Parenting News You Can Use! September 17, 2013

KIDS ‘R’ THE FUTURE
Parenting News You Can Use!
September 17, 2013
Volume 7, Issue 34
E-Mail: docdebfry@earthlink.net
www.deborah-fry.com

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IN THIS ISSUE:
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Welcome!
1. Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?
2. The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong
3. Mastering Your Mind
4. Leave it All Behind
5. Redirecting Course Schedule Fall 2013 (see home page)
Where Are You Speaking in September?

Welcome!
Handling the emotional ups and downs of relationships and having the skills to deal with conflict in a peaceful, compassionate way are what we all desire for our children and for ourselves. With that purpose, in this issue of Parenting News we focus on how schools are experimenting with teaching social-emotional intelligence, how the freedom and acceptance around making mistakes can bring multiple benefits to your children, and how mindfulness can allow both you and your children to remain present, increasing understanding, calmness, and clarity. I invite you to practice Leo Babauta’s strategy for “leaving it all behind” with your children!

Enjoy and read on!

1. Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?
Once a small corner of education theory, Social Emotional Learning has gained traction in recent years, driven in part by concerns over school violence, bullying and teen suicide. But while prevention programs tend to focus on a single problem, the goal of social-emotional learning is grander: to instill a deep psychological intelligence that will help children regulate their emotions. Learn more about the teaching of emotional intelligence here.

2. The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong
Alina Tugend, author of Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong, says that we are raising “victims of excellence”—children who are terrified of blundering, afraid of thinking in a different way, and fearful of trying new things. Tugend recommends that we “look at mistakes not as something to be dreaded and avoided, but as an inevitable—and often very helpful—part of learning” both at home and in the classroom. Read more here.

3. Mastering Your Mind
By Wes Hopper

Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “In some Eastern languages the words for mind and heart are the same. Mindfulness involves intrinsic compassion towards ourselves.”

Have you ever noticed that your mind has a mind of its own? Without any prompting from you, your mind will send a barrage of thoughts through your awareness, and keep that barrage going day and night. Not all of these thoughts are helpful. In some recent newsletters I’ve talked about changing beliefs and how these beliefs get stronger by being part of the never-ending mind chatter. It might be time to get them under control! Fortunately there are smart people that have worked on perfecting a solution for a couple of thousand years now, and it seems to work pretty well, if practiced consistently.

The “cure” is mindfulness—focused intentional meditation. The practice of taming that runaway stream of thoughts and focusing on the present moment. The good news is that with practice you can bring that focus into your daily activities and tame that constant chatter. Not completely perhaps, but noticeably.

Mindfulness is being prescribed by doctors. It’s being taught to children. It works on body, mind and spirit to produce clarity and calmness. It helps us to focus on what’s happening around us with understanding and detachment. We can stop the instant jump into judgment that characterizes the reactionary mind and just notice what’s happening.

You can find a lot of information on mindfulness online if you want to explore it in more depth. I think it’s a great tool to help build the life you want. And to gently remind your mind about who’s the boss!

4. Leave it All Behind
Leo Babauta wrote on a recent post, “Imagine you’re going to meet with someone, but you’re still thinking about the project you’ve been working on. You’ve brought the project with you. It distracts you so that you don’t fully hear the person you’re with, and they can sense your lack of attention, your lack of presence. This hurts the relationship. It stresses you out, because you’re working on the project and talking with someone at the same time. You are less competent with one task because you’re still thinking about another. Stress, less competency, and hurt relationships. This is what we have when we bring everything with us to every activity.” This applies to your relationships with your children. Click here to read Leo’s tips for ‘leaving it all behind” so that you are present in each new situation and especially with your family.

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Where is Deborah Speaking in September?

Tuesday, Sept. 17th
7-8:30 PM—Free Introduction Talk for Redirecting Children’s Behavior

The Post Oak School
4600 Bissonnet Street
Bellaire, TX 77410

Thursday, Sept 19th
9:15-10:15 AM—Free Introduction Talk for Redirecting Children’s Behavior

St. Paul’s School
5501 Main Street
Houston, TX 77004

Thursday, Sept 19th
11:45-1:00PM—“The Fine Art of Parenting”

Is your Life out of Balance? Come and learn ways to nurture yourself and your family, refocus and get your children back into productive, predictable routines.
St. Luke’s Methodist Weekday Schools
3471 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77027
$12 per person/ contact Kyra Bowman, St. Luke’s Day School