Early Childhood News
September 3rd, 2018
Every Child. Every Day. Whatever it takes.
Hello FECC Families!!
Don't forget to follow our "FEC Hornets" facebook page for updates and pictures throughout the week. You can also find us on Twitter at @jenmeyerhoff, or the hashtag #fecchornets.
PTO is getting ready to start up. Our first meeting is Tuesday, September 11th, at 5:30. We would love to see you there!!
Enjoy your night and we will see everyone tomorrow!
Things to Remember...
Monday, September 3rd: Labor Day (no school)
Thursday, September 6th: Intruder Drill
Monday, September 10th: Teacher PD Day (no school)
Tuesday, September 11th @ 5:30: FIRST PTO meeting!
Thursday, September 13th: Fire Drill
Thursday, September 20th: Severe Weather Drill
Thursday, September 27th: Earthquake Drill
Friday, September 28th @ 10:00: Parents as Teachers playgroup
Friday, October 5th: Special Olympics at South Callaway
*Drills will continue weekly throughout the year, practicing each one once a month
Conscious Discipline Corner
How do I handle my child’s upset?
One of the biggest challenges for parents of infant or toddler-aged children is dealing with an upset child. Think about how you handle an upset child. Do these responses sound familiar: “You’re okay, can you give me a hug?” “Come look over here! Play with this!” “Shhhhush (accompanied by rocking or bouncing).”
Though common, these responses rob the child of the opportunity to express his or her genuine emotion. These are reactive rather than responding statements. “You’re okay, can you give me a hug,” generally stems from the parent’s fear that the child isn’t okay, or that s/he is okay but is going to start wailing. “Come over here” and “Shhhhush” are both attempts to distract the child from his/her upset or pain. To respond to the child in a way that addresses his/her emotion, we must teach him/her how to handle the upset. We can do this by using active calming ourselves, helping the child to calm down and labeling the emotion to build the child’s self-awareness.
Step 1: S.T.A.R. (Smile, Take a breath, And Relax). Actively calm yourself first so you can respond.
Step 2: Wish the child well by continuing to breathe and thinking loving thoughts about the child.
Step 3: Notice, “Your face is going like this (demonstrate the child’s expression). You’re safe, I’m here. Breathe with me.”
Step 4: Label emotion the emotion for the child to build awareness, “You seem sad (angry, upset, frustrated).” Do your best to label the child’s emotion. The child may correct you if you say “sad” and they feel “angry.”
Step 5: “You want ________.” Take a good guess at what the child wanted. Again, they may correct you. If the source of upset is a physical hurt (a fall, bump, etc.) describe what happened, “You were so busy playing that you didn’t see the coffee table until you ran into it.”
Step 6: Commit to keeping them safe: “I’ll keep you safe.”
Step 7: After the first six steps are complete and the child is calm, then you may offer redirection. “Let’s go play with the blocks.”
At first, the child’s upset may increase. This is healthy and occurs because you are allowing the child to feel the anger, upset or other emotion s/he is experiencing. Continue your active calming and move forward with the seven steps above.
As parents, our impulse is to bend over backward to avoid having our children experience any kind of discomfort. However, experiencing their own emotion is necessary and healthy for your children’s development. Be present with your children and help them cope with difficult emotions rather than attempting to shield them. The payoff will come years later when your children are able to handle their own upset about life events, whether they be bigger ones like a death in the family or smaller ones like getting a ding in his/her first car. Whatever the event, you will have taught your children the skills necessary to calm themselves in times of emotional difficulty.
Dr. Becky Bailey