JTMS Counseling Newsletter

November 23, 2020

What are you most thankful for?

Mrs. Carroll's Family Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and because of all of the things happening these days, it may look a lot different from other years. You might be eating the special traditional foods that you normally would- in our house, that means turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce from a can and pumpkin pie. But it also means a traditional meat pie from Quebec, Canada, where "Mr. Carroll" is from and two of my children were born, called "pâté à la viande" or "tourtière" in French. How about your family?


Many families celebrate Thanksgiving by eating traditional foods from their cultures. Do you have lasagna for Thanksgiving because your family is Italian? Do you have red beans and rice because your family is Puerto Rican? Or maybe you eat pierogies because your family is Polish. For some families, the main celebration is what's on TV- maybe a parade or a football game. Maybe you celebrate a different way, or you don't celebrate it at all. For many of us, this year, we won't be able to see people that we wish we could, or travel to other states. This year will probably be different for those kinds of celebrations, too.


No matter how your Thanksgiving looks, feels, smells or tastes this year, just remember, there's ALWAYS something to be thankful for. In fact, my favorite tradition for Thanksgiving, is, just before digging into the food, everyone around our table says what they are most thankful for.


How about you? What are you thankful for?

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Self-Control and Balance

Maybe the week of Thanksgiving isn't the best time to think about self-control and balance, as we are all having seconds and thirds of stuffing and pie! But, these two habits, of self-control, and developing your whole self, or balance, are very important skills for middle school students to learn. And they CAN be learned! Even if you can get frustrated by how often you are more tempted to play a video game, or check your phone than you are to finish your homework, you can PRACTICE and IMPROVE your self-control and life balance every day.


Here are a few suggestions to help:


1. Believe in yourself.

It might sound weird to say, but people who think they have control over their lives are usually more successful at controlling more of their lives. Here's the thing: if you believe you can make a change, pretty soon, you will know you can make that change because you ACTUALLY DO MAKE THAT CHANGE! It all starts in your head.


2. Set yourself up for success.

We get it, Among Us is a super fun game. We would play it all the time, too, if we could! The best way to improve your self-control and balance is to keep your temptations far away. Don't keep your phone near your school laptop. Set alarms on your google calendar make sure you're getting all of your school work done, and ONLY start playing Among Us if your work is finished. Otherwise, the game is the imposter, right?


3. One goal at a time.

Your brain can't handle more than that very easily, so you are more likely to give up if you try to change too many parts of your life at the same time. It's too hard for anyone to suddenly make many big changes in their life, like:


a) start cleaning your room every day (if you used to do it once a year)

b) never miss a single homework (if you missed 20 last marking period)

c) run three miles every day (if you have trouble walking up stairs without huffing and puffing)

d) never eat sugar again (if sugar is your current entire food pyramid)

e) ...you get the idea!



Pick one goal, and, for good measure, make it a SMART goal- remember from the newsletter on November 9th: https://www.smore.com/jyq25 ?


That way, you'll improve your self-control and your life balance one meaningful, do-able, possible step at a time. And, guess what! You CAN do it!

Cookie Monster Practices Self-Regulation | Life Kit Parenting | NPR
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November is American Indian Heritage Month

Do you play lacrosse? It's a fast-paced exciting game that many people in Jefferson play for fun or competitively. Did you know that the sport of lacrosse was originally a Native American and Native Canadian game? A great way to celebrate American Indian Heritage Month is to break out your lacrosse stick and play a game!


Here's some information from an online article about the native origins of lacrosse, which is linked below.


"Before it was called lacrosse, the Algonquin called the sport baggataway and the Iroquois called it tewaarathon. Legend has it that it was named lacrosse by French settlers who thought that the stick looked like the staff carried by their Bishops at church, called a crozier. In French, the crozier is called a crosse. The settlers watched the Indigenous people playing their game and called it “la crosse.”"

Essentials with Miss Ellingsen

Mindful Music

Music can transport you back in time to a specific memory, get a party started, cheer you up, express emotions, and bring people together. Music can also bring a sense of calm when you need it. Mindful music can help you destress, focus, or even fall asleep when you’re having trouble doing so. Try listening to this when you need a mindful moment!
Relaxing Sleep Music: Deep Sleeping Music, Relaxing Music, Stress Relief, Meditation Music ★68

Useful Links

Pâté à la viande (tourtière)
Life Balance for Teens
The 20 Best Hidden Ball Tricks | Lacrosse | POWLAX
Lakota Lullaby (Great Spirit) Indian song

JTMS Counseling Department

Your counselors are here for you! Parents, students, teachers: please get in touch with us any time you have a question or concern. We care about you!

Miss Ellingsen, Mrs. LaCatena, Mrs. Carroll and Ms. Martino