October 21, 2016

Hello Parkside Families,

We hope you have enjoyed your week!  Many of our classrooms have continued their discussion on fall, Halloween, as well as nocturnal animals.  This week I heard a child ask his mom (as they were leaving at the end of the day) if the bats were out yet because it was getting dark out.  I hope for those who have children old enough to discuss what they are learning; they have shared enriching information about their week with you!

To conclude our fire safety week, the Bangor Fire Department came to visit us today.  We had the opportunity to explore their fire engine and to ask the firemen questions.  Thank you to the Bangor Fire Department for their time, and giving the kids this awesome opportunity!  Unfortunately, there was an emergency which the fire department had to attend to, so all of our Yosemite, Sequoia, and Zion classrooms didn’t get the chance to see the fire engine or talk with the firemen.

*Thursday, October 28th:  Parent/Teacher Advisory meeting: 5:30-6:30!  We are looking forward to seeing everyone at next week’s meeting.  We will continue our discussion on Conscious Discipline by discussing what types of techniques and language we use in each of our classrooms.  We will also discuss the upcoming events coming up at our center.  Please let the office know before Wednesday, November 27th if you need child care for this meeting.

*Monday, October 31st:  Halloween!!  We enjoy celebrating Halloween at Parkside!  The kids love to talk about their costume and show it off to all of their friends and teachers.  Parents, please make sure to bring your child to Parkside WEARING their costume (please do not bring in masks).  We will celebrate Halloween with our annual Halloween parade; the parade will give each child the opportunity to go through all of the classrooms to show off their costume.  Below is the schedule we will be following:

9:30: Glacier and Grand Teton

9:45: Sequoia and Yellowstone

10:00: Zion and Big Sur

10:15:  Yosemite and Olympic

Parents, you are welcome to join the parade!  Please note that although we try to stay on schedule, we may begin earlier or later than scheduled!   After the parade, children will pack their costumes in their cubbies until they are picked up.  In addition to our parade, classrooms will have special activities planned throughout the day.  Parents, please remember to not pack any candy for your child!

*November Food Drive:  As you may remember we are trying to keep our fundraising to help local organizations.  In previous years we have had a food drive to donate non-perishable items to MANA.  This year we have a different idea and would like to hear what your thoughts are on raffling a basket of gift cards to local restaurants.  We would display the basket in the lobby and would have the opportunity to purchase tickets at the office; all of the money donated for the raffle would go to a local food bank.  What do you think of this idea or do you have another idea that may help our goal to support a food bank?  Please share your ideas with your child’s teacher, the office, or e-mail me at

*November 11th: Shut down day; Parkside is CLOSED!  Currently your child’s teachers are working on completing assessments that will reflect their observations of the children in their room between the months of September through October.  Once we have completed these assessments we invite families to sit down and talk with us about them; one of these times is during our shut down day on the 11th.  We will have sign-up sheets in each classroom to sign up for a conference thoughout the day; if you are not able to meet on the 11th but would like to meet with your child’s teacher please stop by the office to set up a meeting.  In addition to having parent/teacher conferences we will also continue our training on “mindfulness”.

*Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25h:  Parkside is CLOSED for Thanksgiving and the day after.

There has been a large amount of research completed focusing on children’s success in Kindergarten has been more because of their social and emotional development than their abilities to write, read, or know any other cognitive skill. This is one of the reasons why we adopted the Conscious Discipline program and philosophy as well as why we are working on implementing mindfulness in the classroom.    Jen M-R found this article focuses on how we can teach children self-control.  You can find this article and other helpful articles at

7 Ways to Teach Self-Control

By: Scott Turansky

One of the primary tasks of early childhood is to develop self-discipline. One of the primary tasks of parenthood is teaching self-control.

Most children, young children, in particular, are by nature impulsive. Part of the solution for impulse control is self-discipline. A child armed with self-control and self-discipline has a tremendous advantage in addressing life’s challenges. So many relational and personal problems can be avoided when one has self-control. Here are 7 ways to teach self-control to your children.

1. Teach children to come when they are called.

When a parent calls a child, that child shouldn’t yell, “What?” from across the house, parking lot or playground. Children can learn to come to the parent, within a few feet, in order to have a dialog with the parent. This helps children learn that self-control sometimes means that we must give up what we would like to be doing in order to do something else.

2. Teach children to respond positively to correction.

Most children don’t like to be corrected and respond negatively in either aggressive (anger) or passive (bad attitude) ways. This is unacceptable and becomes an excellent opportunity to teach self-discipline. One of the facts of life is that people often must follow directions which may not be their preference. Teach children to respond with a good attitude as well as right behavior. This requires self-control and helps children learn to control their impulses. A good response to correction is sometimes difficult to learn but work in this area will help a child develop a skill which will help them forever.

3. A number of social skills require self-control.

Praise children when they demonstrate this quality and point out areas they need to work on. Listening, knowing when and how to interrupt, anger control, reporting back after completing a task—all require self-discipline.

4. Encourage children to take on activities which build self-discipline. {Tweet This}

They may include sports, music lessons, a paper route, the responsibility of caring for a neighbor’s pet, memorization of scripture, a clean room, or a host of other activities.

5. When a child receives a reward like payment for a job accomplished or even a star on a chart or special treat, talk about self-discipline.

External rewards give a great opportunity to talk about internal rewards.The real benefit to a paper route is not the money, it’s the building of self-discipline. You are pretty determined and responsible to get up every morning. That shows self-discipline.

6. Use bed times to teach self-discipline.

Some children have a hard time going to bed without creating a battle and this becomes a great opportunity to teach self-discipline to children. After all, it requires a lot of self-control for a child to stay quietly in bed while parents are still awake. Set a bedtime, develop a routine which covers all the necessary bedtime tasks and work at getting your child to stay in bed without mom or dad falling asleep in the room. This requires work on the part of the parent but will pay off tremendous dividends in the end.

7. Morning routines, chores, and family schedules become opportunities for children to learn responsibility and self-discipline.

Responsibility is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. The rewards for being responsible are called privileges. The child who is responsible to get ready and be at breakfast by 7:30 a.m. is allowed the privilege of staying up until their 8:00 p.m. bedtime. Being able to choose one’s clothes is the privilege for getting dressed before the deadline. Simple benefits of life are seen as privileges associated with basic responsibility.

Some parents try to give their children an easier life than they had or they try to make their children feel good at the expense of good character. Unfortunately, this often translates into more freedom and less self-control. A wise parent will use childhood to prepare a child for success as an adult. Self-discipline is one of the most important character qualities a child can develop. Ironically, spoiled children are not happy; self-disciplined children often are!

Self-discipline is a primary quality that will help children be successful in life. More techniques and ideas are available in the book Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids.

What’s the best way you’ve come up with to teach your children self-discipline?

Enjoy your weekend,

Jen V.