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Category Archives: Counselor’s Corner

Talking to your children about keeping their bodies safe

Earlyopenoften.org contains shareable child protection resources designed especially for families, with tips on how to start sensitive conversations and reinforce safety rules.

It’s every adult’s responsibility to help keep kids safe from abuse, and open communication is one of the best strategies.

 

Talking to children about terrorism

In light of tragic events around the world, parents may wonder, “How do I talk about this with my child?” We are sharing this article from Ritamaria Laird, MA, LCPC, NCC, a leading expert in pediatric mental health in Chicago, as it may help you tackle this tough topic.

2015-2016 Bullying Policy

Please take some time to review the school’s bullying policy. As I go into your child’s classroom the paper form of this policy will come home. Please review it with your child(ren) and then sign and return it to school the next day.

Additionally, here is a link to a bullying prevention resource: www.stopbullying.gov. Voilà le site web du Ministre de l’Éducation contre le harcèlement à l’école: www.agircontreleharcelementalecole.gouv.fr.

Dealing with separation anxiety

Welcome back Lycée friends and families! And “Thanks for joining our family” to our new families just starting Lycée Français. We are very excited about the new school year beginning. As we all begin to prepare for school to start questions may arise, worries, and anxiety producing tears or meltdowns. In order to help your child(ren) have a smooth transition from long summer days to school days please find below a link to 18 tips and tricks that can help your child(ren) adjust. Any questions? Please feel free to reach out to me: Angel Werner, School Counselor, at awerner@lfno.org. I am available to assist you with any questions/concerns.

How to deal with getting prepared for school and separation anxiety.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Anxiety in students: Turning it Around

Anxiety is a normal response to something dangerous or stressful. It becomes a problem when it shows up at unexpected times and takes a particularly firm hold. When anxiety is in full swing, it feels awful. Awful enough that anticipation of the feeling is enough in itself to cause anxiety. Read more here…

Mardi Gras Safety Tips

Children want to see the parades at Mardi Gras and catch throws. But, although the crowds along St. Charles Avenue are family-friendly they can be heavy. You don’t want your kids running around trying to catch throws and getting lost or stepped on by others vying for the beads and such.

New Orleanians have Mardi Gras ladders specially designed for safety. They are made by bolting a Mardi Gras seat on top of a 6-foot ladder. Here the little ones can watch the parade safely. They not only see better, they stay put.

By law, these ladders must be placed as far back from the street as they are tall and to keep them steady always have an adult standing on the back.You can make your own or buy a seat at any hardware store in the New Orleans area.

General Safety Tips

  • Always tell your children to find a police officer if they are lost. If they can’t find an officer, go to a woman with small children. They are much more likely to be safe with a Mom.
  • Write your cell phone number on your child’s arm with a marker. Better to have the problem of getting her arm clean than the alternative.
  • Write your phone number, the child’s name and any other pertinent info on a piece of paper and put it in your child’s pocket.
  • Take your child’s picture with your cell phone before you head out for the day. If the worse happens you can show police exactly what she/he looks like and what your child is wearing.

Source: http://goneworleans.about.com/od/neworleansforkids/qt/safetytipsformg.htm

Ways to Show Empathy

  1. Listen – Become an “empathic listener” by listening for feelings.
· Listen for the unspoken feelings that are behind the words that are said.
· Look at your child’s body language and try to gain helpful information.
· Listen with your heart.
· Don’t be critical.
· Give your child your full attention by sitting down, looking him/her in the eye.
· Try to reflect back the feeling that you believe your child is conveying.
  2. Ask open-ended questions. What will you miss about preschool? What do you like about your new teacher? What’s the hardest part of your day?
  3. Share a story from your childhood. Share a struggle that you had and the different feelings that you experienced. If you found a process that helped you overcome the struggle, share that, too.

Another helpful tip is to understand that transitions involve a sense of loss: A loss of fun. A loss of spontaneity. Or a loss of my house.

Generally, when a child feels a sense of loss s/he feels a loss of control. A beneficial strategy is to help the child gain a sense of control. So how do you do that?

