A Letter From Your School Counselor:
The home environment plays a pivotal role towards the success of every child. The following is a list of ten things children need during their school age years:
1. Demonstrated love and stability: Let your child know that you love them often even when they make poor choices. Offer a predictable and stable home life whenever possible.
2. Reasonable expectations and responsibilities: Calmly communicate your expectations often and clearly. Remind your child what their responsibilities are and model and encourage the behavior.
3. Academic and emotional support: Be there for your child to monitor and support their needs when he/she does their homework and/or experiences emotional ups and downs.
4. Positive reinforcement and encouragement: Catch your child doing good things and reward and encourage him/her for positive behaviors. Even small positive changes can be recognized.
5. Consequences for poor choices: Try time-outs, communication, teaching life-skills, behavior charts with rewards, providing choices, breathing deep and staying calm.
6. Consistency and structure: Children prefer and thrive in environments which are predictable, consistent, structured, caring, safe, and loving.
7. Empathy and acknowledgment: Children like to be heard, understood, and acknowledged. They are experimenting with many different feelings, ideas, and choices and as adults we can model, explain, and demonstrate understanding to our children.
8. Set limits on time and content for media: There are plenty of inappropriate and violent media choices available which children should not be exposed to. Video games, TV, and movies are rated for good reasons and as parents we need to always monitor and limit our child's screen time.
9. Quality family time: Good old fashioned face to face time, family outings, puzzles, board and card games, physical activities (e.g. biking, hiking, walking, ball games), picnics, and nightly family dinners are ways to strengthen family bonds, improve communication, and create a happier home life.
10. Healthy diet and an early bedtime: We are what we eat and how well we sleep. Children need at least 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. The more fresh fruits and vegetables, and high quality fat, protein and carbohydrates children consume the better.
Thank you for all of the love and support you give your child. We are looking forward to teaming with the parents/guardians of each and every child to better assure a positive, successful and unforgettable experience at Spruce Elementary School.