions, ponder, and plan. Improving language skills also helps young children understand rules and regulate behaviour. For example, children in this age group develop the ability to understand simple information such as how to walk down stairs instead of running. The painting is on paper, not on the wall. As children grow, they develop more executive function skills. They can manage their time, discover when to start tasks, participate in problem solving, and exercise different types of control such as emotions, attention, and self-regulation. But what role do these executive learning skills play in time management and other controls?    Through time management, they will be able to understand how long tasks will take, and along the time, they’re also able to budget time effectively and complete routines with ease. Task initiation involves how children initiate and independently generate new ideas, solve problems, and respond to tasks. It’s considered one of the core executive function skills and can be difficult for many children such as children with autism or ADHD and other attention-related diagnoses. Task initiation can be developed at an early age through parents reminders and support. As children grow, they can independently start and complete tasks with longer durations without being distracted. For children, parents can start with giving them chores that require their focus, thinking, problem-solving and attention skills such as folding clothes, reading books and solving mathematics questions. Children typically develop problem-solving skills through games such as Lego and jigsaw puzzles. These games require you to understand how things work and come up with solutions to the identified problems. Through problem-solving, children are able to independently identify problems in a variety of situations, whether at home, school, work, or with friends. Children can sort out the conflicts and decide issues but parents must help to provide feedback and support in resolving conflicts or addressing issues. Problem-solving skills also ties in closely with many other executive functioning skills such as attentional control and working memory.   To improve executive function skills in children, parents can start with: Physical games and challenges Physical games and challenges for children teach them how to concentrate and help them realize that success may not always come immediately, but through practice and the use of strategies, they can succeed. For instance, start with giving children options they can choose from in order to try new skills such as throwing and catching balls or egg and spoon race. Simple rules around each kind of physical games, such as taking turns running to a ‘finish line’ and back or no holding the egg on spoon, will enhance their working memory. You could also include games that require self-control or inhibition, like Red Light Green Light or Simon Says games that require children to stop upon a certain word, hold the pose, then return to moving upon the next signal. And catchy songs such as “Head, Shoulder, Knee and Toes” that have word-specific dance moves to the words exercise children’s bodies as well as their attention, working memory, inhibitory control and self-control by requiring them to wait until certain parts of the song to do the dance. Conversations that involve lots of questions Regular conversation with your kids is the best approach to support their language development while also encouraging their openness and ease of communication. Your kids will need to recall their experiences to respond, which will improve their working memory as they strive to retain these memories. Talking about feelings will also improve your child's language development and inspire storytelling. Asking a toddler, "Are you happy?" is a perfect example of how important questions are while they are young. "Are you furious?" What outfit do you wish to wear today? Asking them, "How's your day at playschool?" will encourage kids to converse and become aware of their own emotions. Imaginary play This preschool range of age is also where children strive to mimic adult behaviour and can frequently be observed engaging in pretend play, such as playing restaurants and schools with friends. These behaviours are not only imitations; rather, they are indications of imaginary play plots that have to be supported. For instance, one friend might be the cook while the other might be the diner. Your child may "cook" in the pot, then place it on the table with the diner "pretending" to eat. Adults can ask kids questions about what they are doing, what else they could make, what they are eating, and why they are doing it while they are doing it.   It's important that you cooperate and let the children take the initiative because doing so will enable them to govern their own conduct as well as the behaviour of others. To better understand how kids learn through play, watch the following video below and visit our website at www.agtgenetics.com to find out your child’s executive skills!      
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“The best thing you can give your children is time.”  Quality time is the time spent together and giving undivided attention focusing only on your loved ones, your children. Nowadays, most parents do not have enough time to spend with their children as they are packed with their work schedules and children are busy with school activities too. However, today's generation of children requires extra attention on both physical and emotional care, thus parents need to allocate time to spend on the children to understand their child and create bonds. Family members are linked in significant ways throughout each stage of life. Each connection has a lasting impact and provides the support and reassurance that your child needs.  Additionally, quality time with children plays a role in making them have holistic development and growth. As children nowadays are exposed to numerous types of media, societal issues, and other environmental elements such as relationships and social influences, it is necessary for parents to connect with their children's sentiments, emotions, and ways of thinking. Children who receive emotional and physical support from their parents are less likely to have behavioural problems.    Connecting with your child and spending some quality time together brings many benefits to your children. Early childhood research has revealed that a child's familial environment has a critical role in their development of self (Harter, 2015). The following are some advantages of spending quality time: Building self-esteem Many external and internal aspects, including those related to education, friends, and relationships, can have an impact on one's self-esteem; nevertheless, the family seems to play a crucial part in this process. A child's sense of self, socializing, and cultural identity can all be influenced by the connections and social interactions among family members. Children who interact with their parents and engage in activities as a family develop a significant sense of self-worth. Children feel better about themselves when they sense their parents value them. Even the simplest family activities, like singing and cooking can be exciting. Strengthens family bonds Families that engage in activities or house chores together tend to develop solid, emotional relationships. Studies have also found that families who enjoy group activities together can adapt well to difficult situations too. It encourages communication and interaction By spending time with your children, you foster an environment conducive to active conversation. Communication is key when you want your kids to be transparent when talking to you about anything.  It can make a significant difference to just ask your child how their day has been. By example, kids learn! Thus, they are more likely to practice those behaviours in other relationships in their lives when you are setting a positive example for them through spending quality time together. They will learn more about communication and interaction with people indirectly, improving their social abilities. Simple activities like playing games together or sharing toys will teach them the value of sharing and kindness. It can help your child’s academic performance Krauss contends that parental involvement in a child's education may enhance the learning environment, boost academic performance, and boost the child's perception of competence. Helping your kids with their schooling or reading aloud to them will help create a culture that values education, especially in the early years. Your child is more likely to perform well in school when they are comfortable approaching you with their assignments. However, the lack of quality time leads to behavioural problems among the children. Let us take a look at some of the harmful effects of not spending quality time with children. Effects of lack of quality time are:   Lacking of familial relationship The absence of bonds and connections between parents and children causes the children to feel distant. When a child experiences these sorts of emotions, it makes them feel unappreciated and unloved, which can cause family values like love, care, empathy, support, and the list goes on to fade. Because they suppress their feelings as children, these kids will grow up to be people who are overwhelmed by unfavourable emotions. Additionally, perhaps it would turn them into a rebellious child. When there is no family time, these children completely rely on their friends for trust, which is not necessarily a negative thing, but it hinders them from understanding what a family entails. This could also result in a child developing confidence in strangers, who might take advantage of their vulnerability.   Emotional Distress A child who does not get enough quality time tends to feel lonely and empty.  A child's psyche is far more nuanced than it initially looks.   When there is no one to talk to, children have no other way to express their emotions. When no one is paying attention to them, these kids will feel hurt. These kids might no longer feel valued and loved by their parents, and they might also experience instability in their self-esteem, uncertainty, and lack of trust.   Negative Behaviour The last effect is negative behaviour. Even though these behaviours might not be apparent right away, the child may experience harm as a result of using aggressiveness as a way to express their feelings of loneliness and despair. Boys and girls may experience these issues at different ages, and they may be either direct or indirect. Behavioural problems are something that should not be taken lightly. Therefore, there are many ways to improve quality time:  1. When everyone's schedules are hectic, designate one day per week for family time. 2. Establish a routine that you and your kids can practice every day. Allowing your child to choose and read one book with you at bedtime is one example. 3. Express your feelings visibly.  Tell them how much you love them, how they make you feel and display what love looks like to them.  The feelings need to connect with the mind. 4. Reinforce positive behaviour. Praise them for their effort and encourage them for their good behaviour.   It's essential to have a special bond with your children and can be a simple priority to incorporate into your daily schedule. Doing so, they will enjoy long-lasting impacts as they grow into contributing adults in the future.
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What is parenting? Parenting is a process of raising children and providing them with protection, care and also support. Supporting children physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually ensures their healthy development and smooth transition into adulthood. The right parenting style such as positive parenting will develop a disciplined child. Positive parenting emphasizes positive discipline rather than harsh discipline and punishment for misbehavior. When a child misbehaves, parents should strive to concentrate on teaching the desired behavior rather than penalizing the child.  Our child learns to show tantrums or also known as the terrible twos when language skills are starting to develop at an early age. As toddlers cannot communicate their feelings or needs, a frustrating experience leads to tantrums. However, tantrums tend to lessen as language abilities increase. For most toddlers, tantrum is a way to express frustration but for older children, tantrums might be a learned behavior. Tantrums are more likely to worsen if parents follow their children’s wants and needs too much, or allow their children to get something by having a tantrum.    What are the strategies to overcome the terrible twos? There are many practices parents can do to encourage good behavior in their children. For example:  Be consistent. Being consistent in your schedule, routines, discipline patterns, and rules helps you connect with your child emotionally. Stability provides clear boundaries and structure for your child, helping them become organised and understand how the world works. Consistency allows your child to know what to expect, strengthening their sense of stability and understanding.  Allow your child to make choices. Instead of saying no to everything, give your child a sense of control by letting them make their own decisions. Teach your child to choose between orange juice and chocolate drinks or lego blocks and hotwheels cars, and so on. This will instill in him a sense of control and the ability to choose between two equally good options. Praise good behavior. Positive behavior includes when your child is playing nicely with other kids such as sharing and taking turns, or when they speak kindly to others, or simply when they are cleaning up toys after play and tidying their bedroom. Give your child a hug or tell your child how proud you are when they are behaving well. When parents praise and give this kind of acknowledgment, their child will learn a sense of security. Your child wants the attention and if you only give them the attention when they act out, they will learn to throw tantrums but if you give attention when they behave well, they will do more of that.  Avoid situations which can trigger tantrums. If your child begs for toys or treats when you shop, steer clear of areas with these temptations. If your toddler acts up in restaurants, choose places that offer quick service.   What is the best way to respond to a tantrum? Remaining calm is always the best response to a tantrum. Your child may imitate your behavior if you react with loud and angry outbursts. Trying to get a child to stay calm by yelling at them is only going to worsen the situation. Instead, being responsive to your child is another way to respond to tantrum. For example, if you have gotten your child to do something against their will, offer to assist. If your child refuses to follow your instructions, clarify why it is unacceptable. If your child starts kicking, striking, or throwing things during a tantrum, keep them in your arms to prevent them from continuing. Take your child to a safer place and calmly acknowledge the emotion they are showing by talking slowly and softly. By acknowledging your child's feelings and allowing them to communicate reasonably, you are allowing them to understand and deal with their emotions contextually, as well as a deep sense of being heard and understood. If they seek for touch or hugs, do offer it and do give them spaces or remain silent for a moment if they ever need it. However, parents must not give in to tantrums regarding unnecessary requests. This will teach them that tantrums do not help them to get what they want and they will learn from it. The terrible twos are a normal part of your child’s development, especially between the ages of 1 and 4 years old as they are learning how to express frustration and rage, parents must not disregard this behavior as this will influence your child’s emotional development. With a proper nurturing, it will establish positive relationships that are essential in promoting healthy social and emotional development.  As important as it is, nurturing isn't always easy. That is why at Absolute Genetic Technologies, we got you covered! We offer you a deep understanding of your child from a comprehensive Decode Talent DNA Test (DTDT) and a personalized parenting approach for you. Let's explore your child's genetic makeup and see how it influences your child's  talent, IQ, EQ, personality, and overall well-being. We got you covered when it comes to helping your child develop healthy emotional health. Do check out our website for more information on our Decode Talent DNA Test at https://www.agtgenetics.com/decode-talent-dna-test.html!
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Eight hypotheses of multiple intelligence were developed by Howard Gardner. One of the eight hypotheses we will be covering in today's article is verbal intelligence. We will be discussing what verbal-linguistic intelligence is and how we can develop it during the course of our lives.  Verbal intelligence is the ability to use language and have linguistic sensitivity. Verbal intelligence or linguistic intelligence gives an individual the ability to learn new things. Being able to verbally express oneself and use the written word to communicate is extremely important in making connections with others. Have you ever been surprised to see a child talking just like an adult or children that can talk about the book they have just read? Children who manage to impress adults around them with what they ask and say are an example that the child is verbally intelligent! Not everyone is born with the ability to speak and express themselves or the things that are going on around us. Some might face difficulties with expressing and speaking their ideas. However, linguistic skills are constantly evaluated in school where some schools have these “show and tell” lessons to allow children to speak and to be comfortable with expressing their thoughts and ideas. Yet, little do we know about the possibility of its stimulation and so its development.  The creation of language, including poetry, metaphors, similes, grammar, literature, tongue twisters, and abstract reasoning, is handled by verbal-linguistic intelligence. People with strong verbal intelligence are frequently curious, have great reading habits and are interested in language. These people enjoy using language to express themselves and have an easy time comprehending. They can also pick up new languages quickly. These individuals are frequently prolific poets, writers, or actors. Language is enjoyable, so games that incorporate wordplay are likely to be enjoyed by verbal-linguistic learners. Puns, language-based jokes, and word games like Scrabble and Boggle are frequently appealing to them too.   People with characteristics of linguistic intelligence are the people who: Think in words. People who have strong verbal-linguistic intelligence use language to communicate their ideas and make use of writing's structure, syntax, and visuals. They turn abstract thoughts into meaningful complete sentences. They use grammatical arrangements to organize their ideas. Enjoy reading and writing. People with excellent verbal intelligence are great readers and writers. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence read a lot of books, fragments of stories or tales, comic strips, and any other reading materials. These people will find it easy to express their thoughts with writing as they can write and show what they think, what they observe, and what they feel. Excellent speakers. People with verbal intelligence are also capable of being organized and maintaining objectivity. Excellent speakers can choose the right words to carry and deliver a message. With this intelligence, they possess strength of conviction and can lead groups because of their ability to handle words and give commands or orders. They are excellent interpreters of the language. Interpreting poems, works and other elements of literature comes easily to people with verbal intelligence. Playing with words and practising riddles, word games, and interpreting texts is an interesting activity for them. Metaphors and figurative language are among the things that persons with advanced verbal-linguistic intelligence can easily interpret. Like to learn new languages. People with verbal intelligence enjoy watching and listening to programs in other different languages. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence love being exposed to different ways of expression through language. They like to challenge themselves to pick up new languages.   Growing up, even if you are not born with this talent and face difficulties in speaking fluently, you can try to develop your verbal-linguistic intelligence by: Writing a diary. Writing a diary can start with writing about personal experiences, facts and stories of daily life events. Try to write as long and as detailed as you can. This will promote the acquisition of vocabulary and the development of expression through language. Reading story books. Reading develops understanding and encourages the use of new vocabulary. Through reading, you can develop the capacity for interpretation and imagination. Through reading, you will come across new words and their meanings which helps in expanding your vocabulary. Highlighting the new words or writing them in a notebook will help you to memorize and understand the usage of that particular word too. By looking up words in the dictionary, you not only learn meanings, but you can also work with the arrangement of words. Joining a book club. Book clubs encourage discussion, debate, and interpersonal relationships based on reading. It provides an opportunity to converse about one's interests. It is also an opportunity for you to polish your verbal intelligence as you communicate with the club members. Learning a new language. Learning a new language fosters the development of verbal-linguistic intelligence and interpersonal intelligence. Through the exchange of words, people can expose themselves to other cultures while travelling. However, it is best to master your native language before proceeding with a new language. Taking part in debates. Debates stimulate the organization of ideas and coherent expression. Through debates, it encourages the development of the ability to arrange the right words and to use language orally. thinking skills and also offers motivating contexts for learners to communicate with one another.   Every type of intelligence can be polished with the right learning approaches. To find out more about your Multiple Intelligence type of learning, check out our product!
