Counselor's Corner

Tidbits of information to bring hope and peace!

Happy Summer!!

Hello school families!


We made it! Congratulations for taking on the challenge of schooling your kids from home in spite of your own personal busyness. It was a very different ending to the school year and I'm sure we are all hoping that we will be back together again in person in August. Before this week ends, however, take some time to reflect back on this experience with your child. Perhaps ask the following questions:


  • What are three positives that came out of this process of schooling at home?
  • What did you miss the most about not being physically at school?
  • Can you list a few lessons that you learned through this process?
  • What are two things that you learned about yourself over the past few months?
  • What is one skill or character quality that you would like to work on over the summer?
  • What is one thing you will do differently when you begin the next school year?


Consider writing down the answers to these questions to use as a reminder when the next school year rolls around in August. Also, think about asking your child to create a simple journal or story this week about "Life During a Pandemic" so that when future generations ask about the experience, they will have some memories to share. Wrap up your discussion with a question about one thing your kids are really looking forward to doing this summer - that way you won't miss the opportunity to make sure it happens, if possible!


Again, congratulations on making it to the end of the school year. I hope you have a great summer! Stay safe and healthy! We'll see you in August!!


LeeAnn Galbraith (aka Mrs. G)

School Counselor


PS. Check out these great summer ideas for "skill building" or "character strengthening" pictured below.

Social Skills Lesson of the Week

Finding Alternative Solutions


Learning Objective: To reinforce the concept that there can be many solutions to the same problem


Skill: Social problem solving


Tell them: When you have a problem, it’s a good idea to think of several ways to solve it. Your first solution may not be perfect, or it may not even work. If you have several possible solutions that seem good, you can try the one that seems best and sees if it works. You may even find that another would be better.


Distribute Activity Sheet 63. When your children have completed it, have them share their alternative solutions.


Citation: Shapiro, L. E. (2004). 101 ways to teach children social skills. Bureau for At Risk Youth (via Incentive Plus).

Growth Mindset

Decision Making (a great skill to practice during summer!)


My Child Has Difficulty Making Decisions: How Can I Help?

The decisions children make when they’re young likely will have little bearing on their future. It doesn’t matter, after all, if she picks the chicken nuggets or pizza off the menu one night or dons a red or blue shirt to go to school. But the skills children develop while making these seemingly inconsequential decisions now can have a big impact on the people they will ultimately become. A well-made decision leads to satisfaction and fulfillment, writes Jim Taylor, author and psychologist, in Psychology Today. And when kids suffer from a poorly made choice, they’ll learn to make a better one next time.


“Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults,” Taylor writes. “Decision making is crucial because the decisions your children make dictate the path that their lives take.” While some kids have no problem landing on their desired choice, for others, it’s a struggle. In the moment, they can become paralyzed with indecision as parents grow frustrated wondering why they can’t just pick between, for example, popcorn or candy at the movie theater.


The key, said Jennifer Miller, an expert in social and emotional learning and author of “Confident Parents, Confident Kids,” is giving kids plenty of opportunities to make those smaller decisions. “In order to become a responsible decision maker, you need a whole lot of rehearsal with smaller choices,” Miller said. “And those smaller choices need to be authentic. If mom gives you two choices, but she’s really wanting you to pick one, that’s not an authentic choice.”


For kids who have difficulty making decisions, Miller suggests three strategies to boost their abilities.


Give them options and be patient

Crayons or markers? Bike ride or playground? Instead of mapping out their day for them, give young children some control during it. “Choices do not need to be big, dramatic and monumental to have an impact on a child’s confidence,” Miller said.


As they’re considering their options, give them some time. “It’s so easy for us to step in and do it, and we don’t even think twice about it because it’s a mundane everyday issue. Big whoop,” she said. “But to a child who is struggling, it is a big whoop. They need the practice. So sometimes it takes our patience and our wait time to let them struggle through it with us by their side. Then, the next time, it won’t take so long.”


Talk about goals

If your child is struggling with whether to have a friend over for a playdate, for example, talk to them about their goals and priorities. Would they like to strengthen their friendships right now, or could they really use some quiet time? Is this a friend that they would like to get to know better, or is there another friend they’d prefer to hang out with? “Ask them just some basic questions because they don’t have the criteria for decision-making yet,” Miller said. “You’re helping them figure out how you figure out big questions. It’s not intuitive for young people.”


Focus on their strengths

If your child loves to cook, sign them up for a cooking class. If they can’t stop coding, get them involved in a computer program. “Look for whatever would play to their strengths and wherever their interests intersect where they’ll meet other kids who have something in common with them and where they’ll likely feel good about themselves,” she said.


Teach them to trust their gut

Sometimes decisions just feel right or wrong. Miller counsels parents to teach their kids to trust that intuition, especially when they might be in harm’s way. “You can practice your brain-gut connection,” said Miller, “when you see something disturbing on TV by saying, ‘How’s your gut feeling? How do you feel? Do you feel like you want to run away? Do you feel safe? You‘ve got to trust that feeling. It’s there to protect you.’”


