Life skills are an integral part of our community at Meadow Heights. We work hard to teach children the necessary skills to find success in social, emotional, as well as academic situations.
Teachers work hard through out the year to integrate a monthly life skill focus into classroom curriculum to strengthen our school-wide success.
Your support at home makes a big difference. Thank you so much for all you do!
Four times a year, we also have a Life Skills assembly with Soul Shoppe. For more information on Soul Shoppe, please visit their website at: www.soulshoppe.com
Kindness is… the quality of being thoughtful, friendly, generous, and considerate; considering the needs of others.
Empathy is… considering how you would feel in someone else’s situation; taking time to imagine the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of another.
The best thing we can do as parents is be an example. When children have a problem, try to see things from their perspective. When they see you act with empathy, they are likely to copy you. You can also show them by being empathic with other people in their life.
When a child feels safe and happy at home, knowing their parents love them, they are less self-centered. When their own needs are met, they are more likely to think of others before themselves. Tell your children you love them; listen to them and give them your attention. When parents listen, their children learn to have more empathy. Spend time with your children by playing games with them and reading to them. Being able to connect to others is a skill that helps them be empathic towards others.
One activity for any age to build empathy is to give service. Helping at a soup kitchen as a family helps your children see other ways of life, |helping them to build empathy towards those who are less fortunate. You can also leave cookies anonymously for someone you know who has been down. The point is to encourage your children to help others; even if they do not feel empathy at first, it will grow as they do it.
Another great thing for children is to have experience with animals. Learning compassion and caring for animals encourages the development of similar feelings in dealing with children.
Positive reinforcement of empathy is also helpful. You can say, "I really appreciate how you shared your crackers with Sarah when she didn't have any. That was very nice of you." Helping the child to see that you approve of their behavior will encourage them to be empathic in the future.
You can help your kids practice empathy by using role-play. This is as simple as asking, "How would you feel if someone did that to you?" or reading them a story and asking them to describe the feelings of the characters.
Read stories together and talk about the characters’ feelings and situations. Learning to recognize the feelings of other people is important to showing empathy. Many stories have a theme about helping others or being empathic. You can even look through the books your child already has to find books that teach empathy. By listening to any story, children learn to see a situation from another's point of view.
(Taken from an article Written by Kaitlin M. Miller, Research Assistant, and edited by Laura Padilla-Walker and Stephen F. Duncan, professors in the School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, http://foreverfamilies.byu.edu)
Integrity is... showing a strong commitment to the truth, no matter the consequences; being true to one’s beliefs, morals and principles; doing what is right even when no one is looking.
“If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.”- Mark Twain
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.” - Lillian Hellman
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” - Oprah Winfrey
“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.”- Sigmund Freud
Resourcefulness is… the ability to find answers to questions using the resources available; finding creative solutions to problems.
A resourceful person seeks answers to his/her questions by using his/her surroundings, prior knowledge, etc. A person with a resourceful attitude does not give up until he/she finds an answer.
A resourceful person does not wait for someone to handle things for them. Resourceful people are busy, finding what they need in their environment.
Self-Awareness involves… understanding and managing our emotions, knowing how to manage stress, and being able to control our impulses. It includes the ability to notice any patterns we might see in how our actions or moods affect a situation.
We know that having a clear perception of our personality, thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions allows us to better understand other people and how they perceive us. All this helps us to more easily get along in the world.
By keeping something like a chart or journal such as above, we can help children make connections and see patterns. They might notice that they tend to be more cranky in the morning when they go to bed late; perhaps they observe how great they feel and have no conflicts on the playground when they eat a good breakfast. Students may start to realize that they bring their personality, mood, attitude, etc. to any situation. This teaches them that they have some control to change unwanted situations and repeat behaviors that seem to bring them happiness or feelings of success.
Keep in mind that this is a rather complicated topic. Being more aware of our own contribution to situations and the power we have to change things is a life-long educational journey. Helping children learn self-awareness will forever help them in this challenging endeavor.
Growing Good Kids, 28 Activities to Enhance Self-Awareness, Compassion and Leadership, Deb Delisle and Jim Delisle
“Education is teaching how we can live together with our fellow citizens" - Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Generosity is... the act of giving freely without expectation.
Generosity is an inherent motivator of the greatest power, which will emerge if given a chance. To experience it is rewarding and self-reinforcing, not just for what it produces, but for the inner feeling we get that we can make a difference. Once begun, generosity starts a landslide because success strengthens children.
Source: Kids’ Random Acts of Kindness, Conari Press
Generosity refers to the nurturance of the ethic of caring and finding a purpose beyond oneself, and offers service to the community.
Source: Mayland Heights School, Canada
Making Wise Choices involves… making a choice that reflects what is true or right in our heart and mind; it means that we think through our choice, and we understand that the choices we make have consequences--either positive or negative (or sometimes both).
Wise choices can also be choices that help us achieve goals.
People often talk about “using their heart” to make a decision. This language will be used this month in our Soul Shoppe assembly. When your child says they are “using their heart” to make a decision, they mean they are doing what feels good and right to them. Another way of thinking about this is that we are using our conscience to make the best choice possible.