Why Making Mistakes Is Good For Your Kids

Dr Shimi K Kang(co-founder Dolphin POD)

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky often said “You miss every shot you don’t take.” The same is true for learning opportunities: if children decide against trying something, they will never know what they may be missing out on. However, trying new things means being comfortable making mistakes and failing. As children try new things, make mistakes and fail, they learn that not everything works out on the first or even the tenth time. Mistakes allow children an opportunity to stop and assess what they’re doing, and to consider what they can change in order to succeed next time.

Children who are exclusively rewarded for right answers or who are shunned or punished for making mistakes may become afraid of trying new things. Children are more open to learning and more willing to try harder when they are praised and rewarded for their efforts, not their results. A study by Dr. Carol Deuck and her team at Stanford University determined that children who are praised for their effort instead of “being smart” yield better test results.While parents often focus on a child’s successes, teaching a child how to take risks, and handle mistakes and failure is integral to your child’s growth.

This type of overprotection stifles creativity and deprives children of exploring their true potential. On the other extreme, permissive Jellyfish parents lack direction and guidance. Thus their children end up making too many mistakes and far too often. The balance of these extremes is the Dolphin parent who gives their child room for learning from exploration, trial and error and taking reasonable risks while still being connected and available when needed. For example, dolphins in nature purposely beech their young to teach them how to find a way back to safety — but all the while, they stay close by to help if needed. Similarly, at Dolphin POD centre, the coaches guide the kids and give them full freedom to create something new and make mistakes thereby being innovative and resilient.

Failure that spawns from experimenting is not actually a failure at all, but rather a learning opportunity for eventual success. Children who understand that failure is a necessary step towards success perform better. In fact, a study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that children are more likely to succeed in if they view failure as a step along the path to gaining knowledge.

Furthermore, when kids make moral mistakes — like cheating or stealing, parents would be wise not to rush in and judge them. Separate your child from the mistake and give them a chance to explain the situation. When you do, you are not shaming them as a person, but clearly not accepting of their behaviour. You can say “I will always love you, but I don’t like what you did.” This reinforces the fact that you are on their side and will be there to guide them in the future.

Although tempting at times, it is important that parents also don’t run in for the rescue. It is important for children to learn not to cover up their flaws, weaknesses and mistakes. Instead, they must learn that owning up to their mistakes takes courage and leads to personal credibility, as well as the eventual trust of others. It is inevitable that mistakes will occur.

Nevertheless, it is so important that children recognize the negative effects that stem from dishonesty and cover up. Ask them how they would like to make amends for what they have done and help them follow through. Guide your child to determine how they would respond in a similar situation next time. These open discussions can enhance your child’s schema of proper responses, and demonstrate to your child how much you value openness and honesty. Dolphin POD provides different ways in which a parent can guide their children and an insight for kids to recognise their mistakes and learn from it.

Making mistakes allow children to experience new things, fail, get back up, and figure things out. Ultimately, the ability for a child to handle mistakes and failure effectively will lead to the growth of their key traits learnt at Dolphin POD centre -critical thinking skills, creativity, independence, adaptability and resilience and character traits — humility, courage, empathy and respect.

#credits-huffing ton post

Why Social & Emotional Learning is the “Secret Sauce” to Success!

Social skills are falling, while child anxiety is on the rise

Time the Me Me Me Generation

Ninety-two percent of today’s super-connected youth (often dubbed “The Internet Generation”) go online daily, while 88% use a smartphone. Children are growing up in a world where social connections depend on a strong WiFi signal, and communication through text, instant messaging, and Snapchat are becoming the norm.

Research by Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology from San Diego State University, indicates that the social and emotional skills of youth are depleting, while rates of youth depression, social anxiety, and stress are on the rise.

 

A solution: Teach kids’ social & emotional skills early

In an article for Edutopia, Roger Weissberg, the Chief Knowledge Officer of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, & Emotional Learning (SEL), writes that social & emotional learning can enhance a student’s ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.

Behavior

SEL can be the most proactive initiative for mental health illness prevention, as research shows that this type of learning can reduce anxiety, substance abuse, suicide, depression, and violence, while increasing attendance, test scores and prosocial behaviours such as kindness, empathy and personal awareness.

SEL

But, what are the benefits of SEL?

Show them what empathy looks like.

Challenge your child to be curious about other people’s feelings, perspectives, & actions. Use relatable figures, like their favourite storybook or movie characters, to discuss how they could be feeling during a conflict or challenge. Giving the opportunities to practice empathy can guide them to understand how they can step into someone else’s “shoes” to understand how they would feel or react if they were in the same situation.

Empathy

Discuss emotions regularly.

Feeling nervous, scared or anxious can be uncomfortable emotions to experience. Help your child navigate their emotions through healthy discussions & role modelling. If you’re feeling stressed, role model how you handle your own emotions, by letting your child know how you are feeling and positive steps you take to manage your emotions.

faces

Start a gratitude journal with your child.

Gratitude is connected to emotional stability and internal control. Sit down with your child and write or draw positive aspects of your day or things they are grateful for your life in a journal. This type of reflection aids in helping kids look on the bright side when they’re feeling down or overcoming a challenge. And, to see their parents are doing it too, might be the most powerful SEL trick of all!

Gratitute

Watch Dr. Shimi Kang discuss the importance of emotional intelligence & find out more ways social & emotional learning can be integrated into your daily routine.

