Sunday, July 1, 2012

Making & Keeping Friends

Tips for Making & Keeping Friends
  1. Be Accepting. Not everyone talks, looks, and acts like you do. (How boring if they did!)
  2. Be a Good Listener. Look at people when they're talking to you and genuinely pay attention to what they are saying.
  3. Don't Just Talk About Your Problems. Include friends in the good times too!
  4. Do Your Share of the Work. Any relationship takes effort. Don't always depend on your plans to make the plans and carry the weight.
  5. Don't be a Show Off. Your abilities and interests are unique, but that doesn't mean you have to rub it in.
  6. Be Honest. Tell the truth about yourself and your beliefs. When asked for your opinion, be sincere. But...temper your honesty with diplomacy. The truth doesn't have to hurt. Sometimes frankness is inappropriate and unnecessary.
  7. Reach Out if Someone is Being Left Out. Don't always wait for someone else to make the first move. A simple "hi" and a smile go a long way.
  8. Let Others Know You're Interested in Them. Don't just talk about yourself, ask questions about others.
  9. Learn to Recognize the Friends You Can Live Without. Don't put up with friends who aren't really friends at all.

8 Intelligences

8 Intelligences
Written By Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D.

Over two decades after Howard Gardner identified multiple intelligences in his ground-breaking book Frames of Mind (1983), educators around the world have been using the theory of multiple intelligences in their classrooms. In some ways, parents and teachers have always intuitively known that children learn in different ways and that an activity that grabs one child may not be of interest to another. But many of our traditional ideas about teaching imply that there is a certain way to learn particular skills. As parents, we've all had times when we've become frustrated by our children's apparent inability to accomplish a task the way we were taught to do it. When we have a better understanding of their individual intelligences and learning styles, we can provide experiences that speak to how our children learn best.

The eight intelligences are:

1. Linguistic
2. Logical-mathematical
3. Bodily-kinesthetic
4. Musical
5. Spatial
6. Naturalist
7. Interpersonal
8. Intrapersonal

To understand your child's learning style, observe her as she plays. Which toys does she tend to choose? Chances are, you'll notice that her favorites have something in common. Perhaps they all have bright colors and distinct patterns or interesting textures and shapes, or make sounds. Then look at how she plays: Does she tend to look at objects intently or to hold and feel them in her hands? Perhaps she is less interested in toys than in rolling, tumbling and moving around. As you cuddle up with your child and a favorite book, pay attention to what she is most interested in. Is it looking at the illustrations? Listening to the cadence of the words and rhymes as you read aloud? Touching the different objects pictured on the page? Or does she practically leap out of your lap and start to act out the actions in the story as you describe them?

Elementary Bibliotherapy List

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Topic: Acceptance; nonconformity

A Family That Fights by Sharon Chester Bernstein
Topic: Family abuse

A Place for Starr by Howard Schor
Topic: Family Violence

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations: How to Tackle Tricky, Icky Problems and Tough Times by American Girl
Topic: Problem solving

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes
Topic: Children witnessing trauma

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Topic: Everyone has bad days; anger management.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Topic: Goal setting and attainment

Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston
Topic: Friendships

Amelia Bedelia Bakes a Cake by Peggy Parish & Lynn Sweat
Topic: A funny story about a girl who always makes mistakes

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
Topic: Family differences

Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz
Topic: Finding one’s heritage; anxiety & disappointment

Blues Clues: I’m Sorry by Justin Chanda
Topic: Honesty; integrity

But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
Topic: Animals; friends

Caillou: Baby Sister by Jaceline Sauschagrin
Topic: New sibling

Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen
Topic: Short stories coving topics ranging from divorce to friends to eating disorders

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Topic: Bullying; self esteem

David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon
Topic: Behavioral issues

Dinosaurs Divorce by Laurene Krasny Brown & Marc Brown
Topic: Divorce

Divorce is a Grown up Problem by Janet Sinburg
Topic: Divorce

Don’t Pop Your Balloon by Janet M. Bender
Topic: Controlling anger

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
Topic: Homelessness

Franklin Says Sorry by P. Bourgeois & B. Clark
Topic: Friendship

Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss
Topic: Being yourself; self acceptance

Good-Bye Daddy! by B. Weninger
Topic: Divorce

Goodbye Mousie by R.H. Harris
Topic: Death

Herbie’s Troubles by Carol Chapman
Topic: Bullying; standing up for yourself

Hey Little Ant by Phillip & Hannan Hoose
Topic: Empathy; bullying

How are you Feeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freyman & Joast Elffers
Topic: Identifying feelings

