October 10, 2019 - 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.

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. Captain Russell and his crew visited us in a Chapel Hill blue fire truck! They showed us all the gear they have to wear to stay safe in a fire. We learned they are “helpers.” We will soon be reading our weather drill books in preparation for a future weather drill. We know lots of ways to stay safe!

This is a good time to update your child’s change of clothes for cooler weather!

    Monday, Oct. 14 is SPIRIT DAY!! (and Tuesday, Oct. 15 for the TTH classes) Wear your spirit gear or your class color to school and to CHICK-FIL-A at University Place on Monday, Oct. 14. We will meet anytime between 5:00-7:00pm to have dinner together. Mention CCP when you order and a portion of the proceeds will come to CCP!

On Wed, Oct. 16, Rags to Riches Children’s Theatre will present The Owl and the Turtle at 10:00 in Ascension Hall. TTH families, please feel free to join us for the show. It lasts approx. 30 minutes.

     Oct. 17 & 18 is “Fall Break” for students. The teachers and I will be attending the annual Durham-Orange Preschool Association's teacher conference on Friday.  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.

Thank you for the generous clothing donations that are coming in for the refugee families! There is a collection bin in the hallway near the double doors. We will accept donations of gently-used children’s clothing through the end of October.

     A CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE MOMENT - 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, “Keith, take out the trash.” 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 (a very important skill. ) 

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