We’re a couple of weeks into the new school year by now and I hope that for most of you the morning drop-offs have gotten a bit easier than they were in the beginning.
But some of you may still be struggling with a child who doesn’t want to go to school, who resists you leaving at drop-0ff time, and who might be suddenly suffering from stomachaches and headaches (particularly on Sunday nights or weekday mornings) that had not previously been a problem.
Today’s interview with Dr. Jonathan Dalton, director of the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change in Rockville, MD is going to help us understand whether our child is having a ‘normal’ amount of difficulty transitioning to school or if they are struggling enough that they might need extra help – and if so, what to do about it.
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Jerome, E.M., Hamre, B.K., & Pianta, R.C. (2009). Teacher-child relationships from kindergarten to sixth grade: Early childhood predictors of teacher-perceived conflict and closeness. Social Development 18(4), 915-945.
Kearney, C.A. (2016). Managing school-based absenteeism at multiple tiers: An evidence-based and practical guide for professionals. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
Kearney, C.A., & Albano, A.M. (2007). When children refuse school: A cognitive-behavioral therapy approach, Therapist guide (2nd Ed.). Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
Kearney, C.A. (2006). Dealing with school refusal behavior: A primer for family physicians. Family Practice 55(8), 685-692.
Kearney, C.A. (2002). Identifying the function of school refusal behavior: A revision of the school refusal assessment scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 24(4), 235-245.
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“I spent the whole morning painting and doing origami and felting projects with my daughter – and not only did she not say “thank you,” but she refused to help clean up!” (I actually said this myself this morning:-))
“We took our son to Disneyland and went on every ride he wanted to go on except one, which was closed, and he spent the rest of the trip whining about how the whole trip was ruined because he didn’t get to go on that one ride.” (I hope I never have to say this one…I’m not sure I could make it through Disneyland in one piece.)
Pretty regularly I see posts in online parenting groups saying “My child loves to pretend, and they always want me to participate. I dare not tell anyone else, but I CAN’T STAND PRETEND PLAY. What should I do?”
In this final (unless something else catches my interest!) episode in our extended series on play, Dr. Ansley Gilpin of the University of Alabama helps us to do a deep dive into what children learn from pretend play, and specifically what they learn from fantasy play, which is pretend play regarding things that could not happen in real life (like making popcorn on Mars).
We’ll discuss the connection between fantasy play and children’s executive function, the problems with studying fantasy play, and the thing you’ve been waiting for: do you HAVE to do fantasy play with your child if you just can’t stand it (and what to do instead!)
If you missed other episodes in this series, you might want to check them out: we started out asking “what is the value of play?”, then we looked at the benefits of outdoor play and talked with Dr. Scott Sampson about his book How to Raise a Wild Child. We wrapped up with outdoor play by trying to understand whether we should allow our children to take more risks.
"Social and Emotional Learning" is all the rage in school these days, along with claims that it can help children to manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, as well as improve academic outcomes.
But what if those programs don't go nearly far enough?
What if we could support our child in developing a sense of compassion that acts as a moral compass to not only display compassion toward others, but also to pursue those things in life that have been demonstrated - through research - to make us happy? And what if we could do that by supporting them in reading cues they already feel in their own bodies, and that we ordinarily train out of them at a young age?
Dr. Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, Associate Director for the Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, tells us about his work to bring secular ethics, which he calls the cultivation of basic human values, into education and society
Learn more about Breandan's work here:
Desbordes, G., Negi, L.T., Pace, T.W.W., Wallace, B.A., Raison, C.L., & Schwartz, E.L. (2012). Effects of mindful-attention and compassion medication training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6(1), 1-15.
Frey, K.S., Nolen, S.B., Edstrom, L.V., & Hirschstein, M.K. (2005). Effects of a school-based social-emotional competence program: Linking children’s goals, attributions, and behavior. Applied Developmental Psychology 26, 171-200.
Lantieri, L., & Nambiar, M. (2012). Cultivating the social, emotional, and inner lives of children and teachers. Reclaiming Children and Youth 21(2), 27-33.
Maloney, J.E., Lawlor, M.S., Schonert-Reichl, K.A., & Whitehead, J. (2016). A mindfulness-based social and emotional learning curriculum for school-aged children: The MindUP program. In K.A. Schoenert-Reichl & R.W. Roeser (Eds.), Handbook of mindfulness in education (pp.313-334). New York, NY: Springer.
Ozawa-de Silva, B., & Dodson-Lavelle, B. (2011). An education of heart and mind: Practical and theoretical issues in teaching cognitive-based compassion training to children. Practical Matters 4, 1-28.
Pace, T.W.W., Negi, L.T., Adame, D.D., Cole, S.P., Sivilli, T.I., Brown, T.D., Issa, M.J., & Raison, C.L. (2009). Effect of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34, 87-98.
This is the second in our extended series of episodes on children’s play. We kicked off last week with a look at the benefits of play in general for children, and now we’re going to take a more specific look at the benefits of outdoor play. Really, if someone could bottle up and sell outdoor play they’d make a killing, because it’s hard to imagine something children can do that benefits them more than this.
This episode also tees up our conversation, which will be an interview with Dr. Scott Sampson on his book How To Raise A Wild Child, which gives TONS of practical suggestions for getting outdoors with children.
Other episodes referenced in this show