Comet Traits of the Month at Home
"We don't have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to." - Dr. Brene Brown
Wow! Here were are starting our remote learning experience - one that none of us expected or were fully prepared for. I imagine, like our family, there have been many adjustments in your home the past few weeks. Some of those changes have been great. It has been nice to slow down life a little and spend more quality time with my husband and daughters. I have actually had time to read books, get caught up on most of my TV show, and have even taught myself how to embroider! Some of the adjustments, on the other hand, have been more challenging. Having to limit my grocery store runs and errands, not being able to take my daughter to get her driver's license, and navigating the strong emotions of having to socially distance from our family and friends has not been easy.
As we start remote learning today, a whole new set of challenges will arise. Many of us, myself included, are trying to juggle working from home and helping my kids do school from home. We are having to learn new technology, websites, and how to get into online meetings. We are likely to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and ill-prepared for our role in remote learning. It is normal to be feeling this way - it is our first time doing any of this. Please reach out to the staff at Skyview; we are here to help.
Our Social-Emotional Learning this month, will be focused on applying and extending the skills we have learned about our emotions and managing strong emotions in Second Step, as well as looking for opportunities to apply the five Comet Traits at home. I will be sharing stories of times the past few weeks, when I have used the Calming Down Steps and the Comet Traits.
In our first online lesson, I will be teaching the kids to set up their own Peace Place at home. Every classroom at Skyview has a Peace Place, a space set aside from the learning center of the classroom, for kids to manage strong feelings like anger, embarrassment, sadness, and sometime excitement. They can use their Calming Down strategies and tools to help the learning part of the brain get back into control so they can think clearly enough to problem solve and get back to learning. I'm certain your kids (and you) will feel strong feelings while we are sheltering in place to stay healthy. We will get angry with one another or frustrated during remote learning. Our brains will get overwhelmed with new learning and need a quiet break to make room for more new information. We will need a quiet space to get away from each other for a little while. This is the purpose of a Peace Place. Please take a little time between now, April 1st, and Sunday, April 5th to help your child create a comfortable space to use throughout the day. You may even find you want to create one for yourself.
I want to be a support for families, as well, during this remote learning time. It is hard for all of us, but we do not need to feel alone. Please continually check out this webpage as I will be adding resources for you as you help your kids learn to manage their strong feelings at home. The first thing I will be doing is creating a video about how to help your child set up and appropriately use their Peace Place. I will also be posting a video about what happens in the brain when strong emotions take over the learning center of the brain to help you better understand how to help your child more quickly take control of those strong feelings. Please feel free to reach out to me for support or to ask questions. My office hours are posted on my home page and you can click on the link to join a Google Hangouts Meet. You can also email or call me to set up an appointment if my office hours do not work with your schedule.
One of my favorite teachers is Brene Brown. Her very first podcast, released last week, is extremely relevant to what all of us are going through right now, that uncomfortable feeling of being new at something. This is our first experience being in a global pandemic, our first time sheltering in place for an extended period of time, and our first time doing remote learning (many of us, while trying to work from home as well). Be sure to give yourself grace during this time. We are all learning. We are all going to feel successful and like a complete failure, sometimes we'll feel both at the same time. "We don't have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to."