THE POWER OF ONE: How You Can Promote Hope and Resilience in Children
Everyone does better when they feel like they have someone in their corner, and this is especially true of school-age children. Children need to know that someone believes in them; that they have an ally. Often that person is a parent, but given that many children spend more of their waking hours at school than at home, they need a champion at school too.
In a TED (Ideas Worth Sharing) Talk two years ago, former teacher Rita Pierson shared her teaching philosophy. In describing a quiz she administered, Rita shared that one student answered eighteen out of twenty questions incorrectly. Rather than put -18 on his paper, she wrote +2 and added a smiley face. Confused by the smiley face, the student asked if he received an F. When Rita responded, “yes”, he asked why she put a smiley face on the paper. She told him that he got two answers right and she knew that when they reviewed the material again, he would do better. In her words, “-18 sucks all the life of you, +2 says “I ain’t all bad.”
Through simple, everyday connections, you can make a difference in a child’s life. You don’t have to be a parent, a teacher or a coach to make a difference. By simply making children feel noticed and valued you become an ally.
As noted Child Psychiatrist James Comer pronounced, “no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.” Each time you connect with a child and show him that you will listen to him and support him; you pave the way for learning.
Children are much more likely to try when they know someone believes they can succeed. And, they are much more likely to reach out for help (if they need it) when they have a relationship with someone they can trust.
You can start small and have a big impact. Begin by:
Listening – try repeating back what a child shares with you to demonstrate that you are paying attention and focused on them. Regardless of whether or not you agree with them, validate their feelings and let them know you understand.
Comforting – celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. Did they help clean the lunch table, wait for a friend, or let someone else go ahead of them in line? Acknowledge their choices with public recognition.
Honoring differences – help them appreciate their uniqueness by praising their hobbies, hairstyles, clothes or glasses. We all share so much in common, but it is our differences that make us special. When you point out what makes them special, their peers will recognize it too.
Following up – remember to check in over time to make sure to make sure their relationships and schoolwork are ok. It’s natural to have ups and downs, but knowing they have an ally increases resiliency.
YOU have the power to make a difference. YOU can be an ally. YOU can start today by connecting with a child.
- They unexpectedly stop using their devices
- They seem anxious when using their device or receiving a notification
- They appear angry, depressed, or frustrated after going online
- They lose interest in things that matter most to them
- They become unusually secretive, especially when it comes to online activities
- Quickly switches screens or hides their device when you are nearby
- Laughs indecently at their device, but refuses to show you what is so funny
- Appears to be using an account that is not their own
- Demonstrates insensitivity towards other teens
- Appears overly concerned with maintaining their status in a particular social circle
The Positive Effects of Playing Sports in School by Prevent Child Abuse Florida
Kids who are active in school sports are fitter, have healthier body weights and are more confident. The risk of blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases is lower among physically active people, which makes it all the more important for children to appreciate the importance of physical activity at a young age.
Improved Social Skills
Participation in school sports provides a sense of belonging and being part of a team or group. You interact with your peers in a friendly manner. You learn to consider the interests of your teammates and to practice mutual respect and cooperation. You work together, share time and other resources, take turns to play and learn to cope with success and failure as a team. These interactions facilitate bonding and lasting friendships with your schoolmates, which can help make children more sociable and outgoing as they grow.
Pastimes such as Internet, television and computer games can make children sedentary and increase the risk of obesity. Children who do not participate in sports or other physical activities are more likely to grow up to be inactive adults. Participation in school sports supports the healthy growth of the heart, lungs, muscles and bones. It also improves agility, coordination and balance. Exercise also helps reduce stress levels, anxiety and behavioral problems. Regular physical activity helps you relax better and reduces muscular tension.
Lower Risk of Negative Influences
Youth who participate in sports are less likely to commit crimes. Engaging in sports reduces the amount of unsupervised free time on your hands and prevents boredom. This makes options such as smoking, drinking and drugs less appealing. According to the Women’s Sport Foundation, girls who play sports do better at school and learn the importance of goal setting, strategizing and planning, all of which can becomponents of success in the workplace. They are also less likely to have sex or get pregnant at an early age, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Self-Esteem and Confidence
When you participate in school sports, you develop a variety of techniques and skills. You engage in friendly competition with your schoolmates, have an easier time maintaining a healthy body weight and have a lower risk of developing obesity. Boys and girls who play sports have more positive body images than those who are sedentary. When you play well and win games, you gain a sense of accomplishment, which helps shape self-esteem.
|School Bus Safety|
Many injuries occur getting on and off the bus and as a result, school bus safety is one of the many things parent need to review with their children before the start of the new school year. Here are some tips to keep your kids safe as they get on and off the school bus:
Courtesy of Prevent Child Abuse Florida
Five Strategies for Smooth Operating for the New School Year by Prevent Child Abuse Florida
Regardless of how last year went the new school year starts off full of promise and potential. Let’s take a moment and look at some strategies that can improve the probability of a successful school year for both you and your child.
