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H20 Book-On-Line: Install #12,13,14

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BOOK ON-LINE:                                                  

H20 TO GO!

Growing Emotional Resiliency & Navigating Through Childhood

with Heart, Humor & Optimism

By Margo Judge

Installments #13 & #14

Installment #13
The Final Word-A Practical Application for Gaining Perspective
The Beginner's  'What Would You Do If You Were'...Conversation
I say 'beginner' because there will be a more advanced version of this when we get to high school. But right now we want our grade schoolers to expand their view.  We want them to use the panoramic lens a lot. Book Chapter 3-Perspective: Looking For Clues In All the Right PlacesIn order for them to learn Perspective, they need to see other points of view and perceive how someone else feels.  This promotes empathy—an attribute we focused on very early in my preface Preface: Heart and Why Empathy  and in Chapter One: Heart, and in the Final Word-Practical Application.Heart: Final Word-Introducing Empathy

But we also want to put them in a position of some control and take them out of reaction mode and into action mode.  So, this is going to be the very beginning of putting them in the director’s chair and Action!

When your young child tells you anything they didn’t like at school-a friend was mean, the teacher yelled, the quiz was really hard the very first thing to do is ask why?  It makes your child have to explain beyond what I call the declaration statement. (This will be a great tool for increasing their analytical skills)  The second thing is to emapthize with your child's feelings. (Remember, we want to promote their empathy, therefore we need to show it towards them) But, we can also add a little perspective and empowerment. That is the third element of our conversation.

About Friends

1) I’m so sorry X was mean.  But you know, everybody can get a little mean sometimes. However, if they really like each other, they can make up and be friends again. Anyway,let me ask you something. if you were the President of the United Friends of (name of child’s school) What would you proclaim as a definition of a friend?  How should friends act towards each other?  And what do you think should happen when a friend is mean to other friend?

If your child says, 'I don't know' then you can suggest some ideas and then ask them how they'd feel about that. 

About Teachers

2) I’m so sorry the teacher yelled.  Obviously, she was cranky she didn’t get enough sleep last night. See? That’s why you need a lot of sleep, so you won’t be cranky with other people.  I get cranky too when I haven’t had enough sleep.  Everyone gets cranky sometimes. And some of us yell.  So next time she yells, just think-oh no! Not enough sleep.  Better just ignore her. So, if you were President of the United Teachers of XYZ School, how would you like teachers to act? How should they treat students?

Have fun with this. Homework, no homework?  Added fun classes. This is a chance to use humor and be creative

About Tests

3)I’m sorry the quiz was hard and you got a bad grade.  Well, there will be good grade days, and bad grade days.  That’s normal. You can’t have good grade days all the time!  If you ask anyone who is grown up—doctors, scientists, writers, teachers, especially teachers, they will tell you they definitely had a lots of bad grade days.  What, you should be an exception? (And smile) Ok, if you were President of the United Testers of XYZ School, what would you do about tests?  Get rid of them altogether? Have fewer? What would be a better idea than a quiz, or a test?

4) Now, after you’ve had this conversation, you can tell your child that you think  he/she would make an excellent President of the United Anything.  And one day, you are sure he/she will be a leader and can make those kinds of changes (no matter how outlandish they might sound, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your child feels he/she can actually take an action and make something happen)

5) Finally give your child a hug and say that next time he/she gets upset about someone or something to just think

If I were President, boy would things be different! And wait until I get home and tell Mommy how I would change things! Then save it for later when you can share with me, and just go on to other things, ok?

When we get to Perspective in Middle School (next week) I will talk a great deal about Teachers, Peers, Sports, Extra-Curricular Activities and how important it becomes that kids do not get stuck in the moment and shut down. This approach to conversations about grade school is a beginning.

It introduces a wider view.

It continues Humor

And it promises a better tomorrow.

They don't get stuck in reaction mode,

and the journey towards emotional resilience can continue.

Have a great weekend playing around with your wider lens! And what would you do if you were President of Whatever? Fun round table, or car trip talk!


