When thinking about perpetrators of child sexual abuse, many people picture an image of a creepy stranger. Parents and schools generally do a pretty good job of teaching their kids about “stranger danger.” But this is not where most of the danger lies. The vast majority of sexual abusers are known to the children they target, so it is incumbent upon us to teach kids not only how to respond when an uncomfortable or dangerous situation arises, but also how to recognize when danger is approaching. Continue reading
When you’re about to enter a new phase of life, you usually have a little warning – you get married, start a new job, send your youngest child to school, celebrate a BIG birthday. But sometimes you get propelled into that new stage of life without even realizing what’s happening. Just imagine that what you thought was your desk chair was actually the business end of a catapult, and before you know it you’re flying through the air, past a moat, and over the ramparts of a castle you hadn’t really planned to visit until some fuzzily distant time in the future, where you land ungracefully, with a thud, on your butt. That pretty much describes today. Continue reading
I start back to school in one week. Wait, did I ever actually leave school this summer? I’ve got a ton of stuff to do to get ready, not to mention all the home things that are still on my summer to-do list, but I’m going to set all that aside, and do something I think will help me be even more ready – nothing. I am unplugging – no computer, iPad, phone, TV – for a week. Of course, it’s hard not to get a little unplugging anxiety, but I’m concentrating on what I know will be bliss – uninterrupted time with my family, a big pile of books, and the beauty of nature.
Yesterday, an article called The Empathy Paradox: Mastering Empathy for Others Begins with Knowing Yourself landed in my inbox. Perfect timing! It’s a lovely, thought provoking essay about the importance – and benefits – of slowing down, reflecting, and quieting yourself.
I hope you too can find a way to take some time for yourself, even if your school has already started. You deserve it! ♥
See you soon!
No, this is not my principal and I with some of our students on the first day of school. But I have to admit, I’ve been having a few break-into-song-and-swish-down-the-hall-in-in-a-hoop-skirt fantasies ever since the other night, when I saw a production of The King and I. I had expected to be entertained and wowed by the opera company’s many talents, but what I didn’t expect was the flood of excitement about going back to school that overcame me. Okay, I’m a dork. A musical theater loving, school counseling dork. I embrace it. Continue reading
I am incredibly lucky to live in a lovely, peaceful spot in Vermont, and really the only downside (other than Mud Season, which is exactly like it sounds) is the unreliable access we have to Internet and cell phone coverage. It works most of the time, but sometimes . . . Yesterday I had a 1:00 appointment to talk, via Skype, to Jeff from The Counseling Geek about how I use technology in my counseling program. At 12:56, – poof! – the Internet connection disappeared. Plan B – use my phone. Jeff Skyped in and I moved to the spot outside where we tend to get the best coverage . . . Suffice it to say Continue reading
One of the most widely-read posts on School Counseling by Heart is Post-It Note Counseling, which outlines a technique that I use in individual counseling sessions to help kids who are reluctant to talk about how they are feeling. I use Post-It Note counseling all the time, to great effect. I think others must be using it too, because fairly frequently it pops up on my Pinterest page, so far removed from the original pin that I think it must have circumnavigated the globe before arriving back here! (Luckily, it still links back Continue reading
Disclosing sexual abuse is difficult on so many levels. Kids may have been threatened or bribed. They may be worried that the abuse is their fault and that they will get in trouble. They may fear that they won’t be able to live at home any more, that it will cause divorce or the breakup of a parent’s relationship, or that someone they care about will be put in jail. Confusion, shame, and fear are powerful, silencing feelings. And children may just not have the words, know what to say, or how to say it. We need to teach kids the importance of telling, but we also need to teach them how to tell. Continue reading