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News: Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Welcome our new Counsellor - Mrs. Bell



Working our Way through the What If's

September always seems to be a mix of nerves and excitement for many students, parents and educators. It marks the start of a fresh year, a new beginning, new goals, new opportunities and new challenges. Sometimes, though, all the “new” can be overwhelming to think about.  There are probably hundreds of questions and “what ifs” swirling around in our children’s minds - Will I have classes with my friends?  Will I like my teacher?  Will I make the basketball team?  What if the teacher calls on me in class?  What if I have to do a presentation?  What if I can’t make new friends?  What if I get called names again?  What if I don’t have a partner for group work?

 

As parents and as teachers, it is challenging to know how to help our children and students as they each have a different set of experiences, different needs, different fears and different ways of overcoming and managing worry and anxiety. What we have to remember though, is that every now and again, everyone feels anxious.  It’s a very normal, natural human emotion.  

 

During these times of worry and anxiety, you can help your children in many ways.  One of the activities I like to do with students is working on towards recognizing all of the possibilities in a situation, in both positive and negative situations.  When we start worrying and thinking about the “what ifs” we, even though there are as many positive possibilities as there are negative ones our, well, we struggle see them.  And if we only see the bad possibilities we develop an unbalanced and negative view of the situation.

 

The first step is to work together to generate chart that states with 3 positive “what ifs” for every negative “what if.” It looks something like this...

 

Negative “What if…?”

Positive “What if

What if I no one sits with me at lunch time?

What if someone does?

What if we have a nice lunch together?

What if, after lunch, we hang out outside?

 

As we look over the sheet together we talk about how each kind of “what if” makes that child feel and about which “what if” is more likely.  Next, we work towards generating small simple ideas and plans to try and work towards a positive outcome.

 

Negative “What if…?”

Positive “What if

I could …

What if I no one sits with me at lunch time?

What if someone does?

Invite someone to sit with me, ask to join in a group, look for someone else sitting by themselves

What if we have a nice lunch together?

ask how their day is going, ask what they have for lunch, tell them about the movie I saw on the weekend, listen when they are talking to me

What if, after lunch, we hang out outside?

Ask them during lunch what they are doing at recess, join in their activities and plans, introduce myself to new people that I might meet outside.

 

The final step is to review the sheet together.  During this stage, I point out that positive outcomes are much more likely because we have the ability to make them happen.  We can take control, take action, make a plan.  I also point out that for every negative “what if” they described a negative emotion, but for every positive “what if” they described a positive emotion. This often helps students to understand the connection between between positive emotions, positive thoughts and positive actions.  

 

The new and unknown is often a mix of nerves and emotion but it is also an opportunity to learn something new about the world, yourself or your friends.  Encouraging kids to think positively, learn something new or try something new here at school, by getting involved with one of the many teams, clubs and activities, will go a long way in supporting and encouraging a positive mindset and experience.  For a list of ways to positively get involved and connected to the Clayburn community, please visit our school’s website http://clayburn.abbyschools.ca/ and click on the athletics or opportunities.

 

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