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Introduction As parents, we all aspire to offer our children the best foundation for their future and fostering their intellect is a significant part of that endeavour. In this context, let's delve into how we can support our children's cognitive development in various domains such as memory, attention and literacy. It's worth noting that these different aspects of intelligence development are interconnected and by providing children with the necessary support and opportunities to grow in these areas, we can enhance their overall cognitive development. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine not only facilitates learning but also helps you spend quality time together, exploring, playing and discovering the world. So, let's make this journey of nurturing our kids' intelligence fun and engaging, every step of the way!    Summary  Intelligence Fun and Effective Strategies Linguistic Intelligence (Verbal Intelligence)  Ignite and Fuel Linguistic Fire Cognitive Abilities (Memory) Parenting Tips to Boost Cognitive Development Cognitive Skills (Working Memory & Executive Function) Parenting Tips to Nurture Cognitive Skills Attention Enhance your Child's Attentional Capacities Literacy Skills (Reading Skills) Making Reading Enjoyable  Word Spelling Guiding Your Young Spellers   Intelligence As parents, we're always looking for ways to help our kids thrive and succeed in life. But sometimes, it can feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to nurturing their intelligence. Luckily, there are some incredibly fun and effective strategies we can use to support our children's growth and development.   1. Talent Development  First up, let's talk about talent development. Did you know that every child has unique talents and interests just waiting to be discovered? From a young age, they might show a knack for maths, music, sports, or the arts. As parents, our job is to pay attention to these clues and provide opportunities for our kids to explore and develop their talents further. One incredibly powerful tool for talent development is Decode Talent DNA testing. This innovative approach uses cutting-edge technology to analyse a child's genetic makeup and identify their innate abilities and predispositions. By understanding our children's genetic strengths and weaknesses, we can tailor their learning experiences to suit their individual needs and interests. By understanding our children's genetic strengths and weaknesses, we can tailor their learning experiences to suit their individual needs and interests. For example, if a child shows a natural aptitude for music, we can encourage them to take piano lessons or join a school choir. If they have a knack for problem-solving, we can provide them with puzzles and brain teasers to challenge their minds.  Whether it's signing them up for piano lessons, enrolling them in a soccer league, or encouraging them to pursue their passion for drawing, nurturing their talents from an early age can set them up for success down the road. Ready to dive deeper into fostering your child's unique talents and intelligence? Check out this comprehensive article on Talent Development in Children.   2. Outdoor Play But talent development is just one piece of the puzzle. Outdoor play is another essential ingredient in fostering our children's intelligence. In today's screen-dominated world, it's more important than ever to get our kids outside and exploring the great outdoors. Not only does outdoor play keep them physically active and healthy, but it also stimulates their minds and imaginations in ways that indoor activities simply can't match. Whether they're building forts in the backyard, splashing in puddles at the park, or going on nature hikes with the family, outdoor play offers endless opportunities for learning, creativity, and social interaction. And if you're curious about the benefits of outdoor play and want to discover more ways to enrich your child's life through outdoor adventures, this insightful article is for you!   3. Video Games And here's a surprising one: video games. Yes, you heard that right! Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that video games can actually be beneficial for our kids' cognitive development when enjoyed in moderation. Games that require quick thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning can help sharpen their minds and teach valuable life skills like perseverance and resilience. Of course, it's essential to set limits on screen time and choose age-appropriate games, but when enjoyed responsibly, gaming can be a fun and effective way to support our children's intelligence. So, as parents, let's embrace these three pillars of intelligence: talent development, outdoor play, and yes, even video games, as we guide our kids on their journey of growth and discovery. By providing them with diverse opportunities for learning and exploration, we can help them unlock their full potential and set them up for a lifetime of success. After all, intelligence isn't just about how much our kids know, it's about how they apply their knowledge, adapt to new situations, and thrive in the world around them. Lastly, if you want to learn more about how video games can boost intelligence and creativity, don't miss out on this fascinating read. Trust us, you won't regret it!   Linguistic Intelligence (Verbal Intelligence)  Let's journey into the world of words with your child! Like planting seeds in a garden, nurturing your child's verbal intelligence can lead to amazing growth and discovery. But don't worry if helping your child with words feels overwhelming. We're here to make it fun and easy with simple tips and exciting activities. Picture your child confidently raising their hand in class, participating in discussions and acing presentations. Verbal intelligence lays the foundation for effective communication skills that will serve them well in school and beyond. But how can parents ignite and fuel this linguistic fire? It's simpler than you think!    1. Diary Encourage your child to keep a diary, where they can pour out their thoughts and experiences in vivid detail. Dive into the magical realm of storybooks together, where each page is a gateway to imagination and learning. Joining a book club isn't just for adults, it's a fantastic way for kids to engage in lively discussions and expand their linguistic horizons.   2. Learn A New Language  And why stop there? Learning a new language isn't just a skill; it's an adventure! Whether it's mastering their native tongue or delving into a foreign language, each word learned opens up new avenues of understanding and connection. And what better way to hone those verbal skills than through the art of debate? Encouraging your child to express their thoughts and ideas in a structured yet spirited manner not only sharpens their linguistic prowess but also boosts their confidence and critical thinking abilities. If you would like to know further about verbal intelligence, read this interesting article to discover more about unlocking your child's linguistic potential and fostering a love for language that will last a lifetime. So, dear parents, unleash the power of words and watch your child's linguistic intelligence soar to new heights! With a little encouragement and a lot of imagination, you'll be amazed at what they can achieve.   Cognitive Abilities Hey, parents! Do you know that your kids learn and remember things in their unique ways? Let's dive into the world of memory and learning styles, and uncover how verbal memory, visual memory, and visual-spatial learning shape their learning adventures!   1. Learning Styles First off, let's talk about learning styles. Just like grown-ups, kids have their own special ways of taking in and remembering information. Some children love to listen to stories and songs (verbal learners), while others prefer looking at pictures and exploring with their hands (visual learners). And then there are the adventure seekers who love to build, explore, and solve puzzles (visual-spatial learners). By understanding these styles, we can tailor activities to match how our kids learn best!   2. Verbal Memory Now, let’s dive further into verbal memory. Picture your child's face lighting up as they sing along to their favourite song or recite their favourite nursery rhyme. That's verbal memory in action! It's all about remembering words and sounds, like the lyrics to a song or the lines from a storybook. So, when your kiddo asks for another round of "Wheels on the Bus," or begs for one more bedtime story, remember that they're flexing their verbal memory muscles and having a blast while they're at it!    3. Visual Memory Next up, let's talk visual memory! Ever notice how your little one can spot their favourite toy in a sea of stuffed animals or remember exactly where they left their shoes? That's visual memory doing its thing! It's like a mental photo album, storing all the colours, shapes, and details they see. So, when you're flipping through picture books together or exploring nature, know that every image is adding to their memory bank and fuelling their curiosity about the world around them.    4. Visual-spatial Learning Last but not least, let's explore visual-spatial learning! Think of your kiddo building a towering block tower or solving a tricky puzzle. That's visual-spatial learning in action! It's all about using their eyes and hands to explore, create, and problem-solve in three dimensions. So, when you're setting up a scavenger hunt or building with blocks, know that you're not just having fun, you're also helping your child develop important spatial skills that will serve them well in school and beyond! Now that we know all about verbal memory, visual memory, and visual-spatial learning, let's put that knowledge into action! Whether it's singing songs, flipping through picture books, or going on a scavenger hunt, there are endless ways to make learning fun and engaging for every type of learner. So, let's embrace our kiddos' unique learning styles, celebrate their strengths, and watch as they embark on unforgettable learning adventures! If you're curious to unlock the secrets of how visual-spatial learning strategies can supercharge your child's memory and learning skills, dive into this enlightening article!   Cognitive Skills Working Memory  In the bustling world of a child’s development, two critical cognitive skills play a pivotal role: working memory and executive function. Together, these functions are the scaffolding that supports a child's ability to learn, manage daily activities, and grow into a successful adult. For parents looking to nurture these essential skills in their children, understanding and actively fostering them can lead to profound benefits in school performance and beyond. Think of working memory as the brain's "sticky note." It's a space where new information is temporarily held and processed. This cognitive function is crucial for following instructions, solving problems, and even reading. Children with robust working memory tend to excel in academics because they can hold and manipulate information effectively, be it recalling steps in a maths problem or following a series of instructions. The model developed by Baddeley and Hitch highlights that working memory isn’t just for quick recall but also organises new knowledge for long-term retention. However, when working memory struggles, it can affect a child's ability to learn and retain information across all subjects.    Executive Function Executive function is like the conductor of an orchestra, ensuring that various cognitive, communication, sensory, and motor skills work in harmony. This set of skills, including working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control, is crucial from an early age. It governs our capacity to juggle multiple tasks, switch focus between tasks, and control impulses. Developing strong executive functions can help children plan, monitor, and execute their tasks with better efficiency. Whether it’s socialising, learning, or playing, these skills are foundational for managing daily life and overcoming challenges. Children with well-developed working memory and executive function skills are better equipped to handle the complexities of school tasks, social relationships, and daily challenges. As these skills flourish, so does a child’s ability to think critically, solve problems independently, and manage their time and emotions effectively. Dive into our article to explore the power of executive functions in mastering thoughts, actions, and emotions.    Attention In a world buzzing with distractions, the role of attention in a child's development cannot be overstated. From achieving academic success to nurturing emotional intelligence, the ability to focus is a cornerstone of a child's growth and well-being. Understanding and cultivating this crucial skill can lead to profound benefits for our children. Here's how you can actively engage in enhancing your child's attentional capacities. Attention is more than just the ability to stick to a task; it forms the basis for all higher cognitive processing. A child's capacity to concentrate not only affects learning in the classroom but also their social interactions and problem-solving skills. From infancy, children show different levels of attentional control, which can be significantly developed through mindful parenting. It's important to recognise that developing attention is a gradual process influenced by each child's unique temperament and environment. However, the rewards of nurturing this skill are immense. Enhanced attention can lead to better academic performance, more fulfilling social relationships, and effective coping strategies. By paying attention to attention, we not only help our children achieve immediate goals but also equip them with a skill that is pivotal throughout their lives. Whether it's through structured play, thoughtful guidance, or by setting the right example, enhancing our children’s focus is an investment in their future, making them more resilient and attentive individuals. So, let’s embrace the challenge and help our children master the art of attention. Dive into this article to uncover exhilarating strategies and dynamic activities guaranteed to supercharge your child's focus and attention span!    Literacy Skills (Reading Skills) Getting children excited about reading can sometimes feel as tricky as getting them to eat their vegetables. But just like finding fun ways to serve broccoli, making reading enjoyable can really change how kids feel about books. When children are interested in reading and want to do it on their own, they learn and grow more from the experience.   Motivate Reading When kids find joy in reading, they don’t see it as a chore but as a fun activity. This love for reading helps them in many ways. They learn new words, understand more about the world, and even get better at other school subjects. When parents choose books that match their child's interests like stories about dragons, space, or fairy tales, it helps spark this love for reading.   The Importance of Motivation Motivation is what keeps children going even when reading gets tough. Learning to read can be hard. There are many new words and sometimes the stories can be complicated. But when kids really want to read, they keep trying even when it’s difficult. This effort makes them better readers because they practise more, try new words, and think more about what the stories mean. Ultimately, while it's important for kids to know how to read, it's even more important for them to enjoy reading. By focusing on making reading fun, parents and teachers help children not just become good readers, but lifelong learners who love to discover new things.    Word Spelling As parents, we all want to equip our children with the tools they need for academic success, and solid spelling skills are a fundamental part of this toolkit. However, English is notorious for its spelling challenges, with rules that often come with more exceptions than the rules themselves! But don't worry! Here's your playbook for guiding your young spellers through the twists and turns of English spelling, especially when it's not as straightforward as it seems. 1. Phonics Phonics is a powerful tool, teaching children how to connect sounds with letters. Think of phonics as the initial training wheels for spelling, it teaches kids to link sounds with letters and works like a charm for straightforward words. It works wonderfully with regular words, but English has many irregular words where standard phonics rules fall short. For these, memory and practice are key.  2. Context Teach your child to use context as a clue for spelling. The meaning of a word often hints at its spelling. Use context as your secret weapon. It’s like a treasure map where the meaning of a word points you to its correct spelling. For example, differentiate between "stationary" (not moving) and "stationery" (writing supplies) by associating the "ar" in "car" (something that stops) and the "e" in "pen" (something used to write). Clever, right? 3. Practice  Finally, regular practice remains key in mastering tricky spellings. Encourage writing as a habit, be it through journaling, writing stories, or sending thank you cards. Mistakes will happen, and that's okay. Each error provides a new learning opportunity. Remember, every child’s learning curve is different, and patience is your strongest ally. Celebrate small victories together and maintain a positive, encouraging environment. Your support and encouragement are powerful spells in the magical quest of mastering word spelling!   Conclusion By exploring these resources and integrating their insights into daily learning activities, you can effectively contribute to your child's cognitive development and overall intellectual growth. Each link provided offers detailed guidance and practical tips tailored to help parents and educators foster these critical skills in young learners.  As parents, we’re constantly seeking ways to support our children’s development and understanding their unique genetic makeup can provide invaluable insights. Imagine gaining a deeper understanding of your child’s innate talents and predispositions in various cognitive domains. With our Decode Talent DNA Test, you can uncover fascinating DNA insights on your child’s IQ across different domains such as verbal intelligence, memory, attention and more. By analysing their genetic markers, we can provide personalised guidance tailored to your child’s specific genetic makeup, empowering you to support their intellectual growth more effectively. With this knowledge, you can nurture their strengths, address potential areas of improvement and embark on a journey of learning that’s perfectly tailored to your child’s individual needs. Join us in unlocking the full potential of your kid’s intelligence and guiding them towards a brighter future! Head over to our website for more information: https://www.agtgenetics.com/our-dna-test   
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Introduction Parents are always interested in uncovering the potential hidden talents of their children, wondering if they possess a gift for math, music, sports, or the arts. This curiosity, whether conscious or subconscious, highlights the universal desire for our child to succeed in life. However, being talented is more than just having a natural knack for something—it requires identification and nurturing from the earliest stages of development. Benjamin Bloom, the renowned educational psychologist, emphasized the importance of mastering skills as the cornerstone of talent development in children. Through this mastery, both teachers and parents fulfill their fundamental roles in imparting essential skills and knowledge, ensuring that children are equipped with the tools needed to thrive. Discovering and cultivating these unique talents in kids from a young age sets the stage for a brighter future, where they can leverage their skills and strengths to achieve success in various endeavors. Witnessing the growth of these hidden talents is not only rewarding but also crucial for guiding children towards fulfilling their potential and realizing their dreams. Talent development, nurtured from a young age, lays the foundation for a lifetime of achievement and fulfillment.   Stages of development Children go through distinct periods of development as they grow from infants to young adults. During each of these stages, multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. What occurs and when approximately these developments transpire are genetically determined. According to David Henry Feldman, a college professor, who researches the growth and development of children, there are 4 stages of talent development through the ages.  4 to 10 years of age – During early childhood and development, children explore and observe the environment to expand their mind.   10 to 13 years of age – Talent development starts with the help and guidance of their teachers and role models. Competition and praise play an important role in their talent development.  13 to 18 years of age – Children learn that dedication and commitment are necessary for the development of their talent. They learn their responsibility and the needed sacrifice to grow.  18+ of their years – This stage marks the period where children decide to instill their talent as the choice of their career in the future.   Learn more with this link! Let’s go through different talents together!   Summary   Education (Academic Learning) Navigating Attention Challenges in Academic Learning Parenting Tips Creativity (Artistic Potential) Parenting Tips Entrepreneurship Skills (Entrepreneurship Potential) Parenting Tips Language Parenting Tips Leadership Parenting Tips Mathematics Parenting Tips Music (Musical Aptitude) Parenting Tips Long Distance Running (Endurance Sports) Parenting Tips Sprinting (Sprint Sports) Parenting Tips     Education Academic learning Education lays the cornerstone of intellectual or cognitive development in early childhood, equipping them with essential knowledge and skills for future endeavours. It fosters critical thinking, creativity, and social development, preparing children to tackle challenges and excel in an ever-changing world.   Navigating Attention Challenges in Academic Learning Do you find yourself struggling to capture your child's attention during learning sessions? Do they seem easily distracted or unable to focus on tasks for an extended period? Understanding how attention works and its importance in academic learning can help address these challenges. Attention is more than just focusing—it involves being alert, selecting what to pay attention to, avoiding distractions, and shifting focus when needed. As children grow, their attention spans develop, allowing them to sustain focus on tasks for longer periods. However, factors like motivation, sleep, and nutrition can impact their ability to concentrate. By recognizing these influences and implementing strategies to enhance attention, parents can support their children's academic success.   Parenting Tips  Engage and Enjoy: Encourage longer focus by introducing tasks in engaging and enjoyable ways. For example, instead of traditional methods, allow children to explore letters with chalk or Play-Doh. Notice and discuss interesting details in the environment to demonstrate the importance of paying attention. Clear Instructions: Provide clear and concise instructions while maintaining close physical proximity. Make eye contact, stand at the same eye level, or touch the child's shoulder to help them better focus on the task at hand. Reduce Distractions: Identify and minimise distractions that hinder attention. Ensure children are well-rested and nourished with healthy snacks to support concentration. Break tasks into smaller steps and offer short reminders rather than lengthy explanations. Encourage Physical Activity: Promote an active lifestyle to improve attention span, cognitive processing speed, and academic performance. Encourage participation in sports and physical activities to enhance concentration and overall well-being.   Creativity  Artistic potential Artistic potential is a beacon of creativity and expression in every child. It represents the uniqueness to perceive the world through a lens of imagination and innovation. Whether it's through painting, music, dance, or any other form of artistic endeavor, nurturing this potential is vital for fostering a child's creativity, self-expression, and emotional well-being. By recognizing and encouraging artistic talent from an early age, parents and educators can unlock a world of limitless possibilities for children to explore and create.   Parenting Tips Parents are able to help their children to reach their gifted potential. In order to explore their curiosity and stimulate their creative ability, the education team from Bright Horizons has suggested a few ways that can nurture their creativity. Encourage Outdoor Exploration: Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, and problem-solving. Spend some time at the beach, seaside, and the park; camping, lying on the ground and looking up at the sky. Being close to the natural world inspires children to think, question, do some guesswork, as well as develop creative minds. Promote Imaginative Play: Encourage your children to play house, doctor, farm, space station and etc. able to help him to organize his thoughts while developing social and verbal skills. Join your children and let your children lead your playtime together. Foster Creative Thinking: Asking questions that provoke imaginative and creative thinking is an effective way to invite your child to express his ideas and share his visions while giving him the message that his ideas are important. Limit electronic device usage: Since we are in the digital era, it would be tough parenting and nurturing imagination. Hence, it would be better if the use of electronic products is limited and engage the children in creative activities such as imaginative play, reading, drawing, etc. Support Independent Exploration: Let the children work through what they are doing on their own. Give chances for them to figure out what and how to do it in certain situations. Allow them the freedom and autonomy to explore their ideas in order to avoid the feeling of forcing. Entrepreneurship Skills  Entrepreneurship potential The idea of raising a child to become entrepreneurs, owning and leading his own projects, skills development, mastering the art of marketing, management and problem solving. Forming child entrepreneurs from kindergarten stage is important and contributes in forming global entrepreneurs in the future. It can be argued that successful entrepreneurs were born with attributes that made them successful like an open mind and competitive spirit, but not to forget, entrepreneurship also requires skills that can be developed over time such as courage, creativity and stress management.   Parenting Tips To cultivate entrepreneurial spirit in your children from young, parents are advised to:  Help children to set effective goals: Setting goals can help children develop grit. It also teaches them to take responsibility for their own actions and promotes a "can-do" attitude.  Let children solve their own problems: Resist the urge to fix all of your children's problems. Letting them solve their own problems encourages independent problem solving skills.  Foster creativity: Creativity is a key entrepreneurial trait. While your child's imagination is still developing, activities such as drama, music, dance, arts and crafts can foster their creativity.  Provide entrepreneurial education: Entrepreneurial training helps to develop entrepreneurs' minds and ability to identify opportunity.   Language Early language development plays an important role in child development. Early childhood language development is the process through which children learn to understand and communicate in a  language.  Children develop language at a quick rate from birth until the age of five. Learning language becomes substantially more difficult for most children after the age of five. Humans go through the same phases of language development. The age and rate at which a toddler accomplishes each milestone of language development, on the other hand, varies substantially for every child. The development of language is a reflection of the brain's growth and maturation.   Parenting Tips Gurgling to your baby: Foster early language development by engaging in vocal interactions with your baby, responding enthusiastically to their sounds and expressions. Talk to your kids more often: Encourage frequent conversations with your kids throughout the day, using simple language to describe activities and experiences. Read to your child more story books: Enhance language skills through regular storytime, reading age-appropriate books, and encouraging interactive discussions. Sing and play music to your baby: Stimulate language development by singing songs, playing music, and incorporating movement into your interactions with your child. Explain/narrate to your child what you are doing: Support language acquisition by narrating daily activities, describing actions and surroundings to help children learn new words and concepts.   Leadership Leadership in children is more than just a role—it's a valuable set of skills and qualities that shape their development and future success. From an early age, children exhibit leadership potential through their ability to influence, inspire, and collaborate with others. Cultivating leadership skills in children not only empowers them to take initiative and make positive contributions to their communities but also fosters confidence, resilience, and empathy. In today's dynamic and interconnected world, nurturing leadership abilities in children is essential for building a generation of capable and compassionate individuals who can thrive and lead with purpose.   Parenting Tips Experts suggested a few early environmental influences important for leadership development. Apply authoritative parenting style: Authoritative parents produce teenagers most likely for becoming effective leaders. These parents are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative. Teens with authoritative parents, who are given increasing independence as they mature, tend to be more socially competent and self-reliant than teens raised under other parenting styles. Encourage involvement in sports: Research has highlighted that many sports-related skills are transferable to leadership situations later in life. These include visioning, intellectualizing, cultivating self-efficacy, focus on winning, being self-interested, being competitive, being task and ego-oriented, and cultivating and enjoying the flow experience.   Mathematics Mathematics is more than just numbers and equations—it's a fundamental aspect of early childhood development that lays the groundwork for critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. From learning to count and recognize shapes to mastering complex mathematical concepts, children engage with mathematics in various ways as they grow and learn. Developing strong mathematical skills at a young age not only prepares children for academic success but also equips them with essential skills for navigating real-world challenges and opportunities.   Parenting Tips Encouraging your child's mathematical development starts with simple, everyday actions at home. Here are some practical tips for supporting your child's mathematical journey at every stage of development. Help children learn basic numeracy concepts: Introduce counting, shapes, and simple mathematical concepts through everyday activities and play. Use hands-on materials like blocks or toys to make learning fun and interactive. Engage in math learning activities at home: Encourage discussions about counting, quantities, and comparisons of values like more and less. Make counting purposeful by incorporating it into daily routines, such as counting snacks or toys. Involve children in activities like measuring ingredients while cooking or sorting items during household chores. Share positive attitudes about math: Model a positive attitude towards math by expressing enthusiasm and confidence in your own mathematical abilities. Encourage a growth mindset by emphasizing that everyone can learn and improve in math with effort and practice. Music  Musical aptitude Musical aptitude in children is a fascinating aspect of their development, encompassing their innate ability to perceive, understand, and create music. From an early age, children exhibit a range of musical behaviors, from singing and rhythmic movements to an affinity for specific instruments or styles. Nurturing this aptitude not only enhances their musical skills but also contributes to their overall cognitive, emotional, and social development.   Parenting Tips Unlocking the musical potential within children is a journey filled with discovery, joy, and growth. As parents, fostering their musical aptitude from an early age can lay the foundation for a lifelong passion and appreciation for music, these parenting tips will help cultivate their musical talents and nurture their love for music. Encourage professional musical training: By enrolling your child in programs like the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, which provides structured and professional musical instruction. Additionally, support their participation in ensemble groups or orchestras to further develop collaborative skills and gain valuable performance experience. Provide additional support and resources: Take your child to concerts and musical events to expose them to diverse styles of music and inspire their passion. Experiencing live performances can ignite their interest and deepen their appreciation for music.   Long Distance Running  Endurance sports Endurance sports are not just about speed; they're about determination, resilience, and pushing your limits. These activities challenge children to build stamina, improve their cardiovascular health, and develop mental toughness. From running and swimming to cycling and hiking, endurance sports offer a variety of opportunities for children to explore their physical strength and discover the thrill of going the distance.    Parenting Tips As guardians of their children's athletic journey, parents play a crucial role in providing guidance, support, and encouragement. Guide through Stages of Development: Early Years (age 6-12): Introduce your child to a variety of sports to explore their interests and abilities. Specializing Years (age 13-15): Provide support for their chosen sport by investing in coaching, equipment, and training facilities. Investment Years (age 16+): Transition to an advisory role as your child commits to higher levels of training and competition. Offer Emotional Support: Stay actively involved and interested in your child's sport, offering encouragement and emotional support. Help them navigate setbacks such as injuries or training pressure, fostering resilience and determination.   Sprinting  Sprint sports Sprint sports are all about speed, excitement, and pushing your limits to reach the finish line in record time. From dashing across the track to zooming through the water, sprint sports offer children the exhilarating thrill of rapid movement and intense competition.   Parenting Tips Here are some simple yet effective strategies to help children thrive in sprint sports, from fostering a love for running to promoting proper technique and fostering a positive mindset.  Encourage Regular Practice Sessions: Schedule regular practice sessions to help your child refine their sprinting technique and build speed and agility. Focus on short bursts of intense effort followed by adequate rest periods to maximize sprinting performance. Provide Proper Training Equipment: Ensure your child has access to appropriate footwear and attire suitable for sprinting activities to minimize the risk of injury and optimize performance. Invest in quality equipment such as starting blocks, timing devices, and resistance bands to enhance their training regimen. To better understand your child's talents and strengths, tools like the Decode Talent DNA Test can provide invaluable insights into their genetic and DNA towards various skills and strengths. This allows you to tailor your parenting approach, nurturing their talents and fostering their development in areas where they excel. The best part is, these skills are not limited to childhood but will benefit them throughout their lives, helping them succeed in various endeavors and pursue their passions with confidence. Check out our DNA Testing and start shaping a personalized parenting plan for your child's talent development today! To read more blogs, click here!
