Our counseling unit for September is all about problem solving. Every problem that a student may face (for example: peer conflict, bullying, peer pressure, rumors/gossip, making mistakes, etc) comes with choices. In other words, the options we have for trying to solve the problem. During this unit I stress to students to think about the consequences (both good and bad) of each choice BEFORE deciding what to do. Students learn a problem-solving model called the STAR model to recall and apply this information. The STAR model looks like this:
S: STOP Take a deep breath, identify the problem.
T: THINK Consider your choices and the consequences.
A: ACT Make the best choice and do it.
R: REFLECT What was the outcome? Is the problem solved? Would you make the same choice next time?
In grades K-2 we discuss how often times when faced with a problem, we have the choice of trying to handle the problem ourselves, or involve a trusted adult. There are lots of strategies kids can use to solve problems on their own; however some problems need adult attention right away. During this unit and the relationships unit we review tattling vs. reporting:
Tattling: Trying to get someone in trouble; can handle by yourself; unimportant; harmless situations; behaviors are accidental and only happen once.
Reporting: Trying to keep people safe; have tried to solve it on your own and need help; important; harmful, dangerous, or threatening situations; behaviors are purposeful (mean) and happen repeatedly.
This information is reviewed in 3-5th.
It is always helpful to reinforce the concepts we learn at school at home. If you have any questions, please let me know!
In the elementary years, students are navigating their relationships with peers and how to behave in different social situations. A huge part of this is learning conflict management, and how to deal with hurt feelings resulting from social interactions.
An issue that comes up commonly in these developmental years is rumors and gossip. Talking about others behind their backs, or spreading stories - whether they may be true or untrue. This type of behavior can be very hurtful, and can even cross into bullying territory. It happens inside close-knit friend groups, as well as through classroom acquaintances. Access to technology and social media can perpetuate the problem. It is important for children to understand the power of their words and the damage rumors and gossip can do. I do a lesson with 4th and 5th graders on this subject in the fall, but find myself revisiting the subject throughout the year, whether with individual students or entire classrooms. It is helpful to have an ongoing discussion of important values with your children, and this may be a topic worth visiting.
The following links are helpful parent resources that address rumors and gossip among children:
How to Stop Your Child From Gossiping:
Surviving the Rumor Mill:
What you'll find:
Here you will find information related to the units we are working on in class, as well as ideas and resources for your student and family. Look around and come back often!