Up-to-Date QACP Inclement Weather Policies & Safety Info


Was anyone else as surprised as we were to see snow falling in early November?

  • To find out if QACP is closed due to inclement weather, follow the news announcements for Seattle Public School District’s schedule.
  • Your class coordinator will also send updates via email and QACP’s Internal Communications Team will post on QA Co-Op’s Facebook page too.
  • For the safety of our co-op families, please remember that whether Seattle Public Schools announces a closure or a partial schedule change (e.g., 2 hour delay, early dismissal, or closure of only after-school programs) QACP is still completely closed for the day and will not hold any classes.

In order to prepare for potentially problematic weather this season in Seattle, please consider reviewing the following recommendations that your QACP Internal Communications (IC) Team has pulled from the Seattle Public Schools website:


Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Inclement Weather Information

(originally posted 02/27/17 in its entirety by SPS)

  • The home page of the Seattle Public Schools’ district and school websites will publish any schedule changes resulting from inclement weather.
  • SPS Twitter account will have updates: @seapubschools
  • Additionally, SPS’s Facebook page will also post notices: @SeattlePublicSchools
  • The Seattle Public School District will notify local media of any closures or delays.
  • Local television and radio stations will also broadcast this information (e.g., KOMO-4 TV, KOMO-1000 AM Radio, KING-5, KIRO-7 TV, &/or KIRO-97.3 FM Radio).


Winter Safety Tips for Students Walking to School or ​A Bus Stop

  • Students should allow extra time to get to their school or bus stop in the morning.  Arrival at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the scheduled pickup time is recommended.
  • Bright clothing will make students more visible for bus drivers and other motorists, especially in the early morning and late evening. Warm clothing is also recommended as transportation delays may occur.
  • Please walk with young children to their school or bus stop; older children should walk in groups. The location of a student’s bus stop may be different from their normal stop location if the district is operating on snow routes.
  • Pedestrian travel should be done on sidewalks or a safe walking path.
  • When there is no sidewalk and you have to walk on the road, be sure to walk facing traffic.
  • Walk across a street at corners, using crosswalks whenever possible.
  • When crossing a street: look left, right and left.
  • Listen for the sound of car motors, sirens, horns or emergency announcements before stepping into the street.

For those students who use King County’s Metro bus service for school transportation, please visit the Metro online guide for their emergency ice and snow schedule. 


Preparing for Inclement Weather

  • Seattle is unique in that snow may accumulate in one area and not in other areas.
  • As the decision is being considered to operate on snow routes or to close schools, circumstances in the entire city are carefully considered, as well as weather reports and any other pertinent information.
  • However, experience has proven that weather reports related to snow are typically inaccurate. With this in mind, your patience and understanding during these emergency conditions will be appreciated.
  • It is the responsibility of each family to have an inclement weather plan in place that can be put into action on short notice.
  • We ask that you make sure your children have an alternate place to stay if you must be at work on a day when school has been delayed or canceled.
  • Please ensure that a neighbor, family member or center is able to care for or receive students, and please instruct students to report directly home or to their established care center immediately on arrival in the evening.

“Parent Involvement in Education” by QACP Parent Educator, Jamie Cho, PhD

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Research studies have repeatedly shown the importance of parent involvement in a child’s education. These studies show that parents’ involvement in their child’s education results in better academic performance, student confidence and motivation (Hoover- Dempsey & Sandlar, 1997). Parental involvement can be defined as the allocation of resources for a child (Grolnick & Slowiaczek, 1994).

According to Grolnick & Slowiaczek (1994), forms of involvement can involve behavioral, personal and intellectual/cognitive

  1. Behavioral involvement refers to the presence of parents at school meetings, open houses, conferences. These parental behaviors show the child that his/her parents value school and education. Furthermore, it allows for the parent and teacher to be on the same page when it comes to schooling, homework, goals, etc.
  2. Secondly, parents may also show a personal involvement which refers to the parents’ emotional experience with their child regarding school, showing the child positive feelings about going to school, encouraging and motivating children to do well and get along.
  3. Finally, the cognitive/intellectual category of involvement involves exposing the child to educational stimuli at home or in the community. This could include books and puzzles at home, trips to museums or providing practice for skills through tutoring or practice.