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A parent’s parenting style influences everything from a child's weight to their self-esteem and many more. The way parents communicate with their child and how they discipline them will have an impact on them for the rest of their life. As a parent, it is important to make sure your parenting style supports balanced growth and development. The combination of parenting strategies you use to raise your children is referred to as your parenting style.  In the 1960s, Diane Baumrind, a developmental psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, developed a widely used classification of parenting types. According to Baumrind, there are four different parenting types, each with its own distinct behaviour characteristics:AuthoritarianAuthoritativePermissiveUninvolvedAuthoritarian ParentingAuthoritarian parents often say things like “ Do what I say!”, “ Because I said so!” or “ If you do not listen, I will punish you!”. Those examples are not exhaustive and may not be expressed word for word, nonetheless, if those statements apply to you, you could be an authoritarian parent. Authoritarian parents have high demands and low responsiveness. They often insist that children should always obey the rules given without questioning. They are inclined to prevent children from participating in problem-solving challenges. Instead, they make up rules and apply them without respect for the views of their children. Instead of discipline, authoritarian parents resort to using punishments. Rather than teaching a child how to make better decisions, they spend their time making children feel guilty for their errors. Since their children’s views are not heard, children with authoritarian parents are more likely to have self-esteem issues. They can even become enraged or violent. Consequently, when faced with issues, rather than seeking ways to improve things in the future, these children tend to concentrate on their feelings of rage toward their parents. Since authoritarian parents are strict, their children may grow up to be/have:Good liars to please them and to avoid punishment.Low self-esteem. Poorer social skills.Working in a stressful environment. Less independent.Good academic achievers.  Authoritative ParentingAuthoritative parenting is characterized by having high demands and high responsiveness. This means parents set rules and impose boundaries by holding constructive discussions with their children and giving them direction and guidance. They have high standards for their children’s success and competence, but they are still warm and attentive. These parents offer rationale and explanations for their behaviour to their children. Explanations include a sense of understanding to children to educate them about beliefs, principles, and aspirations.Authoritative parents are warm and encouraging. They give their kids individuality and empower them to be independent. Authoritative parents devote time and effort to avoiding behavioural issues when they arise. Strong discipline techniques, such as praise and incentive programmes, are often used to promote healthy behaviour. Children who have been brought under strict authority are more likely to be/have:Happy and content.More independent.Good social skills​.Good academic success. Develop good self-esteem. Permissive parenting Permissive parenting is a type of parenting style characterized by low demands while maintaining high responsiveness.  Do you give a lot of freedom to your kids, rarely set household rules and always get your kid whatever they want? If you recognize yourself in those statements, you might be a permissive parent. Parents who adopt this parenting style place few demands on their children. Discipline is rare since these parents have poor standards for self-control and maturity.Parents who are permissive are forgiving, and more often than not, too forgiving. They usually only intervene when a serious issue arises. Permissive parents often play the role of the “Cool Parent” because permissive parents are more likely to play the part of a friend. They often allow their children to discuss their issues with them. While that is positive, they rarely discourage poor decisions or bad behaviour. When they do use ‘consequences’ as a means to correct their children’s behaviour, it is possible for children not to adhere to them. In other words, their children are let off the hook for their mistakes easily. If a child asks, parents may provide privileges or allow the child to exit time-out early if he or she agrees to be nice.Children who are raised by permissive parents tend to be/have:Low achievement in many areas.More aggressive behaviour. Low emotional intelligence. High risk of health problems.Low self-esteem. Uninvolved ParentingUninvolved parenting is characterized by having low demands and low responsiveness towards children. Uninvolved parents are oftentimes unaware of their children's activities. There aren't many rules established for the well-being of their children. Children’s don't get enough instruction, nurturing, or parental attention. Uninvolved parents expect their children to raise themselves. They may not devote much time or effort to meeting the basic needs of children. Uninvolved parenting can also be known as negligent parenting. A parent with mental health or substance abuse issues are likely to fall under this category, thus not being able to consistently meet a child's physical and emotional needs. With that being said, uninvolved parents’ negligence may not necessarily be on purpose. Parents without the stated issues may also be uninvolved towards their children’s holistic developmental needs. Uninvolved parents are unaware of their children's growth and they are often distracted by other issues such as their jobs, expenses and household management matters.Children who are raised by uninvolved parents may face issues like: Self-esteem problems.Anxiety or/and loneliness due to the lack of family support. Have an increased risk of substance abuse.Trust issues. Higher tendency to exhibit delinquency during adolescence.Decision making According to Baumrind, the best parenting style is authoritative parenting. Researchers and psychologists have discovered that authoritative parenting is consistently linked to the best outcomes in children based on decades of research. However, there are still inaccuracies and exceptions in some areas.Sometimes parents do not just fit into one category, so do not despair if there are times or areas where you tend to be permissive or authoritarian. Nonetheless, the key thing to take note of is a child requires high demand and high responsiveness to develop holistically and to pick up good qualities.However, parenting styles may change depending on the situation and time. Here are so factors to take into consideration when deciding:a) Culture Differences According to some studies, the authoritative style is not always associated with the best outcome. For example, in one study, researchers discovered that African American students with authoritative parents but no peer support performed poorly in academic. In another research, Asian-American students performed best in school when they had authoritarian parents and peer support.b) Child Temperament Children's behaviour can influence both the parent's decision and the outcome. Children with a sensitive temperament, for example, may be perceived as difficult, prompting parents to adopt a more authoritarian parenting style.According to a study, some aspects of child behaviour, such as sociable and aggressive behaviours, are better related to the child's temperament than with their parents' parenting style. This demonstrates that parenting style isn't the only factor that influences a child's development. To date, no study has conclusively disproved the benefits of authoritative parenting, because many others have consistently demonstrated its benefits.c) Parenting Style and PracticeThe distinction between parenting style and parenting practice is another factor many people get confused about.Parenting style is the emotional environment and influence under which parents raise their children. Parenting practices are specific actions that are implied in their parenting.While both parenting style and practices are intertwined, they are distinct. Two groups of parents may adopt the same parenting style but they may differ in how they use different parenting strategies, which may influence the degree of results. While both parents are authoritative, they have their own set of activities and rules for their children. Overall, we all know that one size does not fit all when it comes to parenting styles. As a responsible parent, you have the responsibility to maintain a good relationship with your child while also healthily maintaining your authority to ensure your child develops competence and abides by healthy standards. It is also critical to note that a child’s healthy development is multifactorial and complex, parents need to be knowledgeable and wise, while being flexible in how they adopt the right parenting style for their child’s personal needs, according to their inborn qualities and personality. ​References Baumrind. D. (1967). Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behaviour. Genet Psychol Monogr. 1967;75(1):43-88. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6032134Steinberg. L. and Dornbusch. S. (1992). Ethnic differences in adolescent achievement: An ecological perspective. American Psychologist. 1992;47(6):723-729.
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“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler YeatsDo today's parents think the same, or have parents kept their children in a bubble, keeping them away from any form of risks in their learning experiences? Parenting styles and parenting behaviours play an important role in strengthening and nurturing the style of child-rearing on various aspects that range from physical, social, and psychological well being [5]. There has been an uprising phenomena amongst modern day parents known as helicopter parenting. While this parenting style sprouts from good intentions, it has become the cause of many of the flaws in younger generations [4,6]. In point of fact, helicopter parenting is said to have increased the stress of 35% of college students and has negatively impacted their academic performance [13]. What is Helicopter Parenting? Helicopter parenting is also termed "lawnmower parenting," "cosseting parent," or "bulldoze parenting."[1]. In general, helicopter parenting refers to a parenting style by parents who pay extremely close attention to their kids to prevent any harm, physically and psychologically, to the extent of entanglement [3]. In other words, helicopter parenting usually manifests the sign of over controlling, overprotecting, and over perfecting their child's lives in a way that is a surfeit of responsible parenting [1], with the key characteristic of Helicopter parenting being "over".The term "helicopter parent" was first coined in Dr Haim Ginott's 1969 book "Between Parents and Teenager", the term where he described how parents would hover over their kids hovering them like helicopters [1,2].Such parents want their children to be secure, happy, successful and well-educated. Out of their protective parenting nature, they make significant emotional and financial investments in their children [9] to the point of making sure their children never face any challenges of any kind. One common example of helicopter parenting is exerting control over a child’s friendships by helping them decide whom a child should befriend or end a friendship. This may sound absurd to some parents, but many cannot help but intervene in every aspect of their children's life, including their social circle. Some other examples of helicopter parenting might include compelling a child to practice certain musical instruments that he or she might not be interested in. It may also include giving significant extra schoolwork to improve their child's academic learning and/or taking control of your child's activities or hobbies [4].For example, when a child wants to go skateboarding, they may be prevented from doing so because skateboarding is dangerous from the parent's perspective.This behaviour from excessive and paranoia-like cautiousness parents will restrict the child's performance and limit their neurological development. Hence, it is worthwhile to dive deeper into exploring the question of why parents act this way? What are the common factors that contribute to Helicopter Parenting?There are several plausible reasons to helicopter parenting. Some of the common factors that trigger helicopter parenting include:1. Feelings of anxietyParents may be anxious about their child's safety and success, resulting in them taking unrestrained control over their child’s life to protect them [4]. Also, due to the highly competitive world economy, job market, social norms and the competitive world in general, parents may feel compelled to make all attempts to safeguard their children from harm and help them succeed in life [4,7]. Out of their virtue of being responsible for their children's future wellbeing, parents may feel anxious that they cannot safeguard their future livelihood, causing them to overdeliver. 2. Competitive environment and an achievement-derived identityParents who send their children to attend competitive schools or who live in environments that demand high accomplishment might endeavour to assist their kids with prevailing through an intrusive parenting style. Some parents might overfocus to push their children to excel in every aspect, including academics, sports, music, etc. This competitive environment may cause parents to derive a sense of identity from their children’s achievements [4] and this in turn would contribute to parents being more competitive. 3. Pressure from peersOccasionally, parents may feel pressured to adjust to the parenting styles of their peers. Therefore, when parents surround themselves with over-parenting or helicopter parents it can pressure parents to adopt a similar parenting style. This is because parents may have a conscience and guilt that they think they are not a "good enough" parent if they do not live of to the "high standards" of their peers [1,8]. 4. Social backgroundDifferent parents from different backgrounds, regions, religions and other cultural milieus have different parenting norms. Some cultures encourage a highly participatory parenting style. 5. Fearing FailureParents might worry that their children have a low grade in academics, rejection from the eminent school or extracurricular team or a botched job interview. That concern is only normal for parents who wish the best for their children. Like all parents, helicopter parents want their children to be successful and excel in life, but they take a step too far by preventing their children from any exposure to harm and failures [10]. What are the long-term consequences of Helicopter Parenting?Most parents do not have the awareness of their own helicopter parenting, what more its consequences.Children raised by over-parenting or helicopter parents may suffer detrimental effects in the long run.According to Jessica Lachey, a teacher and author of the Atlantic and the New York Times, quote "today’s overprotective, failure-avoidant parenting style has undermined the competence, independence, and academic potential of an entire generation."So, what are the long-term consequences on children from helicopter parenting?1. Reduce self-esteem and confidence.Dr Anne Dunnewold, a PhD holder and licensed psychologist, said that “The main problem with helicopter parenting is that it backfires." [1] The over-involvement of the parent may cause the child to believe that, when they do something independently, their parents will not trust them. In turn, it may lead to decreased self-esteem and confidence in the child [1,3]. To a certain extent, this parenting style may denude the children to be creative, think divergently, build resilience, problem solve and have coping skills [3]. Ironically, the more parents get involved, it does more harm than good as these children perceive their parent's involvement as a testimony to their own lack of capabilities. Constant unrestrained involvement will only reinforce the child's lack of confidence. 2. Children lack coping skills and frustration toleranceA study highlighted that children raised by over-involved or over-controlling parents may feel less competent and less able to deal with life and its stressors [11]. When parents intervene to make decisions or help to prevent the problem, children can never have the opportunity to learn from failure, disappointment or loss. Parents may perceive their intervention as care, but little do they know they are robbing their children's opportunity to learn from experiences, including failures. Life lessons are critical to improve children's emotional intelligence. As children grow into a younger adult, they must be able to handle the disagreement, uncertainty, frustration, or the difficult decision-making process that are inevitable in the world. Hence, without these important psychological attributes, it will be arduous for them to enter school and/or the workplace in the future [3]. As the saying goes "Failure is the mother of success" and contrary to our beliefs, failure is an important element for a child to learn character like grit and perseverance. To put it in another way, without early childhood experiences of falling, children won't learn how to pick themselves up when they grow into their adulthood. 3. Depression and AnxietyA research study done in 2014 proposed that college students raised by helicopter parents tend to be anxious or depressed [9]. This is because when children are always provided with parental guidance, they are “programmed” to simply make decisions upon approval from their parents; and without parental guidance, they end up becoming too nervous and anxious to make decisions. Additionally, the low self-confidence and fear of failure caused by helicopter parenting can lead to depression and anxiety, as these children are less open to new ideas and activities and are more vulnerable, anxious and self-conscious [3]. The protective bubble that helicopter parents built around their children in their childhood and teenage years has prevented them to learn how to cope with difficulties in the real world, making them very susceptible to mental breakdowns when they face an obstacle in their adulthood. 4. Less autonomous and dependenceHelicopter parents who tend to overprotect their children can cause them harm indirectly by withholding their autonomy and dependence. For example, parents who always help children clean their plates, tie shoes, monitor school progress and launder clothes, may prevent them from mastering these skills themselves and in turn, they become less autonomous and dependent [12]. Hence, it is vital for parents to exploit adaptive control techniques and appropriate independent parenting approaches to allow their children to be more autonomous and dependent as they grow up.5. Sense of entitlement complexChildren who always have their parents accustomed to their social, academic, hobby or sports activities can also develop a sense of entitlement by getting used to always doing things their parent's way. As a result, this can lead to them demanding their parents because they may think it is their right to have what they want [1,3]. This may cause an eventual strain in the family relationship in the long run. In brief, parenting style plays an important role in the growth and development of children. It is crucial to take note of how the parenting style adopted on your child affect them now and in the future.Lady Bird Johnson, an American socialite who served as the first lady of the United States said that “Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.”. Indeed, “support” may be more beneficial to help children reach their potential as compared to “over-protection”.ReferencesBayless, K. (2019, December 5). What Is Helicopter Parenting? Parents. https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/what-is-helicopter-parenting/ Helicopter Parenting. Touchstone Counselling Group. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://tchstone.ca/blog/helicopter-parenting/Gilbert, N. (2021, November 30). Helicopter Parenting: The Consequences. International School Parent. https://www.internationalschoolparent.com/articles/helicopter-parenting-the-consequences/Helicopter Parenting. (2018, August 23). GoodTherapy.Org Therapy Blog.https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/helicopter-parenting#:%7E:text=Some%20examples%20of%20helicopter%20parenting,child%20should%20end%20a%20friendship. Srivastav, D., & Mathur, M. L. (2020). Helicopter parenting and adolescent development: from the perspective of mental health. In Parenting-Studies by an Ecocultural and Transactional Perspective. IntechOpen. LeMoyne, T., & Buchanan, T. (2011). Does “hovering” matter? Helicopter parenting and its effect on well-being. Sociological Spectrum, 31(4), 399-418.Li, M. P. S. (2022, March 10). Causes, Signs and Effects of Overprotective Parents. Parenting For Brain. https://www.parentingforbrain.com/overprotective-parents/#:%7E:text=Some%20parents%20are%20overprotective%20because,to%20improve%20their%20child’s%20outcome. Higuera, V. (2019, September 12). What Is Helicopter Parenting? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/helicopter-parenting#benefitsUlutas, I., & Aksoy, A. B. (2014). The impact of helicopter parenting on the social connectedness and anxiety level of university students. In International Academic Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities.Battles, M. (2017, August 2). Why Do Parents Become Helicopter Parents. Lifehack. https://www.lifehack.org/615506/why-do-parents-become-helicopter-parents Schiffrin, H. H., Liss, M., Miles-McLean, H., Geary, K. A., Erchull, M. J., & Tashner, T. (2014). Helping or hovering? The effects of helicopter parenting on college students’ well-being. Journal of child and family studies, 23(3), 548-557.Hodgekiss, A. (2013, February 14). Children with controlling “helicopter parents” are more likely to be depressed. Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2278596/Children-controlling-helicopter-parents-likely-depressed.htmlBahr, K., & Fanning, A. (2018). Stop Hovering Over Me! The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on the Millennial Generation. 
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Who are the Gen Zers?According to the Pew Research Centre, generation Z refers to the people who were born between 1997 to 2012 [1]. In America alone, they have become the largest generation, constituting 27% of the US population [2]. The Gen Zers are often stereotyped as tech-savvy, anti-social, “influencers”, “Tik Tokers”, and “social justice warrior” given that they were raised in the digital era of the internet and social media [2]. Several influential Gen Zers include iconic quirky goth-meets-rave Billie Eilish as well as environmental activist Greta Thunberg and many more [3].Generation Z has emerged as a population worthy of attention and many people have expressed interest in understanding Gen Zers as they are now entering adulthood and in the recent years, they are making a debut into the workforce. According to Sue Bhatia in her article “Make Way for Generation Z”, it was noted that by 2020, the Gen Zers makes up 20% of the workforce and the upcoming generation is expected to bring about a sea-change in the workforce landscape due to their values and culture [4]. Various social science researchers are observing the trend and gaining insights on the differences that the Gen Zers have in comparison to the other generations in terms of their demographics as well as their characteristics and their implications at the workplace.Similarly like the other workers from generations X and Y, they also face certain struggles at their workplace. Their difficulties might also be heightened due to the fact that they had to brave through a period of financial insecurity in life and complete tertiary education during unprecedented times of pandemic as well as encounter uncertain future expectations of their employability after they have started working amid the endemic.​Jason Wingard from Forbes wrote in his article, “‘The Great Resignation’: Why Gen Z is Leaving The Workforce In Droves…And What To Do About It” noted that from 56% of those ages 18-24 among 5500 workers wrote in Adobe survey that they are planning to switch jobs in the following year [5]. Not only that, according to the research conducted by Microsoft and Bankrate, it was reported that 54% and 77% of the Gen Zers, respectively are thinking about quitting [5].What is causing this phenomenon called “The Great Resignation”?According to the same survey by Adobe, 53% of them had expressed that they would like to spend more time at work pursuing their passions [5]. In addition, the remote workers had noted that they have been experiencing burnout due to their employers’ expectation to “look busy” which then leads to 44% working longer hours and 37% skipping lunch breaks, as well as one-third of their workweek, was spent on mundane, repetitive tasks, with 86% stating that the tasks got in the way of doing their jobs productively [5]. For that reason, the patterns in the workplace cause burnout which consequently leads to disengagement and reduction in the number of employees [5].In another survey conducted by the Workforce Confidence survey, it was noted that 65% of the Gen Zers have either switched industries or are considering doing so [6]. This workplace exodus is happening as they are seeking greener pastures. There are several reasons which are factored in when looking for better career prospects such as better compensation, better alignment with interests or values, more opportunities to move or increase responsibilities, better benefits, better job stability, and more flexible working hour [6]. However, some of them stay in their current industries due to some of them actually enjoying their work nature and some would like to build their industry expertise as well as they would like to continue to apply, hone and grow the skills that they possess [6].Furthermore, The Great Resignation might occur due to the Gen Zers’ choice to work based on their cultural fit rather than based on the job description [4]. Usually, what Gen Zers look for in their future employer is whether the company’s values align with theirs [4]. Last but not least, several Gen Zers stated that they are more likely to start their own company when they think that a business or company is not providing the work culture that they wanted [4]. Hence, as a result of their difficulties in finding the suitable industries or the right career match in their next workplace which they will set foot in, they are often left in the dark about what kind of helpful framework that they can draw from that is able to assist them in making well-informed decisions about their career pathways.Are you a Gen Z who is clueless about your own career potential and inborn skills that you can apply at your workplace? Are you curious about what kind of work culture that you could fit in your next workplace?Check out our newly launched Career Development DNA Test which analyses 105 single nucleotide polymorphisms in your genes that are associated with your inborn personality traits and aptitude. A stringent process is conducted in carrying out the DNA testing and it also involves the application of the most widely recognized and utilized model of personality used by human resource experts which is the Big Five personality. Understanding your natural aptitudes through the Career Development DNA Test would not only help to provide insightful perspectives on your personalities, talents, and other capabilities, it would also assist you to make a well-informed decision to identify the career type that is a good match for you. Also, knowing your genetic potential would help you to foster a good relationship with your colleagues which could then boost your productivity at your workplace.For more updates on our products and offers, follow us on​ Facebook and Instagram!
