Category Archives: counsellor

Teach your child how to become a more confident test-taker

Hadih House New Groups 2013 2

Parent Newsletter May 2013(1)

A pdf is includedfor easy reading and parent board use if wished. Linda Campbell, School Counselor

Test anxiety often comes from self-doubt. If your child doesn’t think he will succeed, he probably won’t. You can help your child become more confident before a test if you:

• Take off the pressure. Tell your child, “Tests show the teacher what you’ve learned so far, and what you need help with.”

• Avoid last-minute panic. Your child should begin to review and study days before the test.

• Teach efficient studying. Help your child focus on the material he hasn’t yet mastered.

• Help your child connect new material to what he already knows.

• Encourage positive self-talk. When your child gets stuck during a test, he can say, “I know this. The answer will come to me.”

• Remind your child of his strengths—what he’s good at.

• Help your child visualize success. Have him close his eyes and picture himself knowing the answers.

Source: Stacy DeBroff, The Mom Book Goes to School

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Create a ‘pre-test organizer’ to help your child have test success

To ace a test, your child can’t wait until the last minute to study for it. Ideally, she should start at least a week ahead of time. Creating her own “pre-test organizer” will help your child remember and review what she needs to.

To make the organizer, print or type needed information on one or two sheets of paper. Leave blank spaces as needed. Then make copies your child can fill out as she prepares for each test.
Include:Stressed_Kid_215x225.jpg

• Subject and test date.

• A checklist of materials needed to study—textbook, class notes, homework, old tests.

• Test format. True/false questions,multiple choice, essay or other.

• Days and times to study.

• Day, time and place for studybuddy/group meetings.

• Specific material to review. List topics and amount of review needed (heavy/light). Add a box after each topic to check off after she’s studied the material.

Source: Ronald W. Fry, Ace Any Test, ISBN: 1-56414-460-7 (Career Press, 1-800-227-3371, www.careerpress.com).

Ready to Learn
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Recent studies of elementary age children have shown: The more fit they are, the better they do in school!

Fit children have more “brain power” than their less active classmates. They have greater attention and memory skills. They’re faster when completing tasks and they make fewer errors.

While your child’s fitness should be a year-round concern, she can do some things to boost her fitness level on test days.

Encourage her to:

• Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Staying up all night studying increases anxiety, which interferes with clear thinking.

• Eat for success. A hearty breakfast with seven to 10 grams of fiber will keep your child from getting jittery from a sugar high or, later, bottoming out when her insulin goes up.

• Relax. If your child is too nervous, she’ll forget what she knows. She can stretch and breathe deeply to focus her mind.

• Wear comfortable clothes. Pants shouldn’t be so tight they keep your child from breathing fully. Her brain needs oxygen.

• Drink plenty of water. This is another way to keep her brain alert.

Don’t forget to give your child a big hug on test day. This will increase her sense of well-being and energy.

Sources: “Testing Taking Tips for Families,” Practical Parenting Partnerships, www.pppctr.org/maptesttaking.asp; Jennifer Warner, “Fit Children May Make Better Students,” WebMD,

Community Resources:

Special Events This Month parent-enfant_clr.jpg

Parenting Classes: Parent Support Services and the Prince George Regional Library

Want to improve your relationship with your children, use discipline effectively and learn appropriate developmental behaviors? Parent Support Services and the Prince George Regional Library are offering free parenting classes for parents of children ages 5- 12. Classes start on Wednesday, May 22, Monday, May 27, and Wednesday, May 29 from 4:30 – 6:30 in the small meeting room and registration is required. Facilitated by Jessica Turner Parent Support Services Program Coordinator To Register: Phone or email 250-962-0600

New Support Circles

Mothers of Many Strengths (M.O.M.S) Parent Support Circle at Hadih House (2105 Pine St) A place for moms to get together and talk about parenting issues, find support and meet other moms. No cost. Just for women only, no age limit. Women are welcome to come and join in on an excellent support circle. 250-563-7976

Online Resource:

Seven Simple Secrets for Calming Tempers (Including Yours)
by Michele Borba Give this a read!
http://www.micheleborba.com/Pages/ArtRM02.htm

Counsellor Newsletter – “My Child’s Behavior Is So Challenging, Where Do I Begin?”

