news from Mr. Fields

Good afternoon,

Please see the article below from Mr. Fields, our wonderful counselor. I found so much of the information helpful and think you will, too.
PARENT/CHILD BOUNDARIES

May 31, 2017 by escounselors

Ramadan Kareem! As the year is slowly coming to a close, both Ms. Jen and myself have noted an uptick in conversations with parents about setting clear boundaries with their child. We thought some information on the nuances of this process might benefit all.

Kids are built to test limits, especially as they grow and mature. At the elementary age, children begin to quickly develop self-confidence as they more fluently perceive and interact with the world around them. They begin to read menus, road signs, papers on the fridge. They can do math and understand the natural processes of the world around them. And although this blooming confidence is something parents are right to encourage, it can cause problems when children begin to test where the line is between their responsibilities and privledges, and that of their caregivers.

When children start pushing back on the rules at home, remember that your most important job as a parent is to love your child, but also to keep yourself separate from them. This boundary-testing can make us as adults feel stressed, anxious, frustrated, sad, and sometimes even hopeless. Its easy to make the child’s behavior about you as a parent. However an important part in setting clear boundaries with children is reminding yourself that your child’s success and failures are a part of their development, and not a direct reflection on you.

When our children struggle its our natural inclination to jump in and solve that problem for them. We feel an inherent desire to remove the stress and anxiety children feel when faced with adversity. However, doing so blurs the line between you and your child. Adversity is large part of what turns children into resilient, independent, and fully-functioning adults. By not allowing your child the opportunity to try to solve their own problems (and occasionally fail), you are denying them a very important experience. Remember, the point is not to excuse yourself completely from your child’s life, but to guide and coach, rather than remove and rescue.

Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC, in her article “Parental Roles: How to Set Healthy Boundaries with Your Child,” explicitly outlines clues that you might be setting ambiguous boundaries with your child.

Doing for your child what he can (or should) do for himself.
Constantly asking questions; interrogating your child over everything.
Letting your child invade your boundaries as a couple—making your kids the center focus at all times.
Over-sharing with your child about your life; treating them like a friend rather than your child.
Giving up your parental authority and allowing your child to take control of the household.
Living through your child vicariously; feeling as if their achievements are yours, and their failures are yours as well.
Your child is upset, and you fall apart.

She also shares four solid tips on how to more clearly define the boundary between you and your child.

Define your boundaries: Explain for your child what the differences are in your relationship. Let them know what their role is and how it differs from your own.
Make your expectations known: Defining the role is helpful, but being specific about the lines you draw is important for children. Do not assume your child knows what they can and cannot do. Just like math, reading, or any academic subject, behavior is something that must be taught and retaught, before kids clearly understand what is expected of them.
Get your focus on yourself instead of your child: Although your child is your own, frequently remind yourself that they are a separate person, with the right to live their own lives, including experiencing uncomfortable and difficult feelings from time to time. Saving your child from tough experiences might feel like its helping them in the moment, but it can hurt them down the line. Taking inventory of your own reactions to your child’s successes and failures helps you to become more aware of when you may be blurring the parent/child boundary.
Let your child feel the impact of a crossed boundary: Set those limits with your child and then ensure you adhere to them. Nothing is a greater recipe for disaster than making promises to your child, be them positive or negative, and not following through on them. If they do not adhere to your expectations for their behavior, have pre-made, clearly defined consequences that are consistent, and routine. For instance, if your child often demands items at the store, sit your child down before you head out next time and make clear your expectations. You might say, “You may ask for an item in the store, but if I say ‘no’ that means no and you must accept that. If you ask a second time it will mean a 5 min timeout when we get home. If you ask a third time, we will leave the store right away and its a timeout and loss of a privilege later in the evening, etc.” Then make sure you actually do those things. Be preventative and consistent.

