Connecting with Mrs. Cohen

February 21, 2021

Good Evening,


This past week we had a lot of time in our homes-- with a long weekend made longer by a snow day, and a virtual day on Friday, we spent more time at home than at school. This had me thinking about last year around this time. We had no idea that we would become so adept at learning and working from home, or that Zoom would become a new and routine way of connecting with others. Or that when we came back to school and began to frequent local businesses again we would be wearing a mask (or 2!).


When you reflect on this past year, what comes to mind for your? What has changed the most? What has been lost? What are you possibly grieving? We often think of grief around the loss of a life, but we can grieve the loss of many things and in many different ways.

This week I want to share some information about grief for us adults, and how we can, not only help ourselves, but how we can also support our children. Included is an opportunity for a camp through Annie's Hope. The camps offered by Annie's Hope, a local non-profit agency, can be life changing for a child who has suffered the loss of a parent, caregiver, or sibling.


I am also including some information about how to shift our focus from what can be challenging about our children to what we can celebrate and build upon. We tend to have a deficit lens as humans and this sometimes impacts how we view the world and our kids.


Also included are resources to continue to talk about and to keep learning as we wrap up our last week of Black History Month. Below are pictures of famous African Americans from some of our 5th graders that I came upon in their hallway. Along with their creative depictions seen here, each student created a powerpoint on the person who they researched. Perhaps you recognize a recent change maker or addition to our history?


Please reach out to our team if we can be of help to your family or child. All of our contact information is listed at the end of this message. I will not be writing a message next week, but will be back on March 7th!


Take care and be well,

Julie

Some Fifth Grader's Depictions of African Americans To Remember & Celebrate

Shining a Light on Your Child’s Strengths and Abilities

*From Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D., is a School Psychologist, author and expert in the area of child development and education. She is a collaborative speaker for The Zones of Regulation.


As parents, we can have a tendency to focus on what is not going well or what is “different” than what we see in society. This can be detrimental to our children if we are constantly pointing out what they might be struggling with or “lacking.”

Although it might take a conscious effort to identify and/or focus on your child’s strengths on a daily basis, it is an essential ingredient to build your child’s skills in other areas and help them thrive. (And a huge bonus is that it helps to strengthen your relationship with your child.)

To help you get started, here are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do you love most about your child?
  2. What makes your child special or unique?
  3. What hobbies, talents, or interests does your child have?

Now, write down three core positive traits or strengths to focus on with your child.


To read the entire article and find other helpful tools. please use the link in the picture above.

SOME COMMON GRIEF REACTIONS INCLUDE:

  • Shock, disbelief, or denial
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Anger
  • Periods of sadness
  • Loss of sleep and loss of appetite


HOW TO SUPPORT A CHILD WHO MAY BE EXPERIENCING GRIEF:

  • Ask questions to determine the child’s emotional state and better understand their perceptions of the event.
  • Give children permission to grieve by allowing time for children to talk or to express thoughts or feelings in creative ways.
  • Provide age and developmentally appropriate answers.
  • Practice calming and coping strategies with your child.
  • Take care of yourself and model coping strategies for your child.
  • Maintain routines as much as possible.
  • Spend time with your child, reading, coloring, or doing other activities they enjoy.


*Information from the CDC

Signs of Grief in Children and How to Help Them Cope

Children grieve differently than adults. Kids process and display complex emotions differently than adults. However, that doesn’t mean the grief is not happening and that your child isn’t affected by their emotions.

Coping with stress, loss and grief

Many people are experiencing grief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grief is a normal response to loss during or after a disaster or other traumatic event. Included here is information for both adults and children.

Teaching Your Child About Black History Month

In an article for PBS, children’s book author Cheryl Willis Hudson offers suggestions to help you connect your kids with Black history.

PBS KIDS Video: Talk About Race & Racism

This new half-hour program, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race & Racism,” has authentic conversations between real children & their parents, and includes content from PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Arthur & Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

How Kindness Fits Into a Happy Life

A new analysis of decades of research shows that when we are kind to others, we are healthier and happier.

Robinson's Counseling Team

Indria Harris


School Counselor, preK-2nd grade

Indria.harris@kirkwoodschools.org

314-213-6100, ext. 4061


Julie Cohen

School Counselor, 3rd-5th grade

julie.cohen@kirkwoodschools.org

314-213-6100, ext. 4040


Tonya Ampey-Elong

Social Worker, KSD

tonya.ampey@kirkwoodschools.org

314-213-6100, ext. 8060


Ana Shields

Educational Support Counselor

ana.shields@kirkwoodschools.org

314-437-2106