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Health issues are one of the most concerning issues in Malaysia, owing primarily to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). According to the World Health Organization, NCDs kill 41 million people each year, accounting for 71% of all deaths worldwide.But first, what exactly is a non-communicable disease? Non-communicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are long-term illnesses caused by a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioural factors. Non-communicable diseases affect people of all ages and countries. There are over 50 examples of NCDs, but the most common NCDs are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. These diseases are responsible for nearly 70% of all deaths worldwide (Cirino, 2018)NCDs are mainly caused by unhealthy diets, the excessive use of alcohol and tobacco, smoking and second-hand smoke, as well as the lack of physical activities. Healthy living can prevent diseases. This is due to the fact that each of these chronic diseases has common conditions or risk factors that are associated with your daily choices and personal health habits. For example, an unhealthy diet can result in obesity, which may be a risk factor for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes; and smoking may be a major reason behind lung cancer, additionally as putting you at high risk for heart condition and certain cancers.To fight NCDs, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of these diseases. Some healthy lifestyle include:Regular exercise Exercising keeps your body healthy and improves your brain and muscle strength by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and assisting your cardiovascular system in working more efficiently.Stop smokingSmoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Second-hand smoke has an impact on those around the smoker. Quitting smoking can reduce risks and save lives of many. Eat healthy foodA healthy and balanced diet is important in reducing the risk of NCDs. Too much sugar causes diabetes, and too much salt causes hypertension. It is important to consume food in moderation and to ensure adequate nutrition in the diet.Limit your alcohol consumptionConsuming excessive amount of alcohol can cause a variety of cancers as it causes cell damage in the body. Drinking in moderation is the best option.Be screened or tested regularlyGetting annual medical check-ups is important to be aware of your health risks because prevention is better than cure.“Understanding health risks is key to making your own health care decisions,” says Dr. William Elwood, a psychologist and behavioural scientist at National Institutes of Health. It gives the perspective on potential harms and benefits, so you can make smart choices based on facts and not fears.Health risks are often puzzling, but they're important to know.  Knowing the risks that you may simply encounter can aid you in avoiding health problems. A health risk is the possibility or likelihood that something will harm or negatively impact your health. Risk does not imply that something bad will undoubtedly occur. It is only a possibility. Several factors, referred to as risk factors influence whether your health risks are high or low.Making a lifestyle change is not easy. It takes time to create new habits. You can learn to make healthier choices and lower your risk of chronic diseases by understanding the stages of change, starting small, and setting goals. Check out Absolute Genetic Technologies, Decode Health DNA Test to learn more on your genetic health risks!REFERENCES:Cirino, E. (2018, June 14). Noncommunicable diseases list: 50 noninfectious diseases. Healthline. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/non-communicable-diseases-list Tamese, M. (2019, May 17). October 2016 issue of NIH News in health now available!: Newsbits. NewsBits | News for the NNLM Pacific Southwest Region. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://news.nnlm.gov/psr-newsbits/october-2016-issue-of-nih-news-in-health-now-available/ Wein, H. (2017, September 8). Understanding health risks. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/10/understanding-health-risks World Health Organization. (2021, April 13). Non communicable diseases. World Health Organization. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases
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According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is defined by both the process and outcome of adapting successfully to setbacks, difficulties or challenges in life. Resilience also means that you are mentally, emotionally and have the behavioral flexibility to adapt and adjust to encounter adversities.In easier words, resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back up when things are not going as planned. Resilient people will not dwell and be constantly sad about the failures they are facing, instead, they acknowledge the situation, analyze their mistakes, and move forward.How we perceive adversity hugely affects our success, hence, having a resilient attitude and mindset is important. Dr. Cal Crow from Centre for Learning Connections have identified some attributes that are commonly seen in resilient people:Resilient people have a positive outlook of the future.Resilient people have solid, well-grounded goals and the will to achieve the goals.Resilient people never blame themselves and dwell for a long time, but they focus on their strategies to bounce back up.However, it should be noted that it takes skills and efforts to be a resilient person. Building yourself to be resilient requires time, strength and assistance from people around you, and of course, it requires your positive mindset and will. In addition, being resilient also does not mean that they do not experience any adversities such as stress or emotional upheaval. They will definitely face setbacks along the way. In fact, facing those sufferings are part of displaying resilience. It all depends on how well you handle them while continuing to move forward.On top of that, resilience is not a fixed or constant trait. You might see that you demonstrate different resilience levels when dealing with different kinds of challenges. You may be resilient when facing with one challenge but struggle a lot more to be resilient in another challenge.By changing certain thoughts and behaviours, people can tap into their resilience through flexibility, adaptability, and perseverance. According to research, when students believe that they can develop both intellectual abilities and social skills, they increase their own resilience, resulting in a lower stress response to adversity and improved performance.Susan Kobasa, in her research, mentioned that there are three elements that appear to be essentially effective for instilling resilience in a person:1. Challenge – People with high resilience view adversities as challenges and learn from their mistakes to grow and improve. They do not reflect them as negative outcomes or what more downgrading themselves.2. Commitment – Resilient people have goals, and they have the desire to be committed to achieve the goals. Having goals, is one of the biggest reasons that made them to be resilient, because it makes them feel that they have purpose to accomplish in life. No matter how hard the obstacles are, they will constantly commit to find solutions, alternatives and apply problem-solving approach in life to work towards their goals.3. Personal Control – Resilient people tend to not look back and have very high focus on the things ahead of them that they have control over. They believe, dwelling over failures will not bring any benefits to them. People enter adulthood with varying levels of emotional resilience, however, those who want to improve their resilience can do so by becoming more proactive and taking a committed approach in their lives. Additionally, developing emotional resilience entails learning to interpret and face adversity as a personal challenge to be overcome. Reconstructing your goals and purpose are also some other alternatives to stand up in resilience. Perhaps by repurposing your goals, you can be more inspired to work on them and could also possibly lead you to a more productive direction. Resilience is one of the traits that exists in your genes, and it can be decoded so you are able to know your resilience level. If you are curious about your resilience or  someone who would like to get to know more about the trait and improve on it, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test! Not just the trait for resilience, you will also get to know more about your other traits that can help in your self-growth! Visit our website (https://www.agtgenetics.com/our-tests.html) to know more about our tests! REFERENCES: American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Resilience. American Psychological Association. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/topics/resilienceDeveloping resilience: Overcoming and growing from setbacks. MindTools.com. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/resilience.htmHurley, K., Sood, A., Mooney, K., Ellin, A., Kilroy, D. S., Kraft, A., Rauf, D., & DiGiulio, S. (n.d.). What is resilience? definition, types, building resiliency, benefits, and resources. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/resilience/Newman, K. (n.d.). Five science-backed strategies to build resilience. Five Science-backed Strategies to Build Resilience. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_science_backed_strategies_to_build_resilienceResilience: Hardiness. Mental Help Resilience Hardiness. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.mentalhelp.net/emotional-resilience/hardiness/
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“Change is The Only Constant in Life”The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus provided an accurate description of life. It's a fact that not everything in life goes according to plan. Unexpected events, such as moving to a new place, changing careers, or going through tough times, can happen to anyone. Uncertainty is a natural part of life, whether it arises from significant changes in our lives, or from dealing with a global crisis like a pandemic.It's difficult to live in uncertainty. Just like our basic need for food and shelter, we also require information about the future. When things feel uncertain, our brains kick in with a stress response, in an effort to protect us. Our minds wouldn’t be at rest until things are back to being certain and clear. However, as we learn to navigate through uncertainty, we also build resilience and adaptability, making us stronger for whatever lies ahead. As a parent, you may have noticed that your child can sometimes struggle with uncertainty. Whether it's starting at a new school, making new friends, or dealing with changes in the family, they are on their own unique journey that can be full of uncertainty. Helping your child understand and cope with these life surprises can provide them with a steady guide to growing up and make it an exciting adventure rather than a bumpy ride. In this article, we aim to provide you with some insights into your child's fear of uncertainty and give you the tools you need to help them navigate the unpredictability of life more effectively.Identifying Fear of Uncertainty in Your ChildTo start off, it's important to recognize when your child is feeling uncertain. Studies show that even little ones can sense when things are uncertain, even if they can't quite put it into words. Instead of directly saying they feel worried or unsure, kids might show it in more subtle ways. You might observe them expressing their feelings of uncertainty through:Physical ResponsesTantrums, meltdowns, hitting, throwing or breaking items.Emotional ResponsesCrying, withdrawing, feelings of anger, frustration, fear or anxiety.Behavioral ResponsesAvoiding situations, hesitating, not following instructions or not listening to parents or teachers.The Neuroscience of Fear of UncertaintyNow let's look inside your child's brain, where the fear of uncertainty takes center stage and uncover how gene influences this intricate dance. There is a region of the brain that is responsible for controlling anxiety called the ‘Amygdala’. Imagine the brain as a bustling city, with the Amygdala as the guardian on high alert. In times of uncertainty, the Amygdala signals danger, releasing stress chemicals. This old protection system, which is essential for survival, has been a constant companion for thousands of years.Now picture the brain as having two friendly neighbors: the logical left brain and the emotional right brain. The left brain prefers order and language, whereas the right brain is more concerned with emotions and the big picture. During anxiety, the right brain tends to take over, resulting in a whirlpool of feelings that may be overwhelming and not make sense straight away.Now, enter the COMT gene, the genetic architect influencing how the brain handles stress. There are two variants: the ‘Worrier’ and the ‘Warrior’. The Worrier variant break down stress chemicals slower causing individuals with the ‘Worrier’ gene to perform well in low-stress conditions but struggle with uncertainty, being prone to worry and anxiety. On the other hand, the ‘Warrior’ variant breaks down stress chemicals faster causing individuals with the ‘Warrior’ variant to thrive under pressure, benefiting from stress as the motivation. When children with the ‘Worrier’ gene variant face uncertainty, the Amygdala's alarm ring louder. Their emotional side of the brain (right brain), guided by the COMT gene, can take the lead, making feelings more intense.  The logical left brain may find it a bit challenging to make sense of this emotional whirlwind.For Children with the ‘Worrier’ gene variant, focusing on school projects and focused tasks can be a strength, thanks to their excellent attention and memory skills. Yet, they might struggle with worries and anxiety during stressful situations, like navigating social dynamics or facing constant academic pressure. On the other hand, children with the ‘Warrior’ gene variant excels in handling pressure, thriving in sports events and time-sensitive tasks. However, it's crucial to help them strike a balance. Even though they handle stress well, ensuring they don't overlook the long-term impact is essential for their emotional well-being.It is noteworthy to recognise that there is no superior or inferior gene variant. Each variant has its own unique advantages. As parents, our responsibility is to support our child's genetic potential by providing an environment that meets their specific needs. To help your child thrive, here are some tips for creating the best possible environment for children with ‘Worrier’ and ‘Warrior’ gene variants:Best Environment for Children with the ‘WORRIER’ Gene Variant:Best EnvironmentExplanationSuggestion1. Stability and RoutineChildren with the ‘Worrier’ variant often thrive in stable environments with predictable routines. This predictability can reduce anxiety triggered by uncertainty.Establish a consistent daily schedule for activities like meals, homework and bedtime. This structure can provide a sense of security and reduce stress.2. Gentle EncouragementEncourage new experiences and challenges in a gentle, supportive manner, without pushing too hard.If your child is anxious about joining a sports team, start with attending games as a spectator, gradually moving to participating in practice sessions before joining the team.3. Emotional SupportOffer plenty of emotional support and validation. Acknowledge their feelings and teach them coping mechanisms for anxiety.Practice deep breathing or mindfulness exercises together when they feel overwhelmed, showing them practical ways to manage anxiety.Best Environment for Children with the ‘WARRIOR’ Gene Variant:Best EnvironmentExplanationSuggestion1. Challenge and Physical ActivityChildren with the ‘Warrior’ variant often benefit from environments that offer physical challenges and opportunities for exploration.Encourage participation in sports, outdoor adventures, or other physical activities that channel their energy and resilience positively.2. Intellectual StimulationProvide opportunities for problem-solving and critical thinking to engage their minds and satisfy their curiosity.Introduce them to strategic games, science projects, or debate clubs that stimulate their intellectual engagement.3. Autonomy and ResponsibilityAllow them some autonomy to make decisions and take on responsibilities, fostering their natural leadership qualities and confidence.Let them choose extracurricular activities or lead a small household project, giving them a sense of control and accomplishment.Calming the Emotional & Logical Side of BrainAs parents, guiding your children to stay calm while managing their big emotions is vital. We can achieve this by helping them balance the logical left side and emotional right side of the brain. Let's explore a practical way to calm the Amygdala for each side of the brain:Right Side - EmotionalLeft Side - LogicalExplanation:The Right side of the brain is non-verbal and emotional, where your child experiences and processes emotions.The Left side of the brain is logical and analytical, helping your child make sense of their experiences.How to Calm: Empathy and ValidationIdentification and Labelling of EmotionPractical Demonstration:When they express anxiety, listen empathetically, and validate their feelings. "I understand that uncertainty can be challenging for you. Your feelings are valid."Encourage them to identify and label their emotions. "Let's figure out what you're feeling. Are you more worried, excited, or a mix of both?"It's crucial to understand that when a child is experiencing an emotional outburst such as crying or throwing a tantrum, their emotional brain takes over. Trying to reason with them using their logical brain will likely be ineffective because their emotional brain is in control. For example, if your child is having a tantrum because they don’t want to go to school on the first day, saying things like "Get up! Stand up now! People are watching. I'm leaving you here." is actually an attempt to engage their logical brain and make them consider the consequences of their actions. However, this approach is unlikely to calm them down but might rather even aggravate the tantrum. Instead, it's best to show empathy and validation first (calm the emotional brain), and once they have calmed down, you can help them identify and label their emotions (engage the logical brain). In response to the child's school-related tantrum, you could say, "I understand it might be scary to go to a new place. It's okay to feel nervous. Let's talk about it together" (Empathy and Validation). After the child has calmed down, you might say, "It seemed like you were feeling really anxious about the first day of school. It's okay to feel that way. What specific thoughts or feelings were on your mind?" (Identification and Labelling of Emotion). It's really important to help our kids handle the ups and downs that come with uncertainty. Finding a balance between their logical thinking and emotional feelings is a big part of making sure they can deal with uncertainties in a good way. Offering a listening ear and understanding when they're upset, along with helping them put a name to their feelings creates a nice balance for them. It's all about making sure their hearts and minds work together smoothly! How To Teach Children to Effectively Deal with UncertaintyNo matter how much we try to protect our children, they'll still face uncertainties in their everyday life. Here are some recommendations on how to teach your child to deal with the uncertainties of life: Encourage Your Child to Embrace Uncertainty & Reflect on Past Wins Tell your child that change may be beneficial, but we must work for it to make it so. Ask your child to recall a moment when they were unsure about a change, but it turned out to be good. Life is filled with uncertainties, and at one point of another, everyone has successfully conquered them. When your child realises that they've conquered uncertainties before, it can empower them to tackle each day with optimism. Share stories of past uncertainties they've overcome to boost their confidence and resilience.For instance, if it's the first day at a new school, tears and fears won't change the fact they need to go. Remind them that their first day in kindergarten was uncertain too, but they still managed to thrive and made friends. A positive and calm attitude can help them quickly make new friends and adapt. Acknowledge Their FeelingsYour aim is to listen, try to understand and let them know it's okay to feel that way, even if you don't see a reason for them to be anxious. Here are some helpful phrases to use and harmful phrases to avoid in making sure your child feels acknowledged:HarmfulHelpful“Don’t be scared.”Reason: Dismisses feeling.It implies that their fear is not valid or reasonable."I can see you're a bit anxious about meeting new people. It's normal to feel that way, and I'm here to support you as you navigate social situations." “You’ll be fine.”Reason: Promises of safety.You can't promise your child will never be injured riding a bike or they will never fail a test or they will never be in an embarrassing social situation.“I notice you might be a little uneasy about taking on the challenge of riding your bike, but don't worry, I'll be right there beside you, offering guidance and support as you learn.”“Are you worried about winning your upcoming public speaking competition?”Reason: Leads to anxiety.It directly suggests a potential source of stress."How are you feeling about your upcoming public speaking competition?"Keep Moving ForwardGuide your child to avoid dwelling on things beyond their control. Worrying will not change the outcome and focusing on the bad will only increase anxiety. Encourage them to face uncertainties head-on and move forward. It's worth mentioning that avoiding situations that make us anxious or nervous actually makes anxiety stronger. Confronting our fears safely weakens anxiety. “Do it scared” is a great mindset to live by. The anxiety may not vanish completely, but facing tasks despite fear is the most effective way to cope. Here are some ways to encourage your child to do it even when they’re feeling scared:Break down daunting tasks into smaller manageable steps.Practice activities that cause anxiety in a safe environment.Challenge them to do one thing even when they feel afraid this week.Show confidence in your ability to support them through any challenge, reassuring them that nervousness lessens with practice.Teach them to assess evidence. Our fears often stem from our thoughts about ourselves and the world. Help your child consider evidence for and against their anxious thoughts. Use past experiences of overcoming worries as examples.Find the Hidden TreasureHelp your child see uncertainty as a thrilling treasure hunt where surprises await. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, encourage them to come up with three to five positive outcomes that they can look forward to. Let's say your child is uncertain about starting a new school. Help them envision positive outcomes such as:Making new friends.Discovering exciting subjects to learn.Creating fond memories with teachers and friends.Life is a journey full of changes and surprises, just like Heraclitus said so long ago. Whether it’s big changes happening around the world or the little challenges our kids face, uncertainty can always feel so daunting. But as parents, we're like guides helping our kids navigate through it all. By tuning into how their brains work and being there for them with love and support, we're giving them the superpowers to handle uncertainties like the little champions they are!  Equip yourself with the knowledge to empower your child on their journey through life. Discover their unique strengths and tendencies with our Decode Talent DNA Test (DTDT). Understanding is the first step to empowering your child against the challenges of uncertainty. Do visit us at www.agtgenetics.com for more information.References:Kim, S., Sodian, B., & Proust, J. (2020). 12- and 24-Month-Old Infants’ Search Behavior Under Informational Uncertainty. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00566Parent Toolkit: Managing Uncertainty in Children | Psychology and Counselling. | Psychology and Counselling. https://emotion-focused.com.au/parent-toolkit-managing-uncertainty-in-children/Davis, M. (1992). The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Anxiety. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 15(1), 353–375. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ne.15.030192.002033FeldmanHall, O., Glimcher, P., Baker, A. L., & Phelps, E. A. (2019). The Functional Roles of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex in Processing Uncertainty. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 31(11), 1742–1754. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01443 ‌Fox, A. S., Oler, J. A., Tromp, D. P. M., Fudge, J. L., & Kalin, N. H. (2015). Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing. Trends in Neurosciences, 38(5), 319–329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2015.03.002Hellige, J. B. (1993). Hemispheric Asymmetry: What’s Right and What’s Left. Harvard University Press.Hobeika, L., Capucine Diard-Detoeuf, Garcin, B., Levy, R. H., & Volle, E. (2016). General and specialized brain correlates for analogical reasoning: A meta-analysis of functional imaging studies. 37(5), 1953–1969. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.23149Borod, J. C., Cicero, B. A., Obler, L. K., Welkowitz, J., Erhan, H. M., Santschi, C., Grunwald, I. S., Agosti, R. M., & Whalen, J. R. (1998). Right hemisphere emotional perception: Evidence across multiple channels. Neuropsychology, 12(3), 446–458. https://doi.org/10.1037/0894-4105.12.3.446Borod, J. C. (2000). The neuropsychology of emotion. Oxford University Press.Armbruster, D., Mueller, A., Strobel, A., Lesch, K.-P., Brocke, B., & Kirschbaum, C. (2012). Children under stress – COMT genotype and stressful life events predict cortisol increase in an acute social stress paradigm. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 15(9), 1229–1239. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145711001763Dixon, T. (2023, July 11). The Warrior / Worrier Hypothesis. IB Psychology. https://www.themantic-education.com/ibpsych/2023/07/12/the-warrior-worrier-hypothesis/Porta-Casteràs, D., Fullana, M., Tinoco, D., Martínez-Zalacaín, I., Pujol, J., Palao, D., Soriano-Mas, C., Harrison, B., Via, E., & Cardoner, N. (2020). Prefrontal-amygdala connectivity in trait anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder: Testing the boundaries between healthy and pathological worries. Journal of Affective Disorders, 267, 211–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.02.029Francis, A. (2023, September 20). The left brain and right brain: Help your child regulate their emotions. Sonshine. https://sonshine.com.au/the-left-brain-and-right-brain-help-your-child-regulate-their-emotions/
