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106 E. Church St.
Orlando, FL 32801

407-996-5864

Weekday School is a Christian preschool serving children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years.  Our school is known for its committed teaching staff, play-based learning environment, and personalized focus on each child. Small class sizes and a strong network of parent volunteers ensure that the Weekday School is an ideal place for young children to grow and learn.

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keep it short | march 2019

Vicki Rutledge

Short phrases to whisper to yourself

to reduce “junk” behavior in your child

Last month, we focused on the importance of giving your child positive attention or “catching them being good.” This month we add the other side of the positive discipline coin, a technique called “planned ignoring.”

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But first…

Here’s an important principle of behavior to know: ALL behavior is a form of communication and serves a function (to get something or get out of something). There are 4 functions of behavior, and you can easily remember them with this simple acronym: SEAT...

S-sensory (taps the pleasure zone in the brain)

E-escape (trying to escape or avoid something)

A-attention (when a child is trying to get your attention or that of his/her peers)

T-tangible (can be a toy/object or power/control).

If you can determine the function or purpose of behavior, you can pick a discipline strategy to teach your child the appropriate way to get his/her needs met.

Back to “planned ignoring.”

Planned ignoring is removing attention when a child when she’s misbehaving. It means not looking at her and not talking to her while she behaves that way. Planned ignoring works best for annoying but harmless behavior designed to get your attention. These behaviors may include whining, pouting, shouting, being overly silly, even potty talk.

When your child is engaging in “junk” behavior, whisper to yourself: “Ignore, ignore, ignore. Don’t feed this behavior with my attention.”

Planning ignoring (of negative behavior) should be paired with positive attention (for positive behavior) to shape your child’s behavior. Dangerous or damaging behavior should not be ignored, but addressed with another discipline tool such as physical removal from the environment or natural consequences. Here are two excellent resources to guide you:

Nemours: Planned ignoring

Behavior management tips tools: planned-ignoring

A word to the wise. As you begin to ignore behavior your child has been relying on to get your attention (even your negative attention) that behavior can get worse before it gets better. This tendency is known as extinction bursts. “Extinction bursts are a sudden, expected increase in behavior, and occur often when extinction procedures are first implemented. During an extinction burst, a child may respond emotionally; that is, they may increase both the rates and intensity of problem behavior.” If you find yourself getting triggered and tempted to respond, whisper to yourself: “I’ve got this. I can stay calm no matter what.”


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from the director | march 2019

Vicki Rutledge

Happy Spring Break to you, my friends. I am terribly overdue getting this March newsletter to you. Ugh! For my Spring Break, I decided to slow things down and stay home to play catch-up at work and home. If you are on the road or hunkered down in O-town, I hope you give yourself a “break” and carve out some space to for your soul to breathe.

The highlight of March is our Daddy and Me Day. It is so touching to have so many dads and granddads come to school to play and love on their children and grandchildren. Thank you to Advisory Board members, Emma Starling and Chrissy Ford, as well as Karen Evans, Beth Rossi & Vicki Rutledge for handling all of the logistics for a relaxed morning. Here are some photo highlights...

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On April 4 & 5, a small team from Christian Schools of Florida will be on campus for our re-accreditation visit which takes place every 5 years. Accreditation is valuable because it holds us accountable for running a safe preschool with qualified staff. But more than that, staying accredited depends on making continuous improvements in our school over a set period of time.

Do you know one way we decide what improvements to make? Our annual parent surveys. Your voice and experience as a parent matters. So thank you for taking time to complete your survey (check your inbox!) because it helps make our 68 year old school healthy and growing into the future.

Alright, I’m checking this newsletter off my Spring Break to-do list and getting ready to take a nap! See you all soon….

In Christ,

Beth





faith and family | march 2019

Vicki Rutledge

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26 NIV

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. Matthew 27:32

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is the (roughly) 6-week period of time prior to Easter where we focus on drawing near to God and seeking him more earnestly. Like Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, Lent is a 40 day period of time from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter. That said, I am googling “How to explain Lent” to a toddler without upsetting her about Jesus’ death.

