Wellness Newsletter

Hello FRA Families,

We are excited to share the latest edition of our monthly Wellness Newsletter. Our goal is to support this community on and off campus, and one of those ways is to regularly provide you with helpful tidbits for every age and stage. We hope that you find these articles useful and relevant, aiding you with some of the guidance necessary to wade through the trials of doing life together. As always, we would love to hear how we can support you further, what topics you would like to learn more about, and any concerns you may have. We are here for you!


Your FRA Counseling Team

3 Ways to Validate Your Child’s Feelings

By: Frank Brennan

My daughter was frustrated at messing up the chords I was teaching her. She threw her guitar to the floor. “I can’t do it!” she said. I immediately went into my spiel about how I learned guitar on my own when I broke my leg as a kid, and if I could do that, she could learn a couple of chords. That upset her more because I was comparing her to me. It wasn’t until I told her it’s OK to be frustrated that she settled down. I told her I expected her to get it wrong at first because that is how she will learn to play. She took a deep breath after that and picked her guitar back up.

Our kids have big feelings but don’t always know what big feelings mean. They will look to others to interpret those feelings if we don’t step in and validate them first. Here’s how to validate your child’s feelings.

Is It Tattling or Telling? How to teach your kids when to report a broken rule

By: Jamie Howard, PhD

“John just took my train! I had it first.”

How many times do our children run up to us to share a grievance toward another child? Generally, these complaints involve rules that have been broken. We spend a lot of time teaching our kids “the rules” — use your inside voice, share your toys with your friends, keep your hands to yourself, etc. The list goes on. It’s natural for a child (and even us adults) to want to call attention to perceived rule-breaking, but “Do not tattle” can also become a new rule for your child to follow. Continue reading: Why rules work

Three Steps to Teach Children About Honesty

By: Victoria Talwar

I don’t think my child understands the importance of honesty,” a mother once said to me, after she found her child lying about eating Halloween candy that had been made off-limits.

We teach children how to count, to read, to tie their shoelaces. We teach them to develop the abilities they need to be happy, active, and well-adjusted adults. Honesty is one of those behaviors. It forms the basis of trust in our relationships. Learning how to be honest and communicate in a respectful, kind, and truthful manner is an important skill we need to teach our children.

In my new book, The Truth About Lying: Teaching Honesty to Children at Every Age and Stage, I draw on over 20 years of my psychological research to share what we have learned about how we can teach children about honesty, how we can deal with our children’s dishonesty, and how we can develop a close relationship based on open and truthful communication. Here are three steps parents can take to raise more honest kids.

Four Ways to Navigate Tween and Teen Mood Swings and Emotions

By: Vanessa Bennett

Caring for kids during their tween and teen years can feel like riding a roller coaster with no seat belt and a blindfold, never sure when the ride is going to dip or climb. While adolescents get a really bad rap because of their emotional lability and mood swings, here’s an important thing to remember: they often can’t help it.

As infuriating (and frankly terrifying) as the roller coaster can be for adults, it’s actually our job to help our kids strap on a belt and find the brakes, slowing things down a bit so that everyone — the kids and adults — can take a breath.

You might be thinking: What do you mean they can’t help it? Of course, they can help the eye rolls, the slamming doors, the hysterical fits of laughter, or the stone-faced silence! The truth is that our kids are at the mercy of their hormones which can make life pretty unpredictable, for them and for us. Four tips for handling the ups and downs of teen/tween behavior

The Best Way to Communicate With Your Kid at Every Phase

By: Parent Cue

One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in your parenting is learning how to communicate with your kid. Communication in and of itself has never been easy, but add an age gap, youthful angst, and a budding vocabulary, and you might find yourself feeling like you’ll never get it right, that you and your child will always be in a perpetual state of misunderstanding each other.

That feeling is totally understandable. Most of us either haven’t learned or truly practiced what real communication is—an exchanging of ideas in a safe environment where everyone feels heard and, hopefully, understood. For many of us, the process of communicating can feel downright uncomfortable, leaving us fleeing from awkward conversations or responding in ways we aren’t proud of.

But here’s our chance to get it right. Now, with our kids, is an opportunity to shape what true communication is in the next generation. We have the power to raise kids who are not only confident enough to express themselves and communicate their needs but also to nurture compassionate listeners. In each phase, your kid’s communication style will be different. Here are some ways you can best communicate with your kid, no matter the phase they’re in.

11 Life Skills You Should Teach Your Kids

By: Apryl Duncan

Life skills are valuable lessons kids will use throughout their lifetime. Important life skills kids need to know include decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, personal hygiene, meal prep, and communication skills. However, many kids don't learn these lessons and how to handle real-world situations until they're in high school. Don't wait until your kids are teens to teach them life skills.

Get a jump start on teaching your children practical lessons. Start with decision-making and then build on each life skill lesson as your children grow. Learn more about teaching your kids life skills.

Let us hear what’s working, what’s challenging and how we can help