The limbic system is the system of structures in the brain that manage the chemicals that make us feel happy: dopamine, endorphin, oxytocin, and seratonin. The limbic system evolved throughout our evolutionary history and serves to reinforce survival behaviors by releasing chemicals that make us feel good when we do something that increases our chances of survival.Read More
Tuesday Middle School 5pm: As scheduled
Tuesday Intermediate 6pm: As Scheduled
Thursday Middle School 5pm: Canceled
Thursday Intermediate 6pm: Canceled
Saturday Early Elementary 10am: As Scheduled
Saturday High School 11:15am Canceled
Saturday Elementary 12:30pm: Canceled
Exciting news! Ruth Freeman, a therapist and parenting expert http://peaceathomeparenting.com has offered to do a free web based session to talk about parenting and answer your questions. This is a great opportunity to hear from an expert in the field and get some practical advice without having to change out of sweatpants. Please complete the brief survey below so I can get an idea of how much interest there is. Sorry but this is limited to current and recent Kids Cooperate families only.
Research suggests that people with strong emotional intelligence are more likely to succeed than those with high IQs or even relevant experience in the world of work. Emotional intelligence is also the key to positive and satisfying relationships. And kids with higher emotional intelligence tend to cooperate more. So how can we help our children get stronger in the area of emotions?Read More
Two of the things that many of our kids find challenging are:
1. Knowing when someone is being a good friend to them (not mocking or being a bad influence intentionally).
2. Knowing how to BE a good friend. Offering reciprocal support, initiating get togethers, offering support.
I asked the high school kids about what made a good friend and what to avoid in someone when choosing who to trust. They mentioned:
- Negative all the time
- Down on themselves
- Non reciprocal
- Imbalance in friendship
We will be having a similar discussion in our groups this week. Please encourage your child to share their stories!
Starting this week we will be offering another way to pay for and participate in Kids Cooperate. You can purchase a monthly membership for $120, the cost of three sessions, and then come as many or few times as work for your schedule. Over a year that's potentially twelve free sessions. You will also get access to extra content in three areas that can make the biggest immediate impact on your child's health and happiness.
Respectful Relationships in which you will Learn the essential skills to build a loving relationship with your child based on clear communication, firm boundaries, and mutual respect.
Calm/Confident/Charismatic Child: where you will Learn concrete skills to help your child confidently navigate the complex web of social relationshipsa and
Emotional intelligence to help you Understand emotional intelligence in order to help your child build the skills that will help them make and maintain meaningful relationships.
both membership options include access to our forum in which I and the other kids cooperate facilitators will participate to answer your questions and share advice and support.
Sign up below for whichever option is right for you. Welcome to Kids Cooperate You can sign up here:
Continuing our discussion on anxiety, this week we explore two techniques from eastern medicine for coping with difficult or intense emotions. Whether these work or not, it's always helpful to audition some new tools for your emotional toolbox, and it's fun to try to look at our inner life from a completely different perspective.
The first technique is from the understanding of hand reflexology from traditional Japanese medicine. It involves using pressure on specific finger joints as a way to alleviate different strong emotions. Whether it works or not, if your child is doing this they are at least taking a moment of pause before a strong reaction. It is also one that can be done discretely.
The second technique is from traditional Chinese medicine and utilizes and tapping technique on the same points used in acupuncture combined with a positive focus phrase. An example of a positive focus phrase is "even though I am worried now, I will be okay."
While neither of these may be the magic wand that tranforms your child's anxiety into confidence, there is value in the self reflection that comes from trying different techniques and seeing how it makes you feel.
See you in group!
We are closed tomorrow, Tuesday. If you would like your child to attend a make up session on Thursday please contact Aaron Weintraub.
Here are some grant opportunities for agencies that will possibly help with tuition for groups. These resources were shared by another Kids Cooperate parent so if you have any questions let me know I can will connect you.
ACT Today they award grants on a quarterly basis. Next open application period is April 1 - 30, 2017. Decision would be made on June 15. You can apply online.
