Dear Aspen Families,
Your child participated in an assembly or classroom presentation called Kelso’s Choices. This program focuses on problem solving and bully blocking skills. In this program, children are taught to differentiate between minor problems (those problems that they can assertively handle on their own) and big problems (those problems that make us feel scared or uncomfortable they bring to an adult they trust). Conflict or disagreement is normal and often happens when children get together. However, hurtful words, gestures, or physical aggression are unacceptable ways to deal with conflict and disagreement at school. Our goal is to teach students several positive ways to deal with these difficult situations. To do this, we are asking students who have minor problems to try at least two of the following ideas:
1. Go to another game or activity.
2. Share and take turns.
3. Respectfully talk it over and listen to each other.
4. Walk away from the problem.
5. Ignore the problem behavior.
6. Tell the person to stop the problem behavior.
8. Make a deal or compromise.
9. Wait to cool off.
This process can be done before asking for adult help. When a request for adult help is made, it will include the two ideas tried: “Mrs. Jones, Tad is teasing me about my glasses. I tried ignoring him, and I’ve told him it hurts my feelings when he makes fun of me. He’s still calling me names.” The playground supervisor at school will get involved and help solve the problem by using our playground discipline plan. Of course, the playground supervisor will immediately handle any serious conflicts that cause a child to feel threatened or frightened.
By using this plan, we believe that our students will develop effective problem-solving skills that they can use again and again. It will help them to deal with conflict in a positive manner and to make appropriate decisions. Knowing what to do will help students reduce the stress and number of conflicts they have at school and in their neighborhood.
We encourage you to become familiar with this program and use it in your home. Attached, you will find a copy of the Kelso wheel to reinforce these skills at home. Research has shown that children with effective problem-solving skills have higher self-esteem. By working together, we can develop healthy life skills for young people to use at home, in their community and at school.
Elementary School Counselor