Counseling Corner

Counseling Corner
Posted on 01/13/2020
Safe 2 Tell Logo-- Leatha Hay, MSES Counselor
Hello Manitou Families and a warm welcome to 2020. Here’s how we’re starting the new year in our counseling in-class lessons!

First Grade and Second Grade: Empathy can motivate students to respond to others in a caring way. Young children often try to comfort others through physical affection, by offering a toy, or by saying something comforting. However, children may have trouble showing care and concern in situations that are emotionally overwhelming. Practicing emotional-management skills can help further students’ ability to offer appropriate support.

Students learned an accident is when you do something you didn’t mean to do and it is important to accept responsibility for an accident to prevent others from assuming it was intentional. They also learned if something happens to them by accident to think about how it could have been an accident and find out more information. Ask your expert what they should do if they do something by accident. (Think about how the other person feels, apologize, and offer to help.)

Third Grade: Students received lessons on showing compassion and making friends. Focusing attention on and listening to others (two skills for learning) can help students have empathy and show compassion. You can say kinds words or do helpful things to show compassion. Students expressed appreciation for another person’s concern in response to scenarios. Focusing attention and listening to others can also help you make friends. Students practiced initiating, continuing, and ending a conversation in a friendly way. Ask your expert, how do you start, continue and end a conversation with a new friend? (Notice things you might have in common. Are you riding the same bus, are you reading the same book? When ending the conversation make plans to meet or play again.)

Fourth and Fifth Grades: Teaching students to recognize strong feelings and use calming down steps to stay in control are effective ways to increase coping and reduce aggression and other problem behaviors. In this unit, students are taught proactive strategies to help prevent strong feelings from turning into negative behaviors. When intense feelings are allowed to escalate, strong physiological reactions hamper children’s ability to reason and solve interpersonal and other problems without aggression. The ability to keep strong emotions from escalating and driving behavior allows children the chance to employ many of the other skills taught in the Second Step program, such as effective communication, assertiveness, negotiation, compromise, and problem solving.
In lessons nine and ten students reviewed what happens in their brains and bodies when they experience strong emotions. They practiced interrupting escalating emotions by identifying and using a personal stop signal, then identifying and naming the strong feels as they occur. They practiced identifying situations in which they might need to calm down. We also practiced the correct technique for deep, centered breathing as a way to calm down. Ask your expert when they overreact does their response make the problem bigger or smaller? (Bigger.)

Questions? Call Leatha Hay, Counselor, 685-2160 or your teacher with questions.
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