Tidbits of information to bring hope and peace!
Here is the updated weekly newsletter with tips for managing time at home, ideas for kids, parenting tips, self-care, and other useful counseling information. Check back next week for new ideas!
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My contact information is listed at the bottom of the newsletter should you need to get a hold of me with individual concerns or questions. Thanks!
LeeAnn Galbraith (aka Mrs. G)
PS. Check back on April 13 for the next update (I'm taking a week off for Spring Break)!
Social Skills Lesson of the Week
Learning Objective: To teach children the importance of using appropriate voice volume
Skill: Emotional communication, self-control
Ask your child why it is important to use the appropriate volume, or loudness, of voice in different situations. Brainstorm ideas and write them on a sheet of paper.
Controlling your voice volume is a very important skill for getting along with other people. It means making your voice softer or louder, depending on the situation you are in. There are three basic voice volumes—soft, normal, and loud—and each is appropriate for different situations. When you use the best voice for a situation, you are also using self-control.
Using the wrong voice volume—like talking loudly in a quiet place, or so softly that no one can hear you—can make other people feel uncomfortable, and it can make you feel as though you don’t fit in. That’s why you should first think about the situation you are in. Then, think about different voice volumes and choose the one that is most appropriate.
Distribute Activity Sheet. After children fill it out, ask them to think of other situations in which different voice volumes are appropriate. Then, have them discuss the reasons behind their answers. Have children practice voice volume at home for different situations.
Citation: Shapiro, L. E. (2004). 101 ways to teach children social skills. Bureau for At Risk Youth (via Incentive Plus).
These are challenging times – especially for kids who are trying to cope with the tensions brought on by COVID -19 while also trying to keep up with learning and school. Students with a “Growth Mindset” will remind themselves that challenges may be tough, but with hard work and perseverance, they will indeed grow their brains and figure things out. Check out this Growth Mindset poster on what to tell yourself when you are facing a CHALLENGE!
Growth mindset is the philosophy that our brains can grow and learn - even though it may be difficult. Our brain is like a muscle, and with hard work, it cam become stronger in all areas. A fixed mindset makes students think that they will never learn because "my brain doesn't work that way."
Download "A Parents Guide to Growth Mindset" to help your child develop a GROWTH mindset rather than a FIXED one. Click HERE to view or download.
Love and Logic®
Helping Kids to be Kind - from Love and Logic® Insider's Club
In Love and Logic, we often separate the things we CAN control from the things we WISH we could control. A giant wish shared by many educators and parents is that kids will always be kind to one another. Cruel comments and malicious teasing can be devastating.
Sadly, our wish that kids will always be kind has to do with something beyond our direct control–the behavior of others. The good news is that we CAN control our own actions by:
1. Intentionally modeling kindness
We can make sure that kids see us regularly displaying kindness toward others. Our example is a powerful force.
2. Intentionally noticing and celebrating kindness
We can watch for, and celebrate, acts of kindness we see from kids. We can raise the odds of kindness by noticing even small acts of kindness and then celebrating them without causing embarrassment.
3. Providing healthy outlets
Some kids mistreat their peers and stir up conflict out of sheer boredom. We can make sure that kids have plenty to do, including outlets for their creativity, energy, and desire to play.
4. Controlling kids’ access to one another
When kids are mean to others, we might be able to limit their access to peers (in-person or online). “We want you out here playing with the other kids – as long as we don’t have to worry about them being pushed around and called names.”
5. Providing consequences for unkind behavior
We can expect kids to solve problems (and, hopefully, restore relationships) using restitution. In many cases, kind gestures that benefit the family/community or the offended party can create win-win scenarios.
It is a noble wish that kids will be kind to one another. We know that this wish will not always come true, but focusing on what we can control will raise the odds of kindness all around.
Thanks for reading!
Love and Logic® is a research-driven, whole-child philosophy founded in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. It provides practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children. Visit their website at loveandlogic.com
Five-Finger Breathing is a great technique to use when you or your kiddos are feeling particularly stressed. Try it out: hold your hand out as in the picture on the side. Use the index finger of your opposite hand to trace around your thumb and each consecutive finger. As you trace up, breathe in through your nose, as you trace down, breathe out through your mouth. Concentrate only on your breathing and the feel of your fingers sliding together for a few minutes. Repeat as needed until you feel less stress and anxiety!
Check out this video to walk you or your child through the breathing exercise.
Here is a pdf of this exercise to view or print.
Find out more about Five-Finger breathing on this website.
Fun "Field Trips"
Check out fun resources and printables from the "Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum" (hmmm, I didn't know there was such a thing!)
Like watching animals? Check out the Houston Zoo's live webcams!
Watch LIVE video cams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium!