Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Children and anxiety

Our Faculty Professional Development Day was rich with discussion and ideas. Dr. Pat Schuler, a nationally recognized speaker discussed anxiety in children and what we can do in school to help children cope. It was affirming to hear that we are doing many of the things Pat recommended, and she gave us new ideas, too.

I recently found someone's paper from the 4-5 health class, where children wrote "10 Things That Stress Me" and "10 Things that Relieve My Stress."
Among the stressors:

My black belt exam
Getting yelled at
Losing something important to me
If I accidentally spill someone's secret

and some ways to relieve stress:
Hot cocoa
Going outside
Doing a back flip
and # 14 Take my stress out on a Barbie or Bratz doll!

One of the ways we help children cope with stress at Parker is by practicing the simple mindful breathing taught us by C.S., the grandfather of Veda in 4-5. It is one of his life's missions to spread this easy and effective way to reduce anxiety. The breathing technique is practiced regularly by almost all the children in the school.

In the afternoon yesterday we watched the video: Consuming Kids, The Commercialization of Childhood. It was an amazing reminder of how even our youngest children are the target of consumer brands.

We also shared books we are reading and that we recommend to others. Here is the list.
  • Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogul
  • Play by Stuart Brown
  • Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof
  • Moral Intelligence of Children by Robert Coles
  • Teaching Children Compassionately by Marshall Rosenberg
  • Teaching with a Heart by Vito Perrone
  • The Hudson River, An Illustrated Guide to the Living River
  • Yardsticks by Chip Wood
  • Doing Good Science in Middle School
  • Nurture Shock by Bronson and Merryman


Sandra Foyt said...

I've been wanting to see that movie, but it's hard to get a hold of. Can you tell me where I might borrow it locally, or if there is any interest in doing a family movie night at Parker?

Meg said...

We got it from the library. I'll see if Michele can let you know which one.