Get Big

upload.jpeg

One of the things we always encourage the kids in group to do in a lot of different ways is to "get big" during times of adversity. Getting big means to take a perspective beyond the immediate challenges that allows you to see the positive in a difficult situation. Sometimes a bad situation is a gateway to a new and unexpected opportunity, and most often it is nothing more than a chance to grow through life experience and develop a residual compassion for others. 

This week I am in the CCMC neonatal intensive care unit with my newborn son, but in the moments where I'm able to get big I am grateful for the extended family that is Kids Cooperate.

Gideon is Here!

Gideon Rye Morgan-Weintraub

Gideon Rye Morgan-Weintraub

Gideon is Here!

Aaron's son Gideon was born Wednesday evening. Aaron is taking a few days to be with his family so all individual sessions are on hold but groups will be held as usual with the rest of the team. 

If this isn't nice, what is?

upload.png

Good morning All,

My wife is due in the next few weeks, and if she goes into labor close to group my facilitators are all set to take over and create great conversations and learning moments. Speaking of which....

Feeling at ease is better than feeling stressed. Right? It's something we can agree on. There is even a separate word for the positive excited kind of arousal in the body which is "eustress", so regular old stress is just universally bad. 

Stress is bad for your health too. 

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

So in the spirit of good mental hygiene, we are talking about stress and learning three ways to pull ourselves out of a stress tailspin. 

1. Rate your stress. Not all problems are the same size and not all stress reactions are equal. Take a moment to step outside of yourself and compare your problem with the level of stress you are feeling. Do they match up? Look to the body for clues. We will be talking about the physical response to stress. 

2. Focus on an object. Stress is nearly always a reaction to anxiety about the future or memories of the past. By focusing on a sensory experience that is immediate you bring yourself into the present. What dies the object feel like, smell like, look like?

3. Look around. Notice your context. Look at the faces and body language of the people around you. If you are the only one stressed out there is a good chance it is in your head, and that you are future or past focused. Loop back around to steps one and two.

Can't wait to hear the ideas the kids generate about what works for them!

Playground Powow

Good morning All,

We encourage the kids to bring in ideas of games and activities that they will enjoy sharing with their group friends. We pride ourselves on incorporating those ideas and helping the kids to feel ownership of the curriculum. But the suggestion we get most often is the one we will never take. Why?

The most requested activity across all of the age groups is to use the playscape. I always say no, because by intentionally excluding that wonderful resource from our toolbox, something wonderful happens. Your children make playdates, with friends, on their own.

We have made a conscious decision to draw a metaphorical line across which the playground is outside of Kids Cooperate, which opens the opportunity for kids to easily and conveniently bridge their social interactions from Kids Cooperate to the outside world. One of the biggest challenges we face is helping the kids to take what they have learned during the highly scaffolded social interaction in groups and apply it to other contexts. When your child asks, "can I go to the playground with _____" that is exactly what they are doing.

I encourage you to build in a little extra time into your schedule when the weather is nice after your child gets out of group so that when they ask to play on the playground with a friend you can say yes. Take a minute to appreciate what an important mark of progress this represents!

thank you!