All three of these areas of parent involvement allow for parents to be active participants in their child’s education and form partnerships with their child’s school and teachers.


In the first avenue of involvement, the parent becomes an active member of the school community by attending school events, volunteering in the classroom, or helping out with the parent teacher associations. These behaviors help to reinforce the importance of school for the child but also build a relationship with teachers and administrators at the school. In my experience, public schools are very much in need of parent involvement to not only keep the school running through fundraising efforts, but also to provide help in the classroom and add cultural education to students through assemblies, field trips, etc.

The second category of parent involvement is a feeling or affective experience that the child absorbs. Through positive associations with school and a caring supportive stance from parents about education, the child can enter school with less trepidation and more confidence that school will be a fun and rewarding experience. Furthermore, an accepting and positive attitude from parents is more likely to engage teachers to not only develop a relationship with the parents but to engage with their child.

Lastly, in the third area of parent involvement the cognitive/intellectual category, parents are actively seeking and engaging their child in activities outside of school that strengthen their learning experience. Activities such as going to the library, museums, parks, zoos and theaters give children add to children’s knowledge and give them a chance to explore. Exposure to materials such as books, puzzles, blocks, pencils, crayons, etc. give children opportunities to practice and create outside of school. Home becomes an extension of school, where children alongside their parents can have multiple opportunities at new and repeated experiences.


Each parent has to decide what their level of involvement will be at their child’s school.  Not everyone can be the PTA president or volunteer every day in the classroom, but each parent can devote time to their children in many ways.  As you go through the school year, or get ready for the next one think of ways that you can or would like to be involved in your child’s education and school.

Jamie Cho, PhD


Grolnick, W. & Slowiaczek, M. (1994).  Parents’ involvement in children’s schooling: A multidimensional conceptualization and motivational model. Child Development, 65(1), 237-252.

Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1997).  Why do parents become involved in their children’s education?  Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 3-42.

“Intro to History of Parent Ed & Co-op Programs in WA State” by Pam Mcelmeel (2007)


In The Beginning:    A New Folk Movement in the United States

Katharine Whiteside Taylor was a pioneer and nationally known consultant for the parent education cooperative movement in the United States.  Ms. Taylor was contracted by the Seattle Public Schools in 1941 to develop parent cooperative playgroups in Washington State.   Following are quotes about the development of cooperative groups for parents and children in the United States from her book PARENT COOPERATIVE NURSERY SCHOOLS, published by the Teacher College, Columbia University, 1954 (pp.3-4).

The first cooperative nursery school in the United States was started in 1916 by a group of twelve faculty wives at the University of Chicago who wanted to secure social education for their children, parent education for themselves and a little free time to volunteer for the Red Cross.

During the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s cooperative nursery schools expanded to other states.   Many coops were affiliated with higher education institutions and public schools such as Smith College in New York, University of California in Lost Angeles, Berkeley Public Schools in California and Seattle Public Schools.

It is significant that cooperatives are not limited to any one socio-economic level.  True, in most localities the first groups started with college educated women (parents) of comfortable economic status.  But once a good example was established, it was usually followed by parent groups of varying backgrounds and earning capacity.

Further evidence of the value of cooperatives in meeting the needs of both children and parents is the way they carried on and grew with changing leadership, both lay and professional.  Their success has depended on the continual development of new leaders.

In her book Ms. Taylor estimated 500 parent cooperatives were operating in the United States in 1954.  Katharine Whiteside Taylor (1897-1989) was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in 1996.  She devoted her life to cooperation, education, children, and peace.

