October 11, 2018 - post includes info on the skill of Assertiveness

Dear CCP Family,

     Thank you for meeting with your child's teacher at conference time this week.  We truly appreciate your time and your willingness to partner with us in your child's preschool education.

I’m truly sorry that we had to close today. As I’m writing this, it sure seems we could have made it through the school day. However it is our policy to follow CHCCS since they have more information about incoming weather conditions than we do. Also when local schools close, we have to consider how many CCP teachers would either be absent or would have to bring their own children to preschool. In addition, when the decision involves ice or snow, we have to consider the conditions of the church building and parking areas. We do not take the decision lightly. I am sorry for the inconvenience it may cause you and I sincerely appreciate your understanding.

     911 and Stop, drop, and roll were heard throughout the building as CCP children role-played being fire fighters this week!  We have practiced a fire drill and know how to exit the building safely. We are also reading our weather drill books in preparation for our weather drill next week. We know lots of ways to stay safe!

     CCP Board of Directors will meet on Oct. 15 at 7:30pm in Ascension Hall.

     On Friday, Oct. 19 the teachers and I will be attending the annual Durham-Orange Preschool Association's teacher conference.  It is a great privilege to be able to gather with over 200 area preschool teachers for a time of sharing and professional development.  We appreciate your support as we learn together.

Amanda Morgan of notjustcute.com will speak on developmentally appropriate practices at the Chapel Hill Bible Church on Thursday evening, October 18 at 7:00pm. This is sponsored by the Durham-Orange Preschool Assn. Please send your payment ($10/person or $15/couple) made to CCP by Monday morning at 9:00 if you’d like to attend. I’ll send your name and payment to the Association.

Christ Church will hold a Fall Festival on Sunday, October 21 from noon until 3:00. A flyer was placed in your cubbie last week with all the details. Lots of preschool families attended last year! There will be games, food, and good music! (Even our own Ms. Rebecca will perform with lots of opportunities for singing and dancing along!)

     I will leave you with a word about the skill of assertiveness, paraphrased from Dr. Becky Bailey.  There are 3 voices that we can use to communicate - passive, aggressive, and assertive.  The goal of passivity is to please others.  Using a passive voice relinquishes your power by leaving decisions to others.  Aggressive communication aims to win by overpowering.  Aggressive people often speak for others and they frequently use the words "always" and "never" as forms of attack.  Assertiveness allows us to express our needs, wants and desires constructively, without devaluing the other person's needs, wants and desires.  Assertiveness teaches others how to treat us.  The goal of assertiveness is clear communication that paints a picture of what we want others to do.  It has a voice tone of "no doubt" and comes from an intention of helping children be successful instead of making them behave.

     How can we give assertive commands successfully?  By using an assertive voice worded as a command.  Commands are about non-negotiable compliance.  (Requests offer a choice.) We don't want to confuse children by wording commands as requests if there is really no choice.  For example, "Keith, would you take out the trash?" actually meant, "Get up now and take the trash to the curb."  There was really no choice, so an assertive command works better.  Usually safety issues need to be worded as commands in an assertive voice.  "Hold my hand while we cross the street."  "Put your notebooks away and line up for lunch."  "Walk in the hall just like this." (demonstrate what you want the child to do.)  These are phrased so there is no question, no doubt.

     Using an assertive voice as an adult models assertiveness for your child. Assertiveness lets you set your boundaries on what behaviors you consider safe, appropriate and permissible.  It enables you to say "no" to your children, and teaches them how to say "no" to others.  

     I hope you and your families have a safe, restful weekend.  I wish you well.