June 2, 2017
Hello Parkside Families!
What a fantastic week we had at Parkside! We spent the week implementing new routines, techniques and ideas from our shut down day. Over the upcoming weeks you will be seeing changes and hearing about new routines in our classrooms as well as in the upcoming blogs…stay tuned! We finished our week by celebrating all of the wonderful families we have here at Parkside with a Family Picnic! I am always amazed during these events to see the strong community we have; we hope you feel the same! Thank you to all who were able to attend; we hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did!
Olympic visit to the Philip Strickland House: This past Wednesday, our Olympic class went to the Philip Strickland House. While they were there they presented pictures that they drew, sang songs, played with the parachute, all while having the opportunity to meet some new friends! The Philip Strickland House is an assistant living home in Bangor. We are looking forward to our next visit, which will be June 28th!
Website Update: Have you visited our new website yet? You may recall a couple of weeks ago in our blog, we had warned that our website may be non-reachable due to changing our website. We have finally finished this project! Please send us your feedback!
Spirit week! June 19-June 23rd:
Monday: Mismatch day
Tuesday: Career day: dress up in what your child would like to be when they grow up!
Wednesday: Hat day: wear your favorite hat
Thursday: beach day! Wear clothing you would wear to the beach
Friday: Dress in Parkside colors: blue, green, yellow
Supervision in our classrooms: Our teachers perform a delicate balancing act between supervising children and communicating with parents at drop off and pick up. Many times, these teachers are highly challenged when families want to have conferences rather than short exchanges. Please parents, we ask you to stop by the office to schedule a meeting if your concerns take more than a minute or two. Our teachers WANT to talk with you, but feel stretched between talking and supervising. Particularly in the infant rooms, a teacher has to be nearly an octopus on roller skates to feed, diaper and play with the children! The important thing to know is that they sincerely want to have great communication with you but would be able to do it better if they’re not supervising at the same time. Thank you, thank you for your help with this!
Pictures in the classroom: Parents, please do NOT take pictures of children in classrooms without asking the teachers! Some parents do NOT want their child’s picture taken, and no matter how innocent the idea (two kids being super adorable, one is your child), it may be an issue. Please talk to the classroom teachers before pulling out your camera. Thank you!
Playground Footwear: Parents, the best shoes for our playground are sneakers. We know your children want to wear their sandals, but please make sure they are sturdy and have a strap if they do. Flip flops are NOT good footwear outside. Many injuries are caused by kids falling out of those type of shoes. Slip-on sneakers usually work well, but laced up or velcroed sneakers are the best choice. Thanks for helping the kids have a safe and enjoyable playground experience!”
“The silent tragedy affecting today’s children”: This is an article that speaks to the importance of building children who have strong emotional skills. Please know that that we recognize that this article is an opinion on child rearing; please let us know your thoughts. There have been an increase in the research stating that children are not emotionally stable, which can be for several reasons. This article points out the alarming changes of children as well as solutions to this situation. You can find this article at: https://yourot.com/parenting-club/2017/5/24/what-are-we-doing-to-our-children
The silent tragedy affecting today’s children
(and what to do with it)
There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children. Through my work with hundreds of children and families as an occupational therapist, I have witnessed this tragedy unfolding right in front of my eyes. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! Talk to teachers and professionals who have been working in the field for the last 15 years. You will hear concerns similar to mine. Moreover, in the past 15 years, researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:
- 1 in 5 children has mental health problems
- 43% increase in ADHD
- 37% increase in teen depression
- 200% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14 years old
How much more evidence do we need before we wake up?
No, “increased diagnostics alone” is not the answer!
No, “they all are just born like this” is not the answer!
No, “it is all the school system’s fault” is not the answer!
Yes, as painful as it can be to admit, in many cases, WE, parents, are the answer to many of our kids’ struggles!
It is scientifically proven that the brain has the capacity to rewire itself through the environment. Unfortunately, with the environment and parenting styles that we are providing to our children, we are rewiring their brains in a wrong direction and contributing to their challenges in everyday life.
