Big Buck Bunny – Short movie

big buck bunny - 2houses

Synopsis

The plot follows a day of the life of Big Buck Bunny when he meets three bullying rodents, Frank (the leader of the rodents), Rinky and Gamera. The rodents amuse themselves by harassing helpless creatures of the forest by throwing fruits, nuts and rocks at them. After the deaths of two of Bunny’s favorite butterflies, and an offensive attack on Bunny himself, Bunny sets aside his gentle nature and orchestrates a complex plan to avenge the two butterflies.

 

How to build your child’s self-esteem

build a child's self-esteem - 2houses

Last week, my son Aaron made the school soccer team. Boy, was I proud. And I couldn’t stop saying so. “Good job, buddy! You’re the best!” I beamed, he beamed, and all seemed right with the world.

It’s not the first time my kids have heard me shout their praises. I’m the resident cheering section, their biggest fan, a back-patter extraordinaire. These days, you can find me handing out compliments as if they’re sticks of gum – when my kids practise guitar, score a goal, help with dishes. The mom logic goes like this: The kid does good (or good enough for me), so I make him feel great about himself. It’s called boosting self-esteem. Or so I thought.

Step back

As it turns out, there are better ways to build self-esteem than heaping on praise for everything kids do – starting with helping them become competent in the world, says Jim Taylor, author of the book Your Kids Are Listening: Nine Messages They Need to Hear from You. To do so, though, you have to learn to step back and let your child take risks, make choices, solve problems and stick with what they start.

Over-praising kids does more harm than good

Self-esteem comes from feeling loved and secure, and from developing competence, Taylor says, and although parents often shower their kids with the first two ingredients, competence – becoming good at things – takes time and effort. “As much as we may want to, we can’t praise our kids into competence,” he says.

In fact, by over-praising kids, we’re doing more harm than good. “We’re lowering the bar for them,” Taylor says. “If you keep telling your child she is already doing a fantastic job, you’re saying she no longer needs to push herself. But confidence comes from doing, from trying and failing and trying again – from practice.”

Samantha MacLeod, who has four boys, ages one to nine, believes constant complimenting can actually erode self-esteem. Either kids start thinking they’re perfect or they try to be perfect all the time – an impossible standard. And inaccurate praise confuses them, she says. “If my son can’t spell and I tell him he’s doing terrific, he learns not to trust his own instincts. He also learns that praise is just flat-out lying.”

Plus, Taylor adds, telling your child he’s the best, the smartest or the most talented is setting him up for some very bad news down the road. You’re creating an egomaniac who thinks his scribbles are Rothkos but, sooner or later, he’ll discover he’s not all that after all.

Read more on Todaysparent.com

10 things You should never say to your kids

things you should never say to your kids - 2houses

There are a handful of obviously wrong, damaging and terrible things to say to a child (“I wish I never had you” or “You’re the reason we’re getting a divorce” count among them).

But it may surprise you to discover that some seemingly harmless phrases can trigger resentment, dent self-esteem or bring up other less-than-desirable sentiments in your kids. Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…,notes, “We have the best of intentions, but often we say things to our kids without thought to how it’s being perceived by the child.” Here, 10 phrases you should think twice about before repeating to your kids.

1. “I know you can try harder.”

Frustrated by a daughter who you know is capable of much more in school, sports, music, etc.? While you (hopefully!) aren’t saying such obviously hurtful things as “You are so lazy!”, any comment that makes it seem as though you’re not satisfied with her efforts can not only be discouraging to your child, it can also do the opposite of motivating her to try harder, says McCready. If your “try harder” has to do with tasks or chores, be clear about what you expect: “When you have your room cleaned up, then you can go out and play.” If you’re talking about academics, “take note of times she does go the extra mile,” such as: “Wow! That extra time spent on your book report really shows!”

2. “Are you sure you need that second cupcake?”

Yikes. You have good intentions—keeping your child fit and healthy—but you’re better off steering clear of any talk that might foster a negative body image, says McCready. If you’re worried about what your child eats at home, use actions, not words, such as stocking your kitchen with healthy foods rather than junk and emphasizing family physical activity like after-dinner walks. That way, if there are cupcakes at a party, your child’s fine to indulge. And walk the walk yourself; you mix your message if you tell your kid to keep his hands out of the cookie jar while you’re inhaling potato chips. Incidentally, the same goes for telling your child that he’s a “great” eater; try to avoid labels (he’s my picky child; she’s such an adventurous eater; this one needs to stay away from treats) because “you never want to turn food into a power issue,” says McCready. As best you can, keep food-related comments specific and positive: “Wow, I see you tried the squash soup!”

3. “You always…” or “You never…”

Undeniably, it’s tempting—almost a reflex at times—to spit out an always (“You always forget to put your socks in the hamper!”) or a never (“You never remember to call me when you’re running late!”). But be careful because those two words are a minefield, says Jenn Berman, PhD, a psychotherapist and author of “The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids”.

Read more on Womansday.com

What is Diversity? Egg activity

egg activity for diversity - 2houses

With Martin Luther King Jr Day approaching, consider introducing the idea of diversity and cultural differences to your children. It will be easy to start with this really great egg activity. A great visual demonstration is always tops in our book here at Kids Activities Blog.

Supplies:
1 white egg
1 brown egg
plate

What is Diversity

One of the beautiful things about our little ones is that color, cultural differences and even language usually don’t phase them. Notice that I used the word “phase” because kids are very observant so they do notice the differences. Let’s start teaching them when they are young that accepting and celebrating the differences is a way of life. This will not only have a lasting impression on their own life but impact the world as well.

When we first arrived to South America my son didn’t have a grasp of the Spanish language, the children were a bit smaller then his anglo body type (he gets that from his father) and he was a bit lighter than a lot of the kids. His Spanish was basic, he knew a few words here and there like “hola” or “adios” and maybe some numbers but that was it.

When he started preschool I was nervous for him knowing that most of the children didn’t speak English and he didn’t speak Spanish. One day I went out to observe him and guess what. He was happily playing with the other boys and girls. They played in their own language but with each other and it wasn’t a problem. It was a beautiful picture of how we should play as adults.

When our kids begin to start noticing and sharing the differences pay close attention to how they are expressing themselves. Are they using hurtful words? Negatively? In awe? Discuss with them their observations. This would be a good time to share a very practical lesson on diversity.

We are ALL the same on the inside

Read more…
From INSPIREDBYFAMILY for kidsactivitiesblog.com