Marc A. Brackett is a research psychologist and the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. I highly recommend his work!
https://www.ycei.org/ - The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
https://moodmeterapp.com/ - Mood Meter: Build Emotional Intelligence to Last a Lifetime
https://www.marcbrackett.com/ - Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
The following is an article from EdSurge:
The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children's Hospital has published an updated Family Digital Wellness Guide with some really great resources, tips, and research to help parents and children live and be well in a digital world. Check it out!
You can also follow The Center on Media and Child Health on various social media platforms.
Even though it feels like we're all using a lot of digital media these days, we're all going to be okay. Children are learning how to be adaptable, resilient, and creative.
Here is an example:
Pro tip: Make at least one meal a day screen-free—that means no phones or tablets at the table and no TV on in the background. Use this time to talk together as a family and check in on how each of you are doing.
Science says: One family sit-down meal each day is the single most important strategy to protect your family’s mental health and physical nourishment. Screens distract children and adults from each other’s social and emotional lives and from their body’s hunger and satisfaction cues. Eating while paying attention to screens has been linked to obesity and other nutrition-related disorders.
Joint Statement of Commitment and Support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Maine Schools - Maine DOE Priority Notice
Please read this powerful statement of Commitment and Support. Mitchell School educators continue to do this important work and seek dialogue with community stakeholders about how we can improve. It is our mission to understand and dismantle racism and inequality in our school and community.
I will take this opportunity to share another great parenting resource with our school community. Tina Payne Bryson is a psychotherapist and the Founder/Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and of The Play Strong Institute, a center devoted to the study, research, and practice of play therapy through a neurodevelopment lens.
Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the author of Bottom Line for Baby (Random House 2020) and co-author (with Dan Siegel) of THE POWER OF SHOWING UP (Random House 2020) and THE YES BRAIN (Random House 2018), as well as two New York Times bestsellers -- THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD (Random House 2011), and NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE (Random House 2014) -- each of which has been translated into over forty languages.
Let’s Talk About Feelings
When you’re panicked, internally chaotic, and obsessive about the news, there’s a danger that you’ll dial up your child’s anxiety, leaving them more likely to focus on what they can’t control. On the other hand, if you are informed and internally calm, sharing bits of information about what we can control, you can dial down your child’s anxiety. Try saying something like, “It’s great news that the doctors know how this virus gets spread. That means we know some things we can do to be healthy. What do you think we need to do to be healthy?” This can also lead to a great conversation about food, sleep, hygiene, etc.
And, if your own anxiety is feeling more chaotic and dialed up than you would like, and you’re having a hard time regulating it, you aren’t alone. Allostatic load was first introduced and defined by McEwen and Stellar (McEwen 2001) and is the chronic, cumulative effect of high-stress situations in daily life that are experienced as taxing or exceeding our coping skills. Further, stress responses that are too frequent, too quick (daily challenges and transitions), too intense, and too long (more than 10-20 min) can all contribute to allostatic overload. (Can we say hello, 2020?)
To help, try walking in nature (No earbuds! Just listen to the world and get a break from stimulation!). Remember to exercise, try mindfulness meditations (or apps like Headspace and Calm), or seek out support. We all need someone who shows up for us. And, if needed, seek out a mental health professional who can help you with your own emotional waves. Take care during this challenging time. Together, we can move through it.
Parenting Under Stress: Click below to listen to a podcast I recorded with Dr. Dan Siegel and Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP, of Therapist Uncensored. Together, we unpack the ideas from our book, THE POWER OF SHOWING UP, and apply to this moment in time.
Here is a helpful tool to put our life experiences in perspective. Kids, in particular, don't have a lot of control over their lives. They're told when to go to school, when to go to bed, where to sit on the bus and in the classroom, when to sanitize their hands, and oftentimes what to eat.
This Circle of Control activity will help us all consider what things are within our control and which things are outside of their control. You might recognize this concept from the Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Knowing what is inside your Circle of Control helps with self control, emotional regulation, and managing anxiety.
Draw two circles on a piece of paper and take it from there! Here are two examples:
Angela Duckworth's latest blog post is worth sharing. You can read more at Character Lab, offering actionable advice for parents and teachers -- based on science.
Watch Your Words
Because I study effort and achievement, people often assume that all I care about is effort and achievement.
That’s understandable—but incorrect.
When I think of my own two teenage girls and how they show up in the world, I do not think first and foremost of their resumes. I do not go to bed praying that they graduate summa cum laude. And if a fairy godmother granted me one wish, it would not be for Amanda and Lucy to be successful.
Do I care about effort and achievement?
Yes, I do.
Do I hope that my girls learn to work hard and smart, and to accomplish something of importance?
Yes, I do.
Philosophers have long debated what it means to live a good life. More recently, scientists have come to the consensus that thriving is multi-dimensional. When it comes to overall life satisfaction, achievement is less important than relationships—having friends you love and who love you back—and day-to-day feelings of hope, gratitude, and moments of joy.
And, finally, some aspects of character are, in my view, ends in themselves. Whether or not honesty and intellectual humility bring fame, fortune, or even happiness, they are fundamental to who we are and how we choose to show up in the world. Indeed, certain world leaders exemplify strengths of will like grit but, tragically, seem lacking in strengths of heart and mind.
There is an adage that you should watch your thoughts, for they become your words. A corollary is that people assume that what you don’t talk about, you don’t think about. More and more, I appreciate my responsibility to talk and write about more than grit. I need to make clear what I think matters.
What do your kids think matters to you?
