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Relaxation and Self-efficacy in Children
August 21, 2020
Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.
-Harold S. Kushner

Ruth Wilson, in a recent article, “Relaxation, Stress and Self-efficacy in the Lives of Young Children,” makes some thought-provoking points regarding how early childhood practitioners may be viewing the topic of relaxation:

“Relaxation is often discussed within the context of health and as an antidote to stress. This pairing of relaxation and stress tends to be an adult view, and may not be consistent with how children view relaxation. The adult stress-centric view reflects a medicalization of relaxation—that is, using relaxation as a treatment for stress. When this approach is applied to our work with young children, children become the passive recipients of the treatment. The adult assumes the role of expert in helping children combat stress….”

Wilson quotes a recent research study where children “identified place and play as important factors in their experience of relaxation. Their most common places for experiencing relaxation were in nature and at home. Some children found playing quietly alone to be relaxing; others described playing with friends as relaxing. While there were frequent reports of relaxing with parents, there were no reports of relaxing with teachers. Children, in referring to nature as a place for relaxation, made numerous references to watching, touching and feeling nature.”

In the newest Exchange Reflections, centered around Wilson’s articles, these ideas are explored in depth, including ways to consult with children more about their feelings toward relaxation.

Brand NEW Resource!
Exchange Reflections

Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

We are offering a “choose your price” option during this challenging time. The regular price of Exchange Reflections (which you can distribute to your staff or students) is $10. For those of you able to pay regular price, thank you. It helps us keep paying our staff. For those of you who need to use the 50% off coupon, we understand. Times are tough right now and some budgets are on the edge. Please do what works in your own circumstances.

Use coupon code REFLECTIONS at checkout
For 50% off this new resource

Offer valid through August 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
May not be combined with any other offer.
Not valid on bulk purchase discounts.


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