Teaching Social Emotional Skills

By taking the time to teach our children social skills in the classroom, we are giving them skills that they will use all of their life, whether at home with family, in high school with friends or with coworkers at a job.

Gratitude Attitude in our Children: Why and How?

Thanksgiving is the time when we all pause to count our blessings, to give thanks, to be with family and friends, and to be grateful. While it is always good to stop and focus on gratitude at this time, it is even better to continue this attitude of gratitude all year long if we are to experience the benefits. Isn’t it true that we all want our children to be grateful and to express that thankfulness, and the opposite is also true - we do not want our children to be ungrateful, greedy or to act “entitled” or “spoiled”. So what can you do to help foster that attitude of gratitude and what are the benefits for your children?

Play-Based Early Childhood Education: Are Children Playing or Learning? A Resounding YES!

Today, I saw an engineer building a robot, an artist painting a masterpiece, an explorer going into the woods, a mathematician measuring volume and gardener planting seeds. Today, I witnessed a doctor taking care of patients, an athlete running and jumping, a musician singing and playing an instrument, a dancer performing, a negotiator working out a problem. Today, I watched an architect building a skyscraper, a king giving a royal decree and a sculptor manipulating clay.

Positive Play: How intentional inclusion builds the foundation of healthy friendships!

“You are not a member of our ‘club’!”- “Go away!” – “You were not invited to play this game!” – “We don’t want you on our team.”

Positive Play, this is not. These powerful words of exclusion, even while reading them now as an adult, can evoke a strong emotional response. There is a way early on in childhood to change that dynamic in a profound way, but first, think back- were you ever the recipient of these types of remarks? Were you possibly the child who sometimes made these comments to others? There were times when I landed on both sides of this kind of exclusion during my childhood, and I am sure I am not alone. The school playground or after school neighborhood gatherings were the prime locations for these types of exchanges during play.

How to Respond When Your Child Says, “I hate you!”

You probably don’t need a bit of help pouring out that love or responding when your child says, “I love you!” and “You are the best mom ever!” (I saw both of those on a written note today for one of our moms). We all know how to respond with “I love you too” or “I love you on Valentine’s Day and every day that is not Valentine’s Day too”. I wonder though, would you like to think a bit more about how to respond when your child screams, “I hate you!” (Or perhaps, “I hate Billy!” I hate Martie!”).

Worry Free Unstructured Play: The Hummingbird Approach

For most parents traditional unstructured play seems pretty unrealistic in today’s society. Justified unease has lead to unrealized positive outcomes for children- until now. There is a happy medium: the hummingbird approach, observing from a distance, but always keenly. While the hummingbird parent is vigilant in observing, the idea is that the child doesn’t feel the full presence of the parent and thus free to develop those positive benefits of unstructured play.

HELP for the Holidays!

In the midst of all the fun, excitement and upcoming plans for the holidays, are you or your children feeling a bit stressed? Here are 7 ideas to make this time more enjoyable and manageable for both you and your child.
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