Category Archive:
Social/emotional needs

We Have Two Seconds To Change Behavior

two seconds to change behavior

“Look, mommy! I’m daddy!” Three-year-old Scotty opened a blue marker and scribbled on the wall as his mom, Margie, cut vegetables for dinner. Scotty had watched his dad paint the kitchen over the weekend. Now Scotty was trying to help, or so Margie surmised in the split second of disbelief and dismay as she took […]


Asking Permission

asking permission

For many of us it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. If you really want to do something, why risk being told ”no”? Why endure the hassle of trying to sell your point? Why listen to pessimists who say that what you want to do can’t be done? Why take the time […]


Do You Teach Values?

Do you teach values

”Do you teach values?” a telephone caller asked. Back in the early 90’s parents were upset that values were being taught in school. Controversy brewed and bubbled. Do you teach values? The question caught me off guard. How can you not teach values, I thought, because of the very nature of values? Whether we are […]


Please, Don’t Eat the Marshmallow

please don't eat the marshmallow

In the 1960’s, Walter Mischel conducted the now-famous “marshmallow study” at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford University. A researcher would let a four-year-old choose a treat from a tray and tell the child that he or she could eat the treat right away or wait until the researcher returned and have two. About one-third of […]


Relight the Candle

relight the candle

Five-year-old Tommy walked over to his mother, Judy. ”Write my name for me, Mommy.” ”Tommy, you know how to write your name.” ”But I don’t ‘member,” he said. Tommy’s mother, Judy, phoned me, near tears, about this conversation. Judy’s concern was that Tommy had forgotten something as seemingly simple as the three letters in Tom. […]


Beginning a Conversation

We were looking forward to spending the weekend with old friends and their eight- and ten-year-old sons, whom we had never met. As soon as quick introductions were made, the boys picked up their electronic game machines and headed toward the den. At dinner the boys made plates of food and sat at the coffee […]


Understanding Self-Discipline

understanding self-discipline

It has been said that the only true discipline is self-discipline. With self-discipline we take ownership of our own behavior. We take responsibility for our lives. As we discipline our children we might consider that our goals should include these objectives of helping our children take ownership of their behavior and responsibility for their lives. […]


Do The Hokey Pokey

In the gardening shop I looked up to discover a sign over my head. ”What If The Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About?” For whatever reasons, I started to laugh. Uncontrollably. My husband came from across the store to see what could be so funny. For weeks afterwards Mark and I had a running […]


You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

Exclusion begins early in life, and it can be observed even in preschool settings. In days a class divides up into three main groups: Leaders who say who gets to play in their games, The children excluded from the games The children in the middle who live in fear of being rejected. For the kindergartner […]


Characteristics of the Adolescent

adolescent characteristics

For centuries the Judeo-Christian tradition has held a coming of age ritual for thirteen-year-olds. The Jewish Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and the Christian confirmation announce an adolescent’s provisional membership in his or her religious adult communities. With changing legislation over the past 50 years young people’s official entry into the adult world occurs eight years […]