Tonight is Parent Education Night!
Please join us at 7:00 PM in the ECHS Theater
to hear Stanford Professor and Math Educator, Jo Boaler, speak on:
“Limitless Mind – Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers”
Happy New Year! Many thanks to all for the cards, gifts, baked goods, and well wishes sent to me and to the office staff. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated!
January is the traditional time for making resolutions. This year, why not include your children in these meaningful conversations. Discuss changes you might want to make as a family, and consider how you might follow through to help each other achieve your goals. Here are a few suggestions to encourage one another:
- Be specific. You might decide that you want to spend more time together as a family. Think about what that would look like. Perhaps you could set aside one night a week when everyone will commit to being home for dinner, and then take turns planning the meal. Pick one night a week to play games, and then be sure to verbalize what you enjoyed about the evening. Don’t just say, “That was fun.” Tell your child, “I enjoyed playing cards with you. You’ve really learned the rules and did a great job of planning your next move.”
- Reinforce the small steps. If everyone wants to work on getting to school and work on time, keep track of what time you leave the house in the morning. Set your goal, but celebrate every time you leave the house one minute earlier than the day before. Make a chart and post it on the refrigerator. Pick a family reward that will motivate everyone to work together to achieve the goal.
- Pay attention. Suppose your child has decided she wants to complete her homework without having to be reminded. The first time she sits down to work independently, be sure to notice and acknowledge her achievement.
- Work as a team. If your goal is to have a less cluttered family room, set the timer for 10 minutes every night and then have everyone cooperate to pick up and put away everything that is out of place. The old saying “Many hands make light work” is true, and everyone will enjoy trying to race the clock to get the job done. Children love feeling useful, and working alongside others is a wonderful way to let them know that they are an important part of the family.
- Replicate success. Think about things that your family already does very well. Perhaps everyone pitches in after dinner to clear the table and do the dishes, making clean up time a “bright spot” in your family life. Discuss why this works well, and then try to apply the same ideas to other, more problematic, areas. Focusing on the positive is often much more motivating than nagging or arguing.
Don’t forget to choose only a few, achievable goals. Nothing is more discouraging than expectations that can’t be realized.