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Agreeableness is one of the many brilliant colors that shine brilliantly in the rainbow of personality qualities that distinguish each child. In their contacts with the outside world, agreeable children have a special charm that promotes harmony, generosity, and cooperation. In this blog, we'll explore the wonders of agreeableness traits in children, delving into their significance, impact on personal development, and strategies for nurturing these qualities. The Allure of AgreeablenessAgreeableness, one of the five personality traits in the Five-Factor Model, encompasses qualities such as compassion, empathy, cooperation, and a genuine concern for others. Agreeableness is the personality trait responsible for communal and pro-social behavior, or behavior that benefits others. Agreeableness children who exhibit high levels of agreeableness tend to be warm-hearted, understanding, and adept at forming positive connections with their peers, making them a joy to be around. Why Agreeableness Matters?It's interesting to note the relationship between agreeableness and success in careers demanding a lot of interpersonal interaction. According to Mount et al. (1998), agreeableness becomes a crucial predictor, especially when the interaction involves supporting, fostering, and assisting others in a group environment.This realization highlights the value of developing agreeableness attributes from an early age by drawing comparisons to children. Children who acquire these traits may find themselves better prepared for social harmony, cooperation, and good interactions throughout their lives, much as adults benefit from agreeableness in team-based job contexts. Here's how the findings in the workplace can be related to children's development:Teamwork in ChildhoodEncouraging teamwork among children becomes crucial. Group activities and collaborative projects provide opportunities for them to practice and develop agreeable traits such as cooperation and helpfulness. Positive CommunicationAgreeableness in the workplace often hinges on effective communication. Teaching children to express themselves respectfully, actively listen, and communicate their needs fosters positive interactions, mirroring the communication skills seen in agreeable adults. Counteracting Negative BehaviorsThe study suggests that individuals low in agreeableness may engage in counterproductive behaviors. In a child's context, addressing and redirecting disagreeable behaviors early on can be crucial for their social and emotional development. Promoting ToleranceTolerance is a key facet of agreeableness. Teaching children to be open-minded, accepting of differences, and respectful of others' opinions contributes to the development of this trait. Nurturing Agreeableness in ChildrenIn the development of agreeableness in individuals, the interplay between innate personality traits and external circumstances is crucial. To foster agreeableness in children, three key elements have been identified:Exposure to positive role modelsProviding children with opportunities to interact with positive role models who exemplify highly agreeable qualities can significantly impact the development of their own agreeable traits. Situations emphasizing agreeablenessPlacing children in environments where agreeableness is emphasized, such as collaborative settings like group projects or team-based activities, can contribute to the cultivation of this trait. Opportunities for altruistic behaviorCreating an environment that offers easy access to opportunities for altruistic actions allows children to engage in behaviors that promote empathy, kindness, and consideration for others.The learning process over time underscores the importance of building trusting relationships. This awareness arises from the realization that most people are more likely to accommodate requests when rooted in a foundation of mutual trust. Effectively nurturing agreeableness in children involves a multifaceted approach, integrating positive role models, supportive environments, and opportunities for altruistic behavior.In the symphony of personality, agreeableness traits in children create a beautiful melody of kindness, empathy, and cooperation. As parents, educators, and caregivers, we play a crucial role in nurturing these qualities, sowing the seeds for a future where our children contribute positively to the world. Let's embrace and celebrate the magic of agreeableness, as we guide the next generation toward a brighter, more harmonious future.To find out more about your child’s emotional intelligence traits, Decode Talent DNA Test will get you covered! You may visit www.agtgenetics.com for more information! References:Baardstu, S., Karevold, E. B., & von Soest, T. (2017). Childhood antecedents of Agreeableness: A longitudinal study from preschool to late adolescence. Journal of Research in Personality, 67, 202–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2016.10.007Barrick, M. R. (2005). Yes, personality matters: Moving on to more important matters. Human Performance, 18(4), 359–372. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327043hup1804_3Butrus, N., & Witenberg, R. T. (2013). Some personality predictors of tolerance to human diversity: The roles of openness, agreeableness, and empathy. Australian Psychologist, 48(4), 290–298. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-9544.2012.00081.xFraser-Thill, R. (2011, February 8). Agreeableness in the big 5 theory of personality. Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/agreeable-personality-3287986
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Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language, and our personal appearance. Through social interaction, we develop social abilities. Communication, interpersonal, and listening abilities are all part of social skills and these skills are an essential aspect of interactions. Struggling with sociability will have a significant impact on one’s social life and profession. Thus it is crucial for everyone to counter the nervousness and awkwardness in daily life, especially at a social event.Being sociable can start with giving a smile. “A sociable smile is nothing but a mouth full of teeth,” says Jack Kerouac. When you genuinely smile at people they feel more comfortable engaging you in a conversation. Smiling makes you appear more approachable and friendly. It also signifies that you're interested in speaking with others. Give complimentsGiving compliments is one of the best ways to appear sociable after a smile. Giving compliments can help to break the ice and reduce the awkwardness.Commit names to memoryCalling people by name is a great way to set yourself apart in a conversation. It makes them feel acknowledged when you remember their names. Start small by going to gatherings, birthday parties, weddings, or joining a club. Talking with familiar faces is easier as it makes you more comfortable to engage with rather than having a new friend. However, enrolling in a club teaches you to be vocal and more confident in interacting.Ask open-ended questions.Open-ended questions are question that requires no prolonged conversation. It can be as easy as a “yes or no” questions or What are your plans for the weekend?Do you play any sports?Where are you working at?When you are comfortable enough, be interactive and create a conversation with others tooChoose general conversation topics.It is best to have a general conversation topic as heavy topics can lead to an awkward conversation. General conversation can be about the weather or making an observation about what’s going on around you. Look for opportunities.When speaking in a group, look for opportunities. You should know when to interrupt but do not cut other people when they are talking. This also includes you to excuse yourself if the conversation gets heavier.Pay attention to your body languageBody language plays the biggest role when engaging with others. Eye contact and hand movement will make people focus on what you are speaking. Avoid looking down when presenting or when speaking as that will make you appear less attentive. Most importantly, be confident when you are having a conversation and relaxed. Good postures help you to look interested and engaged.Develop listening skill To be sociable, you must be able to listen to others. Listening to people around you and understanding what they are talking about will make you look interested.Read books and blogs related to social skillsReading books and blogs related to social skills will help you discover the methods and benefits of being sociable. Not just for sociable, for any other tips and recommendations can be found on the internet. The more you learn, the more you gain, the more you practice, the better it gets therefore, we should never stop learning.Having good social skills is all about keeping things light and going with the flow. Chris Sergin stated that "when people become lonely and isolated, whatever social abilities they have tend to atrophy from misuse” which implies that even when you are born with a sociability skill, you will lose the skill when it is not used as it limits the capacity to normally communicate with others. Being social and interactive is crucial, therefore even if you lack these traits naturally, there are ways to cultivate and improve them.When you have good social skills, it brings many benefits and opens many opportunities. Therefore, parents should unleash their child's inborn talent from an early age. Check out our Decode Talent DNA Test and its linked traits to sociability like empathy, extraversion, verbal intelligence, and many other traits to learn more about your EQ strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your genetic traits can assist you and your parents in determining the best approach to improve these traits.REFERENCES:Miller, K. (2022, February 20). 12 ways to improve social skills. wikiHow. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Social-Skills Morin, A., & Morin, A. (2020, February 5). 12 ways to improve social skills and make you sociable anytime. Lifehack. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/12-ways-improve-social-skills-and-make-you-sociable-anytime.html What are social skills? SkillsYouNeed. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/social-skills.html
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Mistakes are the portals of discovery says James Joyce. The road to success is frequently bumpy, full of blunders and unexpected obstacles. It is common to make mistakes or come up short of the goals children set for themselves, but how they handle their mistakes is more important. Children must learn to reflect on their own behaviours, manage their emotions, use problem-solving skills, accept different perspectives, and compromise regardless of whether they make new or repeated mistakes. If parents intervene to solve these problems, children will miss out on the essential skill development that comes from making mistakes or failing. Over the course of a lifetime, learning from mistakes helps in developing wisdom and good judgement.Avoidance of error is a person’s response to errors and the tendency to make rewarded choices while avoiding those that receive negative feedback. Since many children grow up in a society that expects them to be perfect, how can we teach them that making mistakes is part of the learning process? Providing opportunities for kids to learn from their mistakes has a major impact on their development. The benefits of children's learning from their errors, they can become more attentive when carrying out tasks in hand in order to prevent making new ones in the future. After all, not every child is perfect therefore, it’s common for children to make mistakes and these could be seen as wonderful opportunities to grow.Children ought to learn from their own mistakes and it brings positive impacts on them. Some of the positive impacts are: They will be more experienced and well-prepared in the future. Every decision we make in the real world has a consequence, whether good or bad. By creating mistake-driven learning experiences in your child’s schoolwork or household tasks or chores, you may allow your children to analyze the repercussions of their actions without having to incur any actual risks.Making mistakes provides them with self-assurance and confidence. This is because they are encouraged to find their own answers, and learners gain confidence and self-esteem through making errors. This empowers students to take charge of their own learning experience and to confront and be brave enough to overcome any obstacle. They now have the tools, skills, and information they need to make confident judgments and complete assignments.Making mistakes helps children to develop their problem-solving skills and critical-thinking abilities. They must utilize these skills to come up with realistic and effective actions for each work or challenge they are given. They learn how to make well-informed decisions and can identify how each option route leads to different results.Making mistakes boosts knowledge, memory, and comprehension. When learners formulate a solution on their own, they are more likely to absorb that information and commit it to their long-term memory. As children learn through problem-solving, they would remember better.  When they have to strive for the solution and search their knowledge base for the proper answer, this may provide them with a better understanding and be more aware of this when carrying out a similar task in the future.    Making mistakes allows children to take chances that contribute to personal development. Making errors in their learning settings allows them to take chances they would not have taken otherwise. They would probably not be as imaginative or creative in the actual world when tackling an issue because they are worried of the consequences.When you make the same errors again and over, it is natural to become upset and self-critical. You may believe your child is the only one who does it, but you are not alone. Although each child's patterns are unique, we can all connect to the fundamental notion. The advice in this article applies to a wide range of recurring errors. Mistakes can always be improved by:Pointing out all the mistake that is being madeUnderstanding what the problem is in the first place is crucial to fixing it. It is better to think about a recent failure or a mistake that your child has made and write it at the top of a piece of paper.  After that formulate and express a specific concept of the error made since this will allow them to go backwards from the mistake to discover how they got there.Accepting apologies for making the error. People's perceptions of failure are not realistic reflections of what failure truly entails. The truth is that the vast majority of initiatives fail, and they fail for a variety of reasons. Failure is not a derogatory term. Failure simply implies that your child has attempted something and it failed. Yes, the repercussions of failure might be severe and even life-altering, but they still need to forgive themselves for making the mistake.Determine what constitutes a successful resolution.The best way to find out the best solution is to write down what your child believes would constitute a successful settlement on my piece of paper. What exactly are they striving for? What exactly are they looking for? What are their objectives? What do you want your child to accomplish? Ask them to write that down, but keep in mind that success may not look precisely as they imagined so that they don't get too caught up in the notion of what success will look like.Look at different options for achieving the effective outcome they desire. The benefit of technological advancement is that children can learn and benefit from access to the internet for extra knowledge. Spend some time with your kids and teach them to find reliable information about what is their objective and the steps required in achieving it. This will give them a greater pool of knowledge to draw from in trying to plan out their new course of action.Be willing to attempt your new and unusual method once more.The willingness to accept failure and try again is the most crucial step in achieving success.  Your new strategy may fail. That's how things go sometimes. You may need to alter your plan and try again, depending on what you're doing.References: Beasley, R. (2016). Dissonance and decision-making mistakes in the age of risk. Journal of European public policy, 23(5), 771-787. Borucka, K. (2021, March 29). How To Avoid Careless Mistakes At Work? Timecamp. Https://www.timecamp.com/blog/2017/11/how-to-avoid-mistakes-at-work/ Learning from mistakes: How to motivate your child to see the good side of making mistakes. The Learning Lab Asia. (2022, March 1). Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.thelearninglab.asia/child-development/learning-from-mistakes-how-to-motivate-your-child-to-see-the-good-side-of-making-mistakes/ Pappas, C. (2021, May 12). 7 Benefits Of Mistake-Driven Learning. Elearning Industry. Https://elearningindustry.com/7-benefits-of-mistake-driven-learningWillis, J., & Willis, D. (2013). Doing task-based teaching-Oxford handbooks for language teachers. Oxford University Press.  This will feel very daunting if your child concentrates solely on removing all mistakes from your life. If you strive with them to improve, there are a plethora of practical solutions you can try, and you'll almost certainly have a lot more success. If you take a non-judgmental problem-solving approach to address their patterns, it will help your child in coping with the mistakes and present better. These problem-solving skills can go a long way in your child’s growth, as the more ideas your child has in solving certain issues, the less likely he or she will commit the same lapses in judgment in the future. To understand more about this avoidance of error trait, head to our website on the Decode Talent DNA Test to find out!
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Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is an illness that affects a person's brain and behavior, causing them to lose control over the use of legal or illegal drugs or medications. Drugs include substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. Drug abusers tend to continue using the substance despite the harm it causes once they are addicted as addictions grow over time.Addiction vs. DependenceIt is important to understand the difference between dependency and addiction. Dependence is usually referred to as a physical dependence on a substance. Physical dependence can occur as a consequence of long-term drug usage, even when it is guided by a prescription. Physical dependency on a drug is not the same as addiction but it often presents with addiction . Addiction is defined as a behavior change caused by the biochemical changes in the brain as a result of continued drug abuse. One of the outcomes of behavior change is that it increases the desire to engage in dangerous acts, such as when a drug addict will go to any extent to obtain money for drugs. Furthermore, drug addicts have poor anger management skills. When they are not under the influence of drugs, people like this may rage, scream, or even lash out with physical violence. An addiction causes people to act erratically when they do not have the  drug in their system. While it is possible to have a physical dependence without being addicted, addiction can always happen. When people become dependent on the drug, they develop drug tolerance.Drug tolerance means that the body has adapted to the presence of the drug. It is a reduced response to the drug when it is used frequently and the body adapts to its continued presence. As a result, more of the drug is needed to attain the same euphoric effects, leading them to become delusional.Why do some people become addicted to drugs, while others do not?As with other diseases and disorders, the likelihood of developing an addiction differs from person to person, and no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person possesses, the greater the likelihood of drug use and addiction. Protective factors on the other hand, reduce a person's risk. Some example of risk factors and protective factors are as below:Risk FactorsProtective FactorsAggressive behavior in childhoodSelf-efficacy (belief in self-control)Lack of parental supervisionParental monitoring and supportNegative social interactionsPositive relationshipsDrug experimentationGood gradesAvailability of drugs at schoolSchool anti-drug policies What environmental factors increase the risk of addiction?Environmental factors play the most important role in addiction. Environmental factors are related to relationships between the family, in school, and neighborhood. Factors that can increase a person's risk include the following:Home and Family- A home environment is a very important factor, especially in childhood. Parents and older families who abuse drugs and alcohol or violate the law may increase their children's risk of future drug problems.Peer and School- Friends and other peers can become very influential during their teens. Teens who use drugs for the first time can sway even those without risk factors. Academics struggles and poor social skills can further increase a child's risk of drug use and addiction.What happens to the brain when a person takes drugs?Most drugs interfere with the brain's “reward circuit”, causing euphoria and flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat those behaviors repeatedly.As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the “reward circuit” to react to the drugs. This lowers the person's high compared to when they initially started using the drug, an effect known as tolerance. To attain the same high level, they would take more of the drug. These brain adaptations make it more difficult for a person to experience previously enjoyable activities such as food, sex, or social activities.Prolonged use can cause changes in other chemical systems and circuits of the brain, affecting function that includes:·         learning·         judgment·         decision-making·         stress tolerance·         memory·         behaviorDespite being aware of these negative consequences, many drug users continue using them. This is the nature of addiction.Tucker Woods, DO, an Addiction Medicine Specialist and Chief Medical Officer of Restorative Management Corp says “Addiction signs and symptoms differ from person to person, but if you're asking yourself if you need help, the chances are you do". Therefore, if you have some of the signs of drug dependence or addiction, it is best for you to get yourself examined for a treatment.TreatmentAddiction can be treated, but there are distinct approaches to recovery. Since relapses are common, the process may take some time. There are a range of services to which you can be referred for addiction treatment, depending on your condition. Listed  are some of the most frequent treatment approaches: Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to address cognitive and behavior patterns that lead to addiction. Contingency management, family therapy, psychological treatment, counseling and group therapy are some of the other therapies that are beneficial too.Medications: Medications help with addictions and withdrawal symptoms, as well as other treatments to address underlying mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, may be included. Methadone, buprenorphine, nicotine replacement therapy, and naltrexone are among the medications that may be prescribed.Hospitalization: In some cases, people may need to be hospitalized  to treat potentially serious complications for detoxifying of the substance.Support groups and self-help: As people discover new ways to deal with recovery, direct and online support groups can be a helpful source of knowledge and social support.Anyone struggling with an addiction should discover how to gain independence from the substance. Fortunately, addiction is treatable and there are measures that can be taken to help oneself. While quitting is a tough process and understanding how to overcome addictions is key, it is an important first step toward recovery.  For additional information and to learn about your personal traits and behaviors, search up to agtgenetics.com.References:Felman, A. (2018, October 26). Addiction: Complications and consequences. Medical News Today. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323461 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2017, October 26). Drug addiction (substance use disorder). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20365113McGuire, J., & Pham, L. (n.d.). Dependence vs addiction: What's the difference? WebMD. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/dependence-versus-addiction NIDA. 2020, July 13. Drug Misuse and Addiction. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-misuse-addiction on 2022, May 19NIDA. 2018, June 6. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction on 2022, May 19
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Learning styles are the ways in which an individual approaches a range of styles according to Howard Gardner. Visual-spatial learning style, or visual-spatial intelligence, refers to a person's ability to perceive, analyze, and understand visual information in the world around them. Spatial relations are also correlated to our visual perceptual skills as our eyes help us to determine the distance and directionality between objects. Essentially, they are able to mentally visualise ideas.When we visualise something or recall something by creating an image in our minds, we are typically using visual-spatial learning. When trying to recall information, creating a mental picture provides us with another cue. For example, we visualize how different items can fit together to maximize the storage capacity when we are packing our luggage or when organizing a piece of furniture as we visualize if it fits and suits the place. Besides that, visual-spatial learning is very useful in education too, especially in STEM learning related. This demonstrates how important the visual spatial skill is for daily functioning and how strengthening this visual learning can have a positive impact on academic performance.Early education in visual-spatial skills can begin as early as 18 months of age. At this age, the child begins to learn about its surroundings and becomes conscious of its abilities. Early education plays a large role in preparing our children for later success.  Parents can begin teaching your children the fundamentals of spatial thinking as you are your children's first teachers. It's never too early to introduce your child to visual-spatial thinking and get them familiar with it. You can start by using flashcards to teach your child about animals, fruits, and body parts. Spatial reasoning skills are cumulative and durable which mean that with practice, you will improve. So the earlier the education, the larger and longer lasting the improvement.In terms of education, visual-spatial learning is particularly important to STEM learning which includes Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics. A mathematician uses visual-spatial thinking to enhance number sense, quantity comparison, and arithmetic. Studies have found that high visual-spatial ability is linked to better math performance. Children who are more adept at visualizing spatial relationships in preschool have more advanced arithmetic skills in primary school (Zhang et al., 2013 & Gilligan et al., 2017). Middle school students who are good at mental rotation are more likely to achieve in science subjects (Ganley et al., 2014). Therefore, those who master the skills in early childhood will have more opportunities to use it to acquire and organize additional information throughout their learning process. To improve your children visual-spatial intelligence and skills, there are many types of approaches and activities that can enhance their ability such as: By using spatial language in everyday interactions. Spatial language consists of words that help people explain or describe where objects are in space. Spatial language is the key to describing locations of objects such as by using the term “on, under, above, below, inside, beside” and other similar expressions.Teach using gestures and encourage children to gesture.Gesture is a powerful communicating and teaching tool especially for children with visual-spatial type of learning who learn best with using gestures as it helps in remembering and understanding concepts better.  Playing charades or teaching using gestures with your children can be an effective way to encourage children to gesture.Promote visualization.Teaching visualization can be as simple as visualizing a cupcake design before piping and designing it. Playing the matching game.Playing matching games can improve visual-spatial learning as it challenges the mind in remembering the similar card placement.Build objects in a storytelling context.Playing with building objects such as Lego and wooden blocks can significantly increase a child’s spatial thinking ability because it presents them with challenges. Also, by allowing your child to story tell on what they are building, this can indirectly improve their communication skills.There are many other activities that can be carry-out, depending on your child's interest. Visual-spatial intelligence is not a fixed ability and it can be possessed with adequate practice and learning. Although some people are better at spatial thinking than others, they too can improve substantially if they keep practicing even if they start out with a lower score.Through training and practice, spatial reasoning for STEM learning can be boosted and holistic development can be maximized.Heads out to our website to understand more about your child’s learning type with our DNA testing! Knowing your child's learning type early can save time by focusing on your child’ learning type and indirectly help children to have fun and exciting learning and allow parents to know what’s the best approach. References:12 easy activities to boost kids' visual spatial intelligence. JOYLEE ᴗ Grow up with joy. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.joylee.co/blogs/parenting-education/12-easy-activities-to-boost-kids-visual-spatial-intelligence-infographicGanley CM, Vasilyeva M, Dulaney A. Spatial ability mediates the gender difference in middle school students' science performance. Child Dev. 2014 Jul-Aug;85(4):1419-32. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12230. Epub 2014 Feb 22. PMID: 24673201.Gilligan KA, Flouri E, Farran EK. The contribution of spatial ability to mathematics achievement in middle childhood. J Exp Child Psychol. 2017 Nov;163:107-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.04.016. Epub 2017 Jul 26. PMID: 28753435.Logsdon, A. (2020, May 7). How children with a visual-spatial intelligence learn. Verywell Family. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/understanding-visual-spatial-learning-styles-2162778The benefits of visual-spatial learning (with activities and tips). Indeed Career Guide. (2021). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/what-is-visual-spatial-learning#:~:text=What%20is%20visual%2Dspatial%20learning,learn%20holistically%20rather%20than%20sequentially.Zhang X, Koponen T, Räsänen P, Aunola K, Lerkkanen MK, Nurmi JE. Linguistic and spatial skills predict early arithmetic development via counting sequence knowledge. Child Dev. 2014 May-Jun;85(3):1091-1107. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12173. Epub 2013 Oct 21. PMID: 24148144.
