18131 S. Redland Rd., Oregon City, Oregon 97045 

Phone: 503-785-8500 | Fax: 503-631-7645

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Counselor's Corner

April, 2016:  

What makes a well rounded child?  There is no simple soup that we can feed them each day.  It takes planning, consistency and a bit of time to turn out a child who is ready to greet the world each day. Here are 5 simple B's that every child needs:

  • BATH...personal hygiene is a life long skill and children rest well when they are clean and relaxed.
  • BRUSH...your teeth everyday.  Children need to be shown how to take care of their teeth.  Others pick up on bad breath and then others will not want to be near those who have it.
  • BOOK...reading is the foundation for ALL learning.  If your children sees you reading, they will know that reading is important to you too.  If you are watching TV each night, then that is what children see as important.
  • BED...our bodies need rest, we are not able to function properly when we are tired and cranky.  Make sure your child gets enough sleep.  Nine to eleven hours is recommended as young children move through elementary school.
  • BREAKFAST...just like cars need fuel, our bodies need breakfast.  Even a banana or peanut butter toast will do.

 

Feb, 2016:  Raise a 'stick-to-it' kid

If your child gets overly frustrated when they fall short of something, teach them to persevere! 

To build a can-do attitude in your child:
  • Help them set goals that are reachable.  Whether their goals revolve around grades or schooling a goal at soccer, encourage them to start small.
  • Celebrate their effort. Not getting a 100% on the science test?Applaud how hard they studied anyway.
  • Set a good example. They watch everything you do, so don't let setbacks derail you, either.

Jan, 2016:  Are your child's social skills strong?  Your child doesn't have to be the most popular kid in school, but they do need good social skills to get along with other.  To gauge their social skills, ask yourself:  Does my child have one or two close friends?  Can my child win and lose gracefully?  Remember that social skills take time and practice to develop. So give your child plenty of practice with skills such as cooperating, sharing, taking turns, being polite and giving compliments.  These are all areas of focus that I provide during my weekly social skills lunch groups.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like your child to attend.

Nov, 2015:   Social skills groups are up and running, but its never too late to join a lunch group.  If you would like your child to learn how to express their feelings appropriately, cooperate with others and learn about positive peer relations, feel free to email Mrs. B at michelle.blanchard@orecity.k12.or.us to receive a parent permission form. 

As part of the Random Acts of Kindness program (classroom guidance lessons) we have been talking about how listening to others shows respect and how we are all responsible for being good listeners and positive self-esteem.

 

Oct, 2015 - Life After Loss; Dealing with Grief

Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. The reasons for grief are many, such as the loss of a loved one or pet, the loss of health, moving, parental separation or divorce. Dealing with a significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a family's life.

If your child has experienced a recent loss and you would like me to meet with them within a small group setting or individually, please contact me personally at michelle.blanchard@orecity.k12.or.us  Together, we can ease the emotional strain within your child's heart so they may be able to be a healthy learner.

If you feel that the issue may be better dealt within a private therapy setting, here are a couple of resources in our community as well.

These two agencies specialize in grief counseling, but tend to have a wait time to get seen.

  • Dougy Center (503) 775-5683
  • Me TOO Family Grief Support (503)215-4622 

Here are a few more Mental Health Agencies that specialize in working with kids and their families on all sorts of topics, including grief.

  • Clackamas Behavioral Health ~ (503)655-8401
  • Morrison Child and Family ~ (503)258-4545
  • Western Psychological ~ (503)659-5515

Warmly, "Mrs. B"

 

May, 2015 - 5 Reasons You Don't Need to Worry About Kids and Social Media

Discovering the ways social media can be a force for good in the lives of our kids and help them maximize the benefits is always helpful.  New research is shedding light on the good things that can happen when kids connect, share, and learn online. As a parent, you can help nurture the positive aspects by accepting how important social media is for kids and helping them find ways for it to add real value to their lives. For inspiration, here are some of the benefits of your kid being social media-savvy:

  • It strengthens friendships;
  • It offers a sense of belonging;
  • It provides genuine support;
  • It helps them express themselves;  
  • It lets them do good.

 

April, 2015 - Negotiating with your Child

Negotiate when the time is right; Parents often live by the rule "No means no." It's true that you should mean what you say.  But it's also true that at times you should negotiate.  The ability to resolve conflicts with others is a skill they need to use daily.  Don't negotiate on safety or health issues, but consider these tips: 

  • Keep emotions in check. If you stay calm, its more likely that your discussion will go well.
  • Ask questions agreeably. "Would you like to pick up the clothes or toys first?" is better than "Can you pick up this mess?"
  • Consult your child. You might say, "It's almost bedtime. When do you think you should stop reading?"
  • Give Explanations. "We have to get to the dentist appointment" is less confrontational than, "Hurry up! Let's go!"
  • Pick your battles. You are the parent and you must decide what is best.

