Did you see that 2016 article* with over 6 million reads by Victoria Prooday, an Occupational Therapist working with children? She said,
intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction.”
She suggested that 5 things are causing this shaping: 1 Use of Technology as a Babysitter because we are busy which results in kids not learning how to process things at lower levels of stimulation. 2 Giving kids everything they want at the moment they want it so that they never learn to function under stress and delay gratification. 3. Pandering to our kids every whim without their learning that there are some necessary things that they simply need to do whether they want to or not. 4. Letting our kids live in an artificial world of “fun” without learning basic monotonous work (like picking up their toys and putting them away) that trains the brain to be workable and function under boredom. 5. As busy people, we often will give our kids digital gadgets so that they can be busy without our interacting with them and this takes away unstructured outdoor time as well. She offers solutions to these problems as well.
She suggest that 1. parents limit technology and focus on connecting emotionally with their kids. This is one reason behind our insistence on limited to no advanced technology in our younger grades and technology as a tool as the focus in our older grades. As a school, we will help your child’s emotional growth and support you in connecting with your kids. 2. Her next recommendation is to let them wait. It is ok to let boredom bleed into creativity. The trick is to gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get”. Distract them in the car and waiting in line by talking to them and playing games. Learning what to do when in situations of low stimulation (i.e. you already know how to do something) or when you are overwhelmed (and can’t figure out where to begin) is a good life long skill. We will help them learn this by giving your children techniques to use like learning to be observant of their environment. Learning how to look for a “problem” in the world around them and then thinking and doing thought experiments. 3. Ms. Prooday continues to say, “Set… limits.” Think and do what is good for them not what they want/don’t want. Try to convert things they don’t like into emotionally stimulating games. Again, we will support parents in this by using our Honor code to define the limits of our behavior. We’ll help children see how to use those limits to shape their behaviors We don’t expect kids to know how to behave civilly on their own but we do promise to teach them how to use the Honor Code as a barometer for their actions. 4. She recommends teaching your children to learn daily life skills that are also monotonous work like folding laundry and putting it away, tidying toys, helping prepare dinner, cleaning up afterwards. Yes, it takes more time and may need to be done over correctly, but you are laying a foundation for them for their future “workability”. And, yes, we will have time in the day to put away things and get ready for the next event. This way they will learn that an activity is not done until the clean up and getting it back and ready to be used again is done. You are paying for a private school experience that helps them to develop emotionally as well as academically and we will not let you down. Even if they have help from others at home, they need these basic skills for their own personal growth. We expect the kids to not always like the clean-up but they will know that ALL do it and that it is an important part of finishing a task. And 5. She commands, “Teach social skills.” Ms Prooday includes the following skills as especially important, “using “please” and “thank you”, taking turns, competing and losing, competing and winning, compromising, sharing, and complementing others. Again, we commit to supporting this process. For example, our first theme unit this fall will be on manners and how to do introductions. We want our graduates to embody “HUMNITAS” which is Latin for civilized and cultured scholar. Chivalry is a part of our curriculum and expectations of behavior.
We can begin supporting your family this school year. Contact Renaissance.Headmaster@gmail.com for an appointment to tour our school and sign your children up for a complete enriching life experience in an educational setting! We look forward to hearing from you!
Founder, Chair Board of Directors
*Prooday, V. Whay are our children so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no real friends? May 16, 2016 retrieved from https://yourot.com/parenting-club/2016/5/16/why-our-children-are-so-bored-at-school-cant-wait-and-get-so-easily-frustrated?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork on August 3, 2017.
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