Thankfulness is sort of a difficult concept to teach to young ones, especially when they are at the stage where everything is "mine!" This is definitely not a one day lesson where the kids will understand right off the bat. This will take time to teach, which is why we focus on this during the whole month of November! Here are some ideas on how to teach your child about the virtue of gratitude during this holiday season.
• Appreciation Jar: This is something that you can start one afternoon and continue as long as anything of appreciation comes up in conversation. Take some popsicle sticks and write down on each stick one thing that one family member is appreciative of. Ask them "what is something you love?" Every time you write some thing on a stick, talk about why that person loves it and why it's called appreciation. Add to this jar as often as you'd like. The more sticks in the jar, the happier we feel!
• Positivity Journal: This is more so for children who are ready and able to write out their thoughts. Have them keep a journal that only they can read and write in. Then, at night time every night, come together as a family with your private journals and encourage each family member to write down three things that made them happy that day. It could be something super simple like they saw a dog on the way home from school or something huge like they stayed dry through the night. Whatever it is, don't ask to read it. Allow them to have this journal privately so they don't feel like they have to write something specific to make mom or dad happy. Just strongly encourage them to write three positive things and to focus on happy.
• Conversations: Listen for any teaching moments in the middle of random conversations that you have with your child and throw in words like appreciate, thankful, gratitude, positive, happy, etc. The more the children hear these words used correctly in conversation, the more they will understand what it means.
• Family Dinners: Eating dinner with the family is so important for young children to discover togetherness, unity and support within a family. These virtues all go with thankfulness/gratitude so it's always great to start from somewhere! I understand that sometimes, it's hard to eat as a family. Especially with older children's schedules being so crazy with extra-curricular activities. But when you can, sit down as a family, talk about your days, ask questions, and just generally enjoy each other's company before all the bedtime craziness.
• Recognizing Our Feelings: As your child has problems and tantrums, at home and in public, take that time to get on their level and talk about what they're feeling. How do they think the child that they hit feels? How do they feel that they made their friend sad? How does it feel that someone has a toy that they want? The more you help them put a name to their feelings, the better your child will understand the concept of thankfulness and feelings in general. It's difficult for them to put into words how they feel if they don't have the words in their vocabulary yet.
Let me know if you have any ideas on how to teach Thankfulness to your child! We'd love to hear what you think.
Monday, November 6, 2017
There are so many unused resources up by the front desk that we have for anyone to use! If you need help locating any of these, just ask one of the teachers and we will help you. The resources are listed below:
Backpack Kits: These are see through activity backpacks that you can take home! Each one has a book or an activity poster with corresponding pieces that helps guide you in this activity with your child. You can take one at a time home as long as you sign it out on the clipboard on the shelf. Feel free to take these as often as you'd like; that's what they're there for!
File Folder Games: These are very similar to the backpack kits as you can take them home to play whenever you'd like! These are just a file folder games that your child can most likely do by themselves. There are many different kinds for many different development levels. Check them out and take them home!
Parent Help Books: This shelf has so many helpful books if you're struggling with something at home. Whether it be tantrums at home or you're just needing ideas on new fun things to do on the weekend, there are answers on this shelf! Just check them out on the same clipboard next to the file folder games. There is even a book on how to explain baby-making to your curious child!
To Take Shelf: This shelf is here for you to take any pluggers, cards, or extra Scholastic booklets that may appear. Check this shelf out often to see if you are interested in anything offered. If so, please take one! That's what the shelf is for!
What We Found Today Shelf: This is where any of your child's belongings will be that aren't labeled or too small for a label. Your child's belongings will be on this shelf before they are placed in the Lost + Found bucket. Please check this daily to see if your child's belongings ended up on the shelf!
Lost + Found: This is emptied out every month so please check it often! You never know what is going to end up in there (usually hair clips and stuffed animals), so please look! Juju will send out an email before she empties it so you can get one last look in it before it all gets donated.