The Parent Education Cooperative Model

 The Parent Education Cooperative Model in Washington State is based on the format describe in Katharine Whiteside Taylor’s books.   The enrolling parents operate and financially support a child development laboratory for their children. Since parents are responsible for the business and financial arrangements, they learn how to apply concepts of group development, group decision-making, and resource management.

The children’s program provides the experiential core for adult learning about early childhood education and child development.  The parents also attend adult education classes to supplement the laboratory experience as teacher assistants and to explore a range of issues related to family relations and home management.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s this original model was adapted to include other parent child programs such as campus child care, and grant funded programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start and school district early childhood programs. These program variations still follow the cooperative model that include parent-child interactions and parent decision-making.



Federal Vocational Education Funds for Parent Education

The rationale for parent education as a component of adult vocational education originated with the federal Smith-Hughes Act of 1917.  The Act supported education for farmers and their families through land grant colleges (such as WSU), county extension agencies, secondary public school education and adult vocational education programs.  Since the Smith-Hughes Act and all subsequent legislation for vocational education, homemaking, including parenting, has been defined as an occupation and therefore, clearly eligible to receive federal funds.

Since vocational training is skill oriented rather than academic, practicing skills with a trained instructor provided the foundation of the coursework. The cooperative preschools affiliated with school districts utilized an attendance based funding model.  When the programs moved into the community colleges, attendance requirements continued to be used as the basis for assigning credit, including lecture/discussion led by an instructor, laboratory experience as a teacher assistant, and clinical experience in school related activities.

Organization of Parent Education Programs (OPEP)

OPEP is a professional organization of program coordinators employed in Washington state community and technical colleges. The leadership group has changed titles over the years: Consumer and Homemaking Education Coordinators in 1976; Organization of Parent Education Coordinators (OPEC) in 1983; Organization of Parent Education Programs (OPEP) in Washington Technical and Community Colleges in 1994.

The Coordinator’s group meets quarterly to share information, curriculum development and content, personnel training and inter-agency collaboration. Since 1977 the fall quarter meetings have been scheduled in conjunction with the state WAEYC Conference.  Since 1990 the group has met each year at Rainbow Lodge in North Bend, Washington for a two day retreat.  The third yearly meeting of the group was held at various campus sites until the 2000 decade when they have been scheduled on the Interactive Video Conferencing (ITV) system at several college sites.   The OPEP leadership team holds an Executive Board meeting prior to each quarterly Coordinator’s meeting; plus the Executive Board also has a summer planning retreat.

Federal vocational monies from SBCTC allows OPEP to set standards that help maintain quality programs throughout the state system and plan professional in-service for Parent Education instructors and teachers.



The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC)

Since the Community College Act of 1967, the SBCTC provides overall policy governance for the two-year public colleges in Washington State. SBCTC is responsible for developing system wide budget requests for consideration by the governor and legislature and for disbursing state and federal resources to the colleges.  SBCTC has provided a State Board staff member to OPEP as well as support funds for inservice training through the Vocational Leadership monies

Washington Association for Education of Young Children (WAEYC)

WAEYC was established in 1977 as the Washington state affiliate of National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  These national and state professional organizations have provided research based information about child development, early childhood education, and family support methods that continues to benefit parent education cooperative programs in the state.   Parent Education Cooperative Coordinators group held its fall quarter meeting in 1977 in conjunction with the first annual WAEYC conference in Issaquah.  The conference provided workshops for professional development of preschool teachers, parent instructors and program coordinators.  Vendors provided a variety of early childhood resources for review and purchase.  Because of these benefits OPEP continues to schedule the fall quarter meetings in conjunction the WAEYC state conference each fall.

