Burlington Public Schools Parent University October 21, 2017

Parent University will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 8:00 am – 12:45 pm. I will be there presenting, “How to Help Your Child When They Have Big Emotions: This workshop will give an overview of the Zones of Regulation curriculum and the concept of Size of the Problem, which comes from the Social Thinking curriculum. Both provide a great foundation to put language to your child’s feelings. From there, we will explore different coping strategies that may benefit your child in different situations. ”

There are many other excellent presentations being offered at this event, including a keynote address by Jon Mattleman who will be speaking about, “The Secret Lives of Teens.” I hope to see many of you all there!



How is your morning routine looking so far?

The beginning of the school year is always a chaotic time as we try to jump back into a regular routine. A routine that may have taken 20 minutes in May could be taking twice as long in September. Here are some tips to help get your routine back on track…

Get as many things together the night before as possible!

  • Have your child put their backpack by the door with their school folder inside. (If possible, place their snack inside of the backpack too!)
  • Help your child pick out their outfit for the next day and lay it out.

Think about the morning and adjust your child’s wake up time based on what they need to have happen to be ready for the day. If your child can roll out of bed, get dressed, eat some breakfast and brush their teeth in 15 minutes, then let them sleep. If your child needs some time to eat breakfast while zoning out to a short cartoon, wake them up 20 or 30 minutes earlier than when you want them to start really getting ready.

Personalize the routine and look for one that sets everyone up for a great day!



Blog-post Suggestion: “13 Powerful Phrases to Help Calm an Anxious Child”

For those of you supporting a child with worries and anxiety, you are most likely already well aware that there are certain things one might do or say to help your child manage their worries and other things one could do or say that might push them further into Fight, Flight or Freeze mode. The article posted below shares some really great options of what could be said to your child when those worries start to creep inside their head.

Please note that some of the options are better used when you have some time (i.e. after dinner), and others could be used when the bus will be arriving in 5 minutes.

“Can you draw it?” is a great choice when a worry has been reoccurring and you have some time to discuss it at a calm time with your child.

“Let’s change the ending,” or “Which calming strategy do you want to use,” might be a great option when time is of the essence and you have already had conversations during quieter times and have come up with a plan.

Take a look and see which ones you think could be useful for your family and give them a try.

13 Powerful Phrases Proven to Help an Anxious Child Calm Down

Tools to help your child manage emotions and problem solve

Thank you so much to those who were able to attend the parent workshop last night. If you weren’t able to make it, the slides are posted below. They provide information about a few programs; the Zones of Regulation and Social Thinking.  It also shares many strategies that could support various situations that may occur outside of school. Let us know if you have any questions!

Tools to Help Your Child Manage Emotions and Problem Solve

Sunny Thoughts and Cloudy Thoughts

d40584Managing intrusive or unwelcome thoughts is part of the human experience, but for some of us, those thoughts may be dominating the conversation in our head. As adults, we tend to understand that thoughts are not permanent and not even always accurate. Children have a more difficult time understanding that concept. If it is running through their brain, then it must be true.

If you have a child expressing negative thoughts, you can introduce the concept of Sunny Thoughts and Cloudy Thoughts. When you link something like weather, it makes the conversation much more approachable for your child and for you. Just like a storm can blow into town, so can a negative thought. Those storms also blow out of town. How can we help those cloudy thoughts move out of your brain? Can we think of a sunny thought to replace that cloudy one?

For older children, I often introduce the idea of an Inner Critic, instead of linking with the weather. Older children can understand that there are movie critics, food critics, etc… And critics can share positive or negative opinions. When discussing an inner critic, you can remind your child that it is important to give a balanced review. Your brain is not being fair if it only shares one opinion. What is the alternate review?