Thank you in advance for using our resources! They're there for a reason and we'd love to get some use out of them. :)
Monday, September 25, 2017
Some days can be difficult to stay positive. We all know those days where everything that could possibly go wrong seems like it does and you just can't catch a break. All you want to do is get in bed and sleep it off so you can start over the next morning. Now take a day like that and add that to the long list of responsibilities that come with being a parent. How do you cope? How do you be the best parent you can be while having the worst day? Here are some tips on how to be a positive parent while you're not feeling so positive.
• Breathe: I know it seems silly but it really does work. When yet another bad thing happens during your day and your little one is watching you, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Tune out your chid saying "mom, mom, mom" and take a second to feel your breath in your chest. Get over that initial wave of irritation with deep breathing so you don't snap at your little one accidentally.
• Let go and think about the positives: This one is definitely easier said than done, but works wonders if you can do it. Just let go of what happened. Say "so what?" So what if you got a flat tire going into work? At least you're safe. It'll really be okay if you're 20 minutes late to work. So what if your little one pooped out of their diaper and onto your clothes for the second time this morning? At least they're not constipated. It'll really be okay that you can't wear that new tie that you just bought over the weekend. Sometimes it's easier to let go of the negative and focus on the positive. There's no reason to dwell on something that you can't do anything about.
• Laugh: It's always easiest to laugh at yourself rather than get mad. That's what we always want to teach the kids right? Imagine you're walking out the door finally after having to go back in twice because your little one first forgot their favorite shoes and then had the sudden urge to poop. You're walking out, bend down to fix your shoe, and your pants rip right up the back. What should you do? Laugh. Laugh so hard that your stomach hurts and share that moment with your kids. Show them that this is something to laugh about and not something to get upset about. There will always be more pants, but never this same moment.
• Hug: Sometimes, when I'm feeling down or stressed about something, I ask the kids for some snuggles. Almost every time, I'll get snuggles for as long as they give them. Just that simple act boosts my mood enough to where I can forget about what it is I'm stressed about and be the best I can be for them. And if they ask why you want some snuggles? Tell them the truth. Say "I need some love so I can feel better." This way they know that when they are feeling down, they can always hug it out.
• Let it out on your own time: If you've tried all of this and nothing is getting you past this hump, let it out. Go into a room with a door, or go outside, or drive to a parking lot, and let it out. If you need a cry, cry. If you need to hit something, go hit something. If you need to scream, scream it loud. Do what you need to do to get rid of all that angst and start over. Sometimes breathing isn't enough and we need to physically let it out, so do it.
All these things together not only make you a better parent, but teach your children how to handle their emotions. If they see mom or dad yell at the driver that was texting while driving, they'll hold onto that and mimic the behavior. But if they see mom or dad take a deep breath and begin to problem solve when the car won't start, then they'll mimic that next time they try to stack some blocks but they just won't stack right. Kids are like sponges, so be sure the information you're giving them is what you want them to soak up.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Conferences are next month! If you're wondering whether or not you should sign up for a slot, hopefully this helps. Here's an overview of our conferences!
Open house: We set up our conferences like an open house. Every teacher will be stationed in their sections and you will travel around to each teacher for 5 minutes each. Once Juju's timer goes off, you'll move to the next teacher. We do this so you get a specified view of your child from each teacher's perspective and you can talk to them in greater detail about their area of focus.
Who you'll see: Everyone will be there! Ms. Rachel, Ms. Jenn, Ms. Ozzy, Ms. Cheyenne, Ms. Bri, Ms Karen, Ms. Kiki, Ms. Mary, and Ms. Alexis.
What you'll talk about: Upon signing up for conferences, Kiki will send you a PDF of the areas of focus for each teacher. On that PDF will be specific things that each teacher will be going over along with questions to ask yourself about your child before the conferences so you can be prepared to talk about things that need attention. Please print this out and bring it with you.
Reasons to attend: There are so many reasons to attend conferences! If your child is new and you'd like to meet each teacher in person, if you have some concerns about your child, if you have some problems at home you'd like some advice on, and even if you feel completely confident about your child's academic and social/emotional skills! There's always some way to challenge them more.
What you'll get: After conferences, you'll get a more thorough knowledge of the teachers teaching your child, what your child does daily, how they interact with their friends, and some sweet stories about your child. And with that knowledge comes confidence, which is exactly what we wish for you this school year. Confidence in both your family and your child's success!