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Intelligence? What exactly is intelligence?When you hear the word intelligence, you might immediately thought of your intelligence level. Everyone is born with measurable natural intelligence, and changing it requires difficult capability. Intelligence is dynamic, which means it can be improved based on your exposure to society, environment and education in terms of the ability to learn.However, new perspectives on intelligence have emerged in the recent years. Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, developed the Multiple Intelligences theory. The theory proposes that people learn and acquire information in various ways, and according to Howard Gardner's hypothesis, individuals do not have all their potential intelligence at birth, but rather will benefit from a variety of opportunities by interacting with the content and exposure to the world.Gardner identified eight types of intelligence to broaden the concept of intelligence which is linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist intelligence. Every individual has a different learning style. Knowing which types of intelligence one possesses can be extremely beneficial, especially in studies. When parents give their children a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, they will perform better in school. Have you heard of the saying "if a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn"? The multiple intelligence theory is best described by this phrase. Teachers can adjust the learning style to the child's preferences if they are aware of the type of intelligence they possesses. Indirectly, knowing the child's learning style allows the teacher to provide the appropriate approach to cater to their learning style. This will help them in their future careers too. Adults may see failure as an opportunity to try again, but for children, failure can be a disappointment, which can lead to them failing to pay attention or disrupting class. The multiple intelligence theory has the potential to re-engage students in learning. Using multiple intelligences to teach a concept gives each of your diverse learners a chance to succeed. Learners who excel at visual-spatial intelligence will excel at drawing and puzzles. Students with high linguistic intelligence would have better abilities to comprehend a written report to a reading assignment, whereas those with high interpersonal intelligence excel at classroom discussions. Teaching with the awareness of a student's strengths improves learning and decreases classroom behaviour problem as they experience success in their learning.Characteristics of the 8 types of Multiple IntelligencesSpatial intelligenceMeanings: People who are strong in visual-spatial intelligence are good at visualizing things. These individuals are often good with directions as well as maps, charts, videos, and pictures.Characteristics: Read and write for enjoymentAre good at putting puzzles togetherInterpret pictures, graphs, and charts wellEnjoy drawing, painting, and the visual artsRecognize patterns easilyLinguistic IntelligenceMeaning: People who are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well, both when writing and speaking. These individuals are typically very good at writing stories, memorizing information, and reading.Characteristics: Remember written and spoken informationEnjoy reading and writingDebate or give persuasive speechesAre able to explain things wellUse humour when telling storiesLogical-Mathematical IntelligenceMeanings: People who are strong in logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analysing problems. These individuals tend to think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.Characteristics:Have excellent problem-solving skillsEnjoy thinking about abstract ideasLike conducting scientific experimentsCan solve complex computationsBodily-Kinesthetic IntelligenceMeanings: Those who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are said to be good at body movement, performing actions, and physical control. People who are strong in this area tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterityCharacteristics: Are skilled at dancing and sportsEnjoy creating things with his or her handsHave excellent physical coordinationRemember by doing, rather than hearing or seeingMusical IntelligenceMeanings: People who have strong musical intelligence are good at thinking in patterns, rhythms, and sounds. They have a strong appreciation for music and are often good at musical composition and performanceCharacteristics: Enjoy singing and playing musical instrumentsRecognize musical patterns and tones easilyRemember songs and melodiesHave a rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notesInterpersonal IntelligenceMeanings: Those who have strong interpersonal intelligence are good at understanding and interacting with other people. These individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around themCharacteristics: Communicate well verballyAre skilled at nonverbal communicationSee situations from different perspectivesCreate positive relationships with othersResolve conflicts in group settingsIntrapersonal IntelligenceMeanings: Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing their personal strengthsCharacteristics: Analyze their strengths and weaknesses wellEnjoy analyzing theories and ideasHave excellent self-awarenessUnderstand the basis for his or her own motivations and feelingsNaturalist IntelligenceMeanings: Individuals who are strong in this type of intelligence are more in tune with nature and are often interested in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species. These individuals are said to be highly aware of even subtle changes to their environmentsCharacteristics: Are interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoologyCategorize and catalogue information easilyEnjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoorsDislikes learning unfamiliar topics that have no connection to natureThe theory does not claim that a person possesses only one of the eight intelligences, but rather that some are stronger than others. It is a good approach to be learning about these various types of intelligences because the MI theory helps parents, teachers, and children understand their children's strengths and how these can be used to help them learn and solve problems. References:Cherry, K. (2021, July 28). Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Verywell Mind. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/gardners-theory-of-multiple-intelligences-2795161 Hatoum, L. (2021, November 5). Multiple intelligences definition and meaning. Top Hat. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://tophat.com/glossary/m/multiple-intelligences/ Jackson, J. E. (2017, November 21). How does the multiple intelligence theory help students? Education Seattlepi. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://education.seattlepi.com/multiple-intelligence-theory-students-2149.html 
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According to World Health Organization (WHO), forty-one million children under the age of five were either overweight or obese in 2016. Overweight and obesity have increased dramatically among children and adolescents aged 5 to 19, from 4% in 1975 to just 18% in 2016. Despite the amount of data available, it can be difficult to sort through and decipher what a balanced diet and healthy eating habits would look like for your child. To enforce a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for your child, you must first understand what good nutrition consists of, how it affects childhood development, and what steps you can take to ensure your child adopts a healthy eating habits. What Exactly is Good Nutrition for Children and Young Children?Children’s nutrition is based on the same basic principles as adult nutrition. A healthy and appropriate balance of diet and exercise, as well as a valuable lifestyle, are the keys to proper nutrition. Grains, dairy, protein, vegetables, and fruit are the five main food groups and are a good starting point for any child’s diet. The proportions of each food group will be heavily influenced by age, genetic makeup, and physical activity. Understanding each food group is essential for developing a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your child. GrainGrains are classified into two types: whole grains and refined grains. Because they use the entire grain kernel, whole grains are more nutritious. Oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, and brown rice are examples of whole-grain products. Refined grains have generally been milled and processed several times to improve shelf life and texture. Many valuable nutritional benefits are lost during the refining process, so whole grains are a better option. Cereal, tortillas, white bread, and white rice are all examples of refined grains. VegetablesThe vegetable group includes any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice. Vegetables are classified as raw, cooked, dehydrated, canned, whole, juiced or mashed. It is also divided into five subcategories: dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and other vegetables. Because some vegetables are denser and nutrient-packed than others, the portion size of each will depend on which subcategory it belongs to. Organic, non-organic, and non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) vegetables are some of the subcategories of vegetables. FruitThe fruit category includes any fresh fruit or 100% fruit juice. Canned, frozen, dried, pureed, or juiced fruits are all options. The fruit has a high sugar content, so it is best to build a dietary balance based on age, activity level, time of day, and gender. Same to vegetables, fresh fruit can be further categorized into organic, non-organic, and non-GMO. Protein & DairyMeat, poultry, beans, peas, eggs, seafood, and nuts are examples of foods that fall into the protein food group. It is best if your child’s meat and poultry sources are lean and low in fat. The dairy food group includes all fluid milk products and products made primarily from milk. Milk, yoghurt, and cheese are examples of dairy products. Dairy has been a controversial food group in recent years, and as a result, many nutritionally comparable dairy alternatives have been provided with higher nutritional value. As a result, this category includes fortified dairy alternatives such as soy, almond, and cashew milk, as well as nut cheeses. Your child’s diet and lifestyle may differ depending on their age and unique genetic makeup, with a focus on certain nutritional guidelines during one age range and many different guidelines during another. The Good Nutrition for ToddlersToddlers (ages 1-3) can be a pretty challenging age group to feed a nutritious diet to. Many developmental changes occur during this period, which has an impact on their food or supplement intake. Toddlers are in a stage of development and growth that slows significantly, affecting hunger and diet. In addition to a decrease in appetite, toddlers are exploring independence and control. This can lead to quarrels over specific foods, mealtimes, and portion sizes. It is recommended that toddlers consume 3-5 ounces of grains per day, depending on their age, activity level, and gender. One ounce is roughly equivalent to one slice of bread. 12 cup rice or oatmeal, or one small (4-inch) pancake. In terms of vegetables, toddlers should consume 1-2 cups of vegetables from each of the five subcategories per day. Given that some toddlers are just beginning to accept table foods, it is best to offer soft, cooked vegetables cut into very small pieces. This not only helps toddlers chew and swallow vegetables, but it also reduces the risk of choking. Toddlers should also eat 1 cup of fruit per day. This could break down into half of a banana for breakfast, half of an apple for snacks, 8 sliced grapes, half a cup of cooked broccoli, and half a cup of peas and carrots. To gain the full range of nutritional benefits, it is critical to introduce variety within the five food groups. Most toddlers should consume around 13 grammes of protein per day.A general rule of thumb for determining how much protein your child should consume daily is to base it on their weight. Protein-recommended dietary allowances are calculated using the guideline of 0.5 grammes of protein per pound of body weight. As a result, a 2-year-old weighing 30 pounds would require approximately 15 grammes of protein per day. This could be equivalent to half an egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or a quarter cup of beans. Toddlers should consume calcium-fortified juices, milk, and cheeses in much smaller amounts, such as 1 cup of milk or 60 grammes of cheese. The Good Nutrition for Pre-schoolers The preschool years (ages 3-5) are an important time for children to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Because pre-schoolers grow in spurts, their appetites can be inconsistent. This is normal, and if parents provide a healthy variety, their children will be provided with flexible options. The proportions of grains, protein, vegetables, fruits, and dairy vary according to size, age, and gender. Calcium intake is a critical component for young developing preschool children. Calcium is also required for the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. Contrary to popular belief, traditional dairy milk is not the best source of calcium. This is due to the fact that the calcium in dairy milk is less bioavailable (a substance entering the circulation when introduced into the body and so able to have an active effect) to developing bodies. Calcium is best obtained from dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, and bok choy. With a 40% absorption rate, about half of cooked leafy greens can proved around 300mg of calcium. Fibre is another important supplement to consider. Fibre promotes bowel movements, which helps digestion and prevents constipation. Most whole grain products, as well as fruits and vegetables, contain fibre. Though it may be difficult at times to persuade your child to eat vegetables instead of starchy processed foods like macaroni and cheese and chicken nugget, it will make a world of difference. What Impact Does Nutrition Have on Young Children?A proper nutritional diet and a healthy lifestyle can have long-term effects on young children. Children are highly impressionable during their early development and begin to implement routines and tools that they will carry with them into adulthood. Aside from developing habits and routines, children who do not receive adequate nutrition as they grow up can suffer from physical illness. Obesity, osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, changes in hair volume and texture, fatigue, irritability, and type 2 diabetes are some of the most common issues for malnourished children. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat within the 95th percentile of one’s BMI, or Body Mass Index. Obesity is also more likely in children who do not eat a well-balanced diet and consume excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and processed carbohydrates. Obesity also can cause a number of long-term health issues in children, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and emotional issues. Young children are highly impressionable and can experience body shame and emotional issues as a result of the food they eat. When children consume sugary, processed, and high-fat foods, their digestive system and gut flora suffer. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can be caused by a lack of calcium absorption that causes porous, weak, and brittle bones.  Early nutrition and lifestyle decisions made by children and their parents can have long-term consequences for children. Because most people reach their peak bone mass at the age of 20, it is critical to building muscle and bone mass during childhood. Overweight children experience fatigue and irritability, which can lead to depression. Furthermore, overweight children may struggle with physical activity and are frequently unable to participate in physical activities with their peers. This can lead to emotional isolation, poor social interactions and low self-esteem. A well-balanced and healthy nutritional diet is more important than counting calories in developing children. How to Make Sure Your Child Eats Healthily and Exercises Without support, guidance, education, and routine, it can be difficult to ensure your child is eating healthy and staying fit. As children grow older, they begin to form opinions about what tastes good to them and what does not. Most of the time, this does not correspond to what is nutritionally best for them.The Stanford Children’s Health Hospital recommends avoiding fights over food and meal and providing regular snacks and meals. Children can be picky, avoidant, or hard at times. If your toddler or pre-schooler is a picky eater who refuses to eat certain foods, it is best to give up and try again later. They will be most likely to begin to warm up to the healthy options provided. As previously stated, young children are developing their independence and opinions, and as a result, they vary. It can also be beneficial to establish a regular feeding time and spot for your child. Positive connections can be formed by promoting healthy food choices, regular eating habits, nutrition education, and personal interaction during mealtimes. Given that children are highly perceptive human beings, it is advantageous to create positive and healthy experiences for them. Involving children in food preparation and selection can also be a valuable learning tool. When in the grocery store or even in your refrigerator, it can be helpful to engage with your child to help select foods based on nutritional value and explain how they can help developing bodies. Parents are also encouraged to use specific serving sizes and demonstrate the equivalents to them. This nutrition education can help children understand and implement appropriate serving sizes as they grow older, as well as maintain healthy eating habits. It can also be beneficial for parents to pack a homemade snack or lunch for their children to bring to school. Instead of packing processed foods or junk food, choose food high in healthy fats and nutrients. This ensures that a well-balanced and nutritious meal is always available. Physical activity, as always, is just as important as proper nutrition. Most days of the week, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Parents can encourage physical activity by limiting their child’s time spent watching television and playing video games and encouraging more physically active routines such as walking, running, and playing ball. Because children learn primarily through direct observation, it is critical for parents to actively participate in their children's life regarding nutrition and exercise. You are modelling a positive, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle for your child by leading by example. To find out more about your child’s nutrition needs, Decode Nutrition DNA Test will get you covered! You may visit www.agtgenetics.com for more information!
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Are you struggling to discipline your child? We know it can be a challenge, but it's important to learn how to discipline them in a smart and healthy way. Firstly, it is important to understand that discipline is not just about punishment. It is about teaching children how to make good choices and develop self-control.  “Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.” ― L.R. Knost, the author of ‘The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline’.    The way in which discipline is carried out has an impact on a child's emotional and mental well-being. Hence, parents need to understand the importance of having healthy ways to discipline your child. And here are some tips for parents to do that: 1. Positive reinforcement Positive reinforcement means rewarding good behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior. It is important to acknowledge and praise your child when they do something positive. This can include anything from saying "thank you" when they share or showing excitement when they complete a task. Research by Hardy & McLeod (2020) shows that kids are more likely to behave in a desired way when they get praised for doing something right, whether it's following a rule or sharing a toy. The best way to reinforce positive behavior is to praise the behavior, not the kid's character. You can point out positive things about your child's concern for others – such as asking if their friend is all right – by mentioning how much the recipient appreciated their kindness.  2. Set clear expectation Children need structure and predictability in their lives. When parents provide clear rules and expectations, children are more likely to follow them. It is important to communicate these expectations clearly and consistently so that children know what is expected of them.  Professor Cluver, the Professor of Child and Family Social Work stressed that telling your child what to do is more effective than telling them what not to do. When you ask a child to not make a mess, they may not understand what you're asking. Clear instructions like “Please put all your toys in the box” set a clear expectation and make it more likely for them to comply.  3. Modelling good behaviour Children are highly observant and tend to imitate the behaviours they see in their parents. Children would pick up your emotions and vibes as they grow up. Thus, it is important for you to set a positive example for your children. This means consistently demonstrating desirable behaviours such as respect, kindness, honesty, responsibility, and empathy to your children. If you model healthy behaviors, children are more likely to follow suit. For example, if you want your child to speak respectfully to others, it is important to speak respectfully to your child and others around you.  “Parents who discipline their child by discussing the consequences of their actions produce children who have better moral development, compared to children whose parents use authoritarian methods and punishment.” ― Simon Baron-Cohen, British clinical psychologist 4. Maintain a strong connection with your child Always have a connection before correction. Yelling at children when they behave badly cuts off your connection with your children. Discipline should not be a punitive or isolating experience. Instead, it should be a way to help children learn and grow while maintaining a strong connection with their parents. Instead of yelling or scolding, try to listen to your child and understand the root cause of their misbehaviour. Communicate with your child throughout the disciplinary process, listen to their feelings and concerns. This helps them develop the skills and tools they need to make positive choices.  Finally, it is important to recognize that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every child is different and may respond differently to different disciplinary techniques. Thus, it is important to understand the underlying causes of misbehavior, so that parents can address the root of the problem and help their child learn to manage their emotions and behavior more effectively.  Each child possesses innate personality traits that are reflected in their behavior, and it is important for parents to understand these traits to effectively interact with them. To learn more on your child's personality traits, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn personality!   References Hardy, J. K., & McLeod, R. H. (2020). Using positive reinforcement with young children. Beyond Behavior, 29(2), 95-107. doi:10.1177/1074295620915724.  Morin, A. (2021, June 20). 5 Positive Discipline Techniques to Try. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/examples-of-positive-discipline-1095049#citation-4  UNICEF. (2022, December 12). How to discipline your child the smart and healthy way. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.unicef.org/romania/stories/how-discipline-your-child-smart-and-healthy-way Rupali, A. (2021, January 6). 4 Effective ways to Discipline Children in a Smart & Healthy Way. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.alphamontessoridfw.com/blog/discipline-child-without-punishment/ 
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Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to a child’s health. A recent Netflix’s Thai movie regarding sleep deprivation called “Deep” depicts this well. The psychological thriller portrayed [...]the journey of four university students who were involved in a neuroscience experiment that had gone haywire. Due to lack of sleep, their body experienced foreign and unusual body sensations which in turn led to more severe outcomes like hallucinations and inability to make sound judgments and decisions in their daily life. ​While the movie is largely fiction, the symptoms of sleep deprivation are fairly presented. If that many effects can occur in a young adult, what more for a child who is still in their growing phase? What happens when your child are sleep-deprived?The benefits of sufficient sleep for a child are many and widely known. Consistently, there are many severe and long-lasting consequences for the lack of it. (1) Mood DysregulationOne of the effects of sleep deprivation is mood dysregulation. According to Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the author of Sleeping Through the Night, "Kids who do not get enough sleep have trouble regulating their emotions." [1]. A sleep-deprived child may appear to be more aggressive and easily irritated. It may also result in mood swings, being restless, hyperactive and impatient. If their sleep deprivation persists, they would also manifest certain behaviours such as fighting with others, yelling, making threats, and causing harm to themselves in severe cases [8]. Not getting sufficient sleep could result in a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in teens over time [1]. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania on the influence of partial sleep deprivation on mood, participants who were restricted to only 4.5 hours of sleep per night for a week were reported to feel more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. However, as the participants resumed a normal sleep pattern with 8 hours of sleep, they observed a significant change and improvement in the mood [2]. Some improvements which were reported include being more alert, mentally sharp, physically energetic, calm, happy, and healthy [2].(2) Impaired Metabolism Besides, another effect of insufficient sleep is impairment in body metabolism. Metabolism is known as the whole range of biochemical processes in the body and it involves the processes of anabolism (the building up of bigger structures from smaller units like nutrients from our food) and catabolism (the breakdown of larger units to smaller ones, such as the the breakdown of fat as an energy source) [3]. In short, metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) the body burns to maintain itself [3]. In a research conducted at the University of Chicago it was evident that sleep deprivation leads to a  decreased rate of glucose clearance by 40% [3]. The research involved 11 healthy young men where they were subjected to only 4 hours in bed for 6 nights followed by 12 hours for 7 nights to recover from the sleep debt. After that, their glucose tolerance was measured. [3]. A glucose tolerance test can indicate the ability to dispose glucose from the blood. Glucose intolerance could result in high blood glucose levels in the body which increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. A similar effect can also be seen in infants, children, and adolescents whereby lack of sleep is associated with impaired function in glucose metabolism. Hence, sleep deprivation can alter metabolic function and lead to a myriad of illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension [10]. (3) Poor Academic PerformanceIn addition, sleep deficit can result in poorer academic performance which includes a decline in cognitive functions such as follows [4]:Decreased attentionWeakened memorySlowed mental processingWorsened sequential thinkingReduced creative thinkingExcessive daytime sleepinessPoor decision-makingHeightened risk of aggressive behaviorTherefore, failure in getting sufficient sleep with high quality and optimum duration would cause a decline in academic performance at school in the long term. How much sleep should your child get?According to Griffin from WebMD, the amount of sleep required varies according to their age groups [1, 5].A helpful guideline is as follows:Infants (4 to 12 months) need 12 to 16 hours of sleep.Toddlers (1 to 2 years) need 12 to 14 hours of sleep.Pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) need 11 to 13 hours of sleep.School-aged children (6 to 12 years) need 10 to 11 hours of sleep.Pre-teens and teens (13 to 18 years) need around 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep. Hence, any amount of sleep less than the amount above indicates that your child is not getting adequate sleep that is essential for their health and development. Is your child getting enough sleep? Children may encounter difficulty falling asleep. If your child is one of them, they could be having pediatric insomnia. This insomnia is a sleep disorder that leads to an inability to fall and stay asleep. Children with this condition may be seen to wake up too early in the morning as well [6].This childhood insomnia can be seen in 3 kinds of manifestations such as:chronic insomnia: ongoing and happens 3 times a week for a month or longer. cyclical insomnia: issues balancing wake-and-sleep cycles which can come and go throughout life. transient insomnia: typically lasts less than three weeks. Not only that, according to a sleep survey conducted by The Nielsen Company in 2019, 9 out of 10 Malaysians suffer from sleep problems with 63% of the respondents between ages 25 and 49 reported taking over 30 minutes to fall asleep in which portrays the prevalence of sleeping deficiencies among adults [7].From these statistics, parents must now be mindful that sleep disorders such as insomnia must be prevented at an early age. Children need to be educated with proper sleep hygiene and a fixed bedtime routine so that they can maintain their health as a result of quality sleep and rest.What is the tendency for my child to develop insomnia?​Find out your child’s likelihood to develop insomnia with the Decode Talent DNA Test  and ensure better sleep quality and overall wellness for them. Prevention is better than cure. Safeguard your child’s health and holistic wellbeing and growth by understanding their genetics.For more updates on our products and offers, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!References[1] R. M. Griffin, "This Is Your Kid’s Brain Without Sleep," WedMD, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/recharge/features/brain-without-sleep.[2] D. F. Dinges, F. Pack, K. Williams, K. A. Gillen, J. W. Powell, G. E. Ott, C. Aptowicz and A. I. Pack, "Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbance, and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 4-5 hours per night," Sleep, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 267-277, 1997. [3] S. Sharma and M. Kavuru, "Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview," International Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 2010, p. 270832, 2010. [4] N. Vyas and E. Suni, "Improve Your Child’s School Performance With a Good Night’s Sleep," Sleep Foundation, 15 January 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/children-and-sleep/sleep-and-school-performance.[5] Children's Health, "Pediatric Insomnia," Children's Health, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.childrens.com/specialties-services/conditions/difficulty-in-falling-asleep-or-staying-asleep.[6] Children's Hospital Colorado, "Insufficient Sleep in Children," Children's Hospital Colorado, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/conditions/sleep-deprivation/.[7] M. Murugesan, "Counting Sheep," New Straits Times, 25 April 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/heal/2019/04/482768/counting-sheep.[8] American Academy of Sleep Medicine, "For children, poor sleep can lead to emotional and behavioral problems," Sleep Education, 22 April 2008. [Online]. Available: https://sleepeducation.org/poor-sleep-children-emotional-behavioral-problems/.[9] "Anabolism vs. Catabolism: The Role They Play in Your Metabolism," Cleveland Clinic, 13 July 2021. [Online]. Available: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/anabolism-vs-catabolism/.[10] M. A. Miller, M. Kruisbrink, J. Wallace, C. Ji and F. P. Cappuccio, "Sleep duration and incidence of obesity in infants, children, and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies," Sleep, vol. 41, no. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy018, 2018.