Installment #14
And The Envelope Please

Dear Parents,

Before H20 to Go! moves down the road and through one of the rougher patches of its journey, I would like to mention one more aspect of Perspective that is truly left to us. Our priorities, our reactions, our worries, our disappointments will leave their marks on the emotional health of our children.  And nowhere will this be more a fact than for those of us whose children will be applying to private nursery school or kindergarten, grade school or Middle School, High School or College. Nowhere will our nerves be more on edge than in respect to decisions that are out of our control-our children's acceptance or rejections. At no time will it be more important to have some much needed Perspective.

So, here I am! To offer some!  To help you step back and take a longer and wider view so that you can help your children do the same.

The Envelope Please

Before we get into the specifics of school, and helping our kids not get stuck, let's talk about us not getting stuck in our own angst-ridden moment in time--as in a crumpled or framed (depending on the contents) envelope that will inform whether our kids have been accepted or rejected by the school of choice It would be unrealistic and unfair, looking back to say-don't worry relax, it will all be fine. Even though knowing what I know now, it will, in fact, be ok.  Right now, you're too much at the center, juggling your own angst and your child's, listening too much to that inner voice needling and hinting-What might we have done better or differently? And why is the selection process so rigid? And if it's such a crapshoot, what about all those prep courses-especially when my child does not test well??!!  Or, why do admissions have to discriminate against children with highs and lows, and conclude that because Sammy cannot read well, he will never read well?  And why is there such hesitation with quirky, inquisitive children who ask lots of questions--not because they like to interrupt, but because they have naturally restless, discerning and inquisitive natures? Why is it that Admissions people fail to see our children the way we see them?  You want so much for your child to be acknowledged for all his/her unique attributes and talents. You want him/her to be and feel accepted. You want him/her to thrive and succeed and you think, in spite of your more rational side, that the forthcoming envelope will hold the key.  And, it has been a tough time for your children with the interview process, the entrance exams, the applications-so very unsure, are they still, (you too!) how to isolate rejections, and all too quick to equate a rejection with failure.  But in the end, no matter what, it reflects on us, as parents, right? That is how we feel, if we are being perfectly honest with ourselves-At this moment in time, their success will be our success, their disappointments will be ours, and their sense of themselves will be our sense of ourselves and them.

Well, I am here to offer this advice and consolation: There is a natural, inescapable order to the world. We, as parents, will always be our child's first and best advocate until our child can be his/her own. Schools and teachers will always be our child's first and best route to knowledge, but not necessarily their personal advocates. We should not approach education thinking that either a school, or its teachers will 'understand or appreciate our child. Their job actually, is to understand their subjects well, and appreciate the world of learning. True, some schools and teachers will be better at that than others. But, it is left to us, to teach our children how to get along in that natural order, how to best function in it, so they are never victims, and how to take advantage of whatever it has to offer, so they can move beyond, and ultimately succeed.  There is a natural order to acceptances and rejections-Admissions requirements.  Random selectivity A balance of diversity, The necessity to fill a particular need.  It is left to us, to help our children understand that one moment in time-one rejection, one hope dashed, one wish not fulfilled-does not a future determine, nor, a person's worth decide. In life, for every rejection there will be an acceptance, for every hope dashed, there will be one realized, for every mark not reached, there will be another surpassed. And a person's worth can only grow over a long period of time. That is the natural order of the world.  Whether our children get into our first choice or theirs makes no difference in the larger scheme of fate. It is what our child DOES with any choice that will determine how far he/she actually travels.  Our children's school life is very long, with many lessons to be learned along the way. So, I leave you with this MomOpinion truism:  IT TRULY MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHERE OUR CHILDREN GO, IT MATTERS WHAT THEY MAKE OF WHERE THEY GO.  If we can help our little ones explore that notion, our elementary school kids understand that idea, our teenagers accept that fact, our college kids expand on that philosophy, they will have power and control and success will be in their hands.. .to shape and mold.

So now I can say to you, do not worry. They will be end up where they end up for a whole host of reasons that may have nothing to do with the obvious. the logical or the fair.And wherever they are with your support and optimism, they truly can make anything they want happen.  There are no locked doors while growing up. There is no one port of entry on the voyage to achievement. There will be many moments in time. And many chances. This is just the beginning.  And the envelope please...

Next Installment #15


Installment#15/Ch 3 Part 2/Intro