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Presentation on theme: "PARENTS AS PARTNERS: “HELPING YOUR CHILD” OCTOBER 14, 2014 7:00PM BROOKSIDE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM."— Presentation transcript:


2 Tonight’s “Parents as Partners” workshop, “Helping your Child”, will focus on these four topics: o Understanding the Prefrontal Cortex of the Brain o Increasing compliance in the home o Help with homework o Fostering positive communication with your child

3 TONIGHT’S PRESENTERS: Barbara Bogdanski – Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant Valerie Gancarz – District Behaviorist/Social Worker Thea (Tedi) Link – Guidance Counselor – Brookside School Kristina Vassallo – Guidance Counselor/Social Worker


5 THE PART OF YOUR ADOLESCENT’S BRAIN THAT’S PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE RIGHT NOW IS THE PRE-FRONTAL CORTEX: last The last part of the brain to develop is the pre-frontal cortex, located behind the forehead. This is the part of the brain responsible for Executive Functioning Skills such as: Time management Organization Short-term memory Goal setting Initiation Self-restraint Self-monitoring, problem solving, and decision making are also part of the pre-frontal cortex

6 KEEP IN MIND... Because the pre-frontal cortex is still developing, adolescents might rely on a part of the brain called the amygdala (uh-mig-do- luh) to make decisions and solve problems more than adults. The amygdala is associated with: Emotions Impulses Aggression Instinctive behavior

7 As parents, you are such a vital part of your child’s environment. How you guide and influence them will be important in helping your child to develop a healthy brain. You can do this by: Encouraging positive behavior Promoting good thinking skills Supporting appropriate risk-taking behaviors

8 TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING POSITIVE BEHAVIOR Let your child take some healthy risks – New and different experiences help your child develop an independent identity, explore grown-up behaviors, and move towards independence. Talk through decisions – Do this step by step with your child. Ask about possible courses of action your child might choose, and talk through potential consequences that go along with their decisions. Use family routines – Routines will provide your child with structure, which is something every child needs. Most routines are based around school and family schedules (family dinner, practices, recitals, games, etc.). Setting boundaries – Adolescents need guidance and limit-setting from their parents and other adults in setting boundaries. Trust their gut! – Encouraging your child to trust their gut feelings and instincts will help foster their ability to judge situations both now and in the future. Offer frequent praise – When you tell your child how proud you are of them or what a good job they’re doing, it will raise their self-confidence which is crucial during adolescence.

9 TIPS FOR PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THINKING SKILLS Encourage empathy – Talk about feelings – yours, your child’s, and other people’s. Highlight the fact that other people have different perspectives and circumstances. Stress the importance of being able to put oneself in another person’s shoes (empathy). Emphasize the immediate and long-term consequences of their actions – The PFC is responsible for future thinking, which is still developing in your child. When you talk to your child about how their actions influence their present and future, you are helping in the healthy development of your child’s PFC. Matching language levels – Whenever possible, try to match your language level with your child’s. When giving important instructions or discussing serious matters, check for understanding by asking your child to repeat in their own words what you have said to them. Prompt your child to develop thinking skills – Use role-playing to problem-solve hypothetical situations. Help them to identify the problem, list what options they have, and consider the outcome that leads to the best solution.

10 TIPS FOR SUPPORTING RISK-TAKING BEHAVIOR Risk-taking is an important way for adolescents to learn about themselves. Adolescence and risk-taking go hand in hand. Children need to explore their own limits and abilities, as well as boundaries set their parents. Help your child learn to assess risk - You can talk about the consequences of other people’s behavior, for instance, in movies or on the news. Brainstorm with your child the consequences of their actions. Agree upon ground rules - Find a compromise between keeping your child safe and giving them the freedom to take appropriate risks. Decide together what the consequences should be if the ground rules are broken. Be flexible and adapt the ground rules as your child matures and demonstrates that they are ready for more responsibility. Give teenagers a way out- If your child feels pressured to take risks to fit in, help them think of ways to opt out without losing credibility with their peers. Reinforce that they can always talk with you without worrying that you’ll be angry or disappointed in them. Encourage a wide social network- You can’t control who your child will become friends with, but you can give them the chance to make other friends through sports, church, or other activities. Make your child’s friends welcome in your home – you’ll know where they are at least some of the time.

11 UNDERSTANDING THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX WILL HELP YOU TO: Depersonalize your adolescent’s reactions Understand adolescent behavior Develop strategies to improve communication with your child Realize the importance of listening to your child Be an involved parent without being overbearing



14 UNDERSTANDING PROBLEM BEHAVIOR- UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS  Behavior makes sense to the person engaging in that behavior  Behavior serves a function for that person  Operant Behaviors are behaviors that are learned-based on their history of consequences

15 FUNCTIONS OF BEHAVIOR Attention Escape/Avoidance Access to Tangibles Automatic Reinforcement Pain Attenuation

16 REINFORCEMENT & PUNISHMENT-NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS… Reinforcement is defined by its effect on behavior Something serves as reinforcement only if it increases the occurrence of the behavior Punishment is defined by its effect on behavior Something serves as a punisher only if it decreases the occurrence of behavior 16

