Resiliency and Self-Efficacy

Originally Presented at Lower School Curriculum Night

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My name is Nicole Girvan, and this is my fourth year as Head of Lower School and eleventh as a division director.  I shared this with my lower school families at our recent Curriculum Night and wanted it to be available for anyone who was unable to attend or for those in other divisions as it is relevant for every parent. 

Two years ago, I shared a Ted Talk about grit and the importance of perseverance by Angela Duckworth, and this year I want to briefly talk about the notion of independence, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence. I recently viewed another Ted Talk given by Julie Lythcott-Haims about over-parenting. She does a remarkable job stressing the importance of allowing those teachable moments and life lessons for our children. She shares how important it is for parents to avoid defining their child’s worth by their grades. More importantly, Ms. Lythcott-Haims talks about how parents need to build self-efficacy in children.

The weekend of the Back to Prep Bash, my husband and I dropped off our oldest son at boarding school. In one of the orientation sessions, the school psychologist told us that our role as parents has shifted and it may cause discomfort. The gist of the presentation is that parents of middle and upper school students are moving away from being “managers” to more like “consultants.” When the kids are young, parents manage their schedules, including after-school activities and playdates and sometimes even the circle of friends. However, as the kids get older, they do not need (nor want) us to “manage” them, and thus the shift to the role of “consultant” begins.

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Social Media Tool Kit

Tweens and teens can lead secret social media lives. How do parents and schools promote social media wellness?

On September 18, Charlotte Prep will welcome author and educator Ana Homayoun for a Parent Education Series event that will focus on some of the modern parenting dilemmas in the age of the smartphone. (The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Mezzanine. RSVP online.) Ana’s work, which is grounded in research and based on more than 15 years of working with students, offers practical solutions for students, parents, and educators as they navigate the ever-changing issues involving social networking and healthy child and teen development.

Ana will share advice from her latest book, Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital WorldThe book explores how the digital balancing act affects all aspects of our lives and personal wellness, and for students impacts academic abilities and social well-being as well as emotional and physical health.

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Empathy and Compassion for “Our Neighbors”

We have all been moved by the harrowing images of widespread suffering and damage in parts of Texas and Louisiana and unfortunately, it looks like Hurricane Irma is going to hit Florida. It is hard to fully comprehend this level of devastation and the heavy toll Hurricane Harvey is having on the people in its path. Indeed, many members of the One Prep family have connections to the Houston area, making this even more personal and pertinent for our community. Our thoughts, prayers, and support go out to the people known and unknown to us now trying to deal with unimaginable adversity.

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