Communicating Concepts

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 Modifying Skills & Poor Techniques

Introduction -
   
The Human Baby
       We start out as defenseless babies who depend on someone for their care 24 hours a day. They communicate with us through noises, body movements, and facial expressions that convey their distress caused by physical discomfort (i.e. wet/dirty dipper, too hot or cold, etc.), hunger and thirst, pleasure, and distress caused by illness or injury, as well as degrees of happiness, pleasure, satisfaction, and contentment.

      Some new parents may experience sleepiness nights as the baby's cries require attention. Other babies seem to adopt their parents sleep schedule sooner rather that later. Each baby develops physical strength and coordination on their own schedule for crawling and walking. Acquiring language skills and toilet training provide another stage in a child's development.     

      Throughout their developing years the baby is concerned only with having its needs meet and expressing their displeasure if this does not occur in a timely fashion. In return they respond with happy sounds, recognize their mother (caregiver) with a smile, and extend their arms/hands to explore their environment.
  
      In most cases progress can be observed as occurring at various speeds with starts and stops that may be interrupted with plateaus with no improvement seems to be occurring. The person who constantly is observing the child is less likely to realize what progress is occurring when it occurs at a slow pace. The person who sees the child less frequently will often be astounded by the progress that has occurred after a lapse of several weeks or months.

"Striving to be the best you can be" is a common goal most people share!
      There isn't a master plan that someone can follow that insures achieving one's life goals and ambitions. It sometimes is possible for youngsters to win awards and receive accolades despite having major character flaws, a lack of a moral codes, a social and ethical deficiency, and serious problems associated with their mechanical/technical gross and fine muscle skill sets.

      It is unfortunately, but early success tends to preclude a coaches suggestions to correct inadequacies early in the child's physical and mental development. The longer these problems continue, the more difficult it becomes for an individual to make technical changes that require starting out at a very basic beginning to reinvent the individual's basic structural foundation of their skills before advancing to more difficult and advanced skills necessary to reach the top of one's field in politics, education, scientific research, business career, or elite performance level in sports or artistic activities.

Acquiring Skills and Knowledge
      There is a commonality between acquiring physical muscle/nerve skills, the process of learning factual information, developing problem solving abilities, and acquiring moral, ethical, social skills, manners, and other behavioral factors that become the individual's personality.

      It is always better to imprint positive traits as young infants and to continue this process through positive images by all childcare providers. In families with multiple siblings, the parents may delegate some elements of childcare to the older siblings. Feeding, diapering, and baby sitting are common tasks for an older child, especially when both parents are working full time.

      It is essential that there be a balance of physical skills/body coordination with emotional and social development expected for the age and physical characteristics with some allowances for differences in the development of male and female children.  As children begin to participate in play groups, they start to form groups organized in a leadership/authority structure based of favor/acceptance.

      Children can be very unkind to anyone that they perceive is different from their perception of what is normal. Unpopular children are relegated to the fringe of groups or even completely ostracized. This can result in the unpopular children seeking others who have been excluded so they can befriend one another.
 
      Attachment theory describes the dynamics of long term relationships between humans. It is based on the premise that the infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally. William Sears Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of the attachment theory in developmental psychology. The theory, describes lifelong consequences for a child that forms a strong emotional bond to caregivers. The caregiver who is sensitive and emotionally available provides an environment that is helps a child to form a secure attach- ments as they develop social-emotional skills. It is extreme rare for a child not to form any positive or negative attachments.

      Dr. Sears' theory of attachment parenting involves eight principles to foster a secure bond between parents and children by identifying goals parents should strive to achieve. These eight principles include:

  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting - Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth.

  2. Provide food and care with Love and Respect - Breast feeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. "Bottle Nursing" adapts breast feeding behaviors to bottle feeding to help initiate a secure attachment.

  3. Respond with Sensitivity - Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately.

  4. Use a Nurturing Touch - Physical Touching meets a baby's needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breast feeding, bathing, or massage.

  5. Ensure Safe Sleep Environment - Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions.

  6. Provide Consistent, Unconditional Love - Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent.

  7. Practice Positive Discipline, Avoiding Negative Discipline - Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior.

  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life - It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don't be afraid to say "no".

Source: Attachment Parenting International

      The principles of attachment parenting foster a child's opportunities to develop secure attachments and decrease the potential to become involved in insecure attachments. There is research which shows that teaching mothers to increase their sensitivity to an infant's needs and signals, also increases the development of the child's attachment security; however, there isn't any conclusive empirical evidence that validates the philosophy espoused by Dr. Sears.

