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The Ridge Church is our school home. The Ridge Church offers Sunday Services (currently online using video format for both adult and children's programs), Financial Peace classes, Marriage Counseling, Care Teams, Adult and Children Ministries as well as outreach into our community.
Becoming a Special Education Teacher in the UK came through a varied route for me. I trained as an Early Years Specialist, (for children aged 3-8 years old) and worked initially in the Foundation Stage of a mainstream school. Over the next fifteen years, my career involved being a class teacher for children in the Foundation Stage, Years 1-3, working as a Behaviour Outreach Specialist, providing Teacher Training and Parent Ed courses, developing and teaching students in an Autistic Resource Base and finally, having moved to Texas, becoming a Preschool Director.
What excites me now, is how skills learned over the years, in each specific role, can meld together meaning a much more wholistic response as I recognize the needs of individual children in my care.
Now, let's work as a family to help each other grow.
Grandma’s Rule: Teaching compliance with First Then
We’ve been very fortunate, my husband and I. Aside from the usual prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby, we asked for children with character and tenacity….and we certainly have them! They are fabulous teenagers now, but our first years as new parents were quite a steep learning curve for us. I giggle when I remember my husband first responding to the umpteenth kind enquiry about how we were coping…”ah” he’d say “Parenting, eh? The world’s best kept secret.”!
Having strong-minded children is brilliant – and it’s exciting wondering where that determination will take them in life. The key is helping to channel that determination in a way which doesn’t quash your child’s spirit, but instead produces positivity in their own and other’s lives. One of the main struggles of parenting a strong-minded child is that of developing compliance.
One of the most helpful strategies I picked up, the Premack Principle, is used in ABA therapy as FIRST…THEN….
As I mentioned last week, my hubby and I had the privilege of having preschoolers with character and determination, and one of them in particular always felt extremes of emotion very strongly! Fast forward to his teenage years, and this has resulted in the most beautiful passion in all areas of his life!
However, as a preschooler and early grade schooler, that untapped and untamed ‘passion’ had me constantly praying, thinking and creating ways to help him identify, recognize and express his feelings in ways which were healthy for him and all around him.
Once again, I drew on training I’d received during a particular phase of my career, working in the UK as a behavior Outreach Teacher in Oxford. One of my colleagues was the most delightful American lady, Beth, who introduced me to Emotional Literacy…it was an emerging field…now also known as Emotional Intelligence or even measured as an Emotional Quotient (EQ). There has been a tendency to assume that children will automatically develop emotional literacy, without specific guidance or instruction.
In fact, because of that tendency, many adults haven’t developed healthy emotional literacy. It’s essential that as parents we ensure we are emotionally aware, in order that we can equip our children.