This is borrowed from another site (link at bottom)
If they cancel the rest of the school year [and we know they have now], students would miss 2.5 months of education. Many people are concerned about students falling behind because of this. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education... school will re adjust next few yrs to catch them up.
But what if...
What if instead
What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?
What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well run home?
What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less?
What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.
What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?
What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?
What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?
What if they are AHEAD? ❤
During any time of crisis or upheaval, we want to have the news on or talk it over a lot as we work through our own thoughts and possible anxieties. So number one, I would highly suggest the TV not be on all the time on news. Maybe never in your child's presence--they may be able to handle it in middle or high school--depending on your comfort level. As for other expert ideas, I suggest looking at this article from the New York Times HERE I find this article helpful for myself as much as for parenting.
I will be reaching out to all families in the next week or so. I hope to share some lessons with you, resources, and more. In the meantime parents, please feel free to look over my website. Some of my blog posts are older, but they are still pertinent. I will look for ways to help you and your kids connect that are not academically centered. If you need help, have a question, or just want to say hello, please see the contact tab above and send me an email. I am in the neighborhood and will be monitoring my email several times a day. I am also available for phone calls. I can do a call with your child as well, if you would like. Please continue to stay home and stay safe. Know that we are all missing your kids and want to get things back to normal as soon as possible--whenever that may be.
There are many times in parenting that giving positive reinforcement comes in handy. If you are helping your child gain a new skill or maybe helping them with goals/skills the school is working with them on, there are lots of ideas. My ideas stem from my 15 years of school counseling, 10+ years of elementary teaching and parenting my own two--now young adults.
Try to give statements that reinforce, for example:
There are many little rewards you can give your child. The following are some ideas I had, based on how we did with our own children. Little rewards are the kind you might give daily or a few times a week. These can be given by a parent, older sibling, grandparent, etc., depending on your family's dynamics.
Big rewards should be saved for when the student has a bigger celebration: you get great feedback from the school/daycare/your family that a skill has improved for behavior or feelings' management, your child has graduated from a program like our Check in, Check out, they have become a peer helper, and more! Those bigger rewards have to fit the time and money budget for each family but could include:
The bottom line is not to spend too much or to "spoil" your child with things, but to give them the gift of your time. They will blossom with that. It is hard in this day and age to just focus on your child and not be pulled into your phone or household things. It doesn't have to be a lot of time. Have fun!
The Scary Truth About What's Hurting Kids
CNN recently interviewed Dr. Jean Twenge, author of iGen and her interview worried me – because I saw the truth that I would be facing in just a few short years. Dr. Twenge started doing research 25 years ago on generational differences, but when 2011 -2012 hit, she saw something that would scare her to the core. This is the year when those having iPhones went over the 50% mark.
The results of that should scare all of us.
They aren’t dating as much.
More likely to feel lonely.
They are getting less sleep.
She goes on to say that we are in the worst mental health crisis in decades.
Why is this happening? Why are kids more depressed because of electronics?
Think about when we were in school – we didn’t know every time that there was a get-together that we weren’t invited to and we didn’t see pictures of each outing, game, or party.
We didn’t care what we looked like when we were hanging out with friends, because we were the only ones that were there- I can remember sitting around with my best friends in our sweatpants, just laughing – I didn’t wear makeup or care if I had my hair fixed just right, because the worry of a phone or camera wasn’t there.
Think about bullies. When we left the school, we left them. If teasing happened, it didn’t happen at home. It didn’t happen so publicly. Everyone couldn’t see it or know what they were teasing other kids about since they weren’t there. Now, it’s all public knowledge, and anyone can join in or watch. It’s horrifying.
I can’t imagine being a tween or teenager now. Although- as the parents of children, we have to believe it, because we have to help our children navigate it.
According to Victoria Prooday, Occupational Therapist & writer at YourOT.com, “There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children… Researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:
I couldn’t agree more. According to TIME.com, “Despite the rise in teen depression, the study, which analyzed data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, reported that there wasn’t a corresponding increase in mental health treatment for adolescents and young adults. Researchers said this is an indication that there is a growing number of young people who are under-treated or not treated at all for their symptoms. ”
The article goes on to say that it’s not just teenagers, it’s young kids- in elementary school. “Counselors like Ellen Chance in Palm Beach say they see evidence that technology and online bullying are affecting kids’ mental health as young as fifth grade, particularly girls.
