PCDCR Holds General Assembly Meeting for 2011

Gaza- Information Unit:
Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution held the meeting of general assembly for the year 2011 on Thursday June 14. They discussed the financial and administrative report for 2011 and the budget of the year 2012 in addition to hire the external auditor for the year 2012.

The registrar of companies Emad El Baz, representatives of Ministry of National Economy, PCDCR lawyer and external auditor attended the meeting.

After completing the quorum, Chairman of PCDCR board Khaled Zeidan led the meeting and discussed the report with the attendance then they adopted it unanimously. They also agreed on renewing the contract of the external auditor from Talal abu Ghazalah who worked in the last year to be valid for the year 2012.

Top Ten Relaxation Techniques for Children

Relaxation is a state when the mind is free of stress. Relaxation techniques aim at helping you cope with stress and get rid of mental strain. They help you lock your worries away and feel positive about life. Your routine is an everyday thing. It fatigues your mind and then you crave for relaxation. A little time for yourself, to think of and do things you want to, is a great stress buster. It relaxes your mind and refreshes you to start working again. No one has ever been able to escape from stress, It’s a companion for life. Right from the day you are born, you are made to face pressures – the pressure to win, to excel, to succeed and to prove yourself in whatever you do. In a life fraught with stress, relaxation is a need.

Stress does not have to do with work and family responsibilities all the time. In this fast-paced and demanding life, even kids have to deal with stress. There are family issues like separation of parents and sibling rivalry. There’s peer pressure and the struggle to stay in the race. They have the pressure of scoring good grades and excelling in life. They have the pressure of living up to the expectations of their parents and teachers and then they have their own dreams. With so much in their lives, who says kids have no stress! Here we give you ten relaxation techniques for kids.

They do all that any relaxation technique is supposed to – help reduce anxiety levels in children and help them manage stress. If practiced regularly, they aid in maintaining normal blood pressure as well as the heart and breathing rates. They free the mind of stress and help achieve complete relaxation. They generate positive feelings in the mind and boost confidence.
Top 10 Relaxation Techniques for Children

1. Deep Breathing: This activity helps children relax by slowing their breathing rate, decreasing the heart rate and normalizing blood pressure. Teach your child to take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds and then release it. On inhaling, the abdomen should expand and not the chest. Deep breathing is the process of slow inhalation followed by slow and complete exhalation. It should be done in a comfortable position, sitting or lying down. Practicing deep breathing regularly has lasting effects on overall health.
2. Music: Play your child’s favorite music. It’s a great way to relax. Fast beats can increase the heart rate and induce a feeling of excitement in the child. Music played for relaxation should be soft. Religious music can have a soothing effect. Soft classical music is a good choice of relaxing music. Instrumental music is also an option. But it is said that a person’s individual preference of music can have the greatest impact on his mind. So play music that your child prefers. Music can give your child the strength to fight stress. It also serves as a good diversion from worries.

3. Exercise: With regular exercise, one becomes more capable of coping with stress. Exercise is known to generate happiness molecules, as they are called, which means it leads to certain hormonal changes that create a feeling of happiness and relaxation. Inculcate the habit of exercising in your child. Here we give you an exercise specifically aimed at achieving relaxation of the mind and body. Ask your child to lie down and relax his muscles, starting from the toes, traveling up thus relaxing his body. Instruct your child to keep his muscles relaxed, that is without tension or tightness in them. This is a good way of relaxation and easier for children to do.

4. Meditation: Meditation is the best way to relax your mind. It needs to be practiced individually, so children need to be taught the technique. A relatively simpler form of meditation is the breathing meditation. In this technique, one has to concentrate on his breathing, keeping the mind away from all external distractions. One has to instruct himself to pay attention to only his beathing and keep all negative thoughts away. Once your child learns this form of meditation, you can teach him to convey positive messages to his mind while meditating. Apart from relaxing one’s mind, this technique also boosts one’s confidene and makes one feel more positive. You can choose to play meditation music for the child and over time, combine meditation with yoga. Practicing yoga is an excellent way to achieve both physical fitness and mental relaxation.

5. Laughter: “Laughter is the best”, medicine they say. It really is. It makes you forget your worries. You feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Give your children reasons to laugh. Comics, kids’ comedy movies, funny stories and jokes can serve the purpose. Laughter is also a good exercise for facial muscles. For the positivity laughter brings, it’s one of the best relaxation techniques for kids and adults alike.

