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What Parents Can Do to Manage Coronavirus Fears in Kids

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We’ve all been captivated and caught up in the coverage of the coronavirus as it spreads around the world and into our communities.  Here is a post I wrote for Psychology Today, offering practical suggestions for what parents & caregivers can do to help kids cope with COVID-19, school closings, event cancellations, and the climate of fear.  Please share with anyone you think could benefit.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/202003/what-parents-can-do-manage-coronavirus-stress-in-kids?fbclid=IwAR28bDBNATJEyFBDQaudvEp-tUPGIMRJ-iR33SrcWj5GgiUQUjnHpuFyHTE#_=_

Happy Campers: Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Happy Kids

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Although I just got my copy of Happy Campers, by Audrey Monke, you would think I had owned it for years already given the multitude of dog-eared pages, the massive amount of notes in the margins, and the number of parents I’ve already lent the book to, urging them to read specific sections.  Happy Campers is the brand-new, but already well-worn book I wish I had had twenty years ago when I first started my career working with children and families.  It is full of practical, realistic, easy-to-implement, no-cost, research-based, transformational strategies that will help parents and caregivers bring the magic of summer camp into daily home interactions.

Happy Campers shines a light on nine overall positive practices used in quality summer camps and offers readers dozens (and dozens!) of ways to use these strategies to help kids and families thrive year-round.  Starting with ideas for building nurturing connections between family members and then exploring critical topics such as the importance of optimism in interactions, how to nurture grit and determination, helping kids experience independence and grow their individual identities, making kindness cool, building healthy friendship skills, and cultivating the kind of self-confidence that makes kids unstoppable, Monke’s book is as realistic and readable as it is invaluable.

As a School Counselor, therapist, and parent, Happy Campers is everything I could hope for in a book and more!  I highly recommend it for anyone living or working with young people!”

March Coffee with the Counselor

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On March 6th, we will be talking about screentime & social media with a focus on popular apps that parents need to know about (read: let’s be sure we talk about TikTok!)  I’ll also offer some suggested do’s & don’ts for helping our kids consume technology in safe ways.  I hope you will join me!
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On the topic of Screentime & Social Media, here are some suggested resources:
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES & WEBSITES

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive & Thrive in Their Digital World

The Art of Screentime: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life

Disconnected: How to Reconnect our Digitally Distracted Kids

Tune in to the Parenting the Challenging Child Podcast

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Interested in learning more about how to understand and manage your child’s moods, outbursts, misperceptions, social skill problems, anxiety, friendship problems, lack of empathy, and more?

Tune in to this podcast from Sunshine Parenting where host Audrey Monke and I talk about my newest book, Parenting The Challenging Child: The Four-Step Way To Turn Problem Situations Into Learning Opportunities, based on my work with the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute.

(We all have the) POWER to be Kind!

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As a Bullying Prevention educator, I often share the mountain of evidence that cultivating kindness in schools and classrooms is one of the most effective ways to bring an end to bullying.  At my school, we are highlighting Kindness as a Value throughout the month of February and really stepping it up a notch this week as we Celebrate Kindness with a Spirit Week filled with special dress days, door decorating, and other fun activities. All week long, I’ll be posting photos and ideas of what our amazing teachers are doing to Make Kindness Cool at School.

 

Today is (We all have the) POWER to be Kind day!  Check out our superhero outfits and poses, as we used our kindness superpowers all throughout the school.

 

Kindness SHINES

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As a Bullying Prevention educator, I often share the mountain of evidence that cultivating kindness in schools and classrooms is one of the most effective ways to bring an end to bullying.  At my school, we are highlighting Kindness as a Value throughout the month of February and really stepping it up a notch this week as we Celebrate Kindness with a Spirit Week filled with special dress days, door decorating, and other fun activities. All week long, I’ll be posting photos and ideas of what our amazing teachers are doing to Make Kindness Cool at School.

 

Wednesday is Kindness SHINES BRIGHTLY at The Swain School!

Check out the kids (and teachers!) in their sparkly, glittery, light-up, neon, glowing brightest accessories to celebrate how kindness shines and spreads in the world.

 

 

 

 

Our Kindness Tree is in full bloom, representing the dozens of no-cost acts of kindness that make our community so warm and wonderful.

 

 

We are CRAZY FOR KINDNESS!

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As a Bullying Prevention educator, I often share the mountain of evidence that cultivating kindness in schools and classrooms is one of the most effective ways to bring an end to bullying.  At my school, we are highlighting Kindness as a Value throughout the month of February and really stepping it up a notch this week as we Celebrate Kindness with a Spirit Week filled with special dress days, door decorating, and other fun activities. All week long, I’ll be posting photos and ideas of what our amazing teachers are doing to Make Kindness Cool at School.

 

 

Here’s a fun first grade project that students are focusing on throughout the month:

  • First, kids brainstormed no-cost ways to show kindness.
  • Then, they picked their top 30 ideas and turned it into a quilt-like poster.
  • Each time a student completes one of the acts of kindness, they put their initials on the square.
  • The project has generated tons of motivation, enthusiasm and excitement for showing kindness.

 

Today is Crazy for Kindness Day.  Check out some of our crazy socks and hairstyles!

 

February Coffee with the Counselor

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On February 7th, we will be talking about screentime & social media with a focus on popular apps that parents need to know about (read: let’s be sure we talk about TikTok!)  I’ll also offer some suggested do’s & don’ts for helping our kids consume technology in safe ways.  I hope you will join me!
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On the topic of Screentime & Social Media, here are some suggested resources:
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES & WEBSITES

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive & Thrive in Their Digital World

The Art of Screentime: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life

Disconnected: How to Reconnect our Digitally Distracted Kids

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What Can Adults Do to Highlight Student Strengths?

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I love Education Week and am always honored when I get the chance to weigh in on Larry Ferlazzo’s questions.  In this post, he asks: What can teachers do to help highlight student assets and not their deficits?

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There are several informative and engaging responses.  Scroll down to the end of the post to read mine 🙂  Enjoy!

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Original link: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2019/12/look_at_whats_strong_not_whats_wrong_with_our_students.html

January Coffee with the Counselor

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first (or second!) Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On January 3rd, we’ll be focusing on Depression in Childhood & Adolescence.  Dr. Christina Gorigoitia of West End Counseling & Wellness, LLC will be our guest speaker, leading us in a discussion about common signs and symptoms of depression in young people, including what to watch for, how to support kids, and when to seek professional help.  I hope you will join me!
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On the topic of Depression in Childhood & Adolescence, here are some suggested resources:
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES
Depression in Children (Cleveland Clinic)
Depression in Children & Teens (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR ADULTS

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk  (I consider this one of THE best books about trauma, which can be associated with child & adolescent depression.)
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Most of the books on child & adolescent depression that I favor are clinically focused, rather than speaking to parents about how to understand and support kids.  I’ll keep my eye out for other resources I think may be helpful to parents.
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RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR KIDS
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In February, we will be talking about screentime & social media with a focus on popular apps that parents need to know about.  I’ll also offer some suggested do’s & don’ts for helping our kids consume technology in safe ways.
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