Parenting is difficult. Its easy to read these tips and think about how you might enact them, but in the moment, when emotions are running high, its difficult to stay the course. Be prepared to forgive yourself for missteps. But just like we teach the students here at school, recognize your mistakes and use them to grow. Stop yourself occasionally and ask yourself where you’re at in this process, and where you still need to go. Remember, your children are their own people, and should have the right to make mistakes themselves.

You can read more about this topic at Empoweringparents.com

 

SOCIAL SLEUTHS

What Do Feelings Look Like?

In KG1 and KG2 the last few weeks, Mr. Fields has been in classrooms teaching students about becoming Feelings Detectives. Feelings Detectives are people that can look for clues in faces and bodies that let them solve the case about how someone is feeling. Recognizing these clues in other people’s faces, and in their own, is the first step towards being able to better regulate mood and emotional responses.

I encourage you to challenge your child at random times to look for clues in people’s faces and bodies that help them recognize how they might be feeling. Ask them to look at the person’s eyes. “Where are they looking? Straight forward, or at the ground? What is their mouth doing? Is it smiling, frowning, or neither? What are their shoulders doing? Are they scrunched up, relaxed, or down low? What do those clues mean about how they feel?”

The materials for this lesson are a part of the Second Step Program, an evidence-based social-emotional learning curriculum from Committee for Children, based out of Seattle, Washington. Mr. Fields and Ms. Jen are piloting this program in grades PreK-5 this year, and hope to include teachers in lesson instruction for 2017-2018. Feel free to contact Ms. Jen or Mr. Fields with any questions you may have about our use of the Second Step Program or any of our social-emotional learning (SEL) classroom lessons.

 

 

Celebration

We will have our end of year celebration on June 14th 10:15-11:15. Please be sure to mark your calendar. This is a very important day where your child can shine. All are welcome. Don’t forget your camera!!

Today your child will bring home a small slip of paper. On this paper is the line for them to memorize for the show. Please help them to practice every day and keep it in a safe place.

Lois

2 quick things

  1. Thursday, May 25th will be the last day of swimming. After that we will be in the gym for PE.
  2. School timings for Ramadan will be 8:30-1:30. Kindergarten will still have a small snack and lunch during Ramadan. We will go outside in the morning for a short play. We will not go out after lunch.

Have a nice weekend,

Lois

kindness initiative

Dear Parents;                       
Spring has sprung in KG2. You may be noticing a few changes in your child, as I am in the classroom. This is very common for this time of year in Kindergarten. The children are finally developing that independence that we have been working so hard to achieve! Now they see themselves as big, independent and “in charge”.
What can we do?
In the classroom:
We have made a class “kindness tree”. When someone sees a child saying or doing something kind they get to put a leaf on the kindness tree with their name on it.
Every child also has a punch card that they are wearing around their neck. When they make a wise choice concerning their behavior the teachers will punch a hole in the card. Once they have 10 hole punches they are able to go to the Golden Art Lab during free choice time and make any kind of Art project they would like. This is a reward that the children chose.
Both of these programs are shared with the specialist teachers as well.
I am working very closely with Mrs. Hanna and Mr. Fields. They are stopping by the classroom, being vigilant in the cafeteria and on the playground. We have had some lessons with Mr. Fields about ways to show kindness and respect to others.
At home:
Talk about other’s feelings, how we treat others like we want them to treat you.
Ask your child to tell you one kind thing they did today.
Giving them choices helps them feel more empowered.
When they start whining and complaining, listen carefully, let them know you hear them and support them. Ask them to then also tell you three positive things that happened today.
Try not to talk too much about the summer with them yet. They do not have a good concept of time and now that it is so hot they think summer is here. We still have 6 more weeks of school.

Developmentally this is a stage many children go through at the end of Kindergarten. They will get through it (so will we). Be loving yet firm that we will not tolerate any bullying, name calling or hitting from anyone for any reason. We have a great group of children in KG2LF, I am looking forward to seeing our kindness tree blooming with lots of leaves.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know and I will be happy to talk to you individually.

