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22

The answer will depend on a lot on all parties involved and your expectations: The child: Is your child able to remember to take the coat? And bring it back home? I have two children that were both raised to be independent and responsible - Yet, my 9 yo still struggles to remember basic things (there is a reason he owns 4 pairs of gloves...) and we had ...


15

Energy is the power to do things. I'm sure your 5 yo is full of it. When he is full of energy he can run and play for hours on end and have a good time. When he runs out, he can't do that any more and needs to sleep and eat to build up more so he can play again. There are many kinds of energy, like electrical and heat. Electrical energy lets the ...


9

It's fairly simple why he does it: kids don't like getting into trouble, and his avoidance method works because it delays his consequence and there is no additional consequence for running away. Kids will adjust their behavior to fit the permissiveness of the adult in charge. Do you remember in school there would be some classes where the students would ...


8

It's the parent's responsibility to set up the environment to encourage success. In the specific case of remembering to wear a coat on cold days this may mean, for example, keeping coats on hooks by the door instead of hung up in a closet with a door that's kept shut. It may mean saying "coat!" as the child opens the doorknob to leave. It may mean inventing ...


8

Here's one explanation aimed at primary-age children which is probably basic enough, although of course it's focussed on what energy does and what we use it for, rather than what energy is. But that's probably the best you'll get them to understand at this age. Energy Makes Change Energy makes change—it produces a change of some kind; it does things ...


8

Richard Feynman tells this story in "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman": It was the kind of thing my father would have talked about: "What makes it go? Everything goes because the sun is shining." And then we would have fun discussing it: "No, the toy goes because the spring is wound up," I would say. "How did the spring get wound up?" he would ...


4

These other answers seem too abstract for a 5-year-old. I don't think he's ready for that yet. Stick to the visible and concrete. Take him outside and show him the power cables going to your house, that lead into your fusebox/meter. Show him the meter moving. Explain to him that there's a company that makes electricity (not quite the right words ...


4

My six and eight year olds know energy as "the ability to do work" or, as AE mentioned, the ability to change something. Make the water hotter? That is change and requires energy. Bounce more photons off the walls so that our eyes can collect enough photons to see? Those photons move very fast so it takes a lot of work (energy) to move them. Note that I ...


2

Of the existing answers I think A E's is excellent, I will just add that you might also want to explain/emphasis that energy is not just something that exists that can be consumed for various purposes and then is disappearing afterwords (e.g. the first law of thermodynamics). Fuel in a car is stored energy that transfers into motion, heat and sound. Wood ...


2

If you have a wind-up flashlight (a flashlight with a hand generator), you can make this very simple. Have the child turn the crank to give the battery a charge. Then ask them how they would feel if they had turned the crank for an hour, then they saw someone turn on the flashlight, leave it on, and walk away. Both the physics and the English of this ...


2

Funny enough, I just thought about the same question for myself two days ago. My abstract answer (I am a physicist) was - without consulting books: "energy is the property of a physical system required to invokes the change of state of a physical system. Energy can be tranferred from one physical system to another (invoking change of state) and can be stored ...


2

stored motion when you bring a pencil up, and let it go, it starts moving when a child eats a chocolate, it uses the chocolate to power its movements when you connect a blender to a power outlet, it uses the energy in the wires (whatever that is =P) to move when you put gas in car, it burns the gas and moves when you burn something, it releases ...


2

Late to the game, but I'll add my 2 cents. Maybe a long 2 cents. I would say that energy is what does work. In terms he can understand for the hot water, have him rub his hands together (palm to palm) until they warm up. (You can explain friction in simple terms, or hold off.) When he rubs his hands together, friction causes his hands to warm up. The ...


1

My approach in a similar situation: There is an appropriate "costume" or dresscode for every occasion, not only for formal events. Shoveling snow? Business meeting? Scuba diving? Your wedding? None of them exactly a jeans-and-t-shirt day, right? So make clear that every member of the family dresses appropriately for the day, depending on what's scheduled. ...


1

It is the child's responsibility to remember their coat. As a parent you are supposed to be teaching them to become their own people, you won't be there to watch over them forever. If you do not give children responsibility, they will never learn it. It's a complicated subject and the sooner you start, the better. However, it is the parent's responsibility ...


1

Energy is not a tangible thing, it isn't something you can touch, see, hear, taste or feel, energy is a concept, just like a number is a concept, just like speed is a concept. It's not a real thing like a tree, a bacteria, water, or the Sun. And because energy is a concept, it is misleading and a source of confusion to use language such as "waste energy", ...


1

Energy is potential. It gives us the ability to do something useful. So there's energy coming into the house, and it has the potential to provide light, heat, and motion, but until we connect it it's only potential. Once we turn on a switch, or plug in the fan, the energy is converted into light or motion until we turn the switch or fan off. You have ...


1

DD, could he be trying to express a feeling that you don't have a parent's right to discipline him? That would explain the apparent resentment he's showing. It seems like you and his mum might - consciously or subconsciously - share that feeling, as you say that it's almost always his mum that disciplines him. I'd suggest that you and his mum sit down ...


1

If he's breaking a toy by doing something on the wild side, he's probably out of control at that point, I'm guessing. Out of control emotionally, that is. This isn't particularly surprising for a seven year old; it's more common in my kids' age (2 and 3) but seven year olds still sometimes get out of control. When you're out of control, and then something ...


1

In situations like this I tend to let it go and focus on something else. Disciplining is easier when he accepts it, while he is seemingly running away from. Disciplining comes easier when he has more respect for you, then he will accept it more. Respect must be deserved in a personal relationship. I would try showing interest in what he is doing before a ...


1

Perhaps your son would be more productive in his practice if you were actively involved, as parents are in the Suzuki method. There is a nice book about how to be a parent practice coach -- http://www.carriereuning.com/soundcarriespress.html. The author has published some of the material in the book on her website: ...


1

Really it's much more complicated than 'left' and 'right'. First, of course there are hard and soft left and right, i.e. changing how far, how fast, and will there ever be an end to it? Next, consider the international differences, such as republicanism being left-wing in the UK and right-wing in the US. And there are historical nuances, such as revolutions ...



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