I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
Topic: Self esteem

I Love You With all my Heart by Noris Kern
Topic: How families show love in different ways

I Want to be Somebody New! By Robert Lopshire
Topic: Self esteem, self concept, self worth

I’m Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis
Topic: Self esteem

I’m So Embarrassed by Robert Munsch
Topic: Being embarrassed

It Must Hurt A Lot by Doris Sanford
Topic: Death and grief

It’s Hard to be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel by Jamie Lee Curtis
Topic: Self control

It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr
Topic: Acceptance

Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Topic: New sibling

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Topic: Parental Love

Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce by Maude Spelman
Topic: Divorce

Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
Topic: Different emotions on different days

Mean Soup by Betsy Everitt
Topic: Handling emotions

Mommy Laid an Egg by Babette Cole
Topic: How babies are made

Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna
Topic: Words can be harmful

My Beastly Brother by Laura Leuck
Topic: Sibling rivalry

My Friend, Jasper Jones by Rosamond Dauer
Topic: Friendship

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Topic: Bullying

Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
Topic: Motivation

Please Tell! A Child’s Story about Sexual Abuse by Jessie
Topic: Sexual Abuse

Polar Bear and the Rainbow by Moira Butterfield
Topic: Diversity

Por Favor Di: Un Cuento Para Ninos Sobre el Abuso Sexual by Jessie
Topic: Sexual abuse

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
Topic: Hiroshima; death and grief

Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan
Topic: Overcoming obstacles

Say Something by Peggy Moss
Topic: Bullying; speaking up

Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly
Topic: Individual differences; self esteem

Shredderman: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen
Topic: Bullying

Some Things are Scary by Florence Parry Heid
Topic: Scary situations and how to deal with them

Sophie’s Trophy by Susan Middleton Elya
Topic: Self esteem

Spider’s First Day at School by Robert Kraus
Topic: School anxiety

Stop Picking on Me by Pat Thomas
Topic: Bullying

Talking Speech Disorders to School by John Bryant
Topic: Why kids go to speech therapy

Teammates by Peter Golenbock
Topic: Jackie Robinson; acceptance

The 10th Good Thing about Barney by Judith Voirst
Topic: Death

The Ant Bully by John Nickle
Topic: Bullying

The Bear Who Lost His Sheep: A Story about Worrying Too Much by J. Lamb-Shapiro
Topic: Worrying

The Berenstain Bears: New Baby by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Topic: New sibling

The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Topic: Racism

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Topic: Acceptance

The Empty Place: A Child’s Guide through Grief by Roberta Temes
Topic: Grief and loss

The Flower Man by Mark Ludy
Topic: Moral principles

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Topic: Giving

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet & Susan Stevens
Topic: Sharing

The Grouchy Lady Bug by Eric Carle
Topic: Social behavior

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Topic: Teasing, bullying, lying; importance of making amends

The Hyena Who Lost His Sheep: A Story about Worrying too Much by J. Lamb-Shapiro
Topic: Worrying

The Kids Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Greive
Topic: Emotions of animals

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Topic: Confronting difficult situations

The Lion Who Lost His Roar: A Story about Facing Your Fears by M.S. Nass
Topic: Overcoming fears

The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein
Topic: The nature of quest and fulfillment

The Next Place by Warren Hanson
Topic: Death and dying

The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado
Topic: Self-esteem; identity

The Penguin Who Lost Her Cool: A Story About Controlling Your Anger by M. Sobel
Topic: Anger control

The Rabbit Who Lost His Hop: A Story about Self-Control by M.S. Nass
Topic: Self control

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
Topic: Bullying

The Rough-Face Girl by David Shannon
Topic: Algonquin Indian version of Cinderella.

The Time Balooga Forgot Other People’s Feelings by Steve Barancik
Topic: Social skills

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
Topic: Feelings

There’s a Boy in the Girls Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Topic: Bullying

Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis
Topic: Moods and emotions

Un Lugar Seguro Para Vivir: Un Cuento Para Ninos que han Exprimentado la Violencia Domestica by M.A. Harrison
Topic: Domestic violence

Uncle Willy’s Tickles: A Child’s Right to Say No by M. Aboff
Topic: Child sexual abuse

Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino
Topic: Self esteem

Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Topic: Power of love

Vera’s Baby Sister by Vera Rosenberry
Topic: New sibling

We Are All Alike, We Are All Different by Cheltenham
Topic: Diversity

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Topic: Bullying; self esteem

When Dinosaurs Die by Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown
Topic: Death

