Hello Sound Discipline Educators!
We are sharing weekly SEL resources with school administrators and weekly emails to parents who have taken our workshops. We would love for these resources to reach more parents during this challenging time. Please forward this email to parents who may benefit from it. Parents are invited to subscribe to this newsletter at https://www.sounddiscipline.org/subscribe/ and access social emotional learning resources on our website in English and Spanish https://www.sounddiscipline.org/homeresources/.
Welcome to another installment of our weekly resources for families with children at home during school closures. This week’s theme? How to be both kind and firm at the same time.
You know those times when it is all going so well? Your children are having fun, feeling loved and happy – and then whoops, dishes are left on the couch, chores are undone, and someone just said something really rude to Gramma. Did you let your boundaries or family agreements slip? Sometimes it seems like we are on a perpetual teeter totter trying to balance being kind and firm.
We want our kids to have fun, feel cared about and be happy, so we are kind until it feels like they are getting out of control and a little bit crazy …and then we desperately need them to follow the rules, be respectful, and do their work, so we get firm. The back and forth is exhausting!
In the words of Positive Discipline, we talk about "getting out of the dance.”
Starting with yourself, do what it takes to steady yourself and return to calm. Try some of these activities - https://www.sounddiscipline.org/self-regulation-toolkit-cards/ - or do another activity you know helps you self-regulate, like stepping outside and going for a walk. Once you are calm, try the below suggestions for modeling firmness and kindness, and take a look at our website for more Kind & Firm resources.
“I” Statements: Say what you need and make requests, starting with “I”. You might say, “I need you to clean up your art supplies,” rather than “you need to clean up your art supplies.”
‘Connect Before Correct’: Connect with your child by crouching down to their level, and using a touch, your eyes, or making a guess at how they are feeling. Connecting sends the message “I see you, I value you.” After connecting, offer correction or direction. You might say, “Wow. I think that is the biggest tower I have seen you build! How did you get it so high? It is 5:00 now. What has to happen before dinner? Yes, you are right…clean up time!”
Help a neighbor: Write a thank you note. Give compliments. Make a donation. Acts of kindness demonstrate four our kids and give them a chance to practice what it means to be kind.
Be kind to yourself: What one thing can you do each day just for you? Prioritize that and make it happen– just like you would prioritize an activity for your child. It is a great model for your kids and will allow you to show up as your best self.
Spend 15 minutes of scheduled one-on-one time every day: Children need to feel a sense of deep connection with parents and caregivers, especially now. Find a time and a place where you can fully engage in play or conversation led by your child. Let your child guide what you do together. Try it for 10 days in a row and see what happens!
Here are two opportunities to connect with more coaching and peer support for parents:
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Sending all our best wishes,
Director of Program