At Blossom we believe it is critical for children to take risks in order to learn. Mistakes are not viewed as failures but opportunities for growth. On February 18, 2019 we gathered for a parent night. One of the child guidance techniques discussed was the importance of showing children we are confident in their abilities. The following is a summary of questions brought up by parents and the answers provided by Blossom Staff. All handouts referenced in this article are available on the counter outside the main office at the Early Learning Center.
Presidents’ Day Parent Night 2019:
Breakout Session Summary
Advice about continuing Social/Emotional Learning taught at Blossom when children enter Public School.
Continue teaching Second Step and other social/emotional language at home.
Bellingham Public School uses Kelso’s Choices (similar to Second Step). Ask the school counselor for Kelso’s Choice and other SEL literature for a home/school connection.
Write a letter to the school principle and district leaders about increased funding for outdoor/physical education programs and social/emotional learning. February and March are the months that Bellingham Public Schools determine budget priorities.
Big Feelings (Meltdowns):
Be Proactive: if you know your child’s trigger, set expectations in advance.
·Talk about the behavior you are trying to encourage. Tell your child that you know they can do it! Read Meeting the Challenge and Moving Forward article.
Give your child a chance to restart and save face. We call it, “Flipping your Pancake” at Blossom. Use empathy! Tell your child that you know they are having a hard time and ask if they would like to restart and try again.
Give them a space to have their big feelings and be available (for coaching/comforting). For toddlers it may be more appropriate to pick the child up and reassure them you are there. Offering a comfort item can also help.
Make the consequence logical. If your child dumps a bucket of toys, have him or her clean them up. If your child refuses to clean them up, state the consequence (parent or child determined). Give your child some time to think about it--you can even use a timer. Follow through with the consequence. A logical consequence for this situation is the toys will be removed for a determined amount of time. When the toys are returned, revisit why they were put away and remind your child of the toy expectations. Resource: Love and Logic for more information & ideas.
Set expectation prior to ride about the volume level. See Levels of Talking.
Talk about why a quiet voice is an important safety rule for the car.
Play an Eye Spy game where your child looks out the window searching for something specific.
Play the quiet game – Can you talk quiet like a ninja?
Give your child something to hold. Some stores handout free fruit, which keeps hands and mouth occupied.
·Eye Spy works well in stores too and involves your child by having them help “spy” grocery list items.
Know meltdown triggers and avoid them if possible.
Comfort the child that is hurt first. Explain how the action must have felt to the injured child.
Ms. Darian’s Tip: “Do you want space, a hug, or an ice pack?”
Don’t be afraid to give a “delayed consequence”. For example, consider the scenario where an older sibling is hitting a younger one and a consequence of taking something away is not working. The next day when the older child wants to play with the younger one, a parent could say “I’m remembering that you had a hard time playing with your sister yesterday. I’d like you to choose a different place to play tonight. Tomorrow, we’ll give it another try; I know you enjoy playing with your sister.” (Love and Logic)
We appreciated all that attended this event and look forward to more opportunities to connect. Parenting is hard; it’s such a good feeling to know we have a Blossom Community that supports each other’s parenting goals!