goal setting: 3 Articles

Help Your Child Find Their Inner Hero

Heroes take chances, do hard things, and sometimes even change the world. To become a hero, kids can surround themselves with supportive people, boost their self-esteem and self-awareness, find their passion, and have the courage to make things happen. What makes a hero? Activists, advocates, allies, and friends. Sometimes heroes are our parents, teachers, or siblings. The truth is, heroes are inside everyone, and kids can and discover their inner hero, too. Here’s an adapted excerpt from the Preface and Chapter 1 of Matt Langdon’s The Hero Handbook, a new book that shows kids how to be the hero of their own story and discover their own hero journey. So you want to be a hero? Or maybe you’re not sure. What does that even mean, anyway? Well, we’ll talk about it. But this book is for anyone looking to find a little more direction -- whether that means setting some goals or coming up with a plan for your own life, or just means learning how to affect change in your community. Or the world! This book is going to help you figure out how to be someone who takes action instead of standing by, and who works to move their own journey forward… What Is a Hero? Dictionaries, the media, and history give us different definitions of what a hero is, but none of them are very useful for us. In myth and story, the hero offers us an example of how to live our lives. The hero is an exemplar--literally, a good example. That explains why we have so much trouble pinning down a definition in today’s world. There are so many of us, living in different cultures, but also living in each other’s pockets on our phones, that there’s no way we could all agree on what a good example is. Mythology and stories will let me get started on my efforts to define “hero” for you, though. Definition 1: The Hero In a Story A hero is the main character of a story. Back in 1949, Joseph Campbell wrote a book called The Hero With a Thousand Faces. He had spent years travelling the world reading and listening to stories about heroes from mythology. Campbell noticed that all of these stories were basically the same--they have the same pattern. A hero from two thousand years ago in the Middle East has the same basic steps in their story as a hero from two hundred years ago in England and the one in the movie coming out this weekend in India. Campbell called this pattern the “Hero’s Journey.” Campbell found about 40 steps in each hero’s journey, but I’ve reduced it to five basic steps that every hero story contains. The steps are: Mundane World: The hero begins the story in a normal, typical, or boring place. He doesn’t want to be there, but often they don’t know how to get out or even what else is available to them. This is Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine,

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Help Your Child Find Their Inner Hero 2021-01-28T15:44:19-05:00

Increase Optimistic Thinking at Home or in School with Evidence-based Curriculum

Magination Press authors created a new social-emotional curriculum to help kids dream and set goals during these challenging times. As the new school year gets started in these different and unusual times, parents, caregivers, and teachers are faced with the challenge of supporting children’s social-emotional health and development, a facet of education that is more important now than ever. With many schools conducting classes virtually, teachers are looking for creative educational tools and parents are preparing to facilitate learning at home. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for children, including disruptions to their schooling, activities, and routines, and isolation from friends, teachers, and extended family members, resulting in the creation of many new stressors. Resources to support social-emotional learning (SEL)—activities to help children understand emotions, achieve goals, and work through challenges—are in high demand.  About the book and research study Magination Press’s book, Dream It! A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness, by Sara E. Williams, PhD and Scott Stoll, is an evidence-based workbook that can be used as a curriculum to teach kids how to dream, set goals, and turn their passion into action.  A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Child & Youth Care Forum, validates that Dream It! is scientifically proven to increase optimistic thinking, hope, grit, and a growth mindset.1 Most importantly, teachers and kids find the games, lessons, and activities in the workbook to be fun, easy, and effective. It’s useful for anyone who wants to learn how to dream and set goals, including adults and, especially kids ages 8-12. Dr. Sara E Williams is a co-author of this research study and a co-author of Dream It!, the focus of this research. About the SEL curriculum Dream It! is perfect for kids working in a classroom, virtually, or in home-learning environments as a supplemental SEL activity, and the message is particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a very challenging time for everyone and it may not seem like our lives will go back to normal any time soon. It may be difficult for children, in particular, to understand what is happening. Using the foundation of Dream It! we can teach children that the dream is to stay healthy and protect the ones we love. So, the goal that was set by our society—and the whole world—is to temporarily ask everyone to stay at home to achieve this dream. From this starting point, we can inspire children to dream about what the world can look like after COVID-19, too! The full-color, 80-page workbook has games, quizzes, and activities that teach students how to dream (set goals) and start making their dream a reality one step at a time. A free facilitator’s guide and SEL curriculum supports in-school or at-home implementation, and the Dream It! website provides additional supplemental resources. Helping Kids See the Future At a time when the future is wildly uncertain and present-day routines have been upended, helping kids learn to think optimistically and envision better days is a priority. Dream

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Increase Optimistic Thinking at Home or in School with Evidence-based Curriculum 2020-09-02T12:16:44-04:00

12 Ideas to Help Your Child Be an Upstander at Home and Beyond

When a situation arises where someone is being treated unfairly, excluded, ridiculed, or even bullied, what can a person who is watching do?  What can a person do if he or she perceives an injustice in the home, school, community, or world?  As a bystander (a person witnessing a situation), a person can become a negative bystander, a neutral bystander, or a positive bystander (also referred to as an Upstander). Parents try to teach their children to stand up for themselves, and others, in challenging situations. Magination Press’s book, Stand Up! Be an Upstander and Make a Difference, by Wendy L. Moss, Ph.D, explores what it means to be an Upstander. Dr. Moss offers suggestions for how children can make positive changes in the world, while encouraging them to brainstorm ideas of their own. This adapted excerpt from Chapter 8 identifies some ways kids can be Upstanders. At home Use relaxation skills and respectful communication tools during disagreements with siblings or adults. Use positive self-talk to remain confident before working to help others. Spend time with others, including older or younger siblings, showing them you value their company and ideas. At school Try to include instead of exclude. Sometimes it would be helpful and even fun to include a student who seems to be alone or lonely. Talk with other students about what they think needs to be done to make your school more peaceful. Work with others toward this goal using skills learned in Stand Up! Use the power of a smile! Smile and even say hello to lots of different people who might be receptive to this attempt to engage and acknowledge them. In your neighborhood (after getting parent permission) Offer to help out neighbors who find physical tasks challenging by walking their dog, shoveling snow, or taking out their garbage. Fight loneliness. Where appropriate, visit family friends or relatives who may be lonely, or organize a group to visit a local retirement home. Identify ways to help your neighborhood, like picking up litter, creating a safe space for kids to hang out, or helping out at the library, and work with others to solve a problem. In the world (after getting parent permission) Find creative ways to support charities that work on areas important to you. For example, donate one of your birthday gifts, organize a lemonade stand and donate the money earned, or participate in a charity’s walk-a-thon and collect donations for each mile you walk. Help find a cure for a disease that has impacted someone you know. Research the disease and organizations searching for a cure. Raise awareness about the disease and collect donations to fund research. Work toward a big goal, like promoting world peace, by looking for organizations near home that share your goal. Be sure to check with an adult to make sure they feel comfortable with you communicating with the organization, local or otherwise, directly. Being an Upstander means speaking out when you see injustice or bullying. It also means

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12 Ideas to Help Your Child Be an Upstander at Home and Beyond 2020-07-30T18:59:41-04:00