Family Work

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

What have your children done to contribute to your family this week?  We aren’t talking about making their own beds or cleaning up their own toys, but helping out with the work that all families need to do: setting the table, walking the dog, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom. True, as a parent, sometimes it is just quicker and easier to get the jobs done by yourself. But what is your child learning when you do all of the work? How will he learn the life skills and responsibility he needs to be independent? Your child may know that he is …

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Helping Students Become Their Courageous Selves

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

If your school is one that actively teaches character traits or values we hope courage is on your list. Yet, talking about courage or even reading stories about courage doesn’t always help students be able to use their own courage. Instead of focusing on heroism or bravery, we suggest framing courage as becoming your best self. You can share stories the stories that heroes tell after the event. It is common for them to tell their audience that it “was just the right thing to do.” Ian Grillot, who interrupted the shooting in Kansas City in 2017 is one of …

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Helping our Children Grow Courage

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

Examples of courage are all around us.  We tend to notice only the big events though: a parent lifts a car off the leg of a child, a stranger who jumps into a river to save a drowning person, a teenager who steers a bus to safety when the busdriver passes out at the wheel.  At Sound Discipline we notice that people who do courageous things often don’t feel courageous in the moment. When interviewed they often make comments like, “I just did what I had to do” or, “Anyone would have done the same thing.”  We think courage is …

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Creating Family Connections

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

Children develop an internal sense of who they are from birth. Relationships with others play a pivotal role in building their identity and sense of belonging.  This begins, of course, with primary caregivers and other family members, and then expands to include friends, school and community.

Giving children messages of love, respect, and encouragement empowers them to feel that they belong and that they matter.   They then have confidence to voice their views and opinions, to make decisions and to develop the skills they will need in life.

  • Know and support your infant’s natural rhythms (eating, sleeping) and respond to
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Building Belonging in a Community of Learners

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

Research tells us that in schools, students who feel a positive connection – a sense of belonging – with both peers and adults, are in general, more caring and ethical, less prone to behavior problems, and more academically motivated.  Children who feel a sense of identity within the group tend to be well-adjusted and successful.  How do we encourage that sense of belonging in our schools and classrooms?

  • First impressions are important. Create an inviting, welcoming entrance to your classroom.  Personalize with students’ names or photos in elementary school.
  • Be present. Meet your students at the door and briefly connect
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Teaching About Feelings in the Classroom

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is now seen as a critical component for school success. It is not just one more add-on to your curriculum. It turns out to be an important foundation for students’ ability to learn and apply their learning to their lives. Emotional intelligence is strongly linked to staying in school, avoiding risky behaviors and improving health and happiness in life. Like all learning, growing emotional skills takes practice. Unlike other school curricula, much of this takes place outside the classroom. Yet it is still critical to build the skills and practice creating a community inside the classroom. …

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Help your Child Understand Feelings

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

There are many kinds of knowing. Research over the past 20 years tells us that knowing and understanding our emotions, emotional intelligence, is just as important as our intellectual intelligence. It involves understanding and being able to name our emotions as well as being able to use them productively in problem solving. Want to encourage this in your child? Here’s how:

  • Acknowledge your child’s perspective and understand their feelings. This doesn’t mean you have to agree – it just means you understand your child’s take on a situation.
  • Listen for the feelings underneath when your child is telling you about
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Building “Empathy Muscles” with your Child

Tips & Tools, Uncategorized

Empathy is a skill and an awareness that we can build – in ourselves and our children. Empathy is the ability to step into someone else’s shoes and connect to their feelings or to take their perspective. It is also the ability to regulate our own emotions and be able to separate our own feelings from the feelings of others.

Here are some ways to teach empathy to your children:

* Address your child’s needs without dismissing or minimizing. Research tells us that children whose emotional and physical needs are met at home are much more likely to show …

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