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Would you like your child to speak a foreign language, but don’t know how to get started?

One of the most regular concerns that I hear from mums is that they would love their kids to be exposed to foreign languages. As you know by now, I speak three languages and even though I believe that the best way to learn a language is by immersing yourself in that culture and language,  my experience has been that there are other ways you can achieve this. The key is to start early - the earlier the better! By doing this you are helping your child to become comfortable with the concept of languages. This will help your child to grow up knowing that this is something achievable, instead of harboring that unconscious perception that languages are impossible to...

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When last did you and your child take a moment to listen? And how can we improve our listening skills?

While conventional education tends to focus on teaching through reading and writing, if you stop and think about it there are at least four ways of communicating - reading, writing, speaking and… listening. Even in circumstances where students get to practice their public speaking skills, very little of conventional education is directed at active ‘listening’. Why is that? Why do we think that listening isn’t a skill that has to be developed alongside writing or reading? Could this be the reason that so many of us encounter ‘communication issues’ and are frustrated by our inability to express ourselves properly? Is it even possible that because we take listening skills for granted, we often misunderstand our children - simply because we...

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Why do we only use a play-therapy approach when our kids are ‘struggling’ at school?

  One of the delights of starting Different Is Good is that I frequently have the opportunity to chat with and relate to so many people. This has subsequently enriched my understanding of several fields, especially Occupational Therapy and Child Psychology. I meet lots of wonderful professionals at conferences who share their experiences and ideas, and this prompted me to research ‘play therapy’ and other methodologies that professionals use to help kids reach their full potential. According to the Association for Play Therapy, this approach helps children to: Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies Develop new and creative solutions to problems Develop respect and acceptance of self and others Learn to experience and express emotion Cultivate...

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Nurturing the love for reading!... let’s bring those books alive!

Lately I have seen a lot people asking how to go about teaching your young kids to read. I will do a review on the method I use with my kids at a latest stage, but for now, bear in mind what is more important is to nurture a love of learning and reading. The way to get started with this is by making it exciting and relevant… as I always say, give context to whatever message you are trying to get across to your precious bundle, and your chances of success are greatly increased! My little boy is absolutely obsessed with the story of “The Tin Soldier”, so I figured out that it would be pretty cool if we...

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Toy overload-Why is this a problem and what can we do about it?

A room full of toys and yet your child seems bored – does this sound familiar? I know it sounds counter intuitive, but the more we give to our children the less they know how to entertain themselves.  These days, a successful toy is one that provides all the entertainment itself and therefore leaves very little room for kids to explore and, well, play! Such a toy gets discarded after two or three uses, next to the array of other one-trick toys, and we feel compelled to replace it with another- even shinier and bigger! But this is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing - kids are getting use to the fact that they are passive recipients and someone or...

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