I hope you have heard the early years tips on Sun FM each weekday morning and afternoon. We are quite proud of this project for a few reasons and we hope to continue through the fall and winter. Through the use of facebook, radio and other online media, we are attempting to share useful, interesting tips for families about enriching their children’s preschool lives.
Here are a few samples of our tips. Click on the tips to hear the radio ad.
Our monthly parenting series continues this month with a fresh look at early learning.
When: Thursday, February 27th 6:30 – 8:30 pm $10/participant
Where: Whole Wheat and Honey 10003 100 St
Pre-register at CCRR – 10411 100th, 250-785-5701
Seeing Children as Researchers
Discover how natural environments and materials encourage young children to explore, questions and discover. In this approach, children express interests and ideas while educators help them research for further information, reflect on their experiences and form conclusions. This is a drastic shift from a curriculum driven style. Developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy, after WW2, this methodology has become famous all over the world.
Come and learn about this shift in early childhood education through film, photos and discussion. This session is for parents, early childhood educators, teachers and community members.
Our monthly parenting series continues with Dr. Allen Mendler, celebrated author of Discipline with Dignity. Dr. Mendler is an educator and school psychologist, who works throughout the world providing training on classroom and parenting strategies. Dr. Mendler’s emphasis is on developing effective, respectful frameworks to help youth succeed.
We are very proud of our partnership with the Family Place at North Peace Community Resources. If you have any questions about their programs, please contact Pam Lillico at 250-785-6021 ext.232. Pam is the tireless face of many programs around our community.
We are learning that the softer side of parenting and educating can be more important than anything else we do with kids. In essence, it is not what we do with children that matters; it’s who we are in their lives that counts. With so much information about educating our children and parenting, in general, we can start to doubt our own abilities. Learning about attachment can help parents use their intuition to lead their children.
On Saturday, November 23, you are invited to come meet Dr. Sonia Vellet, an attachment pyschologist from Vancouver, who can help us harness attachment research to work peacefully and successfully with our kids. It has been proven that children with strong attachments to the adults in their lives fare well academically and socially. We hope to see you at the Child Care Resource and Referral office to learn with us later this month.
Dr. Gordon Neufeld, another attachment advocate from Vancouver, granted this interview recently, explaining some basic attachment concepts. This interview might unsettle you a bit. It can open up a lot of new questions. Although the interview is quite long, the conclusion at 17:00 is worth the time.
Please come to discuss your ideas and questions with other parents and with Dr. Vellet on November 23rd.
Self regulation is a hot button topic in our world. We are becoming more aware of the affects of constant stimulus on our bodies and our concentration. This interaction with our world comes from our senses, our emotions, other people, our impulses and reactions and our thoughts. As Dr. Stuart Shanker teaches, there are five formal domains of self-regulation:
Biological – how well the child regulates her internal states and sensory stimulus’ like sight, sound, smells, touch and tastes.
Emotional – how well the child identifies, monitors and modifies her emotional responses
Cognitive – how well the child can sustain and switch her attention; inhibit impulses; deal with frustration, delay gratification, ignore distractions; sequence her thoughts
Social – the child’s mastery of rules of socially appropriate behaviour; how well the child can co-regulate or help others to participate in social norms
Pro-social – the desire and ability to develop and sustain relationships, support and care for others, act inclusively and be an engaged member of a community
Each domain builds on the others to help us stay calm, alert and focused. This is most easily learned while playing, being physically active and in close relationship with people who love us. Daddy and Me Gym Night and Families in Motion are monthly opportunities to practice all of these skills in a playful environment.
As I observed the play at Daddy and Me this month, I noticed examples of:
children experiencing new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures, in a very stimulating enviroment
kids and dads managing powerful feelings: excited, joyful, frustrated, sad, angry, scared
The FSJ Literacy Society offer a free family literacy program for parents with children 0-6. The fall program has many openings this fall. It is a great program; parents study whatever they choose: high-school courses; driver’s manual; improve reading comprehension; math skills; courses for work, etc. Adults don’t have to be taking a formal course; they can study for personal goals. There is a teacher on-site to tutor all participants. Parents bring their children and there is free childcare. The children play with a licensed ECE instructor while they study. The Literacy Society provides healthy snacks and free bus passes. The program is offered Tuesday & Thursday mornings each week.
Register by calling 250-785-2110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Start any time between Sept 2013 – April 2014, if spaces are available
Here are some community opportunities available to families in September and October. These programs are all coordinated by Pam Lillico, ECE extraordinare. You can meet Pam at the Child Development Centre or at North Peace Community Resources Society.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how kids gain self confidence and resilience. Today, when my kids balked at walking home from school, I started thinking again about empowerment and the value of “grit”. Like most parents, I spend a lot of time worrying about my kids’ future. I want them to be successful. In that desire to support them, I tend to want to make their lives easier and shower them with love. But this can be counter productive.
Carol Dweck, a psychologist and author, has shown that people need determination more than talent. They need a belief in their own ability to learn more than they need smarts. We need a strong belief that we can succeed, if we persevere. To do this, we need a lot less empty praise and more practice solving problems and overcoming obstacles. Praise can diminish motivation to persevere when things are tough.
So I’ve started changing my way of thinking about “supporting” my kids and the children I work with. Instead of making everything easy for them or praising them constantly, I want to get out of the way of their problem solving. Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success has encouraged me to be a dificilitator in my children’s lives. The is a play on words from the French word, difficile, or hard. It means to create obstacles or hardships for my kids to overcome.
Walking home today is one example. I could pick them up. I’m just at home writing this blog post. But for me, in this small way, I want to offer them the challenge of getting home. Then, ironically, I found this article today about grit and physical fitness. It complements my new thinking about resilience.
Walking home may not be a good fit for your kids or it may be something you already do every day. We are all on a different journey. But I challenge you to be a difficiltator for a child today and to resist praise for motivation’s sake.
As, always, we celebrate the importance of dads in healthy families. Whether this program suits your family or not, we hope to increase awareness about how AWESOME dads are. Dads matter for many reasons but here’s a moving post about Why Dads Matter – Especially for Girls
Dads are also more likely to play physically than moms. This could be rough and tumble play, object play or tag. This is a generalization but it is another facet of how dads can support kids. This blog post from the CBC describes how a simple game of catch can layer in life skills for your kids. Physical activity helps kids build life skills.