Outside the Classroom
Conscious Discipline is a proven, comprehensive approach that empowers teachers with skills that create a safe, connected, problem-solving environment. It is brain-based, truama-informed, social-emotional learning. Conscious Discipline is a tier one intervention. In other words, core curriculum that is provided to all students.Conscious Discipline offers classroom management and provides a transformational, whole-school solution for social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation.
The following resources are adapted from Dr. Becky Bailey's resources for parents during this pandemic. They use strategies Broadmeadow students are familiar with for coping with stress and anxiety, and may be useful to parents during this challenging time.
LITTLE CHILDREN NEED ADULTS TO CALM THEM DOWN AND OLDER CHILDREN FEED OFF ADULT ENERGY.
Have you ever noticed that when you are on edge your small child can't seem to get it together? Or when you are anxious your older child becomes anxious? Sometimes as parents we forget to take the temperature on our own feelings, and check in with ourselves.
Dr. Becky Bailey writes, "Acknowledge your feelings and your children’s. Know that children’s fits and meltdowns aren’t just about the momentary point of frustration that triggered them; they’re about the underlying state of uncertainty they’re experiencing."
We can learn to calm our children down using some of the techniques offered through Conscious Discipline, and we can also learn to give ourselves some grace when we are the ones who feeling the stress in these challenging times.
FOCUS ON WHAT IS STILL SAFE AND HOW YOU WILL CONNECT.
The world has changed, and everything seems different than when the children left school before spring break. A child's brain, anyone's brain, function best when it understands that it is safe and that there are lasting connections to people. Sometimes this means putting a "pause" on chores or homework to talk or play for a few minutes.
While fulfilling "stay at home" orders feels like nothing but togetherness, building connections are different. For younger children, this might mean reading or building with blocks. For older kids, it might be dancing and looking super silly on TikTok with them. It's watching them, and following their lead. When you connect with them, it builds connections in their brain that leads to better cooperation! (And who doesn't want more of that?!)
Dr. Becky Bailey explains, "Age-appropriate information increases safety; “You’re fine” does not. Information will help reassure and soothe children’s fears, but it’s important to know when enough is enough. Explain to children why life is different using the simplest terms possible."
We can be honest with our children about the reality of the situation around us while still respecting just how scary it is for them. Limiting the information, and considering the sources of that information is a good way to do that. Social media can sometimes distort the facts, and the news can make things sound dire. As parents, we control how the information is presented. Saying "everything is fine" dismisses the reality of what is happening. Kids know this isn't true, but you can assure them that they are SAFE with you. You will keep them safe, and that is what they really want to hear.
CREATE A NEW ROUTINE
Most people like to know what will happen next, and like to have predictable patterns in life. Almost overnight everything most of us know has changed! If you establish new routines that are predictable, it can help to create a sense of safety in a time that can be challenging for us all.
Dr. Becky Bailey writes, "
Families with older children can work together to co-create your new daily schedule (co-creating gives children a way to exert some control over the situation), while parents of younger children will create the schedule for them. Plan it, draw it, label it, post it somewhere obvious and refer to it often so children know what to expect."
Writing down what a typical day should look like for a child during the day can be really helpful, especially when they are learning remotely. Having a plan for how long they will work before they take a break, what time lunch is, and when they can finish studying for the day can be a basic place to start. While some kids will complain about having a structure to their day, it is this rhythm that helps them stay on track and feel safe.
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