• The Importance of Sleep

    Posted by Kate Oleson on 4/12/2019

    We all know that it is important to get a good night’s sleep at any age. It is important for maintaining good health and for recharging energy. Sleep deprivation leads to children feeling tired and having poorer concentration and attention span during the day. This affects their ability to learn as their reasoning and processing skills are slower. Children will also show more irritability, frustration, and be more accident prone. Anxiety and depression is also linked to sleep loss.

     Children between the ages of 5-12 years need about 10-11 hours of sleep per night on average.

    See this sleep chart for exactly how much sleep kids should get:

    https://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/sleep-children#1

     

    One way to ensure that your child gets a quality sleep at night is to provide a quiet and predictable pre-bedtime routine. The routine before bed can start an hour or so beforehand. Refer to the clock as bedtime approaches. You will be already familiar with the excuses your child tends to use. Build these into the routine – have a drink of water by the bed, decide what easy food is allowed if they say they are hungry, put on the night light, remind them that they must stay in bed now.

    Reading is an excellent way to relax for 10-15 minutes before bed. Some children need their parents to stay a bit longer with them as they fall asleep. This can be done as a transition strategy, but the point is for the child to put themselves to sleep.

    Other reassurances can be provided if your child is particularly anxious at bedtime:

    - Quiet, soothing music which blocks out other noises

    - A worry box to put their worries in before bed or a worry doll to hold

    - Tell stories about characters that overcome worries/fears (check the library)

    - Use positive phrases that reinforce the idea of having a restful sleep and being full of energy in the morning

    - Teach and practice relaxation strategies so they are familiar with them and can enjoy them at bedtime on their own.  CDs can be a wonderful way to first practice with your child.   Check out this website for helpful strategies to try for better sleep for your child!

    https://gozen.com/9-ways-to-help-kids-sleep-better-according-to-science/

     

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  • Take the GRRR Out of Anger

    Posted by Kate Oleson on 4/11/2019

    Feeling angry is a normal feeling.  Expressing and managing our feelings can be tricky, even for adults, but especially for children who are still learning what feelings are and how to react.  There are lots of great resources to help you and your child manage feelings.  

    Check out these resources online for helpful ideas:

    https://copingskillsforkids.com/managing-anger

    https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/anger.html

     

    One way for parents to help their children learn how to deal with their feelings and their reactions is to model healthy and effective ways to cope in front of them.  Expressing your feelings out loud (“I feel frustrated when I ask you to turn off the tv and you continue watching tv.”) and actively showing a calming strategy (“ I am going to count to ten and take a deep breath so I can remain calm.”) helps your child learn to best navigate those uncomfortable or big emotions.

    Try these strategies next time you or your child are managing feelings of frustration or anger:

     · Count backwards from 10.

    · Take 3 deep breaths.

    · Exercise or play to let off some steam/energy.

    · Find a quiet place.

    · Vent! Talk to someone!

    · Tell yourself calming statements. (It’s okay. Keep calm. Relax.)

    · Lie down and relax.

     · Tense your body - then relax it. (Repeat)

    · Use an I-Message. (I feel angry when you ___. I want you to ___.)

    · Think peaceful thoughts. (relaxing by the pool, holding your pet, hugging a parent)

    · Walk away.

    · Do wall push ups.

    · Scribble on a paper and rip it up.

    · Listen to calming music

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  • Happy Spring!

    Posted by Kate Oleson on 4/8/2019

    With the change in the clocks and having it stay lighter later, our thoughts turn to getting outside and enjoying the sun and nature.   Outside “green” time is vital for a child’s overall health and well-being.  Being outside builds up children’s immune systems, helps with attention and focus, provides exercise, stimulates the imagination, and promotes problem solving skills.  For more reasons why “green time” is so important, check out:

     

    https://www.parentingscience.com/outdoor-learning.html

     

    https://www.care.com/c/stories/4178/5-health-benefits-of-kids-playing-outside/

     

    https://1000hoursoutside.com/index.html

     

    How do you get more outside time? Here are some ideas:

    *Take a walk

    *Play on the playground after school

    *Jump rope

    *Explore the neighborhood park

    *Plant some flowers

    *Play soccer

    *Plan a nature scavenger hunt

     

    Reconnect your family to nature and explore one of the many national parks located in Massachusetts: https://www.discovertheforest.org/map/?range=15&zipcode=01752

     

    Attention 4th graders- All national parks in the US are free to you and your family!

    https://everykidinapark.gov/

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  • Counselor Corner-Happy New Year

    Posted by Kate Oleson on 1/4/2019

    Happy New Year 2019!

    Each January, many of us use the new year as a chance to wipe the slate clean and do things differently. This is a time to figure out what things worked well for us in the past and what things we need to change for the future. Resolutions are a great way to inspire change in all aspects of your life, and your loved ones' lives, as well. Setting a resolution as a family can bring you together and help you become healthier and happier. 

    It's never too early to start teaching healthy habits, and experts say that even young children can set age-appropriate goals.

     

    Here are some tips on creating goals:

    1. Involve your child in setting a goal for themselves. They will be more apt to work on the goal if they have had control in setting it! Ask your child what things they want to improve on or do differently. You may want them to clean their room, but they might want to try eating healthier and will be willing to set a goal of trying a new fruit or vegetable at dinner each week.
    2. Make the goals specific. For instance if your child needs to work on getting along with their siblings.  Instead of saying “I will be nicer to my sister,” their goal can be “I will say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when I borrow my sister’s things.”
    3. Talk with your child about how they will measure their success. For example, if your daughter wants to become a better basketball player, she could set a goal of practicing a certain number of times a week. Instead of focusing on winning or losing, she'll focus on gaining experience.
    4. Set an example for your child of how you want them to work towards healthier habits. Try setting a family goal of eating dinner together 4 times a week, with no distractions.  Turn off the tv, leave the cell phones off, tune into your children and engage in enjoying the meal and family time together. You might be surprised at how other healthier habits happen naturally when you slow down and enjoy time together.

     

    For more family friendly ideas on resolutions and goals, check out:

    http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/parent-child/how-about-resolution

    Good Luck!

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  • Counselor Corner

    Posted by Kate Oleson on 1/1/2019

    Dear Parents and Guardians,                                       

    Welcome to Jaworek Elementary School!  We would like to introduce ourselves as the School Adjustment Counselors for the 2018-2019 school year.  Our role is to address issues and concerns that may be negatively impacting your child’s personal, social, and/or academic development.  We work closely and collaboratively with staff at the school to identify and assess the students who may need our involvement.  We provide short term individual and group counseling. We also make referrals, when necessary, to outside agencies when more intensive and/or ongoing services are recommended. In our positions, we are prepared to address issues pertaining to improving social skills, self- esteem, developing friendships, coping with the loss of a loved one, divorce, anxiety, and anger management. In addition, we often consult with families who simply want to obtain information about community resources to support and/or strengthen their family. Our collaboration with families is an important and rewarding aspect of our roles.  We look forward to working with you this school year!

    Respectfully Yours,

    Christine Hilditch                         Amy B. Fitzgibbon

    (Grades K, 1,2)                              (Grades K, 3,4)

    508-460-3506                              508-460-3506

    ext 1117                                       ext 1213

    childitch@mps-edu.org                  afitzgibbon@mps-edu.org

     

     

     

    School Adjustment Counselors

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