 

‘It’s not about bookish knowledge; it’s about being prepared for the future’

Dolphin Pod isn’t just a centre. It’s a path of new learning. It’s a new dimension that incorporates 21st-century tools to prepare children for their paths ahead. We don’t teach academics. Schools are doing a good job of that. We partner with the kids to realize their potential and prepare themselves mentally and emotionally. We have 12,000 sq ft of a free and protected play area with different modules for different age groups. Balance beams, tree houses, visual art therapy for sensory integration, hydrotherapy for revitalizing and maintaining good health, sand play therapy, and art therapy amongst our offerings. We have built new and dynamic ways to allow maximum growth with minimum stress.

Source : The Education Post

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Why Dolphin POD?

Dolphin Coaches and Pod Sessions: Why Two Fins are better than one –
Dr Shimi K Kang (Psychiatrist and Author)

The National Education Association (NEA) deems collaboration as an essential skill for students to learn, because it is inherent in how work is accomplished and how our workforce functions. In my research, I have found the characteristics of one of the world’s most altruistic mammals, the dolphin, to be a powerful metaphor for collaborative teaching and learning approaches.

Now, if dolphins could enter the current work world, they would blow the competition out of the water (no-pun intended)! Dolphins are famous for their highly social behaviour and collaborative way of life. Living in rich social communities called pods, dolphins use collaboration skills to hunt, play and survive in the deep depths of the ocean. For a second, imagine our education system as the ocean; how can our children survive the deep depths of group work, discussions, sharing, or playtime without the foundation of strong collaboration skills? One of the first places children can deeply explore collaboration is in the classroom. Twenty-first-century classrooms are more about competition and comparison. On the contrary, Dolphin Pod is a method of learning in which the Pod coaches aim towards greater collaboration, discussion, and group tasks in order to promote cooperative learning in a POD like environment. As long as the coach remains a dolphin (and not a strict tiger or permissive jellyfish), the development of pod-like environment will have your children swimming towards success.

A wealth of shared knowledge.

While hunting, dolphins do not fend for themselves; they consistently work together and share their intellect with one another to enhance the vitality of the pod. Children are no longer seen as “empty vessels” that can easily absorb the transferred knowledge from a lacklustre “sage on the stage.” In the Dolphin POD centre, children are invited to discuss new knowledge in light of their personal experiences, ideas and inquiries in the session. Of course, coaches still behold important content about a given topic or subject, but the collaborative approach allows students’ to take part in their own learning processResearchers suggest that when students see their experiences and knowledge as valued, they become empowered and motivated to listen and learn in new ways. For my kids, it is always a big confidence booster when they are able to educate and teach something to their own teacher and classmates!

Shared authority fosters autonomy.

If you witness the dynamics of a dolphin pod, you can tell there is not one sole leader or distinct rule-maker. Take a look around a collaborative session room, and you will see this same type of shared authority. Shared authority allows students to take more autonomy over their learning. By participating in establishing session room rules, setting goals and co-creating rubric guidelines, some shared authority can teach children the skills they will need to master in the near future (i.e. organization, time-management, communication, etc.). Research indicates that if students understand they are capable decision makers, they are more likely to take advantage of autonomous and collective learning opportunities outside of the session room.

Gently guide rather than direct.

As soon as a baby orca is born, its mother gently nudges it to the surface while modeling swimming motions, which encourages independence right away. When kids have more shared responsibility in the room, the coach is seen as more of a guide toward knowledge rather than a director of knowledge. Rather than directly stating factual information, educators (like mother orca’s) gentle nudge students toward opportunities where they can freely ask questions, provide insights and construct their own understanding. Mediated learning helps kids become problem-solvers and high-order thinkers; students are encouraged to use creativity and critical-thinking skills to explore alternative solutions.

Small-group learning and discussion.

Through signature whistles and unique sounds, dolphins are great underwater communicators. Collaborative session rooms often encourage communication through student discussions, group investigations and the development of shared understandings between peers. Peer-to-peer interaction involves more than just working with others; it involves being respectful, reliable, social, motivating, challenging and competent. In Tom Wujec’sTEDTalk “Build a Tower, Build a Team”, he discusses how group collaboration during an instructive “marshmallow tower” design competition can encourage teams to find innovative ways to collaborate and develop a shared understanding.

The development of social bonds.

The unique communication of dolphins allows them to develop strong social bonds with members of their pod, as well as other species. A community provides an environment within which rich social bonds can form – including those of friends, mentors and role models. The only way to learn essential social skills is to try them out; a collaborative session room should invite students to learn how to communicate, display teamwork skills and resolve conflict (through trial and error). Developing social bonds with peers and coaches will help kids foster their own social identity and social responsibility. Here’s another bonus: social interaction and social bonding both increase dopamine levels in our brains – and what person wouldn’t want a room filled with happy, healthy and motivated kids?

As a metaphor, dolphins remind us of the value of collaboration and how it can extend beyond the work world. As parents and educators (coaches, role models, mentors…) we want the current generation of children to derive a great satisfaction from working with others while fostering greatness, inspiration, and encouragement.

Dolphin POD gives children, a collaborative POD (Play-fun, Others-communicating, Downtime- mindfulness) session which offers rich learning opportunities that teach kids the dolphin-like social skills they will need to be able to function successfully in a collaborative world.