Aldersgate Preschool

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Trust Your Instincts

This past weekend I hosted a surprise anniversary party for my sister and brother-in-law.  I was happy to do so and honored that her kids, who were doing the planning and paying the bills, thought of our home for this event.  I love to decorate and even have a little side business making decor, etc. However, as the event date came closer and closer, I found myself second guessing my decorating decisions.  Not the big ones like wall color, etc. but my pictures, the way I filled my shelves, the artwork.

I like my home.  It makes me happy.  I have lots of color, lots of antiques, lots of nature items, lots of whimsical things like these.


It makes me smile.  But . . . . . . . . . . . .

I was having a lot of people over that had never been there before.

There were people coming that I didn’t know.

It was a lot of couples so I knew I’d have more men in the mix.

Would they think my things were “classy” enough?  Would it feel juvenile?  I fixed and fussed and re-arranged several different areas.  My daughters reassured me that people love my home. I stilled felt the angst. Eventually, partly because I ran out of time, I had to just go with what it was.  And, of course it was fine.  I even had people give compliments on my home.

Why?  Why?  Why?

Why do we second guess ourselves?  As I stewed over this I thought of all the young moms (and some of the dads) that have shared with me their angst over raising their children.  They don’t know enough about early childhood.  They don’t know the latest discipline strategies.  They sometimes lose their temper and fear those are the moments that their children will remember.  In other words, they “fuss with and re-arrange” their parenting decisions.  Why?

Trudie Perkins has been having fun recently watching a couple of foxes in her yard.   The foxes have a few babies under her porch.  She’s enjoying watching the little ones begin exploring the outside.  Let’s face it, they are adorable.


But, she’s also talked a lot about how impressive the adult foxes are in how they do things.  They have a natural instinct for keeping their little ones safe.  One will venture out for food while the other stays on “duty” with the little ones.  They check for danger before re-entering the area so as not to bring a predators’ attention to the babies.  They do other things too but this is enough to make my point.

They trust their instincts!  

In this day and age of blogs, information sites, facebook posts, etc. I believe young parents have a hard time recognizing their own instincts, let alone following them.  Many parenting decisions can be a matter of figuring out what works for YOU!  Try to listen to your inner most self.  Your gut.  What works for your family, your situation, your kids and your values is what works for you.  It’s okay if you do things differently than your best friend or your neighbor.  It’s okay if you take cues from how you were raised. It’s okay.  Stop the “fussing and rearranging” and trust yourself.

Alida, a young mother and blogger (the realistic moma) wrote about this from a young parents’ perspective.


(click on the image for a link to the article)

Let’s vow to do this in all areas of our life.  Let’s trust our instincts.

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“I’m Sad” . . . so, what’s a parent to do?

I am proud to say we are developing a strong social/emotional curriculum at Aldersgate Preschool.

A recent article in The Journal of Early Education and Development indicates, “Teachers view children’s “readiness to learn” and “teachability” as marked by positive emotional expressiveness, enthusiasm, and ability to regulate emotions and behaviors. Based on these assertions, I suggest a battery of preschool social–emotional outcome measures, tapping several constructs central to emotional and social competence theory, specifically emotional expression, emotion regulation, emotion knowledge, social problem solving, and positive and negative social behavior.”

Emotional and social intelligence affects all aspects of our lives.

We draw much of our everyday classroom teachings and techniques from Conscious Discipline.  We have a previous post that tells quite a bit about it here.  Basically we teach children how to label their emotions, how to manage those emotions and then how to be proactive with others about dealing with those emotions.

Recently I had a dad say to me, “My son said he’s sad.  I sad, ‘yeah, well the way you are acting is making me feel a little sad too.'”  You can just imagine it.  We’ve all been there.  However, this dad went on to ask about what we teach and what would be the appropriate response to his son’s declaration of being sad.  Hopefully this will help.

  • Acknowledge that sadness (or anger, etc.) is a feeling and it doesn’t feel good.  “I know you are sad.  It’s not fun to feel sad.”
  • Tell your child that you know he or she can handle it.  Suggest they use a calming technique (found here) or find a safe place where he or she can calm down.  At school our safe place is a cube with openings in it.  There are pillows and other soft items for comfort.  Perhaps your child has a favorite item that comforts him or her.  Confession time here: For calming down I just suggest that children “take a deep breath and relax.”  It’s the idea of calming down with deep breaths that is important not the specific words that work here.