When My Parents Forgot How to be Friends by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
Topic: Divorce; arguing parents

When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman
Topic: Anger management

When Sophie gets Angry – Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
Topic: Anger management

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Topic: Bad behavior

Zen Shorts by Jon Muth
Topic: Making friends; letting bad days go by


The traditional family structure of mom, dad, and 2.5 children has quickly become a thing of the past.  According to Crespi, Gustafson, and Borges (2005), only 7% of children live in these traditional families.  The new norm of typical family structure includes single-parents, step-parents, step-siblings, grandparents raising children, same-sex parents, and adoptive or foster siblings.  It is sometimes difficult for children to accept that this new family structure is not wrong because they feel different from their classmates more “normal” families. 
Bliss (1999) estimated that 50% of children in the U.S. will experience at least one divorce before they reach the age of 18.  When parents divorce or separate, it has a long-term impact on the growth and development of their children.  Parents that play an active and positive figure in their lives after divorce help children to maintain more emotional stability (Taylor, 2005).  This includes modeling effective communication skills and problem solving abilities when in the presence of their child.  Children, like adults, fear change and ultimately divorce can be a very stressful experience because change occurs in most aspects of their life.  The amount of time spent with each family member can change, households can change, household responsibilities can change, household rules can change, household routines can change, and the school the child attends can change as well as friends. 
Change in a child’s family can be viewed as a loss in the way of life they have become accustomed to.  The grief process for children follows the same stages of disbelief, anxiety, anger, sadness, and acceptance - just as it does for individuals experiencing a death (Bienfeld, 1987).  Teachers and other school personnel may see changes in their student’s affect and behavior as they progress through these stages and can be a helpful referral (Marta, 1996).  Children can suffer from short-term depression and anxiety, exhibit behavioral problems at school or at home, and display somatic responses in terms of physical complaints to express their feelings (Gilman, Schneider, and Shulak, 2005).  Costa and Stiltner (1994) state that the negative effects of divorce on children do not dissipate over time without intervention and it can take two to four years for a child to adjust to a new family structure.  Amato and Keith (1991) confirm that children of divorce have an increased risk for developing psychological, behavioral, social, and academic problems.  Results from their study indicated that children from divorced families scored significantly lower in academic achievement, conduct, psychological adjustment, and well-being. 
Group counseling is a beneficial approach for working with children because they can learn that they are not alone with their feelings and their peers have problems too (Berg, Landreth, Fall, 2006).  The concept of universality is important with children because their peers have such a powerful influence on them.  When they see through peer interaction that others have the same feelings and experiences they have, the relief can be enlightening to them and reduce their sense of isolation and frustration (Greenberg, 2003).  Additionally, Tomori (1995) states that group experience can foster feelings of belonging and support to replace feelings of loneliness, isolation, and helplessness.  It’s one thing to be reassured by a parent, counselor, or other adult; but it seems to have more meaning coming from children in similar situations.

“A child’s adjustment to divorce depends not on the event itself, but how it’s lived afterward” (Taylor 2005).


Amato, P. R. & Keith, B. (1991). Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 110,  26-46.
Berg, R.C., Landreth, G., & Fall, K.A. (2006). Group counseling: Concepts and procedures (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.
Bienfeld, F. (1987). Helping your child succeed after divorce. Clairmont, CA: Hunter House.
Bliss, B. (1999). Rule for stepfamilies from the stepfamily association. Step Families [On-line] Available:
Costa, L. & Stiltner, B. (1994). Why do good things always end and the bad things go on forever: A family change counseling group. The School Counselor, 41, 300-304.
Crespi, T.D., Gustafson, A.L., & Borges, S.M. (2005). Group counseling in the schools: Considerations for child and family issues. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 22(1), 67-85.
Gilman, J., Schneider, D., Shulak, R. (2005). Children’s ability to cope post-divorce: The effects of kids’ turn intervention program on 7 to 9 year olds. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 42(3/4), 109-126.
Greenberg, K. R. (2003). Group counseling in k-12 schools: A handbook for school counselors. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Hammond, J. M. (1981). Loss of the family unit: Counseling groups to help kids. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 59(6), 392-34.
Marta, S. Y. (1996). When death or divorce occur: Helping children cope with loss. Greensboro, N.C.: ERIC Clearinghouse.
Taylor, R.J. (2005). Therapeutic implications of behavior change theory in post-divorce counseling and education programs. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 42(3/4), 75-82.
Tomori, B. (1995). Small group counseling at the elementary level. Guidance & Counseling, 10(3), 24-31.

