Mooi galgje woord: OefenCitoStress

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Waar de British School vorige week alweer haar deuren opende, konden de Nederlandse kinderen tot afgelopen maandag nog rustig bijkomen van wat vaak als de meest gezellige, alsook meest ‘hysterische’ maand ervaren wordt. Dit jaar werd het olijke december echter voor het eerst voorafgegaan door oefen-Cito’s. U leest het goed. Oefen-Cito’s. ‘Nep Cito’s’ zoals ik ze met vele cliëntjes maar enigszins geruststellend ben gaan noemen.

Toen ik een aantal jaar geleden voor het eerst de woorden ‘kleuter Cito’ hoorde, brak mijn klompje al.. Dit nieuwe fenomeen slaat mijns inziens echter alles. De stress die deze nep-Cito’s namelijk met zich meebrengen (voornamelijk aan de kinderen geboden om hen beter te doen presteren op de echte Cito’s) is zo groot, dat, tegen de tijd dat de ‘echte’ januari Cito daadwerkelijk op hun tafeltje ligt, een steeds groter deel van de kinderen precies strak genoeg staat om daar een flink potje van te maken. En of zij nu voor tussentijdse toetsen achten en negens halen, “doet er niet zoveel toe” horen vele ouders tot hun grote frustratie. Cito. Rules. Punt.

‘Gelukkig’ schieten de Cito-trainingen ondertussen aan alle kanten als paddenstoelen uit de grond. Waarom dit big business is, is onder meer omdat de vraagstelling van de Cito dusdanig afwijkt van de manier waarop kinderen gewend zijn vragen te beantwoorden, dat, wat mij betreft, de Cito op basis daarvan alleen al in twijfel getrokken mag worden.

Het is en blijft vrij simpel. Over het algemeen geldt: Hoe beter je je voelt, hoe beter je presteert. Is de koffie op je werk goed te drinken, doet de printer het en krijg je zo nu en dan waardering, ook (en juist) wanneer je deze niet verwacht, heeft dit vaak een positief effect op je output. Nog nooit had ik het echter zo druk met de coaching van toekomstig Nederland; kinderen die ik een jaar of vijf geleden vrijwel zeker niet had hoeven zien.

Bij deze een oproep aan alle mama’s, papa’s, ooms, tantes, opa’s, oma’s, broers, zussen en, last but not least, aan onderwijs biedend Nederland: jut deze kinderen de komende weken alsjeblieft niet nog verder op. Wees zo relaxt mogelijk, maak het niet groter dan het is en straal uit dat je vertrouwen hebt in je koter.

Bij voorbaat, ook namens hen, veel dank!

Carolina

“How to raise successful kids – without overparenting”

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“By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping. At least, that’s how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case…”

http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting

TEDxYouth@ISH

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Workshop leader: Carolina Sleijffers MSc, founder of Time To Talk

“Mission Possible ??
As young children, most of you thought anything and everything was possible until a more ‘serious’ life began. There was still room for curiosity, creativity and day-dreaming, but soon enough homework and grades (and nagging parents 😉 were on the menu as well. On top of that, you’re growing up in a society that mostly teaches you to feel comfortable with the familiar way of doing things, leading to most people not daring to Think Big.

But what if you have this great ‘unrealistic’ idea? Do you let go of it, because society doesn’t believe you can do it? Or do you hang on to it, just knowing you can make it happen?

By joining this workshop, you’ll learn how to stay in touch with your gut feeling that always knows best, so that you get to live your what-if-anything-is-possible story!”

http://www.tedxyouthish.com/workshops

Article for ToTen Newspaper: “How to survive puberty?”, by Drs. Carolina Sleijffers

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Google ‘puberty/books/parents’ and you get about 1.440.000 hits. This is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. Puberty can be quite a confusing and taxing time for all. A bit of extra guidance will therefore be welcome for most parents.

But what about the adolescents themselves? How are they supposed to ‘survive’ their parents, who, at times, seem to think and want the complete opposite of what they have in mind?

http://www.to10.nl/social-stream/how-to-survive-puberty/

‘The power of open-mindedness’

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Due to busy lifestyles, high demands, massive amounts of (digital) input and poor diets, we tend to take ‘short cuts’ to keep things manageable. I think it’ll serve you -no matter what you do- but especially when working with big little miracles like kids (whether you’re a parent, auntie, teacher, psychologist), to try to keep an open mind despite the current circumstances, by taking these into account as well, instead of looking at a child in a vacuum.

Whenever problematic behaviour occurs, try to ask yourself why it may occur instead of judging/labeling it straight away (‘because there’s already too much on your plate.. which.. to be honest.. isn’t or shouldn’t become the child’s problem).

Be your own devils’ advocate and try to see the child in the environment it grows up in, as well as seeing what his/her strengths are, next to the behaviour you wish to see less of.

Behaviour, especially when they’re still tiny, is a wonderful tool for kids to express themselves. If it’s (very) problematic, the child (and you) may need high quality support, not poor quality limited thinking, to get to the core of the situation and to a long term solution.

Self-reflect every once in a while. What can you do differently that will impact this situation positively? Focus more on the good? Ignore more of the annoying but not necessarily ‘to be corrected’ behaviour? Go to bed earlier?

It may be somewhat confrontational but taking a closer look at yourself, often gives you a clearer picture of the child(ren) around you.

‘The Joys of Doing Nothing’

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“It starts off innocently: a playdate or two for your toddler, maybe a gym class once week. By the time he’s in second grade, he’s taking art lessons and playing pee-wee baseball and soccer. A few years later he makes the travel soccer team, which conflicts at times with basketball. But he still manages to squeeze in Boy Scout meetings and saxophone lessons before tackling his homework. You cheer him on during games, even though it may mean sitting in the bleachers, cell phone in hand, as you field calls from your office. You joke that you feel more at home on the road than in your living room. In fact, you are running as fast as you can toward that elusive goal of raising a well-rounded child.”

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/creativity-play/joys-doing-nothing