  • Talk through what is happening and alternative ideas for the future.  Example: “I know you are sad because you can’t have a donut before dinner.  It’s no fun to feel sad about that.  It’s my job to be sure you are healthy and safe, to do that we need to save donuts for special treats.  Let’s think of a way you can calm yourself down and hopefully feel better.

I suggest using these tools and this dialogue often during the less stressful situations that happen throughout the day.  During a HUGE meltdown is not the time to try to reason through this process.  Your child won’t hear a word you say.  As Becky Bailey says in the Conscious Discipline training, your child has now gone to the fight or flight part of their brain.  This part of the brain doesn’t reason or learn.

Picture yourself in the middle of a car accident with your car sliding off the highway toward a steep embankment.  This is when you would be reacting only.  This is not when you would be ready to hear about what exactly you should do if your car is sliding.  This is not when you care to hear about the importance of maintaining good treads on your tires.  That’s how your child feels in the midst of a event that causes strong emotions.

I’m so glad this dad said something to me about his struggles.  As always, please be sure and let us know your questions about your child’s learning here at Aldersgate.


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Ice Cream Social is a great success

Again this year we had a wonderful time together at our Ice Cream Social.  We we enjoyed yummy ice cream and treats (thanks families and church members for donating these), played games, had faces painted, watched a puppet show, bid on great auction baskets and overall – had fun!

The money raised will go toward extras and upgrades for the preschool.  This year some of the funds will help purchase our door security system that is planned for installation over spring break.  What a blessing these fund raisers are as we continue to maintain and upgrade our ministry.

Here is a glimpse at some of the fun.

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Thank You, again this year, to Boy Scout Troop 315 for creating our neat box tunnel (including a Teepee area this year), helping with supervising games and activities, serving ice cream and helping with clean-up at the end of the event!  Way to go boys!

We are grateful beyond measure to all of the businesses and individuals that sponsored items or donated for our Silent Auction:

Aldersgate United Methodist church

Amber Lutz, Mary Kay

AMF Bowling Co.

Beauty Brands

Bella Nails

Blackbob Pet Hospital

Bock’s Steam Star

Brentano & Williams Team – Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.

Bret’s Autoworks

The Curry Family – KC Pastry Co

The Chaulk Family


Crown Center

Culver’s Olathe

Dave and Kim Cook, Love to Travel

DeAnne Arnold

Denise’s Dance Academy

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dr. Cobb and Dr. Parrish

Drury Inn Hotel

Enterprise Bank

Erin Thull, Usborne Books

Excel Wellness Studio

Family Eye Care

First Command Financial Services, Inc.

First Watch

Frankie and Jules

Fritz Railroad Restaurant

Go Chicken Go

Groundhouse Coffee

Hand Tooled Wood


I9 Sports

Jason’s Deli


Jimmy March, One Person Act

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Zoo

KC Hopps

Laura Lauridsen

Learning Tree

Leawood Family Dental, LLC

Leigh’s School of Dance

Li’ Kickers

Lutz Plumbing


The McDowell family

Michelle Loe

Midwest Aquatics

Mission Bowl ‘n Olathe

Mommy Shop

Monica Milligan McIlvaine

Nate and Christy Aiken

Olathe Family YMCA

Omaha Zoo

Paint, Glaze and Fire

Papa Murphy’s

Patricia Dresbach, 31

Prairie Fire

Raytown Parks and Recreation

Ruth Ann Lewis, Norwex Consultant

Sara Willis

Sheraton Hotel Overland Park

Silver Dollar City

Sky Zone

Smiley’s Golf

St. Louis City Museum

St. Louis Magic House


Texas Roadhouse

The Bristol

Three Women and an Oven

Turquoise Blue – Cyndi Mawhiney

Union Station

Walt Disney World

Wonderscope Children’s Museum

Yoga Gallery

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Kindness Counts: We love because God first loved us.

be kind label for A7016

Our Kindness Counts for the month of February was a huge success.  Hopefully we are all focused a little more on how we can be kind to our family, our friends and to others we encounter everyday.

Our book drive will touch the lives of the young children from the families of Westview Elementary School for years to come.  What a wonderful act of kindness.  Thank you!


Our kindness chain is so long I can’t get it all in one photo.


Sometimes I begin to feel this “kindness” focus is a new fad born from the blogging and Pinterest era.

However, as I look, I found it interesting to note that people of importance have been talking about the importance of kindness for a long time.

Here are some of their words.



And, of course, the Bible emphasizes the importance and benefit of kindness.


I pray we each embrace the gift of kindness into our hearts and look for ways to share kindness into our world each day.