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21 - 27 Jan , 2012
Enhance A Child's Writing Skills
Providing your child with some simple writing prompts will enhance his writing skills

Kids are bursting with ideas and creative writing helps them tap in to their unprocessed fields of imagination to produce stories that are unique and sometimes quite revealing of what is going on in their heads. Here are some tips Enhance A Child's Writing Skillsthat will encourage your children to enjoy creative writing.

Start Simple
Keep the approach simple. Whether your child has a creative writing assignment to finish or you are initiating an exercise at home; start on familiar ground. Ask your child to write down things in 5's. For instance five things he likes and five he doesn't like. Or, five things he wants to do in the holidays. Expressing himself is the first step towards writing well. Once thoughts flow easily, words do follow.

Ignore Structure And Spelling
If you want to get your child to write more creatively, you have to let their imagination be free. Correcting spelling and grammar or pointing out that a story lacks structure will fracture their imagination. Be patient and let their minds be free. Once they feel that they do actually have the license to write completely on their own, they will be able to write from their hearts.

Vocabulary Building
When focusing on building your child's vocabulary, encourage him to be creative with a search for words. While he is writing, point out to him that he could try and use different words that convey the same meaning. For instance, if he wants to write 'happy' he can choose 'joyful' or 'ecstatic' instead. Yet do remember that big words don't make better writing. A child has to develop his own style of expression and just as with spelling and grammar; too much focus on vocabulary may squeeze the fun out of writing.

Writing A Diary
Writing a diary daily can be a lot of fun. The bait is easy – children love stationary shops. Take your child to one and get him to pick out a diary of his choice. Ask him to start making daily diary entries, even if they are just a few sentences long. Introduce him to books that are based on diaries – even if it means Enhance A Child's Writing Skillsbuying a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Daddy Long Legs, is an older favourite. Or, try the classic Diary of Anne Frank for older children.

Picture It
Pictures are great tools for creative writing. Choose random images from books or magazines. Ask your child to list adjectives describing what he sees. Next, ask him to choose a title for the picture. And finally, ask him to write a short story using the image in front of him as a theme. Pictures are also good to inspire a child to learn how to write descriptively. For this, choose a picture with lots in it. For example, the scene at a hillside, bubbling brook, blue sky and villagers drinking tea. Ask your child to write about everything he sees.

Bind It
As your child begins to enjoy writing, invite him to make his own book. You can help him focus on a theme and then let him get going. This is something he can do over the holidays. When he is finished ask him to illustrate the story with his own sketches of the events or pictures that match. Bind it together and put it away for keepsake.

Work And Family
Work And FamilyWhen work pressures and home pressures are at their height, it is tough on the whole family. Here are some tips to help you cope in such difficult times

Keep A Bad Day From Following You Home
Parents who bring a bad day at the office home with them should realise it affects their children. A bad day at work can turn into a bad evening at home. Children are very sensitive to their parents' moods. So, here are some tips to switch gears:

Calm Yourself On The Way Home:
You could listen to some soothing music on the drive home. Or, if you have the time, you could stop for 20 minutes at a coffee shop or any other place where you could make that mental switch from work worries to thoughts about your kids.

Explain Reason For Your Bad Day To Kids
Explain to your kids that you had a rough day if you are unable to put on a happy face. Don't worry – it isn't necessary for your kids to see you happy all the time, and it isn't necessarily bad for kids to know that you've had a rough day. In fact, it s better you share in simple words what's wrong, they don't automatically assume your mood is their fault. Tell them that you are unhappy, but you're going to be okay.

When Mom's Unhappy, Everybody Is Unhappy
Even a baby gets fussy when his mother is upset. Older children may respond to a tense mom by acting Work And Familyup. If you take an hour or two to yourself, for whatever nourishes you, the rest of the day will be easier and more fun. Your family will enjoy having an energetic and refreshed mom. So, by paying attention to your own needs, you'll actually be better at meeting everyone else's.

Things Every Working Parent Needs
1. 20 minutes everyday to switch gears after getting home.
2. Crayons at work for when your child comes to visit.
3. Weekends that feel like weekends.
4. Someone to pitch in with the house work.
5. An understanding boss or co- worker.
6. A good sense of humour.

Some Time Saving Tips For Smooth Mornings
Get up before your kids and have a quiet cup of coffee.
Follow the same consistent routine each day so your children know what to expect.
Set out your kid's clothes the night before so there's no arguing about what to wear.
Let your older kids do as much as they can by themselves – get dressed, brush their hair or pack their bags. It can help them feel independent while also freeing you up to do other things.

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