Mental Health + Discipline

Saying Goodbye and Other Scary Times
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Saying Goodbye and Other Scary Times

A workshop on death, divorce, separation, public crises, parental incarceration and the first day of school or childcare

For people who work with children ages 2 to 8

Everything is new for children.  And new isn’t particularly pleasant…too much to figure out, too much that might go wrong.  New isn’t cozy.  And when new involves losing people who have been important and provided the child with a sense of rightness, of community, its even worse.When news has the TV repeating frightening footage, and the adults interrupt their routines to talk about this new catastrophe, the children need help figuring out what it all means tothem.

The reality is that children are resilient and manage, as adults do, to get through scary times.  But we have knowledge about young children’s ways of learning and knowing that can help us be there for them.

Don’t wait until the children are facing the death of a friend before learning about this subject.  You’ll want to have books on the shelf of your workplace to help parents, children, and staff with grief, the most human of painful conditions.

See Also
Bibliography: Caring for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Helping Children Mind: A Discipline Workshop
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Helping Children Mind: A Discipline Workshop

For teachers of children 2-10

What’s really going on with a child who disrupts others?  Why are some active boys like that?  Why do some girls say “I’m not going to let you come to my birthday”?  Is reward and punishment the only answer?  Is it the best answer?  Should we just turn them over our knee?  Is bribery ever justified?

Shouldn’t children mind us because we are their elders?  Are these children less obedient than we were?  Is that good?  How does our training in obedience affect a child’s vulnerability to abuse?  What is this child who makes me crazy really, really up to?  Bring a problem to the workshop.

To prepare for the workshop, read something by Dreikurs or by Mazlish and Faber, or better, Alfie Kohn, or just think about the things children do that get you most angry/ frustrated/unhappy.  Listening to all of us think about it will help.  I promise.

Working with Children: Implementing Responsive, Reflective, Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom
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Working with Children: Implementing Responsive, Reflective, Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom

For teachers of children up to ages 8 or 9

You know what you mean to do with children, but sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to. Why? This can be a rich workshop if participants prepare to present, in as much detail as possible, a problem they have encountered in getting their lesson to work out well.

We will think critically about the values in the communities where we teach, and what they mean when we do childcare or nursery school in our community. We’ll think about the particular children, and what they seem to need.  And we will work to shape the program, finally, to suit the children and the staff and the families who give it purpose.

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