Dear Rockford Christian Families,
Over the long weekend, I read an Op-Ed entitled “This Simple Fix Could Help Anxious Kids.” The title got my attention - I know lots of kids (and adults!) that experience some level of anxiety. Rather than medication or therapy, although those tools have their place, the authors shared that simply letting kids do things by themselves, without an adult or supervision, lead to more independence and greater confidence. In fact, some schools have started participating in The Let Grow Project that assigns students some non-traditional homework: “Go home and do something new, on your own, after discussing it with your parent(s).”
I like this homework for our kids. It fits well with some of the reasons we’ve prioritized a nature-rich education at Rockford Christian. Building a fort during recess, or a shelter during outdoor ed, or “surviving” a night at Mr. Phil’s cabin provides opportunities for kids to take risks, problem solve, and see what they are capable of. Being outside builds resilience and helps kids manage the anxieties they may feel. It’s one piece of the puzzle of supporting students.
At Rockford Christian, we also bring a lot of intentionality to helping students name their feelings – it’s hard to face something we can’t name. Recognizing when you feel anxious or sad or upset or silly is the first step in being able to move back to a regulated state.
Ultimately, I take great comfort in knowing that kids at RCS see, hear, and feel the love of God each day. Today’s world offers many solutions and “quick fixes”, none of which can replace knowing and being known by Jesus.