How to Help Kids Rebuild Their Stamina for the New School Year

Masked up, many children have headed back to in-person learning. Though the academic load has not yet become heavy, the time in isolation has taken its toll in many ways.

Just like an athlete returning to training after post-injury recuperation, our kids need to slowly build back the stamina they once had.  We can help our kids steadily build it back over time and adjust stamina for social interaction, focus and study, and all that it takes to be an engaged student of today.  Here are some ideas to support your kids in this time:

Acknowledge the internal work of

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Harnessing Hope (For Parents)

Harnessing Hope (For Parents)

Hope is the belief in a positive future. It is an optimistic, exciting sense of what is possible. In this time of global health crisis, economic uncertainty, racial reckoning, and physical disconnection from other human beings, the day to day challenges of doing everything differently make it difficult to hold onto hope. Yet hope is an antidote to despair. It can give us the energy to persevere and can offer a sense of purpose, calm and connection. Parents are children’s first hope builders. Your presence, connection, and attitude can help your child be more hopeful. They look to you to …

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Teaching and Modeling Self-Regulation Skills in the Classroom

Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Children are entering school with less developed self-regulation skills than in decades past.  More children have experienced trauma, are emotionally fragile, and may be unable to control their emotional responses and act out in physical ways when they are upset. The good news is that through recent brain science research, we understand the physiology of strong emotion and have discovered that self-regulation skills can be learned at any age.

Self-regulation is the ability to recognize, manage and modulate one’s own emotions and emotional responses and behaviors. This set of skills may be the most important tools your students learn. Recent …

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The best gifts we can give our kids…self-regulation skills

Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Self-regulation is the ability to recognize, manage and modulate one’s own emotions, emotional reactions and behaviors. These skills may be the most important tools that your child learns, with many recent studies determining that a child’s emotional intelligence, or “EQ”, is more important than their “IQ” for future success and happiness. Brain science has revealed that self-regulation skills can be learned at any age. As parents, we are our children’s most important self-regulation teachers. 

Brain science explains what happens to us when we feel as though we have “lost it” and are overtaken by a big emotion.  The amygdala, the …

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Patience is Not Permissiveness

Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Whether a student burps loudly in the middle of our lesson, someone calls out an answer instead of waiting their turn, one student is mean to another, or someone writes with a permanent marker on the dry erase board, there are going to be moments – and sometimes whole days – that try our patience as teachers. Teaching is really difficult work. The ability to be calm, patient and still lead with connected firmness takes practice and lots of tools and strategies. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Always be gentle with yourself. This takes practice and you’ll make mistakes.
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Practicing Patient Parenting

Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

It happens to most of us…there’s no cream for coffee, you are late leaving the house, the traffic is bad on the way home….and then one of our children unknowingly says or does something that pushes us over the edge. Out comes that “yelling” parent, leaving our child bewildered and us feeling guilty and regretful. All parents have at one point or another resolved to be more patient with our children, because of course we know, they are learning from how we respond, more than how we tell them to respond. What we do matters. Here are some ideas to …

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Growing Children Who Can Calm Themselves

Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Self-regulation is defined as the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of a situation.  It’s the ability to calm yourself when upset, to resist highly emotional reactions to stressful stimuli, and the ability to handle frustration and adjust to a change in expectation.  Children have varying degrees of self-regulation, depending on development, temperament and life experiences.  Self-regulation is a key ingredient in children’s school and life success. Building self-regulation skills at home will have a positive impact on your family as well as on your child’s future.

Some tools to help build self-regulation in …

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Building Empathy Muscles in the Classroom

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Teaching is easier when your students look out for each other, connect with each other, and can self-regulate when challenging situations arise. That calls for empathy. Building empathy requires opportunities to practice, learn, and make mistakes in a safe classroom environment. Here are some ideas to increase empathy in your classroom:

  • Practice naming feelings. When a student is upset, you can connect before you respond by saying, “You seem upset and….”
  • Teach emotional language. You can use an activity like Sad Mad Scared Glad in the Positive Discipline in the School and Classroom Manual as a starting place. The manual
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Using “Time Out” to Practice Calming Down in the Classroom (or at Home)

Self regulation, Tips & Tools
Submitted by Stacy Lappin We often hear from educators that students need to be able to self-regulate in order to be successful in school. But what exactly does that mean?   Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It’s what helps children focus their attention on learning when they might be distracted by others, frustrated by a problem, angry with a friend or over excited about an upcoming event. The ability to self-regulate helps children get along better with peers and teachers. Lack of skill in self-regulation is one of the things that can be frustrating…
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Self Regulation Comes First

Feelings and emotions, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD.

You can probably remember the last time you were talking to your child knowing that your child was not taking in everything you said.  Sometimes we adults just say too much.  Why? Probably because we care. We want to make sure our children are well-behaved, don’t hurt others and we want to protect them from future embarrassment, disappointment and failures.  And … maybe we want to protect ourselves too – from our embarrassment or sense of failure.

With all these good intentions why don’t our children listen? Maybe it is for the same reason that …

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