Don’t be their rescuer

“Being careful not to rescue your child through these situations is really important even though you likely are very frustrated. [At a restaurant], if you don’t have a half an hour to decide on an item here, how can you not rescue her, but also support her? Is there a small way? Maybe she orders the side dish and you help her order the rest, but you have her fully take responsibility for the side dish and articulate what she wants to the waitress. Being able to assert yourself is also really key. And if she doesn’t have that opportunity, it will increase her anxiety because when she’s not with you, she’s going to have to do it.” ~ Jennifer Miller, Expert in social and emotional learning and author of “Confident Parents, Confident Kids”


Let them fail

“Part of your children learning to make good decisions is allowing them to make poor ones. If handled properly, bad decisions can play a powerful role in your children becoming good decision makers. Yes, they should be held accountable for their decisions by providing them with consequences that are commensurate with their offenses. But children must also be required to explore their decisions, understand why they made a poor decision, and ensure that they ‘get it’ so that they don’t make the same bad decision again.” ~ Jim Taylor, Author and psychologist, via Psychology Today


Encourage action

“Instead of urging them, ‘Come on, come on, make up your mind,’ try letting them know that the decision will default to you if they don’t take action. So we might say, ‘Would you like apple juice or orange juice? Would you like to decide or shall I decide?’ It looks like you would like me to decide. It’s apple juice. Of course, they are going to freak out, ‘I wanted orange juice.’ Expect that. And you can simply let them know, ‘I’m sorry. Looks like you’re disappointed with the choice I made. You can decide for yourself the next time.” ~ Alyson Schafer, Parenting expert, via Huffington Post


Printed from Centervention.com

Love and Logic®

Perfectionism - A Parable - from Love and Logic® Insider's Club


Perfectionism is debilitating. It’s about setting unrealistic standards for yourself. It’s about having no relief from worry over making mistakes. It’s about never feeling that you measure up. It’s about constant stress.

In today’s digital world, perfectionism can reach epic proportions when we fall into the trap of comparing our lives with the online lives of others. How can we help our kids understand the perils of slipping into this unhealthy habit?

One option involves storytelling. Stories stick in the mind but parables penetrate the heart. Here’s a parable you might share with your child…your teen…or yourself:

Two Sets of Glasses

Two gentlemen were lifelong friends. Both were having a hard time seeing because both were well along in years.

Although he had the money to buy a fine set of glasses, one man opted to spend the cash on something more fun and exciting. Still struggling with his vision, though, he found an inexpensive set of used glasses at a local thrift store.

His friend, in contrast, spent his money on an eye exam and a new pair of glasses that fit his specific prescription.

Two Views of Others and Ourselves

What the first man didn’t know was that the glasses he purchased at the thrift store were more than they seemed. They held special powers. Wearing them, he was amazed by how good his friends looked. Everything they did and everything they had were amazing. All looked new and sparkling until he arrived home to see his small hut in shambles. His possessions were worn and dirty, and his image in the mirror hideous. He thought, “Nothing I do…and nothing I have measures up.”

The second man was also amazed by what he saw through his glasses. “It’s so great to see my friends more clearly.” He thought, “These glasses cost me something, but now I can now see clearly.” As he walked about the village and came to his home, he thought, “Everyone I know is more or less like me. There are parts of their lives that seem happy and others that seem sad. These good glasses help me see that we are human…that none of us are perfect. All of us struggle.”

The Truth

Being kind to himself and others, the second man said to the first, “Try on my glasses. Maybe they will give you a more accurate view.”

The first man agreed, and he immediately saw the difference. “When I see the truth,” he said to his friend, "I see that we are all wonderful messes!” As these words came out of his mouth, the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders.

Some questions

  • Which set of glasses caused pain and sorrow to the wearer?
  • When we compare ourselves with others, which set of glasses are we using?
  • When we only know people through digital devices, which set of glasses do we wear?
  • Is it safe to wear glasses that cloud the truth?
  • Which set will you choose to wear?

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.

Dr. Charles Fay


Love and Logic® is a research-driven, whole-child philosophy founded in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. It provides practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children. Visit their website at loveandlogic.com

Self-Care

Have you ever flown on an airplane (before Covid-19 made us all home-bound) and listened to the pre-flight spiel by the attendant? When talking about the possible loss of cabin pressure and thus the need for oxygen masks, the flight attendant always recommends that the healthy adult put the mask on first - before helping the very young, very old, or needy. I always thought this to be rather selfish - especially when the "very young" was one of my kids, and the "very old" was my elderly mother - why wouldn't I serve them first since they were needier? It has taken me several years to finally realize the wisdom of putting my own mask on first. By taking care of my own needs, it assures that I will be strong enough to help my weaker traveling companions - after all, if I passed out due to lack of oxygen, those relying on my help would be lost as well. The same is true in day-to-day routines! Take care of yourself, thus ensuring that you will have the necessary strength to care for others who are traveling with you on this sometimes rather bumpy flight, called life.

Fun "Field Trips"

Let's go to a Planetarium Show at the Rochester Museum and Science Center this week: Click HERE to join me!


For more "Field Trip" ideas for the summer, check out this list: https://rochester.kidsoutandabout.com/content/virtual-experiences-available-247


This week's story - Trombone Shorty. For other great stories, check out this website: https://www.storylineonline.net/

Contact Information

For questions or comments, feel free to connect with me! Want to set up a virtual meeting? Contact me!


Call or text: ‪(530) 278-8335‬


Pioneer School District: lgalbraith@pioneerusd.org


Latrobe School District: lgalbraith@latrobeschool.com