Middle School (Volume 1; Edition 8)
Kids don't have to pay bills, cook dinners, or manage carpools. But — just like adults — they have their share of daily demands and things that don't go smoothly. If frustrations and disappointments pile up, kids can get stressed or worried. It's natural for all kids to worry at times, and because of personality and temperament differences, some may worry more than others. Luckily, parents can help kids learn to manage stress and tackle everyday problems with ease. Kids who can do that develop a sense of confidence and optimism that will help them master life's challenges, big and small.
What Do Kids Worry About?
What kids worry about is often related to the age and stage they're in. Kids and preteens typically worry about things like grades, tests, their changing bodies, fitting in with friends, that goal they missed at the soccer game, or whether they'll make the team. They may feel stressed over social troubles like cliques, peer pressure, or whether they'll be bullied, teased, or left out. Because they're beginning to feel more a part of the larger world around them, preteens also may worry about world events or issues they hear about on the news or at school. Things like terrorism, war, pollution, global warming, endangered animals, and natural disasters can become a source of worry.
Helping Kids Conquer Worry
To help your kids manage what's worrying them:
· Find out what’s on their minds: be available and take an interest in what’s happening at school, on the team, and with your kids’ friends.
· Show you care and understand: being interested in your child’s concerns shows they’re important to you too, and helps kids feel supported and understood.
· Guide kids to solutions: You can help reduce worries by helping kids learn to deal constructively with challenging situations.
· Keep things in perspective: Without minimizing a child’s feelings, point out that many problems are temporary and solvable and that there will be better days and other opportunities to try again.
· Offer reassurance and comfort: sometimes when kids are worried, what they need most is a parent’s reassurance and comfort.
· Highlight the positive: Ask your kids what they enjoyed about their day and listen attentively when they tell you about what goes great for them or what they had fun doing.
· Be a good role model: the most powerful lessons we teach kids are the ones we demonstrate. Your response to your own worries, stress and frustrations can go a long way toward teaching your kids how to deal with everyday challenges.
Keeping Safe & Growing Strong
Bullying is often considered a problem which only happens at school. In fact, bullying is part of everyday life from childhood to adulthood. There can be bullying towards family members, co-workers, customers, retail clerks, etc. (the list can go on forever).
Sometimes all aggressive or mean behavior is called bullying, yet when we look at the definition of bullying we can see that this is not the case:
‘Bullying is a conscious, repeated, hostile, aggressive behavior of an individual or a group abusing their position with the intention to harm others or gain real or perceived power.’
Whatever definition of bullying is used, they all contain a similarity in that the behavior is repeated, aggressive and intended to gain power.
Did You Know...
5 Facts About Recycling
- The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
- Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.
- Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.
- If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
WHAT CAN I DO...?
- Use and maintain durable products, or ones with a lifetime warranty. Sturdy backpacks and notebooks can be reused for many years, which helps reduce the amount of broken items tossed away each year.
- If you bring your lunch to school, package it in reusable containers instead of disposable ones, and carry them in a reusable plastic or cloth bag, or lunch box. Bring drinks in a thermos or water bottle instead of disposable bottles or cartons.
- If you buy lunch, take and use only what you need: one napkin, one ketchup packet, one salt packet, one pepper packet, one set of flatware. Remember to recycle your cans and bottles, and separate your waste if your school has separation bins!
- Borrow or rent your decorations and supplies for school parties, dances, and proms. If you buy these supplies, try adopting a theme that can be used from year-to-year, so that you can reuse your decorations and supplies. Your school's theater or acting class is a great place to start finding props and decorations.
- Waste less by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Volunteer for, or start, an environmental club or recycling project in your school.
- Work with your teachers and friends to find ways to encourage everyone in your community to make waste reduction a part of their everyday lives. You can also look for unique ways to make your school more waste-free, such as starting a school composting project or ask for a day in art class where you can use things that would have normally been thrown away.