Yes, there are and always have been children who are born with disabilities and despite their parents’ best efforts to provide them with a well-balanced environment and parenting, their children continue to struggle. These are NOT the children I am talking about here.
I am talking about many others whose challenges are greatly shaped by the environmental factors that parents, with their greatest intentions, provide to their children. As I have seen in my practice, the moment parents change their perspective on parenting, these children change.
What is wrong?
Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:
- Emotionally available parents
- Clearly defined limits and guidance
- Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
- Movement and outdoors
- Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom
Instead, children are being served with:
- Digitally distracted parents
- Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”
- Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
- Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
- Sedentary indoor lifestyle
- Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments
Could anyone imagine that it is possible to raise a healthy generation in such an unhealthy environment? Of course not! There are no shortcuts to parenting, and we can’t trick human nature. As we see, the outcomes are devastating. Our children pay for the loss of well-balanced childhood with their emotional well-being.
How to fix it?
If we want our children to grow into happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and go back to the basics. It is still possible! I know this because hundreds of my clients see positive changes in their kids’ emotional state within weeks (and in some cases, even days) of implementing these recommendations:
Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT, not a friend
Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids if what they want is not what they need.
- Provide nutritious food and limits snacks.
- Spend one hour a day in green space: biking, hiking, fishing, watching birds/insects
- Have a daily technology-free family dinner.
- Play one board game a day. (List of family games)
- Involve your child in one chore a day (folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table etc)
- Implement consistent sleep routine to ensure that your child gets lots of sleep in a technology-free bedroom
Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges:
- Don’t pack your child’s backpack, don’t carry her backpack, don’t bring to school his forgotten lunch box/agenda, and don’t peel a banana for a 5-year-old child. Teach them the skills rather than do it for them.
Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens:
- Don’t feel responsible for being your child’s entertainment crew.
- Do not use technology as a cure for boredom.
- Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, malls. Use these moments as opportunities to train their brains to function under “boredom”
- Help them create a “boredom first aid kit” with activity ideas for “I am bored” times.
Be emotionally available to connect with kids and teach them self-regulation and social skills:
- Turn off your phones until kids are in bed to avoid digital distraction.
- Become your child’s emotional coach. Teach them to recognize and deal with frustration and anger.
- Teach greeting, turn taking, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills,
- Connect emotionally – Smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, or crawl with your child.
We must make changes in our kids’ lives before this entire generation of children will be medicated! It is not too late yet, but soon it will be…
© 2017 Victoria Prooday Copyright Notice – No reproduction without AUTHOR’s permission
Wednesday, June 21st: Olympic Pre-K graduation rehearsal! We will be walking over to 203 Maine Ave (Clifton Eames Learning Center) during the afternoon of the 21st to practice our graduation. The Clifton Eames building is located just past the Challenger Learning Center. We will confirm the time of the rehearsal as we get closer to the date. If you have any questions about this rehearsal and the time please stop by the office. There will be a permission slip giving your child permission to walk to the Bangor Savings building on the 21st and 23rd next week.
Friday, June 23rd @ 4:00: Olympic Graduation! We are looking forward to celebrating with you on the 23rd. We invite family members and friends to join us for this event. The auditorium has limited seating, we encourage you to arrive a bit early. The ceremony typically lasts about 30 minutes and then we will have refreshments and cupcakes in the reception room, for the last 30 minutes. We also want to thank Bangor Savings bank for allowing us to use their facility for the 10th year!
Monday, July 3rd-July7th: Parkside is CLOSED for shut down week! Please remember your tuition remains the same for this week as it allows us to pay for our teacher’s vacation time! Thank you for your help and understanding of how important this week is! We have a project in the Yosemite classroom that will be occurring during this week which is to construct a wall to help create a separate flow to get to the playground so that there won’t be as many interruptions to the Yosemite children. We always want to emphasize how appreciative we are that parents pay full tuition for that week, as it allows our full-time staff to have a paid vacation week.
Enjoy your weekend,