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It is hard for us as both school counseling providers, as well as parents, to explain tragedies and violence in the world to our children. It is an unfortunate time when we have to reassure students that they are safe in school and in their homes. This can become more difficult when the news is filled with frightening visuals and stories. Our Superintendent's blog has already referenced several natural disasters, in addition to events such as Las Vegas, since the start our our school year.
I believe it's important to address these events with your children, not to scare them, but to validate their feelings and give them a safe space to express themselves. How and what you describe in conjunction with the language used should be developmentally appropriate. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends the following in regards to discussing how they can feel and be safe at school:
A helpful description is to explain the difference between the possibility of something happening and probability that it could happen to your child or family. Always monitor their exposure through television, online media and automatic notifications. If you see their behavior changing drastically after an event, talk it over with them. Worldwide events can bring up strong feelings of past circumstances in your child's life. Keep to a reassuring attitude and tone, and maintain routines as best as possible.
As always, if you feel that your child is greatly affected by what they see in the news, please reach out to the counseling department for assistance.
Ms. Michael is excited to begin her second year at John Jay Middle School, but this is her fifteenth year as a school psychologist in New York State. Her experience is mainly in Middle School but she has also extensive Elementary School experience. She is currently being trained in both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She received her Masters of Science from College of New Rochelle and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fairfield University. When not finding resources for her students on Pinterest, she enjoys her free time practicing yoga and running around after her two daughters.
Looking forward to another amazing year here at JJMS!
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9/2017: Welcome to JJMS!
I can't lie, I was so excited this past week seeing all the new and returning faces to JJMS! It's been a wonderful and relaxing summer, and I hope that all of you were able to do the same. Now that we are back to school, it's time to get ready, get focused and make strides to achieve the goals we set for ourselves throughout this year. I have my own as well!
As we begin to navigate the wild and wonderful world of middle school, we also enter into the years known as adolescence. While this can be your first, fourth or tenth time wading through these waters--it helps to know that what you are experiencing, in general, is normal. I always loved this poem/ description of what happens to our children during this time, and I always start my year off with it during Open School Nights:
It's a little humorous, a little silly, but also thought-provoking and encouraging. The Cat days will not always remain... I assure you of that.
As always, I am here if you have any questions, concerns or worries about your Middle Schooler.