Developing Self Image
      Personal self awareness begins to emerge as a child begins to develop social relationship in preschool and other interactions that require sharing and developing social skills involving fairness, politeness, manners, conversation skills that are commonly acceptable ethical and moral standards shared by society.

      Not every child is able to develop a personality and the interpersonal skills that are necessary to acquire new friends and be accepted by their peers. However, individuals with different skill sets, associated with their personalities, can become very successful. Generally, they determine and measure success by a different set of standards. The personalities of individuals range from being naturally gregarious to being extremely shy, with the vast majority being clustered around the midpoint of a bell shaped curve.

      If we reject the premise that our destine is predetermined and accept the principle of "free will", each individual can change their self image and the perception others form as the result of an initial "first impression".

      The transition from childhood to becoming an adult usually begins as preteens begin to be concerned with wearing clothing and other apparel, like shoes, that are the latest fashion. With the onset of puberty, hair style and a blemish free complexion also place high on their concerns. This stage of growing up can be very turbulent as they strive to achieve independence, establish their own identity, exerting their role in their family, and status in peer groups. The opinions of peers may be valued above the family and others who have control over the individual's life.

Adult influences exert positive/negative impressions on a child's developing "persona"
      It is essential that adults creating a positive environment that encourages the acquisition of technical and knowledge, while acquiring the social, ethical, and moral codes of our society. These are important tasks for parents, teacher, religious leaders, and sport coaches to live by, thus setting a positive role model to observe on a daily basis.

      Child rearing can prove to be very challenging for first time parents even when they are established in a career with enough income to raise a child. Unfortunately there isn't a book that has the correct answers for every situation. There are many popular books about child rearing, but they are unable to compensate for variation in children and the lack of experience that is inherit in families with only one child. In many conservative communities there are great discussions about approving the curriculum for teaching sex education classes and in what grade(s) such classes should be taught.

      Some school districts have developed courses dealing with sexual awareness, safe sex, dating, and skills required  to be successful in marriage. Some involve classes of boys and girls who participate in role playing of pregnancy, birth, and practice care required for infants and child care for young children. In schools that have integrated pregnant students into the regular schools, some have added child care so they can bring their young child to school. These child care facilities provide a practical lab for the sex education classes.  to prepare high school students to anticipate the responsibility that continues on a 24 hour basis for 18 or more years.

Teachers Receive Professional Training
      Teachers in most states are required to complete a year of training on how to teach and a semester of practice teaching under the supervision of an experienced classroom teacher. The goal of this extra training is to demonstrate how to effectively use many different strategies to:
  • Motivate students,
  • Increase opportunities for students to learn,
  • Help students learn and maintain appropriate behavior, to promote student self responsibility,
  • Foster accountability.
       There are many issues that must be considered - ranging from:
  • Enhancing self-esteem,
  • Managing student behavior,
  • Organizing the learning environment.
NOTE: A strategy that works in one situation may not work exactly the same way with a
different classroom of students.

       Examples of common character strengths and flaws include, but are not limited to:

       
Strengths:
      
      
Flaws:
      
   
A good conversationalist -
  • Do not interrupt others
  • Pay attention to opinions of others
  • Inquire about interests of others
Good social manners -
  • Always introduces anyone new to a group.
  • Chews food with mouth closed.
  • Treats waiters and waitresses with respect
  • Uses discretion of taking cell phone calls, especially if part of a group.
  • Turns off cell phone ring tone when with others.
  • Always well groomed and attire is appropriate to the occasion.
  • Attractive, well fitting clothing, but not in a race to appear wearing the latest fashion trends,
   
A poor conversationalist -

  • Constantly interrupt others
  • Pays no attention to opinions of others
  • Never inquire about interests of others
Poor social manners -
  • Forgets to introduce anyone new to a group
  • Chews food with mouth open. Makes noises when chewing.
  • Treats waiters and waitresses with disrespect.
  • Does not use discretion when taking cell phone calls, taking long calls requiring ignoring others.
  • Never turns off cell phone ring tone when with others.
  • Sloppy or inappropriate attire.
  • A provocatively dresser always in the latest in fashion designer clothes.

Recommended Reading:
  • The Importance of Yoga for Sports Persons   Feb. 5, 2011 Yoga is a holistic system - teaching skills which many sports persons seek, such as control over the mind, control over the body, good breathing, etc.
  • Autonomic Nervous System - NDRF   The autonomic nervous system conveys sensory impulses from the blood vessels , the heart and all of the organs in the chest, abdomen and pelvis, etc.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder  All kids have worries and doubts. But some have obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) in which their worries compel them to behave in certain ways.
References:
Resources:
   
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
     
  
Modifying Skills & Poor Techniques

        
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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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