 

update

Tomorrow is a dress down day to raise money for various charities. Your child will need to bring 5 dirhams and can wear any of the colors listed below.

Green/Blue – supports recycling efforts around the school
Black – supports families coping with cancer or kidnapping
White – supports the education of children living in poverty
Pink – supports breast cancer research

Our end of the year program will be on Wednesday, June 14th at 10:15 am. I will last approximately one hour. Please try to arrange your schedule so you can attend. It is a very nice way for all of us to end the school year.

Have a great day!
Lois

upcoming events

Elementary School Dress Down Day to Support Grade 5 Exhibition Projects: May 15th

In support of the Grade 5 Exhibition projects, the elementary school will have an optional Dress Down day on Monday, May 15th. Students may choose to wear blue, green or black. If students dress down, we ask that they bring in 5 AED to participate in this dress down day.

The Grade 5 students will use the money to:

  • promote more recycling within our community
  • support families of kidnapped children
  • support an organization who has had loved ones impacted by cancer

We are so proud of our Grade 5 students and their Exhibition projects. Please help them take action by supporting their causes by contributing during the upcoming dress down day.

 

Optional Memory Book Promotion

Students in grades KG1 – Grade 5 will have the opportunity to create a memory book to mark their current time in the journey of life. If you are interested in the Memory Book, please view the slideshow shown below. You will need to sign up online before May 22 and send the required fee to cover the supplies to the elementary office by the same date. Thank you to our volunteer moms for bringing this project forward.

Online Registration Form

Slideshow

Thank you

Thank you for helping to make my birthday so special yesterday. It was so nice of those parents that could combine to help celebrate with yummy cakes. I would like to thank you all for the gift as well. That was very overwhelming and appreciated. I know it may sound silly (or something a typical KG teacher would say) but I feel a bit like Cinderella. The school is having a staff party on the 19th and I thought about a new dress, but it didn’t fit into the budget this month. Well, you made it happen and I am going to go shopping this weekend. So thank you for helping me to spend money on myself!!!

Thursday is Hag Al Leila, a Emirati holiday. There will be a short parade done by Grade 2 students only. Your student may come to school with Emirati dress on this day, but please remember that we are swimming on Thursday so it may be easier if they just come in uniform as usual.

Have a nice weekend,

Thank you again,

Lois

KG2LF

Dear parents;

I am sorry you didn’t hear from me last week, lots of problems with my computer, email and posting on the blog. Hopefully everything is fixed now. If you think I missed an email from you, and I haven’t replied, please resend it.

Swimming starts this week. We will swim on Tuesday, Wed. and Thursday. Monday’s PE will be a regular PE class, no swimming on Mondays. To make things run smoother and to give your child more time in the pool, please see that they wear their suit under their clothes. Be sure to send a pair of underwear to put on after swimming.

Next week we will begin MAP testing for the spring session. The only thing you need to worry about is that they get a good night’s sleep the night before and try to get them to eat breakfast. We are testing on Wed. May 17th and Monday May 22nd.

This week we will be visiting other KG2 classrooms as we learn about different authors and stories.

Please see the message below from Ms. Elizabeth, the Art teacher.

The elementary art students have been busy creating artwork for the Drawing by Me project. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to produce artwork which is then turned into gifts, ideal keepsakes for parents as well as family and friends back home. 

Your child’s artwork will be sent home with an order form on Sunday May 7th with an order form return date of Sunday May 14th. This will give us a delivery date of June 12th, well in time for the holidays. 

For further details, you can follow this link to a video about Drawings by Me: Drawings by Me

 Important Note: If you wish to provide a different artwork than the one sent home, please make sure it is created on a white A4 sized paper, in ‘Landscape’ orientation, and with your child’s complete information written on the back. Please ensure that you include it in the envelope if you are providing new art work.  

 If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Elizabeth at etyrrell@uasdubai.ae

 Have a good week.

Lois