High School Weekly Update
It’s coming. The day that some anticipate and others abhor - Valentine’s Day! This is a day that brings lots of great feelings in some and a sense of dread in others because it highlights a single four-letter word. If you haven’t heard it or said it yet, get ready. This little L-word elicits a great many emotions. You may be excited that it has happened to you or you may be dreading the day it occurs or the memory of a past breakup. Either way, high school has no shortage of people saying they are in love.
If it hasn’t happened yet, how should you prepare for the day it does? If you’ve already experienced it, what do you do now? What happens when the "love of your life" suddenly says they want to break up?
It is no secret that many high schoolers experience their first significant relationships during these years. This is all new territory, so today’s Counselor’s Corner hopes to provide a few thoughts that may help parents and students navigate the issues that stem from falling into and out of the “L” word.
Parents, some of you may feel well prepared to handle this topic when it happens to your family, others may not. Perhaps you’ve had a great relationship and learned some valuable lessons. Maybe, you’ve had some difficult relationships and also learned some valuable lessons. No matter which you’ve experienced remember that, for your children, this relationship business is all brand new.
Oh, and no matter how much you may say that “my child will not date until they are XX years old,” understand they will feel the emotions and ride the roller coaster of a relationship far sooner than we will ever want. It helps to be prepared.
Tips for parents:
• Tell your child that you love them and they deserve to be in a mutually supportive relationship.
• Model mutual respect, kindness, integrity, and generosity in your home relationships.
• Role-play tricky or ethically murky scenarios.
• Use teen or adult dating advice columns, movies, music, and shows to trigger conversations.
• Share your good and bad relationship experiences, highlighting what you learned.
• Explain that heartbreak is a possibility and relationships require emotional vulnerability.
• Remind them not to tease or gossip about a friend who discloses a relationship.
• Talk about the importance of basic friendship skills such as reciprocity, reflective listening, turn-taking, and sharing.
Never forget that you are the best source of good relationship advice for your children. Whatever you do, don’t let media or someone else be the only source of information and interaction your children have about love. There are a lot of inaccurate depictions out there and children need your guidance before, during, and after a relationship occurs in order to navigate the challenges in a healthy manner, both physically and emotionally.
As I close today, I would like to share that the bullet tips above come from a book by author Phyllis Fagell. I highly recommend resources to help first-time parents of high-schoolers. You can also feel free to reach out to me for more tips or help in these areas. If you have tips or topics that you would like included in future Counselor’s Corner about this or any other topic you are experiencing, send those to me. I will see how I may incorporate them in future thoughts.
One final thought about the “L” word:
I love my wife
I love pizza
I love the color blue
I love your outfit
I love my dog
One word…so many applications. Use it wisely.
As always, You Matter! All of you!
Next Week is Spirit Week!
Knight of the Week
"Grace always has a smile on her face! Her positivity is infectious! I appreciate her kindness and willingness to give whatever I have planned for class a try. She participates in extracurriculars at Gray Stone and does a great job balancing her school work with her other responsibilities. She is a wonderful student!"
Great job, Grace!
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CALLING ALL GSDS PARENTS
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Together in Education
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