Coordinators and instructors from college and VTI parent education programs were involved in leadership roles from the beginning of WAEYC.  The very first elected President of WAEYC in 1977-78 was Nancy Hutchins, who at that time was a parent instructor at North Seattle Community College.  In 1979-80 Carol Mooney, Coordinator of Home and Family Life Programs for Clover Park Technical Institute, served as WAEYC President.  Cynthia Calbick, Coordinator of Parent Education at Big Bend Community College was elected WAEYC President in 1982-83; Cynthia continued to serve on the state WAEYC Board, after she retired, until 2007.  Maralyn ThomasSchier, Coordinator of Parent Education at Seattle Central Community College served two terms as WAEYC President:  1987-88 and 1990-92.  Martha Scoville, Parent Education Coordinator at Green River Community College, 1984 to 1990 served as WAEYC President from 1992-94.

When WAEYC started offering Inclusion Grants in 1988 to Early Childhood Programs across the state, Cooperative Preschools were some of the first programs to apply.  The purpose of the grant is to promote inclusion of preschoolers with disabilities into classrooms with typically developing children.  These Inclusion Grants continue to benefit many cooperative preschool programs. The grant funds come to WAEYC from the Office of Public Instruction (OSPI) and require collaboration with school districts. Professional development for staff and parents about meeting the needs of a range of special needs children is provided.

Pam Mcelmeel PictureNow retired, author Pam J. Mcelmeel, M.Ed. had enjoyed working as one of the SCC parent educators assigned to QACP since 1987.  Before joining the SCC Parent Education Program staff, Pam was simultaneously completing her Master in Education at the University of Washington and parenting two preschoolers.






“Screen Time and Our Children” by QACP Parent Educator Jamie Cho, PhD

Educational apps via screen time

How much screen time and what types of media are appropriate for our children?  In general less television and media is better for young children, and when media is used it should be high quality programming.  Also, commercials and prime time television programming should be avoided since it includes commercialized, violent and/or sexualized imaging (Steyer, 2002).  It is up to parents to monitor screen time usage and content to make sure it is appropriate.  The monitoring of electronic usage only becomes more important as children grow older and engage in social media.  It is important to set the parameters and the rules around good media habits when children are young.

Utilizing media headphones for flights

I personally believe there are advantages of technology and media.  Schools are moving to include more technology in the classroom.  Homework is done on the computer and can be tailored to children’s strengths and needs.  Our children growing up in this media age seem to be born with the ability to use tablets, computers, and other electronic media.  My kids, after the age of 2, love watching television and now as they get older like to play video games.  Educational programming and the educational apps make learning fun and allows access to other ways of learning.  Conversely youth can become inactive learners in front of a screen.  They can become obsessed with games that encourage them to log in day after day during certain times.

Conversation break during screen time

In our family, media is very much a part of our lives but we limit screen time, monitor the types of media that is used, and do not watch adult programming in front of our children.  We limit screen time to an hour.  Screen time is a privilege and it is only allowed after school work and extracurricular activities have been completed.  It takes a back seat to other activities such as sports, art, board games, etc.

American Academy of Pediatrics (2016) has the following recommendations for screen media:

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting.  Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs.  Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
Toddlers taking savvy selfies

Steyer (2002) also has the following guidelines about what parents can do to control the media’s influence on our children:

  • Establish good media habits- watching television should be a privilege not a habit or constant activity.  Set limits, and pay attention to the content
  • Do not put a TV in your child’s room
  • Set a time limit or “no TV week” and stick to it
  • Teach your child to ask permission to use media
  • Watch and listen with your kids—use this as an opportunity to discuss what you like, don’t like and why
  • Set clear rules about media usage with friends or family when your kids go on a playdate
Jame Bio Pic
QACP’s Parent Educator:  Jamie Cho, PhD

For more information, check out these sources:



Steyer, J.P (2002). The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media’s Effect on Our Children. Atria Books: New York, NY.

Kiddo Podcasts: Intel from a QACP 3s Class Mom


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Hi Fellow QACP Families,

I wanted to share a quick blurb about the various *new-ish* podcasts we’ve been listening to at our house!

During the lull of summer, while desperately trying to find things to keep my child/children entertained, I stumbled across this blog post from “Dirt and Boogers” (click on link to read the article).