The Doug flutie foundation. Accept applications on an ongoing basis
United Healthcare Children's foundation. Accepts applications on an ongoing basis.
Department of developmental services.
This week in group we will be making honest valentines. This involves talking about how most Valentines day messages are kind of corny platitudes, and recognizing the occasional value in corniness. Then we talk about the catharsis of expressing authentic emotion, and the positive effects it can have on a relationship to either express an honest appreciation or an honest grievance. We will write our own "honest valentines" to someone in our lives where the goal is simply to express an authentic/honest feeling that we have about another person. They can even throw them away after and not give them out, the idea is just to practice expressing a feeling.
We are open on the Tolland Recreation Center schedule. If they close due to weather Kids Cooperate will be closed as well. Watch this page or your email for weather related announcements. As of now we are open tonight.
Due to expected weather the Tolland Recreation center will be closed tonight which means we can not hold groups. Tuesday group members are welcome to come Thursday.
This week in group we will be focusing on self regard, one of the cornerstones of emotional intelligence. Self-regard is respecting yourself while understanding and accepting your strengths and weaknesses. A strong sense of self-regard is associated with feelings of inner strength and self-confidence. Healthy self-regard allows us to accept praise as well as hear criticism in a constructive way.
Paradoxically, taking an honest evaluative look at our areas of weakness give us a greater ability to quiet our inner critic and stop comparing ourselves to others or an idealized version of ourselves.
“And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.” – Kurt Vonnegut
This week we are beginning the Search Inside Yourself Curriculum. If you missed last weeks email go back and check it out, it explains this really cool work that we will be doing based on the famous mindfulness and emotional intelligence training offered by Google to it's engineers. This week we will be getting an introduction to emotional intelligence. The concept of emotional intelligence was first offered by author Danny Goleman in his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. One of the most important messages in the book is that emotional competencies are not innate talents; they are learned abilities. In other words, emotional competencies are something you can deliberately acquire with practice and even more importantly, emotional intelligence lays the groundwork for learning skills that help us create the conditions for strong relationships and our own happiness.
The important skills to build in order to develop emotional intelligence include:
1. Self awareness
2. Self regulation
5. Social Skills
This week we will be taking a look at how to strengthen a few of these skills including self evaluation, asking for and accepting criticism, and accepting responsibility for your actions, both positive and negative.
We have been talking about habit change for the past few weeks in groups. This week we are going to balance that out with a healthy dose of self acceptance which, paradoxically can be a great catalyst for change and growth. This is a cornerstone of dialectical behavior therapy.
An important developmental task of adolescence is moving beyond dichotomous thinking that something is "all good" or "all bad". Getting stuck in inflexible thinking around habit change makes it difficult to make the incremental changes that are most effective.
According to Deborah Barrett, "The more we fight against it, the more likely we are to experience negative emotions, such as anger, hopelessness, and despair, and the harder it becomes to identify changes that can help. Like those Chinese finger-trap toys, the more forcefully we tug to release our index fingers, the more tightly ensnared they become. Calming down and taking stock of the situation opens the means to escape."
So in that spirit, this week we will be picking a habit that we are going to send some loving acceptance toward recognizing that our quirks and idiosyncrasies make us who we are for better and worse.
We are now offering a group in Putnam Connecticut, within an easy drive for Pomfret, Woodstock, Killingly, Thompson, Eastford, Brooklyn, and Hampton. Groups serve children with ADHD, on the Autism Spectrum, anxiety, PDD-NOS, and more.
This week in the early elementary group we will be reading "I Really Like Slop" by Mo Willems. In this story Elephant tries piggies slop, not because he wants to, but because it is important to their friendship.
This touches on a number of challenges that kids in group may face including resistance to trying new things, concerns about sensory issues, the struggle to anticipate and meet the emotional needs of a friend, and the balance between cooperative play and succumbing to peer pressure.
This will make for some great conversations!