The Going Back to School Blues...or Worries

How’s your son doing as the school year is beginning? Is your daughter teary during carpool? Just last night I was with a dear friend with five kids, who told me stories of two of hers sobbing on the way to or from school the first week.  It’s completely normal.  And, as a side note, the melt down she had after drop off was normal, too.  These first few weeks of school are a lot…for all of you.

Last year in September, I had five different girls I was counseling between the ages of 8 and 12 who were at Daystar for anxiety.  Some were afraid of throwing up at school, some failing a test, some making new friends...

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Can Where the Wild Things Are Teach Kids Empathy?

"Kids who spend their early years lost in the imaginary worlds of children’s fiction — Where the Wild Things Are, Corduroy, Beatrix Potter’s stories of Peter Rabbit — may be getting more out of the stories than pure entertainment. Narrative fiction seems to make young children more empathetic, according to research presented at this weekend’s American Psychological Association convention in Washington, D.C. 

Fiction, of course, lets you see the world through another set of eyes, and that isn’t lost on young children...

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Technology Tuesday: Five Nights at Freddy's

“It’s a horror game.”

I have to admit that I’ve never heard of a horror game.  I didn’t even know they existed, but I have increasingly been hearing kids talk about a game called Five Nights at Freddy’s.

The ten year-old girl who told me and showed me some of the graphics from the game went on to say, “At the end, you start having hallucinations cause you don’t have the frontal lobe of your brain anymore.”  I asked her how she learned what a frontal lobe was and her quick response was, “from the game, of course..."

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Young Children & Imagination

Think left and think right and think low and think high.  

Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  

Dr. Seuss

Imagination is the fertile ground for faith.  It allows young children to embrace stories of a giant whale that swallowed a man named Jonah, how Lazarus came back from the dead, and how a giant Red Sea parted in two.  

Imagination allows young children to think creatively in real life.  Studies found that young children who were encouraged to be imaginative as young children, remained so as they got older and evolved into skilled problem solvers.  Later in life, early “imaginators” were more resourceful in the face of challenge, struggle and difficult circumstances.  These kids had a more developed sense of how to navigate challenges such as forgetting to bring homework to school, a forgotten book or lunch, or being placed in a group with challenging students.  READ MORE

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Technology Tuesday: Parenting In The Virtual Age

“When can I get a smart phone?”

“That is such an invasion of my privacy!

“If I stop the game now, I’ll never get to the next level.”

“I am the only person in my grade without a Facebook page!” 

“Other people text way more of the time than I do.” 

As a counselor, I (David) have heard a parent report one of the above statements over a thousand times.  Parenting a child or teenager in this day and age requires an advanced degree in navigating, negotiating and understanding media and technology.  As much as media and technology can be an invaluable resource to your child’s growing mind, it can also be a debilitating force.  Obtaining this advanced degree involves surveying the options, identifying the pros and cons, and setting age-appropriate media and technology boundaries... READ MORE

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