“My Child’s Behavior Is So Challenging, Where Do I Begin?”

How to Coach Your Child Forward

“Start where your child is and coach them forward.”

If you feel completely overwhelmed by your child’s behavior
problems, here are  tips to help you focus on changing your child’s behavior, step by step.

Try to Have Reasonable Goals
Coaching Your Child Forward: Know What His Strengths Are
Keep in Mind That Your Child is Working Toward a Goal
Start with Physical Behavior
Pick One Behavior to Work       on at a Time
Can’t Decide Which    Behavior to Tackle First? Get Some Help
If Your Child Doesn’t Seem    to be Making Enough Progress…Keep it in perspective, or try a different technique.
Don’t Take It Personally

One way to stay encouraged is to remember where your child started and compare it to the progress he’s made. It’s also important to encourage when this happens.  http://www.empoweringparents.com/My-Childs-Behavior-Is-So-Bad.php#ixzz2R33PUgXZ by Carole Banks, MSW,
Continue reading Counsellor Newsletter – “My Child’s Behavior Is So Challenging, Where Do I Begin?”

April School counsellor newsletter

April Parent Newsletter 2013

Hello! Here is the April Parent Newsletter on school communication, help for anxious children and online safety. Community resources as well. A pdf is attached for easy reading and parent board use if wished. ~Linda

Do you know how to deal with a school problem?

Sooner or later, most children are likely to have a problem at school. The way parents deal with it can affect the outcome.
Answer yes or no to the questions below to see if you are prepared to deal with school problems positively:

___1. Do you communicate regularly with your child’s teacher, whether there’s a concern or not?

___2. Do you keep an open mind when your child has a problem at school? Be open to the fact that your child my be helping to cause the situation.

___3. Do you contact your child’s teacher first if you have a concern, rather than calling the principal?

___4. Do you write down your thoughts and questions before meeting with the teacher?

___5. Do you ask for an action plan at the end of the meeting so you can work together to address the issue? How well are you doing?

Each yes means you are dealing with school problems positively. For no answers, try these ideas from the quiz.

Good News! Anxiety Can be Successfully Managed!

Does any of this sound like your child or teen?

clinging, crying, and/or tantrums when you separate
excessive shyness, avoiding social situations, constant worry
avoiding situations or places because of fears
complaints of frequent stomachaches or headaches experiencing sudden and frequent panic attacks

Parents play an essential role in helping their child or teen manage anxiety. When coping skills and brave behavior is rewarded and role-modeled in the home, children and teens can learn to face their fears, take risks, and ultimately gain confidence.

Helpful Hint: As a parent, remember that you are the most influential person in your child’s life. See “Helpful Tips for Parents” and “Healthy Habits for the Home” for important ways in which you can begin to help your anxious child or teen at http://anxietybc.com/parent/start.php#tips

Make online safety a priority in your home.

Technology has changed how students learn and how they socialize. Millions of kids in all age groups are online every day at home, at school, at friends’ homes, at the library and many are creating online content.

To keep your child safe online:
Discuss rules and expectations.

Use software that helps to protect kids, but supervise carefully, too.
Only allow your child to communicate with people you both know when he’s online.

Set limits on screen time, such as 10 hours or fewer per week. Remember that screen time includes TV, cell phone, computer and video game use.

Do not allow your child to reveal personal information online, such as his name, phone number, school, passwords or location.

Keep Internet access out of your child’s room. Only let your child go online if you can see what he’s doing.

Learn about websites your child wants to visit. Are they safe? Do you approve of their content?

Encourage your child to be honest with you if something inappropriate occurs online. React calmly if this happens.

Report your concerns to authorities.