6. Toe Tensing: This is a method of drawing tension down to the toe. It can seem difficult for a child but with practice, it can prove to be a good relaxation technique. This is an exercise that involves lying on the back and allowing yourself to tense your toe. Ask the child to pull his toe muscles towards the body and hold the position for ten counts. Do 4-5 repetitions of the exercise.

7. Visualization: Experts say that picturing things you like can make you feel relaxed. Let the child imagine good things happening to him and visualize anything that gives them pleasure. For someone it could be visualizing a trip to Disneyland, for someone, it could be imagining becoming a famous actor. Ask your child to imagine his dream coming into reality. This has to be done with closed eyes. The thoughts and imagery of a positive picture makes a person feel relaxed.

8. Taking a Break: A break from routine is an effective way to relax. It allows you some time to switch off from work. When your child feels stressed, let him take a break and rest for a while. Encourage your child to spend some time pursuing his hobbies. That’s for sure relaxing. Kids these days are almost as busy as we adults are. A hectic schedule gives them no time to break free. Give them that. A short break will give them the energy to get back to routine things. Taking small breaks during the day, thus taking some time off for oneself, is definitely a great relaxation technique. Teach your children that and they’ll also learn to manage time.

9. Binaural Sound: Experts recommend exposure to binaural sounds as a good way for relaxation. The technique involves listening to binaural sounds for around half an hour every day. It is known to generate signals of wavelengths that can reduce stress and also enhance one’s creativity. It is advisable to seek guidance about how to use this technique with children.

10. Introvert: This technique might sound difficult, but if given proper training, children pick up really well. It serves as a very good way of getting rid of stress. With introversion, you can go to the root of whatever is causing you stress. Through introversion, you reflect on yourself and the situation at hand. You understand yourself better, whereby you are able to cope with stress more effectively. Help your child acquire this technique. It will go a long way in making your child stronger and abler in dealing with stress.

Why Do Children Lie?

Have you noticed how your child has recently started lying a lot, even for things that don’t matter? It all started with his imaginative stories and now he wouldn’t stop lying about everything. This is very bothersome for a parent because you don’t want your child to grow up to be a liar. You can stop his lying now before it is too late. But, let’s understand why do kids lie before we talk about the solutions to this problem.

Most children lie at a certain point in childhood. They cannot differentiate right from wrong and somehow start to believe that lying is more effective than truth. A child develops personality traits, observing the environment around him. Don’t be in denial if you notice your child is lying. Children can start lying at any age. However, what matters is the age at which they deliberately start lying. Child psychologists suggest that this age is generally around 4 to 6 years.

The problem is that you cannot really tell if your child is lying unless you catch him/her red-handed or discover the truth. But, since you are reading this article, I am guessing you already have. Now you must wonder, why do children lie? What could possibly make a young child lie about trivial things in life? Well, you just said it. Children are very impressionable at their age. But, you should not pass it off thinking he/she is just being creative. They have started lying now and if not stopped, they will become compulsive liars later and it will really become hard to tell if they are lying. There could be several reasons why children lie that you may have absolutely neglected. Pay attention to these points and understand what makes children lie.

Reasons Why Kids Lie

Imitating Parents: Have you often caught yourself telling your child, “Don’t tell your mom/dad about this”, or blatantly asked them to lie to someone you wanted to avoid like attending a call and telling the caller that you are not around. You may have never thought that such a simple thing could affect your child’s psychology adversely. This is the point where children notice their parents doing something which they have been taught is bad or wrong, like lying. But, they start copying their parents habits because parents are role-models for children. So, when parents lie around kids, they start doing it too.

Truth Got Them Into Hot Water: Did you ever punish your kid when he/she admitted to having broken the vase, eating all the pies or not doing their homework? You are unknowingly negatively conditioning them and they become scared of telling you the truth. Their innocent and young minds start perceiving truth as something that will get them into trouble so they start lying to not get into trouble. It is their defense mechanism. They start lying because when they lie, you become happy since you are not aware of the truth and you don’t punish them. You might even end up rewarding them, under the wrong impression of the truth.

Filling the Gaps: When your kids interact with other children who brag about say – eating two scoops of chocolate-chip ice cream, buying a new home theater system or a vacation to Hawaii, your kids start feeling inadequate and inferior around their playmates. So, to get more competitive, they start exaggerating about incidents, making up stories and lie about accomplishments in their own family tree. They want to impress other kids around them and pretend to have the best life among them to make them feel jealous. It also helps them to make themselves feel better about them. This is pure innocence and again a result of their psychological defense mechanism.