“I couldn’t tell you how many students are being malicious to each other over Instagram. “I’ve had cases where girls don’t to come to school, and they are cutting themselves and becoming severely depressed because they feel outcasted and targeted.” She says she now sees cutting incidents pretty much weekly at her elementary school, and while they vary in severity, it’s a signal that not all is right.”
What can we do about it?
The AAP now suggest screening all children for depression starting at age 11.
-Get back to what we did before phones (back to what our parents did when we were young)… spend time playing games with our kids.
-Spend dinnertime talking.
-Drop everything that you are doing when your kids get home from school to TALK to them.
-Make dinner without having the TV on, the phone close by, or the tablet tuned into something.
-Use any ‘car time’ to talk to our kids (maybe even by not allowing electronics in the car)
-Have your kids do chores: Responsibilities increase their self-worth. Example: if you don’t set the table, we can’t eat. If you don’t wash your clothes, you will have nothing to wear tomorrow:
“To develop a high self-esteem a person needs a purpose. A key component to high self-esteem relies on how you view yourself regarding contribution. In other words, in the child development process, chores are a big role in a kid’s self-esteem.” ~Impact Parenting.coms
-Be sure that your child is getting enough sleep. This is a substantial contributing factor. screening all children for depression
-Don’t keep a lot of junk food in the house. Limit junk food & replace it with fruits & vegetables. If your child is picky, they can certainly find a fruit or vegetable that they like. (I’ve taught our kids to make smoothies, too, but they have to clean up after themselves, or they lose the privilege of using the blender… they LOVE to make them, so this is a consequence that they will not want to be placed on them).
–Take away electronics and tell your kids to “go play!” Don’t feel the need to always play with them. My job, as a play therapist, is to teach parents how to play with their kids to help them, so while I always think that playing with your kids is a good idea, but I also want them to play alone. I want them to learn how to keep themselves entertained.
From the time that our kids were tiny, I gave them time to entertain themselves, and now they are are all good about finding ways to keep themselves busy (drawing, playing, building, etc..)
– Don’t rescue your kids. Here’s a recent example that happened in our house:
I’ve started having our kids pack their lunches (with my supervision), but yesterday one of our sons decided to wait.. .and wait… and wait. When it was down to 10 minutes before leaving, he asked me to pack it. I said no, and he then asked for lunch money. I said, “I think it’s upstairs in your piggy bank if you have some in there.” His face said it all. I wasn’t going to buy him out of this. It was his responsibility.
IT is NEVER easy to teach our kids these lessons, but they serve our kids well. He quickly made himself lunch and was on his way. He learned a valuable life lesson about preparing himself for the day.
-Talk to your kids about why they need to come to you if something is wrong. I talk to our kids about all of this, and they know that I would do anything to help them. I say it daily… “If you are ever feeling sad or left out about something and it becomes too big for you to handle easily, come to me.”
Yes, it’s a lot to tell them, but it is the truth. I need them to know it. It’s not a joking matter, and it’s not one to take lightly. Talk to your kids TODAY.
Make a rule with yourself that you will limit YOUR online distractions when your kids are home. Set a time that you can put electronics away… for example: Make 3:30-9:00 a no-tech time for you, the parent. (or whatever hours your kids are home). It will not only benefit your kids, but it will help you, too.
Yes, it’s the scary truth about what’s hurting our kids, but we have the power to help.
Here is a post from a very good child expert. She is an Occupational Therapist. That profession is very good at helping us see ways to improve our lives. She appears to be an expert in children's beahivoral and growth issues. Please click/copy the link to see the information:
Welcome to Chapman Hill! This begins my 13th year of school counseling. This fall I am lucky to work with Tamra Rochetto as she completes her requirements to be a school counselor! She will be a part of our Chapman family for 8 weeks. Please see me if you need assistance with school supplies, school clothing, or to talk about your child or family.
GETTING BACK ON SCHEDULE
This is the time to really keep your child on a schedule!