Online Resource
Help for Anxiety
http://www.anxietybc.com/parent/index.php

Community Resources
Special Events This Month
NEW SUPPORT CIRCLE: Mothers of Many Strengths (M.O.M.S) Parent Support Circle
A place for moms to get together and talk about parenting issues, find support and meet other moms. Child-minding and snacks available. No cost. Wednesdays 11:00am- 1:00pm.
Contact: Lori Ryser Email: mothersofmanystrengths@gmail.com Phone: 250-552-7400
Lighting the Way conference Free Lecture Bullying & the Digital World Presented by Dr. MacNamara May 16, 2013 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at UNBC
Please register for this free event by visiting the website
http://resweb.res.unbc.ca/childdevelopmentconference

Counsellor Newsletter: Mean Girls

mean girls and what a parent can do – newsletter as PDF

Mean Girls and What To Do

So what’s a parent or to do? Here are steps parents can take to stop the girl cruelty and raise emotionally-healthy, caring and strong young women.

STEP 1: Get Educated About a Girl’s Kind of Mean

STEP 2: Know Signs of the “Mean Girl Scene”

Signs A Girl May Be a “Mean Girl” Victim

She is “picked on,” shunned, or excluded often.
She displays a pattern of wishy-washy, on-and-off again “friendships.”
She speaks negatively about certain girls or a certain group of girls or clique.
She has a sudden marked and uncharacteristic change in mood.
She suddenly withdraws.
She doesn’t speak of having any friends.
She suddenly avoids certain social situations.
She seems jittery, concerned or even afraid when an email, text, message, or phone call comes for her.
She has a sudden change in her eating or sleep habits.
She starts to speak about girls in a mean way.

Watch for downslide. If you think your daughter is really having a hard time, be available. Schedule a few weekends together. Take her to the gym with you. Take her to lunch. Talk with her school.

STEP 3: Get Proactive and Stop the Cruelty

The goal is to raise strong, confident, and respectful young women. So open up the dialogue: Talk to your daughter.
Here are ideas that teachers, counselors and parents are doing to end the girl wars and cease the cruelty.

Teach conflict solving
Start with one ally
Point her in a different direction
Boost empathy
Don’t push too hard on being popular
Help her manage frustrations
Stay connected
Foster her strengths and passions
Find positive, female role models
Be the example you want your daughter to copy
Expect your daughter to be kind
Don’t let your child buckle into the cruel mentality of the other girls.

But also be clear that there can be no excuses: you expect her to be respectful and to find others who share those values.
Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting Expert

School Counsellor Newsletter – Transition to High School

parent bulletin board highschool

Transition to High School
Crossing The Bridge

I cross the bridge and leave behind
The world so well I know,
A place without surprises,
Quite ordinary and dull.

Across the bridge, what lies there?
If only that I knew.
A land of possibilities,
Where all my dreams come true?

Every bridge I cross in life
Will take me to new ground.
Old things will be left behind,
But new things will be found.
Inspired by a poem of the same title by George Moore

 

Continue reading School Counsellor Newsletter – Transition to High School

Mid-Year Slump?

February 2013                                    Mid-Year Slump?
From Counsellor Linda Campbell

 

Parent Mid-Year School Check-Up to Ensure Kid Success

This is a time of year when parents often overlook a few important aspects of their children’s school experience that can greatly impact learning success. That’s why now is the ideal time to do a mid-year check up with your child’s progress. Here are some items to check and solutions if you note a problem.

 

Attendance and Lates
Next to parent involvement, the highest correlation to school success is showing up in class on time ready to learn. Many parents are shocked to discover their kids are “missing” classes and marked absent even though you thought you sent your child to school on time.

 

Solutions: Find out what’s going on why and find a simple solution.

 

  • If your child is chronically late waking up, get him an alarm clock.
  • Communicate with the teacher on a daily or weekly basis until the problem is resolved.
  • Don’t overlook another cause: could his tardiness have anything due to your own behavior   like you can’t find those car keys for the carpool or you’re always scheduling his doctor’s appointments during his crucial science class? Revamp your own behavior if needed.

Jan 2013 Counselor Newsletter – Oh, oh! The teacher wants me to call

Our counsellor newsletter from Linda Campbell, School Counsellor, School District 57
lcampbell@sd57.bc.ca

January 2013         Oh, oh!  The Teacher Wants Me to Callwinter-swans-steve-spencer.jpggg56406746.jpg

 

Tips and Tools for:
For Parents:
Working with your Child’s Teacher
For Kids and Teens:
What to do when you don’t like school
Getting  along with teachers
Community Resources
When Your Child Has Problems at School:  Tips for Parents

 

Have you gotten “the call” from your child’s school? The author of this article,  talks frankly about how she and her husband dealt with it when their son had trouble at school.

 

In January of our son’s third grade year, we got the phone call from his teacher.

 

It’s not about you. It’s about your child, and what is best for him. As much as you can, put personal feelings aside and focus on your child.

 

After I calmed down, we sat and talked about what we were going to do about our child’s school problem. We also knew we needed to plan out how we were going to present ourselves at the meeting with his teachers. James and I decided that we wanted to be in partnership with the school as much as possible and focus on what was best for our son.

 

Tip #1: It’s not about you. It’s about your child, and what is best for him. As much as you can, put personal feelings aside and focus on your child.

Continue reading Jan 2013 Counselor Newsletter – Oh, oh! The teacher wants me to call

Bouncing Back

Our counsellor newsletter from Linda Campbell, School Counsellor, School District 57
lcampbell@sd57.bc.ca
JANUARY 2013                            Bouncing Back

 

Tips and Tools for:     
Teaching Your Child Resilience
Building Relationships with Teens
Great websites for Kids and Teens
Community Resources

 

  • Teaching your child resilience
Childhood is a time of exploration and trying new behaviours. Rather than trying to remove life’s challenges, we need to support our children to develop self-confidence, skills and abilities that make them resilient. Developing these skills will benefit children as they move into adolescence and adulthood.

 

What is Resiliency?
Resilience means the ability to overcome and bounce back from change or from difficult life events. A person that is resilient is able to learn from their experiences, and apply this knowledge and coping skills to other situations. The more resiliency factors your child has, the more likely he or she will be able to resist negative influences.

 

The school years present children with countless challenges, setbacks, failures, and general difficulties. Resilient children withstand the pressures that school provides more effectively than children who are not resilient.
Resilience is being able to bounce back from difficult times, setbacks, and other significant challenges. It includes being able to deal effectively with pressure, and get through tough times with good outcomes.  Parents play a substantial role in the development of resilience in their children. The following eight tips outline the most effective things you can do to raise resilient kids.

Continue reading Bouncing Back

Talking with Children about Tragic Events

A special counsellor update from Linda Campbell, School Counsellor, School District 57
lcampbell@sd57.bc.ca

After the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, some children might be wondering about the events, or fearful as well.  Below are some tips to help talk with  children when they ask difficult questions and you are not sure how to respond.


                 Talking with Children about Tragic Events

 

Talking about the news with kids happens in everyday moments. Children ask questions in the car on the way to school, in between pushes on the swings, and just when you’re trying to rush out the door. In one breath, they’ll ask about a range of topics — from the weather to the president to the latest war. And when difficult questions come up, parents wonder how to respond.

 

To help the conversation along, this article offers flexible suggestions for answering kids’ questions about the news. There is no script to follow but these strategies can help you tune in to what your child is thinking and feeling and talk it through together.

 

Start by finding out what your child knows. When a news topic comes up, ask an open-ended question to find out what she knows like “What have you heard about it?” This encourages your child to let you know what she is thinking.

 

Ask a follow up question. Depending on your child’s comments, ask another question to get him thinking, such as “Why do you think that happened?” or “What do you think people should do to help?”

 

Explain simply. Give children the information they need to know in a way that makes sense to them. At times, a few sentences are enough. “A good analogy is how you might talk about sex,” adds Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed. D. “You obviously wouldn’t explain everything to a 5-year-old. Talking about violence and safety is similar.”

 

Listen and acknowledge. If a child talks about a news event (like a local robbery or kidnapping) and is worried,recognize her feeling and comfort her. You might say “I can see you’re worried, but you are safe here. Remember how we always lock our doors.” This acknowledges your child’s feelings, helps her feel secure, and encourages her to tell you more.

 

Offer reassurance. When a child is exposed to disturbing news, she may worry about her safety. To help her calm down, offer specific examples that relate to her environment like, “That hurricane happened far away but we’ve never had a hurricane where we live.” Actions speak louder than words — so show your child how you lock the door if she gets scared by a news report about robbers, point out the gutters and storm drains if a hurricane story causes fear, and explain what the security guards do at the airport after a story about terrorists.

 

Tailor your answer to your child’s age. The amount of information children need changes age by age. “A kindergartner may feel reassured simply knowing a hurricane is thousands of miles away. An older child may want to know how hurricanes could affect the place where he lives and may want to know what is being done to help those in need. Both ages will be reassured by doing something to help,” notes Jane Katch, M.S.T., author of Discovering the Meaning of Children’s Violent Play.   http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/talking.html

 

Other Helpful Sites:

 

Explaining the News to our Kids

 

Avoid Holiday Chaos

Our counsellor newsletter from Linda Campbell, School Counsellor, School District 57
lcampbell@sd57.bc.ca
Avoid Holiday Chaos
Tip—Planning ahead, as a family, can make the holidays much less crazy and more enjoyable.
Okay, you know it’s almost here. The winter holidays are supposed to happy and full of good cheer—yet what you often experience is an overload of activities, tasks, and frazzled family members. What can you do this year to have a warm, happy time with your family and friends and not find yourself cracked up on the sidewalk by January 1st?
The answer is to plan ahead and keep your schedule reasonable. Especially if you have young children, they will thank you to keep it all simple. If you have older children, you have a wonderful chance to set an example of how to celebrate the season without running everyone ragged.
Tools—Louise Tracy, middle school counselor and parent to six children, advises family planning sessions for any activities involving parental permission, participation or cooperation. Planning for the holiday season certainly requires parental involvement! Tracy outlines a very helpful template for planning with kids in her book, Grounded for Life?! Stop Blowing Your Fuse and Start Communicating with Your Teenager.
  • Begin with a discussion of choices available. Go around the table and ask each family member which holiday activity is most important to them. You might say something like, “We will definitely be having our traditional Christmas morning breakfast and gift exchange at home. Then we will eat dinner at Grandma’s house with the cousins, as usual. All other activities are up for debate. Everyone can make a request for what is most important to them.” Dad might like driving around to look at holiday light displays best. Your five-year-old’s favorite thing may be watching all the animated holiday movies on TV. The ten-year-old may be most attached to making and delivering cookies to friends and neighbors. Mom might like to attend the church Christmas dinner. Decide together how much is reasonable to put on your calendar. Make sure each person has at least one event from their “most important” list included.
  • Discuss likes, limitations, and difficulties. Maybe Dad would rather have a root canal than go caroling one more year. Perhaps Mom would like others to pitch in and help with wrapping gifts. Maybe finances are tight right now and price limits on gifts need to be discussed. The family planning session is where all these concerns can be brought up and compromises found.
  • Make lists of To-Do items. There are lots of tasks that go along with the holidays—decorating, shopping for gifts, shopping for food, preparing holiday meals, sending out cards, wrapping gifts, standing in line at the post office, etc. Here’s a news flash: Mom doesn’t have to do all these things by herself. She doesn’t even have to supervise all of them. Make assignments. Younger children will need a parent, older sibling, or grandparent to help them accomplish their tasks—assign the older person at the same time you give the child the task. Children are usually very excited to help. For example, school-age children could be put in charge of table settings for the family Hanukkah dinner. Younger children could be in charge of planning games for after dinner or could help to clean before the event.
You’ll find more practical tips you can use right now in Grounded for Life?! Stop Blowing Your Fuse and Start Communicating with Your Teenager by Louise Felton Tracy, M.S.

Continue reading Avoid Holiday Chaos