For many, the focus of Lent has been to give up something, to pray more, and to give to others. Of course, those are good things, but if we do those things simply for the sake of tradition or penance or earning favor, we do them all in vain.

The real intention of Lent is repentance and turning back to God with our whole hearts. Lent is a time to consider where we’ve allowed our hearts, minds, or actions to move away from God, and take on the habits and disciplines that will help us realign our lives with His will. As I prepare my heart for Wednesday when Lent begins, I’m asking myself 3 questions. Will you prayerfully answer these questions, too?

  1. What will you withhold? Is it TV, Instagram, scrolling your phone? Do you have the faith to go without it for the next 40 days? What do you need to let go of, withhold or say “no” to in order to focus on God? What are the activities, attitudes, or obligations that clutter your calendar and life?

  2. Next, Where will you say yes? What can you take on for Christ these next 40 days? Maybe it’s time to serve at your church or collect food for the food pantry. Maybe it’s blessing a stranger with a random act of kindness in the name of Jesus every day of Lent.  Where can your love take action these next 40 days? I want to try the “40 bags in 40 days” Instead of or in addition to giving up something for Lent, you could purge a bag's worth of stuff every day during Lent.

  3. For most, Lent is a time of intentional prayer. Maybe it’s committing to a time of prayer every day. Maybe it’s praying intentionally for your husband. Or read Scriptures on prayer — but don’t neglect to pray. Since we have a toddler I plan to read Easter books and read the Bible together every day. I think this is a given, but it's worth mentioning. You need to be reading the Bible with your kids every day, and this would be a great opportunity to focus on the ministry of Jesus.

Heavenly Father,

We thank you that Easter is not about a people, but all people, that your love and your Salvation are for all who confess with voices, hearts and lives that the tomb is empty because Jesus is risen, that we might know forgiveness, that lives might be reborn and your name glorified now and for eternity.

In Your Son’s Name, Amen

Roberta Smith, Faith and Family Coordinator

keep it short | february 2019

Vicki Rutledge

Short phrases parents can use to increase positive behavior

You may have heard the advice “Catch your child being good.” This is actually a great parenting strategy based on behavioral science. There are several reasons children behavior the way they do, but seeking parent attention is one of the top reasons. It doesn’t matter whether the attention comes from acting correctly or acting out, all attention is reinforcing.

The trick is to give more attention to your child when they are behaving in a positive manner. To notice what they are doing the right thing -- AND tell them so.

Here are some short phrases to guide you:

“Thank you…”

“Thank you for helping your sister.”

“Thank you for putting your toys away.”

Just like we want to know our hard work is appreciated every day, our children want to know their effort is noticed as well. Thanking children for their specific efforts or actions is more effective a generic phrase like “good job.” Descriptive and specific statement about behavior you liked allows a child to know exactly what you’re looking for, and repeat it in the future. So you might say…

“I see you….” or “I notice you…”

“I see you are trying to put on your shoes by yourself.”

“I notice you are trying hard to use your manner at dinner. I really appreciate that.”

Praising effort and small steps in the right direction is so important. This encourages children to keep trying and to stick with hard things. You teach your child to persist despite difficulty or delay in success.

“Wow…”

“Wow, I saw you share the sand toys at the park with those two girls. What a great friend you are!

“Wow, you boys have been playing for 10 minutes quietly! Tell me about what you are building.”

If you consistently give children specific, meaningful praise for good behavior, you will begin to notice a behavior change. Children naturally crave their parents’ approval, and providing focused attention and specific praise to positive behaviors is the first step towards influencing behavior and bonding with your child at the same time.

A few more thoughts….

You may find it difficult to find things to praise their child because their behavior can be overwhelming a good deal of the time. You will have to make the intentional choice to do so and concentrate on building this habit. Noticing positive behavior is like any habit — you get better with practice. Even if you have to keep a tally on your cell phone, a good goal is to give your child three or four instances of praise for each negative remark.

The flipside of positive attention is to give minimal attention to negative behaviors. What does that even look like? It’s a huge topic that we’ll focus on next month in “Keep It Short.”