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Should parents reward their children for helping with house chores? What about rewarding them after they have completed their homework and assigned tasks on time? ​You probably thought about this before but perhaps have not arrived at a conclusion. If you hope that your kids reach their behavioural milestones, you can attempt a tactic that many parents nowadays swear by: The Reward Systems. The idea of reward systems can be a productive disciplinary way of educating children. However on the other side of the argument, parents have always been told that rewarding their children will destroy their inherent motivation as they may become increasingly materialistic. Well, do you think this is true? What you need to know about rewarding your children?Difference between a reward and a bribeTheir differences are subtle, which is why many parents fail to reward their children correctly, which often results in further behavioural problems down the road. A reward is given after children show good behaviour. “If you complete the assigned tasks well today, I will give you a treat,” is a reward. A bribe, in contrast, is when parents offer their misbehaving children a favor or treat as an exchange for their promise of being well-behaved. “I will buy you chocolate candy if you stop crying and yelling,” is a bribe. Due to this, parents should understand that rewards are usually pre-planned and should target specific behaviour. It’s important for parents to set certain rules about rewards. In any case, do not allow your children to receive a reward when they blackmail you by saying, “I won’t clean up the room unless you buy me a chocolate bar.”. Rewards can be a healthy and positive way to reinforce good behaviour for kids if parents manage it well. Children may learn to behave well or do the right things for which they receive positive feedback and avoid negative behaviours that gain no rewards.On the other hand, bribes educate children to use their behaviour as a method to manipulate others. Although bribes can be tempting at times as it motivates kids to change their behaviour immediately, it does not educate proper skills over the long haul. Similarly in reality, you won’t be receiving your paycheck until you have done the assigned task. Likewise, don’t give in to the easy alternative to nurture your children. Reward systems do not spoil kidsContrary to the many skeptics out there, rewarding your children sparingly does not spoil kids. It helps children develop small routines and ritual practices important to everyday life. Positive results and comments motivate people regardless of age. Most working adults have the motivation to go to work as they will eventually receive their reward in the form of a paycheck. This applies the same to children as they will come to understand that they can gain their  reward or more privileges from being well-behaved. Linking privileges to positive behaviour educate children to earn things prior to reward. In that sense, reward systems can prevent children from becoming spoiled because they will have to learn the value and importance of things in life in order to gain rewards. Parents do not have to give rewards that require any costsThere are many rewards that do not cost money. Children do not have to gain lavish rewards everyday. In fact, younger kids can earn from a simple sticker chart that allows them to accumulate for a larger reward. Allowing them to choose a special or favourite meal, earn a later bedtime for extra gaming or activity time, or pick a game that inspires them to play can be the reward option. Be creative with your rewards and you won’t have to spend money for the rewards. Do ask your kids for their input on what sort of rewards they would like to earn too. Rewarding creates a positive environmentPositive parent-child relationships at home can influence children's behaviour. It also creates an enjoyable and pleasant environment for both parents and children. A home filled with positive education and reinforcement for good behaviour, rather than one that is directed by constant punishing for bad behaviour, is a place that provides them with an emotionally positive and secure environment. This is a crucial tool in parenting as it gives happiness and motivations to children in their ongoing learning. What you can do to reward your childrenGet the timing rightThere is evidence showing that the value of rewards will be lost if parents reward their children with a delay. In other words, in order for rewards to work successfully for children, it has to be fresh in their mind when parents request them to complete tasks or adjust their behaviour. Or else, they might start to misbehave when they cannot receive the promised rewards or begin to think that they cannot do things correctly.  Giving the right and meaningful rewardsA reward does not have to be luxurious and complicated but it should meet some basic criteria. Rewards for kids should be inexpensive or of no cost.  The rewards should also be things that your children care about to work effectively. You must also be willing to dole it out regularly. Remember not to make a promise you cannot keep. Be sure to be specific about the goals that you want your children to achieve so that they will know exactly what they need to do to get the reward. They need not be confusing, so make sure to communicate concisely and clearly to them. For younger kids, goals should be easy enough for them to achieve without much effort in order to let them experience a taste of success. As the practice becomes a routine that is more normalized, you may extend the goals and tasks to make it more challenging but always take note that the reward system should not be too complicated. Make sure to focus on a selected few of your children’s behaviours and not a dozen at a time. Give plenty of encouragement and praise to your childrenYou can encourage your children before they do something. For instance, “The test is over, you don’t have to worry much about it as you have studied hard. No matter how the results turn out, you have done your best”. Some kids who are less confident than others need such encouragement compared to others. When you focus your praise on effort, they are more likely to see trying hard as a positive thing in itself and be more optimistic when challenges are in place. At the same time, you are showing them how to react, think and talk positively.With all these said, do not overuse rewards. Rewards are undeniably helpful tools to communicate and teach good behaviours among children, but parents need to readjust the rewards that they are giving so that children do not take it for granted. Always ask yourself whether the rewards you gave works to encourage your children’s behaviour that you want or not. Take note to also adjust the reward systems according to your children’s age. As they grow older into their adolescent years, they should have learnt that good behaviour is a reward in and of itself, as opposed to still having an expectation to be rewarded by the people around them. A reminder to all the parents here: Do keep the reward systems as simple as possible so that both parents and children are clear about how it works. As a final note to our fellow parents readers, make sure to be mindful of your long term behavioural goals for your children as you contemplate on the right rewards system to adopt for your children. Remember that your parenting goals must not be limited to controlling the outcome of a specific event only, but your responsibility is for the long-term healthy upbringing of your children. So, use rewards wisely. ReferencesMorin, A. (January 2020). Common concerns about giving kids rewards. Verywell Family. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/concerns-about-giving-kids-rewards-1094886‘Praise, encouragement and rewards’ (August 2020). Raising Children Network. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/connecting-communicating/connecting/praiseEdNavigator. (n.d.). What parents need to know about rewarding hard work and good behavior. Retrieved from https://www.ednavigator.com/resources/what-parents-need-to-know-about-rewarding-hard-work-and-good-behavior
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Is your child's favorite hobby scrolling through social media? From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to TikTok, there are numerous platforms that children can use to communicate and connect with their peers. As parents, it’s important for you to understand the impact of these digital platforms on your children and take steps to protect them. In this article, we will explore the potential risk of children using social media and offer useful advice on how to assist your child in developing positive online behaviors.   Social media is associated with several potential risks: 1. Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is a serious form of online abuse. In the online world, cyberbullying can be difficult for children to avoid due to the speed at which information can spread and the ease with which bully and victim roles can interchange. Cyberbullying leads to mental issues and cause children to feel isolated, depressed and even lead to suicidal thoughts. 2. Sleep difficulties Study found that both daytime and bedtime use of electronic devices increases the risk of sleep problems (Reid Chassiakos et al., 2016). Using electronic devices before bedtime or having them in the bedroom can lead to disrupted sleep, which affects daytime performance. Besides, the emission of blue light from screens hinders the production of melatonin, which can result in sleep difficulties. 3. Self-esteem Social media frequently exposes children to images of seemingly flawless lives, which can make children have a misperception of body image, feel inadequate and unworthy. Continuous comparisons to others on social media can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, potentially causing lasting impacts on a child's mental well-being.   Is social media completely bad for a child? Certainly No! While overuse of social media poses risk to children, there are potential benefits too, such as providing a platform for their self-expression and creativity. What’s more important is, parents and caregivers should help to balance the benefits and harms of social media use in kids. Hence, here are some tips for you: 1. Setting limits on screen time Encourage children to take breaks from social media and engage in other activities, such as physical exercise or spending time with friends and family. 2. Monitoring social media use Monitor your child’s online activity and screen for the media exposure to prevent them from being bullied or engaging in risky behavior. 3. Encouraging positive social interactions Educate children to use social media to connect with friends and family in an active way, such as engaging with their posts through liking, commenting, and creating and sharing their own content. This is because study shows that passive use of social media, such as scrolling through content, has been linked to depression (Karim et al., 2020). Thus, what matters most is not how long a child scrolls through social media, but how they actively engage with it.   Are certain children more prone to the risk of social media? According to research, infants and toddlers who have a "difficult" temperament or self-regulation issues are more prone to excessive media use (Reid Chassiakos et al., 2016). Study has shown that those with high levels of neuroticism were more likely to develop social media addiction (Marciano et al., 2022). This is because individuals with high levels of neuroticism typically experience more negative emotions, such as stress and anxiety. To cope with these emotions, they may spend more time using their phones and the internet as a means of relief. As the online environment can provide a sense of security, they can easily express themselves and share their concerns without fear of criticism or rejection. This makes them rely more on online social networking to connect with others and reduce their emotional pain. Genetic testing helps you to discover whether your child has a genetic predisposition towards neuroticism and other personality traits. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your parenting style to better support your child's emotional and mental well-being from a young age. To learn more on your child's genetic predisposition, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn traits!   References Bozzola, E., Spina, G., Agostiniani, R., Barni, S., Russo, R., Scarpato, E., ... & Staiano, A. (2022). The use of social media in children and adolescents: Scoping review on the potential risks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(16), 9960. Chen, W., Wang, X., Sun, S., Liu, Q., & Guo, Z. (2022). The relationship between neuroticism and mobile phone use among college students in love: The masking effect of self-emotional assessment. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. Karim, F., Oyewande, A. A., Abdalla, L. F., Ehsanullah, R. C., & Khan, S. (2020). Social media use and its connection to mental health: a systematic review. Cureus, 12(6). Marciano, L., Camerini, A. L., & Schulz, P. J. (2022). Neuroticism and internet addiction: What is next? A systematic conceptual review. Personality and individual differences, 185, 111260. Moreno, M. A., & Radesky, J. (2023, March 20). Social Media & Your Child’s Mental Health: What the Research Says. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/social-media-and-your-childs-mental-health-what-research-says.aspx Reid Chassiakos, Y. L., Radesky, J., Christakis, D., Moreno, M. A., Cross, C., Hill, D., ... & Swanson, W. S. (2016). Children and adolescents and digital media. Pediatrics, 138(5).
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 Cultivating Empathy                 “Provide opportunities for children practice empathy”                          Empathy is one of the few traits that holds human beings together.                    The ability to understand and share the feelings of others, putting oneself in someone else’s shoes, and responding with care and concern. When people are empathetic, there is more peace, kindness, and understanding. Some may believe that empathy is inborn trait, rather that something that can be learned. Children are born with capacity for empathy, but it needs to be nurture throughout their lives.  5 ways to practicing empathy in children:Model Empathetic Behavior: Continuously model empathy in your own interactions with others. Children learn by observing, so your behavior will influence their own practices.Role-playing Scenarios: Set up role-playing scenarios where children can take on different roles and experience situations from various perspectives. This helps them practice responding empathetically.Sharing Circles: During family or classroom discussions, create a sharing circle where can openly talk about their feelings, experiences, and challenges, Encourage active listening and thoughtful responses.Encourage Acts Of Kindness: Prompt children to perform small acts of kindness for others, such as sharing toys, helping with chores, or making cards for friends or family members.Conflict Resolution: When conflict arises, guide children through resolving them empathetically.  Help them understand the feelings and perspectives of everyone involved and find common ground.
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Friendship conflicts are a natural part of growing up. Kids will inevitably experience conflicts with their friends, such as disagreements over sharing toys, conflicting interests or opinions, misunderstandings, or even hurtful words exchanged in the heat of the moment. These conflicts can range from small squabbles to more significant challenges that test the strength of their friendships. While it may seem daunting, these conflicts are actually a natural part of friendship and provide valuable opportunities for growth and learning, as the saying goes:   “Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.”  – M. Esther Harding, British-American psychoanalyst.   As parents, we can play a crucial role in teaching our children how to effectively navigate these conflicts, fostering healthier and more resilient friendships. Let’s explore these tips to help you guide your kids in managing conflicts with their friends:   1. Helping Kids to identify and manage their emotions Teach them to recognize and understand emotions like anger and frustration. Encourage them to express their feelings in healthy ways and provide them with techniques to remain calm during heated moments. By developing emotional awareness, children can better understand their own reactions and make more thoughtful choices in conflict situations.   2. Identifying the Root of the Conflict To resolve conflicts effectively, it's essential to identify the underlying cause. Encourage your child to explore the original source of the conflict and dig deeper to understand the root issue. By helping them pinpoint the core problem, they can work towards finding more meaningful solutions rather than merely addressing surface-level disagreements.   3. Brainstorming Solutions Empower your child to develop problem-solving skills by engaging them in brainstorming sessions. Encourage them to generate a variety of potential solutions without judgment. Guide them in evaluating the pros and cons of each option. This process helps foster creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, allowing them to find mutually beneficial resolutions with their friends.   4. Practicing Effective Communication Effective communication is vital for resolving conflicts. Teach your child the value of using words to express themselves respectfully and honestly. Encourage active listening, which involves understanding and acknowledging the perspectives of others. Encourage your child to ask questions, reflect back on what they hear, and practice open and honest communication with their friends. Journaling can also be a helpful tool for children to explore and express their thoughts and feelings.   5. Encouraging Perspective Shift and Empathy: Sometimes, conflicts persist despite best efforts. If that happens, then it's best for you to encourage your child to take a mental step back and gain a new perspective. Help them understand that one behavior doesn't define an entire person. Teach them empathy by encouraging them to put themselves in their friend's shoes. Additionally, teach them that it's okay to walk away from toxic friendships when necessary, emphasizing that true friendship is based on mutual respect and shared values.   Building stronger Friendships with children  Studies have shown that children with high emotional intelligence have an easier time adjusting to and maintaining stronger friendships (Galloway et al., 2006). To better understand your child's emotional intelligence, tools like the Decode Talent DNA Test can provide invaluable insights into their genetic tendencies toward various emotional traits. This allows you to tailor your parenting approach, nurturing their emotional intelligence and skills to navigate conflicts and foster stronger friendships. The best part is, these skills are not limited to childhood but will benefit them throughout their lives in building positive and fulfilling relationships.   Check out our Decode Talent DNA Test and start shaping a personalized parenting plan for your child's development today.    References   Garey, J. (2023, March 28). Teaching Kids How to Deal With Conflict. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://childmind.org/article/teaching-kids-how-to-deal-with-conflict/   Pruett-Hornbaker, L. (2022, May 17). 5 Ways to Help Kids Handle Disagreements With Friends. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/ways-to-help-kids-handle-disagreements-with-friends   Galloway, S. H., Groves, M., & Devonport, T. (2006). Emotional Intelligence and friendship patterns among Sport Studies Students, School of Sport. Performing Arts and Leisure. CELT Learning and Teaching Projects 2005/2006.   
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In these modern days, most children spend their time on screens. Unlike in the old days, when children were eagerly waiting for 6 pm every evening so that they could go to the playground. These days, children may not be spending time outside due to many reasons. The most obvious reason has to be the domination of gadgets in children. Parents may not see this as an issue for them, in fact, they may feel relieved that they do not need to spend their time outside guarding their children playing. As simple as they may think, letting children play and spend time outside comes with a lot of benefits. Some are:Physical and Health DevelopmentDecrease the risk of MyopiaMyopia, sometimes known as short-sightedness, is becoming more prevalent worldwide. By 2050, this vision impairment will impact roughly 4.8 billion people, 2.8 billion more than in 2010. Myopia is a condition where light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina rather than directly on it, causing blurred distant vision. This distant vision issue typically arises when the axial length of the eyes grows excessively long from the front to the rear and most commonly occurs when the eyes are still developing in childhood.Myopia can be inherited or caused by specific lifestyle choices, such as spending too much time in front of a screen or performing other close-up jobs. Although people commonly blame this on genetics, genetics by themselves cannot account for this rapidly developing issue. Instead, specialists claim that we have been underestimating how the environment, and the outdoors, affects our eyesight.The eye muscles also require relaxation after long hours of constant use, just like other muscles in the body. Eye muscles relax when you are outside and concentrating on distant objects, especially after spending all day staring at a device or in a classroom. A number of studies have suggested that letting kids play outside can reduce their risk of myopia. One study by Wu encouraged young Taiwanese children to spend more time outside and after a year, students who spent at least 11 hours a week outside had much less axial elongation and myopic shift than those who stayed indoors. Exposure to sunlightWhen children play outside during the day, they will be exposed to the natural sunlight. Safe play in the sun can supply good nutrients like vitamin D to children. Additionally, the human brain can tune its ‘biological clock’ by using light cues. So, this can also ensure that children can maintain a healthy sleeping rhythm. A healthy sleeping rhythm is crucial for children to have a good rest and are always energetic and ready to learn, explore, or simply get through their day.However, we still need to take note of not exposing children to excessive amounts of sunlight, as this can lead to skin cancer and other skin problems.Improve motor skillsChildren develop 2 types of motor skills: 'fine' motor skills and 'gross' motor skills. Fine motor skills engage with smaller muscles of the body such as fingers. Gross motor skills, on the other hand, engage with the larger muscles of the body to coordinate and make larger movements.Fine motor skills let your child make use of small muscles as in their hands or fingers to do activities like holding, grasping, or pinching. They will learn how to use their hands which eventually will help them in bigger daily activities as they grow up such as holding a pencil to write. Gross motor abilities refer to activities like crawling, running, jumping, and throwing that require the use of the bigger muscles in the arms, legs, and torso. You might have noticed that children do not like to remain still, right? This is normal as your child grows up because they are developing their gross motor abilities by constantly making movements and exploring what their muscles can do.It is proven that children who play outside develop and improve their motor skills such as coordination, balance, and agility at a higher level than their "indoor" peers. Outdoor play encourages children to move in ways that strengthen their bones, muscles, and physical strength when they do activities that trigger their motor skills such as playing catch and run, kicking a ball, or climbing the stairs to go down on a slide.Help children stay fit and prevent diseasesNot just adults, children also need cardiovascular exercise to maintain good health. Your child usually has more room and freedom to make large actions like running, jumping, kicking, and throwing when they are outside. These kinds of physical activities are beneficial for your child's physical growth and fitness. This can also prevent children from suffering from obesity since the prevalence of obesity among children is worrying. Children who spend more time outside being active are less likely to become obese since they are being energetic getting rid of the calories. Obesity has many awaiting health complications in the long run. Some of these complications are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or asthma.Children exposed to outdoor play from an early age are more likely to have the awareness to take care of their health and fitness when they grow up. Besides being fit to efficiently carry out daily activities, this may also develop their interest in participating in sports. In fact, Children are advised to exercise at least an hour every day. Of course, they can exercise indoors but getting them to play outside will certainly encourage and excite them to actively play, which can also be a form of exercise for them.Intellectual DevelopmentImproving children’s five sensesChildren who spend time indoors watching TV or playing mobile games usually use only two out of five of their senses which are hearing and sight senses. On the contrary, children who spend time playing outside have more chances to utilize more of their senses. While playing, they see, hear, touch, smell, and perhaps, even taste. This can enhance their ability to respond to and process the sensory stimuli they encounter.Helps children in learning new words and conceptHands-on learning is one type of learning that can help children in understanding new words. Especially words related to the things that they can experience physically such as words related to movements or textures. A study revealed that it is much easier to understand what is meant by “squish” if you experience and feel mud squishing through your fingers. Children are more likely to learn and understand the concept of certain words by experiencing it on their own. Therefore, going outdoors can broaden their sensory experience and develop an intuitive knowledge of how things work.Social DevelopmentContribute to social and communication skillsA study shows that children who spend their time mostly outdoors are more socially expressive, which means they are able to verbalize their ideas and desires. They will also have a low tendency to have any problems fitting in and playing with others. Playing together requires teamwork which helps contribute to a positive peer-to-peer relationship. In addition, interacting with other children while they are having fun outdoors indirectly contributes to the development of their social skills. While playing, of course, they will be talking to each other, this also helps to hone their communication skills as well.Instill good behaviorWhen children play outside, they might also encounter other children’s parents and other individuals as well. This can introduce them to valuable social lessons. Some grown-ups may display good behavior, for example, turn-taking and being compromised towards others. Children, with their nature of imitating what they see or hear around them, will be influenced and eventually follow the good behaviors modeled.Furthermore, children who play outdoors have more self-awareness and compassion toward others. Studies showed that children who play outdoors have less tendency to be a bully.Boost self-confidenceBeing used to having interactions and socializing with other people from a young age will benefit children in the future. As they grow up, they will be familiar with the situation with crowds and strangers and will always be confident to communicate and socialize. Crowded situations and meeting new people can be overwhelming for some people and make them become socially awkward. However, this is not the case for children who have been exposed to such situations from young.So dear readers, by now it is clear that letting children play outside brings benefits to them in not just one aspect, but holistically. It covers and prepares them for their growing years. So, it is important for you to let your child explore, discover and experience new things during their outdoor playing activities, which can contribute to nourishing and nurturing their potential talents and abilities. To find out more about your child’s talents and abilities, the Decode Talent DNA Test will get you covered! Please visit www.agtgenetics.com for more information.