They Don’t Remember: Quite possibly, your child does not remember something and denies doing anything. You may think that your child is lying but they really are not. It may be about finishing their homework or eating a pie. In their minds, they believe to have done or not done something and they respond accordingly. Understand if your child is doing it purposely or if they have really forgotten about things.

What Should You As Parents Do?
• A young mind is very susceptible to the events in its surroundings. Now that you know, why do children lie, make sure you set the right example for them to follow. Practice what you preach. Don’t lie, especially when your kids are around. Keep them out of it.
• When you realize that your kid has been lying lately, have a talk with them. Don’t scold them for it. You must tell them that it is wrongful behavior on their part to lie to anyone. Tell them the consequences of lying a lot with a story like that of the shepherd and the wolf.
• If your children lie a lot even after telling them not to, you can punish them by not talking to them, cancelling your family excursion over the weekend or not letting them have any play time. They will soon understand that what they did was wrong and won’t do it again.
• Encourage your children to read short stories that build their morals and ethics. They will help your child build a strong character when they grow up by subtly teaching them about good and bad.
• Encourage your children to speak the truth and appreciate them for being brave.
• Control television viewing. Children also pick up behavior, especially lying, from television shows and even the cartoons meant for kids. You must keep a watch at what your kid is watching and let TV time be only in your presence. You wouldn’t like it if your child started learning things that were out of your control and then behaved badly.
• Don’t have too high expectations from your children. When you compare your child to other children, he/she subconsciously has a fear of disappointing you. When they do not meet your expectations and fear disappointing you, they start lying to hide their flaws. Make your child feel comfortable to share things with you so you can give him/her your full support to improve upon those problems.
• Children have a habit of boasting to their friends about what they own to enforce their superiority. That is peer pressure in kindergarten. Talk to your children about them lying to their friends about material possessions. This is not a good sign because they will grow up to become one of those people who only care about money. You need to make your kid understand that they should be grateful to God for what they have and strive to achieve what they don’t have. They will learn to value things and be proud of them.
• Although this is an extreme step, but when you have been unsuccessful at getting your kid to stop lying, you can take them to a counselor. Preferably talk to the school counselor about your child’s behavior. If your kid is shy about talking to you, they may open up to another elder who is willing to help them out.
The initial years are the time you can help promote emotional intelligence in children. You must pay special attention towards their behavior because more often they tend to develop negative attitude out of neglect. You should be very gentle with your children unless a situation demands otherwise. By age 7, your child will hardly be scared of lying to you and will use it as a tactic in social interactions to avoid threat. You can instill the values of honesty in your children right from the age of 2-3 years old. Their perceptions start to form as they are introduced to the society. Although, you cannot prevent your children from learning about the concept of lies, you can certainly stop them from adopting it and losing their innocence.
By Urvashi Pokharna

Will I stay all my life with one hand??

Painful words a sex- grade girl address her mother everyday complaining the inability of her left hand. She was embarrassed of her status and felt different from them.
Haneen has a lack of oxygen during her birth which caused cerebral palsy and led to paralysis in her left hand. Her family tried to rescue her by all mean but in vain.
She grew up to find herself different from her peers, frustrated and withdrawn. She refused to go to school and put her hand in her pocket at all times.
When remedial education and psychological support for children launched, the PCDCR staff wnet to Haneen school and met a group of students since she was one of them. Then, they communicated with her mother, who explained her case. Then the specialist designed a plan for treatment. The specialist began to visit Haneen in her school, and worked to integrate her with the students through games by putting her a leader of the game….etc.
This pushed Haneen to get her weak hand out to help herself. In addition teachers asked the students some questions in which encourages her to stand and answer. Teachers were asked to follow the same method with Haneen without embarrassing. Her mother also were recommended to engage her in the housework.
After two months of follow-up, Haneen has volunteered in one of the associations, her mother said that the teachers told her that Haneen became more involved in the class, and walked with her peers in the school hall. She also went to the association with her friends and started helping her mother in the housework.
Note: Haneen is an alias

PCDCR Calls For Adopting Minimum Wages Law in West Bank.

Nablus- Information Unit:

Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution called the government to adopt the minimum wages law by activating the role of labor unit, providing labor- based courts to follow- up the workers’ issues and strengthening the cooperation among Ministry of Labor and NGOs to secure the workers’ rights in their work.

These recommendations have been excluded after implementing 12 workshops and meetings with workers and NGOs within the project ” Active citizenship for adopting Minimum Wage Law” in cooperation with CRS in the sex WB governorates.

