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Teachers Tips - End of term 3 2023

Dear Parents,

There is something unique and special about every culture which makes it stand out and the beauty of our land lies in the diversity of it’s people. Our concert was definitely a celebration of our heritage. I am so proud of each child for shining like a star on stage!

After the concert many of you asked how the teachers managed to get the children to do what they did without bribery, corruption or gluing them to the spot.  In your parent teacher meetings, I’m sure many of you asked if the teacher was in fact talking about your child?? They tidy up after themselves,  listen and follow instructions the first time they are asked, and they do not even moan or roll their eyes!

How is it possible that at school they listen, behave, do and still have fun? Well today is your lucky day as I’m going to let you into a few secrets that we as teachers do to ensure that things remain organised and most importantly that your child feels safe and loved in their learning environment.

As teachers we focus a great deal on developing independence and co-operation. Both are important aspects of your child’s development.

Developing independence

As parents you need to expect more from your child. They can do things on their own at school so home should be no different.

  1. Raise the bar

While it may be easier and quicker to do things yourself, like packing their bag, it won’t help your child become self-sufficient. Resist the urge to always do things that your child can manage.

Appeal to their sense of pride by asking them, “Do you want me to help you, or can you do it yourself? I think you can because you are such a big boy/girl”.  Your child generally wants to do things for themselves as it makes them feel good and they experience a sense of accomplishment.

Raise the bar and your child will stretch to meet it.

  1. Don’t redo what they have done

As parents we are guilty of fixing what our child accomplishes because it is not to our standard. If your child dresses themselves and arrives at school with their top the wrong way or your worst colour combo, rather compliment them on their ability to dress themselves and let it go.

By redoing what they have done you are only discouraging them from trying new things

  1. Let them solve problems

Solving problems leads to character building. If your child is stretching to get something or trying to finish a puzzle, pause before racing over to help. We do not live in a perfect world, so don’t make everything perfect for your child. If you do, you rob your child the opportunity to experience true success.

  1. Assign simple chores

I give this advice often, but chores encourage your child to feel capable and a contributing member to the family. Putting your child in charge of simple, age-appropriate chores on a regular basis will build their confidence and their sense of competency.

Encourage co-operation

If a teacher can get a class of 20 children to co-operate, willingly and happily then surely your child can co -operate and listen to you at home?  Sadly, there is no secret potion, but I do have some tips for you:

  1. Praise and praise again

Catch your child doing something good as children repeat behaviours that get attention.

  1. Develop a predictable routine

Your child co-operates at school because they know what to expect. Obviously, you cannot have the same level of routine at home but decide on a few and stick to them. For e.g., everyone gets dressed before breakfast, toys packed away before bath time etc. Eventually following “house rules” will become second nature to your child.

  1. Give notice before changing activities

At school we let your child know what is coming next, so they have time to finish. If you plan on leaving the house at 8.30 am every morning for school warn your child at 8.10 to start finishing what they are doing. Set a timer to help them understand the period of time they have before you need to leave.

  1. Don’t overuse sticker charts and rewards

Your child needs to learn the real reason for doing things and not to be rewarded every time. Keep rewards for finite endeavours such as potty training or sleeping in their beds and avoid using them for everyday things like brushing your teeth or picking up toys.

  1. Avoid using “if” statements.

Make requests in language that assumes co – operation. “When you put your crayons away, we will go to the park” instead of “If you put your….”

  1. Prioritise play

I encourage you to tell your child,  “Go play on your own” It is not your job to see that your child is busy all the time. They need to be bored so that they can learn to entertain themselves and be imaginative.

As with all things implementing a new way of doing something or changing a behaviour takes time, patience and repetition. Try one new thing at a time and be consistent. Once one new habit is created then introduce the next one. Before you know it, your child will be willing to do more things for themselves, listen better, moan less and you will have more time to yourself.

Warmest regards,

Lara and the CPS Family

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