Looking at a Curious Mind Magazine post the other day I saw an article about parents who raise good kids. It said there are 5 critical elements to parenting kids who tend to do well in school and life, according to Harvard Psychologists. They are:
1-Spending Quality Time With Your Children They say it's not enough just to be physically around them--you need to be with them completely. This means that electronics need to be out of both of your hands. By communicating with them openly, listening carefully and doing the things they like together, your child will not only love you more, but will also learn how to be a considerate and caring person, and remember their childhood as a positive experience.
This is the foundation of it all. Your kid would very much prefer (above everything else) having a real person to talk to and to share ideas and experiences with, even if they may not seem aware of it. Ask them how their day was, listen carefully and discuss the dilemmas they may have in their head... Read them a book before bed (or do it together during the day if they are in the mood for it). Just be around them completely and acknowledge their emotions.
2-Let your kids see a strong moral role model and mentor in you:
Children learn the most from their surroundings especially at younger ages. What you do is what they will become. Pay attention to your manners and actions and be ready to admit your mistakes.
3-Teach your child to care for others and set high ethical expectations:
4-Encourage kids to practice appreciation and gratitude:
A child that is not spoiled is a child that acknowledges the roles of others in their life in a healthy way.
5- Teach them to see the big picture
Encourage your child to consider the perspectives and feelings of others, especially those who may be vulnerable. Give them simple ideas for taking action, such as comforting a kid who was teased or reaching out to the new kid in class. Discuss engaging topics about some people's hardships, like different experiences of children in other parts of the world, or right in your own community.
Disclosure: this is a good article, but I don't like the magazine source and its ads, etc....
This is an article that was sent to me. It really makes sense to me and even if it helps you to further cut down screen time, or to not let the very youngest kids have access, I will feel it was worth sharing with you.
10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12
By Cris Rowan
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.
1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).
2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).
3. Epidemic Obesity
TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity (Tremblay 2005). Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity (Feng 2011). One in four Canadian, and one in three U.S. children are obese (Tremblay 2011). 30% of children with obesity will develop diabetes, and obese individuals are at higher risk for early stroke and heart attack, gravely shortening life expectancy (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010). Largely due to obesity, 21st century children may be the first generation many of whom will not outlive their parents (Professor Andrew Prentice, BBC News 2002).
4. Sleep Deprivation
60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation 2010). 75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted (Boston College 2012).
5. Mental Illness
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior (Bristol University 2010, Mentzoni 2011, Shin 2011, Liberatore 2011, Robinson 2008). One in six Canadian children have a diagnosed mental illness, many of whom are on dangerous psychotropic medication (Waddell 2007).
Violent media content can cause child aggression (Anderson, 2007). Young children are increasingly exposed to rising incidence of physical and sexual violence in today’s media. “Grand Theft Auto V” portrays explicit sex, murder, rape, torture and mutilation, as do many movies and TV shows. The U.S. has categorized media violence as a Public Health Risk due to causal impact on child aggression (Huesmann 2007). Media reports increased use of restraints and seclusion rooms with children who exhibit uncontrolled aggression.
7. Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.
As parents attach more and more to technology, they are detaching from their children. In the absence of parental attachment, detached children can attach to devices, which can result in addiction (Rowan 2010). One in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology (Gentile 2009).
9. Radiation emission
In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to radiation emission (WHO 2011). James McNamee with Health Canada in October of 2011 issued a cautionary warning stating “Children are more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults as their brains and immune systems are still developing, so you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child.” (Globe and Mail 2011). In December, 2013 Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health recommend that based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 2B (possible carcinogen). American Academy of Pediatrics requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children (AAP 2013).
The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable (Rowan 2010). Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology. A team-based approach is necessary and urgent in order to reduce the use of technology by children. Please reference below slide shows on www.zonein.ca under “videos” to share with others who are concerned about technology overuse by children.
Problems - Suffer the Children - 4 minutes
Solutions - Balanced Technology Management - 7 minutes
The following Technology Use Guidelines for children and youth were developed by Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and author of Virtual Child; Dr. Andrew Doan, neuroscientist and author of Hooked on Games; and Dr. Hilarie Cash, Director of reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program and author of Video Games and Your Kids, with contribution from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society in an effort to ensure sustainable futures for all children.
Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth
Please contact Cris Rowan at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. © Zone’in February
This post has elicited a number of responses from other bloggers. You can read some of those here and here.
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Cris Rowan Pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, speaker, author
About Ms. Lockwood
I am the School Counselor at Myers Elementary School