Daffron Counselor's Corner

Fall 2015

Making Good Decisions

Running errands Saturday brought me an unexpected gift delivered by Josh McDowell, one of my favorite experts on youthful behavior. During the few minutes of his radio broadcast that I was able to hear, he captured and condensed truths I have been concerned with for years. The topic of the program was decision making and why, despite parental training and excellent education, students still often make poor decisions. Certainly the answer is complex and involves such things as impulsivity, peer pressure, and curiosity. Josh McDowell put it all in a nutshell for me when he said something like the following:

Most young people tend to make decisions based on immediate consequences.

Many wrong decisions have immediate pleasant consequences.

Many right decisions have immediate unpleasant consequences.

I invite you to reread those lines and think about them in the light of a recent poor decision your child has made. An example that comes to mind could involve the decision to watch television and ignore assigned homework. The immediate consequences are enjoyable---viewing favorite programs. The negative consequences come later---the next day when recess is missed at school, the grade of zero is earned, parents are called, report card is poor, and trust is lost. Selecting the opposite course of action and completing homework rather than watching television would have immediate negative consequences---missing a favorite program. However, the next day positive consequences such as recess and good grades would occur.

Our job as parents, then, is to encourage children to look beyond the immediacy of the present in order to see the bigger picture in the future. Recognizing and even empathizing with them about the immediate negative consequences making a right decision could entail is important. It is just as important as stressing the ultimate positive consequences that result from making good decisions.

One of the first topics presented in guidance classes to all students in grades K-5 this year is decision-making. At Daffron we use this 4-STEP formula, with appropriate grade level adaptations, school-wide:

STOP- Stand tall and look serious

THINK – Name the problem or what is being suggested

EVALUATE – Ask yourself these questions:

1. Does it break a rule or a law?

2. What would the consequences be? (immediate & future)

3. Could someone get hurt?

4. What would my parents say?

5. Would it anger an adult in charge?

6. Could I get in trouble?

PROCEED – Respond or react in a way you have decided is best

1. Remove yourself from the situation ---LEAVE

2. Say No!

3. Change the subject

4. Make an excuse

5. Ignore what was suggested

6. Change the subject

7. Make a joke of it

8. Use the “broken record” technique

9. Give them the “cold shoulder”

10. Challenge—Friends don’t ask friends to …

Each class will leave guidance class with a “STOP-THINK-EVALUATE-PROCEED” poster that classroom volunteers make. This poster will remain all year in their classroom to remind them of our decision-making formula and whether they are thinking first or just doing. By working together as parents and educators and using the same language, we can help equip students with the skills they need to make decisions for a bright, happy, and healthy future.

Red Ribbon Week Was A Big Success!

STORYBOOK PARADE CONCLUDED RED RIBBON WEEK ACTIVITIES

FACILITATING LEARNING

Achievement, along with making good decisions, is a recurring theme in guidance lessons this year. I hope you will be hearing some of these new words at home so you can reinforce them with your children. Mindfulness is bringing stillness to your busy mind and body so that you can listen, think, and learn. Learning to sustain focus is a quality many of our students still must master. Growth Mindset is believing that your brain can grow and learn anything. Hard work trains your brain. Grit is the determination and resilience to continue working hard until mastery is achieved. It is never giving up when something does not come easily; continued effort through difficulty. Parents might want to read, Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck. As one kindergarten student was heard to say, "I am never letting go of my grit."

STUDENT SUPPORT GROUPS

Small group counseling sessions, S-Groups, are offered to students through the Plano School Counseling Program and are facilitated by school counselors. Groups meet during lunch time for six or eight weeks. Participation is based on teacher, parent, or student recommendation and availability. Topics include study skills, leadership, friendship, changing families, anxiety, growth mindset, and grief. Please let me know if you are interested in having your child participate in one of these groups. My e-mail address and phone number are given below.

COLLEGE WEEK - JANUARY 11-15

College Week and Career Week are both part of the guidance curriculum for January. This year Daffron will have a special guest to help us celebrate the week. The theme is Pete the Cat helps to celebrate College Week. Pete will wear his favorite college tee shirts as he greets students each morning and visits classrooms. Some students may even get a chance to eat lunch with Pete. Morning announcements and guidance lessons will focus on college and career opportunities. Fourth grade students will display college research projects in the library for all students to enjoy. Students will have the chance to dress in a special way in celebration of College Week. The schedule for the week is below. Make this a time to share your college experience or aspirations with your children at home.


Monday The Road to College Starts Here!

Wear your Daffron Spirit shirts

Tuesday Don’t Sweat!

College is possible for everyone!! Wear sweats or warm-ups

Wednesday Final Stop Before College!

Let’s show our Senior H.S. Spirit

Wear Royal Blue and White

Thursday Dress Cool, Stay in School

Wear college shirts.

Friday From College to Careers

Dress as the career you hope to have