The Counseling Corner
Ms. Fisher & Ms. Hughes
Jennifer Hughes ~ School Psychologist email@example.com
Book Recommendations for Transitioning Back to School
Since it will be some students first time at school, or their first time in class on campus in a year, you child might be experiencing a range of emotions about this, from excited to nervous to everything in between. You might as well! This is normal. I thought it would be helpful to recommend some books that help with transition to school and/or on separation anxiety, since I have heard from quite a few families that this is something that they are experiencing. Here are a few books that you can read together that help support your child with this:
The Kissing Hand by Barbara Bain
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
I have linked read alouds of them for your reference.
Holidays During the Pandemic
The holiday season usually is a joyful time but can also come with its share of stress under normal (not 2020!) circumstances. Many families look forward to gathering with relatives and friends, exchanging gifts and celebrating traditions. But COVID-19 and physical distancing have brought a new kind of stress and change this holiday season.
There are ways families can cut down their stress during the holidays, especially this year. Sticking to routines as much as possible, exercising, eating healthy food, and getting plenty of sleep can help. Pay attention to how much time your kids—and you—spend on screens. And avoid the pressure to spend a lot on gifts, focusing on the simple joy of spending time together. It might even be a good time to start a new tradition.
Here is an article I found helpful and wanted to share with you all on tips for reducing stress, helping kids cope, and making new traditions.
Be well, stay safe.
Ms. Fisher, School Counselor
How to respond to, "It's Not Fair"
Does your child say, “It’s not fair” whenever things don’t go their way or they don't get what they want? Mine does!
How are some ideas for how to respond if your child complains that something is not fair:
1) My favorite phrase: Name it to Tame it! Often our children use the word "unfair" because they don't have other words to describe how they feel. In this case, what you can do is to help your child find the word that best fits how they're feeling. You can say something like, "You didn't get what you wanted and now you feel disappointed." or "You feel angry because you expected something different."
Here's another reason why we need to help our children identify and name their emotions. When we teach children about different kinds of emotions, we help them build emotional knowledge or emotional literacy. And this is very important because it helps them understand and manage their own feelings AND understand the emotions of other people and respond to them appropriately.
2) Help them understand the difference between "fair" and "equal". You can explain that your job as a parent is to make sure that everyone gets what they NEED. And everyone doesn't need the same things or at the same time. So things are not usually equal but they are usually fair. You can say something like:
"Your brother got new shoes because his feet grew. No one else got new shoes because our feet can still fit in out current shoes. Is it equal? No. Is it fair? Yes. When your feet grow and your current shoes become uncomfortable, you let me know so we can get you new shoes."
So you're essentially emphasizing that things might not be equal but they are FAIR and you will make sure that everyone in the family has what they NEED.
I hope this was helpful. Happy holidays!
*Adapted from Big Life Journal
Gratitude and Mindfulness
With the holidays approaching, it's important to remember that no matter what you celebrate, even during these uncertain times, we all have something that we can be grateful for. I have included below 10 Gratitude Prompts, as well as this article that lists 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. I am grateful to be a part of our wonderful Proctor community!
Another way to de-stress over the holidays or any time is to practice mindfulness (focusing on the present moment, not thinking about the past or future). It's easier than it sounds, I promise! Below are 10 ways to practice mindfulness. Here is a link to a rainbow breath and a flower breath, which are both techniques to practice mindfulness. They can be done any time. Check out my website for more mindfulness information and techniques, as well as other information on supporting children's mental health during the pandemic, community resources, and lots of other helpful tips and information.
Take care, and stay safe,
Tips on Creating a Daily Routine or Schedule for your Family
It’s a new school year and a new way of teaching and learning for everyone. We are probably all experiencing some level of anxiety, worry, and stress due to the uncertainty surrounding the Pandemic.
Establishing a routine helps you plan, organize, and structure a schedule that best fits the needs of your family. This allows children a sense of security and safety knowing that there is consistency, familiarity, and predictability.
Some tips on creating a daily routine or schedule include:
Scheduling time in blocks to have it structured but leave flexibility
Have it posted so everyone can see it
Include your student in creating the schedule
Be patient and flexible, this is new for everyone
Set up your schedule to fit your student’s and family’s day
Schedule time for non-screen time breaks throughout the day
Hot Cocoa Breaths
ALL ABOUT GROWTH MINDSET
STARTING THE YEAR OFF WITH A GROWTH MINDSET!
Since we are starting a new school year, we thought it would be fitting for our first Social Emotional Learning skill to select growth mindset to focus on, so that we will have an optimistic and positive outlook on the year.
What's a growth mindset? A growth mindset is a belief that with hard work and perseverance, we can develop the skills needed to take on challenges. Our talents and strengths are just a starting point—we can get better at anything with hard work. Rather than seeing mistakes as failures, mistakes become opportunities to learn and grow. When adults have a growth mindset, it helps us feel more positive—and it sets a good example for our kids!
Here are some tips to foster a growth mindset in your family:
Praise effort rather than results. Whether your child strikes out or hits a home run during the baseball game, tell them you’re proud of their hard work.
End negative statements with “yet.” If you start to say “I can’t” or “I’m bad at,” try ending your sentence with “yet.” You’ll feel more determined and hopeful when you say, “I’m not good at this… yet!”
Learn from mistakes. Making mistakes is frustrating. Take a deep breath and ask, “What can I do differently next time? What can I learn from this?”
Make a plan to improve. A written plan can give concrete steps of what to do next to get better. Celebrate even small steps towards improvement!
10 Growth Mindset Statements:
Resources for Food, Housing, and Counseling
Food and Housing resources
Proctor PTA Food Distribution every Tuesday at Proctor at 3:30
General Health, Housing, Human Services Resources http://211alamedacounty.org/
Crisis Support Services of Alameda County or call 211
Alameda County Food Bank: (510) 635-3663 Or, visit FoodNow.net
Call National Suicide Hotline (800) 784-2433
Text HOME to 741741 to text with a crisis counselor
Alameda County 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 1-800-309-2131
Family Paths- Parenting Stress Help-1-800-829-3777 to call their parenting support hotline
Eden Counseling http://www.edencounseling.org
Axis Community Health http://www.axishealth.org/
Asian Community Mental Health Services https://asianhealthservices.org/
General Health, Housing, Human Services Resources http://211alamedacounty.org/
Alameda County Youth and Family Services http://www.acsoyfsb.org/ (510) 667-3642
La Familia Counseling Service https://www.lafamiliacounseling.org/