Welcome to the new Bolles Counselor Corner! Each week in this space we will share food for thought from the Bolles Counseling team.
The Counseling Team
December 6 - Some food for thought about the benefits of movement for all of our children. As you encourage your children to be active, remember to keep the focus on fun and enjoyment. Studies show that even half an hour a day of exercise can help kids brains function and focus better. Find activities they like to do, not necessarily what you think they should do. Keep them happy with movement — there are so many options, let them explore until they find what works for them.
November 22 - Middle school Grade 8 students had the benefit of hearing from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presenters on Monday, November 14 during P.E. class. The presentation was delivered by a trained two-person team, one of whom is a young adult living in recovery with a mental health condition. Through education, “Ending the Silence” instills a message of hope and recovery and encourages teens to reduce stigma and end the silence surrounding mental illness. Here are two handouts for review and discussion with your child: How to Help a Friend; Parent Guide.
November 15 - The Bolles community had the privilege last week of hearing from Dr. Jessica Stern, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, on the topic of "Recognizing and Preventing Disordered Eating." We are happy that many had the opportunity to attend, but for those who did not, here is a link to the presentation. Slides 20-23 have great tips on promoting positive body image. Dr. Stern also stressed the importance of early intervention and being aware of how you talk about exercise.Stress the importance of exercise for fun, health and strength instead of to look good or lose weight.
November 8 - I think most have experienced asking your child, "How was school today?" and all you get is "fine." I hear all the time from students they just want their parents to listen and not try to fix their problems, correct them, or "flip-out" — their words. Here is some food for thought from The New York Times. "Allowing teenagers to complain is not the same as endorsing their complaints." Your children want to be heard and validated. It does not mean you agree, but you are listening to their experience.
November 1 - Over the past week, we have had class meetings on the Middle School Bartram campus to discuss and reinforce our school attorney's presentation earlier in the month. This past week we focused primarily on harassment. We discussed how you can stand up, say no and let someone know about what you are experiencing. Here is some additional information to consider incorporating into your modeling and conversations at a home about harrassment.
October 25 - As you may have seen on billboards on I-95, it is never too early to start talking to your kids about underage drinking. The Bolles School couselors know this is a another subject that we do not like to think about and is often uncomfortable to address. Here are some helpful parent resources when discussing this topic with your children.
September 20 - We all know that parenting teens can be extremely stressful and drive us to our wits end. On this subject, we would like to share with you this Wall Street Journal article "What Teens Need Most From Their Parents." It should help put the thought in your mind as you go through your day to remember teens just want to be heard. So be patient, listen, hug and comfort them. It will probably make your day better as well.
September 13 - The Bolles counselors would like to make you aware of a workshop, Saturday, October 1 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the University Center at UNF. Free parking will be available. The workshop entitled "Real World Safety, Protecting Youth Online and Off" includes two speakers who have been to Bolles in the past, Michelle Borba and Richard Guerry. Both speakers were well received and we recommend hearing what they have to say. Youth are welcome to attend with parents. More information is available on the Child Safety Matters website. We also would like to share a couple links to some free items from Richard Guerry. A "Parenting Tool Booklet" at the top and a "Family Contract for Responsible Device Use" at the bottom.
September 6 - We ended last week in school with our annual "The Bolles Way" class meetings during which we asked students for examples of how they can show courage, integrity and compassion in our Bolles community. We specifically talked about looking for situations where we can include others. I share this article from the Huffington Post, “How to Raise ‘Includers’” which fits perfectly with these thoughts.AUGUST 30 - This week, we are all about back-to-school blog posts. These links provide information about good points to consider as we all deal with the ups and downs of middle school life. The first blog is from Michelle Icard, author of the book, Middle School Makeover: Improving The Way You and Your Child Experience Middle School. The second is from Sue Acuna, co-author of Middle School: The Inside Story.