 

February, 2015 - Teaching Perseverence

Teach the importance of perseverance;  achieving school success is tough for many children.  It requires perseverance! In a lengthy study involving kids, this character trait was linked to adult success.  People with perseverance:  Know that hard work pays off; Refuse to quit easily; Figure out how to overcome challenges and Stop unsuccessful strategies and try new ones.  Support and compliment your child as they try hard.

During your spring-cleaning, if you and your child need a place to recycle those gently used small stuffed animals such as Beanie Babies or Webkinz, the counseling program will gladly accept your donations.  Many of the children who visit my counseling office with tears leave with a smile and new friend thanks to your past generosity. 

 

January, 2015 - Building Character at School & Home

We have spent a lot of time working on making sure that we have a positive and safe learning environment here at Redland.  All staff are encouraged to catch students making respectful, responsible and safe choices, by writing a “pawsitive” which students enter into our weekly drawings. You can support us at home by building character in your child by instilling the characteristics you value.  Compassion, honesty, self-discipline, good judgment, courage and self-respect are important examples.  Here are some activities that will help.

  • Compassion.  Have your child think about people’s emotions.  For example, “When you ignored Ellie, how do you think she felt?”
  • Honesty.  If your child lies, as most children try on occasion, explain why it’s better to be sincere.  Show pride when he tells a difficult truth.
  • Self-discipline.  Talk with your child about his goals and the steps he can take to reach them.  Help him develop routines, such as studying at the same time each night.  Compliment his progress.
  • Good Judgment.  Practice thinking through decisions with your child.  Ask questions like, “What are the possible consequences of that decision?”
  • Courage.  This doesn’t mean doing something unsafe.  But it might mean standing up for beliefs.  Role-play tough situations with your child.
  • Self-respect.  Encourage your child to feel good about his own efforts.  For instance, “The other team won fair and square.  But I’m proud, because you tried so hard."

November, 2014 -  National Kindness Day: November 13

Kindness is the simple, yet valued act of making someone else's day brighter. Kindness is happiness, making those around you enjoy life. Kindness can be a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand. It is simply the act of caring for each other, without judgment.  Join us in an act of kindness today!

October, 2014 - Five Tips for Understanding Boys

1. Be aware of social pressures: Help boys out of the box.

Boys grow up hearing messages about what it means to be a man that are limiting and hurtful (e.g., boys don't cry, boys need to prove themselves through fighting). We need to help boys learn that there are many ways to be a man, that it is okay to own and express vulnerable feelings, and that there are many strategies to resolve conflict other than through violence. Help the boys you know feel valued and respected for who they are, whether they play football or dance ballet, whether they hunt or knit.

2. Respect boys' indirectness: Shoot baskets first, talk later.

For both biological and social reasons, boys tend not to express certain emotions directly. Help boys attend to and express their most vulnerable emotions by approaching them indirectly: Shoot baskets while talking about things, discuss how a character in a movie might have felt, share your own experiences before expecting them to tell you about theirs.

3. Encourage boys' directness: Help boys relate to people.

Because boys tend to pay more attention to things like cars, wheels, and computers than to faces, emotions, and relationships, they may need help developing relational and communication skills. Teach the boys you know to look directly in someone's face to give or receive a compliment and to understand what someone else is feeling. Help them see how important it is to understand their own feelings in order to discover and ask for what they need.

4. Encourage regulation: Teach boys to be respectfully active.

Boys, on average, are more physically active and aggressive than girls. They need to be given opportunities to be physically expressive (e.g., active recesses as school, permission to engage in rough-and- tumble play) but they also need to learn to check certain impulses (e.g., physically fighting, running around a classroom). This means we need to be actively engaged in teaching them how to regulate their own behaviors. It is not helpful to be completely hands off ("Oh, boys will be boys") or completely over-controlling (expecting boys to sit quietly for extended periods of time).

5. Notice the good: See boys as something other than problems.

We tend to highlight the trouble boys get into and forget to support them for the good things they bring us. Realize that part of the problem boys have in meeting the world has to do with the way the world meets them. Take an active interest in what boys find interesting, and find a way to value it. Help them see that the trucks and tractors they love are important in building houses and growing crops. Help them see that football is also about being part of a team, caring for your teammates, and doing something challenging and important together.

 

September, 2014 -  "What is the role of a  School Counselor?” Part 1

The role of school counselor is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs and habits of mind that enable them to benefit from their instructional opportunities and experiences.  The supports that I provide play a significant role in student growth and development. By focusing on these things, students will become better learners and higher achievers. This will be accomplished by helping students think about how they think, learn about how they learn, and consider how their thinking and behavior patterns influence and have consequences in their lives.