The author’s children are a bit older than my 3-year-old preschooler and 3-month-old infant but, since I love to listen to my own set of podcasts, I thought these might be fun for Oliver (currently in QACP’s 3s Class) to try.

We downloaded a few of the items from “Stories Podcast” and they were an instant hit. The Three Little Pigs story is one of Ollie’s favorites.  After that we tried “Wow in the World’s” episode on flatworms and he was delighted to learn that they eat and poop through the same tube.

Gross but informative, right?  My son begged to listen to the same episode over and over until he had absorbed all the new information, giggling hysterically every time the host explained just how the Planarian Flatworm did its business.

The best thing about these podcasts is that they have become a substitute for our screen time, replacing the endless requests for “Paw Patrol” and PBS Kids programming.  If you have a smart phone, one can easily download them there and even play podcasts through any blue-tooth speaker.

I’m looking forward to trying some of the other podcasts out there and introducing my children to more science, history, and literature told in kid-friendly terms that even I enjoy listening to.


Emily Keller, QACP 3s Class Mom

Welcome Back, QACP: Letters from our 2017/18 Teachers & Co-Chairs

LindaCapps_Summer 2017

Dear QACP Families,

Welcome to the start of our 2017-2018 preschool year.  I’m looking forward to meeting all of the new parents and children and to re-connecting with returning families.  This year will be bittersweet for me as it will be my 32nd and last year sharing in the lives of so many amazing preschoolers.  When I first came to QACP I taught all of the younger classes (tots, 2’s and 3’s) then in my second year I began teaching all of the classes.  At that time, the oldest class was called the 4’s class (currently called Pre-K) and those children are now in their mid-thirties!  I can’t quite wrap my mind around that fact, but it has been a wonderful journey and I’m really going to cherish this last year with all of you.

–Teacher Linda

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Hello Queen Anne Co-op Preschool Families,

The QACP board is pleased to announce the hiring of Nanci Murphy as a new Teacher.  Nanci has 8 years experience as an elementary school teacher and was an active QACP parent and board member for nine years.  She is very excited to again be a part of our co-op community and to guide our children in discovery.

For the 2017-18 school year, Teacher Nanci will work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Teacher Linda will work Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The class teaching schedule is as follows:

Tots I – Teacher Linda, Tots II – Teacher Nanci, Twos – Teacher Linda, Threes – Teacher Nanci, and Pre-K – Teacher Nanci/Teacher Linda

We are excited for Nanci to join us and know she will be a valuable addition to our school.  Please help us give her a warm QACP welcome!


Emily Keller and Casey Held

Board Co-Chairs, Queen Anne Co-op Preschool

NanciMurphy_Hall of Mirrors (2)

Hello Families!

I am so excited to rejoin QACP.  Our family was involved with this coop for nine years from 2002-2011. We loved our time at the coop.   My three daughters and I enjoyed the daily class activities.  My husband liked hearing stories, being a part of the community, and trying to figure out class when he would substitute. We all benefited from the community and appreciated the opportunity to get to know the children in the school.  My children remain friends with and are in school with many of their preschool companions. You are in a special place.  I am happy to be a part of this community again and look forward to helping your children make discoveries and gain skills.  I also hope to teach parents some new songs and share ideas as we work together to make this a great year!

–Teacher Nanci

NanciMurphy_erik and Nanci Idaho

Hello, QACP…introducing Parent Educator Jamie Cho!

Dear Queen Anne Coop Families,

I am pleased to be joining the Queen Anne community and am very much looking forward to working with the cooperative families and educators. This will be my first year with Seattle Central College as a Parent Educator and I will be working with the morning classes (three-year-olds) and afternoon classes (Pre-K) at Queen Anne Coop.

