Work First, Then Play

Throughout the past four months schedules have been upended and downtime has taken over. However, as the new school year gets underway, reality is going to show up and we are going to be scrambling to get ourselves and our children back on a productive path. In the book “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey habit three is “Work First, Then Play.” While time doing homework has always been a struggle for children, adding in the digital learning for them makes school even more of a daunting task. But in the wake of the pandemic, this is our reality, so children grasping habit three will be essential, so they stay on track with completing school assignments and homework.

 

When it comes to schoolwork, children often find ways to avoid it for various reasons, and parents often label this behavior as laziness. But let’s be honest…children have different priorities then adults do and the last thing they want to do at home is schoolwork. The...

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Preparing Children to Return to School – A Social Approach

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

Over the past few months, interactions have been minimal, and our social skills are rusty. Since prolonged school closures have a negative impact on children’s social development, we are now faced with how to regain skills while moving forward with new skills. Though some children will return to a brick-and-mortar school, others will virtually engage with teachers and classmates. But no matter how they attend school in the beginning, all children will return to in person classes eventually, so we must prepare them now so they can feel confident as they re-engage with friends, classmates, and teachers when the time comes.

 

The extended time away from school, in conjunction with periods of isolation and the summer break, have exacerbated feelings of uneasiness when it comes to social interactions for children. And while they may be excited about seeing their friends and teachers again, the anxiety that they are feeling may deter them from regular social interactions in the...

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Preparing Children to Return to School – An Emotional Approach

Uncategorized Aug 16, 2020

As back to school plans continue to change almost daily, children’s emotions will remain unpredictable. One day they are thinking about returning to their friends and teachers at school, and the next, they are told they won't be returning for another few months. Because of this, our children's emotional needs have never been greater. And while the uncertainty of everything is still present, what we do know is that we must prepare our children, emotionally, for a return to school, whenever that may be.

 

For those that return to a brick and mortar school, they may experience some separation anxiety from their parents. For those who go back to digital learning, they may continue to be unmotivated and feel depressed. To help children adapt to the constant shifts, parents must stay attuned and connected to their children’s ever-changing feelings and implement ways to support them and reassure them.

 

1) Create Dialog: Strong emotions have been running high for...

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Preparing Children to Return to School – An Intellectual Approach

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2020

Over the past few months, we have been inundated with information that seems to change almost daily, making it hard to resolve what should and should not be done. Everyone has their thoughts and feelings about varying current debates, especially regarding starting school. And while there will be no answer that satisfies everyone in the short term, we must remember that children will return to some form of school, either online or brick and mortar, so it is essential that we prepare them intellectually for what will lie ahead to counteract any learning loss already exhibited.

 

As it happens during the summer each year, it is no surprise that most children have experienced even more learning loss when coupled with the "COVID slide." The abrupt switch to online learning created a disrupted ability to focus for a lot of children, and lack of resources at home caused even more achievement gaps for many. As we approach a new school year, students will return at varying levels, and...

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Preparing Children to Return to School – A Physical Approach

Uncategorized Aug 08, 2020

We are currently faced with all sorts of unknowns most, of which, are completely out of our control. And while we cannot dictate how others choose to move forward, what we can do, as parents, is prepare our own families for what may lie ahead. Currently, the most pressing matter is preparing children to return to school. As school’s layout the various options that parents can choose from, the American Academy of Pediatrics is backing a return to brick and mortar. But jumping back into this option has some parents nervous for their child’s health so accurate preparation for physical safety is essential.

 

Over the past few months, children have had varying experiences with the outside world, depending on how their family chose to respond to the pandemic. Because of this, their feelings in reaction to returning to school will be different. To give them the best advantage for a successful and safe return, parents should have age-appropriate conversations and practice...

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Preparing Children to Return to School - A Developmental Approach

Uncategorized Jul 23, 2020

As we continue through the current pandemic and re-opening efforts show real challenges, school districts everywhere are trying to devise the best plans for children, teachers, and staff to return. And while there will be no perfect solution for each family, parents must consider all the information and choose the option that works best for their families. But whether you want the in-person school option or the digital learning option, taking time to prepare children for a return to learning is essential.

 

The typical end of the summer blues that children experience before going back to school will, this year, be exacerbated by the extended time at home with minimal routines in place. We are all trying to deal with the day to day changes and strong emotions that go along with that. Since there is so much uncertainty, many parents feel apprehensive about making the wrong decisions, and children feel it. However, we must find a way not to completely dwell on the situation while...

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Summer Brain Gains – Helping Children Prevent the Summer Slide

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2020

For years, parents and children have been faced with the dreaded summer slide, a time when the school year ends and summer learning loss begins. And as if it wasn’t detrimental enough in its own rights, this year the summer slide has been accelerated by the COVID slide and trauma related to the pandemic. The reality of this is that children’s cognitive performance has decreased earlier than usual. To counteract this, it’s essential that children have access to a summer program that fosters brain development while also keeping health and safety top of mind.

 

For most children, actual learning of new information abruptly ended and school districts did their best to put something into place to aid in finishing out the year. However, even with the most well-intended efforts, children just weren’t getting out of school what they typically do. Coupled with the stress of complete routine changes and minimal social interactions, children’s enthusiasm, for...

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Super-Charge Your Child’s Development During the Summer

Uncategorized Jul 01, 2020

As the world continues its reopening efforts, more and more parents are headed back to work. And while this is a positive sign, it leaves parents with the task of finding their children a fun, yet safe, program to spend each day at. Since summer camps are unable to provide some of the usual daily activities due to the current restrictions, finding a program that has a creative approach to its curriculum is important. In addition, a program that can help propel children in a forward direction again when it comes to their overall development is essential.

 

Normally children are now just beginning to feel the effects of the summer slide. However, the pandemic forced the slide to hit earlier, leaving parents to fill in the gaps of their child’s development in all areas. People and programs that they usually relied on for help were taken away, which left parents to do it all on their own. Even with the most well-intended efforts on the parent’s part to keep children on...

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Listening Beyond Words: The Key to Deeper Human Connection

In today's world, there is an overgrowing focus on “me” and less on “us.” This “all-about-me” emphasis has led to a lack of empathy, which, in turn, results in more and more conflict. The primary reason for this…people do not listen. Their focus is on their own agenda, and they are not open to really listening to others’ thoughts and feelings. And while we have personal rights, we also have a moral responsibility to be kind humans. Early on, teaching children the importance of empathic listening is an invaluable life skill that can change human interactions positively.

Communication is an essential skill to have, and while children are taught to talk and write, listening is only addressed to get children to follow directions. When we talk to others, our biggest need is to feel understood. The problem is that most people only listen with the intent to reply. They have essentially already made up their mind about what we mean and...

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Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic Part 2

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2020

We are all human and our responses to our current situation vary. Some have hunkered down and sorted through their new reality in a way that has motivated them to complete tasks and put new goals in place. Others have become increasingly overwhelmed and feel like they have no control over their lives at all. It’s important to note, however that there is not a right or wrong way to respond to what we have been presented with. It solely depends on each individual person and how they cope. And as parents are working to navigate their own emotions, they must also help their children manage their feelings.

 

When parents normalize feelings and show empathy, children are more receptive to creative ways to manage the current situation. Helping children establish behaviors that will meet their emotional needs while also giving them more balance in their daily schedule is important. What parents can do is begin implementing the last four, of eight, parent tips to support their...

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