17 STRATEGIES TO INCREASE COMPLIANCE Provide Differential Reinforcement for appropriate behaviors or “Catch your child being good” Establish “House Rules "and post them in your home in a central location Be Consistent: If you say it, then do it. Offer Choices: “ You can either do ______ or _______, what’s your choice?” Provide structure and predictable schedules Provide Visual cues when appropriate-(e.g., To Do List, schedule, Break cards) Use Neutral phrases –avoid using words such as “No”, “Don’t” or “Stop”



20 HOMEWORK WHAT IT SHOULD NOT BE: Nightmare Headache Battle Sore subject Family tension Death of me

21 HOMEWORK: WHAT IT SHOULD BE A powerful tool for ensuring a child’s success in school

22 HOMEWORK IS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO : Develop personal responsibility Practice independence Develop confidence Refine organizational skills Become accountable for their own work Understand the correlation between effort and outcome

23 MOTIVATION Consistently praise your child’s efforts. Tell your child specifically what you like about what they are doing or what they have done. Remember that a hug or pat will increase the impact of your message. Use Super Praise to motivate your child.

24 INCENTIVES Incentives can be used when a considerable amount of praise has failed to motivate your child. Start by letting your child know that the idea of an incentive is YOUR CHOICE. Be consistent. Make a plan to phase out incentives.

25 GREAT MOTIVATING IDEAS Beat the Clock Trade Off Chunking Homework Contract

26 HOW TO SET UP A PROPER STUDY AREA Guide your child in choosing the location. It must meet the “distraction-free” criteria. Choose a well–lit, comfortable, quiet location with all necessary supplies at hand. A proper environment will help improve efficiency and attention span.

27 HOMEWORK SURVIVAL KIT Pencils/pens/white-out Colored pencils/crayons/markers Pencil sharpener/erasers Glue/tape/stapler/paper clips/rubber bands Writing paper/construction paper/index cards Hole puncher/scissors Calculator/compass/protractor/ruler Dictionary/thesaurus/almanac

28 SCHOOL SUPPLY STORES Educational Warehouse Lakeshore Boslands Staples Office Depot Target

29 HOW TO GET HOMEWORK FINISHED IN TIME Homework must be scheduled into your children’s life, too. Each day should have a “daily homework time.”

30 HOW TO ESTABLISH A DAILY HOMEWORK TIME Write all scheduled activities on the Daily Schedule. Determine length of time needed each day for homework. Determine the best time of each day to save for daily homework time. Work with your child to complete and then post daily schedule.

31 ESTABLISH ROUTINES IN YOUR HOME After school have your child: *Empty and re-organize backpack *Remove and clean out lunch/snack bags *Set out work to be completed for homework *Give parent any papers to be reviewed/signed *Throw away or file any un-required papers *Follow their established daily homework time Teach your child to re-pack backpack, organizing all completed work into its proper location. Have them review the next day’s schedule to determine if any additional items are required, for example: instrument for band lesson, sneakers for PE, or uniform for after school activity. Place these items with the backpack in the same location each day

32 SOME ADDITIONAL IDEAS TO CONSIDER Have your child use an alarm clock to develop organization and responsibility. Time management skills require an understanding of how long things take to complete. Get a healthy night’s sleep! Establish a morning routine: Eating breakfast Personal grooming Responsibilities (animal care, making bed) Travel time to school

33 SUNDAY EVENING...GETTING READY FOR THE WEEK Make a weekly schedule Prepare materials for school: lunches, materials for projects or activities, organize supplies, (sharpen pencils and organize study area) Tidy bedroom



36 TIME The best thing you can spend on your children is time.

37 WHY WE SAY WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR OUR CHILDREN… Busy lives can make it difficult to find quality time with our children, such as: Running from activity to activity Communication on electronic devices Work

38 WAYS WE CAN MAKE TIME FOR OUR CHILDREN Even small amounts of down time can become quality time Time in the car Waiting for appointments Shopping- food, clothing, etc. Walking dog together Chores together Watch television and movies with them Cook together Show interest in their hobbies- video games, online games, sports, their music Try to have dinner together as a family

39 HOW TO COMMUNICATE LIKE YOUR CHILD DOES… Try to stay current with the latest in social media: Snapchat Texting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,

40 HOW TO FIND TIME WHEN YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHILD… Find one-on-one time with each child: Individual interests Don’t assume they should always be grouped together Methods: Getting ready for bed Turn alone time into quality time by identifying this moment as “special”: Ice cream, movie of their choice, topic of conversation of their choice, talk about their day Set aside an annual day for alone time with either you, your spouse, or together

41 WHY SCHOOLWORK SHOULDN’T DEFINE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILD How schoolwork can affect the relationship with your child: Bad grades Difficulty understanding homework Lack of compliance with homework How to avoid this from happening: Spend time that is not related to school Don’t deprive your children of previously discussed quality time because of schoolwork If accessible, find an objective person to help your child with schoolwork Objective individuals (i.e. mom, dad, neighbor, cousin) may be more of a distraction than a helpful tool STRESS IN THE HOME

42 DON’T FORGET! Things to remember when your child isn’t good at everything… One of the most important variables in your child’s life is the quality of their relationship with you, unrelated to their educational success. While education is important, anywhere your child goes in life, your relationship will extend beyond their educational years.

43 Questions?

44 UPCOMING PARENTS AS PARTNERS EVENTS: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – 7:00pm PARCC and the Common Core with Mrs. Cathy Danahy, Curriculum Coordinator Brookside School Auditorium


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