• Ms. Scott’s Counselor Corner

    December


    Parents have opportunities to engage their children in a variety of service projects within our own community!  Quality, community-based service-learning is likely to benefit children in a number of ways.

     

    • Providing short or long term service to others helps children develop empathy.
    • It assists children in growing up healthy, caring, and responsible.
    • Young people learn that they can impact real social challenges, problems, and needs.
    • Service-learning enhances problem-solving skills, ability to work in teams, and planning abilities.

    Here are some suggestions for ways you can involve your child in service projects outside of school:

    Scouts: Boy and Girl scouts regularly engage in service projects.  No open troop at your school?  Consider volunteering as a scout leader.  By participating in service themselves, parents model that they value working with others in a meaningful way.

    Local Churches and Synagogues:  Many of these provide service directly to the local community through projects similar to meals on wheels, food and clothes closets and visits to the elderly or homebound citizen.  Contact one to see how you and your child may serve.

    Donate gently used clothing, toys and books to community organizations:    Encourage child to donate clothing, toys or books they are no longer using to local community organizations.

    Young people are more likely to stay engaged with service-learning when they feel their participation is meaningful and that they can make useful contributions through their service. 



     Ms. Scott’s Counselor Corner

    November


    Children today live in a very stressful world. They often have more pressure, more uncertainty and more exposure to fearful events at an earlier age. Further, families face greater demands and often have fewer supports then in the past.  Therefore, it is necessary for us to equip our children with the tools they need to cope with stressful life events.  Whether your child is upset about a disagreement with a friend or is facing a life changing loss such as a divorce they can apply these coping skills and live a healthy, happier life. 

     

    Encourage the use of relaxation strategies:  A child needs to be physically calm in order to cope with stressful life events.   Although every child may prefer different relaxation exercises, deep breathing is a fast, effective tool for calming the body.  To teach deep breathing ask your child to take a slow, deep breath in through his nose.  Encourage your child to pay attention as his tummy pushes out and his lungs fill with air.  After a few seconds have your child exhale through his nose and notice that his stomach will go in as the air leaves his lungs. Younger children often enjoy placing a pillow (or favorite stuffed animal) on their tummy and watching the object rise and fall as they breathe.   Have your child practice deep breathing on a regular basis, so when stress presents itself, deep breathing becomes an automatic response.   

     

    Encourage your child to talk:  Everyone needs a time and place to express and release their daily stress:  Your child needs to know that someone understands and appreciates their feelings.  Allow them to talk about what is bothering them, but do not admire the problem for too long.  Instead, focus on possible solutions and offer different ways to think about the situation.

     

     Promote optimism:  Your child must learn that although she can not change certain situations, she can change the way she thinks about them.  Encourage your child to view a difficult situation as a challenge instead of an impossible defeat.    

     

    Self Talk:  Teach your child to talk themselves through stressful situations.  This skill becomes particularly important when an adult is not available to help them with a problem.  Teach your child positive self statements such as “I can handle this.”  or “I know am going to be ok.” 

     

    Distraction:  Your child should not become overly preoccupied with the stressors in her life.  If this becomes a problem set aside a time of the day where she can think and talk about the problems.  During the other parts of the day, encourage your child to keep herself busy with things that she enjoys. 

     

    Unconditional love:   Your child will know that the love and care you have for him will always remain a constant despite the adversity he may face in their everyday lives. 

     



    Ms. Scott’s Counselor Corner

    October

     

    Bullying a term that is heard more and more throughout our nation, however the term is often used out of context.  In Tredyffrin-Easttown, we use the Olweus Anti-Bullying program to help our students deal with and overcome bullying. The Olweus Anti-Bullying program defines bullying as:

    o       A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.

    o       Expressed in more everyday language one might say: Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.

    Olweus also describes many different types of bullying, which can include indirect and direct forms of bullying.  In direct forms, bullying involves relatively open attacks, usually in a face-to-face confrontation. Typical examples of direct bullying include verbal bullying with derogatory comments and nasty names, and physical bullying with hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting.

    In indirect bullying, the aggressive acts are more concealed and subtle, and it may be more difficult for the bullied student to know who is responsible for the bullying. Typical examples include social isolation—that is, intentionally excluding someone from a group or activity—and spreading lies and nasty rumors. Several forms of cyber bullying may also be considered indirect in the sense that nasty messages are delivered from a distance, not in a face-to-face way, and from anonymous sources. And in some cases, it may be difficult or almost impossible to find out who originally sent the message.

    What you can do if you believe your child is being bullied:

    1.      Encourage your child to tell an adult when the bullying takes place.  This can be the child’s classroom teacher, school counselor, principal, recess aide, or bus driver.

    2.      Contact the school counselor or principal as soon as you receive a report from your child.



    MS. SCOTT’S COUNSELORS’ CORNER

    September

    The counselors of the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District elementary schools wish you and your students a successful and happy start to the new school year!  Transitioning back to school from summer vacation doesn’t have to be stressful.  It’s an opportunity for children to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, build greater responsibility, and tackle exciting new challenges.  To help your child make as successful a transition as possible, here are a few tips and tricks:

     

    1. Get enough sleep!  Being well rested is a tremendous asset to children as they strive for their best performance at school.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, elementary-school aged children require ten to eleven hours of sleep each night.  Adults require seven to nine hours of sleep. 
    2. Keep a positive attitude and focus on the fun aspects of school.  Children are very influenced by the attitudes of the adults around them.  When we express excitement about the new school year and confidence that our children can handle any new challenges, our children will begin to model our attitudes.  If your child is anxious, remain upbeat and provide reassurance with personal notes in lunchboxes or backpacks.
    3. Handle rough spots with assurance.  If the first few days are a bit tough, try not to over-react, as children can absorb their parents’ anxiety.  Many children experience some sadness or anxiety initially, but the teachers and staff at school are trained to help them adjust.  Help your child to come up with a few positive strategies to manage difficult situations on their own and reinforce your belief in their ability to cope.  Model confidence and optimism. 
    4. Organize and prepare ahead.  Having an established household routine can go a long way towards smoothing out some of the bumps in the road.  Establishing a schedule for homework, bedtime, morning times, etc., can help alleviate some family stress and establish reassuring predictability for children.  Preparing lunches and backpacks for the next day the night before can help to eliminate the “morning crazies”.
    5. When in doubt, reach out.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers, principal, or school counselor.  Staying connected with the school helps your child to see that school and family are linked and that you care about their learning experience.  Furthermore, school staff can also offer suggestions and supports to help identify and reduce any problems that may arise. 

     

    Best wishes for a fun and productive 2011-2012 school year!

Last Modified on January 24, 2012