“What are they teaching kids these days?” It’s a question that perennially pops-up among parents. From “new math” to iPads in the classroom, school curricula are ever changing. But, the more things change the more they stay the same. The goal at the forefront of education is still to equip students with the skills to solve the problems they will face as working adults. One of the newest approaches to problem solving integrates social and emotional learning with basic science and social studies. A process called Design Thinking is taking hold with educators across the country.
It may not surprise parents and teachers that social media use among middle schoolers and teens is growing. Yet, many of us struggle to make sense of what our kids are doing online. We don’t understand what the fuss is about, and can’t seem to keep up with all the new apps and tools that are popping up. Often teens are more savvy than we might give them credit for. Common Sense Media, a website offering expert, parent and child reviews of technological entertainment, reports that 72% of teens believe that companies manipulate users into spending more time on their devices.
Limiting screen time probably ranks near the top of most “Dreaded Parental Duties” lists. Finding the right balance between “I just need a few minutes of peace” and the endless playback loop of Netflix is never easy. In my house, our rule is no screens after school, since the Bubble Guppies join us for breakfast on many mornings. To tell the truth, I thought I was doing pretty well in the screen-limitation-parenting department, until the afternoon that my three year old tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Mommy, leave the phone down. Play with me.” Clearly, limiting my son’s screen time wasn’t enough. I also needed to check my own digital devices at the door. It was a hard thing to hear.
Shorecrest is committed to supporting good communication habits among students and their families beginning in the Experiential School and continuing past graduation. As Headmaster Mike Murphy writes, “The importance of teachers, coaches, and parents having close, positive, and trustful relationships with students and teens cannot be over-emphasized.
Every year, I hear from many families about the difficulties they and their children are having adjusting to going back to school. It’s quite common for students to feel apprehensive about the increased expectations in a new grade level, to worry about friends and fitting in, to be disappointed by the teacher they have or by the lack of close friends in their classrooms. We all want to see that our children and students are happy and confident, but these fears and disappointments are not something detrimental to their emotional health. Quite the opposite!
Topics: Social-Emotional Development