Counselor's Corner

Tidbits of information to bring hope and peace!

Today is a great day for a great day!

Hello school families!

I am conducting "Power Talks" in the middle school classrooms this week - brief ten-minute snippets of information that can provide students with strategies for life. Similar to the elementary school "Social Skills Stories," we are talking about the phrase "thoughts create feelings." It is such a powerful tool to realize that my choice of thoughts about my day will provide the lens through which I will evaluate the situations that come my way! This week, l have chosen to begin each day with the phrase, "Today is a great day for a great day!" and amazingly, it has been a really great week! Try it out and see if it changes your perspective on the hiccups and speed bumps that try to interrupt an otherwise good day. Check out the image below to see how the phrase "thoughts create feelings," can affect your student's behavior in school!

As always, if I can be of help, feel free to reach out!

LeeAnn Galbraith (aka Mrs. G)

School Counselor

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5 Ways Parents Can Help Children Improve Social Skills

Excerpt from:

Strategy #3: Environment

As children grow, the development of social skills becomes more and more important. Since parents hold the primary responsibility of teaching these skills to their children, the following article can be a useful tool. By using the following strategies, you can help your kids develop a “compass” to understand and navigate social situations and improve interpersonal skills. To view all five strategies, click on the link above.


Your child’s environment or surroundings can have a significant impact on his emotions. Simply changing part of the environment may help. For starters, try to remove TV background noise while having a conversation. Take it a step further by moving conversations from the yard to a quiet room to avoid distractions.

Let’s say your child is struggling to build new friendships. To promote positive relationships, set up play dates with STRUCTURED activities. Start with one child and increase the number of children as your child’s skills improve. Observe and reinforce her progress. Go to places where other kids socialize and encourage your child to initiate conversations. On the ride home, let your child share their thoughts on building friendships in a new setting.

Growth Mindset

7 Reasons Why Struggling Is Essential - Part 2 of 3

By Ashley Cullins

3. Struggling builds problem-solving skills

Grappling with challenges equips children with the ability to solve problems. Through the process of struggling, children develop creative problem-solving skills. They learn that if one solution doesn’t work, it’s okay to go back to the drawing board and try another. They learn which strategies work and which don’t, and they flex their analytical thinking muscles.

Without struggle, children never encounter problems to work through. If everything is easy, they won’t practice the process of brainstorming, testing an idea, analyzing why an idea didn’t work, and repeating. Mastering this process is necessary for success in school, work, and life.

Even when a strategy doesn’t work, children realize that mistakes and failures are valuable lessons. The ability to learn from what doesn’t work — and reflect on why it didn’t work — will serve children well for a lifetime.

If we protect our children from struggle, we prevent them from developing the skills they need to succeed.

4. Struggling fosters growth mindset

Naturally, the process of tackling challenges and honing problem-solving skills fosters a growth mindset. Growth mindset shapes children’s responses to adversity both in school and in life, and research links it to academic achievement.

Through struggle, children realize that their brains can grow, they can do hard things, and that mistakes are simply learning opportunities. As a result, they embrace struggle instead of fearing and avoiding it. Instead of wanting to “look smart” or appear perfect, children learn that they can develop and grow their abilities through practice and effort. The process — and the struggle it involves — is even more valuable than the outcome.

Struggle teaches the value of hard work and dedication. Children develop the confidence to deal with the challenges that are a natural part of life.

Growth mindset also builds resilience and a love of learning, which are necessary for innovation and accomplishment.

5. Struggling teaches children to manage emotions

Struggle results in emotions like frustration, sadness, disappointment, and sometimes anger. While these feelings aren’t exactly pleasant, we all face them on a regular basis. Struggle teaches children how to manage these feelings in a healthy manner.

We shouldn’t bury our feelings, and we shouldn’t use them as excuses to act out. Instead, we should accept feelings without judging them, and we should learn strategies like deep breathing, journaling, meditating, or drawing that help us work through difficult emotions. Struggle provides an opportunity to teach children these vital skills.

For more Growth Mindset tips, follow Big Life Journal on Instagram:

Love and Logic®

No More Homework Battles

Students and parents face enough new challenges this school year without having to worry about the challenge of homework battles. All too often, battles over reading, writing, and arithmetic drive a wedge between parents and their kids. Many times, these ongoing conflicts give youngsters a distaste for learning and send parents to bed at night wondering, “What are we doing wrong with this kid?”

One of the most important goals of education is to instill the love of learning. As illuminated in a quotation attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The following tips are dedicated to creating happier homes, where children are free to fall in love with learning and parents no longer dread homework hassles.

Tip #1: Each evening, set aside a time for family learning.

This is a time for your children to do their homework while you model the value of learning by enjoying a book. The best way to create a love of learning in your kids is to show them how much you enjoy it.

Tip #2: Avoid battles by offering choices.

Research shows that children are more likely to do their homework if they are given many small choices. For example:

  • “Would you rather do your homework right after school or wait until four o’clock?”

  • “Are you going to do your homework in your room or at the kitchen table?”

  • “Are you going to do all of your homework right now or are you going to do half now and the rest after dinner?”

Tip #3: Help only when your child really wants it.

There is nothing that creates more homework battles than parents who “help” when help is not wanted. Try asking:

“Would you like some ideas on that or would you like me to leave you alone?”

Your child’s desire to do it alone is a very healthy sign of independence and responsibility.

Tip #4: Spend most of your time noticing what they do well.

DO NOT focus on what your child does wrong! Allow your child to get help in those areas from their teachers. Successful parents spend 99 percent of their energy noticing what their kids do well. They say things like:

  • “Show me the very best letter you made today. You really worked hard on that!”

  • “Look at that math problem. You got it right!”

Tip #5: Help only as long as it’s enjoyable for both of you.

Too frequently, homework help turns into a homework battle. Smart parents back out of the helper role as soon as they sense conflict brewing. Try hugging your child and saying:

“I love you too much to help if it means we are going to argue. I know this is really hard. Good luck.”

Tip #6: Help only as long as your child is doing most of the work.

Say the following to yourself over and over again:

“This is my child’s homework. Not mine!”

There is nothing more destructive than stealing the struggle of learning by doing too much for your child. Each time they achieve something difficult on their own, their self-esteem soars and they are better prepared for the real world.

We hope that these tips will not only help you and your kids avoid homework battles this school year, but that they will also kindle a lifelong love of learning in your kids!

Thanks for reading!

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


"Kindness begins at home." At first glance this looks like a parenting phrase, as in "model kindness at home and your kids be kind at school." However, a wise teacher mentioned to me that it is also a self-care phrase. We are quick to point out our own faults and foibles while extending grace and kindness to others for the same actions. Being too hard on oneself only creates frustration, stress, and lack of confidence.

"Kindness begins at home!" Take that phrase to heart and begin to be kind to yourself - it really is the essence of self-care!

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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

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