Bright Vs Gifted Students

Bright Child

Gifted Learner
Knows the answers.

Asks the questions.
Is interested.

Is highly curious.
Is attentive.

Is mentally and physically involved.
Has good ideas.

Has wild, silly ideas.
Works hard.

Plays around, yet tests well.
Answers the questions.

Discusses in detail, elaborates.
Top group.

Beyond the group.
Listens with interest.

Shows strong feelings and opinions.
Learns with ease.

Already knows.
6-8 repetitions for mastery.

1-2 repetitions for mastery.
Understands ideas.

Constructs abstractions.
Enjoys peers.

Prefers adults.
Grasps the meaning.

Draws inferences.
Completes assignments.

Initiates projects.
Is receptive.

Is intense.
Copies accurately.

Creates a new design.
Enjoys school.

Enjoys learning.
Absorbs information.

Manipulates information.

Good memorizer.

Good guesser.
Enjoys straightforward, sequential presentation.

Thrives on complexity.
Is alert.

Is keenly observant.
Is pleased with own learning.

Is highly self-critical.

Helping Children Cope in the Aftermath of a Disaster or Crisis

Helping Children Cope in the Aftermath of a Disaster or Crisis
Written by Gail K. Roaten, Ph.D., LPC-S

Children and adolescents will be affected by fear after tragic events such as disasters and specific crises. It is important for counselors, teachers, parents, and other adults to respond appropriately. School counselors, administrators, and mental health professionals need to work together to develop systemic/systematic strategies to intervene with children and adolescents that may be suffering from fear and general feelings of not being safe. Diminished responsiveness such as “psychic numbing” or “emotional anesthesia” usually begins shortly after a traumatic event. Sometime reactions will appear immediately, or a delayed reaction might take place with symptoms developing weeks or months after the crisis. If after assessing a student’s functioning you decide that individual counseling is necessary, please contact me and I will provide some suggestions. This will be the topic for our next consultation! There are certain protocols to follow. In addition, some types of interventions work better than others. We will discuss these strategies in depth next time we meet.

When dealing with large groups of children, David Walsh (2001) provides some very timely tips on how adults can help children deal with crisis of national proportions.

Things to Remember
  • Fear is an intense concern or worry caused by real or imagined danger.
  • Fear is a natural and normal reaction to a scary event.
  • Children younger than five years old cannot always tell fantasy from reality. Media depictions of attacks can be as scary as a real attack.
  • Some children will exhibit fear through behavior, not words. Examples might include a lump in the throat, crying, and abnormal agitation.
  • Sensitive children with vivid imaginations are more prone to intense fear reactions.
  • All children, even the very young, have a sixth sense that enables them to be aware of an adult’s fear & anxiety.
  • Children respond differently at different ages, developmental stages.

Tips to Help Children with Fear
  • The best overall strategy is to do tow things simultaneously: acknowledge their fear while reassuring them.
  • Take your cues form the child. Don’t assume they are more afraid than they may be. Conversely, don assume that they are unaware of what has happened.
  • Take their fear seriously. Don’t try to talk them out of it.
  • Respond calmly. Don’t exaggerate their fears by using extreme language or overreacting yourself.
  • Answer their questions directly but don’t give them more information than they are asking for or that they need.
  • Provide physical reassurance with lots of hugs and touching.
  • Make sure they know it’s okay to ask questions.
  • Manage the media diet of coverage according to their age.

Tips to Help Adolescents
Youth in junior high and high school have probably already talked about the attack with friends. It is important to be honest with them and let them know what is going on. This age may even be “glued” to the TV or internet, eager for more news and details.
  • It is important to talk about what has happened, answer their questions as best you can, and discuss your reaction with them.
  • Acknowledge feelings of fear, horror, anger, and sadness.
  • Provide comfort & reassurance.
  • Share details with younger adolescents but do not overwhelm them.
  • Some may act out feelings; others might withdraw.
  • Some teens may also block out the whole thing & refuse to acknowledge that anything “big” has happened or that they care. This is often masks real fears and feelings of being overwhelmed.
  • Some teens may make jokes. That is a classic defense mechanism for some. Let them know it’s not funny without lecturing them.
  • Some teens may be interested in discussing issues that this tragedy raises. Be willing to engage them in a serious discussion.
  • Be careful to avoid placing blame on people, groups of people, labeling, etc.
  • Use historical tragedies as examples or basis for conversation. Talk to teens about how the situation may be resolved. You may have to explain to younger adolescents that bad things do happen to innocent people, but as people of a nation, we go on and live our lives, trying to resolve such bad situations.