For many of us, the beginning of this school year has marked a return to routines and structures that we have been missing since March of 2020. Mixed in with the excitement of getting our students back onto school buses and soccer fields is worry: worry about how the pandemic has impacted our children and how those impacts will show up in their daily lives. As we work tirelessly to protect the physical health of students, there are steps that parents and guardians can take now to help support mental well-being in their children.
Topics: Back to School, Parenting, Well-being
On Wednesday, May 5th, Shipley’s Lower School hosted a virtual lunchtime Parent Education Series Talk entitled “Providing a Stable Foundation for Body Acceptance.” The Lower School welcomed two experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to lead the discussion: Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) Benner, Psy,D., a licensed clinical psychologist, and Amy Mack, a licensed clinical social worker, who both work with young patients in the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at CHOP’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. The talk was designed to help caregivers navigate conversations with children about size, shape, and health in ways that help foster body positivity in children and their peers.
Topics: Parenting, DEI, Well-being
For most of my career, my mantra regarding avoidance of difficulty has been, “Don’t let children believe ‘The world is dangerous,’ or ‘I can’t handle it.’ One of the problems with the COVID-19 crisis is that some activities that were previously considered normal and non-threatening (e.g. shaking hands, hugging your friends, going to school) are now considered dangerous. We are all navigating this new and seemingly ever-changing environment, determining what parts of the world are actually “dangerous.” So, my focus this year will be on the second statement, “I can’t handle it,” and helping children, adolescents, and adults replace that with a more resilient statement such as, “I can handle it,” “I got this,” or “We can do this.” At home, parents can, and should, adopt these mantras, too, so children can build resilience to handle uncertainty.
Topics: Parenting, social emotional learning, positive education, PERMA, positive psychology
June 19 marks a critically important day in our country’s history: Juneteenth, celebrating the end of enslavement in the U.S. and dating back to 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Members of The Shipley School’s History Department wanted to share a bit about the importance of this day, the origins of it, and a few resources and events for those interested in learning more or attending celebrations. We encourage members of our community to reach out to the History Department to further discuss and/or explore ways in which dialogue about Juneteenth, in particular, and diversity and inclusion in our curriculum, in general, can be expanded.
Topics: character education, Parenting, Cultural Fluency, DEI
Shipley’s Mission commits us to helping students develop the empathy and critical thinking it takes to be compassionately engaged global citizens. That work begins in our own community, and in times like these, it’s our duty to provide children with opportunities to feel heard, to listen to others, and to learn to engage meaningfully with the world. It’s also important for parents to talk with their children about racial injustice and racism. Here are some resources to help you have those difficult conversations, as well as some information about why it’s so important to begin this work at a young age.
Most parents have heard the following at some point from their child: “You just don’t understand!” It is probably true. Children today deal with such different challenges than their parents ever did, from sports commitments and social media pressures, to the college admissions process. It is a wonder we have any common ground at all on which to base a conversation. A few years back, I attended a workshop for teachers on “listening” through the Stanley H. King Counseling Institute. With help from the workshop, as well as what I have learned from Eastern philosophy as a yoga teacher, I have made a number of changes, both to my parenting and my teaching of teenagers, and it has paid off tremendously. They are such simple strategies, yet I did have to learn how to be purposeful in my use of them.
Topics: Parenting, positive education