An important part of the SDM/PS program is parent participation and support. We have collaborated in the development of a wide variety of outreach activities and materials, based on the creative problem solving of educators and our staff. For example, local cable video programs have been produced and shown to be successful in reaching parents in the community (Wedam 1988). A parent survey to assess the best times for parents to tune in can help set a schedule so that busy parents can be given as many viewing times as possible. Copies of the video can also be distributed by the school for home viewing. Parents are reached as well through books like Teach your child decision making (Clabby & Elias, 1986), Emotionally intelligent parenting (Elias, Tobias & Friedlander, 1999), and most recently Raising emotionally intelligent teenagers (Elias, Tobias & Friedlander, 2000). "Refrigerator Notes" (Hett & Krikorian, 1993), are also used and can isolate and describe specific skills and ways parents can help children practice skills at home. Both of these can be sent home by the classroom teacher.
A wide variety of school-based events have also been effective, such as
- evening sessions that included dinner and babysitters, and
- bagel breakfasts where parents are invited to join a morning class session in which children share what they are learning.
Many other events have been designed and marketed in collaboration with our school colleagues, who are knowledgeable regarding the local needs and obstacles in the community. Some of the ideas include a presentation of students work through role play and videos. Back to school night is often used to introduce parents to the skills their children will be learning. Follow-up activities can be sent home intermittently for the children and parents to practice. We are always brainstorming new ideas to make sure we keep the parents informed and participating. We have developed a variety of brochures and handouts that help teachers orient parents to the skills the children will learning during the year.
EQ Parenting Website
Resource for Emotionally Intelligent Parenting: EQ Parenting
This link provides access to a site hosted by the co-developer of the SDM/PS approach, Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University. You will find information and an e-mail specifically designed for parents. You may find this a useful addition to the services and resources provided by our staff at RBHS.