SFCC Parenting blog                    TheArt of Parenting 

How to avoid the


It sounds like the star attraction at your local playground, but there’s nothing fun about the summer slide.

According to the United States Department of Education, summer slide is the loss of academic abilities during long school breaks. Reading and math skills take the hardest hit. When students return to class, teachers often need to spend four to six weeks reviewing forgotten material.
Learning loss has a cumulative effect. Students may take longer to catch up, leaving them fewer opportunities to absorb new material. The pattern repeats after each vacation period until the student is so far behind that more advanced interventions are needed.
Preventing the summer slide means your child spends more of their class time learning new things. It also prevents frustration and embarrassment, two huge barriers for students with special needs, behavioral issues, or learning disabilities.
Strategize for Maximum Success
Get familiar with your state’s educational expectations. During preparations for preventing the summer slide, compare the goals of their upcoming academic year with their current skill and knowledge sets.Make a list of realistic and measurable goals. If your child is behind a full grade level, it may not be possible to catch them up over a 12-week break. You can, however, read a certain number of books, complete daily practice assignments, or finish a project.
Make Learning an Experience

Learners of all ages benefit from multisensory learning methods. Have younger children practice spelling, phonics, and math by tracing words, numbers, and symbols in the sand, dirt, or salt with fingers and sticks. For older children, online resources with music, games, and video keep them engaged while reinforcing existing knowledge.
Summer is for road trips. Use the car time to play games that keep everyone mentally stimulated on the long drive. Don’t forget to download a couple of educational apps on their tablets and phones before hitting the road.
Have your child keep a daily journal of their summer activities. Set a word count based on age level and writing ability. Provide stickers, colored pencils, and other art supplies so they can get creative.
Make learning meaningful. Buy a science kit, like soil sampling or insect catching, and take it on a hike or your trip to the beach. A child that loves music can learn essential math and reading skills while training on their instrument.
Comfort. Encourage. Celebrate.
A 10-year study by the social research group MDRC found conclusive evidence that parent involvement improves math and literacy skills. Your genuine interest helps your child succeed. Encourage them to try harder. Celebrate their victories, no matter how small. When failures happen, take the time to comfort them.

Your attention, involvement, and unconditional positive regard will help foster joyful creativity and a lifelong love of learning while preventing the summer slide.

Parenting STYLES

Family 101

Two of the biggest problems affecting families today are parents being tired and stressed out. The fallout from these issues can be lessened or even eliminated for the most part by creating a family management plan and acting on it. For example: if both parents work, having a plan for dinner and a routine for every member of the family for the evening, reduces stress. Not knowing what is for dinner, and generally trying to get everyone to do what you think they should do is a recipe for chaos, more stress, and unhappiness. It can really feel like herding cats. A plan for managing your family will not be perfect or create a family system without fault, but it will put into place a structure that every member of your household responds to and eventually come to appreciate.

The management plan should have input from every member of the family. This will help in implementing and total family involvement.

There is a saying that goes something like this: if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. When managing anything outside the home, you make a plan and organize a task, group, or project. Why should managing a family be any different? It might even be argued that "successful" family management can only be achieved if you plan, implement, evaluate the results, and adjust the plan. This is especially true if you have one or more children with special needs. If you share the family management with another parent in the home, it is a good idea to be collaborative in this project rather than one or the other parent being the one trying to be "the authority." Successful family management also takes place when children get to participate in the process you have designed for managing how your family will operate. 

​Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC

Is there a right way to raise your children?  What is normal?Are there hard and fast rule about what will work in your home, with your particular family, your child’s unique personality, the circumstances you are in, the luck or challenges that come your way?  Money alone can’t fix a serious problem. However, you can raise an excellent human being by being a teacher, loving parenting, the role model.  After all, your child may not be very good at listening to you but they never fail to imitate you. Consistently teaching your values will usually result in your children having the same values... but not always. Because above and beyond everything else, our children come to us with inherent qualities that we cannot special order, request, or cross off a list as undesirable.

This blog is to help you with ideas to implement in your home, school. It is to help you raise children who have grit and good moral values.  

Stepping Forward offers different parenting styles with our counselors through family therapy.

Anthony Cupo 6/30/2017


BY ANN LOGSDON - verywell.com June 03, 2017

Positive reinforcement is an important habit for parents to develop because it is so easy to ignore kids when they're behaving appropriately. It is the disruptive and irritating behavior we tend to notice and respond to. Train yourself to show your child you appreciate her efforts and that you recognize the things she does well.
In fact, using positive reinforcement is an easy way to 
nix behavior problems.
The use of positive reinforcers can help you encourage your child to do everyday tasks you need her to perform. Picking up after herself, brushing her teeth, and even getting to bed on time are just a few of the things that can be improved using positive reinforcement.
Any type of reward or incentive you give your child that results in increasing the behavior you want your child to perform is a positive reinforcer.
Positive Reinforcers - Activities Can Be Internally Rewarding:
Positive reinforcers are rewards that entice your child to do a task more frequently or on time. Examples:

Choice of activities
Time or lunch with someone special
Increased recess time
Compliments and recognition
Public praise, positive notes to parents and teachers
Pats on the back, smiles,
handshakes, and high-fives
Being the teacher's helper or choice of classroom chores
Reading, making crafts, playing sports, or other preferred activity with someone special

Extra credit or bonus points on school work

Posting work in a place of honor
A homework-free night
Positive Reinforcers - Physical Rewards that may Increase Positive Behaviors:
Positive reinforcers can also include physical rewards your child would like. Common tangible rewards used by parents and teachers might use include:

Healthy snacks
Gum, candy (if parents approve and in small amounts
Age-appropriate toys chosen from a reward box
Special stickers such as scratch and sniff, flashy, cute, sporty, or other unique stickers
Small items that are currently popular, such as Live Strong bracelets or other items
A child's choice of a favorite item
Cool pencils
Tickets to be saved to trade in for larger rewards

Make Positive Reinforcement Work For You
Positive reinforcers work best if you reward appropriate behavior as soon as it happens and as consistently as possible. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to keep up with impulsive children, but if you fall behind, your interventions will be less successful and may not help at all.
In addition, allow natural consequences to become negative reinforcers for poor behavior. For example, a child who doesn't listen in class may need to stay late to get his homework assignment. Yes, that may be frustrating, but it's the natural consequence of his behavior. When you meet after school, you might then troubleshoot methods for ensuring that the child gets the homework information he needs -- and also gets home in time to enjoy the afternoon.
Avoid lectures and criticism of the child.

Focus instead on factual statements of the problem behavior and the consequence. Instead of saying something like "you're just not getting the message, are you?" you might say "I see you didn't turn in your homework again. I'm afraid that means you'll have twice as much homework to do tonight."