This summer my family and I relocated from the Bay Area, California to Bellevue, Washington. We are slowly acclimating to the changes in weather and cultures. I have three children: two boys and one girl, ages 9, 6 and 3. I have participated in cooperative preschools with my children, and served both in various offices through their school Parent Teacher Associations and on the Board for the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education.



I started out working with children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities in early intervention. I pursued a doctorate in Special Education through University of California Berkeley, in which I delved into theories and studies of early learning and development, as well as parenting, family systems and cultural influences on early childhood. I was fascinated with cultural interpretations of family, parenting and education in schools and homes as well as studies of parenting psychology.

Furthermore, during this time I worked in inclusive early childhood environments, witnessed best practices (including family-school partnerships and individualized programming), and research-based practices at work. I was also employed in teacher training, instructing credential students on how to employ best practices in their classrooms with students.



My academic studies, personal experiences, and professional work with teachers and families have strengthened my belief in the importance of families in guiding children’s early learning. I believe that partnering with families to create a cohesive educational team is essential to school success and that cooperative preschools can represent the best functioning of these partnerships.

Coop education brings together the expertise of parents and teachers to create an educational and rewarding experience for both children and adults. As a parent educator, by offering information, child rearing and educational strategies, and by building community and confidence, I hope to contribute to the growth of this community. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.




Jamie Cho, PhD.

Parent Educator



Summer 2017 Wrap-Up: QACP News & Updates

*Expertise’s 20 Best Preschools*

QACP Made Seattle’s List for 2017!QACP_ExpertiseAward

“Queen Anne Cooperative Preschool (QACP) is a child learning center in Seattle that has been providing physical, mental, social, and emotional development to young children for over 30 years. The school primarily conducts classes for students ranging from little tots to pre-kindergarten and offers additional curriculum enhancements such as yoga, creative dance, music, and traditional tea ceremony. Parents commend Queen Anne Cooperative Preschool (QACP) for its competent teachers and community-oriented environment.”

Source: https://www.expertise.com/wa/seattle/preschools


*Positive Parenting and Tantrums* 

Summary edited by a QACP Parent Educator

Earlier this year a QACP parent attended a “Positive Parenting” class to help understand how to manage kids and their big emotions. The class was three hours long and talked about how kids’ brains are still developing in toddler’s stage and that their emotions are triggered by their lower brain.

A few things that could help families with toddler tantrums:

Do not try to put a stop to the tantrum with threats

Do not try to rationalize the tantrum away

Understand the workings of the brain under the influence of emotions

Remain calms as best you can

Say very little

Watch for signs of that the emotional storm is winding down


*Congrats, Pam Mcelmeel*

QACP’s Long-time Parent Educator Retires!

Pam J. Mcelmeel, M.Ed. has enjoyed working as one of the SCCC parent educators assigned to QACP since 1987. Before joining the SCCC Parent Education Program staff Pam was simultaneously completing her Master in Education at the University of Washington and parenting two preschoolers.

Pam Mcelmeel Picture

Previously, as a young high school biology teacher, Pam realized that the foundations for school success were set in place long before the students reached her classroom. After moving to Washington from Illinois in 1977 with her husband she sought out a masters program that focused on school success.

Pam’s experience as a new parent in the NSCC Parent Education Program really brought the UW Masters Program theories into practice. The parent education/cooperative preschool model combined early childhood development information and research-based child-management techniques. This combination creates a community for families interested in opportunities for the parents to practice and share what they learned as well as get guidance from professionals.


All of Pam’s post-graduate work has been in the fields of early childhood and adult education to stay current with research in both of these fields. Through the years Pam has seen many QA families benefit from the support and education they find at QACP. By helping parents strengthen their parenting techniques and confidence, Pam indirectly plays a role in guiding children toward school success. More importantly, QACP parents increase the skills needed to launch compassionate and competent citizens.


Pam’s final year at co-op was 2016-17 and the QACP Board threw her a farewell party during August 2017.  Fun was had by all and many members plan to remain in close touch with her.  Congratulations to Pam from all of us in the Queen Anne community!

