Tag: teaching children

Empathy: Feelings

empathyEmpathy! Feelings! The explanation of feelings helps to teach empathy and instill kindness in children. Kids can be mean! And the best way to teach them kindness is to help them see how others feel.

A little girl who comes to school wearing pretty and expensive clothes makes an unkind remark to a little girl who doesn’t wear that type of clothes. Why? Because her parents can’t afford them or she doesn’t feel comfortable in them.

Sympathy and empathy are not the same thing. Children can be sympathetic when they view a situation through their own eyes and or experiences.

In contrast, empathy requires that a person has the ability to “step outside” of himself or herself. That person must enter the “internal” world of another person. When this happens, a person can experience the other’s emotions from that person’s vantage point.

Sometimes situations, events or people can jump start a child’s ability to empathize. When children’s hearts are touched, often they automatically react with empathy. When empathy comes into play, a child’s attachment to himself or herself takes a “back seat” to trying to help. The following video tells it all.

When The Best Of Us Steps Up, Our Nation Stands A Little Taller…Share this…Credit to: Canadian Tire

Posted by Most Viral Web on Friday, February 17, 2017

Empathy! Feelings!

In the picture above, the two children that Rugby is speaking to must be guided into a state of empathy if they don’t arrive at that state naturally. Maybe the little girl in the dress has been told that how someone dresses reflects her value. Maybe she has been taught that she is pretty too often and she begins to equate what she has and how she dresses with who she is. As young as she is, she may have become vain and self important.

Hence, an approach might be to ask her how she would feel if her parents could no longer purchase expensive clothes for her. What if she had to go to school in clothes like the other girl is wearing? How would she react if kids made fun of her and her clothes? Would she feel better if someone tried to understand how she is feeling and say or do things that might help her feel better?

Finally, a parent or teacher… or dog friend might tell a child how proud he or she will be if this child shows kindness and acceptance of the little girl who is so sad.  Honest praise goes a long way!

Carol Dweck: Hero

Carol DweckCarol Dweck is our new hero because she really gets it! My older human sister is reading lots of things about her because she wants to be a great teacher someday. My sister told me some of the things that Carol Dweck has said and guess what? We think about a lot of things the same way. How cool is that?

Carol Dweck explains to parents and teachers that some kids who have challenges in their lives manage to succeed while others don’t.  She uses cool words that mean a lot. She says that kids who try hard and persevere have something called a growth mindset. Hmmm… I guess I have a growth mindset too!

As you know, I am very smart but Carol Dweck is way smarter than I am. That’s because I am just a dog and she is a doctor. She said, “…when students had more of a growth mindset, they held the view that talents and abilities could be developed and that challenges were the way to do it.

Carol Dweck

Learning something new, something hard, sticking to things—that’s how you get smarter.” The cool thing is that I have said the same kinds of things about how I got so smart here on my blog and in my books. Well, except that I have said them in a way that kids understand.  How cool is that? For an example, in The “Tail” of Rugby Jones: A Rascal’s Journey from Disability to Ability, I said, “There are so many things that make people and animals different and that is a good thing. Just remember that you might need something like Zoomie to help you work hard and remind you to believe in yourself.”

My human mom taught me that, it’s so important to let children understand that failure is okay. Failure and mistakes are crucial for success to become a reality. Children need their parents to believe in their abilities, to be proud of their efforts and teach them how to learn from the negative events in their lives.

So now you know why Carol Dweck is our new hero. She gets it!

Guess What? I’m Back!

GUESS WHAT? I’m back and my blog has a brand new look but I am still the old me! I am so excited about the renovations here because I want to make it easier for you to figure out all of the things that I already know.

I want you to be able to see what needs to be done to help everyone feel better about themselves no matter what their differences are! And I want to make the process faster because I am impatient sometimes!

It’s kind of like being in the dark until the curtains are opened. You know what it feels like when the warm sunshine lights up your world and the darkness goes away. Sunshine helps everyone feel better and when we feel better, we can improve the way we see ourselves and the world around us.

That’s what my new website can and will do. And guess what? Along with the new look of the site, I am going to be putting my two cents more because I know all about overcoming adversity and how important self esteem is.

That’s all there is to it! Don’t forget that I’m Rugby Jones to the rescue!

We are sure happy that you came to visit. Don’t be a stranger.

Don’t Go Near Him…Something Is Wrong With Him

don't be afraidDon’t Go Near Him

One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. It was a rainy day and there were very few people in the store. As always, Rugby was scoping out everything at his eye level. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard people talking.

I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice saying, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.

It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.”

At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”

The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?”  I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?”

I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It’s okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.

She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis.

As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget.

“Emily and Alex, don’t ever be afraid of anyone who is different from you. Try to understand what they are going through and be kind because that is how you want to be treated.”

What a lesson those children learned on that day. What lessons are you teaching your children?

New School Year

Summer is over and the new school year is ready to begin. Guess what? Everyone gets nervous when school starts. Even the cool and popular kids get nervous. They won’t tell you that but they do! Trust me. I know about these things. Sometimes it’s even harder because it means going to a new school with all new kids. When you look around and don’t see any familiar faces you can get really scared. If that happens to you, I have a few suggestions that will make it easier.

New School Year Suggestions

  • For the first day of the new school year wear clothes the first day that are sort of “regular.” That means that it will be easier on you if you wear something that doesn’t make you stand out. After you make friends you can wear whatever you want as long as it is permitted by the school and your parents.
  • Watch the other kids. See which ones seem to be nice and friendly.
  • If someone laughs at you or makes fun of you, stay away from him or her.
  • Say “Hi” to kids and smile. Kids like to be around happy kids.
  • If you don’t know where something is, ask one of the kids that looks nice.
  • Teachers are really helpful and so are secretaries and custodians.
  • Remember that each day will get easier and each day you will meet more kids.
  • If one kid is especially nice, you can ask to sit next to him or her at lunch.

Guess what? I think that the first day of a new school year is kind of like sliding down a very big slide for the first time. (My human mom had to get me to the top because my wheelchair Zoomie doesn’t help me much when it comes to slides!) Anyway… Just like the first day of a new school year, you worry a lot as you get to the top and when you look down, you get really scared. Then you try it. Your heart pounds and you hold your breath. All of a sudden, when you get to the bottom you know you are okay and it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it was fun.

School is that way. It’s not so bad and in fact it is fun!!

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