Tools for Empowering Your Child:

  1. Involve your child in the decision. Ask your child, “What might help you feel more comfortable?”
  2. Walk your child through the process, explaining how it will go. Knowledge is power.
  3. Show visual aids such as reading books on the subject.
  4. Explain the benefits so the child can learn the positive outcomes, too.
  5. Slow down the pace. Give your child a chance to wind down or to say goodbye.
  6. Learn to read your child’s cues and help him/her learn to identify them, too.

Another helpful strategy for reducing the stress of changes is to create a ritual. Family rituals help your child adjust to change. A ritual can be simple or elaborate, used daily, weekly, or once a year. The reason that rituals are important is that rituals help make the world predictable and the repetition helps kids feel more secure when transitions are occurring.

Rituals that Help with Transitions:

  1. Develop a goodbye ritual. Develop a secret handshake with your child that’s used only when s/he leaves you.
  2. Develop an after-school ritual. Let your child have a snack and play outside for 30 minutes before starting homework.
  3. Develop a “chit-chat” time at bedtime. Ask your child about the happy, sad, scary and frustrating parts to his/her day.
  4. Develop an end-of-the-week ritual. Have a family night every Friday night to reconnect and unwind after a busy week.

Change also increases a child’s anxiety level because there is a loss of the familiar and the uncertainty of the future so finding safe, healthy outlets for a child’s anxiety is important, as well. Teaching your child how to soothe him/herself and providing calming activities will be a great help.

Ways to De-Stress:

  1. Increase Physical Touch. Make a conscious effort to hug and kiss more often, snuggle more, or provide massage to your child.
  2. Teach a Deep Breathing Method. (Pretend that there’s a balloon in his/her tummy that s/he has to blow up. Actually use a balloon to illustrate. Have the child breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth, actually moving the diaphragm while pretending to blow up the balloon with big, deep breaths.)
  3. Consider Dramatics. Ask your child how a fairy godmother would solve a problem s/he faces. Create a movie, play or story about the problem. Play “school” to see what issues your child may be facing.
  4. Spend Time Alone with the Child. Let the child pick what the activity will be and focus on your child’s needs.
  5. Laugh. Find ways to be silly, have a kids’ joke book on hand, do something unexpected, watch your favorite family movie.
  6. Give Your Child a Journal. Writing about a problem can release pent-up feelings in a healthy way.
  7. Create a Scrapbook. Have your child participate in the creation of the book and reminisce at the child’s convenience.

In summary, there are many useful strategies that you can use when your child is faced with a transition, large or small:

  • Respond with empathy recognizing that your child may feel a sense of loss.
  • Help your child gain a sense of control by involving him/her in decision-making.
  • Create a ritual to create predictability.
  • Offer soothing and calming activities.

Bullying Policy and the STOP method

How does Lycée Français approach bullying? The School Counselor will conduct presentations on bullying, self- esteem, communication, and conflict resolution; organize group sessions; read personal responsibility books; and/or talk one-on-one with the student(s). All interventions provided by counselor will be age appropriate for student and their grade level. 

All students will be taught the (STOP) Method – a conflict resolution method in order to empower student to use their words in order to express self and create boundaries on how others may treat them. Learn more about the Lycée Français bullying policy and the STOP method.

Preparing Your Child for Elementary School

Hello out there!

Welcome to back to school for our experienced families and welcome to our family to our new families!

My name is Angel Werner, I am the full time school counselor on staff here at Lycée Français. I am very excited about this school year.

Below are some helpful websites for topics that may be an issue with the start of a new school year. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. I am available!

Sleep in School-Aged Children (6-12 Years)
http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/sleep-in-school-aged-children

Preparing Your Child for Elementary School
https://www.onetoughjob.org/child-care/school/preparing-your-child-for-elementary-school

5 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety about Starting School
http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/168652-5-tips-for-dealing-with-anxiety-about-starting-school/#ixzz3ABn5Od7g

PARENTS:

How to establish your inner peace and decrease your stress.

Translation for children—“Breath in blue skies, breath out gray clouds.”