FEC Hornet Heroes
April 8th, 2016
Hello FEC Families!!
Please see our next guest reader below! Ms. Forbis is our FEC Preschool teacher. FEC Preschool is still enrolling if you know of anyone with children who will be 4 by August 1st, 2016. Anyone who enrolls at this point will be added to our waiting list. We have a lot of change every summer, and those on our waiting list usually end up with a spot late in the summer or early in the school year. Remember, this is a different program than Early Intervention Preschool. Call us with any questions or in you are interested!
Below is a letter to parents. I will send this letter out in a separate email as well, in case it is difficult to read in this format. Next week our prek teachers will be completing a screening of all students. Our TK teacher will also be completing a screening. TK parents, you should have already received a letter from the district.
Attention prek families only: The last day of school for prek students will be May 18th. Due to early dismissal at 1:00, our afternoon friends would arrive only to turn around and leave. Since we won't be able to offer afternoon classes, we won't be able to offer morning classes either.
TK families: The last day for TK and the rest of the district will continue to be May 19th with dismissal two hours early.
Please let me know if you have questions!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Things to Remember...
April 11th - 15th: Kindergarten screening for non-FEC students, registration for FEC students
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
Are you a mind reader? I’m not, yet I find myself walking through the day attributing intent to other people’s actions and words. The waitress is an idiot because she didn’t give me correct change. My husband is being spiteful by leaving his shaving can on the tile after I specifically told him it leaves a rust ring. My child is being selfish by grabbing things out of my purse without asking.
Are stupid, spiteful and selfish the “real” motivations these people have when they open their mouths or take a certain action? There is no way for us to know for certain. We make up their intent in our minds. We can choose to see the best in others or to see the worst. Once we’ve judged the nature of another person’s actions or words, we reap a slew of emotions of our own. When we attribute negative intent, the emotions that we experience are equally nasty. Attributing negative intent to them creates negative feelings within us and throws us into the lower centers of our brain. If we’re making up the intent, why in the world would we want to attribute an intent that results in nasty feelings for us? We can just as easily attribute positive intent to these situations and reap positive emotions.
Negative intent does more than just flood us with nasty feelings, it also inhibits our ability teach others how to treat us and how to treat each other. Particularly when dealing with children, seeing the best in them is the only perceptual frame that will enable us to teach new skills rather than project guilt, hurt and other negative feelings. Children convey their wants and needs through actions such as hitting, grabbing and fussing. When they don’t get what they want, they tend to fuss louder and bigger. To be effective parents, we must shift from viewing “louder and bigger” with negative intent (she’s being selfish), to viewing it with positive intent (she’s missing social skills).
The habit of attributing negative intent is so ingrained in most of us that it is difficult at times to recognize, much less reframe positively. Yet this shift is 100% necessary if we want to raise children with self-esteem, responsibility and self-control. It is also essential for teaching them a new skill and solving problems. Below are common examples of attributing negative intent followed by possible positive intent for the same situation. Remember, we are making it up; it is our choice which way to perceive the situation.
Casey is just mean.
Casey wanted the crayon and didn’t know how to ask for it.
I’ve told her 1,000 times not to come in without knocking!
She gets excited and forgets to knock.
Mathieu sure pushes my buttons!
Mathieu is giving me an opportunity to practice staying calm.
Devon is acting crazy!
Devon has a lot of energy and needs help to focus.
Keri is disrupting my quiet time just to irritate me.
Keri is having trouble finding her blankie.
“Wait a minute,” you’re saying, “You mean nothing the child does is wrong?” Attributing positive intent doesn’t mean the rules fly out the window and limits don’t need enforcing! Rather, positive intent allows you a frame of mind from which you can better teach the skills the child needs. First attribute positive intent, then set the limit and teach as necessary.
Step 1 – Breathe and attribute positive intent to the action. You could reframe the situation with the child calling for love, displaying a need for skills, etc. Make the shift to positive intent in your own mind first, and then say, “You wanted_____.” “You wanted my attention.”
Step 2 – Put words to the child’s action. No judging words allowed; just describe the action. “So you_____.” Your verbal description will bring the child’s action into his/her awareness. “So you hit me in the knee.”
Step 3 – Finish speaking the positive intent out loud. Define the child as a worthy person who made a mistake. You might say, “You didn’t know how to_____.” “You didn’t know how else to get me to look at you.” Your child may correct you. If this happens, repeat the correction and reframe. “Oh, you hit me in the knee because you were mad at me. You didn’t know how else to tell me you were angry.”
Step 4 – Assertively set the limit and explain why. Give the child a clear limit and a simple reason why the limit is set. Be assertive. Relate the limit to safety whenever possible. Setting the limit fits nicely into this sentence: “You may not ____, ___ isn’t safe (hurts, etc.).” “You may not hit. Hitting hurts.”
Step 5 – Finally, teach what is acceptable behavior. Once you have taught the appropriate action, ask the child to practice the new skill. It’s helpful to use these words to frame the learning: “When you want ______, say (or do) _____. Say (or do) it now “When you want my attention, touch my arm gently. Try touching my arm gently now.”
Step 6 – You did it! Reinforce the action by telling the child how his/her new skill is successful. Say, “You did it!” and describe the action. “You did it! You touched my arm gently so I would know you wanted my attention.”
With positive intent, we can transform hurtful situations into teaching moments. With negative intent, we will continually punish our children for not having skills that they have not been taught. The choice is ours.