Counseling Connections

Mrs. Sarnow, HNR School Counselor

April is Childhood Abuse Prevention Month

Unfortunately, childhood abuse happens. More than we like to think it does. BUT, research shows that there is one powerful way to help prevent it from happening; talk to your children about it! Informed kiddos are less likely to be abused AND also more likely to report to a trusted adult. Sometimes, tough conversations are the most necessary. In this newsletter, I have multiple resources to connect you with useful materials on how to start these important and necessary conversations.

At school, I will be talking with all students about who their trusted adults are and when it is important for them to talk about things that might be making them uncomfortable. 4K and 5K students will also be hearing about good touch versus bad touch. Please watch for more specific information coming home to those families with kiddos in these grades.

As always, if you have questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me!

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Child Sexual Abuse Prevention-Hot Chocolate Talk® Campaign


The biggest thing I have heard students asking for recently is to be heard. Not necessarily by their peers; but by their parents, teachers, and other adults in their lives. Take time to be mindful with your children. An electronic free day might sound ridiculous, but it might provide time together where we really have the opportunity to connect and hear what each other has to say. No judgment. No advice. Just listening and repeating back what you heard them say. Here are some ideas on how to structure 10 minutes of active listening from one of my favorite resources, Berkeley's Greater Good:)

How to help strengthen your kiddos mental health

We can all use help with strengthening our mental health. Below is a great resource filled with 100 ways to help foster and strengthen your child's mental health. (I think a lot of these would work wonderfully for adults as well:)

You control YOU!

I have been talking a lot to the students about what they CAN and CANNOT control. Ultimately, the only person we have control over is ourselves... and sometimes it doesn't even feel like we can control that! Below are some ideas on what we can focus on and some things we need to just let go:)
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NAMI Presentation

While this month is National Childhood Abuse Prevention Month, we were honored at the Intermediate School to have presenters from the National Alliance on Mental Illness help us get a jump start on next month's theme: Mental Health. Our 7th and 8th-grade students listened to "Ending the Silence", a presentation that helps students identify the warning signs of a mental health condition and then educating them on what steps they should take if they feel they or a loved one are exhibiting any of those symptoms. It was a great way for us to begin helping end the stigma of a negative view on mental health conditions. The presenters did a wonderful job and our students were exemplary during the discussion. Both presenters shared their own personal stories about living with a mental health condition OR how they love and support someone in their families that struggle with a mental illness. For more information on this presentation or for more facts on mental illness, please visit the NAMI website.
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