2017-2018 CC

June 2018

With summer break starting our kids’ routines change dramatically – everything from their daily schedule to the kids and adults they are around.  While the summer is a time to relax and recharge, it’s also important to set realistic expectations.

A recent article on nprED  “Why Children Aren’t Behaving And What You Can Do About It” discusses some of the factors contributing to the changes in behaviors seen by parents and educators.  Author Katherine Reynolds Lewis points to three sources:

1 – over-supervised play

2 – access to technology and social media

3 – lack of responsibilities (household/family/community)

The full article (click here) shares more of her research on behavior and parenting – some good reminders as we head into the next nine weeks.

Have a wonderful summer!  And to those of you who will not be at Stepney next year – best wishes for your next adventure!

 May 2018

 May is Mental Health Awareness Month and fittingly, Parents magazine’s May issue addresses this in the article “What to Do If You Think Your Child Could Have a Mental Health Disorder”.  Mental health can be a sensitive and difficult topic but awareness is important.  I encourage all parents to take this quick read including the linked article “7 Pink Flags That Could Signal a Behavioral or Emotional Disorder in Your Child”.

April 2018

Spring is finally here and the inevitable countdown to summer has begun. But there are still two months left of school. So how do we keep our students, and ourselves, motivated and attentive? Turns out there are some pretty simple strategies.

Two professors, Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen, wrote The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World. Full disclosure – I didn’t read the book. But I did read highlights on Eric Barker’s blog “This Is How To Increase Your Attention Span: 5 Secrets From Neuroscience.”

1. Stop Multitasking

2. Exercise

3. Meditate

4. Enjoy Nature

5. Remove Interference

None of these are difficult and in fact, putting them together is a pretty strong approach. Students should play outside every day. And when they come inside to read or complete homework, they should do so without an electronic device present. They should tackle one task at a time. And when they find their mind wandering, slow and controlled breathing can help them return to focus.

Simple, no-cost, research-based strategies might be the boost we all need to finish strong.

February 2018

Working with elementary age students (and living with a “three-ager”), I’m frequently amazed by how children view the world and their insight. However, we can sometimes forget this when our children face challenges. Being the parent means it can be hard to know how and when to assist with or solve our children’s problems.

University of Pennsylvania psychology and management professor Adam Grant shares his strategy of asking his young children, “What would you do?” when he himself faces a difficult situation. He explains that this approach “can normalize struggle for our kids and show them look, everybody has setbacks, everybody faces adversity”.

If you’d like to hear Adam share more, including his elementary age daughter’s spot-on advice, click here to view his brief two-minute talk on raising resilient kids.

January 2018

I hope this message finds everyone well and having a good start to 2018. For those of you who are new to Stepney this year, I returned from maternity leave in January after the birth of my second daughter in August.

As I was thinking about how to restart my monthly emails, I came across an article “50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead of Asking “How Was Your Day””. It’s an easy question to ask but as many of us know, we get a simple, basic answer. I’m experiencing it this year when my older daughter comes home from preschool; however, any time that I’ve asked a more specific question, similar to the ones in this article, I’ve heard the most detailed answers.

Listed below are a few of the alternative questions and you can see the whole list on the blog Her View From Home by clicking here.

Did you help anyone today?

- What was the hardest rule to follow today?

- What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?

- What was your least favorite part of the day?

- Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?

I look forward to a great 2018 together!