1. Goals – Yours and Theirs
One of the most effective ways to get the school year started is to imagine it is over. Help your child visualize what it would look like if they had a great year. What kind of grades would they have, what would their social life be like, what activities would they have gotten involved in, what new skills or hobbies would they have developed?
If your child has not performed up to their potential and you believe they are not putting in the appropriate effort, bring your concerns out in the open in a curious, non-confrontational manner where your child can feel comfortable sharing their side of this concern. Most children genuinely want to do well in school. If you suspect that your child might be struggling more than seems typical for their age or grade, speak to a qualified professional about your concerns. Noted Psychiatrist and Professor at Harvard Medical School, Ross Greene’s mantra is “Kids do well IF they can”. If they are not, chances are there is a developmental delay or an unsolved problem.
2. Communication with Your Child’s Teacher
Depending on your child’s age and how well they manage school, you may want to reach out to your child’s teacher during the first 2 weeks of school. In most cases, you can send a one-page letter letting your teacher know a bit about your child. Include your child’s strengths, areas they may struggle with, methods and strategies that have been effective in the past, and any other concerns you may have. Be sure to include the best way and time to contact you (phone, cell, email). If your child has an IEP or a 504 plan you can assume the teacher has read it, but perhaps include any vital information you feel is important to highlight.
One important step that many parents overlook is speaking directly with their own child first. Ask your child how they think they learn best in class. Where do they sit to concentrate best, how do they feel about being called on in class, how well do they keep up with the pace of the class, and what other concerns or suggestions they may have to help them learn best. Communicating these needs to your child’s teacher will give the teacher important insights to help your child adjust to the new year.
3. Time Management
Effective time management skills are helpful to all adults and children. One of the most important skills school age children must learn is understanding where their time is going and how to prioritize and guard their time. For young children, you can play a game of “beat the clock” or “guess how long” to help them understand how long different activities such as getting dressed, cleaning up, and getting ready for school really take. This way when they beg for more play time, you can work with them to see how much time they really have available. For older children, ask them to estimate how long each of their homework assignments and other daily responsibilities will take them each night for a few nights. Have them compare this to the actual time they spend, including setting up and packing up. Then they, too, will be able to allocate their time and manage it more effectively.
4. Organization: Both at School and at Home
Certainly, the more organized we are, the calmer and smoother our day will be. Here are some basic tips for helping the whole family operate more effectively.
5. Technology – Low Tech and Inexpensive
One of the most valuable tools to have on hand is a simple kitchen timer. Having an external reminder that it is time to transition can make it easier to relax and be fully engaged in the current task at hand. Timers are also a great device to help children experience and concretize the passage of time. You can use it to signal dinnertime, clean up time, bedtime, etc. so that you don’t have to be the constant reminder.
Another useful device is a simple dry erase board. It can be used for reminder notes, organizing a project, math scratchboard, to do lists, prioritizing homework, etc. Each child can have their own to use and you can keep a family one in the kitchen.
Take some time to involve your children in the process of how you manage your lives together. Encourage them to take part in how you organize their time and materials so that they can learn the steps and decisions involved along the way. This will allow them to take ownership and responsibility as they grow and mature.
Pasco Kids First named 2015 Outstanding Youth Organization by Chamber
The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce recognized Pasco Kids First as the 2015 Outstanding Youth Organization of the Year. Rick Hess is pictured receiving the award from Chamber of Commerce Chairman Candace Glewen at the 71st Annual Awards Banquet on June 19th. The organization was also nominated in the Outstanding Nonprofit Organization.
Chamber President also presented Doug Saxon, candidate for Honorary Governor of West Pasco and Rick Hess with a check for $5,200 as the charity of choice in the Saxon 4 Safe Kids Campaign.
Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando currently has a position available for a Resource Mom/Dad for the West Pasco and Hernando Counties area available July 3rd, 2015.
We a seeking a person with the following experience and characteristics:
* Knowledge of basic child care and parenting practices.
* Knowledge of community based resources and neighborhoods in which the work takes place.
* Demonstration of maternity and experience in successfully raising / working with children.
* Demonstration of respect and sensitivity for the rights of others.
* Demonstrates respect for those who are culturally diverse.
* Ability to follow verbal and written instructions.
* Ability to problem solve.
* Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
* Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
* Ability to listen effectively.
* Ability to establish trusting relationships with families.
* Ability to be non-judgmental
* Ability to foster independence and self-sufficiency in families.
* A high school diploma or equivalent.
* Experience, either personal or paid, in working with infants or young children or families.
* Valid Driver’s license and access to reliable transportation.
* Spanish speaker preferred but not required.
Starting Salary: $21,000.00 per year/$23,000 with Bachelor’s Degree plus full benefits
Send Letter of Interest and Resume to: Mary Sandvik, Field Supervisor
Fax: (727) 861-3479