FEC Hornet Heroes
May 13th, 2016
Hello FEC Families!!
TK students' last day will be May 19th, along with the rest of the school district.
Special Olympics was a blast as usual! We all had a great time! Thank you to parents who were able to volunteer!!
Teacher Appreciation Week was also a great time. I know that our teachers certainly felt the love as students brought in their super hero letters, and parents came together to bring teachers all kinds of treats. THANK YOU!!!
Our kindergarten field trips were a great time - students truly enjoyed touring the elementary buildings. Please remember that buildings are not assigned yet. You will receive a letter on June 1st letting you know where your kindergartner will be attending school.
Our EI Three Piggy Opera and FEC Preschool musical/promotion went very well. The family support was amazing!! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to come and support your children. It was a great time!!
Thank you and have a GREAT weekend!!
Things to Remember...
May 17th: YMCA Field Trip
May 18th: FEC Carnival
May 18th: Last day of school for Prek students
May 19th: Last day of school for TK/rest of district (dismiss 2 hours early)
June 1st - June 28th: Summer School (summer school slots are limited this year - please turn in paperwork asap if you are interested)
Conscious Discipline Corner
Why does everything turn into a power struggle?
People create power struggles when they feel powerless. With young children, power struggles often occur after giving the child a command or when the child is tired, hungry or otherwise stressed. Knowledge of child development, connection and active calming will help you to lessen power struggles.
Child development: Before age six, children process information 12 times slower than adults. We must slow down our speech and give only one or two commands at a time. If we speak at a normal pace and say, “Finish your snack, get your crayons and go color in the TV room.” The child may only process bits of information, hearing “crayons color the TV.”
Young children cannot conjugate the word “don’t.” When we say, “Don’t touch the lamp,” they hear, “Touch the lamp!” They look at you with a smile and touch the lamp. We think, “You wicked child, you deliberately defied me,” and enter power struggle territory. Instead of using “don’t,” pivot and tell the child what to do. “Don’t touch the lamp,” becomes, “Hold my hand (offer your hand) so you can learn how to touch delicate things softly.” “Don’t run,” becomes, “Walk slowly like this.”
Children under age seven also lack mature inner speech. Adults use inner speech to rehearse choices and outcomes before we act. Instead of inner speech, children encode information in pictures. So, we can use pictures to guide children’s behavior and avoid power struggles. Use your body as a picture by modeling what you want, use your words to help paint pictures of what you want, and put up actual pictures that show what to do. Instead of, “Walk in the house,” say, “Walk carefully with each foot going like this through the house.” Not only do you get better compliance (fewer power struggles), you also build language and literacy.
Finally, the brain is a pattern-seeking device. The more consistent your routines, the easier it is for the brain to pick up the pattern. If there is a consistent routine, the brain picks up the pattern, the child feels safe, and his neurological resources can be used for learning and exploration rather than for protection, and power struggles lessen.
Connection: Research indicates that the motivation to behave comes from being in relationship. Research also indicates that five minutes a day of focused play with children ages five and under reduces power struggles by 50%. Ten minutes of I Love You Rituals per day will improve a child’s motivation and willingness, and decrease power struggles. If you don’t use I Love You Rituals, be certain to make time daily for specific, focused bonding activity you can share.
Active Calming: Finally, the absolute key for staying in control of yourself and helping to avoid power struggles is active calming. In Conscious Discipline, I call it “being a S.T.A.R.,” which stands for Smile, Take a deep breath, And Relax. Three deep breaths will turn the stress response off in the body. Once you are able to regulate your inner state through deep breathing, you obtain access to the highest centers of your brain. While you are taking these deep breaths, affirm to yourself, “I’m safe. I feel calm. I can handle this.” These words are chosen based on research: They unhook you from the survival center of your brain and plug you into the rational part of your brain. Now you can respond calmly in the face of a power struggle, and access your inner wisdom to come up with solutions rather than entering into the fray. Practice active calming in your life and teach it to your children. Demonstrate being a S.T.A.R. when you’re having a difficult time, and help your child learn to do the same!