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PHP in 2011

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 57 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Linking Learning to Home and School

Terri Dawson- PHP of WY, Inc. Executive Director

The first nine weeks are up—-do you know how you can link learning at school to home?

The first 9 weeks of school are over, and parent/teacher conferences have either just occurred, or are happening in the next week or so. So- let’s test the water. How is your child doing? I just estimated how many parent/teacher conferences I have attended in the past 20+ years. Not counting any of my sons’ special education meetings- I have attended approximately 80 parent teacher conferences for my kids. In looking back, I have to say I enjoyed them…..but I had to prepare for them. Maybe not as much as the teacher, but certainly, I had my own list of information to gather.

Here’s what I learned from all those P/T conferences. Many times the teachers want to go over each item and grade—and I usually wasn’t as concerned about that. I typically knew most of that information from the day-to-day questions I asked my kids about their grades. What I always wanted to know was- what were they going to do next? What was the next project for Science? What book would they be reading in English or Lit class? What was the next unit in social studies and what was the target or main point of the lesson? How could I support my child at home- and support the teacher in his/her work in the classroom by discussing the topic with my kids at home? By knowing that, I felt I could help make the learning experience and/or lesson relevant to our day-to-day world.

Most of the time, I had done some pre-visiting or had discussions with my children’s teachers prior to the PT conference- since I always wanted to be prepared and not be surprised about a missed homework assignment or failed test. One of the most important questions before the PT conference was for my kids. I would ask them, “What am I going to hear from your teacher about you? What is your favorite thing about each class or teacher?” This is so I can start the conversation off with a positive comment about what my child likes about them -i.e. “Heather said she loved the project on dinosaurs last week in your class!” It’s a great conversation starter, and shows the teacher that what they have done does matter to the students- and we are paying attention. 

What questions do you like to ask you teachers and/or kids for parent teacher conferences?

Changing Behaviors…

Juanita Bybee- PHP Office Manager

Parents are their child’s first teacher. If we are to expect our children to respect others, we need to show respect to each other as well. Children are like sponges, they observe and mimic especially parents who they look up to and want to emulate. Here are a few helpful hints to think about.

1) Start early – It is easier to start off with the desired behavior.  Research says that it takes 21 times to change an undesired behavior.  7 times a conscience choice, 7 times to reinforce, and 7 times semi-conscience choice to change the undesired behavior.  That seems like a lot of work, it is easier to do it right the first time.

2) Start off small- Make it easy. Use please and thank you’s.  A good foundation will help parents to build upon as your child gets older.

3) Ignore the poor choice and reinforce the good choice. Children love to get compliments; they beam with happiness when they feel like their parent took notice of their behavior. 

4) Practice, practice, practice… Make it a habit over time; model the desired behavior with your child. It is not enough to teach children what NOT to do but what TO do.

5) Give eye contact – be present in the moment. It doesn’t have the same effect if you are not looking at the person.  Take that extra second to make sure that the person knows that you are truly paying attention.

Teaching Children Respect- Just in Time for Back to School

Jennifer Petri- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Rock Springs and Green River, WY

Children need to feel respected and to learn to respect other people around them. This is a hard lesson to learn, and some children are more receptive to the message than others. All children are taught the basics of respect at school, but outside of school it’s our responsibility as parents. One thing is for sure: respect is something that can be taught only by example. Our children will not be respectful of other people and other people’s possessions if we do not lead them in the right direction with our own words and actions. 

Teaching respect begins very early in life.  Many children as young as one are old enough to begin to learn not to hit people, and how to softly handle animals.  They can also begin to understand that some things are not for them.  This is not a onetime lesson, but an ongoing way to learn how to live respectfully.  Instead of focusing on our children to teach them respect, we have to focus on our own behavior.  Here are some tips I find useful:

1. Respect your child’s boundaries.  This means that if they don’t want to be touched, keep your hands off.  If they don’t want to play, allow them to mellow out alone.

2. Respect your child’s decisions (within reason).  If your child does not like to play basketball, do not force them to play so you can live vicariously through their play.  Let them choose their own activities based on their personal preferences, once they are old enough.

3. Respect your child’s view of the world.  This means that you might have to slow down and smell the mud pies with them.  This is what childhood is all about.

Learning to be respectful is a lifelong process.  What are some ways you can think of to show your child respect, so they may pass it on?

Sticking to a Schedule

Tammy Wilson- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison, Green River

As a preschool teacher nothing makes me happier then starting another school year. I love routines for myself and the children. They are so important for small children; they do so much better socially and emotionally when kept to a routine. Getting up and going to bed at the same time just makes life for everyone run smoother.

For children that have disabilities such as those with Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD a routine is absolutely essential. It is so important to them to know what is coming next. Swaying from routine is rarely pleasant for small children or those with disabilities.

Sometimes even a visual time line can be helpful for children that crave structure. It can begin with a picture of a child or a picture of the child themselves eating breakfast. The next picture can be the car or the bus to represent going to school. The teacher can then have the time line up somewhere in the room with the picture representing the order in which everything that will take place during the day. The time line should always end with bed time.

There is also the issue of over scheduling children throughout the day and not having enough creative playtime to engage their imagination. I feel routine is important but that does not mean over scheduling children.

Routines and Children

Setting routines and expectations from the beginning leads to success!

This summer all routines went out the window at my house, except two:  nightly reading and going to bed by 9:00 pm.  Now that school is in session, we have to be more disciplined and get our routines in place for a successful year.  Routines are important for keeping kids on track and having structure within a family.  Here are some suggestions for school year daily routines:

  • Set out clothes the night before.  Better yet, younger elementary school children can sleep in their clothes the night before and wake up already dressed.
  • Make a checklist for each child to mark off their own responsibilities before they head out the door.  This eliminates the need to nag.
  • Designate a set time for homework. This guarantees that your child will have an appropriate amount of time to get the work done.
  • Come together as a family daily.  The school year can be hectic, but only as hectic as you make it. Carve out time with the entire family, even if it is just to eat breakfast, so that you can all connect every day

Every family can come up with their own routines that work for them.  What are some routines your families use to keep the day running smoothly?

Summer Will Be Back

 

Janet Kinstetter- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Moorcroft

The world is awakened. Sounds of children playing fill the air. Trips are taken. Fireworks light up the night sky. Summer is here! Summer is here for now. At some point it will fade away. It is effortless in going but thankfully easy coming as well. Summer will be back.

Published by Jolie Wicklund

Summer can be a time of “recharging” one’s batteries and doing something completely different than we do at other times of the year. Did you make a “bucket list of things to do after school was out for the summer?  If so, how many things did you do?

Some of my “bucket list” of things to do this summer was:

  • Going swimming
  • Spending time at the library
  • Spending more time with my family
  • Taking everyone on a picnic
  • Going camping with the entire family
  • Volunteering at my local church
  • Keeping in touch with family and friends who live away from me by writing letters instead of sending emails.
  • Going through family pictures and putting them in albums
  • Learning Spanish
  • Going to the movies and eating buttered popcorn!
  • Being thankful and truly appreciative of all the good things in my life
  • Going on vacation, go someplace new that you have always wanted to go.
  • Keep a journal of your summer to look back on and remember all the good times you had with family and friends.
  • Learn to water ski

Did I get everything completed on my bucket list?  No, but there’s always next summer! What were some of the things you wanted to do this summer? What were you able to get completed this summer and what are you putting on your list for next summer?  I hope you all have a great rest of the summer!

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