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Intelligence. This is a word that I'm sure everyone has heard of. But what does it actually imply and how does it affect an individual? Researchers developed an IQ test to measure how well someone can use information and reasoning to answer questions or make predictions. IQ tests measure short-term and long-term memory and how quickly one can solve puzzles and recall information. It helps researchers check whether they are testing for the same “kind” of intelligence or different. In short, intelligence is the ability to derive knowledge, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, comprehend, and correctly apply cognition and reason in a psychological context. However, it does not encapsulate the complexity of the mind.​Folks often believe that video games rot a kid's mind, making them passive resulting in poor social skills, but a new study argues that the opposite could be true. Children actually might get a brain boost from playing video games. Many people claim that video games make you smarter. However, intelligence is a broad concept, and we don’t know what effect video games have on it. Even then, lots of research have shown that video games can have a tangible impact on cognition,  particularly "action" video games and it improves cognitive performance in a wide range of ways (Green & Seitz, 2015).Video games are commonly believed as a time-killing activity, but you will be amazed to realize that they have favorable advantages.Do you know that video games can help you enhance your manual dexterity, increase your brain's grey matter, and strengthen your problem-solving skills? Video games can improve manual dexterity Manual dexterity or fine motor ability is the coordination of small muscles in movement with the eyes, hands, and fingers. The neurological system is linked to the various levels of manual dexterity that individuals possess. Fine motor abilities contribute to the development of intelligence and continue to develop throughout the stages of human development. In a study involving a group of surgeons, researchers found that those who played video games were faster at performing advanced procedures and made 37 percent fewer mistakes than those who didn’t (Dobnik, 2004). This proves that controller-based games can be great for your hands. Video games can boost and improve hand-eye coordination and reaction times.Video games can increase your brain’s grey matterMuscle control, memories, perception, and spatial navigation are all associated with gray matter. Gaming enables the brain to be more responsive when it comes to reporting new data. Gaming is primarily mental training that is disguised as entertainment. Smarter people are more likely to become addicted to video games because they may not be challenged enough at school or work, and video games fill that void. According to studies from Nature and Science Alert, playing video games on a daily basis may increase grey matter in the brain, and improves brain connectivity, which aids memory development. As a result, it improves players' memory capacity.Games can teach you to be a better problem-solver and decision makerChildren who played strategy-based games improved their problem-solving skills and consequently tended to obtain better marks the next school year, according to a long-term study published in 2013, proving that gaming has an impact on intelligence. The majority of video games necessitate a significant amount of problem-solving. Various games, on the other hand, necessitate different types of problem-solving. Video games, particularly action games, necessitate immediate, on-the-fly decision-making. Gamers with a lot of experience can make quick judgments under pressure. Since video games boost critical thinking and reflective learning capacity, they also improve communication skills, resourcefulness, and flexibility. Not only do video games provide many benefits but they also give positive effects on attention, determination, and mental health.Below are some examples of the positive effects of playing video games:Effect of video games on attentionGreen and Bavelier discovered that action video games improve attention control. Most action games demand that the player maintains a laser-like focus on specific elements or characters. As a result, action games significantly improve selective attention, or the ability to focus on a single stimulus. This appears to provide the greatest perceptual and attentional benefits.Effects of video games on the determination It motivates you to be more persistent because, in video games, you either win or keep trying until you attain your objective, learning from your mistakes as you go. As a result, some researchers and academics say that video games could teach people to be more self-assured and to work toward their goals, treating each failure as an opportunity to learn.Effect of video games on mental healthSome video games have been proven in studies to improve mood and heart rhythms, indicating that they may also effectively relieve stress. Numerous unrelated research has shown a link between video games and stress, which is why video games have been utilized in therapies for over a decade.However, with the good comes the bad.Although the benefits and positive effects of video games on the intellect have been covered, playing video games for long periods of time can also have negative consequences. Too much screen time can affect sleep, well-being, and academic performance. Therefore, gaming and other physical activities must be managed accordingly by parents. Gaming should always be done in moderation. Intelligence is a broad topic to be discussed. But in this write-up, we can come to an agreement that video games make you smarter in the aspects of cognition, memory, and problem-solving skill and how video games have positive effects on them. This is evident when gamers tend to rank higher for these cognitive abilities than the rest of the population.To learn more about your child's potential and abilities, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn potential! ​ ReferencesAnish Dube, MD, MPH, associate professor, psychiatry, Charles R. Drew University of  Medicine and Science, Los Angeles; Karolinska Institute, news release, May 12, 2022; Damon Korb, MD, director, Center for Developing Minds, Los Gatos, Ca.; Scientific Reports, May 12, 2022Crew, B. (2018, December 8). Gamers have more grey matter and better brain connectivity, research suggests. ScienceAlert. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.sciencealert.com/gamers-have-more-grey-matter-and-better-brain-connectivity-st    udy-suggests-2018Dobnik, V. (2004, April 7). Surgeons may err less by playing video games. NBCNews. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna4685909 Editor. (2022, February 1). Benefits of video games for Kids & Adults. GEICO Living. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.geico.com/living/home/technology/9-reasons-to-give-video-games-a-try/ Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2012). Learning, attentional control, and action video games. Current biology: CB, 22(6), R197–R206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.012Green, C. S., & Seitz, A. R. (2015). The Impacts of Video Games on Cognition (and How the Government Can Guide the Industry). Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2(1), 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1177/2372732215601121Kabir, L. (n.d.). Video games make you smarter: Backed up by research. Healthy Gamer. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.healthygamer.gg/blog/video-games-make-you-smarter-backed-up-by-research#:~:text=Video%20games%20increase%20your%20attention,cognitive%20abilities%20that%20society%20values. Kühn, S., Gleich, T., Lorenz, R. et al. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game. Mol Psychiatry 19, 265–271 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2013.120​Thompson, D. (2022, May 19). Could video games boost A child's intelligence? WebMD. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20220519/could-video-games-boost-a-childs-intelligence
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Parents are always on the lookout for their child's gifts. "Is my child gifted in math, music, sports, or arts?" is a common thought, be it consciously or subconsciously. Most parents, if not all, would wish for their child to have a special talent. While that may be the case, what's more to know about the talents of children?  Talent can be defined as a natural ability that one is an expert in. It is extremely important that we identify and nurture it from the very beginning.  “Creativity follows mastery, so mastery of skills is the first priority for young talent.” This is believed by Benjamín Bloom who was an American educational psychologist who made contributions to the classification of educational and Co-curriculum objectives. According to Benjamín Bloom, if a child’s talent is achieved successfully, teachers’ and parents’ fundamental duties of teaching basic skills and subject matter can be immensely rewarding. Discovering and cultivating unique talents in children and young people, and watching those students and their talents grow are among the great joys of teaching.Stages of Talents Development Children go through distinct periods of development as they grow from infants to young adults. During each of these stages, multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. What occurs and when approximately these developments transpire are genetically determined. According to David Henry Feldman, a college professor, who researches the growth and development of children, there are 4 stages of talent development through the ages. 4 to 10 years of age – During this stage, children explore and observe the environment to expand their mind.  10 to 13 years of age – Their talents begin to develop with the help and guidance of their teachers and role models. Competition and praise play an important role in their talent development. 13 to 18 years of age – Children learn that dedication and commitment are necessary for the development of their talent. They learn their responsibility and the needed sacrifice to grow. 18+ of their years – This stage marks the period where children decide to instill their talent as the choice of their career in the future.  Discovering the Talents of a ChildHowever, despite the Talent Development Stages that demonstrate how children develop their talents as time passes by, not many children reach their full potential. Even if a child has high potential or talents, they may not reach their full potential unless full support is offered from their parents and teachers who can teach, shape and guide them. Parents and teachers are tremendous role models that help shape the behavior of the child. Children especially in their early ages are dependent on parents and teachers to help set their goals and cultivate diligence to achieve them.  The first thing that parents should take note of is to identify what talents they have.  Typically, identifying a child’s interests can start as early as 3 to 4 years of age.  There are several ways to identify a child’s special talent to help children be better prepared in the near future according to Dwight Bain, an executive coach and mental health counselor.Ways to Identify a Child’s Special Talent1. Observation of their lifestyle: Parents ought to pay attention and observe what their children are doing in their free time and what type of activities they are interested in. Parents should also join in and engage with what their children are doing to have a better understanding.2. Academic achievement: Academic performance can help show which subjects a child is good in so that parents can have a rough idea of  the field of interest the child has. 3. The media children consume: Observing what children like to watch on television or online can help identify your child’s interest. 4. Consult children’s teachers: Teachers spend a lot of time with children, so they ought to possess a vast awareness of your child's skills, abilities, advantages, and disadvantages, especially with regard to their academic performance. Having timely conversations with children’s teachers can certainly help identify their unique talents.5. Listen to what your child is curious about Take ample time to listen to children. If there are any topics your child is interested in, he or she will ask these questions more often than usual. It is important for parents to engage with them and provide the answers to these questions to expand their knowledge and cultivate their interest. This process of interest goes on throughout their childhood when they develop and gain more experience in their field of interest. Children cannot ignite and develop their talent over time on their own. Only when parents are aware of their child’s interest, the right support, be it financial, time, and advice can be provided. Tips for Development Progress1. Start early. Children should be exposed to a variety of activities as early as the age of 3 to 4 years old. Parents are responsible to encourage their children to engage in the activities they have an interest in. Parents can be great mentors or coaches themselves when they join their kids in the activities they enjoy. 2. Practice makes perfectHaving talents is tremendously useful, but it is not enough to succeed. It takes effort, time, emotional, well-being, and strength to tap into the gifts your child has in order to succeed. 3. Setting a TargetSetting up a future goal and target that the child wants to achieve can help motivate them to achieve bigger goals in the near future. It also keeps them focused on their passion. 4. Cultivate a growing mindset. When a child has achieved their goals, they have to understand that they are not perfect, thus the need to continue striving to be better. Likewise, when a goal is not achieved, children need to be trained to have grit and a mindset of determination and perseverance. To succeed, one must meet many hardships and failures, just as ice hockey player Wayne Gretzkyp puts it, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take’. Regardless of the myriad of fields out there, it is important for children to be exposed to them to enable them to see where their interest falls into. Talent development starts with its identification, and talent identification starts first and foremost with parents. ReferencesArmstrong, P. (2016). Bloom’s taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.Bain, D. (2009). Destination Success. Revell.Gagne, F. (1991). “Toward a Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent.” In Handbook of Gifted Education, edited by N. Colangelo and G. A. Davis, pp. 65-80. Boston:                   Allyn and Bacon.
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Early life experiences can exert a huge effect on both of the brain development and behavioural development; while the latter experience also plays an important role in maintaining and elaborating, which is important in establishing a solid foundation for development after early stages (Fox, Levitt & Nelson, 2010). For example, the learning experience of a child will shape a child’s behaviour and personality as well as how the child’s brain grows and develops. ​These are the three major theories explained how children learn: Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, and Observational learning. These theories deal only with observable behaviours and purely focus on how experience shapes who we are instead of considering internal thoughts or feelings (Cherry, 2020).Classical Conditioning: Type of learning that automatic conditioned response is paired with a specific stimulus, in order to produce a behavioural response known as a conditioned response (Jamie, 2020). To make this a bit more concrete, let’s use a classic experiment as an example. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist discovered over time that, dogs were salivating not only when their food was presented to them, but when the people who fed them arrived. In order to test his theory that the dogs were salivating because they were associating the people with being fed, he began ringing a bell and then presenting the food so they’d associate the sound with food. These dogs learned to associate the bell ringing with food, causing their mouths to salivate whenever the bell rang, not just when they encountered the food (Clark, 2004). Children learn in much the same way, developing associations between things in their environment and potential consequences. For example, an infant might quickly start to associate the sight of a baby bottle with being fed. Or when a child sees needle, he or she will immediately associate the needle with pain and cry at the sight of it.Operant Conditioning: Type of learning that when a behaviour is rewarded, the chances that the same behaviour is likely to occur again. When a behaviour is punished, the chance of the same behaviour is less likely to occur again. In other words, it is a set of learning techniques that utilizes reinforcement and punishment to either increase or decrease a behaviour (Grant, 2014). For example, whenever a child goes to bed on time, his parent reads him a bedtime story. The story reading is a positive reinforcement used to increase his child’s behaviour which is going to bed on time.Observational Learning: A process of learning through watching others, retaining the information, and then later replicating the behaviours that were observed. It can take place at any point in life, but it tends to be the most common during childhood as children learn from the authority figures and peers in their lives. For example, a child watches his mother folding the laundry. He later picks up some clothing and imitates folding the clothes.It also plays an important role in the socialization process, as children learn how to behave and respond to others by observing how their parents and other caregivers interact with other people. Therefore, it is important to ensure that children are observing the right kind of behaviour, and parents have to be sure that their children are learning how to act responsibly by modelling good behaviours and appropriate responses. In addition to the types of learning that happen in a day-to-day basis, there are also other experiences that play a role in shaping a child’s development such as their peers like kids at the playground, neighbourhood and school. Children are very influenced by their peers, and these social experiences help shape a child's values and personality (Blazevic, 2016).Besides that, teachers and classmates play a major role in making up a child's experiences, and academics and learning also leave their mark on development (Osher, Kendiziora, Spier, and Garibaldi, 2014). Because genetics and the environment are always interacting in a dynamic way. A child's genetic background will influence his ability to learn, hence, good educational experiences can enhance these abilities. Other than that, the culture that a child grows up and lives in has also played a role in how a child develops. For example, a child who raised in individualistic cultures might help on developing the autonomy and self-esteem; in the opposite, a child who raised in collectivist cultures tend to express higher levels of sadness, fear and discomfort (Putnam & Gartstein, 2019).Thus, we can see how genetics, environmental influences, and parenting styles are interacting in a child’s development. Each part of our life plays an important role in shaping our behaviour and personality as well as determining what kind of person will be in the future.ReferencesBlazevic, I. (2016). Family, peer and school influence on children's social development. World J Educ. 6(2), 42-49. http://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v6n2p42Cherry, K. (2020). Child Development Theories and Examples. Verywellmind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/child-development-theories-2795068Clark, R. E. (2004). The classical origins of Pavlov’s conditioning. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science. 39, 279-294. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02734167Fox, S. E., Levitt, P., Nelson, C. A. (2010). How the timing and quality of early experiences influence the development of brain architecture. Child Dev. 81(1):28–40. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01380.xGrant, D. A. (2014). Classical and Operant Conditioning. In: Categories of Human Learning. Elsevier. 1-31. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1016/B978-1-4832-3145-7.50006-6Jamie, E. (2020). Classical Conditioning and How It Relates to Pavlov’s Dog. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/classical-conditioningOsher, D., Kendiziora, K., Spier, E., Garibaldi, M. L. (2014). School influences on child and youth development. In: Sloboda Z, Petras H, eds., Defining Prevention science. New York, NY: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7424-2_7Putnam, S. & Gartstein, M. A. (2019). How different cultures shape children’s personalities in different ways. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-different-cultures-shape-childrens-personalities-in-different-ways/2019/01/11/1c059a92-f7de-11e8-8d64-4e79db33382f_story.html
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As we all know, the inherited genes from our parents influence everything from height, eyes colour, hair colour and other physical characteristics, to intelligence, behavioural patterns and personality traits. Who we are today is shaped by our genetic background as well as environmental influences. Most researchers agree that a complex interaction of both nature and nurture is involved in a child's development (Levitt, 2013). The complex interaction of both nature and nurture does not just occur at a particular moment or throughout periods of time, rather it is a persistent and a lifelong process (Cherry, 2020). ​Therefore, it is important for parents, caregivers, and even educators to understand the science behind our children’s genetics in order to nurture them to their full potential, healthiest and happiest selves.  ​The very beginning of a child's development starts when the male reproductive cell, a sperm, combines with the female reproductive cell, an ovum. Each sperm and ovum contains chromosomes that act as a blueprint for human life (Ludlow & Gutierrez, 2014). These chromosomes contain genes that are made up of a chemical structure known as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) which consist of genetic codes that make up all of life. All cells in the body consist of 46 chromosomes, while the sperm and ovum each consists only 23 chromosomes (Ludlow & Gutierrez, 2014). This is to ensure that the new organism has the correct 46 chromosomes when both the cells fuse.  The genes that a person have inherited are referred to as a genotype; while a phenotype refers to how the genes are actually expressed. For instances, phenotypes include physical traits like height and eyes colour, as well as non-physical traits like personality traits, such as extroversion (Ludlow & Gutierrez, 2014). ​There are two types of interactions that determine how a gene is expressed, which are Genetic Interaction and Gene-Environment Interaction. Genetic Interaction refers to a phenomenon where two or more genes affects the expression of each other in various ways in the development of a single character of an organism (Shinde, 2015). In other words, genes can sometimes contain conflicting information, and in most cases, one gene will win the battle for dominance (Cherry, 2020). The eye colour is one example of dominant-recessive genes pattern. If one parent inherits a dominant brown eye gene while the other parent inherits a recessive blue eye gene, the dominant gene will win out and the child will have brown eyes (Cherry, 2020). Gene-Environment Interaction is referred to as the environment that a child is exposed to since young. Even in the uterus of the mother, the genes expressed will be impacted. For example, height is a good example of how genetic traits are influenced by environmental factors. While a genetic code of a child may indicate height, if the child has poor nutrition or chronic illness, those factors might affect him in growing tall (Jelenkovic, 2016). Genetic code might also go off course sometimes. The genetic abnormalities occur when the zygote have an uneven number of chromosomes. For example, the number of chromosomes might divide unevenly and caused the organism to have more or less than the normal 23 chromosomes, when the sperm and the ovum is combined. ​ ​Evidently, genetic influences have a huge impact on child development. Nevertheless, genes are not the only determinant of a child’s future, environmental factors like parenting, education, culture as well as social relationships also play an important role.  References Cherry, K. (2020). How Genes Influence Child Development. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/genes-and-development-2795114 Jelenkovic A., Sund, R., Hur, Y. M., et al. (2016). Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts. Sci Rep 6:28496. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1038/srep28496 Levitt, M. (2013). Perceptions of nature, nurture and behaviour. Life Sci Soc Policy. 9:13. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1186/2195-7819-9-13 Ludlow, A. & Gutierrez, R. (2014). Developmental Psychology. 52. Lynch, M. (2019). The Impact of Genetics on Child Development. Retrieved from https://www.theedadvocate.org/the-impact-of-genetics-on-child-development/ Shinde, H. S. (2015). Gene Interaction. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/harshrajshinde1/gene-interaction              
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Do you think you are giving the best to your children? Wanting the best for our children is the motivation to parents’ day to day relentless and hard work. Years and decades spent in earning money, not just to raise a child up, but to raise a child well. Parents send children to the best schools, the best tuition centres, the best enrichment programmes, the best holiday camps, the best one-to-one personal tutor et cetera. Apart from educational or developmental avenues, a lot of money is spent in the process such as learning resources like books, musical instruments, uniforms, events or trips, transportation and the list goes on. Parents no doubt want the best for their children. We want them to be the best they can ever be, and take up the heavy burden willingly and unconditionally to pave the way of security, success and happiness for our children. But is this really the best?​If the above description sounds like you, it is time to pause and think and ask yourselves “What is really the best for my children?”. It is common to hear parents say “I want my child to be happy ultimately”, “I want them to enjoy doing what they like” or “I want them to pursue their dreams”, but the question is how do we as parents get there? The problem is we assume that we know what is best for our child. We think the solution is to give them everything we can get our hands on. Endless hours of tuition, art classes, interpersonal skills development, sports activities, you name it! No doubt these are good for some children, but are they necessarily good for your children?Your child does not need everything.Everything is too much for your child. Realistically speaking, there is no way a child can excel in anything and everything. We know that, yet out of our loving concern for them, we send them to all the classes to hone every aspect of their lives. As a result, instead of achieving our good intentions, children may be impacted negatively. Though this may not be the case for everybody, studies have shown that high expectations from parents, educators and students themselves to perform excellently in their academics can be a source of heighten stress among students (Tan and Yates, 2011).By putting too much pressure on children, their mental health is negatively affected. Mental health relates to major issues such as depression, anxiety and stress which are growing in prevalence (Lee and Syaid, 2017). Reports from the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2012 and 2017 reported a rise of suicidal ideation, plan and actual attempts among Malaysian youths as young as 13 to 17 years old (Institute for Public Health, 2017; Institute for Public Health, 2012).It was also discovered that 1 in 5 adolescents are depressed, 2 in 5 are anxious and 1 in 10 are stressed (Institute for Public Health, 2017). One underlying cause for mental health issues are academic and environmental factors, which consequently impair one’s development, productivity and poor achievement in learning. With your child’s mental health affected, it becomes difficult for your child to develop his or her potential (Lee and Syaid, 2017).Your child needs a push into the right direction.Every child is unique. Rather than helping your child excel in everything which is obviously not feasible, what they really need is proper guidance to what they are naturally good at. Instead of aiming blindly and diverting your attention and theirs, parents should devote and dedicate all resources into areas that they have potential in. By doing this, parents can save plenty of time and money in the long run. At the meantime, you take the heavy stressful workload off your children’s shoulders and provide much room for them to enjoy their passions.Research has shown that children learn better in a positive environment whereby both their developmental and social needs are met (Willis, 2007; Smith, et al., 2016). Enjoyment in a learning institution also reinforces their academic aspiration, which subsequently improve their health and academic performance (Smith, et al., 2016).Joy in learning also leads to improved information processing and long-term memory storage. A pleasurable learning experience releases a neurotransmitter known as dopamine which stimulates the brain’s memory centre to release acetylcholine which aids in prolonging attention span. On the other hand, stress, boredom, lack of motivation, confusion ​and anxiety hinders your child’s learning experience (Willis, 2007).But the question remains: “How do we know our children’s interest as early as their infant years?”.Giving them the best by knowing your children.Children development starts as early as their infant years. The first few years are a critical developmental period for the optimal growth. Yet, knowing your children takes time, it takes years as they grow and learn.  Conventionally, parents use old-fashioned trial and error methods to find what works best with their children.  When early stage of life is so critical that we cannot afford losing the opportunity, how then can we know our children since young? The answer lies in their DNA.​DNA are genetic molecules that everybody inherits from their parents and it functions to code for proteins and cells in your body, in other words, it makes up who you are as a fully functional and amazing person! Your hair is a certain colour because your DNA “instructs” it so, your body creates enzymes in your stomach because your DNA determines so, and the applications are endless. Needless to say, your child’s DNA can inform you about their developmental traits in as many as 5 key areas such as their talents, Intelligence quotient (IQ), Emotional quotient (EQ), Personality and Overall Wellness. These “hidden” information stored in their DNA allows you to make focused decisions in building him or her up, by navigating their learning processes or choices wisely. By knowing their strengths and weaknesses, you can take early measures to curb the foreseen challenges they will face, while enhancing their potential, all these being done in a positive stress-free environment.A deep understanding about your child’s nature empowers you to make parenting decision tailored for their needs, enable you to nurture them well and truly give them the best that they deserved. Understand your child’s DNA today with Absolute Genetic Technologies’ Decode Talent DNA Test (DTDT) today!
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