Children's books are my favourite tool for developing kids' self-awareness and empathy. My summer project is to find each of the books on this list and try the activities with my son. I'll keep you posted on our progress!
This one is for all of the teachers heading into the last days of school. It is so important for teachers to put on their own oxygen masks before helping the kids they work with. Have a great, restful summer vacation!
"Happy teachers lead to happy students, educators and researchers say. As schools across the country put more of a focus on social-emotional learning for their students, experts have come to realize that teachers' social-emotional competencies, especially their stress-management skills and their ability to regulate their emotions, are a vital piece of that puzzle."
Peer relationships can be so powerful for kids. My 3 year-old constantly tells me about the things his "preschool friends" (as he calls them) do and say. I know that this is only the beginning of the many positive and negative peer interactions he will have throughout his childhood; friendship, play, conflict, and rejection will be a part of his daily life.
"We can explain, as many parents would, that the reasons they might be excluded will have absolutely nothing to do with them, but kids are curious and clever and their beautifully open minds are looking to understand the world as much as they can. The question then is likely to become, ‘well if they aren’t rejecting me because of me, why are they rejecting me?’"
So how can we help our kids navigate the ups and downs of life on the playground? Read on!
Fidget spinners! What's the deal with this latest craze in fidget toys for kids? On one hand, they are touted as a solution to attention challenges, fidgeting, and distractibility; on the other, they have drawn strong negative reactions from teachers and schools, with some even the banning them from classrooms.
So what does the research say? The jury is still out, but this article sheds some light on the pros and cons of fidget toys.
"Schools are banning the spinners and teachers are taking them away. The reason is that not all fidget items are created equal.
The items that therapists recommend are primarily tactile – a user holds it in a hand and can manipulate it without looking. But fidget spinners require hand-eye coordination."
With the arrival of our new baby, I've taken a break from posting over the last few weeks! But when I came across this article, I wanted to share it, because it's something I think about a lot, not just with the new baby but also with my 3 year-old. Kids grow up so fast! As a parent, it's easy to get distracted by challenges, stress, social media, comparing ourselves to others. So my goal is to appreciate the small details: the tiny breaths, the funny facial expressions, the smells and sounds (well, maybe not all of the smells), the sweetness of childhood.
"Being mindful while holding a baby can be an incredibly gratifying, renewing and sometimes challenging mindfulness practice. Babies cycle through various states of being throughout their days and nights. How you are in relationship to a baby in these various states is truly a practice in everyday life."