September and back to school is right around the corner.......Can your child sit still, listen, follow directions, and get along with others?
It is August already!!! and, another school year is right around the corner!!!
Your child’s return to school, and having a strong start is HUGE! The first weeks of school can have tremendous impact on how they do for the rest of their academic year!
One of the biggest ways we have discovered to help our children is to PREPARE them early for their return to school, and now is the perfect time to start. I like to think of August as "training camp" for back to school, much like pro hockey players start skating and ramping up their training in August (some of the best actually never stop) in preparation for September training camp.
If your child is ahead of their peers they will stay ahead and love school. Kids that start off behind their peers struggle, almost never catch up and like school less.
Along with falling behind, children can sometimes get inaccurately “labeled” as unable to focus, hyperactive or extremely shy. We have wonderful teachers in our local schools but, they cant be left to solely teach the highly valued, and basic behavioural skills essential to your child's success. Furthermore it is extremely difficult for teachers to go deep into academics unless appropriate social skills are in place first. Most educators will tell you, teaching young children (ages 0-8) essential social skills is absolutely critical to their success in the classroom and beyond.
As a result we are seeing more kids struggle through kindergarten, and beyond. We have talented hard working teachers in our community but increasingly they are needing to focus on academics while the soft skills and social skills tae a back seat. This leaves our children at a disadvantage, and ill equipped to face the 'real' challenges of the world we live in.
The missing skills we are talking about are centered around “Self-Regulation”. or "Focus and Self Control"
Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. It's what helps children focus their attention on learning when they might be distracted by others, upset by a problem, or excited about an upcoming event.
When humans are first born they have little control of their reaction to their emotions and feelings. When they are hungry or uncomfortable they cry. As they get older they need to be able to regulate their response and not just react to their emotions. For example when they get mad they cannot just hit others. Or, when they are playing with others they may need to share when they do not want to. They may have to focus and listen while being distracted.
These skills are not just required for success in young children, they help teens and adults resolve conflict, problem solve, think independently, participate and get along with others.
So how do you help your child? Just copy what we do. At our school we like to use the term “accelerating their lives”. We want our students to experience things between ages 3-9 that most kids do not experience until they are in high school. A good example of this is public speaking, and working with extended teams and groups. While our students practice speaking and performing in front of a group at an early age, many kid’s first experience is that speech class in high school!
Children learn by “doing” and repetition. So here is what you can do. Intentionally look for experiences that practice self-regulating skills. Things like having to listen to instructors and coaches. Handling distractions. BEING BORED!!! When you child is bored....You should be very happy...WHY??? Because that is when they start to learn Self Discipline!!! Anyone can be good at what they like but disciplined and successful people are really good at things that don't interest them. When you're bored, you are only distracted and have lost focus...or....Self Discipline.
Seek out situations that expose your child to emotional situations like getting frustrated or making a mistake. Expose them to stress, failure and hardship regularly. Working with partners and on a team. Get them involved with making decision and making choices. Place them in situation where they have to help other and eventually in leadership positions.
Is your Child September ready???
Keiko Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here………………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”