Ahmed Abu Ayesh, Nablus PCDCR Director said that adopting this law will improve the living standards for poor and vulnerable people. It will also contribute in alleviating the differences among people as well as achieving the social peace among workers and encouraging them to improve their performance in their work.

In his side, the project coordinator Esam Oda clarified the tough economic conditions of workers during the cost of living. He also highlighted the injustice against women worked in sewing, kindergartens and cleaning.

Since their salaries are not enough to cover their needs and demands of life.
He completed ” we contacted Ministry of Labor and inspection department in particular in order to increase the number of staff to be able to follow-up workers’ issues in WB governorates as well as providing legal support for them in the coming period”.

He also mentioned that the health insurance and retirement law for workers are only valid in the area of residence.

At the end of those workshops, workers emphasized on the importance of holding such these workshops in order to raise their awareness regarding their legal rights.

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Your Parents

The relationship between you and your parents can sometimes take a turn for the worse. Instead of neglecting the situation and worsening it further, find out what you can do to rectify matters and maintain a healthy relationship with your parents.

How often do we hear people saying that the relationship they share with their parents is not as harmonious as it used to be? Who is to blame in such a situation? As you grow older, the relationship between you and your parents can turn more complex. Not everyone is lucky and claim that they share a great rapport with their own parents. As you age, your points of view on life may greatly differ from those of your parents. Due to the generation gap, there is a huge scope for misunderstandings to crop up between the parent-child relationship which can lead to a conflict. Let’s see what you can do to maintain a fulfilling relationship with your parents, first, as a teenager, and then as an adult.

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Parents

As a Teenager
First and foremost, respect your parents for who they are, and what they have done for you. Behave responsibly and maturely. Carry out the duties your parents have assigned to you. If you complete your daily chores on time, you will realize your parents don’t nag you so much after all! Do not go out of the way to do something which your parents have forbidden you from doing. There must be a good reason why they feel you should not do a particular thing. Do not sulk about it and fight with them. Talk to them and find out their reason for denial. Explain to them your point of view. Reason it out. Talking helps. Arrive at a conclusion after both sides have explained their side of the story.

As you enter your mid-teens, you will realize you want to be independent, from choosing what to eat for breakfast, to buying your clothes, and making new friends. This shift is going to cause a clash between you and your parents, who, till date, did all the shopping for you and monitored what you ate. Keep in mind that parents will not agree to your decisions right away. You will feel you have controlling parents, and that there is no way out of this situation. To avoid further conflict, talk to them. Hear them out. It’s the best way to resolve a lot of problems you feel have risen between your parents and you. You may even feel this is an impossible situation to be in. But keeping your cool is important. It might take some time for your parents to realize that their little kid is growing up and is entitled to his or her own opinions. There is no need to worry about it a lot. This is a common situation in every house with a teen, and remember, as teens themselves, your parents too went through this stage at some time or the other, so it’s something they can relate to.

Make it a point to talk to your parents every day, whether it’s your school/college life, friends, your day-to-day activities, your teachers, just about anything. If you are stressed about any problems at school, discuss it out with your parents. Come to think of it, who knows you better than them? They are the best people to help you out and deal with it. Be honest with your parents, and keep them up-to-date on your whereabouts, so they do not worry about you a lot, which decreases the tension. Do not hide things from them. If they realize you are keeping things from them, it will gradually lead to distrust.

If your parents have put restrictions on you staying out late at night, follow them. Remember, you are still a teenager, and your parents are responsible for your safety. Arguing and whining about any matter bothering you will not help. If you act sensibly and maturely, it will make your parents see you in a whole new light, as responsible young adults, and you would not have much to worry about maintaining a strong relationship with them.

As an Adult
When you grow older, you develop a sense of personal independence, which can put you at a distance from your parents. Remember that your parents are not getting any younger either. Listening to each other and understanding each other’s point of view is central to building a healthy relationship with your parents. You may feel that their opinion on a certain matter doesn’t count much, but try to remember, they are older and wiser than you, and they have your best interests at heart when they offer advice. They will certainly not want you to make the same mistake they committed when they were younger. Now that you are an adult yourself, the parent-child relationship evolves into a relationship between two adults. Agreed, some things never change, you will always be their kid, no matter how old you are. To avoid such a situation from bothering you, treat your parents as fellow adults and friends, rather than as your mom and dad. At some point, willingly or unwillingly, they will have to “let go” and realize you are grownup.