Try comparing what you talk about most to what you care about most. Ask your kids, “If a fairy godmother granted me one wish, what do you think I’d ask for?” If you’re surprised by the gap between what they assume and what is true, consider making an adjustment.
With grit and gratitude,
NAMI Family-to-Family programs are starting up. While they are now virtual, they are still incredibly helpful.
What You’ll Gain
What People Are Saying
Sign Up For A Class
For the parents and caregivers for incoming Kindergarten students Helping Kindergartners succeed - things you can do is a packet that I put together that highlights some of the most effective ways you can help your student thrive in school.
I encourage you to take a moment to share the grade-specific welcome slideshow with your child. Recognizing faces and remembering staff members' names is one less variable that your child will have to negotiate on those first days back. The slideshows are located in the left sidebar of the Mitchell School homepage under New Family Information.
Lastly, below you'll find an oldie-but-goodie collection of resources from Edutopia. I encourage you to check out the Back to School Basics videos. They are quite good!
Back-to-School Advice and Checklists
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Building a Parent Toolkit: Watch curated videos from the Parent Toolkit website on topics like stress reduction, healthy eating, homework, and more; Back to School Basics includes a collection of back-to-school videos for parents. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Best Back-to-School Tips: Listen to this podcast about preparing students to head back to school and developing morning routines. For more on this topic, also consider reading "Getting Back in the School Year Routine." (Greater Good Science Center, 2012)
- Back-to-School Health and Safety Tips: Browse advice about issues like backpack safety, transportation, bullying prevention, nutrition, before- and after-school childcare, study habits, and more. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2015)
- 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child’s Teacher: Mine this list for inspiration before talking with your children's teachers. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Back to School: Find information about back-to-school shopping on a budget, getting organized, and supporting children academically in these back-to-school articles. Before back-to-school night, you may want to take a look at Back-to-School Night Basics. (GreatSchools)
Easing the Back-to-School Transition
- Guiding Our Children Through School Transitions: Transitions can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing for both children and parents. Discover tips for helping students transition into elementary school, middle school, high school, and post-secondary education. (Parent Toolkit, 2014)
- Parents: Start with the A: Start the school year with inspiration and enthusiasm by celebrating your child's strengths and interests. (Edutopia, 2013)
- 9 Tips for Parents If Your Child Is Changing Schools: Moving to a new school can be a bewildering experience for students. Here are some tips to ease the transition. (The Huffington Post, 2013)
- Nervous? How We Can Help Kids Transition Back to School: In this podcast, learn about strategies that can help kids manage change and calm their nerves about starting a new school year. (Greater Good Science Center, 2011)
- Back to School Books: Read a book with your child as a springboard for discussing feelings about back-to-school; this guide includes recommendations for preschool through grade six. For more book suggestions, you might also want to check out Understood.org's "5 Great Back-to-School Books for Kids in Grades 1–4." (Bank Street School of Education)
- Start School Strong: A Back-to-School Guide for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues: Find a variety of resources -- including live chats with experts, downloads, and more -- to help children get organized, process their feelings, and establish routines. (Understood, 2016)
Tech Tips for a New School Year
- Four Tools to Improve Communication Between Home and School: Read about online and mobile tools that can help parents engage with schools in this post by #PTChat co-moderator and #ParentCamp founding organizer Gwen Pescatore. (Teaching Channel, 2015)
- Your Ultimate Back to School Guide: Explore back-to-school advice and guidance related to managing technology in school and at home. (Common Sense Media)
- Creating a Family Media Agreement: How to Have the Conversation: Learn how creating a family agreement on media use can help your family balance media use and time on schoolwork during the first weeks of school. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Technology at Home: Developing the Social Self (Edutopia, 2013)
- Young Kids and Technology at Home (Edutopia, 2013)
Gearing Up for Fall Learning
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Nine Boosts for Summer Learning: Watch a playlist of videos with fun ideas to re-engage kids in their learning process during the last days of summer. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Homework and Developing Responsibility: Developing study habits early is crucial for long-term academic success. Find tips and ideas for encouraging effective habits in reading, math, and writing. (American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 2015)
- Teaching Good Study Habits: Minute by Minute: Explore advice, timed exercises, and games to help adolescents study effectively. (Edutopia, 2016)
- School Success Prep: Growth Mindset Praise: Listen to a podcast on how to talk to kids about schoolwork. (Greater Good Science Center, 2011)
- What Do Parents Need to Know About the Common Core?: Wondering how you can support learning under the Common Core in a new school year? Discover some resources that will help. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Milestones: Watch a free collection of videos aimed at helping parents understand grade-level expectations for children in grades K-12. (GreatSchools)
- Homework vs. No Homework is the Wrong Question (Edutopia, 2015)
- Homework, Sleep, and the Student Brain (Edutopia, 2014)
The Power of Parental Involvement
- Parent Partnership in Education: Resource Roundup: Discover tips, tools, and strategies to help parents engage in a productive way with teachers and schools. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Parental Involvement in Schools: Browse a report that discusses the positive effects of parental involvement in schools. A downloadable version is also available. For more on the research about what types of parental involvement work best, you may also want to read Back to School: How Parent Involvement Affects Student Achievement from the Center for Public Education. (Child Trends DataBank, 2013)
- Beyond Back-to-School Night: Parents and Teachers as Allies: Take a look at tips for parents on how to build closer, more supportive relationships with teachers. (Edutopia, 2012)
- Parent Involvement Checklist: Bookmark a checklist that can help educators and parents evaluate how well their school is reaching out to parents and explore how to work together to improve the quality of parent-school partnerships. (Reading Rockets/Project Appleseed, 2008)