Delivering tools for success

Children in the Core program learn how to express positive emotions, a necessary skill for peaceful problem solving

In the early childhood development stages, seemingly small problems which might appear trivial to adults can actually be rooted into much more significant problems later in life, if never addressed. For that and many other reasons, at TYO we emphasize the importance of teaching children critical-thinking and problem-solving techniques to help children overcome their problems. Independent problem-solving increases children's self-respect and gives them a sense of belonging within their community as effective and reliable individuals.

Our particular emphasis at TYO is peaceful resolution to problem-solving. Young children tend to model the behavior of adults around them, so when they see older siblings or parents yelling at each other as a means of problem-solving, they tend to internalize this behavior as correct. This is why TYO's multi-generational approach can be so impactful- we aim to teach better marital communication skills for moms at the same time that we're teaching positive communication skills to children with the goal of breaking the cycle of anger and negativity which ultimately fosters feelings of hopelessness and depression later in life.

In the Core Child Program, we implement activities which are designed to help children practice and improve their problem-solving skills. For instance, such activities are intentionally meant to induce a frustrated response from children. The last ten weeks of the program we were helping children to identify and express their emotions. Children were learning how to change bad/ negative feelings into more positive responses. So in this week, the goal was to give children the opportunity to apply the positive responses they had been learning all session. As teachers, it was critically important to achieving the development goals that we immediately identify any children expressing an incorrect response to frustration- at which point we'd stop the activity to lead the class in a short discussion once again modeling correct reactions to frustration. Although this is a challenging week for our children, it can be the most rewarding, as this week is a true opportunity to observe children's progress throughout the session.

-Core Child Teacher, Shireen