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7 Ways to Know Your Child

How well do you really know your child?

There is so much information at our fingertips to learn more about a child's personality, 'behaviorisms' and intelligence. Of course, we want to be the best parent we can, and so we read all the information. And some of it is great! Take the four different temperaments . . . I can see my child in one, but then I turn the page and I see him in another temperament ? it all depends on the day or even the time of day!

I used to spend a lot of time looking at ways to give labels to my children. I thought that if I could just find the word that would sum them up, parenting would become so much easier. When child number three came along, I just didn't have the time to be searching for someone else's opinion about the type of child he was. I don't want any label other than his name used on him. This kind of parental confidence can be hard to find. We seem to be knocked off balance every time we read a newspaper ? you know, another piece of research, another thing we are doing wrong. But you are the one to understand and know your child the best. And this knowledge will teach you how to interact and support your own, individual child.

Seven Ways to Know Your Child Better

1. Observe your child: That's right. Just back off and actually watch them. Watch them at play, at work and while they are reading.

2. Allow your child to discovery their tendencies: Does your child, given the opportunity, rush to the Lego box, or maybe to the pile of books or to the art supplies. Find out what your child chooses to do ? it is probably this that they are good at!

3. Take lots of photographs: In this age of digital photography, it doesn't matter how many photographs we take, because we needn't print or keep them all. Photographs provide an excellent memory of what your child does ? and you will probably notice things you hadn't before.

4. Let your child dictate stories to you: Many children enjoy the art of storytelling, but find actual handwriting tiresome. Take this strain away from them by being their secretary. You'll be surprised at how your child's brain works when they create their stories.

5. Create a journal: Now, this doesn't need to be a work of art! Have a blank scrapbook and write in it, get them to draw pictures, glue in certificates and photographs.

6. Trust your instincts: Teachers may give you a wider understanding of your child ? take it on board ? but remember that your instincts are probably right.

7. Talk often with your child: Make sure you let your child lead a conversation with you every day. If you are the one that holds all the information and knowledge in your house, your child will be less likely to share with you. Let them joke, let them explore their emotions and let them just babble away.

Marilynn McLachlan, Author REAL parenting in the REAL world Author of "The New Parent Code: 12 Vital Clues for Achieving Modern Family Sanity", Penguin Books, 2005.

Visit http://www.marilynnmclachlan.com to sign up for her free fortnightly e-zine.

In The News:

A Texas man reeled in a massive 12-foot tiger shark over the weekend, calling it a “once in a lifetime catch.”
An extremely rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel is expected to fetch between $3 million and $5 million when it is auctioned on Wednesday.
A robust clubhook squid washed up on an Oregon beach last week for the second time within the span of two weeks, giving researchers another rare opportunity to study the mysterious deep sea creature.
Florida’s red tide, which was declared an emergency by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday, has been devastating marine life on Florida’s Gulf Coast this summer.
A disgusting wave of swirling garbage was captured on video by a college student in Manila Bay.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have gathered hundreds of satellite images from between 1992 and 2011. The images, turned into a GIF, show how the ground in the southern part of the world's fifth largest economy rises and falls when groundwater is pumped in and out of aquifers beneath the surface.
In popular science literature, much ink has been spilled on the supposed collapse of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, as it's known in the local language.
For nearly two months, there has been no sign of NASA's Mars Opportunity rover.
Right now, as you read this very text, your DNA is getting sliced up by tiny, invisible bullets. The damage-dealers are known as cosmic rays, even though they are absolutely not rays — but the name stuck from a historical misunderstanding. Instead, they're particles: electrons and protons, mostly, but occasionally heavier things like helium or even iron nuclei.
Pictures show the stunning 2018 Perseid meteor shower.

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