The Varnett School - East

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Parent Empowerment: writing, exercising, flying paper airplanes

About 65 parents came to East campus, made paper airplanes and flew them in the library (Video).

There was a point to all this.

The activity was part of the Parent Empowerment Program, a culturally responsive parent-centered approach to increasing parents’ advocacy and expectations for the success of children.

The Varnett School East campus parents viewed videos during the “Power of Presence” that emphasized the importance of spending time with their children. Research from CASAColumbia  states that today’s parents prioritize family dinners, spend more time with their children than their parents did with them, and want to be more involved in their children’s education. Also, 79 percent of parents have dinner as a family on most nights and 51 percent  say they spend more time with their children than their parents did with them.

Watch the parents exercise in the multi-purpose room

The parents who came to East campus were given a worksheet to identify and compare and contrast the type of parent they had to the type of parent they are with their own children. It was interesting to learn that passive parents tended to have had extremely strict parents. My father was military strict while my mother was passive and I was drill a drill sergeant with some passive ways.

The love and logic worksheet identifies three types of parents: 

CONSULTANT - This Love and Logic parent provides guidance and consultant services for children;

HELICOPTER - This parent hovers over children and rescues them from the hostile world in which they live.

DRILL SERGEANT - This parent commands and directs the lives of children.

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The Power of Presence had two group sessions, one was to teach parents physical activities they could engage in with their children to promote healthy and fun ways to interact with their children. The parents worked out to and will use it at home with their families.

The other session watched videos in which where Korea and Europeans countries stated family engagement was lacking and needed to be addressed. The parents had a “Do Now” exercise, which was to make a paper airplane, decorate it and write positive affirmations to give to their children when they arrived home. The parents tested their skills as they flew their planes in the library. The homework assignment given was to make greeting cards and write positive words to their children.

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The parents were impressed by one video that asked what they would do if their child said they were thirsty. Would you give them a toy instead of water? The idea was to take care of the needs of their children by spending precious time.

Those who attended completed an “exit ticket” in which they expressed the importance of spending time with their children.

Ms. Gayle Voltz

East Campus Director

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