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September 6, 2011 - Fighting Bullying: Arming Children with Emotional Intelligence

In the last several years, bullying has become a national epidemic.  Protecting children should be a priority throughout the United States, and the recently enacted anti-bullying legislation here in Massachusetts is a step in the right direction.  But does it really solve the problem?

Clearly, deterring bullies through our legal system is vital, but it represents just one component of what must be a comprehensive approach to this societal problem. Prevention programs are essential to eliminating bullying and must be introduced at an early age. It is important to educate children in how to be emotionally smart in their awareness and sensitivity to how others feel.  When children learn empathy, it helps to counter the negative behaviors that often result in bullying.

 

In the upcoming weeks, Dr. Housman will be addressing these concerns in two public forums:

On September 5th, Dr. Housman spoke with the FOX 25 Morning Show news team to discuss the role of emotional intelligence in bullying prevention.

On September 14th at 7:00PM, Dr. Housman will be hosting an open discussion at the school in order to have a dialogue directly with parents about emotional intelligence and bullying prevention.  The Q&A session will focus on teaching parents how to create a safe and positive environment for their children by fostering their children’s development of emotional intelligence skills.

We invite you to attend this timely Q&A discussion on September 14th, from 7-8PM, which will be hosted at Beginnings School.

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August 23, 2011

The Weston Town Crier and Weston Patch.com have published Dr. Donna Housman's article, Facing Back to School Jitters.  As the school year rapidly approaches, Dr. Housman's timely article focuses on the cause of back to school apprehension and ways parents can support and guide their children through this transitional period.

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July 11, 2011

Dr. Donna Housman's article addressing the prevention of summer learning loss appeared in the Lifestyle section of the Weston Town Crier on Sunday, July 10, 2011. Dr. Housman's article discusses the importance of summer play as a means of avoiding summer learning loss, as well as the reasons play reenforces a love of learning. As always, we are interested in hearing your thoughts and comments about issues that affect children and families.

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December 2, 2010

Beginnings and Dr. Housman were featured today in the Weston Town Crier in an article written by Carrie Winchman entitled Anti-Bully Plan. Deterring bullying through our legal system is vital but represents just one component of what must be a comprehensive approach. Prevention programs are an essential part of the solution and studies show that prevention can be introduced to children at home and in school at an early age. According to Dr. Donna Housman, founder and executive director of Beginnings Child Development Center in Weston, teaching the skills that can mitigate against negative behaviors such as bullying can be taught well before elementary school.

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November 1, 2010

As winter holidays approach, take a sneak peak at Family Fun Magazine (published by Disney Publishing Worldwide) as they release their annual Toy of the Year Awards, a summation of the best toys available in the market today as judged by parents and kids based on toy value, durability, and fun-ness.  Also check out the useful guides issued by Truce Teachers, an organization of educators who work to counteract the harmful impact of media and marketing on children. These guides for creative toy play are available for various age groups.

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October 18, 2010

In Newsweek's The Creativity Crisis, Po Pronson and Ashley Merryman reveal research showing that American creativity is declining for the first time. The decline is cited to be most serious for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Questions about what went wrong and how to fix it are posed in this article promoting the idea that ‘there is never one right answer - to be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).’ Dr. Donna Housman said, “This is what we are helping children to do all the time:  at our Peace Table in asking children to look at alternative ways to resolve the problem and choose the best plan, in role play where children act out various roles and viewpoints, in science and block play where children are encouraged to question what they see and design according to their unique plan, and in learning to manage not only our own feelings, needs and actions, but also dealing with the feelings, needs and actions of others.” The article also cites neuroscientist Rex Jung who concluded that those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better. A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern. At Beginnings we believe that this process starts at infancy and laying the foundation is most critical during the first six years.

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August 4, 2010

In the Wired Magazinecolumn The Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer writes How Preschool Changes the Brain. In response Dr. Housman at Beginnings said, "This article and articles like this are very important. The information is powerful in terms of how important healthy emotional development is - even more than IQ, according to several studies.  I don't happen to believe that one is very good without the other - both are important!  This article is accurate in its research and analysis by Heckman, an economist and Nobel Laureate. This information started coming out several years ago supporting the importance for how emotional awareness is the engine behind control and how necessary it is for our kids to develop and become more emotionally smart - more emotionally aware."

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June 21, 2010

Beginnings Child Development Center, in its commitment to providing excellence to children and families, will be launching a pioneering study at the school that further develops our longstanding dedication to fostering emotional intelligence in children. Beginnings will be launching a pilot study this coming year in further examining the process of the development of emotional intelligence in young children. Recently Beginnings attracted the attention of Dr. Kurt Fischer, the Charles Bigelow Professor of Education at Harvard University and Director of the Mind, Brain and Education program who said, " Beginnings School is uniquely focused on the emotional foundations of early development with a curriculum and educational practice grounded in relevant research about emotional development and learning." Beginnings was identified because of its 25 years of experience delivering high quality education through a unique curriculum that focuses on emotional intelligence as a critical component in attaining academic, social and personal success.

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March 9, 2010

In response to today’s Boston Globe article “For Many, 'Mean Girl' Practice Starts Early”, Dr. Donna Housman of Beginnings Child Development Center in Weston reminds parents and educators of the importance of fostering emotional intelligence in children, listening and responding to their thoughts and feelings in their daily lives.

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January 14, 2010

Beginnings Child Development Center earned its reaccreditation from NAEYC – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Dr. Donna Housman, Founder and Executive Director of Beginnings. “NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.”  Download NAEYC Press Release

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