Tag: Family

Curb Bullying with these Social and Emotional Learning Skills

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Bullying in schools has become a nationwide concern, with many anti-bullying practices being implemented in every state. Social and emotional learning  (SEL) can provide an effective foundation for reducing bullying in schools. Practicing SEL skills will create a school environment that fosters positive interactions. Here are four characteristics of SEL, that aim to curb bullying in schools:

1. Open, supportive relationships between students and teachers.

Open communication between students and teachers presents an opportunity for students to learn positive conflict resolution techniques. These techniques allow students to resolve problems before they escalate into fully fledged bullying.

2. Solid communication between schools and families. 

Families need to be involved with their child’s school. When a parent is actively engaged in what happens to their child at school on a daily basis, they can help teach positive behaviour and reinforce messages from the teachers. Working as a team with the child’s school, ensures that the same positive messages are being taught on a variety of levels and in a variety of environments.

3. Emphasis on respect and tolerance. 

SEL requires school policies that highlight respect for peers, acceptance and appreciation of everyone’s differences. A school community in which students understand and embrace differences is a place where positive behaviour will thrive.

4. Teaching skills that allow kids to recognise and handle emotions, and engage in caring peer relationships. 

In addition to school policies requiring respect and tolerance, students must be taught how to engage in positive social interactions and develop caring peer relationships with one another. Teaching students how to express and handle emotions positively will support responsible decision-making and avoid negative scenarios that could escalate into bullying.

SEL skills arm students with the ability to handle their emotions in a positive way that results in enhanced social problem solving, supportive attitudes toward others, and overall academic success. Social and emotional learning provides students with many benefits that enhance the school community as a whole, creating a caring and nurturing environment in which bullying has no place.

Quirky Kid has also recently published a comprehensive SEL program called The Best of Friends. Find out more about it online. Equip your child with some of our therapeutic resources such as the Quirky Kid ‘Face It’ cards, which are designed to increase emotional awareness. Most importantly, please feel free to contact us to learn more about the benefits of social and emotional learning.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

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Family Fatigue @ SMH

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed family fatigue with the Sydney Morning Herald reporter Alicia Wood yesterday.

You can read the article by visiting the SMH online. You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting and young people by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time.

Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

Helping Kids with Homework

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Naturally, parents want to help their children and to see them succeed, but where do you draw the line with regards to their homework?

Parents often assist children by sitting down to help with homework, sometimes checking for mistakes, and occasionally completing entire projects.

Some research shows that helping with homework can be beneficial for children’s performance at school. However, other studies show different  results about helping children with homework.

The Quirky Kid clinic  suggests that the difference between parental involvement being beneficial or not is dependent on the type and the amount of involvement.

By constantly cutting in on the job your kids are doing, you may risk undermining their confidence. This may make them feel inadequate when it comes to completing tasks on time or may inhibit them from developing the knowledge and skills to do it themselves.

Tips to assist your children with homework.

  • It is best to establish a routine for homework at the beginning of the year. Decide with your child when and where homework should be completed. Creating a homework schedule together is a great way to discuss this, and put down in writing what you agree on.
  • You can make homework something children will look forward to by making it special one-on-one time with  you. But remember to let children keep most control of it – make sure the pencil is in their hand, not yours.
  • To help children focus at homework time, set some boundaries, ensure they have a clear work space, and establish some goals, such as a time limit. Additionally, by placing a clock near their work space children will be able to monitor their own time.
  • Provide your children some wind down time after school. Allowing them to play for a while and have a healthy snack, will help them to concentrate when they start their homework.
  • Many schools have implemented a homework policy. If you think your child is receiving too much homework, or it is too difficult, get in contact with the school to discuss your concerns.

Most importantly, by allowing children to complete homework themselves, they will have greater sense of achievement. Additionally, providing parents with a legitimate reason to pile on the praise. Remember to always praise effort rather than intelligence.

Need more help?

  1. The Quirky Kid Clinic provides private consultations and a range of resources to assist with homework challenges and performance. Please contact us to make an appointment or visit our resources page.
  2. You should also check a great book for sale at the Quirky Kid online ShoppeHow to do your Homework without throwing up – check it out.


Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, and the following article.

Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Battiato, A.C., Walker, J.M., Reed, R.P., DeJong, J.M., and Jones, K.P. (2001) Parental Involvement in homework. Educational Psychologist, 36, 3, 195-209document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

Back to School @ Daily Telegraph

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed starting the new school year with Daily Telegraph reporter, Mercedes Maguire. You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

To view the full article please visit the Daily Telegraph online.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.

Families in the Fast Lane

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed the busy schedules of today’s children with Catholic Education Office reporter, Kathryn Barton. You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

This article and  Kathryn also won two Highly Commended awards in the ‘Best Mission Coverage’ category for her report on Marist North Shore’s Cambodian immersion and ‘Best Feature’ category for ‘Families in the Fast Lane’ (September 2010). during the ACPA awards see: http://www.ceosyd.catholic.edu.au/News/Pages/AboutCatholicSchoolsWins.aspx

To view the full article please visit the Catholic Education Office website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.

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