Dragon's Breath ~ September 2020
HEALTH AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER FROM THE CARROLL ISD K-6th GRADE COUNSELORS
WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL DRAGONS!
Whether your student is learning in-person or virtually, we want to take time this year to cultivate and deepen relationships and design opportunities where adults and students can connect, heal, and build their capacity to support each other. We understand that it's important to create safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments that promote all students’ social and emotional development. We look forward to a wonderful year ahead!
Starting a new school year in uncertain times can bring many emotions, including anxiety. Anxiety is a common feeling of nervousness or worry. When those feelings stop your children from having fun or doing normal activities, they may need help reducing their anxiety.
How to Help
• Breathe. Practice calming breathing together by taking slow, deep breaths.
• Challenge negative or irrational thoughts by having your children ask themselves questions such as “What evidence is there that makes this thought true or not true?” or “If it did happen, what could I do to cope?”
• Plan. Help your children prioritize and break down tasks into smaller, doable steps.
• Be calm. Model confident and calm behavior for your children.
• Establish an at-home routine. Schedule time for homework, fun, meals, and a bedtime routine.
• Support a healthy lifestyle. Provide healthy meals and time for physical activity. Maintain an appropriate curfew so your children get enough sleep.
• Identify thoughts and name emotions. Describe to your children what you observe and ask in a clarifying manner if that is what is occurring. Asking if, rather than telling what, your children are feeling helps them develop a greater ability to name and tame their emotions. For example, “I see you frowning and not talking much. Are you feeling sad?”
• Communicate. Set aside time to talk one-on-one with your children. Connect emotionally by listening and giving eye contact. Validate concerns and avoid lecturing.
• Get help. Talk to teachers about any concerns you have about your children. If you are concerned your children have an anxiety disorder, talk with a counselor, doctor, therapist, or other mental health expert.
Character Value for September - Friendship
By the time kids hit upper elementary, they begin to realize their first major crisis: Friendship.
This isn’t just something that happens to our fourth and fifth graders. Believe it or not, research is beginning to show that by kindergarten many kids are testing the power of their influence and seeking connections with friends at any cost. Meaning, as soon as they become aware there are other people in the world besides them, they start making decisions based on the sort of friends they want to attract.
Here are a few ways you can help your elementary kids develop friendships. • Help them develop self-confidence. • Widen the circle of people around them to include adults you trust. • Ask questions about what’s happening in their friendships. • Don’t freak out! Every Phase is new for your child and you as a parent, so there will be some bumps in the road. So don’t miss it. Developing friendships is a part of being a kid, and each one is learning as they go.
Amy Welch CES AMY.WELCH@Southlakecarroll.edu
Ziba Johnston JES ZIBA.JOHNSTON@southlakecarroll.edu
Nicole Stolle OUES NICOLE.STOLLE@southlakecarroll.edu
Kimberley Coffman RES KIMBERLEY.COFFMAN@southlakecarroll.edu
Dana Gamache WGES DANA.GAMACHE@southlakecarroll.edu
Susan Hester DIS SUSAN.HESTER@southlakecarroll.edu
Andrea Ragnow DIS ANDREA.RAGNOW@southlakecarroll.edu
Heather Kennedy EIS HEATHER.KENNEDY@southlakecarroll.edu
Amanda Garcia EIS Amanda.Garcia@southlakecarroll.edu