The Blog

As a newspaper columnist, Nancy Devlin, Ph.D. has written over 700 articles on subjects related to education and parenting. Welcome to her Classroom!

As the New School Year Begins

As the new school year begins, it helps to remember the following:

1.  Children cannot control or change what the adults in their lives choose to do.  Therefore, we need to help them to become problem solvers and to look to themselves for solutions.  Try not to step in and solve problems for them rather look at problems that arise as opportunities for children to learn and put into practice problem-solving techniques.  You show them more respect by giving them these opportunities.

2.  To be successful problem solvers, children need to believe in themselves and to take responsibility for their own behavior.  You can help them by: Providing opportunities for them to accept themselves.  By helping them to use mistakes as a way to learn and not as an excuse to say: “I’m a failure and no good.”  By helping them to take responsibility for their day and using encouragement and catching them being right.

3.  Provide opportunities for children to learn to develop communication skills.  This can be done over the dinner table.  Each member of the family can be encouraged without fear of interruption or ridicule to tell something good that happened that day.

4.  Provide opportunities for children to be empathetic. Piaget says the purpose of education is moral and intellectual autonomy.  Concern for others is as important as intellectual development.

5.  Provide opportunities for children to understand and to accept their unique temperaments and learning styles.

Love your children.  Make the new school year a great adventure.


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