This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Playing Forward. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own. #Playing4ward #LizzysWorld
Parenthood is definitely the most rewarding experience of my life, but it has also presented challenges at times. I think most parents would agree that the primary goal of parenthood is to raise a happy, kind and well-adjusted child. Today I’ll be sharing five ways to promote a positive childhood experience for your kids.
1. Focus on relationships!
The relationship you have with your child is the first – and in some ways, the most important- relationship of his/her life. Make sure this relationship is based on love, empathy and compassion. Don’t use manipulation or control to define your interactions with your child. Focus on positive discipline, mutual respect and a symbiotic relationship. This first relationship tends to set the tone for future relationships that your child will have with others (friends, relatives, etc), so it’s important to use this opportunity to define what a healthy, positive relationship looks like.
2. Encourage social emotional learning.
Never heard of social emotional learning? It’s actually the process, in which kids acquire and apply the skills necessary to manage emotions, form relationships, show empathy, set goals and more. One way we have been supporting the kids’ social emotional learning is with a new app called Lizzy’s World. This app was developed by Playing Forward, whose mission is to support a child’s social emotional development via engaging stories, fun visual effects, and the use of Augmented Reality technology.
Did you know that research has suggested that social emotional development is essential to success in school and in life? That’s why we’ve been loving the Lizzy’s World app. In fact, it has been beta-tested by 300+ children in 18 classrooms across the United States and Canada. By the way, the developer’s name comes from the fact that they are “playing it forward” to give every child the best shot at a happy childhood by focusing on social emotional learning. Sophia has been really enjoying the app. Listening to the stories has been perfect at bedtime, but she also enjoys exploring the different scenes too.
Playing Forward was founded by John Attard and Victor Talbot, who are two mavens in the entertainment industry with notable contributions to over 100 films, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book and Superman vs. Batman. One unique feature of all Playing Forward apps is their transformational technology, which produces unique interactive experiences that spark a child’s imagination. There are actually three apps available:
- MAXI THE TAXI DOG:
- DEX T-REX
- Lizzy’s World
Each of these stories can be enjoyed in two different ways: as a bedtime story read along in 3-dimensions or as an interactive exploration via augmented reality. This unique technology enables the reader to move around and see the story from multiple vantage points! Lizzy’s World features the STEAM-powered character from the new book series, “It’s Just So…”, along with her new friends.
I love that Lizzy’s World takes the reader along on the journey as Lizzy experiences all the firsts of school! Using 3-dimensions and augmented reality, the story creates an engaging setting for kids to explore. It becomes a fun way for kids to explore the feelings that comes along with meeting new friends and learning new topics in class (like math, science, reading and art).
To celebrate the launch of these apps, Playing Forward is hosting a special sweepstakes with a grand prize of a fabulous STEAM-powered weekend in Manhattan! The Grand Prize includes air transportation, a two night hotel stay, a Visa gift card (for meals) and various museum tickets for a family of four. It will also include personalized experiences at two of Manhattan’s most unique museums – the Natural History Museum & the Children’s Museum of the Arts. The contest’s runner-up will win an iPad. Learn more about Lizzy’s World here and don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes!
3. Don’t demand perfection.
Whether it’s a toddler coloring in a cartoon page or a high schooler coming home with a science test, make sure you focus on the child’s effort – not the final result. If you expect perfection from your child, not only will you set yourself up for disappointment, but you will also be putting undue pressure on your little one. Furthermore, there are significant negative consequences for the child if he/she feels the expectation for perfection. Make it clear that you only expect them to try their best at whatever they are doing.
4. Strive for happiness & optimism yourself.
Being a role model is one of the most important things I do as a mom. Teaching my children to be happy and optimistic starts with embodying those feelings myself. For example, if there’s a detour on the road and that delays us all by 15 minutes, I’ll use the opportunity to enjoy a few extra songs with the kids in the car. We’ll sing along to some songs on the radio and take advantage of the extra time in the car. Keep in mind that if your child sees that you get frustrated every time things go awry, he/she will think that’s the only possible reaction… and eventually he/she will follow suit. The result is a preponderance for negativity and irritability. Instead, show your kids an easy-going, happy-go-lucky attitude and they will mimic that outlook!
5. Encourage playtime.
For kids, playtime is crucial for their development. It’s during play time that kids are able to learn and grow. If you want to teach your child a new concept, find a way to incorporate it into play time. Teaching numbers? Write numbers in sand or mold numbers from play dough. Get creative with your lessons and the child won’t even realize they’re learning something new!
Don’t forget to check out the Lizzy’s World app and enter the fabulous sweepstakes for a chance at winning a weekend in Manhattan! Do you follow any of these tips? How do you encourage your kids to be happy?