Counselor's Corner

Quarterly Newsletter

Dear families,

This time of year often brings a variety of emotions. From joy and exuberance, to sometimes stress and sadness, this time of year can be a mix for all of us. Middle schoolers are no different. They experience times of stress and can sometimes be easily overwhelmed. Stress is a part of life and it's our role as educators and parents to help them work through it, cope with it, and be able to manage life amidst the daily stresses. Please read below for more ways to help your child manage stress. If you need additional assistance, please reach out to one of us. We have linked our contact form at the bottom of this newsletter.


Thanks,

Shannon Cox & Kendall Melton

School Counselors, CWMS

Support for Teens

Managing Stress

Being in middle school is a time of great change. It's often filled with a rollercoaster of emotions where students begin their journey in finding who they are. Stress is a normal part of life. Learning how to effectively manage stress can not only help you cope now, but will also give you the tools to successfully navigate stressful events in the future.


Some sources of stress that adolescents often face are:


  • School demands
  • Negative self-image
  • Peer relationship issues
  • Unsafe/unstable home life
  • Changes in family dynamics
  • Death of loved one
  • Moving or changing schools
  • Too many demands/desire to "do it all"



When adolescents are overwhelmed with stress, that can lead to anxiety, depression, aggression, or poor coping skills and decision making. As parents, you can help your child successfully navigate stress in the following ways:



  • Monitor your child's behavior and notice any major changes
  • Listen carefully, talk less :)
  • Learn and model stress management techniques
  • Limit their social media time; monitor online activities (learn about their technology!)
  • Support involvement in pro-social activities



Here are some healthy ways students can cope with stress. It's important to have conversations with your child about these techniques and practice them together.



  • Exercise & eat health snacks & meals
  • Get enough sleep; have consistent bedtime (free from technology)
  • Avoid too much caffeine
  • Practice deep breathing or muscle relaxation techniques
  • Learn practical coping skills (i.e. taking a large task and breaking it down to smaller, more achievable tasks)
  • Decrease negative self-talk. Practice turning negative thoughts into positive ones- write them down in visible place.
  • Listen to music, draw, write, chat with a friend
  • Get outside
  • Take a break from social media



Practicing these techniques on a regular basis can help teens reduce and manage stress. Take time to discuss with your child what makes them feel stressed and practice a skill together.


Source: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Helping-Teenagers-With-Stress-066.aspx

Coping Skills Handout

Resilience

WHAT IS IT?

Resiliency is the ability to thrive despite obstacles and challenges such as trauma and stress.


WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

  • Reduces stress and anxiety

  • Increases self awareness

  • Promotes healthy decision making


HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Make connections

    • Teach the importance of engaging and connecting with friends by using empathy and active listening

    • Build a strong family network

  • Help them help others

    • Increases empowerment

  • Maintain routines

    • Teaches time management

  • Take breaks

    • Fosters creativity and fun

  • Teach and promote self care

    • Include them in your own self care

    • Help them find things that work for them

  • Set and move toward goals

    • Help them set reasonable goals and check in to reach them

  • Promote positivity

    • Reinforce things they’ve done well

    • “There’s always a rainbow at the end of every rain”

  • Keep things in perspective and maintain hope

    • Look towards the future

    • Help them see the good things

  • Opportunities for self discovery

    • Increases self awareness and confidence

  • Accept change

    • New goals can replace unattainable goals


FOR MORE INFORMATION…

https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/guide-parents-teachers#:~:text=Make%20sure%20your%20child%20has,better%20deal%20with%20stressful%20times.&text=Teach%20your%20child%20to%20set,one%20step%20at%20a%20time.

Contact Us

Complete our Contact Form and we will reach out to you soon.

About Us

Shannon Cox, MA, LCMHC

School Counselor

Last Names L-Z

coxs@wilkes.k12.nc.us


Kendall Melton, MEd, EdS, NCC

School Counselor

Last Names A-K

meltonk@wilkes.k12.nc.us