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!
This allegory from Ram Dass' book Polishing the Mirror about the importance of being yourself is a great illustration of why we don't teach "fake it till you make it" at Kids Cooperate.Read More
Here are the items for the altruism Challenge that the Tuesday group came up with. I have encouraged them to notice acts of kindness that they do throughout the week, and also to notice opportunities that they may have missed before. Enjoy!
Learning to follow the natural rhythm of conversation in order to know the appropriate time to contribute is difficult. Here are a few things you can do to guide your child's development.
During a discussion about procrastination, an interesting counter-problem came up. What about those of us who feel a compulsion to get started on tasks immediately and feel stressed until our to do list is cleared? Penn State psychologists have coined a new term for this phenomenon: Precrastination, or "the tendency to complete, or at least begin, tasks as soon as possible, even at the expense of extra physical effort."
Precrastination may sound like a "humble brag" but for those of afflicted, the stress is real and gets in the way of enjoying other aspects of life. Precrastination can negatively impact friendships if tasks are always prioritized over social relationships.
So what do you do about it? As with the opposite problem, procrastination, a precrastinator can benefit from a visual schedule of work/life/self-care balance. Another useful tool is a carefully curated "to do" list. This will allow you to have a "brain dump" to get the task off of your mind by writing it down externally. For this, either a software solution like Evernote or a good old notebook will work equally well to the degree that it is accessible to use whenever it is needed.
As children develop deeper friendships, they discover one of the joys of a secure relationship which is arguing/disagreeing with someone who's views they respect. Another scenario is that someone we care deeply about holds a belif that we feel is wrong and would like to guide them to change. In both of these scenarios it is difficult, but important to avoid the conversational pitfalls of sounding contemptuous, condescending, or dismissive.Read More
Good morning! This week in Elementary group we will be readng Are You Ready To Play Outside by Mo Willems. In this story Elephant and Piggie look forward to playing outside but rain ruins their plans. They must change their way of thinking in order to recover and make the most of a difficult situation. This is a skill called resilience. Resilience is “the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress” (APA 2011) and is important, not only for successful social relationships but also for academic success. We support the growth of this important skill by giving children trust and responsibility, validating their emotional responses, helping them to problem solve, providing language to reframe challenges, and modeling confidence and optimism.
Yesterday in high school group we played a really fun game on the virtual reality headset called Keep Talking and No One Explodes. One player uses the headset to describe the bomb he or she is looking at while everyone else shuffles through the 23 page manual to find the information to tell them what to do next. It's a great way to practice teamwork, language processing, and ultimately resilience when the game is over with a bang.
Because the Tolland Recreation Center has decided to close due to weather we will not be holding groups this evening. If you would like to come to a make up session Thursday please let us know.