Parkwood Hill Counseling News

Support During the Transitional Years of Intermediate School

The Hope of a New Year

Many of you celebrate the fresh start of a new year and certainly our kids follow our lead. This is a wonderful time for them to set some goals and really think about what specific things they'd like to improve on as they finish the last half of the school year. Picking one or two very specific things can make their goals more manageable and achievable. Many kids benefit from writing down their goal on a note card and keeping it somewhere where they are likely to look at it every single day.

If you are a fifth grade parent, you are probably seeing that your student is finally settling in and has maybe even made a few new friends. If you are a sixth grade parent, you are probably noticing that your child feels like more of a leader in the building and is very comfortable with the relationships that have grown over the time they've been here, with teachers and other students.

Once students come to Parkwood Hill, they are in their pure feeder pattern for the rest of their educational experience here in Keller ISD. For that reason, it is a good time to get involved in the Charger Connection sports, music, and offerings that pop up in the the coming months. The sooner your child can get connected with other adults and kids within their interests, the sooner we find them truly becoming comfortable and the most motivated.

Only having students for two years certainly presents unique challenges, especially in this large of a school. At Parkwood Hill, we are always trying to think of new ways to approach this stage of life and be honest with kids about the growing pains that come with taking on more reponsibility, learning to study, managing multiple teachers and learning environments, and finding friends in a big sea of people. If your child experiences stress, anxiety, or they're just plain exhausted, it is not too hard to see why. This is tough part of growing up!

Below, we've shared a few EASY things that we've seen become the most helpful to students who feel overwhelmed or stressed...

There's More to Life than Report Card Grades

While we celebrate those students who are really working hard to earn good grades, we also know that in this intermediate phase of life, that grades are NOT the most important thing. During this time, what is more important is that your child is learning to balance the responsibilities with increasingly less support from adults, managing their assignments and materials, and learning how to get along in a new or different group of people. These three things are far more important in their future than what grade they got in 5th grades Social Studies.

During this time, allow your child to incur natural consequences when they aren't doing what they are supposed to do. Allow them to see what happens when you step back and let them work things out with their friends. Allow them to see what happens when they break the rules. When we allow our kids to learn those lessons now, we prevent them from learning them later in school or life when the consequences can be so much more costly.

With our support, we can help our kids fall down and get back up again. We can help them reflect on their choices. We can help them make decisions.

"What do you think you are going to do?"

"How do you think you will handle that differently next time?"

"Do you think you can trust that person after all this?"

"What makes you feel better?"

"What could you do at school that might work?"

"Have you tried _____ ?"

"Let me know how that goes."

"I can't wait to hear how it all turns out."

"I feel like you know what you want."

"How could you make it right with that person again?"

"Is there anything I can do to help you?"

"I'm here to talk it through if you need me."

These types of statements let your child know that you are putting faith in them in trying to do things on their own. These statements can dramatically empower and give motion in uncertainty. It can activate responsibility and ownership. It's hard to watch our kids fall or make mistakes, but now is the time to do it. The will learn and they will grow. And we are all here to support them as they do.

Parkwood Hill Counseling Staff

From L to R:

Susan Hester, 6th Grade Counselor

Jennifer Halm, Intervention Counselor

Christa Whitmire, 5th Grade Counselor