“Tips for creating safe spaces and developing emotional intelligence in your children.It is never too late to start opening new communication channels with your child. S. Boswell, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: How to Help Kids Open Up About Anything By Shanicia Boswell, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020
“Did you learn your lesson?” my mother asked.
Those five words have been etched in my mind since I was a teenager.
I was a good kid… but I was always pushing the boundaries. This time, I had received a speeding ticket for rushing to get home before my curfew. When I told her what had happened, my mother approached me with arms crossed, her tone one of serious concern, but not anger.
I received no actual punishment, but I did have to take responsibility for my actions and pay the ticket with my own money. Growing up, I always found my mother to be a safe space for me.
Now that I’m a mother, I’ve worked to create those spaces for my daughter. The communication that starts with parents and children is one of the most influential and persuasive ways children can learn to socialize throughout their lives, research shows.
Taylor Quick, a licensed child therapist for Zola Counseling, a private practice in Charlotte, N.C., defines safe spaces as the relationship that a child has to her parent or caregiver to feel understood and heard..How do we create safe spaces to allow our children to manage their emotions and talk openly?
Have a ‘feelings check-in’…Smith-Crawford suggested parents try this with their children. ‘Ideally, feelings check-ins are done daily, at the end of the day. You can do this with your children until they are adults,’ she said.
Self-awareness, or knowing what you feel and how you feel it, is an important component of emotional intelligence, said Daniel Goleman, Ph.D, the author of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.
Dr. Goleman has demonstrated how younger children have the power to manage their emotions… My 7-year-old and I have a safety circle. In this circle, we sit face to face to create a feeling of [being] equal…It is never too late to start opening new communication channels with your child, especially as we are spending so much more time together during the pandemic. By helping our children talk openly at home, we are preparing them to communicate and connect with others and to use their voice powerfully in the world.”
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 60 minutes.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer
Directions: Examine the title of the post and of the actual article. Next examine any photos. Write a paragraph describing what you think this article will discuss. A pre-reading organizer may be used.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Tips for creating safe spaces and developing emotional intelligence in your children.
- Those five words have been etched in my mind since I was a teenager.
- I was a good kid growing up between boys and shenanigans.
- I was always pushing the boundaries.
- The communication has to start with parents and children.
- Many parents feel that making a curfew for kids is important.
- This is one of the most influential ways children can learn to socialize throughout their lives.
- Children feel more empowered after their feelings have been validated.
- I want the children and the family to identify and be aware of the feelings that they’ve experienced.
- Self-awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Those five word have been etched in my mind.
- I was a good kid but I was always pushing the boundaries.
- I had a speeding ticket for rushing to get home before my curfew.
- Now that I’m a mother, I’ve worked to create those spaces for my daughter.
- How do we create safe spaces for our children?
- Parents should have check-ins with their children.
- Showing child how to calm down is important.
- Younger children have the power to manage their emotions.
- My 7-year-old and I have a safety circle.
Identify The Speakers
Directions: Read the following quotes from speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.
- ” Growing up, I always found my mother to be a safe space for me.”
- Defines safe spaces as “the relationship that a child has to her parent or caregiver to feel understood and heard.”
- “I want the children and the family to identify and be aware of the feelings that they’ve experienced throughout their week but also be able to connect that feeling with a certain circumstance or event.”
- “Self-awareness, or knowing what you feel and how you feel it, is an important component of emotional intelligence.”
- “My parents listen to me because they want to support me and they want to be there for me.”
- He suggests,” we can ask our children how we are doing as parents.”
Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing
Directions: Have students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.
- Do you feel it is important for children or adults to have a safe place? Please explain why.
- Do you have a safe place? Why?
- How does Taylor Quick defines safe places?
- According to Ms. Quick, when do children feel more empowered?
- Describe ‘feelings check-in’
- According to Smith-Crawford how long should parents do feelings-check-ins with their children?
Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.