Debra Lambrecht, Founder, Caulbridge Education | January 26, 2016
Early adolescence (the 11-14 year old) is characterized by rapid physiological and psychological changes. This is when children are increasingly able to form abstract concepts, to understand cause and effect, and have a strong desire to ‘take hold of’ and conquer the world around them. Challenging children socially and physically helps to sort out the paradox between their inner life which becomes increasingly introspective and this new-found need for sovereignty in their outer world; between their drive to be individuals and their need to be in community.
Boys Time and Girls Time at Caulbridge is a weekly class for our middle school students to be real with each other, develop self-confidence, and explore a range of developmentally relevant topics. Boys Time and Girls Time fosters resilience through the development of healthy social-emotional skills, self-regulation, empathy, ethics, social-problem solving and interpersonal skills. The class is also a time to have developmentally appropriate conversations about puberty and self-care as it relates to students changing bodies and minds.
Using a strengths-based approach, we incorporate mindfulness as a key practice to cultivate present moment awareness, compassion, and curiosity. Through brief mindfulness practices and games, students learn to be aware of their bodies, calm their minds, and become adaptive thinkers with strength of heart and character.
While Boys Time and Girls Time is structured so that each gender has a space to explore important topics relevant to their changing bodies and minds, our core value is to be inclusive of all students, including those who are questioning or exploring their gender identity. Boys Time is led by our School Psychologist, Derek Rubinstein, Psy.D., whose research and thesis was on the effects of mindfulness on adolescents. Girls Time is led by our Lower Grades Teacher, Rachel Lambrecht, whose culminating project for her Master’s Degree in Gender Studies was curriculum development for adolescent girls coming of age.