Make it a point to meet them, at least once a week if you live in the same town, or call more often if you cannot visit each other a lot. Communicate with them as much as possible. They are entering old age, and need to spend quality time with their children. Share your life with them, ask them about theirs. Make them feel wanted. As kids, didn’t you come back from school and chatter endlessly about your day’s activities with your mom? Much in the same way, talk to them about your job, your kids, your interests, and you will realize they are just as much delighted to listen to your stories!

If there’s something about your parents that bothers you, discuss it with them. It could be your dad, offering you unwanted advice on your car, or your mom giving her opinion on your wardrobe and kids. Gently let them know what you think of the situation. If you do not talk about it and keep it to yourself, the resentment will only grow, which will gradually put a strain on your otherwise healthy relationship. Avoid an argument at all costs, especially if you have a strong feeling it will lead to a conflict. If they still offer unsolicited advice, put on a smile and just listen to it. You are of course entitled to make your own choice!

Try to work together on activities you both know you enjoyed doing together. With mom, it could be shopping or cooking; with dad, it could be gardening, fishing, or carpentry. Participating in such tasks will strengthen the bond you share with your parents. Create opportunities that will interest you both. For example, if they are not too tech savvy, teach them computer basics, and you will see how excited they are at the thought of communicating with you through chats and emails, especially if you live far off.

A lot goes into keeping a relationship secure and healthy. It’s a two-way traffic. When you become a parent yourself, you will realize the sacrifices your own parents made to provide you with a comfortable life. Solve any problems you may have faced with your parents, and do not harbor feelings of resentment and guilt. Dwelling on unpleasant memories you might have shared with your parents in the past will keep you from opening up and amending the relationship. Communication is the key. Love and respect them for what they are and everything that they have done for you, and no doubt, they will in turn respect you for turning into responsible adults.

By Sailee Kale

How to Deal With Jealousy Among Children

Just like adults, children can experience and act out feelings of jealousy that can often be painful for them and other family members. Often parents’ first reaction is to scold or shame the child, but this often makes the situation worse. Helping a child deal effectively with jealousy at a young age can help him deal with similar feelings he may experience in adulthood.
Children experience jealousy for a number of reasons, involving everything from a new baby to their mother’s new boyfriend to good old sibling rivalry. Some children have a more jealous nature than others and will be prone to comparing what she receives–material things, attention from parents, good grades–to what her sibling receives. In the case of a new baby, the child that was once the baby of the family now feels replaced, ignored or unloved, and feels jealous toward the new baby, who is receiving all the attention. Some children can become very attached to their parents and feel threatened when a new friend or romantic partner enters their mother’s or father’s life.
Dealing With Jealousy
Children shouldn’t be punished for having feelings of jealousy; jealousy is a natural human emotion that all individuals experience. Rather, they should be taught to deal effectively with the emotion and to handle situations that cause them to feel jealous. There are also things that parents can do to alleviate jealousy between siblings or between a child and a new member of the household, including treating each child as an individual rather than as equals, avoiding comparisons between children and spending special time alone with the jealous child without other siblings or household members.
Learning From Jealousy
Children will continue to experience jealousy throughout their lives if they do not learn to properly cope with the feelings and if they suffer from feelings of inadequacy or low self-worth–feelings that are often developed in childhood and carried into adulthood. Jealousy in children can be viewed as a positive opportunity to teach children about coping with these feelings. These childhood lessons, if properly taught, can help the child lead a happier and more stable life as an adult in a world where competition is rampant.

Children often bicker and argue with one another. These feelings intensify when jealousy is involved, but it’s important for children to learn conflict resolution skills. Here are some ways to effectively deal with jealousy among children.
1. Allow the children to honestly express their feelings about one another. Don’t downplay a child’s feelings, or try talking them out of feeling the way they say they feel. Children feel their parents understand them best when their feelings are acknowledged.
2. Avoid making comparisons because it is not an effective way of dealing with jealously among children. Comparisons stir jealous feelings and can make one child angry, possibly wanting to get even with the child receiving the praise.
3. Create a system for equal distribution to reduce the occurrence of squabbles. Make sure everyone receives the same amount of juice each morning, takes turns equally choosing what to have for lunch, and deciding what to watch on television.
4. Treat children as individuals instead of trying to make them seem equally the same. Point out the things that make each child unique so they feel special and loved for who they are.
5. Set boundaries and insist your children respect one another. For example, explain to your kids that they should always ask before borrowing one another’s things or ask to be invited before entering each other’s bedrooms.

Read more: How to Deal With Jealousy Among Children | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2189721_deal-jealousy-among-children.html#ixzz1j8dbx7tW

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