I remember the moment I realized preschool had become a very big deal. My oldest daughter was about three months old and we were at the first session of a parent-infant class. I was desperate to get out of the house and meet other parents of infants. I walked in and sat down on the mat across from two friendly looking moms. I couldn’t wait to connect, until panic set in when I heard their conversation.
Last week I spoke with Mimi Jung from King 5 News about how parents can support their children in completing their homework. We also discussed how parents can talk to their kids about the NFL protest.
Big topics in the news have been coming fast and furious over the last year. Some of them whiz by our kids without notice, while others have our kids wanting to know more right away. The current debate over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem is one that piqued the interest of children quickly. Not surprising, as sports figures continue to be role models and heroes to our kids.
Behold The Power of Treats! "Can I have some ice cream?" "I want another piece of cake!" Sound familiar? Kids seem to want them. All of the time. And, of course they do! We often have made it the source of all happiness and the forbidden fruit at the same time. All of life’s big events seem to have them.
It’s school shopping season and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to feel supported in your school search. Our last post featured an interview with college admissions counselor Heather Parry, helping us put college worries aside until high school. Today, Education Consultant Christy Haven, shares what parents need to be thinking about when searching for preschool through middle school options.
What Children Learn:
Teachers often introduce a discussion about mistakes by showing the children an empty glass and a pitcher of water. As the teacher is talking and looking at students, she pours the water but misses the glass. This usually produces a big laugh from kids. She then asks, “Did I make a mistake or am I a mistake?” This can also be done by making a poster with a mistake on it, or any other mistake that will be obvious to others.
Encouraging statements are a way to give positive feedback to others without the use of praise. Children learn that when we give feedback in a non-judgmental way, it allows the receiver to feel an internal sense of pride and motivation. Students practice both giving and receiving encouraging statements.
In this activity, children discuss how much easier it can be to speak than to be a respectful, effective listeners. They role-play multiple ways of listening that are ineffective and notice how they feel when they are both the talker & the listener. Next, children role-play effective listening strategies and notice what felt different. The image above shows ideas the children brainstormed about what it means to listen effectively.
Like most schools, my children’s school recently had its curriculum night. This is our 8th year at Giddens School, and each year I am delighted to learn what new skills my children are learning. Of course, I like to know what academic skills they are developing. However, as a parent educator, it’s the social emotional skills that really matter to me.
This is an activity that helps children understand the long-term effects of hurtful words. They are introduced to Charlie, a stick figure drawn on paper. This is Charlie's first day in the class. He has had to change schools a few times, and isn't really liked by his classmates. Students are asked to share statements that might hurt Charlie's feelings. Each time a comment is given, Charlie is crumpled a bit. Pretty soon, Charlie is crumpled into a ball. Students are then asked to share how Charlie is different now. How might Charlie feel at the end of the day? Does Charlie feel like he is a part of the class? Would he want to come back tomorrow?
I-Messages are an extension of the Bugs and Wishes Activity. Instead of saying "It bugs me when _______ and I wish you would ________," we include a specific feeling word to convey our emotions. We then state the problem and what we wish would happen instead.