During October, parent volunteers read the book Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae in your child’s classroom. In this book, Gerald, a gangly giraffe, wants to join in at the dance; but all the other animals make fun of him. Luckily, Gerald meets a friendly cricket that helps him discover a new alternative, tap into his inner-self and discover his unique talents.
Project Cornerstone volunteers introduced various topics:
- What is within our control (our responses and behaviors) and what isn’t.
- A “not yet” attitude vs. an “I can’t” attitude
- Expanding our “tunnel vision” and looking for other options (friends can help us!)
Ideas that came up during conversations on how to develop positive personal power include:
- Be an optimist. Look on the bright side, and expect good things to happen.
- Tune in to your inner voice, and use positive self-talk.
- Build a skill. Learn what you need to do to improve, and then practice!
- Be an UPstander. Use your words and actions to make sure that everyone—including yourself, is treated with respect.
- If you need help with any of these skills, find a supportive peer or adult who will offer you the help you need.
We hope you will talk with your child tonight about Giraffes Can’t Dance. To reinforce the message at home and help your child to develop these skills:
- Create opportunities to encourage her or him to try new things.
- Offer praise for their willingness to try.
- Whenever possible, give your child control over choices and decisions made at home.
- Whenever they’re in a negative situation, help your child “switch the channel” to reframe their inner dialogue to create an “I can do it!” attitude.