“What’s the Secret of Happiness?” by QACP Parent Educator, Kate Calhoun

George Vaillant was the psychologist presiding over the Harvard Study of Adult Development which followed research subjects for 75 years.  The study goal was to discover ‘What makes people happy?’  The only consistent finding was that successful friendships that connect family and friends are what predict people’s happiness as they make their way through the stages of their lives.

Friendships are a better predictor of happiness than any other single variable.

It is urgent that parents guide children to develop the social/emotional skills that lead to successful relationships.  Children need parents to teach them how to socialize effectively – how to make friends, and how to keep friends.

Many ingredients go into creating socially smart children. The following two skills are the most predictive for social competency:

  • Emotional regulation – Children who learn to regulate their emotions have deeper relationships than those who don’t. They also have skills to calm themselves more quickly when they experience strong feelings. Emotional regulation also involves the ability to stop, think and wait – to have impulse control.
  • Empathy – Practicing the ability to read tone of voice, facial expressions and body language helps children develop empathy skills. It is important for young children to learn to be empathetic, to see another person’s perspective. Being empathetic leads to more ability to have impulse control.

In addition to satisfying relationships, other behaviors that predict happiness include:

  • Doing altruistic acts
  • Making lists of things for which you are grateful, which generates feelings of happiness in the short term
  • Cultivating a general attitude of gratitude, which generates feelings of happiness in the long-term
  • Sharing new experiences with a loved one
  • Being willing to forgive when loved ones slight you

Kate Calhoun

Article authored by Kate Calhoun of Edmonds Community College & Seattle Central Community College during Winter 2017.  Material based on John Medina’s presentation for educators in Everett, WA on January 8, 2011, and in his recently updated/expanded book entitled: Brain Rules for Baby – How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five, Pear Press  2014.

“Caught & Taught Behavior” by QACP Parent Educator, Kate Calhoun


‘TAUGHT’ Behavior – Creating Rules That Stick

We can teach many things to children when we use simple, clear words to explain and enforce rules and guidelines.  With young children it’s best to choose only a few words to tell about the rules. Their attention span is short and they will not listen for long. Make every word count.

Put the verbs, the action words first in your request or direction. Say: ‘Keep the sand in the sensory table’, rather than ‘Don’t throw the sand!’    Say: ‘Touch the kitty gently’, rather than ‘Stop that! You’re hurting the kitty!’    Say: ‘Draw on the paper’, rather than ‘You’re getting crayon marks all over the table!’

It’s best when your words and actions are congruent and give the same message.


‘CAUGHT’ Behavior – Kids Learn Behavior by Watching You

We are constantly teaching our children how to behave, even when we’re not actively teaching with our words. Children’s brains are designed to learn by watching. They learn new behaviors by continually observing their parents and others in the environment around them.

What are you teaching your children when they see your everyday behavior?

  • Do you smile or laugh a lot?
  • Are you patient or impatient, soft-spoken or loud?
  • Do you exercise, eat healthy, take some time for yourself?
  • Do you make eye contact when you talk?
  • Do you and your spouse express affection, have fun, argue, or problem-solve together?
  • Can you calm yourself down when emotions run strong?
  • Are you consistently distracted by your phone and other devices?
  • Do you have meaningful relationships with family and friends?

Become aware of which behaviors you feel proud to pass on to your child. Decide which behaviors you’d prefer to change or eliminate.

Remember that ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. Make sure that the actions your child observes you doing are the behaviors you intend to teach.

Author Kate Calhoun is a Parent Educator for Queen Anne Cooperative Preschool (QACP). She regularly works with co-op families via her teaching assignments through both Edmonds Community College and Seattle Central Community College. This article was a part of Kate’s Winter 2017 educational series. The material she references is based on John Medina’s presentation for educators in Everett, WA (January 8, 2011) and in his book entitled: Brain Rules for Baby – How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to FivePear Press  2010.