MAY 2019

We will be hosting a “Muffins for Mom” event on Friday, May 10, from 7:45-9:00 a.m. Come and have a special muffin with your child or grab one on your way out. All mothers and special women in your child’s life are welcome. We hope to see you there!
Thank you so much to all the families who donated and contributed to our staff appreciation potluck. Everything was delicious and we greatly appreciate your generosity.
In our commitment to provide time and opportunities for staff to grow professionally, EFC will be closed on Friday, May 24, for a staff in-service day. We will also be closed on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend.
We will be holding conferences for infants, toddlers and preschoolers during the month of May. The sign-up sheets have been posted outside your child’s classroom. The conferences will be 20 minutes in length, and we do our best to keep to our schedule. We hold conferences twice a year to keep you informed on your child’s progress as well as to discuss any questions that you may have. Please be aware that children should not attend these conferences. This is a time for teachers and parents to meet. We look forward to seeing you.
Hopefully we will have warmer weather in May and we can send home the winter wear! During the summer flip flops become very popular however, we do not allow them at the center. They fall off easily while running and climbing causing tripping and falling injuries. Please have your children wear proper athletic shoes so they can enjoy their extended outdoor activities. Also, please bring in a bottle of non-aerosol sunscreen to keep here, labeled with your child’s first and last name. We will apply sunscreen in the afternoon before we go outside each day. Remember to apply sunscreen each day before your child comes to school for going outside in the morning. 

“A person who grows up getting too frequent rewards will not have persistence, because they’ll quit when the rewards disappear.”

Dr. Robert Cloninger, Center for Well-Being
Happily, it is now the season for pulling out bikes and scooters; heading to the park, field, or playground to play; and creating masterpieces with sidewalk chalk. Last night our girls, ages 6 and 4, whizzed up and down the driveway on their scooters, enjoying the warm air and sunshine. At one point I exclaimed to our younger daughter, “You are so fast!” This was immediately followed by a question from our older daughter, “Mommy, am I doing a good job too?” “Yes!” I replied, “You are doing great!”

In spite of what I have learned time and again about the negative consequences for children of too much praise, it is a hard habit to break. And yet as I think about the spring and summer months and the opportunities they afford our girls to learn and develop new skills, I am reminded of the importance of fostering a growth mindset--and that too much praise can be an obstacle to this.

Psychologist Carol Dweck is a leading researcher on the concept of fixed versus growth mindsets. While a fixed mindset assumes that you can’t materially change your capabilities, intelligence, or character, a growth mindset thrives on challenge and embraces new opportunities to learn and expand a base of knowledge. People with a growth mindset are intrinsically motivated to learn.

Dweck has found that children develop their mindsets—their beliefs about themselves and their abilities—very early in life. She has discovered that praising children can foster a fixed mindset as children become focused on proving themselves for the purpose of receiving praise, versus engaging in the learning process for the purpose of obtaining knowledge.

It is instinctive for most parents to praise their children, so one way praise can be used more effectively is to praise a child’s effort rather than his or her ability. As Dweck notes from her research,

“…ability praise pushed students right into the fixed mindset, and they showed all the signs of it, too: When we gave them a choice, they rejected a challenging new task that they could learn from. They didn’t want to do anything that could expose their flaws and call into question their talent.

In contrast, when students were praised for effort, 90 percent of them wanted the challenging new task that they could learn from.”

Parents can also substitute praise with an observation or an open-ended question, which have the benefits of increasing vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

Next time I’m tempted to say, “Good job!” as our daughter crosses the monkey bars, I think I will try an observation such as, “You used your arm muscles to get all the way across that time!” Or maybe I’ll try a question: “Why do you think they are called monkey bars?” 

Check out the Parent Blog for Carol Dweck’s TED Talk.

Additional articles of interest on this topic:

Angie Williams
Director of Finance and Marketing

Now-5/12  Wild Kratt's Creature Power! The Exhibit , MN Children's Museum, St. Paul
Now-5/12 The Most Magnificent Thing , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
5/2-5/5 Festival of Nations , St. Paul RiverCentre
5/4 Walk for Animals , Golden Valley
5/5 MayDay Parade & Festival , Minneapolis
5/11 Dash it for Baskets , Eagan
5/12 Mother’s Day Symphony , Landmark Center, St. Paul
5/17-5/19 Art-A-Whirl , NE Minneapolis

Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane