Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I met the author of this cute book about individual differences at our state counseling conference earlier this month. She was born in Rhode Island, to Ghanaian parents. Being born into another culture outside her parents' native homeland, Ansaba Gavor was raised with both Ghanaian and American values. Now that Ansaba Gavor is a bi-cultural mother to her daughter, she was inspired to write her first children's book Children Are Like Cupcakes, to encourage her daughter and other children to be comfortable with their own uniqueness. It is a great resource for elementary school counselors. The author is currently practices family counseling as a LPC. Check out her website www.ansababooks.com
Monday, November 26, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
As counselors we are supposed to plant dreams and high aspirations. We want all students to understand they need to plan on pursuing some type of post-secondary education or training. Most elementary students have not visited a college campus (I surveyed mine) and therefore need to start being exposed to information about colleges. We planned this bulletin board based on an idea we saw in Scholastic.com “Four Ways to Teach Kids about College.” We made a collage background from catalogs from many different colleges, particularly ones in our state. We just asked 2 staff members to give us catalogs their high schoolers were getting in the mail for schools they were not interested in … We selected a balance of males and females with minority representation to feature on our “Guess Where…” board. We tried to pick good role models, people many students would know, and again graduates from some of our state universities. This bulletin board is interactive, guess then open folders to see the right answer. It is attractive, interesting and informative.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Military Family Month shows our appreciation not just for the men and women serving our country but for the sacrifices made by their families. I hope all counselors will do something this month in their schools to acknowledge the contribution of the children whose parents serve.
The proclamation reads in part...
Since our Nation's earliest days, courageous men and women of all backgrounds and beliefs have banded together to fight for the freedoms we cherish. Behind each of them stands a parent, a sibling, a child, a spouse -- proud family members who share the weight of deployment and make profound sacrifices on behalf of our country. During Military Family Month, we honor our military families and recommit to showing them the fullest care and respect of a grateful Nation.
In our military families, we see the best our country has to offer. They demonstrate the virtues that have made America great for more than two centuries and the values that will preserve our greatness for centuries to come. With loved ones serving far from home, military spouses take on the work of two. Their children show courage and resilience as they move from base to base, school to school, home to home. And even through the strain of deployment, military families strengthen the fabric of each community they touch and enrich our national life as shining examples of patriotism.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Parents want their children to be happy. New research by Lagattuta (2012), an associate psychology professor at UC Davis, involving more than 500 children ages 4 through 11, found that parents consistently rated their children as being less worried and more optimistic than the children rated themselves. The researchers found that parents’ own emotions biased not only how they perceived their children’s emotions, but also the degree of discrepancy between the parent and child reports. Children consistently provided higher ratings than their parents when reporting their worries (i.e., scared of the dark and worries about something bad happening to a family member) and lower ratings than parents when evaluating their feelings of optimism. Hopefully awareness of this parental positivity bias may also encourage counselors to be more attuned to emotional difficulties children may be facing.
Friday, November 2, 2012
This activity is an adaption from http://www.wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/FearInAHat.html
In some of my small emotion management groups I use this activity during a session at the beginning of the working stage. The tone could be set by introducing the topic of fear and explaining how it is normal and natural that children are experiencing all sorts of anxieties, worries and fears about what might happen (what if thinking). I have each member write personal fears anonymously on an index card which are collected and put in a hat. In elementary students worry that someone might recognize the handwriting but if the slips are kept in a hat then handed to counselor after being read it helps keep some privacy. Each member draws a card with someone else's fear reads them aloud to the group to and explains how the person might think, feel, and behave. A good way of starting to deal with these fears is have them openly acknowledged , without being subject to ridicule. Having one's fears expressed and heard can reduce their intensity. I also found a list of top 10 common fears of childhood and as part of processing this activity shared the list with members and observed if a group member had that one (or expressed it). A few on the master list stimulated more discussion (especially fear of parents death or divorce). I always get feedback from parents that members came home and discussed this activity which tells me it makes an impact and furthers discussion of fears with trusted loved ones.